Posts Tagged ‘network’

Study: Game of Thrones Leading the Charge for HBO Now Viewers

April 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Cutting the cord has created larger viewership numbers for HBO, according to a new study by Amobee Brand Intelligence . The digital marketing and data analytics firm said HBO consumption has increased 85 percent since the network announced it would debut its

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How ABC Got Its Groove Back (Only Partly Because of Shonda Rhimes)

April 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ABC has had little reason to smile over the past dreary decade, as it often has found itself bringing up the rear among viewers ages 18-49. Its sole upfront highlight is usually Jimmy Kimmel's annual skewering of the network and its perpetual ratings woes. But this season, things are finally starting to look up for ABC. The network has pulled itself out of the 18-49 ratings basement it occupied for the past three seasons (it's now in third place, just ahead of Fox), and it's the only broadcast network up season to date in the 18-49 demographic (to a 2.2, from last year's 2.1). Thanks to its mighty, all-Shonda Rhimes TGIT block, Thursdays are at a five-year high in the demo. And its fortified Wednesday comedy block (featuring The Middle, The Goldbergs, Modern Family and Black-ish) is at a three-year high. While the network canceled the Manhattan Love Story this season, it has also had several freshman hits, including How to Get Away With Murder (already renewed for next year), Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat, which is doubling the ratings ABC got in the time slot last fall. As the upfronts approach, ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee talked about how the network has reinvented itself—and why its recent success is only partially due to Queen Shonda. Thank God It's Thursday Lee's most successful play this season was handing over his Thursday night lineup to Rhimes: Grey's Anatomy and Scandal, both of which she created, and How to Get Away with Murder, which she executive produces. Most critically, he branded the night TGIT (Thank God It's Thursday), an ode to the TGIF Friday night comedy block that was a ratings hit in the '90s. "We took a brand that my boss Bob Iger invented [in 1989], TGIF, and we burnished it. It was very sweet to take a dormant brand and reinvent it on Thursday as something that was just as fresh today as that was then," said Lee. But as successful as TGIT has been, Lee isn't sure he can replicate it on another night. "A brand has to match the shows that are there.

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James Patterson Conquers the Hollywood Jungle

April 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

"Nobody tells you when you pay six figures for a lion for a couple days that, to perform, they have to eat a lot of meat. The problem is they eat so much they get lazy and stop being scary after a couple days, so then you have to bring in a second lion. Now we have one lion who's great at snarling and snapping and roaring, and another one that's great at running." Bill Robinson, co-president of James Patterson Entertainment, is talking about Zoo, one of two projects it is currently working on for CBS. ( Zoo premieres June 30 , while For Justice, a mystery pilot set in the 1960s South, has not yet been ordered to series.) Along with fellow co-president Leopoldo Gout, Robinson runs the enterprise that manages everything with the superstar author (300 million-plus books in print) and former adman's name on it, which also includes a TV series in development with Paramount based on one of Patterson's most popular characters, Alex Cross. Patterson on the set of Zoo outside New Orleans James Patterson's empire is a vast one , and the movies and TV shows based on his work myriad. With the dual CBS series, the Alex Cross project and, a little further down the road, a film called Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life, distributed by Lionsgate and produced by Participant Media, the Patterson brand is connected to a whole array of entertainment properties, stories and characters—including those lions, named Felix and Major. Oh, and there are wolves, too. "The best part of casting animals is that when we cast the wolves, we cast the wolves from The Grey," Robinson reports. "They already had a credit. And a resume." (No wolves straight out of Juilliard for CBS!) Zoo is not just a TV show but a multimedia extravaganza. It's also a novel and a comic book, all of its iterations riffing on Patterson's high concept: Every animal on earth goes crazy and turns on humans. It is not an apocalypse anybody has seen before, so it makes sense the suits at CBS would jump at it

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The NHL and NBC Tout Playoff Coverage With Candy Bars and a Willy Wonka Style Contest

April 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC Sports and the NHL are using chocolate bars and a potential Willy Wonka-like payout to trumpet the Stanley Cup playoffs. Part of the "Every Game. Every Night. Don't Miss a Moment" campaign, the promotion features 32,768 "Lord Stanley's Cup Diddly-Umptious Bracket Bar" chocolates—one for each possible bracket outcome of the 16-team tournament. Here's what the Cup Diddly-Umptious Bracket Bar will look like

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The NHL and NBC Tout Playoff Coverage With Candy Bars and a Willy Wonka Style Contest

April 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC Sports and the NHL are using chocolate bars and a potential Willy Wonka-like payout to trumpet the Stanley Cup playoffs. Part of the "Every Game. Every Night. Don't Miss a Moment" campaign, the promotion features 32,768 "Lord Stanley's Cup Diddly-Umptious Bracket Bar" chocolates—one for each possible bracket outcome of the 16-team tournament. Here's what the Cup Diddly-Umptious Bracket Bar will look like

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Pop Network Targets ‘Modern Grownups’ With Celebrity, Reality and Pop News Programming

