Saturday, March 31, 2012

NBC Sports Network Flailing

Claire Atkinson reports that ratings for the NBC Sports Network are tanking.

Madness Online

Mike Shields says we don't really know about March Madness is doing online because CBS and Turner won't tell us.

TV Show Longevity

Samuel Arbesman at Wired charted out the longevity of shows across TV history broken down by network, revealing, among other things, that "When one network has long-lived shows during a time period, such as ABC in the mid-1980s, another network might have a series of duds, such as NBC during the same time." I missed his chart from a few months ago trying to quantitatively determine "Golden Ages" of TV.

Friday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners (keep in mind expectations are lower): Undercover Boss (CBS), CSI: NY (CBS), Blue Bloods (CBS), 20/20 (ABC)
-Losers: Who Do You Think You Are? (NBC), Kitchen Nightmares (Fox), Nikita (CW), Fringe (Fox), Dateline (NBC)
-Total Viewers: CBS: 9.38 million, ABC: 5.58, NBC: 4.61, Fox: 3.00, CW: 1.52
-Adults 18-49: CBS: 1.7 rating/6 share, ABC: 1.6/ 5, Fox: 1.2/ 4, NBC: 1.1/ 3, CW: 0.5/ 2

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.
Daniel Fienberg's coverage.


Ed at Spotted has come up with a new way to contextualize ratings, adjusting a show's ratings relative to what the whole TV season's average ratings are. This A18-49+ rating, as he calls it, can thus potentially identify shows that are declining (or rising) on their own versus shows that are declining because all of TV viewing is declining.

Solve The Killing

If the show can't do it, maybe you can: The Killing has a transmedia component this season where you can dig through a Rosie Larsen case file across the season.

Cable Podcast

Scholar John McMurria talks about cable TV, culture, and policy on a Cultural Studies podcast.

More Real World

A 28th season of The Real World is on its way.

OWN's Problems

Meg James and Joe Flint investigate where OWN went wrong. More from Christina Kearney.

Good TVeets

Friday, March 30, 2012

Digital in NZ

Mark Stewart discusses the state of digital distribution in New Zealand and the launch of a Netflix equivalent in New Zealand called Quickflix.

Bundles Win

An appeals court ruled that pay TV bundles are legal and do not limit competition.

Merger Approved

SAG-AFTRA members have voted to approve the merger.

Top Female Characters

Brandon Nowalk offers a list of the top 25 female characters on TV.

Pilot Production Locations

Deadline reports that New York and Vancouver are big sites for pilot production, while LA declines.

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: American Idol (Fox), The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Person of Interest (CBS), The Mentalist (CBS)
-Losers: Community (NBC), 30 Rock (NBC), Up All Night (NBC), The Secret Circle (CW), Awake (NBC)
-Total Viewers: CBS: 13.04 million, Fox: 12.20, ABC: 4.91, NBC: 3.10, CW: 1.85
-Adults 18-49: Fox: 3.5 rating/10 share, CBS: 3.2/ 9, NBC: 1.3/ 4, ABC: 1.2/ 3, CW: 0.9/ 2

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratingsCable ratings.
Daniel Fienberg's coverage.

News Corp Accused of Sabotage

A BBC documentary claims that a subsidiary of News Corporation sabotaged a Sky competitor, ITV Digital, and hurt others in Australia. News Corp. is denying the charges, stepping up its defense (Murdoch is tweeting about it), saying the activities were legit. Bloomberg has more. Now the BBC is fighting back and standing by its findings.

CBC Cuts

The CBC has been handed major budget cuts by the Canadian government, but John Doyle says the CBC has had it coming: "Whatever this budget brings, here’s a message to CBC – suck it up, you should have seen this coming; now use the opportunity of retrenchment to redefine your mission and values." Bill Brioux responds to Doyle.

Social TV Investments

Anne-Marie Roussel is tracking social TV company funding investments on her blog, and Peter Kafka observes that it's relatively small change right now but is about positioning for the future.

FX Upfronts

Andrea Morabito summarizes FX's upfront event last night.

