These Are Stephen Colbert’s First ‘Late Show’ Guests

August 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

From celebrities to politicians to startup CEOs, Stephen Colbert is packing his first week of Late Shows with an eclectic mix of guests. As we've previously reported, Colbert's first guest for his debut show on Sept. 8 is George Clooney. GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush will also appear on day one along with a musical performance by Jon Batiste and Stay Human. On Wednesday, actress Scarlett Johansson and SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk will be Colbert's guests followed by another hot start-up name on Thursday: Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. Comedian Amy Schumer and author Stephen King will be on Friday's show, as well as an interview with and musical performance by Troubled Waters. Grammy winners Kendrick Lamar and Toby Keith will also perform during the first week—Lamar on Wednesday and Keith on Thursday. While Musk and Kalanick are superstars in their own worlds, adding them to the first week of programs shows Colbert and company are willing to go beyond the traditional Hollywood-centric late night guest list.

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IFC’s ‘Documentary Now’ Goes Where Other Parodies Won’t

August 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Though it features hilarious send ups of some of the most influential documentaries of the past 30 years, Seth Meyers argued Documentary Now—the new IFC series Meyers created with fellow SNL alums Bill Hader and Fred Armisen—means no harm. "We wanted these to feel like companions," said Meyers, during a screening and discussion Tuesday night in New York. In 'Sandy Passage,' the premiere episode tonight at 10 p.m. ET, Hader and Armisen play two upper class recluses—a parody of the 1975 documentary-turned Broadway play-turned 2009 HBO film, Grey Gardens. "Nothing would make us happier than if people saw Sandy Passage and it would make them—if they hadn't seen it—go see Grey Gardens." Director and producer Rhys Thomas noted that first and foremost, they are fans of all the films Documentary Now parodies. They went so far as to contact the people behind the originals before they began their own filming.

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These Are Literally the Top Dogs in Entertainment

August 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With the dog days of summer upon us, and with the help of E-Poll, we've put together a list of the top dogs in entertainment. The research firm asked kids and adults across the U.S. about their favorite canine characters. Dug, from the movie Up was top dog, while iconic Peanuts character Snoopy and that scrappiest of pups, Scooby-Doo, traded off for the second spot, depending on age group. The rankings are the percentage of consumers who found each pup "appealing": Top Dogs for Adults (13-49) 1. Dug (Up) 81% 2. Snoopy 71% 3. Scooby-Doo 70% 4. Brian Griffin (Family Guy) 64% 5. Gromit 63% 6

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Why This Broadcaster is Going Beyond TV to Wearables and VR

August 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When Telemundo celebrates the best in U.S. Latin pop culture with tonight's fourth-annual Premios Tu Mundo, live from Miami's American Airlines Arena at 8 p.m., the Hispanic broadcaster will have more to tout than just its winners. Premios Tu Mundo looks to cap a strong summer for Telemundo, which saw the Hispanic broadcaster close the gap with rival Univision to the smallest it's ever been. In July, Telemundo was only behind Univision by 238,000 viewers in primetime; in July of 2014 that gap was more than 700,000 and was between 1.3 to 1.6 million in 2013. "We've got momentum," Joe Uva chairman, Hispanic Enterprises and Content, NBCUniversal told Uva.

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Two L.A. Ad Guys Welcome Zombies to Their Midst With ‘Cheer the Walking Dead’

August 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

"Just what Los Angeles needs. Fewer brains." Unfortunately, that's not a tagline for Fear the Walking Dead, which premieres this Sunday on AMC as the second series in the cable-television-eating Walking Dead zombie franchise. Rather, it's a line from two freelance L.A. creative directors, Charlie Noback and Brian Engleman, who are launching an Instagam called Cheer the Walking Dead. The idea is simple: Celebrate the arrival of the undead in their fair city by zombifying classic L.A. images. They've posted half a dozen so far, and are hoping to get submissions (via email) from other creatives. "There are so many overworked ad professionals right now, sometimes I think we're the real zombies," says Engleman

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FX Snatches Up the TV Rights to Air Straight Outta Compton

August 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Though it's not clear how much of the 147 minutes FX will be able to show on basic cable, the company said today it has acquired exclusive U.S. commercial television premiere rights to Straight Outta Compton. The biopic about late-1980s/early-1990s hip-hop group N.W.A—which launched the careers of Ice Cube and Dr. Dre—was the top-grossing movie this weekend with a $60.2 million opener. That's the fifth-highest August premiere ever. Airing the profanity-laden film will certainly be a challenge for the network's censors, though that hasn't stopped cable channels in the past from buying rights to hard R-rated films that aren't exactly family friendly. IFC is one of the few nonpremium cable networks that will air movies unedited, four-letter words and all. FX has been on a spending spree of late when it comes to blockbluster films. Straight Outta Compton joins a roster that includes commercial TV premiere rights for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Minions, Jurassic World and Furious 7. FX has also licensed Trainwreck, Spy, Pixels, Terminator Genisys, Ted 2, Pitch Perfect 2, Taken 3, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Home.

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Which Networks’ Data Platforms Do Media Buyers Actually Like?

