Posts Tagged ‘hollywood’

Why Next Season Could Be the New Golden Age of the Family Sitcom

May 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Don't expect the classic sitcom Leave It to Beaver or squeaky-clean '90s shows like Family Matters and Perfect Strangers. But come next season, there's likely to be an abundance of new family-centric half hours on network TV. Added to returning hits like Modern Family, Black-ish and Mom, family comedies could take up more space on prime-time schedules than they have in decades. Hollywood's producers pumped out nearly 30 family-based comedy pilots during the recent development season, leaping ahead of other popular subgenres like workplace and relationship shows. This trend toward home and hearth is no accident. Several television executives made their 2016-17 schedule priorities clear in recent months, with CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller telling The Hollywood Reporter that his must-have for next season was a "big family multicam," meaning a traditional three-camera comedy filmed in front of an audience. NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt cited "comedy, comedy, comedy" as his focus for the year, while ABC—which has had the most recent success in the genre—has once again looked at families of all stripes for its potential comedy pickups.

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Steve Harvey’s Secret to Making 5 Shows at the Same Time? Relatability and Humor

May 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC's Sunday night audience vanishes after Sunday Night Football concludes each January, so the network had modest expectations for the 18-49 demo performance of Steve Harvey's variety series Little Big Shots before it premiered in March. "I was told by some folks at NBC, 'We want a 1.2 [rating], and we're going to be tipping champagne glasses,'" Harvey recalls. Instead, the numbers for his America's Got Talent/Kids Say the Darndest Things hybrid, in which talented children from around the world show off their skills and swap zingers with Harvey, more than doubled that during its first Sunday airing: a 2.8 rating, with 15 million total viewers tuning in. The surprise midseason hit ended up as the network's No. 2 show this season in both total viewers and 18-49 (behind only The Voice) and kept the bubbly flowing at the network. "They're drunk right now at NBC," says Harvey, laughing as he reels off the names of top brass at NBC and its parent company. "I know for a fact Paul Telegdy is drunk right now—and Bob Greenblatt, Steve Burke from Comcast and Ted Harbert." Harvey hosts his radio show out of Atlanta

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Tribeca Film Review: ‘Always Shine’

April 16, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Hitchcockian doubles from Hollywood’s lowest rungs retreat to Big Sur for a weekend of hiking, drinking and mutual torment in “Always Shine.”

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TV One Just Nabbed the Cable Rights for Fox’s Smash Hit ‘Empire’

April 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

TV One is entering its awkward middle-school years, but as the African-American themed channel heads into its 12th year, it sees an opportunity for reinvention. "The great thing about adolescence is that we're not quite fully formed; we're ready to try new things," Rahsan Lindsay, evp of sales, told buyers today during TV One's upfront presentation at the Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in New York. During its first 11 years, the network positioned itself as a culturally relevant, family-friendly channel for African-American audiences. And it's coming off a year in which it saw its highest ratings and revenue, thanks to a 23 percent increase in original content. "That has served us well and still serves us well," said TV One president Brad Siegel. "But we need to move forward. We need, as an adolescent, to grow." Even though it's only four months into 2016, Siegel and svp of programming and production D'Angela Proctor spent the majority of the presentation looking ahead to 2017, save for one big announcement: The network acquired the cable rights to Fox's hit drama Empire. In May, TV One will air a marathon of all 17 episodes of Empire's second season in the lead-up to the season finale on Fox. Then in the summer, it will start airing both seasons of the show

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CinemaCon: Korean Immersive Format ScreenX Targets Hollywood And China

April 7, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Unwrapping its ScreenX immersive technology at CinemaCon, CJ-CGV hopes to dazzle exhibitors and filmmakers from Hollywood and China.

