Cheddar is bringing on Nathan for You as a consultant. Reruns of the cultishly beloved reality comedy series, which originally aired on Comedy Central from 2013 to 2017, will start airing on the business news network starting Feb. 4, Cheddar announced Monday. All four seasons of Nathan for You will air weeknights as part of Cheddar's new "Cheddar Nights" programming block, along with game shows Out of Tune and Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch.
You might not know what Cheddar is yet, but once you know you'll start seeing it everywhere. Cheddar describes itself as a "post-cable news network," providing easily digestible news and business content in a cable-style package accessible via every over-the-top linear streaming service, including Hulu, DirecTV, Sling and Amazon; Facebook and Twitter; its app for mobile and smart TVs; and cheddar.com, among many other places. But why would a straightforward business news network start airing old episodes of comedian Nathan Fielder's subversive series that gave cringe aficionados unforgettably awkward episodes like "Dumb Starbucks" and "Finding Frances"?
"It's a perfect fit," Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg, who counts Nathan for You as one of his favorite shows, tells TV Guide.
"Cheddar's a business network, and we wanted to put something on in the evening that was fun and would draw audience, and I can't think of any business satire show that's better than Nathan for You," Steinberg says. "It may be the only business satire show."
Currently, Cheddar airs new content during business hours (it streams from the New York Stock Exchange, among other locations) and recycles it throughout the rest of the night. So Cheddar Nights headlined by Nathan for You is its first foray into primetime programming. "Obviously our coverage is more serious during the day, but it's technology, media, innovation, startups, and so if I'm looking for a comedy show to put on in the evening, this seems like the Venn diagram should overlap pretty nicely with our daytime content," Steinberg says. He says it's a play to keep people who watched during the day watching in the evening, as well as a play to bring in people who love Nathan for You but may not be familiar with Cheddar.
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The deal came about because Cheddar has a good relationship with Comedy Central parent company Viacom, with the startup having bought the college closed-circuit network MTVU (now known as CheddarU) and the website RateMyProfessors from the conglomerate. So when Steinberg enquired about licensing Nathan for You, Viacom was into it.
Cheddar Nights will start at 8/7c with a live episode of Out of Tune, an HQ-esque game show produced by FTW Studios where DJs play a popular song out of tune and players have ten seconds to guess what it is. Out of Tune will air a second live episode at 11/10c. Then at 8:30/7:30c, an episode of Nathan for You. After that, there's Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch, a Shark Tank-ish show licensed from Entrepreneur where business owners have one minute to pitch their idea to investors.
Steinberg says that if this foray into entertainment goes well, Cheddar might look into developing its own original entertainment content. "I would really like us to do our own game show," Steinberg says. "Out of Tune allows us to take a first step there with somebody else's. But I would like us to do a current events or business news game show sometime in the next year," though there are currently no plans to do that.
Haters might say it's ironic that a semi-obscure business network is licensing a show about bad business ideas, but it's actually a clever brand alignment by a network that's always been younger and hipper than its competitors like CNBC. And any idea that keeps a show as brilliant as Nathan for You in the rotation is a good one.
Cheddar Nights will kick off Monday, Feb. 4 on all paid subscription platforms, including Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu, DirecTV NOW, DirecTV, Sony Playstation Vue, Comcast X1, fuboTV, and Philo.
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