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Archives » TV Syndication

TV Land Summer Upfront: Original Comedies, Cedric The Entertainer, Shirlay MacLaine and “‘70s Show”

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

TV Land gave Bette White her career re-launch with "Hot In Cleveland," which premiered in Summer 2010. So when this channel that was once devoted solely to reruns announces its summer slate, advertisers take note.

The TV Land summer slate launches on June 1 with two nights of original sitcoms including “The Soul Man,” starring Cedric “The Entertainer” and Niecy Nash, the returning series “The Exes” starring Donald Faison, Wayne Knight, David Alan Basche, Kelly Stables and Kristen Johnston, and “Retired At 35” starring George Segal, Jessica Walter, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Johnathan McClain and Josh McDermitt. TV Land also plans to air the “AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Shirley MacLaine” and syndicated reruns of “That ‘70s Show.”

TV Land’s original scripted sitcoms – “Hot In Cleveland,” “Happily Divorced,” “The Exes” and “Retired At 35” – have each posted double and triple-digit gains over the network’s primetime average. “Hot In Cleveland,” the network’s first original sitcom starring Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves, Wendie Malick and Betty White, won two consecutive Screen Actors Guild Awards for White for her role as “Elka,” a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for the cast, and an Emmy Award nomination for White for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Additionally, “Retired At 35” was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2011 for Outstanding Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series.

Below is a detailed look at TV Land’s summer programming:


“The Soul Man”

SERIES PREMIERE: Wednesday, June 20 at 10 P.M. ET/PT
“The Soul Man” stars Cedric “The Entertainer” and Niecy Nash and revolves around R&B superstar-turned-minister Reverend Boyce “The Voice” Ballentine (played by Cedric). Though he’s used to living in Las Vegas at the top of the music charts, he gets “the calling” and decides to relocate to St. Louis with his wife, Lolli (Nash) and his daughter, Lyric (Jazz Raycole), to take over the preaching duties in his father’s church. However, his family is not exactly eager to give up the fabulous superstar life for their new humble one. The comedy also stars John Beasley (“Everwood”) as Boyce’s father, Barton, and Wesley Jonathan (“What I Like About You”) as his brother, Stamps.

“The Exes”

SEASON 2 PREMIERE: Wednesday, June 20 at 10:30 P.M. ET/PT
In season one of “The Exes,” Phil (Faison, “Scrubs”) and Haskell (Knight, “Seinfeld”) were shocked to learn that their landlord and divorce attorney, Holly (Johnston, “3rd Rock From The Sun”), was forcing a new roommate on them – the clingy and recently-divorced Stuart (Basche, “The Starter Wife”). In season two, they’re still attempting to adjust to one another’s quirks and annoying habits, but Holly is there to help avert any disasters – or in some cases, cause them. Meanwhile, Holly’s assistant, Eden (Stables, “Two and a Half Men”), doesn’t exactly let professionalism get in the way of prying into her boss’s dating life – or lack thereof.

“Retired At 35”

SEASON 2 PREMIERE: Tuesday, June 26 at 10 P.M. ET/PT
The new season brings a new cast member as Marissa Jaret Winokur (Broadway’s “Hairpsray”) joins the show! In “Retired At 35,” after 37 years of marriage, Alan Robbins (Segal, “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”) and his wife Elaine (Walter, “Arrested Development”) are expected to cruise into retirement and live out their days happily ever after. However, they get an unexpected surprise when their uptight and overworked son David (McClain, “24”), sick of the NYC rat race, decides to move in with them in their active-adult community. David finds himself dealing with his overzealous parents as well as his sister Amy (Winokur), who, while successful in business, has made less than impressive choices in her love life.


“TV Land Presents: The AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Shirley MacLaine”

AIRS: Sunday, June 24 at 9 P.M. ET/PT
The annual “TV Land Presents: AFI Life Achievement Award,” will be presented to Academy Award-winner Shirley MacLaine by fellow Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep, her co-star in “Postcards From The Edge.” The event will celebrate MacLaine’s extraordinary life and all her endeavors, from movies and television to Broadway, writing books and beyond. The ceremony tapes Thursday, June 7 in Los Angeles. To apply for press credentials to the red carpet, please visit the TV Land / AFI Life Achievement Awards Credentials Site.