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NBCUniversal Will Combine Its Cable, NBC and Telemundo Upfront Presentations

March 30, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The broadcast upfront week just got a lot more interesting—and a little bit shorter. NBCUniversal has decided to merge its NBC, Telemundo and NBCU cable entertainment upfronts into a single NBCU presentation, which will be held on Monday, May 16 at New York's Radio City Music Hall. The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter . Traditionally, NBC has had the Monday Radio City upfront to itself, with Telemundo following on Tuesday evening, and NBCU cable wrapping upfront week with a Thursday afternoon event at the Javits Center. Now, Linda Yaccarino, chairman, advertising sales and client partnerships for NBCUniversal, will make just one upfront pitch to advertisers and buyers that week instead of three separate ones. "As a media company, we have an unparalleled array of networks and digital platforms that reach the most audiences across all dayparts. Our event will reflect the way we go to market as a unified portfolio which makes it easier for our clients to do business with us all together," said Yaccarino said in a statement. "There isn't going to be an upfront event as big and bold as this one. Through our content, we have an unrivaled ability to create an emotional connection like no one else. There's only one place to go for scale and meaningful consumer engagement." In many ways, it's a move that makes sense for NBCU, which has been transacting all of its advertising under a single, companywide portfolio since 2013. Last year's upfront brought in $6 billion across the portfolio. Last November, Yaccarino continued streamlining NBCU ad sales by merging her linear and digital ad sales teams . "Because of the scale of our company, we needed to be more accessible in a bigger, faster way to our clients," who had been requesting a more streamlined method of working with the company, she told Adweek at the time. This will also mark the end of NBCU's combined cable upfront, which the network had added to broadcast upfront week in 2014. Previously, it held individual upfronts for its cable networks like Bravo, USA and Oxygen. Advertisers and buyers will certainly appreciate having two fewer upfronts to attend during that overstuffed week, especially because so many of them have run out of steam by the time they arrive at NBCU's cable presentation on Thursday afternoon. But that Monday upfront—which will now cover Bravo, CNBC, E!, Esquire Network, Golf Channel, MSNBC, NBC Entertainment, NBC News, NBC Sports Network, NBC Universo, Oxygen, Sprout, Syfy, Telemundo and USA—could easily turn into a marathon, as each of those broadcast and cable networks will get their due. Plus, Yaccarino will also need to highlight her team's new initiatives, including selling TV advertising programmatically for the first time this fall . The new format also puts NBC at a disadvantage compared to its fellow broadcast networks, which won't need to share the spotlight as much, if at all, during their respective upfronts later that week. It's also unlikely that the combined upfront will allow for spectacles like NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt's duet with Dolly Parton , which was a memorable, surreal highlight of last year's NBC presentation.

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How Hollywood Is Successfully Tapping Into Faith-Based Audiences

March 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Hollywood, sometimes considered the last place to find anything divine, has seen the light lately, releasing a flood of faith-infused entertainment that includes TriStar's Heaven Is for Real, Focus Features' The Young Messiah and a live musical version of The Passion on Fox (which aired on Sunday, March 20). And just in time for Easter, the uplifting family drama, Miracles From Heaven, starring Jennifer Garner and Queen Latifah, is expected to hold its own against the big-budget dystopian thriller The Divergent Series: Allegiant. "Hollywood is churning out faith content with a pace and frequency that has not been seen in a generation," said Chris Stone, founder of advocacy and marketing group Faith Driven Consumer. "There's been a real effort to improve the quality, and we've gone from $2 million movies to $20 million movies aimed at the faith crowd." Among the recent hits: Sony's resurrection story Risen has pulled in a respectable $32 million since its February release, and last fall's paean to prayer, War Room, nearly dethroned Straight Outta Compton for the top box office spot, opening at $11 million on one-third as many screens as the N.W.A. biopic. It eventually made $67 million. God's Not Dead 2, a sequel to the $60 million-grossing original about religious freedom, launches April 1. One of the most anticipated films of the year, Paramount and MGM's remake of the iconic swords-and-sandals epic Ben-Hur premieres in August, the same weekend that Lionsgate opens The Shack, based on a best-selling Christian novel. Marketing for values-centric projects, often aimed squarely at the country's churchgoers, has added sophisticated microtargeting and extensive social media to its arsenal, going "direct to pew" to tap into a traditionally underserved audience, Stone said. Grassroots tactics still lead the way, with studios and for-hire Christian outreach firms setting up church screenings and group ticket sales, gathering pastors and Bible study groups for early endorsements and producing educational and sermon-ready materials. In essence, everyone's using the playbook written during the massive on-the-ground campaign a decade ago for Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, the most successful faith-based film in history. That approach is often still effective, but there are digital-age updates

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A Year After Rebranding as Pop, the Old TV Guide Network Has Added Almost 100 New Advertisers

