Blah ad sales results for the network, although it could have been worse considering how much Fox‘s ratings fell last season — especially at former juggernaut American Idol and other shows including The X Factor and Glee. The dollar volume for the primetime season that begins in the fall fell from last year’s nearly $1.8B, we’re told. The price per thousand viewers rose anywhere from 2.5%-3.5%, and Fox sold somewhere between 75%-80% of its inventory, about average. Multiple agencies bought spots based on the number of viewers who watch them over a seven-day period after their air, up from the conventional three days.
NBC Upfront is wrapping with about $2.52 billion in primetime and late-night advertising commitments. That’s about a 15% increase compared to last year’s 2.25 billion. Across all its properties — broadcast, cable and digital — NBCUniversal brought about $6 billion this upfront – up from $5.4 billion last year. At NBCU, broadcast moves as one with cable and digital upfront sales; other networks handle the annual exercise differently. NBCU is “done – its whole portfolio,” explained one exec with knowledge of the situation.
The NBC broadcast network won the recently wrapped TV season in the demo for the first time in a decade with a 13% ratings spike — the biggest year-to-year gain for any Big 4 network in nine years. Even without its 18 nights of Sochi Olympics coverage, NBC boasted the season’s biggest demo audience, topping Super Bowl-boosted Fox. NBC’s gains blanketed the entire week, including double-digit year-to-year demo gains on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Its most talked about improvement: the 39% gain at 10 PM Mondays with The Blacklist originals – Blacklist being the season’s No. 1 new series and No. 2 drama, and NBC’s Monday being the top-rated regular schedule on any broadcast network in the demo, with an average 4.3 rating for regular programming.
Catch up on the past week in TV news:
Syfy Acquires Starz Drama ‘Spartacus’
By Nellie Andreeva
EXCLUSIVE: Syfy has acquired U.S. basic cable rights to all 39 episodes of Starz’s Spartacus. That includes the three seasons of the swords-and-sandals drama as well as the six-part prequel Gods Of The Arena. Spartacus will make its Syfy debut June 26 and will air at 10 PM, following original series Defiance and Dominion.
Bill Hader To Create & Star In HBO Series
By Nellie Andreeva
EXCLUSIVE: Saturday Night Live alum Bill Hader has signed an exclusive development deal with HBO to create and star in a new comedy series for the premium cable network. Hader is best known for his eight-season stint on SNL where he was one of the most popular cast members of the past decade, creating such memorable characters as NY club scene expert Stefon and Italian talk show host Vinni Vedechi and earning two Emmy nominations.
EMMYS: AMC Launches ‘Breaking Bad’ FYC Billboard Campaign
By Dominic Patten
EXCLUSIVE: If you’re driving around LA today don’t be surprised to see Breaking Bad’s Walter White staring down at you. With a print campaign to follow next month, AMC is putting up Emmy consideration billboards in several locations around the city to remind voters that the now-completed show is still eligible to repeat its Best Drama series win last year.
It seems like Jimmy Kimmel’s annual roast has been a highlight of the upfronts forever. It’s been around for a while — Kimmel has been insulting networks, executives and ad buyers alike for the past 12 years. But it is not the longest upfront tradition, not by a long stretch.
In 1996, in his first upfront at CBS as president of entertainment, Leslie Moonves, ever the showman, gathered journalists the morning of the network upfront presentation for a breakfast where he revealed the fall schedule. It became an annual thing, and 19 upfronts later, it still is going strong. Some things have changed — Moonves runs CBS Corp. now, and the magnet board has been replaced by a computer. But the schedule unveiling ceremony and the menu — bagels and lox — have remained the same, and Moonves is still there every year to kick things off.
A year earlier, in 1995, the Endeavor agency was less than 2 months old. Co-founders Ari Emanuel and Rick Rosen went to the upfronts to see clients — Rosen staying with his uncle, Emanuel with friends. People took them out to dinner the first two nights but on the third, they were on their own. With no money, their options were very limited. Rosen had a Peter Luger credit card, so they decided to go the Brooklyn steakhouse for dinner where they were joined by fellow Endeavor co-founder David Greenblatt, Dean Valentine, then president of Walt Disney TV, and attorney Jim Jackoway. From five, the dinner party grew to 10 the following year and soon became a tradition. It never expanded too much — 135 attended this year’s 20th anniversary dinner — but that is by design. The organizers keep the event exclusive — open only to top-level network and studio executives as well as clients with new shows. That exclusivity has made the Endeavor — now WME Peter Luger dinner — one of the hottest tickets during upfronts.
