Here's the pattern: It can be said that talks about the L.A. Screenings begin in Cannes at MIP-TV in April, go into full swing in Los Angeles in May, then head out on road tours throughout the world, and finally end up in Cannes at MIPCOM.
As usual, the Screenings were a combination of endurance and fun. At Disney LATAM, executives (pictured on the cover) added some extra fun by having a mariachi band perform at lunch with the star of the 13-episode series Hasta Que Te Conoci, Julian Roman. He played the adult part of Mexico's singing sensation, the late Juan Gabriel, in a TV series about his life.
At the Warner Bros, lot Jeff Schlesinger, president of Worldwide Television Distribution, had a number of batmobiles placed inside the breakfast and lunch areas for buyers to examine and take photos. During the lunch breaks, Warner Bros, also featured a lobster truck. It was so popular that buyers began leaving the screening theater 20 minutes before the segment ended just to get in line, each to carry at least two buns filled with lobster to their table. (In normal circumstances, each lobster roll costs between $17 and $19.)
As in the past, during lunch breaks all studios had some of the talent from their new series mingling around the tables with buyers--often the highlight of the events.
FOX was the only studio to offer a sit-down lunch complete with wine, instead of a buffet. CBS and NBCUniversal also offered wine, while the other studios just had soft drinks.
At the L.A. Screenings 2016, collectively the U.S. studios screened 132 new scripted series for over 2,000 international buyers. The season started last September 11 for FOX, and on September 19 for the rest of the big U.S. TV networks.
With some studios screening up to 17 new series (NBCUniversal) and others up to 13 (Fox), buyers had to endure studio visits and dark (and cold) theaters for up to 10 hours.
Most studios were able to fulfill all their output and volume deals in L. A. and MIPCOM is reserved for real negotiations, since by now buyers are aware of the performances of the new series, as well as of cancellations and script changes.
Plus, with this year's MIPCOM date in late October, many new premiering series in the U.S. have had over a month to develop, and therefore buyers have more data to rely on.
For the past six years or so, before the international sales cycle of the new U.S. TV season ends at...