2016 Revealed Fizzling Promise Of Live Events

The TV industry once regarded them as its great hope in the DVR age. But over the past year, everything from sports to special events have seen declines. Blame social media in part.

NBC To Air Live Commercials In ‘Hairspray’

NBC hopes some innovative approaches will keep viewers interested and point the way toward more creativity among advertisers at a time viewers are accustomed to fast-forwarding through commercials. The live musical, which is quickly becoming a December tradition for NBC, is “the biggest test kitchen that we could possibly have,” said Linda Yaccarino, chairwoman of advertising sales and client partnerships at the network.

‘Hairspray’ Is NBC’s Most Ambitious Musical

The live television musical has evolved into a bicoastal enterprise. What started out, with 2013’s The Sound of Music Live!, in a lower Broadway rehearsal space in New York, has evolved into a full-blown production on the Universal Studios backlot in California for Hairspray Live! which premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. on NBC.

‘Voice’ Sets Real-Time Voting, Results Show

NBC has announced the first-ever live real-time voting and results show for The Voice, which will air on Monday, Nov. 7. The two-hour special will feature performances, voting and results all taking place during the same episode.

NBC’s Next Live Musical: ‘Birdie’ With Lopez

NBC’s next big musical event is about a musical superstar — and they’ve already got a musical superstar in the cast. Jennifer Lopez will star in the network’s live production of the beloved musical Bye Bye Birdie — entitled Bye Bye Birdie Live! Lopez will play Rosie, the role that earned Chita Rivera a Tony nomination during the original Broadway run. (Harvey Fierstein will write the teleplay adaptation.)

Colbert Sets Live ‘Late Shows’ Election Week

The two live telecasts will air in the regular CBS Late Show slot — 11:35 p.m. ET — on Monday, Nov. 7, and Wednesday, Nov. 9. 

‘Game Of Thrones,’ ‘Veep’ Top Emmy Winners

Game of Thrones won the top drama Emmy for the second consecutive year and became the most honored primetime TV series ever. Veep repeated as best comedy series and its star, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, won a record-breaking sixth Emmy as best comedy actress.

Will People Watch The Emmys?

This awards show is airing on Sunday on ABC, which hopes to buck a trend of falling ratings, even for big live events.


From The IBC Exhibit Floor: EVS

EVS | Stand 8.B90 | Website: www.evs.com EVS, a provider of live video technology for broadcast and new media productions, presents a new extended offering at IBC centered on its cloud-based C-Cast platform alongside digital media specialist and global sports business leader deltatre. By connecting to C-Cast, EVS’ scalable, cloud-based video-on-demand editing and distribution platform, Deltatre’s enhanced video […]

IBC 2016

Grass Valley Raises Ante On Live Production

From capture to replay to delivery, live production represents a growing opportunity around the world for companies with the right equipment and infrastructure. At IBC, Grass Valley is offering a range of integrated solutions that help content owners and broadcasters create, control and connect content to the right audience at the right time.



Previously Hot, Live TV Is Cooling Off

Live network programming like Peter Pan (above) hasn’t been the ratings boon that many thought it would be. “A live-event program only becomes an ‘event’ when it isn’t done all the time,” says NYU professor Andrew Goldman. However, NBC is still going ahead with a live musical in December and a live drama next year.

ABC Extends Oscars Broadcasts Through ’28

The new deal will take the network’s live coverage of the film awards through the Academy Awards’ 100th anniversary.

Andrea Martin Joins ‘Hairspray Live!’ Cast

NEW YORK (AP) — Andrea Martin has jumped aboard the cast of NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” to play the mother of pop star Ariana Grande. The Tony- and Emmy-winning comedian will join a lineup that also includes Harvey Fierstein, Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Hudson, Derek Hough, Martin Short, Sean Hayes and Rosie O’Donnell. It airs Dec. 7. […]

NBC’s ‘Hairspray Live!’ Adds Hayes, O’Donnell

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Sean Hayes and Rosie O’Donnell are joining the cast of NBC’s “Hairspray Live!” Hayes will take on the role of dress shop owner Mr. Pinky, while O’Donnell will play a tough gym teacher in the production set to air in December, the network said Tuesday. They join a cast that […]

Ariana Grande Joins NBC’s ‘Hairspray Live’

Kristin Chenoweth Joins NBC’s ‘Hairspray Live’

ABC Bringing ‘For the Record Live’ To TV

Based on the staged productions, the network is teaming with Dick Clark Productions to develop the brand as a live broadcast.

Report: Broadcast TV Viewing Mostly Live

Sports, news, competition shows and latenight programs now account for between half and three-quarters of the Big Four’s gross ratings points, according to a new MoffettNathanson report. NBC, home of Sunday Night Football and The Voice, is most heavily reliant on live — for better or worse.

WWE’s ‘Smackdown’ On USA To Become Live Show

Nielsen Examines Live Vs. Delayed Viewing

Reality-competition shows get the most “live” viewing, while animated shows get the least of any genre of primetime programming, according to Nielsen research unveiled Tuesday. The research is part of a company effort to better assess the “total” audiences for individual TV shows beyond their seven-day time frame.

Martin Short, Derek Hough Join ‘Hairspray Live’

Hudson, Fierstein To Star In NBC’s ‘Hairspray’

Jennifer Hudson and Harvey Fierstein have signed on to NBC’s Hairspray Live, the network’s next live Broadway musical. Hudson will play Motormouth Maybelle, while Fierstein will star as Edna Turnblad, the role he won a Tony for in the stage version. He will also write the teleplay.

NBC Doubles Down On Live With ‘Good Men’

The live TV musical was a relic of broadcast’s past until NBC resuscitated it. Now, having announced plans for a live version of A Few Good Men, the network wants to do the same for drama. NBC is betting that Aaron Sorkin’s straight play can, like the recent string of musicals the network adapted for TV, draw large swaths of viewers away from the DVR and to the live feed. But that’s far from a sure bet.

