First to Tweet and Take Selfies? It Was This Horrid Family From a Century Ago

June 5, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Kim Kardashian may be the queen of selfies, with a bestselling book to prove it, but she's not the first over-sharing, narcissistic reality show star. That dubious title would go to the Bellacourts of the upcoming Comedy Central series Another Period. They're the debauched, filthy-rich members of a famous-for-being-famous clan that the cable channel is calling "the original ballers." The Rhode Island bluebloods never fail to make an entrance (think upskirts and crotch shots), and they're social media early adopters (credited with early, crude tweets and swipe lefts). They know a thing or two about virality, quite literally—they are 19th century celebrities, after all. A handful of promo spots, created in-house, launched this week. They mix the show's turn-of-the-century twisted Downton Abbey-esque setting with today's tropes. "We wondered what these hilariously terrible people of another time would do with modern technology," said Lu Chekowsky, the channel's svp of brand creative, "and wanted to play with all the ingredients of the show that make it great—the gilded age, the reality show excess and the hip-hop sensibility." The 10-episode series, from writer-producer-stars Natasha Leggero and Riki Lindhome, also features Michael Ian Black, Christina Hendricks, Paget Brewster and Jason Ritter. The show debuts June 23.

Read More

Timothy Simons on How Veep’s Political Fiascos Mirror Real-Life Scandals

June 2, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 36 Claim to fame Stars as Jonah Ryan on HBO's Veep (Season 4 finale airs June 14 at 9:30 p.m.) Base Los Angeles Twitter @timothycsimons What's the first information you consume in the morning? I'm a night person, but because of being in the film business and having children, my schedule has shifted, and I'm always terrified that I'm going to oversleep. So the first thing I do, almost every single morning, is wake up and look at the clock while thinking, "There's no fucking way I'm not late for something." And then there are some mornings where—even though I really try not to—the first thing I do is check Twitter, which makes me feel like a garbage human being. Who do you follow on Twitter? I cast a wide net. I really enjoy following comedians. I like sort of esoteric and weird Twitter jokes. But I actually unfollow people if they make jokes about a celebrity's death within the first two minutes of that celebrity dying. After 24 hours, fine, but the idea of "this horrible thing just happened and I need to make social media hay out of it" really annoys me. So I've done a pretty good job of curating a Twitter feed that doesn't make me hate the world. What's your favorite app? The one that I am currently using, and which I am equally proud of and super embarrassed about, is the Topps' Star Wars: Card Trader app. I thought I'd do it for a few weeks, but it's stuck around a lot longer than I had expected. What TV shows do you watch? Togetherness was a huge one for me. I really loved that show; it was just so massively uncomfortable and funny and true

Read More

Millennials Favor Facebook Over TV for Political News

June 1, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In Republican years and Democratic years, local television stations have always emerged as winners. The 2014 midterm election delivered an estimated $2.4 billion to local stations, as candidates and political action committees bought time for federal, state and local races. As stations gear up for a presidential election cycle—and the cash it will bring—a new report released Monday by the Pew Research Center suggests a sea change ahead, that could send much of that ad spending to social media. "When it comes to where younger Americans get news about politics and government, social media look to be the local TV of the millennial generation," said Amy Mitchell, director of journalism research at Pew. The report, Millennials and Political News , was based on an online survey of nearly 3,000 people. Millennials reported little interest in following their parents' habit of turning to local television for political coverage—and the advertising that traditionally fills commercial breaks in election years. Sixty percent of baby boomers trust local TV for political news, but the same percentage of millennials opt for Facebook. That shift presents challenges for campaigns and elected officials, as well as for advertisers and station groups. "We are only beginning to understand the complex interactions of personal choice, friend networks and algorithms in the social media space," said Mitchell. "As the research continues, these data suggest there are fundamental differences in the ways younger and older generations stay informed about political news."

