Why Does This Scandal Star Keep Tweeting in All Caps?

September 29, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who

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UFC’s Dana White Is a Fighter Who Always Wins

September 29, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Asked what it’s like to run the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the ruling franchise of the mixed martial arts world, Dana White doesn’t mince words. “This job is insanity,” he says. “Every morning when I wake up, bad shit happens.” It may sound insensitive to say as much, White adds, “but when human beings are your product, bad things happen.” Photo: Sasha Maslov Then again, for a brand built on men climbing into a ring and mauling each another, bad things are supposed to happen—it’s what fans pay to see. And that fact has put White in a position few other marketers find themselves. Because when your job is crafting violence into entertainment, you either feel it in your bones or you don’t. And Dana White does. “I’ve been in the fight business my whole life,” says UFC president White.

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How Shane Smith Built Vice Into a $2.5 Billion Empire

September 29, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

By now, you’ve no doubt heard about Vice’s humble beginnings. It’s 1994 in Montreal, and three guys—Shane Smith, Gavin McInnes and Suroosh Alvi—decide to launch a free punk magazine called the Voice of Montreal. Two years later, the magazine drops the “o,” changing its name to Vice. By 2014, the operation—having since relocated to New York and now known as Vice Media —has become a platform-spanning news and entertainment group valued at more than $2.5 billion. Photo: Sasha Maslov What that brief history doesn’t convey is just how unique a company Vice is. At a time when many legacy media organizations are struggling to stay afloat, Vice has found that magical point of convergence where good journalism, positive cash flow and (most elusive of all) the millennial attention span meet. In the past year alone, Vice Media has launched a full-fledged news division, announced plans for a 24-hour news network and raised $500 million from investors A&E Networks (“It cannot be underestimated their ability to reach a very hard-to-reach audience,” says A&E CEO Nancy Dubuc) and venture capital firm Technology Crossover Ventures. For the company to have reached this point is largely due to CEO Smith, who has emerged as Vice’s tatted-up chieftain. The way Smith sees it, there’s little about the Vice formula that’s magic. “We look at it very simply. We want to do three things. We want to make good content, we want to have as many eyeballs as possible see that content, and we want to make money so that we can keep paying to do that content,” he says. Vice Squad | Vice's brilliant edgy content has made it a hit among elusive millenials. Photo: Vice Productions Not only has Vice mastered those things, but it has also managed to do so without losing the countercultural cred that made it a hit in the first place, first among X-ers, then among the coveted millennial demo. On a given day, Vice.com features provocative headlines like “I Went to a Blowjob Bar in Bangkok, Thailand” and “We Asked Drug Addicts to Rate the Music at Copenhagen Central” alongside news about unrest in the Middle East

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Outlander’s Ron Moore on Time-Travel, Pern and Everything Scottish

September 26, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Does anybody remember when we stopped thinking of the typical sci-fi and fantasy fan as a basement-dwelling male virgin and started admitting that women comprise a huge chunk—frequently the majority—of the audience? It's hard to put a timestamp on that one, but you can be pretty sure that Ronald D. Moore was there for it. Moore is probably as close to speculative fiction royalty as TV showrunners can get these days, and the writer-producer's most recent project is a shoot-the-works adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's bestselling Outlander series of fantasy novels, a twistily plotted story of time travel and romantic intrigue in 18th-century Scotland and postwar (very recently postwar, in fact) Britain. The show's mid-season finale, The Garrison Commander, airs Saturday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m E.T.; Starz announced Friday that the show would go on hiatus until April 4, when it comes back with episode 9. Moore, now in Scotland, took time out of the season 1.5 shooting schedule speak to us about the series, the work of adapting several large and complicated novels into a compelling narrative, and the show's instant popularity among feminists. Adweek: So this show gets a lot of love from women's sites like Jezebel that aren't necessarily speculative-fiction-focused or even TV-focused for its portrayal of a very complicated lead character. Is there any way to take into account and serve that audience specifically as you see it grow? Ron Moore: I mean, to be honest, I don’t really think of it in those terms—I’ve had this question a few times. I just write for an audience. We have a fairly large female demographic, but we don’t talk in terms of “the audience is female and you should think about it in those terms.” That’s how I’ve approached the project since I read the book. It’s just a big adventure story.

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Here Are Your 2014-2015 Broadcast Season Redundancies

September 25, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Every year, broadcast spends millions upon millions turning scripts into pilots and pilots into series. And frequently, it picks scripts with quite a few commonalities. Of course, if you have an entire professional class assigned the task of figuring out what's popular and making it into a TV show, this is going to happen, but we feel like it's worth parsing some of the duplications in order to see what network heads think will work...and sometimes what they're all thinking at once, for reasons known only to them. Blonde Political Women Who Watch Syrian Atrocity Videos State of Affairs Madam Secretary I know, right? This seems specific enough that you'd think the four-and-a-half-network range of broadcast TV, at least, would be narrow enough to edge out one of these shows. But Wednesdays starting in November and Sundays starting this week, check out T

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Super Bowl Rematch Tops Nielsen TV Twitter Sports Broadcasts

