This year, Time won’t be revealing its annual 100 most influential people list with just the usual press release a few days before the magazines hit newsstands, which in pre-pandemic days was followed by a black-tie event with a celebrity-filled red carpet in Manhattan.
Instead, the media company owned by billionaire Marc Benioff has inked a deal with ABC to unveil the list during a broadcast special on Sept. 22 at 10 p.m. EST as Time looks to expand the franchise.
“We have been expanding what the Time 100 can be in a lot of different ways for the past two years and the broadcast special is the biggest and best example of that yet and part of what I’m so excited about is that it’s going to take the Time 100 brand in a whole new direction and expose a lot of new people and new audiences to what makes the Time 100 so special,” Dan Macsai, Time executive editor and editorial director of the Time 100, told WWD in an interview.
“This is a huge business opportunity for us. As opposed to just being able to offer sponsorships or partnerships that are just print or digital or events, now we have a whole new channel. We have broadcast partners,” he added.
He further revealed that Time had been wanting to transform the series into a broadcast show for the past few years and the conversations around it really accelerated during the pandemic as both parties sensed an opportunity to do something on television in the absence of live events.
Produced by Time’s production arm Time Studios in partnership with P&G, the show will feature interviews and in-depth profiles, musical performances and appearances from previous honorees. It will be filmed in different locations with no live audiences and with a number of different presenters, while some guests will be appearing over video link. Performers and guests will be revealed in the coming weeks.
As for whether this will become an annual show, Macsai said: “Right now we’re just focused on this, but obviously we’ve been trying to do this for a long time and it’s our hope that the Time 100 continues to become bigger and better in the years to come.”
This is the latest extension of The Time 100 franchise. In April 2019, it hosted the first Time 100 summit, where speakers included Hillary Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King. Later that year, it founded the Next 100 Big Things in a bid to reach a younger audience. During the pandemic, it has also been running a weekly series called Time 100 Talks on Time.com and its social channels.
This year’s Time 100 summit was due to be held in Manhattan in April. For safety reasons, it will now be held virtually on Sept. 23 to 25 on Time.com and across Time’s social media platforms. The event won’t be ticketed and will instead be monetized though sponsorships.
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