Posts Tagged ‘network’

‘MADtv’ Is Coming Back to Television, but Not in Late Night and Not on Fox

April 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While Fox is making its own late-night sketch comedy play, its former late-night staple, MADtv, is being revived by another broadcast network. The CW, which aired Madtv's 20th anniversary reunion special in January and averaged 1.7 million viewers, said Monday it will bring back the show for eight one-hour prime-time episodes. Each episode will be hosted by one of the show's original cast members. All 14 seasons of the Fox version of the show can be found on CW Seed, The CW's digital network. (MADtv is produced by Telepictures, which is owned by Warner Bros., a co-owner of The CW.) "The MADtv franchise is as vibrant as ever thanks largely to social and digital media appealing to a fan base numbering in the millions that relates to the show's brand of authentic and irreverent cross-cultural comedy," said executive producer and showrunner David E. Salzman. "We will continue to present the hard-hitting, laugh-out-loud, wall-to-wall pop culture parody our fans expect but in a fresh, new way." Where exactly The CW will schedule MADtv remains unclear. Last month, the network renewed all 11 of its series for next season. It's the second time The CW has used its corporate connections with Warner Bros. to revive a classic comedy from another network. In 2013, it brought back improv series Whose Line is It Anyway? The fourth season of that show premieres May 23. From 1995-2009, Fox aired MADtv at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday nights. The network only recently returned to late-night sketch comedy with Party Over Here, a half-hour series produced by Lonely Island, led by former SNL cast member Andy Samberg and writer Jorma Taccone.

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FX CEO Says ‘Human Curation’ Is Still More Important Than Data

April 5, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just a month into upfront season, and the buzz around data has already become deafening. But at least one company, FX Networks, is making the case to advertisers that their upfront buys should be based on more than just audience targeting. "I think something's really getting missed in the focus on data, which is the quality of attention," FX Networks CEO John Landgraf told Adweek. "It doesn't really matter how well you can target people. You need to give them something valuable enough to really command their attention, and not only the attention to engage with your content but the advertising associated with that content." Landgraf said FX's slate—which includes shows like American Horror Story, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and Fargo—has value to advertisers that is "vast orders of magnitude greater than anything you can get from somebody watching 30 seconds or a minute of amateur content [online]." The CEO argued that getting a consumer to engage with a show for 30 minutes, the average time spent viewing FX's digital programming, "is way more valuable than associating a commercial with a short, disposable clip which the viewer will not remember five minutes after she sees it [on Facebook or YouTube]." "Year after year, we work really, really hard to try to make things of extraordinary value to the audience on the theory—and I think it's a valid theory—that it creates extraordinary value for advertisers," Landgraf said. "So you can have all the sophisticated data and targeting in the world, and you can put an ad in front of a specific viewer. But if you don't provide them with a piece of content they love, you can't get them to watch the commercial." It was a point the network drove home last week when it kicked off its annual upfront bowling party (now in its seventh year) at New York's Lucky Strike Manhattan by screening the riveting finale of The People v. O.J. Simpson, which airs tonight

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Will Scandal’s Sixth Season Be Its Last?

April 4, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Kerry Washington's hit series Scandal anchors ABC's vaunted TGIT lineup—and is the network's third most popular series in the 18-49 demo. But the drama could be nearing its conclusion. The network last month renewed the series for a sixth season, but creator Shonda Rhimes affirmed with Adweek last summer that "Scandal is a limited story," unlike her series Grey's Anatomy , which she suggested could continue for years to come (and which was just picked up for Season 13). "I am not watching [Washington's character] Olivia Pope grow up," explained Rhimes. "I am watching a specific moment in time, and I feel like in order to tell the story correctly, you have to end it." Rhimes has remained silent about when she plans to wrap up the series, however. For her part, Washington says she hasn't talked with Rhimes about when Scandal will close shop, adding that she is happy to leave that decision solely in her boss' hands. "I trust her," she says. "We are where we are because of her decision-making." Washington's co-star Tony Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Grant, is also in the dark. "I know my boss too well to do that," he says of asking Rhimes her plans for the show. But he suggests that next season could be the series' logical end point

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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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Scripps Is Planning a 6-Network Halloween Crossover Special

March 29, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Marvel and DC aren't the only media companies engineering major crossover events to showcase their biggest properties. Scripps Networks Interactive—home to HGTV, Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and Great American Country—is planning a Halloween special featuring talent from many of its channels to air on all six networks. The company discussed cross-network and cross-platform opportunities for advertisers during a media briefing before today's upfront presentation, which will be held at New York's Alice Tully Hall. It's the third stop on Scripps' seven-city upfront tour, which kicked off March 15 in Atlanta and also includes stops in Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Boston and L.A. Jon Steinlauf, president of national ad sales and marketing, touted Scripps' robust portfolio and said its top three channels are growing in ratings, revenue and share. "We're delivering our advertisers' schedules with a growing stable of hit shows that families can watch together," Steinlauf said. And almost all of those shows are being watched live: 97 percent of Scripps' C3 audience watches either live or later that same day, making Scripps the No. 1 network group in the category. Scripps' ratings growth is led by HGTV, which had its highest rated year in 2015 and as of February is the No.

