Posts Tagged ‘network’

Resurrection Returns Strong for ABC

March 17, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ABC on Sunday night notched a significant victory in the prime-time ratings race, as the second installment of its new supernatural drama series, Resurrection , dominated the fiercely competitive 9 p.m. time slot. According to Nielsen fast national data, Resurrection scared up 10.8 million viewers and a 3.0 in the 18-49 demo, making it the night’s top-rated program. Resurrection retained 83 percent of its inaugural delivery (3.6), thereby putting a crimp in the time-slot premiere of NBC’s Believe . (When adjusted to reflect live-plus-same-day deliveries, the Resurrection premiere drew a 3.8 in the demo.) After premiering in the 10 p.m. window behind NBC’s The Voice, the J.J. Abrams thriller Believe fell sharply upon taking up residence in its official slot. Last night’s installment of Believe lost nearly half (48 percent) of its opening rating , averaging a 1.4 in the dollar demo.

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Sam Champion Wants to Make The Weather Channel a One-Stop Shop for News

March 17, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age Sam Champion Age 52 New gig Managing editor, anchor,The Weather Channel Old gig Weather anchor, Good Morning America You’ve said that your new morning show, AMHQ, will cover news, business, sports and other nonweather topics. Will that all be through the prism of weather? Weather affects every story—whether the event happened, whether people got there on time. If you’re talking about the president’s State of the Union address and he’s going to talk about climate change, how does that story “go through the prism of weather”? It’s a factual story. Weather is part of it.

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Nickelodeon’s Jim Perry Is Courting More Adult Advertisers

March 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Nickelodeon revealed its slate to advertisers yesterday, and while it's all squeaky-clean kids' fare (well, relatively speaking: "As you can see from the reel, bathroom humor still works," observed Nickelodeon president Cyma Zarghami during the presentation), the network is seeking ad partners with a greater emphasis on categories you wouldn't necessarily associate with children. "Kindle is sponsoring the Kids' Choice Awards," said Jim Perry, head of sales for the Nickelodeon group (which includes Nick proper, Nick Jr. and Nick at Nite), "and we now have over 15 retailers on our air—everything from Target and old Navy to Stride Rite and the Burlington Coat Factory." Obviously, that's not because kids are stealing the car and driving to Target. For many years, the rule that advertisers direct their ads at parents and not children was regarded as pro forma by clients. But in recent years, heightening standards (and parental activism) around unhealthy foods, coupled with the decline of the traditional toy market, have meant that advertisers really do have to use Nick—which controls the vast majority of saleable GRPs in the kids' market—to talk to parents themselves. Perry is way ahead of them. "You can really build a great financial literacy campaign around saving and learning the value of a dollar whether or not you're showing a credit card ad," he said. Placements and integrations like Toyota's SpongeBob ... uh, mobile

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A Look at What the Broadcast TV Networks Have in Store for 2014-15

March 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

“Time is a flat circle. Everything we’ve ever done or will do, we’re gonna do over and over and over again.” —Rustin Cohle While his musings have more to do with Nietzsche than Nielsen, True Detective’s nihilist ex-cop just as easily could have been inveighing against the infernal hamster wheel that is broadcast TV’s development process. Two-thirds of the way through another unremarkable season, the pilots designed to replace the failures of 2013-14 are a familiar stew of cop shows, bland comedies and spinoffs. And yet, hope springs eternal … Poised to win its first seasonal ratings crown in 10 years, NBC is still struggling with its Thursday night comedy lineup. All three newcomers have been shuttered, but with 19 sitcom pilots in the hopper, the Peacock has plenty of options. The twin comedy suns that light NBC’s corner of the universe are represented in Tina Fey’s Tooken and Amy Poehler’s Old Soul ; along with a Craig Robinson vehicle and Rob Lowe’s turn as a tennis hustler. These are the only projects that deviate from the cookie-cutter relationship comedy template. On the drama front, the resurrected CBS pilot Babylon Fields could bring NBC’s Wednesday 8 p.m. slot back from the dead. Speaking of CBS , the Eye Network once again has few weak spots to shore up, as it is expected to renew the vast majority of its lineup. (As CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves said last week, “The problem with our new development is, where do you put it all?”) Having secured the rights to the new Thursday Night Football package , CBS has a powerful new vehicle with which to promote its ailing Monday 10 p.m. slot. Look for Vince Gilligan’s Battle Creek and an untitled Wall Street drama from Taylor Elmore (Justified) and John Cusack to help level the playing field. Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly has made good on his promise to scrap the insanely inefficient custom that is pilot season, jumping straight into seven series orders. Among these are the Batman prequel Gotham, which could make for a nice fit on Monday nights with the returning Sleepy Hollow , and the Rainn Wilson detective strip, Backstrom. Seth MacFarlane, John Mulaney and Fey have comedies in the works for next season when Fox will have as many as six-and-a-half hours to fill each week.

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Meet 12 of the Biggest Young Stars on YouTube

March 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In a way, it all started with Fred Figglehorn, a chipmunk-voiced, fictional 6-year-old with a dysfunctional family, manic energy and anger issues who proved to be catnip to young viewers on YouTube.

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FX Is the Edgiest and Most Prolific Drama Producer on Ad-Supported TV

March 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Not so long ago, the prospect of an established actor accepting a role on a television series was as remote as the moons of Saturn. Backsliding from film to the boob tube was a tacit admission of defeat, one that could only lead to the purgatory that was a seat inside a garishly lit 6-foot-square window, flanked by your newfound friends and peers Dixie Carter and ALF. Billy Bob Thornton remembers it well. “When I was coming up, we all did television initially, and that was OK,” he says, speaking from the Calgary set of Fargo , an adaptation of Joel and Ethan Coen’s 1996 theatrical . “I’d get a bit part on Hunter or Matlock or Evening Shade, but if you were already established and you did TV, it meant the next stop was Hollywood Squares.” While certainly in no danger of fading into the long twilight of syndicated game-show obscurity, Thornton says the changing face of the independent film marketplace has made it increasingly difficult to tell the stories he’d like to pursue as a writer and an actor. “The $20-30 million adult drama, the medium-budget independent film, is a vanishing breed,” Thornton says. “Especially an adult drama with humor, which is my wheelhouse. Television has taken the place of those films. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”

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You Won’t Believe How Big TV Still Is

March 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As the upfronts approach and the NewFronts try again to imitate them, expect to hear a lot about the twilight of traditional television with the rise of digital video. But don’t believe it. A new study from Nielsen reveals the depth and breadth of both universes, and comparative viewership numbers aren’t even close. The study, conducted with ad targeting firm Simulmedia , contains plenty of insights, but among the most striking is the size of either industry. Nielsen rarely pulls back the veil on exactly how big the TV and video worlds are (they do mint the currency in the former, after all), but here it is in black and white: There are 283 million television viewers monthly (the population of the United States is 313 million), each watching an average of 146 hours of TV. Compare that with 155 million online video viewers averaging just shy of six hours monthly on mobile and almost six and a half hours over the Web. So while TV’s audience is still almost twice that of digital video, the amount of money in digital isn’t even 5 percent of the mammoth $74 billion chunk of change in television. What’s going to bring about growth in the former, said Amit Seth, Nielsen’s evp, global media products, is equivalency. ABC already offers digital options for audience deficiency units (ADUs, or makegoods), and Fox said last year it would provide Hulu inventory for the same purpose (neither network was able to provide comment by press time), but Seth said he foresees greater porousness between digital video and TV. The company isn’t just hoping for that—Nielsen’s oft-delayed DPR product, which measures non-mobile streaming video, is set to finally launch in the spring. Nielsen also will be continuing to refine a tool that other third-party data miners are already selling: purchaser data that gives a measurable ROI to advertisers. “We have access to 90-plus percent of credit card transactions, anonymized through a third-party data provider,” said Seth. “Do you shop home improvement? If so, do you shop at Home Depot or at Lowe’s?” Nielsen now knows. Content producers like NBCUniversal have pioneered similar initiatives, but it’s impossible to overstate the importance of third-party measurement as the analytics world gets more complicated. Lest this sound like too much progress too quickly, Dave Morgan, founder and CEO of Simulmedia, says not to worry. Business as usual will probably continue apace for a while. “The silos aren’t coming down anytime soon,” said Morgan

