Thursday, June 30, 2011


I'm wrapping up my time in London and preparing for one last week of fun in Europe, so I'm giving the blog a brief siesta. I'll try to post anything important that happens for archival purposes, but won't get back to regular posts until after next week. Here's hoping the world of TV is pretty boring over the next ten days.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Notable Cable Ratings

Wilfred has set a ratings record for FX, while Covert Affairs and White Collar have gotten big DVR boosts, and the BET Awards were a big ratings success.

TV & Kids' Sleep Problems

A study blames TV violence for childrens' sleep problems.

Burnett Profile

Bill Carter profiles reality TV guru Mark Burnett, who has a new hit in The Voice.

TMZ Profile

David Carr looks at TMZ online and on TV.

New In Media Res

Theme: Aaron Sorkin

  • Monday June 27, 2011 – Todd Sodano (St. John Fisher College) presents: Say What, Sorkin?
  • Tuesday June 28, 2011 – Richard Newton (Claremont Graduate University) presents: President Bartlet’s Bully Pulpit
  • Wednesday June 29, 2011 – Janet McCabe (Birkbeck, University of London) presents: Sorkin Lives: Mediating the post-9-11 US political mind in The West Wing
  • Thursday June 30, 2011 – Kelli Marshall (Independent Scholar) presents: Aaron Sorkin’s Elite Smart Girls (or Lack Thereof)
  • Friday July 1, 2011 – Pamela Ingleton (McMaster University) presents: Lacking "honesty" and "a human quality": Sorkin and the Anti-Social Network

More on Hulu Sale

Peter Kafka unearths more details on what the Hulu sale would entail.

Supremes Tackling Indecency

The Supreme Court will indeed hear arguments over the FCC's indecency enforcement rules.

Accidental Finales

AV Club surveys series finales that weren't expecting to be series finales. Jaime Weinman adds thoughts.

AARP Encourages TV

AARP is trying to convince the TV industry that older people are worth making TV for too.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Reports From London

My last post about British TV is up at Antenna, and I'm pretty sure I've forgotten to link to some of them, so here they all are: SchedulingDocumentaryChannelsContent Regulation, The Week That Was, Final Thoughts.

Power Drain

TV set-top boxes are eating up electricity in homes. More from Ryan Lawler.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sports Ratings

Spotted offers a summary of 2010-11 ratings for broadcast primetime sports and championship games.

Tea Party Pilot

Producers associated with the Tea Party movement have created a TV drama set in colonial America; the pilot is going straight to DVD as they try to shop it as a VOD series.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pay TV Bills Up

The average bill for pay TV is up 3% compared to last year.

Auction Coming?

The FCC could start up spectrum auctions as early as this summer.

TWC-Viacom Pause

Time Warner Cable and Viacom have paused their legal battle over iPad distribution of content will they try to work out a deal on their own.

But now Viacom is going after Cablevision.

Pilot at Comic-Con

Producers of Locke & Key are hoping a Comic-Con screening of the rejected pilot will court a suitor.

Subs Fall

Cable subscriber numbers in the top 15 markets have fallen, though they're are nearly offset by satellite and telco sub pickups.

MasterChef Deception

The producers of MasterChef are apologizing for faking footage.

Greatest Writers' Rooms

Splitsider has a fun, and at times surprising (Dana Carvey Show!), list of the greatest writers' rooms in TV history.

The Killing Wrap-Up

Alan Sepinwall has an interview with The Killing showrunner Veena Sud, and you can read reviews of the finale from Mo Ryan, Matt Zoller Seitz, Alan Sepinwall, Jaime Weinman, Ken Tucker, Cory Barker, James Poniewozik, Andy Greenwald, Jason Mittell, and Jace Lacob.

Myles McNutt wonders if the poorly received (and that's an understatement) finale will threaten the AMC brand. Louis Peitzman addresses the critical reaction to the critical reaction. Daniel Walters says the problem was placing too much narrative weight on one question: "The longer we have to wait for a reveal, the better the reveal has to be."

It's also worth noting that, as usual, the NYT review is terrible, and it would appear that the reviewer, Ginia Bellafante, hasn't even seen the whole episode. Update: Bellafante has now defended her interpretation of the show's ending. David Bushman defends Bellafante and the finale.

