NATPE Adds YouTube, Discovery, UTA Execs To Board, Sets NBC Co-Chair Keynote For January Confab

The National Association of Television Program Executives, better known as NATPE, has added three execs to its board and confirmed its January conference in Miami will feature the first public remarks by the newly minted co-chairs of NBC Entertainment….

The National Association of Television Program Executives, better known as NATPE, has added three execs to its board and confirmed its January conference in Miami will feature the first public remarks by the newly minted co-chairs of NBC Entertainment. The new board members are Susanne Daniels, Global Head of Original Content at YouTube;  Kathleen Finch, Chief Lifestyle Brands Officer at Discovery; and Brett Hansen, Head of Alternative Television at UTA. Their addition to…

Media Merger Mania: Feverish Speculation About Potential Takeovers Circles Viacom, Lionsgate

Everybody’s talking to everybody — but who’s going to pull the trigger? Not a day has gone by since 2018 dawned without a flurry of rumors about a major media M&A deal gaining steam. Disney established the tone in the final weeks of 2017 by setting a market-jolting $52.4 billion deal to buy a big […]

Everybody’s talking to everybody — but who’s going to pull the trigger? Not a day has gone by since 2018 dawned without a flurry of rumors about a major media M&A deal gaining steam. Disney established the tone in the final weeks of 2017 by setting a market-jolting $52.4 billion deal to buy a big […]

HQ Trivia: Reality Execs Eager To See Whether The Popular App Can Become a TV Show

HQ Trivia doesn’t yet have representation, but Hollywood is calling.

Reality TV execs and producers are keeping an eye on HQ Trivia, and starting to ask if — or how — the popular app might be adapted for television.

HQ Trivia doesn’t yet have an agent, and isn’t actively shopping for a deal. But that’s not stopping reality players to kick the tires and set up meetings with the company. According to insiders, HQ Trivia’s creators have also sat down with a handful of agents and former agents in Hollywood as they look for advice.

“We’re inspired by TV and see some ways we can integrate, but nothing to share yet,” HQ Trivia co-founder Rus Yusupov said in an emailed statement.

Almost everyone agrees that time is of the essence for HQ Trivia if it were to break into TV. If it doesn’t capitalize on the current success of the app, the company risks being upstaged by an imitator, reality sources say. (Reality TV, after all, is well known for its copycats — just look at how many singing competition shows now exist.)

“Whether HQ branded or not, the idea of an interactive real-time trivia game is going to find its way to TV in short order,” says one reality source.

Part of the lure of HQ Trivia is that it has already captured the attention of Hollywood leaders, starting with Jimmy Kimmel. The talk show host surprised users when he hosted the game earlier this month. And some industry execs have become avid followers of the game: At the recent Television Critics Association press tour, one cable network exec admitted he was addicted to the game and even won $4.

HQ Trivia was founded by Intermedia Labs’ Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll, who previously co-created Vine. The app features a live quiz game show at 9 p.m. ET daily (as well as 3 p.m. ET on weekdays), as users answer 12 questions in order to win a small cash prize. The game is hosted on most days by Scott Rogowsky, who has become an Internet sensation in his own right thanks to HQ Trivia’s growing popularity.

At the NATPE convention in Miami this week, a panel devoted to the state of the unscripted business kicked off with a discussion about HQ Trivia. Bruce David Klein, the president and executive producer at Atlas Media Corp., was impressed with the quick growth of HQ Trivia, which now attracts more than 1 million viewers daily — all watching at the same time, live.

“It’s an old-fashioned game show but reconfigured just enough so that somehow the whole package feels fresh and different and exciting,” Klein said. “Many recent newspaper headlines have asked, ‘Is HQ Trivia the future of television?’ Whether it is or isn’t, its success is impressive. This is a great example of harnessing the monumental changes that are affecting all of our businesses: Pulling together the tried and tested in a fresh way and forming a great new must-see experience for viewers.”

