Posts Tagged ‘television’

Donald Trump Turned Stephen Colbert’s Showtime Election Comedy Special Into a Wake

November 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In August, when Showtime Networks CEO and president David Nevins made the "half announcement" that Stephen Colbert would host a live, comedy special for Showtime on election night, the exec told reporters, "that sounds fun, right?" It did, but what transpired during Tuesday night's Showtime special—prophetically titled, Stephen Colbert's Live Election Night Democracy's Series Finale: Who's Going To Clean Up This Sh*t?—was anything but fun, as news came rolling in throughout the program of Donald Trump's surprising voting surge. The crowd for Monday night's live Late Show with Stephen Colbert had been treated to an energetic, hilarious live Election Eve show, with a surprise appearance from Jon Stewart . But just 24 hours later, the energy in the Ed Sullivan Theater for the Showtime special (Colbert jumped to CBS' sister network for the night as election coverage had preempted the Late Show) couldn't have been more different. Forced to turn off their cell phones more for than 30 minutes before the show began, the audience had no idea of what election news had transpired, and loudly gasped as Colbert shared the latest results on-air. "Right now the election is too close to call and too terrifying to contemplate," Colbert said. "This one is a nail-biter, and a passport-grabber." And while he opened up with a humorous animated package (below) about how President Obama had driven Trump to run for president, it quickly became clear that Colbert's Showtime special wasn't a comedy show, but a wake. Each new revelation that Trump had taken battleground states like Florida, Ohio and North Carolina sucked the energy out of the pro-Hillary Clinton audience. "I'm not sure if it's a comedy show at this point

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Last Year’s Biggest Freshman TV Hits Have Lost Momentum in Season 2

November 3, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For a new TV series, the only thing harder than becoming a freshman hit is maintaining that momentum in Season 2. Several of last year's biggest critical and commercial hits, including Blindspot and Mr. Robot, have been felled by ratings and creative challenges in their sophomore seasons. Two of last fall's biggest success stories, NBC's Blindspot and ABC's Quantico, were hoping to grow their audiences in Season 2, but instead they've stumbled out of the gate. Blindspot, which averaged a 1.8 in the 18-49 demo last year, is off 30 percent, averaging a 1.3. However, much of that ratings drop can be explained by NBC relocating Blindpsot from its cushy post-Voice time slot on Mondays to Wednesdays at 8 p.m., when the network is much more vulnerable (and when the show is being trounced by another action-heavy series, Fox's Lethal Weapon). Quantico's fall is more alarming. It remained in the same time slot as last year (10 p.m. Sundays), but the series, which averaged a 1.2 in the demo last season, is off 33 percent with a 0.8. Last season's most promising freshman series for ABC is now the network's lowest-rated scripted series in the demo—though the network notes that it's had significant gains in delayed viewing

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Presidential Debates Set Ratings Records in 2016, but Does the Format Need to Change?

October 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The results are in, and 2016 delivered the most viewers of any presidential debate cycle in U.S. TV history. Wednesday's third and final debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump brought in 71.6 million viewers, making it the third-most-watched debate ever, behind only Clinton-Trump I (84 million) and Jimmy Carter-Ronald Reagan on Oct. 28, 1980 (80.6 million). The three Clinton-Trump debates and the Tim Kaine-Mike Pence vice presidential debate delivered a total of 259 million viewers, per data from Nielsen Media Research. The 1992 debate cycle held the previous record, with 250 million viewers watching the three George H. W.

