Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Second Screen Startup

Janko Roettgers introduces us to tBone TV, a startup working on integrating TV viewing and iPad use.

Netflix on TV Future

Netflix's CEO is offering predictions about the future of TV and video.

ABC & CW Deals

ABC and The CW have followed Fox in starting to finalize upfronts deals.

Olympics Uncertainty

With Dick Ebersol no longer at NBC to give his all for Olympics rights, there's uncertainty over next week's bidding process.

Spectrum Issues

The FCC continues to investigate reallocating TV spectrum space for broadband use, and the NAB continues to insist that this will unduly harm broadcasting.

TV's Agenda

Ben Shaprio talks to The Independent about his new book, which argues that the content of television shows is driven by the liberal agendas of their creators, and Jaime Weinman responds to that argument. Shapiro will also be releasing video clips of Hollywood liberals discussing political agendas and bias against conservatives.

PBS Interruptions

PBS plans to break in during fall shows with promo and underwriting breaks. Elizabeth Jensen also reports, as does James Poniewozik. And Joanne Ostrow sees this as dangerous.

Monday, May 30, 2011

New In Media Res

Theme: American Idol 10 Postmortem

Monday May 30, 2011 – Katherine Meizel (Oberlin Conservatory of Music) presents: God and Country and Scotty McCreery

Tuesday May 31, 2011 – Christopher Bell (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs) presents: Too HAWT To Win

Wednesday May 1, 2011 – Natalie Wilson (Cal State San Marcos) presents: Is Jennifer Lopez a Simon/Paula hybrid?

Thursday May 2, 2011 – Alex Wagner-Trugman & Suellen Wagner (American Idol Season 8 Semi-Finalist, University of Miami; Writer, Producer, Antioch University) present: AI10: How a Pop Phenomenon Grew Up Without Growing Old

Friday May 3, 2011 – Tricia Clausen (University of Wisconsin-Rock County) presents: From Paternal to Patronizing: The Declining Credibility of Female Contestants

More Ads on Hulu?

Brian Steinberg reports that you might soon see more ads on Hulu during Fox programming.

The New THR

David Carr assesses Janice Min's overhaul of the Hollywood Reporter.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Live Possibilities

Peter Kafka describes a new service that offers you live broadcast network streaming to your iPad, and possibly even legally.

Goodbye to 33

Alan Sepinwall and Daniel Fienberg bid adieu to the past season's 33 freshman shows that won't see a sophomore year.

Weatherman Emotion

David Bauder highlights the repetitious airing of weatherman Mike Bettes' emotional reaction to the disaster in Joplin.

Deadly Season

Mary McNamara notes just how much death there was on TV this finale season, which has now become rote and calculated.

truTV Growing

Greg Braxton profiles truTV (which I've just learned doesn't capitalize "tru." Or spell it right, but that's another matter), which is growing in popularity.

Friday, May 27, 2011

SeeSaw Fails

The UK online VOD aggregator SeeSaw is closing up shop; Robert Andrews explores why. Bobbie Johnson also offers reasons.

FL Public Media Loses

Florida's governor is drastically cutting funding to public radio and TV in the state, which stands too deeply hurt smaller stations.

Peabody Perspective

Hillary Atkin describes why the Peabody Awards matter.

Comcast Heat

Comcast is getting heat from Bloomberg over channel placement and from a non-profit group for a VP's rash response to its Meredith Atwell Baker criticism.

Audience Erosion

Sam Schechner reports (from behind a paywall) on the decline of 18-49s watching network TV; Emma Bazilian also reports (from not behind a paywall).

Fox Deals First

Fox has cut its first upfronts deals, with low double digit rate increases being reported.

Branded Integration

Steve McClellan discusses how marketers are increasingly turning to multiplatform branding concepts to overcome perceived insufficiencies with traditional TV advertising.

OK Coverage

The AP reports on how local TV helped keep Oklahomans informed during the recent tornado outbreak.

Ads & Memories

Wired reports on a study which finds that vivid advertisements can stick in our brains and act as memories, making us feel like we've experienced something we haven't.

Leave Retrans Alone

The NAB insists that the FCC shouldn't mess with retransmission negotiations. Conversely, Cablevision wants FCC help.

Reality Downplayed

Brian Lowry notes that the networks downplayed their reality TV programming during upfronts, even though there's plenty of it.

Glee PSAs

A PSA featuring two Glee characters has drummed up controversy, as it asks people to stop using the word "retarded" by featuring taboo ethnic slurs.

Another Departure

Another NBC Sports exit, with president Ken Schanzer likely soon exiting.

PBS at Peabodys

PBS cleaned up at the Peabody awards, where Patrick Stewart offered a passionate defense of CPB funding.

Guide to Summer TV

Gawker has a handy overview of summer TV.

Couric & ABC

Katie Couric is reportedly close to a deal with ABC for a daytime talk show.

Mobile Future

Max Dawson has posted an essay-in-progress about the mobile phone and the future of television: Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Friday Fun

Back in Business

I've have problems logging in the past 24 hours -- Blogger is seriously testing my patience lately-- but everything appears to be working now, so here come some catch-up posts.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Carriage Complaints Denied

The FCC has backed a judge's denial of complaints by Wealth TV that major cable operators denied them fair carriage treatment.