Scripted Health Info

Alyssa Rosenberg wonders if scripted TV shows can better showcase trustworthy heath information.

GA Tax Credits Pass

The revisions to Georgia's film/TV production tax credits have passed through the legislature.

Lindelof Defends Finale

The Killing finale, that is, while also bringing up Lost, of course. And a rebuttal.

New SNL Woman

Kristen Wiig is reportedly leaving SNL, leaving the show trying to find a female replacement. Update: The new hire is Kate McKinnon, giving SNL its first openly gay female cast member ever.

Spanish-Language Campaign

Dunkin' Donuts is launching a multi-platform ad campaign in Spanish to target Hispanics.

TV-14 for Anger Management

Charlie Sheen's Anger Management on FX will carry a TV-14 content rating. And Sheen is behaving properly for advertisers.

Couric on GMA

Katie Couric will be appearing on Good Morning, America all next week, which could finally tip GMA over the top of Today in the morning ratings.

'90s Reboots

It's the 1990s all over again, as MTV is restarting Unplugged and Fox is rebooting In Living Color.

Good TVeets

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Good Wife Convo

Cory Barker and Noel Kirkpatrick discuss The Good Wife's pluses and minuses in the back half of this season (and thanks to Cory for offering new models of TV  reviewing such as this on his blog).

1967 Pitch

Jaime Weinman, our source for all things overlooked yet fascinating, found a description of a TV pitch meeting from 1967 in a book called The Studio: "The key thing here is how [writer-producer Paul] Monash and the writer instinctively – without network prodding, just based on what they know the network will accept – water down a contemporary, relevant issue until it’s something vague and bland that couldn’t offend anyone."

Defending Cable

Tim Carmody defends cable from the online subscription onslaught: "[I]n the last decade, we’ve been steadily rediscovering the virtues and working to recreate a model that’s existed for a long time, which is vastly more popular than anything comparable that began on the web, and which we kvetch about endlessly. Most of us want cable TV or something very much like it. We just refuse to admit it."

Dickie Bennett's Hair

Yes, a blog post devoted to the artful mane of Justified's Dickie Bennett.

NYT on GoT

In all-too-typical fashion, a New York Times TV review is kicking up dust; this time it's about Game of Thrones, and some are saying it's not being fair to the show and its fans.

News Lawsuit

A California lawsuit brought by a deaf rights group against CNN for its lack of closed-captioning on online videos could change how news outlets deal with online content.

Mad Men's Style

Tom + Lorenzo have a great photo-essay (part 1, part 2) on fashion and design in the most recent Mad Men episode (so spoilers, obvs).

Premium Channel Revenue

With HBO's Game of Thrones as her primary example, June Thomas explores how premium channels make money when relatively only a small fraction of viewers watch their big original productions.

Bones Renewed

Bones will get an eighth season on Fox.

Better Off Ted & Race

Noel Murray highlights an episode of Better Off Ted for its deft portrait of racism.

Whitney & Bisexuality

Alyssa Rosenberg praises Whitney for getting bisexuality right.

Single-cam v. Multi-cam

Jaime Weinman assesses where things stand in the single-cam / multi-cam sitcom world.

Wednesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: American Idol (Fox), Survivor: One World (CBS)
-Losers: Whitney (NBC), Are You There, Chelsea? (NBC), One Tree Hill (CW), Bent (NBC), America’s Next Top Model – British Invasion (CW), Rock Center With Brian Williams (NBC)
-Total Viewers: Fox: 17.15 million, CBS: 8.29, ABC: 4.28, NBC: 3.14, CW: 1.34
-Adults 18-49: Fox: 5.0 rating/14 share, CBS: 2.1/ 6, ABC: 1.3/ 4, NBC: 1.0/ 3, CW: 0.6/ 2

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Daniel Fienberg's coverage.

Conservatives Against & For FCC Regulation

T.C. Sottek says Congressional conservatives and lobbyists are going hard after the FCC to limit regulation of the media marketplace. But one conservative group wants to make sure retrans consent rules are kept in place.

