Posts Tagged ‘television’

Why Streaming Service Crackle Ditched the NewFronts for the Upfronts

April 9, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Xbox, Kindle Fire, Roku, Smart TV—no matter what device you have, you can find Crackle on it. Each month, 18 million users in the U.S. access the Sony-owned, advertiser-supported streaming network to watch a selection of movies and TV shows, as well as a growing number of original series, including Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. But Crackle still has a bit of an identity crisis as it looks to make a name for itself among the likes of Netflix and Amazon. After an erroneous New York Post report in December indicated that Sony—at the time under siege from hackers and seeking alternative distribution for its controversial comedy The Interview—would be releasing the film for free on Crackle, most people said, "What's Crackle?" (In the end, Crackle landed rights to the film next year in the first ad-supported window.) Crackle's general manager and evp Eric Berger, who's also general manager of digital for Sony Pictures Television, is trying to change that. He's taking big swings like commissioning Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser—the first digital sequel to a movie—and pushing original series like the drama Cleaners, starring David Arquette and Gina Gershon, and the thriller Chosen, starring Chad Michael Murray and Rose McGowan. And in his loudest statement yet, he's moved Crackle out of the NewFronts and into the upfronts for the first time this year: on April 14, it will become the first streaming network to present at the upfronts. On the eve of Crackle's first upfront, Berger talked about his bold move, what really happened with The Interview and meeting the challenge of raising Crackle's profile.

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Former SNL Funnyman Gary Kroeger Gets Serious, Runs for Congress

April 8, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Gary Kroeger is following in his former Saturday Night Live co-stars footsteps. Like Al Franken, Kroeger is running for Congress. Kroeger, a Cedar Falls native, is running for the democratic nomination in Iowa's first congressional district. Kroeger spent three seasons on SNL, beginning in 1982. He returned to Iowa in 2003 and began working as creative director at Mudd Advertising in Cedar Falls. "I came back for 'Iowa Values' and now I see many of those values being marginalized, even eliminated, and I have to do something about it," Kroeger wrote on his campaign page . "I have to so that my sons can have the opportunities that I had ... and more." In an interview on Mudd's blog in 2011, Kroeger described a typical day at the office: "Busy. Scripts to write, radio commercials to voice, television spots to host, meet with account execs about future creative direction and spots in production. Meet with production teams to create new content for online, television and radio advertising." Another of Kroeger's 1980s SNL cast-mates, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, lives in the fictional world of politics, playing President Selina Meyer on HBO's Veep.

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Time Inc. and Telemundo Team Up For Weekly Home Improvement Show

April 7, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Time Inc. and Telemundo are joining forces for the launch of SOS: Salva Mi Casa (or SOS: Save My House). The weekly home improvement TV show, debuting Saturday, April 11 at noon E.T., is Time's first Spanish-language television program and first major collaboration with Telemundo. "Time Inc. is expanding in many ways, including the launch of new digital, video and television products, and we're thrilled to add our first Spanish-language TV venture to the mix," said Time Inc. evp Evelyn Webster in a release. Each week, hosts Andrea Minski and general contractor Jose Perez come to the rescue of homeowners in need of extreme home makeovers. "We've built this series on the foundation of Time Inc.'s trusted and well-established properties in order to address the increasing number of Spanish speaking DIYers in need of solid home improvement advice," said Maria Lopez Alvarez, svp of reality programming for the NBCUniversal network. The media companies have signed GMC, State Farm and The Home Depot as launch partners for the first season, which will include TV spots, digital and on-air integrations, and print and online ads in People en Espa

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Time Inc. and Telemundo Team Up For Weekly Home Improvement Show

April 7, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Time Inc. and Telemundo are joining forces for the launch of SOS: Salva Mi Casa (or SOS: Save My House). The weekly home improvement TV show, debuting Saturday, April 11 at noon E.T., is Time's first Spanish-language television program and first major collaboration with Telemundo. "Time Inc. is expanding in many ways, including the launch of new digital, video and television products, and we're thrilled to add our first Spanish-language TV venture to the mix," said Time Inc.

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The Beeb Creates Buzz With Splashy Thrillers

April 6, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Sarah Barnett hasn't been genetically engineered, like all those clones in Orphan Black, for the job at hand. It just seems that way. Barnett's new gig—she's a few months into her tenure as president and general manager of the buzzed-about cable channel BBC America—brings her back to the place where she began her stateside career a decade ago, so she intimately knows the lay of the land. It also keeps her in the AMC Networks fold, where she methodically built SundanceTV from the quirky home of indie flicks into an ad-supported, original-content player with scripted series like Rectify, Top of the Lake and Carlos. Now that AMC has taken an operating stake in BBC America, the U.K.-born-and-bred Barnett will be running point on the new relationship. She'll also be guiding the channel, which recently logged its highest-rated year in prime time and total viewers, into the ever-competitive upfront presentations to advertisers and beyond, where she says she'll continue to take "the big swings" that helped put the "Beeb" on the map in the U.S.