Season Ratings

James Hibberd has compiled a list of how all 2010-11 network shows did in the 18-49 ratings. (Sorry, Shedding for the Wedding, you're dead last.) Andy Dehnart has isolated out the reality shows.

Also, Jace Lacob picks out the winners and losers of the '10-'11 season.

Digital Value

The African-American targeting Bounce TV will find its way into homes thanks to digital spectrum use.

Spectrum War

AdWeek lays out the TV vs. Phones broadband battle.

Retrans Fees

An SNL Kagan report predicts that retransmission revenue for networks and stations will reach $3.6 billion by 2017, a big number but less than cable carriage revenue.


Glenn Beck has a web TV channel in the works.

HBO Connect

HBO has launched a social media website that ties in with their shows.

Modern Problem

Mark Blankenship questions why Modern Family's Cam and Mitchell don't seem to really like each other.

CBS & Fox Take Season Crowns

CBS topped the 2010-11 ratings season in total viewers, Fox in 18-49 viewers.

Recall & Distractions

A study shows that people have better recall from online ads than TV ads and that smartphones distract us from watching TV ad content more than DVRs. Message to TV advertisers: we're not really watching.

Quality & Complexity

Jason Mittell offers some thoughts about quality television and narrative complexity.

Station Problems

George Winslow reports on a study finding that local stations are not fully prepared for the coming challenge of online and mobile demands.

Oprah's End

Coverage of Oprah Winfrey's network farewell from James Poniewozik and him again, and again after the broadcast, Brian Stelter, and Mary McNamara.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tornado Coverage

As I sit here watching live local news coverage of the ongoing Oklahoma tornadoes, I've got two Joplin links, one on how local stations are covering the disaster and another on how the pain of covering the tragedy is showing on screen.

Soap Protests

ABC soap opera fans are now targeting affiliate stations in trying to save their shows.


NBC has a new retrans deal with affiliates but the FCC may have something to say about it, while CBS is looking to double retrans revenue in five years.

Inside Al Jazeera

GQ has an in-depth profile of Al Jazeera.

TV Apps Popular

Samsung says that more than 5 million apps have been downloaded from its store in just over a year, as connected TVs become more popular.

The Killing Defended

The Killing has been critically lambasted for plot problems in the last few episodes, but Kelli Marshall says the refreshing depiction of the female detective at the center of the narrative redeems the show

Glee's Brittana

Robert Ito discusses the depiction of Glee's Santana as a lesbian with portrayer Naya Rivera.

Lionsgate Exec Leaves

The Lionsgate EVP who helped bring shows like Mad Men and Weeds to TV is stepping down.

Online Video Success

Kiefer Sutherland's web video The Confession on Hulu has been profitable, and isn't done yet.

Screen Ad Syncing

A company called Second Screen has developed technology to recognize when ads are airing during programming you're watching on a TV screen and give you yet more, but related, ads on a tablet, phone, or laptop screen at that time. More from Janko Roettgers.

USA is also rolling out a second screen experience.

Tara Cancelled

Showtime has cancelled United States of Tara, while renewing Nurse Jackie.

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Mary Sue" Interview

Cynthia Walker interviews Paula Smith, who coined the phrase "Mary Sue" for wish-fulfillment fan fiction, about how she came up with it and how it proliferated.

C4 Rebuilding

The Guardian investigates how Britain's Channel 4 is rebuilding itself to be more relevant in the era of connected television and online viewing.

Cable Operators & Disasters

In light of the Joplin tornado, Todd Spangler looks at how local cable operators respond to community disasters.

Netflix Effect

Netflix is changing how we consume television and might even someday replace the TV syndication business altogether.

Univison Growing Fast

As regular readers probably already know, Univision is the fastest-growing American network.

Upfronts Summaries

Stuart Elliot highlights best and worst scenes from the week, Eric Deggans names winners and losers, Spotted checks out scheduling match-ups, Jaime Weinman compares ABC & CBS, Scott Collins notes the rise in female comedy leads (if not female empowerment), James Poniewozik covers what we learned, Michael Schneider glosses the top fall trends, Deadline pinpoints the upfronts' overachievers, Rick Porter learned things, THR identifies winners and losers, Bloomberg notes the high volume of new shows, which it attributes to the "Netflix Effect" (which Bill Gorman thinks is nonsense), Stuart Elliot notes that the paranormal is a popular fall topic, Claire Atkinson sees a drama revival as good for studios, John Consoli says now the haggling commences and covers what media buyers think of the new shows, Joe Flint says networks are still obsessed with youth, and for cable, reality TV shows are key, Nellie Andreeva has final thoughts, Jonathan Gray reports on the new shows.

Online Series Recording

BBC's iPlayer now has a series record function that will enable automatic series downloading to its desktop app, thus allowing you to watch even if you're offline, with the shows available for up to 30 days. Will Richmond notes that this puts the iPlayer in the vanguard of online video use.

Buzz Before Ads

Emma Bazilian reports that marketers are checking into social media buzz before deciding which shows to get behind. More from the WSJ but behind a paywall.

