Posts Tagged ‘networks’

Fox Continued the Assault on Digital Media Metrics, and Wowed Buyers With a Solid New Slate

May 17, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just two events into the broadcast upfronts, the theme of this week is already clear: after absorbing punches from digital video companies for two weeks during the NewFronts, where they used questionable metrics to make the case that audiences are abandoning broadcast TV, the networks are swinging back, and giving every bit as good as they got. That was the case at Fox's upfront presentation, as the network set the tone early for buyers assembled at New York's Beacon Theatre. Fox played a video featuring Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, who humorously discussed Fox's ability to attract and keep viewers' attention with "premium ads with attention-getting premium content," as opposed to "cheap ads paired with user-generated content on digital media. Why? No one knows or cares!" said MacFarlane. Toby Byrne, president, advertising sales, Fox Networks Group, extolled Fox's ability to earn "attention" with incredible scale (the same points he hammered home during FX's upfront in March ). Byrne repeatedly slammed digital video, which he termed "non-premium, subprime video," and noted that "the digital metrics game is rigged." As an example, he compared the published audience reach of "a YouTube star" and a World Series game, which both were 14 million. But the average audience for that YouTube star was only 1,620. Using YouTube's metrics, he added, the World Series game would have racked up 6.8 billion views. "Impressions for subprime video can't compare to TV's delivery," said Byrne. He noted that the highest viewer engagement happens on VOD, where Fox Networks have the top 6 VOD programs (including the top 4 broadcast series: Empire, The X-Files, Lucifer and Scream Queens), and over half of the top 50 VOD shows. Adding Hulu and other streaming outlets, 28 percent of Fox's entertainment viewing is non-linear, Byrne said

Read More

NBC’s Robert Greenblatt Has No Regrets About His Surreal Upfront Duet with Dolly Parton

May 12, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt hates sitting through upfront events as much as you do. "I think those upfronts tend to be just mind-numbing for the audience. They go on too long, and we show clip after clip and they become routine and formulaic," Greenblatt said. So as NBC was preparing for last May's presentation at Radio City Music Hall, Greenblatt was eager to shake things up. "I thought, is there something that we can do that just feels different?" The result was surprising and surreal : partway through the proceedings, Greenblatt introduced Dolly Parton, who performed her song "Coat of Many Colors," which was the basis for the first of several movies NBC was going to make based on her life and music. Then, she asked Greenblatt to join her on "I Will Always Love You" —and he did. While the exec held his own on the piano ("He usually sings with me," Parton said), it didn't make the spectacle any less bizarre. "People thought, 'What is he thinking?'" said Greenblatt. Still, the duo received a standing ovation as Parton cracked to advertisers, "we're looking forward to many projects, so get that money out!" A year later, Greenblatt said he "can't articulate" what prompted him to make the movie deal with Parton. "It was just kind of a gut instinct, even though doing a holiday family movie with Dolly Parton probably sounded as silly as doing a live musical called Sound of Music," said Greenblatt. "It seemed like a good idea. I've known her for years, and I've done other things with her"—including producing the Broadway musical based on her film 9 to 5, which Parton wrote the music and lyrics for—"so I knew that there's a certain base level of belovedness for her." It was that same gut instinct that led to last year's upfront duet. "I wanted to do something at the upfront that was going to not only get attention, but be fun for us and for the audience," Greenblatt said. "And that was organic and seemed to be a good idea at the time, and it worked." It did, but it also became a running punch line through the rest of the week's upfronts. "Oh yeah, like Jimmy Kimmel calling me a fool, I think he said," recalled Greenblatt

