Posts Tagged ‘network’

A&E Orders Third Season of ‘Bates Motel’

April 7, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

A&E has picked up a third season of original series “Bates Motel,” A&E Network exec VP and general manager David McKillop announced Monday. Production will begin in the fall for the 10 episodes slated for season three of the series, a contemporary prequel to Hitchcock’s “Psycho” starring Freddie Highmore as a teenage Norman Bates. “The incredible... Read more

Read More

Former TV News Stars Are Finding a Second Life Online

March 31, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Far from hearing crickets after streaming into the Internet abyss, former TV news talent are unearthing a flourishing market online. In mid-March, Katie Couric interviewed former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the former CBS Evening News anchor’s first assignment as global news anchor for Yahoo . And Cenk Uygur’s The Young Turks Network last week introduced a 30-minute version of its live YouTube newscast and a weekly entertainment program called Pop Trigger on Hulu and Hulu Plus. It’s the first deal the liberal-leaning outfit inked since being canceled by Current TV after its sale to Al Jazeera last summer . Its new digital home is prime turf for TYT’s 18-34 demo. “Our flagship show is already bigger online,” Uygur said. “Why would I need to go back into the format where I would get less views?” Online news outlets know that longevity and shareability beat breaking news. That can include stretching a viral video into an entire segment. “It’s not just who watches that night—it’s have you created a show or a good segment that people are going to watch over time?” said Jon Housman, CEO of Ora.TV, the home of Larry King Now. An added benefit: It is ridiculously cheap to produce, as Forrester Research vp James McQuivey pointed out. While TV news operations sweat cash sending reporters to Afghanistan, Web news sites can do video chats with interviewees for a fraction of the cost. Their success online doesn’t mean that if given the chance, online news anchors wouldn’t come crawling back to television. Even as he promises to never abandon his online followers, even Uygur isn’t fully closing the book on cable

Read More

E! Green-Lights The Royals Starring Elizabeth Hurley

March 26, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's finally happening: E!'s scripted series, The Royals, will grace its viewers with its presence in 2015. A one-hour drama by Mark Schwahn about the British royal family and starring Elizabeth Hurley, the show has been ordered to series by E!, though the network did not say how many episodes it would have. Also on the docket for the women's cable network: Botched, a reality series about correcting horrific plastic surgery mistakes, ordered for eight hour-long episodes and set for September; and Escape Club, a competition show in which twentysomething competitors are sent off to a tropical resort where they compete for the privilege to stay in the sun (think of it as the opposite of Survivor). E!'s development slate has a deepening bench scripted shows, too, including Songbyrd, by Gray's Anatomy writer Krista Vernoff and "featuring the experiences of" songwriter Diane Warren, who is a consulting producer (presumably Songbyrd uses details from Warren's life—the show is about an unlucky-in-love songwriter). And there's also a miniseries about drama among scions of the Gucci clan.

Read More

ESPN Inks Dr Pepper as First Mega-Sponsor of the College Football Playoff Series

March 25, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ESPN has signed on Dr Pepper as the first official Championship Partner of the College Football Playoff series, which kicks off on Jan. 1 in Pasadena and New Orleans. Analogous to the NCAA’s Corporate Championships program, the CFP Championship Partner designation represents the highest level of sponsorship and activation. While financials were not disclosed, conservative estimates put the investment at around what one might expect to pay for a title sponsorhip—about $35 million per season. (Unlike the six major feeder bowls—Rose, Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Chick-fil-A—the new CFP championship game will not be backed by a corporate sponsor.) “This is the biggest sponsorship deal we’ve done,” said Dr Pepper's evp of marketing, Jim Trebilcock.

Read More

ESPN Inks Dr Pepper as First Mega-Sponsor of the College Football Playoff Series

March 25, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ESPN has signed on Dr Pepper as the first official Championship Partner of the College Football Playoff series, which kicks off on Jan. 1 in Pasadena and New Orleans. Analogous to the NCAA’s Corporate Championships program, the CFP Championship Partner designation represents the highest level of sponsorship and activation. While financials were not disclosed, conservative estimates put the investment at around what one might expect to pay for a title sponsorhip—about $35 million per season. (Unlike the six major feeder bowls—Rose, Orange, Sugar, Cotton, Fiesta, Chick-fil-A—the new CFP championship game will not be backed by a corporate sponsor.) “This is the biggest sponsorship deal we’ve done,” said Dr Pepper's evp of marketing, Jim Trebilcock.

Read More

Ben Sherwood Named Top Dog at Disney/ABC Television Group

March 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Walt Disney Co. announced today that it has named ABC News president Ben Sherwood the successor to Anne Sweeney. Effective Feb. 1, 2015, Sherwood will assume the title of co-chairman, Disney Media Networks and president, Disney/ABC Television Group.