April 9, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Pop upfront wasn't a huge spectacle. Roughly 25 people were sprawled out on couches atop the Gansevoort Park Avenue in New York Thursday morning. There were no media buyers—just media and Pop employees. And that's exactly how the newly rebranded, CBS-owned network wanted it. "In my experience, if you're not a big network with a big draw doing a big party or event, then you're not going to get the right people to attend," Pop evp of advertising sales Michael Dupont said. "I'd rather do some kind of client event outside of the upfront season, when it's not so cluttered and the right people would actually come." Formerly the TV Guide Channel, the network has only been Pop for 12 weeks. First up on the schedule: Tyra Banks will host the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards on April 26 at 8 p.m. EDT. John Legend has signed on for the a cappella group reality competition Sing it On. Alan Thicke stars in the reality sitcom Unusually Thicke, along with his wife Tanya and son Carter. Eugene Levy, Chris Elliott and Catherine O'Hara are back for the second season of Pop's scripted comedy Schitt's Creek

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HBO Punks Creator of ‘Take My Money, HBO’ by Sending Sopranos Guys to Shake Him Down

April 8, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Last week, we saw HBO replying to 3-year-old tweets from cable cutters who wanted a stand-alone HBO option back then—something it is now launching with HBO Now. Today, the network unveils a companion video, in which it punks Jake Caputo—the guy who got people all riled up and demanding stand-alone service in 2012 by launching takemymoneyhbo.com —with help from some very special guests. If Caputo really wants to give his money away to HBO, Paulie "Walnuts" Gualtieri and Salvatore "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero will happily take it off his hands.

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USA Network Is Trying to Reach Millennials With More Dramas and More WWE

April 7, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

USA Network understands that audience demographics are changing. To further appeal to the mainstream, the NBCUniversal property is working on a new strategy to reach millennials. USA announced Tuesday at its 2015 Upfront press breakfast in New York that it is banking heavily on dramas, starting this summer, and shying away from its traditional half-hour scripted comedies. The network is placing its biggest bet so far on

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The Beeb Creates Buzz With Splashy Thrillers

April 6, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Sarah Barnett hasn't been genetically engineered, like all those clones in Orphan Black, for the job at hand. It just seems that way. Barnett's new gig—she's a few months into her tenure as president and general manager of the buzzed-about cable channel BBC America—brings her back to the place where she began her stateside career a decade ago, so she intimately knows the lay of the land. It also keeps her in the AMC Networks fold, where she methodically built SundanceTV from the quirky home of indie flicks into an ad-supported, original-content player with scripted series like Rectify, Top of the Lake and Carlos. Now that AMC has taken an operating stake in BBC America, the U.K.-born-and-bred Barnett will be running point on the new relationship. She'll also be guiding the channel, which recently logged its highest-rated year in prime time and total viewers, into the ever-competitive upfront presentations to advertisers and beyond, where she says she'll continue to take "the big swings" that helped put the "Beeb" on the map in the U.S.

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NBCU’s Lifestyle Group Debuts Synchronized Joking With Complementary Comedy Shows

March 30, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just when you thought reality TV was totally out of ideas—like completely, entirely, woefully out of ideas—Oxygen and Esquire come along with a novel pitch: two shows with the same cast on two different networks, one aimed at men and one aimed at women. This was the NBCU Lifestyle Group's most interesting announcement on Monday, when Bravo, Oxygen and Esquire presented their wares to reporters. Also a show kidnapped from NatGeo, but more on that in a moment. The high points: Living With Funny, on Oxygen, will follow the travails of several comedians trying to get along with their significant others in Los Angeles; Comedians of L.A. will follow those same comedians' careers as they try to move up in the professional world. It's an interesting extension of NBCU's extensive commitment to making everything at the gigantic company work alongside everything else; the Lifestyle group seems to be the part of the operation with the most viewer overlap and the networks usually try to downplay that for fear of appearing to compete with each other—this looks like an attempt to make them work in concert. Both shows (working titles all) are produced by L. Plummer Media, the company behind Oxygen's Preachers franchise. NatGe... uh, sorry, Esquire's Going Deep With David Rees is... back... for a second season, an eight-episode order of new shows for the well-liked comic's science show, which explores the physics of tying shoes, shaking hands, making paper airplanes and so on. The first improbably interesting episodes aired on News Corp/National Geographic joint venture The National Geographic Channel and were pushed hard by that network. It's strange to see, but the company definitely appears to have sold its interest in the show to Esquire, which will air "the original season," as Esquire programming svp Matt Hanna delicately put it during the presentation, as well as the new shows. Oxygen's other bids for greater relevance to young women include Pretty. Strong, an unscripted show about a lingerie football league, Crazy Talk, a Soup-style show about embarrassments on reality TV, and further entries in Plummer's Preachers franchise, this time Preachers of Atlanta, a hat trick with Preachers of Detroit and Preachers of L.A. Nary a mention of the Real Housewives franchise passed the lips of group president Frances Berwick during the presentation; the network is putting its eggs in baskets labeled NeNe and Kim: The Road to Riches, Mother Funders (mostly self-explanatory), and Apres Ski, an impressive-looking show about a ski resort.

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