Elaine Frontain Bryant, A&E’s executive vice president and head of programming, noted that HQ Trivia’s rise comes as her network has found great success with “Live PD,” another live show that has developed appointment viewing among loyal fans.

“I think HQ Trivia is an awesome thing for us,” Bryant said. “It’s social, it’s fun, people want to talk about it. What we’ve seen with ‘Live PD’ is it’s an incredibly social show. Also, what is ‘Live PD’ but finding a genre that worked for a long time, called ‘Cops,’ and pouring gas on it in a fresh, daring way? And how do you make ‘Jeopardy’ better? Winning money yourself. There are a lot of similarities, taking a time-tested genre and making it accessible.”

But it’s still not clear if HQ Trivia would work as a half-hour TV show, or if it would be better suited as an interstitial. A producer would also have to figure out how to implement the live interactive component.

“I see HQ Trivia as scratching a different itch,” said CAA alternative TV agent Hans Schiff. “It’s not a TV show, it’s not something you view passively, it’s something you participate in. It plays very well to the social media phenomenon, gathering people who are already looking at their phones way, way too much. But it does not scratch the itch of what happens after a hard day and you get home and want to sit down and be entertained.”

Universal Kids Picks Up U.S. Second Window Rights on Cottonwood, ZDF Tween Series ‘Find Me in Paris’

The highly-anticipated time-traveling ballerina series for tweens, “Find Me in Paris,” co-produced by Cottonwood Media, part of France’s Federation Entertainment, and Germany’s ZDF and ZDF Enterprises, has reached a second-window broadcast deal with Universal Kids in the U.S. The show had previously been sold to Hulu in the U.S., France Télévisions in France, Disney in […]

The highly-anticipated time-traveling ballerina series for tweens, “Find Me in Paris,” co-produced by Cottonwood Media, part of France’s Federation Entertainment, and Germany’s ZDF and ZDF Enterprises, has reached a second-window broadcast deal with Universal Kids in the U.S. The show had previously been sold to Hulu in the U.S., France Télévisions in France, Disney in […]

Peak TV Brings New Models, Windows, Problems and Opportunities for TV’s Busiest Producers

MIAMI — In this Peak TV moment, the dearth of new first-run product for sale at NATPE speaks volumes about the fragmented state of the content marketplace. Yes, it’s the best of times for producers who have no shortage of outlets hunting for distinctive original content. But it’s not the best of times for finding […]

MIAMI — In this Peak TV moment, the dearth of new first-run product for sale at NATPE speaks volumes about the fragmented state of the content marketplace. Yes, it’s the best of times for producers who have no shortage of outlets hunting for distinctive original content. But it’s not the best of times for finding […]

TV Entrepreneurs Still Roam the Halls at NATPE

MIAMI — Dave Mech of Springfield, Mass., donned his “Potsquatch” suit and headed for Miami this week. Mech has an idea for an unscripted TV show set in the booming cannabis business. It’s a branding initiative for the recreational marijuana dispensary he hopes to open in Springfield later this year. He figured he’d try his […]

MIAMI — Dave Mech of Springfield, Mass., donned his “Potsquatch” suit and headed for Miami this week. Mech has an idea for an unscripted TV show set in the booming cannabis business. It’s a branding initiative for the recreational marijuana dispensary he hopes to open in Springfield later this year. He figured he’d try his […]

Jane Fonda, Tom Selleck, Greg Berlanti Get Emotional at Tartikoff Awards

MIAMI — Tom Selleck quoted Edna St. Vincent Millay. Jane Fonda thanked Ted Sarandos for giving her a new chapter of her storied career. Greg Berlanti thanked Tom Selleck for making short-shorts cool for men. The 15th annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards ceremony, held Wednesday night at the Fontainebleau Hotel as part of the NATPE […]

MIAMI — Tom Selleck quoted Edna St. Vincent Millay. Jane Fonda thanked Ted Sarandos for giving her a new chapter of her storied career. Greg Berlanti thanked Tom Selleck for making short-shorts cool for men. The 15th annual Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards ceremony, held Wednesday night at the Fontainebleau Hotel as part of the NATPE […]

