Saturday, July 31, 2010

The CW's Digital Dollars

Wayne Friedman's reports on Dawn Ostroff's claim that The CW is making good money with its shows online.

Obama on The View

Megan Smith offers a good defense of President Obama appearing on The View. And Gail Collins looks at it within the larger scope of the line between reality and entertainment blurring.

Funny or Die Profile

This is web, not TV, of course, but a good read: Richard Zoglin profiles how Funny or Die developed and is changing web comedy.

Friday, July 30, 2010

L&O: SVU Value

Law and Order: SVU is moving production from New Jersey to New York due to a tax credit change, and it's estimated that the show has pumped $55 million into the NJ state economy annually.


Some news from TCA today: NBC executives, more on NBC execs, Jeff Gaspin, a day at TCA, The Event, The Office, SyFy.

New Flow Issue

Online TV & Retrans

Ryan Lawler says online TV is playing a role in the latest retrans spat between Disney and Time Warner Cable.

Big Bang Theory Disappoints

Heather Hendershot expresses her disappointment with the depiction of nerdom in The Big Bang Theory.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

USA Formula

Yet another essay on the USA Network formula, this one from the WSJ's Jordan Hirsch. I think I should go back and analyze all these USA profiles, see if there's a formula to them.

Walking Dead Casting

Techland has a cool side-by-side comparison of the Walking Dead comic book characters and their live-action versions in the upcoming AMC show.

CW & Showtime at TCA

Some news bits from TCA today: Dawn Ostroff, Gossip Girl, Episodes, The Big C, Showtime teases, Dexter.

Laguna Crime Wave

A study has found that crime increased in Laguna Beach, CA due to the higher profile brought to the city by the reality show.

Ellen Done With Idol

Ellen DeGeneres won't be back as an American Idol judge. Alan Sepinwall considers why the Ellen experiment failed. James Poniewozik wonders what's next. Simon Cowell reacts. Jennifer Lopez might be coming to Idol. And Steven Tyler?

Latest: J Lo hasn't signed yet, while TMZ reports that next year's judges will be Lopez, Steven Tyler, and Randy Jackson.

Score One for The Shat

William Shatner scored an interview with Lee Boyd Malvo for his new show Aftermath.

AZA Bans Cable News

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has ceased airing cable news channels on its public TVs to strive for political neutrality.

Mad Men Dislike

Jason Mittell has a very intriguing new post at his blog Just TV, as he tries to explain why he simply doesn't like Mad Men, in the face of enormous critical acclaim for the show.

TV Advertising Strong

So reports Georg Szalai.

Lone Star Preview

Fox is making the first episode of the new fall show Lone Star available to desired target audiences.

Up & Down

These stories would seem to be related: online TV viewing is up, and satisfaction with cable is down.

Mad Men Design

Martin Filler explicates the visual design of Mad Men.

Muslim Leader Update

I linked last month to a piece on a Malaysian reality TV show that would select a new Muslim leader; Liz Gooch has an update on how the show is progressing, with the finale airing Friday.

Indonesian Edict

Agence France-Presse reports: "Indonesia’s highest Islamic authority has followed up a series of contentious edicts with a new one barring Muslims from watching television gossip shows or having sex-change operations."

HIMYM Changes

Alan Sepinwall interviews the co-creators of How I Met Your Mother and learns that some changes are afoot for next season, revealing some interesting points about season storytelling.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CBS Day at TCA

Some news from TCA today: CBS panel, Nina Tassler, Survivor, Mike & Molly, Hawaii Five-0, Chuck Lorre, $#*! My Dad Says.

McPherson/Lee Coverage

More on Steve McPherson out/Paul Lee in at ABC: Lee drove ABC Family to success; Jaime Weinman considers a cable guy taking over a network; Frazier Moore wonders if Lee can turn ABC around; Brian Steinberg assesses ABC's challenges; this ends a stormy era at ABC; Alex Weprin speculates on what this means for Nightline; ABC affiliates salute McPherson; Aaron Barnhart thinks McPherson canceled shows too quickly; and there are now rumors of sexual harrassment tied to McPherson, but McPherson's attorney has released a vaguely worded statement suggesting we not buy into rumors. Also, advertisers have high hopes for Lee's success.

CBS Adding Gay Characters

Perhaps responding to its F from GLAAD, CBS is adding gay characters to three shows in the fall.

Internet TV > 3D TV

Janko Roettgers reports that internet-enabled TVs are more popular right now than 3D TV.

Retrans Indifference

Capitol Hill isn't showing much enthusiasm for messing with retrans rules.

Soaps Not Dead Yet

Kevin Downey reports on the life left in the daytime soap opera.

Starz Needs Money

Starz is trying to drum up $1 billion to fund original programming.

