Posts Tagged ‘network’

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

Read More

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 —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.

Read More

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

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

Producer Howard T. Owens Launches Banner with A+E Networks’ Investment

March 30, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Former National Geographic TV president Howard T. Owens has launched a content production venture with financial backing from A+E Networks. Owens (pictured left) has tapped former A&E Network g.m. David McKillop (right) as a partner and chief creative officer of Los Angeles-based Propagate Content. A+E is an investor in Propagate, but it will operate autonomously... Read more

Read More

Yes, Syfy Is Really Going to Call It ‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No’

March 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Sharknado 3, for serious, is going to be subtitled Oh Hell No, as though the entire film was a guest on the Jerry Springer Show that just found out its husband was actually a woman and had been sleeping with its dad. Its dad being Sharknado 2: The Second One. Springer actually has a cameo in the third film, by the by. We're disappointed the writers didn't go with any of our pitches , but we'll make do. The thing that's kind of awesome about the Sharknado movies is that they are freakishly popular despite, or perhaps as a result of, reveling in low production values, cameos by whoever happened to be wandering the halls of 30 Rock, and absurd set pieces. Fun fact: We actually talked to Ian Ziering about the scenes in Sharknado 2 where (spoiler!) he carves up airborne sharks with his chainsaw hand. He said he basically grimaces and poses dramatically in front of a green screen and they add the blood-spurting sharks in post production. Sharknado 2 got a 1.6 rating when it premiered and does reliably well in reruns, too—it's the network's equivalent of comfort food. Oh Hell No will star series veterans Ziering and Tara Reid. And Cassie Scerbo, who was in the first film, will return as Nova. The movie will debut on Syfy on July 22, just after Comic-Con International: San Diego. Nova's parents, obviously, will be David Hasselhoff and Bo Derek

Read More

CBS Gets Into the Big Data Game

March 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CBS may have launched a new streaming service (and announced a new one for daughter network Showtime on the heels of the Apple press conference where HBO Now was unveiled), but traditional TV is where it's at, as far as the television company is concerned. Today, the company unveiled a new product designed to demonstrate TV's reach power to CBS clients, which it's calling "Campaign Performance Audit," or CPA. In a world full of official-sounding initials, CPA stands out for its amalgamation of third-party metrics into a single data set; CPA's info pulls together numbers from Nielsen units including Catalina Solutions, Buyer Insights, MotorStats, MRI Fusion, Brand Effects and Cambridge Media Demand Landscape. There's also some proprietary data on ad effectiveness done out of CBS's studio complex Television City, but the message here is pretty clear: CBS is in the traditional TV biz to stay. "Research shows that network television is the most powerful medium in building both brand awareness and equity for marketers," the network's chief research officer David Poltrack said in the company's statement to press. CBS's more-for-us attitude could reap dividends if its competitors choose to focus on digital properties in the coming months, which seems to be the direction the wind is blowing. As services like Apple TV, Sling and Sony's upcoming Vue service roll out and gain traction, plenty of players are casting about for sexier options than old-fashioned television. CBS is contending that TV is still the most efficient. The TV ad market is experiencing some trouble, efficient or not: the Standard Media Index reported today that ad spending had declined 4 percent last month when compared to the same time last year. Some of this was simply falloff across all networks reflected in the absence of the Sochi Olympics from the airwaves, the report said, but auto was down 21 percent and financial services was off by 18 percent. Telco, of course, was up.

Read More

GSN Expands Its Slate of Original Series With 2 New Programs

March 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In game show terms, GSN is feeling like a returning champion. Viewership is up, the average age of viewers is down, and the network's experiment with original series is paying off. "GSN has grown for three years straight, and 2014 was our biggest year ever," said David Goldhill, chief executive of the network, a partnership between DirecTV and Sony Pictures Television. In February, the network had its highest-rated month ever among women ages 25 to 54, and GSN original series reported a social engagement rate of more than 6 percent. "Something is definitely happening," Ben Glieb, host of GSN's Idiotest, told Adweek. "The network's attitude is so inventive." GSN, created as a home for classic 1970s game shows, has doubled the number of original hours over the last two seasons, with two new shows joining its lineup this year. Lie Detectors challenges members of the studio audience to decide if comedians' outrageous anecdotes are true. And in Steampunk'd, a design competition, contestants have to turn everyday objects into works of art in the "growing subculture" of steampunk, which combines modern and Victorian design.

Read More

As Boxing Returns to Prime Time, Will Ad Dollars Follow?

March 6, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Looking for the latest proof of the power of live programming? Turn to NBC on Saturday night. Before you sit through another SNL cold open, you'll be able to catch the return of professional boxing to network prime time. Yes, the sport that once created megastars like Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson with Saturday afternoon exposure (on ABC's Wide World of Sports and competing programming on CBS and NBC), is back on free TV. The first card of the Premier Boxing Champions series on NBC will be a doubleheader from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas featuring Keith Thurman vs. Robert Guerrero and Adrien Broner vs. John Molina Jr. The series was founded by Al Haymon, who is paying NBC a reported $20 million for the privilege of showing 20 fights this year on the network or its NBCSN cable sibling. The time-buy deal is not new to sports television (ESPN paid $7.3 billion to televise the Bowl Championship Series for the next 12 years; and CBS and Turner locked up the NCAA Tournament for 14 years for $10 billion), but it is a first for boxing. It has turned out to be a fairly easy sell. Several advertisers were wooed by the lure of the live event and jumped at the chance to get in the ring with Premier Boxing Champions, said Harlan Stone, managing director of SJX Partners, an agency that represents the series. Young males, of course, are the targeted demographic, and adult beverages, cars, energy drinks and quick-serve restaurants are the most likely marketers.

Read More