Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Last Hiatus

One last hiatus for the summer; I'm off for five days to a vast wilderness of no internet service (actually it's just northern Michigan), so I won't be blogging again until next week. The big events I'm missing will be at the Television Critics' Association tour, so you can keep up with the usual suspects (i.e. HitFix and the like) for breaking news. One final link: Brian Lowry reflects on how TCA today is different from the past.

Advice for New Showrunners

Ken Levine offers advice for first-time showrunners.

ITV Micropayments

Starting in January, Britain's ITV will test out micropayments for access to some content on its online catch-up service ITV Player.

90s Nostalgia Success

Nickelodeon's '90s block is a big ratings success.


Comcast can now enable the placing of new advertisements each day in VOD reruns.

Spectrum Debate Tied to Debt Ceiling

Marguerite Reardon explains how the spectrum auction may be factored into a debt ceiling package.

Digicast Overview

TVNewsCheck offers an overview of the state of digital multicasting, i.e. broadcasting outlets on digital subchannels: "what kind of programming they offer, what their basic proposition to potential affiliates is and how far along they are in distribution."

Good TVeets

I like to think Frank Darabont escaped the Walking Dead writers room by crawling a mile through a sewer pipe, to emerge cheering in the rain

BREAKING BAD is so good. AMC should re-title it BREAKING GOOD...because it's such a good show. It should be called "BREAKING GOOD:THE SHOW"

I want to create a reality show called "Making Friends" so I can say, "No, that's actually exactly what you're here to do."

Preparing to board Flight 815 to Australia. What could possibly go wrong? #ThisJokeWillWorkBetterOnReturnFlight

Follow @GoodTVeets

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Darabont Steps Down

Deadline broke the story that Frank Darabont is out as showrunner of The Walking Dead. Alan Sepinwall has more.

Viewing Delays

Big story breaking: Fox is declaring that if viewers want to watch their content online within a day of airing, such as on Hulu, they have to be pay TV or Hulu Plus subscribers. Otherwise, they'll have to wait eight days to watch. Brian Stelter's take: "Fox is trying to protect its lucrative deals with cable & satellite distributors." Jeff Jarvis responded, "What matters at the end is that Fox' and the audience's interests are not aligned. That's bad for business." Ryan Lawler highlights this as an cord cutting counter-move. Will Richmond says this hurts Hulu. More coverage from James Poniewozik and Sam Schechner (WSJ paywalled, of course; News Corp. clearly likes a good paywall). In related news, Breaking Bad is available online only for pay TV subscribers.

Netflix Streaming Killing Piracy

So says an article by Farhad Manjoo.

VOD Holy Grail

Brian Steingberg explains why VOD is seen as the Holy Grail for advertisers.

Internet TV Growth

Internet-connected TV is expected to grow greatly in the next few years.

PTC Warning

The Parents Television Council has warned NBC that it's prepared to really go after Playboy Club for indecency, saying the network would be best off not airing it in the fall.

Emmy Episode Submission

Gold Derby lists the specific episodes nominees have submitted for Emmy consideration.

Anderson's Show

Sean Daly has some info on Anderson Cooper's new talk show, which he's trying to pattern on the old Phil Donahue Show.

Most Viewing BBC3 Later

Viewing figures show that audiences are watching BBC3 (a youth-targeted digital channel) programming more frequently via catch-up services and repeats than at the shows' scheduled broadcast time.

Netflix News

Netflix says it's bracing for a growth slowdown, it's surprised people didn't complain even more about its new plans, and US law will prevent Facebook integration in the US. And its shares are falling.

Wal-Mart Adopts Vudu

Turning away from declining DVDs, Wal-Mart is integrating the online video service Vudu (which it owns) with its website.

YouTube Dominates Mobile

About 22% of what people watch on their mobile phones around the globe consists of YouTube videos. And in the US, YouTube use is heavy.

Arabic Dubbing

Bill Spindle explores the challenge translators have with dubbing American movies and TV shows into Arabic.

TV Poker

The WSJ describes how televised poker has changed in the wake of legal problems and a government crackdown on poker sites.

Broadcasters Fear Auction

NAB members insist that the spectrum auction will doom broadcasters.

