MediaFile

At The CW, it’s all about supernatural, soaps and the 90s

Upfront week is winding down, with the CW having rolled out its lineup. As Entertainment Weekly points out, the schedule is straight out of the early 90s. A quick look:

(New series in bold)

Monday:

8-9 pm: Gossip Girl

9-10 pm: One Tree Hill

Tuesday:

8-9 pm: 90210

9-10 pm: Melrose Place

Wednesday:

8-9 pm: America’s Next Top Model

9-10 pm: The Beautiful Life

Thursday:

8-9 pm: The Vampire Diaries

9-10 pm: Supernatural

Friday:

8-9 pm: Smallville

9-10pm: America’s Next Top Model (Encore)

(Reuters photo of “Gossip Girl” star Blake Lively)

CBS goes for stability in prime-time schedule

Here’s a look at the new CBS schedule, which will be presented to advertisers later today.

(New shows are in bold)

MONDAY

8:00-8:30 PM HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER

8:30-9:00 PM ACCIDENTALLY ON PURPOSE

9:00-9:30 PM TWO AND A HALF MEN

9:30-10:00 PM THE BIG BANG THEORY

10:00-11:00 PM CSI: MIAMI

TUESDAY

8:00-9:00 PM NCIS

9:00-10:00 PM NCIS: LOS ANGELES

10:00-11:00 PM THE GOOD WIFE

WEDNESDAY

8:00-8:30 PM THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE

8:30-9:00 PM GARY UNMARRIED

9:00-10:00 PM CRIMINAL MINDS

10:00-11:00 PM CSI: NY

THURSDAY

8:00-9:00 PM SURVIVOR

9:00-10:00 PM CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION

10:00-11:00 PM THE MENTALIST

FRIDAY

8:00-9:00 PM GHOST WHISPERER

9:00-10:00 PM MEDIUM

10:00-11:00 PM NUMB3RS

SATURDAY

8:00-9:00 PM CRIMETIME SATURDAY

9:00-10:00 PM CRIMETIME SATURDAY

10:00-11:00 PM 48 HOURS MYSTERY

SUNDAY

7:00-8:00 PM 60 MINUTES

8:00-9:00 PM THE AMAZING RACE

9:00-10:00 PM THREE RIVERS

10:00-11:00 PM COLD CASE

NBC says upfront market too tough to call

Las Vegas should have a line on the upfront market, particularly this year. What’s the over/under on total dollars? What are the odds the networks will hold back big chunks of inventory? How quickly will everything be decided?

Every year the networks’ sales executives and the media buyers talk their books. Fair enough. But this year, many seem to be shrugging their shoulders when asked about the upfront market.

On the one hand, maybe advertisers are ready to open up their checkbooks; after all, they don’t want their brands left out if the economy rallies and consumers start to spend again. On the other hand, do they really believe the economy is about to rally and consumers are about to start spending again?

Dear advertiser, please come home

Nobody likes to be wrong, including the people who run media companies. That’s why you haven’t heard them say things like, “We think the advertising market is recovering!” At a time when every day might bring a fresh descent into financial hell as financial companies and automakers totter, media companies reeling from ad revenue declines are hesitant to say that they’ve hit a bottom.

But consider some of the comments that Viacom executives made during their conference call with Wall Street bean counters this morning to discuss quarterly financial results. Here they are as they appeared in the alerts we sent out on the wire:

    08:12 30Apr2009 RTRS-VIACOM INC’S <VIAb.N> CEO SAYS NOT SEEING ANY FURTHER DETERIORATION IN THE ADVERTISING MARKET 08:33 30Apr2009 RTRS-VIACOM INC’S <VIAb.N> CEO SAYS CUSTOMERS ARE STARTING TO FEEL MORE CONFIDENT ABOUT A RECOVERY EMERGING LATER IN THE YEAR AND GOING INTO NEXT YEAR 08:34 30Apr2009 RTRS-VIACOM INC’S <VIAb.N> CEO SAYS “WE’RE FEELING CONSIDERABLY BETTER” THAN TWO OR THREE MONTHS AGO

That sounds suspiciously like optimism. It also fits in with some of the comments that we’ve heard from newspaper publishers such as USA Today owner Gannett Co Inc. Magazine publisher and local TV station owner Meredith Corp had similar thoughts about the ad outlook.

from Fan Fare:

John Lennon’s “Instant Karma” a curious choice for Chase

John Lennon's "Instant Karma" is an unlikely choice for an advertising jingle. With future murderer Phil Spector manning the boards, the angry ex-Beatle wasted no time warning listeners, "You better get yourself together, Pretty soon you're gonna be dead." Which in fact Lennon was a decade later.
    
peterCut to 2009, and Chase has dusted off the song for an advertising campaign, but it has focused on the shiny, happy chorus, "Well we all shine on, Like the moon and the stars and the sun, Well we all shine on..." 
    