Read More

NBCU Sales Chief Shares Her Strategy for Upfront Negotiations

June 1, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For the next several weeks, Linda Yaccarino will be one of the hardest working people in television. As chairman, advertising sales and client partnerships for NBCUniversal, she's overseeing upfront negotiations for a robust TV portfolio that includes two broadcast networks, 17 cable channels and more than 50 digital properties. "It's a world of difference from three years ago when we first had this crazy notion of bringing the company together as one portfolio," said Yaccarino, who joined the network in 2011 as president, cable entertainment and digital advertising sales (she previously oversaw sales for Turner Entertainment as evp and COO), adding NBC and Telemundo a year later. Before ramping up her upfront negotiations, Yaccarino talked about plans for next season, her company's big swings and of course, the d-word. Data was the buzzword of the upfronts, but is that continuing during sales meetings? All day long! It's the lead question I get asked from all our customers: "What are you up to, what are you doing, what's next?" Data and technology will change the advertising business in the next five years more than we've seen in the last 30 years. NBCUniversal has such scale, but is owned by a company like Comcast that has such technology and a direct relationship with consumers. When we bring all these things together, that will benefit our advertising clients, and that's what truly consumes most of my days. You rolled out ATP, your audience targeting platform, in January. How will you use it during the upfront? This is the latest in our suite of data products. We knew we wanted to refine the media plans that we have and reduce waste. It reduces waste for us because we get better at managing our inventory, and it reduces waste or enhances what the advertiser is getting based on their deliverables, whatever their RFP says, or their brand briefs. As I like to explain it, it's giving you last year's media plan, but in the nonfat version. C7 was all the rage during last year's upfronts. Are people still talking about that this year, or have priorities shifted? I don't think priorities have shifted, but clients have many different priorities. So while C7 is important to some people, and NBCUniversal is open for business for C7, our data conversations have taken us in a whole new direction. To supplement the current currency that exists, we talk about a bunch of different other deliverables based on the merged data sets.

Read More

Why Networks Are Going for Broke This Summer

May 26, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For decades, the broadcast networks took the idea of summer vacation quite literally—programming reruns and other filler content from June through mid-September, much to the frustration of advertisers. Those days are finally over, as broadcasters follow the lead of cable and, more recently, Netflix, by packing their summer slates with big series presented in unique ways that help audiences more easily consume content and aid advertisers in reaching viewers. "Summer is a critical time period for so many advertisers: back-to-school, retail, summer movies," noted Darcy Bowe, vp, media director at Starcom. "You really want to get your message out there, but because the broadcasters weren't programming anything new, people were trained not to watch TV in the summer." NBC is the first broadcaster to pull a Netflix with the May 28 debut of limited series Aquarius, starring David Duchovny. Immediately after the network premiere, the entire 13-episode series will be available to stream at NBC's website, on its mobile app and via other VOD platforms. The network will continue to air new episodes each week, but audiences can choose to binge on the entire series at once. Meanwhile, CBS has partnered with Netflix for its big summer premiere, Zoo, which will stream on the service as soon as its CBS run has concluded. Cable is also trying a nonlinear approach to summer programming. USA comedy Playing House returns for Season 2 in August with a VOD windowing strategy. Each episode will be made available on VOD one week before it airs on the network, with creator/stars Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair partnering with advertisers to create customized content. "If you have Toyota or one of our other sponsors in there, you'll be able to create content that's about Playing House but also about the sponsor as well," said Chris McCumber, USA's president. Because these shows are airing outside the September-to-May TV season, broadcasters have the flexibility to experiment without affecting the traditional fall schedule. Robert Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment chairman, said his network was able to stream Aquarius in full (the ad load of the linear broadcast will mirror that of VOD) because production on the entire season had already wrapped—unlike with most broadcast production schedules, which are only a few weeks ahead of an episode's airdate. Thanks to CBS' deal with Netflix, Zoo (based on the James Patterson novel) will be profitable before the drama even debuts on June 30. That gives the network a safety net as it attempts to lure a different audience during the summer months. Like CBS summer series Under the Dome and Extant, "Zoo is a big, epic-looking and feeling show," said CBS Entertainment chair Nina Tassler. "And they're all highly serialized. We don't do that during the regular season, so summer allows us to recruit new viewers and bring them into fall." While USA routinely airs series during the summer, "we've always seen August as an opportunity because it feels like there's a little bit of a dead space there," said McCumber. "So we thought it would be a great space to put Playing House where it will get more attention … and on top of that create a new opportunity for advertisers to come in and sell it in a different way." Advertisers worry whether digital platforms will cannibalize viewership on terrestrial television