Local TV Tops on Twitter

A report ranking industry interaction on Twitter says local TV is the most social industry.

TV Happy About NFL

Scott Collins discusses what TV has to be happy about now the that NFL lockout has been resolved.

Univision Upfronts

Univision had a big upfronts haul, with execs claiming it's the biggest in the network's history.

Good TVeets

If we substituted Gus Fring for Barack Obama tonight, I think the Republicans would be ready to compromise. #BreakingBad

Naturally we solve the NFL lockout before the debt crisis. One makes good TV, the other doesn't. #priorities #USAUSAUSA

Good news. @danharmon has just received authorization to raise the #angstceiling.

Follow @GoodTVeets

Monday, July 25, 2011

ABC Done Paying

ABC News has declared that it will (for the most part) no longer pay for exclusive photos or interviews.

NAB Rhetoric

The National Association of Broadcasters is saying that TV stations could be shut down for good if the FCC's national broadband plan is enacted.

Wire Connections

Jaime Weinman muses about former actors from The Wire getting new gigs (Omar comin' to Community, if you haven't heard) and Wire homages from showrunners.

Let TV Be

Margaret Lyons pleads for fans to let TV shows like Arrested Development and Veronica Mars remain at rest rather than lobbying for movie versions.

Nielsen Alternative

One Dallas-Fort Worth ABC affiliate is turning to a company other than Nielsen for ratings measurement out of dissatisfaction with Nielsen's methods.

Japan Goes Digital

Japan has become the first nation in Asia to shut down analog TV signals.

Union Approval Needed

Before ABC's cancelled soaps can move online, they'll need new talent and crew union deals. That will likely delay the move for months.

Cost Driving Cord Cutters

One study suggests the predominant reason people are dropping cable is not because of online TV but because of high subscription fees.

Parks & Rec Interview

Todd VanDerWerff launches another awesome showrunner interview series (previously he talked with Community's Dan Harmon) by chatting with Mike Schur about every third season episode of Parks and Recreation.

Syndication Strong

Harry Jessell interviews the president of the Syndicated Network Television Association about syndication's strong upfront and why marketers like syndication.

BB Binge

Emily Nussbaum marathoned three seasons of Breaking Bad and discusses how much she enjoyed the experience (some mild spoilers in there but nothing too crucial).

Cable Branding

Rob Owen discusses how cable channels brand themselves through the style of signature shows like Mad Men.

Netflix Threat

Joanne Ostrow outlines how Netflix is a growing threat to TV networks.

Netflix Gets DreamWorks

Netflix has a deal for streaming DreamWorks movies, taking them away from HBO.

Current State

Current TV's co-founder discusses the state of the channel.

Xfinity Technology

Todd Spangler describes the technology Comcast is using for its TV Everywhere service.

Good TVeets

Twitter: a place to have group discussions about Christina Hendricks' ass.

Bahahahahahahahahaahhahahaha . *catches breath* Hahaha RT @BaffledAddict #Glee writers promise this season writing will knock your socks of

Tried to explain to neighbor that I had been away on business while carrying a giant bag with Bugs Bunny on it. #entertainmentjournalism

There's NOTHING that can't be joked about. But if u choose to joke about a tragedy u better make sure it is REALLY funny.#ComedyPSA

Follow @GoodTVeets

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Glee Controversy

You may have seen here about 10 days ago a link to a THR interview quoting Glee showrunner Ryan Murphy saying key cast members would be leaving after the upcoming season. Yet at Comic-Con today, writer Brad Falchuk said that's not true and criticized the reporter for claiming so. Adam Wright expresses his outrage over this and wonders why other entertainment media outlets aren't questioning these inconsistencies. Subsequently, Daniel Fienberg got some backstage clarification from Falchuk, which didn't necessarily clear things up but did make this even more interesting.

Academics & Fansites

Kelli Marshall argues in favor of academics creating fansites.

Hulu Boxed In

Offering a thorough account of the state of online TV streaming, Brian Stelter looks at the challenge Hulu has of providing enough content to keep users satisfied within parameters that will keep content providers satisfied.

