August 9, 2011

THE SKED: New Fall Show On-Air Promotion — Update through August 8

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

FOX continues to heavily promote X-Factor and New Girl at high levels, although Terra Nova has been catching up over the last week.  In fact, FOX devoted a full 60-second promo to the prehistoric family drama (emphasizing the family drama aspects) in MasterChef last night.  A :60 promo, rarely seen on network TV, is the ultimate sign of commitment and allows the marketing department the time to tell a real story about the series.  In addition, X-Factor  receives mostly :45 promos, while New Girl has a somewhat higher frequency of spots in the :20 and :30 format

NBC continues a three-tier approach to its new fall shows.  Tier 1 is made up of the new comedies Up All Night and Whitney.  Tier 2 are the dramas Prime Suspect and Playboy Club, while Tier 3 is comprised of the comedy Free Agents and The Sing-Off.  NBC is using mostly :15 and :30 promo lengths for its new series in each tier.   

Over at CBS, Unforgettable and Person of Interest receive the most promo time (with mostly :30 spots), while 2 Broke Girls is assigned a lot of :10 and :20 promos, mostly hammering away at the creative auspices of the show.  Friday night’s A Gifted Man continues to be an afterthought.     

At ABC, Revenge still is the #1 priority, in fact receiving a full :60 spot at the end of Bachelor Pad‘s premiere last night.  Charlie’s Angels, Suburgatory and Pan Am come in at a level slightly behind Revenge‘s, while Sunday night’s Once Upon a Time has been a fairly low priority to date.  Curiously, although we added Wipeout to the list of program examined this week (a much more male audience than the very female Monday lineup), Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing is almost a forgotten, at least in the highly-rated shows we are looking at.  However, one would think Last Man would be getting more attention in these 2.0+-rated shows at this point.

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            485
         New Girl            485
         Terra Nova          400

NBC      Up All Night        260
         Whitney             235
         Prime Suspect       190
         Playboy Club        185
         Free Agents         105
         Sing-Off             90

CBS      Unforgettable       160
         Person of Interest  150

         2 Broke Girls       110
         A Gifted Man         30

ABC      Revenge             180
         Charlie’s Angels    120
         Suburgatory         120
         Pan Am              105
         Once Upon a Time     60
         Last Man Standing    15

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."