Posts Tagged ‘network’

James Patterson Conquers the Hollywood Jungle

April 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

"Nobody tells you when you pay six figures for a lion for a couple days that, to perform, they have to eat a lot of meat. The problem is they eat so much they get lazy and stop being scary after a couple days, so then you have to bring in a second lion. Now we have one lion who's great at snarling and snapping and roaring, and another one that's great at running." Bill Robinson, co-president of James Patterson Entertainment, is talking about Zoo, one of two projects it is currently working on for CBS. ( Zoo premieres June 30 , while For Justice, a mystery pilot set in the 1960s South, has not yet been ordered to series.) Along with fellow co-president Leopoldo Gout, Robinson runs the enterprise that manages everything with the superstar author (300 million-plus books in print) and former adman's name on it, which also includes a TV series in development with Paramount based on one of Patterson's most popular characters, Alex Cross. Patterson on the set of Zoo outside New Orleans James Patterson's empire is a vast one , and the movies and TV shows based on his work myriad. With the dual CBS series, the Alex Cross project and, a little further down the road, a film called Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, distributed by Lionsgate and produced by Participant Media, the Patterson brand is connected to a whole array of entertainment properties, stories and characters—including those lions, named Felix and Major. Oh, and there are wolves, too. "The best part of casting animals is that when we cast the wolves, we cast the wolves from The Grey," Robinson reports. "They already had a credit. And a resume." (No wolves straight out of Juilliard for CBS!) Zoo is not just a TV show but a multimedia extravaganza. It's also a novel and a comic book, all of its iterations riffing on Patterson's high concept: Every animal on earth goes crazy and turns on humans. It is not an apocalypse anybody has seen before, so it makes sense the suits at CBS would jump at it

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The NHL and NBC Tout Playoff Coverage With Candy Bars and a Willy Wonka Style Contest

April 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC Sports and the NHL are using chocolate bars and a potential Willy Wonka-like payout to trumpet the Stanley Cup playoffs. Part of the "Every Game. Every Night. Don't Miss a Moment" campaign, the promotion features 32,768 "Lord Stanley's Cup Diddly-Umptious Bracket Bar" chocolates—one for each possible bracket outcome of the 16-team tournament. Here's what the Cup Diddly-Umptious Bracket Bar will look like

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The NHL and NBC Tout Playoff Coverage With Candy Bars and a Willy Wonka Style Contest

April 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC Sports and the NHL are using chocolate bars and a potential Willy Wonka-like payout to trumpet the Stanley Cup playoffs. Part of the "Every Game. Every Night. Don't Miss a Moment" campaign, the promotion features 32,768 "Lord Stanley's Cup Diddly-Umptious Bracket Bar" chocolates—one for each possible bracket outcome of the 16-team tournament. Here's what the Cup Diddly-Umptious Bracket Bar will look like

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Pop Network Targets ‘Modern Grownups’ With Celebrity, Reality and Pop News Programming

April 9, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Pop upfront wasn't a huge spectacle. Roughly 25 people were sprawled out on couches atop the Gansevoort Park Avenue in New York Thursday morning. There were no media buyers—just media and Pop employees. And that's exactly how the newly rebranded, CBS-owned network wanted it. "In my experience, if you're not a big network with a big draw doing a big party or event, then you're not going to get the right people to attend," Pop evp of advertising sales Michael Dupont said. "I'd rather do some kind of client event outside of the upfront season, when it's not so cluttered and the right people would actually come." Formerly the TV Guide Channel, the network has only been Pop for 12 weeks. First up on the schedule: Tyra Banks will host the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on April 26 at 8 p.m. EDT. John Legend has signed on for the a cappella group reality competition Sing it On. Alan Thicke stars in the reality sitcom Unusually Thicke, along with his wife Tanya and son Carter. Eugene Levy, Chris Elliott and Catherine O'Hara are back for the second season of Pop's scripted comedy Schitt's Creek

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HBO Punks Creator of ‘Take My Money, HBO’ by Sending Sopranos Guys to Shake Him Down

April 8, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Last week, we saw HBO replying to 3-year-old tweets from cable cutters who wanted a stand-alone HBO option back then—something it is now launching with HBO Now. Today, the network unveils a companion video, in which it punks Jake Caputo—the guy who got people all riled up and demanding stand-alone service in 2012 by launching takemymoneyhbo.com —with help from some very special guests. If Caputo really wants to give his money away to HBO, Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri and Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero will happily take it off his hands.

