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Logo Network bails on gay-centric TV programming

By Ruth Fine (03.02.2012)
http://lgbtweekly.com/2012/03/02/logo-network-bails-on-gay-centric-tv-programming/

The LGBT community can say farewell to gay-focused programming at Logo following its announcement to expand their television lineup to what the network calls "mainstream culture."

Logo explains the change comes in wake of the gay and lesbian community leading "fully integrated lives" that don't depend on leading first with their sexual orientation - rather, shows like "Modern Family" showcase gay and lesbian people far more accurately than other TV programming that leads with gay-focused themes.
 

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wv_patsfan said:
No kidding. Niche channels are quickly going extinct.
Wonder if they are now going to show the same 4 or 5 movies over and over and over every weekend for a year?

DirecTv needs to start adding to their contracts that the contract is immediately invalidated should the channel 1: move popular shows to a secondary channel, or 2: change the theme of the channel in a way that makes it different than what was contracted for.

Then they could just drop these channels, and save us some money.

As for USA1, USA2 etc, its going to be HULU1 through HULU250.
 

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The few times I flipped thru the guide, it seemed that Rue Paul's drag queen show was always on. I could be wrong, but I don't see the typical gay or lesbian individual identifying so much with drag queens. The gays with whom I am personally acquainted seem to be succesfully integrated into our small town. An out gay friend is a tenured high school teacher, and an electrician I hired to do some work on an addition to my house just happens to be a lesbian. Whether either ever watched LOGO regularly I can't say, but it just seems to my mind that gays just want to be part of the community like everyone else.

OTOH, a large hotel in Atlanta for which I used to do a/v work hosted the annual 'Southern Comfort' convention, a gathering of men who liked to dress as women. I would imagine that these cross-dressing guys identified with Paul's show. Their 'grand ball' was a hoot. I remember seeing a rather unattractive, white-haired old man, 70ish perhaps, and over 6' tall, wearing heels and a black, sequinned floor-length evening gown. I always wondered if he won 'queen of the ball'. Quite a sight!
 

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The thing about gay themed programming is that won't a wall eventually be hit on the amount of viewers watching the channel? I don't have exact statistics but isn't the gay population only about 10%? Sure, some straight people would probably watch some of the programming but I can't imagine logo ever getting the market share necessary to stay on the air unless something changes (which they have done).
 

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Another channel abandoning its core mission. Call it "The TLC Effect." Remember when TLC stood for "The Learning Channel?"

That said, I hope what they mean is that they are expanding from specifically gay-themed programming to programming that is still intended for the core demographics that LGBT indvididuals comprise, but that might be less gay-themed. I don't want to give examples as I don't want to seem stereotypical.
 

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Stuart Sweet said:
Another channel abandoning its core mission. Call it "The TLC Effect." Remember when TLC stood for "The Learning Channel?"
Yep... and when Spike stood for The Nashville Network... LOL!! :D

As a straight man, I'm not in the demographic they were shooting for, but I liked several programs on the channel when it launched... shows like "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" and "Wonderfalls", and they had several movies I enjoyed, but I had BTVS and "Wonderfalls" on DVD, and only watched one of the movies, but it was enough to keep it in some of my Favorites lists in case they added programming I'd be interested in seeing. I rarely see anything on the channel that interests me anymore.

It will be interesting to see where it goes...

~Alan
 

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Alan Gordon said:
...shows like "Buffy: The Vampire Slayer" and "Wonderfalls"...
And Logo has always carried shows such as these two, which aren't "gay-centric" but do have gay characters -- so I don't think the article does a good enough job of explaining what's changing in the Logo lineup (especially since it says "RuPaul's Drag Race" and other "gay-centric" shows are continuing in the lineup).
 

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Chris Blount said:
The thing about gay themed programming is that won't a wall eventually be hit on the amount of viewers watching the channel? I don't have exact statistics but isn't the gay population only about 10%?
I'd say it a little less, but there are also plenty of straight people that might find programming interesting.

On the other hand, the African American population in the U.S. is about 12%, and the Asian population (all countries combined) is about 5%, yet there are specific networks for those groups. (Albeit the Asian networks are largely local, but we have about 3 or 4 of em in Los Angeles).

It's not a high-demand network, but therefore also not a pricy one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Stuart Sweet said:
Another channel abandoning its core mission. Call it "The TLC Effect." Remember when TLC stood for "The Learning Channel?"

That said, I hope what they mean is that they are expanding from specifically gay-themed programming to programming that is still intended for the core demographics that LGBT individuals comprise, but that might be less gay-themed. I don't want to give examples as I don't want to seem stereotypical.
I don't think the LGBT community would find this news encouraging.

Nearly five years ago I came across Logo Television showing the landmark 1972 ABC-TV flm That Certain Summer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/That_Certain_Summer). It starred Hal Holbrook as a divorced father who has to reveal to his visiting son that he is gay. Scott Jacoby played the son. Hope Lange played the ex-wife and mother. Martin Sheen played Holbrook's lover. It was bold and powerful for its time, and garnered many Emmy nominations (including for the movie itself; for both Holbrook and Lange, winners for other projects; and a win for Jacoby, who is no longer acting but may be recognizable for recurring as Bea Arthur's musician son on The Golden Girls). I caught it, midway through air time, but didn't get it on my DVR. (I saw clips of the entire TV movie on YouTube.)

