Posts Tagged ‘nbc’

‘Hannibal’ Season Finale Proves Series Should Have Skipped Third Course (SPOILERS)

May 24, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Give showrunner Bryan Fuller and company credit for getting this much mileage out of NBC’s “Hannibal” prequel, which — given its relationship with the movies — seemed like a high-wire act from the get-go. Yet watching the second-season finale the prevailing sense was that their contortions to prolong the series have simply made all the... Read more

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A Low Note for American Idol

May 22, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Is that a fat lady singing? American Idol did manage to beat CBS' venerable reality competition show Survivor on Wednesday night, but not by much: The show scored a 2.6 in the demo with 10.1 million total viewers—down quite a bit from last year's season finale. The day before, the show scored a mere 1.7 million demo viewers and 6.6 million total—little more than half of last season's first finale episode and an all-time total-viewer low. Not good. Part of the problem with Idol is simply that it's aging up—if you were 37 when the show first came on, you're no longer in the demo—but there's also plain old lack of interest with which to contend. The season started with 15.2 million viewers and a 4.7 rating in the demo and by Tuesday it was barely moving the needle. And there are new series to contend with—NBC's The Voice, which is only three seasons old and looks like the prettiest girl at the dance standing next to Idol, even with a disappointing 3.3 demo rating on Tuesday. The show is coming back for season 14; Ryan Seacrest will still host, Harry Connick Jr. will return, and Jennifer Lopez and Keith Urban are both expected to stick around, too. Not for nothing, but exactly one of these people is on the Billboard 100 this week (Urban, at #58). The show has tried to stack the deck with guests, some better than others (Jason Mraz? Really?), and John Legend, who sits at #1 on that chart, appeared during the show's finale, which may have helped it rally to the extent it did, but The Voice has made its mark by employing higher-profile regulars than its competitor. It may either be time to severely recast the Fox show, or to count it out. Malaya Watson & John Legend - All Of Me... by IdolxMuzic

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ABC Dips a Toe into the Programmatic Pool

May 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While it executed all the expected dance moves, screening cut-downs of its fall series before letting late-night prankster Jimmy Kimmel off the leash for his annual Friar’s Club roast of the broadcast biz, ABC on Tuesday afternoon had at least one surprise up its sleeve. Speaking to media buyers and advertisers during the network’s 2014-15 upfront presentation , ABC ad sales president Geri Wang announced that her team plans to begin kicking the tires on programmatic. “We’re creating a private marketplace for our TV customers, allowing you to reserve ABC digital video using your buyer platform,” Wang said.

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NBC Renews ‘Law & Order: SVU’ for 16th Season

May 7, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

NBC has renewed “Law & Order: SVU” for a 16th season after some behind the scenes wrangling with exec producer Dick Wolf. The last surviving series from the “Law & Order” dynasty had a solid year ratings-wise and there is renewed buzz about Emmy prospects for star Mariska Hargitay. But there were financial considerations that... Read more

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NBC Renews iHeart Radio Music Awards For 2015

May 6, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

After broadcasting its first-ever live iHeart Radio Music Awards, NBC and Clear Channel have renewed the awards show for 2015. Over 5.5 million viewers tuned in for the event, roughly doubling the net’s prior week’s average with series programming. The show aired over 150 iHeart radio stations across the country and included performances by Pharrell, Pitbull,... Read more

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Fox Looks to ‘Sweep’ Its Rivals With 24 Reboot

May 2, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A week of May sweeps has been burned off and yet the broadcast networks have yet to air a single tent pole event. But while it’s been business as usual at the Big Four, a flurry of high-profile miniseries, limited-run serials and Very Special Episodes are set to air in the coming weeks. Perhaps the most anticipated scripted-TV event of the spring is Fox’s two-hour premiere of Fox’s 24: Live Another Day (Monday, May 5). While much has changed since Jack Bauer last saved the world four years ago (the action takes place in London, and the CTU gang has been scattered to the four winds), the reboot bears all the hallmarks of the original. (Breakneck narrative reversals? Check. Split screens, ticking clocks and assassination plots? You bet.) Arriving nearly two months to the day after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, 24 was nothing if not cathartic. While the subterranean fires still blazed between Vesey St. and Liberty St., Kiefer Sutherland’s rump-punting CTU agent was a human placebo of sorts, doing his bit to alleviate the shell shock of that horrible interval with his fictional acts of derring-do, while the real-world Federales bumbled around their war rooms and command centers.

