NATPE NEWS – Allen’s formula: Put the show first

Jan 27, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Byron Allen’s CF Entertainment will add to its programming larder with four new series slated for the fall, which will give it a total of 12 shows on the air. Not too shabby for a business started 10 years ago from a dining room table.
This fall, CF Entertainment will add “Latin Lifestyles,” “Urban Style,” “Automotive Vision” and “Destination Stardom,” joining such company staples as “Entertainers with Byron Allen,” “The American Athlete” and “Kickin’ It.”
“When I first started, I literally got 40,000 no’s but eventually found 140 yes’s,” Mr. Allen said. “It was then that I realized that in order to succeed, I had to instill confidence in the marketplace and show companies that they could depend on us.”
As an independent in an increasingly consolidated marketplace, Mr. Allen now has “Entertainers” entering its 10th season this fall, with “Athlete” preparing for its seventh, “Kickin’ It” going on its sixth, “Every Woman” and “Global Business People” ready for season five and “Entertainmentstudios.com” set for its fourth while “Beautiful Homes & Great Estates” joins “Recipe TV” for their sophomore go-arounds.
For Mr. Allen, chairman and CEO of CF Entertainment, the key to staying on the air is to put the show first, instead of the deal, and it doesn’t hurt to stay ahead of the curve, he said, especially when your competitors are corporate behemoths.
He points to his four new series as examples of shows designed to stay ahead of the curve. “Urban Style” will look at the lives of successful African Americans. “Latin Lifestyles” will look at trends within the English-speaking Latin-American communities. “Automotive Vision” focuses on television’s largest advertising category, the car. Finally, 26 episodes of “Destination Stardom, ” which first aired on Pax in 1999, are set to air on stations next season, and the show could be revived as a first-run series for syndication.