Posts Tagged ‘television’

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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How ‘The Americans’ Chooses Its ‘80s Ads, Like Brooke Shields’ Iconic Calvin Klein Spot

April 28, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After spending four seasons making one of TV's best shows, The Americans showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields are pretty confident in their ability to determine what's best for the series. But that all goes out the window when it comes to incorporating period-specific ads and other pop culture references into the FX drama about two Russian spies (Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys) undercover as a suburban D.C. family in the early '80s. "We work from a place of fear, and in general, we work very hard not to work from a place of fear," said Weisberg. "But we're very worried about hitting things too much on the nose. It's so easy with pop cultural references to be screaming, 'Here we are in 1983! Here we are with the thing that everyone remembers and knows signifies the time period!' We're really careful not to do that and be so judicious when we hit the big ones." They saved one of "the big ones" for Wednesday's episode, the seventh of Season 4, called "Travel Agents." During one scene, two teenage boys bond while watching one of Brooke Shields' iconic Calvin Klein ads, which featured her whistling "Oh My Darling Clementine" and then saying, "You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing." Adweek responsive video player used on /video

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With These Products, Google Is Beefing Up Its Push Into TV

April 20, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When you do a Google search for "TV is dead," you get 338 million results. Daniel Alegre, Google's president of global partnerships, says he's "not going to be person 338 million and one." Alegre used his time as the closing keynote speaker at the NAB Show in Las Vegas to talk about why TV is alive and well and how several Google products are helping make that true. "With all the doom and gloom of TV dying, a newer version is rising," Alegre said, adding, "TV by the old definition is down, but the new TV is alive and well." Among a flurry of announcements, including that Google search will soon add live TV listings and that Google Fiber will soon expand to 11 U.S. markets, Alegre announced that Google's DoubleClick successfully tested addressable advertising during two big recent TV events: the Rugby World Cup finals on France's TF1 and the Republican presidential debates on Fox News. Alegre also announced that Roku and Cablevision are partnering with DoubleClick for Publishers for cross-screen TV and video ad serving. Cablevision's COO Kristin Dolan joined Alegre onstage. "What we're able to do with 7 million set-top boxes in the New York City area is aggregate all the viewership data, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year in a non-personnally identifiable way to target our audience," Dolan said. "For programmers it's very valuable." And while one-to-one addressable advertising is the future, Alegre wondered if it can ever scale. "Traditional, linear advertising is great for brands," Dolan said, using automakers as an example. "Cadillac stands for this, or Lexus stands for that. But then you can customize to the target audience—a sedan, sports car or convertible." Alegre summed up the discussion this way: "The biggest change is the elimination of the barriers to viewing. With all the doom and gloom of TV dying, a newer version is rising."

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By Reviving Tales From the Crypt, Turner Is Literally Bringing Shows Back From the Dead

April 15, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's been quite a week for fans of 1990s nostalgia. A few days after The CW said it would bring back sketch comedy show MADtv for a prime-time run, TNT became the second network to go to the TV graveyard, quite literally in fact. Teaming up with M. Night Shyamalan, TNT has greenlit a 10-episode revival of the horror anthology series Tales From the Crypt, based on the original EC Comics, complete with a brand new Crypt Keeper. The anthology series will anchor a new Tales From the Crypt-branded horror block of programming for the Turner network, which is slated to premiere next year. "I'm really thrilled about the way this horror block is coming together with the addition of Time of Death and Creatures," said Shyamalan.

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What’s Causing Vice’s Huge Fluctuations in Web Traffic?

April 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Ever since Vice decided to get into the cable TV game, the self-assured digital news and lifestyle publisher has been under the microscope. That came blaringly to the fore last month when Variety reported that Vice's web traffic plunged in February. But after free-falling 17.4 percent, from 59.5 million unique visitors in January to 49.2 in February, Vice rebounded nearly all the way back in March, drawing 58.3 million uniques. So what caused Vice's huge fall—and subsequent Phoenix-like rise—the past two months? Ironically, it was smaller sites that Vice bundles with its own traffic in an effort to boost its overall numbers for sales purposes.

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TV One Just Nabbed the Cable Rights for Fox’s Smash Hit ‘Empire’

April 14, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

TV One is entering its awkward middle-school years, but as the African-American themed channel heads into its 12th year, it sees an opportunity for reinvention. "The great thing about adolescence is that we're not quite fully formed; we're ready to try new things," Rahsan Lindsay, evp of sales, told buyers today during TV One's upfront presentation at the Helen Mills Event Space and Theater in New York. During its first 11 years, the network positioned itself as a culturally relevant, family-friendly channel for African-American audiences. And it's coming off a year in which it saw its highest ratings and revenue, thanks to a 23 percent increase in original content. "That has served us well and still serves us well," said TV One president Brad Siegel. "But we need to move forward. We need, as an adolescent, to grow." Even though it's only four months into 2016, Siegel and svp of programming and production D'Angela Proctor spent the majority of the presentation looking ahead to 2017, save for one big announcement: The network acquired the cable rights to Fox's hit drama Empire. In May, TV One will air a marathon of all 17 episodes of Empire's second season in the lead-up to the season finale on Fox. Then in the summer, it will start airing both seasons of the show

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