“That ‘70s Show”

PREMIERES: Friday, June 1 at 9pm ET/PT
Hit sitcom “That ‘70s Show” will join the TV Land line-up with a weekend-long marathon on June 1, 2 and 3 from 9 P.M.  ET/PT to 12 A.M. ET/PT. The series, which starred Topher Grace (“Valentine’s Day”), Ashton Kutcher (“Two and a Half Men”), Mila Kunis (“Black Swan”), Laura Prepon (“Are You There, Chelsea?”), Wilmer Valderrama (“Awake”), Danny Masterson (“Men at Work”), Kurtwood Smith (“24”) and Debra Jo Rupp (“Better With You”), revolves around a group of teenagers as they come of age in 1970s Wisconsin.

The Broadcast-Over-The-Web War Gets Serious

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

All of the major TV broadcasters hate the idea of bypassing televisions, but some of their local affiliates love the idea.
All major TV broadcasters have joined forces to fight Aereo, “an upstart company backed by Barry Diller that seeks to distribute stations online to paying customers,” as Hollywood Reporter describes. If Aereo successfully fends off the lawsuits, then Aero will retransmit broadcast programming online (and charge for it) without paying retransmission fees.

Broadcasters see it as a slippery slope. As Matt Bond, executive vp content distribution at NBCUniversal, told a New York federal court on Wednesday, it makes no sense for cable systems or satellite broadcasters to pay for NBCU content: They need only follow the Aereo example and snag it for free. (Aero uses an individual antenna to do so.) Bonds declared that "I know for a fact that cable companies have already considered such a model." Bonds and his opposite numbers at rival networks foresee impaired retransmission negotiations with cable and satellite providers, and lost ad dollars.

At the same time, local station owners are actively working with technology startups that want to broadcast their content to tablets and smartphones, reports USA Today. "It's watching TV in your car or on the train," Colleen Brown, CEO of TV station owner Fisher Communications told USA Today. "There will be a time when consumers don't care how they get TV."
USA Today names Aereo alongside new ventures Syncbak, Dyle and Mobile500 as providing mobile digital TV technology for consumers looking to cut the cable cord.

Mobile500 Alliance is a joint venture of 50 TV station companies (Fisher Communications included, and Brown chairs the alliance), which plans to release an antenna and iOS app this summer to allow iPhone and iPad users to receive local TV broadcast signals. The content will be free, but the antenna will cost $50 to $100.

Thus far,other companies that aimed to deliver TV via Internet  (including Filmon, and iCravetv) have been blocked by lawsuits: But none was backed by a heavyweight like Barry Diller, or by a consortium like the Mobile500Alliance.
More on this as the story evolves.

Dish’s Auto Hop Service Skips Ads, Annoys Broadcasters

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

Dish Network is introducing a new DVR feature, called Auto Hop, which allows customers to skip all commercials on high-def programs from ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC.

“Viewers love to skip commercials,” said Vivek Khemka, vice president of Dish Product Management, on the Dish Network blog. “With the Auto Hop capability of the Hopper, watching your favorite shows commercial-free is easier than ever before. It’s a revolutionary development that no other company offers and it’s something that sets Hopper above the competition.”

Auto Hop is a one-click option, which sets it somewhat apart freom more complicated options by Sage TV, Myth TV and Windows Media Center. One caveat is that the commercial-free viewing does not activate until 1 A.M. following the day or night a show is recorded—cold comfort for advertisers. Those who watch a delayed viewing before 1 A.M. still have the option to use the Hopper’s 30-second “hop forward.”

As for advertisers or transmission fees? "The Auto Hop feature is all about the consumer," Dish Chief Executive Joe Clayton told the Wall Street Journal. Calling commercial-free television a “Holy Grail” that viewers have wanted for 40 years, he asked “What’s wrong with giving the consumer what he wants?”

Here’s what’s wrong. As Broadcasting & Cable reports, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analyst Craig Moffett observed that "Auto Hop adds to an already long list of broadcast-unfriendly features of Dish's service, including 30-second skip buttons on their remote controls." DVR services from DirecTV and TiVo do not offer the feature, while Dish promotes the feature with a button on its remotes. Moffett believes Dish is rather reckless, having announced it will not renew a carriage agreement with AMC, depriving its viewers of programming like “Mad Men” and “The Walking Dead.”

Moffett speculates that the networks may take legal action against Dish, or at least, seek higher retransmission fees from the company.

