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‘Heroes’ Throws a Special Sort of Premiere Party

September 14, 2008 8:45 PM

Heroes Premiere Party

Last week’s third-season premiere party for “Heroes” wasn’t just another Hollywood soiree—it was a made-for-TV event. Sure, guests downed drinks and noshed on appetizers. But NBC camera crews captured every air kiss and followed the show’s stars as they worked the red carpet. And fans were invited to sit in bleachers, creating an Oscar-like atmosphere outside the Edison, the downtown L.A. hot-spot. “Was it a contrivance? Partially. Maybe,” said John Miller, chief marketing officer for the NBC Universal TV Group. “But it was a real party. Real eating and drinking was going on.” And on Sept. 22, the footage filmed that night will form the core of a one-hour prime-time special leading into the two-hour “Heroes” return. NBC Entertainment marketing chief Adam Stotsky said the party was “a means to an end”: specifically, making the show’s premiere as big an event as possible. The special will resemble the catch-up clip shows that have become common tools for network marketing departments. “It’s the necessary Cliff’s Notes, but it’s also trying to generate excitement,” Mr. Stotsky said. The special will feature “Heroes” stars serving as hosts from the party, introducing pre-taped packages tied to the show. Because the party also was a prime-time special, Sprint was an official sponsor, paying part of the costs. “Everybody’s budgets are challenged right now,” Mr. Stotsky said. “This takes something that’s a little disposable—a party—and turns it into a hard-working strategy.”

—Josef Adalian

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