Celebrity Marionettes and Comedian Gabriel Iglesias Will Take Center Stage at Fuse Media’s Upfront

Network is surging in its target millennial demo

Marionette versions of The Hollywood Puppet Sh!t Show features marionette versions of Wilmer Valderrama, Joe Jonas and Gina Rodriguez.
Coy Gutierrez/Fuse

Fuse network, which is up 55 percent year over year in its target millennial demo, is leaning on a new show about celebrity marionettes, as well as several linear and digital programs starring comedian Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias to ignite this year’s upfront talks.

Targeted at Latinos 18-34, Fuse Media is kicking off its upfront meetings this week with ratings momentum at its flagship network. In the first two months of 2017, Fuse is up 55 percent year over year in prime time among millennials, and 38 percent in total day viewing. Meanwhile, Fuse.tv had 40 million page views in January, its most in a single month.

The network is hoping to build on that success with the July 11 launch of The Hollywood Puppet Sh!t Show (working title), from executive producer Wilmer Valderrama. The series features stories from celebs like Valderrama, Joe Jonas and Gina Rodriguez, which are reenacted by marionette puppets. (It would appear to be the first entertainment project featuring celebrity marionettes since the 2004 film Team America: World Police, from South Park creators Matt Parker and Trey Stone.)

There’s also Picked Up, a “social experience dating series” based on the trend of millennials dating people they meet while on ride shares. In this series, a single contestant meets three potential love matches in the back of a ride share, and has to decide which one they’d like to see again.

Fuse is also airing They Have a Dream, a series of documentaries celebrating cultural heritage.

In addition to The Hollywood Puppet Sh!t Show, Fuse’s other big summer debut will be the Season 3 premiere of Fluffy’s Food Adventures, in which Iglesias and his comedians pals travel the country in search of the best meals.

But that show’s July 11 return is just one of several multi-platform projects that Iglesias has in the works with Fuse. He’ll star in a trio of digital series that are offshoots of Fluffy’s Food Adventures: Fluffy’s Hot Spots, Fluffy at Home and Fluffy Off the Menu. In May, Fuse Media will launch the Fluffy’s Food Adventures gaming app, with six games representing the cities that Iglesias visits during the new season.

“Our lineup of original content appeals to our core young multicultural audience who value entertainment that is engaging, authentic and relatable, while providing our advertising partners with the opportunity to reach these young consumers across platforms,” said Jason Miller, Fuse Media evp of ad and integrated marketing, in a statement. “Providing multiple touchpoints—from TV, digital and social media to branded content tied to live events, festivals and concerts—is just a part of what we are bringing to our partners during the upfront season, and year-round.”

Fuse is available in 70 million households, while sister network FM is in 43 million households.