Posts Tagged ‘network’

Why CBS Is Airing Its First Saturday Drama Series in 13 Years

January 13, 2017  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For decades, Saturday was an essential component of each broadcast network's prime-time schedule, but in recent years the networks have thrown in the towel on the night, which has the week's lowest HUT (homes using television) levels. That includes CBS, which for years has programmed two hours of drama repeats—called Crimetime Saturday—and newsmagazine 48 Hours to fill the evening. But this winter, CBS is doing something it hasn't attempted in 13 years: airing an original drama, Ransom, on Saturdays. The series, about a crisis and hostage negotiator who tackles kidnappings and ransom cases, is a Canada-France co-production, from independent studio eOne, and cost CBS a fraction of what the network usually spends on its dramas. "We're always looking for opportunities to improve the numbers on the schedule," said CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller. "Crimetime does just fine, but we had a unique opportunity with Ransom, because it was an international production, and we said, let's see what we can do on Saturday nights." Traditionally, "The night is the last priority for most networks as you're setting your schedule," said Kelly Kahl, senior evp of CBS Primetime. While CBS has used Saturdays to burn off remaining episodes of canceled shows like Made in Jersey and Three Rivers, the network hasn't scheduled dramas on Saturday since the 2003-04 season, when Hack (starring David Morse and Andre Braugher) and The District (with Craig T. Nelson) aired on the night. More recently, CBS tried airing a comedy on Saturday, programming the David Spade sitcom Rules of Engagement there in 2011. But the network abandoned the experiment after just a few weeks, shifting Rules to Thursday to replace the DOA sitcom How to Be a Gentleman (which was burned off on, yes, Saturdays). Because CBS audiences responded to freshman fall series Bull, Kevin Can Wait, Man With a Plan and The Great Indoors, "we're sitting pretty good the other nights of the week," said Kahl. "Every night of the week counts, and as you look at your weekly numbers, an hour on Saturday counts exactly the same as an hour on Monday. So we saw an opportunity there for us." CBS gave Ransom a Sunday launch on Jan. 1, where it drew 6.7 million viewers, and a 0.8 rating in the adults 18-49 demo. Last week, in its first regular airing on Saturday at 8 p.m

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Unruly’s 2017 Predictions on Changing Media Consumption Behaviors

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January 9, 2017  |  Blog  |  No Comments

Here’s what you need know. In 2017, media consumption behaviors will only continue to change as emerging technology continues to evolve - staying on the cutting edge of these consumer behaviors is a big task! Unruly, a digital video distribution agency with a focus on emotional intelligence, has released their social and digital consumption predictions for 2017. Unruly’s managing director Oliver Smith will will be a featured speaker at our upcoming Engage: LA conference. The  report covers the following: Augmented reality has the scale but VR will have deeper impact. Vertical creatives will be the rule rather than the exception in 2017. Audio will have

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How to Revitalize Beloved Pop Culture Brands Like Star Trek, Hannibal and American Gods

December 28, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

These days, one of the safest bets for attracting TV or movie audiences is to rely on existing brand or franchise and try to revitalize it. When it's successful—like the recent Star Wars films or Fox's X-Files revival—it brings in both diehard fans and a fresh audience. Two of the best writers involved in resuscitating beloved pop culture properties are Bryan Fuller (who breathed new life into the stale Hannibal Lecter franchise by turning Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon into an audacious NBC series) and Michael Green (who worked on Smallville, putting a new spin on the Superman story). Now those two are teaming up for a new, high-profile adaptation, turning Neil Gaiman's acclaimed novel American Gods into a series for Starz, debuting this spring. But American Gods is just one of several major brand refreshes that Fuller or Green are overseeing in 2017. Fuller also co-created the first Star Trek series in 12 years, Star Trek: Discovery, for CBS All Access (though he has since departed the show) and is developing an updated version of the '80s anthology series Amazing Stories for NBC. Meanwhile, Green co-wrote three major franchise films: Logan (a darker, grittier spin on the Wolverine franchise), Alien: Covenant (the follow-up to Prometheus, which more directly ties into Alien) and Blade Runner 2049, which brings back Harrison Ford and whose first trailer generated enthusiastic buzz last week: As they prepare to launch American Gods in the spring, Fuller and Green sat down with Adweek to talk about their approach to breathing new life in beloved pop culture brands, and what they've learned about trying to make fans happy—or not: Adweek: What has to stand out for you when you're looking at an existing brand or a franchise, and trying to make it your own? Bryan Fuller: It has to be about something more than just its own plot, to start with. And you have to be able to isolate your own memory of what it is you loved about it. Because if you take something as broad as a superhero character, everyone came at it at a different time and a different incarnation and a different run of a different artist, and so there are different aspects of the character that are in the soul of it for you. That's the core of adaptation, is you have to be able to dive into those things and celebrate that particular aspect of it. It's about taking those core values of what the piece is and making sure that you can now re-present those things to other people, and hopefully they'll appreciate it in the same way that you did