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C7 Ratings to Free Up Hundreds of Millions in Hidden Revenue

April 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While the broadcast networks are pressuring agencies and clients to start writing more deals against a C7 ratings currency, at first blush, it would appear that there’s little cause to rush into a paradigm shift. But nothing could be further from the truth. Based on a close examination of each broadcast series’ C3 and C7 deliveries, there would appear to be very little to gain from adding the extra four days of playback to the data stream. For the period spanning Sept. 23, 2012 through March 30, 2013, the vast majority of network shows have demonstrated no lift whatsoever upon conversion from the C3 currency to the more inclusive C7 metric. In the rare cases where the bonus playback numbers have helped goose the demo deliveries, the net gain is seemingly trivial. Of the dozen or so series that did see a boost upon conversion from C3 to C7, most inch up a mere one-tenth of a ratings point. A handful of shows gained two-tenths of a point, including ABC’s Modern Family (3.2 to 3.4) and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2.2 to 2.4), CBS’ The Big Bang Theory (4.6 to 4.8), Fox’s The Following (2.2 to 2.4) and NBC’s The Blacklist (3.1 to 3.3). The single biggest gainer, Fox’s freshman series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey , improved three-tenths of a point, from a 2.1 in C3 to a 2.4 C7 rating. All that having been said, on a percentile basis, these conversions represent a veritable mother lode of incremental revenue. Assuming your network books $3 billion in annual ad sales revenue, even as little as a 4 percent lift would translate into leaving $120 million on the table. “That’s real money,” said one ad sales boss. “In the greater scheme of things, 4 percent seems like a trifle. But say your C7 conversion gives you a lift of 4 percent across the board. That’s an awful lot of money to leave lying around just because you’re still working with a compromised metric .” As the networks press forward with an initiative designed to wean viewers off the commercial-zapping DVR in favor of VOD platforms that don’t allow for ad-avoidance, the prevailing notion is that the C7 numbers will rise accordingly. This in turn should lead to an increase in actionable demo deliveries. “If 4 percent becomes 10 percent in three years, now you’re looking at serious cash—enough to fund three pilot seasons ,” the ad sales executive said. Interestingly enough, not a single show declined upon addition of the four bonus playback days. That is not at all the case upon converting live-plus-same-day data to C3.

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The 2014 Upfront Preview

April 22, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Analogies are often facile things, contrivances designed to hammer home a theme when a light tap of the mallet would suffice. But in light of the fact that it’s a) set in the advertising world and b) is the most self-reflexive show on television, the prospect of using Mad Men as a lens through which to observe the broadcast TV marketplace is too alluring to pass up. In a sense, each of the Big Four networks has a near-perfect analogue in one of the beautiful losers at Cooper Sterling Draper Dead Guy Harry Hamlin Whatever. CBS is clearly Roger Sterling. Les Moonves ’ silver fox flagship is bold, cocksure and is so damned good at doing its job that it almost makes the business of broadcast look easy. A fine-tuned revenue machine—its unparalleled retransmission consent numbers and homegrown output leaves it less exposed to the vicissitudes of the ad market than its rivals—CBS is something of an impenetrable fortress. But a chest X-ray and a full cardio workup might suggest that the aging network is one highball-and-tobacco binge away from catastrophic collapse. Although it probably would rather be Peggy Olson, ABC is Joan Harris. Unapologetically feminine, assertive and absolutely devastating when in its comfort zone, the network boasts some of the very few must-watch series on the broadcast dial. Unfortunately, when men aren’t leering at Joan like a horny wolf in a Tex Avery cartoon, they dismiss her altogether. (Perhaps if she wore a football helmet around the home office the boys would take her more seriously.) And while she always appears composed and unruffled—the picture of self-possession—under the surface she’s paddling furiously like a swan on Dexedrine. (It’s a hard-knock life when you’re on track to finish last in the ratings race for the third year running.) Fox is Pete Campbell. Youngish but starting to age faster than he really should be, the glib smarmball has embraced the ephemera of Southern California after making a hash of things back East. But while many of the attributes he once relied on have all but disintegrated (looking at you, American Idol and New Girl), Pete wavers between archly gaming the system and total system collapse. Like his implacably receding hairline, his mojo is really starting to wear thin. Although he’s got a string of successes under his needlepoint belt, the account exec is going to have to make some big moves in L.A. if he’s going to get back to his A game. Which leaves NBC. No. 1 with a bullet, the Peacock’s spirit animal is none other than Don Draper

