Here Are the 5 TV-Themed Panels You Can’t Miss at Cannes

Featuring panelists from Conan O’Brien to Linda Yaccarino

Linda Yaccarino, Conan O'Brien and Gretchen Carlson are all slated to be Cannes Lions panelists. Sources: Getty Images
Headshot of Jason Lynch

As always, the upcoming Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity features too many enticing panels, and not enough time to squeeze them all in. But for those who are seeking out TV-themed sessions—those which feature either celebs, network execs or an examination of how brands and publishers can collaborate together—Adweek is highlighting the five panels you won’t want to miss next week. Spoiler alert: make sure you block out plenty of time on Wednesday. (You can check out all the festival has to offer, here.)

1. Unbreakable Entertainment: A New Way of Storytelling

Presented by: TBWA
When: Monday, June 18, 12:00-12:45
Where: Health Inspiration Stage, Palais II
Why: As marketers and publishers brainstorm new ways to successfully collaborate on content, TBWA and Fox Networks Group believe they have cracked the code with Unbreakables, a new branded content platform for healthcare storytelling they will launch later this summer. (TBWA analyzed 172.4 million social media posts about cancer and found that in web search and social, people are looking for inspiration as much as information.) Theodor Arhio, TBWA’s global director of creative and content, and Jan Livingston, evp of executive creative director for Fox Networks Group, will detail the new collaboration during this panel.

2. The NBC Olympics Are a Home For Storytelling and Brands

Presented by: NBCUniversal
When: Wednesday, June 20, 12:00-12:45
Where: Entertainment Stage, Palais II
Why: This panel features the only TV ad sales chief speaking onstage at Cannes—Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and client partnerships for NBCUniversal—so this should be a must-attend for anyone looking to score some brownie points during upfront talks. She’ll appear alongside a pair of Winter Olympics medalists (Mikaela Shiffrin, who took gold in the giant slalom and silver in combined alpine skiing, and Adam Rippon, a bronze medalist in the figure skating team event) to talk about their Winter Olympics success, both on the medal stand and on NBCU.

3. Conan & Shaq—Jacks of All Trades, Masters of Some

Presented by: Turner
When: Wednesday, June 20, 2:00-2:45
Where: Lumière Theatre, Palais I
Why: O’Brien is always an upfronts highlight, and he will have plenty to talk (and joke) about, as his TBS late-night show will shift to a 30-minute format next year as part of his new multiplatform deal with Turner. He’ll be sharing the stage with Shaquille O’Neal, now an analyst for Turner’s Inside the NBA, and moderator Chris Cuomo, from CNN. In between laughs, there should be some fun takeaways for marketers from the trio.

4. Creating Breakthrough TV That Drives Cultural Conversation

Presented by: Hulu
When: Wednesday, June 20, 3:00-3:45
Where: Entertainment Stage, Palais II
Why: With more than 500 scripted series expected to air on broadcast, cable and streaming outlets this year, it’s harder than ever to make a splash in the TV space. However, Hulu pulled it off last year with The Handmaid’s Tale, which is making waves once again in Season 2. Craig Erwich, the streaming service’s svp of content—who will see a bigger company role after the recent shakeup that saw the departure of several execs, including CCO Joel Stillerman—will explain how Hulu did it, alongside the show’s executive producer (and former NBC president) Warren Littlefield, and comedian Ramy Youssef, who stars in an upcoming comedy for the platform, Ramy.

5. Redefining Miss America in the Age of #MeToo

Presented by: Y&R
When: Friday, June 22, 10:00-10:45
Where: Lumière Theatre, Palais I
Why: Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson helped start the movement against sexual harassment in Hollywood two years ago when she filed a lawsuit against the late co-founder and chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes. Now she’s shaking up the Miss America Organization after taking over as chairwoman in January, and will speak about how she’ll be making the brand relevant again in time for this year’s competition, which will air Sept. 9 on ABC. The panel also features Leslie Sims, CCO, Y&R North America, and—for reasons that will presumably be explained onstage—David Schwimmer.

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.