Cable News Ratings

Fox News drew more primetime viewers in July than CNN. MSNBC, and HLN combined; CNN's ratings woes continue; and CNBC is draining viewers.

'Spoiler Alert' Origins

Nate Freeman has a brief history of the origins and use of the phrase "spoiler alert."

Voting for Pilots

Stephen J. Dubnar throws out a new development idea: the networks air all their pilots for audiences to vote on.

TCA Press Tour

TCA press tour events have begun. Unfortunately I'm sitting in an airport, so I'll have to leave all the hard work of informing you to the folks I mentioned previously. Here's that list again of good TCA coverage blogs and tweeters: Eric Deggans, Alan Sepinwall, Maureen Ryan, Televisionary, Zap2It, Futon Critic, Give Me My Remote.

American Idol Changes

Brian Stelter considers what American Idol could look like next year with Nigel Lythgoe rumored return.

Parenthood Set Tour

Aaron Barnhart describes and illustrates his set tour of Parenthood.

Franco & Performance Art

James Doyle analyzes James Franco's GH art project in detail and puts it in the context of performance art on television.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Pilot Problems

Joe Flint and Maria Elena Fernandez relate some of the troubles for pilots currently in development.

McPherson Out

ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson has resigned. Word is that he was pushed out for stagnant ratings and an abrasive personality. ABC Family head Paul Lee will replace him. More from the LA Times.

Hey Matthew Weiner, Read This

Now Myles McNutt chimes in on Matthew Weiner's reactionary demand that AMC stop sending out screeners to critics due to spoiler concerns.

Hey TCA, Read This

Myles McNutt offers very perceptive thoughts on the current state of the Television Critics Association and the opportunities it's missing out on by not engaging with the burgeoning community of online television criticism. (And thanks to Myles for the NfTVM shout-out!)

Comedy Central Scripted

Comedy Central is soon introducing more scripted comedy shows.

Online Measurement Challenges

With Hulu as an example, Dawn C. Chmielewski discusses how difficult it is to accurately measure online viewing audiences.

Fleeting Nudity Case

In yet another indication that indecency regulation has problems, the courts are still mulling over a fleeting nudity case involving NYPD Blue, from an episode that aired seven years ago.

Pac-10 TV

Ken Belson discusses what TV has to do with the Pac-10's new plans. And has more.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Detroit's Image

Some in Detroit are concerned that the new fall show Detroit 1-8-7 will perpetuate a negative image of the city.

Reality Salaries

Brian Stelter highlights rising reality TV star salaries, with Jersey Shore as the focus, of course.

Race & Cable News

Brian Stelter covers the latest news flap over race, and Danny Shea covers Brian Stelter's tweets about the issue, including the stat that Fox News averages only 29,000 black viewers in prime time.

The Wire Mise-En-Scene

Charlotte Howell ties the mise-en-scene of The Wire to class issues.

Low-Concept Multi-Cams

Jaime Weinman offers an excellent post proposing a model for future multi-camera sitcom success: try a low-concept show "without big stars, without a cool-sounding premise, and maybe even without a perfect pilot, but just one where the cast and the characters seem to have potential." (The post is also excellent because it has an awesome NewsRadio clip.)

Mad Men Stuff

Here are some Mad Men posts that caught my attention today (S4E1 spoiler alert): the season premiere rating was up only a bit from last year; Matt Zoller Seitz recaps the episode; Myles McNutt summarizes the critical reaction; Alan Sepinwall interviews Matthew Weiner; Emma Rosenblum interviews Elisabeth Moss; Latoya Peterson laments Mad Men's lack of racial diversity; and Michael Newman writes about how Mad Men is Quality TV that performs its own quality.

NBC Fan Program

James Poniewozik updates us on NBC's "Fan It" promotion program.

Promoting Via Competitors

Steve McClellan assesses the possibility that networks might break an old taboo and start promoting shows on their competitors' airwaves.

CSI Fact vs. Fiction

Friend of the blog Pierce Martin sent me a link to this very cool infographic on the reality of crime scene investigation compared to TV's version. Also on the same site is an earlier piece on the CSI Effect.

Black Sidekick

Kartina Richardson laments the pervasiveness of the stereotypical black sidekick character.

USA Looking Beyond Drama

Marisa Guthrie reports on USA Network's moves into comedy and reality TV.

TCA Summer Press Tour

The Television Critics Association summer press tour is about to start; Eric Deggans has a great preview of what it's all about. Unfortunately, the nine days of presentations coincide with a final summer vacation trip for me, so I probably won't be blogging the goings on too thoroughly. The following sources will give you all you could possibly need and more: Eric Deggans, Alan Sepinwall, Maureen Ryan, James Poniewozik, Televisionary, Zap2It, Futon Critic, Give Me My Remote. They're all on Twitter too, if you're a live-tweeting fan.

