04/27/15: Cynopsis Media: 2015 Upfront Recap



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Cynopsis Media: 2015 Upfront Recap


Music, food, travel and real estate were the talk of Upfronts this week.
04/23: BET Networks and Ovation

Among the celebs at NYC’s Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall for Viacom-owned BET Networks’ Upfront were Brandy Norwood and Kelly Rowland, on hand to show off upcoming BET romantic comedy Zoe Moon, starring Norwood as a single mom embarking on a new life, and former Destiny’s Child member Rowland’s search for the next female superstar group in reality series Chasing Destiny.

Also coming up for BET: Punk’d, a revival of the MTV series; docu-series The Label, focused on record companies and About the Business, set in the Hollywood entertainment world; Criminals at Work, a look at crime in the workplace and DeSean Jackson: Home Team, centered on the NFL star’s home life.

Getting ready for Centric’s African-American women audience are reality show According to Alex, featuring Whoopi Goldberg’s daughter, Alex Martin Dean; docu-series #MyCurrentSituation, showing people grappling with situations in the workplace; Curve Appeal, a makeover show for plus-size women with Queen Latifah exec producing and ducu-series From the Bottom Up, showing women working on making comebacks.

“BET is where cool is created and craved,” said President of Programming Stephen Hill. “Our content lets our audience know we understand their culture and lifestyle better than anybody else. We are the only network that takes the complete, complex and comprehensive view of African American life.”



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The past year was one of growth for arts-focused net Ovation, which was re-launched in 2007 and currently reaches over 54 million subscribers. Viewership increased by 43 percent year-over-year, and there’s programming in the pipeline to attract even more. Over breakfast at NYC’s Core Club, Ovation announced eight new specials and series for 2015, airing in a new time slot on Sundays, and four projects in development.

New original shows include comedic documentary Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno Live!, premiering May 17; three-parter The Da Vinci List, profiling artists, debuting June 7; cuisine and culture show Southern Uncovered With the Lee Bros., coming June 14; On the Record With Mick Rock, with the photographer as host, arriving August 2; Art Breakers, focused on the world of art collecting, coming October 4; two-hour event Young Marvels, following child artists, premiering November 14, and travel show American Canvas, launching in 4Q15.
In development: Street Art Revival; The Gavel, a series about auctions; Art Therapy, and One Man’s Trash.



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04/22: Scripps Networks Interactive

Scripps Networks Interactive’s seven-city Upfront tour made a stop at NYC’s Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, with announcements about new programming across the company’s six networks.
On the menu at Food Network and Cooking Channel are over 40 new series and and 15 specials. Highlights include Food’s Spring Baking Championship, premiering this month; American Diner Revival and Guilty Pleasures, launching in May, and Craziest Restaurants in America, arriving in June. Cooking welcomes Lorraine Pascal: How to Be a Better Cook in May, Junk Food Flip in June and Steak Out with Kix Brooks in July. “Entertaining and engaging are at the forefront of our 2015 development plans for both Food Network and Cooking Channel,” said Brooke Johnson, President Food Network & Cooking Channel. “Food Network will continue to build off the success of fan – favorites with more eventized and exciting stunts, including some sweet additions to the menu with new baking and holiday- themed programming. Cooking Channel is packing its lineup with even more passionate foodies that share recipes as well as glimpses into their lives, while both networks will continue to push the boundaries of food exploration.”
HGTV finished 2014 as its highest rated year ever, and finished 1Q25 with its highest P25-54 ever. In the programming pipeline are 10 new series, with many featuring proven stars for the net like Scott brothers Jonathan and Drew (Brother vs. Brother), cousins John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino (America’s Most Desperate Kitchens) and Tarek and Christina El Moussa (Flip or Flop Follow-Up). “We’ve systematically built the HGTV brand by bringing in and developing our star experts who are knowledgeable, relatable and fun,” said Kathleen Finch, President of HGTV, DIY and Great American Country. “We’re delivering top 10 ratings every single night of the week, so our programming, scheduling and marketing strategies are working.”
DIY is coming out swinging after achieving its highest-rated and most-watched year ever among P25-54, with over 400 hours of original programming including 16 new series including I Pity the Tool, starring Mr. T, James Belushi in Building Belushi and Garage Gold spinoff Attic Gold. As for Great American Country, whose ratings hit a six-year high, “We are very focused on building our awareness and sustaining our growth, said Allison Page, general manager, GAC, HGTV and DIY. “GAC just ended its most upscale quarter ever with a median income that is at an all-time high.” Joining the lineup at the end of April is Made From America, about a retro T-shirt entrepreneur who uses proceeds from his sales to help local businesses.
Travel Channel’s on a roll, with green lights for seven new series and a pilot. Joining the lineup are 50/50, featuring “a spontaneous adventure with a twist”; Five Star Secrets; Rev Runs Around the World, starring Rev Run and his family; coming of age docu-series Boy to Man; Majestic America (wt) about national parks; airport-set Hello Goodbye and Follow Your Past. Pilot Relocated follows professionals and their families as they face moving. “Travel Channel is going everywhere  every state, every continent and nearly 100 countries  challenging ourselves to find new places, try new things we thought we’d never try, and connect with fascinating people,” said net President Shannon O’Neill.



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04/21: MTV

MTV was loud and proud at NYC’s Beacon Theatre, during a presentation hosted by Girl Code’s Carly Aquilino and  Guy Code’s Charlamagne, featuring performances by Jessie J. and Brooklyn pop act Misterwives. The show opened with the premiere screening of the first seven minutes of Scream; actress Bella Thorne was on hand, along with Tyler Posey (Teen Wolf), Nev Schulman (Catfish: The TV Show), Katie Stevens (Faking It) and YouTube star Todrick Hall.

But really, it was all about the slate. “We’re exploding our development process across screens – getting faster, more daring, putting more projects into play and taking bigger swings than ever,” said Stephen Friedman, President of MTV. “We’ve exponentially expanded the ways we connect with our audience and deliver for our advertisers.”

Among the new series announced: late-night comedy talker Middle of the Night Show; reality show Todrick, starring Todrick Hall; Follow The Rules, a comedic look at rapper Ja Rule and his clan; live action/animated Greatest Party Story Ever and weekly talk show Girl Code Live. Broke A$$ Game Show, Are You the One? and Faking It all scored renewals. “This slate demonstrates the creative breadth of what MTV can do – epic scripted dramas, irreverent comedies, inventive format-driven series, fun topical talk shows, all with a distinct, youthful voice,” said Susanne Daniels, President of Programming for MTV.

Keep Watching & Reading,
Lynn Leahey, Editor
Roberta Caploe: Associate Publisher @robertacaploe
Diane K Schwartz: Senior Vice President, Media Communications Group

Cynopsis Ad Sales: Mike Farina | VP, Sales | 203-218-6480
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