Update: Showrunner Veena Sud has responded to the finale hate and says she loves it. And AMC's president says they didn't expect the backlash.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Hulu Deal

Fox is close to re-signing with Hulu, which will also bring more ads. Also, rumors continue that Hulu is up for sale. But both Peter Kafka and Ryan Lawler note it's a tough sell, and there are rumors that false news is being strategically leaked to jack up Hulu's value. THR offers reasons why the studios might be interested in a sale. Comcast can only sit back and watch. Amanda Natividad charts Hulu through the years.

Dems Against FCC Bill

Katy Bachman reports that Democrats oppose a Republican bill that would reform the FCC, arguing it would undermine the commission's ability to enforce public interest concerns.

Retrans Uncertainty

Price Colman says uncertainty over how big a chunk of retrans revenue networks should get is slowing down station sales, this as Fox is willing to drop affiliates that won't agree to its demands.

Comcast Change

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts says his company will change as the business changes.

Demo Outliers

Nielsen stats show how valuable people under 25 and over 49 can be for advertisers, who are mostly focused on the ages in the middle.

Cable's Upfronts Success

John Consoli analyzes how cable reached a record upfronts haul.

Hulu for Sale?

After receiving an offer, Hulu is considering putting itself up for sale (article behind WSJ paywall); Janko Roettgers considers who the suitors could be, while the LA Times reports that Yahoo made the offer. But Will Richmond thinks a deal is unlikely.

Google Purchase

Google has snapped up a company called SageTV that some speculate is a move to improve GoogleTV.

Reality of Aussie Immigration

A new reality TV series in Australia tackles the issue of immigration.

Local Broadcasting Value

A study commissioned by the NAB claims that local radio and television add $1.17 billion a year to the GDP (or 7% of it) and support 2.52 million jobs.

Staffing Season Highlights

Deadline has some interesting info on writers' room staffing for fall shows.

Fall Write-Outs

A few pilots feature actors who are committed to other shows, and rather than reshooting or recasting, their characters will be written out of the shows after the initial episodes.

USA Brand

Cory Barker tackles the USA Network brand and what's at stake for the channel this summer.

Show Futures

Vulture speculates on how much longer certain long-running shows, like House and HIMYM, will last.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Olbermann's Back

James Poniewozik watched last night's new Keith Olbermann show on Current and reports that it looked quite a bit like the old one on MSNBC, only with more digs at MSNBC. If you missed the show and want to catch up online, you won't be able to catch everything you missed thanks to carriage deal restrictions.

Netflix Challenges

Larry Dignan says a few problems Netflix ran into this weekend might be a sign of challenges to come.

Dodger Deal Rejected

In wacky rich people news, MLB commish Bud Selig has rejected a cable TV deal between LA Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and Fox, saying the deal was more about McCourt's personal finances than the team's needs.

Current Watching Bloomberg

Joe Flint says Current is keeping an eye on the Bloomberg-Comcast carriage fight with interest in qualifying for status as a news channel.

Summer Pattern

Aaron Barnhart says cable's summer programming has gotten formulaic. But Ben Grossman notes that FX is breaking some rules with its Thursday night comedies.

Critics Choice Awards

The inaugural Critics Choice Television Awards were handed out last night; Tom O'Neil wonders if they'll last.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cable Pushing Everywhere

Nat Worden reports on how cable operators are pushing TV Everywhere initiatives, even as programmers are resisting.

Post-Olbermann MSNBC

David Bauder considers how MSNBC is doing without Keith Olbermann.

3D's Struggle

Ben Grossman says his excursion into Best Buy revealed the struggles with 3D TV set sales. 3D apparently isn't going over well in Britain either.

Product Placement Confusion

UK TV introduced product placement earlier this year, but the vast majority of viewers still don't recognize the symbol required to signal the use of product placement. A survey of viewers asked what the P symbol meant found that found that "11% thought the symbol related to parking, 2% thought it was some sort of pay point, and 1% thought it was related to the online payment company Paypal."

Al Jazeera on KCET

The former PBS outlet KCET is now airing Al Jazeera English.

Pakistan Army Show

Pakistan's military is trying to boost its image with a TV action show depicting the army fighting Taliban militants.

Good TVeets: The Killing

Had to take Good TVeets out of mothballs to capture the amazing reaction to The Killing season finale. I've weeded out spoilers (unless "it sucked" counts as a spoiler for you).

All I heard all season from AMC and the creative team was how after the finale everyone would be talking about #TheKilling - check and mate

Just because tonight's #TheKilling finale sucked, that doesn't have to diminish the hours of boredom you got out of the rest of the season.

Wow. So apparently the string of expletives I heard walking home through this warm Chicago evening were @moryan watching #TheKilling finale.

All of this just makes me wish we'd had Twitter for the series finale of the US version of "Life On Mars."

Sudenfreude: the pleasure a TV showrunner gets from not giving a crap about viewers. #thekilling

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Popular Hoarding

Carina Chocano analyzes the phenomenon of hoarding shows.

Olbermann Profile

David Carr delves into Keith Olbermann's persona and where he fits in the cable news landscape.

Louie's Back

Louis CK's comedy Louie returns to FX this week; James Poniewozik has a profile and Andrew Goldman has an interview, as does Jessica Grose (in the latter, he makes his Tracy Morgan comments).

Connected TV Issues

Lee Yi finds three challenges hindering connected TV.

Weird Sitcoms

Amy Chozik observes some weird cable sitcoms on their way, like FX's Wilfred.

NBC Changes

NBC's station group is rebranding, and Media Life talks to a media analyst about changes taking place at the struggling networ..

Saturday, June 18, 2011

HD Beauty

The BBC has hired beauty experts to get its news presenters looking fit for high def. (The license fee payers in the comments section don't seem too pleased by this expense.)

Soap Defense

A senior BBC Drama exec is defending soap operas against concerns that their content is too adult for pre-watershed times, arguing that they help teach children about the world.

BBC Wins The Voice

A British version of NBC's hit (and Dutch original) The Voice will air on the BBC.

Wealth Loses

Wealth TV's carriage complaint has been denied by the FCC.

OWN Falling Short

OWN is having to offer make-goods to advertisers to make up for ratings falling short of promised numbers.

TV Ads Still Strong

Emily Steel reports that marketers are spending more money on TV ads (behind WSJ paywall).

Cable Ad Gains

Meg James reports on cable's ad dollar gains this upfronts season, when cable's take is poised to be greater than broadcast TV's take for the first time, though political ads are still going most to local stations.

Online Viewing Stats

George Winslow reports on online viewing stats from May; about 83% of US internet users watched online video during the month, and Hulu served up the most ads to users.

Captions Lawsuits

CNN is being sued for not providing captions for online videos. Now Netflix is too.

Streaming Law

The Senate is likely to make illegal streaming of internet video a felony, closing a loophole that banned downloading but not streaming.

Glee Expands Room

Glee is bringing more people into its writers' room, adding six (!) new writers. Jaime Weinman shares his reaction.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Mobile Recovery

Janko Roettgers wonders if a slight mobile subscription revenue recovery could mean a full mobile TV comeback.

Cloud v. Set-Top

Ryan Lawler sees in a Comcast cloud platform something that may kill off the set-top box.

Soaring CPMs

The costs per minute of ads have soared over the past few decades.

UK Black Actors Leaving

Apparently UK TV and theater are losing black actors to US TV and film because of a dearth of multicultural roles (which, if true, is really saying something, given that non-white roles in the US aren't voluminous either).

Soap Changes

Elana Levine notes the changes taking place at ABC's doomed soaps, which seem to be working harder to please fans just as they're leaving them.

More From NCTA

At the Cable Show, NCTA chief and former FCC chair Michael Powell spoke, current FCC chair Julius Genachowski spoke, and among the panel discussion topics were the issue of pricey programming on targeted channels, the challenge of figuring out which shows work abroad (dramas do better than comedies, Glee is a tough sell), and the need for multi-platforming. And everyone there is obsessed with Netflix, with some talking boldly.

By the way, you can keep up with more Cable Show news (I'll only post some highlights) at this link.

Actor Salaries

Wayne Friedman discusses the issue of what TV actors are paid relative to their value to viewers.

Time-Shifting Gains

CBS led the networks in gaining 10.1% more viewers via seven-day time-shifting last season, while ABC's Modern Family and Grey's Anatomy did the best among in 18-49 viewership of shows.