Studio 60 Reborn

Long ago-cancelled Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip has been reborn via Twitter, as anonymous people tweet under the guise of the show's characters.

Nancy Grace

David Carr looks at Nancy Grace, so we don't have to.

Oprah Ending

Brian Stelter takes us into the last days of Oprah Winfrey's talk show, which ends Wednesday. Sam Schechner and Lauren Schuker look at how daytime will be affected by her absence.

Stations Questioning PBS Value

Many PBS affiliates are questioning the value of remaining tied to the public broadcasting outlet given what they see as a problematic business model.

GoT & HBO Go

Myles McNutt considers the implications of HBO premiering the seventh episode of Game of Thrones early via its HBO Go online access service.

British Scheduling

During my time in London, I'll be blogging about British TV each week for Antenna; my first post considers British scheduling practices.

New In Media Res

Theme: Media Representations of Brain Injuries in Sports

Monday May 23, 2011 – Bryce McNeil (Georgia State University) presents: Legitimizing the Feminine?: Regulation and the Politics of Cheerleading Injuries

Tuesday May 24, 2011 – David Epstein (Sports Illustrated) presents: Aaron Rodgers’s Magic Floating Helmet

Wednesday May 25, 2011 – Todd Martin (Los Angeles Times) presents: The Disincentives to Combat Concussions in Professional Sports

Thursday May 26, 2011 – Steve Granelli (SUNY Oswego) presents: Uninformed Outrage: When Steroids Were Blamed in Place of CTE

Friday May 27, 2011 – Stephen Brauer (St. John Fisher College) presents: Smashed in the Head with a Sledgehammer

Saturday May 28, 2011 – David Castillo (HeadKickLegend.com) presents: From Axon to Action: The Devil of Brain Trauma Is in the Details

Bafta Winners

Sherlock and The Only Way is Essex were notable winners at the Bafta awards in Britain, while Doctor Who and Downton Abbey went home empty-handed.

Glee Machine

Mary McNamara discusses the marketing machine that Glee has through its live concerts.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ailes & Fox News

New York Magazine's Gabriel Sherman looks at what Roger Ailes has created at Fox News. Fox News is now disputing some aspects of this piece.

Now Rolling Stone too offers an Ailes profile (or takedown, as Fox News execs will likely view it).

Baker's Move

Some have questioned the ethics of Meredith Attwell Baker's jump from FCC commissioner to Comcast lobbyist, and now Congress will be looking into it. Joe Flint pinpoints this as a rare PR misstep for Comcast.

Gossip Machine

Jim Rutenberg takes us inside the current world of celebrity gossip coverage.

Teen Wolf

Alex Pappademas introduces us to Teen Wolf, MTV's new entry into the teen horror genre.

Network Notes

Dave Itzkoff dug through Paddy Chayefsky's archived notes on his script for Network and reveals some of the ideas behind the prescient film.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Multicultural Multimedia

Nielsen has released a study into ethnic diversity and consumerism, which includes coverage of media use such as online video consumption.

Ebersol & Couric

Richard Sandomir notes that Dick Ebersol's Olympics legacy comes to an end with his NBC departure, and Joe Flint puts his exit in a Comcast context, while Gail Collins considers Katie Couric's legacy as a female news anchor.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tablets for TV

A Nielsen study found that a dominant use of tablet devices is watching TV, and they're also changing our TV viewing habits.

Content Power

Media Life interviews Greg Kahn, a media research exec, about his company's Content Power Ratings report, which ranks shows based on social media buzz.

Young & Old Shows

In discussing the season finales of Parks & Rec and The Office (so, spoiler alert), Matt Zoller Seitz considers the role of our emotional reactions to newer, fresher shows versus long-running ones.

Hart Retires

Mary Hart, the matriarch of TV's celebrity gossip coverage, is retiring, and Brooks Barnes wonders if her soft-touch approach to celebrities is leaving us too.

Friday Fun

To honor my current location, here are very lovely pictures of British TV stars, photographed to highlight their BAFTA nominations.

Fox News Boycott

Media Matters has launched an organized attempt to get advertisers to boycott Fox News, targeting specific advertisers and starting with Orbitz.

Powerful Women

Anthony Crupi profiles the most powerful female executives in TV.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gore v. News Corp

Al Gore believes Rupert Murdoch is responsible for taking Current off the lineup of Sky Italia, News Corp.'s satellite service in Italy, as a political objection to the incoming Keith Olbermann.

Ebersol Leaves

Surprising news: Dick Ebersol is exiting NBC Sports, to be replaced by Mark Lazarus.

The CW's Upfronts

The CW's fall schedule is out; analysis from Daniel Fienberg, Gary Levin, Todd VanDerWerff, Tim Goodman, Josef Adalian, James Poniewozik. Also, The CW will announce a new interactive commercial app deal; Cory Bergman has more.

Colbert's PAC

Stephen Colbert's attempt to start a Super PAC in order to bring awareness to campaign finance law problems constitutes a bold and subversive move that could stir up trouble for Fox News if his filing is denied by the FEC, though the FEC seems likely to take into account Colbert's motives in its deliberations.

