News

Comcast, NatGeo Debut ‘World’s Toughest Fixes’ Episode in HQ Lobby

6/14/2010 10:50 AM Eastern

Comcast paid tribute to
the men and women who keep
the trains and buses running in
Philadelphia last week. National
Geographic Channel supplied
the entertainment: a screening
of the June 10 episode of World’s
Toughest Fixes
, the one called
“Philly Mega Transit.”

Comcast supplied the setting:
cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in
the lobby of the Comcast Center
and the screening on the cable
company headquarters’s magnificent video wall.

The catalyst was the Southeastern
Pennsylvania Transportation
Authority, or SEPTA; show
host Sean Riley embedded with
SEPTA’s repair crews to replace
12,000-volt wires, swap out huge
steel rails with the clock ticking,
haul fare tokens on the “money
train” and even check out a suspicious
package aboard a train
(someone’s forgotten lunch bag).

“We were trying desperately
to find some way to celebrate this
— for the employees,” SEPTA
public aff airs director Richard
Maloney said afterward about
the screening, attended by dozens
of SEPTA workers. “Frankly,
being a government agency we
couldn’t throw a party like this.
We’d be castigated for spending
the money. Comcast did the
whole reception.”

Programmers don’t normally
get the chance to hold screenings
in Comcast’s grand lobby and on
its video wall, so this was a special
occasion for NGC, too. It contributed
200 DVDs of the episode
for people at the party. General
manager Steve Schiff man was on
hand to introduce show host Riley,
whom he called “the bravest
man I’ve ever met.”

Riley shrugged off the praise
and said he doesn’t consider
himself a hero. “I do this job because
this is an opportunity for
me to showcase the people that
I always considered my heroes.
A lot of those people are here in
this room today. These are the
people that get up and go out
into dangerous and difficult situations,
and they do what needs
to be done.”

Mayor Michael Nutter spoke,
praising SEPTA and public transportation
in general. “We need a
clean, green way to get people
around,” he said.

David Cohen, Comcast’s executive
vice president and the
chairman of the Greater Philadelphia
Chamber of Commerce,
proudly declared that 85% of the
2,000 Comcast workers in the
building take SEPTA to work every
day.

The Comcast Center sits atop
a SEPTA concourse and attaches
directly to Suburban Station.
“In fact, it’s connectivity to mass
transit and to the SEPTA system
was a key reason why this site
was developed and why Comcast
chose this site for our headquarters,”
Cohen said. “That’s a
good lesson to learn about mass
transit that people sometimes
forget about.

Congratulations to SEPTA,”
he added. “Thanks for asking us
to host this and a special thanks
to our partners in National Geographic
who produce such terrific
programming that is carried
over our cable systems.”

David’s ‘Curb’ Promo
For TVGN Spotlights
An Awkward Moment


TV Guide Network’
s promotion of acquired
Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes includes a
viral Web spot that definitely falls into the
category of Larry David-esque.

Designed to leave the viewer wondering
whether it was scripted or captured
between takes, it shows David being interviewed,
junket-style, about how he feels
about Curb coming to TVGN.

The scene starts with David complaining
about the guy who holds the “clapper” sign
for “take 10” of the shot a little too close to
his face, possibly with hostile intent. It goes
downhill from there.

Stun Creative, the Los Angeles marketing
firm that created the campaign, used David’s
own technique for shooting Curb. David and
Rob Huebel, the interviewer, had a script outline
and the freedom to improvise.

After three takes there was more than
enough material for the campaign. David
also worked with the network and agency
in editing the final cuts.

“From the moment we heard Larry was
available, we knew this was going to be unlike
any other promo shoot,” TVGN marketing
vice president Todd McNulty said in a
Stun-supplied statement.

“We wanted the best comedy agency in
the business. Stun delivered throughout
the entire process.”

View the results for yourself at www.stuncreative.com/curbviral.html.

Cable Nets’ Portion
Of TCA Tour Trimmed

Cable network programming may be sizzling
during the summer, but you wouldn’t
know it by looking at the summer Television
Critics Association Tour
schedule.

The Cable & Telecommunications Association
for Marketing
, which organizes the
cable portion ending the two-week tour,
says it’s only scheduling two days (Aug. 6-7)
for cable-network presentations to the TV
writers gathering at the Beverly Hills Hilton,
down from three days last year. Networks
that presented last summer, such as TNT,
CNN, TV One and BET, bowed out this summer,
citing a lack of new shows to promote
or an inability to secure talent. Showtime
and FX will present alongside sister broadcast
networks earlier in the tour.

Cable presenters will include ESPN, The
Weather Channel, A&E Networks, the Discovery
networks, MTV Networks, Starz,
Fuse, HBO and BBC America.

September