The award-winning producer and director Fenton Bailey reveals the cover for ScreenAge: How TV Shaped Our Reality, From Tammy Faye to RuPaul’s Drag Race.
This upcoming riotous tale of pop culture charts the story of how World of Wonder, founded by Bailey and Randy Barbato, pioneered the revolutionary genre of Reality TV, whilst supporting and ushering queer voices into the mainstream.
To be published by Ebury Press as a hardback edition on 17th November 2022 in the UK, with a US release set for early 2023, the book is packed full of insider gossip, featuring a star-studded litany of LGBTQ+ icons, and includes a foreword by acclaimed presenter Graham Norton.
Bailey grew up in an age with very limited queer visibility in mainstream media and ScreenAge is an evocative and thoughtful account of Bailey’s vision of creating a production company that would uplift and promote the voices of marginalised queer communities. “In addition to showing me a world of wonderful things, it showed me who I was,” Bailey affectionately recounts, in his emphasis on the impact media can have on the lives and upbringings of queer and marginalised individuals, especially as society moves towards the eponymous Screen Age.
Fenton Bailey says: “ScreenAge is my love letter to television. It is a personal odyssey and a cultural journey. RuPaul has said ‘Everything I learned, I learned through television’ and thanks to television I saw who I was and I found my tribe. ScreenAge is also about the big impact of the small screen on all of our lives. It has made the invisible, visible, especially outsiders and those on the margins.”
When he moved to New York in 1982, Bailey saw the world go Pop. Together with filmmaking partner and life-long friend Randy Barbato, their production company World of Wonder would pioneer the genre of Reality TV and chronicle the emerging Screen Age through their extraordinary programs and outrageous subjects – from Bible Belt televangelists and conspiracy theories to outrageous drag queens.
Today, World of Wonder boasts an array of awards and critical acclaim, most notable for its work in creating and producing the Emmy-award-winning global phenomenon, RuPaul’s Drag Race. ScreenAge is an engrossing first-hand look into how television has fundamentally shaped our reality, as well as Bailey’s beginnings and extraordinary career story as a trailblazing producer.
ScreenAge features a humbling foreword by Graham Norton, who recounts how he found his beginnings through working with Bailey and World of Wonder. The book is packed with glorious insider gossip and amazing celebrity stories, including Bailey’s accounts of his work with pop culture icons such as Britney Spears, Tammy Faye Bakker and RuPaul Charles. These are the riotous tales behind the shows that would make ScreenAgers of us all.
A must-read for Drag Race die-hards as well as fans of popular culture and reality TV alike, ScreenAge: How TV Shaped Our Reality, From Tammy Faye to RuPaul’s Drag Race by Fenton Bailey is available to preorder now here, ahead of its UK release in all good bookstores on 17th November 2022.
About Fenton Bailey
Fenton Bailey is an award-winning producer and director, who has worked with the likes of RuPaul, Cher, Britney Spears and Monica Lewinsky. Born in Portsmouth, Fenton Bailey attended the University of Oxford and New York University, where he met filmmaking partner Randy Barbato. Together, they founded World of Wonder in 1991 and their documentaries have won acclaim for their focus on society’s outliers. Their show RuPaul’s Drag Race has won dozens of Emmy Awards and they were executive producers on the 2021 biopic The Eyes of Tammy Faye, which won two Oscars. Bailey also presents The WOW Report every week on Radio Andy Sirius XM.
About World Of Wonder
The award-winning, LA-based media company, World of Wonder, has been at the forefront of shaping popular culture for over 30 years – producing pioneering LQBTQ+ scripted and documentary content across television, film, and digital platforms, earning 29 Emmys, inspiring 2 Oscars, creating global network WOW Presents Plus across 190 territories, and bringing drag culture to the world stage via RuPaul’s Drag Race and DragCon.
Its television portfolio includes global phenomenon and Emmy-award winning franchise, RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1/Logo/WOW Presents Plus), Million Dollar Listing LA & NY (Bravo), and Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce (Fuse). World of Wonder’s documentary strand, WOW Docs, includes its ground-breaking documentaries Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures, Party Monster, and The Eyes of Tammy Faye.
The company has also created its owned-and-operated streaming service, WOW Presents Plus, which features World of Wonder-produced content and operates in over 190 territories, as well as YouTube channel WOWPresents, music label World of Wonder Records, WOW Podcast Network, and the world’s largest drag culture convention, RuPaul’s DragCon.
Co-founders Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato have been profiled in Variety’s Reality TV Impact Report. Honours for their trailblazing work include the IDA Pioneer Award, Realscreen’s Global 100 list, and the OUT 100. Most recently, World of Wonder was ranked #2 among film and TV powerhouses in Fast Company’s World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies.