Posts Tagged ‘network’

A Humbled Fox Seeks to Change Its Fortunes

January 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The last time Fox was at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, then-chief Kevin Reilly declared that pilot season was dead (which topped my list of the most ridiculous statements network presidents said last year). Well, Reilly stepped down last May, pilot season is alive and well, and a

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Resurgent NBC Sets Sights on Two Remaining Weak Spots: Thursdays and Comedies

January 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt started at the network in 2011, things looked bleak. NBC has now clawed its way back to first place in the 18-49 demographic, thanks to Sunday Night Football, The Voice and hits like The Blacklist. But the entertainment chairman knows his network still has two big problems to fix if it wants to remain on top: addressing the network's comedy woes and restoring luster to Thursday night, which has gone from Must-See TV to Barely Seen TV. "I think we're moving along nicely, but it's far from a done deal. We're in much better shape than we were two years ago, but we still have a lot of row to hoe," Greenblatt said at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour this week. At the top of his list: shoring up his comedy development. "We are really challenged by the comedy brand that we're trying to build on this network," said Greenblatt, who is going away from single-camera sitcoms (he already gave the network's single-cam Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to Netflix, to the delight of creator Tina Fey ) and back to multi-cam shows, including One Big Happy, debuting March 17. "Some of the best shows on NBC in its history were multi-cams." While the refocus on comedy will take months or years to bear fruit, NBC is taking more immediate steps to save Thursdays, which "used to be the big night of television for NBC," Greenblatt said. "It's an important night for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is it is a great, desirable night for advertising." But the network has languished on the night with low-rated, quickly canceled comedies like The Michael J. Fox Show and this season's Bad Judge and A to Z . "Putting comedies we love there and having them fail started to feel like the definition of insanity," said entertainment president Jennifer Salke. Instead, Greenblatt is making a bold but perilous gamble, moving his biggest scripted series, The Blacklist, to Thursdays at 9 p.m., where it will face-off against Scandal on ABC beginning Feb. 5. "It's a risky but necessary move for us to make," said Greeblatt, who pointed to other big Thursday-night shifts that seemed potentially disastrous at the time but paid off, including Fox's The Simpsons, CBS' CSI and most recently Grey's Anatomy, which laid the groundwork for ABC's TGIT. "The only way to really reinvigorate that night is to jumpstart it with something like The Blacklist," Greenblatt said. "If you don't start that move at some point, you'll never get there." Looking beyond those two giant holes, Greenblatt announced several projects with big-name stars. He has given a 13-episode series order to Telenovela, a Soapdish -like comedy about a diva star (played by Eva Longoria, who will also produce) that is set behind the scenes of a telenovela production. And Jennifer Lopez will star in a new drama, Shades of Blue, about a single mom and detective who is recruited to work undercover for FBI's anti-corruption task force.

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From USA to Bravo, NBCUniversal’s Cable Channels are in Transition

January 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As NBC proper continues to build momentum—attracting more viewers ages 18 to 49 than any other broadcast network—many of parent

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NBC Says It Will be a ‘Huge Disappointment’ if Super Bowl Doesn’t Break Ratings Records

January 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

What is NBC shooting for when it comes to this year's big game? Oh, just 115 million people. It's expected that each Super Bowl

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Nickelodeon Says It’s Growing Audience by Adding Sports to the Mix

January 14, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's been four months since kid-focused cable network Nickelodeon took the leap of dedicating a 2-hour prime-time block to sports programming. So how is it working out? Pretty well, say the numbers. Since its September debut, NickSports has grown the Wednesday block by 15 percent with boys ages 6 to 11 and 19 percent with kids (girls and boys combined) in the same age group. "We are hitting all the touch points everyone wants to be involved in," says Keith Dawkins, svp and general manager for Nicktoons, TeenNick and NickJr. Michael Strahan hosted 2014's Kids' Choice Sports Awards, drawing 2.7 million viewers. The idea for the programming block, airing from 9 to 11 p.m. ET,

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TV Guide Network Relaunches as Pop, With Original Shows and No Annoying Scroll

January 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On Wednesday, free of scrolling listings, the TV Guide Network is relaunching as Pop, a network catering to "enthusiastic fandom" in pop culture. Pop is targeting a 35-45 audience that grew up in the late '80s and early '90s, a group that network president Brad Schwartz is calling the "modern grown-up" (Pop has copyrighted the term, which is the network's version of Bravo's "Affluencer" and Syfy's " Igniter ."). Instead of emulating E! or Bravo, Schwartz said the channel is patterning itself more after the pop culture-worshipping sensibilities of Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres. As Pop launches, all of TVGN's license agreements with its distributors remain intact, since the network—which will debut in more than 80 million homes—is still considered a general entertainment channel. "We're putting a different logo on it and a new energy and new programming, but we're still certainly exactly what we're defined to be," says Schwartz (who oversaw the rebranding of Fuse, as well). "We couldn't have turned this thing into a military channel or a sports channel or a kids channel, but what we're doing is exactly what our definitions are." Pop's "great channel position" also hasn't been affected by the rebranding, aside from the "more analog distributors, where TV Guide was still channel 5," who have relocated next to channels like E! Even better, all market agreements for TVGN's much-maligned TV listing scroll—which had been the network's initial reason for existing—finally lapsed six months ago

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CBS Insists It’s Changing With the Times

January 12, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

CBS might be the oldest-skewing and fustiest of the broadcasters, but its entertainment chief, Nina Tassler, insisted it’s changing with the times during her network’s portion of the TV Critics Assn. tour Monday. At the same time, the network continues to be reliant on a brand of programming — the procedural crime drama — that... Read more

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From Stage to Superhero: The Flash’s Grant Gustin Has Always Been on the Fast Track

January 12, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's the biggest show on the CW and on track to become the network's most-watched series ever. The Flash, it appears, really can outrun everything. As with any prime-time property, especially one on the vanguard of a comics-driven movement reshaping the television landscape, it is essential to get the right guy to play the lead. The network found an unlikely—but ideal—superhero in Grant Gustin, whose most recent major role had him playing a conniving villain, the backstabbing Sebastian Smythe, on Fox's Glee. In The Flash, the six-foot-plus, 24-year-old theater veteran plays a crime-fighter who hasn't quite grown into his mask yet. It agrees with him. You started out dancing before you played a superhero who runs, right? Yeah, kind of from an early age I just did what I loved to do, which, at 8 years old, became tap dancing. Why was that? Because of Gene Kelly and Singin' in the Rain, specifically, and Donald O'Connor

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History Channel Heads West With New Texas Series, Shot in Classic CinemaScope

January 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Following the success of Hatfields & McCoys, History has another Western miniseries premiering on Memorial Day, this time focusing on

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SAG-AFTRA Members Ratify Network Code Contract

January 10, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Members of SAG-AFTRA have ratified a three-years-plus successor deal to its master contract covering non-primetime TV work. The vote in favor of the deal was 96.5% of ballots cast and follows the SAG-AFTRA national board’s recommendation in December that members vote for the deal with ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Ballots were mailed to approximately... Read more

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