Howie Mandel’s Alevy Prods. and CORE Media Group have signed a first-look deal for Mandel and Alevy to executive produce scripted and unscripted TV and digital projects. Mandel and his Alevy partner Mike Marks currently executive produce the TBS …
David Bloom is a Deadline contributor.
You’d think a big new TV revenue source that has goosed income, built audiences and boosted marketing might be the favored guest at a show creator’s next holiday gathering, but that’s not necessarily the case, a panel of industry notables said today at a conference in Los Angeles. In fact, sometimes they spend as much time referring to Netflix as “the N word” as they do celebrating the good things it might do for their shows.
And there are some reasons for that ambivalence. As the streaming-video giant creates and markets more of its own shows, it creates branding problems and other conflicts for networks and producers with shows on the service. As Netflix pushes for the rights to run more recent shows, networks are pushing back. And as Netflix builds deeper knowledge about customer preferences, but doesn’t share enough of that data, distributors and creators have found new ways to be unhappy, even if they appreciate the very real benefits of their Netflix deals.
Related: Netflix Shares Hit New Highs in Q3
“I think [Netflix is] the true definition of frenemy,” said Chuck Saftler, FX Networks’ COO and President of Program Strategy, during the The State Of Next Generation Television panel at the Ritz-Carlton Marina del Rey. “We make money when Sons of Anarchy is on Netflix. But as they put out more original content, and call House of Cards a Netflix original, and Orange Is The New Black a Netflix original (and mix that with messages about FX shows), that becomes a concern because it starts to lump our brand in with theirs.”
CORE Media Group (formerly CKx), the umbrella company whose portfolio includes reality series American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, has acquired Sharp Entertainment, Matt Sharp’s New York-based reality television production company behind such programs as the Travel Channel’s Man V. Food, TLC’S Extreme Couponing, National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers and Animal Planet’s Call Of The Wildman. This marks the first acquisition for CORE under new president Marc Graboff, who said in May that he plans to grow the company through strategic purchases. “This announcement is another step in our efforts to expand the breadth of our content offerings and align CORE with some of the industry’s most talented and innovative producers,” Graboff said of Sharp’s acquisition today. CORE also has been among the companies looking at buying Dick Clark Prods.
UPDATED: CKx, the company whose portfolio includes reality series American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, the Elvis Presley estate and the Muhammad Ali brand, has been rebranded CORE Media Group, Inc. It is run by former NBC executive Marc Graboff, who was named president earlier this year and has made his first management appointments. “Our focus now is to take CORE to the next level,” Graboff said. “This means everything from creative content, and new means of distribution to changing the way we partner with sponsors, producers and artists to grow our business.” Graboff’s senior management appointments do not include creative positions as he plans to take his time making executive decisions in that area. But he is busy with dealmaking, closing in on several overall deals with unscripted producers and a reality company acquisition. Core is targeting cable reality and scripted series as well as game shows for its development slate, Graboff said, adding that he plans to build the company around its strong core licensing, merchandising and integrated marketing operations.
NBC has hired a new chief deal negotiator. Veteran MTV networks executive George Cheeks has been named EVP, Business Operations, NBC Entertainment and Universal Television. While his title and responsibilities are not exactly the same, Cheeks is envisioned as a replacement for NBC veteran Marc Graboff, who left the company at the end of last year to run American Idol parent company CKX. Cheeks, who will oversee Business Affairs, Music Services and Production Operations for NBC and studio Universal TV, currently serves as EVP, Business Affairs and General Counsel, Viacom Music and Entertainment Groups, Content Distribution & Marketing and Head of Standards & Practices for Viacom Media Networks. He will start at NBC in the fall, following the conclusion of his contractual commitment with Viacom. “George is the consummate entertainment business executive who has successfully overseen virtually all aspects of television,” said NBC chairman Robert Greenblatt, to whom Cheeks will report. “His vast experience, acumen and positive industry contacts will prove to be invaluable as we move forward to achieve our new goals at NBC.”
Former top NBC executive Marc Graboff, who left the network last month, is finalizing a deal to run CKX, the parent company of Fox’s juggernaut American Idol. I’ve learned that Graboff will serve as president of CKX, with his …