Posts Tagged ‘television’

ESPN Breaks Record as Fans Watch Instead of Working

June 27, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ESPN metered market numbers for yesterday's 12 p.m. match between the U.S. and Germany got a 6.3 rating, including an hour of pregame starting at 11 a.m. That's great, considering the game kicked off in the middle of a day and much of the viewership would have been in workplaces. Indeed, the sports network's digital platform, WatchESPN, got so many concurrent viewers—a peak of 1.7 million, which breaks the platform's record—that the digital edition of the game sputtered and died for quite a few folks who wanted to contribute to that number. Still, that's more peak concurrents than the Super Bowl. Viewership on Univision's digital platform peaked around 750,000. Fast nationals for ESPN and overnights for Univision are not yet available, but the digital explosion suggests that networks and digital video providers can ill afford to buy data that doesn't include advertisements delivered in the workplace. Whether people are watching on their lunch breaks or surreptitiously in a tiny window when the boss isn't looking, it's become clear that if you're sitting in front of a computer all day with what is probably a faster Internet connection than you've got at home, you're going to watch TV.

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Rob Dyrdek Gets Renewals, Pilot in MTV Deal

June 25, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Celebrations are in order for MTV producer Rob Dyrdek. The network today that closed a "multi-year production deal" with Dyrdek and his company Super Jacket that includes pilot order for an as-yet unnamed project (potentially Dyrdek's fourth with MTV, if it lands a pick-up) and multiple renewals. The Viacom-owned network is bringing back Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory for a seventh season and has landed a multi-season renewal for Ridiculousness , the fifth season of which premieres July 10th. There will be a sixth, seventh and "additional" season of the latter as well, according to the network, though what "additional" means wasn't specified. Snack-Off , which premieres the same day, looks to be something of a dressed-down version of the Food Network show Chopped , with amateur chefs competing to create the best meals using snack food aisle ingredients, such as jellybeans and potato chips. Restaurateur and culinary-world enfant terrible Eddie Huang will host, while chef Jason Quinn, supermodel Chrissy Teigen and comedian Yassir Lester will serve as judges.

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Rob Dyrdek Gets Renewals, Pilot in MTV Deal

June 25, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Celebrations are in order for MTV producer Rob Dyrdek. The network today that closed a "multi-year production deal" with Dyrdek and his company Super Jacket that includes pilot order for an as-yet unnamed project (potentially Dyrdek's fourth with MTV, if it lands a pick-up) and multiple renewals. The Viacom-owned network is bringing back Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory for a seventh season and has landed a multi-season renewal for Ridiculousness , the fifth season of which premieres July 10th. There will be a sixth, seventh and "additional" season of the latter as well, according to the network, though what "additional" means wasn't specified. Snack-Off , which premieres the same day, looks to be something of a dressed-down version of the Food Network show Chopped , with amateur chefs competing to create the best meals using snack food aisle ingredients, such as jellybeans and potato chips. Restaurateur and culinary-world enfant terrible Eddie Huang will host, while chef Jason Quinn, supermodel Chrissy Teigen and comedian Yassir Lester will serve as judges.

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FX Drama Tyrant Rules Respectable Kingdom of 775K Demo Viewers

June 25, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Tyrant is off to a reasonable start, if not an earth-shaking one: the drama pulled in a .75 rating, which came out to some 775,000 viewers in the key 18-49 demo. Not bad, with plenty of room to grow—and grow it ought to, because reviews are generally favorable for the new show.

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That’s a $6 Billion Upfront Wrap for All of NBCUniversal

June 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC broadcast has wrapped its upfront sales effort, securing $2.52 billion in ad dollars across prime time, sports and late night, say sources familiar with the conversation: it's a significant gain over the $2.25 billion the network logged last year for the same dayparts and due in large part to high commitments keyed to the Super Bowl, as well as a strong prime-time slate. NBCU sells its properties as a portfolio, including cable and broadcast in the same package, so the final tally is in for the cable networks, as well: just shy of $6 billion for all the properties, including roughly 75 percent of the digital inventory it's planning to sell in the upfront. Last year, the tally for the whole package was $5.4 billion. It's no surprise that the media company is reporting an uptick in sales: the whole-portfolio strategy gives NBCU plenty of sway over buyers and clients who all need time on something (likely more than one something) in the company's huge library of platforms. Moreover, ad sales head Linda Yaccarino has the Super Bowl to leverage this year, and the company is said to be asking $4.5 million a spot after an additional commitment of another $4.5 million elsewhere in the group. For broadcast prime alone, sources say pricing is up between 7.5 and 8 percent—not far off from last year's gains over 2011-12, with a volume increase of 15 percent in the bargain (a bold move that could come back to hurt the company if ratings decline this fall). The latter is something neither ABC nor CBS have boasted over the course of their upfront negotiations, though sources at competing networks are quick to point out that this is a corrective year for NBC—the network was down a few years ago, and now it's climbing back up.

