/// Boning Up on the Upfront: A Cheat Sheet for the 2012-13 Bazaar

May 12, 2012  |  Media Week

On the eve of the annual spectacle known as Upfront Week, broadcasters can take comfort in the knowledge that the four-day dog and pony show will lead to some $9.2 billion in advance advertising commitments. This despite the fact that 32 of the series that were so lovingly introduced a year ago have no hope of securing a spot on the fall schedule. While it may be true that no other business tolerates TV’s failure rate—you wouldn’t fly with a carrier whose flights crashed 90 percent of the time—every network has its own working definition of failure. In October, CBS canceled the comedy How to Be a Gentleman after just two episodes, during which it averaged 8.16 million viewers and a 2.6 in the 18-49 demo. And while those numbers weren’t good enough for CBS, the truncated Gentleman still managed to outperform every single scripted series on NBC.

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