September 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Super Bowl rematch between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos put CBS Sports on top of Nielsen's TV Twitter ratings in the sports broadcast category last week. But unlike the lopsided NFL championship game, which saw the Hawks steamroll the Broncos, this week's contest was a corker. The Hawks came out on top in a nail-biting overtime win, which did wonders for CBS, giving the network four out of 10 of its football contests in the top 10 Twitter response ratings. The Hawks-Broncos clash lit up the sports Twittersphere with 663,000 unique tweets reaching an audience of 7.2 million Twitter users. Most of the tweets centered on the see-saw battle that saw Denver QB Peyton Manning engineer a last-minute drive that tied the game and forced it into overtime. But the Broncos came up short, 26-20. One viewer had a religious experience. Dear Football gods, Thank you for this Broncos-Seahawks game. — CBS Sports (@CBSSports) Sept. 21, 2014 Another had a "take that" take. The @DenverBroncos give Seattle a taste of their own medicine. Safety. pic.twitter.com/qNvLPiLexK — CBS Sports (@CBSSports) Sept. 21, 2014 And there was this tweet playing on the Broncos' home town. BREAKING: the Broncos are being renamed the Enver Broncos due to the lack of D. #NFL #DENvSEA — Richard David Jordan (@richarddjordan) Sept.

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Dancing Miscue by Olympian Tops Nielsen Twitter Ratings

September 23, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As the new TV season gets underway, there were some surprising results in the Twittersphere recorded by ratings service Nielsen. ABC's Dancing With the Stars topped this week's Nielsen Twitter ratings and produced some extremely nasty tweets about Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones, who lost her bid to move forward in the competition with dance partner Keo Motsepe. The pair called themselves Team LoKeMotion, but their cha-cha was less than poetry in motion, and judges eliminated the pair in the first round of the show. Jones was shaken up by the loss. In an interview with Good Morning America, she blamed miscues for her missteps and said she felt rushed and anxious during the performance. "I was having a hard time breathing backstage and trying not to cry. I don't even remember anybody dancing that night, and I really regret that. I wish I could just smile,” adding that she felt bad for letting her partner down. Jones may have been contrite, but some sample tweets from TMZ about her performance were less than kind. The celebrity gossip site asked its followers if they thought Jones took her loss too hard. @TMZ Ya think everyone has already moved on and she is still on it.

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Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty Get Muppet-ized in Promo for Season 1 DVD

September 23, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Adult Swim has put its back into marketing Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland's insane science fiction cartoon Rick and Morty. And well they might: It's one of the best shows on the air, and last year it occasionally got more demo viewers than Harmon's broadcast sitcom, Community. So, it follows that the network would have a mild blowout around the release of the first season of Rick and Morty on Blu-Ray, too. Accordingly, Roiland called on Ben Bayouth, puppet maker and costumer to the ... well, to the very weird. (Seriously, the "creature suits and puppets" page alone is a huge productivity suck.) Bayouth made Rick, Morty and Meeseeks puppets and a giant Meeseeks suit (from this episode) in order to tell the world about the show. Here's the 90-second spot. It starts airing Wednesday evening on Adult Swim.

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Stephen King Goes to Hulu

September 22, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Well, Craig Erwich has been saying since he started at Hulu that he wanted high-end content, so I guess this really shouldn't surprise anyone: the over-the-top network has green-lit a new series from J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot that's based on Stephen King's time-traveling historical thriller, 11/22/63/ It's about a guy who returns to the swingin' sixties to stop the Kennedy assassination. The show will air in nine, hour-long episodes on the streaming service and is being distributed by Warner Brothers Television Distribution, the company Erwich just left. Executive producer Bridget Carpenter, who most recently wrote Sundance's underrated The Red Road, will handle the lead writing chores for the series, and King, Abrams, Carpenter and frequent Abrams producer Bryan Burk—who's also on board to produce the new Star Wars movie—will exec produce. The book is one of King's more successful recent efforts. It follows a high school English teacher who finds a portal to the late 1950's and decides that the best way to use his newfound power is to stop the murder of JFK. The plot has plenty of twists and the time-travel craziness resolves in an unusual way. So, it's a logical green light for both Abrams and Hulu, which needs big-ticket shows to compete with powerhouse subscription service Netflix and its Emmy-snatching originals. King, in a statement, said,

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LL Cool J’s Guilty Pleasure Is Watching Mob Wives’ Catfights

September 22, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who LL Cool J Age 46 Claim to fame Grammy Award- winning rapper and star of NCIS: Los Angeles (Season 6 premieres Monday, Sept. 29 on CBS) Base New York What’s the first information you consume in the morning? I look at all the trending topics everywhere, but I also like to maybe read something from a book before I consume information. I like to start my day off by sharpening my mind. What are your go-to social media platforms? I love Twitter and Instagram . I use Facebook a little bit too, but those are the main ones. What does your Twitter handle, GOAT., stand for? It stands for Greatest of All Time. It’s my nickname in the hip-hop world. I had an album in 2000 called G.O.A.T., and now I have another album that’s going to be released called G.O.A.T. 2. Who do you follow? I follow fans and friends. I think it’s important to follow both. I know that some celebrities and artists are a little bit more exclusive in who they follow, but I like to know what the people are talking about, not just my famous or influential friends. Apple or Android? Android.

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