10 Things We Learned From NATPE and Real Screen Summit


While pilot season roared on in Los Angeles, the rest of the TV biz headed to Miami Beach and Washington, D.C., last week for the annual NATPE confab and Real Screen Summit, respectively. The events, which went head to head Jan. 26-29, were a good place to take the temperature of industryites and gather interesting tidbits.

No. 1

Station managers are nervous about the Supreme Court’s pending decision on Aereo TV. Even though the startup has relatively few subscribers, copyright principles are at stake.

No. 2

Reality shows revolving around the antics of hillbillies and tattoo artists are so 2010. Both trends feel played out to many buyers.

No. 3

Meredith Vieira has enlisted Everett Bradley, who has played with Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, to head the house band on her upcoming NBCUniversal-distribbed talk-variety daytime strip.

No. 4

FremantleMedia North America chief Thom Beers railed about nets insisting on locking up all format and distribution rights to shows, He’d love to see Fremantle, ITV and Endemol go in on their own cable net.

No. 5

Dickie Smothers is still alive (his joke) and shopping a package of TV interstitials that feature his witty reflections on pop culture, aging, healthy living and other topics. It’s a DIY effort with Sarasota, Fla.-based Begin Prods.

No. 6

Twitter execs have been holding boot camps for writers’ rooms, including “The Good Wife.” The main message: Stars and showrunners need to engage with fans. “The retweet is the new autograph,” says Twitter’s Fred Graver.

No. 7

Shine America, under the new regime led by Rich Ross, is gaining a reputation for being game to take big swings at original ideas.

No. 8

The rise of second-screen activity during TV viewing really bugs some showrunners. “I spent all this time preparing this meal — pay attention,” says “Boardwalk Empire’s” Terence Winter.

No. 9

Lauren Zalaznick has set up a weekly e-newsletter dubbed “LZ Sunday Paper” featuring news about women curated from a range of print and digital outlets.

No. 10

NATPE and Real Screen won’t overlap next year. The confabs were locked into concurrent dates for 2014 due to venue availability, but NATPE chief Rod Perth says they’re coordinating to make sure it doesn’t happen again.