Posts Tagged ‘network’

The More Things Change: What’s Old Is New Again at the CW

May 15, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

There are few surprises on the CW's upfront schedule, besides virgins. It's a good time for the network's comic-book-heavy prime-time lineup: Arrow will be joined by spinoff The Flash in the fall; and the 100, Hart of Dixie and Beauty and the Beast will all be back, though Beauty doesn't get a slot until midseason. And of course, Jane the Virgin, which the network announced for Monday nights at 9, putting it opposite sitcoms on both CBS and NBC and Dancing With the Stars on ABC. Offbeat help-me-I'm-undead show iZombie (based, like Flash and Arrow, on the DC Comics property, though iZombie hails from DC's "grown-up" line, Vertigo) will also premiere during the second half of the season. THE CW’s 2014-2015 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE MONDAY 8-9 p.m.

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Turner Upfront Slate Tries for Younger Viewers, Even Male/Female Split

May 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Without Steve Koonin at the helm for the first time in years, Turner is giving the floor to head of programming Michael Wright this morning. The networks are shifting focus, representatives for the network group said in prepared statements, in pursuit of younger audiences and a more balanced male-female demo skew. (At the moment Turner's flagship networks, TNT and TBS, skew female). Also front and center during the presentation now that former ad sales chief David Levy runs the whole shooting match: Donna Speciale, president of Turner Broadcasting ad sales. "The integration of television, online and mobile content is accelerating, and with that, we are all moving quickly to evolve our advertising strategies," Speciale said in the release. It's an acknowledgement that many in the cable world are making, while broadcast tends to push back ("Programmatic buying is the gluten of advertising," Jimmy Kimmel told the ABC upfront audience. "Everyone is talking about it but nobody knows what it is.") Wright has been at the company more than a dozen years, but it's only now that he's getting to make his mark. It's an interesting one, too: remember TNT's Frank Darabont-helmed Mob City last year? The noir theme seems to be one that Wright and company like, because right at the top of the docket is Public Morals, a new scripted series set in the 1960s from writer, director, producer and star Ed Burns. If that's the network's offering for men, Proof seems to be its offering for women: Jennifer Beals, Matthew Modine and Joe Morton (late of well-liked Syfy dramedy Eureka) star in a show about a surgeon (Beals) and a terminally ill billionaire (Modine) who team up to figure out if there's an afterlife. In development, the network has projects from Vince Vaughn, Donnie Wahlberg—who seems to be everywhere these days—and The Blacklist's Joe Carnahan, among others. On TBS, the new offerings that are pretty clearly male/female include Angie Tribeca, from Parks and Rec/The Office star and writer Rashida Jones, an Airplane!-esque spoof of the police procedurals that still dominate much of basic cable. For the ladies, there's Buzzy's, an ensemble workplace comedy about a barbershop, produced by Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick, which will star Ashley Tisdale. The other Turner news this week has to do with dynamic advertising: the cable group has struck a deal with Comcast for complete current and previous seasons of long-running shows on the networks—"stacking rights," as players in that market have been calling it

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You Can Now Buy the Bug on Adult Swim

May 12, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

One of the things Adult Swim will be selling its advertisers in 2014 is the little company logo in the corner of the screen, which (until now) has simply read "[adult swim]," Variety reports. The network has been getting into a number of nontraditional advertising options recently, notably branded content (a notoriously tricky kind of promotion to do successfully), but the bug seems to fit with the network's try-anything ethos while simultaneously satisfying the advertiser's yen to get as deep into the content as possible, which reaches a much larger-than-average percentage of young men and men of color. And, as always, Adult Swim's new slate of content has plenty of scripted comedy on it: a half-hour series from Robert Smigel (Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog) and Jack McBrayer (30 Rock's Kenneth the Page) featuring Triumph and McBrayer; a live-action/ rotoscoped

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A+E Nets’ New Lifestyle Channel Is Using Recognizable Stars to Take on Scripps

May 12, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Its nickname is the Little Bread Corvette, and it’s an edible car, though it might not be appetizing to anyone other than the quirky characters behind the YouTube megahit videos, Epic Meal Time. After all, its wheels are made of Rice Krispies treats, it has a working barbecue in the trunk, and the exterior is dotted with food pairings as incongruous as cupcakes and fried chicken. Epic Meal Empire | Photo: Courtesy of FYI Luckily for Harley Morenstein, better known as Epic Meal Time’s Sauce Boss , he and his crew have cast-iron stomachs. They also have supersize imaginations that will have room to expand in their first television show on the new FYI network . The food-stuffed car, which seats five, will appear in one installment of a 16-episode series that’s now dubbed Epic Meal Empire. “Because people will be watching on their TVs instead of a laptop or a smartphone, we’ve made everything bigger,” explains Morenstein. Epic Meal Empire | Photo: Courtesy of FYI Epic Meal Empire, complete with the jaw-dropping calorie counter that online fans have come to love, is one of the flagship shows on the A+E-owned channel, a wholesale redo of the former low-rated Bio (which does reach 70 million subscribers). And it may be a potential viewer’s first indication that this will not be a typical food, shelter, do-it-yourself and makeover network. Don’t expect to find formal French cooking or Better Homes and Gardens-style sensibilities when the channel debuts on July 7. Original shows like Tiny House Nation, looking at the extreme downsizing and micro-home trend in real estate, and The Feed, a hybrid road-comedy-food series with Top Chef’s Gail Simmons, will lean more toward the Pinterest crowd than their HGTV-loving parents. FYI has taken many of its program cues directly from the Internet, in fact. It picked up not just the Epic Meal Time squad, who have scored some 600 million video views, but linked with The Knot for a relationship show called Marry Me Today that will have a groom bringing to life his bride-to-be’s digital wedding board. There’s also a social media hunt for the one that got away, called You’re the One, and an in-person meet-up between online restaurant critics and the chefs they trashed in a pilot called Say It to My Face. Epic Meal Empire | Photo: Courtesy of FYI The roster of Gen X-targeted cooking, home and styling shows will favor spontaneity over step-by-step directions, with former Top Chef hipster contestant Spike Mendelsohn hosting a Chelsea Market-set competition called Midnight Feast and urban pioneers revamping fixer-uppers in Rowhouse Showdown. Jana Bennett, FYI’s president, explains the goal is to have an ad-hoc, adventurous feel, with less prescriptive, more energetic programming than is typical in the genre—more fun, less dry. “The network is inspired by the way the world has changed over the last decade,” says Bennett, who also oversees LMN. “The younger generation isn’t following a rule book—their lives are improvised. They’ve been using a lot of digital tools, and the existing lifestyle programming on TV isn’t reflecting that.” Epic Meal Empire | Photo: Courtesy of FYI Bennett already has been seeding FYI in the current Bio slot, rejiggering its lineup for the past several months to emphasize its existing real estate and how-to shows. FYI plans to premiere with 20 to 25 original nonscripted shows, a number that will ramp up quickly. The Feed is certainly a centerpiece