Read More

Guide to Broadcast TV’s Renewals and Cancellations

May 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With broadcast upfront week rapidly approaching, the five broadcast networks are putting the finishing touches on their fall schedules by making final decisions on which of their current shows will continue and which will end. There are less question marks than usual this week, as ABC, which used to wait until the last minute under former president Paul Lee to renew any of its series, picked up most of its shows two months ago, shortly after Channing Dungey stepped in as ABC Entertainment chief. Likewise, CBS, which also has a new network president this year, Glenn Geller, renewed several shows already, while The CW picked up 11 series in one fell swoop. Here's what we know now about the fate of the shows that aired during the September-to-May broadcast season. This list will be updated throughout the next two weeks as final verdicts are made ahead of the upfront presentations, so keep checking back for the most up-to-date information. While some canceled series will desperately search for new linear or digital homes—hoping to follow the lead of The Mindy Project, which jumped from Fox to Hulu this time last year—most of them will be gone for good. Official renewal/cancellation announcements appear below in all caps, followed by the date the decision was made, while breaking updates will be added in bold. For those shows whose future remains unclear, check out our best guess about its likely fate: ABC Freshman Series: Blood and Oil — Undecided, but its episode order was trimmed (this one is done) The Catch — Undecided (a toss up, but more likely to return, as ABC could give this another year to find itself, while keeping executive producer Shonda Rhimes happy) Dr. Ken — Undecided (expected to return) The Family — Undecided (unlikely to return) The Muppets — Undecided (its much-needed midseason reboot failed to reverse its ratings slide, so this is likely done) Of Kings and Prophets — CANCELED (March 17) Quantico — RENEWED (March 3) The Real O'Neals — Undecided (a toss-up) Wicked City — CANCELED (Nov. 13) Returning Series: American Crime — Undecided (one of Paul Lee's favorites, but now Lee is gone, it's less likely to return, despite its critical accolades) America's Funniest Home Videos — RENEWED (March 3) The Bachelor — RENEWED (March 3) Beyond the Tank — Undecided (very likely to return) Black-ish — RENEWED (March 3) Castle — Undecided (expected to return, possibly for a final season, though Stana Katic won't be along for the ride) Dancing with the Stars — RENEWED (March 3) Fresh Off the Boat — RENEWED (March 3) Galavant — Undecided (unlikely to return; its fate was sealed the day Paul Lee left) The Goldbergs — RENEWED (March 3) Grey's Anatomy — RENEWED (March 3) How to Get Away With Murder — RENEWED (March 3) Last Man Standing — Undecided (likely to return) Marvel's Agent Carter — Undecided (doesn't look good, especially if the new Agents of SHIELD spinoff, Marvel's Most Wanted, gets a series pickup) Marvel's Agents of SHIELD — RENEWED (March 3) The Middle — RENEWED (March 3) Modern Family — RENEWED (March 3) Nashville — Undecided (a tossup; while audience interest has cooled, it could beat the odds again and return, possibly for a final season) Once Upon a Time — RENEWED (March 3) Scandal — RENEWED (March 3) Shark Tank — RENEWED (March 3) CBS Freshman Series: Angel From Hell — CANCELED (Feb. 8) Code Black — Undecided (its prognosis isn't good) Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders — Undecided (could go either way) Life in Pieces — Undecided (seems a lock to return) Limitless — Undecided (very likely to return) Rush Hour — Undecided (unlikely to return) Supergirl — Undecided (likely to return, though its studio and CBS are looking to trim its budget; the show could ultimately jump to sister network The CW) Returning Series: The Amazing Race — RENEWED (March 25) The Big Bang Theory — RENEWED for three seasons (March 12, 2015) Blue Bloods — RENEWED (March 25) Criminal Minds — RENEWED (May 6) CSI: Cyber — Undecided (unlikely to return; looks like the end of the line for the CSI franchise, at least for now) Elementary — RENEWED (March 25) The Good Wife – CONCLUDED (Feb.

Read More

What’s Keeping Broadcast Presidents Up at Night as They Plan Pitches to Advertisers?

May 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It all comes down to this. The broadcast upfronts are just days away, which means it's crunch time for the network presidents. They and their top execs will be spending the week hunkered down as they review their new pilots and make the final, agonizing decisions about which new and returning shows will and won't make it onto the 2016-17 schedule that they present to advertisers and buyers next week. All the networks have one goal this week: strengthen their schedules from this season. "It sounds so simple, but it's actually much harder than you think," said CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller, whose network will finish the season first in total viewers, adults 18-49 and adults 25-54. "You want to make moves that are going to improve time periods, but there's the risk that when you move a show, you may hurt the numbers. But you have to make space for new shows, so you have to continue to try new things. It's a balancing act." Geller is one of two presidents making their upfront picks for the first time this year, along with ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey, who replaced Paul Lee less than three months ago. Not coincidentally, both new chiefs renewed the bulk of their current prime-time lineups unusually early (in March), which leaves them with fewer last-minute programming decisions to make than usual. While NBC will slip to No. 2 this season in the 18-49 demo after two years on top, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt is actually more optimistic than ever about piecing together his new schedule. "What I'm feeling good about this season, which I have not felt in the four or five previous years, is that we have a fair amount of shows that are working and solid. We've always been plugging holes and trying to just keep things afloat because so much stuff was failing as we tried to rebuild," said Greenblatt

