David Letterman Makes Surprise Appearance With Les Moonves At CBS Upfront

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 1:39pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

David Letterman is well known for shunning public events like CBS’ upfront. But in the midst of big late-night changes at NBC and ABC, the veteran late-night host showed up at the CBS presentation for the first time in 15 years. CBS Corp. CEO Les Moonves broached the subject. “What’s going on out there in late-night? All of a sudden, everybody’s got a Jimmy: they have a Jimmy, they have a Jimmy,” referring to NBC’s and ABC’s new 11:30 PM hosts Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, respectively. “We thought we don’t have a Jimmy. Jimmy Buffet is  too tropical, Jimmy Carter too political, Jimmy Hoffa not available. There are a lot of Jimmys out there but there is only one Dave, David Letterman.” Letterman walked out to a thunderous applause and engaged in a looong hug with Moonves. “I’m honored to be here for your pledge drive,” Letterman quipped, proceeding to make fun of CBS head of sales Joanne Ross’ projection dress. “Everyone here is very excited to see me, they think I’m Bob Schieffer. When Leslie invited me here, I thought I was being fired.”

Related: CBS 2013-14 Schedule Read More »

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Live-Blog: CBS Upfront Presentation

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 1:18pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The CBS upfront presentation today calls for a drinking game: How many times we’ll hear from the stage that CBS is No. 1? First off hammering out the message is the network’s head of sales Jo Ann Ross, who re-created Carrie Underwood’s infamous Grammy dress with messages touting CBS’ success and urging advertisers to buy projected on the bottom of her ball gown.

Related: CBS New Series Previews: Video

A pre-taped “One Year More” musical number featuring the cast of How I Met Your Mother transitioned onstage, featuring the quintet of actors, joined by a group of everyday folk carrying the departing show’s signature yellow umbrellas. Says CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves, “I’d like to see the cast of The Walking Dead do that.”

Moonves touted CBS’ ratings dominance this season in all sorts of ways, including in a form of a tweet: “Message easy. CBS wins everything. #dropthemic.”

The highlight of the presentation so far is the surprise appearance by David Letterman.

Touting the success of CBS’ drama series, Moonves said, “the place for drama is in primetime not at 7 AM the morning and 11:30 at night,” while images of Ann Curry’s tearful farewell on Today and of Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno flashed behind him.

Related: CBS 2013-14 Schedule Read More »

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Will Ferrell And Conan O’Brien Mock TV Business At Turner Upfront

Turner Entertainment seems to try hardest to make advertisers laugh at its upfront presentation — and generally succeeded this time with help from Will Ferrell, Conan O’Brien, and TBS newcomer Pete Holmes. In a recorded routine, Ferrell said that he had bought the company and with his background in comedy “I couldn’t care less” about networks including CNN, TNT, and TruTv. Since “I like to mess around with my new toys,” he introduced the new boss: Charles Barkley. The former NBA star said that since “I’m in charge now” viewers would be “seeing a lot more Charles Barkley” — cutting to clips from Turner shows that insert him into the action. “This is the kind of bold thinking I was hoping for,” Ferrell said. “With me as CEO of Turner, and Charles, can you really go wrong?”

Related: TBS Urges Advertisers To Favor Engagement Measures Over Demo Ratings Read More »

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TNT & TBS Announce Scripted & Unscripted Development Slates

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 7:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

At its upfront today, TNT and TBS unveiled scripted and unscripted development slates, which include projects from Steven Spielberg, Steve Carell, Diablo Cody, Denis Leary, Sylvester Stallone, Dick Wolf, Nicholas Sparks, Marcia Clark, Dee Johnson, Walt Becker, Jamie Foxx and James Duff. Here is the list with details:
Related: TBS & TNT To Offer Live Streaming 24/7

TNT

SCRIPTED SERIES DEVELOPMENT

Portal House
This project is the story of a group of young scientists who, while investigating what they believe to be a haunted house, stumble upon a portal into the time-space continuum. Things then take a turn for the worse when one of their own vanishes into the portal.
– Executive Producers: Steven Spielberg, Justin Falvey, Darryl Frank, Scott Rosenberg (writer), Jeff Pinkner (writer), Josh Appelbaum (writer) and Andre Nemec (writer)
– Production Company/Studio: Amblin Television