Related: Upfronts 2014: The Overachievers
Going back even further, to the early 1990s (some pinpoint the year as 1994), then-NBC SVP Primetime Series Jamie Tarses decided to throw a karaoke party on Sunday, the night before the NBC upfront presentation. Organized with the help of her assistant (now Amblin TV co-head Justin Falvey), the party was held late Sunday night at a karaoke place in Koreatown, attended by fellow NBC executives like Karey Burke, Flody Suarez and Steve McPherson.
‘How I Met Your Dad’ Not Going Forward At CBS: What Went Wrong? What’s Next?
By Nellie Andreeva
If the How I Met Your Mother legacy continues, it won’t be at CBS. Spinoff pilot How I Met Your Dad had been in no-man’s land since last Friday, when the network made its new series pickups and it was not among them.
‘Two And A Half Men’ To End Next Season
By Nellie Andreeva
CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler this morning confirmed that the upcoming 12th season of veteran comedy Two And A Half Men will be its last. The network is planning a sendoff similar to that for How I Met Your Mother this season, with co-creator/executive producer Chuck Lorre promising a “season-long event.”
UPFRONTS 2014: The Overachievers
By Nellie Andreeva
It wasn’t easy but we survived another pilot season. Congratulations to all writers, producers and agents who celebrated the pickup of a new series this week. Here is Deadline’s annual honor roll of those who excelled at the upfronts and a list of pods and independent producers with multiple broadcast series on the schedule.
Related: CW 2014 Fall Schedule
In this week’s podcast, Deadline’s executive editor David Lieberman and host David Bloom recap Upfronts Week in New York City as all the networks made their pre-season pitches to advertisers; the FCC approves the latest net neutrality proposal in a noisy meeting; and Tribune’s CEO criticizes the CW, one of his biggest business partners. They also check in on the status of that AT&T-DirecTV megadeal, which may be closer than once thought, while the WWE’s stock gets body-slammed as it grapples with the Street’s disappointment over its NBCU contract extension.
It wasn’t easy but we survived another pilot season. Congratulations to all writers, producers and agents who celebrated the pickup of a new series this week. Here is Deadline’s annual honor roll of those who excelled at the upfronts and a list of pods and independent producers with multiple broadcast series on the schedule:
How about DC‘s superhero effort this upfront? Warner Bros. TV made a big push with its sibling comic book banner this season, resulting in four pilots, all of them picked up to series: Gotham at Fox, The Flash and iZombie on the CW and Constantine on NBC.
Related: CW 2014 Fall Schedule
It’s been a great year for Amblin TV. The company, which last summer received a straight-to-series order for drama Extant on CBS, added three more series over the past week, dramas Red Band Society at Fox, Whispers at ABC and Public Morals at TNT. That brings the independent company’s tally to eight series, including Under the Dome at CBS, The Americans at FX, Falling Skies at TNT and Halo at xBox/Showtime.
Related: CBS 2014 Schedule
Israel’s Keshet saw drama Allegiance and comedy Your Family Or Mine get pickups at NBC and TBS, respectively, while limited series Dig was presented at USA’s upfront. (The company also has dramas Tyrant and Homeland and unscripted series Rising Star, Boom and Deal with It.) 3 Arts received straight-to-series orders for comedies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Mr. Robinson at NBC and Mulaney at Fox, has Cabot College in talks for a six-episode order at Fox (as well as returning series Brooklyn Nine-Nine and Parks And Recreation, both from Mike Schur, The Mindy Project).
Related: NBC 2014 Schedule
There are several producers and production companies that landed two new series orders this week. Warner Bros. TV-based Greg Berlanti executive produces the CW’s The Flash, which he also co-wrote, and NBC’s Mysteries Of Laura. (He also has Arrow at the CW). Independent producer Aaron Kaplan received orders for Mysteries Of Laura at NBC and Secrets & Lies at ABC. (He also has cable series Chasing Life and Instant Mom). Sony TV-based Jamie Tarses is behind new NBC comedy Marry Me and TBS’ Your Family Or Mine (along with TNT’s Franklin & Bash). Will Ferrell and Adam McKay‘s Uni TV-based Gary Sanchez landed its first broadcast series times two, with pickups for comedies Bad Judge and Mission Control at NBC (company also has Drunk History at Comedy Central). Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly have midseason series The Odd Couple on CBS and The Club on ABC (as well as Elementary, Unforgettable, Justified, Hindsight and Masters Of Sex). Marty Adelstein, with Becky Clements, is shepherding new ABC comedy Cristela and NBC drama Aquarius starring David Duchovny. (He also has Last Man Standing, with Clements, and Teen Wolf.) Jake Kasdan executive produces ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat and Fox’s Weird Loners (as well as Fox’s New Girl). Tim Kring has two event series, NBC’s Heroes: Reborn and USA’s Dig. Vince Gilligan has Battle Creek on CBS as well as Better Call Saul on AMC, while Rob Thomas has iZombie for CW and a Veronica Mars Web spinoff for CW digital. Rashida Jones has two new series, one as a producer, NBC’s A to Z, and one as an actress, TBS’ Angie Tribeca, where she plays the lead. In a rare feat, Laurie Metcalf is a regular on two comedy series, CBS’ The McCarthys and HBO’s Getting On. Electus has new series introduced this week, Jane The Virgin on the CW and the unscripted DVF Project on E! (Tina Fey and Robert Carlock have new comedy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, while their Cabot College is in talks for a Fox order.)
