Here’s Our Scorecard for the 2013 NewFronts

5

AOL

15 new shows, including the Sarah Jessica Parker-backed City Ballet.

The Good
#Candidly Nicole would kill as a half-hour show on Bravo,” said Wilson Cleveland, producer of the Web series Leap Year. AOL brought star power, including a project featuring Gwyneth Paltrow. "There's a commitment to developing quality content that is a consistent theme throughout the organization," said a buyer.

The Bad
It was way too long, said attendees. And there were a lot of documentaries, which have limited mainstream appeal.

4

YouTube

DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg took the stage to celebrate the acquisition of YouTube channel AwesomenessTV.

The Good
YouTube smartly focused on its homegrown unique talent and formats. “While YouTube had a number of performances they all tied back into the core reason we were all there, to learn about what is new and how we can partner more closely to propel our brands forward. Having worked on YouTube integrations in the past with their stars, it is key to understand their passion,” said Media Storm’s Redniss.

The Bad
The company’s push to create brand-friendly networks spoke to the challenges it had with last year’s channel-dominant sales approach. A perceived strategy shift "may not be enough to convince skeptical buyers," said Wilson Cleveland of Unboxd Media.

3

Microsoft

A disorganized presentation overshadowed its new content. Blurted one buyer: “Awkward!”

The Good
Burlesque circus Lucent Dossier. A wild opening act (also featured in Microsoft’s video content) delivered a hot show—though the onstage fire juggling got literally out of hand at one point.

The Bad
A harried check-in process and some nonspecific content intros left buyers confused as to what, exactly, was being sold. “They missed a few key opportunities to really hammer home the impact and importance of Xbox,” said Redniss.

2

Hulu

All-pro show featured stuff you might actually see on TV.

The Good
Emcee Seth Meyers made sober buyers laugh early in the morning—is there a higher compliment? New co-pro with BBC Two, The Wrong Mans, looked great. “The most ‘upfront’-like if you compare to broadcast networks,” said a buyer.

The Bad
There’s still lingering uncertainty about the portal’s future. And the originals got mixed reviews. ”I just don’t understand a lot of Hulu’s original programming decisions,” said Leap Year’s Cleveland. ”They should be funding original content that feels more like the TV shows their audience already watches on their network, like Amazon and Netflix.”

"Did Hulu think we all forgot that they announced The Awesomes last year? added Media Storm's Redniss?

1

Yahoo

If you liked Burning Love, Yahoo’s giving you more of the same, as well as SNL and WWE clips.

The Good
“Tiny Commando could be the next Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” said a top digital exec. "I was most impressed by Yahoo and AOL. Each unveiled solid slates of what look like entertaining, highly-watchable shows," said Wilson Cleveland, Unboxd Media. 

The Bad
Few complaints, though Losing Your Virginity With John Stamos won’t work for everyone.