Posts Tagged ‘ratings’

The ESPY Awards Tripled Viewership in Its Broadcast Debut

July 16, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The ESPY Awards made a strong debut in its move to broadcast television last night, as the three-hour telecast drew 7.7 million viewers, according to overnight numbers from Nielsen. The viewership was more than triple last year's 2.2 million when the awards show aired on namesake network ESPN. Caitlyn Jenner, the 1976 Olympic gold medalist, then known as Bruce and who recently transitioned from male to female, was the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Jenner personally thanked "my buddy" Diane Sawyer, whose sit-down interview with Jenner in April drew a whopping 17 million viewers on ABC. "You can only tell your story the first time once, and you did it so authentically and so gracefully," Jenner said to Sawyer, who was in the crowd. "I'm so proud to have you as a friend." Other highlights from the program included noted Boston Red Sox superfan Ben Affleck presenting New York Yankee legend Derek Jeter with the Icon Award and Cincinnati Bengals' Devon Still accepting the Jimmy V Perseverance Award for himself and his five-year-old daughter, Leah Still, who has been battling cancer. The night also included many advertisers ABC viewers might not be accustomed to, including Draft Kings, a Nike spot more fitting for ESPN, and UFC fighter Ronda Rousey pitching for Metro PCS .

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13.8 Million Watch David Letterman Finale

May 21, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

David Letterman's final Late Show was watched by 13.76 million viewers, making it the Late Show's largest audience since Feb. 25, 1994, on a night that saw CBS' coverage of the Lillehammer Olympics. The finale had his best delivery in the adults 25-54 and adults 18-49 demos since Dec. 1, 2005—the night of Oprah Winfrey's much-anticipated appearance. The final Letterman Late Show , which ran 80 minutes, also gave a boost to The Late Late Show with James Corden—it had its largest audience ever, despite starting 20 minutes late. As for how Letterman's final bow compares to previous late-night farewells: Johnny Carson's Tonight Show finale | May 22, 1992: 41.36 million Jay Leno's second Tonight Show finale | Feb. 26, 2014: 14.63 million Jay Leno's first Tonight Show finale | May 29, 2009: 11.9 million Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show finale | Jan. 22, 2010: 10.34 million The Letterman finale also gave a boost to several brands, according to Amobee Brand Intelligence analysis. Taco Bell saw digital consumption increase 103 percent in a day, while The Church of Scientology saw a consumption increase of 444 percent

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Will Last Year’s Shortfalls Continue in 2015?

May 15, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With the 2015-2016 upfronts now behind us, it's on to the sales season. Last year's upfront market was down, with both broadcast and cable taking hits. New Jersey-based MDI pegged the decline at 6.1% to $18.125 billion overall, including a 4.7% drop by cable to $9.67 billion. The shortfalls marked the first retreat since 2009-10, when the market suffered from the lingering effects of the 2008 financial crisis. Where is the upfront headed this year? While agency executives say it's too soon to say, there are a number of key things to consider that will partly shape the Madison Avenue bazaar.

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Why Some Low-Rated TV Shows Keep Getting Renewed

May 11, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Judgment day has arrived. As the broadcast networks locked in their schedules ahead of this week's upfronts, they decided the fate of their shows that were still on the ratings bubble—including The Mindy Project on Fox and ABC's Forever, Marvel's Agent Carter and American Crime. As is the case every year, a couple of these bubble series eked out a renewal (American Crime, Agent Carter), while others with similar ratings were canceled (Forever). And with more outlets than ever—especially streaming services—desperate for original content to attract new viewers, even canceled series with engaged fan bases are finding new life after getting the ax. That's what happened with the low-rated The Mindy Project, which appears to be headed to Hulu after Fox passed on a fourth season. That's because networks take more than just ratings into account when it comes to picking up, or saving, a show. After all, a number of series with cult followings—including Parks and Recreation, Community and Fringe—improbably managed to stave off cancelation for years. Sometimes, a tinier-but-loyal audience can be even more attractive to ad buyers than a higher-rated show's viewers. "While ratings certainly matter, if the ratings are smaller but they capture 95 percent of that audience that I'm looking for, then that's the right group for me," said Dan Cohn, client director of investment at Initiative. "As long as it has the target audience we're going after, and they're watching the show week in and week out, that's what we care about." That engagement was also a key reason that Hulu, which already has exclusive SVOD rights to The Mindy Project, immediately began talks about a two-year pickup after Fox canceled the show on May 6, according to sources. Why all the fuss over a show that averaged just a 1.1 rating in adults 18-49 and a mere 2.3 million total viewers? While advertisers like The Mindy Project's upscale (though small) female audience, its resiliency ultimately comes down to creator and star Mindy Kaling. Even though Dana Walden, Fox Television Group co-chairman and co-CEO, ultimately passed on Season 4, she marveled earlier this year of Kaling: "She's willing to do anything to support that show." That includes embracing product integrations like Target, Microsoft Lumia, Toyota and Mazda, which "can pay for beautiful sets and location trips," Kaling said. But more importantly, she keeps fans engaged by promoting the show—incessantly but hilariously—to her nearly 4 million Twitter and 1.4 million Instagram followers. "Promoting the show is just bragging about your favorite thing, so I always want to be talking about it," she said. "Social media's good for that." (Bonus: Shows with exceptional social engagement, like The Mindy Project, are more attractive to advertisers.) The fan outreach that helps Kaling save her show each year also kept perennial bubble series Parks and Recreation on the air for seven seasons, thanks in large part to a nonstop media blitz from star Amy Poehler and castmates

