That was how NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly summed up NBC’s goals at its upfront presentation, which just concluded about 20 minutes ago. There was nothing too groundbreaking for advertisers. The new pilots — which range from a “big,” “loud” remake of “Bionic Woman” to “Chuck,” a “comedic spy thriller” about a computer geek named Chuck — are being sold with “launch partnerships” that include an in-show integration, a “pod-busting” content wrap (some sort of clever transition trick to make people forget they’re watching an ad), plus mobile and web advertising. The network also announced plans to build out more online extras.
One of the most promising opportunities, I thought, was an online experience where fans start their own “branch” of Dunder Mifflin for the show “The Office.” Here groups of people complete weekly tasks and compete to have their work featured on the show. Sounds like a smart way to create a loyal community of regular user-generators.
In the second-half they wheeled out Jerry Seinfeld to announce he’d be showing 1-minute “mini-sodes” on the network to promote his upcoming DreamWorks project “Bee Movie.” He also launched into a little observational Old Media/New Media schtick, comparing today’s business with when Seinfeld was number one back in 1997: “Back then, there was no YouTube, there was Us-Tube! Americans watched what we put on the air, or they suffered the consequences!” Indeed.