Posts Tagged ‘television’

Why Networks Are Going for Broke This Summer

May 26, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For decades, the broadcast networks took the idea of summer vacation quite literally—programming reruns and other filler content from June through mid-September, much to the frustration of advertisers. Those days are finally over, as broadcasters follow the lead of cable and, more recently, Netflix, by packing their summer slates with big series presented in unique ways that help audiences more easily consume content and aid advertisers in reaching viewers. "Summer is a critical time period for so many advertisers: back-to-school, retail, summer movies," noted Darcy Bowe, vp, media director at Starcom. "You really want to get your message out there, but because the broadcasters weren't programming anything new, people were trained not to watch TV in the summer." NBC is the first broadcaster to pull a Netflix with the May 28 debut of limited series Aquarius, starring David Duchovny. Immediately after the network premiere, the entire 13-episode series will be available to stream at NBC's website, on its mobile app and via other VOD platforms. The network will continue to air new episodes each week, but audiences can choose to binge on the entire series at once. Meanwhile, CBS has partnered with Netflix for its big summer premiere, Zoo, which will stream on the service as soon as its CBS run has concluded. Cable is also trying a nonlinear approach to summer programming. USA comedy Playing House returns for Season 2 in August with a VOD windowing strategy. Each episode will be made available on VOD one week before it airs on the network, with creator/stars Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair partnering with advertisers to create customized content. "If you have Toyota or one of our other sponsors in there, you'll be able to create content that's about Playing House but also about the sponsor as well," said Chris McCumber, USA's president. Because these shows are airing outside the September-to-May TV season, broadcasters have the flexibility to experiment without affecting the traditional fall schedule. Robert Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment chairman, said his network was able to stream Aquarius in full (the ad load of the linear broadcast will mirror that of VOD) because production on the entire season had already wrapped—unlike with most broadcast production schedules, which are only a few weeks ahead of an episode's airdate. Thanks to CBS' deal with Netflix, Zoo (based on the James Patterson novel) will be profitable before the drama even debuts on June 30. That gives the network a safety net as it attempts to lure a different audience during the summer months. Like CBS summer series Under the Dome and Extant, "Zoo is a big, epic-looking and feeling show," said CBS Entertainment chair Nina Tassler. "And they're all highly serialized. We don't do that during the regular season, so summer allows us to recruit new viewers and bring them into fall." While USA routinely airs series during the summer, "we've always seen August as an opportunity because it feels like there's a little bit of a dead space there," said McCumber. "So we thought it would be a great space to put Playing House where it will get more attention … and on top of that create a new opportunity for advertisers to come in and sell it in a different way." Advertisers worry whether digital platforms will cannibalize viewership on terrestrial television

Read More

Why CBS Is Replacing David Letterman With Reruns of The Mentalist

May 26, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

How do you follow an icon like David Letterman and his perfect Late Show finale last Wednesday? For CBS, the answer might seem surprising: Simon Baker. Do not adjust your television sets; CBS is indeed currently airing repeats of The Mentalist, starring Baker, in the 11:30 p.m. late-night time slot Letterman occupied since 1993. In fact, all summer, until The Late Show with Stephen Colbert debuts Sept. 8, the network will show repeats of a different CBS drama each week

Read More

USA’s Playing House Stars Hilariously Explain TV Industry Acronyms

May 22, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Acronyms were flying at the upfronts last week , which is why we brought you the guide to sorting out MVPD, SVOD and everything in between. NBCU Cable Entertainment had the same idea, only they tapped the eps, writers and stars of the USA comedy Playing House to give a more humorous take. In this video, which was played at the NBCU Cable Entertainment upfront, Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair break down the acronyms that dominate how TV is produced, sold and viewed.

Read More

How CBS’ Supergirl Trailer Became a Viral Sensation

May 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

George Schweitzer has spent 20 years overseeing the trailers for the new shows CBS unveils at its upfront presentations each May. "It used to be we showed them in Carnegie Hall, and then we put them away for a while," recalled Schweitzer, president of CBS Marketing Group. But as the networks began releasing their upfront trailers online in recent years, he said, "Now, it's shown in Carnegie Hall, and five minutes later, it's going around the world." Yet, not even an upfront vet like Schweitzer was prepared for the astounding global reaction to CBS' trailer for Supergirl, one of fall's most eagerly anticipated new shows, after it debuted at the network's May 13 upfront . His group consulted with The CW's marketing and press teams who offered guidance on launching a superhero project. "We were warned that this thing would go viral quickly," said Schweitzer, and that's just what happened. Within two days, more than 5 million people had viewed the trailer online. A week after its May 13 debut, that number has risen to more than 10 million. The 10 million figure eclipses the total views of all the other CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox upfront trailer combined. "It's unbelievable," said Schweitzer. "That's more than [the audience for] some of our shows." The last time CBS debuted a superhero series, 1990's The Flash, "there was no Internet," said Schweitzer

Read More

Billboard Music Awards Gives ABC a Sunday Night Win

May 19, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ABC won Sunday night with the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, the most-watched BBMAs in 14 years. The three-hour telecast averaged 11.1 million viewers, a 4 percent jump in viewers versus last year. The show also took the adults 18-40 demographic with a 3.7 rating / 12 share, its best in 12 years. On social media, Kendall and Kylie Jenner introducing their brother-in-law Kanye West as well as his performance were the most-tweeted moments, which might have been due to the boos the Jenner girls received, and the bleeps Kanye got. The Family Guy season finale on Fox was the highest-rated scripted show, with a 1.3 rating among adults ages 18 to 49. The BBMAs were also up against the series finale of Mad Men on AMC.