Netflix's Cable Risk

John Jannarone would be Netflix taking a big risk by seeking out a cable deal.

2.5 Deals

Ashton Kutcher and Jon Cryer have reportedly been offered new two-year deals for Two and a Half Men, but the offers don't include raises, which could be a problem.

CBS Blocks Trek Script

CBS has prevented a amateur web series from adapting an unused Star Trek script.

Cartoon Network Upfronts

Cartoon Network announced seven new series at its upfronts.

Dodgers Bill

The Los Angeles Dodgers have a new owner, and Joe Flint says bigger cable bills will come along too, with the deal tied to potential TV deals and thus justifying the big price tag. Will Richmond wonders if non-sports fans will revolt.

Downton & Masterpiece

PBS has released additional Nielsen stats about the demos who watched Downton Abbey, showing huge increases in male viewership of Masterpiece over last year. In other news, a philanthropist has given $1 million to Masterpiece.

SAG-AFTRA to Continue

A judge declined to toss out a SAG-AFTRA merger vote, so the results will be announced Friday.

Weiner to Direct Film

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner will make his feature film directing debut with an Owen Wilson/Zach Galifianakis/Amy Poehler comedy.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kids' Advertisers Wary of Digital

Mike Shields reports that kids' advertisers are still more comfortable with TV than digital-only content, fearing that inappropriate content is only a click away online.

Subchannel Value

TVB recommends greater exploitation of digital subchannel outlets as a way for broadcasters to battle against cable.

iPad Usage Studied

ABC and Nielsen are partnering on a study into how people use iPads, including for video consumption.

AMC's President

AMC president Charlie Collier spoke to Ad Age about how he led AMC's move toward original programming, how it's trying to sustain success, and an upcoming move into reality TV.

News Going Social

Local stations are embracing social media in the US, while Britain' ITV has redesigned its news site to echo social media, especially Twitter.

White House Sitcom

An HD channel outlet called Entertainment Studios has ordered 104 episodes of a family sitcom focusing on an African-American presidential family.

New Flow Issue

Check out new work on Flow: Nicole Starosielski with "Subaquatic Frames," Michael Kackman with "Waking People Up, pt. II: Because There’s a War on For Your Mind," Thomas Swiss with "How My Poem Became a Short Film On TV (After Being Art In A Museum)," and Herman Gray with "Gloved Hands, Pressed Uniforms, and Silver Trays" (that'd be on Downton Abbey, as well as The Help).

Hating The Killing

Willa Paskin explores The Killing hate.

Bad Luck Impact

The cancellation of Luck means production jobs lost in LA.

News Corp. Financial Data

Frontline has a neat graphic detailing the division of News Corp.'s revenue by medium over the past decade, which shows newspapers being eclipsed by TV and cable programming revenue.

Flat-Panel Sales Down

Flat-panel TV set sales are down, primarily from flooded inventory and saturation.

Tuesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: NCIS (CBS), Dancing With the Stars (ABC), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS)
-Tired: The Biggest Loser (NBC)
-Losers: Raising Hope (Fox), 90210 (CW), Breaking In (Fox), Ringer (CW), Fashion Star (NBC)
-Total Viewers: CBS: 14.55 million, ABC: 11.91, NBC: 5.08, Fox: 3.64, CW: 1.23
-Adults 18-49: CBS: 2.8 rating/8 share, ABC: 2.3/ 6, NBC: 1.8/ 5, Fox: 1.7/ 5, CW: 0.6/ 2

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Daniel Fienberg's coverage.

Cable Ratings Drop

Daniel Frankel highlights the recent ratings drops for many cable channels and wonders if ad-supported cable's decade-long run of ratings increases is ending.

Modern Family Raises

The Modern Family cast is reportedly demanding big raises for next season.

Smash Assessment

Jaime Weinman checks in on the pros and cons of Smash.

Revolution Down, GH Up

The Revolution's poor ratings put its future in doubt, which may mean good things for General Hospital.

Kids Today

Alan Sepinwall wonders why there are so many terrible teen characters on shows these days.

