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2015 Network TV Upfront and NewFront Calendar

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A new original programming lineup kicks off July 16 with the original movie “Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser” (promoted by Crackle at the Winter 2015 TCA tour), a sequel to the popular 2001 film featuring David Spade (reprising the title role) and Christopher Walken. Bryan Cranston, whose Crackle retro reboot “Tightrope” didn't come to life (a shame, because it was among the best pilots showcased at any Upfront or NewFront presentation last spring) will try again with animated washed-up superhero satire “Supermansion” this fall. He'll will give voice to Titanium Rex (with additional voices by Seth Green and Keegan-Michael Key) and be an executive producer on the series. That will be followed in short order by “The Art of More” with Dennis Quaid as star and executive producer, set in the world of Las Vegas auction houses. Also on deck for late 2015/2016: A second “Dead Rising” made-for movie and post-prison/mafia drama “Capo.” Beyond programming, a new "Always On" design developed with Adobe Systems will be rolled out, where viewers automatically see a program when they click in. They can either watch the program or choose something else through an upgraded viewer guide.

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The big television news while I was there was the debut of a new limited series on BBC 1 titled “Poldark” -- a remake of the classic historical drama from the Seventies that was apparently all the rage 40 years ago at the time of its debut. The new “Poldark” premiered on Sunday, March 8, and overnight its leading man, Aidan Turner (in image at top), became a media sensation. That weekend and in the days that followed, as the press breathlessly reported on the instant success of the show, there was no avoiding images of Turner on tabloids and magazines everywhere. Prior to “Poldark” his biggest claim to fame was the role of John the conflicted vampire on BBC3’s “Being Human.” (It was seen here on BBC America. An American version ran for four seasons on Syfy.) Turner also played Kili in the recent “Hobbit” feature film trilogy. He wasn’t exactly a superstar, but that seemed to change as of March 9. It was exciting to see, especially because from what little I saw of “Poldark” it seemed that he deserved the acclaim.

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It’s a sad day for MTV when the highlight of its annual Movie Awards is a series of interviews conducted on the red carpet by two reporters from Buzzfeed, in which they ask celebrities to imagine what “Guardians of the Galaxy” star Chris Pratt smells like. Fortunately for the network an MTV star -- Tyler Posey of the hit supernatural drama “Teen Wolf” -- stands out from the rest, fantasizing that Pratt smells like gingerbread cookies and revealing how he might respond after enjoying a sniff.

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