Posts Tagged ‘cable’

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

Read More

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).

Read More

ABC Family Doubles Down on Original Programming to Reach Young Women

April 14, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As women between 14 and 29 enter new life phases, ABC Family wants to be the channel they flip to for programming that helps them navigate the next step. The cable network will announce at its upfront presentation in New York on Tuesday that it will double its original programming slate over the next four years. While the shows will vary from scripted dramas to reality series, they'll all be conscious of evolving technology and incorporate digital media and mobile viewing options. "This current market, there's a lot of pundits saying it's very weak," ABC Family evp of sales and marketing

Read More

ABC Family Doubles Down on Original Programming to Reach Young Women

April 14, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As women between 14 and 29 enter new life phases, ABC Family wants to be the channel they flip to for programming that helps them navigate the next step. The cable network will announce at its upfront presentation in New York on Tuesday that it will double its original programming slate over the next four years. While the shows will vary from scripted dramas to reality series, they'll all be conscious of evolving technology and incorporate digital media and mobile viewing options. "This current market, there's a lot of pundits saying it's very weak," ABC Family evp of sales and marketing

Read More

Amy Schumer Unleashes a ‘Big Booty’ Anthem to Rule Them All

April 14, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Comedy Central's Inside Amy Schumer is back for another season on April 21, but instead of a boring promo, she made a satirical music video offering an important cultural perspective on booty anthems, with the help of Method Man and Amber Rose. If you don't know the childhood rhyme about bodily fluids—"Milk, milk, lemonade, round the corner fudge is made," where kids dance about the playground gleefully pointing to the relevant body parts—then I'm sorry. You missed an important part of American culture. But your sad excuse for a childhood aside, we can all appreciate Amy bringing back this delightfully crass little jingle for a booty anthem that's almost good enough to actually make it to the charts. I think Schumer or Method Man or Rose or somebody realized it was a little too good, though, about halfway through, when you really get an urge to shake your rump along. So they decided that if you didn't get that this is humor, they would start chanting, "This is where my poop comes out." It is this transcendent moment, my friends, where this promo becomes a viral piece in the making that you know you are going to send to all your friends. In fact, the video probably doesn't need all the star power it's got, which also includes Amber Tamblyn (from Two and a Half Men) and Jemima Kirke (from Girls). Tegardless of how many rump-shaking celebrities you witness in this three-minute masterpiece, your main takeaway will be an unending refrain of "This is where my poop comes out," stuck in your head for the rest of the day. You're welcome.

Read More

A Day After Their Season Premieres, HBO Renews Veep and Silicon Valley

April 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The day after the season premieres of Veep and Silicon Valley, HBO announced it's renewing the two Sunday night comedies for 2016. "Veep and Silicon Valley are terrific series, and I'm immensely proud that they will return to HBO next year," said Michael Lombardo, HBO programming chief. Silcon Valley returned Sunday night for its 10-episode second season with fictional startup Pied Piper in search of venture capital funding. Veep's return featured now President Selina Meyer—played by Emmy-winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus—fumbling her way through an address to Congress. While the cast of Veep will be back for Season 5, creator Armando Iannucci will not, reports The Hollywood Reporter. HBO's other Sunday night staples, Game of Thrones and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, already got the green light for next season.

Read More

USA Network Is Trying to Reach Millennials With More Dramas and More WWE

April 7, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

USA Network understands that audience demographics are changing. To further appeal to the mainstream, the NBCUniversal property is working on a new strategy to reach millennials. USA announced Tuesday at its 2015 Upfront press breakfast in New York that it is banking heavily on dramas, starting this summer, and shying away from its traditional half-hour scripted comedies. The network is placing its biggest bet so far on

Read More

Robert Downey Jr. Is Getting an Award for Reaching the MTV Generation

April 2, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

He's a movie star who has played other movie stars. Now Robert Downey Jr. will be honored for his work at the upcoming MTV Movie Awards. Downey will receive the MTV Generation Award, which honors an actor "who has engaged the MTV audience throughout their career." His "Avengers: Age of Ultron" co-stars Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner will present the award at the April 12 show. "Throughout his career, Robert Downey Jr. has mesmerized audiences by capturing the humanity in larger-than-life characters like Charlie Chaplin, Sherlock Holmes and Tony Stark," said MTV president Stephen Friedman. Last year's awards averaged 2.8 million viewers, down from 3.8 million in 2013. MTV is hoping an Avenger-filled awards show—airing before the May 1 release of the Marvel sequel—will bring viewers back. Last year, the awards went up against the return of Mad Men on AMC Official sponsors of the MTV Movie Awards, which will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles, include Fiat, Geico, Taco Bell and T-Mobile.

Read More

Comcast CFO to Step Down, Launch Investment Firm with Cable Giant

March 31, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Comcast is making a big change in its senior management team as chief financial officer Michael Angelakis is stepping down to launch a technology and media investment firm with $4 billion in backing from Comcast. “This is a time of tremendous change and opportunity in our core technology and media industries, as well as in... Read more

Read More

So Who Is Trevor Noah, the Guy Replacing Jon Stewart on The Daily Show?

March 30, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Trevor Noah is not a household name, or at least he wasn't yesterday. The comedian has been a Daily Show contributor for all of three months, and now he's taking over the whole thing when Jon Stewart departs "sometime later this year," in the words of Comedy Central president Michele Ganeless. But the network is confident it has the right person for the job. "He's extraordinary," Ganeless said. "Do yourself a favor and watch some of his stand-up. He brings a truly layered take on the world both because of his upbringing, but also because he works everywhere and does stand-up everywhere." The South African comedian's mother is Xhosa ;

Read More