New In Media Res: Transmedia

The theme this week at In Media Res is transmedia:
  • Monday July 26, 2010 – Christy Dena (Universe Creation 101) presents: TEST TEST TEST Transmedia
  • Tuesday July 27, 2010 – Marc Ruppel (University of Maryland College Park) presents: (Still) Waiting For the Transmedia Godot
  • Wednesday July 28, 2010 – Robert Pratten (Zen Films) presents: Indie Superheroes
  • Thursday July 29, 2010 – Brian Newman (SpringBoard Media) presents: "Awra Amba" - Documentary and Transmedia Activism
  • Friday July 30, 2010 – Ted Hope (This is That) presents: Braden King

Redstone's Band Still On

The girl band reality show that Sumner Redstone favors so much is still in development at MTV.

Channel Five Sold

Britain's Channel Five has been bought by a tabloid mogul.

Cheap Shows

Jaime Weinman writes about limited-budget shows that look cheap (Rubicon) and those that don't (Breaking Bad). Weinman also has a follow-up post.

CNN Analysis

Nancy Franklin outlines CNN's many problems.

Watching Cable

Thomas Umstead reports on how much viewers in general are watching cable programming, Greg Selkoe reports on young viewers watching cable programming, and Georg Szalai reports on rich people watching cable programming.

Emmy Facts

B&C has four things it thinks you should know about the 2010 Primetime Emmys, and it also explains the new rules that more clearly separate non-fiction and reality nominees.

James Franco Profile

Sam Anderson tries to crack the hard nut that is James Franco.

NBCU Ad Network

NBC Universal has created its own ad network to sell advertising for its many online sites.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Football Marketing

AdAge's Rich Thomaselli reporters on marketers interest in pro football and college football.

Aging Audience

Adam Buckman considers what the networks have to do with their audience aging.

If You Really Knew Me

Jon Caramanica showcases an intriguing new MTV reality show, If You Really Knew Me, which "focuses on efforts to break down social barriers in high school through the lens of Challenge Day, an organization that carries out one-day in-school seminars on emotional justice."

Tassler Profile

Meg James breaks down the bio and job of CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler.

Comic-Con Videos

Some good Comic-Con videos I've come across: Aaron Barnhart shows us the floor scene (here's another, even longer, floor tour), the Chuck cast boogies (and if you haven't heard, Chuck's mom will be played by Linda Hamilton), and Joss Whedon talks. Also, here's a S5 Dexter promo, and a S3 second half True Blood preview.

No video, but Alan Sepinwall makes you feel like you're seeing it with his detailed summary of the Community panel. And James Hibberd has many more TV-related Comic-Con links.

Futon Critic has a ridiculous number of interviews from Comic-Con.

Snooki Takedown

Cathy Horyn is none to kind to Jersey Shore's Snookie in her NYT profile of the reality star. Jezebel's Hortense Smith in turn critiques Horyn's article. So does Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams. Emma Rosenbloom offers thoughts on the celebrity profile.

Also, New Jersey's governor is not a fan of the show.

Friday, July 23, 2010

RIP Daniel Schorr

Legendary broadcast journalist Daniel Schorr has died. An era has passed with him.

Cable Epics

Amy Chozik looks at the current vogue for expensive epic drama series on cable TV.

Media Stocks Assessment

The Street's Andrea Tse highlights six media stocks with major upside.The Disney profile reiterates the rumor that the company will sell ABC and says Disney would put that money toward video game-related acquisitions.

VJ Impact

Deborah Potter discusses the impact of VJs (video journalists) on TV news.

Mad Men Criticism

James Poniewozik previews Mad Men's return and addresses the spoiler issue (which Matt Weiner is getting his undies bunched about), and Jaime Weinman writes about the "fake Mad Men spoiler" meme that hit Twitter recently. Offering critical criticism, Kartina Richardson creatively addresses Mad Men's shallow treatment of race, and Nelle Engoron says Mad Men is bad for women.

GLAAD Grades

GLAAD has released its fourth annual Network Responsibility Index, which is "an evaluation of the quantity, quality and diversity of images of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on television." MTV and The CW did well; CBS got an F.

It's a Univision Summer

Hunter Walker reports on Univision's successful summer: The 2010 Premios Juventud...beat all four of the major broadcast networks on Thursday night...And while the network has long been competitive among viewers 18-49 on Friday nights, this summer it's been regularly beating some of the major broadcast networks in the category on other nights of the week."

Writers' Jobs

Jessica Butler highlights a previous post summarizing what various TV writers' titles actually mean in terms of what they do and links to the WGAW's in-depth description of those jobs, their responsibilities, and the pay scales.

