“The studios are not in brand conversations. It’s not a filmmaker’s medium anymore. We’re in the brand play business,” HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo said today during the Hollywood Radio And Television Society Cable Chiefs lunch in Beverly Hills. Brands and binge viewing were the primary topics of conversation among the panel that featured Lombardo, A+E Networks President, Entertainment and Media Nancy Dubuc and Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin. Ben Silverman was moderator. “You’re seeing a number of storytellers unable to work in the studio system”, Lombardo continued. “The paradigm has shifted; serious adult drama is happening on cable. That’s what people talk about on Monday — it’s the cable show they saw, not the movies anymore”. Said Dubuc, “We each have our own brand fulfillment and it is our jobs to not only manage that but to evolve it.”
Koonin cut to the chase: “Brands are the temple we worship at,” he quipped to laughter as he described the work and metrics that went into developing TNT’s “We Know Drama” tagline. “When you manage a brand you have to be consistent,” he said. “Basic cable has become an oxymoron now, there is nothing basic about it”. He added: We’ve changed our marketing strategy. We’re going to market from green light to finale, though I shouldn’t say that. We have to give people reason after reason after reason, I can go on and on, to get it,” Koonin said. Read More »
The Hollywood Radio and Television Society will present “The State of Broadcast: Inside the Changing World of Network Television” as part of its Newsmaker Luncheon Series on November 28 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel. Panelists will include Kevin Reilly, Chairman, Entertainment, Fox Broadcasting Company; Kenneth Ziffren, Co-Founder and Partner, Ziffren Brittenham, LLP; Peter Benedek, Co-Founder and Board Member, UTA; and Katherine Pope, President of Television, Chernin Entertainment. Additional panelists and a moderator will be announced at a later date.
The Hollywood Radio and Television Society announced today it has appointed four new board members. They are Bela Bajaria, EVP, Universal Television; Thom Beers, CEO, FremantleMedia, North America; Ivy Kagan Bierman, Partner, Loeb & Loeb; and Tom Frank, CEO, Pink Zulu Labs. Bajaria oversees creative programming at Universal, including such shows as 30 Rock, The Office, Parks And Recreation, Grimm, Smash and Parenthood. Beers is responsible for Fremantle’s management and business performance and oversees development, production and business operations for programs including American Idol, The X Factor and America’s Got Talent. Ivy Kagan Bierman is a partner at Loeb & Loeb, where she represents entertainment and related companies in labor, production, distribution, technology and other business matters. And Tom Frank is the CEO of Pink Zulu Labs, Inc, which has developed a proprietary platform for the mobile delivery, editing, and sharing of all forms of content.
From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA coverage:
As the first session on the TCA agenda Friday morning in Pasadena, Joan Rivers and her daughter Melissa were a little grumpy appearing before the assembled critics to promote their new WEtv reality series “Joan Knows Best.” Or maybe that was just a calculated conceit designed to play into the vibe of their show, which finds the ladies bickering incessantly when Joan decides to move to California and move in with her daughter.
“Oh no, it was all real,” Joan insisted. “I think when you get a reality show that gets the reality, there’s nothing like it. And that’s what we had. You can’t stage true reality.”
Perhaps that’s unfortunate. Certainly, the Rivers ladies could agree on little Friday morning, except for the fact that their red carpet hosting days are over and that it’s for the best.
“It’s gotten too controlled,” Melissa insisted. “There are a few sort of paradigm shifts that would change it significantly, but unfortunately it would be such an expensive undertaking, and E! is doing fine with Ryan (Seacrest)] and Julianne (Hough).
“It’s not fun,” Joan agreed. “Five years ago, you could say ‘Julia Roberts, I hate your dress’ and she’d laugh. But now these publicists will kill you and say, ‘You won’t get the next six people!’.”
But that’s pretty much where the harmony ends with the Rivers gals. For instance, on Friday, there was the subject of Joan’s grotesque … Read More »
The always refreshingly blunt Peter Tolan delivered another memorable performance at a HRTS luncheon today, moderating the Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s annual showrunner panel. It is safe to assume that Tolan will probably not get a Golden Globe nomination after his tirade, in which he called the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn “just a group of whores from other countries… I’m not prone to hyperbole, but the Foreign Press [Assn] really is a bunch of whores. They can be bought… It’s really an excuse to go out with people who don’t speak English that well and maybe win a trinket. [A Golden Globe] means shit. Fuck the Globes.”
Tolan, a former member of the TV Academy’s Board of Governors, was as harsh (though less profane) on the Emmy voting system, in which nominees and winners are selected by their peers. He called it “deeply flawed.” “Most of us are too damn busy to watch TV, and we’re making uneducated decisions,” he said. “Frankly, I feel the TV critics should take over the process. It’s their job to watch this stuff.”
After frequently using them … Read More »
For Deadline today, freelance journalist Diane Haithman covered the Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s Newsmaker luncheon at the Beverly Hilton:
What will the TV industry have left to buzz about after fallen NBC talk show host Conan O’Brien’s new 11 PM show launches in November on TBS? And the world finally finds out whether his young, hip, Twitter-happy fans will follow him from NBC to cable? Once again, NBC and Conan launched the discussion at yet another industry gathering. O’Brien’s choice to sign with TBS instead of Fox after the “fairly catastrophic” NBC debacle (as FBC’s Kevin Reilly called it) was used as a starting point for a discussion about whether cable TV represents the television industry’s sweet spot in 2010. Oprah Winfrey’s move from syndication to starting her own cable network got a mention, too, but that was announced way back in 2009 — and she’s just not as much fun to talk about as Conan.
On the panel billed as “a post-upfronts look at the business of the business”: O’Brien’s attorney Leigh Brecheen, partner and head of television at the law firm Bloom Hergott; Paul Lee, president of ABC Family; Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures Television; Kevin Reilly, president of Fox Broadcasting Company; Chris Silbermann, president of ICM; and Tim Spengler, president of Initiative USA.
Well, time will tell whether cable is good to Conan – but what about everybody else? The rest of the discussion revolved around whether 2010’s promising upfronts mean that traditional, scripted broadcast TV series are back on top – and whether the networks can exist in happy harmony with cable channels, online TV options and VOD. Read More »