How to Be Unstoppable: Inside the Creative Mind of Mindy Kaling

July 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Earlier this year, in her well-received Super Bowl ad for Nationwide, Mindy Kaling thought she might be invisible. Hardly. As one of Hollywood's major creative forces, she's never been more prolific. The actress and writer—and cover star of Adweek's Creative 100 —voices the character Disgust in Inside Out, Disney/Pixar's summer blockbuster that is already the year's fourth highest grossing film, raking in $300 million and counting. Her critically acclaimed TV comedy The Mindy Project, which she created, writes and stars in, was snapped up by Hulu in May, shortly after Fox passed on it. It will return for Season 4 in September, right around the Sept. 15 release of her second book, Why Not Me? Besides Nationwide, the alum of NBC's The Office also starred in a high-profile American Express campaign this year that celebrated her status as an "unlikely leading lady." Before diving into production on Season 4, Kaling talked with Adweek about the creative challenges of juggling so many projects and the family tragedy that drives her. Adweek: When Fox didn't pick up The Mindy Project, were you certain you'd find another home? Kaling: I have always been an optimist. I refuse to create things under the assumption of failure. So I thought that the best thing for the story creatively was to end last season on a cliffhanger, and it's a fun way to get people back.

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NBA Basketball Is Coming to Saturday Nights on ABC

July 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ABC is opening up another night of NBA action, adding Saturday night games for next season. The eight-game slate will tip off Jan. 23, 2016 and run twice a month through the rest of the season, with games starting at 8:30 p.m. ABC is coming off its most-watched NBA Finals since it began airing the NBA in the 2002-03 season, with nearly 20 million viewers watching the Golden State Warriors capture their first title in 40 years, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in six games. Under its current rights deal with the NBA – which expires after next season – ABC was scheduled for 16 games. Instead of airing doubleheaders on Sundays, ABC will now air one on Saturday nights and one on Sunday afternoons. Per usual, ABC's NBA slate begins with its Christmas Day doubleheader. "We expect to establish this series as a big-game destination for NBA fans, along the lines of what we've accomplished in college football with Saturday Night Football on ABC," said ESPN president John Skipper. ABC and ESPN will now combine to televise NBA games four days per week: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

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The ESPY Awards Tripled Viewership in Its Broadcast Debut

July 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The ESPY Awards made a strong debut in its move to broadcast television last night, as the three-hour telecast drew 7.7 million viewers, according to overnight numbers from Nielsen. The viewership was more than triple last year's 2.2 million when the awards show aired on namesake network ESPN. Caitlyn Jenner, the 1976 Olympic gold medalist, then known as Bruce and who recently transitioned from male to female, was the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Jenner personally thanked "my buddy" Diane Sawyer, whose sit-down interview with Jenner in April drew a whopping 17 million viewers on ABC. "You can only tell your story the first time once, and you did it so authentically and so gracefully," Jenner said to Sawyer, who was in the crowd. "I'm so proud to have you as a friend." Other highlights from the program included noted Boston Red Sox superfan Ben Affleck presenting New York Yankee legend Derek Jeter with the Icon Award and Cincinnati Bengals' Devon Still accepting the Jimmy V Perseverance Award for himself and his five-year-old daughter, Leah Still, who has been battling cancer. The night also included many advertisers ABC viewers might not be accustomed to, including Draft Kings, a Nike spot more fitting for ESPN, and UFC fighter Ronda Rousey pitching for Metro PCS .

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TLC Cancels ’19 Kids and Counting’

July 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

TLC has canceled one of its most successful reality shows nearly two months after it was revealed one of the stars of the show had molested several underage girls. Josh Duggar, one of 19 children of an Arkansas family documented by TLC since 2008, admitted to molesting five underage girls in 2002 and 2003, including four of his sisters, when he was a teenager. "After thoughtful consideration, TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward with 19 Kids and Counting. The show will no longer appear on the air," TLC said in a statement. The network is partnering with advocacy groups to "raise awareness and educate parents and families about the issue." It will also produce a one-hour documentary featuring Jill and Jessa Duggar who were victims of Josh Duggar. The commercial-free documentary will air later this summer. "TLC has been especially concerned for the victims in this situation, including the Duggar family, and it is our hope that this effort will help those in need learn where to turn for information and help." Duggar parents Jim Bob and Michelle sat down for an interview with Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly in early June saying what happened was "not rape" because Josh's victims "didn't know or understand" what was happening to them. Their responses seemed to downplay the seriousness of the abuse, leaving TLC in a unpredictable position. As the story broke, TLC went ahead airing a 19 Kids and Counting marathon on the night of May 21, but shelved the show the following day.