Related: Fox 2014 Schedule
Several prolific writer-producers have expanded their portfolios. Shonda Rhimes has added How To Get Away With Murder to create a rare Shonda lineup on ABC, with Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Murder on Thursday next fall. Kevin Williamson has new CBS drama Stalker, which he created, joining his other series, The Following on Fox and The Vampire Diaries on the CW.
UPDATED WITH MORE PHOTOS: It was a rough season for network comedies, with lots of newcomers getting killed off as well as a few notable veterans, such as Community, joining the dead list. But hope springs eternal in Laugh Land, and the networks have ordered some, but not lots, more comedies for the new fall season. Here’s an updated slideshow rundown of newcomers (OK, we’re including TNT and TBS among the broadcasters here), with brief descriptions for each. Click on a photo to launch:
The networks’ pickups and cancellations have been done and their new schedules have all been announced as we wrap another upfront season. Like in a Walking Dead episode, among the countless bodies strewn around, a few are still standing. Here are the pilots and cancelled series that I hear are still alive or hoping for a resurrection in a new home.
Pilots left in contention at the networks they were developed at include comedies Cabot College at Fox, where it has been eyeing a six-episode order; Sober Companion, also at Fox; Gaffigan at CBS; and Old Soul at NBC; as well as drama Agent X, whose pilot is being retooled, at TNT. ABC Brian Gallivan comedy also is a possibility. CW’s Supernatural: Bloodlines is dead but the network will take another stab at a Supernatural spinoff next season.
How I Met Your Dad, which didn’t go to series at CBS, leads the pack of passed-over pilots that are being shopped to other networks. (Digital platforms like Netflix are considered a possibility for the How I Met Your Mother spinoff, along with traditional networks like Fox or NBC.) Other pilots that are expected to be taken out include two comedies that were in contention at ABC, Kevin Hart’s Keep It Together and the Michael Imperioli starrer Saint Francis, as well as the Rob Lowe-Rob Riggle half-hour The Pro, which was in the running at NBC.
The Upfront Week started unusually hot (and bothered) this year before the typical cool and dreary weather settled in. In the fog that’s descended over New York as we wrap this year’s marathon, several trends have emerged:
- Comedy continues to go through hard times. In one week, we saw both NBC’s legacy two-hour Must See Thursday comedy block and CBS’ 28-year-old Monday night two-hour comedy block scaled back to one hour. While all broadcast networks showcased new dramas that had people talking, there were few new comedies that made an impression. “Comedy is hard,” network executives have lamented. Fox even opted not to pick up any of its comedy pilots to series. Of the ordered new comedy series, rom-coms are making a very strong showing with such entries as NBC’s Marry Me and A To Z and ABC’s Manhattan Love Story and Selfie. We also have a comedy that defies genres with Dan Fogelman’s musical fairytale for ABC Galavant.
On the drama side, following the success of NBC’s The Blacklist, it’s no surprise that series with intelligence themes are trendy for next season. Attendees at the NBC upfront started a drinking game every time the CIA sign flashed on the screen in a promo for a new series, with three dramas – State of Affairs, Odyssey and Allegiance – all set in that arena. Also in the milieu are CBS’ Madam Secretary and the more comedic Scorpion, in which geniuses help government agencies.
- This has been a great season for diversity, with one of the most ethnically inclusive slates of new series ever on the broadcast networks. Broadcast drama series with black leads are a TV rarity. This fall we will have something that we probably have never seen: a block of two back-to-back drama series with black lead characters on one of the highest-profile nights on TV, Thursday: ABC’s Scandal, starring Kerry Washington, and How to Get Away With Murder, toplined by Viola Davis. We have a new drama and a new comedy series about black families: Fox’s Empire and ABC’s Black-ish, respectively; a dramedy and a comedy about Latino families in the CW’s Jane The Virgin and ABC’s Cristela, respectively; and a new comedy about an Asian family, ABC’s Fresh Off The Boat. (Additionally, NBC has school comedy Mr. Robinson starring Craig Robinson, Fox has upcoming Latino-themed drama Gang Related and Maggie Q toplines new CBS drama Stalker.)
