Dallas is home to a plethora of artistic productions, from music to fine art, live performance and just about every other niche on the spectrum. Our city’s latest bragging point is making its place in less common territory, in TV production.
Launching from the heart of DFW, You On TV is a national TV network founded by Dallas local Hunter Ray. Along with creative director Ariel Tucker and four investors who go by the name “The Majors,” Ray and his in-house production team are planning a full official launch by 2021. Their soft launch is taking off this week with a lineup of teasers, trailers and more.
Until the official launch, when they will begin airing shows at designated times each week on streaming platforms like Roku, Apple TV and Amazon TV, You On TV will produce original content and aim to build their fan base on popular social media platforms, including YouTube and Instagram, and on their website.
“We’ll be releasing regular teasers, and we’ve got some secrets and surprises planned to air for the soft launch,” Ray says. “We’re working day and night to produce original content that defines our brand. Most of it will be relative to what’s going on in the world, in some way."
That planned content, Ray says, includes "surprise interviews with different big names, entertainers and other influencers.”
You On TV has an entertaining lineup of both live and pre-recorded productions that’ll come with their official launch. Series in the works include The F.U.S.S. or (Fired Up Sports Shows), which will focus on sports discussions, interviews and debates from die-hard fans along with livestreaming from professional athletes and coaches; Uber Tales, which, as its name suggests, will feature real-life stories from Uber drivers alongside dramatic reenactments; Vibe/rate, a music show that will analyze music from the Top 40 with the help of viewers; and High Spirits, a CBD and cannabis strain rating show, along with a few surprise shows planned that won’t be released until later in the year.
The biggest project they’ve got in the works is You², a news show “involving people directly connected to current news events,” as Ray defines it.
Similar to video blog Worldstar Hip-Hop or Barstool News, You² will include a range of daily world news updates, interviews and special segments, where hosts and viewers will stream live, directly from the scene.
“What we’re doing is building a group to deliver the topics, but also getting directly connected to the topics onsite as well,” Ray says. “It’ll be direct news delivery, but more personal, along with unfiltered monologues and dialogues, onsite streaming, all the stuff you want from a news network ... what we’re not getting these days.”
This reasoning is what prompted Ray to create a network of his own, to provide people with news and entertainment that’s unbiased and real. One of the key points that sets these shows apart is that viewers will be able to engage directly with the shows during their livestreaming sessions. On the app that they’ll release with the network’s launch, viewers will assist in providing onsite videos, requested news stories and real-life perspectives.
“Well, TV sucks, news sucks,” Ray says with a laugh, arguing that media has moved toward delivering biased information lacking true quality. “There’s a weakness in the media system these days. And there’s a lack of information readily available with juice in it, you know, with real substance.
“At least for the 'vibes' generation, we need more. Our generation wants more. We are people who are about a vibe. When we turn on some whack shit, we immediately know it’s not a vibe and want to change it.”
Ray plans to lead the charge against this no-vibe whack shit; over the past few months, he’s been solidifying his film space and crews. The network is holding a casting call for actors on the website, where potential candidates can send in a reel.
“I like to connect with people,” Ray says. “I do my work and connect with people. If they’ve got the right energy, we want them. If someone doesn’t know what a ‘vibe’ is, they shouldn’t be delivering our news. We’re prepared to change that.”