Why Next Season Could Be the New Golden Age of the Family Sitcom

May 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Don't expect the classic sitcom Leave It to Beaver or squeaky-clean '90s shows like Family Matters and Perfect Strangers. But come next season, there's likely to be an abundance of new family-centric half hours on network TV. Added to returning hits like Modern Family, Black-ish and Mom, family comedies could take up more space on prime-time schedules than they have in decades. Hollywood's producers pumped out nearly 30 family-based comedy pilots during the recent development season, leaping ahead of other popular subgenres like workplace and relationship shows. This trend toward home and hearth is no accident. Several television executives made their 2016-17 schedule priorities clear in recent months, with CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller telling The Hollywood Reporter that his must-have for next season was a "big family multicam," meaning a traditional three-camera comedy filmed in front of an audience. NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt cited "comedy, comedy, comedy" as his focus for the year, while ABC—which has had the most recent success in the genre—has once again looked at families of all stripes for its potential comedy pickups.

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As New Tech Emerges and Clients Demand Invention, Agencies Bank On Innovation Labs

May 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For the past few years, digital agency 360i had tinkered in its innovation lab with a line of toys to help those with paralysis actively play with children. This month, the concept became a reality with the release of the shop's Adaptoys campaign, which was launched in partnership with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. The goal is to raise $155,000 in order to build race cars controlled by headsets and later a voice-controlled pitching machine. Adaptoys is just one of the cool products to come out of the lab, which is designed to work with new technology and figure out ways to use them in client campaigns. Agency labs are not new—Resource/Ammirati, recently acquired by IBM, opened one of the first labs in 2006—but as new technology, from virtual reality to augmented reality, becomes more mainstream and clients demand more invention from agencies, innovation labs continue to grow apace. 360i vp, innovation technology Layne Harris said the work his team does shows clients that the agency is not just "reacting to trends" but rather is "steeply invested and knowledgeable about those trends." Over the years the agency's lab has become more ingrained in daily procedures and client work, rather than existing as an external unit for the shop. When the creative team works on a brief or pitch, someone from the innovation lab sits in, contributing ideas—this tactic helped spark the idea for Oscar Mayer's Mini Wiener Rover that delivers freshly made hot dogs. The benefits are clear for the client, but many agencies also find partnering with startups and other brands works just as well. Jonathan Bradley, partner, programs for R/GA Ventures, said hosting accelerator programs for startups—and eventually allowing some of the companies to reside in R/GA offices—promotes a "sharing of knowledge." The agency works with the startups, learns about the latest technologies and what they do, but also flexes its own creative muscles, which in turn leads to breakthrough work for clients. Smart tone startup Lisnr —which developed technology that sends an inaudible digital signal through speakers and activates an ad, a video or even a purchase via a user's smartphone—went through an R/GA accelerator and has benefited the agency, its clients and the startup enormously

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Why Telemundo’s Boss Is Keeping His Sights Set on the Other Football

May 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Current gig Chairman, NBCUniversal International Group and NBCU Telemundo Enterprises Previous gig President, Univision Networks Age 42 Twitter @cesarconde_ Adweek: You have a big portfolio as chairman of the NBCU International Group and Telemundo Enterprises. Where is your impact felt most? Cesar Conde: It's an incredibly fast-growing market, and we have probably the most compelling suite of products, regardless of language, that help our clients tap into this high-growth market. Historically, there's been a tremendous amount of focus on the U.S. But over the last few years we've started to build our business outside of the United States. You moved to NBCU almost three years ago, after 10 years at Univision. What's the biggest difference culturally between the two companies? What I have really enjoyed about being a part of Comcast NBCU is that we have a real mentality of running our businesses as owners, not renters. We really believe in making the investments in our businesses that will deliver long-term results

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Why Telemundo’s Boss Is Keeping His Sights Set on the Other Football

