Posts Tagged ‘television’

IFC Has a New Documentary Parody Show From SNL Alums

March 20, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

IFC announced its upfront slate just shy of this evening's presentation in Manhattan. The agenda for the 2014-15 season (or the cable equivalent thereof) includes American Documentary, a new series created by Fred Armisen, Seth Meyers and Bill Hader; as well as a scripted half-hour called American Storage, created by Children's Hospital showrunner Rob Huebel. SNL mastermind Lorne Michaels will produce American Documentary, which the network says will be shot "on location" with a first season of six half-hour episodes as it explores the lives of fictional people in presumably real places.

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California Production Tax Credit Generated $4.3 Billion in Activity

March 20, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Backers of expanding California’s Film and Television Tax Credit Program have received a strong endorsement from a new study by the Southern California Association of Governments. The study, released Thursday, asserts that the current program — funded at $100 million annually — created an 11% return on investment in its first three years in 109... Read more

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Killing Jesus Will Be 4 Hours Long With a Teleplay by the Writer of the Wild Bunch

March 19, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Yes, the Bill O'Reilly book-based special to end all Bill O'Reilly book-based specials is too large for just one evening: the National Geographic Channel will air Killing Jesus (to be produced by Ridley Scott, as were partnerships Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy) over two nights and four hours, with a teleplay by Walon Green. National Geographic went big on this year's upfront presentation after several years of smaller-scale one-on-ones with press. As the network has grown under David Lyle since his appointment to the CEO position in 2011, it's had help from corporate siblings (new Fox broadcasting hit Cosmos re-airs on the network on Mondays), but it's also managed to grow its own hits, notably last year's Brain Games, which earned both plaudits and legions of imitators before it even aired. Rich Goldfarb, head of ad sales for the network, said that the company had had particular success with integrated ads in the previous year. General Motors, among others, has had trucks featured in the Alaskan Wild, and Goldfarb said Brain Games had lent itself well to integrated advertising. "If you'd asked me to come up with a show to sell to advertisers, I would have come up with Brain Games," he said. The network's batting average has gotten very high: the upfront boasted three renewals (for a second season) and six returning series (for a third season or greater). Among the new shows on the network were You Can't Lick Your Elbow, which, in addition to its informative title, will teach viewers about things their bodies can (and cannot, no matter how far you bend your neck) do. NatGeo is calling this genre of programming "smartertainment" and seems to be looking for shows to tap into the same market that likes Brain Games—other series include Crowd Control, about how to encourage good behavior in public, and Going Deep with comedian David Rees, a show about how improve everyday activities like shoe-tying (the press kit handed out at the end of the presentation included a 200-page-plus book by Rees called How to Sharpen Pencils). In other genres, the network is in familiar territory. There's a small-business show called Fish Tank Kings, a miniseries recalling both the format and the perspective of NatGeo's The 80's called The 90's (the title card featured both O.J. and Bill Clinton being sworn in), and Dr. Oakley: Yukon Vet, about veterinarian Michelle Oakley, who told Adweek she'd recently been avoiding stampeding elephants in Sri Lanka (and had video to prove it). NatGeo also has a new documentary called The War Generals set for release, featuring interviews with David Petraeus, Colin Powell, Stanley McChrystal, and Wesley Clark, among others.

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ABC Family Upfront Is a Table Read and Screening of Pretty Little Liars

March 19, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ABC Family isn't messing with success: this evening's upfront took place in the form of a table read (followed by a screening) of the season finale for Pretty Little Liars, one of the most popular shows on television in the teen/young adult demo (women 12-34). Rather than screen new material, the network is simply deepening its bench: no new series green lights were announced, but executives have commissioned three new pilots. The first and most interesting, Alice in Arabia, has caused controversy despite having only been in the news for a few hours. The drama follows a teenage American girl kidnapped by her extended Saudi Arabian family who "is held a virtual prisoner in her grandfather's royal compound." Written by a former U.S. Army cryptolinguist who supported NSA missions in the Middle East, the plot summary for the pilot generated controversy with a line about the protagonist trying to get home "while surviving life behind the veil." (Anti-Islamic sentiments frequently single out veils and head scarves.) So there were plenty of tweets like this online:

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ABC Is Top Banana in 4A’s Homes

March 18, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Although it’s destined to finish last again this season among broadcast’s Big Four, ABC boasts a much higher profile in the homes of ad agency types. According to a new study from Collective , 4A’s members and their families watch ABC more than any other major TV network. In fact, the two most-watched shows among the 4A’s set are the long-running newsmagazine 20/20 and the freshman comedy Super Fun Night—both of which call ABC home. If those results are rather surprising—20/20 airs on low HUT-level Friday nights, while Super Fun Night averaged only 5.1 million viewers over its brief run—there’s more where that came from. For instance, while it just cracks the top 20 in terms of overall prime-time deliveries, Bravo is the most-watched cable network in 4A’s circles, beating out the likes of ESPN, AMC and CNN. 4A’s members also preferred the now-defunct NBC comedy Sean Saves the World , and the offspring of these brand marketers and advertisers are more likely to watch the CW’s Arrow than any other program. While Collective and agency partner ZenithOptimedia admittedly are working within the confines of a rather narrow constituency, the study was designed to illustrate some greater truths about optimizing media buys. “Obviously, it’s great to make 4A’s Transformation attendees the center of attention,” said Collective CEO Joe Apprendi. “It’s a way to validate what they’re watching—you look out and see a lot of nodding heads in the audience—while presenting a much more clear picture of exactly how TV analytics works.” In order to gather the data, Collective placed a pixel on the 4A’s homepage , which allowed it to track correlations between online behavior and TV viewing habits, as illuminated by Rentrak set-top box data. In a more generalized execution, engagement and attentiveness metrics would be brought to bear to create a highly detailed index of online activity as it relates to TV usage. ZenithOptimedia president, activation John Nitti will present the findings of the optimization study today at 10:30 a.m. PDT, alongside his colleague, Zenith svp, director of research John Nuding.

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Lost Cast, Creators Celebrate Show’s 10th Anniversary

March 17, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The 10th anniversary Lost reunion panel at PaleyFest may have been short on both revelations and star power— No Jack! No Kate! No Locke! No Sayid! No Ben Linus! No Charlie ! No Claire!—but the show’s creators did offer a few definitive answers about what really happened on Smoke Monster Island. Appearing Sunday night at a packed session at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse joined castaways Josh Holloway (Sawyer), Jorge Garcia (Hurley), Yunjin Kim (Sun), Henry Ian Cusick (Desmond), Ian Somerhalder (Boone), Maggie Grace (Shannon) and Malcolm David Kelley ( Walt ) in a discursive conversation about their experience on the hit ABC series. True to form, Lindelof and Cuse were rather cagey on the topic of the much-debated Lost finale. When moderator Paul Scheer first brought up the polarizing ending, Lindelof joked, “I’m going to go pee” while half-rising out of his seat. Cuse did confirm that the Losties weren’t actually dead throughout their tenure on the island, adding that the confusion about the characters’ ontological status had something to do with the misleading footage of the wreck of Oceanic flight 815 that appeared between the final scene and the last commercial pod. “We wanted to run a little buffer…between the end of the show and the commercial [break],” Cuse said. “But when people saw that shot of the plane and saw that there were no people, it exacerbated the problem.” Of course, given that the two EPs spent years trying to chase fans off the scent of the Purgatory reveal, going so far as to deny that any of the characters would be confined to that existential way station, it’s understandable that many viewers didn’t know what to believe. Cuse defended the saccharine nature of the finale, which culminated in a flash-sideways to Jack’s revelation that he “died too,” and his reunion at the church with the rest of the castaways. “Lost was metaphorically about these people looking for meaning and purpose in their lives,” Cuse said. “The ending had to be a spiritual one.” As Lindelof remembers it, the finale “answered a question the show never asked, [which is], ‘What is the meaning of life? And what happens when you die?’” For the most part, the panel was an excuse for Holloway to crack jokes with his former cast mates while the producers doled out bite-sized nuggets of Lost lore. For example: Daniel Dae Kim wasn’t terribly adept at speaking Korean (although “he eventually got very good,” according to Yunjin Kim) and Vincent the dog was actually a female.

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Marketing Predictions for Season 18 Cast of Dancing With the Stars

March 17, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

By David Schwab, Octagon First Call Season 18 of Dancing With the Stars kicks off Monday night with some big changes—most notably, Erin Andrews is the new co-host, replacing Brooke Burke. Like Burke, Andrews is a past competitor—she finished third on Season 10. Andrews has a strong (mostly male) fan base from her days on ESPN and current gig with Fox Sports, so this new role should make her more of a household name with women. She is already busy in the endorsement space, with current and past deals including Reebok, TruBiotics, Diet Mountain Dew and Ticketmaster. It's also worth noting that Burke is still incredibly relevant and popular with brands, especially with her ModernMom.com platform reaching women 25-54. Here's a look at our marketing predictions for the new cast: Drew Carey : Carey has been a TV mainstay for two decades, most recently as the host of The Price Is Right. His endearing humor and nice-guy image will garner him much fanfare and show success. Carey's awareness level among adults 25-54 is twice as much as the average celebrity comedic personality, and DWTS will only increase that. His inspiring 80-pound weight loss over the last few years was a big media draw and gives Carey added relevance in the health and wellness space. As DWTS draws back the curtain on Carey's off-screen life and interests, look for opportunities with brands and organizations in the photography (he is an amateur photographer), health/nutrition and literacy (he is a strong advocate for libraries) spaces. Candace Cameron Bure : Bure played DJ on the ABC show Full House and has made several appearances in television and film since the show ended in 1995. A devout Christian and mother of three, she has written two books about her approach to juggling motherhood; her most recent sparked a minor controversy in regards to her family structure. Still, she will be of interest to wholesome, family-targeted programs, and there are always plenty of mom-driven PR campaigns popping up. Working in her favor is the fanfare surrounding Full House after John Stamos, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier reunited for an Oikos Super Bowl commercial.

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Sam Champion Wants to Make The Weather Channel a One-Stop Shop for News

March 17, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age Sam Champion Age 52 New gig Managing editor, anchor,The Weather Channel Old gig Weather anchor, Good Morning America You’ve said that your new morning show, AMHQ, will cover news, business, sports and other nonweather topics. Will that all be through the prism of weather? Weather affects every story—whether the event happened, whether people got there on time. If you’re talking about the president’s State of the Union address and he’s going to talk about climate change, how does that story “go through the prism of weather”? It’s a factual story. Weather is part of it.

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The Most Threatening Thing to the Advertising World

March 17, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Advertising is under attack in Washington on a number of fronts. It’s accused of making kids fat, taking away our privacy, even making it easier for the government to spy on us.

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Brands Are Really Jumping On the Upcoming Muppets Movie Release

March 17, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It’s hard to predict how Disney’s Muppets Most Wanted will fare at the box office in its opening weekend, but the run-up to Friday’s nationwide launch has been nothing short of a brandapalooza. In the past six weeks, Toyota, Subway and Lipton have all rolled out ads featuring Kermit and the gang, beginning with a Toyota Highlander spot in the Feb. 2 Super Bowl. The co-branding efforts have extended online as well with videos and tons of social media support. And why not? Disney, after all, is an aggressive marketer, and if brands are willing to fund such pushes, the more the merrier, right? Still, some of these marriages work better than others, even if all help sell the movie. Two branding experts—Landor Associates’ Allen Adamson and Redscout’s Daniel Wadia—channel Siskel & Ebert to critique the spots.

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