Upfront TV: “Office” Saved | So’s “Cougar Town” | Advertisers: Sheen Trustworthy? | More Trump

Published 1 year, 11 months ago
  • Deadline Hollywood has learned that after contracted negotiations, “The Office” stars Ed Helms (Andy), John Krasinski (Jim) and Jenna Fischer (Pam) have reached handshake agreements to return to the NBC sitcom next season. Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva writes that a fourth original cast member whose deal is up, B.J. Novak, “has not started discussions”: But Novak has a dual role on the series as an actor and writer/executive producer. In March, Paul Lieberstein who both stars as Toby and was the showrunner, stepped down to handle the spinoff featuring Rainn Wilson (Dwight).
  • Have no fear, FX is telling sponsors, Charlie Sheen will show up for work. As Ad Age reports, with Sheen helming the cable net’s new "Anger Management," sitcom, management from FX parent News Corp. have been out in force assuring advertisers that the actor is calmer now and safe to sponsor. Fiat (in whose ads Sheen appears) has signed on to be already signed on to be a season-long sponsor of the show, which debuts June 28. The show will feature Sheen as a former ball player who must learn to tone down his temper after sabotaging his baseball career.
  • For some reason, TBS has picked up “Cougar Town,” the Courtney Cox comedy, from ABC. TBS has also picked up encore rights to the first three seasons of 61 ratings-challenged episodes. Co-creator Bill Lawrence told TVLINE that TBS is very enthused about the show, ordered 15 episodes with a possible option for a second season, and has no plans to cut the budget. “We will have the same cast, the same size writing staff… TBS is not doing this rinky-dink,” Lawrence said, adding that  TBS plans to market the show heavily.
  • NBC is reportedly negotiating with Donald Trump to extend “The Celebrity Apprentice” for two more seasons, reports the New York Post. Sources told the Post that NBC wants Trump to sign a contract ahead of the show’s current season May 20 finale. At present, Aubrey O’Day, Arsenio Hall and Clay Aiken are the three remaining finalists. A source told the Post that Trump “Has so far preferred signing season by season, but now NBC wants him to commit to two more seasons.”

  • Also on NBC, the network is renewing “30 Rock” (not much of a surprise) and “Parenthood” (which was on the bubble). As Deadline Hollywood describes, this will be “30 Rock’s” seventh and final season, and a short one of 13-14 episodes. “Parenthood” drew ratings hovering around 2.0 in live viewing, but thanks to DVR play, is actually NBC’s second-highest-rated drama behind “Smash,” averaging a 2.6 18-49 rating in Live+7.

Council for Research Excellence To Check Nielsen Accuracy In Local TV

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

There is always that nagging doubt—just how accurate are those Nielsen ratings? The Council for Research Excellence (CRE), a think-tank of senior-level media and advertising professionals, intends to find out. CRE will conduct a three-market study of various audience-measurement methods. CRE’s objective is to improve diary-based TV-audience measurement and in turn improve ratings quality.

The three television markets to be included in the “SQ:L” (for “Sample Quality: Local”) Study are Dallas-Fort Worth, the fifth-largest TV market and a Nielsen local people-meter (LPM) market; Albuquerque-Santa Fe, the 45th-largest TV market and a standard Nielsen-meter market; and Paducah, Kentucky-Cape Girardeau, Missouri-Harrisburg, Illinois -- Nielsen market # 81 and a diary market.

The markets were selected due to varying measurement methodology; varying market size; and divergent characteristics, such as geographical coverage, ethnic make-up, number of over-the-air households and penetration levels of electronic devices. During the standard May 2012 diary measurement, a separate diary sample was selected for Dallas, while identified “non-TV homes” in all three markets will receive a modified diary.

Sampled homes in all markets will be mailed a short questionnaire seeking answers on media equipment ownership and general viewing patterns. Homes identified as not having a television set will be contacted and asked if they have any source of viewing television programming; those saying “yes” will be sent a modified diary in which they will be asked to record what they view and the device used for viewing.

The study, involving the CRE’s Sample Quality, Set-top Box, Local Measurement and Media-related Universe Estimates Committees, marks the CRE’s second study of audience measurement in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Data analysis from a 2009 Universe Estimates Committee study of the market revealed significant differences from the Nielsen sample in ownership of HD sets and DVD players, and an unexpectedly high percentage of non-TV households. That same year, Nielsen garnered considerable bad press when local affiliate stations dropped the services. As Broadcasting & Cable reported, New York-based WKBW Buffalo dropped Nielsen in favor of Media Audit. Sunbeam Television in Miami leveled a lawsuit, claiming Nielsen's Local People Meters "produced defective, wildly inaccurate ratings data which-literally overnight-created havoc in [Miami]." Nielsen responded that it was not unusual for stations to cycle in and out of its services.

“Some of our prior research has helped us realize we have many more questions that need to be answered in order to improve diary sampling,” said Ceril Shagrin, executive vice president of Univision Communications, who serves as chair of the CRE as well as its Sample Quality Committee. “We need to learn whether expanded media-related equipment ownership can be obtained from diary samples, whether return-path data can improve diary measurement, and how much ‘TV program’ viewing is now done – and on what devices -- in what are currently defined as ‘non-TV homes.’

