Posts Tagged ‘networks’

FX Will Show America’s Uncomfortable Truths in Its People v. O.J. Followup About Hurricane Katrina

September 19, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story has been more successful than even FX could have imagined. The miniseries won nine Emmys in all Sunday night, including outstanding limited series, and was watched by an average of 12.6 million people across all platforms. Now FX is shifting its focus to the second season of American Crime Story, which will focus on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The decision raised eyebrows when it was first revealed in January, given that the topic would seem to be less palatable to audiences than People v. O.J. was. Yet the network has never wavered in its Katrina plans, says FX Networks CEO John Landgraf, who noted that a 10-episode miniseries focusing on the Simpson trial was met with just as much initial skepticism as Katrina was. Katrina "was our only choice from the very beginning," said Landgraf. "If we're all honest—and I'll be honest on my behalf—when we heard they're going to make something based on The People v. O.J. Simpson, it was like, 'Really? Do we really need that?' Because essentially on its face, what we had is cheesy, self-serving, profit-seeking, poor narrative built around that story. The reason we wanted to do it was that we could see from Jeff Toobin's book and from [Scott] Alexander and [Larry] Karaszewski's scripts and through our producers, that actually it was something much richer and more humane and deeper." Then, after People v.

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Stephen Colbert, Kelly Ripa and Other TV Stars Recall Their Most Memorable Commercials

September 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Many of fall TV's biggest stars have one thing in common: They appeared in commercials early (and sometimes, not-so-early) in their career as they tried to break into Hollywood. Earlier this year, several television actors shared their wildest commercial stories with Adweek; now with the fall season approaching, a new group of TV personalities looked back on the ads they appeared in that made them laugh, cry—and choke. Stephen Colbert, Wonderful Pistachios For his 2014 Super Bowl ad, The Late Show host—who was still on The Colbert Report at the time—pitched Wonderful Pistachios on the concept of cracking his own head open, pistachio-style. "They said, 'It has to be something startling, and we need you to be really enthusiastic about the pistachio.' I said, 'Well, what if I am just a pistachio?' They said, 'We like it. Are you okay with an eagle?' I'm like, 'Sure, that's fine,'" said Colbert. Between his "normal" face, his face covered in green makeup, a mold of his head, a "puppeted pistachio head" and a digital version, "there were like six different heads, all composited into that one three-second moment," said Colbert. "Star Wars did not have more render time than what happened to my head [in order] to have it be seamless! Everything was extraordinary." But what Colbert remembers most of all is his souvenir from the shoot, from the puppeteers who had also worked on the Lord of the Rings films. "I got a Lord of the Rings crew t-shirt from one of the guys, [made] before any of the graphics had been settled on," said Colbert, who is famously a huge fan of the J.R.R. Tolkien novels and films. "And so I've got a shirt with pre-approved graphics of what the Eye of Sauron was originally like, and what the original font was like. It's my 'precious'!" Kelly Ripa, Burger King The Live with Kelly host was 18 when she landed her first acting job, on a Burger King commercial. "They were testing out a brand new product—this is how long ago this was—called Chicken Tenders. It was their response to the McDonald's Chicken McNugget, and I shot a commercial for them where I had to run down the West Side Highway and break into a dance, because I was eating these Chicken Tenders," said Ripa, laughing. "That was pretty memorable." Kiefer Sutherland, Jose Cuervo In 2013, Sutherland learned the hard way that the alcohol used in liquor ads isn't fake, like it is for his other movie and TV projects.

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Q&A: PopSugar’s Lisa Sugar on Expansion, Partnerships and What Sets Brands Apart

