Posts Tagged ‘television’

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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Digital Media Is Now Bigger Than National TV Advertising, Will Surpass Total TV by 2018

June 16, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Magna Global issued a report on Monday predicting a major upswing of 8.3 percent for U.S. television advertising revenue in 2014, after a dismal 2013 in which revenues were down 0.6 percent. But there's been one significant change: national TV advertising is now smaller than digital media advertising. The World Cup, local political advertising, and the Olympics are among the factors contributing to the uptick, said Vincent Letang, Magna's evp, director of global forecasting. Letang also predicted serious movement in the global mobile markets, among other trends—including that digital will surpass total TV by 2018. "National TV benefited from the Olympics in the first quarter. Local TV will gain from political and health-related campaigns throughout the year

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CBS Finishes Upfront With CPM Increases Lower Than Last Year

June 13, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This upfront season, it's all over but the shouting for CBS, according to a statement released by the organization itself today. “As we near the finish line, we are very confident that CBS has once again achieved the highest pricing and most total dollars in the upfront marketplace," said a spokesperson in a rare official statement by the network. "Agencies and clients continue to value the strength, stability and delivery that we provide as a pure-play broadcaster, and we are very pleased that in addition to C3, C7 is now playing a meaningful part in our negotiations.” It is unusual for CBS to come out and say that it's more or less done with upfront deals—but as it's the first network to cross the finish line, perhaps that's in order. It also serves to put the market on notice—things are probably going to move more quickly this year than last. The cable market just started to movie this week, as well, with budgets registered at several of the major players and momentum building at Turner, among others.

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Hyundai Buys Solo Sponsorship of Hulu’s Mario Batali Show The High Road

June 12, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Hulu has sold sole sponsorship rights to Hyundai for its arty new branded unscripted series The High Road. The series, shot in black and white and set in New York, is hosted by Mario Batali, who interviews celebrities in the Big Apple including George Stephanopoulos, Isabella Rossellini, Jimmy Fallon and Rachael Ray.

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Robert Rodriguez Does Everything From Programming to Sound Editing at El Rey Network

June 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Robert Rodriguez made a name for himself in the '90s as a movie director alongside frequent collaborator and friend Quentin Tarantino, but his latest claim to fame has been his El Rey network, which came out swinging with a TV version of Rodriguez's vampire flick From Dusk Till Dawn this March. The network itself—headquartered in Rodriguez's Austin—was the creation of a quirk in the Federal Communications Commission's conditions for the merger of NBCUniversal and Comcast, along with several other cable channels. Of the group, El Rey is far and away the highest-profile, and the slickest. We talked to Rodriguez about the network, its future, and what he's doing next (besides delivering keynote addresses

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Reports: Vice May Sell Major Stake to Time Warner

June 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Vice could be suiting up

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