Klosterman on Spoilers

Chuck Klosterman (on the quite compelling new blog Grantland) discusses the possibility that writers are affected by the easy spread of spoilers today: "Let's assume certain screenwriters are anticipating the ability of audiences to wreck plot twists, so they're actively structuring stories in ways that defy that possibility. Might this actually be good?" Jason Mittell responds.

The Voice Info

Kim Masters and Lacey Rose dig into some facts about NBC's hit The Voice.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hanson on Twitter

Bones showrunner Hart Hanson discusses the problems he's had with fans on Twitter.

TV Land Success

TV Land has successfully reinvented itself with originals like Hot in Cleveland, which returns tonight.

Cable Quality?

Todd VanDerWerff questions if we can still consider cable the dominant home for quality scripted programming given the changing economics of the TV industry. James Poniewozik also chimes in on the issue, which was previously discussed by Tim Goodman, as does Jaime Weinman.

KTRV Going Independent

A Boise station that Fox dropped as an affiliate is turning independent.

TiVo Reinvention

TiVo is reinventing itself again as a home video hub.

Cable News

D.M. Levine notes that a lot of the NCTA Cable Show is focusing on how the industry is afraid of oncoming changes, which they should be given that stats are showing people aren't necessarily cutting the cord, they're just cutting cable. Execs are also worried about poverty in regard to losing subscribers. Analysts say cable companies need to work on customer service more, while Time Warner's Jeff Bewkes thinks just putting TV on the internet sounds like a good future plan.

Cross-Platform Report

Nielsen has a report on how viewers watch video across multiple platforms. Wayne Friedman digs into the part of the report that indicates heavy streaming is hurting TV viewership, as do Janko RoettgersPeter Kafka, and Audrey Watters. The report also has stats on HD set ownership, finding two-thirds of homes with HDTVs.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cable Challenges

At this week's annual National Cable & Telecommunications Assn. convention, also known as The Cable Show, talk is of challenges ahead and the future of TV on TV.

Netflix v. Cable

The latest cord cutting news is all about Netflix.

Glee Project Struggling

Oxygen's Glee project is starting out slow in the ratings. Very slow.

Future of Audience Research

Philip Napoli recently presented a talk on the need for better research into audiences and media consumption; video of the talk can be viewed here.

Twitter Stars

eMarketer considers the value of TV stars tweeting to the popularity of their shows.

Future of TV

Deadline's David Lieberman offers myriad predictions on the future of the TV industry.

Al-Jazeera Building

Al-Jazeera is trying to build awareness of its channel through getting wider carriage, rather than through advertising.

Watershed Debates

With concern heating up (at least in the press) about the increase in graphic content available to children in the UK, some say the concept of TV's watershed still matters, while others are saying it's obsolete. (And if you don't know what the watershed is, check out my Antenna post.)

Misfits on Hulu

You'll soon be able to see the UK drama Misfits on Hulu, and trust me, you definitely want to see it. Hulu is also getting Whites and A Booth at the End from the UK.

ABC Tops With Women

ABC reportedly draws in more female viewers than the other networks, with serial dramas and soaps helping them do so. Least watched channel among females? Golf Channel.

Comcast & Skype

Comcast will soon let some subscribers use Skype on their TV sets.

Playboy Club Shunned

NBC's affiliate in Salt Lake City will not air The Playboy Club in the fall, which is within its rights to do.

Factors for Success

Orrin Reed laments the heavy reliance on ratings in influencing the fate of TV shows and calls for greater consideration of other factors.

Artistic Title Sequences

The Independent praises creative title sequences in shows like Mad Men and Dexter.

Media Spending Rebounds

Stuart Elliot reports on a study that finds media spending having increased in 2010, with ad spending at the core.

Comedy Actor Roundtable

THR offers a video roundtable of male comedy actors.

iPlayer Going Global

The BBC's iPlayer will be available to Western Europe soon, as its internationalization advances.

CSI on Top of the World

CSI again ranks as the most-watched series in the world.

The Killing Renewed

With Rosie Larson's killer revealed (I'm assuming; I haven't caught the finale yet), AMC announces The Killing will return for a second season.

TCA Awards

The Television Critics Association has announced its awards nominees.

Monday, June 13, 2011

BBC Suicide Controversy

Speaking of content regulation, some are angry with the BBC about a documentary it is airing tonight about assisted suicide, which will include footage of one.

