A cable channel with shows anchored by heartthrob Joseph Gordon-Levitt and everyone's favorite Daily Beast troll Meghan McCain? Why, that's intriguing indeed. Well, these are just two of the many new offerings from Pivot, a cable network unveiled today by Participant Media and targeted at the most talked about of generations: millennials! As if those crazy millennials needed another channel to watch, what with all the new offerings from the hip places like the Netflix and Girls on the HBO GO! Anyway, that's what you're probably thinking, right? So, yes, let's break down just what we can expect from this Pivot network when it launches August 1.
Pivot comes from Participant Media, which, in the words of Deadline, trades on "socially relevant entertainment." So essentially, this is television from the people that brought you movies like Lincoln, The Help, and Waiting for 'Superman.' The folks at Participant were also behind the Jodie-Foster-Mel Gibson thing The Beaver. So, yeah.
But! There's reason to be slightly optimistic here, because the president of Participant Television is Evan Shapiro, who comes from IFC TV and Sundance Channel, networks that have started to find their footing with interesting original content.
The Mission Statement
Per Variety the Pivot motto is all about "credible, brave, disruptive." The goal, Shaprio says, is to be a "next-generation channel for the next generation of consumers and leaders." Lofty goals there, Evan. Lofty. And nothing really says brave like Meghan McCain.
Click over to Pivot's website see a pseudo-inspirational video: "Pivot: it's your turn."
So What Are We Getting?
Well, first of all, we'll be getting it however we want it. Per the Associated Press:
"It's the first channel that's available both through traditional pay-television bundling, and via your broadband provider as a stand-alone (service)," he said. For an extra monthly fee (described as less than the cost of a cup of diner coffee) through the Pivot app on any device, "subscribers will be able to take this channel, both live streaming and on-demand, with you wherever you go in the world."
Online, viewers can press a "Take Action" button, and get information about the social issues on display in the programs they watch.
According to the AP, there are going to be a lot of documentaries on Pivot, which has also acquired old series like Friday Night Lights. But they also have some new programming, which Deadline has the details on: There's Gordon-Levitt, who is building off of his "collaborative production company," hitRECord for a variety show, which he will host. He'll likely be adorable in it. Then there's McCain with Raising McCain, which is described as a "docu-talk series" in which the woman famous for being John McCain's daughter is filmed "on the road talking to unexpected experts, regular people and members of her generation, exploring the most important and unusual questions of the day framed by Meghan’s experiences in her personal life." As if that wasn't enough to get you watching:
As for other talkshows, there's something called Takepart Live, which is a "one hour, no-holds-barred live show, begins with a live-streamed pre-show midday where viewers help build the show they will see on air that evening" and sounds like a mess. There are also two scripted programs: one a drama about Newark, the other a take on young Will Shakespeare, from Baz Luhrmann collaborator Craig Pearce. Expect it to be sparkly.