[REFRESH FOR LATEST]
5:38pm: First thought regarding “S.H.I.E.L.D.” — finally, a show with impressive special effects! With that, Lee calls it a night.
5:36pm: Surprising to see members of the aud heading towards the door during the highly-anticipated clip of “S.H.I.E.L.D.” Looks like no show can stop some biz heads from getting an early start on the cab line?
5:30pm: Line that got some guffaws from the cutdown of “Mixology”? “Girls wearing flats are never trying to get laid. The higher the heel, the looser she feels.” Show, about dating-challenged men, drew more laughs than NBC’s forthcoming “Undateable,” though the one-night-for-one-season concept seems like a difficult challenge to take on.
5:15pm: Kimmel monologue begins, otherwise known as The Annual Slaying of Rival Nets. Highlights —
With bags in his hands, Kimmel remarks: “You don’t know if these shows are going to work, I don’t know if these shows are going to work, just throw your money in these bags and pass them around…”
“It’s time to stop calling these an Upfront, and start calling them ‘throwing shit at a wall and see what sticks.’ And you guys are the wall.”
“Next year you’ll come back and do it again, and every year I wonder — what is wrong with these people? Someone needs to talk to them about their spending! And then, it occurred to me, maybe this is a good place to sell some of my shit!” Kimmel then points to projected Craigslist ads that include: an inkjet printer, Palm Treo cell phone, parrot cages, and a neon Budlight sign.
Referencing “Splash”: “You’re about to invest in a network that rolled a 400 pound comedian off a diving board last week.”
“And yes, it’s true: every year our audience gets smaller. To which I say, every year Apple products get smaller and no one has problem with that!”
Regarding Leno’s departure from “The Tonight Show” on NBC: “[NBC] found that by being number one in his time slot, [Leno was] embarrassing their other shows.”
On differentiating between Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon: “He’s the one who sings and plays the guitar, I’m the one that comes here every year and calls you assholes.”
“NBC is on a roll this year — or not a roll, what is it called…a spiral.”
“Every time you cancel a Matthew Perry show, three rise up to take its place.”
On NBC being beat by Univision, and how the Peacock will compete against the Spanish net: “Their strategy next year is to oppose immigration reform.”
“…And then we have CBS, those smug motherfuckers.”
“It doesn’t matter if i joke about CBS being old, the viewers can’t hear me.”
“CBS has a new show called ‘American Baking Competition’ — that’ll get the kids to put down their iPhones! They better be baking pot brownies, because no one under 60 is going to watch.”
On ABC Unified: “We believe this is a new revolutionary made up way to take your money.”
On celeb diving show “Splash”: “Next year we’re taking the water out of the pool and calling it ‘Splat.'”
“‘The Bachelor’ is still going strong, based on the theory that 1 in 25 hair stylists is your soul mate.”
“I want to take a moment to salute the great Barbara Walters…as you know, she’s leaving ABC after 50 years to have a baby…my baby….”
“NBC made a show starring a monkey and a lot of you bought advertising on it, so none of us have any idea what we’re doing.”
Paul Lee walks back on the stage to introduce more clips, but first remarks, “Did he just call me Harry Potter?”
4:58pm: Clearly some “Scandal” fans in the room — a sneak peek of the Thursday finale led many to whisper “YESSSS…”
4:55pm: Shoddy CG rabbit and aggressive shrubs (I take full responsibility for that sub-par description) just made this journo cringe during the cutdown for “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.”
4:48p: Rebel Wilson doing a monologue (and promoting her show “Super Fun Night”), aud laughing pretty hard at her dry comedic timing. The reel? Laughs from the Conan O’Brien-produced comedy trickled over into Lee’s introduction of “Nashville.”
4:46pm: Another strong reaction to ABC’s comedy “Back in the Game.” Even though mainstay “Modern Family” is beginning to show its age, it’s clear that the Alphabet has some strong frosh contenders to beef up its lineup.
4:39pm: “Lucky 7” from Steven Spielberg managed to look like a period show set in the early ’80s, even though it takes place in present-day Gotham. Perhaps we were primed by “Goldbergs”?
4:34pm: Sizzle reel for “The Goldbergs” draws the most consistent laughs of any comedy clip so far at this week’s presentations, specifically from Jeff Garlin’s performance as a loud, crude father to three kids. The 1980s-themed laffer seems to resound in a room of ad buyers who remember growing up in that decade themselves. It lands cheers and whistles after the reel ends. Crowd reaction to “Trophy Wife” is so-so in comparison to “Goldbergs.”
4:26pm: Paul Lee, like Kevin Reilly, emphasizing the limited series for ABC’s upcoming lineup, and the importance of social media — “Scandal’s” tweets, per Lee, are up almost 530%. A lot of quiet mumbling in the audience as Lee presents the ABC schedule…
4:18pm: ABC offers median ages across its digital platforms — as young as twenty-somethings, on certain platforms, which is a serious difference from the average fifty-somethings that tune into broadcast. Alphabet offers insight to the importance of buying ads across platforms with “ABC Unified,” saying it delivers “youth and scale,” and upticks in key demos like adults 18-49 when compared to traditional broadcast. Nail in coffin? ABC touts that it has the highest “heavy spender index” — aka viewers with deep pockets — compared to other nets.
4:12pm: Barbara Walters gets a standing ovation and tears up as Sweeney acknowledges her time at the net and recently-announced retirement.
4:07pm: ABC opens its presentation with a clip of Kimmel and Anne Sweeney spoofing “Scandal” with Kerry Washington, Washington’s character from the sudsy drama prepping Kimmel and Sweeney for the presentation. Crowd enjoying the funny reel. ABC launches into its Upfront with an emphasis on its late night lineup and ayem news, a change from NBC, which relegated its late night programming to the end of the presentation and didn’t mention “Today.”
4:05pm: Announcer: “Please turn your cellphones off.” View from press balcony: iPhones, iPhones, iPhones. Emails, Instagram, Brickbreaker?
3:57pm: Presentation set to start at 4pm, but suits are still mingling, shaking hands at Avery Fisher Hall. Chatter outside in the lobby includes how ad buyers weren’t too impressed by most of the clips featured at yesterday’s Fox and NBC Upfronts. Perhaps ABC will allow them to have a change of heart? Either way, the anticipated Jimmy Kimmel roast will be a highlight…