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Q&A: How Reading Rainbow Soared Back, and How It Will Reach Its $5 Million Goal

June 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Things are looking sunnier than ever for Reading Rainbow. After the show's Kickstarter hit its $1 million goal in just 11 hours , the creators set their sights on a new butterfly in the sky: $5 million. With one week left, the Kickstarter is currently at $4 million in pledges from more than 83,000 backers. We caught up with Reading Rainbow co-founder and CEO Mark Wolfe (who wrote and directed the Kickstarter video) and chief marketing advisor Teri Rousseau to find out how they've remained authentic to their brand while reinventing Reading Rainbow for a new generation of digital natives. AdFreak: Tell me a bit about the brand after Reading Rainbow left public television. CEO Mark Wolfe with LeVar Burton Rousseau: The original mission when LeVar and Mark formed RR Kids was to bring back Reading Rainbow for this generation and LeVar very much felt that the way to bring that back was through digital technology. Our original app was for the Kindle Fire and iPad, and it went really well. We had kids reading over 150,000 books a week. It was a top-downloaded app. Wolfe: I think we're just lucky that parents are looking for something. Kids want to spend time in front of an electronic device

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Can a Career TV Exec Bring Ambitious Xbox Shows to Life?

June 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Name Jordan Levin New gig Evp, Microsoft Old gig CEO, Generate Age 45 How did you land at Microsoft? The simplest way of making the connection is that [Microsoft entertainment and digital media president] Nancy [Tellem] was at Warner Bros. on the studio side and she and I got to know each other while working together within the same corporate group. I got fired from the WB in the summer of 2004, then I directed, and then I put together Generate. And at the very beginning of 2012, we sold Generate to Alloy , and then Alloy Digital, and I became president of Alloy Digital. I had some projects I’d been discussing with [Microsoft] as a producer, and [Nancy] said she needed help. What was interesting about working on Xbox ? The VOD nature of the platform was intriguing, because television is headed that way, and trying to figure out what that means from a television standpoint, from a programming standpoint, from a windowing standpoint, from a talent standpoint—that was all really interesting. The demographic is where I’ve always been drawn, the younger demographic.

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Can a Career TV Exec Bring Ambitious Xbox Shows to Life?

June 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Name Jordan Levin New gig Evp, Microsoft Old gig CEO, Generate Age 45 How did you land at Microsoft? The simplest way of making the connection is that [Microsoft entertainment and digital media president] Nancy [Tellem] was at Warner Bros. on the studio side and she and I got to know each other while working together within the same corporate group. I got fired from the WB in the summer of 2004, then I directed, and then I put together Generate. And at the very beginning of 2012, we sold Generate to Alloy , and then Alloy Digital, and I became president of Alloy Digital. I had some projects I’d been discussing with [Microsoft] as a producer, and [Nancy] said she needed help. What was interesting about working on Xbox ?

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The Guild’s Felicia Day Wrote Herself the Role of a Lifetime

June 22, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Felicia Day’s dearly departed Web series The Guild started before anybody was really talking about the medium—it was a year before the world knew that lonelygirl15 was a work of fiction. But Day, the series’ sole writer for all six of its seasons, says the show was a vital outlet for her at a time when her career as an actress wasn’t offering much fulfillment. “There was never a role that I felt really represented me,” she says. “I used to get shunted to the sidelines as the third best friend or the secretary. I have an unusual background and interests that don’t really align with mainstream entertainment, so I wrote myself a central role.” That role, of a lonely gamer girl who goes by the handle Codex, became both a rallying cry for girls who, like Day, felt underrepresented in mainstream entertainment and ostracized by gamer culture (which, though it contains plenty of women and girls, tends to be dominated by men who aren’t very friendly to them). The show migrated to Xbox after a first season funded by fans donating through PayPal (Kickstarter hadn’t yet been launched). The episode recognized here, “End Game,” brought the show to its conclusion. “It was very emotional, I have to say,” recalls Day. “I’m the only writer, and I got to the point where I said, ‘What’s the cliffhanger for this series?’ and I just didn’t have one.” Day has shifted her focus to Geek & Sundry, part of a YouTube 100-channel initiative launched in 2012, where her duties are more concentrated on production and development. The Guild now lives on Netflix and elsewhere. For Day, the Web series remains a high watermark. “We filled rooms at Comic-Con that TV shows usually fill,” she says. “That will always be a huge accomplishment. Talent - Gold The Guild: End Game: Felicia Day Company: Geek & Sundry

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Top Chef Duels Host Claims Real Housewives Are Saner Than You Think

June 20, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who

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