Networks are adjusting to the changed world of how people watch their programs: hours or weeks later on DVR, online or on-demand. But the industry’s financial structure hasn’t caught up yet, so viewers who watch when a program is first aired — once the only way to watch — are considered more valuable.
With ratings for Nik Wallenda’s tightrope walks across Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon in mind, networks are taking meetings from people pitching programs about cars flipping over, or an attempt to set a record for simultaneous skydives. They’re all on the hunt for the next big event.
CBS is the latest broadcast network to re-enter the limited series/event programming arena with a dedicated executive. Stacy Mandelberg has been named VP, limited series and event programming, a newly created position, in which she will acquire, develop and oversee production of short-run scripted programming based on books, historical events and original high-concept ideas, reporting to both Nina Tassler, president, CBS Entertainment and David Stapf, president, CBS Television Studios.