Saturday, December 31, 2011

MSG to Exit

Richard Sandomir reports that Time Warner Cable subscribers in New York are on the verge of losing MSG at midnight. Update: MSG did go dark last night.

Mary Sue & Sexism

From earlier this month: The blogger at Adventures of Comic Book Girl proposes that the fanfic concept of Mary Sue is sexist.

All-American Muslim on 9/11

The next episode of All-American Muslim will address the cast's thoughts on the impact of 9/11.

Cable Changes

Cable bills have almost tripled over the last decade, but at least the cable guy has cleaned himself up.

2012 Looking Forward

Some pieces from earlier this week looking ahead to 2012: Midseason questions, midseason ratings matchups, paidContent on what's coming, VideoNuze predictions, Lost Remote's social TV predictions, anticipated premieres and returns.

2011 Looking Back

Some pieces from this earlier week looking back on 2011: top cable channels, top social TV networks of the year, Nielsen's top digital, Guardian 2011 TV in review, Adweek's top TV storiesfootball ruled ratings, Stewart beat Fox News, key moments, Deadline looks back.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Best TV of 2011

The year-end Best TV list is almost complete; I put the critics of (likely) greatest interest at the top, the rest are listed alphabetically after the jump. Please fill me in on any I've missed.

AV Club: Best TVCritics' BallotsAwardsDiscussionOther EpisodesWorst TVFavorite Moments
Daniel Fienberg: Top Ten, Second Ten, Worst
Futon Critic: Best Episodes
Jace Lacob & Maria Elena Fernandez: Best & Worst Shows
Ryan McGee: Top 10
James Poniewozik (Time): Top Series & the restTop Episodes & the rest, Cincys, Worst
Maureen Ryan: Best Shows, Best Lines
Matt Zoller Seitz: Best Shows, Best Episodes
Alan Sepinwall: Top 10 (or 11)Best Returning ShowsBest New ShowsBest of Rest, Worst
Ken Tucker:  6 thru 10 Best Shows1 thru 5, 11-20

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Slow Week

I'm leaving town for the rest of the week, unfortunately headed to a land of limited internet (dad's house), thus I probably won't be able to blog much, if at all, so hopefully it'll be a slow news week. I'll return on the weekend and try to catch up with any worthy bits of news I missed. Until then, have a happy end of 2011!

Reality Employment

Joe Parkinson describes a reality TV show in Georgia (the one in Eurasia, not the US) that an American Idol-style competition show focused on combating unemployment.

TV Set Revenue

TV set prices are falling, which  is hurting manufacturers and sellers, and Sony is pulling out of a joint venture with Samsung to save money.

Season Surprises

Joe Flint analyzes the fall season's surprises and disappointments.

Hell on Wheels Renewed

Hell on Wheels will be back for a second season on AMC

Good TVeets

Dear Travel Channel's "Man vs. Food"- you had me at 'this food looks like diarrhea and the sad man will eat it for our pleasure.'

The British accent makes soapy moments seem less hokey. "They aren't being dramatic, they're just enunciating correctly!" #Misfits

Was excited for The Food Network's "Rachel vs Guy: Celebrity Cook Off" until I learned Rachel & Guy aren't cooking the celebs. Oh well.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Fuse as Flash Point

In addition to MSG, Fuse is caught in the carriage fee battle with Time Warner Cable.

Israeli TV Politics

Ethan Bronner reports on a TV channel caught in the political crossfire in Israel.

Netflix's UK Problem

Netflix is launching in the UK with a key show missing: Downton Abbey.

AHS Zeitgeist

Amy Rubens interprets American Horror Story in terms of America's current insecurities.

2012 Predictions

Phillip Swann came up with 50 predictions for TV in 2012.

Dodgers Lose

Fox Sports won a key court ruling against the Los Angeles Dodgers, putting the sale of media rights on hold.

Misfits Genius

I'm a big fan of the UK show Misfits, and the episode that just went up on Hulu (S3E2) is an all-time great, especially in terms of its insightful exploration of gender norms. Rowan Kaiser at the AV Club does a fine job of explaining why this episode is "going to launch a thousand conference papers" yet still entertain fans of this excellent series.

