Posts Tagged ‘cable’

IFC Has a New Documentary Parody Show From SNL Alums

March 20, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

IFC announced its upfront slate just shy of this evening's presentation in Manhattan. The agenda for the 2014-15 season (or the cable equivalent thereof) includes American Documentary, a new series created by Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers and Bill Hader; as well as a scripted half-hour called American Storage, created by Children's Hospital showrunner Rob Huebel. SNL mastermind Lorne Michaels will produce American Documentary, which the network says will be shot "on location" with a first season of six half-hour episodes as it explores the lives of fictional people in presumably real places.

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Killing Jesus Will Be 4 Hours Long With a Teleplay by the Writer of the Wild Bunch

March 19, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Yes, the Bill O'Reilly book-based special to end all Bill O'Reilly book-based specials is too large for just one evening: the National Geographic Channel will air Killing Jesus (to be produced by Ridley Scott, as were partnerships Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy) over two nights and four hours, with a teleplay by Walon Green. National Geographic went big on this year's upfront presentation after several years of smaller-scale one-on-ones with press. As the network has grown under David Lyle since his appointment to the CEO position in 2011, it's had help from corporate siblings (new Fox broadcasting hit Cosmos re-airs on the network on Mondays), but it's also managed to grow its own hits, notably last year's Brain Games, which earned both plaudits and legions of imitators before it even aired. Rich Goldfarb, head of ad sales for the network, said that the company had had particular success with integrated ads in the previous year. General Motors, among others, has had trucks featured in the Alaskan Wild, and Goldfarb said Brain Games had lent itself well to integrated advertising. "If you'd asked me to come up with a show to sell to advertisers, I would have come up with Brain Games," he said. The network's batting average has gotten very high: the upfront boasted three renewals (for a second season) and six returning series (for a third season or greater). Among the new shows on the network were You Can't Lick Your Elbow, which, in addition to its informative title, will teach viewers about things their bodies can (and cannot, no matter how far you bend your neck) do. NatGeo is calling this genre of programming "smartertainment" and seems to be looking for shows to tap into the same market that likes Brain Games—other series include Crowd Control, about how to encourage good behavior in public, and Going Deep with comedian David Rees, a show about how improve everyday activities like shoe-tying (the press kit handed out at the end of the presentation included a 200-page-plus book by Rees called How to Sharpen Pencils). In other genres, the network is in familiar territory. There's a small-business show called Fish Tank Kings, a miniseries recalling both the format and the perspective of NatGeo's The 80's called The 90's (the title card featured both O.J. and Bill Clinton being sworn in), and Dr. Oakley: Yukon Vet, about veterinarian Michelle Oakley, who told Adweek she'd recently been avoiding stampeding elephants in Sri Lanka (and had video to prove it). NatGeo also has a new documentary called The War Generals set for release, featuring interviews with David Petraeus, Colin Powell, Stanley McChrystal, and Wesley Clark, among others.

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ABC Family Upfront Is a Table Read and Screening of Pretty Little Liars

March 19, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ABC Family isn't messing with success: this evening's upfront took place in the form of a table read (followed by a screening) of the season finale for Pretty Little Liars, one of the most popular shows on television in the teen/young adult demo (women 12-34). Rather than screen new material, the network is simply deepening its bench: no new series green lights were announced, but executives have commissioned three new pilots. The first and most interesting, Alice in Arabia, has caused controversy despite having only been in the news for a few hours. The drama follows a teenage American girl kidnapped by her extended Saudi Arabian family who "is held a virtual prisoner in her grandfather's royal compound." Written by a former U.S. Army cryptolinguist who supported NSA missions in the Middle East, the plot summary for the pilot generated controversy with a line about the protagonist trying to get home "while surviving life behind the veil." (Anti-Islamic sentiments frequently single out veils and head scarves.) So there were plenty of tweets like this online:

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MTV Gets Social With Teen Wolf Memorial Site