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Twitch, HBO Partner to Promote ‘Silicon Valley’

April 3, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Silicon Valley is hoping it can get tech and video game nerds to unite, with a little help from streaming video platform Twitch . To promote the second season of the HBO comedy series—which will debut on April 12— the stars of Silicon Valley will livestream a Q&A for the Twitch community and debut an exclusive clip from an upcoming episode. (And, of course, they'll be playing video games with Twitch's live programming director and host Jon Carnage during the program.) To introduce new viewers to the series and jog the memory of fans, the platform will also livestream the show's pilot episode, marking the first time a network has done so on the platform. "There is an authentic connection between Silicon Valley and the Twitch audience, and this unique event is a great way to build upon that," Sabrina Caluori, HBO vice president, digital and social media, said in a release. "Twitch offers a unique opportunity to provide exclusive content and a highly social experience to this influential community." The idea of Silicon Valley coming to Twitch isn't that far of a stretch, considering actor Thomas Middleditch (who plays main star Richard Hendricks on the show) already is a streamer on the site. But, more importantly, it shows that Twitch can be used for different marketing techniques besides traditional pre-roll and banner ads. And it highlights its livestreaming capabilities, which have garnered buzz thanks to the releases of Periscope and Meerkat . More than 1.5 million broadcasters use Twitch to share content, and it gets over 100 million unique viewers a month. The platform recently made headlines when Amazon purchased it

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Star-Driven Comedies and Late Night Talk Show for CMT

April 2, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CMT packed its 2015 upfront with stars: singer Darius Rucker performing at the upfront presentation at New York's TimesCenter, and the stars of the network's slate of new shows, including Billy Ray Cyrus and Kellie Pickler, introducing clips of their shows. "This year, we're enlisting some of the biggest names in the industry to unleash a groundbreaking new programming slate including epic events and music specials, a bold scripted comedy and brilliant documentaries," said CMT evp of development Jayson Dinsmore. The network will introduce two new star-driven comedies: "Still the King," a scripted comedy starring Billy Ray Cyrus as a washed-up one-hit-wonder kicked out of country music only to return years later posing as the new minister of a country church; and "I Love Kellie Pickler," featuring the American Idol Season 5 contestant. "It's kind of a modern-day 'I Love Lucy,'" Pickler said. Comedian Josh Wolf will host CMT's first-ever nightly talk show, "The Josh Wolf Show," produced by Chelsea Handler. The show will air Wednesday through Saturday nights, with panel discussions, comedy sketches and country music stars

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How It Feels to Become the Face of a Generation’s Shrugging Indifference

April 2, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Back around 2008, I posed for photographs for my friends who worked at a small animation company run out of a shack-like bungalow in East Atlanta. I stood in front of a white backdrop, like in a yearbook photo, and moved my face in 50 different ways in 10 different angles. It was fun, and then we all went out to lunch. Siobhan Price A few months later, one of my friends asked me to sign an agreement to use my likeness and told me he legally had to give me $1. It was a while after that when I learned my face had become the character Cheryl Tunt on Archer. It's a pretty cool claim to fame but hopefully not the only thing I'll ever be known for. What I would like to be remembered for is ... I don't know, actually. I used to know. I used to have a plan and drive and clarity, and then I turned 30 and it all fell apart. As I've gotten older and more experienced in my profession, I've begun to feel more unfulfilled and lost. I thought I'd have it all figured out now and I'd have my dream job and a family and a house and generally be on the road to happily ever after. At one point, I had most of those things, and I realized I was incredibly unhappy. Since then, I've quit my great job in television, moved across the country, got an even better job at the same company, got promoted, moved back across the country, quit and then moved across the country again.

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Discovery Leverages Global Reach in Multi-Network Upfront

March 31, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's not uncommon to hear hyperbolic talk at upfront presentations, but when Discovery Channel president Rich Ross talked about reaching for the moon at the network's presentation in New York Tuesday, he meant it—among the shows Discovery Channel announced is Lunar XPRIZE, tracking a competition among teams working to land a craft on the moon (preferably, Ross said, live, and in prime time). The Discovery Channel also announced Racing Extinction, a documentary from the producers of the Academy Award-winning The Cove that will "expose the hidden world of endangered species and race to protect them against mass extinction." Discovery Communications chief executive David Zaslav said with Discovery networks in 230 countries, an effort like Racing Extinction can become a show with truly global scale. "It's something only Discovery can do," Zaslav said. "We're reaching more people in more countries than any other media company." Zaslav said his networks had focused their spending on programs with international appeal, as Discovery worked to expand its global footprint. "Our international pillar gives us a real hedge as you look at the slowing of the U.S. business," said Zaslav. Highlights from the Discovery networks:

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Ian Harding Loves Connecting With Fans Online—Until They Show Up at His House

March 31, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 28 Claim to fame Stars as Ezra Fitz on ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars; five-time Teen Choice Awards winner Base Los Angeles Twitter @IANMHARDING What's the first information you consume in the morning? I wake up, I'll meditate, and then I'll read something. I try to wake up 45 minutes prior to actually needing to do anything just so I can have that moment. What's been on your morning reading list lately? I just finished this book called Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan. Another book I read was A Billion Wicked Thoughts, which was about the study of human desire based on Internet searches for pornographic content. It was pretty eye-opening. And sometimes a little too much to be reading in the morning. Tell us about your social media habits

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