Sunday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Sunday’s Winners: Sunday Night Football: Chicago at Green Bay (NBC)
-Sunday’s Losers: Nothing…60 percent of the schedule was in repeats.
-Total Viewers: NBC: 17.33 million, CBS: 5.39, ABC: 4.76, Fox: 1.59
-Adults 18-49: NBC: 5.5 rating/18 share, ABC: 1.7/ 6, CBS: 0.8/ 2, Fox: 0.7/ 6

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. I'm sorry to see that a lot of people watched my beloved Chicago Bears play football last night (or whatever it was they were trying to play).

Grantland on 2011 TV

The staff writers of Grantland, one of the great new arrivals of 2011, look back on TV in 2011 with intriguing show pairings (like Downton Abbey vs. Keeping Up With the Kardashians): Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3.

Parenthood Praise

Emily Nussbaum discusses why Parenthood is worth watching (It "risks corniness, tiptoes up to the edge of conventionality, then delivers real emotion. Its strength is arguably as valuable as the ability of other series to agitate their fans: it manages to be warm, even sentimental, without being dumb"), and also puts in a good word for the web series Husbands.

Charlie Brown Analysis

If you're not ready to let go of Christmas just yet, or just like to read thought-provoking essays all year round, check out Todd VanDerWerff's take on the the Charlie Brown Christmas special's aesthetics and religious overtones.

Old Footage in New Ads

Jeremy W. Peters looks at how political candidates are using previous footage of opponents to attack them anew.

New Ways We Watch

David Carr outlines some of the new traditions of media consumption: "Even as some of the old truisms in media still obtain — content wears the crown and strong brands break through clutter — a few new rules are taking shape."

War Coverage

Brian Stelter finds that news coverage of the war in Afghanistan in 2011 was relatively low. You can compare this to Stelter's year-end war coverage reports from 2008, 2009, and 2010.

Rise of The Five

Over at Fox News, The Five has survived effectively in Glenn Beck's old slot.

Lemon & CNN

Wyatt Williams analyzes Don Lemon's role at CNN: "Cable news doesn't need another voice to yell over everyone else, it needs someone who can ask questions and be frank about the fact that the status quo is broken. Could Lemon be the guy to fix it?"

ESPN for Women

Kelly McBride checks out espnW, a website and branding effort targeting female sports fans. (Apparently women don't like capitalization as much as men?) There's some really interesting stuff in here about research efforts by ESPN into how men and women differ in their sports consumption: "The network has invested a lot of resources into researching the female audience, trying to figure out what female fans want and how to give it to them. The answer: It’s complicated. Women have a different relationship to sports than men do, and there’s no magic bullet."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

2011 in TVeets

The only way you can truly experience all the best TVeets of the year is to go back and read each and every post, because there's so much greatness in there. But there isn't time for that, so I offer instead this condensed list of the funniest, most insightful, most memorable TV-related tweets of the year.

This was made feasible with the generous assistance of a group of TVeets devotees; I list them below, and you should follow each and every one on Twitter to reward them for taking on a challenging task. Each volunteer was given ten posts, from which they painstakingly picked 10-15 of the best tweets and also selected one as the best of their lot, from which I put together a Top 20.

The top 20(ish – a few are two-parters) are listed on this page, and then the TVeets chronology of the year is after the jump. We had to leave out some true gems just to make this manageable (and even then, there are 300+ tweets), and a small handful are text-only because I couldn't find the original links, but I trust that these tweets provide a delightfully funny and maybe even vaguely profound snapshot of what it meant to watch and tweet about TV in 2011 (minus the summer, when I was overseas and not keeping track).

Thanks a million to all of you who tweet about TV and who read tweets about TV. This is why Twitter rules. 

Awesome TVeets volunteers who you should all follow: @andydaglas, @noelrk, @p00rrichard, @corybarker, @digifreak642, @AndrewDaar, @ishirakumar, @theshoresofme, @aboleyn, @HurricaneAmon, @LostCadence, @stringertheory, @Aseroff, @jlschaefer, @frazbelina, @michelleangusTV, @MrNoncents, @inessentials, @Lesismore9o9. And lastly but not leastly: @GoodTVeets.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Night Before Murphymas

Here's a dopey little ode I wrote up in honor of the season and of Ryan Murphy, whose work has launched a thousand Good TVeets. Which also makes this a good time to mention: the selections of the Best TVeets of 2011 will be posted here tomorrow morning. Merry Christmas!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the land
Not a creature was stirring, not even Rubber Man.

