Squeezed in between a week of high-profile broadcast network upfronts, Turner's cablers launched themselves into the TV conversation by hosting their big event at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom this morning. TNT's biggest new property is, of course, the campy Dallas remake, while TBS is clearly trying to move past their former "We saved Conan and bought the rights to Family Guy repeats!" image and instead focusing on the future, now claiming, "We saved Cougar Town and bought the rights to The Big Bang Theory repeats!" After excited executives talked shop about shows currently in development (not particularly worth noting) and sampling their new series, Conan O'Brien came out to do a bit about television bigwigs and their imaginary Craigslist postings. It was underwhelming, but he snuck in a few funny jokes about Turner having their upfronts at 9 AM next to Penn Station while this afternoon's CBS upfronts will be at li'l ol' Carnegie Hall, and managed to keep the tired NBC jabs to a minimum. And on the bright side, his set was a lot funnier than anything else previewed for the network.
It's one and done for Anna Kournikova.
The worst possible thing that could happen at a network upfront event actually occurred this morning for TBS and TNT... and it turned out to be the best possible thing that could've happened. In front a packed house of advertisers, media buyers, network executives and journalists, the meticulously choreographed presentation ground to a screeching halt not once, not twice, not thrice, but four times due to technical difficulties that prevented the giant video screens from displaying picture. But what could've been a devastating embarrassment for the networks resulted in a series of live, unrehearsed performances that had more electricity than any of the sitcoms previewed by NBC, Fox and ABC earlier this week.
Another one bites the dust.
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