TV Upfront

TV Upfronts 2016: Your (Updated) Guide to Network Pitches and Shows

Adult Swim, TruTV and Others Woo Ad Buyers

By Published on .

Adult Swim told ad buyers its 'Robot Chicken' will get a special spoofing AMC's mega-hit 'The Walking Dead.'
Adult Swim told ad buyers its 'Robot Chicken' will get a special spoofing AMC's mega-hit 'The Walking Dead.' Credit: Adult Swim

It's that time of year again: TV networks and digital platforms are out in the marketplace in full force pitching media buyers and marketers on their newest content and flashiest ad products. It all sets the stage for the industry's infamous, annual summertime ad haggle.

There is certainly a revived sense of optimism from TV networks this year as the scatter market has been more robust than ad sellers have witnessed in some time. It's a welcomed relief after an especially weak 2015 upfront marketplace where both broadcast and cable networks saw a drop in total spending.

This year the focus will surely be on advanced ad products in the way of data and branded content opportunities.

Here's a guide to the pitches, programming and new products TV networks are hawking during their presentations and meetings. We'll be adding updates to the top of this page regularly throughout the spring, so bookmark it now.

Adult Swim

The Pitch: Adult Swim, which historically has been a nightly programming block on Cartoon Network, will create more content to air on digital for daytime viewing. To this end, it announced two slates of programming -- one for linear TV and the other for

Ratings: Adult Swim saw a 3% decline in its viewership among 18-to-49 year olds from last year. The network said it has seen double-digit growth across multiple platforms and mobile gaming, however, as well as a 97% surge in web and app use.

Programming: The Turner-owned network is reviving "Samurai Jack," a former Cartoon Network series that hasn't produced new episodes since 2004. Other new offerings include a "Robot Chicken" special that spoofs "The Walking Dead"; workplace comedy "Dream Corp LLC" from "The Office" alums John Krasinski and Stephen Merchant; a quarter-hour live-action comedy series featuring the sketch comedy troupe Million Dollar Extreme; and another quarter-hour sketch comedy show from Brad Neely.

The lineup for includes "Stupid Morning Bullshit," where hosts talk about pop culture events "while occasionally setting things on fire"; "Crosswords," where people call in to tackle the toughest puzzles; and "Development Meeting," where viewers can call in and pitch show ideas to network development execs.


The Pitch: Turner's TruTV is looking to build on its top two series, practical-joke show "Impractical Jokers" and "Adam Ruins Everything," which finished its initial run of debunking misconceptions in December. It's also trying to tighten its grasp on viewers with fewer commercial minutes and about 20% more content. This is TruTV's second upfront since it refocused its efforts to become more comedy-centric. It says the median age is now 35, three years younger than last year.

Ratings: TruTV's total viewers in primetime sank 12% last year, averaging 542,000, while its 18-49 rating decling 11%.

Programming: The network is planning a two-hour live edition of "Impractical Jokers" for the fall, following last year's "Impractical Jokers 100th Episode Live Punishment Special"; a new, somewhat meta series called "Jon Glaser Loves Gear" in which a comedian's passion for gear interferes with his attempt to make a docu-series about gear; "Lifescaping," new this summer, about how to do things like get a bartender's attention or decide when to lie; and "The Problem With Apu," a 90-minute special in which comedian Hari Kondabolu explores the cultural impact of the Indian Kwik-E-Mart owner on "The Simpsons."


The Pitch: IFC said it is driven to make content with "cool people." To this end, it will have eight new comedies from the likes of Bryan Cranston, Hank Azaria and Sharon Horgan. The network also announced that the IFC Comedy Crib, its online hub for short-form comedy, is becoming a half-hour late-night programming on the linear channel.

Ratings: IFC has been stable year-over-year, averaging 196,000 total viewers on any given night in prime time.

Programming: IFC's new series include "Todd Barth Can Help You," created and executive produced by Mr. Cranston, Steven Weber and Clay Graham. It centers on a conservative insurance adjuster who transforms himself into a self-help guru. The network is also introducing a reimaging of "The Canterbury Tales"; "Detective Lady," a film noire-inspired comedy following a female detective; and "This Land Is Ours," about anarchist squatters in New York City.