Whedon & Abrams Grumble About Network TV

Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams appeared together on a panel at Comic-Con; Maureen Ryan has a link to the audio and a summary of the highlights, and TV Week has a transcript excerpt of their discussion of the problems of creating content for the broadcast networks today.

UPDATE: At a panel today, Whedon says he's planning future online projects.

Friday Fun: Mad Men in Kinetic Typography

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Where Did the Darias Go?

Marisa Lemtzer observes, "Where did all the Darias go? Eight years after the show went off the air, the super-smart, dry, withering, righteously angry girls are largely absent from pop culture. For every sassy adolescent as played by Juno’s Ellen Page, our current teen cultural landscape is clogged with heroines whose principal interests, as on Gossip Girl, are status and men."

CA Losing Jobs

Film and TV jobs are leaving California.

G4 Becomes 4G

The gamer-centric cable channel G4 will change its name to 4G next week as a promo for Sprint.

Comcast Claims Fourth

Comcast and NBCU predicts after the merger, they'll be the fourth biggest media company in terms of revenue, behind Disney, Time Warner, and Viacom.

Bollywood TV

Bollywood films are appearing on TV while they're still playing in movie theaters.

Couric Out?

Katie Couric might be on her way out at CBS.

Summer Winners & Losers

Media Life interviews interviews a broadcast media agency exec about how summer has gone for networks and cable.

Louie Speaks For Us

Brian Donovan argues that FX's Louie captures the current cultural zeitgeist.

Junk News

Tina Dupay equates today's cable news with junk food.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Great TV Playlist

Adam Buckman proposes a playlist of 12 great TV song moments. (But he's missing an awesome one: "Come Sail Away" from the Freaks and Geeks pilot.)

Writers' PA Interview

Curious about what a writers' room production assistant on a network drama does? Amanda the Aspiring TV Writer interviews one.

Story of a Procedural

Not sure how to describe this precisely, but it's a TV writer telling a wild story, interspersed with hypothetical network notes and...well, just read it, it's good.

Louie Ratings

I've been extremely impressed with Louis C.K.'s new sitcom Louie on FX -- it's unlike just about anything I've seen -- but its ratings haven't been extremely impressive and, more unfortunately, they've declined each week since the premiere. I've been downloading it from iTunes, though, so hopefully someone's paying attention to those figures.

House Debauchery Alleged

This is totally in the category of gossip, but what the heck, it's summer: a former assistant propmaster for House is suing Universal based on claims that he was fired because he refused to participate in "degenerate conduct" along with his superiors.

ESPN Ombudsman Disapproves

ESPN's Ombudsman Don Ohlmeyer slams "The Decision" for ethical missteps and damaging the network's credibility.

ATWT Replacement

Deadline's Nellie Andreeva reports that As the World Turns will be replaced by a View-like talk show targeted toward moms once it leaves the air.

Jersey Shore Cash-In

I was reluctant to bother mentioning the Jersey Shore cast raises, but Chiore Sicha has a piece on it that's maybe, just maybe, worth reading. In fact, a commenter here confirms: definitely worth reading.

Netflix Pushing TV

Peter Kafka reports on Netflix's stated intentions to deliver as much TV as movies online. Ryan Lawler also reports. And Ben Frtiz reports on Netflix's stock price decline, and Tech Crunch has user stats.

Celebrity Guest Star Logic

Kevin Fallon considers why celebrities value TV guest spots.

Instructions for Cord Cutters

If you need help figuring out ways to watch a load of TV without a cable subscription, Dan Schointuch has the info for you.

Web Comedy

Aymar Jean Christian assesses the past and future market for web comedy, including its relationship to TV.

New Orleans Depictions

Amanda Ann Klein compares the News Orleans of Treme with that of The Real World.

Fleeting Indeceny Ruling a Mistake

Former FCC Chairman Michael Powell now says the 2004 Commission's "fleeting expletives are indecent" decision was a mistake borne of political pressure.

Cable Beats All-Stars

Cable TV beat up on the All-Star game last week.

Sherrod & the Media

There's a lot of media hand-wringing going on in relation to the Shirley Sherrod saga; here are two bits of analysis from TV critics familiar to NfTVM visitors: Eric Deggans and James Poniewozik.

Employment Projected Up

Analysts predict a rise in film and TV employment this year and next.

TV at Comic-Con

The annual comics convention Comic-Con has become nearly as much about TV as comics. The NYT also reports.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jackie Room to NYC

Nurse Jackie's writers' room is moving from Los Angeles to New York City apparently with hope that the show can better capture an NYC feel.

Ensemble Emmy

Modern Family's Steve Levitan laments that there isn't an Emmy awarded for ensemble acting. Given how huge casts have gotten these days, I think that sounds like a swell idea.

Starz Exec Interview

Lacey Rose interviews Starz Entertainment's executive vice president of programming Stephan Shelanski "about the premium network's new direction, Party Down’s cancellation and why period pieces will line the schedule going forward."

