How RuPaul's Drag Race Became a Global Franchise Phenomenon

Executive producers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato share show secrets and World of Wonder

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Many popular drag queens like Trixie Mattel, Bianca Del Rio and Bob the Drag Queen got their big break on the hit TV series RuPaul’s Drag Race.

However, not many people know about the two individuals who helped bring the show to life: Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato. They are the executive producers and co-founders of World of Wonder, the global multiplatform media company behind the Drag Race franchise.

World of Wonder is a global media company that has been introducing audiences to new worlds, talent and ideas for over three decades, wining 33 Emmy awards along the way. The company also operates the independently owned and operated SVOD WOW Presents Plus (WOWPP), which has seen a 40% growth in subscribers in 2022 alone.

Despite its success, World of Wonder has remained independently owned and managed to produce profitable content at scale. Founded by Bailey and Barbato, WOW’s global strategy has helped to secure subscribers in 190 territories around the world.

In this episode of Young Influentials, ADWEEK digital editor and host Colin Daniels sits down with Bailey and Barbato to discuss how the Drag Race franchise came to be, the legacy of its namesake RuPaul in the drag community, and the pioneering content created by World of Wonder.