CW Upfront Presentation 2014 Live Blog: Mark Pedowitz Unveils ‘Veronica Mars’ Spinoff Details, ‘The Flash,’ ‘Jane The Virgin,’ iZombie,’ ‘The Messenger’
This morning’s CW new-schedule press reports decry a world in which Tomorrow People is axed while Beauty And The Beast lives on, and the shocking lack of Supernatural spinoff on the slate. New series instead include Jane The Virgin (engaged virgin gets artificially inseminated by accident at medical clinic) that’s paired with returning vampire/werewolf/witch drama The Originals on Mondays, and The Flash (DC franchise in which guy acquires super-fast powers after run-in with cutting edge particle accelerator) that’s paired with 10th season of Supernatural mothership on Tuesdays. Arrow, meanwhile, is back on Wednesdays, with post-apocalyptic drama The 100, The Vampire Diaries segues into crunchy-gravel drama Reign on Thursdays, and improv comedy Whose Line Is It Anyway leads into America’s Next Top Model on Fridays.) Two more new dramas are on the midseason bench: iZombie (pretty med student turned into a zombie when zombie feeding frenzy breaks out at a party), and The Messengers (scientist’s heart stops in New Mexico desert when mysterious objects falls to earth and explodes, linking her with four strangers). Also back in ’15: returning Hart Of Dixie and fantasy Beauty And The Beast.
Here’s how it went:
11:02 AM ET: Neon Trees warms up the crowd with Everybody Talks, Here We Go Again, etc. continuing CW tradition of having pop hit presentation crowd warm-up. Advertisers have been given glow-sticks for CW’s traditional audience-participation portion of the presentation (One year, security wrist-bands strapped to all the advertisers, media and station execs in attendance suddenly began to glow in the dark during CW’s Upfront reveal — It made quite an impression on exhausted attendees.)
Here are the first looks at the CW‘s new dramas as part of the 2014-2015 series orders. The network has released trailers for The Flash and Jane The Virgin concurrent with its upfront presentation in New York. Still waiting on glimpses of midseason dramas iZombie and The Messengers. Check these out in the meantime:
Related: CW 2014 Fall Schedule
The Flash – Drama
Produced Bonanza Productions in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros TV based upon characters published by DC Entertainemnt. From writer/executive producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, director/executive producer David Nutter and executive producer Sarah Schechter.
Jane The Virgin – Comedy
Produced by CBS Television Studios. From writer/executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman, director/executive producer Brad Silberling and executive producers Ben Silverman, Gary Pearl and Jorge Granier.
“Protect our young” seems to be the broadcast networks’ motto in making the fall schedules this year. Besides ABC’s new comedies Selfie and Manhattan Love Story, which are being thrown to the wolves at 8 PM on Tuesday, there are virtually no new series that are not protected by an established lead-in, something that traditionally has been CBS’ scheduling M.O. That is, of course, if they were not designed to work as 8 PM shows, like two new comic book-based series, Fox’s Batman prequel Gotham and the CW’s The Flash; NBC’s light procedural The Mysteries Of Laura; and Fox’s reality series Utopia. Observers note how conservative all the broadcast networks have been this year, with a lot of stability and not many shake-ups. The CW left three of five nights intact. There is not a single nightly lineup of all-new series on any network next fall. Because of that, there are fewer big schedule showdowns next season. We break down the top matchups below the grid:
Networks Play It Safe, Lead-Ins Rule On 2014 Fall Schedule: Full Grid & Top Face-Offs
Upfronts 2014: Comedy Sputters, Diversity & Adaptations Flourish; Other Trends, Oddities
The biggest one, that has industry types salivating, is still hypothetical — ABC’s hot, soapy DC drama Scandal going against NBC’s breakout The Blacklist at 9 PM on Thursday. It is hypothetical, because Blacklist is slated to move from Monday to Thursday in February. A lot could happen between May and February — that’s why few midseason scheduling scenarios announced at the upfronts ever materialized. Who knows how The Blacklist’s Monday replacement, new drama State of Affairs, will do? Nevertheless, a potential Olivia Pope-Red Reddington face-off has high drama written all over it at 9 PM on Thursdays.
