They weren’t quite holding hands and singing “Kumbaya,” but the broadcast network chiefs showed remarkable restraint in tweaking the competish at this year’s upfront.
CBS prexy/CEO Leslie Moonves used to revel in taking multiple shots at network opponents — particularly NBC. CBS even showcased puppets depicting rival webheads bemoaning their woes.
Eye took some heat for taking so many jabs last year that the lack of any major swipes this year was noticeable.
ABC entertainment prexy Steve McPherson barely mentioned the competition. And NBC, which is often its own enemy, cut down on making too many self-deprecating snaps.
The lone hold-out appeared to be Roger Ailes, topper of upstart programmer MyNetworkTV: Ailes couldn’t resist taking a shot at his old employer, NBC.
Ailes told the crowd that if anything goes wrong at MyNet, “We’ll blame Kevin Reilly. NBC’s been getting away with it for years.”
Now that’s the way upfronts are done.