Posts Tagged ‘television’

As the 2015-16 Season Wraps Up, CBS Declares Victory in Total Viewers and Adults 18-49

May 24, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The 2015-16 TV season ends tomorrow, and CBS—with a big assist from Super Bowl 50—has declared victory across the board. The network will finish this season No. 1 in total viewers (10.9 million), adults 18-49 (2.3 rating) and adults 25-54 (3.1 rating). While the network routinely wins each season in total viewers—this is the eighth straight year it has done so—this is only CBS' second season win in the coveted 18-49 demo during the last decade (see below). NBC, which won the 18-49 crown the past two years, slipped to No. 2. The network got a big assist from Super Bowl 50, which drew 111.9 million viewers in February , just as last year's Super Bowl helped NBC secure the top spot for the 2014-15 season. Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp. chairman and CEO, preemptively declared victory last Wednesday during CBS' upfront.

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Future of Telenovelas Split at Telemundo and Univision as the Genre Evolves

May 18, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Much like their American cousin the soap opera, telenovelas, which originated in Latin America, have the same sappy tone, breakneck production schedule and five-times-a-week run. But as U.S. Hispanic audiences get younger and savvier, the two leading Spanish-language TV networks in the U.S. are going their separate ways when it comes to the prime-time staple. As Univision doubles down on its production of telenovelas, Telemundo is moving away from them. At its upfront presentation at New York's Lyric Theatre Tuesday morning, Univision evp and CMO Jessica Rodriguez announced the network is in production on 15 new telenovelas. Unlike, Telemundo, which prides itself on producing much of its own content at studios in Miami and Los Angeles, Univision imports its content from Mexican network and production house Grupo Televisa. "Drama is our prime-time TV mainstay. The telenovela is a deeply embedded part of our culture," Rodriguez said, acknowledging, "even the best of genres needs to evolve." So Televisa, which has an ownership stake in Univision, spent 18 months studying the U.S. Hispanic audience. They found them to be younger and more educated and are viewers who seek "strong independent protagonists and stories that are crisp, and don't take so long to unfold," said Jose Antonio 'Pepe' Baston, president of Television and Content for Grupo Televisa. In a taped appearance, Baston said the intent was to "create content that is more relevant to our huge U.S. Hispanic audience." In contrast, at a press event last week held before its combined upfront with NBCU on Monday, Telemundo president Luis Silberwasser announced the network was moving away from telenovelas, while continuing to produce prime-time dramas it calls "super series." The Telemundo shows are darker: more guns and grit, less love and lust. One show, El Chema, bears a striking resemblance to the story of El Chapo, right down to the daring underground prison escape. Telemundo is also in production of three serialized dramas and two mini-series, including an expansive period piece called Cortes, Conquistador de Mexico. Meanwhile, Telemundo digital is keeping the network in the telenovela game, partnering with BuzzFeed on a 10-part series that has "all the elements of a telenovela, with a modern twist," said Peter Blacker, Telemundo's evp of digital. All of this comes on the heels of NBC canceling a sitcom named for the genre.

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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

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Why Next Season Could Be the New Golden Age of the Family Sitcom

May 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Don't expect the classic sitcom Leave It to Beaver or squeaky-clean '90s shows like Family Matters and Perfect Strangers. But come next season, there's likely to be an abundance of new family-centric half hours on network TV. Added to returning hits like Modern Family, Black-ish and Mom, family comedies could take up more space on prime-time schedules than they have in decades. Hollywood's producers pumped out nearly 30 family-based comedy pilots during the recent development season, leaping ahead of other popular subgenres like workplace and relationship shows. This trend toward home and hearth is no accident. Several television executives made their 2016-17 schedule priorities clear in recent months, with CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller telling The Hollywood Reporter that his must-have for next season was a "big family multicam," meaning a traditional three-camera comedy filmed in front of an audience. NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt cited "comedy, comedy, comedy" as his focus for the year, while ABC—which has had the most recent success in the genre—has once again looked at families of all stripes for its potential comedy pickups.

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Steve Harvey’s Secret to Making 5 Shows at the Same Time? Relatability and Humor

May 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC's Sunday night audience vanishes after Sunday Night Football concludes each January, so the network had modest expectations for the 18-49 demo performance of Steve Harvey's variety series Little Big Shots before it premiered in March. "I was told by some folks at NBC, 'We want a 1.2 [rating], and we're going to be tipping champagne glasses,'" Harvey recalls. Instead, the numbers for his America's Got Talent/Kids Say the Darndest Things hybrid, in which talented children from around the world show off their skills and swap zingers with Harvey, more than doubled that during its first Sunday airing: a 2.8 rating, with 15 million total viewers tuning in. The surprise midseason hit ended up as the network's No. 2 show this season in both total viewers and 18-49 (behind only The Voice) and kept the bubbly flowing at the network. "They're drunk right now at NBC," says Harvey, laughing as he reels off the names of top brass at NBC and its parent company. "I know for a fact Paul Telegdy is drunk right now—and Bob Greenblatt, Steve Burke from Comcast and Ted Harbert." Harvey hosts his radio show out of Atlanta

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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

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Veep’s Matt Walsh on Real-Life Politics and Maintaining a ‘Pristine Fiction’ on the Show

May 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 51 Claim to fame Stars as press secretary Mike McLintock on HBO's Veep (Sundays, 10:30 p.m.) Base Los Angeles Twitter @mrmattwalsh Adweek: What's the first information you consume in the morning? Matt Walsh: First thing would probably be skimming emails and checking Twitter. Your Twitter bio says you were an early adopter. How'd you get started on there? My friend [comedian] Paul Scheer was a big Twitter guy back then, and he said, "You should do it." At the time, I was promoting a TV show called Players, which was short-lived, and he told me it was a smart move to communicate to your fans what you're up to. Do you use Twitter differently now versus when you joined in 2009? I do think I track news off of it more than I used to. I remember when Michael Jackson died, I pulled that off of Twitter before I saw it anywhere else. That's when I realized, "Oh wow, this is a real news ticker." I think I [tweet] less now. I just try to write something once in a while, almost like homework. Do you listen to any podcasts? You Must Remember This . That's a good one. I listen to Krista Tippett's On Being .

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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.

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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

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The National Association of Realtors Finds Its Perfect Pitchman in Modern Family Dad

May 5, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Realtor Phil Dunphy, a key character on ABC's award-winning comedy Modern Family, is the star of Arnold Worldwide's latest initiative for the National Association of Realtors. Dunphy's pitchman status kicked off Wednesday night, in spots airing before and after the latest installment of the show, and during the episode itself, with the character name-checking the NAR code of ethics as a plot point. "We have done only a handful of integrations because they tend to be intrusive and frankly make the show look like it's selling out," Christopher Lloyd, co-executive producer of Modern Family, told Adweek. "This was actually one of the easier ones we've done, since it lent itself to a joke. Phil is bemoaning his career choice as a Realtor, and it's his Realtor skills that ultimately save the day." Lloyd said he wouldn't have approved the concept, "if it seemed like we were just wedging in a pro-Realtor's Association testimonial. We only agreed to do it when we thought of a way to actually use the distinction between what a (NAR-certified) Realtor is and what a real-estate agent is in a funny way." Of course, brand integrations in prime-time programming are nothing new

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