Every now and then clips from a new fall series pop during a network’s Upfront presentation, instantly exciting an audience of thousands of advertising executives (and a few dozen journalists) who have seen it all before and aren’t easily impressed. This is a rare occurrence, but not as rare as the circumstances under which shows that enjoy such early buzz go on to become genuine giant hits. Plenty of them excite advertisers and critics but fail to impress the audience; others zoom to the top of the Nielsen lists when they premiere several months later even if critics could care less about them.
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