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TiVo: Adherence to C3 Is Sucking Millions Out of TV Ad Market

April 21, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In what may be the most cogent argument for the adoption of the C7 ratings currency, TiVo Research on Monday revealed that broadcasters beholden to the dated C3 metric are leaving hundreds of millions of dollars in ad sales revenue on the table. According to TiVo’s analysis of its top 10 “Season Pass” broadcast series (a designation reserved for the shows that subscribers most commonly flag for automatic, full-season recording), there is an average lift of 8.2 percent in overall deliveries when four days of playback are added to the C3 data . As that increase is not compensated under the current metric, this translates to an overall loss of $87.8 million in ad sales for those 10 programs. (As the data was generated in a second-by-second analysis of TiVo subscriber behaviors, the numbers were not broken down by the relevant demographics.) Of the 10 series under the microscope, ABC’s Modern Family sees the greatest increase upon application of four to seven additional days of playback (10.9 percent). Based on the average unit cost per 30-second spot of $244,630, as furnished by SQAD NetCost, Modern Family season to date is missing out on an estimated $10.9 million in actionable revenue. The SQAD data is in line with the average unit costs furnished by media buyers. In a survey of top agencies , Adweek last fall concluded that a 30-second spot in Modern Family sold for $257,435 during the 2013-14 upfront. While a shift from C3 to C7 doesn’t proportionately move the ratings needle for Fox’s American Idol, which is largely watched in real time, the elevated cost of buying time in the show translates into the most amount of viewing that remains uncompensated. Per TiVo, when the 4.1 percent boost in deliveries is brought to bear on the average unit cost for the Wednesday and Thursday night Idol ($319,565 a pop), it all adds up to $14.4 million in wasted opportunities. CBS has been the loudest , and most strident , voice calling for the implementation of the more inclusive metric, but it is unlikely that a sea change will be implemented in time to have a significant impact on this year’s upfront. That said, CBS (and to some extent, ABC) has done some early C7 deals with automakers. Things should pick up on the cable side as well. “Don’t be shocked if you see cable playing a little bit more of a role in [the C7 sandbox] this year,” said Fox Cable Networks ad sales president Lou LaTorre, who added that the incremental addition of time-shifted deliveries led to a 6 percent to 8 percent increase in viewership of original cable series. “There’s a notion among some in the industry that by simply gaming the blunt instrument of average commercial minute measurement the ratings currency provides, networks can gain back some of the advantage advertisers get from unmeasured viewership beyond the three-day window,” said TiVo chief research officer Jonathan Steuer. “The reality is that only an extended measurement approach that combines both precise measurement of media viewership and a comprehensive understanding of audience composition can enable networks and advertisers to evaluate what commercial ratings truly are over the course of a seven-day viewing period.” Largely seen as a compromise from the moment it was adopted in 2007, C3 is a blend of the average rating of all commercial minutes in a program in live viewing plus three days of playback. Six of TiVo’s top 10 Season Pass series air on CBS, while three are ABC properties. Fox elbowed its way onto the big board with Idol, but NBC was shut out.

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‘Game-Changer’ Episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fizzles

April 9, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Although Tuesday night’s installment of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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