This morning, "The Upfront and Presentations Survival Kit" session was inspiring, snappy-clever and the clever humor made the room erupt in laughter more than once, too! This was an opportunity to see how the networks have truly agonized to make an impact on the folks who make TV successful – people who buy media. These "mini-post-mortems" gave a quick glimpse into just what goes into these vital "Upfronts" and the collateral material designed to load-up the bullet chambers for sales.
Our skillful moderator was Well Dunne favorite, CHRIS SLOAN, Prez & ECD of 2C Media. BRIAN DOLLENMAYER, EVP of Mktg Ops for Fox rolled his plain and simple "We’re Frickin Fox — DEAL WITH IT" programming montage. ANDY BAKER, National Geographic’s EVP (just promoted) and Creative Director shared the brilliant treatments for the series How Sex Works. We saw the one YOU never got to see and the final that aired. Fascinating. SUSAN KANTOR, EVP at Warner Bros/ for Domestic TV Distribution, took the tarp off her team’s process of how The Big Bang Theory is on its way to be the next Friends (and you better believe it, too!).
Finally, PATRICK TRETTENERO, VP Creative, Branded Content at USA network perhaps displayed the most magic of all: HOW do you promote a new show that hasn’t even started production yet?" The case study was their new show, Political Animals. (Google it, but it’s where a Big Screen star arrives in hip series Little Screen land with the likes of Sigourney Weaver, with Ellen Burstyn, et. al.) We eyeballed the rough. Then the embellished final using only 10 days of dailies footage. Wow. A stunner. The session ended with the quick war stories of how three months of work gets scuttled in 5 minutes or the record for a promo to air by a network. One said, "about 30 minutes…we asked the chief…pick A, B or C…because it’s airing NOW."