Q&A: How Funny Or Die Got Johnny Depp to Play Donald Trump

February 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fresh off his win in the New Hampshire primary, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump can add this to his list of accomplishments: His best-selling book, The Art of the Deal has been adapted into a feature film. Sort of. This morning, Funny Or Die debuted a spoof film based on Trump's 1987 memoir/self-help book, with none other than Johnny Depp in the lead role as the real estate magnate. The film begins with an introduction from Ron Howard, who says the made-for-TV feature was "thought to be lost in the Cybill Shepherd blouse fire of '89." Clocking in at 50 minutes, it's Funny Or Die's second-longest video ever. ( You can watch the full movie here. ) Funny Or Die Presents Donald Trump's The Art Of The Deal: The Movie Trailer from Funny Or Die Adweek spoke with Chris Bruss, Funny Or Die's president of digital content, about how they were able to get Depp on board, the goal of producing more long-form content, and Alf. Adweek: How did you come up with this idea? Bruss: We had done a similar project a couple of years ago, called iSteve, during the furor around all these Steve Jobs movies coming out. It was fun and it did well and so we'd always thought to ourselves: The next time we have that same kind of cultural touchstone moment, maybe we could do something interesting. We always kind of kept our eyes peeled for what was the right moment to do that again. We've done a ton of Trump-related content over the last couple months and it's always done very well. This was an idea that Funny or Die editor in chief Owen Burke had in a meeting with Joe Randazzo (head writer of Comedy Central's @Midnight), and Joe wrote the script during one of his hiatus weeks from the show. How did you get Johnny Depp to play Trump? Johnny was the first person on board.

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Samantha Bee’s New Show Got Its Highest Ratings on Adult Swim, but Won’t Keep Airing There

February 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

To make a huge splash for Monday's premiere of its new TBS show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, Turner simulcast the program on five networks. The experiment was a success—but for Adult Swim more than TBS. Bee's critically-acclaimed debut was watched by 2.2 million viewers across TBS, TNT, Adult Swim, truTV and HLN, including 1.2 million in the 18-49 demo. However, the numbers were biggest not for TBS, which will be airing the show every Monday at 10:30 p.m., but for Adult Swim: 986,000 watched on Adult Swim, while 629,000 viewed it on TBS. The demo ratings also favored Adult Swim (570,000 viewers viewers ages 18-49, compared to 360,000 on TBS). While the multi-network premiere was intended to be a one-night only event, those Adult Swim ratings would suggest that Turner should continue to air the show there in some form

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YouTube Debuts First Original Content but Won’t Say How Many Subscribed to Service

February 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

YouTube Red launched last October , but the paid version of the popular video platform is getting its close-up today, debuting its first four original shows. As with any new subscription service in its early days, YouTube would not share specifics on subscriber numbers. Though, one of its most influential creators, Hank Green, ran an informal Twitter poll Monday to gauge how many people were actually paying $10 a month for ad-free content and YouTube's music service—and the numbers weren't promising. Are you a paying YouTube Red user? — Hank Green (@hankgreen) February 8, 2016 Green followed up that tweet with one today showing how Red is affecting the bottom line of existing channels: If you would like to check to see how YouTube Red is affecting your channel earnings, I have created a spreadsheet: https://t.co/eUuUUxQ4OZ — Hank Green (@hankgreen) February 10, 2016 Unlike bigger subscription services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, YouTube isn't banking on how many subscribers it can sign up.

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How Pizza Hut Ended Up In The People V. O.J. Simpson

February 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Ford Bronco was front and center during last night's episode of FX's hit miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which covered Simpson's efforts to flee authorities in pal Al Cowling's Bronco, setting off what became the most watched police chase in U.S. history. But another prominent brand also was on display in the show's second episode: Pizza Hut. As 95 million people are glued to their TVs watching the day-long ordeal culminate in a 2-hour police pursuit, the episode cuts to a scene in a Pizza Hut, which shows the restaurant has been so inundated with pizza orders that they have run out of their cheese supply, and are unable to make anymore pizzas. Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski's script for that episode, called "The Run of His Life," initially set the scene in a different pizza chain. "It was originally Dominos, but we ended up getting permission to use Pizza Hut," said Nina Jacobson, the show's executive producer. "The idea was that the most popular pizza places ran out of cheese." Although Pizza Hut okayed its appearance in the miniseries, the company did not provide the production team with any 1994-era logos or material. "Our production designer put that together," said Jacobson. Adweek responsive video player used on /video

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How Zoolander 2’s Kyle Mooney Got Addicted to an Old MTV Reality Show

February 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 31 Claim to fame Saturday Night Live cast member; appears in the upcoming Zoolander 2 (in theaters Feb. 12) Base New York Instagram @kylemooney Adweek: What's the first information you consume in the morning? Kyle Mooney: I check my email pretty immediately, and then usually Facebook or Twitter. And then whatever people are linking to, I'll follow their lead. Sometimes for fun I'll go to an animation blog called CartoonBrew.com. I also like to see what movies are screening in New York, so I use the website ScreenSlate.com. But honestly, I can't really go to the movies because I'm usually so busy working, so it's more of a wishful thinking thing. What are your go-to social networks? I've definitely found myself having a lot more fun with Instagram in the past couple years. Something about it feels, I don't know, slightly less formal.

