×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC Flies High with ‘Trophy Wife,’ Showing Comedy Pilot on Airlines

Network turns to captive inflight audience on four carriers to generate word-of-mouth through September

While it’s not unusual for networks to stream the pilots of their new series online before they launch in the fall, ABC has also taken to the skies to promote its new comedy “Trophy Wife.”

The network is currently airing the first episode of the comedy on four airlinesDelta Airlines, American Airlines, Virgin America and United Airlines — through the end of the month. The pilot began airing first on Virgin on Aug. 1, and Sept. 1 on the other carriers. It will be available on flights through Sept. 30.

ABC also took flight with a similar strategy to introduce “Modern Family” to viewers, presenting its pilot to passengers before the show launched in 2009.

The network said airlines provide broadcasters with a captive audience who are willing to sample a series when it’s offered as free entertainment on the seatback screen in front of them during a flight. But ABC has been selective over the years, choosing only shows that might get others sitting around a viewer interested in what they’re watching when a comedy gets them to laugh out loud.

At a time when viewers are more distracted than ever, airlines certainly provide networks with a potentially powerful marketing vehicle. Getting their shows seen isn’t a guarantee, however. In order to generate some positive word-of-mouth for an unknown new series, networks still need to get passengers to watch the episode, which unfortunately can require some extra marketing support.

ABC also began streaming the first episode of “Trophy Wife,” produced by ABC Studios, on its website, via the Watch ABC mobile app and on Hulu three weeks before its bow on Sept. 24.

SEE ALSO: ABC Teases Trio of Fall Comedies Free via Watch ABC and Hulu

“Trophy Wife” revolves around a reformed party girl Kate (Malin Akerman), who becomes the third wife of a slightly older man (Bradley Whitford). Cast also includes Marcia Gay Harden, Bailee Madison, Ryan Scott Lee and Natalie Morales.

In addition to the inflight entertainment airings, the comedy also received some additional non-traditional marketing support from the daytime talker “The Chew,” with the series preparing breakfast menus reflecting the personalities and parenting styles of the three mothers in “Trophy Wife” during an “ABC Fall Preview Special” that aired Sept. 1.

More Biz

  • Singer-rapper Psy performs during the 70th

    YG Agency Boss Quits as K-Pop Scandals Expand

    Yang Hyun-suk last week resigned from his remaining positions at YG Entertainment. The talent agency he co-founded is deeply mired in a series of inter-linked scandals that stretch from drugs to prostitution. Problems started with the band Bigbang and its star Seungri, but now also encompass other YG artists. Hwang Bo-kyung was appointed as the [...]

  • NEW YORK, NY – JUNE, 24:

    LGBTQ Stars Honored at Variety’s Power of Pride Celebration

    New York City felt the full power of pride on Monday, as Variety celebrated its inaugural issue devoted to the annual recognition of LGBTQ people worldwide. At an intimate gathering at Mr. Purple, the rooftop bar at Hotel Indigo Lower East Side in Manhattan, Variety’s cover stars and luminaries gathered for cocktails and the unveiling [...]

  • Motown Seeks to Block 'O-Town' Trademark

    Motown Seeks to Block 'O-Town' Trademark

    UPDATED: The boy band O-Town briefly rose to fame in 2000, with a star turn on MTV’s reality series “Making the Band.” But the reformed group has just one obstacle to its efforts to trademark its name: Motown Recordings. The label’s parent company, Universal Music Group, is trying to block the band from registering “O-Town” [...]

  • Alyssa Milano

    Alyssa Milano Settles $10 Million Suit With Former Accountant

    Actress Alyssa Milano has settled a legal battle with her former accountant as the case was on the verge of going to trial. Milano and her husband, agent David Bugliari, filed suit in 2017, alleging that accountant Kenneth Hellie had forged her signature on checks, failed to pay overdue bills and taxes and allowed costs [...]

  • J Balvin ‘Amicably’ Parts Ways With

    J Balvin ‘Amicably’ Parts Ways With Longtime Manager Rebeca Leon

    J Balvin and his longtime manager Rebeca León have “amicably” parted ways, reps for the singer and León confirmed to Variety. The news was first reported by Billboard. León — who also oversees the careers of fast-rising Spanish singer Rosalia as well as Colombian superstar Juanes, with whom she founded Lionfish Entertainment — began managing Balvin early in his career [...]

  • Ann Sarnoff Headshot

    Warner Bros. Taps BBC Studios Americas Chief Ann Sarnoff as CEO (EXCLUSIVE)

    Warner Bros. has tapped BBC Studios Americas president Ann Sarnoff as its new CEO, a surprise pick that is sure to shake up the venerable studio. Sarnoff becomes the first woman to head Warner Bros. in its nearly 100-year history. She was under the radar during WarnerMedia’s search for a successor to lead the studio [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content