CBS Television Distribution isn’t kidding around anymore. At a Station Summit session on promotion plans for Hot in Cleveland, promotions chief David LaFountaine warned that it will unleash Betty White, one of the stars of the ensemble sitcom, on Twitter against any slacker station that doesn’t find ample time for the CTD-supplied promos. LaFountaine then […]
CBS Television Distribution isn’t kidding around anymore. At a Station Summit session on promotion plans for Hot in Cleveland, promotions chief David LaFountaine warned that it will unleash Betty White, one of the stars of the ensemble sitcom, on Twitter against any slacker station that doesn’t find ample time for the CTD-supplied promos. LaFountaine then cut to a clip of the irreverent nonagenarian: “It doesn’t take 140 characters to spell douche bag,” she said.
Well, of course, CTD was kidding around, but LaFountaine and the CTD executives would like to see the stations that have picked up the show get behind its promotion in every way they can. He showed a full complement of TV and radio promos, all of which featured the show’s bawdy humor.
One piece was designed to allow male weather forecasters to flirt with an off-stage White.
The show is set for its syndication launch as a five-day-a-week strip on Sept. 15, mostly in late night.
What makes the pre-launch promotion unusual, if not unique, is that a cable network will be deeply involved in it. According to the CTD execs, TV Land, which gave birth to the series in June 2010 and is continuing to produce new episodes, will promote the show on its Facebook page, supplying tune-in info for the local broadcast outlet.
During the season finale of the show in early September, TV Land will give the broadcast debut a big plug.
CTD’s prime mission was to generate some enthusiasm for the show. “This is the jewel in the TV Land crown,” LaFountaine said.
Even though it has been running for TV years on TV Land, LaFountaine said, it has not been overexposed. He asked the packed house how many knew what channel TV Land was on on their cable systems. By his count, only two and a half did.
White is just one member of an all-star cast, which also includes Valerie Bertinelli, Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick. The show regularly has guest stars, everybody from Regis Philbin to William Shatner.
“This is a well produced show that is hitting on all cylinders,” added CTD’s Heidi Morton.
CTD’s Kim Philo told broadcasters where they should aim their promotion. The show’s audience is 62% female and has a median age of 52. “They are traditional media consumers. They love to watch TV.”
According to Morton, CTD is syndicating 84 episodes, but more are on the way.
LaFountaine didn’t leave all the jokes to the actors. Getting started, he read an advisory of what to do in the case of an earthquake. Head for Warner Bros. “We’re not sure why, but there doesn’t seem to be any hits at Warner Bros.” — Harry A. Jessell