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"Pepsi Smash [brought] more than 15 million unique viewers to exciting live performances by the hottest acts currently touring, helping those acts increase CD sales and radio adds in the process."
——WB President of Entertainment Jordan Levin
INDUSTRY DECLARES SMASH
A SMASH
Six-Episode Debut Leaves Network, Music Execs and Artists Refreshed, with No Bitter Aftertaste

The first season of The WB’s Pepsi Smash was an unqualified smash…especially with industry execs and artists looking for new avenues to expose music.

As the first prime-time network show to feature live performances of pop music since the heyday of Shindig and Hulla­baloo, the six episodes featured a wide array of performers. The line-up included superstars like Beyoncé, Jewel, Ashanti, Evanescence and Dido to buzz bands and artists Queens of the Stone Age, Wilshire, the Ataris, Simple Plan, Yellowcard, Gavin DeGraw, Maroon 5 and Rooney.

The WB President of Entertainment Jordan Levin was more than pleased with the results: “Music has been a rich part of our programming and branding from the inception, and the music industry has embraced us in a significant way. Pepsi Smash was a natural extension of that relationship, bringing more than 15 million unique viewers to exciting live performances by the hottest acts currently touring, helping those acts increase CD sales and radio adds in the process. With [show producer] Joel [Gallen] providing the best look and atmosphere for a concert series in history, we believe Pepsi Smash extended our brand both with our audience and the music industry.

An array of music bizzers delivered kudos as soon as they removed their noses from   Gallen’s butt.

A&M head Ron Fair, with Black Eyed Peas and Mya, praised the show’s production values as “top-notch”: “Joel is an incredible director, intuitive about the music and how to cut it together. Hopefully, the network will hang with the show and let it develop.”

Capitol Records Sr. VP Mark Didia was among those who saw sales spikes for his acts on the show, which included hot hip-hopper Chingy and Yellowcard: “Anytime you can get popular music on network television, God bless. I received some great word-of-mouth at radio and retail from Yellowcard just being on the show.”

The studio audience’s enthusiasm was cited by manager Pat Magnarella, whose All-American Rejects appeared: “Having that to feed off of made all the difference. It felt like a concert. Especially when someone poured a beer in my lap.”

The artists also enjoyed the experience, with many pointing to the party atmosphere in the Green Room, which made each show seem like an event.

Said Jason Mraz: “It was like a televised music festival. It’s great to have a place to showcase touring acts. It was super-fun to do.”

Elektra VP Press/Artist De­velopment Joel Amsterdam, who had Staind and Fab­olous w/Lil’ Mo as well as Mraz on the show, stopped mourning Kobe Bryant’s legal plight long enough to say, “It succeeded in bringing together great artistry, a wonderful setting and top-notch performances.”

Interpol manager Brandon Schmidt said his band’s Smash performance of “Obstacle 1” had a direct impact. “The song was added to KROQ and WHFS, and our sales have been up each week.”

Tenth Planet’s Gallen concludes: “I had such a great time putting Smash together. I just wish we could have produced more than six shows. But both Pepsi and the WB were thrilled with the show and discussions are already underway about doing 13 shows next summer and launching right after the May sweeps.”

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