TV

Social Impact

The cast and crew of this year's "The X-Files" event series on FOX made a concerted effort during production to give back to the communities in British Columbia, where they filmed. Building on the socially conscious themes of episodes like "Home Again," about gentrification in major cities, the team led projects to support the homeless community in Vancouver, which was standing in for Philadelphia in the episode.

Social Impact

For teenage filmmakers in New York and Los Angeles, Ghetto Film School provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to receive a rigorous, college-level film education, all at no cost to its students. Through its Fellows Program, the organization guides its members through both the art and business of moviemaking, giving them the tools they need to navigate professional careers in a creative field.

Ilene Chaiken
Social Impact

Ilene Chaiken, “Empire” executive producer and showrunner, was honored with a 2016 GLSEN Respect Award last evening at a ceremony in New York City for her work in representing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on television.

TV

In front of an audience of about 2,500 advertisers, Fox executives, producers and others, Fox Networks Group presented its 2016-17 programming slate at the Beacon Theater in New York City. The presentation, which featured musical performances and guest appearances from FOX show talent, laid out the recent multiplatform achievements of FOX, FX, National Geographic Partners and FOX Sports. It also put a spotlight on the shows that are returning and debuting for FOX in the fall and winter.

Industry

This morning, FOX announced its new primetime series for the 2016-17 season, which included a historic slate of original programming for the network. Tonight, Toby Byrne, President of Advertising Sales for Fox Networks Group, will address an audience of about 2,500 people at the 2016 FOX upfront programming presentation at the Beacon Theater in New York, which will include advertisers, Fox executives and others. I spoke with Toby before he takes the stage to hear his thoughts on how the upfront season has changed recently, the move toward data and technology in advertising, and what he hopes advertisers will walk away with after tonight.

The Simpsons live
TV

On Sunday, May 15, “The Simpsons” will treat audiences to a live, three-minute Q&A session with none other than Homer J. Simpson. Thanks to the advances in motion capture technology, Dan Castellaneta will answer questions from live callers in the form of Homer, the character to whom he lends his voice. The event, the first of its kind, will happen at the end of the new episode, which is titled “Simprovised” and aptly focuses on a storyline in which Homer turns to improv comedy to regain his confidence after a botched speech at work.

Hulu 2016 upfront
Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins offers his opening remarks for the 2016 Hulu upfront presentation.
Events

In front of a packed house at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York Wednesday morning, Hulu used its 2016 upfront event to address reports that it will soon stream live television content. The video streaming service also announced the renewals of “The Mindy Project” and “The Path” at the upfront and offered a sneak peek at forthcoming content, including a Beatles documentary.

Photo credit: Robb Cohen Photography and Video
Left to right: Michael Schneider, Dana Walden, Gary Newman, Ilene Chaiken and Bryshere “Yazz” Gray on Day Two of the 2016 NAB Show.
TV

FOX’s blockbuster television drama “Empire” certainly has eye-popping numbers to boast about: a total multiplatform audience of 23 million, a more than 20 percent lead over the second most popular broadcast show and 39 nominations for a variety of prestigious awards, for example. But stopping at the show’s numbers and rankings is missing the larger story.

TV

Fox Networks Group is taking another step to ensure consumers are able to watch its leading-class content when they want, where they want by making FOX Broadcasting, FX, National Geographic and FOX Sports (including national sports and Regional Sports Networks) available on Sling TV’s new $20-per-month live beta multi-stream service.

TV

Just ahead of crowning “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” cable’s most-watched new show of 2016, Julie Piepenkotter, EVP of Research for FX Networks, chatted with me about the brave new world of ratings and research.