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May 18, 2009

Fox upfront presentation live blog

Parade of stars Refresh for latest...

Nosebleed seats for reporters, of course...we're here, but the presentation isn't for us.. lot fewer of us, sadly, than last year, the year before that, the year before that...

No matter how old you are, you can still appreciate cartoons before a show ...

Fox still does the old fashioned, slightly awkward, Parade of Stars ... celebrities line up like some well-dressed class reunion photo ... they introduce Gordon Ramsay first, not sure there's anything to be concluded from that....

You wonder if Eliza Dushku had to cancel something to be here or if she optimistically kept the date open...

The announcer speeds up for the "Glee" cast, cramming them in...

Last is Kiefer Sutherland, who gets a huge roar: "This the first time I don't know how many times I’ll have the opportunity to say the things I've wanted to say...I'm going to try to explain to you what 24 has meant to me. Its the greatest experience I’ve had so far in my career. That you have allowed us to grow you have allowed us to change ..you have supported us..we have been doing the show for eight years. We’ve had 15 children on our show .. you’ve helped me become part of a family."

He then adds, "I hear this after party is going to be a good one. I’ll be looking for you at the bar" [big laugh]...

Jon Nesvig, Fox Broadcasting's President of Sales, comes out with the facts and figures. You want to look the stars, you gotta look at the charts.

Nesvig notes research that research for other screens such as online viewing are skewed, saying Nielsen research that relies on viewers to self report the number of hours spend watching video on other, non-traditional TV screens exaggerate the extent of their viewing. 

"Categorically, for the record, Fox broadcasting is not rolling back any CPMs," Nesvig said. "We're all facing a tough market, but we remain committed to quality scripted assets."

Peter Rice, entertainment chairman, drew a comparison from his experience working on the theatrical side compared to the TV division. 

"I worked at Fox for 20 years on the lot for the movie company. When I first arrived at Fox it was a one night a week weblet and '21 Jump Street' was the big show. I had certain amount of envy for those at the network... It seemed so much more immeidate than in the movie business. You cou can spend years [working on a movie] ... in the last eight weeks I've come to realize 100 million dollar [box office] .... translates to 10 million people -- and that's how many people watch Fox every night ... We deliver on Tuesday, 'Idol' reaches the total number of poeple who saw 'Iron Man.' Then the next night it delivers the same number of people who watched Harry Potter."

OK. There's something extra entertaining about somebody saying "Harry Potter" with a British accent.

The theme during the presentation, even more than last year, so far, is resurgence to advertisers about broadcast as a whole.

"The good news is people love television and they're watching more television than ever before and broadcast television reigns supreme."

Going down the cable vs. broadcast path, Rice notes, "'The Closer' averages 6.5 million viewers an episode, but there are at least 75 shows on broadcast that deliver more viewers."

Entertainment president Kevin Reilly now...

Making a point about the benefits and popularity of TV, Reilly notes this Live Feed post, among other media stories. 

The "Glee" trailer gets a big reception from media buyers, Reilly does a little bow....

A mismatched pop-dance track for the "Fringe" trailer...

"I'm a NY Giants fan..." Reilly begins, introducing "Brothers," and doesn't get quite the hometown applause he might have expected...

Hardly anybody laughs during the "Brothers" trailer but, in the show's defense, this audience is much more "Glee" than "Brothers"... another odd music choice -- Peter Gabriel ...

Re: "Dollhouse," Reilly said the show "delivered a steady audience week in and week out and we're betting on Joss Whedon to keep building on that momentum next fall..." 

Um ...

"The Cleveland Show" looks great. Big reception. Hearing Arianna Huffington's voice coming from an animated bear isn't going to get old anytime soon.

Kevin Reilly announces as part of its "Alive Air" campaign, a night of segments from Seth MacFarlane's live touring comedy show wrapped around the network's Sunday night animated lineup (well, not "The Simpsons," but the other three). Brands will be incorporated into the MacFarlane wrap-around segments. It's Nov. 8.

Also doing an interactive "Simpsons" scavenger hunt and the Gordon Ramsay live cooking show...

"Sons of Tucson" looks OK... "Past Lives," tough to get past the silly concept, but looks executed pretty well ... Reilly introduces "Human Target" as a throwback to the action shows of the 1970s and '80s, trailer is solid, looks potentially fun...

Reilly says some nice words about Peter Chernin...

We're told the cast of "Glee" will perform a song. About 99% sure they're lipsynching. No matter, This is the TV business, as long as viewers at home are convinced.

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