May 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Current gig Chairman, NBCUniversal International Group and NBCU Telemundo Enterprises Previous gig President, Univision Networks Age 42 Twitter @cesarconde_ Adweek: You have a big portfolio as chairman of the NBCU International Group and Telemundo Enterprises. Where is your impact felt most? Cesar Conde: It's an incredibly fast-growing market, and we have probably the most compelling suite of products, regardless of language, that help our clients tap into this high-growth market. Historically, there's been a tremendous amount of focus on the U.S. But over the last few years we've started to build our business outside of the United States. You moved to NBCU almost three years ago, after 10 years at Univision

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This Week’s Must-Haves: a Smart Mirror That Replicates Lighting From Anywhere

May 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This week, the Adweek staff is highlighting a smart mirror that can replicate lighting from anywhere in the world, a water bottle that reminds you to stay hydrated and more. Take a look!

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Fox Will Fill Its American Idol Void with 24, Prison Break and Other Familiar Brands

May 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fox's lineup is going to feel awfully familiar next season. No, the network isn't fielding mostly the same lineup as this season; on the contrary, the network will be without American Idol on its schedule for the first time since 2002. But going into the 2016-17 season, Fox will be filling that void with a number of shows that its audiences know and love: reboots and revivals of past hits 24 and Prison Break, and new series based on a pair of popular films, Lethal Weapon and The Exorcist. There will be so much nostalgia on the network that some viewers might confuse it with Nick at Nite. "Next season on Fox, we'll have more original programming across our schedule than ever before," said Fox Television Group co-chairmen and co-CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman in a statement. "We'll use our strong established hits in the fall and Super Bowl LI in winter to launch a diverse slate of shows that are unmistakably Fox." Fox is debuting three new series this fall (the same number as NBC, which announced its fall schedule on Sunday ), but the network is saving its biggest guns for midseason. That includes its 24 reboot, 24: Legacy, which will launch after next season's biggest event: Super Bowl LI, on Feb. 5. The show will move it to regular time period (Mondays at 8, the same as its predecessor) the following day. Undaunted by the failure of Minority Report, which audiences rejected immediately last fall, Fox has ordered series based on not one, but two hit films: The Exorcist and Lethal Weapon. Mondays this fall will feature Gotham and Lucifer, which remain in their current time slots.

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Steve Harvey’s Secret to Making 5 Shows at the Same Time? Relatability and Humor

May 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC's Sunday night audience vanishes after Sunday Night Football concludes each January, so the network had modest expectations for the 18-49 demo performance of Steve Harvey's variety series Little Big Shots before it premiered in March. "I was told by some folks at NBC, 'We want a 1.2 [rating], and we're going to be tipping champagne glasses,'" Harvey recalls. Instead, the numbers for his America's Got Talent/Kids Say the Darndest Things hybrid, in which talented children from around the world show off their skills and swap zingers with Harvey, more than doubled that during its first Sunday airing: a 2.8 rating, with 15 million total viewers tuning in. The surprise midseason hit ended up as the network's No. 2 show this season in both total viewers and 18-49 (behind only The Voice) and kept the bubbly flowing at the network. "They're drunk right now at NBC," says Harvey, laughing as he reels off the names of top brass at NBC and its parent company. "I know for a fact Paul Telegdy is drunk right now—and Bob Greenblatt, Steve Burke from Comcast and Ted Harbert." Harvey hosts his radio show out of Atlanta

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Why Big Digital Video and TV Networks Are Increasingly Becoming Production Partners

May 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Television its dead—long live television. That could become the unofficial motto, or at least the crawl at the bottom of the screen, to explain the recent flurry of hookups between digital players like BuzzFeed, Vice and Mashable with old-guard media companies such as NBCUniversal, Disney and Turner Broadcasting. While BuzzFeed can get 800,000 people to watch a watermelon explode —live on Facebook—and YouTube claims to reach more consumers 18-49 than any TV network, the digital world obviously thinks TV still has its charms. Hint: massive reach and enviable ad dollars from blue-chip brands. Though it's not the only reason for the current wave of mergers, acquisitions and investment, TV is a driving force for the nascent relationships blurring the line between linear and digital and introducing sexy young things to a platform that is the very definition of old media. "Linear TV is vulnerable, yes, but it's still a monster ," notes media analyst David Deal of David J. Deal Consulting. "And it's not going away." At least one much-sought-after digital darling not only believes this is the case but is making TV a top priority. Vice Media CEO Shane Smith announced the same week as its Digital NewFronts presentation this month that the fast-growing media company known for its grit and swagger is joining forces with ESPN to share, co-create and co-promote sports programming across multiple venues, as part of an overall relationship with Disney. Pillars of the alliance include the award-winning 30 for 30 documentaries from the sports powerhouse telecast on Viceland , Vice's new 24-hour cable network, and Vice's in-your-face-style series on ESPN. "I applaud Shane for understanding that television is the smartest path to worldwide leadership," ESPN president John Skipper was quoted as saying, with just the slightest wink, in Adweek's coverage of the recent NewFronts .

