All the Action From the 2015 Upfronts

Over the past couple weeks, the major networks have been hosting their annual Upfront presentations, where new shows are revealed and executives outline their television strategies for the rest of the year and articulate their thoughts on the industry.

Here’s a look at some of the occurrences, remarks and happenings from the events of the main broadcasters.

Worth noting: three of the five networks (ABC, CBS, FOX) are launching shows inspired by cinematic features.


Comedian Jimmy Kimmel cracked the above joke at the ABC Upfronts, about this March Variety article, which covers the battle between digital and linear TV when it comes to advertising dollars.

Amusingly, a source cited in the article, media consultant Tim Hanlon, said a “live ‘American Idol’ is going to be more valuable” than a non-live property. Fox announced the cancellation of “Idol” at their Upfront.

"The upfront is not what it used to be and never will be again,” said Amy Ginsberg, managing director of investment at Initiative, told Adweek.

Every one of ABC’s six new dramas, which includes a new take on "The Muppets" and an adaptation of John Hughes' "Uncle Buck" film,  is owned by their own studio.


Continuing with the theme of live programming, NBC is tacking in that direction.

"We're attacking the new season with the same programming strategy that successfully turned NBC around: a slate of provocative and innovative series and events that cut through the clutter and will continue to build on our momentum," said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt.

We have several powerful new dramas and attention-getting new comedies, including the return of ‘Undateable,’ which will be broadcast live every week next season. Live programming is one more way to make a show undeniable."

The network is also experimenting with its releases, opting to make available every episode – 13 in total – of new drama “Aquarius” the same day it airs on TV, May 28.

“We’re looking at different ways to perhaps attract viewers—Millennials--who don’t come to network TV regularly,” said Ted Harbert, NBC Broadcasting chairman. “We don’t know if this will work.”

"Blindspot," "Best Time Ever" and "Coach" will be a part of NBC's new fall lineup.


Derided by other stations as for older viewers, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves directly addressed the

"We have more 18-49 shows in top 30 than ABC and NBC, so the idea of the old fogie network should be put away forever," he said.

CBS is anticipating success in the fall with DC Comics adaptation “Supergirl” and the evolution of Stephen Colbert’s late night hosting duties.

“We see ‘[Supergirl]’ as a much broader show than just a genre or comic book show,” said SVP of CBS Primetime, Kelly Kahl. “I haven’t seen a cape on ‘Gotham.’”

In addition to "Supergirl," CBS will be premiering a TV version of  2011 movie "Limitless" and "Code Black," a medical drama.


FOX’s big play is to remove episodic re-runs during a television show’s season, aiming for zero interruptions during the autumn and spring. “New Girl” was bumped off the fall schedule and moved to January 2016, but it will air for 22 weeks non-stop.

“Building on the phenomenal momentum created by ‘Gotham,’ ‘The Last Man on Earth’ and, of course, ‘Empire,’ we’re infusing next season’s schedule with new ambitious dramas; smart comedies; aspirational, unscripted series and big live events and specials – all from the best creators in the business,” said Fox Television Group CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. 

And our strategy with these bold creative swings is simple: schedule them strategically, market them relentlessly and create events that break through and captivate viewers across every platform.”

FOX's fall schedule includes horror-comedy "Scream Queens," Rob Lowe-helmed "The Grinder" and "Minority Report," based on the 2002 Spielberg movie of the same name.


The CW struck gold this past year with DC’s “The Flash,” which network president Mark Pedowitz described as its “most-watched show ever,” and further observed that it had the most-viewed premiere ever on CW, in addition to being its highest rated series amongst male viewers.

“Shows that are high concept and high energy and big stakes are the core of CW’s brand,” Pedowitz stated.

CW’s other superhero show, “Arrow,” takes place in the same universe, and CW is hoping to expand this world with new fall spinoff series “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” which incorporates characters from both programs.

After heightened excitement occurred with crossover episodes between the “Arrow” and “Flash,” Pedowitz proclaimed that this sort of thing will officially be “a special event in [the] fourth quarter every year,” suggesting that the network will be placing a long-term investment in comicbook thrills.

CW's autumn offerings also include drama "Containment" and musical-comedy-drama "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend."

Author: Brian Cameron


Post a Comment