2007 Upfronts — MTV
• Date: 4/17/07 in New York
MTV president Christina Norman talked up the network’s "ongoing dialogue with young people since 1981" and MTV’s shared mantra and "common vision" throughout the years: "Create, Share and Validate." While highlighting the creative power of ideas in MTV’s history, she downplayed the tech side of today’s youth-skewing content and entertainment: "So we didn’t buy My Space, and we didn’t buy YouTube. We’re not a technology company. We are, at our heart, a great creative programmer—a super-dynamic, entrepreneurial ecosystem."
Key among the digital opportunities MTV is pitching media buyers in this upfront is Viewser Labs, an opportunity to address advertisers’ concerns about commercial minute ratings with "pod takeovers" that allow advertisers to own an entire commercial break. MTV’s Thursday night lineup already "mashes up" its programming with advertisers’ messaging, retaining "nearly 100% of viewers through the breaks," according to Norman.
Also big on MTV’s radar beyond its linear channel: virtual worlds, which started with Virtual Laguna Beach and expanded to The Hills and beyond (click here for more); MTV Tr3s, which reaches young Latinos both on-air and on their cellphones with Texto, a mobile shout out system that gets integrated (TRL-style) into on-air programming and mi TRL, a weekly interactive showcase for videos and celebrities that matter most to young Latinos; MTV.com’s weekly Battle of the Videos; and mtvU’s campus reach and music connection with college kids.
• 2007/08 Awards Shows:
MTV Movie Awards (June 3) – Mark Burnett is helping take this year’s show live, with Yahoo helping MTV reach more movie lovers than ever with user-generated submissions. New categories include best spoof (submitted by viewers) and "best movie of the summer that you haven’t seen yet."
MTV Video Music Awards (Sept. 9) – The VMAs move from New York to the Palms Casino in Las Vegas for a three-day bash leading up to the live on-air broadcast. New categories this year include Artist of the Year, Best Collaboration and Best Comeback while artists will shoot footage that will be incorporated across platforms. Last year’s VMA programming generated 25 million streams across MTVN’s various platforms.
• 2007/08 Programming Highlights:
Kaya – MTV’s return to scripted series (its first in five years), this half-hour drama (shooting 8-12 episodes in Vancouver in June) features a teenage girl and her rock band dealing with sudden fame.
Taquita and Kaui – Follows two rejects from Making The Band as they try to break into show business, Las Vegas style.
Human Giant (continuing) – Improv comedy series featuring the Human Giant three-man troupe was renewed shortly after it premiered following 1 million hits in 24 hours supporting the nascent series on MTV.com.
Scarred (continuing) – YouTube meets TV in this series about young people telling the stories behind their scars.
The Kentucky Kid – Reality series about supercross racing and one kid’s quest to rule the racetrack.
Housebroken – The recently dumped get a second chance at love.
Dances from the Hood – Produced exclusively for mobile platforms, but may migrate on-air.
I Remember Chloe – Scripted, live-action, micro-series told in 4-minute segments over a 30-episode story arch across MTV’s platforms. » Click here for Cable360’s 2007 Cable Upfronts Guide