A+E networks held a dazzling upfront at Lincoln Center last night, packed with stars from all of its networks’ shows, including Duck Dynasty, Project Runway, and Vikings. We’re talking Chloe Sevigny (she was one of the few actresses we saw actually eating at the reception – yay!), Eva Longoria (the EP of Lifetime’s new Devious Maids, along with Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry), and A&E’s Bates Motel’s Vera Farmiga, to name a few.
The overriding theme of the evening was content, content, content, a drum banged repeatedly by newly elevated CEO Nancy Dubuc. She shared two things with us last night: that she wished she could be Katheryn Winnick, the willowy blonde from Vikings (really, she almost is), and that her promotion proved two things: how well the network is managed – ie, by promoting from within – and the fact that it’s she who was chosen illustrates a dedication to content.
During his segment of the presentation, Mel Berning, Executive Vice President, Ad Sales referred to broadcast networks as cable’s “ancestors,” but he stopped working and was having a great old time at the reception, posing with the Counting Cars guys and saying hello to everyone. He took a moment, though, to tell Cynopsis that the reason A+E announced a realignment of its sales force yesterday was “to go after the research piece. If we wait for Nielsen, we’ll be waiting forever,” he commented. “After this Upfront, we’ll be able to aggregate everything together.”