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RuPaul’s Drag Race moves to VH1, Friday nights

Logo has effectively lost RuPaul’s Drag Race, with the show’s ninth season moving to VH1, where it will air on Friday nights starting March 24. Logo will air “encores,” but it’s not clear when those will air.

Last season, VH1 simulcast the show, except for one episode, which meant it was in HD for much more of the country. Logo will air a five-day marathon of episodes starting March 19 at 8.

In a press release, Logo’s programming executive Pamela Post acknowledges VH1’s larger audience: “Broadcasting the show on VH1 will allow more fans to experience the energy, heart and talent these fierce Queens bring to the stage every week.”

With Logo airing only repeats of its crown jewel, can the network really survive much longer? Just look at the list of shows on drop-down menu on the network’s web site: there are three versions of Drag Race listed, that awful Finding Prince Charming, a show called Fill in the Blank, and a link to all documentaries the network airs. It has nothing other than Drag Race and movies.

Logo, VH1, and MTV are all run by Chris McCarthy, and he said recently “that we wish it had more distribution.” But putting its one popular show on a network that has wider distribution offers virtually no incentive for cable companies to pick up the channel.

I’m not sad about this; Logo deserves credit for Drag Race, of course, but never seemed a worthy home or steward for the show. Perhaps that’s just a function of its size and budget. Hopefully, Drag Race will thrive on VH1, and hopefully VH1 will use its resources on Drag Race.