Upfront Notebook: CBS Does Hamilton and The Plaza

A smorgasbord of programming and food
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CBS had a really good year. And it thinks it’s going to have another, based on the party after the network’s upfront presentation Wednesday night.

Guests of the Tiffany Network moved from storied Carnegie Hall to the opulent Plaza Hotel, where CBS had taken over most of the main floor, including the Palm Court and the Todd English Food Hall.

As promised during the presentation, there were shrimp and there were open bars. There were also lobster rolls, salmon on blinis, oysters, meats and cheeses, cupcakes, chocolate truffles and a frozen yogurt bar, just to list a few of the selections at the numerous food stations. There also mini-burgers and pigs in blankets being passed around.

It the menu appeared to be a significant upgrade from last year’s celebration in a test behind Lincoln Center.

While women lined up for the ladies room, men lined up for a shoe shine.

During the presentation, CBS pulled out all the stops also.

After other networks offered bits and pieces of the hit play Hamilton, CBS had the full Monty, with playwright and lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda introducing his troupe, noting that they won Tony’s and Grammys on CBS. He and the cast couldn’t perform at CBS because they had a show of their own to do.

But CBS Late Late Show host James Corden, the led a creditable cast of Hamilton look-alike singing and rapping about advertising sales in revolutionary times. “We Want Your Hamilton,” was the point of the chorus.

Corden also did a special upfront edition of Carpool Karaoke with CBS ad sales president Jo Ann Ross belting out “She Works Hard For The Money.

After nearly putting Corden to sleep explaining the difference between metrics and data, Cordon suggests she go out on stage in a white fur coat, rhinestone hat and cane, and shoes with goldfish in the heels, and announced: Listen Up Bitches. This is CBS and this bitch needs your money.”

Ross gave it a try, and then changed into her business clothes.

“We know it’s been a long week, you’ve heard a lot of jargon. So out of respect for your intellect and your time, we’re only going to have one acronym, CBS,” she said. “.The C stands for cut and the BS is what you’ve already heard enough of this week.”

“All you’ll get here is straight talk, smart strategy and hit shows,” she said.

And after showing off CBS’s new shows and the network’s stars, the bar was open.

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