Posts Tagged ‘network’

How CBS Has Spent the Past Year Trying to Get You to Watch Super Bowl 50

February 3, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When George Schweitzer was researching CBS's coverage of the very first Super Bowl as part of his preparation for the network's Super Bowl 50 marketing campaign, he made note of a Washington Post article from January 1967. "It said in the TV column, 'CBS is pulling out all the stops and promoting this game all over, using their celebrities,'" said Schweitzer. "And I was imagining, what were 'the stops' in 1967?" Whatever they were, they don't come close to the exhaustive, yearlong marketing effort Schweitzer, the president of CBS Marketing Group, and his team have concocted as they try to attract as many viewers as possible for Sunday's Super Bowl telecast. "We were there for the first one in 1967," he said of Super Bowl I, which was jointly televised by CBS and NBC. "Since then, it has really transformed into a national day of celebration." And CBS is hoping the game's 50th year will yield its biggest celebration yet. "This one is very special," said Schweitzer, who is working on his sixth Super Bowl for CBS. "The Super Bowl is the singular biggest event in our culture, in our business, in the mainstream, in everything. It has so many moving parts beyond the game. What we've learned over the years is how to activate all those other moving parts, because it attracts, obviously, people who don't watch a football game all year long." Because of that, CBS didn't waste any time in starting to promote Super Bowl 50. The network rolled out its very first promo last Feb. 2, just one night after NBC aired last year's Super Bowl (which drew 114.4 million viewers), and debuted the network's manta for the coming year: "We were there for the first. We'll be there for the 50th." Adweek responsive video player used on /video. "That was what I would call a 'plant the flag' kind of spot," said Schweitzer. "Once the other one was over, we established CBS immediately as the home of the 50th." Taking his cue from the traditional 50th anniversary color, Schweitzer created a campaign that seemed to bathed in gold. "We've embraced it in a big way," he said, "because we think it helps achieve what we want, which is to turn this into more than the event itself, and make it look like it's very coordinated and cohesive on CBS. And that went from not just the network, but our local stations, our O&O [owned-and-operated] stations, our affiliate stations, our 120 radio stations, all of our online and streaming services. Anything that isn't nailed down around here is part of our gold celebration." For the Super Bowl 50 campaign, the network shot around 40 of CBS's prime-time, news and sports celebrities in various football scenarios and traveled to a smelting plant in California, where it photographed molten gold getting poured into a mold, using that footage for promotion. The gold motif extended to CBS's fall campaign, so= even when the network wasn't specifically promoting the Super Bowl, it retained those promos' key elements. On Dec.

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Grease Live Draws 12.2 Million Viewers, Making Fox’s First Live Musical a Hit

February 1, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fox has chills, and they're multiplying. That's because Grease Live, the network's first foray into the live musical genre that NBC has owned since 2013, was a huge success for the network Sunday night. Grease Live attracted 12.2 million viewers and a 4.3 rating among adults ages 18 to 49, according to preliminary Nielsen numbers. That tops the 11.5 million viewers and 3.4 demo rating for NBC's The Wiz Live in December and comes close to the numbers for NBC's biggest live musical: 2013's The Sound of Music Live, which drew 18.6 million total viewers and a 4.6 rating in the demo. The show was particularly strong among younger viewers, with a 3.7 rating in adults 18-34 and teens. The teen rating was 23 percent higher than Sound of Music's numbers, Fox noted. (While the network has stopped reporting live-plus-same-day ratings , it makes exceptions for live events like Grease.) The ratings are also good news for Coca-Cola, which sponsored Grease Live with period-appropriate integrations and also ran three spots during the show. Grease Live's success is one last win for former Fox chief Kevin Reilly, who green-lit the musical in April 2014, less than two months before he stepped down. "The truth is, Grease was ordered before we came to the network. We were thrilled with it and embraced it," Gary Newman, co-CEO and co-chairman of Fox Television Studios, told Adweek last month. While there were plenty of questions leading up to last night's musical—How would the rainstorm pelting Los Angeles impact the show, part of which was set on the Warner Bros. backlot? Would Vanessa Hudgens, who played Rizzo, be able to carry on after the tragic death of her father a day earlier?—audiences were most dazzled by the technical wizardry of director Thomas Kail, who also helmed the Broadway sensation Hamilton. The show had 1.2 million tweets, with the most-tweeted minute occurring at 8:31 p.m. ET, after Boyz II Men sang "Beauty School Dropout." The most TiVo'd moment came at 9:26 p.m., when Sandy (played by Julianne Hough) stands up for Rizzo, who sings "There are Worse Things I Could Do." In addition to Kail's euphoric camera work, the show was given an energy boost by the inclusion of a live audience, which have not been a part of NBC's musicals. "It's just one of the ideas we are doing to sort of burst open the genre of a live television musical," said executive producer Marc Platt. The production took over two soundstages and half of the Warner Bros. backlot, where the finale's carnival scene took place

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Broadcast TV Is Still Outpacing Netflix’s Top Shows by Millions of Viewers Per Episode

