What to expect:
A little bit of everything, such as “Please Like Me,” a comedy about the awkward life of 25-year-old Australian comedian Josh Thomas. Plus, John McCain’s daughter, headline-maker Meghan McCain, who debuted her docu-talk show with a segment on the end of privacy in modern times. Families from Newark are explored in “Jersey Strong,” while the channel hypes Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s “Hit RECord On TV!” variety show, launching in January.
Owner: Sean “Diddy” Combs
Availability: Starting on Comcast and Time Warner in major markets, such as New York and Los Angeles, with plans to expand next year
Launch date: October
Target audience: Millennials, ages 18 to 34
Sample shows: None have been announced, and the music-themed network is turning to the Internet for new hires; there’s an open casting call through Sept. 30 for on-air talent.
Why it exists: Maybe Diddy longs for his “Making the Band” glory days as a TV producer? Either way, the hip-hop mogul has decided that since MTV has all but given up on actually playing music, this channel can fill a void. The plan is to take advantage of the social media era to showcase new music, and have artists be involved in the programming. Also, this is one of the African American-owned networks that Comcast promised to distribute, as part of requirements for FCC approval during the NBC Universal merger.
What to expect: Honestly? No idea. Music videos, presumably. Very little is known about the network, especially considering the launch date is just a month away. It’s not even clear which cities will get Revolt. The only information available hints that potential shows will be about “the influence of music on art, culture and society,” with a millennial twist. Translation: lots of hashtags will be involved.
Al Jazeera America
Owner: Al Jazeera Media Network in Qatar
Replaces: Current TV
How to find it in D.C.:
Comcast 107, DirecTV 358, Dish 215, RCN 326
40 million homes
Launched: Aug. 20
Target audience: Anyone who watches the news
Prime-time nightly lineup of news programs “America Tonight,” “Consider This”; financial series “Real Money With Ali Velshi”
Why it exists: Flagship channel Al Jazeera, headquartered in Qatar, has been trying for years to expand its audience stateside, launching the international Al Jazeera English back in 2006, but never had much luck with the American viewing public. So it decided to start a U.S.-based network of its own, focusing on domestic news, hiring hundreds to be based in a dozen bureaus (New York, Washington, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco, Nashville and more).
What to expect:
Standard cable news programs starring heavily credentialed reporters from rival channels; the network has repeatedly stated the goal of being a more serious, in-depth destination for unbiased news. Big names from other cable news networks (Soledad O’Brien, Ali Velshi) have joined the ranks, while technology-heavy show “The Stream” will feature journalists Lisa Fletcher and Wajahat Ali interacting with guests via Twitter and Skype.