August 24, 2011

THE SKED: New Fall Show On-Air Promotion — August 23 Update

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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>With network on-air promotion activity tracked in hit summer shows (those near or above a 2.0 Adult 18-49 rating) for about four weeks since mid-July, the networks’ promotional priorities are summarized below.

FOX priorities remains the same, with X-Factor leading the pack.  But the big difference came with New Girl and a shift in the creative.  Much to the delight of faithful FOX viewers, the network has all but retired the spots featuring Zooey Deschanel’s goofy antics in the pilot (moving her glasses back and forth when she sees a cute guy as if her eyes are bugging out or dancing awkwardly).  Cute the first 47 times, the clips became extremely played out and annoying.  Now the marketing department is rolling out specially shot scenes just for the promos.  Zooey/Jess talks to the camera and tells us what it is like to live with a bunch of guys.  Not perfect but far less annoying.     

NBC continues to blast away at Up All Night with two :30 promos, one featuring Christina Applegate and one with Will Arnett seductively talking to the camera about their fantasy, which at first sounds romantic and sexual and quickly turns into a plea for relief from the rigors of parenting a newborn.  Kind of an obvious tactic, but it’s very well executed.  On the drama side, Prime Suspect has moved back ahead (slightly) of Playboy Club.

ABC continues to put the most chips on the roulette table’s space for Revenge.  Because it does not have a pre-sold concept (like Charlie’s Angels), Revenge needs longer former promos (always :30s or :60s and never :15s).  Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing actually received a :30 in the hit Bachelor Pad (rather than its usual short-form :15).  Perhaps Tim Allen’s agent and management are starting to call ABC to show more support for the show.  Yes it has a big star and an easy to communicate, simple concept, but the network still needs to get the word out for what is now its bottom priority.     

The CBS numbers are unchanged from the last update.  DVR failure pure and simple.  But hey, the good news was not having to slog through multiple hours of Big Brother

Next week we will have a fresh update, including CBS’s promo activity in its hit shows and any promo activity in NFL preseason games.

   Fall Series Promos (in seconds)
  In Hit Summer Shows since July 19

FOX      X-Factor            850
         New Girl            755
         Terra Nova          610

NBC      Up All Night        455
         Whitney             370
         Prime Suspect       325 (up one place)
         Playboy Club        305
         Free Agents         180
         Sing-Off            180

CBS      Unforgettable       185
         Person of Interest  180

         2 Broke Girls       160
         A Gifted Man         50

         How Be Gentleman     10

ABC      Revenge             420
         Charlie’s Angels    305
         Suburgatory         240
         Pan Am              195
         Once Upon a Time    120

         Last Man Standing    90

Note: New fall series not listed
have not been promoted in hit summer
shows during this date span.

To see the list of shows in which
promotion activity is tracked, see
the Summer Broadcast Ratings update.

About the Author

Mitch Salem
MITCH SALEM has worked on the business side of the entertainment industry for 20 years, as a senior business affairs executive and attorney for such companies as NBC, ABC, USA, Syfy, Bravo, and BermanBraun Productions, and before that, at the NY law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. During all that, he has more or less constantly been going to the movies and watching TV, and writing about both since the 1980s. His film reviews also currently appear on and In addition, he is co-writer of an episode of the television series "Felicity."