ION Television solidified its evolution into a popular, general entertainment network aimed at the 25-54 demo at its annual Upfront presentation Thursday. The event highlighted ION Television’s programming initiatives for the 2008-2009 television season and promised strong partnerships for advertisers.
ION CEO Brandon Burgess led the event, along with President of Sales and Marketing Stephen Appel. The two introduced ION Television’s new “positively entertaining” network branding and showcased the new primetime lineup. The evening’s festivities were punctuated with a special guest appearance by TV icon William Shatner; Australian singing sensation Delta Goodrem; actors Anthony Michael Hall (“The Dead Zone”) and Dougray Scott (“Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde”); and former game show host Chuck Woolery.
At the presentation at the New York Public Library in New York City, Burgess and Appel touted the expansion of the network’s programming block to 4 p.m.
“ION Television’s expanded content and positioning can be summarized in two words: ‘Positively Entertaining!’,” said Burgess. “The shows we have lined up to deliver on that promise – ‘Boston Legal,’ ‘ER,’ ‘The Dead Zone,’ ‘Ghost Whisperer’ and ‘Criminal Minds’ – will positively do just that, bringing large and loyal audiences to ION Television in 2008 and 2009.”
This Fall, viewers will see a new lineup of shows during the week and on weekends. RHI Entertainment, ION Television’s partner in weekend primetime programming, will deliver 12 original movies, including three Westerns, during the 2008-2009 season.
Through a deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, the sitcom, “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper,” will be on the Fall lineup. Comedian Mark Curry plays Mr. Mark Cooper, a single teacher and basketball coach at a high school in Oakland, CA.
As previously announced, “M*A*S*H,” will be included as well, along with three series that have recently begun their run on the network, “The Steve Harvey Show,” “Family Feud” and “Quantum Leap.”