The tweets were saved in Storify with care,
In hopes that St. Murphy soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Mike Chang & Britney S. Pierce danced in their heads.

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down to read a thoughtful @tvoti Glee recap.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But Ryan Murphy and eight sunken-eyed writers trembling with fear,

"Now, Falchuck! Now, Brennan! Now, Adler and Noxon!
On Aguirre-Sacasa! On Hitchcock! On Maxwell and Hodgson!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Write me some nonsense, then dash away! dash away all!"

Down the chimney Ryan Murphy came with a bound.
He was dressed like Curt Hummel, in a style that confounds,

His eyes -- how maniacal! Obsessed with residual wealth,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know exactly what I did dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Leaving a new episode of Glee on my DVR, the unrepentant jerk.

Laying his middle finger aside his nose in a style all morose,
And giving a sneer, up the chimney he rose;

I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a Good TVeets night!”

Reality Star Deaths

John Jeremiah Sullivan brings perspective to four reality TV star deaths in 2011.

Christmas TV

Scott Collins and Joe Flint discuss Christmas TV past, specifically the Christmas variety special, while Jack Kibble-White says British Christmas TV present suffers from predictability, but actress Arabella Weir wishes Christmas TV future continues to include Doctor Who specials.

Good TVeets

the next time someone says to you "I don't watch television" say "what's television?" It's the checkmate of pretentious lies.

Shout out to @louisck 4 his web game ya digg! May have 2 take sum notes. Goodlookn out on the givebacc.

DALLAS is returning to TNT and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Infallible Authorities

Alyssa Rosenberg considers the implications of the notion that network TV writers are told to make cops and doctors infallible.

NFL Deal Impact

Joe Flint reports that the new NFL deals could hurt smaller and non-sports cable channels in terms of lower distribution fees.

Why SOPA is Bad

Danny Kimball describes the extreme downsides of the SOPA bill.

Crowd-Funded Movie

Producers of the German version of The Office have raised around $1.3 million from fans for a movie.

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: The X Factor (Fox)
-Losers: Who’s Still Standing? (NBC), Prime Suspect (NBC)
-Total Viewers: Fox: 12.45 million, CBS: 8.00, NBC: 3.91, ABC: 3.29, CW: 1.42
-Adults 18-49: Fox: 3.8 rating/11 share, CBS: 1.8/ 5, NBC: 1.1/ 3, ABC: 1.0/ 3, CW: 0.5/ 1

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Academy, Academia, YouTube

Jamie Cohen discusses how online video is affecting both the television academy and the academic community that teaches television and new media.

Yule Log TV

Jill Pellettieri presents a video history of the Yule Log TV tradition.

Friday Fun

To those who have found it tough to watch Mrs. Coach in American Horror Story, this is for you. (Some bits of this might constitute AHS spoilers.)

Good TVeets

Murphy probably making wise move rebooting AHS. He loses interest in characters so quickly; might as well start over w/new ones.

to understand what a pain in the ass Act Breaks are to TV writers, imagine telling a story and having to add a car chase every few minutes

I want a montage of historical tragedies w/ Nicole Scherzinger photshopped into them. The Black Plague, Great Depression, etc. #Xfactor

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Women & The Funny

Meghan Daum says Christopher Hitchens was sorta right about women not being funny, at least in terms of what they're willing to let other people, especially men, see. Among other interesting sentences, she writes, "Women avoid funny because they're afraid of what they'll have to give up in exchange, for instance the coy mysteriousness that men supposedly prize above all else."

Ex-Wives on TV

Anne Trubek observes that the divorced wife is a prominent character on TV these days.

Ownership Rules

Expect to hear more about the FCC & media ownership rules today; John Eggerton reports: "According to various sources, the Federal Communications Commission was expected Thursday to announce that a majority of commissioners had voted to propose scrapping the radio-TV cross-ownership rules, but leave in place the radio and TV local market ownership caps."

UPDATE: Michael Copps's "no" was the only FCC opposition to the rules changes, which brought swift reaction. Brian Stelter reports.

AJE Wins

In reporting on Al Jazeera English winning a prestigious journalism award, Eric Deggans asks why it isn't more widely available in the US (it's only in about 5 million US households, 250 million worldwide).

Fake Websites

Vulture lists some of the fake website names made up by TV shows this year.

Community Flashmob

The Community flashmob outside 30 Rock today grabbed some attention through song, but was a modest-sized crowd.