March 21, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A year after rising from the ashes of the TV Guide Network, Pop is still making noise with viewers and advertisers—and the network is entering this year's upfront with a lot of confidence for a network that just turned 1. As Michael DuPont, evp of ad sales, and his team hold upfront meetings—this year's theme is "Shift to Pop"—with clients, agencies and media planners around the country, Pop has announced a new slate of shows that represent 400 hours of original programming. TV Guide Network relaunched as Pop in January 2015 , with the new network targeting "modern grown-ups" who are pop culture enthusiasts. While last year's upfront, which took place shortly after the rebrand, featured "a lot of showmanship," said Pop president Brad Schwartz, this year, "There's no more selling any hype. We get to go into this upfront confident that what we built is working." While ratings have been down across the industry, Pop—and TVGN before it—has experienced nine consecutive quarters of year-over-year growth. In Q4 of 2015, its "core sales demo" of women 25-54 was up 30 percent in total day viewers and 27 percent in prime time versus the previous year. In the 18-49 demo during the same quarter, Pop was up 27 percent in total day and 15 percent in prime time. Its main competitors, including Lifetime, Oxygen and Bravo, were down or flat in those demos during that same timeframe, said Schwartz

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China’s Huayi and Tencent Prepare Vehicle for Deals in Hollywood, Korea

March 11, 2016  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Notwithstanding a director in jail, new vehicle for Huayi and Tencent is on the lookout for acquisitions in Hollywood and Korea.

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After Spoofing SI’s Swimsuit Issue, FX’s Archer Wants You To Turn Off Your Cell Phones in Theaters

March 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

FX has been making a lot of noise with its marketing campaign for Archer's upcoming Season 7, which has already spoofed the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and recreated Magnum P.I.'s opening credits. But now, the network's marketing team is quieting things down for the next phase of its Archer campaign: a new PSA urging movie theaters to silence their cell phones. The spot, which will begin airing Friday in Spotlight Cinema Networks' 200 arthouse venues nationwide, features Archer and Lana, the stars of FX's hit animated comedy. It will run for three weeks, until Thursday, March 31, the day of Archer's Season 7 premiere. This is the third time that Archer's production team, Floyd County Productions, has created a "turn off your cell phone" PSA for Spotlight. "We've done different sequences each year. We change it up and have a whole new setting," said Lance Reiss, svp of marketing for FX. The previous spots were both gold winners in the PromaxBDA Awards' "Promos at the Movies" category, in 2015 and 2013. Last month, the network partnered with Sports Illustrated to feature faux swimsuit shots of its female characters in the swimsuit issue and "The Girls of Archer" branded content online. Because Archer is animated, most of the marketing requires close collaboration between Reiss' team and the show's executive producers, Adam Reed and Matt Thompson, who need to incorporate any marketing-related animation into the show's production schedule. "Yes, they are extremely busy making a show, but the great thing is I think they're marketers at heart too, because they really respond when we come to them," said Reiss. For example, Reed and Thompson came up with one of the first components of this year's campaign: the shot-for-shot remake of Magnum P.I.'s opening credits, featuring the Archer cast, which FX posted in early February to tease season 7, which finds the former spies moving to L.A. to work as private investigators. "So that's part of a collaboration of, they have an idea, can we make it part of our marketing campaign, or we have an idea for our marketing campaign, can they help us out with it? That's where it's really become such a dynamic collaboration between the network and the animation studio," said Reiss. "We help motivate each other, and in the end, I think it benefits the show and keeps the show fresh." And there's more to come, said Reiss. "We capitalized on the SI swimsuit issue, but there are other key themes and events that are going on in the marketplace—political buzz, spring break—so we decided to take our Archer-esque shot at those as well," he said. To capitalize on the country's fascination/revulsion with Donald Trump's Presidential campaign, FX is partnering with Uproxx on a feature—"Who Said It Best: Trump or Archer?"—which will run next week. "It's very timely, and it's perfect in tone with the show, as well as capitalizing on what's happening around us in society," said Reiss, who previously worked with Uproxx last year on branded content featuring "hacked" naked photos from the phone of Archer character Pam Poovey . The network has partnered with the website Total Frat Move to feature a photo submission contest centered around spring break, and Pam Poovey's 10 tips for spring break

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