As I mentioned off the top of last night's BRC gala, it had been a while since I had addressed this room. A dozen years, in fact.
The Broadcast Research Council, a group which acts as a liaison for Canadian broadcasters and advertisers, have been hosting these annual Fall Preview events for years. This year I got to co-present the preview of the 2009-10 season with my old pal from Mediaweek, Marc Berman. That's Berman (left) and Brioux flanking new BRC president Eva Tolkunow--from WWE Corp--at last night's event at the Four Seasons in Toronto.
The last time I was before this room was in the summer of 1997, when I was still at TV Guide. I was co-presenting with who ever happened to be the editor of TV Guide at the time. I think I co-hosted four times with three different editors.
Last night I got to share the stage with Berman, Mediaweek's expert "Programming Insider" and the guy with all the numbers. Berman used to run numbers for guys like Jeff Zucker at NBC so he's earned that insider status. We'd teamed back in January at a more low-key BRC breakfast preview of mid-season shows and had fun playing to the 250 guests at last night's industry gala.
As I mentioned to the crowd, a lot has changed in television since the mid-90s. Back then, Hulu was a hoop, a carriage fee was something you paid at Toys 'R Us and Moses didn't have to go out and buy Vision, he already had it.
About a dozen clips were shown from the 24 new shows premiering on network TV in Canada this fall. Among the shows both of us really like are the comedies Modern Family, Cougar Town and Community and the dramas The Good Wife and NCIS: Los Angeles (which stars L.L. Cool J, who, if he breaks through next year, may get moved to 10 p.m. and headline the L.L. Cool J Leno Show). I really like Glee, Marc thinks musical comedies are a hard sell (even Fame was a flop on network, he notes, but I think the times are right for this positive, blue sky showcase). Marc puts The Vampire Diaries in his winner's circle, I think it looks too much like One Tree Vampire. I thought The Good Wife, starring Julianna Margulies, was a very compelling pilot, Marc expects it will be a hard sell outside the older female demo. Both of us are intrigued by ABC's Lost-like Flash Forward, but this one's been locked away in vault Disney and nobody has seen more than the 2:45 teaser clip so far.
We also previewed clips for mid-season CanCon orders The Bridge (CTV/CBS) and Cra$h & Burn (Canwest's Showcase), which, as one network rival put it last night, is a pretty nervy title for a Global entry these days.
Folks seemed pleased we'd brought the show in just under the two hour limit. Special thanks to the network PR teams at Canwest, CTV and Citytv who hustled the clips together and helped make the evening a success.