WGA Report

The Writers Guild has released its latest Hollywood Writers Report, which "provides an update on the progress of women, minority, and older writers on the employment and earnings fronts." The results are not heartening.

Glee Crooner

Allison McCracken closes her excellent series on Glee's male singers with a profile of Blaine.

Upfront & Online

Brian Stelter and BIll Carter report on how the networks are touting social media at the upfronts, while Ryan Lawler highlights how NBC and Fox differ on their online TV philosophies.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cord Cutting Positive

Will Richmond says cord cutting might not be the worst thing for cable operators, at least for those that have robust broadband infrastructures.

Netflix Traffic

Netflix is sucking up a lot of bandwidth.

CBS Upfronts

Coverage of CBS's schedule from James Poniewozik (and again), Alan Sepinwall, Willa PaskinAndrea MorabitoTim Milloy, and Todd VanDerWerff. Watch CBS's new show trailers.

The Networks Are...

So this just happened on Twitter and demanded to be saved for future generations to observe:

Eurovision Effect

Azerbaijan won this year's Eurovision contest, which means it becomes next year's host. Aslam Amani wonders if that might force the country's repressive dictatorship into more openness.

Couric Analysis

James Rainey analyzes what went wrong for Katie Couric and CBS, whose relationship ends Thursday.

Other Upfronts

Multichannel has coverage of the ESPN and the Fox Hispanic Media upfronts, and Stuart Elliot previews the Spanish-language outlet upfronts. More on Telemundo from D.M. Levine, plus news that Univision is launching three new cable channels and airing its own Biggest Loser take.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

ABC's Lineup

 ABC's fall constitutes an outright revamp; James Poniewozik (and again), Alan Sepinwall, Todd VanDerWerff, and Ken Tucker analyze, and you can watch preview clips. Apparently ABC is getting more manly. Willa Paskin has characteristically astute analysis.

Netflix Over BitTorrent

Netflix traffic now exceeds that of BitTorrent file-sharing.

NYMag Features

New York Magazine has a great line-up of features for upfronts, including showrunner interviews, Emily Nussbaum on the interactive showrunner, AMC surviving its own success, the uniqueness of Louis CK's show, and a full list of scripts pitched during development season.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Upfronts Coverage

Some notable upfronts coverage: Willa Paskin reviews NBC's strategies, Alan Sepinwall covers NBC's '11-'12 schedule, as does James Poniewozik, Futon Critic has full-length trailers of NBC's new shows, Bill Carter and Brian Stelter discuss how the networks are seeking fresh ideas to revitalize their schedules, Josef Adalian talks strategy with Fox's scheduling chief, Poniewozik lists Fox's schedule, and John Doyle points out how inefficient and costly the development system is.

And more: Meg James previews ABC's upfronts, Willa Paskin review's Fox's strategies, Ken Tucker analyzes Fox's fall schedule, and a TVOTI podcast discusses Fox and NBC. Watch Fox preview clips.

New In Media Res

Theme: TV Season Finales

Monday May 16, 2011 – Kelly Kessler (DePaul University) presents: "Do Season Finales Even Matter Anymore?" or "Season Finales, Schmeason Finale. I Don’t Even Know When It’s On!"

Tuesday May 17, 2011 – Steve Herro (College of Southern Nevada) presents: The Biggest Loser: The Television Show that Never Ends?

Wednesday May 18, 2011 – Kim Akass (Royal Holloway, University of London) presents: "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" - Sex and the City: The Ending(s)

Thursday May 19, 2011 – Kristen Heflin (University of Alabama) presents: Season? Finale?

Friday May 20, 2011 – Eleanor Seitz (University of Wisconsin, Madison) presents: A Sendoff to Obscurity: I Married Dora and The Anti-Cliffhanger Season Finale

Sunday, May 15, 2011

This Week

This will be a crazy week both for TV, as the major players display next season's wares at the upfronts, and for me, as I'm flying over to London to start teaching a summer class on British TV. I plan to keep the blog under normal operation throughout the summer, but I don't expect to be able to blog too much this week as I get settled into my new endeavor (and get used to waking up five hours earlier).

It's probably just as well that this coincides with the upfronts, because they get covered fifty times over everywhere. I might post some summary links here and there across the week (and NBC has already made its scheduling announcement), but if you want to keep up with all the news as it comes along, I suggest you follow a Twitter list I made of the critics likely to be tweeting upfronts news, and check out the following websites for coverage: Hitfix, B&C, Futon Critic, THR, Daily Beast, Tuned In, TV Squad, Variety, and Vulture.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Targeting Over-55

Bill Carter and Tanzina Vega report on the TV industry's realization that maybe older viewers do matter.

Prime-Time Ratings: Friday

Fast nationals: CBS won the night; Smallville's series final helped The CW push NBC down to fifth.

Fave TV Brands

ABC won a survey of respondent's favorite TV brands, with ESPN as the top cable choice.

Drama Attention

Joe Flint discusses the challenge dramas have today with maintaining viewer attention.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Treme Renewed

HBO has renewed Treme for a third season, despite less than stellar ratings.

Network Recaps

Bill Carter recaps the day in renewals, pickups, and cancellations.

PTC Upset

The Parents Television Council is upset about the appearance of menstrual blood in an episode of MTV's The Hard Times of RJ Berger.