News Corp. Taking on ESPN

News Corporation wants to start an ESPN rival, but Peter Kafka points out that Murdoch tried that already 17 years ago. More from Sports Business Journal.

Showtime's Rebirth

Lacey Rose delves into how Showtime has become relevant again.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Schmidt's Manhood

Willa Paskin says The New Girl's Schmidt represents a "fascinating archetype of 20-something masculinity."

Monday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: Dancing With the Stars (ABC), The Voice (NBC), Castle (ABC)
-Losers: Alcatraz (Fox), Movie – Confessions of a Shopaholic (CW)
-Total Viewers: ABC: 15.79 million, NBC: 9.98, CBS: 6.39, NBC: 4.73, CW: 949,000
-Adults 18-49: NBC: 3.7 rating/10 share, ABC: 2.9/ 8, CBS: 1.9/ 5, Fox: 1.5/ 4, CW: 0.4/ 1

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Daniel Fienberg's coverage.

Xbox Update

Starting today, Xbox live users will get access to Comcast On Demand and HBO Go services, and Comcast says access of its video-on-demand service through Xbox won't count against the user's broadband data caps, a factor which is stirring up net neutrality issues. More from Scott M. Fulton III and Stacey Higginbotham.

Non-Essential Channels

Tim Molloy names four channels he thinks we could live without, including VH-1.

Sopranos Oral History

Sopranos cast and crew talked with Vanity Fair about the show.

Addressing Representations

Orrin Konheim explores the drama and comedy of misery in Wilfred, and also considers the representation of asexuality in the Big Bang Theory.

Mad Men With Retro Ads

Mad Men' return episode will air in the UK on the satellite channel Sky Atlantic with 1960s ads played during commercial breaks.

Afghanistan's Culture Wars

Matthew Green talks with Afghanistan media mogul Saad Mohseni about the cultural challenges of TV in his country.

Dumb Dads in Ads

Seth Stevenson says the dumb dad trope has shown up a lot in ads lately, such as for Huggies.

Tribune-DirecTV Showdown

DirecTV and Tribune stations are locked in a retrans fee dispute, and subscribers could be losing WGN soon.

Al Jazeera Won't Air Footage

Al Jazeera has video of the French shooting rampage but has decided not to air it.

Good TVeets

Monday, March 26, 2012

NBC Fail

Ken Levine points to another NBC scheduling failure with Bent, which has undeservedly flopped in the ratings.

End of the Golden Age

Andy Greenwald explains why he sees Mad Men as the end of a Golden Age of drama.

The Wire's the Greatest

Matt Zoller Zeitz explains why he thinks The Wire is the greatest TV drama of the past 25 years, just edging out The Sopranos.

FX's Risks

Amy Chozik and Bill Carter profile FX and its targeting of young men with edgy programming, and Carter gets the story behind FX's bet on Louis CK.

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Daniel Fienberg's coverage.

Mad Men returned on Sunday to set a series record, though Walking Dead's records are way safe.

Hunger Games to ABC Family

ABC Family has picked up the rights to air the first two Hunger Games movies.

End Recaps

Rich Juzwiak says he'll stop doing weekly episode recaps: "No more thankless work that posits the writer as an entertainer while the readers demand accordingly. (The emails come regularly: "Where is it?!") No more being bound to the whims of a show that could at any moment take a turn for the shitty, and will, if nothing else, thwart my social life. I want to be a normal person who's watching TV, not some frantic note-taking instant replayer." Jaime Weinman responds.

Complex TV Book

Jason Mittell has posted the intro and first chapter of his forthcoming book on complex TV and invites feedback.

Soap Opera Weekly Shuttered

Another nail in the soap coffin: Soap Opera Weekly is no more.

Variety For Sale

The trade paper Variety is up for sale, which Anne Thompson sees as sad.

Smash Wil Return

Smash will be back for a second season but without its creator. Jace Lacob tries to figure out where season 1 has gone wrong.

Milch Interview

The next few posts will catch up on a few things I missed over the last week but wanted to get up here, starting with Alan Sepinwall interviewing David Milch about the premature end of Luck.

