Independent film producers might have missed the wake up call that NBC Universal provided earlier this week but it spoke volumes about the current state of dramatic story telling on tv none-the-less. They were using their family of channels to heavily promote a new mini series based on an iconic American story. This mini series stars Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton, plus other recognizable names. It has great production values, action, melodrama to burn, and of course some good old steamy romance. The mini series is “The Hatfields And The McCoys.” And where was NBC Universal going to broadcast this very appealing dramatic event? On their over the air national network? Nope. Ok, how about one of their high profile cable channels like USA, A&E or BRAVO? Nope. This multi million dollar series premiered on The History Channel, a second tier outlet that can’t hold a candle to NBC Uni’s other cable holdings. They wound up drawing almost 14 million total viewers for the three night event, roughly a 4.0 rating, which is a great number for The History Channel but would have been disastrous if it was for broadcast tv. Coupled with aggressive international distribution I am sure this investment will pay off hugely for NBC Universal. But—if a mini series staring Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton based on one of the most famous stories in American folklore can’t get a network premiere, or even a slot on a first tier cable channel, what can producers expect for feature films with middling or soft names and no marketing hooks? I am afraid that question pretty much answers itself. More than ever it is imperative for independent producers to craft well made stories with a strong marketing angle and sellable elements. Without these pieces in place it is a cruel marketplace right now. Just ask NBC Universal. They relegated the premiere of their own star studded (relatively speaking) mini series to second tier cable.
Lifesize Entertainment is delighted to be returning to NATPE in Miami this January. We’ll be premiering a number of new non fiction series and one offs, as well as our catalog of award winning feature films.
From the top selling reality series RESCUE VET to the sun splashed travel/culture series PORTS OF THE CARIBBEAN, Lifesize offers exciting quality television for your programming needs.
We’ll be in Miami for the entire market and currently have meeting slots available on Monday at 12:30, Tuesday at 10:30, 11:00, 12:30 and 1:30 and also Wednesday at 10:30 and 12:00.
To schedule a meeting, contact Bruce Frigeri.post