L.A. Screenings: TV's Biggest Party?
For the most part, the television business doesn't match film when it comes to lavish Hollywood premiere parties. But the annual L.A. Screenings event -- during which about 1,500 international TV buyers descend on Los Angeles to peruse new shows in the days following the upfronts in New York -- increasingly stands out as an exception. This year's 10 days of screenings, which kicked off May 15, feature big-ticket soirees hosted by, among others, Disney, MGM and NBCUniversal, which expects 1,300 buyers to attend an advance screening of its movie studio's Snow White and the Huntsman at the Chinese Theatre, followed by a party at the Roosevelt Hotel. Warner Bros. Television, which wowed guests in 2010 with a massive party on the studio lot that featured carnival rides, gourmet food and plenty of stars of its hit shows, promises another impressive showing. "We are calling this party 'The Gala,' " a Warners rep tells THR. "It will be an over-the-top, outlandish event in the tradition of all-out parties like we haven't done for the past two years." The festivities aren't cheap, of course: One source says costs can range from $100 to $200 per head, but with overseas sales an increasingly important revenue stream for TV studios, the return on investment can be substantial. If buyers from such lucrative territories as Europe, Asia, China and the Pacific region like what they see, they will commit to tens of millions of dollars in license fees to air the shows in their countries. That's reason enough for Hollywood to celebrate.
- Do No Harm: NBC's Jekyll & Hyde neurosurgeon drama (Universal TV)
- Elementary: CBS' modern Sherlock Holmes with Lucy Liu as Watson (CBS TV)
- Last Resort: ABC's drama about a rogue nuclear sub crew (Sony TV)
- Revolution: NBC's J.J. Abrams-produced, post-apocalyptic thriller (WBTV)
- Vegas: CBS' 1960s drama with Dennis Quaid as a cowboy-turned sheriff (CBS TV)