Legends Return and Stars Unite as Viacom Nets Stuff the Content Pipeline

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

It’s a time of great energy and invention at Viacom, with our networks announcing new shows, series extensions, and reboots weekly.

“Content is what Viacom is,” Viacom CEO Bob Bakish told CNBC’s Julia Boorstin last week. And this robust content pipeline underscores that point as ratings continue to creep up at core channels and fourth-quarter and full-year earnings map upticks in revenue and other key financial metrics.

The return of those crazy kids of Jersey legend, a beloved host helms an all-new concept, a fan-favorite franchise expands south, an unlikely onstage pairing produces a dazzling country-pop concert, a pair of season renewals drop, and a comedy legend is honored – here’s a look at previews for some our most anticipated programming, all of which MTV, VH1, CMT and Spike have released in just the past week:

MTV:

When Floribama Shore hit with the highest ratings of any network premiere in three years, it underscored fans’ hunger for the return of the Shore franchise. Perhaps foreseeing this enthusiasm, MTV queued up the return of the original series cast with a spot announcing Jersey Shore: Family Vacation during Floribama’s debut.

We don’t have many details or even a premiere date yet, but we know the important stuff: Deena, Pauly D, JWOWW, Vinny, Ronnie, Snooki and The Situation will all be back on our screens, together:

After headlining a pair of MTV classics in Rob & Big and Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory,  skateboarder and reality star Rob Dyrdek returns to the network headlining Amazingness. Human towers, a hands-free archer, stepladders balanced on teeth – check out what will be – in Dyrdek’s words – “the talent show like no other talent show in the world” beginning this Friday, Dec. 8.

VH1:

VH1 has a New Year’s present for its rabid base of Love & Hip Hop fans – the premiere of the latest complement to the hit shows set in New York, Atlanta and Hollywood: Love & Hip Hop: Miami. Here’s a first look at the series and its ensemble cast, featuring Trick Daddy, Trina, Gunplay and Amara La Negra, among others:

CMT:

CMT has been on an incredible run this year, growing ratings for 51 consecutive weeks – the longest active streak on ad-supported cable. The network’s October Artists of the Year event put an exclamation point on this run, logging its highest-rated edition in the special’s eight-year history with a tribute to the victims of the many manmade and natural disasters that tore across the nation this year.

The strong programming will continue later this week, when CMT brings singer-songwriter Kesha onstage with Grammy-winning Americana band Old Crow Medicine Show for an upbeat fusion of pop and country in the network’s long-running CMT Crossroads series. Here’s a bit of what you can expect as the pros unite on a lilting rendition of Kesha’s hit song Your Love Is My Drug:

Meanwhile, Nashville, the most-watched show in CMT history, will return for its sixth season (and final), season on Jan. 4. Here’s a peak at what Deacon, Juliette, Maddie, Gunnar, Scarlett, Will, Zach and the gang will be up to:

Learn more about CMT’s winter programming slate here.

Spike:

As Spike ramps up for its conversion to Paramount Network on Jan. 18, the net continues to churn out fresh programming and continue long-running hits.

Among those hits is Ink Master, which will begin its 10th season on Jan. 9 as Ink Master: Return of the Masters. Three former Ink Master winners (season two’s Steve Tefft, season seven’s Anthony Michaels, and season nine’s DJ Tambe), will return to mentor new competing artists as the show legends themselves vie for a huge cash prize.

In one of the more imaginative trailers for a live-action show that any of us is likely to see this year, Spike outlines the show’s legend and challenge in this comicbook-esque animated dramatization:

Here’s a bit more about Tefft, Michaels and Tambe, the season 10 masters:

“When you’re not afraid to make the crowd scared, uncomfortable, sad, all of those other emotions, you can take them into such a weird, uncomfortable place,” says comedian Bill Burr on this trailer for Spike’s forthcoming retrospective on the short, incandescent life of Sam Kinison. I Am Sam Kinison will debut Dec. 19.

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