Syndies Pulled

Warner Bros. has pulled Entourage and Curb Your Enthusiasm from syndication due to low ratings.

ABC's Moves

ABC has announced cancellations and pickups for fall.

Developing Hits

On the even of upfronts, Amy Chozik details the development process of trying to find the next hit.

Eurovision Comments

I know most Americans don't care about Eurovision, but this hilarious pair of blog commentaries will make you wish you did.

BBC Airs Death

The BBC program Inside the Human Body last night aired the moment of a man's death. Michael Deacon approves of this; Andreas Whittam Smith does not.

Soap Ad

ABC soap fans took out a full-page THR ad asking the network to save its soaps.

Prime-Time Ratings: Thursday

Fast nationals: Fox dominant, CBS pretty good, ABC ok, NBC not so hot, The CW meh. Final ratings.

Hulu Deals

Hulu is closing deals to keep NBC, Fox and ABC content on the site, and Ryan Lawler tells us what we can expect from these deals.

Spanish-Lang Nets to Cash In

John Consoli says the Spanish-language networks are expecting to cash in at the upfronts based on their ratings popularity.

Netflix on Android

You can now get the Netflix app on Android phones.

New Man

Twitter has covered this to death by now, but I'll mention it here: Ashton Kutcher is replacing Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men. Alan Sepinwall think it's a smart choice. Charlie Sheen has, as one now expects, responded snidely. Josef Adalian uncovers the backstory.

Community Finale

Thoughts on Community's second season and its end from James Poniewozik, Jaime Weinman, and creator Dan Harmon.

Upfronts Described

Media Life talks to former WB CEO Jordan Levin about what upfronts are like for the networks.

State of TiVo

Bloomberg assesses how TiVo is looking these days.

Illegal Streaming

A new senatorial bill would criminalize the illegal streaming of TV shows, adding to existing legislation regarding uploading and downloading of illegal content.

NBC News

The Blogger Blitz killed my NBC posts from yesterday, but here's some catch-up on NBC's fall plans from THR, Scott Collins, Rick Porter, and Toni Fitzgerald. And we won't have The Event  or Law & Order: LA or Outsourced to kick around anymore, but we will still have Chuck to kick around. No Wonder Woman either (Mary Elizabeth Williams looks at what went wrong there). The show Smash, set on Broadway, did get picked up.

Social Media Power

Cory Bergman says Facebook and Twitter are the new power brokers in TV. And Mashable tries to identify the  "most social" shows.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Lehrer Stepping Down

An era is ending as Jim Lehrer is ending his 36 year run as anchor of PBS's NewsHour.

Prime-Time Ratings: Wednesday

Fast nationals: Idol was up, as were ABC's comedies.

Fox Drops Affiliates

Fox is playing hardball with affiliates over retrans fees and has dropped two stations for not paying up to the network's satisfaction.

Connected TV Revolution

Yahoo exec Ron Jacoby outlines why internet-connected TVs are the future.

Saturday's Problems

Media Life investigates why Saturday night has become such a problem for the networks.

News Future

Adweek interviews former ABC News president David Westin about the future of broadcast TV news.

Local Technology

Mineko Brand discusses how local stations are cutting news budgets by using technology to replace staff members.

Ryan Interview

Maria Elena Fernandez talks with producer Shawn Ryan about The Chicago Code and the changing TV business.

Satellite v. Cable

Cable and satellite operators are fighting over a congressional tax bill that cable proponents argue unfairly favors satellite operators.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prime-Time Ratings: Tuesday

Fast nationals: NBC got whupped by CBS in total viewers but The Voice helped it win the demo. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Commissioner to Comcast

One of the FCC's commissioners, Meredith Attwell Baker, is leaving that body to go to work for Comcast/NBC,  a move which raises eyebrows and draws words like "sleazy."  Baker is defending this move, which many find deeply problematic.


Jaime Weinman makes a case for why in-season network repeats are a bad idea : "I think broadcast networks may ultimately have to re-evaluate what they’re doing: they are using the eight-month schedule from the ’50s with the episode orders that were created for a six-month schedule. By doing so, they may be diluting the appeal of the shows and one of the most comforting things about broadcast TV: knowing you can jump in any week and find a new adventure. Something’s got to give, and it might be the schedule, it might be the number of episodes – or it could just be broadcast TV itself."

ITV & Ads

The chairman of Britain's ITV laments that the outlet is so heavily reliant on inconsistent ad revenue.


Republicans are looking at many ways to revamp the FCC.

Prime-Time Ratings: Tuesday

Fast nationals: NBC got whupped by CBS in total viewers but The Voice helped it win the demo. Final ratings.

ESPN & Olympics

Disney CEO likes the idea of the Olympics on ESPN for the boost it could enable in carriage fees.

C4 to Air Drug Use

As part of a push to take more programming risks, Britain's Channel 4 plans to air a series about drug use that will air live footage of people using drugs to show the effects.

Daytime Emmy Noms

The Daytime Emmy Award nominations have been announced (full list here), with General Hospital getting the most show noms, PBS the most network noms. The two soaps ABC has cancelled have 25 noms.

