Despite All Logic, TV Will Still Feature Paid Advertising

Embittered by crappy post-writers'-strike programming and the devastating cancellation of popular sitcom Cavemen, nearly all prized demographics have turned away from network television and into the welcoming arms of Grand Theft Auto IV and recreational narcotics. Even so, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and the CW (!) are reporting not-that-bad upfront sales, which are expected to be within a few hundred million of last year's $9 billion total. As recently as a month ago, everyone versed in any sort of logic had been forecasting a drop by as much as 14 percent. But even NBC, which is forgoing a traditional pilot season this year, has reportedly sold $1.9 billion worth of ads (not counting ones for the Super Bowl), a 5 percent increase. According to Nikki Finke, NBC CEO Jeff Zucker sees this as validation of the network's strategy to turn scripts and pitches into full-ordered TV series without wasting a bunch of money on go-nowhere pilots. And if the shows turn out to be terrible? Who cares! Besides, where else are corporations going to advertise — on the Internet?

Advertisers commit coin to TV [Variety]
Big Upfront Ad Sales Give NBC Excuse To Scrap Pilot Season Forever: Or Does It? [Deadline Hollywood Daily]