×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

From George W. Bush to Salt-N-Pepa, A+E Networks Demonstrates Range and Reach

A+E Networks brought out an eclectic group of personalities — from George W. Bush to Sylvester Stallone to Salt-N-Pepa to Garth Brooks — Wednesday night to tout new programming and initiatives coming to History, A&E and Lifetime.

The program pitch at A+E’s upfront presentation at Jazz at Lincoln Center seemed like a back-to-basics approach for the cable group, with distinct programming niches for the company’s three pillar channels.

Paul Buccieri, A+E Networks Group president, emphasized the “strong relationship” the channels have with their target audiences. “That loyalty makes us relevant on every platform,” he told the crowd of media buyers.

The core A+E Networks channels have been seeing improvements after a long slump. Like other major ad-supported cablers, A+E is still buffeted by the fast-changing TV marketplace and viewers’ embrace of on-demand platforms. But each of A+E’s Big Three have successes to point to — as stars and executives were quick to do during a breezy hourlong presentation.

Former President Bush gave a big plug to History, saying the channel “tells it straight” with its documentaries and series. Bush, who was recently honored for his historical preservation efforts, also hailed History’s work with veterans groups to shine a light on their needs and contributions.

“I’m optimistic about our future. I understand that democracy is self-correcting,” Bush said. “I am optimistic as well because of our veterans.”

Stallone was on hand to talk up “The Tenderloin,” a scripted drama set in the turn of the century that will tell the true story of a crooked New York City cop who was sent to the electric chair. Stallone is set to direct several episodes, should “Tenderloin” be ordered to series.

“Thank you very much, and keep punching,” Stallone sad to enthusiastic applause. (Stallone also joked that he and Buccieri should “start a spumoni company.”)

The pioneering female rap duo Salt-N-Pepa were on hand to promote the upcoming miniseries based on their story. The pair got a big hand and led some in the audience crowd through a few lines of their 1993 hit “Shoop.”

“Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts talked up her deal with Lifetime to produce a series of telepics and documentaries. Lifetime has some renewed energy following the success of its “Surviving R. Kelly” docu-series that led to the renewed scrutiny and an arrest for the embattled R&B singer.

Dan Abrams, host of A&E’s hit series “Live P.D.,” delivered the obligatory humorous video featuring top brand managers discussing their needs. It was not lost on the crowd that Dunkin’ chief marketing officer Tony Weisman extolled the virtues of “broad reach media” for the fast-food chain. A+E ad sales chief Peter Olsen reinforced the message that A+E channels offer “brand safety” and respectability in contrast to the less predictable environs for content and advertising offered by digital media giants.

The closer at A+E’s party was Garth Brooks, who is the subject of a four-part documentary “Garth: The Road I’m On,” to air on A&E under the “Biography” banner. Brooks promised that the doc is revealing about his life and long career as a country music superstar. “The whole point of this documentary is to go to the dark places that nobody ever saw,” Brooks said.

More TV

  • Robin Roberts Omarosa

    Disney Makes Big Play to Stay in NFL's TV-Football Game

    Robin Roberts is moving this week from mornings on ABC to primetime. And while the shift is temporary, the business machinations behind it are likely to continue. Roberts, best known for her regular appearances on “Good Morning America,” will serve this Thursday and Friday as an important presence during two nights of ABC’s coverage of [...]

  • TV Review: ‘Motown 60: A Grammy

    TV Review: ‘Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration’

    If nothing else, CBS’ “Motown 60: A Grammy Celebration” special alerted America to the continued vitality of Smokey Robinson as a contemporary performer. Ten months from turning 80, the singer’s performances were focused and controlled as he weaved his sultry vocals through classics he wrote — the ballads “The Tracks of My Tears” and “Ooh Baby Baby,” chief among them. Producers [...]

  • Telemundo Has 'Game of Thrones' Hopes

    Telemundo Has 'Game of Thrones' Hopes for 'La Reina del Sur' Season 2 Premiere

    Call it Telemundo’s “Game of Thrones.” The Spanish-language network is hoping for a blockbuster premiere tonight for the long-awaited sophomore season of “La Reina del Sur,” the crime drama starring Kate del Castillo that ranks as Telemundo’s most-watched original series ever. “La Reina” was a massive hit for Telemundo when it aired in early 2011. [...]

  • Florence and the Machine

    Florence & the Machine Premiere New Song on 'Game of Thrones'

    [pmc=related] If the voice singing the song during the end credits of “Game of Thrones” tonight sounded familiar — or unmistakable — yes, it was Florence + the Machine. The group’s version of the original “Game of Thrones” song “Jenny of Oldstones” debuted during the closing credits of this season’s second episode, following a rendition [...]

  • Game of Thrones Fan Theories

    Best Fan Theories for the Final Season of 'Game of Thrones'

    After eight seasons, “Game of Thrones” fans will finally see if their long-held theories will pay off. Dozens of important characters and a complex plot have made diehard viewers try to foresee plot twists for years. With the original R+L=J theory confirmed, meaning that Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark were the real parents of Jon [...]

  • Abigail Disney on Bob Iger

    Abigail Disney Calls Bob Iger's $65 Million Compensation 'Insane'

    Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger’s total compensation for Disney’s fiscal 2018 was a whopping $65.6 million. Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Disney, calls that sum “insane.”  While speaking at the Fast Company Impact Council, the filmmaker and philanthropist insisted that this level of corporate payout has a “corrosive effect on society.” Disney took [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content