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Walking Dead Breathes Life Into AMC Networks

February 27, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Powered by the voracious and indefatigable phenomenon that is The Walking Dead , AMC Networks enjoyed a strong fourth quarter, boosting ad sales revenue 31 percent to $205 million. Advertiser demand for the AMC zombie apocalypse drama and solid distribution gains helped lift the company’s net income by 133 percent to $35.4 million, up from $15.2 million in Q4 2012. Affiliate fees grew 9 percent in the quarter to $199 million. All told, the domestic networks segment ( AMC , IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv) generated $404 million in overall revenue during the last three months of the calendar year, an improvement of 19 percent versus the year-ago period. AMC in Q4 aired eight episodes of The Walking Dead, which is now in the midst of its fourth season. The Oct. 13 premiere, “30 Days Without an Accident,” smashed all sorts of cable ratings records, scaring up 16.1 million viewers and a staggering 8.2 in the adults 18-49 demo . (Upon application of seven days of DVR playback, the episode delivered 20.8 million viewers and a gaudy 10.7 rating.) The one major drag on AMC’s performance was a $52 million write-off primarily related to the cancelation of two original series at the flagship network. “We were not happy with the performance of Low Winter Sun, which ran for one season, and The Killing, a show that ran for three seasons,” said AMC Nets president and CEO Josh Sapan, during a call with investors

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TV Review: TNT’s ‘Inside Job,’ ‘Save Our Business’

February 27, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Neither TNT nor the makers of “Inside Job” (from the producers of “Undercover Boss”) and “Save Our Business” (which seeks to turn entrepreneur Peter Jones into the next Gordon Ramsay, minus the food throwing) — who are each raiding their own respective filmographies — win points for originality with the network’s new business-oriented reality-TV block.... Read more

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Independent Cable Networks Don’t Agree on Comcast-TWC Merger

February 21, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As Comcast prepares to add millions more subscribers to its already vast base, there's one group particularly vulnerable to the newest and biggest kid on the block: independent cable networks. These folks don't have the leverage of channels owned by a Viacom or an ABC-Disney—they have to negotiate on their own individual merits, rather than as a value-add (or an additional burden, depending on whether the network or the MSO is talking) to the two or three must-have networks in a portfolio. Eric Sherman, CEO of health and lifestyle network Veria Living, is unimpressed with the merger, which will give Comcast nearly a one-third share of the 100 million subscriber cable market. "Over our history, consolidation hasn't been beneficial, and I can't imagine more consolidation providing new opportunities," Sherman told Adweek. "I think there needs to be an aggressive approach from the government in putting conditions on this merger. If you're going to give someone so much power in the marketplace, you have to make sure it's fair." Sherman points to the recent court victory effectively jeopardizing net neutrality laws and the ease of Comcast's purchase of NBCUniversal as evidence that cable and satellite operators are trying to collude against networks and ultimately, consumers. "The Comcast-NBC merger [was going to provide] more opportunity for minorities, supposedly," he said. "That doesn't appear to have happened." Comcast's FCC-mandated minority-owned networks are mostly underdistributed outside Comcast and barely programmed, though El Rey in particular is seeking to break out with leg up from Univision, ironically a prime competitor of Comcast's own Telemundo. Aspire airs reruns of The Bill Cosby Show, The Flip Wilson Show, and Julia four times a day each. For Sherman, the new deal will seem like another win for the big guy over the little guy unless there's more stringent regulation. "We're going to explore our options with the FCC, with the DoJ, with other government groups so that consolidation doesn't stop diversity in the industry and our growth specifically," he said.

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