Mad Men Reviews

From Alan Sepinwall, Maureen Ryan, Matt Zoller Seitz, Emily Nussbaum, Ken Tucker, Todd VanDerWerff, Mike Hale, Tim Goodman, Nick Campbell, James Poniewozik. And Sepinwall interviews Matthew Weiner about the premiere, as well as John Slattery.

Mad Men TVeets

The blog will be slowly coming back over the next few days (today is my usual packed day, so we won't be up to full speed here just yet), and I managed to catch some Mad Men tweets last night. But a warning: Matthew Weiner would say this is full of spoilers.

Monday, March 19, 2012


Sorry for the lack of updates today. Partly it was just the usual Monday madness, but today was extra mad because I leave tomorrow morning for the annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference, where from Wednesday through Sunday, media studies scholars will gather in Boston to talk about our research and teaching. You can follow the events from afar via the SCMS website's Live! page (where you can find a number of daily blog posts, including my own, which are about teaching-related experiences at the conference) and on Twitter via the #SCMS12 hashtag, plus you can view the schedule.

The most relevant impact as far as this website is that updates will be scarce around here. During the day I'll be going to panels, and in the evening, I'll be hobnobbing with the media studies elite (or just catching up with my buddies who are the dregs of media studies). I'll do my best to post the big stories of the day, and I'll try to retweet anything good on the @N4TVM Twitter account. But you might want to get your TV news elsewhere over the next week. Things will be back to normal by next Tuesday, though.

OWN Layoffs

OWN is laying off 30 people.

Mad Men Flood

Stuart Elliott how everyone's tripping over themselves to cover the return of Mad Men.

Teen Mom Ending

I don't often cite US Weekly here, but they have an exclusive that Teen Mom is ending after this season.

Aereo Likely to Lose

Moody's predicts Aereo will lose in court.

Hulu Tops in Ads

Hulu is an ad machine, reports Anna Heim: "In February, it streamed a whopping 1.5 billion ads, making it the top video ad property in the US."

Thompson Stepping Down

Director General of the BBC Mark Thompson is leaving his post after the Olympics.

New In Media Res

Theme: Religious Representations on TV

  • Monday, March 19, 2012 - Jorie Lagerwey (University of Notre Dame) presents: The Good Wife and Religion for Liberals
  • Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - Rachel Silverman (Embry Riddle University) presents: Queer Jewish Difference 
  • Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - Kyle Conway (University of North Dakota) presents: Questions of Address: The "Me" in "Me and the Mosque" 
  • Thursday, March 22, 2012 - Kelli Marshall (DePaul University) presents: Louie’s "God" As Cathartic Television 
  • Friday, March 23, 2012 - Rossend Sanchez Baro (Universitat Pompeu Fabra) presents: I am the Lord your God

Network News Adds Viewers

A PEJ study finds ratings up for the evening network news, while Fox News is still dominant on cable, though it's dipped a bit. The whole report is here.

Editing TVD

Vampire Diaries editor Nancy Forner takes us through the editing process on the show. (For those studying or teaching TV style, this article is a must-read.)

Nielsen Measuring TV & Online

Brian Stelter reports: "Nielsen says it is ready to sell what many advertisers have been clamoring for: a system that standardizes ratings for television and online ads."

Good TVeets

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Global Content

An online video company called DramaFever is trying to bring Korean dramas and other foreign shows to US audiences. A commenter on that article also highlighted the site Viki for global offerings.

Saturday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. The NCAA tourney is doing quite well in the ratings, both network and cable outlets.

Game Change Lessons

Jeffrey Jones considers what lessons we can learn from Game Change and the real events it covers: "While cable news may be becoming more like entertainment television, and entertainment media may increasingly serve up important truths, citizens will have to be ever more vigilant in recognizing that truth and falsehoods may not always be located where they expect them to be."

C-Span Founder Exiting

Brian Stelter reports on the founder of C-Span stepping down as CEO.

Media Industry News

My media industry news links are up at Antenna, with the latest on Bully, Wal-mart and UltraViolet, and Yahoo suing Facebook.

