UPFRONTS 2011: Turner President Steve Koonin Sweats It Out As The Network’s Upfront Has HUGE Technical Difficulties


We remember last year’s Turner upfront — it was their first enormous, network-scale affair, all because of one person: Conan O’Brien. The company spent the whole presentation exuberantly showing off their new toy.

O’Brien returned to the Hammerstein Ballroom for this year’s affair — just in time to fall victim to a major technical difficulty.

He tried to do a video bit — and the video failed. “I flew three thousand miles to be here and had two miles of sleep,” said O’Brien. “We gonna try that again?”

But the trouble wasn’t over — Turner’s video feed went down for good just as they tried to start showing new show clips.

Turner president Steve Koonin (who’s on the right in this photo, next to programming chief Michael Wright) rushed onto the stage and attempted to entertain the crowd sans teleprompter. It was no “Kings of Comedy,” but he’s a lot more comfortable onstage than most of the execs shoved into stilted joke deliveries this week.

“We had a power surge, we blew something,” said Koonin. “I’m Jewish, so I have no idea what happened, OK?”

The video returned a few minutes later — and so did Wright, who joked that he’d just decided to issue Koonin his own sitcom.

More on the real new shows of TBS and TNT coming up later today.