January 21, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Hit streaming shows on Netflix and Amazon may seem to be pulling huge audiences, but they're still lagging far behind TV's top programs, according to data obtained exclusively by Adweek. Multiplatform measurement firm Symphony Advanced Media—whose data was recently used by NBC as evidence the network was staying well ahead of Netflix—has released a new round of viewership stats showing the biggest shows in streaming still don't measure up to broadcast's top series. Symphony's VideoPulse measurement tool looked at the average 18- to 49-year-old audience per episode within the first 35 days of broadcast, and includes DVR, on-demand and streaming data in addition to live viewing. While some of this data was shared by NBCU ratings guru Alan Wurtzel last week , the data released today offers a more complete picture of the 18-49 audience last fall per episode on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Crackle's original series. Here's how many people watched each episode of top streaming shows over a 35-day period this past fall, according to Symphony: Marvel's Jessica Jones (Netflix): 4.81 million* Master of None (Netflix): 3.92 million Narcos (Netflix): 3.21 million** The Man in the High Castle (Amazon): 2.12 million* Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (Netflix): 832,000** Transparent (Amazon): 653,000*** Orange is the New Black (Netflix): 644,000** Hemlock Grove (Netflix): 597,000 Dinotrux (Netflix): 534,000** Casual (Hulu, ongoing series): 491,000 The Hotwives of Las Vegas (Hulu, ongoing series): 336,000 Longmire (Netflix): 139,000 The Art of More (Crackle): 80,000* Bojack Horseman (Netflix): 64,000** Project Mc2 (Netflix): 42,000** * These titles were released later in fall, so the measurement reflects between 31 and 35 days of viewing. ** These titles were released before Sept. 1, when Symphony's measurement began, so the data reflects viewing between Sept. 1 and Oct. 6. *** Measurement only includes 21 days of episode 1 (released Nov. 30), and 10 days for the other nine episodes (released on Dec. 11). Symphony's data shows the continued resilience of Netflix's summer hits like Wet Hot American Summer and Orange is the New Black, which outrated "new" Hulu programming, even though they premiered months earlier. Narcos premiered Aug. 28, just a few days before VideoPulse's measurement began

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NBC Expects Another Billion-Dollar Olympics in Terms of Ad Sales

January 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It might not be the Powerball jackpot, but NBC has been raking in the money for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Seven months before the opening ceremony, NBC Sports' ad sales chief Seth Winter said the network is ahead of where it was at this time four years ago before the London games. But it wasn't always looking that way. "A couple months ago, we were behind London," Winter told reporters today on a conference call. In the past few weeks, Winter said, they closed "a couple" of significant pieces of business in the $25 million to $50 million range, and now he expects to top the more than $1 billion in national ad sales for the London games.

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Here’s How Mr. Robot Plans to Top Itself in Season 2

January 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After shaking up the television landscape last summer with Mr. Robot, USA now has the daunting task of trying to top itself when the series returns for Season 2 this summer. Before production began on 2015's best new series , the show's stars and creator Sam Esmail assembled at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour today to talk about what is in store for Elliot (Rami Malek) and the other characters next season. "We could not be more proud of Mr. Robot," said Chris McCumber, president of USA Network. "This was a big week for the series," which won two Golden Globes on Sunday , for best drama and best supporting actor (Christian Slater). "The series struck a chord with fans that no television show has done in a while. From the moment we saw the pilot, we knew we had something special." Now Esmail's challenge is to keep that momentum going in Season 2, which will address the fallout from the big twists involving Malek and Slater's characters. "The whole show has been about Elliot's emotional journey, and I really wanted to focus on that and make it less about the plot. For me, the headline for Season 2 is: how do these two guys reconcile? How does Elliot reconcile with the fact that he's just seeing this fantasy? So that's the struggle that is going to take over in Season 2," said Esmail.

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After a Bumpy Fall, ABC Retools for Midseason With Four New Shows

January 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ABC had a mixed fall, with a fledgling hit in Quantico, as well as the season's first canceled series in Wicked City. But ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee said today that the best is yet to come this season for the network. Speaking at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, Lee touted "four incredibly powerful shows" that are coming to the network in midseason: dramas The Family (which we think is the best broadcast pilot this season ; it premieres March 3), Of Kings and Prophets (March 8) and The Catch (March 24), along with comedy The Real O'Neals (which Lee said is "absolutely on brand for what an ABC comedy is" and debuts March 8). For a network to keep its momentum building, "you have to add a couple of assets" each year, said Lee, pointing to freshman hit Quantico, which is "a real asset for ABC," especially given its strong delayed viewing growth. Lead Priyanka Chopra "is a quintessential ABC star," he said. Two of those four midseason shows, The Catch and Of Kings and Prophets, have undergone significant recasting and retooling since ABC ordered them last spring. Lee won't see the revised pilot for The Catch, which is executive produced by Shonda Rhimes, until next week, but said, "if you like TGIT , you'll like The Catch." He explained that The Catch wasn't a "fully-formed" pilot like How to Get Away With Murder, but its retooling "certainly has paid off in terms of the scripts I've seen." Also returning at midseason is Season 2 of anthology series American Crime, which debuted earlier this week and "is becoming a distinct and powerful brand," said Lee. He added that he wasn't concerned about FX's similarly named "American Crime Story" anthology series, which will focus on O.J. Simpson's murder trial during its first season. Lee said American Crime "stands on its own, but there's probably room for both, to be honest." There wasn't room on ABC for the quickly-canceled Wicked City, which might have been off-brand for the network, admitted Lee. "I love taking big swings, and that was a big swing. …It didn't work, but I was proud to have done it." Wicked City was yet another Tuesday 10 p.m. failure for Lee, who will try and reverse his time slot problems with Of King and Prophets, which he called "a muscular, theatrical, fascinating piece." In addition to reworking Of Kings and Prophets and The Catch, Lee is also making changes to The Muppets, which arrived to great fanfare last fall , yet disappointed audiences. "The expectations were very high; we ran a great campaign for that," he said

