Upfront Season Going into Overdrive

Upfront season goes into overdrive in Gotham during the next two months as the major cable and broadcast networks hawk their wares to advertisers. The ritual of promoting new and returning programming in advance of booking blurb commitments for the upcoming season takes many forms at this time of year.

Some outlets, such as Cartoon Network and Ion, are eschewing formal events for a series of meetings with key media buyers. Cartoon Network even whipped up a “Premium Cart” that rolls in to meetings to dispense goodies.

But others are all-in for showy presentations where talent press the flesh and execs proffer ratings statistics and audience engagement metrics until the last jumbo shrimp is consumed. “Modern Family” is getting its very own showcase as it heads into syndication this fall and distrib Twentieth TV prepares to sell barter ad time. FX has a distinctive approach with its annual All-Star Bowling Party. Participant Media joins the fray with plans to unveil the name of its nascent cabler at its inaugural gathering.

Indeed, the sked is packed through the week of May 13, when the season culminates with presentations by the Big Four, CW, USA, TNT/TBS, Univision and Telemundo.

Here’s a rundown of events set for the next few weeks:

TUESDAY: Disney’s Kids Upfront: Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Jr. Hudson Theater, 6 p.m.

THURSDAY: NBC News Group,

MARCH 18: Twentieth Television party for “Modern Family.” Gary’s Loft, evening

MARCH 21: Crown Media Family Networks: Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movie Channel. Eleven Madison Park, noon.

MARCH 27: Participant Media. Museum of Arts and Design, 11 a.m.

MARCH 28: FX Networks. Programming and ad sales presentation, Cipriani 42nd Street, 9 a.m. All-Star Bowling Party, Lucky Strike Lanes, 6:30 p.m.

APRIL 3: Bravo. Stage 37, 6:30 p.m.

APRIL 4: Discovery Communications nets, including OWN. Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall, 4 p.m.

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