Make America Fierce Again: What a Ratings Surge Tells Us About RuPaul’s Drag Race

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.

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: (L-R) Eureka O'hara, Peppermint, Kimora Blac, Alexis Michelle; Trinity Taylor, Shea Coulee, Jaymes Mansfield, Nina Bo' Nina Brown, Aja, Valentina, Sasha Velour, Charlie Hides and Farrah Moan attend "RuPaul's Drag Race" Season 9 Premiere Party & Meet The Queens Event at PlayStation Theater on March 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

The cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race attend Season 9 Premiere Party & Meet The Queens Event at PlayStation Theater on March 7, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)

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A Devine Choice to Host MTV Movie & TV Awards, Nominees Announced

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

MTV has woven the film, TV and digital realms into one broad content domain that houses the 2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards nominees. The net – which for the first time is expanding the iconic show outside the cinema – also announced that the star of the long-running Comedy Central hit Workaholics Adam Devine will host the May 7 spectacular.

Devine is a veteran of the Golden Popcorn spotlight, having won an award for Best Kiss with Rebel Wilson in Pitch Perfect 2 last year. He is also nominated for Best Comedic Performance for his role on the seventh and final season of Workaholics.

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The platform-agnostic categories include a few additions and some tweaks of long-running show standards. “Best Fight” is now “Best Fight the System” – to acknowledge social justice activism – while “Best Actor” and “Best Actress” have ditched their gender designations to morph into “Best Actor in a Movie” and “Best Actor in a Show.” New categories include “Best American Story,” “Tearjerker,” “Best Host,” “Best Reality Competition” and “Next Generation.”

Nominated Viacom brands include VH1 for RuPaul’s Drag Race – which earned nominations for Best Host and Best Reality Competition – and for Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party (best duo). Comedy Central’s Trevor Noah is also competing for Best Host, while Ilana Glazer & Abbi Jacobson of Broad City are nominated alongside Devine for Best Comedic Performance. Spike’s TIME: The Kalief Browder Story is in the running for Best Documentary.

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BET, Logo, VH1 Honored for Excellence in Multicultural Marketing

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

They are shows that celebrate drag culture and America’s oldest gay ski week. They mine the early days of hip-hop and toast its ripple effect throughout our culture. They erase our differences by showing that we’re not so different when we’re… naked.

As varied as these shows and their subjects are, they have one thing in common: each one highlights the programming on a Viacom network.

Actually, they have another thing in common: each was honored by the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity In Communications (NAMIC) last month. For the 30th consecutive year, the organization hosted the Excellence in Multicultural Marketing Awards (EMMA) to acknowledge the very best in multicultural marketing.

A trio of our networks – BET, Logo and VH1 – took more than a dozen of the awards altogether. This follows an impressive showing by Nickelodeon and BET at NAMIC’s Vision Awards last spring.

View the full list of 2016 EMMA winners as laid out in Cablefax here, or check out the NAMIC video below:

Congratulations to all of the Viacom winners. We’ve organized them by category below:

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If You Don’t Vote for Yourself, Then Who the Hell Gonna Vote For you?

“If you can’t love yourself,” RuPaul declares at the end of each episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, “then how in hell are you gonna love somebody else. Can I get an amen?”

No reality television show seems to have resonated with the LGBT community quite like RuPaul’s Drag Race. It encourages viewers—no matter their sexuality—to love themselves, to cherish what makes them singularly precious, and not to let anybody make them feel otherwise.

It’s fitting, then, that RuPaul made a PSA for National Voter Registration Day, urging his legions of followers to get to the polls and strut their 15th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, 26th Amendments—that is, by sashaying into the voting booth.

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RuPaul Scores First Emmy as Viacom Posts Strong Showing Ahead of Primetime Event

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Who’s the greatest reality show host working today?

According to the Creative Arts Emmys, it’s Logo’s RuPaul Charles, who on Sunday accepted his first winged statuette from the Television Academy, for outstanding host of a reality or reality competition series. The ceremony, which was held in Los Angeles ahead of next week’s Primetime Emmy Awards, marked Charles’ first Emmy nomination after eight seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The host topped an impressive list of finalists in the category, including American Idol’s Ryan Seacrest, Dancing With the Stars’ Tom Bergeron, Hollywood Game Night’s Jane Lynch, Little Big Shots’ Steve Harvey, and Project Runway’s Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 11: RuPaul poses in the press room at the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards held at Microsoft Theater on September 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)

LOS ANGELES, CA – SEPTEMBER 11: RuPaul poses in the press room at the 2016 Creative Arts Emmy Awards held at Microsoft Theater on September 11, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)

“I really didn’t expect this,” Charles told The Hollywood Reporter backstage after receiving his award. “I came here thinking I got invited to the prom and I’m going to dance my ass off tonight, but i didn’t expect that I would have this in my hand while I was dancing. It’s a very special night not just for me but for all the young people around the world who dance to the beat of a different drummer.”

