Posts Tagged ‘cable’

Anna Kendrick Meets Amy Schumer, and Won’t Soon Forget It, in MTV’s New Ad

February 4, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

We know how much you love Anna Kendrick, so here she is in yet another commercial where she gets to be funny and charming—this time at Amy Schumer's expense. Schumer is hosting the MTV Movie Awards in April, for which this serves as an early promo. Nothing too exciting happens, but it's entertaining nonetheless. If nothing else, Kendrick has shown time and again that she can make something out of nothing. "It was great to work with such a variety of comedians and actors in the campaign," said the director, Kim Nguyen of Backyard, in a statement. "It's fun leading them into different directions and providing an environment where they are willing to take chances and bring something different to each take. That collaboration really opened up so many funny possibilities that our entire crew was holding back laughter take after take." The MTV Movie Awards air on Sunday, April 12, at 8/7c.

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Viacom Is Trying Something New for Cable Upfront Season

February 2, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When the head of a major cable conglomerate calls ratings falloff "an important secular issue," it may be time to look for solutions outside traditional channels, and that's exactly what Viacom's ad sales team is doing. That remark, by the way, was made by Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman on the company's Q1 earnings call last week, and it's an important observation. Viewing habits are changing, and gross rating points are getting less and less desirable as network content flows through multiple, unmeasured channels. That hurts ad dollars. "Inadequate measurement undermines innovation and disproportionately impacts ... multiplatform experiences that viewers demand," Dauman told investors. "While it is currently a reality of our business, at Viacom we are not waiting for change." At client-only presentations in New York last month, Viacom laid out its upfront season pitch to offer more to (and hopefully get more from) its advertiser base.

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Bruce Jenner ‘Journey’ Docuseries In Development At E!

January 29, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

E! is developing a docuseries following Bruce Jenner’s “journey,” Variety has learned. The former Olympian and newly divorced husband to Kris Jenner of the Kardashian clan, which stars in several unscripted series at the cable network, has generated considerable speculation in the tabloid press that he is on the verge of revealing he is transgender. The... Read more

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Larry Wilmore on How He Landed The Nightly Report and What He Learned From Jon Stewart

January 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When CBS tapped Stephen Colbert to succeed David Letterman as its Late Show host, many people assumed Larry Wilmore—The Daily Show's "senior black correspondent" since 2006 — would be a natural fit to take over Colbert's 11:30 p.m. Comedy Central slot. But not Wilmore himself. "I didn't think about it at all. I was working on the Black-ish pilot at the time, so my mind was trying to get that going," said Wilmore, who had signed on as showrunner for the ABC comedy (he previously created The PJs and The Bernie Mac Show). But his Daily Show boss, Jon Stewart, set his sights on Wilmore, and last May, Comedy Central announced that he would indeed step in for Colbert to host The Minority Show with Larry Wilmore. The title ended up being short-lived. Fox began developing a series based on the 2002 Tom Cruise sci-fi film Minority Report, which would have forced Wilmore to use his show's full name on all platforms. So in November, the program was retitled The Nightly Report with Larry Wilmore. What hasn't changed is the show's concept: a mix of Wilmore's unique comic voice and a panel discussion about the day's pertinent issues. "No one has taken the point of view of the underdog, which is my view of the world," he said. "And Jon's idea was to populate it with people who don't always get a shot in that landscape. So it's a combination of those two things." Before The Nightly Report's well-received debut Monday, Wilmore sat down to discuss his new show, its last-minute name change and how mastering social media can be even more daunting than replacing Colbert. Adweek: I understand why you had to lose The Minority Report, but how tough was it to make that title change so late in the game? Larry Wilmore: Well, we made the call on the field, so to speak, before it really got too late. Part of our constructing the show was understanding how the audience sees content these days. They see it through social platforms—Twitter, Facebook—so your show has to live in those environments. And it was becoming very difficult to operate in those environments and having to use The Minority Report with Larry Wilmore as a complete tag all the time. We were being confined legally by doing that in all forms of everything, and it was becoming a nightmare.

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Conan Tours Taco Bell HQ, Visits the Test Kitchen and Ends Up Convulsing on the Floor

January 22, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If you've ever seen late-night mastermind Conan O'Brien venture into the real world and interact with the commoners, you know you're in for a treat whenever it happens. Turns out the head of Conan's I.T. department, Chris Hayes, is a Taco Bell superfan, eating it at least three times a week. As Conan is a benevolent boss, he decides to make Mr. Hayes' dream come true and take him to Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine, Calif. We get an interesting glimpse behind the tortilla curtain, where we see how the magic happens. But more important, comedy ensues as Conan and Hayes rollick through the chalupa palace, interacting with food taste testers, trying new creations in the "Innovation Kitchen" as well as inventing new ones like Conan's Irish-inspired concoction, "The O'Taco." It's not all flattering to the brand, but it ends up putting the chain in a good light just because it's so entertainingly honest. So, sit back and enjoy this hilarious tour of Taco Bell HQ, with your guide, Conan O'Brien.