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Donald Trump’s Lack of Ad Spending Is Leaving a Hole In Local Media’s Pocket

October 20, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The presidential debates provided plenty of free airtime. Gif: Dianna McDougall; Sources: CNN, Shutterstock The presidential election has been momentous and memorable: the first woman nominee of a major party, a businessman/reality show candidate, leaked emails, bigly, Ken Bone and Billy Bush. But local media will remember the 2016 race for what it didn't provide: significant ad revenue. Media forecasting firm Magna originally projected this year's political ad spend to be 15 percent above 2012, which would have set a new record. But current forecasts put the ad buy in line with the 2012 campaign. "[Donald Trump] is not nearly spending what Mitt Romney or John McCain's campaigns did eight years ago," said Mark Fratrik, svp and chief economist for BIA Kelsey. "That disappointed the outlooks of local media companies." Local TV ad sales were underwhelming despite a 10 percent increase this year. "Good, but it fell below our anticipations," added Vincent Letang, evp of global market intelligence for Magna. Around $2.8 billion was booked in local political TV ad sales this year, up 3 percent from 2012 dollars. It's particularly not impressive because a total of $20 billion was spent on local TV ads overall, excluding political ads. "When Trump was a candidate in the primaries, he spent very little," said Letang. "We thought once he got the nomination and gained more access to GOP fundraising, he'd spend closer to what Romney did during his general election [of 2012]. That didn't happen." But it's not just Trump's underwhelming spend that surprises analysts. "We all thought Virginia would continue to be a battleground state for the campaigns. But it just isn't

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Netflix Debuts Haters Back Off, a New Original Series From YouTube Star Miranda Sings

October 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

"Miranda thinks she's incredible," said Colleen Ballinger, the creator of Miranda Sings. "She takes pride in her singing, dancing, acting, modeling... all of which she's not good at!" Nine years ago, when YouTube was essentially still a toddler, the character of Miranda Sings was born. Back then, Ballinger was studying vocal performance and had started to observe the girls around her. "I saw all these mean, snooty girls in my classes," she said, "so Miranda is really based on those girls. She was a way for me to poke fun at them." "She's very confident in her lack of talent," said Ballinger. Miranda, whose signature look is a red lip and a bad attitude, started as a much more tame version than what you see today. "When the first videos came out, and started to become viral, I started getting hate comments," she explained. "People would write 'you suck,' 'you're ugly,' 'you can't sing.' I became fascinated that people were so bored, they'd write something so mean about someone who wasn't even real." If they didn't like her singing, she'd sing worse. If they didn't like her style, she dressed worse. Ballinger really wanted to exaggerate Miranda's worst qualities so they would comment even more. She wanted to "engage with the haters." Miranda Sings currently has more than seven million subscribers on YouTube .

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NBC and American Express Team Up Again to Replace More Today Show Ad Time

October 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After replacing 30 minutes of prime-time spots with branded content on Leap Day, NBC and American Express are teaming up again next week. But this time, the partnership will feature longer Today segments instead of linear branded content. The weeklong partnership, which will once again highlight American Express' Blue Cash Everyday Card, begins on Monday, and will add 27 total additional minutes of programming to Today for the week. Monday's and Friday's shows will feature additional three-minute segments in place of the usual ad pods: in the "trending" portion of Today's 8 a.m. hour and the opening chats in the 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. hours. On Tuesday and Thursday, the 10 a.m. chats will also be extended by three minutes, while the 9 a.m. chat will be three minutes longer on Wednesday. Unlike the Leap Day campaign, this partnership won't include any linear branded content to replace the eliminated ad pods. "The content is all Today show content as we choose," said Mark Miller, evp, news advertising sales, NBCUniversal, with American Express having no say. However, those segments will include a verbal acknowledgment of American Express' role in eliminating what would normally be an ad break. An American Express bug will occasionally be featured on screen, most frequently during the 10 a.m. segment, hosted by Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford. All Today.com video the week of Oct

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Fox Hopes Its Brooklyn Nine-Nine/New Girl Crossover Will Boost Slumping Tuesday Ratings

October 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

We've seen The CW and CBS superheroes band together to defeat a common foe—and boost ratings in the process. Now, Fox is hoping that a team-up of its own comedy stars can help turn around its season. Tonight, the network is airing a crossover event for its two Tuesday night comedies, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl. It begins during the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode at 8 p.m., when New Girl's Jess (Zooey Deschanel) crosses paths with Nine-Nine detective Jake (Andy Samberg). The crossover continues during New Girl at 8:30, where the whole New Girl cast flies from Los Angeles to New York and stumbles upon several Nine-Nine characters.