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Viceland Launches VR Partnership With Samsung and Downplays Weak Early TV Ratings Data

March 28, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As it nears its one-month anniversary, Viceland is expanding its stable of advertising partners by striking a new virtual reality deal with Samsung. But the network is also downplaying early ratings data that indicates soft initial audience interest in the cable network that replaced H2. Viceland and Samsung unveiled a major partnership today to create new virtual reality content for both companies' platforms. The companies are enlisting big names in film, music and gaming to create VR projects for Samsung Milk VR, Samsung's virtual reality content service which is exclusive to the SamsungGear VR headset. The first one will focus on VR pioneer Chris Milk (founder and CEO of Vrse) and highlight his work in the VR space. The partnership launches with this two-minute spot, which will air tonight on Viceland. As part of the partnership, Viceland and Samsung will co-produce a documentary series about the VR creators as they work on these projects. They will premiere as native ads on Viceland prime-time programming, while 30-second versions of each documentary will run during Viceland commercial breaks. "We want to pioneer storytelling 'beyond the frame' and to connect with audiences in completely new, and emotional, ways," said Eddy Moretti, Vice's chief creative officer and Viceland's co-president, in a statement about the new efforts. The new partnership is part of Viceland's efforts to shake up TV advertising by reducing ad load and running more native ads . Viceland hopes to have native ads—which are created by Vice Media to look more like editorial content—represent half its ad inventory within the year. "Vice has always been more successful when it's done native advertising and interesting custom partnerships with brands, and then you extend that idea to this TV network also," said Guy Slattery, general manager for Viceland, told Adweek earlier this month. Early ratings woes? The announcement comes three days after an International Business Times report said ratings had plummeted since Viceland replaced H2 on Feb. 29. According to the story, which cited data from Rentrak, Viceland's average daily viewership over its first three weeks (55,000) is 77 percent lower than H2's numbers during its final three weeks (241,000). A Viceland spokesman said that Rentrak data was "inaccurate," noting that it doesn't focus on the 18-34 demo that Viceland is targeting, which is much younger than the 25-54 demo that had tuned in for H2.

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How FX Bids for New Series Without the Big Budget of Netflix

March 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu snap up original series away from linear networks, as well as lure creators with big paydays and promises of creative autonomy, their competitors have had to alter their approaches to bidding for new projects. One of those is FX, which lost out on the bidding for Aziz Ansari's comedy Master of None and the upcoming drama The Crown. Both of those shows went to Netflix after the streaming service "overwhelmed us with shock and awe levels of money and commitment," FX CEO John Landgraf told reporters in January . He also used a "Moneyball" analogy when comparing FX to Netflix, explaining, "Basically, we're competing against payrolls, if you will, a la the Oakland A's and New York Yankees, that are three or four times ours." Because he can't match Netflix dollar for dollar, Landgraf has shifted the focus of his pitches, highlighting other attributes of the network when bidding for shows. Landgraf highlights his marketing team, which has been named PromaxBDA's In-House Marketing Team of the Year for five consecutive years. "I think the talent appreciates that," he told Adweek. Landgraf also emphasizes the personal touch and attention he can give FX's shows versus Netflix, which now has 100 series in the pipeline—55 for adults, 45 for children. "Our network is more of a bespoke organization than a factory. We're at about 18 shows, and that's the most that I can personally pay attention to," said Landgraf. While he could maybe do as many as 20, "I'm at the max in terms of being able to read scripts, watch rough cuts, have a thoughtful input and dialogue." And that's important, even when the network doesn't have much creative feedback in terms of notes for producers. Landgraf said that his deal with Louis CK for Louie specified that the network wasn't able to give him notes.

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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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ABC and Warner Bros.’ New Deal Will Make Binge Watching Easier

March 17, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Networks and studios have been battling for years over stacking rights—the ability to offer in-season episodes via on demand or network streaming—but a new agreement from ABC and Warner Bros. Television Group signals those conflicts could be coming to an end. ABC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television Group struck a stacking rights deal covering any series produce by Warner Bros. that debuts on ABC in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. The agreement enables ABC to offer all episodes of its Warner Bros. series launched during the next two seasons on its VOD platforms like ABC.com and Hulu, as well as VOD on MVPD partners like cable and satellite. In doing so, viewers will be able to to binge the entire current season of the show, instead of being restricted to only the last five episodes, as is currently the case for most series. Warner Bros. will retain end-of-season SVOD rights, early syndication rights, early DVD rights and day-after electronic sell-through rights to companies like iTunes. "This is a real win for network television viewers," said Jana Winograde, evp of business operations for ABC Entertainment, in a statement

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Why USA Network’s Mr. Robot Put a 100-Foot Ferris Wheel in Downtown Austin [Video]

March 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

USA Network's critical darling, Mr. Robot, created major buzz at last year's South by Southwest, where it premiered the show and won the festival's audience award. So it only makes sense that the network would bring the series back to Austin to get fans excited for the upcoming second season —and to do so on a grand scale. That's why, if you're at SXSW Interactive, you've probably seen a 100-foot Ferris wheel designed to look like Coney Island's famed Wonder Wheel. The four-day activation, which ends today, recreates key moments and sets from the show, like the F Society hacker den on Coney Island, to immerse fans in the Mr. Robot world.

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