Good TVeets

If Zizek wrote a movie for the Lifetime Network, that movie would be "Another Earth." So if you like Zizek or Lifetime, that's good.

whenever I pass 2+ women talking to each other I always try to listen in to make sure they're passing the Bechdel Test.

The downside of reading scripts on the iPad is that you can't throw them across in the room in anger.

Follow @GoodTVeets

Saturday, July 23, 2011

BBC Airs an Ad

The BBC accidentally aired a TV commercial during Wimbledon.

Good TVeets

"Damages" uses more soft lighting than "Days of Our Lives". I keep thinking I need glasses, then I realize it's just Glenn Close's contract.
I get confused and disoriented every time a "True Blood" question comes up that doesn't involve shirtlessness. #sdcc

I'd feel a lot more confident about the debt crisis outcome if it was a Sorkin script.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Ownership Studies

The FCC has released three studies into local media ownership, with one concluding that broadcast-newspaper cross-ownership has a positive impact on local news.

ABC News Automated

ABC World News has adopted an automated control room.

More AMC Rumors

The future of soaps is as intriguing as a baby-stealing plotline, as now the word is All My Children will be online in January, not September, and General Hospital may be joining it.

Bad Numbers for Cable

Peter Kafka warns that the cable industry is about to see bad quarterly numbers in terms of lost subscribers.

Emmy & Race

Tim Goodman discusses the Emmy Awards' problems with race.

Glee Project a Hit

The first time I posted about the Glee Project, it was to note its very low early ratings. The numbers have improved markedly since then, though,

YouTube Live

D.M. Levine explains how YouTube is increasingly looking like a TV network.

Friday Fun: Mad Men Title Revised

Mad Men Opening Titles Re-Design from Paul Rogers on Vimeo.

Real Muslims

TLC is developing a reality TV project focusing on Muslim families in Dearborn, MI. TCA coverage.

HD Ads Double

A study finds a dramatic increase in HD ads on TV over the past year.

Cable at Comic-Con

Cable television channels like USA have a significant presence at Comic-Con this year.

Storage Wars Popular

Stoarge Wars is now A&E's most popular series ever.

UK Minority Representation

One study finds that representation of minorities of UK TV is below the proportion of population percentages.

Apple & Hulu?

Apple is the latest company reportedly interested in picking up Hulu (behind WSJ paywall). But Peter Kafka is skeptical.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Torchwood Cut

The BBC has decided to cut footage from a sex scene in the third episode of Torchwood, while it will air untouched in the US. The BBC has released a response to those who complained about this.

G+ Drops Station

A local TV station had its Google+ account pulled because Google has a "no brand" policy on the social media service in its beta phase.

Cable Thursdays

Media Life reports that cable is really digging into network share on Thursday nights this summer.

UK PSB Spending Rises

MediaTel reports that spending on public service broadcasting in the UK was up last year, rising most at the BBC, while spending fell at Channel 4.

ESPN Official Practices

Deadspin has obtained a copy of ESPN's complete advertising and editorial guidelines.

Stations for Sale

Nexstar Broadcasting, which owns some of the former affiliates Fox dropped in a retrans dispute, has put its group of 65 television stations up for sale. TV News Check sees this move as somewhat surprising. One analyst sees it as good for TV.

Iranian-American Jersey Shore

Ryan Seacrest is helping to develop a new reality show focusing on LA's Iranian expat community called Shahs of Sunset, patterning it on a combo of Jersey Shore and Real Housewives.

AGT Assessed

Myles McNutt takes a gander at America's Got Talent and tries to pinpoint why it's so popular.

Sharpton to MSNBC

It's looking like Al Sharpton will be joining MSNBC as an anchor.

FCC Criticism About Kids

A set of TV watchdog groups are criticizing the FCC for not better policing children's television.

Data Impact

Ryan Lawler explains how a new social media and mobile data aggregate company could affect TV viewing.

McLuhan's Birthday

Today would be Marshall McLuhan's 100th birthday (he died in 1980). Douglas Coupland explains why McLuhan's ideas still resonate today.

