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Television networks are paring down their upfront celebrations this year, but that didn't deter industry-watcher Entertainment Weekly from throwing its own fete. EW hosted its third annual upfront party at the Bowery Hotel on Tuesday night with 250 industry executives and celebrities including Eliza Dushku, Jane Krakowski, and the cast of Gossip Girl.
“Our audience is really interested in the business of TV,” said Jackie Cuddeback, EW’s associate publisher of marketing. “This is a chance to celebrate the industry we cover with the people we cover.”
Images of television celebrities shot for the magazine lined the walls and flashed across flat-screen TVs in each of the party’s three rooms (two indoor spaces with bars and one outdoor terrace). Each poster-size photograph, cut into unusual patterns, alluded to the party’s theme: As a homage to sponsor Vavoom’s new Shape Maker hairspray and EW’s objective of shaping readers’ tastes (and entertainers’ careers), event designer Larry Abel said he wanted to subtly inject a “shape” theme into the photography and branded items. Hence a zigzagged portrait of Tina Fey and an off-center shot of Lena Headey from The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
The theme extended to the square, circular, and triangular pillows emblazoned with logos and perched on wicker couches and the branded step-and-repeats purposefully constructed at slightly odd angles. Bartenders served Vavoom-tinis in custom martini glasses with curved stems, and the Entertainment Weekly Upfront-olitan was served in an arched black cup bearing the magazine’s logo. In the corner of one room, guests posed in front of a green screen for lenticular photos provided by Get Flipped. The photographer printed the holographic images and gave them out as souvenirs.