Read More »

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CBS Execs Take Shots At The Competition

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 6:47am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Per tradition, top CBS executives unveiled their fall schedule at an informal breakfast event this morning where they took some jabs at the other broadcast networks. A day after Jimmy Kimmel once again skewered CBS at the ABC upfront presentation, CBS Corp CEO Les Moonves had this to say: “I was very flattered when Jimmy Kimmel called us ‘smug motherfuckers. You don’t call somebody ‘smug motherfuckers’ unless they’re smug and they’re winning, so we’ll try to be a little less smug and a little more gracious, but that’s hard for me, as you know. But anyway, Jimmy, ABC is still going to finish fourth in 18-49.” To ABC: “If your late-night guy is the funniest you have, keep him there as long as you can.”

Related: CBS 2013-14 Schedule

CBS’ head of scheduling Kelly Kahl kept the zingers coming. Read More »

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MundoFox Schedule Includes ‘El Factor X’ For Summer Among Original Programming Boost

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 6:47am PDT

Spanish-language U.S. network MundoFox will announce 20 new original programs as part of its summer and fall schedules today during Fox Hispanic Media’s upfont presentation in NY. Among the highlights are the Spanish-language version of The X Factor, El Factor X, which will launch in the summer; Café Con Aroma De Mujer, a remake of the Colombian hit from Ugly Betty‘s original Betty La Fea creator Fernando Gaitán; FX’s series The Bridge starring Demian Bichir, part of the network’s weekend schedule; and the boxing docu-drama The Golden Boys from executive producers Mario Lopez and Oscar de la Hoya. Here’s the network’s full list of shows and specials: Read More »

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CBS 2013-14 Schedule: Thursday Comedy Block Expanded To Two Hours, ‘Person Of Interest’ To Tuesday, ‘Hawaii’ To Friday

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 5:59am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: CBS‘ fall schedule features five new series. After considering expanding its Thursday comedy block to two hours last years, the network did it this year, with The Big Bang Theory and Two A Half Men flanking newbies The Millers starring Will Arnett and The Crazy Ones starring Robin Williams. Missing from the fall schedule is Mike & Molly, which has a 22-episode order, and new series Friends With Better Lives (comedy) and Reckless (drama) on tap for midseason. Here is CBS’ fall schedule, followed by analysis and show descriptions:
CBS FALL 2013-2014 SCHEDULE
(New programs in UPPER CASE; NT=New Time)

MONDAY
8-8:30 PM – How I Met Your Mother
8:30-9 PM – WE ARE MEN
9-9:30 PM – 2 Broke Girls
9:30-10 PM – MOM
10-11 PM – HOSTAGES / INTELLIGENCE (Midseason)

TUESDAY
8-9 PM – NCIS
9-10 PM – NCIS: Los Angeles
10-11 PM – Person Of Interest (NT)

WEDNESDAY
8-9 PM – Survivor
9-10 PM – Criminal Minds
10-11 – CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

THURSDAY
8-8:30 PM – The Big Bang Theory
8:30-9 PM – THE MILLERS
9-9:30 PM – THE CRAZY ONES
9:30-10 PM – Two And A Half Men (NT)
10-11 PM – Elementary

FRIDAY
8-9 PM – Undercover Boss
9-10 PM – Hawaii Five-0 (NT)
10-11 PM – Blue Bloods

SATURDAY
8-8:30 PM – COMEDYTIME SATURDAY
8:30-9 PM – COMEDYTIME SATURDAY
9-10 PM – Crimetime Saturday
10-11 PM – 48 Hours

SUNDAY
7-8 PM – 60 Minutes
8-9 PM – The Amazing Race
9-10 PM – The Good Wife
10-11 PM – The Mentalist
Read More »

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Joss Whedon At ABC Upfront Brings Longer Trailer For ‘Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