“By making comparisons of diary-based measurement to meter-based measurement and set-top-box information – and conducting specific follow-up studies with non-responding as well as non-TV homes – this effort should provide new insights into responders and non-responders of the address-based sampling diary service,” Shagrin added.

This newest study also marks the second major effort for the CRE’s Sample Quality Committee, formerly known as the Non-Response Bias Committee. Its 2009 study, “Measuring the Unmeasured Viewer,” was the most comprehensive of its kind to determine the impact of non-response on ratings -- revealing more about unmeasured viewers than any prior effort.

Data collected from the new study, conducted with the assistance of Research Triangle Incorporated, will be compared with Nielsen LPM, metered and diary market data in an effort to determine, among other details, the impact on response bias of weighting, adjusting return path or set-meter data, geographic and demographic variables, and ownership of a traditional TV set as well as a land-line phone or cellphone only. Findings from the study are expected to be made available by first quarter 2013.

To date, the CRE has completed several major studies, including the Video Consumer Mapping Study, conducted in 2008, involving in-person, computer-assisted observation of media consumption; a Set-Top Box Study, examining the state of set-top box-based audience research; the landmark Non-Response Bias Study, exploring the impact and correlates of non-response to Nielsen surveys; a study of Media-related Universe Estimates; an initial phase of a Study of User Experience on multiple video screens and formats; and a study of Digital publishers’ handling of user data.

Upfront TV: Lowe’s Anthony Flick | Jagger Hosts SNL | AMC Drama Pilots | CW Renews Vampires, “90210”

Published 1 year, 11 months ago
  • On the heels of his acclaimed role in the hit Lifetime Original Movie “Drew Peterson: Untouchable,” Rob Lowe will star in the new Lifetime Original Movie “Prosecuting Casey Anthony” (working title). Lowe will portray Jeff Ashton, the Florida prosecutor in last year’s controversial Caylee Anthony murder trial and author of a best-selling book upon which the movie will be based. With in-depth information about the case and the accused, “Prosecuting Casey Anthony” will examine what the prosecution got right, what they got wrong and why Ashton remains convinced of Casey Anthony’s guilt. Lifetime EVP of Programming Rob Sharenowsaid “We’re thrilled to have Rob returning to our network, after his amazing star turn as Drew Peterson.” In January, Lowe starred in the Lifetime Original Movie “Drew Peterson: Untouchable,” which averaged 5.8 million total viewers, becoming basic cable’s most watched original movie premiere in two years since the network’s “The Pregnancy Pact” in 2010, as well as this year’s number one movie telecast across basic cable among all key demographics.
  • "Saturday Night Live" Exec Producer Lorne Michaels played this one close to the vest. On Wednesday he announced he could not work it out for Mitt Romney to guest host this year. Romney was too busy, and so was Michaels, hammering a deal with Mick Jagger, who will host SNL’s season finale on May 19. This will be the rock icon and multiple Grammy-award winner’s first time as host and third appearance as musical guest. “Saturday Night Live” is produced in association with Broadway Video.
  • AMC for the first time has picked up two drama pilots simultaneously, with orders for “Low Winter Sun” and an untitled effort from Richard LaGravenese and Tony Goldwyn. The network said Thursday that the two scripts had come out on top from its "pilot bakeoff" process, in which the network entertains pitches for new projects. “Low Winter Sun” is a contemporary story of murder, deception, revenge and corruption in a world where the line between cops and criminals is blurred. Endemol's Jeremy Gold and Greg Brenman will be executive producers. Endemol produced the Western drama “Hell on Wheels,” which AMC has renewed for a second season. The untitled LaGravenese and Goldwyn project is a legal thriller focusing upon a district attorney who uncovers new evidence that prompts the reinvestigation of a sensational murder case. LaGravenese (“The Fisher King”) will write and executive produce alongside Goldwyn, who as directed episodes of “Dexter” and ABC’s “Scandal.”
  • You don’t hear about 100-episode orders often. Ever, in fact. But following Debmar-Mercury’s success with the Tyler Perry sitcoms “House Of Payne,” “Meet The Browns” and Ice Cube’s “Are We There Yet?”, another syndication player is trying its hand at accelerated production of urban comedy, reports Deadline Hollywood. Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios has begun production of “Mr. Box Office,” a multi-camera comedy series starring actor/comedian Bill Bellamy. Co-starring in the project are “Saturday Night Live” veteran Tim Meadows, Vivica A. Fox (“Independence Day”), former NBA star/actor Rick Fox, Keshia Knight Pulliam (“Cosby”), Jon Lovitz (“SNL”), and Gary Busey.
  • The CW Network has given early pickups to the network’s top-rated show, “The Vampire Diaries,” fan favorite “Supernatural” and “90210,” with all three series to return for the 2012-2013 season. “Vampire Diaries” will return for a fourth season, “Supernatural” its eighth with the monster-hunting Winchester brothers, and on “90210” for season five.