Working Reality

Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn observes the rise in work-related reality TV shows.

Retrans Future

Media companies have responded to the recent call by the American TV Alliance for retrans help; they claim no changes are needed. Related, TV Everywhere deals could end up affecting retrans and carriage fees.

No Tube

Todd Spangler explains why You Tube's Leanback idea just isn't TV.

Canned Laughter Then & Now

Mike Sacks has a great interview with TV historian Ben Glenn II about the history of the laugh track. About the difference between past and present laughs, Glenn comments: "Today’s sitcoms are based mostly on witty repartee and no longer rely on outlandish situations or sight gags—and today’s muted laughs reflect that. Generally, laughs are now much less aggressive and more subdued; you no longer hear unbridled belly laughs or guffaws. It’s “intelligent” laughter—more genteel, more sophisticated. But definitely not as much fun. There was an optimism and carefree quality in those old laugh tracks. Today, the reactions are largely “droll.”"

Redstone Bribe

I linked a month ago to a weird story about Sumner Redstone allegedly forcing MTV to take on an inept girl band reality show, and it's only gotten weirder since. Now the reporter of that story says Redstone tried to bribe him to get his source, and he has taped evidence.

New USA Blog

USA Network has launched a website called The USA Character Approved Blog, which "celebrates the people, places and things that are making a mark by positively influencing our cultural landscape." Mike Shields reports.

ESPN & The Magazine

Joseph Plambeck reports that ESPN will try to better coordinate ESPN The Magazine with the network's television offerings.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Afghani Media Mogul

Ken Auletta profiles Saad Mohseni, the chairman of Afghanistan's most prominent media company.

Modern Breakup

Modern Family co-creators Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd have dissolved their partnership but will continue to co-produce the sitcom. Jaime Weinman wonders if their division was evident in the show's weekly final product.

Family Guy Abortion Episode

Dave Itzkoff writes about a Family Guy episode discussing abortion, which Fox refused to air but will appear this fall on a stand-alone DVD. Itzkoff also provides more excerpts from his interview with Seth McFarlane about the controversy.

Damages/DirecTV Deal

Surprise: DirecTV will air two seasons of Damages exclusively. Meg James and Joe Flint report, as does James Poniewozik.

Pre-Air Reviews

In response to controversy over Alessandra Stanley's Mad Men preview containing spoilers for the upcoming season, Myles McNutt blogs about the state of the pre-air review.

Hulu on the iPad

Robert Bianco describes how TV on the iPad looks.

The Wire Defaced

DirecTV claims it's airing The Wire in HD, but not only is that not true (because The Wire wasn't shot in HD), Phillip Swann reports that it's even either stretching or cropping the image to fix a 16:9 screen. Sacrilege!

New Deal for Murphy

Ryan Murphy has signed a huge new deal with 20th Century Fox TV.

Disney vs. TWC

The carriage fee/retrans battle between Time Warner Cable and Disney involving costs for ESPN, Disney Channel, and some local ABC stations is playing out publicly online.

Lost vs. Inception

James Poniewozik compares the puzzling narratives and endings of Lost and Inception.

Originals Value

Jon Lafayette assesses the value of original cable programming to channel brands and prestige.

Canada Gets Netflix

Netflix Instant is coming to Canada.

No Preseason Buzz

Steve Sternberg criticizes the broadcast networks for not generating more buzz for fall shows over summer.

Online Video Key

John Eggerton says the role of online video access will be key in the FCC's Comcast-NBCU considerations.

Emmy Nom Benefits

R. Thomas Umstead discusses the value of an Emmy nomination for a show's prestige and promotion.

TV One Originals

The African-American targeting cable channel TV One is turning to more original reality TV programming.

China TV Problems

Xiyun Yang reports on the censorship of a reality TV dating show in China. David Barboza notes that such heavy regulation is helping to drive Chinese youth to seek out TV on the internet instead.

New In Media Res

In Media Res is looking at the Gulf oil spill this week:
  • Monday – Kevin Sanson (University of Texas at Austin) presents: Feeling Place
  • Tuesday – Elizabeth Schwarz (UC Riverside) presents: Cleaning Up the Gulf With Twitter
  • Wednesday – Joelle S. Underwood and Janelle A. Schwartz (Loyola University New Orleans) present: Spilling the Story
  • Thursday – Carrie Packwood Freeman (Georgia State University) presents: Dawn: The soap that gets us good and greenwashed
  • Friday – Shana Heinricy (University of New Mexico) presents: In Need of a Jazz Funeral: Hypermediated Mourning of the Gulf Coast

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New Zealand TV

I had some questions for Mark Stewart, a TV Studies PhD candidate in New Zealand, about TV in his country, and he did us the favor of blogging about it, first about the history of NZ TV and then about the complexities of network and program branding given how much NZ TV relies on imports from the US, UK & Australia.