And IFC revealed the details for season two of "Documentary Now," from Seth Meyers, Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Rhys Thomas. Three of the seven new episodes will pay homage to "The War Room," "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" and "Salesman."

BET Networks

The Pitch: Viacom's BET Networks is looking to prove its leadership among African-American viewers, as other networks ramp up programming that features more diverse casts and storylines. BET is debuting a new version of its website and app that will give advertisers new integration opportunities. It has also formed new relationships with Snapchat and WhoSay. And it is promoting several new research studies that focus on African-American consumers, one of which shows that African-American moviegoers buy a lot of tickets to films that don't necessarily feature black actors.

Ratings: BET's total prime time audience sank 14% in 2015, averaging 598,000 viewers, while its 18-to-49 audience was off 11%.

Programming: BET is expanding its scripted slate with five new series including "Tales," a scripted anthology series of "song stories" that weave classic hip-hop songs into three-act narratives; "The Yard," a scripted drama that explores historically black colleges and universities; and "The Comedy Get Down," about what really happens behind the scenes of a standup tour.

Unscripted series include a show that follows comic Gary Owen's family; "Music Moguls," a series of one-hour documentaries that take viewers into the lives of stars like Snoop Dogg and Jermaine Dupri; and "One Shot," a hip-hop lyrical competition series.

The network also has two movies in the works: "Madiba," about which tells the story of Nelson Mandela, and "New Edition: The Movie," a three-part miniseries that will take a look at one of the first boy bands.


The Pitch: MTV looking to regain its relevance among millennial viewers, who are increasingly turning toward non-traditional platforms to consume video and content, by using successful strategies and content of the past. In particular, there will be a renewed focus on music programming.

Ratings: From September through April 10, MTV's primetime audience slipped 4% from same period last year, averaging 565,000 viewers. But it has seen a slight 2% bump in 18-to-49 demo, averaging 366,000 viewers in the age group.

Programming: MTV introduced 14 new series and specials. It will air its first live music performance series in nearly two decades with "Wonderland." The Viacom-owned channel also picked up a music competition series from Mark Burnett and greenlit a reimagined version of "MTV Unplugged." It is also developing the music documentary series "Year One," which will utilize archive footage to explore the breakthrough year in a superstar's career. "Cribs," meanwhile, is coming back as a short-form series for Snapchat. And as the network revives MTV News, it is introducing five new podcasts that touch on politics, film, pop culture and music. Zac Efron, Drew Barrymore, Dwayne Johnson, Pitbull and John Legend also have projects in the works for the network.

Hallmark Channel

The Pitch: Hallmark Channel hosted its first formal upfront presentation for media buyers and clients in an effort to change the perception of the channel and claim a greater share of marketers' ad budgets.

The Crown Media-owned channel is emphasizing its strength beyond Christmas, with year-round events and specials, all of which fit its mission of family-friendly content.

Ratings: Hallmark Channel posted a 6% jump in total audience in prime time in 2015, averaging 881,000 viewers. It also saw a 7% uptick in the 25-to-54 demo. And during the key holiday season, when Hallmark Channel again went wall-to-wall with original Christmas-themed movies, the network was the highest-rated cable network in total viewers in prime time excluding sports and news.

Programming: Hallmark Channel is partnering with the National Park Foundation to air the 94th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting as part of its "Countdown to Christmas" in December. It's also beefing up its movie events tied to holidays and seasons. It will air eight new original movies during "Countdown to Valentine's Day" and creating four new originals for its June weddings event. The new series, "Chesapeake Shores" is set to premiere during the "Summer Nights" franchise this summer.


The Pitch: Freeform enters the upfront market just three months after changing its name from ABC Family. The network is in the process of expanding its digital platform with more live and on-demand content, short-form video, fan contributions and social conversations. Freeform also plans to introduce its own fan festival in 2017.