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FX Wants to be the ‘Best’ Channel on TV, Not the Highest-Rated One

January 21, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

FX is now the No. 4 cable network when it comes to 18- to 49-year-olds, up from sixth place a year ago. While many networks in its position would be gunning for the top spot, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf made an unusual proclamation at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour: He'd rather be the "best" channel on TV instead of the top-rated one. "Obviously we want as many people as possible to watch our shows, we want them to be as highly rated as possible, but there's quite a range [of ratings], and we can support that range," said Landgraf, referring to some of FX's critically acclaimed, but lower-rated, shows like Louie and The Americans. "We're not really a channel that's trying to be the highest-rated channel in television. We're trying as hard as we possibly can to be the best channel in television, whatever that means. If we weren't therefore supporting shows that would help us get there, just because [they weren't among the highest-rated], we'd be idiots." That said, Landgraf's patience does have its limits: The Bridge's declining Season 2 audience forced him to cancel the drama last fall, despite a creative resurgence. Landgraf noted that more than 1,700 original seasons of television aired in 2014, up from the 1,300-plus in 2013. Per FX's research department, 353 scripted original series aired last year on U.S. broadcast, basic and premium cable, and on over the top platforms like Netflix. The number of original scripted series on basic and pay cable in prime-time doubled in the past five years, from 91 to 180. "The amount of competition is just literally insane," Landgraf said. However, "the reality is there's a whole lot of shows on television that are probably relevant to almost no one." FX thinks it's solved the relevancy problem with shows that seem to be resonating. The network's research department compiled all 2014's Top 10 lists from TV critics, and found that FX lagged behind only HBO on the highest representation of shows by network (250 for HBO and 213 for FX, with AMC in third place with 74). At this point, Landgraf said, "the race for the best in TV is really only a competition between two channels: [HBO and FX.]" He also discussed FX's decision to experiment with shows that stray from typical episode and season lengths, explaining that while The Sopranos and other dramas changed the game, eventually their formats "started to feel like a box in some cases

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TV Guide Network Relaunches as Pop, With Original Shows and No Annoying Scroll

January 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On Wednesday, free of scrolling listings, the TV Guide Network is relaunching as Pop, a network catering to "enthusiastic fandom" in pop culture. Pop is targeting a 35-45 audience that grew up in the late '80s and early '90s, a group that network president Brad Schwartz is calling the "modern grown-up" (Pop has copyrighted the term, which is the network's version of Bravo's "Affluencer" and Syfy's " Igniter ."). Instead of emulating E! or Bravo, Schwartz said the channel is patterning itself more after the pop culture-worshipping sensibilities of Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres. As Pop launches, all of TVGN's license agreements with its distributors remain intact, since the network—which will debut in more than 80 million homes—is still considered a general entertainment channel. "We're putting a different logo on it and a new energy and new programming, but we're still certainly exactly what we're defined to be," says Schwartz (who oversaw the rebranding of Fuse, as well). "We couldn't have turned this thing into a military channel or a sports channel or a kids channel, but what we're doing is exactly what our definitions are." Pop's "great channel position" also hasn't been affected by the rebranding, aside from the "more analog distributors, where TV Guide was still channel 5," who have relocated next to channels like E! Even better, all market agreements for TVGN's much-maligned TV listing scroll—which had been the network's initial reason for existing—finally lapsed six months ago

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Workaholics Star Adam Devine’s Bedtime Routine Includes Instagram Stalking

January 12, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Adam Devine Age 31 Claim to fame Star of Comedy Central's Workaholics (Season 5 debuts Jan. 14) and Adam Devine's House Party; voices Pizza Steve in Cartoon Network's Uncle Grandpa; plays Bumper in Pitch Perfect and the upcoming Pitch Perfect 2 Base Los Angeles Twitter @ADAMDEVINE What's the first information you consume in the morning? I just Google myself , see if there's any news out there, get on Twitter and look around. It's weird, that's where I get my news now. Like when [ESPN anchor] Stuart Scott died, I actually found that out through LeBron James' Twitter. We had an earthquake here in L.A. a few months back, which woke me up from my sleep, so I hopped online and looked at Twitter, and it was just, "Earthquake, earthquake, earthquake … Yep, that's it." Who do you follow? Other comedians like Chris D'Elia, Rick Glassman, but also a lot of people that aren't in my industry. I'm a huge L.A. Clippers fan, so I follow Blake Griffin. It's pretty rad how you're able to connect with your fans through Twitter, but also, all of a sudden, my idols are hitting me up too. Like during Comic-Con a couple of years ago, Blake Griffin messaged me on Twitter, and I almost shat my pants. I just kept yelling, "Blake Griffin is my homeboy!" all night. How are your Workaholics fans different from your Pitch Perfect fans on Twitter? With the Workaholics fans, they'll tweet me like, "If you ever come through Boston, man, we're smoking weed!" The Pitch Perfect fans are more like, "Oh, you look so cute in that shirt!" I'm like, how do you even know what I'm wearing right now?

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History Channel Heads West With New Texas Series, Shot in Classic CinemaScope

January 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Following the success of Hatfields & McCoys, History has another Western miniseries premiering on Memorial Day, this time focusing on

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Can Dead People Resurrect A&E’s Ratings?

January 9, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Things unraveled quickly for A&E in 2014: Its top-rated show, Duck Dynasty, plummeted to a 1.0 18-49 rating in November, and it canceled its second-most popular show, Longmire, which skewed too old for its advertisers. ( Netflix picked it up for Season 4. ) As A&E tries to right the ship in 2015, the network is focusing on its loyal audience for Bates Motel (which averaged 4.1 million viewers each week during Season 2) with its new drama, The Returned. At the Television Critics Association's winter press tour on Friday, A&E revealed that The Returned

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