Portfolio | TV
Lyla Foggia has been launching and/or saving TV shows for over two decades.
One of her most successful was the primetime science fiction series, “Babylon 5,” which was in danger of imminent cancellation was the WB Network. While it had developed a solid cult following among younger viewers, the show’s audience had stopped growing. The chief problem: “B-5’s” 5-year story arc, making it difficult for new viewers to emotionally hook into the continuing storyline. Based on hours and hours of interviews with the show's creator and script writer, famed science fiction novelist Joe Straczynski and production staff, Foggia uncovered an astonishing line-up of television firsts--including how the series was the first to produce CGI special effects on laptop computers with off-the-shelf software, the first to present an epic saga in the tradition of a literary novel, and the first one-hour weekly drama written entirely by one individual. All at a fraction of the stellar cost of producing "Star Trek," its closest competitor at the time. It was enough to hook the Associated Press television critic in New York, who wrote the story that gave "B-5" the glory it deserved. “Babylon 5” was not only renewed for the 4th and 5th seasons, it went onto spawn a spin-off series on TNT and several two-hour TV movies.
The producers were so pleased that they commissioned an indepth media kit for the parent company as well.
Just two weeks before “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee” was scheduled to debut, Disney Television recruited Foggia (who was then living on Mt. Hood) to mount a last-minute national publicity campaign to launch the daytime talk show into national syndication. Their mandate:to turn the show into a ratings franchise. During the next four seasons, Foggia worked closely with “LIVE’s” executive producer Michael Gelman to take the show from the ratings basement to the daytime television institution that it is today – solely through PR. Not a dime was spent on advertising. How did they do it? By creating a series of groundbreaking “events” that could then be promoted on both a local and national basis. Such as cooking segments with guest chefs from struggling markets and annual competitions that are now television staples—including the annual “LIVE” wedding each February and the “Makeover your Mother-in-Law Contest.” At the same time, she served as Regis Philbin’s and Kathie Lee Gifford’s personal publicist, negotiating their first magazine covers—over a dozen in 15 months—in People, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, Ladies Home Journal, McCall’s, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Family Circle and Parents. The end result: a tidal wave of media coverage that would play an instrumental role in turning skeptics into loyal daily viewers.
Other television projects Foggia has handled over the years include the two-hour world-wide live broadcast of "RETURN TO THE TITANIC...LIVE" from Paris – which continues to rank as the 2nd highest-rated syndicated television special of all-time.
And the reality series,"30 SECONDS TO FAME," when the weekly show suddenly needed contestants, so Foggia was recruited to create and distribute a clever press release that made their city-by-city auditions the talk of morning drive radio.
As a vice president for a Los Angeles public relations firm, she blanketed the country with coverage for the ABC primetime special, "WALT DISNEY WORLD'S SUMMER JAM CONCERT"; played a key role in launching the original "CHEATERS" series with an out-of-the-gate TV Guide feature story; and cooked up a new way of bringing much-needed media attention to the lifestyle series, "MARTHA STEWART LIVING" and "RON HAZELTON'S HOUSE CALLS."
“LIVE With Regis & Kathie Lee” (New York; 4 years)
“Return to the Titanic…LIVE” (Paris)
The Bicyclist.tv (web series (Portland)
“Martha Stewart Living” (CBS; New York)*
“Walt Disney World’s Summer Jam” (Orlando)*
“30 Seconds to Fame” (Los Angeles)
“Babylon 5” (Los Angeles)*
“B. Smith” (New York)*
“DOOF” (San Francisco)