Read More

IFC Has a New Documentary Parody Show From SNL Alums

March 20, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

IFC announced its upfront slate just shy of this evening's presentation in Manhattan. The agenda for the 2014-15 season (or the cable equivalent thereof) includes American Documentary, a new series created by Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers and Bill Hader; as well as a scripted half-hour called American Storage, created by Children's Hospital showrunner Rob Huebel. SNL mastermind Lorne Michaels will produce American Documentary, which the network says will be shot "on location" with a first season of six half-hour episodes as it explores the lives of fictional people in presumably real places.

Read More

Killing Jesus Will Be 4 Hours Long With a Teleplay by the Writer of the Wild Bunch

March 19, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Yes, the Bill O'Reilly book-based special to end all Bill O'Reilly book-based specials is too large for just one evening: the National Geographic Channel will air Killing Jesus (to be produced by Ridley Scott, as were partnerships Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy) over two nights and four hours, with a teleplay by Walon Green. National Geographic went big on this year's upfront presentation after several years of smaller-scale one-on-ones with press. As the network has grown under David Lyle since his appointment to the CEO position in 2011, it's had help from corporate siblings (new Fox broadcasting hit Cosmos re-airs on the network on Mondays), but it's also managed to grow its own hits, notably last year's Brain Games, which earned both plaudits and legions of imitators before it even aired. Rich Goldfarb, head of ad sales for the network, said that the company had had particular success with integrated ads in the previous year. General Motors, among others, has had trucks featured in the Alaskan Wild, and Goldfarb said Brain Games had lent itself well to integrated advertising. "If you'd asked me to come up with a show to sell to advertisers, I would have come up with Brain Games," he said. The network's batting average has gotten very high: the upfront boasted three renewals (for a second season) and six returning series (for a third season or greater). Among the new shows on the network were You Can't Lick Your Elbow, which, in addition to its informative title, will teach viewers about things their bodies can (and cannot, no matter how far you bend your neck) do. NatGeo is calling this genre of programming "smartertainment" and seems to be looking for shows to tap into the same market that likes Brain Games—other series include Crowd Control, about how to encourage good behavior in public, and Going Deep with comedian David Rees, a show about how improve everyday activities like shoe-tying (the press kit handed out at the end of the presentation included a 200-page-plus book by Rees called How to Sharpen Pencils). In other genres, the network is in familiar territory. There's a small-business show called Fish Tank Kings, a miniseries recalling both the format and the perspective of NatGeo's The 80's called The 90's (the title card featured both O.J. and Bill Clinton being sworn in), and Dr. Oakley: Yukon Vet, about veterinarian Michelle Oakley, who told Adweek she'd recently been avoiding stampeding elephants in Sri Lanka (and had video to prove it). NatGeo also has a new documentary called The War Generals set for release, featuring interviews with David Petraeus, Colin Powell, Stanley McChrystal, and Wesley Clark, among others.

Read More

ABC Family Upfront Is a Table Read and Screening of Pretty Little Liars

March 19, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ABC Family isn't messing with success: this evening's upfront took place in the form of a table read (followed by a screening) of the season finale for Pretty Little Liars, one of the most popular shows on television in the teen/young adult demo (women 12-34). Rather than screen new material, the network is simply deepening its bench: no new series green lights were announced, but executives have commissioned three new pilots. The first and most interesting, Alice in Arabia, has caused controversy despite having only been in the news for a few hours. The drama follows a teenage American girl kidnapped by her extended Saudi Arabian family who "is held a virtual prisoner in her grandfather's royal compound." Written by a former U.S. Army cryptolinguist who supported NSA missions in the Middle East, the plot summary for the pilot generated controversy with a line about the protagonist trying to get home "while surviving life behind the veil." (Anti-Islamic sentiments frequently single out veils and head scarves.) So there were plenty of tweets like this online:

Read More

GSN Greenlights 4 New Series As Advertiser List Grows

March 18, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Game Show Network (GSN) is evidently crushing it with advertisers, so it has greenlit four new series for this year with the goal of further increasing female viewership. For instance, there's Idiot Test, a brainteaser game show revealed by the company today that's hosted by comedian Ben Gleib . It joins It Takes a Church, a matchmaking series the network dubbed the “anti-Bachelor," and a show called Skin Wars that's hosted by Rebecca Rominjn —a competition-style show that will pit 10 bodypainters against each other for a cash prize. And Mind of a Man recently debuted as a game show where female contestants probe the male psyche. John Zaccario, GSN's evp of sales, said that his company added roughly 70 advertisers in 2013 but didn't name brands.

Read More