Cable channels are starting to steal some of the broadcast networks’ thunder at the upfronts.The mid-May upfront week, when networks present their new lineups to advertisers and the press, has traditionally been broadcast’s domain.
But this year, as The New York Times’ Stuart Elliot and Brian Stelter note, “the cable channels, emboldened by gains in ratings and advertising revenue, started sneaking onto the schedule.”
This week, the cable channels have practically crashed the party. Five cable channels have presentations or other events and a sixth, the Hub, which is a children’s channel to be introduced in October by Discovery Communications and Hasbro, sent reporters a news release on Monday morning. And Univision Communications’ cable channel, Galavisión, will share the stage with its broadcast networks, Univision and Telefutura.
Here are some highlights from all the new cable action:
- ESPN: “Among the announcements expected from ESPN executives is the formation of a unit, named CreativeWorks, that will produce for marketers campaigns with sports themes.”
- TNT: Three new series, including “a detective drama, ‘Memphis Beat’; ‘Fallen Skies,’ from Steven Spielberg and starring Noah Wyle; and ‘Rizzoli & Isles, a show about crime-solvers that could just as easily fit into a broadcaster’s schedule.”
- TBS: Conan O’Brien will make an appearance at the network’s presentation to promote his new talk show. Plus, TBS is presenting a new 1980s college comedy series called “Glory Daze.”
- MTV is hosting a “Jersey Shore”-themed party
- Cartoon Network is hosting an “Adult Swim”-themed party
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