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Comedy Central Leads Viacom’s 29 Emmy Nominations

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Behind raucous talent Amy Schumer and the momentum of an enduring South Park, Comedy Central led a roster of diverse and rich Viacom programming that tallied 29 nominations for the 2016 Emmys.

Comedy Central has become a perennial Emmy standout – last year, the network notched 26 nominations and eight wins for its irreverent work. Nickelodeon, Spike, Logo, MTV, TV Land and BET also earned nominations.

In addition to the recognition of outstanding work from wholly owned Viacom programming, our Paramount TV division earned 14 nominations, 11 for its collaborations with FOX, most notably the spectacular Grease Live special, which drew 10 nominations after totaling more than 12 million viewers during its February airing.

The full list of Viacom nominations is below, along with a look at a few of the properties up for the honors. Some of the clips contain graphic or adult language.

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Love, Family, and Pride: What Viacom Employee Lottery Winner Joseph Stefan Learned From the Trailblazer Honors

Viacom is holding a series of employee lotteries for our summer award shows. The first winner, Shannon Griffith, flew from California to Tennessee for the CMT Awards, and was enamored with Nashville’s festive atmosphere, as well as the unpredictable ceremony.

Our next show, Logo’s annual Trailblazer Honors, celebrated harbingers of social change in the LGBT community. This year’s ceremony followed an unprecedented, incomprehensible attack on the LGBT community. Logo honored the 49 victims of Orlando’s massacre throughout its ceremony, and reaffirmed its commitment to fighting intolerance.

Our latest winner, Viacom’s coordinator for content distribution sales and business development, Joseph Stefan, witnessed the momentous occasion at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. I spoke to Stefan about the powerful experience.

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Singer Rachel Platten being interviewed before the Trailblazer Honors. Read More

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Stefan and Snooki bonded over memories of the Jersey Shore. Read More

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They even took a selfie together. Read More

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Celebrity stylist, Carson Kressley, and Joseph Stefan. Read More

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The cathedral of St. John the Divine was a breathtaking location for the ceremony. Read More

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Guests mingling before the ceremony. Read More

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Logo Trailblazers Make Powerful Statement on LGBT Rights in the Aftermath of Orlando Nightclub Massacre

Every year, Logo celebrates the pioneers of the LGBT community with the Trailblazer Honors. This year’s ceremony aired on June 25, barely a week after It was a night of LGBT pride, comedic interludes, and speeches by legendary honorees—but the real honorees were the 49 victims of the Orlando shooting.

The event was held in Manhattan’s Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, where passionate, emphatic voices resonated against the high ceilings of the stately, gothic basilica. The speakers did not plea for equal rights, they demanded them, using the platform of the Trailblazer Honors to reinforce the urgent need for LGBT protections and respect.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 23: RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars Alyssa Edwards, Alaska Thunderfvck, Ginger Minj, Tatiana and Phi Phi O'Hara perform at the 2016 Logo's Trailblazer Honors at Cathedral of St. John the Divine on June 23, 2016 in New York City. Trailblazer Honors airs Saturday night, June 25th on Logo and VH1. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Logo)

RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars Alyssa Edwards, Alaska Thunderfvck, Ginger Minj, Tatiana and Phi Phi O’Hara perform at the 2016 Logo’s Trailblazer Honors at Cathedral of St. John the Divine on June 23, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/Getty Images for Logo)

In addition to venerating trailblazers of the LGBT community, the Trailblazer Honors eclipsed standards in the world of broadcast communications by simulcasting with VH1—making it the largest televised LGBT Pride event in history. Thanks to this widespread coverage, Logo’s message of equality, love, and solidarity impacted a vast, worldwide audience. The Trailblazer Honors embraced the spirit of Pride with its inclusivity.

Below are some of the night’s most evocative moments.

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Jonathan Mannion, Capturing the Authentic Viacom Fan in All of Us

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

 

You may not realize it, but you know Jonathan Mannion’s photography.

You know his album covers: more than 300, for artists including Jay Z, Eminem, Dr. Dre, and Kendrick Lamar.

You know his advertising: his campaign for last summer’s Straight Out of Compton, as well as work for Bushmills, USA Soccer, Hennessy, Reebok, Johnnie Walker Black Label, and Crown Royal.

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Viacom’s Fan Yourself App Lets You Selfie With The Stars of Younger, Bar Rescue, Zoe Ever After and More

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Got a seven-year-old who’s obsessed with Ryder and his crew on Nickelodeon’s Paw Patrol? Can’t stop obsessing over the season finale of TV Land’s Younger? Already in line to snag the first seat when Paramount Pictures and Nick’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows hits theaters on June 3?

Immediately stop what you’re doing and head to fanyourself.viacom.com, where you can mock up a selfie alongside stars from MTV’s Teen Wolf, BET’s Zoe Ever After, CMT’s I Love Kellie Pickler, Spike’s Bar Rescue, VH1’s Love & Hip Hop, Logo’s RuPaul’s Drag Race, and Comedy Central’s Broad City and Inside Amy Schumer. Click over now and check it out (even better, click the link on your mobile device), and then share it on Facebook through the site. Hurry though, I already beat you to it:

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