October 10, 2011

The Sked: PROMO WATCH Is Back!

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Written by: Mitch Salem
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Back by popular demand, ShowBuzzDaily’s PROMO WATCH will track broadcast network on-air priorities (as we did this summer with the new fall show series promotion).  We kick off with promo activity in a sampling of Sunday’s broadcast programming.  Basically, we will look at the promos within one hour of primetime per network per night (mostly high-rated shows, with a cross-section of genres represented).

The first thing to notice is how ABC, NBC and FOX are able to prioritize.  CBS is back to its habit of giving everything a little bit of time, raising the question: does any program get enough promotion time to make a difference?  For example, the top priorities on ABC got 45-50 seconds last night, NBC’s got 40, FOX’s got 90 (although they had more time to give in programming that replaced a rained out baseball playoff game).  CBS’s top priority got all of 20 seconds, with most shows getting 10.

ABC is pushing, not surprisingly, the Tuesday premiere of Last Man Standing.  FOX heavily pushed the return of Bones — it had a lot of promo time available in a commercial-light repeat of The X Factor, which replaced MLB ALCS Game 2 at the last minute.  NBC put most of its chips in Sunday Night Football behind…Grimm.  A big allocation to a Friday series — we’ll see how that works out.  CBS, as we said, promoted everything and nothing all at once.

A word of caution: this is the first night’s sample.  We will aggregate these numbers on a daily basis as we move through the week.   

ON-AIR PROMOTION PRIORITIES (# of promo-seconds)
Date sampled: Sunday, October 9, 2011

  Last Man Standing  50
  Dancing…Stars    45
  Wed Comedy Lineup  45
  Once Upon a Time   30
  Revenge            30
  Pan Am             30
  Unforgettable      20
  The Talk           20
  CSI Miami          20
  Person of Interest 20
  NCIS               15
  NCIS: LA           15
  Two Half Men       15
  Mike & Molly       15
  CSI                15
  Criminal Minds     10
  Survivor           10
  Grimm              40
  Prime Suspect      25
  Up All Night       15
  Parenthood         15
  Whitney            15
  Bones              90
  Terra Nova         60
  House              60
  Family Guy         30
  Allen Gregory      30
  The X Factor       30
  MLB ALCS           20
  Fringe             15

Programs Sampled
Sun Oct 9 2011: Desperate Housewives, The Good Wife, 8:30-9:30 portion of Sunday Night Football, 8:00-8:30 and 9:00-9:30 portions of The X Factor repeat (which replaced rained out MLB ALCS Game 2)

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."