March 18, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Back in the day, Scott Howard was an undersized point guard with a bad outside hook shot and a self-professed egg allergy. For reasons that are never fully explained in the 1985 film, Teen Wolf, the 5’ 3” Everyman ( Michael J. Fox ) is transformed into a basketball prodigy when his familial lycanthropy kicks in, presumably at the onset of puberty. (This makes no sense. Air Bud aside, dogs suck at basketball.) Flash forward 30 years [!], and Scott’s surname is now McCall, and instead of roundball, he devotes himself to the sport of kings and New England meatheads, lacrosse. MTV’s Teen Wolf is a lot darker as well—whereas at the end of the theatrical, Scott Howard realizes that his true love is his buddy Lisa “Boof” Marconi , the furry 21st Century incarnation has much worse luck with girls. In fact [SPOILER ALERT], Scott’s ex, Allison Argent , is not only descended from a long line of werewolf hunters, but she’s also, like, totally dead. Having taken a sword blade in the midsection, Allison (Crystal Reed) dies in the arms of her lax bro beau, which is where the story really takes off. Immediately after the credits rolled in Season 3’s second-to-last installment, MTV went live with the community site, TeenWolfMemorial.com . Visitors to the site are greeted with the trappings of Neo Goth grief, including a blank headstone, a spray of fresh-cut white roses and some dark, loamy topsoil. Click through to continue to the “memorial” and there’s the wonkily photoshopped Teen Wolf cast, moodily huddled around a grave marker that is already growing mossy around the edges. (Beacon Hills is hella damp, yo.) Carved into the stone above Allison’s name is a French phrase that translates to “We protect those who cannot protect themselves,” which essentially served as the Argents’ motto and raison d’

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ABC Is Top Banana in 4A’s Homes

March 18, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Although it’s destined to finish last again this season among broadcast’s Big Four, ABC boasts a much higher profile in the homes of ad agency types. According to a new study from Collective , 4A’s members and their families watch ABC more than any other major TV network. In fact, the two most-watched shows among the 4A’s set are the long-running newsmagazine 20/20 and the freshman comedy Super Fun Night—both of which call ABC home. If those results are rather surprising—20/20 airs on low HUT-level Friday nights, while Super Fun Night averaged only 5.1 million viewers over its brief run—there’s more where that came from. For instance, while it just cracks the top 20 in terms of overall prime-time deliveries, Bravo is the most-watched cable network in 4A’s circles, beating out the likes of ESPN, AMC and CNN. 4A’s members also preferred the now-defunct NBC comedy Sean Saves the World , and the offspring of these brand marketers and advertisers are more likely to watch the CW’s Arrow than any other program. While Collective and agency partner ZenithOptimedia admittedly are working within the confines of a rather narrow constituency, the study was designed to illustrate some greater truths about optimizing media buys. “Obviously, it’s great to make 4A’s Transformation attendees the center of attention,” said Collective CEO Joe Apprendi. “It’s a way to validate what they’re watching—you look out and see a lot of nodding heads in the audience—while presenting a much more clear picture of exactly how TV analytics works.” In order to gather the data, Collective placed a pixel on the 4A’s homepage , which allowed it to track correlations between online behavior and TV viewing habits, as illuminated by Rentrak set-top box data. In a more generalized execution, engagement and attentiveness metrics would be brought to bear to create a highly detailed index of online activity as it relates to TV usage. ZenithOptimedia president, activation John Nitti will present the findings of the optimization study today at 10:30 a.m. PDT, alongside his colleague, Zenith svp, director of research John Nuding.

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City of Los Angeles Files $10 Million Suit Against Time Warner Cable

March 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The city of Los Angeles is suing Time Warner Cable for nearly $10 million in allegedly unpaid franchise fees, a backlog that stretches back to 2010. In a complaint filed Friday with the United States District Court for the Central District of California, city attorney Mike Feuer charged Time Warner Cable with bilking the municipality to the tune of $9.7 million, a sum that includes $7.19 million in unpaid 2010 and 2011 franchise fees and another $2.51 million in delinquent payments from the previous two years. “Time Warner Cable has derived billions of dollars from its cable television franchise in the city of Los Angeles, yet stubbornly continues to flout its statutory obligations to compensate the city … fully for this privilege,” the complaint reads, before going on to note that the cable operator generates “more than $1 billion in revenue every two years from the residents of Los Angeles, a sum dwarfing the fees it is required to pay the city in return.” The city’s attorneys said that the unpaid franchise fees and Public, Educational, Government use fees represent millions that could be put to use to pay firefighter and police officer salaries and maintain parks and libraries. While the charges in the suit are characteristically byzantine, the city’s central argument would appear to boil down to the “precipitous and wrongful withholding” of contractually owed monies. Feuer’s office seems particularly enraged by the fact that the operator underpaid by as much as $5.22 million at the end of the city’s 2010-11 financial year, which only served to “exacerbate the City’s well-publicized fiscal crisis.” The defendants cited in the 24-page complaint are Time Warner Cable, Inc., Time Warner Cable Pacific West, Time Warner Cable Enterprises and the Time Warner Entertainment Advance/Newhouse Partnership.