Yahoo Bid for Hulu

Nicholas Carlson looks into Yahoo's rumored bid for Hulu.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cord Cutting Projection

SNL Kagan predicts 4% of households will drop multichannel pay TV services by the end of the year and 10% will by 2015.

Summer Blog Fun

Cory Barker at TV Surveillance has been offering some great summer reading, most recently with a Summer Watch series on Cheers and Hill Street Blues and a revealing Pilot Watch entry with Myles McNutt on St. Elsewhere and its place within the legacy of quality TV and the medical drama genre.

Fuller Suing

American Idol creator Simon Fuller is suing Fox and FremantleMedia over the upcoming X-Factor claiming breach of contract.

Current Trends

Lauren Drell at Mashable highlights five current trends in TV, including targeted advertising and social TV.

Damages Changes

Melena Ryzik assesses how the move to DirecTV has affected Damages.

Amazon Adds CBS Shows

Amazon's digital video service will now have a set of CBS library titles. Will Richmond says this doesn't really distinguish Amazon from Netflix, though.

Murdoch News

Brian Stelter notes that the News Corp. hacking scandal has led many to question media consolidation, Jay Rosen argues that News Corp. isn't focused on generating news and instead really wants influence, Alessandra Stanley looks at how Fox News covered the questioning of Rupert Murdoch, and in the wake of Murdoch testifying News Corp. stock rose 5%.

Afternoon update: News Corp. is trying to build back up some good will, and a whole new image might be needed; Rupert Murdoch may have undermined his credibility as CEO; and CNN and MSNBC are covering this story a whole lot more than Fox News is.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

News & Doc Emmys

The nominations for News and Documentary Emmys have been announced. B&C has the list by network; CBS has the most noms, followed closely by PBS.

Interactive Screens

Todd Spangler discusses new technology enabling TV spectator interaction via smart phones and tablets.

Post-Fox Lineup

If you're curious about how a local station programs a lineup after it's dropped a network affiliation, check out what WFFT is scheduling after being dumped by Fox.

Hulu Deal

Forbes considers the new Netflix pricing plans in light of a possible Hulu deal, and Bloomberg's Andy Fixmer reports on some rumored details of that deal.

Triple-Play Subs Predicted

A new report predicts that by 2016, about 25% of TV households worldwide will have so-called triple-play TV/broadband/telephony subscriptions.

HBO Sports Prez Leaving

The longtime head of HBO Sports is leaving under some controversy and spin.

TeenNick Nostalgia

Brian Stelter checks out TeenNick's return to the 1990s. Andrew Daglas has a response.

Forecasting Heroes

Kim Severson reports on how local TV news weather forecasters are taking center stage as summer weather continues to be newsworthy.

Breaking Bad Big

Breaking Bad's fourth season shot out of the gate with a series high rating.

Advertisers Sticking With OWN

Despite its early ratings struggles, advertisers haven't abandoned OWN yet.

CNN, HLN Stream

Time Warner will offer live streaming of CNN and HLN on mobile devices to certain pay TV subscribers, though not Time Warner Cable subs.

Friday, July 15, 2011


TNT won't be bringing back Men of a Certain Age. Co-creator Mike Royce reacts. Kay Reindl chimes in.

Cowell Profile

Amy Chozik checks in with Simon Cowell, who has a lot at stake in The X Factor US.

Canadian Cable

Canadian cable profits are up;

Friday Fun: Be Jesse Pinkman

To get ready for Sunday's return of Breaking Bad, you can play AMC's Jesse Pinkman game: The Cost of Doing Business. Also, see a photo tour of the set, and play Breaking Bad bingo.

TV/Film Fluidity

Steven Zeitchik argues that the Emmy nominations illustrate how fluid the boundaries between film and TV are today.

Conan Profile

Scott Tobias checks out what's going on over at Conan on TBS.

Brooks Resigns

News Corp.'s Rebekah Brooks has resigned, and now so has Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton, the WSJ's publisher. And Rupert Murdoch is going to offer a public apology to News of the World readers.

Soaps Still Matter

Columnist Carolyn Hinsey argues in a new book that daytime soaps still have a future. There are also some interesting comments in this interview about gay and minority representation on soaps.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Nickelodeon Boosts Viacom

Nickelodeon's success is pushing Viacom's stock up.

