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Upfront TV: BBC Flashy Upfront | “Today” Summer Concerts | Matthew Perry Sitcom | NHL’s Decent Draw

Published on April 23, 2012
  • BBC America caused quite a stir with its “British Bacchanal” on Thursday, reports AdWeek amd MediaBistro. The upfront featured burlesque/trapeze artists, conspicuously placed portraits of Prince William and wife Kate Middleton, all held in a warehouse space called The Skylight Soho, in New York. But it comes down to the programming, which includes “The Thick Of It,” a farce about bureaucrats caught up in Anglo/American diplomatic relations; more “Dr. Who”; and more Gordon Ramsay (the cooking competition tyrant) in several new projects. The advantage of the cable network: it attracts anglophile Public Broadcasting viewers to an ad-supported network.
  • NBC’s “Today” is battling hard against being edged by ABC’s “Good Morning America,” which caused a ripple last week. As Hollywood Reporter details, “Today” has announced the acts for its 17th annual Summer Concert Series, which will include Justin Bieber; Chris Brown; newcomers Chelle Rae; and country acts Kenny Chesney, The Band Perry and The Zac Brown Band. Also true, “Today” is partnering with Pandora to extend create three Today Summer Concert Series stations: NBC Today Rock, NBC Today Country and NBC Today Pop, with inline ad opportunities.
  • NBC has picked up a Matthew Perry-helmed comedy pilot called “Go On,” with a 13-episode order, reports Deadline Hollywood. Perry is no sure bet: His last outing, “Mr. Sunshine,” lasted just nine episodes on ABC in 2010. “Go On” will feature Perry as a glum sportscaster who attends mandatory therapy after personal tragedy (once again—this is a comedy).
  • The National Hockey League (NHL) never thought it got the respect it deserved, compared to football, baseball or basketball, and perhaps has a point. NBC Sports Group drew a respectable 21 million viewers with the Stanley Cup Playoffs, reports Multichannel News. The Game 4 match between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins (April 18) drew 1.03 million viewers, and last week, NBC averaged a 1.5 final rating and 2.3 million viewers for three playoff telecasts on April 14 and 15, up 50% and 44%, respectively, from last year.
  • A technology start-up is introducing a way to move subscription TV onto the web, with or without the subscription company’s permission, reports The New York Times. NimbleTV is scheduled to test its service today (April 23). NimbleTV takes the package of channels a customer buys through, for example, Dish Network, then streams it online and allows for virtual digital video recording. Stay tuned for the injunctions which typically follow these bypass-broadcast-and-cable-with-their-own-content efforts.