Obama Interview

Al Tompkins has an intriguing breakdown of Steve Kroft's methods of questioning during his 60 Minutes interview with President Obama.

Tween Stars

Brooks Barnes looks at the pressures new tween stars face in forging TV careers.

Roku Cutting

Roku says its users are cutting the cord in significant numbers.

Cox Everywhere

Cox Communications has launched a TV Everywhere website for subscribers.

Fox Cancellations

Fox announced a bunch of cancellations last night, including The Chicago Code. Ben Pears looks at the latter as another sign of the decline of serialized TV, which he blames on lazy audiences. Fox also announced pilot pickups. Nellie Andreeva analyzes the decisions, and Alan Sepinwall has an excellent overview of what this all adds up to, especially in terms of Fox's status as a risk-taking network. Tim Goodman adds his thoughts.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spectrum Needed

NAB's president said in speech today that if broadcasters are expected to help develop the next generation of technical standards, the FCC can't yank their spectrum space away.

Prime-Time Ratings: Monday

Fast nationals: ABC had the best night, NBC did not. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Bounce TV Interview

TVNewsCheck interviews Bounce TV EVP Ryan Glover about "Bounce TV’s goals and strategies, including why it opted to go broadcast rather than cable."

Glee & Male Voices II

In her next look at Glee and its male singers, Allison McCracken covers Kurt as countertenor and the challenging of gender norms.

PBS Arts Festival

PBS is programming a nine-week run of arts programming in the fall.

Screens & ADHD

Dr. Perri Klass assesses the impact of screens on children with ADHD disorders.

Boston Cable

The city of Boston is angry about Comcast's ever-rising rates for basic cable and has petitioned the FCC for the right to regulate rates. Comcast is defending its rates.

New Flow Issue

"'The Happiest Day of the Year:' A Reparative (I Hope) Approach to
Record Store Day" by Norma Coates
Coates applies Sedgwick's theory of affect to interrogate the sense of
pleasure derived from Record Store Day.

"Direct Action Everyday: Adventures in Aesthetic Activism" by Esteban del Rio
The author argues that networked activism, abetted by social
networking sites and media, continues to present a range of challenges
and opportunities in democratic life for lone activists and advocacy
groups alike.

"A Tear for Sarah Jane ? A Feminist Aca-Obit" by Hannah Hamad
Hannah Hamad memorializes Elisabeth Sladen as feminist and
postfeminist icon in the Doctor Who series.

"Angry Birds: The Remix" by Tama Leaver
Given the popularity of Angry Birds, it's hardly a surprise that a
huge array of different remixes have emerged featuring the characters,
story and music from the game

"Passing Through or Hanging On to E-text" by Julia Lesage
http://flowtv.org/2011/05/passing-through/ Lesage reflects on a sense
of "fickleness" brought about by new modes of consumption based on her
own behavior reading literature on the iPad.

"Museums, Social Media and the Possibility of Canonizing Online Life"
by Konrad Ng
A discussion of the role of social media in producing public
exhibition spaces for Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

"A Parallax Case: Gender Performance in Wings of the Morning" by
Murray Pomerance
Explores audience reception of the playful gender dynamics as
performed in Wings of the Morning (1937).

"Wild at Heart, Weird on Top: The Curious Career of Nicolas Cage" by
Robert Sickels
In the 1980s and 1990s, Nic Cage carved a niche for himself as an
endearing yet reliably offbeat actor. Robert Sickels analyzes Cage's
career trajectory from his quirkiest to his most derided roles.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Discovery Drinks

Discovery Channel has made an advertising deal with Maker's Mark, a move which Joe Flint questions: "[B]latantly getting into bed with a liquor brand seems like bad idea for a Discovery, whose own CEO says the company is "committed to making a positive impact in the lives of our viewers." Seeing Discovery celebrate teaming up with a hard liquor company and producing custom-made commercials is, like a shot of Maker's Mark, a little hard to swallow."

Prime-Time Ratings: Sunday

Fast nationals: CBS took the night, while NBC's best Sunday in overall ratings since the Golden Globes still left it third in that ranking. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Eurovision 2011

Are you an American who has never heard of Eurovision? Overthinking It can fill you in.

CEO Pay Up

CEO pay rose last year, and media company CEOs claimed four of the top ten highest-paid slots.

Trump Exposed

Eric Deggans says that Sunday's Celebrity Apprentice revealed Donald Trump's problems with women and race. Trump is defending himself.

Upfronts Preview

Josef Adalian makes some upfronts predictions.

BBC2 Strategies

Britain's BBC2 is fighting an identity crisis that it hopes will be solved by increased investment in drama series, even amidst budget cuts.

New Reality

Vicky Frost sees a new type of reality TV emerging on UK screens.

New Today

Brian Stelter fills us in on the upcoming changes at NBC's Today Show.

News Corp & Formula One

Eric Pfanner says New Corp.'s interest in buying Formula One racing might not be good for the sport's future.

Farnsworth Statue

Next time you're in San Francisco, you can add the Philo T. Farnsworth statue at the Presidio to your list of tourist stops.

Sports Online

Nick Campbell covers some online sports offerings and sees in them possibilities for an internet-enabled TV future.

