UPFRONTS 2008: COMPLETE COVERAGE FROM B&C

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Cable Upfront Looks Stronger Than Broadcast
Cable ad deals are on track to be 10% above last year’s nearly $8 billion upfront volume, while the average CPM increase for cable looks to be somewhere in the 6-9% range, sources say.>>>

Broadcast Networks Make Gains in Upfront
The broadcast networks surprised skeptics by concluding a buoyant upfront ad-sales market with an estimated $9.2 billion in total sales, up slightly from $9.1 billion last year, and with impressive CPM unit gains in the high-single-digits (6%-9%).>>>

ABC Gains In Upfront Ad Volume, CPMs
ABC Television said Monday it received higher unit prices and more aggregate ad revenue volume in the upfront market, in a fresh indication the networks held the upper hand in negotiations with advertisers.>>>

NOW PLAYING: Upfront Q&A with John Rash

John Rash, of Minneapolis-based ad agency Campbell Mithun, talks with B&C Los Angeles Bureau Chief Ben Grossman about the challenges ahead for the TV industry.

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NBC Finishes Upfront Sales
NBC has completed its upfront deals, with network sources saying it saw CPM growth in the mid-to-high single digits and year-over-year growth in primetime sales of $100 million to $1.9 billion.>>>

CW Sales Surprisingly Solid
Despite a tough 2007-08 season, The CW is looking at results approaching 6-8% increases in CPMs and overall volume in line with 2007.>>>

Fox Cutting Commericals for New Shows
Fox said it will run rookie fall drama Fringe and rookie midseason drama Dollhouse with one-half the commercial interruptions in a test it is calling "Remote Free TV.">>>

J.J. Abrams’ Fringe Highlights Fox Schedule
As expected, Fox will launch its most anticipated new project, J.J. Abrams drama Fringe, in the fall as it continues it push to bolster its fourth-quarter performance.>>>

Turner Pushes Parity with Broadcasters
At a presentation smack in the middle of broadcast upfront week, executives from Turner Broadcasting System's cable entertainment networks pitched their channels as fighting contenders for advertising dollars.>>>

NOW PLAYING: The Week So Far

B&C's Los Angeles Bureau Chief Ben Grossman takes a look at upfront week so far and what to expect from CBS

.

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Univision Sticks with Telenovelas
Top-ranked Spanish-language network Univision made audience delivery and ad strategies that tap the growing Hispanic market the centerpiece of its upfront presentation.>>>

CBS Releases Full Schedule
A long-desired new night of comedy and six new shows will highlight CBS’ schedule this fall.>>>

The CW Stresses 'Flow,' Adds Three Shows
The buzzword at The CW is “flow.” Leveraging the success of Gossip Girl, the network is launching another female-centric night of programming, scheduling the Beverly Hills 90210 spinoff and Surviving the Filthy Rich Tuesday nights this fall.>>>

Fox Picks Up Secret Millionaire
Fox picked up alternative series Secret Millionaire.>>>

Boston Legal to Exit with Two-Hour Finale
Look for Boston Legal to exit the ABC schedule in December with a two-hour finale.>>>

NOW PLAYING: The NBC Universal Experience

NBC Universal's "non-traditional upfront," with NBCU president/CEO Jeff Zucker and 'Late Night' host Conan O'Brien.

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CBS Bringing Back Four Series
CBS is bringing back comedies How I Met Your Mother, The New Adventures of Old Christine and Rules of Engagement, as well as drama The Unit.>>>

ABC Unveils New Ad 'Value Index'
ABC unveiled a new “advertising value index” at its upfront presentation to advertisers and the media Tuesday.>>>

Only Two New Shows from ABC
ABC will introduce only two new shows this fall -- an adaptation of a popular British drama and a reality/game-show hybrid produced by Ashton Kutcher.>>>

CBS Picking Up Six New Series
CBS is picking up six new projects, according to sources with knowledge of the network’s plans.>>>

NOW PLAYING: Upfront Preview with Ben Grossman

B&C's Los Angeles bureau chief discusses what to expect from ABC and The CW as the networks prepare to unveil their fall schedules.

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NBC Brings Out Top Brass for Fallon Announcement
New York -- NBC Monday formalized the hiring of Jimmy Fallon to replace Conan O’Brien on the network’s 12:30 a.m. Late Night show in 2009.>>>

NBC, General Motors Team Up
NBC is touting its pre-upfront meetings as the genesis of a new marketing partnership with General Motors.>>>

NBC Asks: Are You a Momma’s Boy?
NBC ordered Are You a Momma’s Boy? from producers Ryan Seacrest and Andrew Glassman.>>>

Telemundo Details Telenovelas at Upfront
New York -- Telemundo will team up with Brazilian network TV Globo for a new version of El Clon.>>>

Upfront: Flat Is the New Up
A bitter writers’ strike, depressed ratings and a national recession aren’t exactly getting TV executives -- or ad buyers -- in an upfront mood. With so few pilots, can networks outperform analysts’ dour predictions?>>>

NOW PLAYING: Marc Graboff on the New Look of the Upfronts

NBC Entertainment co-president Marc Graboff discusses the new look of the television upfronts with B&C's Los Angeles bureau chief Ben Grossman.

