NBC Cable Entertainment chairman Bonnie Hammer's portfolio spans 15 networks of varying sizes and descriptions, all serving (hopefully) a different viewership. Hammer is famous for crafting programming slates with strong brand identities associated with them, so she's had her work cut out for her given the size of that portfolio. Here are her biggest responsibilities…and what she's doing with them.
Chris McCumber says USA is looking to evolve with series like upcoming thriller Dig. “You can have an aesthetic of good-looking people in high-end environments and still be provocative and complex,” he says.
E!’s brand lives in an odd zone that features news, talk, scripted and the Kardashians. Like everyone in the upfront, it’s prepping for an infusion of new programming and learning to live between Oxygen and Bravo.
As with USA, Syfy is developing a strong brand identity among its originals. The shows are colorful and high concept, and the titles are all abstract nouns (Ascension, Dominion, Expanse, Defiance). It’s the best time in ages for the genre.
Oxygen has said it is “putting all existing series through the new programming filter.” The network is now under Frances Berwick (who has a strong track record at Bravo), and announcing radically different programming.
Just as USA is dipping a toe in reality, Bravo is trying out new scripted series with Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce and Odd Mom Out. The network’s unscripted franchises (notably Real Housewives) have made it a reliable asset.
“Adam [Stotsky, Esquire’s president] calls it metropolitan men. I call it—he yells at me a lot—metrosexual,” Hammer says. “It’s about things that interest the modern man, and not in the old stereotypical way—it’s not all cars and macho stuff.”