British Content Regulation

Over at Antenna, I wrote about content regulation in British TV. I also realize I forgot to link to my previous post on channel line-ups in England.

Rushdie Likes TV

Author Salman Rushdie says TV drama is the new literature and is a better home for writers than the cinema. Mark Lawson adds thoughts.

Kids & Media

Nielsen has released a report on how the high school class of 2011 interacts with media.

3D Sports Future

Erik Malinowski says 3D could represent the future of sports TV.

Upfronts Update

Jon Lafayette reports that cable is setting records for upfronts advertising volume.

Interview Payment

Brian Stelter and Bill Carter report on the network news practice of paying for interviews, which is getting particularly fierce at ABC and NBC. Kari Lipschutz also writes on this issue.

More Bleeping

Melissa Maerz reports on the increase in foul language on TV and the bleeping thereof.

DVR Ad Skipping

Steve Sternberg rights about the current state of DVR commercial viewing.

HLN Identity

HLN is building an identity via coverage of the Casey Anthony case.

Nickelodeon Education

Nickelodeon will soon release educational products tied in with their brands.

Friday, June 10, 2011

New Ad Models

Ryan Lawler reports that new ad measurement standards could challenge Nielsen's methods.

Sports Ruling

A court has backed the FCC's regulation that closed a programming loophole involving cable access to sports programming.

Modern Family Salaries

Andrew Wallenstein reports on salary renegotiations for the Modern Family cast.

Twitter Popularity

Peter Kafka highlights a chart of shows ranking by Twitter comment popularity.

Advertising Facts

Nielsen has a new report on advertising spending and effectiveness.

Ending Cult Shows

Henry Jenkins showcases a few responses to Smallville's finale in considering the challenge of bringing cult shows to a close. And now he lets some Smallville writers respond. And now fans respond.

Broadcast Still Tops

Wayne Friedman observes that broadcast network shows still draw in the biggest audiences over cable shows, with 89 of the top 100 shows among 18-49s.

Harmon Interview

The AV Club launches an epic four-part interview with Community showrunner Dan Harmon, which is both a delightful journey through Season 2 but also a revealing look at television production. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. I can't recommend enough that you all should read every word of this.

Live Sports

Chuck Klosterman describes why he can't watch sports time-shifted on a DVR.

HBO Stars

Andy Greenwald discusses the recycling of HBO stars.

Friday Fun

Oprah Winfrey: I Just Want to Say That I Hated Every Moment of That Piece-of-Shit Show

"Look, I'll be the first to tell you that my program was absolute garbage. It was 25 years of trite, predictable, emotionally manipulative drivel. I brought people on the show, I talked to them, I wanted to puke the entire time because of how stupid the whole thing was, and then, at the end of the day, it took everything in my power not to blow my own brains out."

Online Ads Grow

Networks are increasing the number of ads run during online programs.

Indecency Back in Session

It's likely that the Supreme Court will soon tackle the issue of the FCC's indecency enforcement.

Daytime Hour

Michael Malone notes that within ABC's press release about the Couric deal is mention that ABC will give back to affiliates the last hour of daytime to program.

Cord Cutting

Stats show that people are increasingly dropping pay TV services for online viewing, and cable is especially losing subscribers.

Drama Panel

Diane Gordon summarizes what was said during a Variety panel discussion with a group of drama showrunners.

Wimpy Men

Amy Chozik says sitcoms today are filled with wimpy, if happy, men. Jaime Weinman adds thoughts.

Local News Warning

A new FCC report warns of the declining quality of local news, but some broadcasters see positives in the report. The report has many suggestions. Elsewhere, Cory Bergman urges local stations to invest more in social media.

AMC & Cable Success

Mary McNamara says AMC's success is bad news for the broadcast networks come Emmy time and wonders about the feasibility of a cable/broadcast Emmy category split.

USA Summer

The Atlantic praises USA Network for actually programming watchable television shows during summer.

Skins Done

MTV's Skins has been cancelled, which fills the PTC with glee.

Disastrous Season

Analyst Michael Nathanson describes the 2010-11 season as a disaster for new programming.

Not Funny Emmys

Tim Goodman considers why so many of the comedies nominated for Emmy awards recently aren't actually funny comedies.

