UPDATE, 8:35 AM: Turner executives’ nightmare is over. Koonin returned to the stage to tell advertisers that TNT and TBS plan a major campaign to appeal to viewers who want to watch shows on mobile devices. The networks will advertise that they offer “drama on demand” and “comedy on demand.” Koonin paraphrased crooner Richard Marks: “Wherever you go, whatever you do, TBS and TNT will be there waiting for you.”
PREVIOUS, 8:20 AM: Video came back about 15 minutes ago and appears to be OK. Whatever happens, the technical woes gave Conan O’Brien more ammo for a routine that took several jabs at Turner Entertainment. When the breakdown ruined one of his gags, he said, “You know I love working at TBS — the commitment to detail.” After a stagehand told him to skip the routine with the clip, he added: ”Alright, I guess I’ll do what I’m told. Beggers can’t be choosers.” Earlier he said, “I did this upfront last year. Frankly, I don’t know why TBS doesn’t do what it does best and run it again -– four freaking times.” Also: “We’re already No. 1 in TBS’ key demographic: People who can’t afford HBO.”
PREVIOUS 7:55 AM: The video projection is working again after a second breakdown, which led execs to enlist Ray Romano to do a stand-up routine. “They said earn your money,” he said. “Have you seen my paycheck?” But the embarrassing glitch may do wonders for Turner Entertainment president Steve Koonin’s career after he kept ad buyers entertained during the initial delay. “Unfortunatly we had a power surge,” he said. “It blew something. I’m Jewish –- I have no idea. … the shit stopped working. … I think you can make Univision tomorrow, but I’d ration your pasteries and beverages.” He added: ”We’re not changing our pricing because of this, but our expenses are going down if you know what I mean.”
PREVIOUS, 7:33 AM: What’s the worst thing that could happen at an upfront presentation? It may be what’s taking place at the TNT-TBS gathering right now: The network can’t show clips of its shows to the audience. The session is on hold while technicians try to solve the problem, but it already screwed up one of Conan O’Brien’s comedy routines.