Once upon a time, the entire TV industry took the afternoon off to attend the Hollywood Radio and TV Society season-kickoff lunch and watch their bosses admit which competitor’s show they most wished they had on their schedule and answer other similarly adorable questions. It was a simpler time. These days, the mood onstage is much darker. One exec makes some all-flesh-is-as-grass observation about the state of the industry; another agrees there is a resemblance. And then, there’s the traffic. In case you missed it, here are the quotes to note from today’s lunch:
*Good time to be a comedy producer: “There are 168 dramas in production. Anybody who knows how to run a [drama] show is employed. There isn’t anybody left in development. … It’s fully cooked.” — FX Networks CEO John Landgraf
*Netflix: “I didn’t know there was an option for not reporting ratings.” — HBO programming president Michael Lombardo
*Why NBC is dumping Jay Leno: “Jay is going out on top, and we think that’s the right thing to do.” — NBC Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert
*Anti-hero dramas are so over: “A show can’t just rest on an anti-hero premise anymore. … A pitch that’s ‘this guy is the most fucked-up guy’ is not good enough.” — Lombardo
*Kevin Spacey should shove a sock in it: “[House Of Cards] had a star and a director and scripts for the first two episodes, and they had a show that they were basing it on. … I understand why artists don’t want to audition with a plot…[but, unless you're "House of Cards," minus a pilot] good shows could be prevented from being great shows — Lombardo Read More »
The Hollywood Radio and Television Society announced its new officers and board members today, naming Universal Television EVP Bela Bajaria as President for a three-year term. An HRTS board member since 2010, she succeeds WME … Read More »
Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TV coverage.
Peter Tolan delivered another R-rated hosting performance as the moderator of today’s Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s Hitmakers luncheon featuring showrunners Graham Yost (Justified), Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead) Michael Patrick King (2 Broke Girls) and Liz Meriwether (New Girl). Like Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes, Tolan started off by showing more restraint than usual but that lasted about 10 seconds. ”I decided this year to be polite … it’s pilot season, and I do have projects out there. I’m not going to randomly go after it,” he said before adding, presumably referring to the audience in general: “You’re a fucking cunt.”
Turning to Mazzara, he said, “I thought The Walking Dead was the viewership of CBS,” adding with a grin, “None of my pilots is at CBS.” Read More »
ITV Studios America president and CEO Paul Buccieri, MediaLink founder Michael Kassan, and Discovery and TLC Networks president Eileen O’Neill have joined the board of directors at the Hollywood Radio and Television Society. The trio will serve the 2012-2014 term. … Read More »
For those in attendance at the Hollywood Radio & Television Society’s network chiefs panel earlier this month, this is not new news. But for those who weren’t there: HRTS will present “A Conversation With … Leslie Moonves” on Thursday, … Read More »
The Hollywood Radio & Television Society’s board of directors has elected WME partner Sean Perry as the new president of HRTS for the 2011-13 term. He will succeed Lionsgate TV president Kevin Beggs, who headed the organization for the past … Read More »
An old tradition is coming back – HRTS said today that it will hold its first luncheon with the heads of the broadcast networks in 3 years. HRTS president Kevin Beggs said that he has an agreement in principle with the 5 broadcast nets for the October event. Once a … 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 »