August 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Data dominated this year's upfront presentations, as each network claimed it had the best data platform to help advertisers and media buyers enhance TV buys. Now that upfront business has finally wrapped, we asked several buyers to anonymously review the networks' individual data offerings and separate the contenders from the pretenders. Their conclusions: It's a three-horse race. To buyers, three players stand out: NBCUniversal , Viacom and Turner . They gave low marks to ABC, CBS, Discovery and A&E for supplying little more than the data they and their clients already have access to. Said one buyer: "All ABC is doing is optimizing your prime-time inventory, which you could do on your own." Optimization less than optimal. One buyer praised Viacom's willingness to optimize its data every two weeks, though another said NBCU's quarterly optimization was just fine. "On our side, it requires man hours to be changing the schedules all the time as well. I doubt most clients would need to do it more frequently," the buyer said. Turner isn't allowing any optimization at all, "which obviously presents problems because if audiences are changing their viewership habits, you want to be able to follow them." They're down with ATP. Buyers gravitated toward NBCU's Audience Targeting Platform because of its ability to provide them with data from Comcast set-top boxes. "That's very appealing because that has not been offered in any platform to date," said a buyer. They're going with what they—or their clients—know. "I'm honestly leaning more toward NBCU because we do a lot of business with them," admitted one buyer. Another agreed that familiarity goes a long way, especially with platforms they've already beta-tested: "If I had to go to bat for one of them to a client, it would probably be Turner. Because I've already used it, and that holds a lot of water in terms of executing these kinds of things." Bigger is better. Buyers like that NBCU and Viacom products "span a large swath of different networks and different inventory. The bigger the available pull of inventory, the better targeted you can be," said one. That's where Turner has a tougher time measuring up. "If you're cutting the data a little thinner, then you start to run into sample-size issues and viability of buying against certain more granular targets," said another buyer

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Joel McHale Explains Why He Has ’30 Good Years Left’ on The Soup

August 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Treetop Cat Rescue (yes, that's a real show), the sad demise of hitchBOT, Lenny Kravitz's penis—all topics covered in just a single episode of E!'s The Soup. "As you can see, it's a very high-brow show," deadpans Joel McHale , who has hosted the pop culture-skewering series since 2004. Every week, a team of 14 staffers spends the week with their eyes glued to the tube in search of the most buzzworthy moments. "These poor people have to watch so much television they're going to shoot themselves in the eye," cracks McHale. As with any topical TV program, having an online presence is a must. But since many of the clips The Soup uses are owned by other rightsholders, the show has to do some finagling around which videos can live online after the show airs. "We try to find clips that nobody else found, or we take a clip that everyone is watching and try to tell a joke that nobody has told yet," explains McHale. The Soup has a knack for getting a weekly celebrity guest to join in on the fun. One memorable walk-on had actor Haley Joel Osment showing off his new career in "Haley Joel Osment Is a Cock Merchant," which made light of Peter Dinklage's Game of Thrones character Tyrion Lannister's Season 5 predicament. "We saw that clip from Game of Thrones, and they kept repeating it over and over," says McHale. "We just thought, well, this is ridiculous and, much like 14-year-olds, it will give us an opportunity to say 'cock' over and over again." As McHale works his way through 11 years with The Soup, he is often asked how much longer he'll continue. Given that he also stars in Yahoo's Community (despite recent press reports about its cancelation, the actor tells Adweek the show is still alive ) and is set to guest star on Fox's revival of The X-Files ("People think that I can't do anything dramatic because I do so much in comedy," he bemoans), it's little wonder the question comes up. "I've got a good 30 years left!" jokes McHale.

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Trump Will ‘Absolutely Not’ Be Back on Celebrity Apprentice

August 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On the 17th and final day of the Television Critics Association's summer press tour panels, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt summarized this tour's recurring themes. "Too many shows, not enough monetization, fractured audience, Netflix doesn't report ratings, what did Nielsen do this time?" he said. "And how do we find the next big comedy? In a nutshell, that's sort of what keeps me up at night." NBC, which publicly parted ways with Donald Trump in June, said it will not broadcast a new version of Celebrity Apprentice this season, but the show will return in 2016 "with a new host," Greenblatt said. Whoever that is will need to "make noise and be a big personality," he added. The network is "almost done" selling off its interest in the Miss USA Pageant, according to Greenblatt, who summarized the current relationship with Trump: "At the moment, we're sort of separated." However, he wouldn't say Trump is "banned" from the network, given that he "might be the leader of the free world." If Trump isn't elected president, could he return as Celebrity Apprentice host? "Absolutely not," said Greenblatt. Comedy Struggles and Thursday Night Of course, there's a little more than that weighing on the network boss as he looks ahead to fall. Even though NBC was the No. 1 network last season among adults ages 18 to 49 for the second year in a row, its trouble spots remain the same as when Greenblatt last met with reporters in January —comedies and its Thursday night lineup. "The fall is sort of a clean start for all of us, which I'm happy about," said Greenblatt. "We've been in a difficult transition in the last couple years," Greenblatt said, with the departure of 30 Rock, The Office and Parks and Recreation

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The CW Has Only One New Show This Fall, and Britney Spears

August 11, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While most broadcast networks arrived at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour with a plethora of new fall shows, The CW came with only one new series on its fall schedule: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The CW president Mark Pedowitz made few waves when he met with reporters. "We started a few years back with a strategy: broaden out our audience, find shows with adult appeal and bring back men to The CW," he said. "The 2014-15 season has been pivotal for us. It changed our perception." (The Flash became the highest-rated show in network history, and Jane the Virgin became The CW's most critically-acclaimed series.) The network, whose total audience has increased for the last three seasons, made the conscious decision to add only one new show this fall "so that people understood that we were stable," said Pedowitz. "We plan to stay with the strategy that we have been doing these last few years, and it all hinges upon adding quality programming." Its sole bet this fall is Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which was developed for corporate sister network Showtime

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