It’s Mark Wahlberg vs. the machines in Paramount’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, which unleashed a new trailer during the Super Bowl. New Jersey’s MetLife Stadium might be host to Seahawks battling Broncos but there’s only one place you’ll see a sword-wielding robot riding a robo-dragon. (UPDATE: Fine. Dino-bot.) The Michael Bay-directed sequel hits theaters June 27:
Fox Sports‘ Terry Bradshaw will miss today’s Super Bowl following the death of his father, William Marvin Bradshaw, on Thursday. The network has adjusted its lineup with Michael Strahan moving from red carpet duty to take Bradshaw’s position in the pre-game show along with coverage of the post-game trophy presentation. Chris Myers will take Strahan’s place on the red carpet alongside Charissa Thompson. “On behalf of everyone at FOX Sports, we want to extend our deepest sympathy to Terry, his mother Novis, brothers Gary and Craig and the entire Bradshaw family. All are in our thoughts and prayers today, and we respect their wishes for privacy during this very difficult time. Terry is with his mother and family in Louisiana, and understandably will not appear on FOX Sports’ coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII today,” said the network in a statement issued this morning.
Ever since chimps became a no-no for Super Bowl ads — too many pesky press reports about baby chimps taken from their moms, and no good coming to them after they’d aged out of acting — advertising industry navel gazers have been trying to figure out what’s the new chimpanzee of Super Bowl spots. (Yes, chimps were so big, as recently as 2011, polls were created asking viewers for their fave from that year’s crop of Super Bowl chimp ads.)
This year the search continues. Puppies are the new chimpanzees, say some, citing Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” ad featuring a Clydesdale and a puppy that had clocked more than 30 million YouTube views by Saturday noon (see it below). That’s tens of millions of views ahead of the latest Cheerios Super Bowl ad featuring a multi-racial family, despite the best efforts of MSNBC and the RNC to whip up interest in that one. Others insist bears are the new chimps, pointing to Goldilocks’ three bears appearing with Ellen DeGeneres in a Beats Music ad (see that one below), the slow-clapping bear in the CarMax ad, and the behemoth bear in the Chobani ad. Still others pronounced “weird” the new chimps, citing this year’s Doritos finger-cleaner ad, and Audi’s Doberuahua ad.
Here’s the Budweiser ad you will see tomorrow:
The ad industry, meanwhile, appears to have banked on Hollywood celebrities being the new chimpanzees based on the volume of entertainment industry luminaries flooding the game ads this year. They include Scarlett Johansson plugging a home carbonation gadget; Stephen Colbert plugging nuts; James Franco pitching Fords; Bob Saget, and Dave Coulier pitching in to help John Stamos hawk Greek yogurt; Ben Kingsley, Tom Hiddleston and Mark Strong urging us to buy something called a Jag-ewe-ar; and Seinfeld promoting whatever it is he’s going to plug.
Jerry Seinfeld Says He And Jason Alexander Not Shooting Super Bowl Ad Outside Tom’s Restaurant … Sorta
Jerry Seinfeld says he and Jason Alexander were not shooting a Super Bowl ad when they were spotted recently filming outside Tom’s Restaurant in New York this month (Tom’s exterior was used in Seinfeld’s long-running NBC comedy series). The shoot also was not an episode of Seinfeld’s Crackle series Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee, he told NYC sports radio station WFAN. Seinfeld also said it’s “not not those things either” calling it a “a secret project” that will air “very very soon” — the Super Bowl is this Sunday. He declined to say who shot the footage for the project, suggesting that would be a give away, that it’s a “one-and-done,” and runs longer than 60 seconds. ”I gave you more now than I’ve given anyone,” Seinfeld said. “I told you what it isn’t. And then I also told you that it isn’t not that, either.” He also revealed other characters from his iconic NBC series were involved, as was Larry David, though he will not be seen on camera.
Related: Super Bowl Ad: Summit’s ‘Draft Day’
Super Bowl Ad: MSNBC Apologizing Now Officially A Trend – This Time For Tweet About Cheerios Commercial (Video)
Does someone at MSNBC get a bonus for every media report that includes the name “MSNBC” and the word “apology”? This time, the cable news network apologized for a tweet it posted last night suggesting/fearing/hoping conservatives would not like the new Cheerios Super Bowl ad, and directing readers to its report on the ad. The spot features the same interracial family used in an earlier Cheerios commercial that set off quite a discussion — YouTube’s comments section on the ad was turned off when the talk got particularly heinous. “Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family,” MSNBC tweeted, directing readers to its report and ad video.