AHS Changes

American Horror Story will change it up next season: new setting, new family, new horrors. Alan Sepinwall likes this move.

Last Man Standing Defended

June Thomas says Last Man Standing has gotten watchable.

Wednesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: The X Factor (Fox)
-Honorable Mention: Modern Family R (ABC), Criminal Minds R (CBS), CSI R (CBS)
-Losers: A Home for the Holidays (CBS), I Hate My Teenage Daughter (Fox)
-Total Viewers: Fox: 9.83 million, CBS: 6.12, NBC: 4.70, ABC: 4.52, CW: 821,000
-Adults 18-49: Fox: 3.0 rating/9 share, ABC: 1.4/ 4, CBS: 1.3/ 4, NBC: 1.2/ 4, CW: 0.3/ 1

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratingsCable ratings.

HBO's Comedy Problem

Andy Greenwald discusses the challenges HBO has had with developing comedies.

Social TV Efforts

Natan Edelsburg tracks how Stazr is using social media, and Alex Ben Block checks out Discovery's efforts.

Jingle Status

Robert Everett-Green looks at the decline of the ad jingle.

Weather Channel Advertising

David Goetzl reports on how the Weather Channel is devising new ways to schedule ads: "It’s enlisted a former Air Force meteorologist, who helped plan missions in Operation Desert Storm, to advise advertisers on optimal times to run ads as they look to take advantage of weather patterns to pump sales."


The latest carriage battle to get nasty is between MSG and Time Warner Cable. Update: The sniping is escalating.

Netflix Subscribers

Peter Kafka updates us on Netflix subscriber levels and attitudes. He also says Netflix is still dedicated to making us not want DVDs anymore.

Louis Update

Louis C.K.'s online special has reached the $1 million sales mark; here's his post about it.

Update: Ben Dolnick throws cold water on the Louis phenomenon.

Kelly Holding Up

Live With Kelly is holding up in the ratings post-Regis.

Retrans Scramble

A few retrans battles are coming down to the Dec. 31 wire.

Canadian Top Tens

CTV lists various categories of highest-rated shows in Canada this year.


BET has seen a boost in its ratings this year, as a move to more scripted series has worked out.


Do we really need movies and TV shows when we have Hallmark ads?

GLAAD telling ABC "Work It" will hurt transgender people. Who else it'll hurt: people with eyeballs who don't look away fast enough.

The "AHS" finale was like "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase" of "American Horror Story."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Work It Backlash

Even before it's aired, transgender groups and GLAAD are objecting to Work It. GLAAD has published a full-page ad in Variety.


CNN's use of user-generated content, such as iReport submissions, is having an impact on news coverage, unfortunately also including layoffs of professionals.

Tuesday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Cable News Orientation

The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has released a study of cable news coverage in 2011 and found that MSNBC and Fox News covered the economy in similar measure, while CNN had more international coverage. Elsewhere, Rachel Maddow insists MSNBC is not the liberal Fox News.

Nielsen 2011 Rankings

Nielsen has released top ten lists for various ratings categories. Also, Ed at Spotted has a top ten in ratings moments, 10-6 & 5-1.

Good TVeets

Enlightened got renewed, Web Therapy got renewed. They're just taunting poor Community at this point.

Giving Terriers a chance (on my Netflix). Doing the Terriers dance (on my carpet). (Singing) Go Terri-, Go Terri-, Go Terri..ers.

Ryan Murphy is to Crazy Internet People as Richard Nixon was to the Silent Majority.

Writer Resources

I wanted to draw your attention to the great work Gray Jones is doing at TV Writer Podcast, which, as you might guess, features podcasts with TV writers and also a huge list of TV writers on Twitter. Anyone who wants to write for TV or who wants to study TV writing can find much to draw from at Jones's site. You can also follow him on Twitter to keep up with the site's additions.

Lowe's Holds

Following a meeting with interfaith ministers, Lowe's insisted it still won't advertise on All-American Muslim. And the ratings for the show have been going down.

Illicit Substance Shows

Matt Diehl checks out Weed Wars and a few other shows focusing on illegal substances.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Glee Supporting the Arts

Lesley Goldberg checks out what Glee and its cast members are doing for the arts and for charity.

Time Shifting Activities

Louis Gray discusses how time-shifting is coming to be the norm.

