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This story first appeared in the May 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
The ad buyers who attended the Digital Content NewFronts during the two-week period from April 27 to May 7 were met with 33 presentations hosted by everyone from AOL to YouTube.
The Hollywood Reporter trekked to New York for the better part of these presentations, experiencing the highs (Seinfeld’s surprise Hulu appearance) and lows (a fellow reporter spilling a full beer on THR’s computer) of NewFront season. With that, here’s a look at which events popped and which failed to impressed.
Most Inebriated Exec
Who can blame Vice CEO Shane Smith for turning his Friday-afternoon event into a giant party? Special guest Spike Jonze asked Smith onstage whether he’d been drinking. “My assistant tried to cut me off,” joked Smith. “It’s good that I pay the checks.”
Yahoo started the week with Steve Aoki spinning, and Vice closed it with rapper Action Bronson. But YouTube one-upped them both with Snoop Dogg presiding over the DJ booth at its Moynihan Station party.
Most Ubiquitous Star
The day Maker Studios announced its series Camp based on James Franco’s work Palo Alto: Stories, AOL revealed the renewal of Making a Scene With James Franco. Then the actor stopped by Hulu’s event to tout J.J. Abrams‘ series 11/22/63, in which he stars.
Smallest Bites of Food
Don’t come hungry to the NewFronts, where coffee was scarce and exotic juices abounded. Yahoo left stomachs growling with tacos no bigger than your thumb.
Most Crowded Event
Nearly all of the NewFronts were overbooked, but at AOL’s party at 4 World Trade Center, dozens of guests were forced to watch on TVs or check out the views after the presentation far overreached capacity.
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