Ratings: Freeform averaged 742,000 viewers in prime time in the first quarter of 2016, down 20% from ABC Family's average in the year prior. The back half of "Pretty Little Liars" took a hit, and after a promising debut, "Shadowhunters" fell off.

Programming: Freeform is making its first foray into late-night with a women-centric panel talk show titled "Later Bitches" and a half-hour weekly variety style show called "Alice." The network picked up a Marvel drama, "Cloak and Dagger," and ordered the pilot to "Issues," a scripted series inspired by the life of Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan. Selena Gomez, Josh Schwartz, Ashley Tisdale and Andy Samberg also have projects in development. There's also a "Greek" reunion movie in the works. "Switched at Birth" will conclude with its fifth season.

The network is creating short-form content to live on both linear and digital platforms, including shorts tied to its "25 Days of Christmas" movie event.

Jeff Ross at the 'Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber' last year.
Jeff Ross at the 'Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber' last year. Credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images courtesy of Comedy Central

Comedy Central

The Pitch: Viacom's Comedy Central is let its talent speak for the network at its upfront presentation, especially Trevor Noah, who took over "The Daily Show" in September. But the best line of its March 31 pitch may have been delivered by "Comedy Central Roast" host Jeff Ross, who said, "To make TV great again we should build a wall around Netflix and have Hulu pay for it."

Ratings: Comedy Central took a hit in 2015, with its total audience tanking 19% in prime time, averaging 569,000 viewers, and its 18-to-49 demo off 20%.

Programming: Comedy Central is tapping an impressive roster of talent to produce and star in new series. Amy Schumer, Chris Hardwick, Kevin Hart, Channing Tatum and Jack Black all have production deals with the network. Comedy Central is also creating a series of comedy documentaries. It is extending the first season of "Not Safe With Nikki Glaser" by 10 episodes and has renewed popular shows like "Tosh.0" and "Drunk History."

The network is also making a bigger investment in original programming for Snapchat, renewing four of its series and picking up nine more to be distributed on the platform.

Discovery Communications

The Pitch: Discovery Communications, owner of networks from Discovery Channel to Animal Planet, is heading into the upfronts with its linear TV and digital sales team under one umbrella for the first time, part of the company's One Discovery initiative encouraging advertisers to make the most of its whole portfolio. The effort also includes a new data product, Discovery Engage, designed to let advertisers target viewers more precisely than is possible with traditional Nielsen age and sex demographics. One factor that helps differentiate the product from rivals: It includes set-top box data.

And in an effort to target millennials, Discovery is offering advertisers the opportunity to buy into content from its digital networks such as SourceFed Studio, which features comedic content and parodies, and Seeker, which aims to feed the curiosity of millennials about science, nature and the human condition.

  • Discovery Channel
    The Pitch: Discovery Channel is achieving its goal of growing audiences and also bringing in younger and more diverse viewers.

    Ratings: The network ended 2015 with 10% growth in total viewers in prime time, averaging about 1.6 million. It also saw a 2% increase in the 18-to-49 demo and 4% jump in the core 25-to-54 demo.

    Programming: Discovery Channel renewed 22 series and is introducing 20 more. The newcomers include "Sacred Steel," which will join the network's Motor Monday lineup and will take viewers inside an exclusive and unusual bike club; a spinoff of "Deadliest Catch" called "Deadliest Catch: Dungeon's Cove"; "Cooper's Treasure," a documentary series that tells the story of the treasure map that astronaut Gordon "Gordo" Cooper started in space; and "The Wheel," where survivalists go head-to-head in the world's most unforgiving climates.

    The network is also introducing a slate of documentaries under the rubric Discovery Impact that explore mankind's impact on the environment.

    And on the heels of "Harley and the Davidsons," Discovery picked up another scripted series, "Manifesto," from Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti. The series tracks how FBI agent Jim "Fitz" Fitzgerald hunted the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, through his pioneering work in forensic linguistics.