“Last spring, Bob Iger sent us some bonus footage from The Avengers, with a simple question, ‘Is there a show here?’” said … Read More »

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ABC Pitches Streaming And Audience Measurement Plans To Ad Buyers

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 2:06pm PDT

UPDATE, 3:00 PM: ABC has released some additional info about its role in the trial to expand Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings to mobile devices. The pilot will run through the summer, and tRead More »

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ABC New Series Trailers Unveiled: ‘Back In The Game’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘The Goldbergs’, ‘Killer Women’, ‘Lucky 7′, ‘Mind Games’, ‘Mixology’, ‘Once Upon A Time In Wonderland’, ‘Resurrection’, ‘Super Fun Night’, ‘Trophy Wife’

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 1:39pm PDT

ABC has released first looks at its new series as it kicks off its upfront presentation right now in NYC. The network unveiled its 2013-2014 schedule earlier today.

Related: Joss Whedon Unveils ‘Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’

Back In The Game– Comedy
Produced by from 20th Century Fox Television and Kapital Entertainment. From writers/executive producers Mark and Robb Cullen, director/executive producers John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, and executive producer Aaron Kaplan:

Betrayal — Drama
Produced by ABC Studios. From writer/executive producer David Zabel and executive producers Rob Golenberg and Alon Aranya:

Read More »

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Live-Blog: ABC’s Upfront Presentation

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 1:29pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC has the hottest broadcast drama series at the moment, Scandal, and the network didn’t waste any time to flaunt it to advertisers. ABC’s upfront presentation opened with a pre-taped skit featuring Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope summoned to the Oval Office to do damage control for Disney-ABC Group president Anne Sweeney and her henchman, played by Jimmy Kimmel. The skeletons in ABC’s closet:

1. “Dancing With the Stars … they’re not really stars. We pick them up at the bus station”. (Kimmel)

2. [ABC president] “Paul Lee isn’t really British – he’s Mexican. We think that’s why Univision is beating NBC”. (Kimmel)

3. “ABC Family is adopted” (Kimmel)

4. “I steal Diane Sawyer’s clothes… and eyelashes”. (Sweeney).

Pope’s advice — “Own it; go out there and admit everything” is met with objections from Kimmel. “I think we lie about everything except Good Morning America,” he says. And with that, Sweeney comes out onstage, greeted with scorning gestured by Sawyer. The highlight in her opening remarks is when she acknowledged Barbara Walters and her announcement yesterday that she will retire next year. A huge standing ovation brought down the house. Sweeney continued with the Scandal theme with a “gladiators” reference in her speech.

Related: ABC 2013-14 Schedule

“Hola,” Lee greets advertisers, drawing laughs. He is elaborating on the plan to introduce 8- to 12-episode limited series and splitting some of its serialized dramas into cycles running all originals from September to Christmas and then in the new year. “That will create buzz and lower repeats,” Lee said, also highlighting the switch to launches throughout the year to get away from the “September slugfest.”

Related: ABC New Series Trailers

Of the new ABC series, a supersized trailer for 1980s throwback The Goldbergs gets a very warm reaction as it plays heavily (and sweetly) on nostalgia. Also getting big laughs is the Bad News Bears-in-tone Back In The Game.

Hot Aussie comedian Rebel Wilson was on hand to introduce her new Wednesday comedy series Super Fun Night, which launches after Modern Family. The audience loved her raunchy monologue, which included lines like “Super Fun Night is the anti-Sex And The City: when these three ladies eat at night, they’re not talking about dick”, and “Don’t worry, I won’t be doing a Lena Dunham. I’ll only put my boobs out if it’s necessary for the storyline… or a Wednesday.” She received a big applause, with the trailer for her show also getting good reaction sans her American accent, which irked some. “Isn’t she great,” Brit Lee said seeing her off. “I have no idea why my ancestors sent her ancestors to prison.” Read More »

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Tuesday “Comedy Sigalert” Back With Fox, NBC & ABC Again Doing 9-10 PM Block