Courting Netflix

The WSJ reports that major media companies are softening their stances against Netflix, seeing in it the potential to help TV. (Note: article behind paywall)

Vast Wasteland Revisited

On its 50th anniversary, Newton Minow looks back on the Vast Wasteland speech and at TV now, while Aaron Barnhart argues that the speech was ultimately a failure, and Nell Minow responds to that, while Virginia Heffernan says the speech had an upside for the industry.

Post-Oprah Daytime

Meg James considers what the daytime landscape will be once Oprah Winfrey exits it.

New In Media Res

Topic: Product Placement/Integration

  • Monday May 9, 2011 – Leah Shafer (Hobart and William Smith Colleges) presents: The Trouble with Your Refreshment System
  • Tuesday May 10, 2011 – Lindsay Giggey (University of California, Los Angeles) presents: "Maybe Romance Will Crop Up": Product Placement on The Millionaire Matchmaker
  • Wednesday May 11, 2011 – Jay Hamilton (University of Georgia) presents: Critique, Brought to You By ___________
  • Thursday May 12, 2011 – Erin Copple Smith (Denison University) presents: Product Placement Saves the Music Video Star?
  • Friday May 13, 2011 – Shana Meganck (Virginia Commonwealth University) presents: Blurry Lines: Celebrity Endorsement and Product Placement
Related topic elsewhere: Globe and Mail discusses Nielsen's Brand Recall Index.

Visualizing Seriality

Using cool circular charts, Rowan Kaiser tries to graphically represent TV serial narratives.

Food TV

Friend-of-the-blog Noel Kirkpatrick has sharp quotes in this CNN article on the popularity of food-focused TV.

Who Authorship

Matt Hills continues his Antenna posts on Doctor Who by analyzing the non-showrunner authorship of the most recent episode.

Niche Originals

Brian Stelter notes that niche cable channels are turning more to original scripted programming to stand out.

Music Video Reinvention

John Jurgensen writes about the new era in music video.

Upfront Up

Brian Steinberg reports on the expected ad price hikes at this year's upfronts.

Good TVeets

Saw the video of Bin Laden watching TV. Can you imagine trying to get the remote from that guy?

Wow, Claire Forlani and Chris O'Donnell the same show? I can barely contain my excitezzzzzzzzzzzz. #NCISLosAngeles

BoobsRadley Julieanne Smolinski 
I wonder if "Law & Order" writers have ever accidentally "ripped" from other parts of the paper and did a whole episode about a Tide coupon.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Bin Laden Watching TV

The CIA has released video of Osama bin Laden watching himself on TV news.

Showtime Research

Showtime has been using quantitative and qualitative measures to track viewership of Nurse Jackie, including on multiple platforms, and Phil Napoli thinks this combination of info is vital for content providers to explore today.

Prime-Time Ratings: Friday

Fast nationals: A slow Friday that CBS won in total viewers, with the Big Four about even in the demo. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Boxing & TV

Greg Bishop says tonight's Mosley-Pacquiao fight is a good test of boxing's TV future, because it was promoted heavily on CBS.

Serious Drama

Brandon Nowalk believes there are too many dramas without the levity of humor around right now.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dish Future

Ryan Lawler outlines Dish Network's future plans, which go beyond just satellite TV.

Wrestling Storytelling Revolution

Myles McNutt weighs the feasibility of a new model for wrestling storytelling: "Jeff Katz, a Hollywood producer, has started a Kickstarter campaign to create a tightly-serialized wrestling program that eschews the 52-week model of the WWE entirely. Specifically comparing it to shows like Dexter and The Wire, Katz is arguing that what wrestling needs isn’t just better decision-making, but an entirely different storytelling model which offers a beginning, a middle, and an end."

PEG Bill

A proposed bipartisan Congressional bill would require cable operators to better support public, educational, and governmental channels. (Good luck with that.)

America's Favorites

A Harris Poll survey of adults proposed America's all-time favorite shows (NCIS is #1?), with demographic breakdowns included. Jaime Weinman reacts, intrigued by the political breakdowns and pleased that some older shows like I Love Lucy made the list.

Prime-Time Ratings: Thursday

Fast nationals: After Fox and Idol, CBS and ABC were neck-and-neck in the fave demo. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

OWN Shake-Up

The new chief of OWN is now the old chief of OWN, as Christina Norman is being replaced by Peter Ligouri due to OWN's slow start and early struggles. Joe Flints thinks more patience is needed.

Bounce Secures Markets

Bounce TV, the new African-American targeted broadcast network, has cleared stations in at least half of the US in advance of its fall launch. David Lieberman ties them in with the FCC's spectrum auction plans.

Mr. Rogers Explained

Scott Jordan Harris explains to British readers what made Mr. Rogers special to American children.

Reality TV Reviewed

From the New Yorker, Kelefa Sanneh covers some recent reality TV books, assessing the genre in the process.

Seinfeld Online

Jerry Seinfeld is posting thousands of his stand-up comedy bits online, but only at the rate of three available per day.

NZ Concerned about Corrie

Some New Zealand politicians think Britain's Coronation Street, which NZ imports, has gotten too raunchy and want it classified as "adults only" programming.