Cheers on Tape

Ken Levine describes the time Cheers was taped rather than filmed.

Rosie's Disaster

Ramin Setoodeh talks with OWN staffers about what went wrong with Rosie O'Donnell's show.

Good TVeets

PBS & Independence

Patricia Aufderheide raises a red flag at PBS rescheduling two of its most important shows for showcasing independent work, POV and Independent Lens: "PBS’ decision to dump the programs on to a night it had already agreed not to schedule at all apparently was driven by a desire for higher ratings. PBS wants to make room for a new reality program, Market Wars, which is a spin-off of Antiques Road Show. The two programs that feature independent work must have looked like the most dispensable." The NYT has picked up the story.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Chinese Execution Show

A program in China called Interviews Before Execution, which interviewed prisoners before they were executed by the state, has been cancelled. The BBC recently aired a documentary about the show, which may have prompted the cancellation.

Ad-Skipping Toll

Greg Sandoval reports that Microsoft is seeking a patent on technology "that will enable content owners to charge users for skipping over ads or watching a replay."

DH Trial Deadlocked

The jury in the Desperate Housewives trial is deadlocked.

Good TVeets

Friday, March 16, 2012

Blue Collar TV & Politics

June Thomas explores representations of the working class on Raising Hope and The Middle and additionally addresses the political tweets of the shows' female leads.

Rosie Cancelled

Rosie O'Donnell's show on OWN has been cancelled.

Louis CK & Dinner

Alyssa Rosenberg has a thoughtful quote from Louis CK indicating even he didn't think he was a good fit for the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Dinner.

More Terry Ads

Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry, who is running for office as a Democrat for election ad purposes, continues to fight to place ads on local stations.

TAL Retraction

This American Life has retracted a segment on poor working conditions at an Apple factory, and James Poniewozik addresses the issue of truth in journalism at hand. More from Wired.

Beck as Model

Alyssa Rosenberg proposes that Glenn Beck's online success could pose a model for future stand-alone, web-based channels.

Frozen Planet Praised

If you're like me, you've been hooked on Penguin Cam, which has been a marketing campaign for the Discovery series Frozen Planet, which James Poniewozik says is breathtaking.

Indie TV

A discussion of what the television equivalent of independent film went on at South By Southwest.

Grimm Renewed

Coming up a few shows short of CBS's big announcement yesterday, NBC has announced the renewal of one show: Grimm.

Scheduling Advice

Josef Adalian has some sharp scheduling suggestions for the networks.

Luck Cancelled

In the wake of a third horse death, HBO has cancelled the previously-renewed Luck. Jaime Weinman reacts, as does Alan Sepinwall and Maureen Ryan and Willa Paskin. More from Dave Itzkoff and Natalie Abrams. Also, Forbes reports on some disturbing necropsy findings.

Weatherman Suit

A Los Angeles weatherman has filed suit against CBS for job discrimination, claiming he was passed over at two stations in favor of less experienced young women.

Community Ratings

Josef Adalian goes beyond the numbers in analyzing last night's Community ratings.

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: Missing (ABC), American Idol (Fox), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
-Losers: 2012 NCAA Basketball (CBS), Up All Night (NBC), The Secret Circle (CW)
-Total Viewers: Fox: 12.09 million, ABC: 9.08, CBS: 4.72, NBC: 4.59, CW: 2.12
-Adults 18-49: Fox: 3.4 rating/10 share, ABC: 2.4/ 7, NBC: 1.9/ 5, CBS: 1.7/ 5, CW: 1.0/ 3

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Daniel Fienberg's coverage. Some good news for Community.

Multiple Campaigns

Stuart Elliott discusses how Geico has succeeded at running multiple ad campaigns simultaneously.

ESPN Screens

eMarketer interviewed ESPN's president for ESPN’s global customer marketing and sales about how the company exploits its brand across multiple platforms.

Cable Not Worried

Cable operators say they aren't worried about the competitive threat of over-the-top services.

