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"The two things we set out to accomplish this year was to increase viewership and to broaden our bookings, and we did both. We outperformed our own expectations."
——Joel Gallen, Tenth Planet on Pepsi Smash

PEPSI SMASH IS A GAS, GAS, GAS

The WB Show's Second Season Once Again Hits Target Demo, Spotlights Live Performances
The WB’s Pepsi Smash will wrap up its second season with tomorrow night’s final episode, and Tenth Planet’s Joel Gallen, who once again produced the live performance series, is looking forward to doing it again next summer.

Gallen took time out from choosing baby names to comment: "The two things we set out to accomplish this year was to increase viewership and to broaden our bookings, and we did both. We outperformed our own expectations."

This past season’s eight episodes, compared to six last year, started earlier in the summer, and was able to take advantage of on-air "sweeps week" promotion to improve its numbers among the target demo of teens and 18-24, both male and female.

OK, we’re a little prejudiced since our own Karen Glauber helped book the program

A "remote" shoot was also added to the show, with such big-name acts as Sting, John Mayer, Aerosmith and The Cure performing from tour locations including RFK Stadium in Washington, DC, Tweeter Center in Mansfield, MA and Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO.

Once again, the show interspersed well-known acts such as Lenny Kravitz, Jessica Simpson, Hoobastank, Alanis Morissette, blink-182, Counting Crows, Dashboard Confessional, Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas, Avril Lavigne and Limp Bizkit, with up-and-comers Rooney, Sugarcult, Gavin DeGraw, Mis-Teeq, Christina Milian, The Killers, Story of the Year, Maria Mena and Keane. This year’s line-up also boasted a number of hip-hop acts, including newcomer Kanye West, J-Kwon, Ying Yang Twins and the broadcast premiere of 213, with Snoop Dogg, Warren G and Nate Dogg.

This season, an interactive element was added, with viewers being allowed to choose between two bands for the final song of the night.

"I love the show," insists Universal Records President Monte Lipman, who had both Mario Winans and Nelly with Murphy Lee on the program. "There’s definitely a residual impact to having a performer appear. It does a great job of capturing the artist live… the energy, the excitement, the enthusiasm."

Several developing artists experienced sales bumps afer appearing on the show, including Los Lonely Boys, Lloyd Banks, Houston and Switchfoot.

"I’ve received some encouraging feedback from the WB and Pepsi," says Gallen. "They want tosee this thing continue. It’s not just about the ratings; it’s about reaching a coveted audience."

Gallen adds, like last year, the show’s ratings built through the year, adding, he’d like to do 10 shows next year. The program aired on Thursday nights, with a repeat showing Sunday nights.

"It was a very happy marriage between the WB, Pepsi and Tenth Planet," says Gallen, who only hopes his own recent betrothal will be as happy and his upcoming baby can duplicate his other prodigy’s success.

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