Entertainment company Latino Fuse announced during its 2022 upfront presentation on Thursday that it will launch two new ad-supported free-to-air TV channels before the end of the year. The first, Latino Vibes, will be dedicated to English-language Latino entertainment and will celebrate “our vibrant and diverse culture where family is the heart and soul and big dreams are a way of life.”
“Our stories have been glossed over for far too long,” said Fuse Media President and CEO Mike Roggero. “Fuse is committed to championing diversity and inclusion in media. By introducing new ways and platforms for fans to connect with our programming, we can continue to reach our audience wherever they want to consume content, including our rapidly growing streaming platforms.
Latino Vibes will be the first of two channels to debut in 2022. The other will be Camptastic, a channel that will feature “the champions of camp and the kings and queens of kitsch”. Camptastic will host “strange forgotten gems, pitch-perfect camp classics AND all the ‘crazy TV’ you can handle,” according to the company.
Fuse originally announced it would launch a streaming division at its media debut in 2021 and the two new channels will join a rapidly growing suite of offerings that includes Fuse Beat, “the most widely distributed black content channel in the world.” ‘FAST space’, as well as Fuse Backstage and Fuse Sweat.
The media company says the total number of minutes watched for its current channels has increased by 400% over the past year, thanks in part to distribution deals with Samsung TV Plus and XUMO. Their Fuse+ subscription streaming service has seen a 57% increase in monthly minutes watched since its launch in October 2021.
On Thursday, in their first releases of 2022, Fuse announced their 2022-23 lineup for streaming and TV channels. According to the company, “Fuse Media’s new and old properties embrace the company’s mission to provide entertaining content that empowers young, multicultural audiences…Fuse’s diverse programming appeals to younger, more diverse audiences than industry average.”
NEW ORIGINAL SERIES
We need to talk about America (10×30, premieres April 20 at 11 p.m. ET): Gender reveals, food contests, over-the-top proposals, social media, everything. American culture can seem wild and weird. Especially from the perspective of our first-generation, bicultural comedians. We’re talking about strong, honest reactions to American quirks. From a diverse panel of free-spirited, free-wheeling professional roasters. If you can handle the heat, join in the laughter. Otherwise, RELAX. It’s just a comedy show. Produced by Fuse Content Studio.
Upcycle Nation (8×60): A series of eco challenges where contestants are given a box of mystery items to cut, sew, sew, pound, burn, tear, and do whatever it takes to create a whole new product. Whether it’s taking discarded denim jeans and turning them into a functional new jacket, or turning old Oreo bags into a new couture handbag, one man’s trash will be turned into treasure. Produced by Fuse Content Studio.
Filmmakers to watch (working title): Fuse+ uplifts young female directors, filmmakers and minority talent through this series of films supporting diverse young artists. Upcoming titles include:
The Daphne Project: Daphne Wilco, actress and warrior of social justice, sows discord in a staging of Euripides’ “Bacchantes” in the name of progress, her progress. Co-directed and written by Alec Tibaldi and Zora Iman Crews.
White elephant: Coming-of-age drama from writer/director Andrew Chung about a young South Asian woman who struggles to find her place in the world as she grapples with her cultural identity, insecurities and racial tensions in his school.
Like a girl (8×30): Denise Jones is a dynamo. Since the age of 8 or 9, she has been kicking the ass of overconfident boys on and off the pitch. As an adult, she was a vocal leader in the fight for gender equality in sport. Now, Denise will bring the fight for gender equality to life through a series of multi-generational interviews and competitions. In each episode, Denise will spend a day with a talented young female athlete, including training and competing with some of the greatest athletes on the planet. Produced by Fuse Content Studio.
TallBoyz (8×30, premieres March 23 at 10 p.m. ET/PT): TallBoyz is a critically acclaimed sketch comedy that tackles a host of pressing topics, including cultural appropriation, office politics, toxic masculinity, racism , ancient demons… and almost meeting Drake. With Vance Banzo, Guled Abdi, Franco Nguyen and Tim Blair. Produced by Accent Entertainment. Bruce McCulloch (Saturday Night Live, The Kids in The Hall) serves as executive producer, showrunner and director, and Susan Cavan serves as executive producer with all four TallBoyz. Seasons two and three of TallBoyz will debut in Summer and Fall 2022 on Fuse.
sex sells (Season 2 premieres June 22, 8×30): When we talk about sex, we mean business is booming. Enter WeezyWTF, former tech pro, now half of the popular Whoreible Decisions podcast. Weezy celebrates sex-oriented businesses and, most importantly, destigmatizes sexuality, especially female sexuality. Celebrity guests join Weezy as she explores sex-related businesses.
Fusible films (Season 4): Launched in 2019, this Imagen Award-winning franchise spotlights independent films that tell stories about and by members of underrepresented communities. Inclusive, authentic and optimistic, these feature films are selected because of their ambitious and inspiring storylines and/or their ability to explore key issues through entertainment. New titles from Fuse Films will be forthcoming.
Fuse Documents (Season 6): The Peabody, Emmy, and NAMIC award-winning documentary franchise has also been renewed. This series of documentaries premiering on American television highlights young, idealistic and diverse people who celebrate their cultural heritage and identity, confront problems and overcome prejudice. Fuse documents their journeys and partners with organizations to help spark a cross-platform conversation around each title. Upcoming documents include:
Unseen Valley (Premieres April 12): California’s Coachella Valley hosts one of the biggest music festivals in the world. Invisible Valley goes beyond the gates of the festival and into communities across the Coachella Valley, weaving together the disparate lives of undocumented farm workers and wealthy snowbirds over the course of a year.
A sexplanation (Premieres May 3): To right the wrongs of his all-American sex education, health journalist Alex Liu embarks on a quest to uncover the naked truths and hard facts about sex, even when it gets awkward.
BeBeBe (Premieres June 21): Being BeBe intimately traces 15 years in the life of famed drag performer Marshall Ngwa, aka BeBe Zahara Benet, the first winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Marshall’s emotional journey raises timely concerns at the intersection of LGBTQ+, people of color, and immigrant lives in the context of a relentless artist’s journey to success against all odds. The documentary had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2021, won awards at the Provincetown International Film Festival and Sound Unseen, and screened at 30 film festivals on 4 continents.
The Revolution Generation: Narrated by and starring award-winning actress Michelle Rodriguez (The Fast and The Furious), The Revolution Generation is an exploration of the activism and world-changing potential of the greatest generation of young people in history. The film shows examples of young leaders working to revolutionize systems that failed their generation. It paints a powerful and hopeful picture of how young people today can solve global political and environmental crises.
Rebels in white coats: A penetrating look inside the medical profession that examines the corrupting influence of Big Pharma and the brave young doctors and students fighting against the status quo. From Participant and directed by Greg Barker.
made from nothing (Season 4, 8×30): Artists share a home-cooked meal with family and friends, and you’re invited to share the love and nourish the soul. Our “not really a cooking show” goes beyond the recipe. It’s about those intimate, authentic moments where food is our bond and artists can let their guard down. Join our hosts as they cook their favorite dishes and reveal how food and family have helped shape their identity and inspired their art. Past guests Becky G, Rick Ross, Ally Brooke, Miguel, Trippie Redd, A$AP Ferg, Karol G, Saweetie and G-Eazy shared their personal stories and the special meaning of their menu. It is produced by Fuse Content Studio.