Hulu Plus Not Recommended

Robert Seidman suggests that you give your money to Netflix rather than spend it on Hulu Plus.

Conan & the Internet

Sarah Lacey relates Conan O'Brien's love/hate relationship with the internet as the comedian expressed at a sketch show recently.

Soap Writer Pay Cuts Possible

Sara Bibel lays out a potentially crucial -- for more than just soaps -- contract renegotiation between ABC and the Writers Guild that could result in salary cuts and even layoffs for soap opera writers.

Performance Art TV

Jon Caramonica looks at performance art's moment in the TV sun via James Franco and Bravo's Work of Art.

Canadian Hits

You can expect to see more Canadian-produced shows on US TV, especially given the summer success of low-priced Rookie Blue.

UPDATE: Brian Stelter has also just written on this.

Over 50 Matters

Brian Steinberg reports on how Nielsen is setting out to prove that older demographics can valuable targets: "TV advertising was founded on reaching the demographic of consumers between the ages of 18 and 49, yet the median age of viewers of prime-time broadcast TV is nearing 51 -- two years above that age range. To maintain relevance to advertisers, the big networks need to find a way to establish the relevance of older consumers if they want to continue to draw the marketers that support TV so heavily."

Robert Seidman responds to this article with skepticism.

Content Regulation Removal Endorsed

A New York Times editorial advocates the elimination of FCC content regulation for broadcasters.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Writers' Deals Down

Variety reports (behind a paywall) that TV writers' deals are lower in the wake of the WGA strike, though we don't need to pass around any plates for them. Also, Variety offers a spreadsheet listing writer-studio pacts.

BBC License Fee Cut

Britain's Culture Secretary complains that the BBC has become wasteful and a cut in the annual license fee paid by viewers is on its way.

The Gates Thrives Online

ABC's summer show The Gates is struggling in the TV ratings but is an online streaming leader.

Sutter on Marketing

Sons of Anarchy showrunner Kurt Sutter reflects on the challenge of marketing promos.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Emmy Submission Episodes

Gold Derby unveils the Emmy episodes that shows and actors submitted for nomination consideration. Myles McNutt analyzes the choices.

New Flow Issue

Fox News North Obstacle

The attempt to give Canada its own version of Fox News, called Fox News North, has been hindered by a ruling that the channel won't receive "must carry" status for cable and satellite carriage.

Bye to TV or Internet?

James Poniewozik asks which you would be better able to give up: TV or the internet?

Good Wife Genesis

The creators of The Good Wife recently talked about the genesis of the show.

Mad Men Preview

USA Today previews Mad Men, which returns July 25. NYT's Alessandra Stanley also previews.

Friday Fun: Study Like a Scholar

Cartoon Network Arabic

At the end of this year, Time Warner will launch an Arabic version of Cartoon Network in the Middle East.

Bisexuality on TV

Sara Bibel assesses current portrayals of bisexuality on TV.

News Emmys

The Emmy nominations for News and Documentary have been announced, with PBS leading. Also nominated was David Letterman's extortionist.

Advertisers Weep For Soaps

John Consoli reports that ad buyers are sad to see soap operas apparently on their way out: "Though the alternatives are cheaper and easier for networks to produce, media buyers tell TheWrap that soaps are still one of the most cost-effective buys on broadcast television."

Racy Fall

Elizabeth Guider figures fall TV could get a lot racier with the indecency laws in limbo.

Fall Schedules

Fox, ABC, and NBC have announced their fall schedule premieres, and James Poniewozik notes that they're mostly going with the good old fashioned "premiere week" concept during the third week of September.

Asian Jersey Shore

Jezebel has pictures of the cast of the K-town, which is being referred to as the Asian Jersey Shore. And Vulture has a cast reel.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

TV Everywhere...For a Fee

Todd Spangler reports that TV Everywhere services will likely start charging soon.

Europe Says OK

Regulators in Europe have said they're fine with the Comcast-NBCU deal.

Canadian TV Earnings Up

Ad revenue and subscriber growth are on the upswing in Canada.

Sports TV Median Ages

Intriguing stats from Brad Adgate on Twitter: "Median age of TV sporting events: World Cup-37.7; NBA Finals-40.7; Daytona 500-44.9; Super Bowl 43.0; World Series-49.9; Stanley Cup 44.9."

Ratings News

Some recent ratings highs and lows: Oprah hit an all-time low; the MLB All-Star Game hit an all-time low; Deadliest Catch hit an all-time high; and Covert Affairs hit an all-time high (OK, it was the first episode of the series, but started strong).

King Exit

Lacey Rose interviews Larry King about what he's leaving behind.