  • TLC
    The Pitch: New York and Los Angeles viewers may not necessarily get the unusual and sometimes outlandish personalities on TLC, but the network is resonating with middle America, according to Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav. As the network recovers from two scandals involving its TV stars, TLC this summer is introducing a brand campaign with the theme "I Am," about embracing who we are as individuals.

    Ratings: TLC saw its total audience erode 14% in 2015, averaging 944,000 viewers in prime time and plunging 18% in the 25-to-54 demo. But the network has seen some rebound over the past several months, attracting viewers around its specials around the series "Jill & Jessa: Counting On," a spinoff of "19 Kids and Counting," which was canceled last summer following news that Josh Duggar molested his sisters.

    Programming: TLC is trying its hand at its first scripted programming coming from Tyler Perry with the working title "Too Close To Home." The eight-part series tells the story of a young woman who escaped her working-class upbringing finding success in the D.C. political circuit, only to find herself at the center of a scandal that forces her back home.

    The network is also introducing two new real-life families to the channel. "Outdaughtered" centers on the Busby family, who have the only all-female set of quintuplets in the country. "Meet the Putmans" follows three generations of Putmans, 25 family members, living under one roof.

    And TLC is getting back into the home and property genre with famed designer Nate Berkus, who will star in a new series along with his husband Jeremiah Brent and their daughter Poppy in a show TLC president Nancy Daniels describes as "'Modern Family' meets home renovation."

    The network also picked up a series about a couple who create elaborate play houses and a makeover show staring design expert Jill Martin and handyman Gage Cass.

  • Velocity
    Ratings: Velocity's total audience was up 18% in prime time in 2015, averaging 205,000, while its core 25-to-54 demo remained steady.

    Programming: Velocity will bring back 13 series, 100 live hours of event coverage and several new series. The auto enthusiast network is making its first foray into trucks with "Wild Rides Alaska" (working title). Other new programming includes "RMD Design" (working title), about an award-winning, urban automotive design and build shop, and "Speed Is the New Black" (working title), which goes inside 30-year-old Noah Alexander's Classic Car Studio.

  • Animal Planet
    The Pitch: Animal Planet celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

    Ratings: Animal Planet's total audience in prime time remained steady in 2015, averaging 652,000 viewers, but its core demo declined 6%.

    Programming: Animal Planet is introducing Animal Planet Presents, a new programming event that will introduce documentaries from top filmmakers. Other programming includes "The Zoo," going behind the scenes at the Bronx Zoo; "Texas Vets" (working title), which follows two Houston veterinarians; and "Life of Dogs," which celebrates the way dogs impact the world.

    Animal Planet is also introducing events like Pet Nation Renovation and Wild Winter Nights, which will feature holiday editions of the network's most popular programming.

  • Science Channel
    Ratings: Science Channel saw a 3% increase in its total audience, averaging 318,000 viewers in 2015, while its 25-to-54 demo grew by 5%.

    Programming: Science Channels new programming includes the search for the next Mythbusters and the return of "Punkin Chunkin" after a two-year hiatus.

  • Investigation Discovery
    The Pitch: The interest around true-crime stories, following the success of the podcast "Serial" and more recently Netflix's "Making a Murderer," plays perfectly into what Investigation Discovery has been doing for years. The network is going out with a new tagline: "Real people. Real stories."

    Ratings: ID continues its impressive ratings growth, averaging 891,000 viewers in prime time in 2015, up 9% from the year prior. It also saw a 3% uptick in the 25-to-54 demo.

    Programming: ID will match the 650 hours of original content it ran in 2015, with nearly every night of prime time offering at least one new hour. The network has partnered with Time Inc.'s People Magazine for "People Magazine Investigates," which looks at crime stories pulled from the magazine's headlines. It will also air its own take on the O.J. Simpson trial, following in the footsteps of FX and ESPN. "Hard Evidence: O.J. Is Innocent" is slated to air in early 2017.

  • Destination America
    Ratings: Destination America averaged 228,000 viewers on any given night in prime time in 2015, remaining steady from the year prior. Its 25-to-54 demo dropped 2%.

