After strutting from Logo to VH1, RuPaul’s Drag Race’s ninth season premiered Friday, March 24. Critics say it’s as fabulous as ever—with a fierce cast delivering a whole new level of charisma, nerve, and talent. Viewers agree. The season premiere drew nearly 1 million viewers, more than any other episode of Drag Race. It was the most-watched show on cable TV that night, besides the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament. The divas dominated Twitter, as well, trending worldwide and garnering the highest Twitter volume in Drag Race history.
VH1 rolled out its new series, The Breaks, recently with an adrenaline shot opening bell at the NASDAQ stock exchange and a ceremonial street renaming in front of Viacom’s Times Square headquarters. The events teed up the premiere of the hip-hop throwback series that followed and directly continued a VH1 movie of the same name that aired early last year, and ended up ranking as the number two cable movie of 2016.
“The Breaks movie debuted last year to huge fanfare and really strong ratings, and so it became a no-brainer to take this fabulous movie to series,” said Amy Doyle, general manager of MTV, VH1 and Logo, flanked by the show’s cast and crew at NASDAQ’s opening bell podium. “The buzz on this show is palpable. Essence has deemed it, ‘VH1’s highly anticipated new series,’ and NPR is calling it – my favorite – ‘a hip-hop answer to Mad Men.’”
Later that morning, this crew gathered again on the corner of Seventh Avenue and 44th Street in Manhattan to temporarily rename the street “The Breaks Way.”
The Breaks rumbles out of the unfiltered New York City of 1990, an ode to hip-hop’s gritty rise that is equal parts historical drama, nostalgia trip, and reminder that there was nothing predestined about the genre’s eventual rise.
A period piece set at a crucial juncture where rap had crept into the zeitgeist but still skirted the mainstream, the series immerses us within a crew of fictional stand-ins who shoulder the mighty task of recreating that frantic era: a wily and determined Nikki Jones (Afton Williamson), her boyfriend and radio station rookie David Aaron (David Call), aspiring producer DeeVee (Tristan “Mack” Wilds), hip-hop manager Barry Fouray (Wood Harris), and drug dealer-cum-rapper Ahm (Antoine Harris).
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Viacom Employee Jim Chrisman Gives His Wife a Very Mariah Christmas, Courtesy of VH1’s Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night
The holiday festivities began early for Viacom employee Jim Chrisman, a manager in our financial reporting group. Chrisman got to treat his wife to a once-in-a-lifetime seasonal surprise when he won tickets to VH1’s Divas Holiday: Unsilent Night, courtesy of Employee Events and Programs’ employee sweepstakes. The couple enjoyed special live performances by Mariah Carey, JoJo, Bebe Rexha, Teyana Taylor, Vanessa Williams, Patti LaBelle, Chaka Khan, and more. Below, Chrisman tells us a bit about how Viacom and VH1 made this holiday season particularly magical.
Viacom’s Next Top Model: How VH1 Surprised Employees to Celebrate the Season Premiere of America’s Next Top Model
When you work at Viacom, it’s good to be camera-ready. On Monday, Dec. 12, the lobby at Viacom Headquarters transformed into a fashion show featuring our own employees as models.
Since 1996, VH1’s Save The Music Foundation has let classrooms across the country ring out with harmony. On Oct. 17, the nonprofit celebrated its 20th anniversary by ringing a different type of instrument—NASDAQ’s Closing Bell.
“We’re proud to have Viacom part of the NASDAQ family of companies,” said NASDAQ Vice President David Wicks. “The benefits of music education are truly astounding. Studies have shown the immensely positive effect that music education has on a child’s academic performance, sense of community, self-expression, and self-esteem.”
Here they come. VH1 announced back in August that two legends of cooking and hip-hop would unite when Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg began hosting a one-of-a-kind cooking show on the network this fall. Now, we have a premiere date and time: Monday, Nov. 7 at 10 p.m. ET.
They’re bringing plenty of company. As you can see in the newly released trailer below, Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party will host Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, 50 Cent, DJ Khaled, Seth Rogan, Kathy Griffin, Jamie Chung, and many others for a series of subversively green-themed mealtimes:
When I think of celebrity besties, Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart aren’t the first duo that comes to mind. But VH1’s upcoming show, Martha and Snoop’s Dinner Party, will give viewers a rare peek at the innovative rapper’s bond with the home décor renegade.
— VH1 (@VH1) August 9, 2016
Viacom Employee Events & Programs Sends Four of Our Employees to Join the Coronation at VH1’s Hip Hop Honors
More than 3 million viewers set records for the first live airing of VH1’s Hip Hop Honors: All Hail the Queens on July 11, driving a torrid social media response to this veneration of the genre’s female icons. This love letter to the female forerunners of hip-hip included tributes to Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Peppa, Lil’ Kim and more.
The event broadcast from just a couple dozen blocks north of Viacom’s Times Square headquarters, at Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall. Continuing a summer-long contest that has given employees a chance to attend tentpole events such as the BET Awards and the CMT Music Awards, Viacom sent four winners to witness the show live.
Here’s what three of our winners have to say about the stunning ceremony.
VH1’s Hip Hop Honors aired Monday, June 11. This year’s ceremony was aptly named “All Hail the Queens” as female icons such as Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott, Salt-N-Peppa, and Lil’ Kim were recognized for their contributions to a male-dominated genre. The divas of hip-hop collaborated for a superb, stirring evening.
VH1’s Hip Hop Honors is the latest in a series of record-breaking Viacom award shows this spring. More than three million viewers tuned in for the spectacle, giving VH1 its highest Monday-night ratings in over a year. The show generated 17 trending Twitter topics, and was the most-tweeted day of VH1’s fiscal year.
Want to know what everyone’s tweeting about? Check out these highlights.