Outrage ensued, with headlines including “MSNBC Slimes ‘Right Wing’ as Racist Over Cheerios Ad,” and “MSNBC Trolls The Right With Cheerios Tweet,” among others. Cue up MSNBC apologies via Twitter:
Earlier, this account tweeted an offensive line about the new Cheerios ad. We deeply regret it. It does not reflect the position of msnbc.
— msnbc (@msnbc) January 30, 2014
One minute later it tweeted:
We are deleting the earlier offensive tweet. It does not reflect msnbc’s position and we apologize.
— msnbc (@msnbc) January 30, 2014
More media headlines: “MSNBC Apologizes For Tweet Taunting Conservatives Over Super Bowl Ad Starring Biracial Child,” and “MSNBC Apologizes After Racially Charged Gaff About Cheerios,” to name just two.
MSNBC has done a mess of apologizing lately: Our list includes former show host Martin Bashir’s apology for on-air comments about Sarah Palin, show host Melissa Harris-Perry’s tearful apology for program panel in which fun was poked at Mitt Romney’s family photo featuring a black grandson on his knee, and former show host Alec Baldwin’s mea culpa over on-the-street anti-gay rhetoric.
Here, in its entirety, is MSNBC’s report on the ad, to which the tweet had directed readers, followed by the new Cheerios Super Bowl ad that caused the kerfuffle, and that original Cheerios ad:
Not much choice but to buy ad time during the Super Bowl for Summit Entertainment‘s Draft Day, the Ivan Reitman-directed pic about an NFL franchise and its beleaguered GM that risks it all during the draft in order to save football in Cleveland (no, this is not a documentary). Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Frank Langella and Denis Leary lead the ensemble cast, and the ad capitalizes on its NFL connection to include clips of Super Bowl opponents Denver and Seattle. The movie is due out April 11. Check out the ad, which will air during the Fox pregame show:
Russell Crowe stars as the biblical hero in Darren Aronofsky‘s Noah, which will make an appearance during the Super Bowl nearly two months before it hits theaters. Word is the pic from the Black Swan helmer isn’t your grandpa’s kind of Bible study (or even Mark Burnett’s) but a dark, existential take on the Ark saga. Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Douglas Booth, Logan Lerman, and Ray Winstone co-star. Paramount releases the epic on March 28. Check out the 30-second Super Bowl spot:
Related: Super Bowl Ad: Summit’s ‘Draft Day’
Add James Franco to the list of Hollywood glitterati taking over the Super Bowl, ad-wise. Franco will play an alternate version of Rob Riggle in the final 60 seconds of a 90-second ad hawking the Ford Fusion Hybrid. Riggle plays himself in the first 30-seconds. Still with me? The ad will appear for the first time on Sunday, between the coin toss and the kick-off. Between the coin toss and the kick off, commercial time costs less, reports AdAge — about $3 million compared to $4 million this year for ads between kickoff and final whistle. But Ford needed to save money somewhere — they’ve hired James Franco. Anyway, here’s a 15-second tease for Franco’s 60-second presence in Rob Riggle’s 90-second Ford ad:
Hollywood homages trending in Super Bowl ads this year? While Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong and Tom Hiddleston star in a Super Bowl ad for the Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, directed by The King’s Speech and Les Miserables helmer Tom Hooper, Dannon’s Oikos spokesman John Stamos will star in an ad, joined by Bob Saget and Dave Coulier with whom he co-starred in ABC’s late-80′s/early 90′s hit sitcom Full House that averaged about 30 million viewers a week in its heyday. Super Bowl XLVIII will be broadcast Sunday on Fox. Watch it here:
It’s that most wonderful time of year again — Banned Super Bowl Ad time! SodaStream is a relatively new, second-year entry — this time with an ad featuring Scarlett Johansson. Typically banned Super Bowl ads are pretty low-rent stuff and they’re ixnayed owing to shoddy production, controversial or skeevy content — sometimes companies make and submits ads knowing it hasn’t a prayer of getting into the game, for the sake of the publicity — I know, shocking, right?
With Johansson, the company’s sure the banned ad will go viral in an even bigger way than did last year’s banned SodaStream ad in advance of the game — that one had only depicted truck drivers wearing uniforms featuring Coke and Pepsi logos. This year’s SodaStream ad is far more sophisticated — and easier to tweak, so as to maybe end up in the game after all, for double the exposure. This year’s ad was “banned” because it ends with Johansson purring “Sorry, Coke and Pepsi” after extolling the virtues of her employer’s sodas over the competition (and major Super Bowl advertisers).
