NEW YORK, NY, February 9, 2000 – If you think teen TV is just boy band videos on MTV or the vampires of WB’s BUFFY, Studio Y will completely rearrange your perceptions. This new one-hour live show offers teens a vehicle to voice their opinions on everything from relationships and politics to music and fashion trends. Studio Y airs 3.8 million homes in the five boroughs and tri-state region on Metro (TimeWarner-Channel 70; Cablevision-Channel 16) on February 14, at 5 PM.
“Studio Y is designed to empower teens by putting their thoughts and ideas on TV,” says Ron Fried, executive producer for Metro. “Whether it’s giving them digital cameras to create their own videos, the chance to interview their favorite stars or offering on-line polls, Studio Y will be the electronic Town Hall where local teens can come to be heard and get answers.”
“Generation Y is the largest and most influential demographic since the Baby Boomers – hip, mature beyond their years and tech-savvy,” adds Patrice Andrews, Metro’s new senior vice president of programming and promotion. “But when it comes to television made for teens, the offerings have been pretty uninspired. Studio Y is about presenting an alternative that connects teens with their thoughts and each other in some exciting and yet untried ways.”
Studio Y is hosted by Leila Sbitani and Welly Yang, the spontaneous duo who piloted its predecessor, School’s Out. A revolving pool of local high schoolers, dubbed The Think Tank, will be instrumental in setting the pace and attitude. Each day, five different teens will join Leila and Welly to interact with high-profile guests, take viewer phone calls and voice their opinions in group discussions. The Think Tank will also screen Rough Cut’s -original short videos made by teenagers and review the newest products marketed to teens – from films and fashions to books and web sites. “Studio Y is a live teenage focus group,” continues Fried. “Any marketer in the area who wants to know what kids are thinking about should tune into this program.”
The daily programming will be complemented with content at the channel’s website, www.msgmetro.com. In the 4th quarter of 2000, Studio Y will also be presented in a media-rich broadband format to cable-modem equipped homes in the NY tri-state area.
“This is the first generation fully acclimated to interactivity, the first to grow up with both television and computers,” adds Metro’s programming head Andrews. “I can think of no better way to test the waters of convergence than a broadband version of Studio Y. We think it will be an important vehicle to showcase the educational and commercial potentials of broadband, in the world’s most heavily watched and imitated media marketplace – New York.”
Studio Y airs live, Monday – Friday, from 5 – 6 PM on MetroGuide (Time Warner-Channel 70; Cablevision- Channel 16), and repeat from 6 – 7 PM. Its regular segments include:
- Hot Topic – A spirited, single-subject daily discussion of topics that affect teens – everything from state-wide exams to teen pregnancy;
- Rough Cut – Three- to five-minute videos made by teenagers about their day-to-day lives, aspirations and challenging personal issues;
- Lively & Sometimes Off-Beat Guests – Daily interviews with an eclectic group of musicians, moviemakers, media mavens, authors, athletes, educators and fashion icons. Upcoming guests include TV legend Ed McMahon, rapper Mos Def and PopUp Video creators Tad Low and Woody Thompson;
- The Secret of My Success – Every Tuesday and Thursday, Studio Y gives teens essential career advice from a wide variety of men and women at the pinnacle of their respective professions;
- Homework Help & SAT Prep – Thanks to Studio Y, tri-state teens won’t have to hide the fact that they’re glued to the tube after school. Why? Because each day the show features teachers who can provide online homework help. In the weeks leading up to the dreaded SATs, Studio Y will offer a primer for this stressful college entrance exam in partnership with the experts from Stanley Kaplan;
- New York Times “This Day in History” – Every Thursday, Studio Y takes viewers back to a specific day in history. This segment is produced in conjunction with the New York Times educational web site – “The New York Times Learning Network”;
- Think Tank Reviews – A daily praising (or panning!) of the latest and greatest offerings targeted at the lucrative teen market: Monday-Music; Tuesday-Books and Magazines; Wednesday-Gadgets, Web sites and Video games; Thursday-Television; Friday-Movies;
- Weekend Dating Advice – Every Monday and Friday, Studio Y helps its viewers with the social whirlwind of the weekend ahead with a visit from “relationship expert” Denni Hughes of React Magazine.
Rainbow Media’s MetroChannels consist of MetroGuide, MetroLearning, and Metro Traffic&Weather. MetroGuide celebrates and explores what makes the NY tri-state area a special place to live and provides tips, ratings and recommendations for making the most out of local life and leisure. The tri-state’s only personal growth channel, MetroLearning responds to viewers’ curiosity about their world and to their desire to improve their lives with entertaining, provocative programming targeted to high school students in the afternoon and adults in prime time. Metro Traffic&Weather is the tri-state’s first and only 24-hour local traffic, transit, and weather channel.
Sydney Masters/Darcey Agostino
Cataldi PR @ 212-244-9797
MetroChannels @ 212-324-8552