Jane Fonda Talks TV’s Power, Tom Selleck Describes His Acting Approach At Brandon Tartikoff Awards — NATPE

Jane Fonda, one of five honorees at NATPE’s 15th Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards, has a take on television that may surprise longtime fans of her film career: “If you have something important to say, television is where to go.”
The actress delivered the line after Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos presented her with the award, a nod to the streaming giant’s support of Grace & Frankie and her re-teaming with Robert Redford, Our Souls at Night.
Fonda told Sarandos, “I…

Jane Fonda, one of five honorees at NATPE’s 15th Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Awards, has a take on television that may surprise longtime fans of her film career: “If you have something important to say, television is where to go.” The actress delivered the line after Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos presented her with the award, a nod to the streaming giant’s support of Grace & Frankie and her re-teaming with Robert Redford, Our Souls at Night. Fonda told Sarandos, "I…

Natpe: Mediapro’s Globomedia Inks Exclusive Pact with Spanish Showrunner Javier Olivares

Globomedia, one of Spain’s foremost TV drama producers and part of TV giant Mediapro, has inked an exclusive deal with Spanish showrunner Javier Olivares (“Isabel,” “The Department of Time”) to develop new fiction projects. The move marks another step in the Mediapro Group’s ambitious plans of signing standout TV creators to strengthen the company’s growing […]

Globomedia, one of Spain’s foremost TV drama producers and part of TV giant Mediapro, has inked an exclusive deal with Spanish showrunner Javier Olivares (“Isabel,” “The Department of Time”) to develop new fiction projects. The move marks another step in the Mediapro Group’s ambitious plans of signing standout TV creators to strengthen the company’s growing […]

With Sinclair Set To Close Mega Deal, Tribune Exec Warns Local TV M&A Risks “Self-Created Problems” – NATPE

Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert began his appearance on a panel at NATPE’s Station Summit by joking that this would likely be his last time ever at the conference.
Technically that could be true — Sinclair Broadcast Group is weeks or even days away from final regulatory approval of its long-anticipated takeover of Tribune. But Wert ended the session on a more serious note, warning of the significant risk that comes with the consolidation wave swallowing up his…

Tribune Broadcasting president Larry Wert began his appearance on a panel at NATPE’s Station Summit by joking that this would likely be his last time ever at the conference. Technically that could be true — Sinclair Broadcast Group is weeks or even days away from final regulatory approval of its long-anticipated takeover of Tribune. But Wert ended the session on a more serious note, warning of the significant risk that comes with the consolidation wave swallowing up his…

Jane Fonda: Activism Made This Year’s Golden Globes ‘The Best Ever,’ and Hollywood Has Hit a ‘Historic Turning Point’

Fonda said she hopes Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie” continues until she can’t speak anymore.

Jane Fonda is still in awe of what happened last week at the Golden Globe Awards, as Hollywood focused on something more than just handing out kudos.

“I thought it was the best Golden Globes ever,” Fonda said of the focus on the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements. “It was glorious. One of the great things is all of the actresses involved have been conscious to the fact that we’ve got to reach out our arms to women in other sectors. Restaurant workers, hotel workers, farm workers. It’s really moving.”

Fonda spoke to Variety’s Cynthia Littleton on Wednesday at the NATPE convention about “Grace and Frankie,” aging in Hollywood and her busy schedule as an activist. The actress is no stranger to the issue of women’s equality and pay inequality — having even dealt with the issue as recent as 2015 with “Grace and Frankie,” when she and Lily Tomlin were initially paid the same as the show’s male supporting actors.

“These are deeply ingrained problems and they take a long time to address,” she said. “We have arrived at a moment that really is a historic turning point. I don’t think things will be the same after this.”

Fonda pointed out that she still remembers when she started working in Hollywood in the late 1950s, there were no women in any position of power. “It’s hard when there’s no one who looks like you to lean on their shoulder. It’s different now, very diverse.” (On “Grace and Frankie,” executive producer Marta Kauffman, half of the writing staff and more than half of the directors are women.)