Piers a Problem

Richard Adams looks at CNN's recent problems with Piers Morgan.

Writer's Perspective

Justin Halpern, creator of Sh*t My Dad Says, offers the writer's perspective on cancellation.

Chrismukkah in The O.C.

As part of the AV Club's Advent Calendar series, Carrie Raisler looks back at The O.C.'s holiday episodes.

Game, Set, Match

Tennis Channel won its carriage discrimination case against Comcast, giving Bloomberg TV new hope.

Where Terra Nova Went Wrong

Maureen Ryan deconstructs Terra Nova's problems.

Fox News Card

Fox News' Christmas card offers a dig at CNN and MSNBC.

Men Don't Matter

Chris Harnick uses the HBO cancellations to lead into a larger claim: women are dominating TV screens lately.

HBO Announcements

Back to blogging after a day of travel, and here's the news that broke just as I left: HBO has renewed Enlightened and cancelled Bored to Death, Hung, and How to Make It in America. Alan Sepinwall and Jaime Weinman offer thoughts.

Monday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: 2 Broke Girls R (CBS), Two and a Half Men R (CBS), Mike & Molly R (CBS), Fear Factor (NBC)
-Losers: Kung Fu Panda Holiday Special (ABC), A Chipmunk Christmas (ABC), You Deserve It (ABC), Who’s Still Standing? (NBC), Rock Center With Brian Williams (NBC)
-Total Viewers: CBS: 7.43 million, Fox: 7.18, NBC: 5.38, ABC: 4.54, CW: 1.20
-Adults 18-49: CBS and Fox: 2.2 rating/6 share each, NBC: 1.7/ 4, ABC: 1.1/ 3, CW: 0.3/ 1

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Louis CK Gets Dinner Gig

Louis C.K. will be the featured speaker at the June Congressional Correspondents' Dinner.

Top Ads of 2011

Nielsen ranks the top ads of 2011 in various categories. Abe Sauer analyzes the product placement results.

Top-Rated British Shows

The Guardian has a list of the top-rated shows of 2011 on British TV.

Community Flash Mob

Cougar Town is trying viewing parties; Community fans are trying a flash mob.

Free Shows

Sony is giving away Pan Am episodes on iTunes, trying to hook new viewers for its midseason return. Also, NBC will be streaming previously aired new show episodes online.

Hulu Growth

Hulu saw its audience grow about 23% this year.

Streaming Super Bowl

NBC Sports has announced it will make the Super Bowl available online. Richard Sandomir reports, Ryan Lawler analyzes. Tim Carmody considers the larger impact. Will Richmond says this isn't a big deal yet.

EpicMealTime to TV

Another web series is making the jump to TV, as EpicMealTime has been picked up by G4.

Local & Social in 2012

Carrie Brown Smith predicts that 2012 will be a good year for local television, especially due to greater adoption of social media.

Producer Cards Moving

MTV is moving producer credit titles from the ends of shows to their last ad break to more seamlessly connect shows.

Occult Rules

Ofcom has issued new rules relating to the depiction of the occult in psychic ads on British TV.

Cougar Town Parties

Cougar Town showrunner Bill Lawrence is organizing viewing parties to keep fan interest up until the show's return to TV.

Regulating FCC Regulation

Eliza Krigman looks at how GOP reform bills are aimed at handcuffing the FCC.

Netflix UK Launch

Netflix is launching in the UK with a new deal for BBC shows.

DVR Bonus

Bill Carter looks at the impact of timeshifting on network ratings.

Rutledge at Charter

Tom Rutledge will try to fix what's wrong at Charter Communications. One analyst knocks Cablevision for letting Rutledge go.

2011 Cable News Ratings

Though Fox News lost some viewers this year, it remained dominant over MSNBC and CNN. CNN is hoping some digital acquisitions will help boost them heading into next year.

Homeland Set Record

Homeland's finale was the highest-rated for a freshman show in Showtime history.

BCS Green for ESPN

College bowl season makes ESPN big money.

Most DVR'd

TiVo has released its annual list of the most DVR'd moments and shows of the year.

No More Choose or Lose

MTV has dropped its usual election-season slogan.

Good TVeets

Awoke to learn that while most of us found HOMELAND finale spectacular, a disgruntled minority vowed never to watch again. Shocker.

In all the commercial hubbub, don't forget the reason for the season: The Doctor Who Christmas Special.

