We already told you what several advertisers thought of NBC’s and Fox’s upfront presentations. As for the last two major networks, the people with whom we spoke were much more impressed by CBS than ABC and identified four shows that seem to have a better-than-even shot at succeeding: CBS’ 2 Broke Girls, How To Be A Gentleman and A Gifted Man, and ABC’s Man Up. Some dinged ABC for providing little insight into the eight shows the network will introduce this fall. “I guess you throw something against the wall and hope,” says Brad Adgate of Horizon Media. By contrast, he says that CBS demonstrated that “the shows they’re really high on are protected” in time slots where they either face anemic competition or where they are flanked by hits. Targetcast’s Gary Carr says that CBS “did a great job” of explaining the strategies behind its five new shows. ABC, he added, “was down and dirty — one hour with no entertainment and no celebrities.” The two upfront veterans and other advertisers who wanted to remain unidentified scoffed at the idea that anyone can tell much about a show’s prospects after seeing just a few clips from a pilot. That’s especially true for comedies, which were resurgent this year. Generally speaking, they see little likelihood of a viewer backlash at all of the networks’ heavy reliance on jokes and situations that involve sex. They’re less confident, though, that lots of viewers will take to the many dramas that deal with the supernatural or paranormal. “That’s designed to get younger viewers,” Adgate says.
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