Read More

Why CBS Is Replacing David Letterman With Reruns of The Mentalist

May 26, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

How do you follow an icon like David Letterman and his perfect Late Show finale last Wednesday? For CBS, the answer might seem surprising: Simon Baker. Do not adjust your television sets; CBS is indeed currently airing repeats of The Mentalist, starring Baker, in the 11:30 p.m. late-night time slot Letterman occupied since 1993. In fact, all summer, until The Late Show with Stephen Colbert debuts Sept. 8, the network will show repeats of a different CBS drama each week

Read More

USA’s Playing House Stars Hilariously Explain TV Industry Acronyms

May 22, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Acronyms were flying at the upfronts last week , which is why we brought you the guide to sorting out MVPD, SVOD and everything in between. NBCU Cable Entertainment had the same idea, only they tapped the eps, writers and stars of the USA comedy Playing House to give a more humorous take. In this video, which was played at the NBCU Cable Entertainment upfront, Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair break down the acronyms that dominate how TV is produced, sold and viewed.

Read More

13.8 Million Watch David Letterman Finale

May 21, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

David Letterman's final Late Show was watched by 13.76 million viewers, making it the Late Show's largest audience since Feb. 25, 1994, on a night that saw CBS' coverage of the Lillehammer Olympics. The finale had his best delivery in the adults 25-54 and adults 18-49 demos since Dec. 1, 2005—the night of Oprah Winfrey's much-anticipated appearance. The final Letterman Late Show , which ran 80 minutes, also gave a boost to The Late Late Show with James Corden—it had its largest audience ever, despite starting 20 minutes late. As for how Letterman's final bow compares to previous late-night farewells: Johnny Carson's Tonight Show finale | May 22, 1992: 41.36 million Jay Leno's second Tonight Show finale | Feb. 26, 2014: 14.63 million Jay Leno's first Tonight Show finale | May 29, 2009: 11.9 million Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show finale | Jan. 22, 2010: 10.34 million The Letterman finale also gave a boost to several brands, according to Amobee Brand Intelligence analysis. Taco Bell saw digital consumption increase 103 percent in a day, while The Church of Scientology saw a consumption increase of 444 percent

Read More

How CBS’ Supergirl Trailer Became a Viral Sensation

May 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

George Schweitzer has spent 20 years overseeing the trailers for the new shows CBS unveils at its upfront presentations each May. "It used to be we showed them in Carnegie Hall, and then we put them away for a while," recalled Schweitzer, president of CBS Marketing Group. But as the networks began releasing their upfront trailers online in recent years, he said, "Now, it's shown in Carnegie Hall, and five minutes later, it's going around the world." Yet, not even an upfront vet like Schweitzer was prepared for the astounding global reaction to CBS' trailer for Supergirl, one of fall's most eagerly anticipated new shows, after it debuted at the network's May 13 upfront . His group consulted with The CW's marketing and press teams who offered guidance on launching a superhero project. "We were warned that this thing would go viral quickly," said Schweitzer, and that's just what happened. Within two days, more than 5 million people had viewed the trailer online. A week after its May 13 debut, that number has risen to more than 10 million. The 10 million figure eclipses the total views of all the other CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox upfront trailer combined. "It's unbelievable," said Schweitzer. "That's more than [the audience for] some of our shows." The last time CBS debuted a superhero series, 1990's The Flash, "there was no Internet," said Schweitzer

Read More

Whether It’s Online or IRL, Bar Rescue’s Jon Taffer Is All About Authenticity

May 19, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 60 Claim to fame Host of Spike TV's Bar Rescue (new episodes begin Sunday, June 21); president of Nightclub & Bar Media Group and Taffer Media Base Las Vegas Twitter @jontaffer What's the first information you consume in the morning? I'm a news junkie to some degree, so I'll turn on a news channel like CNN pretty early in the morning, grab a cup of coffee and see what's going on in the world. Tell us about your social media habits. I use Facebook considerably. I use Twitter quite a bit for day-to-day communications but also as a promotional platform. We do #TafferTalks periodically during certain episode airings, and we'll often trend number one for a while. I just did my first-ever video on Meerkat . I'm very involved in all of my social media activities. I'm not an actor. I play myself, and I take that very seriously. It's really important to me that every communication I make represents myself. Lately, people have been posting funny photos of you online with the hashtag #TafferMeme . Was your team behind that? No, it just happened organically! [Laughs] There's also some fan art that happens on Fridays. Honestly, it's all very flattering

Read More