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City of Los Angeles Files $10 Million Suit Against Time Warner Cable

March 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The city of Los Angeles is suing Time Warner Cable for nearly $10 million in allegedly unpaid franchise fees, a backlog that stretches back to 2010. In a complaint filed Friday with the United States District Court for the Central District of California, city attorney Mike Feuer charged Time Warner Cable with bilking the municipality to the tune of $9.7 million, a sum that includes $7.19 million in unpaid 2010 and 2011 franchise fees and another $2.51 million in delinquent payments from the previous two years. “Time Warner Cable has derived billions of dollars from its cable television franchise in the city of Los Angeles, yet stubbornly continues to flout its statutory obligations to compensate the city … fully for this privilege,” the complaint reads, before going on to note that the cable operator generates “more than $1 billion in revenue every two years from the residents of Los Angeles, a sum dwarfing the fees it is required to pay the city in return.” The city’s attorneys said that the unpaid franchise fees and Public, Educational, Government use fees represent millions that could be put to use to pay firefighter and police officer salaries and maintain parks and libraries. While the charges in the suit are characteristically byzantine, the city’s central argument would appear to boil down to the “precipitous and wrongful withholding” of contractually owed monies. Feuer’s office seems particularly enraged by the fact that the operator underpaid by as much as $5.22 million at the end of the city’s 2010-11 financial year, which only served to “exacerbate the City’s well-publicized fiscal crisis.” The defendants cited in the 24-page complaint are Time Warner Cable, Inc., Time Warner Cable Pacific West, Time Warner Cable Enterprises and the Time Warner Entertainment Advance/Newhouse Partnership.

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Nickelodeon’s Jim Perry Is Courting More Adult Advertisers

March 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Nickelodeon revealed its slate to advertisers yesterday, and while it's all squeaky-clean kids' fare (well, relatively speaking: "As you can see from the reel, bathroom humor still works," observed Nickelodeon president Cyma Zarghami during the presentation), the network is seeking ad partners with a greater emphasis on categories you wouldn't necessarily associate with children. "Kindle is sponsoring the Kids' Choice Awards," said Jim Perry, head of sales for the Nickelodeon group (which includes Nick proper, Nick Jr. and Nick at Nite), "and we now have over 15 retailers on our air—everything from Target and old Navy to Stride Rite and the Burlington Coat Factory." Obviously, that's not because kids are stealing the car and driving to Target. For many years, the rule that advertisers direct their ads at parents and not children was regarded as pro forma by clients. But in recent years, heightening standards (and parental activism) around unhealthy foods, coupled with the decline of the traditional toy market, have meant that advertisers really do have to use Nick—which controls the vast majority of saleable GRPs in the kids' market—to talk to parents themselves. Perry is way ahead of them. "You can really build a great financial literacy campaign around saving and learning the value of a dollar whether or not you're showing a credit card ad," he said. Placements and integrations like Toyota's SpongeBob ... uh, mobile

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A&E Shelves Those Who Kill

March 13, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After two weeks of soft ratings, A&E has taken the new Chlo

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Cartoon Network Upfront: Established Names and an Invitation to Native Advertisers

March 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Cartoon Network is forgoing a traditional New York advertiser presentation for a second year running, but the kids' network hasn't been idle: new series including offbeat comedy Clarence and Elijah Wood-starring miniseries Over the Garden Wall are a part of the network's 2014-15 slate. But the real juice in the network's new list of green-lights seems to be in the world of established intellectual property. The network's next major project is its digital "micro-network," Cartoon Network Anything, which will include new short form—very short-form, like 10-15 seconds—content optimized for mobile viewing. It's where the network will be pushing its ad sales the hardest, from the sound of the statement: Network reps touted "unique sponsorship opportunities for Cartoon Network’s business partners" and called it "a perfect platform for native advertising," which has been a very successful strategy for Adult Swim. "Cartoon Network Anything invites innovative advertising and sponsored content that suits the medium and that will feel organic to the overall micro-network," the statement said. CN has a new version of the Tom & Jerry Show in the works, along with Wabbit—A Looney Tunes Production (a Bugs Bunny series), Be Cool Scooby-Doo (self-evident), Sonic Boom (following Sonic the Hedgehog), and two shows with toy company tie-ins—Lego's Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitsu and Takara Tomy's Beyraiderz, an anime series that features toys sold in the U.S

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