Fonda lauded the women who helped found Time’s Up, the movement borne out of Hollywood’s recent sexual harassment and assault scandals: “These aren’t just stars, these women, they’re fierce warriors. They’re so much more advanced than I was at their age.”

She added that “every single good friend I have was abused as a child… people don’t realize this is an epidemic.”

Fonda also pointed out that although the movement received mainstream attention after famous white women spoke up, they stood on the shoulders of the “brave women of color” who did it before them, including Anita Hill.

The actress’ activism is currently focused on fair wages for tip workers, who often earn below minimum wage. She pointed out that 70 percent of the 13 million people who work in the restaurant industry are women. So far seven states have done away with a two-tier system for tip workers, with more states putting it on the ballot. Fonda and Tomlin recently campaigned in Michigan in support of one bill.

“When women achieve pay equity they don’t put up with [harassment],” she said.

Fonda credited her “Grace and Frankie” workload with giving her the time to focus on issues that she cares about.

“It’s 13 episodes, so I have six months with nothing to do except being an activist,”  she said. “It’s a lot easier being an activist with a hit TV series.” Fonda doesn’t campaign for candidates, however. “It doesn’t matter what party we belong to, we have to save the planet and save our democracy.”

The HBO documentary “Jane Fonda in Five Acts” premieres at this year’s Sundance, and Fonda is proud of it — although she said watching moments from her past was “intense.” But she also said she feels like she’s in her prime at age 80.

She took a “leap of faith” in doing TV, but adds, “that’s how I stay fit, taking leaps of faith.”

Fonda also credited former husband Ted Turner for “giving me back my humor and my confidence,” and shaking her of an unhappiness that kept her out of Hollywood for 15 years.

As for the future of “Grace and Frankie,” Fonda said she’ll keep doing it “until I can’t talk anymore. Which is a very long time… Women come up to us all the time and say ‘you’ve given me hope.’ Young people realize it’s OK to get older. And they’re surprised to learn that their grandmothers use vibrators.”

Sony Pictures Chief Tony Vinciquerra On Merger Scenarios, #MeToo And The Road Back From The Hack — NATPE

Sony Pictures boss Tony Vinciquerra said while he talks regularly with CBS chief Leslie Moonves, the two have not talked specifically about a merger, despite rumors to the contrary.
Even so, he said, “The thing that keeps me up at night is, we have to have scale. We’re a really tiny company” compared with tech giants. “If they want to step on us, they can.” He added, “If we don’t grow, we will be somebody’s purchase.” Moreover, ” I didn’t take the job to do it for a year…

Sony Pictures boss Tony Vinciquerra said while he talks regularly with CBS chief Leslie Moonves, the two have not talked specifically about a merger, despite rumors to the contrary. Even so, he said, "The thing that keeps me up at night is, we have to have scale. We're a really tiny company" compared with tech giants. "If they want to step on us, they can." He added, "If we don't grow, we will be somebody's purchase." Moreover, " I didn't take the job to do it for a year…

Sony Pictures CEO Admits Need to Grow Studio Amid ‘Floodgates’ of Big Media Mergers

Sony Pictures Chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra said the company has reached its moment of truth: it’s time to grow or be bought out, per media reports of his conversation at the NATPE conference in Miami on Wednesday.

“If we don’t grow, we will be somebody’s purchase,” said Vinciquerra. “I didn’t take the job to do it for a year and sell the company.”

Vinciquerra told moderator Soledad O’Brien mergers will continue to rise among entertainment giants, and Sony has to be expand if it doesn’t want to become another acquisition.

Also Read: ‘Jumanji’ Poised to Repeat as Box Office Champ

“There are six major film studios right now, and in a few years there will be three or four,” continued Vinciquerra. “There are hundreds of TV studios. And there will still be a ton, but there will be a few big ones and many small, specialized ones.”

The exec — who took over for Michael Lynton last year — denied a potential merger with CBS, but said partnerships with other companies are a possibility. He pointed to the stalled $85 billion deal between AT&T and Time Warner as a major indicator of where the industry is headed.