Upfront TV: Ferrell Hosts SNL | CNBC Declines | NFL Draft Draws | “Make It” Doesn’t

Published 1 year, 11 months ago
  • Will Ferrell will return to “Saturday Night Live” for his third time as host on Saturday, May 12. Ferrell was last seen in the telenova comedy, “Casa de Mi Padre” and can next be seen in “The Campaign,” due out August 10 with Zach Galifianakis. Usher makes his third musical guest appearance alongside Ferrell. The seven-time Grammy-award winner’s seventh studio album, “Looking for Myself,” is due out June 12th and is already enjoying massive reaction to its number one lead single “Climax” and his just released “Scream.”
  • A&E Network will premiere the new original scripted drama series, “Longmire” on Sunday, June 3 at 10 P.M. ET/PT immediately following the third season premiere of the returning hit drama “The Glades” at 9 P.M. ET/PT. “Longmire”is  a contemporary crime thriller set in Big Sky country, and is based on the Walt Longmire Mystery novels by best-selling author Craig Johnson. The series stars Australian actor Robert Taylor (The Matrix) as Walt Longmire, the charismatic, dedicated and unflappable sheriff of Absaroka County, Wyoming,along with Katee Sackhoff (“Battlestar Galactica”), Lou Diamond Phillips (“Numb3rs”), Bailey Chase (“Damages”), Cassidy Freeman (“Smallville“) and newcomer Adam Bartley.  The premiere season will feature ten one-hour episodes.
  • CNBC‘s ratings are way down across the board, according to Deadline Hollywood, citing Nielsen data. The network’s core business programming (airing from 6 A.M. to 8 P.M.) is down 10% in total viewers and 6% in adults 25-54 from April to April. Especially hard hit are the “marquee shows” “Squawk Box” and “Closing Bell,” each in its fourth straight quarter of declines. From April 2011 to April 2012 “Squawk Box” is down 16% in total viewers and 29% in the 25-54 demos. “‘Closing Bell” is also down 16% year over year and 11% in the 25-54 demo.
  • The NLF Draft is a ratings giant. ESPN's live telecast of the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft in primetime on Thursday took a 5.1 cable rating and nearly 6.7 million viewers, reports Multichannel News citing Nielsen data. That represents an 11% gain from last year's 6 million. That makes the opening round the second highest-rated and second most-viewed NFL Draft telecast on record, second only to the 5.3 rating with 7.29 million watchers in 2010, the first time the college selection event aired in primetime. ESPN has televised the NFL Draft every year since 1980. NFL Network’s first-round coverage reached 1.4 million viewers on average, which is a 40% jump from the 1 million who tuned in the 2010 event.
  • ABC Family has pulled the plug on “Make It Or Break It,” which will wrap up its current season on May 13 at 9 P.M., reports The Wrap. The scripted drama follows young female gymnasts training for the 2012 Olympics, and has steadily declined in ratings since it debuted in 2009, averaging 1.4 million total viewers for its current third season (down about 50% from season one).

  • NBC has pulled the plug on midseason comedy “Best Friends Forever,” The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. The half-hour sitcom premiered in early April with a modest 4 million viewers and a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49, and has declined since. The show was created by comediennes Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair, who also starred. Next week, an original episode of “Betty White's Off Their Rockers” will air in the Wednesday 8:30 P.M. No announcement yet as to when NBC will burn off BFF’s last two episodes.
  • In syndication news, Nick at Nite has added “Yes, Dear” to its nightly lineup, beginning May 1. This 122-episode family comedy stars Mike O’Malley (Glee, GUTS) and follows two couples and their wildly divergent parenting styles.  Yes, Dear will air regularly on the network Monday-Friday at 11:00 P.M. ET/PT.Originally airing from 2000-06 on CBS, Yes, Dear showcases first-time parents Greg (Anthony Clark) and Kim Warner (Jean Louisa Kelly) who aspire to be the model of parenting. Greg is a successful movie studio executive who must also keep Kim– a neurotic, stay-at-home mother – calm as she strives to be the perfect mother and wife. Meanwhile, Kim’s sister, Christine Hughes (Liza Snyder), and her layabout husband, Jimmy (O’Malley), are down-to-earth parents living in Kim and Greg’s guest house, continually reminding them that life will never be perfect.

