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Participant Media bets big on Pivot with new original programming

Participant Media bets big on Pivot with new original programming
Participant Media CEO Jim Berk, left, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Chris Sullivan, Pivot Senior Vice President of Alternative Programming Belisa Balaban, Anthony Veneziale, Chris Jackson, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Pivot President Evan Shapiro, Bill Sherman and Arthur Lewis at Pivot's live taping of "Freestyle Love Supreme" at Joe's Pub last month in New York. (Evan Agostini / Invision for Pivot)

Pivot, the Participant Media network devoted to courting the coveted millennial demographic, is betting big on its youthful attraction.

It announced at its upfront presentation in New York City on Wednesday that it is increasing its commitment to original series with four new shows, 11 series in development and more than 300 hours of original programming in 2014.

Among the greenlighted programs is "Fortitude," a 12-episode original series starring Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon and Luke Treadaway.

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In addition, the second season of the comedy "Please Like Me," will launch Aug. 8; and Embassy Row teamed up with Pivot to produce a new season of "TakePart Live," which launches  May 12 and is hosted by Meghan McCain and Jacob Soboroff.

Other production companies Pivot has paired up with include IAC’s Electus, Universal Cable Productions, FremantleMedia North America/Pukeko Pictures, Funny or Die and Eyeworks.

"Pivot's first slate established us as a programming brand of distinction, with uniquely original, high-quality series, specials and films," said Pivot President Evan Shapiro in a news release. "Our second slate demonstrates our significant investment in, and commitment to, groundbreaking content for the thought-leading segment of Generation Y we call 'Upstanders'."

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