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AT&T Unveils Pricing and Channel Lineups for Its DirectTV Now Streaming Bundle

November 29, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Starting Wednesday, cord-nevers, cord shavers and cord cutters will have a relatively inexpensive, easy new option to access live TV. AT&T finally unveiled pricing, channel lineups and more details about DirecTV Now, its over-the-top, streaming bundle service, which launches on Wednesday. The service, which doesn't require a set-top box, satellite dish, annual contract or credit checks, will debut with an introductory price of just $35 per month for more than 100 channels. "This is the foundation of how we're going to do things in the future," John Stankey, CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group, told reporters who gathered at New York's Venue 57 for the product launch. He added, "For the first time in our history, we have control of the full stack," explaining that it will use data insights from subscribers to create more targeted advertising capabilities for brands, which will keep its pricing low. With the launch, AT&T is targeting the 20 million-plus U.S. households that don't have cable or satellite service. "We get to address a new audience," said Stankey. "This opens up a whole new segment of the market." (Brad Bentley, evp and CMO at AT&T Entertainment Group, noted that market includes the "5-6 million people" who attempted to sign up for DirecTV but were unable to pass a credit check.) And, the company hopes, it persuades even more subscribers to its "mobile-first" product to switch over to its wireless service. AT&T wireless subscribers will be able to use DirecTV Now without the streaming counting against their data plan. While the service contains almost all of the country's biggest networks, there are a few major omissions. "The only thing missing is CBS and Showtime, which we are working on, actively," said Bentley. (The CW, which is also part of CBS Corp, is also MIA.) While "we're hopeful and optimistic" that AT&T and CBS will come to terms, Stankey noted, "the demographic may be a fit" for a CBS-less lineup—i.e., millennials don't watch CBS. However, they do watch The CW, which isn't available either. And while subscribers in "owned and operated" markets like New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia will be able to stream broadcast content live on NBC, ABC and Fox, those in smaller, affiliate markets will have to wait until the next day, when they can access network prime-time programming on demand. (The company said it is working with affiliates and hopes to expand its live offerings in the future.) The service also doesn't include DirecTV's prized NFL Sunday Ticket package—Stankey said the company is in talks with the NFL—DVR capabilities (those are coming next year) or the ability to pause live TV. (However, many channels have "72 hour lookback" capabilities.) While Stankey said that subscribers in owned and operated markets will be able to watch NFL games live on Fox and NBC, the feed will not be available to mobile subscribers in those markets, as Verizon retains exclusive NFL mobile streaming rights.

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The Trump Phenomenon Delivered Massive Ratings for Cable News Throughout

November 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Say what you want about the outcome, but the 2016 presidential election cycle was unlike any the news media has ever experienced. As you might expect, cable news reaped significant benefits from the volatility of the race in the form of huge ratings. Fox News beat CNN in total audience on election night 2016 during the full coverage block, from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Per Nielsen data, FNC delivered 12.2 million viewers compared to CNN's 11.2 million. Fox News' viewership climbed on an hourly basis through midnight, while both CNN and MSNBC peaked at around 10 p.m. The ratings trends seem make sense considering now President-elect Donald Trump gained momentum as the night went on, while Hillary Clinton steadily lost steam. Fox News also beat CNN in the all-important 2-3 a.m. time period, when the race was called.

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Could Blind Hiring Be the Solution to Increasing Diversity at Agencies?

