Posts Tagged ‘television’

5 Viacom Board Members, Including the CEO, Are Ousted in Massive Overhaul

June 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After taking weeks to line up all his pieces in his battle with Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman, Sumner Redstone has finally made his big move to regain control of his company. Today, his National Amusements, Inc., which controls Viacom and CBS Corp., announced that it had removed five members of Viacom's board of directors—including Dauman—and had elected five new independent directors. The massive board overhaul also sets the stage for Dauman's eventual dismissal as Viacom CEO. The five new directors are Kenneth Lerer (BuzzFeed chairman and former chairman and co-found of The Huffington Post), Thomas May (chairman of Eversource Energy), Judith McHale (president and CEO of Cane Investments, and former president and CEO of Discovery Communications), Ronald Nelson (Avis Budget Group's executive chairman of the board, and former co-COO of DreamWorks SKG) and Nicole Seligman (former president of Sony Entertainment). They are replacing Dauman, George Abrams, Blythe McGarvie, Frederic Salerno and William Schwartz, all of whom have been battling with 93-year-old founder and chairman emeritus Redstone over the company's future. Remaining as Viacom directors are COO and director Thomas Dooley, Cristiana Sorrell, Deborah Norville, Charles Phillips, Jr., Redstone and his daughter Shari, who is non-executive vice chair

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NBC Sets Fall Premiere Dates and Will Use ‘The Voice’ to Launch Its 3 New Series

June 15, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Because NBC's No. 1 series, Sunday Night Football, stretches well past 11 p.m., the network can't use it to help any of its new shows this fall. Instead, the network is making the most of its No. 2 show, The Voice, which it will deploy to launch all three of its new fall series, NBC announced today. The Voice, with new coaches Alicia Keys and Miley Cyrus, kicks off Season 11 on Monday, Sept. 19. Then NBC will air two episodes of its new Kristen Bell-Ted Danson comedy, The Good Place, which moves to its regular 8:30 p.m. Thursday spot on Sept. 22. (Trailers and descriptions of NBC's three new shows can be found here.) New drama This Is Us will debut Tuesday, Sept. 20, after The Voice's Tuesday airing and will remain at 10 p.m. for three weeks until moving to its regular 9 p.m. slot on Oct. 11

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Why Vice Won’t Have Reviews on Its Upcoming Gaming Channel

June 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It already counts 11 verticals covering everything from news and sports to women's issues, music, food and tech. Now Vice is planning to expand its scope even further, pulling back the curtain today on a gaming vertical that was first announced at the company's NewFront presentation last month. The as-yet unnamed channel, set to fully launch in the fall, will focus on gaming culture, big and small, through personal storytelling. "It's probably the biggest medium today for communications," Joel Fowler, publisher of the new vertical, told Adweek. Fowler also runs Vice's EDM and culture channel, Thump. Vice already produces gaming-related content for Motherboard and The Creators Project , but will now have its own "dedicated place where we can devote resources," explained Fowler. "We see it more as doubling down on all the gaming content that we've been doing." Vice is debuting the first episode of Pixel by Pixel, the first video series for the vertical, during this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3. Vice partnered with Twitch to stream the episode live during its E3 broadcast later this afternoon. The series profiles indie game developers in the weeks leading up to the release of their projects. The first episode follows Alex Preston, creator of Hyper Light Drifter. The game is autobiographical in nature. Preston was born with a serious congenital heart defect. The game's main character confronts challenges he must resolve before he dies. Vice will roll out the first episode for each of the five new shows in the coming months leading up to the site's launch; all five videos will be sponsored by Taco Bell. By late summer, Vice will debut the first episode of esports-themed series Versus, which will center on the game Smite.

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‘The Voice’ Finalist and YouTube Star Christina Grimmie Murdered After Concert

June 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Orlando police believe a deranged fan may have been behind the brazen murder of rising music star Christina Grimmie who was a finalist on NBC's The Voice in the spring of 2014. "The suspect traveled to Orlando apparently to commit this crime and had plans to travel back to where he came from," said Orlando police chief John Mina in a Saturday morning news conference. By Saturday afternoon, police had identified the suspect as 27-year-old Kevin James Loibl of St. Petersburg, Fla. OPD can confirm 27 year old Kevin James Loibl, suspect who shot Christina Grimmie, is from St Petersburg, FL pic.twitter.com/iN6RUi3VRx — Orlando Police (@OrlandoPolice) June 11, 2016 After a performance at Orlando's Plaza Live Friday night, Grimmie was signing autographs when Loibl walked up to her and shot her. Grimmie's brother tackled the suspect, who then shot himself. Grimmie, 22, who placed in the top 3 of The Voice season 6 as part of Adam Levine's team, was a rising pop star who counts more than 3.2 million subscribers on her YouTube channel. In fact, she was discovered by the step-father of superstar Selena Gomez on YouTube 6 years ago

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Nashville Will Move to CMT for Season 5 After ABC Gave It the Ax

June 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Nashville is back from the dead. The Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere drama, which ABC canceled last month after four seasons, is moving to CMT for Season 5. CMT will air all 22 episodes of Nashville's fifth season (which will continue to film in Nashville), while Hulu will be the show's exclusive streaming partner, making all episodes available for streaming the day after they air on CMT. Hulu already had SVOD rights to Nashville's previous four seasons. "CMT heard the fans. The wave of love and appreciation they have unleashed for Nashville has been overwhelming," said CMT president Brian Philips in a statement. "Nashville is a perfect addition to our evolving line-up of big music specials, documentaries and original series. We see our fans and ourselves in this show and we will treasure it like no other network. Nashville belongs on CMT." So far, Nashville is the only series canceled during the 2015-16 TV season to find a new home. Last season, only one canceled show moved to a new outlet: The Mindy Project, which has continued on Hulu after Fox dropped it. Lionsgate, which produces Nashville along with ABC Studios and Opry Entertainment, had been aggressively searching for a new home. In March, the studio signed Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick (executive producers of My So-Called Life and thirtysomething) to step in as showrunners of a potential fifth season. Lionsgate was so confident the show would continue that it ended Season 4 with a cliffhanger, which left the fate of Hayden Panettiere's Juliette Barnes up in the air after her plane had gone missing, instead of a happier ending. "There's a little short-term pain but ultimately long-term gain because we intend and are quite focused and are in substantive and serious conversations with multiple buyers about continuing the show on another platform," Lionsgate TV chairman Kevin Beggs told The Hollywood Reporter last month. "If we didn't feel that was going to happen, we might have gone a different way." CMT was an ideal fit for the network, thanks to its country music audience and the network's decision this year to branch out into scripted series, which represents "a quantum leap" for the network, Philips told Adweek in March. The network's first scripted series, Still the King (starring Billy Ray Cyrus as a washed-up, one-hit-wonder singer who discovers he has a 15-year-old daughter), premieres Sunday night.

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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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