Clinton Speaks to TV Land’s Boomers

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New York -- Catering to the nation’s 78 million baby boomers, TV Land enlisted one of its most famous members, ex-President Bill Clinton, to speak to media buyers at its network upfront presentation to advertisers here Friday afternoon.

Clinton was in the spirit of the upfront, saying, “It’s been very fashionable in the press for baby boomers to get a bad rap -- they were ruined by the 60s with sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.”

He added, “The real reason I came here today is to show you a typical baby boomer who loves TV Land -- to appear before the advertisers to say that we’re real-live, flesh-and-blood people who are aging gracefully and who really like TV Land.”

Clinton said his favorite TV Land shows were I Love Lucy (which he called his favorite comedy), All in the Family and The Andy Griffith Show, and he’s now catching up on all of the episodes of Bonanza that he missed while he was “doing other things.”

During a question-and-answer period with TV Land president Larry Jones, Clinton said he’s a real guy when it comes to TV -- he prefers sports and movies.

When asked for his current favorite entertainment shows, he listed Grey’s Anatomy and Boston Legal and said he was a devoted fan of 24, “even if it’s über-conservative.”

In between, his speech centered on challenges and the generosity of the baby boomer generation, thoughts about his presidency and current-day America and what we can do as a people to build a better 21st century.

The former commander in chief’s presence aside, network officials -- led by president Larry Jones and Jeff Lucas, executive vice president of national ad sales for MTV Networks Entertainment Group -- emphasized the value of using original and acquired fare on the vintage network to reach its affluent core viewer base.

TV Land executives also talked up a pair of acquisitions, soon-to-arrive shows and a number of series development at its upfront.

The network will add David Spade-starred Just Shoot Me from NBC to its lineup in the first quarter of 2008, while NBC sitcom Scrubs is slated to make its debut in October of that year.

In the meantime, TV Land said that beginning April 6 at 10 p.m., it will commit to a movie block featuring film such as The Blues Brothers, Beetlejuice, Caddyshack, Fletch, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Pleasantville, White Men Can’t Jump, Working Girl and Young Frankenstein, among others.

Original show High School Reunion -- in which more than one-dozen alumni from a 1986 class gather in Hawaii for two weeks of renewed rivalries and relationships -- will debut Aug. 8.

During that month, there will be an ongoing tribute to “The King,” highlighted by special TV Land Myths & Legends: Elvis Presley Aug. 16. On Nov. 16, TV Land will team up with Entertainment Weekly on two-hour special The 50 Greatest TV Icons.

On the development watch, network officials touted 35 and Beyond Super Model Search, a competition series through which Wilhelmina Models will bestow a lucrative contract on a model typically deemed to be on the wrong side of the demo.

Projects involving boxer and pitchman George Foreman and the reunion of Laverne & Shirley principals Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams were also discussed.

As for its latest pro-social initiative, TV Land will take the lid off the multiplatform Cause Change Oct. 1, when it will begin encouraging baby boomers to give back to society via philanthropy, volunteerism and citizenship.

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