    Programming: Destination America is emphasizing its paranormal programming, which it says is resonating with viewers. New shows include "Ghost Brothers," about a paranormal investigation team, and "A Haunting," about families' accounts of experiences with supernatural forces. During Halloween, Destination America will have a month-long celebration "of all things that go bump in the night."

  • American Heroes Channel
    The Pitch: Now that A&E Networks' H2 has converted to Viceland (and apparently none too impressed with History Channel's devotion to the field), American Heroes is positioning itself as "the only network dedicated to history."

    Ratings: The network saw a 7% decrease in its total audience in 2015, averaging 211,000 viewers in prime time, while the 25-to-54 demo dropped 5%.

    Programming: To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, American Heroes Channel will air four nights of programming dedicated to the events that precipitated the U.S.'s entry into World War II.

Scripps Networks

The Pitch: Scripps Networks is emphasizing fun during its pitch to advertisers. The cable programmer is building out its family-friendly programming across its portfolio of lifestyle channels, which the company says has a high propensity for live viewing. Amid the conversations regarding native advertising, Scripps says that its environment is "naturally optimized" for advertisers, since more than half the ads are already lifestyle-themed and audiences often view ads on these channels more as content than interruptive.

The company is also making strides with attracting millennial viewers and will add more programming geared toward that audience. And it is ramping up its holiday programming, with cross-over events that will air across the entire portfolio, as Ad Age previously reported. It made its case to press and ad buyers separately on March 29.

  • HGTV
    Ratings: HGTV is leading Scripps' ratings growth. It had its highest-rated year in 2015, growing its total prime-time audience 10% to average 1.5 million viewers. And as of February, it is the No. 4 cable network among the 25-to-54 demo in prime time, its highest ranking ever. The network has done this, in part, by airing new programming every night of the week.

    Programming: HGTV will air 17 new series throughout the year. Actress Gabriel Union and her husband, NBA star Dwyane Wade, are also expected to join the network in a yet-to-be-named series. "Parenthood" actress Monica Potter will also get her own show. And of course HGTV is bringing back favorites including "Fixer Upper," "Beachfront Bargain Hunt" and "Property Brothers At Home."
  • Food Network
    Ratings: Food Network's audience was up 3% in 2015, averaging 1.1 million viewers in prime time. But both its 18-to-49 and 25-to-54 demos declined slightly.

    Programming: Food Network has been the most active in trying to grow its millennial audience. It is doing so by programming family-friendly shows, usually ones that star or feature kids, like "Chopped Junior" in an 8 p.m. time slot, with the hope that young parents will stick around after the kids are in bed. Further to this end, the network has picked up "Food Network Star Kids" and "Kids BBQ Championship."

    Other new programming includes "Cooks Vs. Cons," a competition between home cooks and professional chefs; "Celebrity Food Fight," hosted by Andy Richter, pitting celebrity foodies and chefs against each other in food-related games; and "12 Angry Yelpers," where online reviewers help restaurants improve their reputation.

  • Travel Channel
    Top Line: Scripps Networks bought the remaining 35% of Travel Channel from Cox Communications in February. With Travel Channel now fully part of the Scripps family, the company plans to focus on making the network a better fit with the overall portfolio.

    Ratings: Travel Channel ratings continued to lag in 2015, with the network's total audience declining 5% to 438,000 and its 25-to-54 demo down 12%. But the network has now seen five straight months of ratings gains.

    Programming: Travel Channel will air an eight-week stunt dedicated to the fun of summer dubbed "Dive into Summer." Celebrities like Queen Latifah, Jon Cryer, Terry Crews and Eric Stonestreet are all coming to the channel in new series. The network is looking to create content in broad categories like adventure/quest, crazy travel, epic outdoors and culinary travel.

  • DIY Network
    Ratings: DIY ended 2015 with a 9% increase in its total prime-time audience, averaging 213,000 viewers, and a 1% uptick in the core 25-to-54 demo.

