The William Morris Agency is hoping to give TV types some breathing room — literally.
Tenpercentery’s upfront bash at 21 has become a spring ritual, as synonymous with the fall schedule announcements as are overblown rhetoric from webheads (“It’s our best development season ever!”).
Virtually every network and studio topper — as well as a smattering of WMA talent — puts in an appearance at the party, held the first Monday of upfront week.
But in recent years, the WMA bash had given new meaning to the phrase “pressing the flesh,” with a few hundred folks trying to squeeze into three (and in some years two) small rooms. Making one’s way from the Leslie Moonves corner to Peter Roth’s huddle was about as pleasant as hopping on the 405 at 5 p.m.
But after two decades, WMA has decided to ankle 21 for the Four Seasons — the eatery, not the hotel — located a few blocks east of 21 on West 52nd Street.
A WMA rep didn’t hide the reason for the switch.
“We loved 21, but basically outgrew the space,” he said. “We want our guests to be comfortable.”
New room is bigger, holding about 400 people, though more are expected to drift in and out of the bash throughout the night.
WMA’s shindig is not the only part of the upfront that’s changing. After years of flirting with fire-code violations, the WB is shifting its presentation from the Sheraton ballroom to a slightly bigger venue: Madison Square Garden.