NBCU's top 10 properties are (in no particular order):
■ Fashion Star
■ The Biggest Loser
■ The Office
■ Parks and Recreation
■ Battlestar Galactica
■ Saved by the Bell
■ Leave It to Beaver
While there are many brand stars within the portfolio, "Fashion Star," which debuts its second season March 8, is clearly the No. 1 priority. It has put NBCU TV CPG at the cutting edge of the convergence of entertainment, technology, shopping, retail, social media and brand licensing. The reality show goes well beyond the scope of the actual design competition among contestants to target consumers' insatiable demand for instant gratification by giving them the opportunity to buy actual clothes designed on the show during its broadcast. In essence, viewers vote with their purchasing decisions. Last year, according to Niemi, the series touted $9 million in retail buys throughout the 10-week season, which ranged from $50,000 to $200,000 per retailer and about seven designs per episode.
"Fashion Star," which has won several awards including Best Branded Format at the FRAPA Format Awards at MIPCOM, debuted last year to strong reviews. The show is back this year with the same celebrity mentors (Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and designer John Varvatos), but with a new host and a new retailer. And the stakes are higher across the board for everyone involved.
The format was developed by Ben Silverman of Electus, Rick Ringbakk of 5x5 Media and E.J. Johnston and James Deutch of EJD Productions. They are also executive producers along with season one host Elle Macpherson and Jane Lipsitz, Dan Cutforth and Craig Armstrong.