Upfront week has lastly wrapped, and it’s clear the Writers Guild of America strike had a major influence on nearly each presentation.
Though the star energy was barely dimmer this 12 months, with each Warner Bros. Discovery and Netflix solely that includes executives throughout occasions as many celebrities shunned crossing picket strains, the week nonetheless had a number of highlights, together with a un-bear-ably foul-mouthed Ted making poignant barbs for NBCUniversal and 100 Samurai slashing via sword-fighting choreography on the North Javits Center for Disney. Plus, GOATs had been going rogue for Fox.
See all probably the most memorable upfront week moments under. And if you happen to missed any of our complete upfront week protection, yow will discover it right here.
With NBCUniversal kicking off upfront week occasions at Radio City Music Hall, WGA protesters made a degree of showing outdoors the venue and chanting that there’d be “no pages without wages.” The strike was additionally felt inside Radio City, with NBCU closely counting on its information crew to current segments in the course of the occasion. However, NBCU was nonetheless capable of get issues began with a pre-taped video that includes Seth MacFarlane’s potty-mouthed bear, Ted, singing about adverts and joking: “Twitter may seem like the place to begin/but Twitter just let all the crazies back in.” With longtime advert gross sales president Linda Yaccarino exiting the corporate for Twitter days earlier than the occasion, the joke took on an entire new that means. (Though, Mark Marshall, interim chairman of promoting and partnerships, assured Adweek the Twitter quip had been within the presentation for months, and Yaccarino was properly conscious of it.) — Bill Bradley
Beau Ferrari, chairman of NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises, beforehand informed Adweek that the corporate’s upfront week theme was “Come With Us,” however we’re right here to announce it actually felt extra like “Come Dance With Us.” From Nicky Jam performing his hits at The Glasshouse in New York to a dance crew hyping up the gang whereas the corporate introduced sizzle reels, there’s no dancing round it: the 2023 Telemundo Celebration was the definition of a celebration. – B.B.
After a pre-recorded 2022 presentation, Fox returned to a stay format for this 12 months’s upfront. While the WGA strike impacted expertise attendance, the corporate nonetheless introduced up loads of its unscripted and sports activities stars. What entrepreneurs will almost definitely bear in mind is Erin Andrews doing her greatest to corral Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Carli Lloyd and Rob Gronkowski, who had been all too delighted to chuck signed balls from their respective sports activities to the viewers. — Mollie Cahillane
It’s at all times a celebration with Donna Speciale and TelevisaUnivision. While the advert gross sales chief introduced again components of final 12 months’s well-known salsa dancing video, this 12 months, Speciale headed to Mexico City and Azteca Stadium to be taught the artwork of fútbol, and even name a objective herself. Cap it off with a Super Bowl announcement and a efficiency from Luis Fonsi, TelevisaUnivsion was one of many week’s most memorable occasions. — M.C.
Though some publishers selected to go with out expertise in upfront occasions, Disney didn’t shrink back from it, bringing the likes of Kim Kardashian, Kevin Feige and Angel Reese to the stage. However, the largest second didn’t come from family names. Instead, Disney realized the one ingredient that’s been lacking from upfront week this complete time: sword combating. Toward the tip Disney’s occasion, 100 Samurai got here out to sword-fight their means via the North Javits Center in honor of FX’s Shogun. After seeing the costumes and choreography, there’s no going again. So that is Adweek’s official petition to make each presentation have sword combating subsequent 12 months. — B.B.
Warner Bros. Discovery
Warner Bros. Discovery beforehand introduced that solely executives would seem on stage as a result of ongoing strike, and it stayed true to its phrase. HBO and Max chairman and CEO Casey Bloys made his upfront debut, however, apparently, the corporate’s memorable second is one thing that didn’t occur—CEO David Zaslav, an upfront staple and a daily matter amid WGA protesters, didn’t seem on stage for the primary time in current historical past. — M.C.
Netflix selected to do its occasion just about this 12 months with out expertise, releasing some new footage for sequence akin to a trailer for 3 Body Problem and breaking out its ad-tier information for the primary time, claiming the ad-supported plan has round 5 million month-to-month lively customers. Of course, the digital presentation led to a considerably tepid response on-line. Overall, it was a presentation that might’ve drastically benefitted from a bit sword combating. But once more, what presentation wouldn’t? — B.B.
YouTube, a non-traditional TV participant, used its second 12 months holding its Brandcast spectacular throughout upfront week to deliver out all of the glitzy stops. YouTube had pizza-shaped cookies from YouTuber Airrack (a pizza fanatic), provided advertisers a particular YouTube TV deal for their very own private accounts and serenaded attendees with YouTube star Jacob Collier. Doja Cat was additionally available to carry out “Need to Know,” “Juicy” and “Say So.” In one other contact of TV magic, YouTube additionally provided longer advert spots on its YouTube Select stock airing on CTV. — Catherine Perloff