August 15, 2011

THE SKED: New Fall Show On-Air Promotion — Update through August 11

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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.

NBC continues its three-tier approach to its new fall shows.  Tier 1 is made up of the new comedies Up All Night (with fewer but more impactful :30s) and Whitney (with more frequent but shorter :15s throughout most nights).  Both comedies feature zero footage from the pilots in the promos, opting instead for special-shoot promos (slice of life scenes about exhausted new parents for Up All Night and Whitney talking to the camera about women and men and their relationships).  Both approaches are moderately funny at best, and it is not a good sign that marketing has already exhausted the comedy gold from the pilots in earlier spots.  Tier 2 is made up of the dramas Playboy Club and Prime Suspect, with Playboy moving slightly ahead of SuspectPlayboy uses almost exclusively footage from the pilot, with each spot introducing a different character.  Prime Suspect spots use a combination of pilot footage and special material of Maria Bello talking to the camera.  Tier 3 is comprised of the also-ran comedy Free Agents and The Sing-Off.     

FOX continues to heavily promote X-Factor and New Girl at high levels, with Terra Nova close behind. 

Over at CBS, Unforgettable and Person of Interest receive the most promo time (with mostly :30 spots), while 2 Broke Girls is starting to see more :30 spots with small scenes cut from the pilot.  Friday night’s A Gifted Man and now How to Be a Gentleman form a very meager bottom tier.     

At ABC, Revenge still is the #1 priority, although Charlie’s Angels is catching up fast.  With no activity this week, Suburgatory and Pan Am now form a second priority tier.  Once Upon a Time and Last Man Standing comprise a third and final tier.

Keep checking back each week, as these numbers will be updated cumulatively.

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

FOX      X-Factor            680
         New Girl            600
         Terra Nova          500

NBC      Up All Night        360
         Whitney             305
         Playboy Club        275 (up one place)
         Prime Suspect       265

         Free Agents         150
         Sing-Off            120

CBS      Unforgettable       185
         Person of Interest  180

         2 Broke Girls       160
         A Gifted Man         50

         How Be Gentleman     10

ABC      Revenge             240
         Charlie’s Angels    195
         Suburgatory         120 (no activity)
         Pan Am              105 (no activity)
         Once Upon a Time     60 (no activity)

         Last Man Standing    45

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."