Broadcasting Value

NAB president and CEO Gordon Smith touts the value of the broadcast TV airwaves.

Connected Disruptions

Ryan Lawler discusses how connected devices are poised to disrupt the TV ad market.

SeeSaw Saved

British online TV outlet SeeSaw has been saved from oblivion by a consortium of investors.

Netflix Backlash

Netflix says it expected some backlash against its new subscription plans, but perhaps as much as it got.

News Corp Latest

The FBI is investigating News Corp., Rupert Murdoch is defending his company, and many myths are floating about. Bloomberg has a good summary of the issues.

CBS Criticism

Reality Blurred's Andy Dehnart criticizes CBS's official statement about a Big Brother cast member's homophobic comments.

Egyptian TV Changes

In the wake of political and social upheaval in Egypt, major growth is taking place in Egyptian television.

FNL Oral History

Grantland has a great oral history of Friday Night Lights (warning: finale spoilers at the end)

Emmy Noms

The Emmy nominations have been announced. The complete list (pdf). TV Line highlights major snubs. Analysis from Todd VanDerWerff, Mike Hale, Linda Holmes, Jaime Weinman, Nina Shen Rastogi, Alan Sepinwall, Jace Lacob, Myles McNutt.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Glee Changes

Cast changes are in the works for Season 4 of Glee, with some big names reportedly leaving after the upcoming season.

Spectrum Bill

A House panel has released the draft of a broadband network spectrum bill which broadcasters like and net neutrality advocates don't.

CSI Effect

Author of a great book on CSI Derek Kompare discusses elsewhere how CSI has helped make juries smarter.

Apple HDTV

Some are predicting significant cord-cutting when (if) Apple's HDTV arrives.

NBCU-Netflix Renewal

One of the things your increased subscription fees will help fund at Netflix is new NBCU content.

News Corp. Inquiry

As US criticism of News Corporation rises in light of the phone-hacking scandal, two US congressmen are calling for an investigation of New Corp's US practices.

Content Value

Reed Phillips notes that the numbers being thrown around estimating Hulu's value for sale reveal good news for content businesses.


Jonathan Handel explains why SAG and AFTRA are trying to merge.

BBC Spending

Great infographic: a breakdown of where the BBC licence fee money goes.

Web Salary Negotiations

All My Children and One Life to Live stars are negotiating salaries for the shows' online airings.

Web Series Exodus

Jake Coyle reports on the networks' retrenching from web series.

Cable Trumps Broadcast

Ad spending on cable TV is forecast to exceed broadcast network spending.

Summer News

ABC and NBC are leading the way in summer 18-49 ratings, and Amy Chozik reports that marketers are striving to reach 6-11 year old boys on cable this summer.

Oprah Becomes CEO

Oprah Winfrey has appointed herself CEO of OWN.

AMC Online Date

All My Children will premiere online three days after it ends on TV, September 26.

Dead Deal

News Corp. has dropped its BSkyB takeover bid.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

RIP Sherwood Schwartz

Classic TV producer Sherwood Schwartz has died. Robert Lloyd offers an appreciation, and THR has an affecting farewell letter from Schwartz. Josef Adalian has a remembrance.

Bounce TV Sets Date

The new independent broadcast network called Bounce TV, which will target African-American audiences, will launch on September 26 at noon.

BSkyB Bid Sours

Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB bid is looking doomed as it's losing supporters by the minute.

Netflix in Latin America

Ryan Lawler reports how Netflix is poised to dominate over cable TV in Latin America.

New Netflix Plans

Netflix has announced new subscription plans, splitting up DVD and streaming and charging more for both combined. Ryan Lawer details why Netflix has made these changes. The consumer response to the changes has been overwhelmingly negative. Will Richmond calls this a surprising left turn.

First-Run Saturday

CBS is doing something shocking in the fall: airing a series first-run on Saturday night. (Though before you get too excited, you should know that the show is Rules of Engagement.)

Boston News Archive

A group of local Boston stations led by WGBH are collecting and digitizing historical newscasts in order to create an online archive.

Beat Reporters Needed

Diana Marszalek believes local news could be improved with a return to the use of beat reporters who go out and find local stories and don't just recap existing ones.