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USA Network Is Trying to Reach Millennials With More Dramas and More WWE

April 7, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

USA Network understands that audience demographics are changing. To further appeal to the mainstream, the NBCUniversal property is working on a new strategy to reach millennials. USA announced Tuesday at its 2015 Upfront press breakfast in New York that it is banking heavily on dramas, starting this summer, and shying away from its traditional half-hour scripted comedies. The network is placing its biggest bet so far on

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The Beeb Creates Buzz With Splashy Thrillers

April 6, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Sarah Barnett hasn't been genetically engineered, like all those clones in Orphan Black, for the job at hand. It just seems that way. Barnett's new gig—she's a few months into her tenure as president and general manager of the buzzed-about cable channel BBC America—brings her back to the place where she began her stateside career a decade ago, so she intimately knows the lay of the land. It also keeps her in the AMC Networks fold, where she methodically built SundanceTV from the quirky home of indie flicks into an ad-supported, original-content player with scripted series like Rectify, Top of the Lake and Carlos. Now that AMC has taken an operating stake in BBC America, the U.K.-born-and-bred Barnett will be running point on the new relationship. She'll also be guiding the channel, which recently logged its highest-rated year in prime time and total viewers, into the ever-competitive upfront presentations to advertisers and beyond, where she says she'll continue to take "the big swings" that helped put the "Beeb" on the map in the U.S.

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NBCU’s Lifestyle Group Debuts Synchronized Joking With Complementary Comedy Shows

March 30, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just when you thought reality TV was totally out of ideas—like completely, entirely, woefully out of ideas—Oxygen and Esquire come along with a novel pitch: two shows with the same cast on two different networks, one aimed at men and one aimed at women. This was the NBCU Lifestyle Group's most interesting announcement on Monday, when Bravo, Oxygen and Esquire presented their wares to reporters. Also a show kidnapped from NatGeo, but more on that in a moment. The high points: Living With Funny, on Oxygen, will follow the travails of several comedians trying to get along with their significant others in Los Angeles; Comedians of L.A. will follow those same comedians' careers as they try to move up in the professional world. It's an interesting extension of NBCU's extensive commitment to making everything at the gigantic company work alongside everything else; the Lifestyle group seems to be the part of the operation with the most viewer overlap and the networks usually try to downplay that for fear of appearing to compete with each other—this looks like an attempt to make them work in concert. Both shows (working titles all) are produced by L. Plummer Media, the company behind Oxygen's Preachers franchise. NatGe... uh, sorry, Esquire's Going Deep With David Rees is... back... for a second season, an eight-episode order of new shows for the well-liked comic's science show, which explores the physics of tying shoes, shaking hands, making paper airplanes and so on. The first improbably interesting episodes aired on News Corp/National Geographic joint venture The National Geographic Channel and were pushed hard by that network. It's strange to see, but the company definitely appears to have sold its interest in the show to Esquire, which will air "the original season," as Esquire programming svp Matt Hanna delicately put it during the presentation, as well as the new shows. Oxygen's other bids for greater relevance to young women include Pretty. Strong, an unscripted show about a lingerie football league, Crazy Talk, a Soup-style show about embarrassments on reality TV, and further entries in Plummer's Preachers franchise, this time Preachers of Atlanta, a hat trick with Preachers of Detroit and Preachers of L.A. Nary a mention of the Real Housewives franchise passed the lips of group president Frances Berwick during the presentation; the network is putting its eggs in baskets labeled NeNe and Kim: The Road to Riches, Mother Funders (mostly self-explanatory), and Apres Ski, an impressive-looking show about a ski resort.

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Producer Howard T. Owens Launches Banner with A+E Networks’ Investment

March 30, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Former National Geographic TV president Howard T. Owens has launched a content production venture with financial backing from A+E Networks. Owens (pictured left) has tapped former A&E Network g.m. David McKillop (right) as a partner and chief creative officer of Los Angeles-based Propagate Content. A+E is an investor in Propagate, but it will operate autonomously... Read more

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Yes, Syfy Is Really Going to Call It ‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No’

March 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Sharknado 3, for serious, is going to be subtitled Oh Hell No, as though the entire film was a guest on the Jerry Springer Show that just found out its husband was actually a woman and had been sleeping with its dad. Its dad being Sharknado 2: The Second One. Springer actually has a cameo in the third film, by the by. We're disappointed the writers didn't go with any of our pitches , but we'll make do. The thing that's kind of awesome about the Sharknado movies is that they are freakishly popular despite, or perhaps as a result of, reveling in low production values, cameos by whoever happened to be wandering the halls of 30 Rock, and absurd set pieces. Fun fact: We actually talked to Ian Ziering about the scenes in Sharknado 2 where (spoiler!) he carves up airborne sharks with his chainsaw hand. He said he basically grimaces and poses dramatically in front of a green screen and they add the blood-spurting sharks in post production. Sharknado 2 got a 1.6 rating when it premiered and does reliably well in reruns, too—it's the network's equivalent of comfort food. Oh Hell No will star series veterans Ziering and Tara Reid. And Cassie Scerbo, who was in the first film, will return as Nova. The movie will debut on Syfy on July 22, just after Comic-Con International: San Diego. Nova's parents, obviously, will be David Hasselhoff and Bo Derek

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