CBS Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves and Will Packer, producer of blockbusters like “Ride Along” and “Girls Trip,” will headline the 2018 edition of TheGrill, TheWrap’s annual media and leadership summit.
The ninth annual event, which runs October 1-2 in Los Angeles, will consist of two days of hard-hitting conversations, high-level networking and industry icons discussing the convergence of content and technology — led by TheWrap founder and editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman.
Tickets are on sale at the early bird rate starting now until June 8.
Among the topics that will be in focus at the conference are new digital distribution models; cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in entertainment; subscription services in theatrical exhibition; the latest in virtual and augmented reality; fake news and the impact on the upcoming election.
Moonves will be the keynote interview in a year when CBS and Viacom are in the news for a pending potential merger. The chief executive has distinguished CBS as a producer and seller of world-class content across all mediums, helping CBS grow in value, revenue and market share while identifying and developing key new revenue streams for future growth.
Under Moonves’ direction, the CBS Television Network has been No. 1 in viewers for 14 of the last 15 years, and currently has television’s No. 1 comedy/scripted program, “The Big Bang Theory”; No. 1 new comedy, “Young Sheldon”; No. 1 primetime news program, “60 Minutes”; No. 1 late night show, “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert”; and No. 1 daytime drama, “The Young and the Restless.”
At the same time, the company’s premium cable service, Showtime Networks, has generated millions of new subscribers on the heels of its successful owned series, such as “Ray Donovan,” “Billions,” as well as the critically acclaimed, Emmy- and Golden Globe Award-winning series “Homeland.”
Packer has achieved unprecedented success with nine consecutive No. 1 films, and one of the most successful R-rated comedies of all time, last summer’s blockbuster “Girls Trip.“
As founder and CEO of Will Packer Media, Packer is leading a first-of-its-kind media company, producing episodic scripted and unscripted series across TV and digital platforms, compelling content for brand clients and its own operated platforms.
Prior to founding Will Packer Media, the Emmy-nominated producer established himself as one of Hollywood’s blockbuster hit makers with nine of his films opening number one at the box office.
In 2013, Packer signed first-look production deals with Universal Pictures and Universal Television. Under both deals, he develops new projects for the studios under his Will Packer Productions banner. Packer’s No. 1 films include “Ride Along,” “Ride Along 2,” “No Good Deed,” “Think Like a Man” and “Stomp the Yard.”
Packer’s 2017 comedy, “Girls Trip,” had the best start for an R-rated comedy in two years, and grossed more than $100 million domestically. It was the first film to do so produced, directed, written by and star African Americans. In August 2015, he served as an executive producer on “Straight Outta Compton,” which grossed more than $201 million.
TheGrill leads the conversation on convergence between entertainment, media and technology, bringing together newsmakers to debate the challenges and opportunities facing content in the digital age. Diverse programming anchored by versatile talent and supported by big brands has always been the hallmark of Hollywood.
As technology brings new models to the fore — in production, distribution, display and monetization — TheGrill is a platform for the leaders, the deciders and the disruptors to explore this reconfigured landscape as it continues to transforms around us.
For more information, click here. See last year’s speakers below!