Posts Tagged ‘network’

ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt Says He Got His Big Break by ‘Pretending to Be Arnold Palmer’

September 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ESPN's Scott Van Pelt explains that it's impossible to follow in his footsteps because his path to success isn't something that can be duplicated. Van Pelt was a young production assistant for the Golf Channel when he was asked to impersonate Arnold Palmer during rehearsals for a new show. Former Golf Channel executive producer Michael Whelan asked, "Who is this idiot that thinks he's Arnold Palmer?" The next thing Van Pelt knew, he was a reporter for the network. "I was no more a reporter than I was an astronaut," Van Pelt said. A friendship with Tiger Woods would propel his career even further, and it's a good thing it worked out for the current midnight SportsCenter host. "I'm not capable of doing anything else," he said. "The whole TV thing is just a gigantic happy accident. There is no recipe I can give you."

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With Just One New Fall Series, The CW Takes the Biggest Risk of Any Network

September 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The CW concludes Adweek’s week-long fall TV preview today not with a bang, but with a whimper. While the other four broadcasters are rolling out at least five new series apiece over the next two months, The CW has only one freshman show on its schedule. That’s what happens when you only program 10 hours a week and renew your entire lineup from the previous fall , as the network did earlier this year. While the network still isn’t a factor in the broadcast battle for adults ages 18-49, it picked up significant momentum last year with The Flash, its most-watched series ever in the 18-49 demo, and Jane the Virgin, the first CW show to win a Peabody and Golden Globe. That sets a pretty high bar for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

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A Year After Hitting Rock Bottom, Fox Rebounds With Several Promising New Fall Shows

September 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

We’ve reached Day 4 of Adweek’s week-long fall TV preview , and today we’ll be looking at Fox, which hit rock bottom this time last year: four of its five fall 2014 shows flopped immediately, with only Gotham connecting with audiences. The network tumbled to fourth place last season among adults ages 18 to 49, though it got a huge midseason boost from Empire, which became one of the most successful new series in decades but only had 12 episodes. Fox upped Empire's Season 2 order to 18 episodes and is making the show its fall centerpiece, which will give the network a big bump, no matter how its freshman series fare. But this fall's new crop boasts several shows with potential. Yes, there are a couple clunkers in the bunch, but more of Fox’s new shows work than don’t, which is a refreshing change for the network. However, quality might not be enough as Fox is gambling on an all-new Tuesday night (Grandfathered, The Grinder and Scream Queens), making it the only broadcast network to air more than two new shows on a single evening this fall. As we've been saying all week, while a pilot isn’t always the best way to judge a show’s potential, it’s often the only episode that audiences watch before making a decision about whether to stick around or cut bait, especially with all the other new and returning shows fighting for attention. With that in mind, here are Fox’s fall shows, from least promising to most promising.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger Will Take Over for Donald Trump as Host of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

September 14, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Arnold Schwarzenegger will be the next host of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, the network announced. The actor turned twice-elected California governor will take over for Donald Trump, the only host the competition show has had, when it returns to NBC in the 2016-17 TV season. "I have always been a huge fan of The Celebrity Apprentice and the way it showcases the challenges and triumphs of business and teamwork," Schwarzenegger said in a statement. "I am thrilled to bring my experience to the boardroom and to continue to raise millions for charity. Let's get started!" NBC cut business ties with Trump, now the GOP presidential front-runner, in June, just as he began his run for the White House. "Arnold Schwarzenegger is the epitome of a global brand in entertainment and business, and his accomplishments in the political arena speak for themselves," said Paul Telegdy, president of NBC's alternative and late-night programming. "It was Arnold's personal passion for the format that Mark Burnett and Donald Trump built over the last decade as well as his fresh take on how to take it to new heights for today's audiences that made him the man to hire." In his seven seasons as host of Celebrity Apprentice, Trump helped raise more than $15 million for charity. Trump had also been host of the show's predecessor, The Apprentice, which debuted in January 2004. Last season's Celebrity Apprentice finale was watched by 6.1 million viewers, up from the 5.3 million who watched the 2013 finale.

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How USA’s Mr. Robot Hacked the Problem of Summer TV

September 7, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In a summer stuffed with more TV options than ever, the most buzzed about show wasn't Orange Is the New Black or True Detective, but Mr. Robot, USA's acclaimed new hacker drama. An antithesis to USA's usual "blue skies" formula, Mr. Robot grabbed fans early on (its massive prelinear debut drew 2.7 million viewers) including Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner. Averaging 1.2 million in adults 18-49 each week in live-plus-three, it helped make USA summer's No. 1 cable entertainment network in the demo. The network also found success with another inventive experiment: a new VOD windowing strategy for Season 2 of comedy Playing House, in which each episode debuted on VOD a week before airing on USA. President Chris McCumber talked about the network's transformative summer.