HAHAHAHA. Oh man. That was funny. Wait, that wasn't supposed to be? Oh. #TerraNova

Monday, December 19, 2011

TV Holding Up

TV ad spending is holding up, especially in cable and syndication.

New ABC News

ABC News has a new slogan and a new political news website.

Cablevision Has HBO Go

Now Cablevision has reached an HBO Go deal, which means most pay TV subscribers can now access it.

Kim Coverage

Brian Stelter assesses how the cable news channels covered Kim Jong-il's death.

Sunday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: 60 Minutes (CBS), Sunday Night Football: Baltimore at San Diego (NBC), Survivor: South Pacific (CBS)
-Losers: Allen Gregory (Fox)
-Total Viewers: CBS: 15.86 million, NBC: 11.77, ABC: 4.78, Fox: 4.06
-Adults 18-49: CBS: 4.5 rating/11 share, NBC: 4.3/11, Fox: 1.7/ 4, ABC: 1.3/ 3

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratingsCable ratings.

Viacom & Nielsen

David Goetzl calls on Viacom to be transparent about the results of Nielsen's investigation into its ratings shortfalls.

More Alaska

TLC is in talks with Sarah Palin for another season of her Alaska show.

Hammer Profile

Bill Carter profiles Bonnie Hammer, chairwoman of NBCU's cable division.

New NBC Sports Head

Richard Sandomir profiles the new chief at NBC Sports, Mark Lazarus.

History's Rise

Brian Stelter tracks History's rise to the top-rated tier of cable channels.

Homeland Coverage

All things Homeland: Reviews from Alan Sepinwall, Andy Greenwald, Haglund & ThomasJames PoniewozikAlyssa RosenbergMatt Zoller Seitz, Todd VanDerWerff, Ken TuckerEric Deggans (also Dexter spoilers in that one). Interviews with Claire Danes, Claire Danes, Damien Lewis, the producers, Alex Gansa. Also, watch Angela Chase react to Carrie Mathison cursing.

Good TVeets

My favorite seasons of the Iraq War were 2-5. But if you want to introduce someone to it who's not a war fan, start with "The Surge" arc.

Sad to think that Kim Jong-il will never see the Homeland finale. You know he was looking forward to it.

1. Someone dies. 2. Twitter jokes. 3. Twitter jokes about all the Twitter jokes. 4. Twitter moves on. Total elapsed time: eighteen seconds.

Note: A slew of tweets in here aren't TV-related, they're Kim Jong-Il-related, but it seemed like a Twitter moment worth capturing. Those are all at the end, so you can easily skip them if you're not interested. Also, as usual, no Homeland, Survivor or other plot spoilers in here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mail's Impact on Netflix

Robert McMillan considers the impact on Netflix of the post office's plan to slow mail delivery down.

Sherlocks Compared

Lyndsay Faye compares the RDJ Sherlock with the BBC Sherlock.

Would You Pay for Community?

Rick Ellis proposes the idea to viewer-fund Community.

Apple's TV Assault

Sam Schechner discusses how Apple is moving forward with plans to take on TV. (Note: article behind WSJ paywall)

Saturday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: Nothing
-Losers: The night overall
-Total Viewers: Fox: 3.68 million, CBS: 3.45, ABC: 3.19, NBC: 2.55
-Adults 18-49: Fox: 1.1 rating/4 share, CBS: 0.9/ 3, NBC: 0.7/ 2, ABC: 0.6/ 2

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers

Saturday Night Live hit a season high last night.

More NFL on Thursday

There are likely to be more Thursday games on NFL network next year.

NBC Using Instagram

NBC stations are soliciting viewer photos via Instagram for use in local newscasts.

Good TVeets

 phil_rosenthal    Pretty sure that Jesus/Tebow SNL sketch was written by Matt Albie.

 Megan Ganz    Three glasses of rosé and Peep Show make me feel like I could punch sadness in the face.

 Chris    If  puts American Horror Story episodes onto the DVDs in random order, the show might actually make MORE sense.

 Kay Cannon    Watching "Homeland". I'm such a Carrie.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Auction Punted

The spectrum auction bill won't move forward until 2012.

