NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--This year, for the first time ever, the networks of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment – Bravo, E!, Esquire Network, Oxygen, Sprout, Syfy and USA – joined together at the Javits Center North Hall today for one spectacular Upfront celebration. Bonnie Hammer, Chairman, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, kicked off the presentation, along with NBCUniversal President Advertising Sales Linda Yaccarino. The event was attended by an audience of 3,000 and featured more than 120 stars of current hits and newest offerings across the portfolio.
The All Together. Entertaining presentation touted the strength of the #NBCUCable portfolio and showcased content from each network to bring the overall theme – All Together. Different. – to vivid life. E!’s “LIVE FROM THE RED CARPET,” hosted by Giuliana Rancic and Ross Mathews, streamed the event at E! Online. The evening culminated with an after-party featuring a special 30-minute live performance by British superstar and singer/songwriter, Jessie J.
“Our portfolio is made up of strategically targeted brands completely unique in their individual appeal,” said Hammer. “We’ve never done an upfront event on this scale, but we felt it was the best way – in fact, the only way – to convey the collective strength of the most engaging, focused and creative brands in the business.”
“Aggregation and scale are critical in today's media landscape that continues to be fragmented,” added Yaccarino. “Our unique portfolio of cable networks delivers unparalleled scale and targeting that reaches some of the youngest, most influential and socially connected audiences.”
Kim Kardashian kicked off E!’s presentation by introducing Joan Rivers and Giuliana Rancic, who launched into the pop culture powerhouse’s series highlights. With a continued focus on high-demand celebrity and entertainment news coverage from red carpet to fashion, E! is expanding its already dynamic line-up with high impact, culturally relevant scripted programming. “THE ROYALS,” E!’s first original scripted series – presented on stage by its stars Elizabeth Hurley, William Moseley and Alexandra Park – is a one-hour drama that follows a fictional British Royal family in modern day London and pits public perception of the royal family against the reality of life inside the castle walls. Other new series highlights include: “THE DVF PROJECT” (WT) – presented on stage by Diane von Furstenberg – a series set in the world of the prestigious global fashion icon, which gives a group of ambitious young women extraordinary entrée to her empire for a weeks-long ultimate interview that will prepare one of them to take on the world of fashion and ascend to the prized DVF Global Brand Ambassador position.
Syfy will continue to deliver premium immersive content that sparks the imagination in more unexpected and fantastical ways. At the 2014 Upfront, the network highlighted three new series. “ASCENSION” – starring Battlestar Galactica’s Tricia Helfer was on stage to present the new six hour event series premiering later this year. “HELIX” stars Kyra Zagorsky and Billy Campbell unveiled “DOMINION,” an epic supernatural drama that focuses on the ultimate celestial battle between good and evil. Amanda Schull and Aaron Stanford previewed their new drama “12 MONKEYS,” a time travel adventure and high stakes race against the clock, set to debut in early 2015.
Esquire Network, which debuted last fall, continues its bold rollout of original programming with 200 original hours planned for the 2014-15 season. Building off of Esquire magazine’s 80 years of unparalleled insight into what makes men tick, the network champions the pursuit of a well-played life with programming that speaks to a diverse set of interests, passions and aspirations. Among the series presented today were “CAR MATCHMAKER,” featuring comedy writer (“Seinfeld”) and car enthusiast Spike Feresten as he helps car-challenged guys choose the perfect set of wheels, and “KNIFE FIGHT,” the gritty, underground cooking competition hosted by Ilan Hall, currently in its second season.
Bravo continues to add programming to its stable of signature water-cooler reality originals and now introduces scripted series to its lineup to further engage its passionate viewers. “SHAHS OF SUNSET” star Reza Farahan provided a sneak peek of new unscripted series including “GAME OF CROWNS” and the first real-time docu-series, “100 DATES.” Lisa Edelstein, star of Bravo’s first original scripted series, “GIRLFRIENDS GUIDE TO DIVORCE,” was on hand to introduce the hour-long series about a newly single woman as she embarks on the next chapter of her life. Bravo also showcased “ODD MOM OUT,” a half-hour comedy based on the life of author Jill Kargman, capturing the outrageous world of moms in New York City’s Upper East Side.
Sprout – the channel for young children and their families to share together – was highlighted throughout the presentation, with appearances from the hosts of “THE SUNNY SIDE UP SHOW,” the only live daily morning show for preschoolers, as well as “THE GOOD NIGHT SHOW,” Sprout’s evening programming block that helps guide families in their nighttime routines.
With a network rebrand coming later this year targeting modern young women, Oxygen’s new original programming slate focuses on authentic and relatable characters with extraordinary stories. Among the series spotlighted were “NAIL’D IT,” a new series hosted by Adrienne Bailon based on the latest craze of nail art. “PREACHERS OF L.A.” and “FIX MY CHOIR” with an appearance by star and Grammy-nominated gospel artist, Deitrick Haddon.