Upfronts Done

The network upfronts deals are finished, and the figures overall are pretty positive.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Doha Debates

Sara Hamdan discusses the impact of a panel discussion show called Doha Debates in restrictive Qatar.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Spectrum Bill

A bill has been sent to the Senate that would allow broadcasters to voluntarily give up unused spectrum space for broadband use. Reaction is coming in.

Season of Sitcoms

Jaime Weiman points to 1997-98 as the season that killed the multi-cam sitcom via overkill (NBC aired 18 sitcoms across the season! 18!)

Star Anchors Exit

Brian Stelter assesses what's behind so many TV anchors leaving their positions right now.

Pilot Production

More pilots were made for the 2010-11 season than ever before, but fewer each year are shooting in Los Angeles, while New York has benefited.

Internet Viewing Stats

Adweek presents the results of a survey about TV viewing on and around the internet.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Doctor Who & Gender

Kay Reindl wrote a blog post decrying Amy Pond's depiction in Doctor Who. Many didn't take it well. She's responded.

Upfronts Update

The CW is done, with 10-12% boosts, and CBS is reportedly getting 12% bumps.


Phil Napoli laments the disconnect between academia and industry when it comes to audience research.

Bye Bye Fairness Doctrine?

The FCC will finally officially dump the Fairness Doctrine.

BBC Interns for Free

The BBC has outright acknowledged that its interns have no rights to wages or expenses.

All Online

Major media execs are predicting that all TV content will be online within two years. And mobile too!

Cable Future

Time Warner Cable's Chief Strategy Officer discusses the future of cable.

NBCU on Subscription

The head of digital sales at NBCU says ads are the way to go with online video content, rather than Netflix-style subscriptions.

More Who

Doctor Who will get 14 Matt Smith episodes next season.

NBC Wins!

NBC has won rights to the the 2014 through 2020 Olympics. James Poniewozik also reports. Comcast says it expects to make a profit. Affiliates are said to be happy. Staci D. Kramer says there's some good news for real-time fans. David Wilkerson says this is a statement by Comcast. Analysts are skeptical.

Real World 1

Meredith Blake looks back on the very first season of The Real World.

The Voice & Twitter

NBC is crediting Twitter with helping to make The Voice a hit.

French Word Ban

France's regulatory agency has told news anchors they are not to use the words Twitter or Facebook, because they are companies and mentions thus constitute advertising.


Glenn Beck's new web show will be accessible by subscription only. Jeff Bercovici considers how this could work, and Janko Roettgers considers how Beck is trying to disrupt cable with this.

Comedy Roundtable

THR has another showrunner roundtable, this one focused on comedy and featuring Steve Levitan (Modern Family), Jenny Bicks (The Big C), Bill Prady (The Big Bang Theory), Liz Brixius (Nurse Jackie), Mike Schur (Parks and Recreation) and Dan Harmon (Community).

Monday, June 6, 2011

"Created By" Credit

Erin Hill has just launched a new blog offering a combined academic and industry perspective on the film and TV industry. Her first post addresses struggles surrounding the "created by" credit for network TV adaptations, via the Ken Levine-Rosanne feud (which I haven't covered here, but Hill has the necessary links if you'd like to catch up).

Bloomberg Claim

Katy Bachman says Bloomberg's claim that Comcast is favoring its own channels in ordering channel line-ups might prove that the company is in violation of the FCC's conditions on the NBCU union. Comcast is disputing the claim.

Sports Rights

Sports Business Journal's John Ourand offers an in-depth report on how high sports rights fees are heading, as TV Everywhere services open new possibilities.

OTA Homes Rise

A new survey reports that 15% of American homes rely on over-the-air signals for their TV (i.e. they don't pay for cable or satellite).

Bundling Debate

Alyssa Rosenberg wishes we could unbundle cable; Megan McCardle says that won't fix cable's problems. Update: A court case on this has just been tossed out.

Less Reality

Looking at the fall prime-time schedule, Media Life notes that there's less reality TV being programmed (about 20% of lineups) than there was five years ago.

Pelley's Premiere

Scott Pelley takes over anchoring duties on CBS Evening News tonight.


The nominations for the newly devised Broadcast Television Journalist Association Critic's Choice awards have been announced (though some are questioning just how many actual journalists and critics are involved).

