A king of the show biz world has spoken and he thinks the 3D TV format could use some more scripted dramas. Yes, it's pretty cool to have the snowboard SuperPipe at the Winter X Games or Bubba Watson's genius at the Masters shown via 3D, but that's expensive. Why not dial it back and go for some "Grey's Anatomy" or "NCIS"? "It's really the low-hanging fruit, we've missed," said James Cameron, the director extraordinaire, who's invested in 3D 2X. "We've gone around the lowest fruit to stuff that's much harder to shoot."
The whole thing may be a Madison Avenue myth, but upfront deals are no longer inked on napkins in wood-paneled establishments, where the negotiations were an unwelcome distraction from the flowing liquids. (At least, as far as we know.) More data and an emphasis on media planning have turned the annual upfront market into a far different operation. But, by how much? Appearing at the MediaPost Outfront event this week, a group of the smartest and most influential media buyers and sellers didn't do much in the way of convincing that the upfront market operates on some sort of cutting …
The connection between audience research and ratings success is exceedingly unstable. But, Henry Schleiff does seem to be reasonably sharp with the Hail Marys (or at least know where to find the people who can complete them). Well-known in the industry, partly because of his volubility and bonhomie with the media, his latest successful long pass isn't getting nearly the publicity as his work transforming Court TV into a hugely valuable network. But Investigation Discovery (ID) is soaring in the ratings and has one Wall Street firm asking, albeit somewhat flippantly, whether it's Discovery Communications' "new flagship."
NBCUniversal's "Green Machine" should be the subject of intrigue as it makes appearances at New York media agencies from Mindshare to Universal McCann to Zenith next week. It's a full-scale, green-hued vending machine with a selection of eco-friendly items available free as a promotion for the annual "Green is Universal" effort. NBCU hopes it will encourage media buyers to personally decrease their carbon footprints, but also increase green coming its way.
Cable networks are constantly looking for ways to uniquely define their audience to advertisers. At VH1, enter "adultsters." That first phase of millennials - ages 25 to 34 -- share similarities such as entrepreneurial spirit; unwillingness to settle in a relationship; and desire to be top-notch parents without ceding self-identity. Their lives now are also very different from what they may have envisioned as they were coming of age. David Giles, who oversees strategic insights and research at VH1, writes in a blog post that adultsters' "formative years were like a 'guided tour,' with a much calmer life than they …
"Survivor" is trumpeted as the progenitor of the current boom in reality series, which has turned multiple networks into large profit centers. Rightfully so. Its success in the summer of 2000 got networks thinking that people were excited about watching other regular people, so its place in history is secure. But looking back, it's a wonder it took until then for networks to appreciate that potential so much. Since 1989, "Cops" offered a playbook for cable networks to garner the type of success they now enjoy from original reality series.
Some view them as prima donnas. Some marvel at how they can't get over grudges against ESPN. Some consider them immensely talented and transformative figures in sports media. There was evidence of all that Thursday as Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann reunited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the debut of "The Big Show."
It's well-documented the U.S. Postal Service is navigating one tough route in this digital economy. Questions about the effectiveness of direct mail aren't helping. Not that those haven't been around forever, but marketers' interest in social media and other emerging tactics can't be a good sign. One of those shiny new things attracting them is interactive TV (iTV), which cable operators are more than happy to pitch as a direct mail substitute. Yet, data floating around this week suggests direct mailers will have a good while to continue making money on those large postcards advertising large discounts.
What a great day for Republicans searching for talking points before the Sunday morning talk shows. Thank you, Discovery Communications, the GOP must be saying. You can envision it now ... David Gregory on "Meet the Press" holding a one-on-one with Rick Santorum or some right-wing ideological kin. Topic: President Obama's refusal to green light the full Keystone Pipeline that would deliver oil from Canada to the southern U.S. and maybe help lower gas prices. Pretty soon, however, Discovery's decision to jettison Planet Green and turn it into the Destination America network becomes the jumping-off point for political maneuvering.
Less than a month before broadcast networks present their fall lineups, executives are reviewing pilots and suggesting changes to producers en route to making their selections for new shows. But what's a small-time producer to do if she believes she's got a big-time hit, but can't get any attention from the tastemakers? Don't return to Starbucks to work on the next script so easily. Looking for inspiration? How about Ivie & Associates, a marketing outsourcing firm, trying to do the equivalent of getting a development executive to watch just a few clips as it makes a new business pitch to …