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USA Announces New Projects With Amy Poehler, Jodie Foster, Carlton Cuse

May 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Anybody who thought USA was kidding about getting into comedy programming is thinking again today: the network's upfront-season slate has a robust comedy development piece. New projects include talent like Amy Poehler (producing Difficult People, starring Billy on the Street ambush comics Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner, and produced in-house), Legally Blonde writer Karen McCullah (Love the One You're With) and off-Broadway darlings Jonathan Tolins and Michael Urie (Majordomo). The drama slate is led by a "cast-contingent" pickup for a new dramedy set in an American government compound in a Middle Eastern country; both the country and the series are called Stanistan. Among the drama series being developed: Brand, about a smalltown pastor and recovering addict competing with a megachurch down the road (the show is produced by Jodei Foster); Colony, a show from Lost creator Carlton Cuse about a Los Angeles occupied by aliens; and a new one from Anonymous Content called Mr. Robot about a young man with an autism-like disorder who works for a cybersecurity firm. “This slate represents the next generation of originals at USA, with a focus on dramas that are more serialized, provocative and culturally resonant,” said

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IFC Cuts Funny Custom Trailers for Library Flicks Like Alien and Napoleon Dynamite

May 6, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

IFC is changing ... sort of. "It's a refresh," says Kevin Vitale, marketing vp of creative and brand strategy. "It's more of a facelift." As part of that facelift, the cable channel is changing its corporate logo (its new image is "a stamp") and there no more Independent Film Channel, as of last year—just three letters "that don't stand for anything but mean so much," Vitale jokes. Still, film is a major part of the company's DNA, and so it's also making channel-approporiate trailers for quite a few of its most popular offerings. Adweek responsive video player used on /video. Among the gags: an Alien/Aliens marathon for Mother's Day; jokey content warnings that let the viewer know what he or she is in for (which is good, because IFC shows its movies uncut); and plenty of other fine-print gags

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Syfy Is Making a Third Sharknado, and We’ve Already Written 5 Pitches for It

April 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Syfy tells Adweek exclusively that it has green-lit a third movie in its increasingly silly Sharknado franchise before even airing the second one (official title: The Second One). The first flick cost the network a scant $250,000, a cost repaid in social chatter and fan love . Now the network has committed to a third film to be set in a yet-to-be-determined city, presumably with the rest of the principal cast from Sharknado and Sharknado 2: The Second One, provided no airborne carnivorous fish spend their last moments on Earth munching on Tara Reid or Ian Ziering between now and then. So here, without further ado, are five pitches we feel Syfy should consider while the network tries to figure out how next to fling a funnel cloudful of surprised apex predators teeth-first into the public imagination. Oh, and for the record, Sharkando 2 premieres Wednesday, July 30, just after San Diego Comic Con.

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TVGN Is Gunning for E! With New Program Slate

April 29, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

At a breakfast at the Ace Hotel in Manhattan this morning, TVGN (which isn't using the full name TV Guide Network anymore) announced a slate of unscripted shows, along with the news that it had gone "full screen"—as in, no scrolling network listings—in its 83 million homes. The network is following the traditional cable model of acquired content and movies with a slate of originals on top of them, with one crucial difference: CBS and Lionsgate are providing the acquired shows and films in question. TVGN has cable premiere windows on many Lionsgate films throughout the year, including Arbitrage, The Lincoln Lawyer and Man on Wire, as well as early windows on others.

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MTV’s Newest Series Include the Amazingly Titled Slednecks

April 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

MTV isn't getting off the kids-behaving-badly kick: after Jersey Shore and Buckwild, the network is going for a third locale filled with colorful young people, set in Alaska, called Slednecks. The network also has Beyond Dance, a dancing competition series, and One Bad Choice, a Teen Mom-style series about people who made a poor decision and then dealt with the consequences. The upfront was music-heavy, as befitting the M in the network's name, with performances by Bastille and Zed, among others. But it also included an unexpected part of the Viacom portfolio: LGBT-themed network Logo (which, oddly, Viacom called a "brand" in its boilerplate, rather than a network), which has a new series called The Secret Guide to Fabulous Living. It's unclear what kind of change might come from the conflation of the two networks—is Viacom consolidating?—but MTV said the show would be about "not how to have it all, but what to do with what you have," which seems to be of a piece with MTV's working-class subject matter these days. Scripted series returning included, of course, Teen Wolf , and Rob Drydek's Ridiculousness. The network's summer slate will show exclusively on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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