How to Sell a TV Show Today

April 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The upfront has been pronounced a goner so many times it is beyond clich

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How to Sell a TV Show Today

April 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The upfront has been pronounced a goner so many times it is beyond clich

Read More

Roma Downey’s Evolution From ‘Angel’ Actress to Producing Partner

April 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Shortly after marrying in 2007, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey decided to work together as producers, creating the company LightWorkers Media. "We didn't have any doubts," says Burnett. The same cannot be said of their stunned pals. "We have so many friends who say, 'Working with your husband? Are you crazy? I couldn't hang wallpaper with my husband!'" says Downey. "But it's been fantastic." That is an understatement. The couple's first project, 2013's The Bible, for History, became the year's highest-rated cable miniseries, drawing more than 100 million viewers during its run. "You might as well start big!" says Burnett. "That was epic," adds Downey, president of LightWorkers, which is now United Artists Media Group's faith and family division. "We hoped that it would have reach. We had no idea that it would have the kind of reach it had." Since then, Downey and Burnett have teamed up on miniseries A.D. The Bible Continues, last year's film Son of God, last December's Lifetime special The Women of the Bible, last month's CBS miniseries The Dovekeepers , the upcoming TLC series Answered Prayers and next year's remake of Ben-Hur. "We have a little slogan over at LightWorkers, which is that it's better to light a candle than curse the darkness," says Downey. "And so I'm personally most interested in material that in some way celebrates the triumph of the human spirit, that has as its essence an optimism or a hopefulness." It has been an organic evolution for Downey, who starred as the angel Monica on CBS' hit drama Touched by an Angel from 1994 to 2003

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How the Reality TV King Created 11 Popular Shows and Counting

April 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As of a couple of weeks ago, Mark Burnett's schedule for the week of May 11 was still surprisingly unfilled. "It's funny, but I haven't been invited to an upfront yet," says the prolific producer, looking ahead to the culmination of upfront season when the broadcast networks finally unveil their fall schedules. "Maybe we'll just stay home!" Don't bet on it. The most powerful producer in television will be plenty busy all that week, wooing advertisers and media buyers in New York. After all, Burnett is responsible for an astounding 11 network programs, on CBS (Survivor and the People's Choice Awards), NBC (The Voice, Celebrity Apprentice, The Sing-Off, A.D. The Bible Continues—the follow-up to The Bible, his massively successful 2013 History miniseries—and Angels Unveiled, his scripted pilot hoping for a series order), ABC (Shark Tank and spinoff Beyond the Tank, premiering May 1, plus new game show 500 Questions, which debuts May 20) and Fox (Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, which returns May 26 after a long hiatus).

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Pretty Little Liars Shares the Secrets of Its Social Media Success

April 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's no big surprise that ABC Family's hit series Pretty Little Liars is one of the top shows on social media. The teen mystery drama has dominated social since its debut in June 2010, getting more than 100 million related tweets to date. "I think it's the perfect storm of elements coming together," Pretty Little Liars showrunner I. Marlene King said. "We're a show that reaches out to an audience that is actively engaged in social media, but also, our stars are actively engaged in social media." In fact, ABC Family has had massive success online in general. According to the network, it has the most socially engaged audience, with more than 8.5 million engagements per series across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr. But Pretty Little Liars is its crown jewel. It has the No. 1 most-tweeted-about telecast of all time—Now You See Me, Now You Don't (Aug

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Guide to the 2015 NewFronts and Upfronts

April 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The 2015-2016 Upfronts and NewFronts are upon us—that time of year, when TV and digital networks announce new programs, partnerships and initiatives hoping the media get excited about them and advertisers buy into them. Here's the list of past and upcoming New York City events, including Adweek's coverage of them: Feb. 25 (Wednesday) Nickelodeon | Skylight | 4 p.m. March 3 (Thursday) Spike | Cipriani | 12 p.m. March 10 (Thursday) GSN | Sony Building | 11 a.m. March 30 (Monday) Bravo / Oxygen / Esquire | Andaz Hotel | 12 p.m. March 31 (Tuesday) Discovery | Time Warner Center | 8:30 a.m. April 2 (Thursday) CMT | Times Center | 11:30 a.m. April 7 (Tuesday) USA | Rainbow Room | 9 a.m. April 9 (Thursday) POP | Gansevoort Park Ave. | 8:30 a.m. April 14 (Tuesday) TV One | Helen Mills Theater | 11:30 a.m. Crackle | Hudson Theater | 11:30 a.m. ABC Family | SIR Stage 37 | 5:30 p.m. April 15 (Wednesday) National Geographic Channel / Nat Geo Wild | Ma Peche | 12 p.m. April 21 (Tuesday) MTV | Beacon Theater | 4:30 p.m. April 22 (Wednesday) Scripps (Food Network, HGTV, DIY) | Lincoln Center | 8:30 a.m. Facebook | NYC HQ FX | Lucky Strike Lanes | 7 p.m. April 23 (Thursday) BET | TBD Ovation | Core Club | 9 a.m. April 24 (Friday) Revolt | Gotham Hall | 4 p.m.

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Game of Thrones Fans Take a Seat, Courtesy of Uber

April 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

You don't have to travel to Westeros to take your rightful place upon the Iron Throne. A new HBO Now and Uber campaign called #RideOfThrones is bringing the infamous seat of rulers to the doorsteps of Game of Thrones fans in New York.

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5 Predictions From TV Network Execs Last Year That Were Way Off

April 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

You'll hear a variety of pop hits during TV network upfront presentations, but the only song that really should be part of the soundtrack this week is Everything is Awesome from The Lego Movie. It's the perfect mantra for upfronts, where all the network executives who take the stage will be full of optimism that their new crop of shows will finally be the ones that take them to the top. But of course, everything is not awesome—even for NBC, the No. 1 network for adults ages 18 to 49. And reality often sets in shortly after the upfronts conclude. Last year, it took just 17 days—Fox Entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly stepped down a little more than two weeks after trumpeting Fox's new lineup to advertisers on May 12. With that in mind, and before you hear this year's batch of (at least partially) empty upfronts promises, here's a look back at the five worst predictions from last year's presentations: 1) Mulaney is the next Seinfeld, and Red Band Society is the next Glee. —Kevin Reilly, Fox Dead network president walking Reilly set the bar sky high for John Mulaney's sitcom Mulaney, which Reilly declared would be "Seinfeld for a new generation." Perhaps he meant that it too would have anemic first-season ratings: Mulaney's last episodes averaged a barely-there 0.4 rating among adults 18 to 49. Similarly, Reilly compared Fox's teen ensemble hospital drama Red Band Society—"an inspiring show that feels commercial"—to Glee, and predicted that its fresh-faced cast "will end up on magazine covers and generate social media buzz." Wrong again. Red Band and its coverless stars played out the string on Saturday nights, which is broadcast's version of purgatory. 2) Get excited for Jump of the Century and Hieroglyph, both airing soon! —Reilly Reilly was far from the only one to disappear from Fox shortly after the upfronts. He touted two programs to advertisers that were canceled before they ever made it to air: straight-to-series pickup Hieroglyph (Fox

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National Geographic Channel Brings Back Explorer, Partners with GE and Gets Funny

April 15, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Guests were greeted Wednesday by a puppy named Marley, who's up for adoption, as they entered the National Geographic Channel's upfront event at swanky M

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Dennis Quaid’s Viral Freak-Out Was Just a Funny or Die Stunt

April 15, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Dennis Quaid hinted Tuesday that a viral video which appeared to show him having an on-set freak-out might have been a joke. Well, it turns out it was. The clip

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