Read More

Check Out Gayle King’s Colorful, Down-to-Earth Home Away From Home at CBS

April 25, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Since CBS This Morning debuted in 2012, it's enjoyed steady gains for the network in the daypart. It's the fastest-growing network morning show, in fact, averaging 1 million more viewers than when it launched. That success has much to do with the warm and cheerful presence of co-host Gayle King, who, in addition to her CBS digs, keeps an office up New York's 57th Street in the Hearst Tower, where she serves as editor at large of BFF Oprah Winfrey's O, The Oprah Magazine. She has filled her CBS workspace (pictured here) with her favorite things: a painting she got in Telluride, Colo., photos of her children, a signed copy of the play Hamilton. Mostly, though, the domain, just like King herself, is traditional and down to earth. "I'm not a contemporary, modern girl—chrome, silver, glass," she said.

Read More

Michael Strahan Is Leaving Live to Work Full Time at Good Morning America

April 19, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Michael Strahan is leaving Live with Kelly and Michael, but viewers will still be able to spend their mornings with him. After four years co-hosting Live with Kelly Ripa, the former NFL star is departing to work full time at Good Morning America starting in September. He joined GMA two years ago, working twice a week, before heading over to Live. Strahan, who retired from the NFL in 2008, will continue co-hosting Fox NFL Sunday during the football season. "Over the past two years on GMA, Michael's proven to be a tireless and versatile broadcaster with an incredible ability to connect with people, from veterans and all kinds of newsmakers to a host of modern American cultural icons," said ABC News president James Goldston in a statement. "He is a great modern thinker and leader, and with our brilliant team in front of and behind the cameras, he will help us drive forward into a very exciting future." "I look forward to continuing to work with the incredible team at GMA. It is an exciting opportunity to be able to bring unique stories and voices to the audience," said Strahan in a statement. "My time with Live with Kelly and Michael has been transformative, and my departure will be bittersweet." Live is the No. 2 syndicated daytime show behind Dr. Phil but is tied for first among women ages 25 to 54 and leads all daytime shows in households with a 2.9 rating. GMA hopes Strahan's presence will help reverse its ratings slide. In 2012, the morning show overtook Today in total viewers after a 16-year streak, but Today recently reclaimed the lead in the 25-54 demographic, the key morning show demo. Strahan's departure leaves behind a hosting vacancy at Live. The show is expected to conduct on-air tryouts this fall to find a replacement, just as it did when Strahan took over for Regis Philbin and Ripa replaced Kathie Lee Gifford in 2001.

Read More

How the NBA’s TV Partners Have Cashed In On the Warriors’ Historic Season

April 12, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It seemed like an easy call for ESPN. Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant playing in the final game of his storied 20-year career in front of the only fan base he's ever called home. "That was a no-brainer to grab and put into our schedule right from the beginning," said Julie Sobieski, vp of programming for ESPN. But the Golden State Warriors had other ideas. The darlings of the NBA decided to follow up their first title in 40 years by taking a run at the single-season record for most wins. The potentially record-breaking game will be played Wednesday night in Oakland, just as Kobe takes the court in L.A. So ESPN decided to call an audible, putting the Warriors' attempt at win No. 73 on ESPN and bumping Bryant to ESPN2. Ever since the Warriors began the season with a 24-game winning streak, it appeared the team would make a serious run at breaking the Chicago Bulls' 20-year record

