Cupcakegate: Vindicated!

In an article about 2012 upfront week “disappointments,” Broadcasting & Cable incorrectly stated that CBS promised cupcakes at its upfront afterparty but did not deliver. I contacted them to set the record straight — we promised cupcakes and delivered cupcakes (handed out by servers in “Two Broke Girl” waitress outfits no less)! B&C issued the following correction in the May 28, 2012 issue.

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RIP Eugene Polley, a real American hero

Couch potatoes everywhere have lost a true hero. Eugene Polley, inventor of the first wireless remote control, died on May 20 at the age of 96. As an engineer at Zenith Electronics in 1955, Polley created the Flash-Matic remote control, a device that, for the first time ever, gave viewers the ability to change channels without leaving the comfort of their couches and recliners.

flashmatic_610x461(Credit: LG Electronics)

Read the full obituary in The New York Times.

Read my post about remotes “Clicking into the Future.”

Visit our Remote Control Gallery on The CBS Attic.

The experts agree

The influential Jack Myers Media Business Report gave CBS 5 out of 5 “Jacks” (the equivalent of 5 out of 5 stars) in its annual Television Upfront Report card.
Here is Ed Martin’s review:

CBS (5 Jacks)
Anyone who might wonder why CBS usually takes top honors for the week need only have walked through Carnegie Hall before its presentation even began to understand why it remains the network to beat for upfront effectiveness. For the better part of a half-hour before the show started, a vivid display of glamorous and exciting images and videos featuring all of CBS’ stars filled the massive screen above the stage. It was so well-conceived and executed that it was mesmerizing to watch. The rest of the presentation was similarly impressive, from the usual opening remarks by CBS chief Leslie Moonves to the boundless enthusiasm of CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler to the introductions of cast members from almost every new and returning CBS show who were seated in the audience.

An opening video in which “2 Broke Girls” stars Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs, in character as waitresses Max and Caroline, struggled to make their way to Carnegie Hall and distribute their cupcakes, ended with Dennings and Behrs dashing down one aisle handing out their sweet treats. They were joined onstage by CBS Network Sales President JoAnn Ross, also in a waitress uniform, who remarked, “Sorry, we don’t deliver. We over-deliver!” There was also a performance by rapper and “NCIS: LA” star LL Cool J and classical opera singer Danielle de Niese, an appearance by Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning (CBS has the big game next season), an appreciably fast presentation by Tassler of the network’s new fall shows and a fine party afterwards. When it comes to generating first-class upfront excitement, nobody does it better than CBS.

Putting the ‘show’ in showbiz

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Leslie Moonves, president and CEO, CBS Corporation, introduced by NCIS: Los Angeles star, LL Cool J.
(Credit: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS)

And we’re off! On May 16, we held CBS’s 2012 Upfront presentation, the annual show-and-tell at Carnegie Hall where we introduce our new fall schedule to advertisers. The upfront is a tremendous source of pride for us at CBS. It’s a celebration of broadcast television and the fun and important business of entertaining America. (See my post from May 2010 for a full description of how the upfronts work.)

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Nina Tassler, president, CBS Entertainment, announces the 2012-2013 CBS schedule.
(Credit: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS)

In addition to bringing in the stars of CBS’s numerous hit shows, we often feature surprise appearances and performances from special celebrity guests. This year, hip hop icon and “NCIS: LA” star LL Cool J, opera superstar Danielle de Niese, and two-time Super Bowl winning New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning were among the big names to appear in our Carnegie show.

But getting down to business…those who attend year after year have also become accustomed to seeing a familiar team delivering a familiar message. CBS Corporation President and CEO Leslie Moonves, Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment, and Jo Ann Ross, president of CBS Television Network Sales, once again took to the stage and shared the philosophy behind our programming success: we love broadcast television and our singular focus is to make mass appeal hit programming that America wants to see.

CBS Sports' Jim Nantz introduces New York Giants Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning (Credit: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS)

CBS Sports’ Jim Nantz introduces New York Giants Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning
(Credit: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS)

At the end of the day, television viewers agree: CBS’s winning formula works. This year we will win the season by the widest margin in 23 years. In total, four new series will be coming to CBS this fall, and four key shows will make time period moves to help spread our success across the week. You’ll be hearing a lot more about it in the weeks and months to come as our promotions kick into full gear. In the meantime, check out our new shows, fan them, follow them, and as always, stay tuned!