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 10:06am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Here we go again. Last May, Fox, NBC and ABC all scheduled single-camera comedies from 9-10 PM on Tuesday, a move CBS’ scheduling czar Kelly Kahl called a “comedy sigalert.” Of the comedies scheduled in the hour … Read More »

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UPDATE: Fox New Series First Looks — ‘Gang Related’, ‘Surviving Jack’, ‘Almost Human’, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘Dads’, ‘Enlisted’, ‘Rake’, ‘Sleepy Hollow’, ‘Us & Them’

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 8:15am PDT

UPDATE, 8:15 AM: Fox has added trailers for Chris Morgan’s drama Gang Related and Christopher Meloni-starring comedy Surviving Jack.

PREVIOUS, MONDAY PM: Fox has unveiled most of its teaser trailers for its new series as it kicks off its upfront presentation right now in NY. Still AWOL is Gang Related and Surviving Jack, so keep checking back for updates:

Related: Fox 2013-14 Schedule

Gang Related — Drama
Produced by Chris Morgan Productions, Skeeter Rosenbaum Productions, Imagine Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Television. From writer/executive producer Chris Morgan, director/executive producer Allen Hughes and executive producers Scott Rosenbaum, Brian Grazer and Francie Calfo:

Surviving Jack — Comedy
Produced by Doozer Productions in association with Warner Bros Television. From writer/executive producers Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumaker and executive producers Bill Lawrence and Jeff Ingold:

Read More »

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Live-Blog: Fox’s Upfront Presentation

By | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 1:56pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Fox decided to shake things up in its upfront presentation today. After talking about the increasing portion of viewing of Fox shows being time-shifted, Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly threw out the traditional night-by-night lineup presentation for the first time in favor of introducing the network’s new shows by genre.

First off was comedy, which made for unfavorable comparisons to the comedic banter with which Reilly and head of sales Toby Byrne opened the presentation. Among the more serious exchanges, Byrne acknowledged that after eight seasons on top, “we slipped a bit,” with Reilly responding that “I’m confident we will be back at No. 1 next season.”

Related: Fox 2013-14 Schedule

Always high on star power, the network brought onstage the stars of all of its new comedies and actors from all returning ones to a big applause. After a shtick between New Girl‘s Max Greenfield — who found an opportunity to show off his biceps — and Reilly, Reilly screened trailers for the network’s five new comedy series, with Andy Samberg’s cop show Brooklyn Nine-Nine getting very big applause.

Related: Fox New Series First Looks: Video Read More »

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Live-Blog: NBC’s Upfront Presentation

By | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 8:35am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt jumped right into the late-night controversy during the network’s upfront presentation this morning in NY, announcing a change in the network’s late-night plans as he took the stage at Radio City Music Hall. “I will be stepping down in 2014 to take over The Tonight Show, and Jay Leno will be taking my job”, he said. The presentation opened with a video featuring Parks And Recreation stars Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. “Hi, I’m Shakira,” Poehler said, shelling out advice on what show Middle America likes. “There is no bigger show on TV than The Voice“, she said. Deadpanned Offerman, “I prefer a show called The Silence where you have a black screen and no sound”. Poehler also touted the success of Revolution, a show about people living in the wilderness with no electricity or power. “I’d watch it, provided it’s not a show and is called Camping“.

Related: NBC’s 2013-14 Schedule

Greenblatt acknowledged NBC’s ratings woes this past season. “It’s been a roller-coaster season”, Greenblatt said. “We made progress”, he added, noting the network’s finish as No. 1 in the fall for the first time in nine years. But then, “we had challenges in the first quarter and our share of midseason disappointments” before “bouncing back in April”.

Related: Jay Leno To “Pass The Baton” To Jimmy Fallon During Winter Olympics; Seth Meyers To Start Feb. 24

The NBC boss also said that once again there will be two cycles of The Voice, with the fall one launching on September 23, the opening night of the season. Cycle 2 will start immediately following the Winter Olympics.

