So you’ve watched football all day, hobnobbed with family and friends, stuffed yourself so full your eyes water and your breath is shallow – what’s left? Music specials on TV:
Since 1998, when Celine Dion (news) drew strong ratings for CBS, concerts have become a holiday staple.
This year, four big-name attractions — Paul McCartney (ABC), Faith Hill(NBC), Tim McGraw (NBC) and U2 (CBS) — and an NBC Elvis tribute crowd network schedules Wednesday through Friday, the highest concentration of musical talent on the three major networks at one time.
It makes sense for the TV and record businesses to sit together at the Thanksgiving table. Musical acts with built-in fan bases are attractive to networks during a week when families are more likely to be watching together. And national TV exposure can help a performer boost record sales at the start of the Christmas shopping season.
”If you pick the right act, you can appeal to a broad cross section,” from baby boomers to their kids, CBS specials chief Jack Sussman says. ”For musicians and labels, the fourth quarter is a big time of year,” when up to 50% of major-album sales are made.
….Even after landing major stars, networks still seek creative ways to make specials different from the concert offerings on MTV or BET. U2’s Beautiful Day follows the Irish band home to Slane Castle, while Elvis Lives features a diverse roster of contemporary artists performing The King’s hits. And behind-the-scenes footage from his tour is a major element of McCartney’s Back in the U.S., is a plus. [USA Today]
I am particularly looking forward to the U2 show because despite the fact that they have been major stars for 20 years, the band is pretty anonymous other than activist, spokesman Bono. Personality helps flesh out a fan’s relationship with an artist.