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LEFT COAST BIAS: Upfront Send-Up
I know you’re all unsure about what to expect from this week’s upfront presentations in New York.>>>

Networks Tap Rich Vein: Their Audiences
Media-agency executives who were visited by Bravo ad-sales representatives this year were left with a fun parting gift: a copy of Bravo Affluencer, a large-sized, 80-page, glossy magazine the network printed.>>>

Fox Greenlights Fringe, Tosses Back to You
Fox has picked up the buzzed-about J.J. Abrams drama, and is leaning towards scheduling it in the fall as it strives to bolster its fourth quarter. Meanwhile, the Kelsey Grammer sitcom won't be back, but comedy Til Death lives on.>>>

MTVN Pitches 'Ultimate ROI'
At a typically star-studded presentation, MTV Networks pitched advertisers that it could offer "Ultimate ROI," or return on innovation.>>>

ION Television’s 'Postively Entertaining Upfront
New York -- ION Television shed light on its ambitious plans to offer flashier and more compelling programming at its upfront presentation at the New York Public Library Thursday night.>>>

ABC Family Solidifies Summer, Fall Shows
ABC Family nailed down its summer and fall scheduling, premiering new original series The Middleman and The Secret Life of the American Teenager this summer and six-hour, three-night limited series Samurai Girl this fall.>>>

History Unveils Series, Specials
On the heels of a hugely successful 18 months, History is set to unveil seven new series in production and seven new specials for the coming year.>>>

AETN to Spend $650M on Programming
A&E Television Networks will spend $650 million on new content across its television channels and new-media extensions in 2008. That’s what CEO Abbe Raven plans to tell advertisers at the company’s New York upfront presentation Monday evening.>>>

Cable Flexes Its Muscles
As the broadcast networks scurry to rework their presentations in the wake of the writers’ strike, cable programmers seem ready for their close-up. With broadcast ratings dipping by double-digits even before the strike impact hit, cable networks collectively claimed more than one-half of primetime’s audience and many posted their best ratings ever this quarter. That left cable networks -- about two-thirds of which have already presented their big stage shows to advertisers -- bullish.>>>

LATV Kicks Off Sophomore Season
One year since introducing its Hispanic-flavored entertainment programming to markets beyond Los Angeles, digital channel LATV is poised for an even more dramatic second year. LATV airs in 23 markets, and it aims to continue siphoning young viewers with a taste for hip programming from Spanish- and English-language broadcasters alike. Currently available in 26 million homes, LATV is shooting for 43 million by next year.>>>

NFL Network Wants to Go Deep
New York -- The National Football League held an upfront Thursday evening for its two flagship media properties: NFL Network and NFL.com. The league turned Roseland Ballroom here into an oversized version of the New York Giants’ locker room and brought in talent and stars to try and woo advertisers.>>>

TLC Pairs with J-Lo, Ripa and Consuelos
New York -- TLC partnered with Jennifer Lopez and husband-wife team Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos on a reality series and a broad development deal, respectively.>>>

Oxygen Ready to ‘Live Out Loud’
New York -- NBC Universal’s Oxygen unveiled a brand makeover Wednesday including the slogan “Live Out Loud.” The changes -- set to be revealed to advertisers next week and to consumers in June -- also included a revised logo with the word “Oxygen” in a light yellow “O” that is slightly askew.>>>

Bravo to Debut Its Final Season of Project Runway
Bravo will premiere its fifth and most likely last season of Project Runway in July, giving the show a brief break before it debuts on its new home, Lifetime Television.>>>

Lifetime Television Sets Project Runway Companions
Lifetime Television is developing two complementary reality series to Project Runway, which is scheduled for a November premiere after being snatched from Bravo. The Hearst/Disney-owned cable network and digital-media operator is also lifting investment in TV movies and scripted series, parent Lifetime Networks said in a media luncheon presentation Monday.>>>

LATV to Hold Inaugural Upfront May 1
Bilingual entertainment network LATV will hold its first-ever upfront presentation May 1 at Ultra NYC in Manhattan.>>>

TLC Shifts Scheduling Strategy, Unveils Slate
TLC is reworking its scheduling strategy, giving each night of the week a “theme,” with programming that fits within that theme. The network also unveiled its 2008-09 programming lineup.>>>

Planet Green Sets Launch Date, Programming Slate
Planet Green, Discovery Communications’ new green lifestyle channel, will launch June 4 at 6 p.m., Discovery announced. The company also unveiled the launch lineup for the network.>>>

An Inconvenient Truth Highlights Discovery Slate
Discovery Channel unveiled its 2008-09 programming slate, announcing a number of new specials and series. Highlighting the lineup will be An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary hosted by Al Gore that helped to earn the former vice president the Nobel Prize -- an honor he shared with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.>>>

Disney Pitches Its Star-Making Powers
Disney Channel is pitching advertisers in New York this week on its ability to make kids into stars.>>>

