With the L.A. Screenings wrapping up today, we thought we’d offer up our first straight-from-L.A. report.
The unusually large — but welcomed — number of new TV series meant longer screening hours for buyers, in those extra cold Hollywood’s studio theaters.
Fortunately, after the 2011 VideoAge Daily at NATPE story on “How To Dress For the L.A. Screenings,” an increasing number of studios are now offering blankets to keep warm.
Considering that as the number of new shows goes up the temperature seems to go down, those blankets come in handy. Should we rename them “Blanket Screenings”?
Also keeping buyers warm was a large slate of shows new shows, including 13 from Sony Pictures TV (SPT), 13 from Disney, eight from CBS, the 10 from NBC Universal and the 12 from WB. These in addition to many new cable shows and even original programs for digital outlets, such as Netflix.
Executives at SPT have repeatedly told buyers that this year the studio has more new shows than in the past 14 years, making for a total of 33 shows currently on air or set to air in the near future.
Another observation was that, with the improving economic situation, more budget-friendly comedy slots are being replaced with big, high-budget dramas.
Last year, some buyers were able to split the day between two studios. This year, due to the large number of shows, they’ve had to to devote a full day to each studio.
Most Latin Buyers arrived two days after the indie suites were set up and the few who came early were sequestered by the studios that showed them the NYC Upfronts via satellite. This meant that the indies arrived too one day too early. Instead of May 14, their Screenings should have started the next day.
Interestingly, announcements on the pick-ups came from New York City earlier than usual this year. By the Friday prior to the official kick-off of the Upfronts, 20 pick-ups had already been announced by the studios.
We polled some buyers for their observations, and here’s what we heard:
1. Overall, colors affect their moods. Screenings that show overall red colors tend to warm up buyers. Conversely, blue tends to cool them off.
2. Pre- and post-screening producers’ presentations are found to be useless and too time-consuming for some buyers.
3. While many buyers enjoy the large screen presentations that make TV shows look and feel like theatrical movies, other prefer watching on a smaller screen.
4.Finally, some buyers wish to return to the individual screenings of the past.