The 2017 Turner Upfronts were held inside The Theater at Madison Square Garden yesterday, where a packed house came to see what is new and returning for the variety of networks under their amazing umbrella. Some fantastic stars were there to showcase what they have in stores for the 2017-2018 television season, all while driving home the point that Turner is definitely the future not only for what you watch on TV but how connecting to the right audience is the key to their recent success.
The presentation was 90 minutes long, which seamlessly went from one network to the next, all the while promoting what they have coming up. Donna Speciale, President of Turner Ad Sales, opened up the ceremony with a fantastic introduction on how their company has skyrocketed with the appropriate demos, including a 90 percent increase for “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” and having some of the top rated shows on primetime including “Animal Kingdom” and “Angie Tribeca”.
Although the focus seemed to be on advertisers and their own lingo about how the networks are vastly improving, I was more focused on the starpower in the house and how much fun they added to the presentation. President Kevin Reilly was the recurring host throughout the ceremony, and one of the more fun moments came when talk show host James Cordon showed up to discuss his upcoming show “Drop The Mic”, where he playfully made fun of Kevin originally only to compliment him in the end.
The world of sports and late night talk show hosts combined when Anderson Cooper interviewed both Shaquille O’Neal and Conan O’Brien about their roles within the company, which really was just a great lesson in comedy on both hands. Watching Shaq and Conan flirt with each other was absolutely hysterical, to where Anderson couldn’t stop laughing during. It was definitely the high point of the presentation.
As a journalist, my favorite part of the presentation was when the reporters from CNN came out to discuss the importance of real news vs fake news and how they are determined to maintain their integrity & honesty as each day provides a new set of goals for them to provide for the viewers. Wolf Blitzer, Don Lemon and many others were part of this presentation that I loved wholeheartedly, and was very powerful throughout.
Turner has a lot of fabulous upcoming shows that I think will perform very well for the networks, including Snoop Dogg’s “The Joker’s Wild”, Dakota Fanning in “The Alienist”, and Niecy Nash’s dark comedy series called “Claws”. Each network that operates under Turner seems to have figured out its key audience and demographic and is playing that out incredibly well for another successful season.
For more information on Turner Broadcasting System, please check out their official website.