Friday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners (Keep in mind that expectations are lower): Nothing
-Honorable Mention: Grimm (NBC)
-Losers: Chuck (NBC), 20/20 (ABC)
-Total Viewers: CBS: 6.07 million, ABC: 4.81, NBC: 4.55, Fox: 3.19, CW: 1.25
-Adults 18-49: NBC: 1.2 rating/4 share, ABC: 1.1/ 4, Fox: 1.0/ 3, CBS: 0.9/ 3, CW: 0.4/ 1

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Oprah's Glory

Caitlin Flanagan profiles Oprah Winfrey: "Why the “talkinest child” understands women and the power of television better than anyone else."

One-Man Controversy

Samuel G. Freedman points out that the All-American Muslim controversy is basically being generated by just one man, who has shifted his target of bigotry from gays to Muslims.

Good TVeets

Finally catching up on Downton Abbey. Which feels basically like binging on caramel popcorn while swigging champagne.

Yesterday someone who knows him told me: "Kyle Chandler really is everything you want him to be." And then I died.

Victoria's Secret uses child slave labor. Now those TV specials of women strutting around in lingerie will seem exploitive.

Friday, December 16, 2011

British Comedy Awards

The Inbetweeners, Miranda Hart, and Stewart Lee were among the winners at tonight's British Comedy Awards.

Top TV Stories

In the latest TV Surveillance podcast, Cory Barker and Noel Kirkpatrick review the big TV stories of 2011. Robert Lloyd also has a reflection piece.


Time Warner Cable subscribers will soon finally get to enjoy HBO Go.

Blaming Lost

Heather Havrilesky blames the Lost finale for ruining TV that followed in its wake.

Most Pirated Shows

TorrentFreak identifies the top 10 most pirated TV shows of 2011.


Video-on-demand through pay TV is used more often than internet-based VOD right now.

Proposal to Dump Regs

Two legislators have introduced the Next Generation Television Marketplace Act, which aims to do away with current retrans and local ownership regulations.

Cable Outlooks

Moody's says cable companies look primed to continue growing thanks to high-speed-data services, with dominance in broadband likely.

From Eton to US

Catherine Lawson notes that many of the British actors on US TV attended Eton College.

The Chew v. AMC

Marc Berman compares the ratings for The Chew and All My Children and says ABC probably is coming out  ahead financially with the soap cancelled.

More Friday Fun

Breaking Bart (make sure to watch to the very end)

Drew Peterson: Untouchable

Novelists to TV

Craig Fehrman discusses the move of a number of novelists to TV.

SOPA Delayed

A headline many will find chilling: the SOPA bill seems headed toward House approval. More on why SOPA is a nightmare. UPDATE: The SOPA vote has been delayed; it will resume December 21.

Siri Remote

Wayne Friedman's says the iPhone's Siri points toward a new future for the remote control.

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: The Big Bang Theory R (CBS), The X Factor (Fox), Person of Interest (CBS), The Mentalist (CBS)
-Disappointing: The Year With Katie Couric (ABC)
-Losers: Prime Suspect (NBC)
-Total Viewers: CBS: 11.90 million, Fox: 7.54, ABC: 5.81, NBC: 2.63, CW: 945,000
-Adults 18-49: CBS: 2.8 rating/8 share, Fox: 2.2/ 6, ABC: 1.6/ 4, NBC: 0.8/ 2, CW: 0.3/ 1

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.


Looking for a good cry? Check out one of these TV episodes.

Long Live TV

The president of IFC, Evan Shapiro, makes an impassioned case for why TV is not dying; instead, it's getting stronger as it evolves.

Cablevision COO Exits

Surprising many, Cablevision's COO has left the company, leading to a Cablevision stock decline today.

Chinese Piracy Battle

Two video-streaming sites in China are fighting over allegations of piracy of a popular TV show.

Most Complaints

Check out a list of the top 100 most-complained about programs on British TV.

Canadian Hit Cancelled

Canadian viewers are puzzled over why a single-season hit, Combat Hospital, has been cancelled. Turns out it's probably America's fault.

Upfronts Loaded

Brian Steinberg wonders if USA's addition to upfronts week makes it too bloated: "In putting its best foot forward, the very successful cable network will only add to the hoopla that is so much a part of this May week and make it just a little harder for advertisers to get a little quiet time to reflect and analyze." Update: But Dave Morgan sees this as a sign of upfronts growing in importance.

More Mistfits

There will be a fourth series of Misfits.

Netflix Promo

Netflix is try to fix some PR missteps with a promo offer for subscribers.