Friday Fun

TV stars demand spoiler rules


Community Reviews

Check out reviews of last night's Community return from Alan Sepinwall, Todd VanDerWerff, Alyssa Rosenberg, and Willa Paskin.

Sexy Hardees Ad

Noel Holston calls out a new Hardee's ad campaign for being akin to soft-core porn.

Chatterboxing in the UK

New term alert: Chatterboxing, or talking online or via text with others while watching TV. Apparently British viewers are doing it a lot now.

Tax Breaks for UK Drama

A tax break plan in Britain is intended to keep UK dramas filming in the country. Maggie Brown says this is crucial for the future of British drama.

Awake Twist

Steve Heisler talks with Kyle Killen and Howard Gordon about why they saved Awake's twist for episode two rather than reveal it in the pilot.

2011 Ad Revenue Down

Brian Steinberg reports that ad revenue was mostly down at the networks across 2011, with only Fox and the Spanish-language nets on the upswing.

Spring Debuts

Eric Deggans discusses the new trend of premiering shows like Missing and Awake in the spring.

GoT DVD Record

Game of Thrones has set a HBO DVD sales record.

CNN Ratings

CNN gets talked about most in social media, but still lags in the ratings that count.

Couric Premiere

Katie Couric's talk show will premiere on September 10. Now the only question is if General Hospital will be around that day too or not.

Good TVeets

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cannibalization Fears

Andrew Wallenstein addresses the concern that online deals like Amazon-Discovery one will cannibalize TV viewership: "The addition of shows like Discovery's "Dirty Jobs," TLC's "Say Yes to the Dress" and "Animal Planet's "Whale Wars" to Amazon's Prime Instant Video may be a drop in the ocean of TV shows and movies getting licensed by subscription VOD services including Netflix and Hulu Plus from studio libraries all over town. But in aggregate, many believe the windfall hitting conglom bottom lines in recent months could come at the expense of advertising revenues set to shrink if eyeballs move from linear TV channels to digital alternatives."

Paying for Content

Ingrid Lunden reports on a Nieslen study about what content we pay for and are willing to pay for on tablets.

Apple TV Praise

MG Siegler loves the new Apple TV box.

Buzz & Ratings

Nielsen says social media buzz is starting to correlate more with ratings.

Dunham & Twitter

At South By Southwest, Lena Dunham, creator of the new HBO show Girls, talked about how Twitter has affected her writing.

Killen AMA

Awake (and Lone Star) creator Kyle Killen has just launched an AMA thread on Reddit.

Wednesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: American Idol (Fox), Survivor: One World (CBS), Modern Family (ABC), Criminal Minds (CBS), CSI (CBS)
-Losers: Whitney (NBC), Are You There, Chelsea? (NBC), One Tree Hill (CW), America’s Next Top Model: British Invasion (CW), Happy Endings (ABC), Revenge for Real (ABC), Rock Center With Brian Williams (NBC)
-Total Viewers: Fox: 17.88 million, CBS: 11.05, ABC: 6.37, NBC: 2.86, CW: 1.27
-Adults 18-49: Fox: 5.3 rating/15 share, CBS: 2.8/ 8, ABC: 2.2/ 6, NBC: 0.8/ 2, CW: 0.6/ 2

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Daniel Fienberg's coverage.

Cablevision Crumbling

Claire Atkinson reports that execs are fleeing Cablevision, anticipating big changes ahead.

The Economy on TV

James Poniewozik sees a lagging economy represented in a fair share of TV shows. Alyssa Rosenberg responds.

Debating Community

Todd VanDerWerff and Steven Hyden disagree about Community but manage to have a civilized conversation about it. Elsewhere, Alyssa Rosenberg tackles the argument that Community's characters are too static and empty.

Nick Originals

Nickelodeon is loading up on originals for next season.

Hamm Interview

Mo Ryan interviews Jon Hamm, part 1, part 2.

Beck Making Money

Jeff Bercovici determines the money Glenn Beck is making online, pushing $100 million.

Hulu's Bigger

Hulu now offers a bigger video player.