Sister Wives Lawsuit

The family featured on TLC's Sister Wives is fighting to have anti-bigamy laws changed.


Anthony Crupi reports on NBCU Cable's record upfronts haul. In other NBCU news, NBC's Sports Group will now handle all national TV ad sales for the NHL.

Median Age Up

Last season saw the median age of broadcast network viewers rise to 51.6.

PBS Analyzes Primetime

Look for a PBS documentary series analyzing American prime time television in the fall.

Comcast v. Tennis Channel

The FCC thinks Comcast should be fined for discriminatory action against Tennis Channel, while Comcast will argue in front of a judge today that the FCC is full of it.

BBC Worldwide Sales

Speaking of Doctor Who, it is BBC Worldwide's biggest selling show internationally, among a wide range of revenue-earning shows for the BBC's commercial arm.

Facebook Viewing

Hulu and Facebook are on the verge of integrating, which has Ryan Lawler wondering if users will embrace the connection, and you'll soon be able to watch some Doctor Who on Facebook.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Networks & Original Online

Jake Coyle reports that networks are pulling back on their investments in original online series.

Premium VOD

Not much demand for premium video-on-demand yet.

Y Cord Cutting

About a quarter of Generation Y is cord cutting (or cord never) inclined.

Typical Lady Cop

Eric Deggans outlines the stereotypical female cop on TV.


TNT's Men of a Certain Age is on the bubble; Alan Sepinwall makes a strong case for its renewal. Maureen Ryan also makes a case, as does Tim Goodman. But Robert Seidman says you can't fault TNT if they cancel it. Jaime Weinman wishes TNT had done a better job of marketing the show, and Myles McNutt adds his thoughts.

Slingbox Potential

Alex Sherman and Jim Aley propose the Slingbox as the solution to TV Everywhere needs. (And I can personally say the Slingbox was a glorious helper during my time overseas.)

New Flow Issue

Some great new posts at Flow, including Steven Boyer on television viewing on game consoles, Taylor Cole Miller on Glee and gay representations, and Kristen Warner and Lisa Schmidt on The Killing as feminine narrative form.

Spoiler Challenge

Mary McNamara considers the challenge of avoiding spoilers today. Related: spoiler alert manifesto.

Food TV

Yvonne Villareal looks at the state of food TV.

The Hour Previewed

Many are calling the upcoming BBC2 drama The Hour Britain's Mad Men.

BSkyB Deal Now Uncertain

With the News of the World phone hacking scandal continuing to unfold, and the latest allegations of improprieties going beyond just News of the World, Britain's deputy prime minister and a Labour Party leader have called for News Corps.' full takeover attempt of BSkyB to be dropped. Meanwhile, BSkyB shares are dropping, some say Rupert Murdoch's media empire is fracturing, News Corp. shareholders are suing, and Simon Dumenco speculates on what comes next for Murdoch and company. Fox-owned TV stations shouldn't be affected.

Update: the BSkyB bid is now delayed at least 6 months, after Murdoch withdrew the plan to spin off Sky News, based on logic Jeff Bercovici explores, and the bid is referred to a regulator.

No Hulu for Netflix

The WSJ reports that Netflix won't be in the hunt to buy Hulu.

AMC On Its Own

AMC has been spun off from Cablevision and could now be a takeover target with many suitors.

ESPN Gets Wimbledon

Another oldie but goodie: ESPN has snagged the rights to Wimbledon away from NBC.

Spitzer Out

Catching up on old news: the Eliot Spitzer era is over at CNN, causing CNN to reshuffle its evening schedule.

Back...Sort Of

I'm back from my overseas travels, so I'll try to restart the blog again, though I still have a few family vacations on the docket that might limit posts on some days (and, unfortunately, probably still keep GoodTVeets on the shelf for the time being).

Friday, July 8, 2011

Soaps Online

I'm still mostly offline while traveling, but this news has to be posted: the canceled ABC soaps One Life to Live and All My Children will apparently returning intact but as online series. Joe Flint says the economics of this isn't easy, and Laura Hazard Owen wonders if fans will follow.