Posts Tagged ‘television’

The 10 Best TV Shows of 2016

December 13, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In the world of peak TV— as many as 450 scripted series aired this year , in addition to around 750 unscripted shows—it’s more daunting than ever to winnow all those programs down to just 10 shows to represent the year's very finest. Yet for some reason, it was easier than usual to come up with my top 10 picks for 2016. With more sensational TV options than ever before, it has truly become survival of the fittest: a handful of shows separate themselves from a distinguished pack by resonating with you for months, long after you’ve moved on to dozens, or hundreds, of other programs. That's what this list represents: the shows that burrowed themselves into my brain this year and changed me—and television—forever. It includes not one but two different 10-hour programs focusing on O.J. Simpson, a surprise series that no one saw coming, and a pair of shows in the middle of their runs that have each hit new creative heights. If you’re looking to binge a few shows over the holiday break, this list is the perfect place to start.

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How Donald Trump’s Win Made Pollsters, Pundits and Journos All Big Losers

November 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On MSNBC's Morning Joe, just hours after the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, the show's co-hosts and panelists sat around a table in 30 Rock's famed Studio 8H. The home of Saturday Night Live was packed with a live audience—and yet, this was a quiet room. The conversation bounced from how Trump pulled off his historic upset to how the media missed the story of the century entirely—an analysis that would go on to dominate the conversation in the days that followed. "The media was all in on this narrative," co-host Joe Scarborough told his audience. "Everybody was marching in lockstep: Clinton is going to win, Clinton is going to win." In fact, just 24 hours earlier, the chatter on Morning Joe and most other news programs was centered around Trump's narrow path to 270 electoral votes. When Donald Trump pushed back during interviews, including two Election Day call-ins to Fox News, he insisted that journalists were missing the story, that the huge crowds at his rallies were a sign his support was larger than pollsters were predicting. Those voters, MSNBC analyst Mike Barnicle admitted the day after the election, "were ignored by pollsters, they were ignored by media, and they showed up yesterday in astounding numbers." Careful polling, analyzed by network "decision desks," played into the reporting—and networks' underlying planning for coverage of the campaign and election night. But the underlying data was flawed. Worse, suggestions that Trump could outperform his polling—or perhaps that the polling simply had the story wrong—were met with, at times, hostility. Clinton was always shown as reliably in the lead. So why did the media never seriously consider a Trump upset a very real possibility? "Many news outlets never took Trump seriously as a candidate because they covered him as a circus act ," says University of Georgia journalism professor Chris Shumway.

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GoPro Launches Its First Scripted TV Ad, Part of Its Biggest Global Campaign to Date

November 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For years, GoPro has taken a user-centric approach to its advertising, packaging submitted content for TV spots that have run everywhere from YouTube to the Super Bowl. But today, it's launching its first scripted TV spot, which is part of its largest campaign yet that's rolling out on a global scale. TV spots will run in the U.S., Spain, Germany, France, Korea, Australia and other markets. And there's an accompanying global campaign aimed at creating around 1.4 billion impressions. The campaign is a combination of regional and national ad buys, with the first spot airing today before ramping up Friday and then airing in prime time during Sunday Night Football. According to GoPro svp of marketing Bryan Johnston, the campaign is meant to reflect the diversity of the brand's users over the past few years, as its core user base grows from being adventure-seeking people documenting the great outdoors to a camera that can be used by anyone. "If we succeed, then we create thousands upon thousands upon millions of 21st-century storytellers," Johnston told Adweek

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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 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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