Posts Tagged ‘television’

Fox Finishes Upfront Sales Strong Thanks to Interest in New Shows Like Lethal Weapon

July 13, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After nursing its wounds during last year's upfront presentation, Fox is in a much more celebratory mood this time around. The Fox Networks Group—which includes Fox, Fox Sports, FX, FXX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo (but not Fox News Channel)—has wrapped its upfront negotiations with volume increases of around 5 percent in CPM (cost per thousand viewers reached) and gains in the high single-digits to low double-digits, according to a person familiar with negotiations. This is a big reversal from last year's mediocre upfront, where Fox—which had fallen to fourth place in the 18-49 demo despite the arrival of Empire—had CPMs that were down as much as 2 percent below the 2014-15 upfront. Volume had been flat at the time. Fox rebounded slightly this past season to third place among the broadcast networks. For the second upfront, ad sales chief Toby Byrne and his team sold inventory across its entire portfolio (except for Fox News). The group had upfront success with its plans to reduce National Geographic Channel's ad load by up to 50 percent for its new series and specials. Fox had the strongest buyer interest from new fall dramas Lethal Weapon and Pitch, as well as midseason entries 24: Legacy, Star and its revival of Prison Break. Buyers had reacted enthusiastically to almost all of Fox's new shows during May's upfront presentation. The network will premiere all 16 of its fall series during a one-week blitz in September. Fox kicked off the marketing campaign for fall baseball drama Pitch during last night's 87th MLB All-Star Game. ABC finished its upfront sales last week, while CBS and The CW wrapped up their upfront deals on June 27

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Inside the Delicate Mechanics of Marketing Mr. Robot’s Second Season

July 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

USA Network used to be best known for "blue skies" procedurals. But the network's signature show is now Mr. Robot, its Golden Globe-winning dark drama about a group of hackers (led by Rami Malek and Christian Slater) intent on bringing down one of the world's biggest conglomerates. "It's been a brand builder for us and really points to where our characters have evolved," said Chris McCumber, president, entertainment networks for NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. As the show returns for Season 2 on July 13, he said, "We have a high demand from our ad clients, which is why we are in the business of trying to build out this franchise beyond the 12 episodes that are going to be on this summer." That also requires a delicate marketing and brand blitz for Season 2, as the network tries to nurture the audience for its critically acclaimed freshman sensation while remaining faithful to Mr. Robot's anti-corporate, anti-establishment message. "At the core, everything has to feel authentic, and that's always our barometer for everything we do as it relates to Mr. Robot," said Alexandra Shapiro, evp, marketing & digital for NBCU's cable entertainment networks. "Is this appropriate? What would [Malek's character] Elliot say about it?

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How Time Inc.’s New Video-Only Platform Hopes to Unearth the Next Big Digital Star

July 1, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As the digital video ecosystem has exploded over the past five years, it's given rise to a new kind of celebrity: Those who are able to amass large swaths of fans without having to be on a traditional media platform. Now that the industry, along with advertisers, has accepted the importance of digitally-born stars, Time Inc. saw the perfect opportunity to extend its coverage of the traditional celebrity space into YouTube, Vine and Instagram. Announced during its NewFronts presentation , Time Inc. formally took the wraps off Instant , its new mobile-first video-only brand, during last week's VidCon. Instant launched with Degree Deodorant as the exclusive sponsor for the first six months; all the advertising will be either sponsored or branded content. Instant, which is built exclusively for mobile consumption, though it can be viewed on desktops—caters to a growing fanbase that sees YouTubers like Lilly Singh in the same vein as a Jennifer Lawrence. But it's also for those older generations who may not be up to speed on the fast-growing ecosystem. "The goal with Instant is for my grandmother to be able to go onto the site and enjoy herself and get caught up," said Instant editorial director Kirstin Benson. "These digital artists ebb and flow; some of them back out of the industry and there's new ones every day." Instant will be run by Time's two celebrity and pop culture brands People and Entertainment Weekly and will also work with YouNow and Launching a new media brand in today's oversaturated world is akin to asking viewers to find a needle in a very large haystack. But Benson, who has experience launching new digital platforms after heading up WhoSay, says that using the clout of People and EW gives Instant a massive leg up. "The space is so crowded," she said. "Those two outlets help give us the street cred that we would need." One way Instant will look to gain relevancy is to become the place that will unearth the next big digital star, which has become a key goal across the entire industry . Two of Instant's series, You Should Follow and The Instant Mix, are dedicated to finding untapped talent. "We are literally crawling the internet," said Benson, who adds they're focusing on international talent as well

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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 — 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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