Olympics Bidding

Anthony Crupi says it looks like ESPN will have a good shot at the Olympics bid, with Ebersol-less NBC scrambling with likely lukewarm support from Comcast. Linda Holmes thinks a shake-up of Olympics coverage could be a good thing.

Upfronts Update

Anthony Crupi updates us on how the networks have done with post-upfronts ad selling. Bloomberg reports CBS is getting 14-15% rate increases over last year. NBC is getting about 9% increases.

Dated Shows

The AV Club's Noel Murray and Todd VanDerWerff have a great debate what makes older shows feel dated and if that's necessarily a bad thing.

Twitter Impact

The Guardian offers a British perspective on the impact of Twitter on TV viewing.

Couric & ABC

We will probably hear deal confirmation today that Katie Couric will be doing a syndicated talk show for ABC, executive produced by Jeff Zucker. Update: Couric's deal is indeed official, and there are now questions about what this might mean for General Hospital.

Caucus Resignations

A number of members of Hollywood's Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors have resigned to express their objection to comments made to Ben Shapiro by some members about Hollywood's liberal bias against conservatives. And Jeffrey Sconce chimes in on this issue in a way only Jeffrey Sconce can.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Directors to TV

Another article (there have been three in just the past few weeks) on film directors working in TV, especially cable. Jaime Weinman adds thoughts.

MTV Movie Awards & Twitter

MTV will be trying out a Twitter first: changing promoted trending topics as the MTV Movie Awards carry on. MTV also tried out a second screen experience that Cory Bergman says was a success.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Theatrical Ads

Josef Adalian notes that networks are running ads for fall shows in movie theaters already, hoping to build awareness for next season.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Local Needs More

Harry Jessell insists that local news can't rely only on weather and emergency events to keep it going.

Upfronts Prices

CBS isn't getting the high ad rates it set out for, and an analyst has scaled back his predictions for ABC and NBC.

Disney Setback

Disney is suing to stop Dish from offering Starz for free to new customers, believing it screws up windowing by, in effect, making Starz into a basic cable channel rather than a premium one, but it has lost a motion for a preliminary injunction.

AMC's Brand

Cory Barker discusses AMC's channel brand and The Killing.

Golden Age of TV

indieWire tackles the "TV is better than film today" issue.

AT&T Pulls Ads

AT&T has pulled its advertising from a controversial talk show known as the Spanish-language equivalent of Jerry Springer, and the FCC has received numerous complaints about the show's prevalence of gay and racial slurs. Mary Elizabeth Williams notes that the complaints could finally bring about the end of this show.

YouTube Adopts Creative Commons

YouTube is adopting Creative Commons licenses, which will allow users to make CC-licensed videos and to make remixes and mash-ups from them.

OWN Stumbles

Discovery's CEO acknowledges that the start of OWN has been rocky.

Social iPlayer

The BBC's iPlayer has added more social sharing capabilities.

Retrans Will Hurt Small Cable

Viacom's CEO says the increasing flow of money to affiliates and networks for retrans fees will end up hurting small, niche cable channels, which will be dropped from cable lineups to cover those increased costs.

Procedurals Down

Brian Steinberg says procedurals like Law & Order appear to be headed downward in the ratings.

Soaps Down

All the daytime soaps except One Life to Live were down in the 2010-11 ratings compared to last year.

Friday Fun

I think NBC needs to resurrect this jingle for fall season advertising.

H/t Lee Goldberg

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Great TV

Tim Goodman laments that broadcast television can't seem to create "great dramas" the way cable can. Jaime Weinman takes some issue with Goodman's account.

Fox & Retrans

Fox is adopting a hard stance with retrans negotiations, and Price Coleman reports that there are plenty of stations willing to get on board.

Upfronts Deals

Fox is reportedly done with its upfronts deals, bringing in about 10% over last year's deals, but the other networks aren't impressed with the numbers, as CBS is setting out for bigger dollars. In somewhat related news, there may be an advertising spending nosedive ahead.

Netflix & ISPs

As cable companies start limiting bandwidth hogs, Netflix has charted out how the streaming service performs on various ISPs.

Cord Cutting Projection

The Consumer Electronics Association says it expects 10% of pay TV households to drop pay TV in 2011, relying on the internet rather over-the-air to get their fix.