Posts Tagged ‘network’

Why CBS Is Replacing David Letterman With Reruns of The Mentalist

May 26, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

How do you follow an icon like David Letterman and his perfect Late Show finale last Wednesday? For CBS, the answer might seem surprising: Simon Baker. Do not adjust your television sets; CBS is indeed currently airing repeats of The Mentalist, starring Baker, in the 11:30 p.m. late-night time slot Letterman occupied since 1993. In fact, all summer, until The Late Show with Stephen Colbert debuts Sept. 8, the network will show repeats of a different CBS drama each week

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How CBS’ Supergirl Trailer Became a Viral Sensation

May 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

George Schweitzer has spent 20 years overseeing the trailers for the new shows CBS unveils at its upfront presentations each May. "It used to be we showed them in Carnegie Hall, and then we put them away for a while," recalled Schweitzer, president of CBS Marketing Group. But as the networks began releasing their upfront trailers online in recent years, he said, "Now, it's shown in Carnegie Hall, and five minutes later, it's going around the world." Yet, not even an upfront vet like Schweitzer was prepared for the astounding global reaction to CBS' trailer for Supergirl, one of fall's most eagerly anticipated new shows, after it debuted at the network's May 13 upfront . His group consulted with The CW's marketing and press teams who offered guidance on launching a superhero project. "We were warned that this thing would go viral quickly," said Schweitzer, and that's just what happened. Within two days, more than 5 million people had viewed the trailer online. A week after its May 13 debut, that number has risen to more than 10 million. The 10 million figure eclipses the total views of all the other CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox upfront trailer combined. "It's unbelievable," said Schweitzer. "That's more than [the audience for] some of our shows." The last time CBS debuted a superhero series, 1990's The Flash, "there was no Internet," said Schweitzer

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Multicultural Talent Is Surging on TV and Winning Mainstream Audiences

May 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Hardly anyone was more surprised than Dana Walden at the ratings surge Fox midseason entrant Empire enjoyed following its Jan. 7 debut. She expected a lift but not to the degree it did shoot up. But Walden, co-chairman and co-CEO of the Fox Television Group, wasn't alone—each week, the entire TV industry let out a gasp of surprise as Empire's young adult demos kept climbing to north of a 5, territory so few shows ever see. Flash-forward, and something else quite striking was going on at the Twentieth Century Fox Television studio. Two out of three freshman series it produced for this past season that featured multicultural talent were renewed

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David Lynch Returns to Showtime’s Twin Peaks Revival

May 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Twin Peaks is whole again. A month after departing the project, David Lynch is back on board with Showtime's limited-series revival of his and Mark Frost's groundbreaking show, he and the network announced Friday night. "This damn fine cup of coffee from Mark and David tastes more delicious than ever. Totally worth the extra brewing time, and the cup is even bigger than we expected," said David Nevins, president of Showtime Networks. "David will direct the whole thing, which will total more than the originally announced nine hours.

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Azteca Is Proud to Use the ‘M’ Word

May 12, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Manuel Abud doesn't mind using the "M" word. He does it a lot, actually. The "M" word in this case is for Mexicans. "We target them because it's good business," said the president and CEO of Azteca America at the network's upfront presentation Monday night. The event at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square came a day before the two other dominant U.S. Hispanic networks -- Univision and Telemundo -- throw their annual party for advertisers. Mexicans, or those of Mexican descent, make up 67 percent of Hispanics in the U.S., so it's no wonder Abud uses the "M" word in abundance. He also delivered good news to clients: "I'm thrilled to say that for the first time in 7 years, we have substantial ratings growth." The network is up 33 percent in the adults 18-49 demo in prime time. Azteca also has a hit on its hands with Friday Night Futbol, which features Mexican League soccer matches

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Fox Moves Empire to Fall, Announces Final Season of American Idol

