“Yellowstone”, “60 Minutes” – The Hollywood Reporter


"Yellowstone", "60 Minutes" - The Hollywood Reporter

After a solid two-and-a-half days of dizzying media buyers, breathing in each other’s faces and being unleashed en masse on Manhattan for the first time in three years, it was Paramount who finally begged attendees in advance to dress up during its Wednesday night presentation.

The celebrations were a welcome change from staring at the same unveiled faces for the fifth, sixth, or seventh consecutive presentation, and also marked the first time Paramount held an integrated pitch for advertisers since… well, quite a lot has happened. There was the 2019 merger of ViacomCBS, which coupled broadcast, cable and studios, and just a few months ago a rebranding to Paramount — the new name for both the conglomerate and its streamer. “Next week that’s what Elon Musk is going to rebrand us to,” Stephen Colbert quipped of his company’s ever-changing letterhead.

Colbert, sidelined The Late Show twice this spring with a COVID-19 diagnosis, he mocked his own sick leave as he took the stage at Carnegie Hall shortly after the presentation began. “Give me COVID once, shame on you; give me COVID twice… please stop giving me COVID,” he said. “But my doctor says I’m super immune now. I could lick any of you. And if that’s what it takes to get you buying ad time Blue bloodso be it.”

The comic did not linger and left the stage 60 minutesScott Pelley and Company, who helped narrate a presentation structured largely like a television broadcast of their show. “Why do 60 minutes the theme of this year’s Upfront?” asked Paramount Advertising Executive Jo Ann Ross at the front of the show. “We want every minute to be fun and informative. We also want to respect your time.”

They also wanted to brag. A 54-season-old newsmagazine might seem like the least sexy item on the ad sales auction block this week — but in a world of fuzzy streaming numbers and unpredictable subscriber growth, 60 minutes consistently ranks among the most-watched television programs on television. This crowd understands more than anyone the unique value there. Of course, unlike a typical episode, Gayle King and Norah O’Donnell’s mock segments were pretty fluffy. There were jokes about who the best reality host is and tearful testimonies about the influence of Paramount/BET kingmaker Tyler Perry.

lean in 60 minutes, but meant turning away largely from frivolity. And given the climate, that wasn’t necessarily a bad idea. The venue’s mask requirement was enough to serve as a reminder that the pandemic is not over. Bill Whitaker interviewed BET CEO Scott Mills about television’s ongoing struggle to keep up with on-camera representation. And, aside from CNN at Warner Bros. Discovery earlier this morning, Paramount made the most blatant acknowledgment of the ongoing war in Eastern Europe.

There was humor though – and not just because Lesley Stahl had discussed titles like Jersey Shore family vacation and RuPaul’s Drag Race is kind of entertaining. Much of the cast of CBS Freshman Breakout ghosts played a musical number, exciting Late Late Show Host James Corden hosted a mini roast and Wayne Brady hosted a Paramount themed game show with Tony Dokoupil, Nate Burleson and, in her third direct appearance of the week, the incredibly busy Nicole Byer. The receptions for all three were warm, far warmer than for an LL Cool J-led parody of Apple’s famous 1984 Ad – a moratorium on this parody, please! – but it was yellowstone that probably won the night.

No applause was louder than Kevin Costner received as he took the stage with co-star Kelly Reilly. (George and Tammy Star Jessica Chastain might have had a chance to trump Costner, but she somehow took the stage without a proper introduction.) Hollywood may have had an odd relationship with Taylor Sheridan’s Paramount franchise. Advertisers clearly don’t do this. That simple cable drama could generate noticeably more excitement than a recent Oscar-winning actress speaks volumes about why people still show up (and spend money) at these events.

Ross and Colbert more or less lived up to their promise to last just over an hour, but it wouldn’t be a week-long visit to Carnegie Hall without looking at the schedule in advance. So, for the first time this week, CBS’s fall lineup was laid out night by night. It was fast-paced, with no fanfare or talking points, but it was a nice callback to why this bizarre ritual even exists.

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