Make’em Cry: Drama Genre Overwhelming Choice Among Viewers

Published 1 year, 12 months ago

Suffering sells, finds the Nielsen Company, so put your ad bucks into the “CSI” and “Law And Order” franchises—maybe “Smash,” “Mad Men” and “Revenge.”

Nielsen reports that drama accounted for the most viewing time and ad spend in 2011, despite all the attention-grabbing press about reality TV and breakout comedies.

Nielsen has released some findings about viewership and advertising across five traditional primetime genres, including drama, news, reality, sitcom and sports, to discover that drama accounted for 41.1% of viewership in 2011. Sports was second, at 22.5%. Sitcoms (perhaps the diametric opposite of drama, and despite all that press about stuff like “Modern Family”)? Just 11.4%--nearly half of the share by hours of primetime drama.

But for some reason, media buyers have no respect for the suffering-and-tears genre. More than half of all broadcast TV product placements during primetime took place on reality programs (4,664), including numerous shout-outs to Travelocity on “The Great Race”; and on sitcoms, including Purell hand wipes on “The Big Bang Theory. Perhaps a better investment would be Clorox wipes on “CSI” or “Revenge,” cleaning up those crime scenes.

The Nielsen study crosses both broadcasting and cable. Broadcasters have the upper hand with primetime drama ("CSI," even "90210"). Sure it has reality ("The Voice," "American Idol," "The Bachelor/Bachelorette") but cable overwhelmingly owns reality ("America's Next Top Model," "Storage Wars," anything on HGTV). 

Research: TV Was Champ in 2011 Ad Spend, Hispanic Media Skyrocketed, Online a Mixed Bag

Published 2 years ago

Kantar Media has released its final tallies for 2011 ad spending across media, and the results are a mixed bag. They suggest that advertisers value TV, are losing faith in consumer magazines and newspapers (no news there), and are on the fence about digital advertising.

Surprisingly hard hit were Sunday magazines (like Parade, The Boston Globe Magazine and the New York Times Magazine). Presumably this is because print newspaper subscriberships are down, and readers tend to cut out the expensive Sunday editions to save money, before they cancel daily subscriptions.

Big winners: Spanish-language media, and TV syndication.

Spanish-language TV was up 8.3% year-over-year, versus 2.4% for TV overall. Spanish-language magazines were up 24.9% YoY, defying a 0.4% decline for all magazines.Syndicated TV was up 15.4% over that 2.4% for TV overall (due in part to the astounding success of “The Big Bang Theory” which hit syndication in Q3).

The Year Overall

Total advertising expenditures increased an unimpressive 0.8% in 2011 and finished the year at $144.0 billion. Ad spending during the fourth quarter of 2011 dropped 1.0% versus the year ago period, the first quarterly decline since the end of 2009. Since reaching a post-recession peak in Q3 2010, advertising growth rates have slowed sequentially for five consecutive quarters.

“The contrast of resilient TV spending and waning budget allocations to other traditional media was plainly evident at the end of 2011,” said Jon Swallen, SVP Research at Kantar Media Intelligence North America. “Some mature digital media formats were also touched by the year-end tide of reduced spending. Whether this is an isolated occurrence or an early sign of digital dollars moving more quickly towards emerging and unmeasured digital platforms bears watching as 2012 unfolds.”

Measured Ad Spending By Media
Television continued to lead the ad market in the fourth quarter. Network TV expenditures jumped 7.7% year-over-year and were helped by strong pricing for football, a baseball World Series that went the maximum seven games and the launch of “The X Factor” singing competition program. The rate of Cable growth eased during Q4, finishing at +2.4% as higher demand from restaurants and retailers was offset by reductions from consumer packaged goods. For the full year, Network TV decreased by 2.0% while Cable rose 7.7%.

Spanish language TV ad spending surged 19.1% in fourth quarter, paced by higher sell-out levels at over-the-air networks. For all of 2011, the segment increased 8.3%.
Syndication TV benefitted from higher spending by department stores and health & beauty brands and saw expenditures soar 11.0% in Q4. Full year spending advanced by 15.4%.

Spot TV expenditures fell 8.7% in the fourth quarter but the more significant indicator was that November and December spending were each down, despite easy comparisons against diminished, post-election spending volume of a year ago. Full year Spot TV spending dropped 4.5%.

Free Standing Inserts achieved healthy gains in the fourth quarter with spend rising 3.0%. Although manufacturers have been distributing fewer FSI coupons, retailer promotion pages have increased significantly and this contributed to the improvement.