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How the Creator of Jersey Shore Ended Up Working for CNBC

July 15, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If Mark Burnett is the king of reality TV , then SallyAnn Salsano is certainly its queen. Salsano, a former Howard Stern Show intern, has produced dozens of reality shows for her company, 495 Productions, including MTV's mega-hit Jersey Shore and its various offshoots. She's worked on series for HGTV (Design Star), Oxygen (Dance Your Ass Off), TLC (Wedding Island), VH1 (Tool Academy), TV Guide (Nail Files), Spike (Repo Games) and Syfy (Fangasm), and she's spent the last year as showrunner of the syndicated daytime talk show The Real. Salsano's latest reality creation is Blue Collar Millionaires, which premieres Wednesday night at 10 p.m. on a seemingly unlikely network for her: CNBC. Blue Collar Millionaires, which she described as "Dirty Jobs meets MTV Cribs," spotlights entrepreneurs who made money by getting their hands dirty in professions like pest control, hazmat services and waste management

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Which Celebrities, Movies and TV Shows Won Comic-Con on Twitter?

July 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Jennifer Lawrence doesn't tweet. But her fans sure do. "The idea of Twitter is so unthinkable to me," the star told the BBC last fall. Still, people using the hashtag #SDCC at this year's Comic-Con made the star and her newest film, Mockingjay Part 2, the last in the Hunger Games saga, the most-Tweeted-about celebrity and movie, respectively. A trio of Warner Bros. and DC Comics films finished in the top 5: Batman v Superman (No. 2), Suicide Squad (No. 4) and Justice League (No. 5), which isn't coming out until 2017. The upcoming Star Wars film nabbed the No. 3 spot. The CW had three of the most tweeted-about TV shows with Arrow (No

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PewDiePie Fires Back at ‘Haters’ Over the $7.4 Million He Made on YouTube

July 9, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

One of YouTube's biggest stars responded to criticism about how much money he reportedly earned last year from his gaming videos. PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, made $7.4 million from the videos in 2014, according to Swedish newspaper Expressen . Kjellberg's YouTube channel, on which he posts videos of himself playing video games while commenting on them, has more than 37 million subscribers. In a video posted on his page called "Let's Talk About Money," Kjellberg fired back at his detractors, saying, "To see so many people being upset about this whole thing, it's just sad. It's such a waste." During his six-minute-plus rant, Kjellberg read aloud some of the online vitriol, including one comment saying all he does is sit there and scream at nothing. "I mean, I scream at games," he said. "It would be kind of awesome if I scream at nothing, though." Kjellberg also expressed frustration that the money he raised for charity received far less coverage. "We did raise a million dollars for charity, and very few articles picked up on that. But here it is everywhere how much money I make," he said.

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How FX Is Facing Down the Challenges of Promoting Season 2 of The Strain

July 9, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Devising a marketing campaign for the return of 2014's top-rated freshman cable scripted series among adults 18-49 might seem easy—all those viewers will simply come back for more, right? But FX isn't taking anything for granted when it comes to promoting The Strain's July 12 return. That's because no matter how successful Season 1 was—Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse's vampire thriller was the No. 8 overall scripted cable series in the demo with 2.4 million viewers in live-plus-seven—marketing a show's second and third seasons is a tougher challenge. "For us, Season 2 and Season 3 are more important, because Season 1 you have the benefit of newness. It's like a romance—it's very easy to fall in love the first three months," said Stephanie Gibbons, FX's president of marketing and digital media. But after that, "all these other shows are competing for attention and love

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TiVo Tries to Scoop Up Former Aereo Customers

July 8, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In the ashes of Aereo's now-defunct service, TiVo is making a play for the streaming service's former customers. Over the past few days, an email bearing the Aereo logo with the subject line "Aereo Bankruptcy Resolution" has been hitting Aereo subscribers' inboxes. The email, which TiVo confirms to Adweek it sent, pitches the company's Roamio-OTA DVR, explaining that the device "was conceived, developed and introduced for people just like you." TiVo purchased the Aereo trademark and customer lists following Aereo's bankruptcy filing in November. In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled last June that Aereo was infringing on the copyright of the major broadcast networks. At its height, Aereo counted nearly half a million subscribers in several metropolitan areas, including New York City, Atlanta, Boston and Cincinnati. For a monthly subscription, Aereo's technology allowed subscribers to receive broadcast signals over the Internet. The TiVo offer gives ex-Aereo customers a Roamio OTA box, a TiVo Stream and two years of service for no money down and $19.99 per month . By comparison, Aereo's monthly rate was $8, though at least the Supreme Court won't shut down TiVo's offering

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The Voice of So Many Simpsons Characters, Harry Shearer Will Return, After All

July 7, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It looks like Mr. Burns and Principal Skinner, among many others, will sound the same when The Simpsons returns this fall. After previously saying he would not return for the animated sitcom's 27th season, Fox announced today that Harry Shearer will be back alongside the rest of the principal voice cast—Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith and Hank Azaria. The news was confirmed on The Simpsons' official Twitter account this afternoon. Shearer has been the voice of many notable Springfieldians, including Ned Flanders, C. Montgomery Burns, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman and Principal Seymour Skinner

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