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Fear the Walking Dead Premiere Devours Record Cable Audience

August 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

AMC's attempt to franchise its hugely profitable Walking Dead series appears to have paid off. Sunday's premiere of Fear the Walking Dead, the prequel/spinoff of cable's top-ranked series, drew 10.1 million viewers to stand as the top cable premiere of all time. The 90-minute episode also drew 6.3 million viewers in the advertiser-coveted adults 18 to 49 demographic, surpassing Better Call Saul—the Breaking Bad spinoff which debuted earlier this year with 4.4 million demo viewers—to rank as the top cable premiere in that demo as well. A special Talking Dead that led into Fear drew 4.2 million viewers, with 2.5 million in the 18 to 49 demo. To show just how far AMC's zombie franchise has come: The flagship Walking Dead premiered to 5.4 million total viewers in 2010. It has since gobbled up considerably more viewers , ranking as the most-viewed series on cable and the most-viewed in the 18 to 49 demo in all of TV. Fear the Walking Dead will run for five more episodes leading into the sixth season premiere of The Walking Dead in October. AMC has already ordered a 15-episode second season, coming next year. AMC now boasts three of the top five cable premieres ever with two Walking Dead shows and Better Call Saul. The strong debuts of Fear and Better Call Saul were huge for AMC, as the network is banking on the two to be the pillars of its post-Mad Men era. AMC also rolled out Humans this summer and will debut martial-arts drama Enter the Badlands later this year.

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Trump Will ‘Absolutely Not’ Be Back on Celebrity Apprentice

August 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On the 17th and final day of the Television Critics Association's summer press tour panels, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt summarized this tour's recurring themes. "Too many shows, not enough monetization, fractured audience, Netflix doesn't report ratings, what did Nielsen do this time?" he said. "And how do we find the next big comedy? In a nutshell, that's sort of what keeps me up at night." NBC, which publicly parted ways with Donald Trump in June, said it will not broadcast a new version of Celebrity Apprentice this season, but the show will return in 2016 "with a new host," Greenblatt said. Whoever that is will need to "make noise and be a big personality," he added. The network is "almost done" selling off its interest in the Miss USA Pageant, according to Greenblatt, who summarized the current relationship with Trump: "At the moment, we're sort of separated." However, he wouldn't say Trump is "banned" from the network, given that he "might be the leader of the free world." If Trump isn't elected president, could he return as Celebrity Apprentice host? "Absolutely not," said Greenblatt. Comedy Struggles and Thursday Night Of course, there's a little more than that weighing on the network boss as he looks ahead to fall. Even though NBC was the No. 1 network last season among adults ages 18 to 49 for the second year in a row, its trouble spots remain the same as when Greenblatt last met with reporters in January —comedies and its Thursday night lineup. "The fall is sort of a clean start for all of us, which I'm happy about," said Greenblatt. "We've been in a difficult transition in the last couple years," Greenblatt said, with the departure of 30 Rock, The Office and Parks and Recreation

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Don’t Panic, Says CBS: More People Are Watching TV Now Than a Decade Ago

August 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On Friday, FX sounded the alarm about the state, and future, of television. But today CBS offered a counterpoint to FX chief John Landgraf's argument, as network execs made their case that TV's future is much healthier than many would believe. That was the message that David Poltrack, chief research officer of CBS Corp. and president of CBS Vision, and Marc DeBevoise, evp and gm at CBS Interactive, kept hammering home as they met with reporters at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. Poltrack set out to puncture what he called three major "myths" about the industry and its future: that TV viewership is in decline (not true, he said), that millennials are moving away from TV content (only partly true) and that advertising in TV programs has lost value (also untrue, per Poltrack: "If executed effectively, advertising in TV programs has actually gained value"). When it comes to watching TV shows, Poltrack said, the audience for CBS programming has actually grown in the last decade. It's up to 12.3 million viewers in 2014-2015 from 12.1 million viewers in 2003-2004.

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Canceling 19 Kids and Counting Cost Discovery $19 Million

August 5, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When TLC canceled 19 Kids and Counting last month , the network knew it would take a hit. Now we know just how big that hit was. On this morning's earnings call, TLC's parent company, Discovery Communications, revealed a restructuring charge of $19 million "primarily due to content impairment charges from canceling TLC's 19 Kids and Counting," said CFO Andy Warren. TLC canceled the reality show July 16, two months after reports surfaced that the oldest of the Duggar children, Josh Duggar, now 27, had molested several underage girls when he was a teenager. While the show will no longer air, TLC will continue to work with the family, producing a one-hour, commercial-free documentary featuring Jill and Jessa Duggar, two of Josh's victims. Discovery's revenues increased 3 percent in the second quarter of 2015, but earnings were down 2 percent. "We will look back on July 2015 has a pivotal month in our company's history," said CEO David Zaslav on the call, touting Discovery's acquisition of Eurosport, an agreement to air the Olympic Games in Europe, and inking a long-term renewal deal with Comcast in the U.S.

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Destination America Tries to Scare Up Viewers With a Live Exorcism

July 30, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Discovery may have gotten out of the outlandish-TV-stunts business, but its sister networks didn't get that memo. Destination America will televise what it's calling the first live exorcism in U.S. history, airing Exorcism: Live! on Oct. 30. A house, not a person, will be the subject of the exorcism, which will take place at the same suburban St. Louis home where an exorcism was performed on Roland Doe in 1949. That event inspired William Peter Blatty's 1971 novel The Exorcist and its iconic 1973 film adaptation, which starred Linda Blair. During the telecast, paranormal investigators the Tennessee Wraith Chasers from the network's Ghost Asylum, along with psychic medium Chip Coffey, "will explore each crevice of this terrifying home, from the attic to the basement, to find whatever or whomever has scared Americans to death for decades," said Destination America in a release.

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