Live TV, DVR Viewing Rises, Pay TV Shrinks

Although pay TV homes are shrinking, TV viewing continues to climb. Live TV viewing rose 7% in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 1,004 hours of TV viewed per household, with time-shifted viewing -—15 days after live airing -— also gaining 7% to 356 hours of TV viewed per household, according to comScore’s TV Essentials.

NBC To Air Live ‘A Few Good Men’ In 2017

NBC, which has had great success with live musicals in recent years, is turning to live drama in 2017 with a presentation of A Few Good Men. Aaron Sorkin, the creator and mastermind behind NBC’s The West Wing, will return to the network for the project, which is an adaptation of his legit production. A specific air date has yet to be announced, but NBC is targeting the project for early 2017.

Live TV Loses To Digital Among Millennials

People ages 18-34 spend more time on their phone or computer than they do watching live TV, according to ComScore. In fact, the study found that mobile is quickly approaching equal status with live TV among millennials. That demographic spends 47%  of its time with live television, while mobile already accounts for 40%.

Sports Viewing Scores A Programming Goal

The growing influence of streaming video on-demand services, time-shifting and social media have all had a well-documented impact on the landscape of linear TV and the way people watch their favorite shows. Yet despite the multiple ways we can access programming, one type of programming remains DVR-resistant: sports.

‘Hairspray Live’ Gets December Slot On NBC

NBC made its hopes official Thursday: Hairspray will be the network’s next live musical. Hairspray Live will premiere Dec. 7 (8 p.m. ET/PT), with some big theater names being added the production.

Homer Will Go Live On ‘The Simpsons’

After 27 seasons, Homer Simpson will appear “live” during a May episode of Fox’s The Simpsons. In the episode, Marge, Lisa and Bart will turn the show over to the family’s patriarch, who will take a break from stuffing his face to comment on the events of the day live during both the East Coast and West Coast broadcasts. The final three minutes of the May 15 show will use motion capture technology to animate actor Dan Castellaneta — the voice of Homer — in real-time.

Target To Feature Stefani In Live Grammy Spot

The four-minute live commercial/music video will include multiple sets and costume changes — and Target promises there will be guest appearances and other surprises. It will be performed Monday at a soundstage in Los Angeles while the Grammy Awards event happens across town at the Staples Center.


The More Live TV The Better For Broadcasting

For a few years now, the broadcast networks have been doubling down on live programming as their hedge against audience fragmentation. They have cooked up additional awards shows as well as popular musicals like Grease Live. But sports is the biggest live genre and NBC and CBS reaffirmed their commitment to it with their deals to air Thursday Night Football over the next two seasons.

Our Rising National Obsession With Sports

They dominate the media landscape, and none more so than football. A new report finds explosive growth in their share of live TV viewing over the past decade and more.


‘Grease’ Shows That Fox Can Do Musicals

With Sunday night’s hectic, ambitious and hormonal Grease, Fox proved it could up the ante in the new mini-industry of musicals on TV, an industry so far controlled by NBC, with its The Sound of Music Live ‘Peter Pan Live and The Wiz Live. Grease: Live was captured by 44 cameras and performed on two massive Warner Bros. soundstages over 20 acres in Burbank, Calif.

CBS To Air ‘Grammy Red Carpet Live’ Special

Entertainment Tonight co-hosts Nancy O’Dell and Kevin Frasier, and Shad Moss (aka Bow Wow) will host Grammy Red Carpet Live from 7-8 p.m. ET on Monday, Feb. 15, on CBS, leading in to The 58th Annual Grammy Awards, which will be broadcast live from L.A.’s Staples Center beginning at 8 p.m. ET. LL Cool J will host the show for the fifth consecutive year.

Fox Hopes For Hot Ratings With ‘Grease: Live’

Ever since NBC’s success with the live Sound of Music in 2012, event musicals have become a more frequent broadcast network staple. ABC plans a musical remake of Dirty Dancing and Fox intends to do a new Rocky Horror Picture Show later this year. For its first entry, Fox offers Grease: Live on Sunday, a mashup of the original stage musical and the 1978 movie that followed it.


NBC Wants Live ‘Hairspray’ Musical In Dec.

NBC’s Bob Greenblatt expects his next big December musical to be a live adaptation of Hairspray. That said, the boss stressed that the deals are not yet closed. Should this come to fruition, which feels likely solely based on Greenblatt’s sharing, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron will executive produce. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman wrote the music and lyrics.

New Year’s Eve TV Shows Downplay Jitters

New Year’s Eve has become one of the most competitive live-broadcast nights, with multiple networks airing coverage of festivities in New York, Miami, and elsewhere. But this year’s celebrations are tinged with wariness after recent terror attacks here and abroad.

Live Sports Dominate On TV And On Twitter

This past week of the top 10 in Nielsen’s Twitter TV Ratings of sports events, the No. 1 spot went to the 2015 NBA championship rematch of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors. The game had 506,000 event-related Tweets sent in the U.S., with a unique audience of 6.7 million people. According to Nielsen, live tweeting makes up 57% of the weekly Twitter TV impressions, showing that social engagement peaks during a broadcast.


Miss Universe Gaffe Shows Peril Of Live TV

Fox’s ‘Grease: Live’ To Have Studio Audience

Fresh off Broadway blockbuster Hamilton, director Thomas Kail and designer David Korins reveal plans for Fox’s Jan. 31 entry into the live musical game. In a further attempt to bring the immediacy of theater to television, Fox’s upcoming Grease: Live will be the first of the recent crop of small-screen live musical events to be staged in front of a studio audience.