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Starz Plans Its Own Stand-Alone Service to Compete With HBO and Showtime

January 8, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After previously insisting that it was "far away" from developing a stand-alone service to reach viewers without a cable subscription, Starz has reversed course. The premium cable network is now following HBO and Showtime's lead in preparing its own OTT app. "Yeah, we're in the midst of doing it," Starz CEO Chris Albrecht said at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. "Nothing to really talk about right now. To have your own app is the opportunity to be distributed, either by our current distribution partners in different ways … or potential other portals. It is early days with that stuff, but it seems as if the new and the old are willing to exist side by side for a while.

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Discovery Will Try to Capitalize on People’s Sudden Obsession With ‘Making a Murderer’

January 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As the country's enthusiasm for Netflix's Making a Murderer continues to grow, Investigation Discovery is jumping on the bandwagon, fast-tracking a special on Steven Avery, the man whose case is the focus of the riveting true-crime series. "As the country's most experienced true-crime network, we feel compelled to address what we believe are missing from the case as presented in Netflix's current documentary series, Making a Murderer," Henry Schlieff, group president for Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America, said at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. Investigation Discovery has partnered with Peacock Productions (a division of NBC News) to produce a special, Front Page: The Steven Avery Story, which started production this week and will air later in January. Hosted by Dateline NBC correspondent Keith Morrison, the program is "an attempt to provide critical, crucial evidence and testimonies that answer many of the questions surrounding Steven Avery," said Schlieff. Making a Murderer, which Netflix released Dec. 18, has left the country buzzing about Avery, who along with his nephew, was convicted of murdering photographer Teresa Halbach. Avery had previously served 18 years in prison for rape when he was released in 2003 after DNA evidence exonerated him. He was arrested and convicted of Halbach's murder two years later, after he had filed a civil suit over his false conviction. More than 360,000 people have signed online petitions calling for Avery's pardon as a result of Making a Murderer, which raises serious questions about the case against Avery. A year ago, Investigation Discovery quickly developed its own true-crime podcast to take advantage of the frenzy around the first season of Serial. But ID isn't the only Discovery network looking to get in on the true-crime craze sparked by Making a Murderer, Serial and HBO's The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst. On Tuesday, Discovery launched its first true-crime series, Killing Fields, which the network said is shot in "real time" as an investigation unfolds. Executive produced by Barry Levinson, the show follows a cold case from June 1997 in Iberville Parish, La., where a Louisiana State University graduate student, Eugenie Boisfontaine, disappeared. Her body was discovered two months later. Detective Rodie Sanchez, who was assigned to the case in 1997, has come out of retirement and reopened the case. In Killing Fields, he is paired with a younger detective, Aubrey St. Angelo, as they reinvestigate the murder.

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Here’s How Viceland Plans to Lure Millennials Back to TV

January 6, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The conventional wisdom is that millennials are fleeing TV, but as usual, Vice is playing the role of disrupter. On Feb. 29, the company will take over History offshoot H2 and launch a new network called Viceland. "As a company, to get this kind of production budget can still only be done in television," said Spike Jonze, Viceland's creative director, speaking at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif. "The idea of a TV channel seems like a fun medium to explore and play with," said Jonze.

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Netflix’s Content Chief Just Perfectly Summarized How the TV Industry’s Been Broken Since Birth

January 6, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Netflix execs had a lot to say at the streaming giant's CES keynote today, but amid all the flashy trailers and big global news, one compelling tidbit was largely overlooked. CEO Reed Hastings was clearly the star of the show, where he announced Netflix's sudden surge into more than 130 new countries today. But also on stage was chief content officer Ted Sarandos, who talked not only about Netflix's popular programming but also about the company's role as a consumer advocate of sorts. Here's how Sarandos beautifully summarized the profits-first, viewers-second mentality that has frequently driven decision making in Hollywood and across the entertainment and broadcast industries: "Over the last 70 years, consumers have been at the mercy of others when it comes to television. The shows and movies they want to watch are subject to business models that they do not understand and they do not care about. All they know is frustration

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