With new LGBT channel Gwist, YouTube comes out
YouTube is getting gayer.
A new channel, slated to premiere in January, will target the lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender community. Called Gwist, the network will feature 10 original shows featuring established gay actors and YouTube-based talent.
Gwist is helmed by Matt Farber and Brian Tolleson, two former execs from Logo TV, a Viacom-owned network aimed at the gay community. However, the network has failed to gain much traction in the ratings and is being pivoted to more “straight-friendly” fare.
Farber said the time is right for a gay-centered network, possibly because of Logo’s tilt. In a statement, he called it a “natural next step in the evolution of gay media and entertainment”:
“With broadcast and cable networks becoming more homogenous in order to reach the broadest audience, and online video consumption reaching critical mass, the time feels right for Gwist," said Faber. Gwist is billing itself as “TV with a twist.”
The original series, which will all roll out on the channel’s launch Jan. 14, features a game show with comedian Judy Gold, a pop culture show from YouTube star Louis Virtel, and a scripted drama from lesbian filmmaker Tina Cesa Ward. Other programs include a cartoon from Aqua Teen Hunger Force animator Matthew Jenkins and an original show from Randy Rainbow.
YouTube has long been a hotbed for LGBT content, but Gwist is the first network to bring new shows together with singular branding. Notably, the network is missing star power from two of the site’s most popular vloggers, Michael Buckley and Tyler Oakley, but the network promises to expand.
Photo via louisvertel/YouTube