Talk about a reveal: It was announced Thursday that RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars season five will air on Showtime instead of VH1.
All-Stars 5 debuts June 5 on Showtime’s on-air broadcast, streaming, and on-demand services while the 12th season of RuPaul’s Drag Race will still premiere Feb. 28 on VH1. (No word on where RuPaul’s Celebrity Drag Race—which is indeed a thing, and is expected later this year—will air.)
This news has been met with varying degrees of excitement and umbrage from fans of the reality drag competition.
“Showtime?! Wait, What?!” says one Twitter user. “How does a show go from an exclusive premium channel, to a mainstream cable channel, to a paid premium channel? I thought the idea was for more access. Make it make sense because I am confusion.”
Concern about access is a common theme among fans: “Moving Drag Race All Stars 5 to Showtime makes it a ‘premium’ that many who need the representation most can’t afford. There I said it. I’m angry.”
Others—including actor and comic Joel Kim Booster—are actually excited about the benefits of watching without those pesky FCC rules.
But some Twitter users are quick to point out that the network Drag Race airs on is actually of little consequence for many viewers, many of whom watch at viewing parties or stream illegally.
All the drama may be short-lived since this Showtime season is being marketed as a “Special Edition” of the series. As for the timing of the move, it coincides with the recent CBS and Viacom merger, which reunited VH1 and Showtime as sister channels. One big, happy drag family/conglomerate.
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