Posts Tagged ‘networks’

Get Ready for Minority Report, the TV Series

September 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fox has struck a deal with Steven Spielberg’s production company, Amblin TV, to produce a television pilot based on the director’s highly acclaimed sci-fi flick Minority Report, Deadline.com reports . The 2002 Twentieth Century Fox film, which starred Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell and Max von Sydow, was an adaptation of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick’s short story of the same name. The movie won very favorable reviews. The film and short story take place in the near future, when a "precrime" unit in Washington D.C. arrests people based on the visions of telepaths, before crimes are ever committed. Things go wrong for the protagonist when he is seen committing a murder in the future and goes on the lam with a kidnapped telepath, or "precog." The plot of the TV series is reportedly going to pick up the story where the movie leaves off. Taking place 10 years after the precrime unit is disbanded, the show will focus on one of the surviving male precogs who is trying to lead a normal life. The precog is haunted by visions of the future and meets a detective who is having trouble with her past. Max Borenstein, who wrote the screenplay for the latest film version of Godzilla, will reportedly handle showrunning duties for the Minority Report series. It remains to be seen if the series can match the movie’s sharp vision of a dystopian future of floating cars, invasive mini-robots launched by SWAT squads, and eyeball transplants by dodgy doctors to fool security systems. Fox has taken chances on other sci-fi series with varying degrees of success. This time, the channel is betting on the pedigree of Spielberg and the success of the original film.

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MAC Unveils Line of Simpsons Cosmetics, in Case You Want to Look Like a Cartoon Character

September 9, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

MAC Cosmetics is producing a Simpsons-themed cosmetics line —including eyeshadow, lip gloss, blush, mascara and nail stickers—to honor the show's 25th anniversary. One can only imagine the challenges they faced getting this out of R&D. For one thing, the show's color palette doesn't really look good on anyone. The dominant color is yellow, and one of the cartoon's enduring design characteristics revolves around not making anyone, including celebrities, look too attractive. This obviously clashes with beauty products. (The lip gloss colors alone are called Grand Pumpkin, Itchy & Scratchy & Sexy, Nacho Cheese Explosion and Red Blazer.) "We are celebrating the country's favorite animated family and its beloved matriarch Marge with a vibrant color collection that screams That Trillion Dollar Look," the brand says. "Our classic formulas and finishes you love are to blue dye for with an animated twist. All in limited-edition packaging that can only be described in one word: Eeeeexcellent." Also, the show has been bad to the point of unwatchable for at least 10 years, so they're chasing a vanishing audience that mostly watches out of habit with stuff that will make them look, at best, super weird. Not to mention, any real Simpsons fan involved in this project would have made at least one shade of lip gloss that referenced the monorail episode.

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Fox News, Fox Business Launch New Mobile-Viewing Tools

September 8, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

As news networks start to prepare for coverage of the 2014 mid-term elections, Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network are launching mobile-viewing functions that allow viewers to watch the networks on mobile tablets and phones, as well as desktops. The two platforms, dubbed FoxNewsGo and FoxBusiness, launch Monday. The tools will be basic for now,... Read more

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Simulmedia’s New CMO Sees the Future of TV

September 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who

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NFL Has a Lot of Leverage in Negotiating TV Deals

September 5, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When the NFL negotiated with TV networks on the rights to broadcast eight "Thursday Night Football" games this season, the contract stipulated that term was only for one year, that games would air simultaneously on the league's own NFL Network and that the winning bidder would cover all production costs on all sixteen "Thursday Night Football" broadcasts (including two Saturday games). “Media companies lined up to bid anyway,” The Wall Street Journal reported. CBS ultimately prevailed, agreeing to pay $300 million for the broadcast rights, with the first game in the new lineup premiering next week (tonight's season opener is being broadcast by NBC as part of an earlier agreement). The negotiation and what CBS paid illustrate the extreme leverage the NFL wields with networks. NBC, CBS and ESPN together have contracts that make up between $5 and $5 billion per year to broadcast NFL games through the 2021-22 season. "It's almost like the networks are afraid to say no to the NFL," one senior executive told The Wall Street Journal. Anyone in a traditional TV exec’s shoes would be. While networks face threats like the rise of streaming video services, the NFL offers a bankable product that consumers won't just wait to catch on Netflix. According to securities firm Jefferies Group, 97 percent of all sports are watched live. Add to that the NFL's short season and 17.4 million average regular season game viewers in the 18-49 demo and each game becomes a hot ticket. At the same time, the NFL is amping up its digital push by offering new or expanded online programs. This includes NFL Now, a new online video service offering NFL-made films, shows, documentaries and new footage from teams for $1.99 per month. The NFL also is strengthening a one-year agreement with Twitter to tweet highlights from in-progress games and increasing the number of games streamed to smart phones as part of a four-year, $1 billion agreement with Verizon. As The Wall Street Journal notes, both of these deals include rights denied of the NFL's television broadcast partners. What's more, some television executives fear that NFL Now will stream games directly to fans. Brian Rolapp, evp of media for the NFL, doesn't rule out such a possibility. "If the world shifts dramatically as people think, it'll be nice to have an asset like NFL Now just like it's nice to have NFL Network," he told the Journal, adding that "selling game-streaming rights to an online company is a matter of 'when, not if.'" DirecTV also finds itself backed against a wall in negotiations with the NFL.