Related: NBC Execs: Corporate Synergy And Olympics Will Help Next Season

The first applause of the day came for Greenblatt’s announcement that Community is coming back for 13 episodes. The second one? For Michael J Fox, whose new series will air on Thursdays. It was the first new NBC show introduced by Greenblatt before he handed things off to NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke.

Related: NBC’s New Show Trailers Read More »

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2013 TV Upfronts Sked & Parties: UPDATE

By and | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 2:00am PDT

UPDATED (Refresh For Latest…)

SUNDAY, MAY 12
8:00 PM: ICM Partners Upfronts Dinner
The Arlington Club, 1032 Lexington Avenue

9:00 PM: 20th Television Private Reception
Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel, 145 East 50th Street

9:30 PM: UTA Upfronts Party
Marquee, 289 10th Avenue

MONDAY, MAY 13
11:00 AM: NBC Upfront Presentation
Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue Of The Americas

4:00 PM: Fox Upfront Presentation
The Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway

5:30 PM: Fox Upfront Post-Party
Wollman Rink, Central Park & 59th Street

7:45 PM: Fox Private Dinner Hosted by Kevin Reilly & Joe Earley
Stone Rose Lounge, 4th Floor of Time Warner Center, 10 Columbus Circle

9:00 PM: NBC After-Party
Del Posto Ristorante, 85 10th Avenue

11:00 PM: WME Late Night Party
No. 8, 357 West 16th Street Read More »

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Les Moonves Says CBS Needs Few New Shows For Fall Schedule

By | Thursday February 14, 2013 @ 2:43pm PST

Ratings are so strong for the network’s current programs that “we aren’t going to need very much” for the fall primetime lineup, CBS chief Les Moonves told analysts today. He isn’t being complacent: CBS “ordered a couple of … Read More »

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Fox & NBC Wrap 2012-13 Upfront Sales

By | Wednesday June 13, 2012 @ 4:02pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

And we’re done with the broadcast upfront sales this year. Fox and NBC just completed their upfront deals, joining the CW, CBS and ABC, which wrapped their sales in the past few days.

Fox, which kicked off this … Read More »

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Over-Achievers Of This Year’s Upfront

By | Friday May 25, 2012 @ 6:58pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Greg Berlanti entered the upfronts as the producer with the most pilots this year — four — in his first development season at Warner Bros. TV. Two of them, the CW’s Arrow and CBS’ Golden Boy, went to series, while a third, Fox legal drama Guilty, has a solid shot at a midseason order. Additionally, Berlanti has cable series Political Animals launching on USA this summer. Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage‘s Fake Empire also netted two new broadcast series orders. The company went 2-for-2 with its two pilots, the CW’s The Carrie Diaries and Cult, to increase its primetime portfolio to four series next season, including returning CW dramas Gossip Girl and Hart Of Dixie, and tie the Mark Gordon Co. as the pods with the most broadcast shows on the air. In addition to newly picked up comedy Family Tools and returning Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice and Criminal Minds, the Mark Gordon Co. also has Army Wives on Lifetime. With CSI: Miami ending its run, Bruckheimer TV will have three series on the air next season, same as Chernin Entertainment, which added one new series, Fox comedy Ben & Kate, to its returning New Girl and Touch; J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot (newbie Revolution and returning Person of Interest and Fringe) and Alloy (666 Park Ave, The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl).

Besides Fake Empire, the only other entity to log a 1.000 batting average this upfront was Lionsgate TV, also with two series out of two pilots, ABC darling Nashville and NBC’ midseason comedy Next Caller. The pickups capped the company’s renewed push into broadcast TV led by Chris Selak in her first season as head of development. Another established company in its first development cycle with a new top development executive, Wolf Films, which hired Danielle Gelber last July, landed its first non-Law & Order-branded new series in six years, NBC’s Chicago Fire. Two newly launched pods, Peter Traugott‘s Traugott Company and Lorenzo DiBonaventura‘s DiBonaventura Pictures Television, also scored series orders in their first year, NBC drama Do No Harm and ABC drama Zero Hour, respectively, as did two indies, Gaumont and Georgeville. Read More »

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