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Venables Bell Wins Best of Show at The One Show for REI’s #OptOutside Campaign

May 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Venables Bell & Partners took home the coveted Best of Show award at The One Show in New York on Friday night for REI's #OptOutside, a cross-platform campaign in which the outdoor retailer closed on Black Friday and urged employees and customers alike to get outside and enjoy nature on a day best known for rampant consumerism. "This is an amazing honor," said Will McGinness, executive creative director at the San Francisco agency. "This wouldn't have been possible without our incredibly brave clients who were willing to take their beliefs as a company and act on them in such a bold way. #OptOutside was an idea that came from the core of who they are as a company and ended up transcending marketing into an actual movement. Which is something you rarely see." Spark, Tool of North America, North Kingdom and Edelman also worked on the REI campaign. Adweek responsive video player used on /video. Ellie Kemper, star of the Netflix comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, hosted the 43rd Annual One Show Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on Friday night, which honored the year's best film, interactive, cross-platform, IP, mobile, social, UX/UI and radio work. The One Show also hosted a separate gala on Wednesday night at Gotham Hall, hosted by Michael Ian Black, at which the print and outdoor, design, direct, branded entertainment, responsive environments and PR winners were announced

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Why AwesomenessTV is Telling Marketers to Stop Putting Gen Z and Millennials in One Group

May 12, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

"Gen Z and millennials is not a thing, they're two things," exclaimed AwesomenessTV CEO Brian Robbins during the MCN's NewFront presentation Wednesday evening. "These life stages – late teens who are breaking away from freedom vs. these young adult couples are very, very different." And unlike most other digital players, AwesomenessTV puts more emphasis on reaching the teens and tweens of Gen Z. "They're loaded," he quipped, which came as a surprise to many in the audience at Tribeca's Spring Studios. "First of all, they have their parents money... just ask my kids." Robbins added that, unlike millennials who are only a few years out of college, Gen Zers don't have student loan debt. To that end, AwesomenessTV will become the first to partner with messaging app Kik, launching a bot that combines native video and chat. In the near future, character bots will launch for AwesomenessTV's scripted series and films to deliver companion narratives, behind-the-scenes features and alternative endings driven by audience participation. They also recently launched on Apple TV and will triple the amount of premium content on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. AwesomenessTV is also working with a pair of technology companies to help brands reach Gen Z on those myriad platforms. "That private screen has become a personal concierge for an experience that is uniquely their own," said Robbins of Gen Z's mobile attachment. With video-data company ZEFR, AwesomenessTV will launch "Signal" a content and multi-platform distribution program that will enable custom content to be distributed via advertising across multiple platforms. AwesomenessTV is also using Brightline's proprietary technology for dynamic ad insertion for connected TVs and over-the-top platforms. "We are matching our storytelling prowess with innovative technology partnerships that will enable our brand partners to hyper target the hard to reach Gen Z audience wherever they are found," added Brett Bouttier, president AwesomenessTV. AwesomenessTV also announced new seasons for Royal Crush and Guidance, and a new series for Verizon's go90, t@gged, which has already been greenlit for a second season. Verizon acquired a 24.5 percent stake in AwesomenessTV last month. The MCN is also collaborating with Major League Baseball, which has been trying to appeal to younger viewers , on a scripted series. But the best announcement of the night was not actually an announcement at all.

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