Posts Tagged ‘cable’

Howard Owens Steps Down as Nat Geo Channels President

April 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After a two-and-a-half-year stint as president of National Geographic Channels U.S., Howard Owens is striking out on his own. The former William Morris agent and Reveille co-founder on Monday revealed his decision to leave Nat Geo , saying that while his tenure as programming chief was “an incredible experience…both personally and professionally,” it was time for him to embark on his “next adventure.” Owens was instrumental in launching the Nat Geo original series Brain Games and Wicked Tuna, as well as the scripted programs Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy and the upcoming Killing Jesus. (All three specials were based on best-selling books by Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly.) He joined Nat Geo in late 2011, replacing longtime network boss Steve Schiffman. In a note to staffers, NGC U.S. CEO David Lyle announced that Owens would be moving on, or as he characterized it, “flying out the window of National Geographic and into the free world of independent production.” Lyle was effusive in his praise for Owens. “As a senior TV executive, I’m supposed to say everybody is replaceable, but in Howard’s case I say without a shadow of a doubt, we couldn’t have done it without him.” A replacement has not been identified. While high-profile undertakings like the Killing series and SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden gave Nat Geo a temporary ratings boost, the network’s biggest growth came in 2012. Per Nielsen, Nat Geo finished out the year before last up 22 percent in its target demo (adults 25-54), only to dip 2 percent in 2013. “National Geographic Channels have some of the brightest minds in the television business, and I’m proud of the work we have accomplished together—specifically in defining the National Geographic Channels as a destination for innovative, original and brand-defining creativity,” Owens said, by way of signing off.

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DirecTV Turns to Fans for Cable Effects Ad

April 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fed up with cable? DirecTV wants to hear your frustration. The satellite TV provider is asking fans for suggestions for its new

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H2, History’s Sister Network, Is Doubling Down on New Shows

April 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In his midtown office last week at A+E Networks, Paul Cabana managed to sound both completely reasonable and incredibly enthusiastic, as though he were simply describing a happy accident that had led to quarter after quarter of uninterrupted growth at H2 , History’s sister network. H2 of late has been on a tear; in Q1 2014, the net improved 11 percent in prime time among adults 25-54, topping the likes of CNN and Hallmark Channel. But it’s no accident. “Everyone’s moving into scripted … and we’ve had a lot of success in counterprogramming,” said Cabana, svp, head of programming for H2. “Everyone’s moving into scripted, no one’s doing great documentary.” Among those new shows: Brad Meltzer’s Secret History (hosted by the mystery novelist behind History’s Decoded); an event series titled The Civil War , set to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lee’s surrender at Appomattox; and most promisingly, The Shift, an ancient-history/far-future special about what the planet looked like millions of years ago and how it’ll look millions of years from now. Cabana said H2’s programming strategy exists partly to protect the History brand, which saw some of its brainier fare “being outpaced by these big rockets” like Vikings , Swamp People and Pawn Stars. The shows weren’t anti-historical, exactly, but the network wanted to have all that ratings cake and eat its educational cake (educake?) too. Hence H2

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CNN Bumps Up Original Programming

April 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Instead of focusing on the traditional newscast,

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Tell Everyone What You’re Doing This Sunday Night With Mad Men Out of Office

April 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If you can't wait for Mad Men to return for part one of its seventh and final season this Sunday, and you're itching to declare your intention to watch it to all your social media friends, AMC would like to offer you a special opportunity to advertise on its behalf by customizing a picture of Don Draper so your name appears next to his face. You can choose one of seven other characters, too. It's a fun tool for die-hards, and a smart way to drive the natural symbiosis between TV and social media. Dubbing it "Mad Men Out of Office" seems a bit of a misnomer (as much as posting to Facebook may feel like clocking in to some). If you were going to be in the office on a Sunday night, you should obviously quit and watch Mad Men.

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CNNx Promises It’s a New Way to Watch News

April 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CNN embraced the digital component of its news service on Thursday when it announced CNNx, a new way to watch the network's programming. The app allows users to scroll through a rundown of the past 24 hours of programing on the network, and select what they want to watch with a tap of their fingertips. Viewers will be able to catch up on what they missed or see what’s up next on the docket. “CNNx is a really revolutionary advancement, and allows the consumer to be the producer. It allows the consumer to be able to enhance what they are watching and decide when they want to watch, when they want to watch it,” CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker told Adweek. Each news topic will contain the original newscast and additional digital content created just for CNNx consumers.

