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

  • Woodstock 50 Festival Postpones Ticket On-Sale

    Woodstock 50 Festival Postpones Ticket On-Sale Date

    The troubled Woodstock 50 festival has run into more difficulties, as multiple sources told Variety late Friday that the April 22 on-sale date for the event has been postponed. Agents for artists scheduled to perform at the festival — which include Jay-Z, Dead & Company, Chance the Rapper, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons and Halsey — [...]

  • National Enquirer - Jeff Bezos

    Hudson Media CEO James Cohen Purchases the National Enquirer

    Hudson Media’s CEO James Cohen announced Thursday that he will purchase the National Enquirer as well as American Media’s other tabloids, the Globe and the National Examiner. With the purchase of the National Enquirer, which Cohen reportedly bought for $100 million, he plans to strengthen their collaborative efforts, documentary shows, weekly podcasts, and theme parks. [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music’s Free Tier Is More Advertising Play Than Spotify Killer, Analysts Say

    When news began to spread last week that Amazon Music’s long-anticipated free streaming tier was imminent, headlines emerged about its threat to Spotify and Apple Music, with some stories saying that Spotify’s stock price dropped in response to the news. But not only was today’s launch of the free tier basically a soft one — [...]

  • Nicki MinajCFDA Vogue Fashion Fund Dinner,

    Nicki Minaj Parts Ways With Longtime Managers (EXCLUSIVE)

    Nicki Minaj has parted ways with Gee Roberson and Cortez Bryant and Blueprint/ Maverick Management, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety. She had worked with the pair for the majority of her career. The source says the decision was mutual and amicable, and there was no specific reason for the split, adding [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music Launches Free Streaming Tier, Through Alexa Only (for Now)

    Amazon Music today basically soft-launched its free streaming tier, in which U.S. customers of its Alexa voice assistant will have access to top Amazon Music playlists and thousands of stations, at no cost. The limited access that the new free service provides — it’s only available through Alexa, and when the listener requests a song, [...]

  • Donald Glover and Adidas Launch Short

    Donald Glover and Adidas Launch Partnership With New Shoes and Short Films (Watch)

    Donald Glover and Adidas Originals today announced Donald Glover Presents, a creative partnership that unveiled a new line of shoes and a series of brief — and very funny — films to accompany them. (Watch them below.) Donald Glover Presents reimagines threeAadidas styles, the Nizza, the Continental 80, and the Lacombe. The shoes feature uneven [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content