For broadcasters to make converts out of a cynical TV industry, they'll have to prove they can still create bona fide hits. 5/17/2009 08:37:11 PM Eastern

This year, like every year, B&C takes a look at each network's needs and what it has in the pipeline. But right now, the networks all have the same simple yet crucial need. It is a collective necessity: Network television must prove it can still launch new hits.


As the broadcast networks head into the annual New York upfront week to generate early buzz for new programming and peddle next season's wares to advertisers, they face several existential challenges, not the least of which is a steep economic downturn. But the mantra from executives at the broadcast networks this week will be that broadcast still delivers the biggest shows and the biggest audiences. Sound familiar? It should. More...

The Great American Sales Trip is over, and now the television advertising world congregates this week in New York. And this year's upfront is a jump ball like no other. Marketers-and procurement departments-are scrutinizing TV ad buys like never before, looking for the ultimate in flexibility and, of course, value for money. More...

Not long ago, I was in a pre-upfront meeting with a few network executives when I asked one of them to tell me what their hot projects were. When one started to recite some of the bigger bets, another exec interrupted, looked right at me and started to laugh. "Man, are you cynical," the second exec said. "You don't believe a word we're saying."

I hadn't said a word, but apparently they thought they saw something on my face. And now you know why I never play poker. More...


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