Missing Community

Alan Sepinwall will keep Community fresh in our minds during the hiatus with weekly posts about why the show is funny. First up: Donald Glover crying.

Xfinity Rebranding

Comcast is rebranding Xfinity to Xfinity Live! to stress its "thrilling and exciting products." (This is not a Friday Fun satire. This is the real news part of this blog.)

Friday Fun

Happy Holidays from 20th Century Fox TV & Sons of Anarchy

The unaired Lowe's ad

Community / MacGyver mashup

Spike Jonze's imaginative TV ads

Good TVeets

Maybe we should support #sopa and kill the internet. My tweets are hella dumb.

Madeline Stowe is NOT the lead actress in #REVENGE. Now the Foreign Press is just pissing off the last person you want mad at you.

Gonna read some Hitchens tonight & pretend I'll ever write that well. Then tomorrow, I'll accept my limitations and tweet an epic fart joke.*  

*Editor’s note: Women are very funny.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hot in Cleveland Deal

TV Land's Hot in Cleveland has nabbed a syndication deal.

Brand & FX

Russell Brand is getting a late night show on FX.

Sports Tax

Brian Stelter and Amy Chozik discuss how the high costs of sports rights trickle down to pay TV subscribers.


ESPN has a $500 million rights deal with the NCAA for multimedia rights to a slew of college championships, including the women's basketball tourney.

Louis Talk

Bill Simmons conducted a podcast with Louis CK (part 1, part 2), and Peter Kafka considers the impact of the Louis CK web special experiment, as does Fred Wilson, as does David Carr.

Internet TV Winners

Janko Roettgers says Google TV will soon dominate. Ben Elowitz says Apple TV will soon dominate.

EU Screen Archive

A website called EU Screen offers a great collection of clips from European TV: "More than 10,000 items of archived TV footage from 17 European countries are now available via the EUscreen online portal. EUscreen, the result of a groundbreaking collaboration with 36 partners across Europe, provides a uniquely rich and exciting insight into Europe’s television heritage with content dating from the 1920s until today."

Evaluating TV

Jason Mittell has posted a new conference paper, "The Qualities of Complexity: Aesthetic Evaluation in Contemporary Television."

NFL Deal Analyzed

Matt Yoder breaks down the new deals the NFL has with the networks. And a cable group says the deal is very bad for TV consumers.

Twitter TV

Rob Delaney has a show in development at Comedy Central that will try to bring Twitter to TV.

British TV in 2011

Tim Dams recaps the year in British TV.

Wednesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: Survivor: South Pacific (CBS), The X Factor (Fox), Criminal Minds (CBS), CSI (CBS)
-Losers: I Hate My Teenage Daughter (Fox)
-Total Viewers: CBS: 11.86 million, Fox: 9.33, ABC: 7.16, NBC: 3.97, CW: 1.44
-Adults 18-49: CBS: 3.1 rating/8 share, Fox: 3.0/ 8, ABC: 2.1/ 6, NBC: 1.0/ 3, CW: 0.5/ 1

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Person to Person Revival

CBS will revive the old Ed Murrow show Person to Person. Charlie Rose and Lara Logan will be the new Ed Murrows.

MLB Social Studio

Lost Remote takes a look at MLB Network's new studio area designed to take advantage of social media.

Rethinking Regulations

NCTA prez Michael Powell thinks FCC regulations need to be rethought for the broadband era.

Challenging Pay TV

Gary Meyer assesses the new TV ecosystem and wonders why there haven't been more challengers to pay TV providers given what internet-based TV could provide.

Kayak Blames TLC

Kayak, one of the advertisers who abandoned All-American Muslim, says this is all TLC's fault  (note: article behind paywall) for misrepresenting what the show is about, and the chief marketing officer added that he thought "the show sucked." Brian Steinberg says the show will continue on as usual. Stuart Elliott digs into Kayak's odd statement, and Alyssa Rosenberg criticizes it.

Stern to AGT

Howard Stern says he'll be replacing Piers Morgan on America's Got Talent. Dorothy Pomerantz says this is a terrible choice for NBC. Ken Tucker says this is a great choice for NBC.

Social Impact Small

Media Life interviews a research firm rep about a study finding that social media doesn't have much impact on TV viewing decisions.

Networks in 2011

Toni Fitzgerald says the networks have had a good 2011, while Anthony Crupi says it's been a tough fall.