Stars and execs from NBCU’s cable networks, including USA, E!, Bravo, Syfy, Oxygen, Esquire, Chiller, Sprout, etc. are all collected at the Javitz Center, located in what NBC late-night star Seth Meyers has described as “the heart of New York’s Historical Stabbing District,” and their Upfront fun is about to begin. We’ll follow it here:
2:43 PM: Rancic is back to talk about Syfy, though, shockingly, still wearing the same lovely black designer frock she was wearing to talk about Esquire network. She’s joined by Cohen, who is surprisingly still standing but, according to Nick Cannon, has been “cut off,” Cannon tells us that about every 9 seconds someone says the word “science fiction” or some iteration thereof, on social media. We’ll get back to you on that. Meanwhile, NBCU shows media buyers clips of interesting new apocalyptic Syfy series and miniseries ,and we wait for Sharknado 3 footage of Ann Coulter one heartbeat away from the Oval office. Seems someone at NBCU Cable decided that was just too scary for the Upfront. Rancic makes a reference to leotards and Cohen unbuttons his beautiful suit jacket to reveal a leopard-print one over his shirt and suit slacks. And everyone heads out to the after-party to talk about “data” and drink.
2:33 PM: After another long-ish, NBCU Cable clip package, Giuliana Rancic returns to the stage. Rancic is so big at NBCU Cable, she’s actually got an NBCU Cable Upfront Designer Dress Change budget. Her first dress was tight fitting and red and beautiful; her new dress is black and loose and flow-y and beautiful. “I love men with Style,” she says. “And men with style are the heart of Esquire brand…It’s not for men, it’s for gentlemen…who don’t just live their lives, but pursue the best possible version of it.” She introduces clips of The Agent, about sports agents, Esquire’s first scripted series Spotless, and a look at people who are training to join the 219 people who have become master sommeliers.
2:21 PM: Giuliana Rancic comes out to talk about E!. E! News, she says, is “more than engagement and more than news” – it’s a “totally integrated multi platform experience that delivers social currency to a young audience of trend setters who obsess about everything pop culture.” But she does not address her show Fashion Police which lost Kathey Griffin and Kelly Osbourne in the wake of controversy over Rancic’s comments about a star’s hair during one of the show’s post red-carpet telecasts. Rancic instead throws to clips of E! primetime shows including its first scripted drama The Royals.
“And now we have one last piece to share with you,” Rancic says, addressing the network’s “special relationship with The First Family of unscripted, the Kardashians” – one member of whom, she says, as “done something so simple, so human, and yet so extraordinary.” A clip of Bruce Jenner’s new reality series follows but does not tell us much news, and it’s already announced to debut in June. Jenner does not make an appearance.
2:05 PM: At the end of Bravo’s Showing Of the Clips, various stars appear via video talking some serious “data.” It’s about 65 “datas.” Cohen can’t be standing at this point. Sadly, he does not come out after it’s over; Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships at NBCUniversal walks out instead, stone cold sober. “If I drank every time any of you asked me about our data I’d be hammered every day by 10 in the morning,” she jokes as Cohen takes another slug because, in fairness, she said “data.” Yaccarino announces that, during the ’15-16 season, NBCU will begin using Comcast set top box data to power its Audience Targeting Platform – ATP.
1:55 PM: “The data reveals Bravo’s viewer are big spenders, affluencers…engaged and loyal. And according to the data, Watch What Happens Live beats Conan among all females,” says Andy Cohen, who has come out on stage to pitch his network to media buyers while appearing to list gently, because there were at least four “datas” in his speech about doubling down on scripted programming with Odd Mom Out, coming in June, and the network’s reality series.
1:43 PM: NBCU Cable shows first clips of the presentation: USA’s vigilante hacker drama, Mr. Robot, followed by network’s rags to riches to dead story Queen of the South, and Colony.
1:40 PM: Nick Cannon, Giuliana Rancic, and Andy Cohen are hosting. “Data,” the buzzword of the Upfront Week, announces Cohen who explains that since the media buyers can’t get a drink until after the presentation — thanks for nothing — he’s going to do all the drinking when the word is used during the Upfront presentation. “Data!” media buyers begin to shout, hoping they’ll at least get to see Cohen perform while fractured.
1:35 PM: Chariman of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainmetn Bonnie Hammer . “Wow, what a group! Welcome everybody!I know it has been a long week but I like to think we saved the best for last” she says touting the 168 members of on-air talent, including WWE superstars and “multiple Kardashians and 18 real housewives” who are among those in attendance, which may be small comfort for those who’ve been cooling their heels the last half an hour. “So now all you got to do is sit back, relax and enjoy our story.”
1:30 PM PT: …and by “about to begin,” we mean half an hour later after we posted that alert and half an hour past the start time on the invitation. If I’m a media buyer sitting in Javitz…..