Read More

‘MADtv’ Is Coming Back to Television, but Not in Late Night and Not on Fox

April 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While Fox is making its own late-night sketch comedy play, its former late-night staple, MADtv, is being revived by another broadcast network. The CW, which aired Madtv's 20th anniversary reunion special in January and averaged 1.7 million viewers, said Monday it will bring back the show for eight one-hour prime-time episodes. Each episode will be hosted by one of the show's original cast members. All 14 seasons of the Fox version of the show can be found on CW Seed, The CW's digital network. (MADtv is produced by Telepictures, which is owned by Warner Bros., a co-owner of The CW.) "The MADtv franchise is as vibrant as ever thanks largely to social and digital media appealing to a fan base numbering in the millions that relates to the show's brand of authentic and irreverent cross-cultural comedy," said executive producer and showrunner David E. Salzman. "We will continue to present the hard-hitting, laugh-out-loud, wall-to-wall pop culture parody our fans expect but in a fresh, new way." Where exactly The CW will schedule MADtv remains unclear. Last month, the network renewed all 11 of its series for next season. It's the second time The CW has used its corporate connections with Warner Bros. to revive a classic comedy from another network. In 2013, it brought back improv series Whose Line is It Anyway? The fourth season of that show premieres May 23. From 1995-2009, Fox aired MADtv at 11 p.m. ET on Saturday nights. The network only recently returned to late-night sketch comedy with Party Over Here, a half-hour series produced by Lonely Island, led by former SNL cast member Andy Samberg and writer Jorma Taccone.

Read More

Turner Hopes Investment in Mashable Makes Them Ideal Partners for the Future of TV

March 31, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For years, the relationship between old and new media resembled that of awkward 13-year-olds at a middle school dance, standing on opposite sides of the gymnasium. But the past few years have seemed more like a glittery high school prom, as legacy media companies like NBCUniversal, Disney and A+E Networks have found their dates, investing in digitally native companies like Vice , Maker Studios , BuzzFeed and Vox . And this morning, Turner found its match in Mashable, the 11-year-old digital media outlet. The Time Warner media company led the latest round of funding for Mashable, which received a total of $15 million. Prior investors Time Warner Investments, Updata Partners, David Jones, Mike Lazerow, and R&R Venture Partners are included that in total. But Turner's investment includes more than cold hard cash. Turner's TBS and TNT networks will work with Mashable to co-develop and distribute video content and team up on cross-platform ad sales packages. Turner Entertainment also gains access to Mashable's Velocity platform, which distributes branded content; Mashable will also push out Turner programming. Kevin Reilly, chief creative officer for Turner Entertainment and president of TBS and TNT, joins Mashable's board. "Just as we are redefining these networks and continue to innovate beyond the traditional television universe, Mashable is redefining digital storytelling, making us ideal partners in today's rapidly evolving media ecosystem," said Reilly in a statement. "We're confident our partnership will increase the cultural relevance of Turner and Mashable content across all of our platforms." Mashable, which will for the first time present at the Digital Content NewFronts in May, said it will use the new funding to further expand its video offerings and enhance its proprietary technology and data platforms, as well as beef up its premium advertising offerings. Last June, the company launched Mashable Studios, which creates serialized video programming and branded entertainment. "The most exciting thing right now is the future of TV. Turner, home to the top rated cable networks, is the perfect partner to bring the best of tech and digital culture to TV in fresh ways," said Pete Cashmore, CEO and founder of Mashable. "Kevin Reilly is a creative visionary that will be a huge asset as we continue to grow as a global entertainment brand."

Read More

NBC Rings Up $1 Billion in Ad Sales for Rio Olympics, 4 Months Faster Than London

March 29, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Earlier this year, NBC said ad sales for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro were pacing ahead of London in 2012. Now NBC Sports can put a number on just how far ahead it is from four years ago: four months. NBC said this morning that it has surpassed $1 billion in national advertising sales for the Rio Olympics, four months earlier than the 2012 Games. NBC reached that mark July 25, 2012, just two days prior to the opening ceremonies. This year, NBC reached that mark with 129 days left to go until the Aug. 5 opening ceremonies. The $1 billion figure includes national broadcast, cable and digital sales. Seth Winter, evp, advertising sales, NBC Sports Group, previously stated he expects the Rio Games to be a record setting affair for NBC. "We will break revenue records here, there's no doubt about that," he said and reiterated that belief this morning, "We continue to expect to set the Olympic record for national ad sales." One of the possible reasons for the four-month lead on London: Rio's TV-friendly time zone. The Brazilian metropolis is only one hour ahead of the East Coast, ensuring much of NBC's prime-time coverage will be live. In fact, Winter stated previously this summer's Olympics will feature the most live programming that NBC has ever produced for an Olympics. For the 2012 London Games, which were six hours ahead, NBC nabbed an average of 31 million viewers during its taped-delayed prime-time coverage. More live coverage this summer should only inflate viewership after ESPN saw record viewership for its 2014 World Cup coverage from Brazil. Not including production costs, NBC is paying roughly $1.28 billion for the rights for the Rio Olympics.

Read More