Cabler emphasizes social media push at upfront presentation
There will be no pregnant pause in MTV’s schedule of “Jersey Shore” spinoffs.The Viacom-owned cabler touted the June 21 arrival of “Snooki & Jwoww,” which revolves around pregnant star Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and her roommate “Jwoww” Farley, at the cabler’s upfront presentation, held Thursday afternoon at Gotham’s Beacon Theater. Polizzi, teetering in 6-inch platforms, joined Farley and Paul “Pauly D” Delvecchio onstage to kick off the jam-packed affair by introducing extended first-look clips from “Snooki & Jwoww” as well as “The Pauly D Project” — both part of the MTV’s Thursday “Jerzdays” lineup. MTV execs spent a good deal of the sesh talking about the cabler’s 30% ratings jump in 2011 vs. 2010, driven by “Jersey Shore,” scripted hit “Teen Wolf” and a record-breaking Video Music Awards kudocast. There was scant mention of the network’s “Teen Moms,” who carried the reality pregnancy mantle before Polizzi. “MTV is the ultimate stage for massive cultural moments that have people talking all over the world,” MTV News maven Sway Calloway, who emceed the upfront. With ad buyers swaying to a live perf of indie band Fun’s anthem “We Are Young” and a three-song set of new music by Alicia Keys, the cabler also highlighted its five new skeins — three scripted and two reality — set to join the sked. The network showcased lengthy clips from the new quintet, which include an adaptation of the U.K. hit “Inbetweeners.” Also presented was the docu-series “Catfish,” inspired by the critically acclaimed documentary feature; “Underemployed,” from exec producer Craig Wright (“Dirty Sexy Money”); reality series “Wake Brothers,” featuring sibling wakeboarding champs Phil and Bob Soven; and new scripted comedy “Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous,” toplined by Internet comedy breakout Bo Burnham. MTV also highlighted its so-called “storytelling without borders” marketing approach, which aims to engage auds via social media platforms. The “Teen Wolf: The Hunt” campaign will continue, this time available on Facebook and other platforms, allowing fans to “friend” and interact with the show’s characters in real time within the context of a choose-your-own-adventure mystery. The original storyline was written by scribes from the show. The initiative, which launches June 4, coincides with last month’s headlines that MTV had surpassed the 100 million Facebook “likes” mark. The cabler known for chronicling the drinking habits of twentysomethings stayed true to form with a raucous after-party at Roseland Ballroom that featured a fair number of Snooki look-a likes hitting the open bar.