The #1 network in all of cable focused its portion of the presentation on its new scripted original dramas – featuring a range of provocative plots, culturally resonant themes and serialized storylines. Jason Isaacs and Anne Heche, stars of the upcoming event series “DIG,” were on hand to introduce their highly-anticipated action-adventure drama set to premiere this fall. “GRACELAND” stars Aaron Tveit and Daniel Sunjata introduced USA’s two new summer dramas: “RUSH,” a series about a renegade doctor who caters to LA’s elite and shady clientele; as well as “SATISFACTION,” a sexy series that explores modern marriage at its midpoint. Tveit and Sunjata also introduced “COMPLICATIONS,” a gripping drama series slated for 2015 about an ER doctor whose unlikely act of heroism sets in motion a chain of unforeseen consequences.
Links to select trailers and content released at the 2014 NBCUniversal Cable Upfront presentation include:
GAME OF CROWNS: GAME OF CROWNS stars six pageant wives, who compete on the “Mrs.” pageant circuit to snatch the spotlight with their intense preparation from obsessing over the perfect swimsuit to honing their interview skills – all while being dedicated mothers and wives. The cast includes Susanna Paliotta, Shelley Carbone, Lynne Diamante, Vanassa Sebastian, Leha Guilmette, and Lori-Ann Marchese. The series will premiere on Sunday, July 13th at 9pm ET/PT.
THE ROYALS: E!’s first-ever original scripted series, THE ROYALS, is a one-hour drama about a fictional British Royal family set in modern day London. Produced by Lionsgate, the Royals inhabit a world of opulence and regal tradition that caters to every desire, but one that comes with a price tag of duty, destiny and intense public scrutiny. Set and shot in Great Britain, THE ROYALS pits public perception of the royal family against the reality of life inside the castle walls. The series is executive produced, written and directed by Mark Schwahn (“One Tree Hill”), and executive produced by Brian Robbins and Joe Davola (“One Tree Hill,” “Smallville”). The ensemble cast includes Elizabeth Hurley, Vincent Regan, William Moseley, Alexandra Park, Tom Austen, Jake Maskall, Ukweli Roach and Oliver Milburn.
DOMINION: Based on characters from the hit theatrical film Legion (2010), DOMINION is an epic supernatural drama set in a transformed post–apocalyptic future, 25 years after an army of lower angels, assembled by the archangel Gabriel, waged a war of possession against mankind. DOMINION, produced by Universal Cable Productions and Bold Films, is in production in Cape Town, South Africa. The series is executive produced by Vaun Wilmott, Todd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer, along with Executive Producers Scott Stewart, who co-wrote and directed the feature film Legion, Michael Litvak and David Lancaster of Bold Films who produced the original film.
ASCENSION: In 1963, President Kennedy and the U.S. government launched a covert space mission sending hundreds of men, women and children on a century-long voyage aboard the starship ASCENSION to populate a new world, assuring the survival of the human race. ASCENSION is an ambitious original drama created and written by Philip Levens (“Smallville”) who will serve as Executive Producer and Showrunner. The series will be produced in Montreal, QC by Sea To Sky Studios in association with Blumhouse Productions. Jason Blum (Stranded, The River, film franchises Paranormal Activity and The Purge) and Mark Stern are executive producers on the project along with Ivan Fecan, Tim Gamble and Brett Burlock on behalf of Sea To Sky Studios. The event series will be co-financed and distributed by Universal Cable Productions and Lionsgate Television.
RUSH: RUSH examines the world of renegade physician Dr. William Rush (Tom Ellis, “Miranda”), a “medical fixer” who privately caters to LA’s elite and whose service comes with a hefty price tag. Though the hard-partying doctor claims that he doesn’t make judgments about his less-than-squeaky-clean clients, he’s not immune to the ugliness that he encounters. From Fox21 and writer/director Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies), along with Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo (“Missing,” 13 Going on 30) and Executive Producer Adam Fierro (“The Shield”), the series is set to film in Vancouver, Canada.
COMPLICATIONS: COMPLICATIONS, starring Jason O’Mara (“Vegas”) centers around John Ellis, a disillusioned suburban ER doctor, who finds his existence transformed when he intervenes in a drive-by shooting, saving a young boy's life and killing one of his attackers. When he learns the boy is still marked for death he finds himself compelled to save him at any cost and discovers that his life and his outlook on medicine may never be the same. COMPLICATIONS is written and executive produced by Matt Nix (BURN NOTICE) and is from Fox Television Studios.
SATISFACTION: A provocative drama that explores modern marriage at its midpoint. Through the lens of one couple, Neil Truman (Matt Passmore, “The Glades”) and his wife, Grace (Stephanie Szostak, “The Devil Wears Prada”), this series answers the question, “What do you do when having it all is not enough?” by delving into their shocking and unconventional choices. Michelle DeShon (“Hollywood Heights”), Katherine LaNasa (The Campaign) and Blair Redford (“Switched at Birth”) also star. SATISFACTION is from Universal Cable Productions (UCP) and executive producer/creator Sean Jablonski (SUITS, “Nip Tuck”). Russ Krasnoff (“Community”) of Krasnoff/Foster also serves as executive producer. The series is set to film in Atlanta, Georgia.
About NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment
NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment is made up of leading cable brands which include USA, Bravo, Syfy, E!, Oxygen, Esquire Network, Sprout, Chiller and Cloo – as well as production entities Universal Cable Productions (UCP) and Wilshire Studios. The portfolio engages a worldwide audience across multiple platforms through powerful award-winning scripted dramas, innovative reality, lifestyle and late night programming, popular acquired series, a rapidly expanding entertainment news division and inventive children’s television.