Read More

Harry Shearer, the Voice of Iconic Simpsons Characters, Is Leaving the Show

May 14, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The voice of some of the most recognizable and beloved animated characters of the last 30 years is going silent. Harry Shearer confirmed on Twitter that he won't be back for the 27th season of the hit Fox show The Simpsons after he could not come to terms with producers on a new contract. The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean wrote on Twitter, "The show will go on, made by people who love it and see in it the most wonderful vehicle for satire ever." Shearer has been the voice of Ned Flanders, C. Montgomery Burns, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, Seymour Skinner and dozens of other characters. The one-time Saturday Night Live cast member (remember his Mike Wallace impression? ) wrote on Twitter: "I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work." Thanks, Simpsons fans, for your support. — Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015 The Simpsons was mentioned in 21st Century Fox's third-quarter earnings report on May 6—specifically, the cost of re-airing the show on FXX. "The expense growth at the new channels was led by increased rights fees ... and increased programming costs at FXX led by The Simpsons." But it was a Simpsons mega-marathon last summer that all but saved the cable channel.

Read More

Thanks to Mad Men and Avengers, Actress Linda Cardellini Knows How to Keep a Secret

May 12, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 39 Claim to fame Stars in Netflix's Bloodline; appears in The Avengers and Welcome to Me (both in theaters now); plays Sylvia Rosen on AMC's Mad Men Base Los Angeles Twitter @LindaCardellini What's the first information you consume in the morning? Well, I look and make sure that no one has called, that there have been no emergencies, and then I look at whatever comes up on my phone. Tell us about your social media habits. What are your go-to platforms? I don't have any really. I should get some.

Read More

Azteca Is Proud to Use the ‘M’ Word

May 12, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Manuel Abud doesn't mind using the "M" word. He does it a lot, actually. The "M" word in this case is for Mexicans. "We target them because it's good business," said the president and CEO of Azteca America at the network's upfront presentation Monday night. The event at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square came a day before the two other dominant U.S. Hispanic networks -- Univision and Telemundo -- throw their annual party for advertisers. Mexicans, or those of Mexican descent, make up 67 percent of Hispanics in the U.S., so it's no wonder Abud uses the "M" word in abundance. He also delivered good news to clients: "I'm thrilled to say that for the first time in 7 years, we have substantial ratings growth." The network is up 33 percent in the adults 18-49 demo in prime time. Azteca also has a hit on its hands with Friday Night Futbol, which features Mexican League soccer matches

Read More

Azteca America Will Build Hispanic Audience Platform for Advertisers

May 11, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

At its upfront presentation later today, Azteca America will unveil new technology to integrate linear and digital video account planning, and it claims to be the first U.S. broadcaster to do so. Azteca America, wholly owned by Mexico's TV Azteca, will partner with Google's DoubleClick and inventory management platform Furious Corp. to build the Hispanic Audience Platform (HAP). It is expected to be up and running later this year. "The Hispanic Audience Platform creates an incredible opportunity for marketers to reach a diverse, growing and highly valuable audience in a targeted way more than ever," said Court Stroud, evp, network sales and digital. Azteca America trails other U.S. Hispanic networks Univision and Telemundo in ratings and reach. It has more than 40 affiliates across the country including in the top 5 markets of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Dallas. But its parent company is one of the largest producers of Spanish-language content in the world. As broadcasters know all too well, audiences, especially younger viewers, are not finding their favorite programs on TV alone. Azteca hopes the HAP will ensure that brands' investments will reach their audience in a more effective way across multiple platforms. "Azteca is leaping ahead of many of its larger competitors by ensuring they have the tools and technology to plan, optimize and deliver cross platform video, ensuring greater transparency, and higher ROI to advertisers," said Furious Corp. founder and CEO Ashley Swartz. Azteca America has long been a provider of multi-platform advertising solutions for clients, including through product integration .

Read More

How Mad Men, by Looking Back, Changed the Future of Advertising

May 11, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

"On Stage 9, the wardrobes of the male cast members include white shirts, cuff links, tie clips and hats," Stuart Elliott wrote in his New York Times advertising column in 2006, about a then-unknown cast shooting a pilot. "The female cast members wear long skirts, slips, formidable-looking brassieres and nylon stockings." Elliott would go on to write many columns about the AMC network's Mad Men—which premiered on July 19, 2007 and which, with much fanfare, draws to a close with the series finale on May 17—and he found silver-haired ad executives to be polarized. "Half of the people I talk to from that era are very hard-core fans of the show and say that it is exactly what it was like then," Elliott, who retired from the Times in 2014 after 23 years, tells Adweek. "And half say the show was completely phony and drummed up for dramatic purposes." Whether the series got the era right or not, what cannot be denied is that it has had an immeasurable impact on this one. Here, some of the more significant ways Mad Men changed our world. It made advertising sexy In 2007, procurement departments increasingly were applying the same cost-cutting measures to ad agencies as they did to their copy paper and coffee vendors. Ad executives, priding themselves as trusted advisors, felt slighted—and it didn't help that viewers were gleefully TiVo-ing past their commercials. "The ad business," Elliott recalls, "was kind of in a funk." Enter Jon Hamm as Don Draper. Lantern jawed, crisply dressed and pomaded, he made this pronouncement in the first episode: "Advertising is based on one thing: happiness. And you know what happiness is? Happiness is the smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is OK." Music to the ad industry's ears. Bob Jeffrey, who served as worldwide CEO of JWT when the show premiered, notes that it helped provide the industry with a pipeline of aspiring talent

Read More