CW’s Pre-Upfront Meet The Press: Mark Pedowitz Talks Accidental Artificial Inseminated Virgins, ‘Flash,’ And High Octane TV
CW chief Mark Pedowitz got on the phone this morning to talk to press tour reporters about his new schedule, which has just two new series for fall: Jane The Virgin – engaged virgin (Gina Rodriguez) gets artificially inseminated by accident at medical clinic — is paired with returning vampire/werewolf/witch drama The Originals on Mondays. And The Flash — guy acquires super-fast powers after run-in with cutting edge particle accelerator — is paired with 10th season of Supernatural on Tuesdays. Arrow, meanwhile, is back on Wednesdays, with post-apocalyptic drama The 100, The Vampire Diaries segues into crunchy gravel drama Reign on Thursdays, and improv comedy Whose Line Is It Anyway leads into America’s Next Top Model on Fridays.) Two new dramas are on the midseason bench: iZombie — pretty med student turned into a zombie when zombie feeding frenzy breaks out at a party — and The Messengers — scientist’s heart stops in New Mexico desert when mysterious objects falls to earth and explodes, linking her with four strangers. Also back in ’15: returning Hart Of Dixie and fantasy Beauty And The Beast.
Here’s how it went…
8:30 AM ET: “We had a really good year this year,” Pedowitz said by way of warming up the crowd. It’s CW’s most watched season in three years. The network will finish the season up in total viewers, up in 18-49, steady in 18-34 and with its highest concentration of young men yet. The crop of new series joining the slate will advance his goal for “more inclusive programming.”
CW chief Mark Pedowitz says the network will take another crack at a Supernatural spinoff next season. On a phone call with reporters in advance of his Upfront presentation to advertisers this morning, Pedowitz said the Supernatural spin “just didn’t get there” during this development season. “We want to develop once more for next season — what it is or isn’t will be discussed come June or July.”
The CW, coming off its most watched season in 3 years, is heading into the fall with a very conservative fall schedule, keeping three of five nights intact and introducing only two new series, The Flash and Jane The Virgin, with two new and two returning dramas held for midseason. Here is the schedule, followed by analysis and description of the CW’s new series.
CW FALL 2014-2015 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; NN=New Night; all times ET/PT)
8-9 PM – The Originals (NN)
9-10 PM – JANE THE VIRGIN
8-9 PM – THE FLASH
9-10 PM – Supernatural
8-9 PM – Arrow
9-10 PM – The 100
8-9 PM – The Vampire Diaries
9-10 PM – Reign
8-8:30 PM – Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30-9 PM – Whose Line Is It Anyway? (Encore Episode)
9-10 PM – America’s Next Top Model
CBS’ New Series Trailers: ‘Extant’, ‘Madam Secretary’, ‘NCIS: New Orleans’, ‘Scorpion’, ‘Stalker’, ‘The McCarthys’
Here are the first looks at CBS‘ new dramas and comedies as part of the 2014-2015 series orders. The network has made full trailers of most of its fall series now that its upfront presentation has concluded in New York — including summer series Extant. Still to come, midseasoners Battle Creek, CSI: Cyber and The Odd Couple. Here’s the rest:
Related: CBS 2014 Schedule
Extant – Summer Drama
Produced by CBS Television Studios. From executive producers Steven Spielberg, Greg Walker, Mickey Fisher, Brooklyn Weaver, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, and Adam Rodin.
Madam Secretary – Fall Drama
Produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Revelations Entertainment. From executive producer/writer Barbara Hall, executive producer/director David Semel and executive producers Lori McCreary and Morgan Freeman.
NCIS: New Orleans – Fall Drama
Produced by CBS Television Studios. From writer/executive producer Gary Glasberg and executive producers Mark Harmon and Jeffrey Lieber.
“Nobody on Earth brings more quality programs to audiences than we do,” CBS CEO Les Moonves told buyers today at his company’s annual Carnegie Hall presentation. The traditional media triumphalism provided a contrast with his rivals’ efforts this week to talk up corporate synergies and digital initiatives — especially as tech powers including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL try to win dollars to online video. “Our friends in Silicon Valley are expanding from developing logarithms to developing television shows,” Moonves says. Following the tech NewFronts presentations, he added, “They used to call us OldFronts until they started doing exactly what we do.”
Despite the bravado, even CBS can’t ignore the growth of – and advertiser interest in — online viewing. The CEO noted in passing “our ever-expanding digital and interactive business” and said “the best news for all of us is that every eyeball is being counted.” CBS Network Sales President Jo Ann Ross kicked off the event promising “custom multiplatform solutions” to reach people “where ever they are and whenever they are watching.” But the company provided no details.