Ad expenditures for measured digital media declined in the fourth quarter. Paid Search budgets were 6.4% lower versus a year ago with continuing reductions from financial, insurance and local service advertisers. Display investments decreased 5.9% in Q4, dragged down by smaller budgets from auto manufacturers, telecom providers and travel companies. For the entire year, Paid Search declined 2.8% and Display increased 5.5%.

Magazine ad spending eroded at year end. Consumer Magazines declined 5.2% in the fourth quarter due to deep cutbacks in auto, food and pharmaceutical advertising. Total year expenditures were level compared to prior year. Outlays in Sunday Magazines fell 9.8% in Q4, the sixth consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines, and were down 7.2% for all of 2011.

Local Newspaper ad expenditures fell 3.9% during the fourth quarter, hurt by the reallocation of retailer advertising budgets to other media channels during the key holiday shopping season. Full year spending was 3.8% lower. The losses in Newspaper spending are consistent with reductions in the amount of space sold.

The pace of spending in Radio media also sagged. Local Radio expenditures were down 3.8% and National Spot Radio plummeted 13.9% in the fourth quarter. The telecom, financial service and automotive categories were prime contributors to these quarterly decreases.

Measured Ad Spending By Advertiser
Spending among the ten largest advertisers in 2011 reached $16,061.6 million, a 2.8% decline compared to a year ago. Among the Top 100 marketers, a diversified group that represents over two-fifths of all measured ad expenditures, full year budgets were down 0.2%.

For the ninth consecutive year, Procter & Gamble was the top advertiser with spending of $2,949.1 million down 5.4% compared to last year. While TV is still the foundation of its advertising media buys, P&G’s 2011 budget allocation saw share gains for magazines at the expense of TV.

AT&T was the second largest advertiser in 2011 with expenditures of $1,924.6 million, a decline of 11.7%. Media budgets were severely curtailed during the fourth quarter when the company abandoned its attempted acquisition of T-Mobile, triggering large breakup fees and a huge earnings loss. At Verizon Communications, full year ad spending was $1,636.9 million, a decrease of 11.8%. After a string of quarterly budget cuts dating to early 2010, Verizon sharply boosted its spending during the last quarter.

The largest growth rate among the Top Ten marketers was posted by Chrysler, up 36.2% to $1,193.0 for the full year. The increase was driven by marketing introductions for several new or redesigned models, coupled with the improved sales climate for new vehicles. In contrast, General Motors lowered its 2011 outlays by 16.1% to $1,784.1 million. Q4 media budgets dropped 24.7%. As factory support has been trimmed, GM dealers have been bearing a larger share of the overall marketing effort.

L’Oreal investments in 2011 rose 18.1% to $1,343.5 million as the company expanded marketing support for the L’Oreal Paris, Maybelline and Garnier brand lines. Comcast (+11.3%, to $1,577.2 million) and Time Warner (+5.8%, to $1,279.4 million) also posted full year spending gains.

Measured Ad Spending By Category
Expenditures for the ten largest categories grew 3.3% in 2011 and reached $81,629.2 million.

Automotive was the leading category in dollar volume and finished 2011 at $13,890.4 million, up 6.3%. Category spending growth became increasingly bifurcated during the year with Tier 2 and Tier 3 dealer budgets continuing to expand and Tier 1 manufacturer expenditures flattening.

Miscellaneous Retail, which is comprised of all retail segments except Department Stores and Home Improvement purveyors, was the second largest category with 2011 expenditures of $10,019.5 million, up 4.0%. Robust ad spending during the critical year-end holiday season bolstered results.

Insurance registered the largest growth rate among the Top Ten categories with a 13.5% gain to $5,519.0 million. Aggressive competition among auto insurers to gain market share continues to drive media budgets higher.

Financial Services totaled $9,059.9 million of spending, a 3.6% increase. Growth has been fueled by the credit card segment, offsetting continued weakness in ad budgets for investment products and retail banking.

The Telecom category lost ground as 2011 expenditures fell 5.8% to $8,649.0 million. Declines were most pronounced among the leading wireless service advertisers. Aggregates expenditures from TV service providers also slowed.

Top Spending Advertisers Within Select Media
The top ten TV advertisers spent $10,115.4 million in the medium during 2011, down 0.8% from a year ago. This group accounted for 14.9% of total TV expenditures by all advertisers.

The ten largest Internet advertisers invested a total of $2,360.6 million in paid search and display campaigns, up 10.0% versus a year ago. Despite fragmentation on the web, the group accounted for 10.9% share of all Internet ad dollars.

