Portfolio | TV
Welcome! Lyla Foggia has been launching and/or saving TV shows for over two decades. Call 503-622-0232 to discuss your project with her.
“30 Seconds to Fame” (Los Angeles)
“Babylon 5” (Los Angeles)*
“B. Smith” (New York)*
“DOOF” (San Francisco)
“LIVE With Regis & Kathie Lee” (New York; four years)
“Return to the Titanic…LIVE” (Paris)
The Bicyclist.tv (Portland)
“Martha Stewart Living” (CBS; New York)*
“Walt Disney World’s Summer Jam” (Orlando)*
as a vice president for SSA Public Relations
Three years into its primetime run on the WB Network, “Babylon 5” ran into serious trouble. While it had developed a solid cult following among younger viewers, the show’s audience had stopped growing. The biggest problem was “Babylon 5’s” continuing storyline – discouraging new viewers from tuning in. The biggest problem, however, was the lack of publicity. The WB publicity department had never even issued a press release for the series. Mid-point in the show’s third season, Foggia got an urgent call from one of the producers, asking if she was available to mount an emergency campaign – as they’d just been told that the series would not likely be renewed. As nothing had ever been written about the show, she literally had to start from scratch, requiring extensive interviews with the producers and creator Joe Straczynski.
What emerged was an astonishing line-up of television firsts to dazzle critics – including how it was the first series to produce CGI special effects on laptop computers with off-the-shelf software, the first presented as an epic saga in the tradition of a literary novel, and the first one-hour weekly drama written entirely by one individual. It was enough to hook the Associated Press television critic, whose article appeared in almost every paper across the country, as well as major features in local papers and TV news shows where fans were particularly concentrated. “Babylon 5” was renewed and went on to air a full five seasons, along with a spin-off series on TNT and a couple of two-hour TV movies.
Netter Digital Entertainment, the parent production company that had gone public only months before, also had Foggia produce their first-ever corporate kit. Again, she conducted interviews – this time with Doug Netter (at one time, the second in command of MGM) and his 25-year partner, John Copeland. And, again, she discovered that they had been responsible for a series of industry breakthroughs, including the first long-form documentary series (“The Wild West”) produced for network television (long before Ken Burns’s celebrated PBS films).
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."