November 8, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In September, HP sent a letter to its agencies asking for a detailed plan on how each would up its diversity quotient within 12 months. A month earlier, General Mills had mandated its agencies to have at least 50 percent women and 20 percent people of color working on its accounts. Other marketers such as Verizon have followed suit, and now agencies are scrambling to find a solution. Some have turned to a practice already used by technology companies like Google: blind hiring, which seeks to remove any identifying factors—name, gender, ethnicity and even education—from the initial round of interviews. The hope is that it will take away a hiring manager's unconscious biases and keep them focused on the candidate's talent and not be influenced by where they come from or went to school. "For us, it's all about how do you take out bias anywhere you can," said Cindy Augustine, global chief talent officer, FCB. FCB is one agency, alongside others including Dallas-based Levenson Group, to test blind hiring. To date, FCB has activated the program in FCB Health's offices New York and Chicago for a select number of positions, including strategy and analytics, with plans to open the program up across the network in the next three to six months. FCB tapped tech platform GapJumpers, which allows employers to ditch resumes and instead post challenges for potential new hires online. These challenges test the perspective employee's skills through something similar to a brief, but more pointed at the position that person applied for. Levenson Group, for example, asked prospective creative content writers to attract young drinkers to vodka over whisky or tequila using Instagram. To date, GapJumpers has conducted over 1,200 blind auditions and recorded, through working with companies including Google and Dolby, measurable results. Nearly 60 percent of the top performers have been women, proving the service can get a more diverse group through initial rounds of hiring. Through working with GapJumpers, Levenson Group chief product officer Paul McEnany said the agency hired a female candidate with no agency experience or no marketing degree. "I'm not even certain we would have interviewed her in the first place," said McEnany. Singleton Beato , evp, diversity and inclusion for the 4A's, praised platforms like GapJumpers, likening it to hit TV show The Voice where coaches evaluate contestants based on talent, not appearance

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Last Year’s Biggest Freshman TV Hits Have Lost Momentum in Season 2

November 3, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For a new TV series, the only thing harder than becoming a freshman hit is maintaining that momentum in Season 2. Several of last year's biggest critical and commercial hits, including Blindspot and Mr. Robot, have been felled by ratings and creative challenges in their sophomore seasons. Two of last fall's biggest success stories, NBC's Blindspot and ABC's Quantico, were hoping to grow their audiences in Season 2, but instead they've stumbled out of the gate. Blindspot, which averaged a 1.8 in the 18-49 demo last year, is off 30 percent, averaging a 1.3. However, much of that ratings drop can be explained by NBC relocating Blindpsot from its cushy post-Voice time slot on Mondays to Wednesdays at 8 p.m., when the network is much more vulnerable (and when the show is being trounced by another action-heavy series, Fox's Lethal Weapon). Quantico's fall is more alarming. It remained in the same time slot as last year (10 p.m. Sundays), but the series, which averaged a 1.2 in the demo last season, is off 33 percent with a 0.8. Last season's most promising freshman series for ABC is now the network's lowest-rated scripted series in the demo—though the network notes that it's had significant gains in delayed viewing

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Fox Hopes Its Brooklyn Nine-Nine/New Girl Crossover Will Boost Slumping Tuesday Ratings

October 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

We've seen The CW and CBS superheroes band together to defeat a common foe—and boost ratings in the process. Now, Fox is hoping that a team-up of its own comedy stars can help turn around its season. Tonight, the network is airing a crossover event for its two Tuesday night comedies, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl. It begins during the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode at 8 p.m., when New Girl's Jess (Zooey Deschanel) crosses paths with Nine-Nine detective Jake (Andy Samberg). The crossover continues during New Girl at 8:30, where the whole New Girl cast flies from Los Angeles to New York and stumbles upon several Nine-Nine characters.

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BBC America Teases 2 New Shows (and the Return of Doctor Who) at New York Comic-Con

October 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

What's one huge lesson Sarah Barnett, president of BBC America, has learned from events like Comic-Con? "Be superfans of your fans!" That's the approach BBC America brought to this year's New York Comic-Con, where it took over Madison Square Garden, with panels and mini-screeners for conventiongoers, as the first TV network to expand its presentation into that massive theater. Comic-Con, which also takes place in San Diego every year, is a place where fans come first. TV shows and networks combine with high-profile movies and comic books to create a whirlwind of fandom. "This is one of the most pop-culture literate groups of people," said Barnett. "They know their stuff. And there's an openness to good ideas and content

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Here Are the TV Shows and Networks People Watch Live Most and Least Often

October 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While broadcast viewers are thought to represent a more traditional TV audience than those watching cable, a new report says they are actually less likely to watch programming live than their cable counterparts, especially if the network in question is The CW. That information comes from TiVo Research's Q2 State of TV report, which was released today. The quarterly report tracks time-shifting using TiVo's Media TRAnalytics data set, which anonymously aggregates set-top box data from more than 2.3 million households including TiVo owners and other cable providers. According to the study, while the vast majority of TV viewing continues to be live, broadcast network prime-time viewing is more likely to be time-shifted than cable programming. Twenty-six percent of broadcast prime-time programming was time-shifted during the second quarter (23 percent overall was watched in the C3 window, from the same day to three days later; the other 3 percent was time-shifted four to seven days). In total day viewing, 20 percent of broadcast programing was time-shifted. For cable prime-time viewing during the quarter, 88 percent was viewed live, with total day viewing even higher at 91 percent. The CW is the most time-shifted of the broadcast networks. Only 56 percent of its viewers watch live in prime time.

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