“Repercussions of the deal going through are that it will open the floodgates to other mergers,” he said. “If it doesn’t happen, I think people will be forced to think about how to make things happen on a more creative scale.”

Also Read: Turner CEO John Martin ‘Hopeful’ Time Warner-AT&T Merger Will Go Through

The 45 minute discussion was Vinciquerra’s first extended conversation since taking the reins last June. Vinciquerra touted the recent success of “Jumanji,” and “Spider-Man” when talking about the company’s performance at the box office. He added the 2014 hack by North Korean cybercriminals was “still reverberating around the lot,” and that he has to think “more deeply” about the projects Sony pursues.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Gary Oldman-Produced Crime Drama, Rob Riggle Comedy in the Works at Sony Crackle

‘Get Out’ Star Lakeith Stanfield Joins Sony’s ‘The Girl in the Spider’s Web’

Woody Harrelson in Talks to Join Sony’s ‘Venom’

Sony Pictures Chairman and CEO Tony Vinciquerra said the company has reached its moment of truth: it’s time to grow or be bought out, per media reports of his conversation at the NATPE conference in Miami on Wednesday.

“If we don’t grow, we will be somebody’s purchase,” said Vinciquerra. “I didn’t take the job to do it for a year and sell the company.”

Vinciquerra told moderator Soledad O’Brien mergers will continue to rise among entertainment giants, and Sony has to be expand if it doesn’t want to become another acquisition.

“There are six major film studios right now, and in a few years there will be three or four,” continued Vinciquerra. “There are hundreds of TV studios. And there will still be a ton, but there will be a few big ones and many small, specialized ones.”

The exec — who took over for Michael Lynton last year — denied a potential merger with CBS, but said partnerships with other companies are a possibility. He pointed to the stalled $85 billion deal between AT&T and Time Warner as a major indicator of where the industry is headed.

“Repercussions of the deal going through are that it will open the floodgates to other mergers,” he said. “If it doesn’t happen, I think people will be forced to think about how to make things happen on a more creative scale.”

The 45 minute discussion was Vinciquerra’s first extended conversation since taking the reins last June. Vinciquerra touted the recent success of “Jumanji,” and “Spider-Man” when talking about the company’s performance at the box office. He added the 2014 hack by North Korean cybercriminals was “still reverberating around the lot,” and that he has to think “more deeply” about the projects Sony pursues.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Gary Oldman-Produced Crime Drama, Rob Riggle Comedy in the Works at Sony Crackle

'Get Out' Star Lakeith Stanfield Joins Sony's 'The Girl in the Spider's Web'

Woody Harrelson in Talks to Join Sony's 'Venom'

Media Content Wars Will Require Both Scale And Reach; “A Brand Only Gets You So Far” — NATPE

Traditional media execs have been assailed in some corners for their allegiance to the notion of a brand — be it a network, a studio or talent — that they rely on to draw audiences to content.
An executive panel closed out the Streaming Summit at NATPE by considering how dramatically the idea of brands has changed — and in some ways how vital it remains.
Wall Street analyst Michael Nathanson said Disney’s public posture on its OTT strategy changed from, essentially, “kids…

Traditional media execs have been assailed in some corners for their allegiance to the notion of a brand — be it a network, a studio or talent — that they rely on to draw audiences to content. An executive panel closed out the Streaming Summit at NATPE by considering how dramatically the idea of brands has changed — and in some ways how vital it remains. Wall Street analyst Michael Nathanson said Disney’s public posture on its OTT strategy changed from, essentially, “kids…

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race,’ ‘The Wall,’ ‘Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath’ Win Reality Breakthrough Awards

MIAMI — “RuPaul’s Drag Race” sashayed to the win for competition reality series at the 4th annual Reality Breakthrough Awards. NBC’s “The Wall” and A&E’s “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” were also among the programs recognized. The kudos were handed out Tuesday afternoon at the Eden Roc Hotel as part of the NATPE conference […]