That's not Lennon singing on the new version, by the way. Instead Chase went edgy with British goth singer Peter Murphy, who used to front Bauhaus, a rock group famed for the song "Bela Lugosi's Dead" and for inspiring Nine Inch Nails. Cindy Mizelle, who once toured with Mick Jagger, does the backing vocals.
    
The spot heralds Chase's arrival in California following the purchase last fall of Washington Mutual's banking operations by its JPMorgan Chase parent. The black-and-white clip depicts such outdoor pursuits as surfing, swimming and ballooning, and a biker couple riding off into the sunset.
    
"This spot heralds a bright new day and so we chose a song that is upbeat, well known and classic," a Chase spokesman said in an email. "'Instant Karma' is an iconic song and the chorus, 'We all shine on', reinforces an emotional connection with the brand but also demonstrates that 'we're going to get through these trying times together.'"
    
The spokesman declined to discuss financial terms, and a spokesman for Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, did not return an email seeking comment.
    
Murphy recorded the song in full, and hopes it will see the light of day, said David Baron, who produced and arranged the tune with Murphy at a converted church in Woodstock, New York.
    
"Peter is currently working out the details for the new record and the final tracks have not been decided on," Baron said. "Peter would like to release Instant Karma in some fashion so I am sure it will surface."
    
Murphy does not appear in the Chase ad, but he can be seen as "the Blown Away Guy" in a 1980s British ad for Maxell cassettes.

(Peter Murphy photo credit: Koray Birand)

Lifetime, Scripps pitch advertisers

How do you sell TV advertising in this environment? If you’re Scripps Networks, you trumpet the product integration available in your make-over and do-it-yourself programs. You also make no bones about how difficult things are for advertisers and consumers.

At Tuesday’s Scripps upfront presentation (held at Cipriani 42nd Street), executives talked about these “very difficult and challenging times” and described viewers as “disillusioned,” “anxious,” and “frustrated.”

“There has never been a more important time than right now to reach out to viewers about their homes” said one Scripps executive.

Throwing an orgy of pessimism? Well, don’t invite Viacom

How bad is the advertising market? Pretty bad, says Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman. And it’s only going to get uglier.

“It is clear that while as cable network owners we are in a more favorable media segment than most, advertising comps are likely to get worse before they get better,” he said on a conference call today.

This comment may seem dry, but we’re totally ready to cut him some slack since it came shortly after this poetic gem: “And despite the orgy of pessimism prevalent of the late, the economic tide in our economy and our industry will rise again.”

And a final word from our Super Bowl sponsor

Did you feel like all you saw in the first half of the Super Bowl — well, besides Pittsburgh’s James Harrison taking his interception 100 yards to the house — were commercials? Certainly there were a lot of them. In fact, a record amount of commercial time ran over the entire course of this year’s Super Bowl.

According to a just issued report from TNS Media Intellegence, NBC aired 45 minutes, 10 seconds of advertising messages, including paying sponsors, NFL messages and in-house promotions.

Outside of NBC’s promos, four companies accounted for 40 percent of the total paid ad time: PepsiCo, Anheuser-Busch Inbev, Viacom and General Electric, which, of course, is the majority owner of NBC. But TNS warns not to read too much into the big GE ad buy.

Pay TV: Shelter from the storm?

Safe haven. Two magical — and mysterious — words. Cable and satellite companies didn’t fit the safe haven bill in 2008, but 2009 just may be there year.

According to a Reuters story out today, “cable and satellite service providers now hold the promise of strong free cash flow growth as they retain old customers but spend less on deploying set-top boxes and digital video recorders due to a fall in new subscriber growth.”

Remember, however, that before the economy fell apart, a number of investors considered the pay TV industry “recession proof.” The argument went that even in the toughest of times, Americans would stay home and watch TV, saving money on trips to movies or out to dinner.

Super Bowl Sunday!

The Super Bowl — that little football game that is watched by a few people and attracts a bit of interest from advertisers — has come and gone. Was it a blockbuster year? We’ll let you decide, but clearly companies had more at stake this time around than usual.

Shelling out up to $3 million for a 30-second spot, when each day thousands more people are handed pinkslips, can’t sell their house, can’t stand to open their 401Ks and are in no mood whatsoever to be told by some CMO that they need to rush out and buy some beer or soda or potato chip or whatever is, well, a bit risky.

So how did they do? Take a look at a handful below. Let us know you’re thoughts. After all, you’re the target audience.