Although the chief executive of Channel 4, Michael Jackson, pledged
last year to cut US imports, Ally McBeal has made its way over the
Atlantic to be hailed as the biggest TV comedy phenomenon since Friends.
The series revolves around a twentysomething lawyer with an overactive
imagination who ends up having to work with her ex-boyfriend.
The programme’s twist is its use of fantasy sequences, outwardly
depicting McBeal’s internal emotional traumas. The series proved a great
hit with young professional women when it made its debut in the US and
the opening episode drew in a strong core audience of 16- to 34-year-old
women over here. The advertisers in the first ad break were: Coca-Cola,
EFD, Mars, AA Membership, McCain Micro Chips and Ford Escort.
Ally McBeal provided a perfect environment for Coca-Cola - a US comedy
airing for the first time and attracting a young audience.
For the Mars TV buyer, the hype around the new series meant it would
draw in a good audience. The buyer for AA Membership was looking for a
slot which fell in a new programme on Channel 4, attracting audiences
willing to try something new.
Programme: Ally McBeal
TV station: Channel 4
Date: 6 June, 22.00
Break transmission time: 22.20
BARB: Women 16-34 8.9 TVRs (live)
Agency: Universal McCann
Buyer: Richard Oliver
Buyer: Seb Biggins
Client: AA Membership
Agency: Zenith Media
Buyer: Matthew Huntingford