Road to the Upfront: Turner and WB

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Upfront hosts: WB President-Entertainment David Janollari; TNT/TBS President-Entertainment Mark Lazarus

Other side of the table: WB, Exec VP-Ad Sales Bill Morningstar; TNT/TBS, President-Entertainment Ad Sales David Levy

Performance in 18-49s: WB is down 6.7% to a 1.4 rating; TBS is up 12% to a .82 rating; TNT is up 5% to .81 rating*

Performance in total viewers: WB is down 8.7% to 3.48 million; TBS is up 2% to 1.74 million; TNT is up 6% to 2.2 million*

New shows, best returning shows: WB's "Gilmore Girls" and "One Tree Hill" continue to draw high numbers in women 12-34 while WB's development slate includes shows from Jerry Bruckheimer and David E. Kelly. TNT's off-net hit "Law & Order" will be complemented by original cop-drama "Closer," starring Kyra Sedgwick, as well as a six-week Steven Spielberg series, "Into the West." TBS's reality hit "The Real Gilligan's Island" returns for a second season, along with major off-net hits "Sex and the City" and "Everybody Loves Raymond."

Weakest areas: WB needs to expand beyond its core teen demo and TBS and TNT needs to bolster original programming and establish themselves as beachheads on the nights broadcast networks-which they consider their biggest competition-are weakest.

Most successful product placement/sponsorship deal: TBS's "The Real Gilligan's Island" landed deals with Ford Motor Co., Pfizer Consumer Healthcare and Lowe's. WB's stars from shows such as "7th Heaven" and "One Tree Hill" wore Kmart's back-to-school line on air and appeared in ads.

Audience average age: WB's is 31; TBS's is 36, down from 40 last June and less than most broadcast networks; TNT's is 46.

Last year's CPM increase: For WB 6% to 8%; for Turner 9% to 12%.

Last year's upfront haul: WB's $675 million was down 4% from the previous year's $700 million; TBS and TNT booked more than $1 billion, up 20% from the year before.

The buyers' verdict: "TBS and TNT have invested in off-network programming and other programming like `Sex and the City,' that gives them a strong identity. The `We Know Drama' and `Very Funny' tag lines have been working, in that it's made them more high profile." -Harry Keeshan, exec VP-national broadcast buying, Omnicom's PHD. Chris Tinkham, media director at DeVito/Verdi, said: "WB is really strong in 12-34 and 18-34 women and they may in fact pick up something in that area from NBC."

*Season-to-date prime-time performance: Sept. 20, 2004 through Feb. 27, 2005, from Nielsen Media Research

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