    Programming: DIY also has 22 returning series like "Barnwood Builder," "Salvage Dawgs," "Treehouse Guys" and "Yard Crashers." The network has also ordered 360 hours of new original home improvement programming. Limp Bitzkit's Wes Borland is joining the network with the new series "Sight Unseen."

  • Cooking Channel
    Ratings: Cooking Channel saw meaningful growth in 2015 with its total audience climbing 17% to 127,000 viewers in prime time and its 25-to-54 viewership increasing 15%.

    Programming: Haylie Duff is going on a food adventure with a series with the working title "Haylie on the Road." And singer Patti LaBelle is getting her own cooking show.

  • Great American Country
    Ratings: Great American Country's audience remained steady in 2015, attracting 72,000 viewers in prime time.

    Programming: The network, which explores the outdoors, is focusing on existing programming like "Flea Market Flip" and "Living Alaska."


The Pitch: Viacom's CMT network plans to double its original programming this year and bow its first batch of scripted series, while remaining true to its country music roots.

Ratings: The channel ended 2015 with its total viewership down 15% to 297,000 in prime time, while its 18-49 ratings sank 16%.

Programming: "Still the King," CMT's first scripted series about a washed-up, one-hit wonder musician (Billy Ray Cyrus) who discovers he has a 15-year-old daughter, will premiere June 12. And "Million Dollar Quartet," inspired by the 2010 Broadway musical about how Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis became stars, will debut in November.

The network also announced a new summer event, CMT Concert of the Summer. Billed as a new CMT tentpole, the special will feature a yet-to-be-named country music star and promises to "redefine the concert-going experience."


The Pitch: GSN is touting its ratings growth to media buyers and sellers, as well as its success in attracting some younger audiences. The game show network is now a top 30 network (excluding spots and news). The network plans to introduce a real-time second-screen platform that will allow viewers to engage with content and play along with its shows in real-time.

Ratings: GSN saw a 23% jump in total viewers in prime time in 2015, averaging 434,000 viewers on any given night, while viewership in the 25-to-54 demo grew nearly 30%.

Programming Highlights: GSN unveiled a spinoff to "Skin Wars" with "Skin Wars Fresh Paint," which will be hosted and executive produced by RuPaul. The show takes artists from varying disciplines to compete in body painting for the first time. GSN is also getting into politics with "Political Idiotest," a political-themed special edition of the "Idiotest" game show.

Disney Channel

The Pitch: Kids cable networks are thinking way beyond the traditional TV set as they plan their new programming because kids see little distinction between watching a series live or on demand on other platforms or devices. To this end, Disney Channel is abandoning its traditional programming model where content is created for TV and then rolled out on other platforms. Instead, it is making new episodes of series available on all platforms the same day they premiere on linear networks. Previously, shows were not available on video-on-demand or the Watch Disney apps until the day after they aired on TV.

Ratings: Disney Channel ended 2015 as the most watched cable network in total day for the first time, just barely edging out Nickelodeon, which held the title for 20 years. But like most cable channels, Disney is also feeling the pressure. Its 2-to-11-year-old audience in total day declined nearly 18% during the year.

Programming: Disney is pitching advertisers 17 new series, 28 returning shows, the Radio Disney Music Awards and two new original movies. "Big Hero 6," the movie about an inflatable robot, will be turned into a TV series set to air on Disney XD in 2017. Disney renewed "The Lion Guard," based on the "Lion King" franchise, for a second season. Disney Junior, its network aimed at pre-schoolers, picked up "Vampirina" and "Puppy Dog Tails."

National Geographic Channel

The Pitch: NatGeo is showing off its reach and global scope, taking on more ambitious projects with bigger budgets. Ultimately, the goal is to reach a broader and more upscale audience -- an important target for advertisers. NatGeo enters the upfronts following a restructuring in September that created a for-profit joint venture between 21st Century Fox and National Geographic Society. This resulted in a $725 million infusion from 21st Century Fox. The deal raised some questions about how much the programming on National Geographic Channels will be influenced by Fox.

Ratings: NatGeo's total audience remained steady in 2015, averaging 544,000 viewers in prime time, but its 25-to-54 rating declined 6% during the year.