September 6, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In 2005, Lisa Sugar started blogging about celebrities as a side project while working as a media planner at Goodby, Silverstein and Partners in San Francisco. Eleven years later, her blog, PopSugar, has expanded into a massive lifestyle media company with numerous content verticals, international sites and an ecommerce division. Sugar shares the story behind her company's growth and some of the lessons she learned along the way in her new book, Live Your Happy: Work Hard, Play Nice, and Build Your Dream Life, due out Sept. 20. Adweek spoke with Sugar about running a content company, the importance of standing out and who else in the business world is doing it right. Adweek: What made you decide to write a book in the first place? Lisa Sugar: We've been always giving advice in a variety of areas, whether it's fashion and beauty or fitness, but career is one that [the audience] keeps coming back for. So I felt now I've had 10 years of wisdom and expertise of growing the company, it was a good time to share our story about what we did to build PopSugar as well as practical advice that you could take away whether you were someone in college trying to figure all this stuff out, in your late 20s about to make a career change, or a mom coming back to work. We felt the book kind of could talk to all those types of audiences. When you first decided to go out on your own and make PopSugar into a full-time career, what's one piece of advice you wish someone had given you? Picking one thing out would be really hard, but persistence is one thing—just not giving up whether one person came to the site that day or a hundred people came to the site that day, and to keep on trying to figure out what it was that people were relating to and how to get creative about bringing people back.

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Viceland Suffers From Low Ratings Despite Its Young Audience

August 23, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When Viceland launched in February, the network struck an agreement with Nielsen to keep its ratings private for six months. Shortly before that window is set to lapse, the first look at those Nielsen ratings are out, revealing that while the audience is a lot younger than that of the channel it replaced, H2, it's also a lot smaller. Viceland's average 18-49 prime-time audience in July was just 45,000, less than half of the 92,000 that H2 averaged in the demo last July, according to Nielsen ratings obtained by The Wall Street Journal . The deal that Viceland, a partnership between Vice and A+E Networks, struck with Nielsen is a common arrangement for many new networks as they try to get their bearings in the first months after launching. Nielsen will still not be publicly releasing Viceland's ratings for at least another week as part of that deal. While Viceland's audience is much smaller than H2's, it's also younger. The median viewer age dropped 17 years between July 2015 and July 2016, from 57 to 40. And Nielsen data found that the average 18-49 prime-time audience for the network's July premieres was up significantly, from 59,000 for H2 to 102,000 for Viceland. Depsite the premiere spin, those 18-49 ratings seem disappointing, especially given the buzz around Viceland. However, A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc said she is taking a long-term view. "You have to look at what is the promise of H2 10 years from now, versus what is the promise of Viceland 10 years from now," Dubuc told the Journal. Viceland looked to shake up TV advertising by running more native ads that look like editorial and reducing ad load. The network's programming has just eight minutes of national ad time per hour and two minutes of local time. Shortly after the network launched, execs were already trying to downplay linear ratings expectations. Guy Slattery, general manager for Viceland, told Adweek in March that Viceland content is available on the website, app and VOD in addition to the linear networks, but Nielsen's numbers only reflect its linear ratings. "It's an important metric, but it only captures one piece of the multiplatform approach that we have," Slattery said. "So we didn't want to make it all about that. The headlines tend to go to Nielsen ratings, and we don't feel they're going to capture the viewing of this network, particularly among the demo that we're going after

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NBC Gets Its Lowest Olympics Ratings Since Saturday, but Men’s Basketball Boosts NBCSN

August 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Wednesday night's Rio Olympics action featured a victory for U.S. beach volleyball stars Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross, another gold medal for legendary Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura, and a gold in the 200-meter freestyle relay for Katie Ledecky and the U.S. women. But the action Wednesday couldn't match Tuesday night's heroics, and early Nielsen ratings reflect that. The network delivered a 17.4 overnight rating (down 21 percent from the previous night) and an 8.9 prime-time rating in the 18-49 demo, which was down 11 percent from Tuesday night. They were the lowest figures since NBC Olympics' Saturday evening coverage. (Average total viewer figures will be released later this afternoon.) It was a positive evening for NBCSN, however. The U.S. men's basketball win over Australia and Brazil's defeat of Denmark in men's soccer gave the network a an Olympics-best 1.41 overnight rating. Salt Lake City (24.4) was once again the top local market for NBC Olympics evening coverage, followed by Denver (22.3), Indianapolis (20.0), St. Louis (19.4) and Columbus (19.2).

