I am at the New York Television Festival this week among other things. It is a very busy time in the media capital of the world!! Perfect place to meet, network and plan your next power moves!! Yesterday was the Non Scripted Panels for the festival. Its the first time they have ever had these panels. We know how Reality Television has taken off, we either love them or hate them but we watch people at their best and worse times in their lives-on television!! It sounds so crazy sometimes. Anyway back to the panel, the first panel was hosted by N.S. Bienstock and the topic was How to make a hit reality show for both Female and Male Audiences.
The panelists were David McKillop-SVP Programming and Development for The History Channel, John Miller-SVP Original Productions and Development for WE TV, Lori York of N.S. Bienstock, Recbecca Toth Diefenbach- Producer of Real Housewives of New Jersey and Brent Montgomery-Creator and Producer of Pawn Starts. The panel was moderated by Dan Abrams-founder of Abrams Media and Chief Legal Analyst for NBC News. The panel was up beat and informational. They discussed the reason why networks do reality-mainly for its low cost but bugets are beginning to grow so they are now taking a look at that, in addition to bringing back more scripted television. They discussed why networks make more programming for women versus men and it was determined that women are actually the main decision makers in the family and watch more television than men. The discussion the went to budget costs for pilots for networks versus cable and a range of other things. Lots of good info.
Another panel was presented by AETN Networks which included Bob DeBitetto President and GM of A&E and Bio networks, Michael Davies- President and CEO of Embassy Row Productions- responsible for the Millionaire Game Show; Padman Lakshmi- host of Top Chef and Mark Itkin of William Morris Endeavor. It was hosted by TV Personality Donny Deutsch. This panel also focused on the Reality Show concept and how it comes down to telling good stories. They also stated that the top 4 shows right now are Reality Shows.
There were also screenings of independent televison pilots and primetime series premieres of new shows from all of the networks happening in the evening. Lots of things to do. Its going on until this Saturday. Come out and check it out. For more info checkout the festival at http://nytvf.com