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Roma Downey’s Evolution From ‘Angel’ Actress to Producing Partner

April 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Shortly after marrying in 2007, Mark Burnett and Roma Downey decided to work together as producers, creating the company LightWorkers Media. "We didn't have any doubts," says Burnett. The same cannot be said of their stunned pals. "We have so many friends who say, 'Working with your husband? Are you crazy? I couldn't hang wallpaper with my husband!'" says Downey. "But it's been fantastic." That is an understatement. The couple's first project, 2013's The Bible, for History, became the year's highest-rated cable miniseries, drawing more than 100 million viewers during its run. "You might as well start big!" says Burnett. "That was epic," adds Downey, president of LightWorkers, which is now United Artists Media Group's faith and family division. "We hoped that it would have reach. We had no idea that it would have the kind of reach it had." Since then, Downey and Burnett have teamed up on miniseries A.D. The Bible Continues, last year's film Son of God, last December's Lifetime special The Women of the Bible, last month's CBS miniseries The Dovekeepers , the upcoming TLC series Answered Prayers and next year's remake of Ben-Hur. "We have a little slogan over at LightWorkers, which is that it's better to light a candle than curse the darkness," says Downey. "And so I'm personally most interested in material that in some way celebrates the triumph of the human spirit, that has as its essence an optimism or a hopefulness." It has been an organic evolution for Downey, who starred as the angel Monica on CBS' hit drama Touched by an Angel from 1994 to 2003

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What Do 13 of the Strongest Women on TV Have in Common? They’re All Tatiana Maslany

April 6, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A few short years ago, Tatiana Maslany was an up-and-coming actress with improv comedy chops, some TV and small movie roles under her belt and a profile little known outside her native Canada. Those days are definitely behind her. Now she's regularly mobbed at fan gatherings like San Diego's Comic-Con and revered by TV critics for her work on BBC America's much-lauded, sci-fi-tinged thriller Orphan Black . In it, the 29-year-old juggles multiple roles—a dizzying number of sister clones,

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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.

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March Madness Ratings Surge To 25-Year Highs Thursday

March 27, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

March Madness remains hot for CBS and Turner Sports, with Thursday’s third-round action of the men’s college basketball tournament soaring to its highest overnight rating in 25 years and likely contributing to declines for dramas “Scandal” and “The Blacklist.” According to Nielsen metered-market overnights, last night’s coverage generated the highest rating for the Sweet 16... Read more

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8 Ways Fox Could Keep Empire’s Momentum Going After the Season Finale

March 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fox is about to have the happiest and saddest day of its 2014-15 season. No, that day is not today, even though tonight marks the two-hour season finale to its breakout hit, Empire. Instead, that moment will come tomorrow morning, when overnight ratings finally come in and will almost certainly reveal an unbelievable 10th week of growth in total viewers. The audience began at 9.9 million in its January debut and has continued growing to 14.9 million last week. Ratings in the coveted 18-49 demo have also grown from a 3.8 for the first episode to 5.8 last week. Could it crack a 6 tonight?

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Broadcasters Are Going Movie-Crazy During Pilot Season

March 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Pilot season this year boasts five nonclassic movies being refurbished as contenders for primetime placement on broadcast this season (not counting script deals for Big, Marley & Me, The Money Pit and The Illusionist), so we asked the same question you're probably asking: why the rush to pay homage to a collection of cinematic treasures with a mean score on Metacritic of 51 out of 100? We got some interesting answers. "When a company already owns the rights to existing IP, they would almost always rather recreate/rehash that than gamble on original content," explained Jeremy Fox, writer and former head of development at Annapurna Pictures. A TV producer concurs: "The new landscape of Netflix and summer series and direct-to-series orders makes the usual pilot gambles less appetizing. When people would complain about the budgets, I used to say, 'You're supposed to be losing millions of dollars so that you get a hit!' I think there's less profligate spending now." Below, check out some of this season's film-to-TV transitions.

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