The top ten advertisers in Hispanic Media spent $1,403.6 million during 2011, an increase of 29.2%. This group accounted for 24.7% of all Hispanic Media expenditures, the largest Top Ten share concentration of any medium.


Upfront TV: TVG Summer Comedies | Super-Sized “Apprentice” | Murdoch Challenges ESPN?

Published 2 years ago
  • Pushing further into original programming, TV Guide Network plans two new comedy series for this summer, reports Broadcasting & Cable. One, “Stand Up In Stilettos,” is hosted by Kate Flannery (Meredith of “The Office”). TV Guide Network has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of “Stilletos,” to premiere on June 16. “Rove LA” will be the U.S. premiere of an Australian talk show hosted by Rove McManus, focusing on Hollywood stars. Confirmed guests include Justin Timberlake, Hugh Jackman, Eva Longoria, Steve Carell, Pink and Lisa Kudrow. Ten episodes premiere on July 21, and 13 episodes begin taping in September.
  • Calling itself “the fastest growing women’s cable network now available in more than 78 million homes,” The Style Network announced its best first quarter in network history, up an impressive +26% among women 18-34 year-over-year in primetime, according to Nielsen data. Style also claims to be the second most affluent cable network among women 18-49. The network attributes its success to returning original series on Sunday nights that delivered +110% in total viewers over the time period average a year ago. "Jerseylicious," now in its fourth season, is enjoying its most watch season ever and the sophomore season of "Big Rich Texas" is up an impressive +36% among the desired women 18-49 demo from its first-season average. Finally, the network claims to reach younger viewers, having lowered its median age by four years to 38, year-over-year.
  • This Sunday’s episode of “The Celebrity Apprentice” is a special three-hour edition. The celebrities face two tasks – to design, create and sell a limited edition “My New York” celebrity guidebook, and in celebration of National Walking Day, the teams will create an interactive live health segment and design the packaging for a “Walk with Walgreens” walking kit. Donald Trump promises “Two drama-filled tasks and two unbelievably contentious boardrooms.” One as-yet unnamed project manager struggles to maintain control of an insubordinate teammate, while the other team tries to complete the task with a celebrity missing. Before anyone is even fired, Mr. Trump witnesses one of the season’s biggest Boardroom battles, resulting in one Celebrity going AWOL. Walgreen’s sponsors this special episode, which will be broadcast live on their NYC Times Square viewing screen.The remaining men are: late-night legend Arsenio Hall, pop star Clay Aiken, the “Incredible Hulk” Lou Ferrigno, magician/comedian Penn Jillette, rock star Dee Snider, and star of “American Chopper,” Paul Teutul, Sr. The remaining women are: pop star Debbie Gibson, comedienne Lisa Lampanelli, former Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza, singer and actress Aubrey O’Day, and star of “Real Housewives of New Jersey,” Teresa Giudice.

  • “More Oprah, less Rosie” is the message for the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). The network issued a feel-good press release, claiming a 21% rise in total daily viewers in Q1, according to a Reuter’s story. True, but it is still attracting just 180,000 total viewers per day. Its takes its highest ratings when Winfrey herself appears. Her March interview with Whitney Houston's family drew 3.5 million viewers, and her interview last week with pop singer Lady Gaga drew more than 800,000 viewers. Those boosted primetime ratings for March by 35%, putting OWN 29th among the 97 ad-supported U.S. cable networks for March.
  • ER with Brazilian doctors? Or with region-specific titles like “ER: Sao Paolo” or “ER: Moscow?” Warner Brothers International Television Production (WBITVP) is shopping the ER format worldwide, selling the format rights for localized versions, says Broadcasting & Cable. ER had a 331-episode run in the U.S., and has been sold to over 50 countries. The studio is hoping to capitalize on the growing interest in remaking popular U.S. series in local languages in many territories. A UK version might be superfluous, given the anglophile producers of the original series tapped British actors Alex Kingston and Parminder Nagra for the U.S. series.
  • Discovery Channel will focus on the men behind the U.S. presidency in its special “The Gatekeepers,” premiering in 2013, says Hollywood Reporter. “Gatekeepers” will study the role of White House chiefs of staff. Interviews include Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, plus former chiefs of staff including Rahm Emanuel, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, James Baker III, John Sununu and Mack McLarty, among others. 
  • Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is planning a national U.S. cable sports network to challenge Disney’s ESPN, reports Bloomberg. News Corp. is assembling rights from pay-TV carriers and sports organizations, said some anonymous sources. While the rival net is in the exploratory stage only, News Corp. is supposedly considering converting its Fuel action-sports network to the new channel, said two of the sources.