Food Network, Other Scripps Networks Pitch New Shows
New York -- Food Network is adding another cooking competition show to TV’s mix. Chopped will pit four contestants against each other to find the nation’s top sous chef.>>>

Discovery's Agency of Change
Discovery Communications has a solution for cost-conscious advertisers this upfront season: Let us make the ads for you. The Silver Spring, Md.-based cable giant is pitching clients on the services of its in-house production arm, Discovery Studios, offering to create spots for advertisers who are trying to squeeze more from their ad dollars.>>>

Cartoon Network Uses the Force
New York -- The force is with us. That was the message Cartoon Network sent to advertisers and media buyers at its upfront presentation here Thursday morning.>>>

NBC Emphasizes Collaboration with Advertisers at "InFront"
NBC stressed its advertiser- and co-sponsor-friendly attributes at the first of two presentations for the upfront selling season that begins in earnest in mid-May.>>>

NBC Unveils 2008-09 Schedule
NBC unveiled its 2008-09 schedule, featuring a spinoff of The Office, the return of Friday Night Lights and the 15th and final season of ER.>>>

New Shows, New Sponsors for Sundance Channel
Sundance Channel green-lit a music-focused talk show hosted by musician Elvis Costello and co-executive produced by Elton John.>>>

ABC-Disney Owns the Day
At a time when shaky ratings have led some to question the soap genre, Disney-ABC's daytime division is quietly pitching advertisers this upfront season that soaps are here to stay.>>>

Hallmark Unveils Movies, Sister Channel to Go HD
Hallmark Channel unveiled a production slate of 30 original movies that fit its family-friendly brand and said it will launch its sister network, Hallmark Movie Channel, in HD April 2.>>>

The Golden Girls to Move to Hallmark Channel
Hallmark Channel bought the rights to The Golden Girls. The Emmy Award-winning show will begin running on the cable network after February 2009, when it will leave its longtime home, Lifetime Television.>>>

At USA, the Buzzword is 'Brandwidth'
USA is the top cable network in prime, and for two years, the network has been pitching that fact to advertisers in upfront season. But while success is enjoyable, it's just not always sexy.>>>

Sci Fi Green-Lights Battlestar Galactica Prequel, Caprica
With Battlestar Galactica about to begin its final season, Sci Fi is set to begin production on a two-hour prequel from its creators, Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, this spring in Vancouver.>>>

Sci Fi Channel Expands Web Offerings
Sci Fi Channel is expanding its Web offerings in gaming, technology and entertainment programming -- three areas it said its tech-savvy audience favors.>>>

Beatriz Perez on Coca-Cola's New Upfront Formula
Coca-Cola North America senior vice president of integrated marketing Beatriz Perez sat down with B&C Los Angeles bureau chief Ben Grossman to discuss Coke’s strategy during a brief development season, the evolving upfront process and the changes from emerging technologies.>>>

AETN Tries 'Blended' Upfront Strategy
When A&E Television Networks (AETN) holds its upfront session for advertisers on April 28, the company will be pushing an advertising concept it calls “blended entertainment.”>>>

Lifetime Networks Names Debbie Richman Ad-Sales Chief
Lifetime Networks named senior OMD executive and 20-year media veteran Debbie Richman executive vice president of ad sales.>>>

The Weather Channel Touts Multiplatform Power
During its upfront presentation to media buyers, The Weather Channel forecast a higher-resolution summer -- the network will begin broadcasting from its new HD studio in June -- and touted its reach and relevance to viewers as a multiplatform source of weather news and information.>>>

Nickelodeon Upfront: We're Everywhere
Nick’s everywhere: That was the message from the kids’ programmer at its annual upfront presentation to advertisers in New York City.>>>

ION Media Networks to Hold Upfront Presentation May 1
ION Media Networks will show off its new programming at the New York Public Library May 1, the network's second annual upfront presentation.>>>

Turner Entertainment Group Slates Upfront During Broadcast Week
Turner Entertainment Group set May 14 for its annual upfront presentation, showcasing cable networks TNT, TBS and truTV during the same week as the broadcast-network upfronts.>>>

NBCU’s Zucker Maintains Commitment to Streamlined Pilot System
It may be business as usual in Hollywood in the wake of the 100-day writers’ strike. But NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker reiterated his commitment to turn the strike into an opportunity to streamline a costly pilot system that is rife with waste.>>>

Buyers Give the Lowdown on Upfronts
With the writers' strike settled and spring nearly here, both broadcast and cable networks are forging ahead with their annual upfronts, with some kicking off as early as this week. It's too early to handicap the market, but media buyers are already analyzing the unique uncertainties on their minds.>>>

Fox Calls NBC Upfront Plan 'Smoke and Mirrors'
Fox brass claimed that its network had long been executing initiatives NBC announced Tuesday, such as setting year-round schedules and communicating plans to advertisers long before the May presentations.>>>

NBC to Hold Nontraditional Upfront
NBC will hold a nontraditional and extended upfront for advertisers this spring that includes multiple presentations and individual client meetings with advertisers in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, the network announced Tuesday.>>>

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