May 11, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

There is a new Empire at Fox—in more ways than one. Ahead of their first upfront Monday afternoon as Fox Television Group chairmen and CEOs, Dana Walden and Gary Newman announced a 2015-16 lineup with one big expected move—Empire is moving from midseason to anchor the fall lineup—and one stunner: former blockbuster American Idol will end its run next year. "Our strategy with these bold creative swings is simple: schedule them strategically, market them relentlessly and create events that break through and captivate viewers across every platform," said Walden and Newman. Fox tumbled to fourth place in adults 18-49 this season, and as Walden and Newman struggled to rebuild the network, they found the biggest building block imaginable in Empire, which was the success story of 2014-15 , with ratings increases every in single week. So it comes as no surprise that the network isn't waiting until midseason to deploy Empire, and instead will debut it in the fall in its Wednesday 9 p.m. time slot. Leading into Empire will be new drama Rosewood, about a Miami pathologist played by Morris Chestnut. Empire's new season is expected to be 18 episodes, up from 12 episodes in Season 1; Walden and Newman have been debating the episode count for months . Empire quickly displaced the fading American Idol this season as Fox's top show. Now that once-mightly Idol has fallen to earth—it regularly loses to time slot competitor Survivor in total viewers and adults 18-49—the network is pulling the plug on the music competition series after its 15th season. Judges Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and Harry Connick Jr., along with host Ryan Seacrest, will return for the final season, which will also pay tribute to the previous 14 years of Idol. (What could replace Idol in 2017? Walden and Newman have been talking with original Idol judge Simon Cowell about developing a new series for the network.) Freshman hit Gotham will return Mondays at 8 p.m., followed by Minority Report, a drama based on the 2002 Tom Cruise/Steven Spielberg film. Tuesdays are all-new for Fox. New comedies Grandfathered (lifelong bachelor John Stamos discovers he's both a father and a grandfather) and The Grinder (after playing a TV lawyer, Rob Lowe returns to his hometown to help out at his family's real-life firm) lead in to Ryan Murphy's anthology horror series Scream Queens, which the network has already been promoting heavily all spring.

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AMC’s Plan for Life After Mad Men

May 4, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As Charlie Collier, president, gm of AMC, makes the rounds during this year's upfronts, one question keeps popping up over and over again: "What do you have for me now?" While it's a typical upfront query, the question has taken on an added urgency as AMC looks ahead to life without Mad Men, the series that put the network on the map—establishing it as a home for quality drama that rivaled anything on premium cable—when it debuted in July 2007. Yet Collier has no concerns about losing momentum after Mad Men airs its series finale on May 17. "It's a welcome question because AMC's never been stronger, both in terms of critical acclaim and ratings," said Collier. "It feels really good." In other words, AMC will avoid the pitfalls that have plagued other networks who lose their signature shows. When The Sopranos signed off in 2007 (a month before Mad Men's debut), HBO flailed for years with mediocre offerings like Tell Me You Love Me and Hung, until Game of Thrones, Girls and Veep finally righted the ship starting in 2011. In contrast, AMC has TV's most popular series in adults 18-49 to fall back on: The Walking Dead, which averaged 9.4 million viewers in that demo this season. Thanks to Walking Dead and its popular postshow, Talking Dead, AMC was the No. 1 cable network in February in adults (and men) 18-49 and 18-34. Even better, as Walking Dead follows the blueprint of Robert Kirkman's comic book series, it already has stories banked for seasons to come. "How many other guys can say, 'Wow, we've got the hottest show in town, and it's already written for the next four years?'" said Maxim Group analyst John Tinker. "That takes away some of those pressures." As does the arrival earlier this year of critically acclaimed Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul , which became the next prestige drama AMC had been searching for. Though Collier says he's "equally proud" of lesser performers Turn (now called Turn: Washington's Spies) and Halt and Catch Fire, which help fulfill AMC's "eclectic by design" mission, Better Call Saul gave AMC some much needed critical cachet that helps cushion Mad Men's loss. Drawing 3.7 million viewers 18-49 in live-plus-3 during Season 1, Saul also enabled AMC to expand its original programming to a third night, Mondays (most of its shows air on Sundays, but western Hell on Wheels has turned into a solid Saturday entry for fans of AMC's western movies). "We'll expand original nights beyond that, that's what we're talking about with advertisers during the upfronts," said Collier. "So you'll see Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Saturday." Collier hopes spinoff lightning will strike twice when AMC's upcoming Walking Dead companion series, Fear the Walking Dead, debuts in late summer. Set in Los Angeles with new characters and storylines, its six-episode first season (the series has already been renewed for Season 2) will lead in to The Walking Dead's return this fall. The network's biggest challenge will be to nurture Fear without damaging its ratings golden goose.

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How to Sell a TV Show Today

April 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The upfront has been pronounced a goner so many times it is beyond clich

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How to Sell a TV Show Today

April 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The upfront has been pronounced a goner so many times it is beyond clich

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Pretty Little Liars Shares the Secrets of Its Social Media Success

April 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's no big surprise that ABC Family's hit series Pretty Little Liars is one of the top shows on social media. The teen mystery drama has dominated social since its debut in June 2010, getting more than 100 million related tweets to date. "I think it's the perfect storm of elements coming together," Pretty Little Liars showrunner I. Marlene King said. "We're a show that reaches out to an audience that is actively engaged in social media, but also, our stars are actively engaged in social media." In fact, ABC Family has had massive success online in general. According to the network, it has the most socially engaged audience, with more than 8.5 million engagements per series across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr. But Pretty Little Liars is its crown jewel. It has the No. 1 most-tweeted-about telecast of all time—Now You See Me, Now You Don't (Aug

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