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The People V. O.J. Simpson, Mr. Robot and Black-ish Win TCA Awards

August 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story cemented its status as one of the year's most acclaimed shows on Saturday, as it picked up three Television Critics Awards. At the L.A. ceremony, FX's critically acclaimed miniseries, which is nominated for 22 Emmys next month, was honored in a trio of categories: program of the year, outstanding achievement in movies, miniseries and specials, as well as individual achievement in drama for Sarah Paulson, who played Marcia Clark. The 2016 TCA Awards, which honor the top TV shows and actors of the past season, recognized some programs and stars overlooked by Emmy voters, including Crazy Ex-Girlfriend star Rachel Bloom (individual achievement in comedy) and Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (outstanding achievement in news and information), which did land a writing nomination, but was shut out in the variety talk series category.

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Here’s Why NBC Believes Viewers Are So Frustrated With Olympics Ads

August 6, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While 28 percent fewer people tuned into NBC's Rio Olympics opening ceremony than London's Summer Games four years ago, some of those who did watch Friday night weren't happy with what they considered a series of commercials occasionally interrupted by an opening ceremony. Viewers took to social media to complain about NBC's heavy ad load during the ceremony, especially early on, and the network's decision to air and stream the ceremony on a one-hour delay. NBC Sports, however, told Adweek that the ad load was "very similar" to that for the London opening ceremony, but because viewing habits have changed so much in the past four years, the commercial breaks are now more noticeable to audiences. They sure were. Many viewers took to Reddit and social media (some using the hashtag #nbcfail) to complain about NBC's presentation of the opening ceremony: In effort to realize record profits from Rio 2016, NBC to become first network to air more than 60 minutes of commercials in a single hour. — Norman Chad (@NormanChad) August 6, 2016 Conversation in NBC conference room. "If we tape delay one hour we can add a full hour of commercials." "Brilliant." #OpeningCeremony — Bob Kevoian (@bobkevoian) August 6, 2016 nbc olympics coverage: where there are commercials about commercials — Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) August 6, 2016 That response could be alarming news for NBC Sports, which has already sold $1.2 billion in national Olympics ads, 75 percent of which accounted for advertising in NBC's prime-time coverage. "As we did for London, we inserted a few more commercials earlier in the show so that we can afford time later in the show to present as much of the ceremony as we can, including every single country in the Parade of Nations," said an NBC Sports spokesperson. "Given that the commercial load was very similar to London, we believe that consumption habits, such as binge-watching and 'marathoning,' have changed perceptions among the viewing audience regarding commercials." Once the ceremony got under way, NBC did space out the ad breaks closer to 15 minutes, which was less frequent that the usual seven-minute average between ad breaks. As for the decision to broadcast and stream the opening ceremony on a one-hour delay, NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said last month that while Rio would be the most "live" Olympics yet because it's only an hour ahead of the East Coast, the network was delaying the opening ceremony "to give context to the show. This opening ceremony will be a celebration of Brazilian culture, of the pageantry, of the excitement, of the flare that this beautiful nation has. And we think it's important that we're able to be that in context for the viewer so it's not just a flash of color." After Friday night's social media outrage, an NBC Sports spokesperson offered a further explanation for the opening ceremony delay: "It's not a sports competition. It's a cultural ceremony that requires deep levels of understanding, with numerous camera angles and our commentary laid over it

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Turner Will Continue Reduced Ad Loads on TNT Next Year, and Could Expand to TBS in 2018

August 1, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Turner's experiment with reduced ad loads of up to 50 percent on TNT's new drama Animal Kingdom this summer has been so successful that the company is already planning on expanding its scope over the next two years. TNT will offer 50 percent reduced ad loads on all its new original dramas in 2017, and could also expand that offering to TBS' original series in 2018, TNT and TBS president Kevin Reilly told reporters today at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in Los Angeles. "We're seeing very, very good results for that," said Reilly, who is also chief creative officer for Turner Entertainment, of Animal Kingdom's ad load reduction, which has added 10 minutes or more of content per episode. "Not only is the commercial rating higher, but we're also seeing a nice ratings lift." Reilly said Turner is still waiting on more data, but "we've seen indications there will be a higher brand recall." Focus groups have noted that "you really see the difference," he added. There was a "robust" response to TNT's reduced ad loads in this year's upfront, where Turner secured double-digit CPM gains . Turner ad sales chief Donna Speciale and her team sold reduced ad loads for new TNT dramas during the upfront, but "I want to do it across the board," said Reilly, who said the approach "has been embraced by the advertising community. That said, "we can not go it alone," he said, and if other networks don't follow suit with similar ad load reductions, "we're going to have to go back." For now, his shows have shorter breaks, instead of fewer breaks, but "we're still playing with that," said Reilly. Beyond the reduced ad loads, Reilly said "some of our native advertising efforts have really been great." He cited Maya Rudolph's "vajingle" spot for Seventh Generation tampons on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, which went viral after it aired last month. "I heard from women, 'that's finally the way those things should be sold,'" said Reilly.