Programming Highlights: NatGeo is re-launching its "Explorer" franchise in the fall, turning it into a weekly series that's more a magazine and talk-show hybrid. Hosted by British journalist Richard Benson, the show will be anchored in a studio in front of an audience and feature field packages, celebrity interviews and expert commentary. "Explorer" is NatGeo's take on late-night news shows.

Other programs include "Earth Live," an event broadcast featuring live feeds of wild life from seven continents; "Lawless Oceans," a six-part docu-series that follows investigator Karsten von Hoesslin as he tries to solve the case of a murder at sea; and "Chain of Command," a project in conjunction with the Pentagon to cover the activity at the U.S. Afghanistan military mission for a year.

The network will also bow the previously announced six-part miniseries "Mars" this fall. The series from Ron Howard and Brian Grazer looks at efforts to colonize the planet over the next century.


The Pitch: Nickelodeon is tapping into its vault of classic 90's shows for a new generation of viewers as well as some grown-up fans. The children's media behemoth is also making a big push into sports-themed programming, with some impressive athletes signed on to host or produce series.

Ratings: Nickelodeon's total audience was off 20% in 2015 and down 22% among kids 2 to 11. But in recent months ratings have improved, increasing 4% among the 2-to-11 demographic in the first quarter.

Programming Highlights: The network is bringing back "Hey Arnold!" for a two-part animated TV movie, while "Legends of the Hidden Temple" will be turned into a live-action movie.

Sports-related content includes "Jagger Eaton's Mega Life," which follows the 15-year-old skateboarder as he skates around the world and meets his idols, and "Crashletes," a viral sports clip series hosted by New England Patriots' Rob Gronkowski.

Pop TV

The Pitch: One year into its rebranding from TVGN (aka TV Guide Network), Pop is trying to get marketers to shift some of their budgets to the celebrity and entertainment-driven network. The pitch is that Pop (a joint venture between CBS and Lionsgate) is growing its audience amid cable viewership declines and is less expensive than established lifestyle channels like Bravo, E! and Lifetime. Branded content will also be a meaningful part of conversations with advertisers.

Ratings: Pop is touting its ratings gains over the last several quarters, still the channel ended 2015 down 4% in total viewers, averaging 165,000 people in prime time. Its 25-to-54 viewership was off by 3% year-over-year.

Programming Highlights: Pop plans to air 400 hours of original content, with four original series per quarter. It has picked up the scripted comedy "Nightcap," starring Ali Wentworth as a producer on a late-night show. Stars such as Whoopi Goldberg, Sarah Jessica Parker and Gwyneth Paltrow are set to make cameos.

Pop has tapped "Full House" alum Jodie Sweetin, who is having a major comeback, for the reality series "Hollywood Darlings." The show will follow Ms. Sweetin along with other former child stars Christine Larkin of "Step by Step" and Beverly Mitchell of "7th Heaven," who are real-life friends.

And following success of its reality show "Rock This Boat: New Kids on the Block," Pop is developing the lightly scripted series "The Joey McIntyre Project." The show stars the boy-band singer as he tries to become an actor but instead gets a gig hosting a daytime talk-show.

TV Land

The Pitch: TV Land is touting the success of its brand refresh last year, when it ditched older-skewing shows like "Hot in Cleveland" for edgier comedies like "Younger" in an effort to lower the median age of the channel.

Ratings: While "Younger" and "Teachers" have surely brought in a new audience to TV Land, overall ratings are still lackluster. The network ended 2015 with its total audience down 5% in prime time, averaging 608,000 viewers, while its 18-to-49 audience remained steady.

Programming: "Younger" creator Darren Star signed on to the network for an overall deal that will keep him on as executive producer of the show and on board with the network to develop another project.

TV Land picked up pilots for the remake of the 1996 movie "The First Wives Club" as well as a series inspired by the childhood of Kyle Richards of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." It also renewed the comedy "Teachers" for an expanded 20-episode second season.

Most Popular