Vice previewed 10 TV shows at its NewFront presentation in New York on Friday. Executives at Vice didn't say where the shows will air, but it is likely they will populate the Vice-branded TV network that is reportedly in the works.
Vice execs at Friday's NewFront wouldn't confirm the TV network. But a sizzle reel showing the various series ended with a tagline saying, "Coming This Fall."
Earlier this week, reports emerged saying A&E Networks, which has a 10% stake in Vice, planned to turn its H2 network into a Vice channel. Neither Vice nor A&E has commented on the reports. And A&E didn't mention Vice at its Upfront presentation on Thursday night.
The NewFronts are an annual series of pitches from digital publishers seeking TV ad budgets partly by imitating TV's upfront pitches.
Before previewing the shows, Vice CEO Shane Smith and the director Spike Jonze, who is also Vice's creative director, discussed the company's TV ambitions. Mr. Jonze said the company has spent the last six months fleshing out potential topics for TV shows and wound up sketching out 20 series. The new series are not believed to be associated with Vice's show on HBO, which was also a focus of the NewFront.
The highlight reel previewed the following shows:
- "Gaycation with Ellen Page"
- "Huang's World," hosted by chef Eddie Huang
- "Vice Portraits with Marc Maron"
- "Fashion Week International"
- "Black Market With Michael K. Williams"
- "Vice World of Sports"
- "Fuck That's Delicious," hosted by the rapper Action Bronson
The event, which had a party atmosphere (largely because there was an after-party immediately following the presentation with celebrity guests including Action Bronson), was a departure from Vice's NewFront presentation last year -- a much smaller affair where Mr. Smith referred to NewFront crowds as "literally the craziest fucking audience in the world."
This year's event was larger and more lavish, and in some ways akin to a traditional TV upfront because of the shows that Vice previewed -- not to mention the celebrities in attendance.
But Mr. Smith was still his unreserved self. "Why the fuck are we here?" he asked after taking the stage. "The NewFronts are for business people, the people here are here for Action Bronson and free booze."