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Upfronts 2014: Kim Kardashian, Joan Rivers turn out for NBCU Cable

TelevisionSyfy (tv network)Zac EfronOxygen (tv network)Kim KardashianGwyneth Paltrow
'I never mess up a teleprompter and I just did.' -- Kim Kardashian at #NBCUcable Upfront
Joel McHale at #NBCUcable upfront: 'Yes, this is exactly the upfront I thought I would be at this week.'

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.”

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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TelevisionSyfy (tv network)Zac EfronOxygen (tv network)Kim KardashianGwyneth Paltrow
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