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Advertising Age - Special Report: TV Upfront RSS


Facebook spoofs, awkward celebrities and late-night banterthe upfronts were, if nothing else, a reminder that despite the uncertainties surrounding the industry, TV can still entertain.

There were fewer tear-the-house-down musical performances than in years past and no one wore a light-up dress spelling out "your ad here." But there was some designer fashion, and even amid highly distracting court battles over the fate of CBS, the shows went on.

Here's a look at some of the funniest standup routines, biting jabs and the musical performances you never wanted.

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Welcome to our special pop-up TV upfronts newsletter. All this week I'm nothing but an upfront girl living in an upfront world. Each day in place of our usual Media Buzz newsletter, we're bringing bring you breaking news about the upfronts and some of the best (and worst) of TV's dog-and-pony show. One more to go after today: Sign up here.

Coming to Sundays: standard ad loads on CW

The CW is expanding into Sunday nights with "Supergirl" and its reboot of the witchy series "Charmed," Anthony Crupi reports. The move to program originals on Sundays was a splashy indication by the network of its support of the broadcast model

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Let's get this over with: We blew it last year in predicting that ABC's reboot of "Roseanne" would flop. But in our defense, the cast's appearance at last year's upfronts was incredibly awkward and did the opposite of building confidence in the show's return. (So, really, read on!)

We empathize with advertisers that must predict a full three months outand in some cases, a half a year outwhich shows to bet on. But that's how TV works, and while there continues to be fewer and fewer trailers for us to assess during May's dog-and-pony show, it's a tradition that prevails. So we're going to take some educated guesses and predict which crop of next season's shows will live beyond their freshman runand which do not stand a chance.

Hits

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In the run-up to its Thursday morning upfront presentation in New York, the CW has taken the wraps off its fall broadcast schedule, a 12-hour slate that includes an all-new night of Sunday programming and three freshman series.

In a conference call with media types, CW President Mark Pedowitz boasted that the network's dozen hours of original scripted programming gave it more homegrown assets than any broadcaster this side of CBS. The network boss also noted that while Sunday nights are already overstuffed with youth-friendly optionsfall Sundays feature NBC's "Sunday Night Football," AMC's "The Walking Dead" and Fox's NFL-boosted "The Simpsons"the CW has every intention of competing with the established powerhouses.

To that end, the network is kicking off its new night with the returning franchise "Supergirl," which also happens to be its second most-viewed show behind DC Comics stablemate "The Flash." Heading into its fourth season, Kara Zor-El and Co. will lead into the reboot of the bewitching drama "Charmed," which first aired on CW predecessor the WB network from 1998 to 2006.

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CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves received a standing ovation when he took the stage at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday afternoon during the eye network's upfronts pitch to advertisers. It was a first, in at least recent memory, for a network exec to receive such a roaring round of applause.

While it wasn't clear who exactly was cheeringCBS employees or ad buyersMoonves' reception represented a show of support amid a surprising and intense legal battle now unfolding between CBS and its controlling stakeholder, the Redstone family's National Amusements. CBS filed a lawsuit earlier this week to stop Shari Redstone from interfering in a planned meeting that could dilute National Amusements' voting interest in CBS. Redstone has been vocal in her desire for CBS to merge with Viacom, but CBS leadership has not been happy with the proposed details and seems curious about other options.

Moments before Moonves took the stage, a Delaware Chancery Court judge essentially issued a time-out on the battle and granted the restraining order CBS requested.

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