Bin Laden Cut

ABC dropped a line about Osama bin Laden from a Happy Endings episode, though aired it intact in Canada.

Royal Wedding Viewing

A handy infographic on how people watched the royal wedding.

Couric & ABC Deal

Word is that Katie Couric is close to a deal with Disney/ABC for a syndicated talk show, and there's even talk it could bump General Hospital off the air.

Cable Doing OK

Ryan Lawler reports that despite the sense that TV Everywhere and Netflix are dooming cable, the state of the industry is positive right now.

China Bans Spies

First it was time travel, now it's spy dramas on TV that China is banning, but only from May to July.

Friday Fun

Jimmy McNulty Smirking

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Netflix & Cable

Netflix's CEO says he's not looking for a war with cable. Peter Kafka also reports, as does Will Richmond.

TV Not Everywhere Yet

Harry McCracken says TV Everywhere concepts still have a long way to go, though one report says gains are being made.

Teen Pregnancy Showsr

The creator of MTV's 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom, Lauren Dolgen, explains why she created them.

Twitter & TV

Twitter is working hard to court TV viewers, which may or may not help TV viewership. And channels like VH-1 are experimenting with apps that even allow for catching up with live tweets during later viewings (like a DVR for tweets, Ryan Lawler describes).

NBC Hopes

NBC is a drag on Comcast's bottom line already, but it at least finally has a hit in The Voice, and Comcast is wiling to put a lot of money into turning it around.

Emmys Deal

The Academy has worked out a deal for network coverage of the Emmy Awards through 2018, and reality TV maven Mark Burnett will produce this year's ceremony.

McGrath Out

MTV Networks Chairman Judy McGrath is exiting, coincidentally -- or not -- just as the reality show she battled against Sumner Redstone about hits the air.

Ratings Catch-Up

I've been traveling the past two days, and while in one place for the ten days won't have ideal internet access throughout, so things will be a bit sporadic around here for the time being.

First update, some ratings catch-up: Tuesday night's final ratings and cable ratings, Wednesday night's overnights and fast nationals, final ratings, and cable ratings.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pac-10 Deal

ESPN and Fox have helped make the Pac-10 football conference richer with a lucrative TV deal. More from Sports Business Journal (behind paywall).

Fall Under Consideration

Scott Collins discusses how the networks are making their final decisions about what shows to renew, cancel, and greenlight for fall.

Five-0 Franchise

CBS stands to make a lot of money from Hawaii Five-0, and its earnings have already helped to boost CBS's profits.

Writing for Bugs

Jaime Weinman has a great post on why it's hard to write good cartoon stories for Bugs Bunny.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

BBC Wants More

The BBC's new controller says he plans to order longer runs of drama series, more like the American model, which if it happens would be a significant change to both programming and production methods.

Sports Emmys

Sports Emmys were awarded last night, with HBO and NBC having the most to crow about.

Pelley In

Scott Pelley will replace Katie Couric at CBS Evening News.

Prime-Time Ratings: Monday

Fast nationals: ABC danced the night away. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

In other ratings news, President Obama's Sunday late night address drew 56.5 million viewers.

Who Down

Initial UK ratings for the second episode of Doctor Who were down by 1 million viewers from last week, leading some to wonder if the show is getting too dark and complex for its usual family audience.

BBC Royal Complaints

Anti-monarchists have complained that the BBC's coverage of the royal wedding promoted the monarchy rather than reported objectively on it, thus abandoning the journalistic integrity it is required to operate with.

FBN Work in Progress

Fox Business Network is fighting to distinguish itself in ratings and programming.

Glee Males

Allison McCracken offers the first of a series of posts about the male singers in Glee, focusing on Kurt and Blaine.

TV Households Drop

Nielsen says the number of TV households in the US has dropped for the first time in twenty years, from 98.9 percent of households to 96.7, with both poverty and cord cutting pinpointed as the catalysts. Eric Deggans says this is a warning shot for the TV industry, and Peter Kafka wonders again if this is about "cord nevers."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bin Laden Cable Ratings

The Bin Laden breaking news garnered CNN the biggest audience out of cable new outlets.

NBC Local News

NBC is launching 24-hour local news sites on digital channels in three states to satisfy some FCC demands from the Comcast merger, which one public interest groups complains they haven't sufficiently done yet.

New A&E

A&E Television Networks has a new logo; a new slogan: "Life is entertaining" (but apparently not artistic); and even a new official name: it's just A&E Networks now, no more "Television" needed.

Good Basic Month

The Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (aka the CAB) says March was a very good month for basic cable.

Prime-Time Ratings: Sunday

Fast nationals: Last night's numbers are iffy because of the live cut-aways, but it appears that ABC won the night. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Trump Analysis

Annie Peterson deconstructs Donald Trump's celebrity in regard to the Obama interactions and his possible presidential run.

Sony Eyeing UK Company

Sony, among other conglomerates, is reportedly considering the purchase of All3Media, a British production company.

"Mr. TV Europe"

Eric Pfanner profiles RTL Goup head Gerhard Zeiler, who "earns bundles of money producing and broadcasting reality shows and other ratings-grabbers to millions of viewers across Europe."