pivot network launches Aug. 1 — aimed at 18-34-year-olds

pivot launches Aug. 1 in 74 million homes.

Yes, the “p” is lower case, because capitalization is so bourgeois.

pivot network launches Aug. 1Participant Media this week announced the Aug. 1 launch of pivot, in what could be seen as the next step toward a socially conscious, liberal-leaning network that seeks to succeed where Current and Planet Green came up short. The ambitious slate of original programming — as well as the marketing — pulls off the tricky feat of appealing to the millennial demographic without feeling like it’s too cool for the rest of us. And while this could very well change, there isn’t a lot of ostensibly political material on tap. Is it naive to hope that pivot (yes, the “p” is lowercase, because capitalization is sooo bourgeois) won’t eventually just become another outlet for blowhard pundits? Time will tell.

Here is a breakdown of what pivot has coming up (Warning: The following paragraphs will contain many flagrant violations of capitalization, spacing and general punctuation, because that’s just how millennials roll):

HitRECord on TV!

The star power comes out with this crowdsourced variety show hosted by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It’s actually an extension of his website, which functions as a collaborative community where artists can mix their work together to come up with original pieces. But why don’t I just let RegularJOE himself explain?

TakePart Live

It’s described as a “one-hour, no-holds-barred live show” (just once I’d like to see a talk show where some holds are barred). In it, “celebrities, activists and newsmakers” will collaborate with viewers to talk about life and stuff, with a bit of motivation to make the world a better place thrown in. No word on if there will be any hosts, but expect to see lots of shots of the audience looking down on their phones and uploading live video of the live show to Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram, which will then go live. To get everybody ready for the festivities, there will be a live-streamed pre-show on the pivot website and on takepart.com.

Raising McCain

OK, simple enough, a talk show with gadfly political scion Meghan McCain. Although I have to take issue with the press release describing her as “complex and accomplished.” OK, so she doesn’t exactly agree with everything her GOP maverick father John McCain says, but how many people do you know who think their parents are always right? And I’m not exactly sure, come to think of it, what a “docu-talk” series is supposed to be, other than that it is “genre-busting.”

Jersey Strong

Thankfully, this has nothing to do with Guido culture. Instead, it’s more in the vein of Brick City, taking a nuanced look at life in Newark through the eyes of unconventional families from both sides of the tracks. Viewers will follow a couple made up of former gang members as they try to raise their two kids and pursue their careers. Then the other family showcases a high-stakes trial lawyer raising two college-aged kids with her partner.


Here’s a complete curveball: a scripted series about the young William Shakespeare. Yes, it will be set in Elizabethan London, but there will be a “hip soundtrack, contemporary shooting style and edgy production design.” To wit, the writer, Craig Pearce, worked on William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge and the upcoming The Great Gatsby. While that sort of spectacle can make for a great night out at the movies, it’ll be interesting to see how it plays weekly on TV.

Univision News and Latin World Entertainment Documentary Series

Ah, rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it? OK, this is actually just the umbrella name for a series of 10 documentaries produced in conjunction with Univision News. They will cover timely topics, presumably with an emphasis on Hispanic America, and will be produced in both Spanish and English.

There also will be acquired series like Friday Night Lights, the Canadian series Little Mosque on the Prairie and Farscape. New networks are always a mammoth undertaking, with the chances of survival always in doubt, but so far pivot feels like it might have the right idea. Here’s hoping that the most interesting thing about it doesn’t prove to be its rogue punctuation.