Watch banned Johansson ad here:
Showtime and HBO have made opposite programming decisions for Super Bowl Sunday. Showtime, which originally planned to air repeats on February 2, has now decided to air originals of its series Shameless, House Of Lies and Episodes against the big game. I hear the call was made after Showtime brass were encouraged by the shows’ performances last Sunday when, against the strongest primetime NFC Championship Game in 19 years, they managed to post a 17% year-to-year audience growth for the night. With over 70% of Showtime subscribers watching series on a time-shifted basis, the network decided not to interrupt its weekly delivery of originals.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Time In Between’ Finale Sets Records; Fox Int’l Channels Airing Super Bowl Live In Europe; More
‘The Time In Between’ Finale Sets Records In Spain
Deadline readers who follow international closely will know that I’ve been high on Spanish period miniseries The Time In Between. The 11-part mini debuted in Spain in October as the best local drama premiere of the last eight years. It concluded its run on Antena 3 on Tuesday night with an all-time record high of over 5.5M viewers and a 27.8% share. It also hit a peak of 5.88M viewers. The series overall averaged 5M viewers and had a 25.5% average share. Produced by Boomerang TV for Antena 3, it led among over 35s with a 25.2% share, and reached a 37.7% share among audiences aged 55-64. Based on María Dueñas’ novel, The Time In Between is set during the Spanish Civil War and the run-up to World War II. It’s the story of a woman raised by a poor single mother and taught to be a seamstress. When she falls for a handsome young man, she moves with him to Morocco and spends months living the high life. But when the money runs out and she falls pregnant, he leaves. She ultimately builds a new life and becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. She also begins working for the British government, passing information to the Secret Service. Interest from abroad has been high: The series already is running in Romania and offers on remake rights and/or the original are in from the U.S., Canada, Italy, France, Portugal, the former Yugoslavia, Russia, Croatia, and several territories in Latin America and Africa.
Fox International Channels Airing Super Bowl Live In Europe
While Europeans eagerly await this summer’s World Cup, they’ll be able to check out the biggest game of the year for the other kind of football in just a few weeks. Fox International Channels is bringing the Super Bowl to the continent. When the Seattle Seahawks face off with the Denver Broncos on February 2 in East Rutherford, N.J., NFL fans in Europe will be able to watch the full Fox coverage beginning at 12:25 AM on February 3. More than 12 million households in Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia will have access to the game. This will be the first time the Super Bowl is broadcast live on the FIC channels in Europe. Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers are the halftime act. Separately, Fox International Channels said today that it has appointed Fabrizio Salini to managing director of its Italian operation, effective February 17. Salini was VP Entertainment Channels for FIC Italy from 2003 and 2011, and returns after a two-year stint serving senior management roles at SKY Italia, Discovery Communications Italia and Switchover Media.
The primetime Fox News Channel host will conduct the live sit-down from the White House during the Fox Super Bowl Sunday pregame show February 2. Bill O’Reilly‘s interview with President Obama is set to begin around 4:30 PM ET. Following the live interview, said to cover a wide variety of topics as you’d expect, O’Reilly and Obama will talk more for an additional taped portion that will air the next day on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor. The interview will mark the third time O’Reilly has gone one-on-one with Obama, the first during Obama’s first run for president in 2008 and again during Fox’s 2011 Super Bowl pregame show.
Nat Geo Wild said today that it will counterprogram Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl and Hallmark’s Kitten Bowl on Super Bowl Sunday with an animal bowl of its own: Fish Bowl. Four hours of unadulterated fishbowl magic from 6-10 PM Eastern on February 2. A goldfish. In a bowl. We think they were serious. Hard to tell. It’s been a long day.
NatGeo Wild said the goldfish is named Goldie (that’s not her on the left). She comes with a bio. And a quote — no doubt written by her publicist: “I’m comfortable in my own scales, and have no doubt the Fish Bowl will be the talk of the town.”
The controversial decision to offer the lead to a newcomer was an easy one, explains Geoff Daniels, EVP and General Manager of Nat Geo Wild. “Goldie showed such promise in early casting auditions that we felt confident in the aquatic wonder’s ability to entertain and captivate an audience, for four long hours … while the most-watched television event of the year just happens to be taking place.”
Ah yes, it’s that time of year. What would the Super Bowl be without those commercials? Beginning today, viewers will get to vote on CBS.com for their favorite Super Bowl commercials from 10 categories (office, user-generated, sexy, beer, crazy, kids, celebrity, car, animal and soft drink). The top three will advance to the live vote during the TV broadcast on Wednesday, January 29 at 8 PM on CBS. CBS sports analyst Boomer Esiason and Person Of Interest‘s Sarah Shahi will host. The winner will be revealed at the end of the show. Good luck!