Epic Technical Failure Overshadows Perfectly Decent TBS Upfront

Ray Gustini
The Atlantic Wire
Epic Technical Failure Overshadows Perfectly Decent TBS Upfront

Quick, what do you call a TV network that can't get its TV to work?

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TBS and TNT!

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In what New York Times television writer Bill Carter is calling "a disaster of epic technical proportions," the screens at the network's upfront presentation this morning in New York failed , sending advertisers streaming out of Hammerstein Hall.

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The glitch first popped up during a Conan O'Brien video performance, which included the prophetic joke "We are No. 1 in TBS' key demo: people who cant afford HBO." With the sets off, TBS entertainment president Steve Koonin stepped in with some (well-received) improvs that included leading advertisers in a singing of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." After briefly getting the power back two more times, it went out completely, apparently because of a power surge. At which point advertisers started to flee.

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We can only imagine how many TBS-can't-keep-the-lights-on-jokes Conan O'Brien will get out of this.

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Update: Koonin didn't try to spin the blackout at the press luncheon following the presentation. "Unfortunately, we had a power surge,"he explained. "It blew ... something. I'm Jewish -- I have no idea. The shit stopped working." (H/T to The Wrap)