Quick, what do you call a TV network that can't get its TV to work?
TBS and TNT!
In what New York Times television writer Bill Carter is calling "a disaster of epic technical proportions," the screens at the network's upfront presentation this morning in New York failed , sending advertisers streaming out of Hammerstein Hall.
The glitch first popped up during a Conan O'Brien video performance, which included the prophetic joke "We are No. 1 in TBS' key demo: people who cant afford HBO." With the sets off, TBS entertainment president Steve Koonin stepped in with some (well-received) improvs that included leading advertisers in a singing of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat." After briefly getting the power back two more times, it went out completely, apparently because of a power surge. At which point advertisers started to flee.
We can only imagine how many TBS-can't-keep-the-lights-on-jokes Conan O'Brien will get out of this.
Update: Koonin didn't try to spin the blackout at the press luncheon following the presentation. "Unfortunately, we had a power surge,"he explained. "It blew ... something. I'm Jewish -- I have no idea. The shit stopped working." (H/T to The Wrap)