NBC Universal Cable wrapped up a long upfront season Thursday with a presentation for its portfolio of cable networks Bravo, USA, Syfy, Sprout, Oxygen, Esquire and E!
Sensitive to the fatigue setting in among media buyers, advertisers and journalists after a jam-packed week, they kept things snappy and heavy on star power at the Javits Center.
E! queen bee Kim Kardashian, clad in a plunging black gown, made a brief appearance onstage, where she stumbled over the phrase “NBC Universal Cable Entertainment Upfront."
"I never mess up a teleprompter and I just did," she said.
“Fashion Police” host Joan Rivers also lobbed a few zingers at Gwyneth Paltrow (the most beautiful woman in the world “as voted by Stevie Wonder and Helen Keller”) and Zac Efron (“show business is like Zac Efron on a meth run – it never sleeps”).
And Joel McHale, host of E!’s “The Soup” and star of recently canceled NBC sitcom “Community,” wrapped up the event by joking, “Yes, this is exactly the upfront I thought I would be at this week.”
There were a few newsworthy moments scattered among the slickly produced sizzle reels, including the the announcement that WWE had reached a multi-year deal to continue broadcasting “Monday Night Raw” on USA and “Friday Night Smackdown” on Syfy.
E! unveiled a trailer for its scripted series, “The Royals,” a soapy drama about a fictional British royal family starring Elizabeth Hurley as a jaded queen.
Bravo also teased its upcoming scripted series “Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce,” about a bestselling self-help author played by Lisa Edelstein whose seemingly perfect life begins to unravel when she discovers her husband’s infidelity, and “Odd Mom Out,” a comedy centered on an average mom trying to adjust to life in the affluent bubble of New York’s Upper East Side.
Top-rated USA previewed upcoming programming including “Satisfaction,” about a married man who discovers his wife is seeing a male prostitute and retaliates in an unexpected way, and “Dig,” a Jerusalem-set action-adventure event series from Gideon Raff, executive producer of “Homeland,” and starring Anne Heche and Jason Isaacs.
Moving past the schlocky “Sharknado,” Syfy previewed “12 Monkeys,” a series adapted from the post-apocalyptic Terry Gilliam movie, and "Ascension," a miniseries about a century-long space shuttle journey that began in 1963.
Oxygen, in the midst of a rebranding to focus on relatable programming for millennial women, provided a sneak peek of new reality shows “Fix My Choir” and “Nail'd It,” while the recently launched male-skewing Esquire Network showcased the unscripted series “Car Matchmaker” and “Knife Fight.”