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Jon Stewart Takes Down Roger Ailes and Donald Trump in His First Daily Show-Style Rant in 11 Months

July 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Ever since Jon Stewart stepped down as host of The Daily Show last August, his fans have been begging him to return to late-night and deliver his brilliant, incisive political takedowns, especially in this year's over-the-top presidential race. While Stewart has mostly stayed out of the spotlight, he couldn't resist weighing in on two of the most seismic events to hit the Republican Party in modern times, both of which happened just hours apart: Donald Trump's officially accepting the Republican nomination for President at the Republican National Convention Thursday night and Roger Ailes' stunning resignation as chairman and CEO of Fox News two weeks after he was sued for sexual harassment. So Thursday night, Stewart briefly stepped in for pal Stephen Colbert, during his live broadcast of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He slipped on a suit jacket and clip-on tie and settled in at Colbert's desk to deliver his first late-night political rant in 11 months. Stewart, who also made a cameo appearance on Monday's Late Show, popped up after Colbert talked about Ailes' departure–and asked the camera to pan away so he could celebrate offscreen. Stewart also indulged in a bit of off-camera jubilation, before unleashing his own version of Throwback Thursday. "I was wondering if I could just maybe talk about the election for a little bit," he told Colbert, asking the Late Show host to step aside so he could take his seat. First, Stewart talked about the just-concluded Republican National Convention, observing that "the Republicans appear to have a very clear plan for America: One, jail your political opponent. Two, inject Rudy Giuliani with a speedball-and-Red Bull enema, and, three, spend the rest of the time scaring the holy bejesus out of everybody." He quickly pivoted to the true focus of his ire: Fox News host Sean Hannity—whom Stewart nicknamed "Lumpy"—and his hypocrisy in calling President Obama elitist while overlooking and/or praising similar traits in Trump

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Fox Finishes Upfront Sales Strong Thanks to Interest in New Shows Like Lethal Weapon

July 13, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After nursing its wounds during last year's upfront presentation, Fox is in a much more celebratory mood this time around. The Fox Networks Group—which includes Fox, Fox Sports, FX, FXX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo (but not Fox News Channel)—has wrapped its upfront negotiations with volume increases of around 5 percent in CPM (cost per thousand viewers reached) and gains in the high single-digits to low double-digits, according to a person familiar with negotiations. This is a big reversal from last year's mediocre upfront, where Fox—which had fallen to fourth place in the 18-49 demo despite the arrival of Empire—had CPMs that were down as much as 2 percent below the 2014-15 upfront. Volume had been flat at the time. Fox rebounded slightly this past season to third place among the broadcast networks. For the second upfront, ad sales chief Toby Byrne and his team sold inventory across its entire portfolio (except for Fox News). The group had upfront success with its plans to reduce National Geographic Channel's ad load by up to 50 percent for its new series and specials. Fox had the strongest buyer interest from new fall dramas Lethal Weapon and Pitch, as well as midseason entries 24: Legacy, Star and its revival of Prison Break. Buyers had reacted enthusiastically to almost all of Fox's new shows during May's upfront presentation. The network will premiere all 16 of its fall series during a one-week blitz in September. Fox kicked off the marketing campaign for fall baseball drama Pitch during last night's 87th MLB All-Star Game. ABC finished its upfront sales last week, while CBS and The CW wrapped up their upfront deals on June 27

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