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BBC America Teases 2 New Shows (and the Return of Doctor Who) at New York Comic-Con

October 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

What's one huge lesson Sarah Barnett, president of BBC America, has learned from events like Comic-Con? "Be superfans of your fans!" That's the approach BBC America brought to this year's New York Comic-Con, where it took over Madison Square Garden, with panels and mini-screeners for conventiongoers, as the first TV network to expand its presentation into that massive theater. Comic-Con, which also takes place in San Diego every year, is a place where fans come first. TV shows and networks combine with high-profile movies and comic books to create a whirlwind of fandom. "This is one of the most pop-culture literate groups of people," said Barnett. "They know their stuff. And there's an openness to good ideas and content

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Here Are the TV Shows and Networks People Watch Live Most and Least Often

October 7, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While broadcast viewers are thought to represent a more traditional TV audience than those watching cable, a new report says they are actually less likely to watch programming live than their cable counterparts, especially if the network in question is The CW. That information comes from TiVo Research's Q2 State of TV report, which was released today. The quarterly report tracks time-shifting using TiVo's Media TRAnalytics data set, which anonymously aggregates set-top box data from more than 2.3 million households including TiVo owners and other cable providers. According to the study, while the vast majority of TV viewing continues to be live, broadcast network prime-time viewing is more likely to be time-shifted than cable programming. Twenty-six percent of broadcast prime-time programming was time-shifted during the second quarter (23 percent overall was watched in the C3 window, from the same day to three days later; the other 3 percent was time-shifted four to seven days). In total day viewing, 20 percent of broadcast programing was time-shifted. For cable prime-time viewing during the quarter, 88 percent was viewed live, with total day viewing even higher at 91 percent. The CW is the most time-shifted of the broadcast networks. Only 56 percent of its viewers watch live in prime time.

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Why Some Broadcast Shows Are Getting Smaller, Cable-Sized Season Orders

September 29, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It was no surprise that NBC gave This Is Us a full-season pickup on Tuesday—after all, the series had the highest-rated 18-49 debut of any new series last week: a 2.8 rating, which soared to a 4.2 in live-plus-3 numbers. But what was a bit unexpected, however, was the length of that full-season order: 18 episodes, instead of the standard 22-episode season for broadcast shows. This Is Us' 18-episode order was music to the ears of its creator Dan Fogelman, who told Adweek that the 22-episode format isn't deal for either that show or his other new fall drama, Fox's Pitch. "At the end of the day, it's NBC's and Fox's call, and you do as many as they want," said Fogelman. "But it's hard, and it's not just about the difficulty of executing it and executing it well, it's also the schedule and the timing. In these particular shows, you want the show to feel big, and have big moments and big reveals. But it's hard to create that many of them, and you don't want the show to feel disappointing." Fogelman is far from the only creator who feels that way. While sitcoms and procedurals are still routinely receiving 22-episode seasons (in some cases, even more episodes than that), increasingly, producers of serialized broadcast dramas are pushing for smaller-cable sized season orders, and their networks are happily complying. "I cannot tell you how much the world has changed in the last decade as far as that goes," said Gary Newman, Fox Television Studios co-CEO and co-chairman. "I think the root of it is, more and more for studios, the back-end is SVOD [services like Netflix and Amazon], not syndication. So you no longer need a certain number of episodes [to hit the threshold for syndication]. You want as many as possible, but you don't need them the way you used to." In a world where as many as 450 scripted series will air this year, "We're no longer competing with just the other broadcast networks. We're competing with OTT services and cable networks, and I think you have to be respectful of the consumers' time and interest," said Newman. That means realizing that "sometimes with these more intense, serialized shows, trying to maintain that intensity over 22 episodes—or as we discovered years ago with 24, 24 episodes—is very difficult," said Newman. "I think if we were to be honest about 24, as great as it was, you would see a lot of dipping, particularly in the middle of the season." 24's 12-episode limited series revival, 2014's 24: Live Another Day, "was a far more successful version. We were able to keep up the intensity throughout the 12 episodes," Newman added

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