Elsewhere, Nellie Andreeva says CNN has botched the King exit and successor search.

Anti-Mosque Ad Rejected

NBC and CBS have declined to air an anti-mosque advertisement. The ad is deemed by many to be inflammatory, though an NBC spokesperson says the ad was rejected because it's vague.

Netflix & Hulu Content

Will Richmond noticed Netflix Watch Instantly offers the entire Nip/Tuck series and Hulu Plus doesn't; he tells you why. Ryan Lawler has more on the Netflix-Warner Bros. streaming deal. And Meg James talks to Hulu CEO Jason Kelar about the Plus and free future of Hulu.

Indecency Ruling Analyzed

Linda Holmes parses the court decision striking down the FCC's indecency ruling.

How To Make a USA Show

Another outline of the components of a USA Network summer show. (Seems like articles about USA shows as genre have become a genre.)

Old Spice Virality

The Old Spice ad campaign featuring Isaiah Mustafa has become a web phenomenon rather than a TV one, but especially since I can't post this in my Antenna links entry (it's on hiatus til August), I'll throw it in here: Marshall Kirkpatrick uncovers the social media and internet strategy of the Old Spice videos. (And thanks to Andy Seroff for sending me the link.) Also, MightyGodKing has brief thoughts on the videos' aesthetic, Robin Sloan says this sets a precedent for online storytelling, and Megan Garber says this contains a lesson for the future of news.

Seasonal Synergy

In the fourth IMR Summer TV entry, Myles McNutt considers the implications of seasonal scheduling. He also says a bit about his piece and the week's entries on his blog.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Public Funding Ideas

Lee Bollinger calls for public funding to help out struggling news media; Jeff Jarvis says an American BB is not a good option.

Carriage Deals Help

A group called the American TV Alliance, made up of coalition of cable, TV, and telecom companies, is calling for FCC help in negotiating carriage fee and retrans disputes.

UPDATE: The NAB is launching a counter-attack.

FCC Indecency Response

Joe Flint reports on the FCC's options for a response to the indecency policy being struck down.

Morgan Replacing King?

The NYT is reporting that Piers Morgan will replace Larry King.

Summer Scripted Struggles

Gary Levin reports that summer scripted series are struggling in the ratings.

Call for Fin-Syn

Wayne Friedman looks at an independent TV producers' group call for a return of the fin-syn rules in some form.

Break Up News Corp.

Dennis Kneale thinks Rupert Murdoch would be wise to break off some pieces of News Corp.

Summer Froth

In the third IMR Summer TV entry, Jeremy Mongeau pinpoints the surface tone that makes summer TV work.

How Much Online?'s Guillermo outlines, with wicked awesome charts, how much of network television programming was also hosted online last season: "90% of shows became available online, 50% of episodes came online within a day of their original air date, 60% of episodes went offline within three weeks of their original air date."

Branding Approaches

Cory Barker offers a fun and insightful post about the relationship between a network's brand and its programming, as he judges how successful various broadcast and cable networks are at sustaining the quality and clarity of that relationship.

Glee Panel

Cassie Belek attended the recent Paley Center Glee panel and highlights the news of the night.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Indecency Rule Struck Down

An appeals court has ruled that the FCC's rules on indecency violate the First Amendment. Coverage from the New York Times, WSJ, and B&C.

Women in TV

Maureen Ryan lays out the numbers of women working in the television industry: "The most powerful creative people in the television industry tend to be show creators and/or showrunners (i.e., the executive producers in charge on a day to day basis), but only 21 percent of the creators and 23 percent of the executive producers in the 2008-'09 season were women."

Sports Online

Will Richmond assesses the growth of viewing sports online.

Hot in Cleveland

Jaime Weinman has the next entry in this week's Summer TV feature at In Media Res, in which he considers TV Land's strategies behind Hot in Cleveland.

Four Screen Report

Nielsen has released its latest Fourth Screen Report: "As health club patrons worked to get their waists smaller in the first few months of this year, advertisers in those clubs saw their audiences get larger."

Final Moments

Tonight's Deadliest Catch features the death of Captain Phil Harris, and the final episode of The Hills airs tonight.

TV's Future

Tim Carmody speculates on what might be next for television as a viewing device.

Weighing the Costs

Bill Gorman looks at the renewal of the low-rated but very cheap Rookie Blue as a possible industry bellwether.

Creative Accounting

Wayne Friedman looks at what's behind the recent lawsuits related to hidden profits on TV shows.

State of Canadian TV

Etan Vlessing reports on how cable TV in Canada is thriving while broadcast is struggling.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Perfect Bid

Esquire's Chris Jones has a fascinating story of a perfect bid in The Price is Right's Showcase Showdown. Barney Stinson would stand and applaud.