MIAMI — “RuPaul’s Drag Race” sashayed to the win for competition reality series at the 4th annual Reality Breakthrough Awards. NBC’s “The Wall” and A&E’s “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” were also among the programs recognized. The kudos were handed out Tuesday afternoon at the Eden Roc Hotel as part of the NATPE conference […]

Ricky Van Veen Says Facebook Watch Will Filter Out Spoilers From Your News Feed – NATPE

During an opening-day keynote at NATPE, Facebook’s head of global creative strategy Ricky Van Veen said the social media giant’s algorithm can filter out spoilers from users’ news feeds to ensure a more seamless viewing experience.
“If you haven’t seen Episode 5 yet, you won’t see your friend’s comment on Episode 5,” he told moderator and BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield. “Those are really easy things to do that no one has really done yet because it’s hard when you’re having…

During an opening-day keynote at NATPE, Facebook's head of global creative strategy Ricky Van Veen said the social media giant's algorithm can filter out spoilers from users' news feeds to ensure a more seamless viewing experience. "If you haven't seen Episode 5 yet, you won't see your friend's comment on Episode 5," he told moderator and BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield. "Those are really easy things to do that no one has really done yet because it's hard when you're having…

Facebook Watch Chief Talks Early Lessons From Video Push, Unveils 3 New Shows

MIAMI — Every original program that lands on the Facebook Watch platform should spark its own Facebook community. That’s the mantra from Ricky Van Veen, who oversees Facebook’s ambitious foray into video in his role as head of global creative strategy for the social media giant. Van Veen spoke Tuesday at the NATPE conference, detailing […]

MIAMI — Every original program that lands on the Facebook Watch platform should spark its own Facebook community. That’s the mantra from Ricky Van Veen, who oversees Facebook’s ambitious foray into video in his role as head of global creative strategy for the social media giant. Van Veen spoke Tuesday at the NATPE conference, detailing […]

NATPE Roundup: Sony Pictures TV Teams With Tegna, Telemundo Nabs Nicky Jam Series

MIAMI — Day One of the NATPE conference always brings a flurry of deals, partnerships, and pickups. Sony Pictures TV on Tuesday unveiled a distribution pact with station group owner Tegna to handle distribution of Tegna’s growing roster of original series. Sony will also handle national barter advertising sales for Tegna shows, including the  Internet […]

MIAMI — Day One of the NATPE conference always brings a flurry of deals, partnerships, and pickups. Sony Pictures TV on Tuesday unveiled a distribution pact with station group owner Tegna to handle distribution of Tegna’s growing roster of original series. Sony will also handle national barter advertising sales for Tegna shows, including the  Internet […]

Natpe: Brazil’s Globo Unveils Its Drive into Diversity, New Generation Talent

By Tuesday at 10 am Miami time, in one of Natpe most extensive presentations, Brazil’s Globo, Latin America’s biggest broadcast network, will have talked up one of the weightiest line-ups of any international company at this year’s TV trade fair. Led by “The Edge of Desire,” written by Gloria Perez, the reigning queen of Brazilian’s […]

By Tuesday at 10 am Miami time, in one of Natpe most extensive presentations, Brazil’s Globo, Latin America’s biggest broadcast network, will have talked up one of the weightiest line-ups of any international company at this year’s TV trade fair. Led by “The Edge of Desire,” written by Gloria Perez, the reigning queen of Brazilian’s […]

Nat Geo TV Goes Shopping for Movies, Docu Series at NATPE

National Geographic Channels is heading to NATPE with a shopping list. The cable group is sending a small team to Miami this week for the Jan. 16-18 National Association of Television Program Executives conference in a search for movies and docu-series content. The goal is to find films based on true stories and documentary-style content […]

National Geographic Channels is heading to NATPE with a shopping list. The cable group is sending a small team to Miami this week for the Jan. 16-18 National Association of Television Program Executives conference in a search for movies and docu-series content. The goal is to find films based on true stories and documentary-style content […]