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FX Will Renew The Americans

April 9, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fans of the FX Cold War spy drama The Americans can rest easy about the show’s prospects, as the network is very close to announcing a formal third-season renewal. Speaking at an upfront breakfast event in New York this morning, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf said he was encouraged by The Americans’ creative direction and ratings performance. “We look forward to it being on our schedule for quite some time,” Landgraf said, adding that time-shifted viewing now accounts for nearly half of the show’s deliveries. In a February interview with Adweek, Landgraf said FX was essentially rushed to get Season 1 of The Americans on the air last winter, so that it could run all 13 episodes without preemptions while also avoiding the GRP suck that is the NBA Playoffs. “In the 10 years we’ve worked together there have been a few occasions when we picked up a show and then we had a date we had to back into,” Landgraf said. “The Americans is an example, between the scheduling and the fact that they had fairly short prep time in the writing and then Hurricane Sandy just wiped out the [Brooklyn] production offices. It was a really brutal first season … and I think we were very fortunate to come out of it. “And you just look at Season 2 … just that extra few weeks in the writers’ room, going into production—that amount of time has made a huge difference in everything: In the writing, in the production design, everything.” Through the first six episodes of Season 2, The Americans is averaging 1.43 million viewers and a 0.5 in the adults 18-49 demo, and while the live-plus-same-day deliveries are hardly robust, the show does a brisk business in playback. Per Nielsen, the season premiere jumped 81 percent in the demo upon application of live-plus-three-day data, and because so many of those views were delivered via on-demand platforms, the commercial content went largely unskipped. As FX and its spinoff net, FXX, have so much new comedy in the pipeline—recently picked-up series include The Tracy Morgan Project, The Comedians, You’re the Worst and Married, and a handful of other pilots are under consideration—Landgraf said a final decision on the sophomore series Legit and the new animated show Chozen will be made in due time. This season’s development slate marks the most robust in FX’s history , and it will boost the network’s roster of originals from 11 to 20. Particularly noteworthy newcomers include the

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Kentucky-Wisconsin Final Four Tilt Sets Cable Ratings Record

April 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The second of TBS’ historic Final Four telecasts, a white-knuckle battle between No. 8 seed Kentucky and the No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers, put up record numbers, making it the all-time most-watched nonfootball sporting event on cable. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the Kentucky-Wisco nail-biter drew 16.3 million total viewers and a whopping 9.2 household rating, easily outgunning the previous cable record holder. (ESPN’s telecast of the Japan-USA Women’s World Cup Final in 2011 had set the previous high-water mark with an average draw of 13.5 million viewers.) The late game, which Kentucky clinched on yet another late three-pointer from Aaron Harrison, was down only slightly from last year’s analogous matchup on CBS. The Michigan-Syracuse broadcast drew 17.1 million viewers and a 10.2 rating, making it the most-watched, highest-rated Final Four game since 2005. Kentucky’s 74-73 victory scared up the fifth biggest Final Four delivery and rating in the last 10 years

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The Top 10 Things That Would Happen on the Late Show With Stephen Colbert

April 5, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Today, Mashable reported that Comedy Central icon Stephen Colbert is a front-runner to replace David Letterman on CBS' Late Show. Only time will tell if there's truth to the speculation, but it's left us wondering about what would happen if such a transition came to pass. And, of course, we had to put it in the form of a Top 10 list. 10. Conan O'Brien would explode. 9. Bill Carter would get another book out of it. 8. John Michael Higgins

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Discovery’s Multi-Network Slate Covers a Lot of Turf

April 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In advance of this afternoon's upfront presentation, the Discovery networks, which include The Discovery Channel, TLC, OWN, Animal Planet, The Hub, Velocity, ID and several others, are all announcing programming deals. Keep checking this post throughout the day for updates. Okay, so (deep breath): Discovery Communications, the parent company, is creating a new production studio called New Form headed by Kathleen Grace. It will partner "with key distributors and brands;" if you want a clue to what that means, take a look at Grace's resume: her last port of call was YouTubeSpace LA, the Los Angeles production studio where YouTube's video creators produced, attended workshops and used YouTube-provided facilities. Expect to see close collaboration between New Form and Discovery's relatively recent acquisition, Revision3 . (Of course, in web time, it was eons ago. Remember when you could buy a web studio for a mere $30 million?) Brian Grazer and Ron Howard have financial stakes in the company

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