Between industry consolidation and the standoff between the Writers Guild and Association of talent agents, this year’s upfront week will feature the fewest presentations and parties in recent memory.
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TV lit agents, usually a strong contingent in New York, are staying back in Los Angeles en masse on the heels of more than 7,000 writers leaving their agencies. Gone are most agency upfront parties, including UTA’s Sunday bash, an upfront tradition of over two decades.
WME’s annual dinner at the Peter Lugar Steakhouse, a tradition dating back to 1995, is going back to its roots. The first dinner featured five people, Endeavor co-founders Ari Emanuel, Rick Rosen and David Greenblatt as well as Dean Valentine, then president of Walt Disney TV, and attorney Jim Jackoway. This year’s gathering won’t be that small but the dinner will be significantly scaled back in size and will be less formal that usual.
The only regular agency party at the 2019 upfronts will be held by Gersh, which has a formidable roster of actors on TV series. In addition to UTA, not holding upfront bashes this year are CAA, ICM Partners, Verve and Innovative Artists.
After years of industry consolidation, we no longer have just network upfront presentations, many of them are corporate showcases. This year, the NBCUniversal upfront presentation will feature eight networks, the Walt Disney Company’s six, including the recently acquired FX Networks (FX, FXX) and National Geographic, while WarnerMedia’s presentation will cover 14 brands. Disney’s event for the first time will also include ESPN this year, putting an end to the traditional ESPN upfront breakfast at the Minkoff Theatre.
Here is a list of the Upfront Week activities (all times ET):
MONDAY, MAY 13
10:30 AM: NBCUniversal Upfront Presentation
(NBC, USA Network, Syfy, Bravo, MSNBC, Oxygen, E! and Telemundo)
Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas
4 PM: Fox Entertainment Upfront Presentation
The Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway
Post-Party, Wollman Rink, Central Park & 59th Street
6 PM: Univision Communications Upfront Presentation
Center415, 415 5th Ave.
6:30 PM: NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises Private Celebration with special performance by Pitbull
Hammerstein Ballroom, 311 W 34th St.
7:30 PM: Entertainment Weekly & PEOPLE VIP Cocktail Party
Union Park, 5-7 East 17th Street
8:30 PM: NBCUniversal Private After-Party (invite-only)
Pool & Grill at the Seagram Building, 99 E. 52nd St.
TUESDAY, MAY 14
11 AM, 2 PM: Univision Communications Upfront Presentations
Center415, 415 5th Ave.
4 PM: Walt Disney Company Upfront Presentation
(ABC, ESPN, Freeform, FX Networks and National Geographic)
David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, 132 W. 65th St.
Private After-Party at Tavern On the Green (Central Park, W 67th St, invite-only)
8 PM: Gersh Upfront Party
The Bowery Hotel Terrace, 335 Bowery
8:30 PM: WME Upfronts Private Dinner
Peter Luger Steakhouse, 178 Broadway, Brooklyn
WEDNESDAY, MAY 15
10 AM: WarnerMedia Upfront Presentation
(Adult Swim, Bleacher Report, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, CNN, Crunchyroll, Great Big Story, HLN, Rooster Teeth, TBS, TNT, truTV, Turner Sports, Warner Brothers Syndicate)
The Theater at Madison Square Garden, 4 Pennsylvania Plaza
4 PM: CBS & CBS All Access Upfront Presentation
Carnegie Hall, 881 7th Ave. (57th Street and 7th Ave)
Reception at The Plaza Hotel, Main entrance on Fifth Avenue at Central Park South
7 PM: ABC/Freeform Private Upfront Party hosted by Karey Burke, Patrick Moran & Tom Ascheim (invite-only)
The Blond, 11 Howard St. NY
7 PM: WarnerMedia “Booze-Bites-Beats” themed dinner (invite-only)
The Nomad, 10 West 28th Street
After-Party at Stage 48 (605 W. 48th St., invite-only)
THURSDAY, MAY 16
11 AM: The CW Upfront Presentation
New York City Center, 131 W. 55th St.
7 PM: The CW Private After-Party (invite-only)
Location not disclosed
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