A&E brought out the sci-fi fan in many of us with its stealth online campaign where potential viewers could blog about what really happened in Piedmont, Utah (where The Andromeda Strain takes place). As the weeks led up to the premiere, the network revealed more evidence of the brand association until full details about the TV event were disclosed. To pique interest on a larger scale, A&E empoyed outdoor billboards, theater spots and promo merchandise, bus sides and phone kiosks, then segued into a TV-based tune-in campaign just before the premiere.

Galactic Proportions:

  • With an average of 4.8 million viewers on the first night and an unusual surge to 5 million viewers on night two, The Andromeda Strain claimed the top spot for an original movie or miniseries on cable.

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Honorable Mentions:

Big Ten Network for Big Ten Network Illinois Football: The Journey Begins: Outfitting a portion of the University of Illinois cheer section in promotional T-shirts, producing promos for the football field screen and working with restaurants to host viewing parties pumped up awareness for this doc.

Cartoon Network/Turner Broadcasting for Turkey, Stuffing and "RickRolls" for all our "Friends" at Thanksgiving: Cartoon created viral buzz for its debut of the Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends TV movie Destination Imagination by tying in a surprise Rick Astley appearance on its Macy’s parade float to the Internet phenom known as "Rickrolling."

CNN for CNN Heroes: In keeping with the special’s purpose of saluting everyday heroes, CNN preceded the debut with televised hometown rallies for the 10 featured stars, a grassroots online campaign and partnerships with 11 of the country’s largest nonprofit and service organizations. The telecast attracted more than triple the typical Thanksgiving-night viewership.

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NBCU’s Shell Not Interested in M&A Any Time Soon

Don’t expect NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell to be the latest media executive to announce a major merger or acquisition. He’s more than happy with what he’s got.

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