Upfronts 2015: Fuse Expands Beyond Music, Will Launch New Network FM

Heading into its first upfront with its new owners, cabler Fuse is ready to expand beyond music.

On Wednesday morning, Fuse Media Inc. – which operates Fuse and NUVOtv – announced a programming slate that is designed to appeal to New Young Americans (NYAs), which Fuse describes as “the fast-growing, culturally-diverse audience defined as influencers and tastemakers, ages 18-34.” Last year, NUVOtv’s parent company SiTV acquired Fuse from The Madison Square Garden Company; SiTV was then rebranded into Fuse Media Inc.

New series on Fuse includes the daily pop culture-focused White Guy Talk Show, which will be executive produced by Conan’s Brian McCann. The half-hour talker debuted on Monday. The other new series on Fuse is SKEE TV, hosted by DJ SKEE. Premiering April 9, SKEE TV will feature insider access into the world of music with interviews and live performances as well as cover the trends in tech, culture and style.

Fuse is also developing shows with Wilmer Valderrama and comedian Gabriel Iglesias, as well as a transgender-themed series Transcendent.

In the fourth quarter of 2015, Fuse will launch a new cable network, tentatively called FM. The new network and digital media brand will retain music as a core focus and feature up-and-coming, young, diverse talent. NUVOtv meanwhile, will see its brand and programming folded into Fuse, though the Hispanic-targeted network will continue to roll out new programming until the fall, when the channel will be phased out.

Fuse Media president Bill Hilary mentioned during a call with reporters that he still sees Jennifer Lopez, who took over as NUVOtv’s chief creative officer last year, having an important role with the company. “She’s invaluable, she’s very important to our brand.”