Posts Tagged ‘networks’

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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Upfront Uproar: NBC Guts Thursday Night Comedies, Shifts The Backlist

May 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On the verge of winning its first seasonal ratings crown in a decade, NBC still has a lot of work to do if it’s going to repeat its title run in 2014-15. To that end, the Peacock has made sweeping changes in its prime time lineup, most notably on Thursday nights. Once the strongest block on the tube, NBC’s Must-See TV roster has been anything but since ER flatlined back in 2009. For years, the network’s signature brand of brainy, uproarious comedies (Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock, Community, et al) failed to draw a crowd, and last season’s bid to go broad with family-oriented sitcoms (The Michael J. Fox Show, Sean Saves the World ) belly flopped as well. Rather than adhere to its longstanding two-hour comedy block, NBC is getting more focused.

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Jamie Horowitz Jumps From ESPN to NBC’s Today Show

May 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The worst-kept secret in morning news officially was let out of the bag today, as NBC confirmed that veteran ESPN producer Jamie Horowitz will take the helm at the Today show. Horowitz on Dec. 1 will assume the role of svp and general manager of Today, where he’ll oversee all four hours of the weekday program and the 30 Rock concert series. He will also be

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NBCUniversal Strikes Gold With Megawatt Olympics Deal

May 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In a surprise development, the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday announced that NBCUniversal has secured the media rights to the Olympic Games through 2032. The agreement, which covers broadcast rights across all media platforms, runs from 2021 to 2032 and is valued at $7.65 billion, plus an additional $100 million signing bonus “to be used for the promotion of Olympism and the Olympic values between 2015 and 2020,” an IOC spokesperson said. NBCU now has the rights to the next nine Olympics nailed down, winter and summer. The deal came as a major surprise on the week before the broadcast upfront presentations, as rival media outlets appeared to have been unaware that negotiations were in the works.

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Decent Turnout for 24: Live Another Day

May 6, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Jack Bauer’s return to prime time was met with a reception that hovered somewhere between a bang and a whimper. Per Nielsen time zone-adjusted ratings, the premiere of Fox’s limited series 24: Live Another Day delivered 8.1 million viewers and a 2.6 in the adults 18-49 demo, and while that paled in comparison to the 3.8 rating generated by the Season 8 opener, it was still a strong enough showing to make this one of the biggest launches of the 2013-14. The 24 refresh now stands as the season’s fourth highest-rated drama debut, trailing only Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (4.7),

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Fox is Batty for Gotham

May 5, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fire up the Bat Signal, Chief O’Hara, because Fox officially has ordered Gotham to series. Based upon characters published by DC Entertainment and produced by Warner Bros. Television, Gotham functions as a serialized origin story of Batman supervillians like

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Game of Thrones Sets Another Ratings Record

April 28, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Whether they’re going up against zombies or dragons, the broadcast networks can’t seem to catch a break in the Sunday night 9 p.m. slot. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, last night’s installment of HBO’s Game of Thrones scared up a staggering 6.9 million viewers, breaking the previous record (6.64 million) it set during the April 6 season premiere . Titled “Oathkeeper,” the episode averaged a 3.7 in the adults 18-49 demo, up one-tenth of a ratings point from the season opener’s 3.6 rating. All told, Game of Thrones beat CBS, NBC and Fox combined in the demo. The uptick in Thrones’ deliveries—last night’s show was up 5 percent versus the April 20 telecast—coincided with another weak performance by the Big Four. ABC’s Resurrection dropped another 10 percent in the demo, notching a series-low 1.9 rating, while CBS’ The Good Wife was flat with a 1.3. And while NBC’s Believe improved 9 percent to a 1.2, its overall time-slot average (also a 1.2) doesn’t bode well for a renewal. (That said, it’s worth noting that there was an NBA preemption in Portland, Ore., the nation’s No. 22 DMA.) Fox’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey was unchanged with a 1.4 in the dollar demo

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Fox Revs Up a Broadcast Revival of Grease

April 28, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On the heels of NBC’s hugely successful revival of The Sound of Music , Fox on Monday announced it is prepping a three-hour live production of the musical Grease. Fox’s staging of the ‘50s musical will be based on the 1971 Broadway show of the same name. The 1978 theatrical, which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, grossed nearly $400 million worldwide, making it the most profitable movie musical ever. Grease Live [working title] will be produced by Paramount Television production; the ensemble cast will be announced at a later date.

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Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins Is Helping Digital Video Get the Respect It Wants

April 28, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

At the moment, Mike Hopkins has the two hardest jobs in online video. The first is as CEO of Hulu (its third in a year and a half), where he’s responsible for a growing over-the-top video business that competes with juggernauts like Netflix and upstarts like Amazon Prime. And his other job is, well, as CEO of Hulu, where he looks out for the interests of owners Fox, Disney and silent partner NBCUniversal, three linear TV giants with huge broadcast networks and dozens of cable channels between them.

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Magna Global Eyes 6% Rise in U.S. Media Sales

April 25, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Magna Global

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