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 partner Sean Perry in the top post. The group also tapped Adam Berkowitz, co-head of TV at CAA, as VP; Ian Moffitt, Machinima’s head of premium content, as Secretary; and Martha Henderson, EVP Entertainment at City National Bank, as Treasurer. HRTS also added four industry veterans to its Board of Governors: Michael Lombardo, President of Programming at HBO; Beth Roberts, EVP Business Operations at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment Group and COO of Universal Cable Productions; and Philip D. Segal, CEO & Executive Producer at Original Productions; Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director at Starz. Perry made the announcement this morning at the HRTS State of the Industry Newsmaker Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton.
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. Buccieri was promoted to managing director of ITV Studios International last year and oversees the group’s strategy. Kassan’s MediaLink advisory firm provides direction in the marketing, advertising, media and digital spaces. O’Neill guides the direction of Discovery and TLC and recently oversaw the launches of All-American Muslim and Sister Wives.
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, November 17 at the Beverly Hilton as part of the group’s Newsmaker Luncheon Series. The CBS president and CEO will chat in an event open to HRTS members only.
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 three years. Perry, who is co-head of WME’s non-scripted television department, has been on the HRTS Board of Directors since 2008, and co-chaired the Unscripted Hitmakers Newsmaker Luncheon in April 2011. Additionally, Ian Moffit, head of Digital Video at BermanBraun, is the new VP; Martha Henderson, EVP Entertainment for City National Bank, has been re-elected Treasurer; and Kelly Goode, producer for GSN, is the new Secretary. HRTS Executive Director Dave Ferrara has also been re-upped to a new three-year deal. Reminder: HRTS’ annual Networks Chiefs luncheon is tomorrow. Prepare for long valet lines at the Beverly Hilton.
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 staple of the TV media scene, the luncheon was scrapped in 2008 when NBC attempted to book EVP Teri Weinberg instead of co-chairman Ben Silverman, leading to pushback from the other networks.
Also today, HRTS announced its schedule of events for the coming season, which opens tomorrow with “A Conversation With…Chase Carey” at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, followed by the broadcast chiefs, The Hitmakers- Scripted in December, The Cable Chiefs in March, The Hitmakers – Reality in April and The State of the Industry – First Amendment Throwdown in June. HRTS is making the First Amendment luncheon its flagship event for the season, and plans to invite top personalities from different sides, including Fox News.
Beggs, President of Lionsgate TV has been re-elected for a second term as HRTS president; Sarah Timberman, Principal, Timberman/Beverly Productions, as VP; Sean Perry, Co-Department Head of Alternative Television, WME Entertainment, as Secretary and Martha Henderson, EVP & Manager, Entertainment Division, City National Bank, re-elected as Treasurer. New HRTS board members are Leigh Brecheen, Partner, Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman, LLP; Ian Moffit, SVP, Programming & Content Strategy, BBC Worldwide Productions; and David Nevins, President, Entertainment, Showtime Networks, Inc.
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 »