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While Most Nets Are Afraid to Cancel New Shows, CBS Just Pulled Angel From Hell

February 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In a season where broadcast networks are hesitant to cut bait on their lower-rated shows, CBS is standing apart from the crowd. Late Monday, just hours after celebrating its 111.9 million audience for Super Bowl 50 , the network pulled Angel From Hell from its schedule, after just five episodes had aired. A Big Bang Theory repeat will take its place this week, while 2 Broke Girls takes over the Thursday 9:30 p.m. time slot beginning Feb. 18. While CBS stressed that the show hasn't been canceled, it's a clear case of semantics, as the show won't be back unless CBS decides to burn off the remaining episodes in late spring or summer. Even star Jane Lynch knows the show is over, as she tweeted last night .

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Super Bowl 50 Breaks Streaming Record for the Big Game but Doesn’t Match Yahoo’s NFL Livestream

February 8, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Super Bowl 50 was the most-streamed Super Bowl game ever, but it didn't break the NFL's own livestreaming record. As it announced this year's Super Bowl audience— 111.9 million, the third highest in Super Bowl history —CBS said its livestream of Sunday's game averaged 1.4 million viewers per minute. That represents a Super Bowl record for livestreaming. The 2015 game averaged 800,000 per minute for NBC. Fox's stream averaged 528,000 viewers in 2014, while CBS had 508,000 in 2013. NBC drew 346,000 viewers for the first livestream of a Super Bowl in 2012. However, the 1.4 million average was less than the audience Yahoo drew in October for the first exclusive livestream of an NFL game, which unlike the Super Bowl was not available on TV. An average of 2.36 million people worldwide—1.64 million of those in the U.S.—streamed the Buffalo Bills-Jacksonville Jaguars game, which took place in London. CBS said 3.96 million unique viewers watched Super Bowl 50 across all devices, including CBSSports.com on PCs and tablets; the CBS Sports app for iPad, Android, Windows 10, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku and Xbox One; and NFL Mobile from Verizon

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How Super Bowl 50 Could Give a Boost to Verizon’s Go90

February 5, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While Super Bowl 50 could set another TV viewership record, the audience that matters most to advertisers–adults 18 to 49– has been largely stagnant in recent years. But that may have to do more with where this crucial audience segment is watching the game, than whether they're watching it at all. For the fifth year in a row, the Super Bowl will be streamed over the Internet and on mobile phones, a tally that is not included in Nielsen's TV audience number. And while CBS is hoping most of those digital viewers will watch on CBSsports.com or its apps on connected TV devices and tablets, Verizon could steal some viewers who watch on its nascent mobile-TV service, go90 . Thanks to Verizon's existing deal with the NFL, as the exclusive mobile provider for live games, Super Bowl 50 will be available to go90 customers, with a catch: While go90 is available to non-Verizon users, the NFL mobile content is not. Super Bowl 50 is also available on the NFL's mobile app, but again, only for Verizon's 112 million wireless customers.

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In Final Days Before the Super Bowl, CBS Is Still Finishing Up Its In-Game Ad Sales

February 4, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Super Bowl 50 is only days away, but it's not too late for an advertiser to squeak into the game. CBS is still speaking with marketers about 30-second spots and might not finish those talks until hours before kickoff. "We're almost to the finish line," said Jo Ann Ross, CBS president of network sales. "We might have a two-point conversion coming soon." The last-minute strategy is part of Les Moonves' plan to wring the most money out of the network's Super Bowl ads, which sold for as much as $5 million per 30-second spot. In December, Moonves— who was named CBS Corp. chairman Wednesday, replacing Sumner Redstone —told investors that the network was holding back a few of its 30-second Super Bowl spots so it could sell them in the days before the game to advertisers who were desperate to get into the telecast. While "we could close it out tomorrow if we wanted," Moonves said at the time, the network was looking to fetch "north of $5 million a spot" shortly before Super Bowl Sunday.

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How Big Cable Is Stemming the Cord Cutting Tide

February 4, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A funny thing happened this week on the way to that big cable box in the sky: three of the largest U.S. cable operators actually added subscribers. In releasing their fourth quarter and full-year earnings for 2015, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Charter Communications all posted subscriber gains for the past quarter. While it's common for cable operators to see a bump in subscribers at the end of the year, both Time Warner Cable and Charter– which are planning to merge –posted full year subscriber gains, ending years of declines. Time Warner Cable added +54,000 subs in the fourth quarter, after it lost more than -300,000 during the same period last year. For the full year, TWC added +32,000 subscribers for its first full year of growth since 2006. Charter, which released earnings this morning, had its best full year in more than a decade by adding +11,000 subscribers, including +33,000 during the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Comcast had its strongest fourth quarter in eight years by adding +89,000 subscribers, though it posted an overall decline in 2015 of -36,000. That is a huge improvement vs. 2014, when the nation's largest carrier lost 194,000 subscribers. The gains by the three cable operators come amidst the worst year for the overall pay-TV sector; MoffettNathanson predicted cords would be cut in -514,000 homes in 2015, down from 1.2 million in 2014. And it appears the slowing of cord-cutting among cable operators is hurting the satellite and Telco services. Telco growth, including Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse, dipped from 1.06 million new subscribers in 2014 to just 118,000 in 2015. Satellite, including DirecTV and DISH, was projected to lose -560,000 subscribers for the year, more than cable. Last week, AT&T reported a loss of -26,000 subscribers between its DirecTV and U-Verse services for the fourth quarter.

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