Logo Television is from Viacom. And one may figure it should have been a better channel for the LGBT community, because it could devote itself to showing strong and substantial programming. But I think, just like with another Viacom brand, TV Land (which should have shown Lange's 1968-1970 Emmy-winning work on The Ghost & Mrs. Muir), Logo Television was rather okay for maybe a couple years ... but eventually fell apart. It has me wondering whether Logo is on the way out.
 

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As a member of the LGBT community, I found very little of interest on Logo most of the time. RuPaul's show actually showcases some of the worst stereotypical behavior of a small subset of the gay population. The channel as a whole seemed to think that all they had to do was broadcast a show about some aspect of the community and we would watch it, no matter how bad the program actually was. In reality, we don't need (or want) to watch shows about a bunch of gay men (Noah's Arc) or gay women (Gimme Sugar) or drag queens (RuPaul's Drag Race) or transgenders (TransAmerican Love Story) - we live those experiences everyday. What we want is QUALITY programming that shows gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as normal, productive members of society. In that regard shows like Southland on TNT are far more interesting. Southland has Officer John Cooper, who is gay but doesn't make a point of it. He is a veteran police officer that does his job everyday. As he said in a recent episode to gay teenager struggling with his identity, "I have a lot of problems, but being gay isn't one of them."

The bottom line is that the LGBT community is no different from the population as a whole - quality entertainment will trump trash with a "focused" topic everytime. If this change leads to BETTER programming content Logo I'll watch it more. It is that simple.
 

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Titan25 said:
What we want is QUALITY programming that shows gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as normal, productive members of society.
Titan25 said:
The bottom line is that the LGBT community is no different from the population as a whole - quality entertainment will trump trash with "focused" topic everytime.
One of my favorite sitcoms is "The Cosby Show." One thing that I have always admired about "The Cosby Show" is that it was not a comedy aimed at African Americans, but rather a show about families aimed at families, where the members just happened to be African American. To me, that should be the goal of any quality programming... a show with characters in which their differences are not the focus of the programming, but simply a part of their characters.

Well stated post, IMHO... :)

~Alan
 

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Nick said:
...OTOH, a large hotel in Atlanta for which I used to do a/v work hosted the annual 'Southern Comfort' convention, a gathering of men who liked to dress as women. I would imagine that these cross-dressing guys identified with Paul's show. Their 'grand ball' was a hoot. I remember seeing a rather unattractive, white-haired old man, 70ish perhaps, and over 6' tall, wearing heels and a black, sequinned floor-length evening gown. I always wondered if he won 'queen of the ball'. Quite a sight!
As an aside, Southern Comfort is the largest convention held in the US for the larger transgender community. This includes, at one end of the spectrum, crossdressers (individuals that identify as their anatomical sex, but like to express a cross-gender aspect of themselves on occasion) and at the other end post-operative transsexuals who feel that their anatomical sex is in conflict with who they really are and want surgery to correct their body. In between are "no-op" transsexuals, who feel they are the opposite sex from their birth gender but don't feel a need to have surgery to correct it, androgynes who blend aspects of male and female, and gender-queer who blend genders in sometimes jarring and incongruous ways. It is also important to note that it is both a male to female AND female to male phenomenon.

I have attended Southern Comfort and am slated to speak there this fall.
 

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Davenlr said:
DirecTv needs to start adding to their contracts that the contract is immediately invalidated should the channel 1: move popular shows to a secondary channel, or 2: change the theme of the channel in a way that makes it different than what was contracted for.
I couldn't agree more, this trend that one poster here called "the TLC effect," also known as the Bravo/Sci-Fi/MTV/VH1/fill in the blank effect, has me considering dropping DirecTV as much as the price increases. As all channels abandon their core missions in pursuit of the almighty dollar and garbage reality TV, there are less and less interesting shows to watch anymore.
 

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There are very few channels that have stayed true to their names/purpose. Even the "news" channels have very little actual news on them. Nat Geo is the prison show channel, A&E is mostly about ghosts, hoarding, and bidding on abandoned storage lockers, TLC is a mishmash of, um, societal subgroups, History is the ice road trucker and picker channel and is mostly devoid of history. I remember as a child that channels always had something interesting and, shockingly, educational on. Now a child watching these channels wouldn't really learn anything except that if you are exceptionally extreme in any given path in life that you might get your own show someday, which isn't really a goal I would consider worthwhile. Logo was sort of doomed from the start because of logical paradoxes one gets into when trying to define what really constitutes lgbt programming. No matter what they show, there will be those who consider it demeaning and stereotyping, while others will consider it to be insufficiently lgbt.
 

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lokar said:
I couldn't agree more, this trend that one poster here called "the TLC effect," also known as the Bravo/Sci-Fi/MTV/VH1/fill in the blank effect, has me considering dropping DirecTV as much as the price increases. As all channels abandon their core missions in pursuit of the almighty dollar and garbage reality TV, there are less and less interesting shows to watch anymore.
That's the fun one for me. They all claim higher programming costs, but they're all moving to more and more reality programing. Isn't reality programming cheaper to produce than scripted programs?
 
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