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Allison Williams Plays Peter Pan in NBC’s Next Live Theater Show

September 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Allison Williams has traded in the long tresses and glam style she flaunts on HBO’s Girls for the boyish charm of Peter Pan, NBC’s second installment of live TV theater, and today we have evidence to prove it. The television network released photos of Williams today in the title role of the boy who flies and never grows up. Peter Pan Live! will air Dec. 4, a year after a live broadcast of The Sound of Music, which starred Carrie Underwood in the title role and drew 19 million viewers. Live events are a staple of TV marketing in the contemporary ad world as more viewers express a preference for DVRed or over-the-top content.

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Jim Parsons Hits the Stratosphere

September 1, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Honestly, if this keeps up, they’re just going to have to rename the Emmy Award for Lead Actor in a Comedy the Jim Parsons Award. Last week, the 41-year-old won the prize for a fourth time for his role as Sheldon Cooper, main character on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory . It was a busy August for Parsons. Two weeks earlier, he and his cast mates Johnny Galecki and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting signed a three-year deal with the show for $1 million per episode each, and more than one observer suggested CBS should be happy to pay so little. (Big Bang returns for Season 8 on Sept. 22.) Jim Parsons was photographed Aug. 27 by Randall Slavin on the Warner Bros. lot in Los Angeles. Parsons in particular is worth it. The sitcom is the most-watched show on broadcast, averaging a 6.2 rating in the dollar demo (the next-most popular show gets a 4.4). It’s also an incredibly valuable rerun, bringing in $2 million per episode for studio Warner Bros. Domestic TV. In many ways, it’s the swan song of the multicamera, laugh-track comedy era, with Parsons’ Sheldon at its center. Parsons, an accomplished stage actor, took time between seasons to play Tommy Boatwright in a revival of Larry Kramer’s groundbreaking autobiographical play about the AIDS crisis, The Normal Heart, in 2011, and then again in 2013 to reprise the role for Ryan Murphy’s adaptation for HBO . Over the phone, Parsons is warm and deferential, discussing his career successes the way you’d talk about finding a $50 bill on the ground. But it’s clear after a moment or two of conversation that he’s also a guy who takes nothing for granted. Adweek: You started your career on the stage, and you’ve come back to New York to work in The Normal Heart on Broadway in between seasons. Do you miss that part of your career? Parsons: Yes, without a doubt

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This Is How the NFL Is Getting Butts Back in the Bleachers

August 26, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Atlanta Falcons CMO Jim Smith is rewarding loyal season ticket holders with the kind of stadium “memories” they can’t get from watching on TV at home. For the second year, Smith is offering season-long fans game-day “experiences” such as a visit from team cheerleaders to their seat. Or a spot on the field during player introductions at the Georgia Dome. Illustration: Kyle Fewell It’s not like some drunk up in the nosebleed seats can simply request a cheerleader like he’s ordering a beer. Using the free Experience app , season ticket holders must redeem “memory points” on the Thursday before a home game. Security guards are on hand just in case—but are rarely needed. “We never put our cheerleaders in danger. That sensational crap is so unfair to the cheerleaders—and the fans who request it,” says Smith, who adds that most of the visits are ordered by parents for their cheerleader daughters. “It’s truly about an experience that a parent, or a bunch of friends, want to have.” So goes the NFL’s marketing game plan to get its fans off the couch—and back into stadiums. High ticket prices, personal seat licenses (PSLs) and rowdy fans have led some die-hards to give up live games in favor of watching for free from home. The $10 billion league wants these couch potatoes back. And it wants season ticket holders—the lifeblood of the league—to keep coming, explains Brian Lafemina, the NFL’s svp of club business development. The league and its 32 franchises are pushing the marketing envelope to do it. The NFL is in some ways a victim of its own success and innovation. As its TV networks add more coverage, more camera angles and more replays, the gap between the at-home and in-stadium viewing experiences has grown wider. Throw in the two RedZone Channels (which whip viewers around to potential scoring plays) offered by the league and DirecTV, and it’s a wonder fantasy players and bettors ever leave the Barcalounger. “TV has fundamentally changed the way people watch our game—and that’s a great thing,” says Lafemina. “We have to do the same inside the stadium.

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TV Gets Undressed

August 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

To say that this wedding is unconventional doesn’t quite capture the essence of the nuptials of reality show contestants Ashley and Alika. First off, the bride and groom met with the TV cameras rolling and decided to get hitched after just three months. Six other couples who are attending the wedding fell for each other under the same televised circumstances. A shaman presides over the ceremony, with backup from a chanting yogi and drum circle. Nowhere in sight can one find the usual trappings—no flower girl, no ring bearer, no tulle or tuxedos. Boutonnieres are also in short supply—though bug spray could come in handy. Some of the invited guests are more anxious than even the happy couple—who, even if they don’t get cold feet, may well experience sunburn. For you see, everybody here—the bride and groom, wedding party and guests—is butt naked. Even if you haven’t been tuning into VH1’s summer hit Dating Naked —which has attracted more than 1 million viewers per episode and plenty of social buzz to boot—you might want to cue the DVR for television’s first all-nude wedding, airing Sept. 18 at 9 p.m. To be sure, it’ll be a spectacle not to be missed. For the Viacom-owned basic cable channel, it was a no-brainer to film the union and televise it as an hour-long special, extending the series’ 10-episode run with what are likely to be big ratings.

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What Did TV CEOs Tell Investors About the Weak Ad Market?

August 20, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Now that second-quarter earnings are over for the media sector, we can finally take a good look at what senior media company executives actually said on calls to investors when they were in the hot seat at the end of the summer. Here are some of the reasons the market was down... and some of the spin. (If you'd like to check out the calls yourself, they've been helpfully compiled

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