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

  • Alan Horn Bill Tanner

    Alan Horn to Keynote Variety Business Managers Elite Breakfast, Bill Tanner to Be Honored

    Bill Tanner will be recognized with Variety’s 2019 Business Managers Elite Award at the annual Business Managers Elite Breakfast presented by City National Bank, which takes place in Beverly Hills on Nov. 13. Co-chairman and chief creative officer of The Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn will be the keynote speaker in conversation with Variety editor-in-chief, [...]

  • Smoke haze covers the Sydney Harbour

    Australia's Seven West to Merge With Affiliate Prime Media

    Australia’s Seven West Media has agreed a deal to acquire regional broadcast group Prime Media. The move is a further step in the consolidation of Australia’s traditional media industry. The two companies announced on Friday that Seven will make the acquisition entirely through the issue of new shares to the owners of Prime. Both companies [...]

  • Ron Meyer

    Ron Meyer Files $10 Million Suit Over Forged Rothko

    NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer has filed a $10 million suit against two art dealers, claiming they sold him a forged Mark Rothko painting in 2001. Meyer accuses Susan Seidel and Jaime Frankfort of duping him into buying the work. According to the suit, he was told that it would be included in an official [...]

  • Former movie producer Harvey Weinstein (L)

    Harvey Weinstein Seeks to Call Expert on 'Recovered' Memories at Rape Trial

    Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys are seeking to call an expert on “recovered memories” at his trial on rape and sexual assault charges. The defense has filed a motion asking to call Deborah Davis, a psychologist and professor at the University of Nevada at Reno. Davis is a frequent defense witness. She co-authored an article in 2006 [...]

  • Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime

    Tekashi 6ix9ine Docuseries Coming From Showtime and Rolling Stone

    Showtime Documentary Films today announced a new limited docuseries profiling controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine. Titled “SuperVillain” and inspired by the Rolling Stone feature written by Stephen Witt, the three-part series will trace how a New York City deli clerk named Daniel Hernandez became superstar rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine — who racked up 2.6 billion streams and [...]

  • Fader Label Logo

    Fader Label Signs Two New Acts, Boosts Staff

    The Fader Label, home to Clairo, Matt and Kim and others, announced two new signings today along with three new hires on its staff. Charlie Burg and Zachary Knowles have joined the label’s talent roster, while Carson Oberg has come aboard as general manager, Yasmine Panah as project manager and Josh Hymowitz as label coordinator. They [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content