International TV

The new Jump Cut also has a number of articles on non-US TV: Amy Lee on Hong Kong television, Amos Own Thomas on Kazakhstan television, and Mattias Frey on a German reality television show.

TV Money Matters

In the new issue of Jump Cut, Jennifer Holt writes about how much television matters to the media conglomerates today.

NBCU Cable Success

Anthony Crupi highlights the ratings successes of Bravo and Oxygen.

Indian Television

Kavita Daswani assesses the rise of television channels and shows targeted toward Indian Americans.

Exec Interview

Jessica Vascellero interviews Liberty Media chairman John Malone, who believes that cable is better positioned for the future than satellite.

Turner Going After ESPN

Turner is trying to compete with ESPN via increased web offerings.

Old Ways Not Dead Yet

Todd Spangler reports that despite all the Hulus and Netflixes out there, cord cutting still isn't rampant; Leslie Ellis says linear TV viewing isn't going anywhere yet; and Marisa Guthrie highlights broadcast TV's return to Emmy prominence.

Cable Syndication Sales

Paige Albiniak explains why cable channels are willing to pay a lot for off-network reruns right now: "If you are a potential buyer and you need programming for 2012, '13 and '14, you are saying, 'Holy cow, we have challenges if we want to buy a hit to drive all of these originals we have planned.' Several things have happened at the broadcast networks that have created a limited supply."

Local News Matters

Joanne Ostrow covers the ways in which local news has managed to stay relevant in a highly competitive era.

The Decision Advertising

Rich Thomaselli lays out the formulation of and advertising load from ESPN's "The Decision" show.

ESPN Scores

Ben Grossman notes that ESPN's success with World Cup coverage acted as a good tryout for the network's potential Olympics bid.

Fee Negotiations

Brooks Barnes and Brian Stelter catch us up on the current state of cable carriage fee negotiations.

News Profiles

Howard Kurtz profiles Fox News's Bill Hemmer, and Jon Friedman profiles MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. Also, Brian Stelter profiles those TV correspondents making their mark with oil spill coverage.

New In Media Res

The new In Media Res line-up this week on Summer TV is bound to be one of the greatest ever posted. I especially recommend Friday's entry, but they will all be awesome.
  • Monday – Charlotte Howell (University of Texas at Austin) presents: Westen Meets Lawson: Formula as Brand and the Potential of a USA Network Genre
  • Tuesday – Jaime Weinman (Maclean’s) presents: Hot In Cleveland: Betty Does Disney
  • Wednesday – Jeremy Mongeau presents: Cynicism Takes a Beach Trip: The Audience-Network Contract of Summer TV
  • Thursday – Myles McNutt (University of Wisconsin-Madison) presents: The Rigidity of Seasonal Synergy
  • Friday – Christine Becker (University of Notre Dame) presents: Summer Binging: What will it do to you?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

USA Summer Shows

Christopher Lawrence expresses his appreciation for the distinct alchemy of USA's summer shows. And Charlotte Howell wonders if we can consider the USA Network show its own genre.

Happy Ending for Michael

Steve Carell tells NPR that he wants to see Michael Scott get a happy ending when he departs The Office.

Childrens Hospital on TV

Rob Corddry's web series Childrens Hospital has moved to TV, Adult Swim specifically.

Vacation Note

I'm on a family vacation this week, so updates will be sporadic, but updating the blog supplies a good excuse to take those necessary alone-time breaks from the family, so there will likely be something here each day, I'm just not sure how much.

AT&T Threatening AMC

AMC might get dropped from AT&T U-verse systems just before Mad Men returns due to a carriage deal dispute between AT&T and AMC-owner Rainbow.

ESPN Branding

ESPN is launching a new branding campaign for the channel under the slogan "It's not crazy, it's sports." This move is unrelated to the critical drubbing the channel is taking for "The Decision."

FNL Storyline

Friday Night Lights did the unthinkable in its recently aired episodes: gave a network television character an abortion storyline. Gina Bellafante compares it to previous network efforts on the issue, and James Poniewozik and Alan Sepinwall review the conclusive episode.

Smaller Packages Considered

Battling against the recession, cable companies are considering offering smaller bundles of channels to subscribers.

Tosh Ratings

Tosh.0 is drawing solid ratings for Comedy Central.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bron Bron Brought To You By...

More lengthy travels for me today, so this update might be about it.

Stuart Elliot looks at the advertising saturation within ESPN's "The Decision" show. ESPN is taking heat for the show, but Bryan Curtis defends the network.

Early ratings word from Alex Weprin: "Good gravy, LeBron James' "The Decision" drew a 7.3 household rating last night, making it the top show on TV. Waiting for Final #s."

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Summer Winners

Doing well this summer are Univision, USA, & cable comedies.

Not doing well? The big four networks, drawing in record lows this past week.