Black Sitcom Problem

Michael Arceneaux wonders why the black working class is so underrepresented in sitcoms.

AMC Profits Up

Anthony Crupi reports that The Walking Dead has helped boost AMC's value. But the results were lower than expected, with write-offs from Rubicon hitting.


Another full travel day for me, so no updates til the sun does down.

Good TVeets

HBO Go Everywhere

HBO Go is available to most subscribers now.

Why Finish Shows?

June Thomas explores why she has chronic issues with not watching all of a TV show.

Harmon Interview

IGN talks with Community creator Dan Harmon.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

HBO Piracy in Chile

ReadWriteWeb reports on an HBO piracy crackdown in Chile.

CW Shortens Delay

Andrew Wallenstein reports that The CW is trying to discourage piracy by shortening its streaming availability delay to only eight hours. Daniel Frankel considers what this means.

TV Movie Challenge

Wayne Friedman says that despite headlines touting Game Change's success, it's still a tough reality for TV movies today.

24 Delayed

The 24 movie has been put on hold.

Helping With Retrans

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski says he wants to find a way to help smaller cable operators when they're posed in retrans battles against large station group owners.

New Salon Critic

Willa Paskin introduces herself as Salon's new TV critic.

AMC-Suddenlink Settle

AMC Networks has come to a carriage fee deal with Suddenlink.

BBC Downloads

The BBC's chief exec confirmed that the corporation is planning to offer a download service called Project Barcelona.

Cablevision Expands Everywhere

Cablevision has expanded its TV Everywhere offerings, with HBO Go among other services now available.

The Middle on Hallmark

Hallmark Channel has picked up The Middle reruns.

High School Sports Boost

High school sports are becoming ever more important in local TV programming.

Scheduling Battle

Britain's Got Talent on ITV and The Voice on the BBC will be fighting for Saturday night supremacy in a few weeks, possibly even at the same time. Update: The time slot overlap will be for 20 minutes.

Mad Men at PaleyFest

Alan Sepinwall summarizes the Mad Men panel at PaleyFest.

Community Syndication

Comedy Central has picked up syndication rights to Community starting in fall 2013.

CBS Hits Renewal Button

CBS just announced a massive renewal of 16 shows.

Wire Bracket Dissed

Peter Labuza thinks Grantland's The Wire character bracket does a disservice to the show.

Aereo Launches

As the legal battles continue, Aereo goes live in New York.

Mainstream No More

Simon Houpt says the mainstream media doesn't exist as a singular entity anymore.

TV Everywhere Challenges

Will Richmond discusses the challenges to making TV Everywhere and UltraViolet plans work.

Limbaugh & Louis CK

James Poniewozik reads the recent Rush Limbaugh and Louis CK issues in terms of the state of political argument. And Brian Stelter updates us on the Limbaugh boycott.

Return of The Killing

Adam Sternbergh discusses the problem The Killing has upon its return of winning back disgruntled viewers. And Alan Sepinwall highlights the challenge The Killing and other mystery shows have in the Twitter age.

Tuesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: NCIS R (CBS), NCIS: Los Angeles R (CBS), New Girl (Fox)
-Losers: 90210 (CW), Cougar Town (ABC), I Hate My Teenage Daughter (Fox), Breaking In (Fox), Ringer (CW), Fashion Star (NBC)
-Total Viewers: CBS: 10.42 million, NBC: 5.45, ABC: 5.44, Fox: 4.23, CW: 1.16
-Adults 18-49: CBS, NBC and Fox: 1.5 rating/5 share each, ABC: 1.4/ 4. CW: 0.5/ 1

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratingsCable ratings.
Daniel Fienberg's coverage.

History Original

History Channel is developing an original scripted series on the Vikings.

Oreos on Modern Family

Modern Family product placement deal will have Luke eating Oreos.

Asian Media Landscape

Nielsen has a new report on digital media consumption in Asia.

Amazon-Discovery Deal

Amazon has signed a deal with Discovery for streaming previous series of Discovery and Animal Planet shows.

Original Comedy on MySpace

Fox Digital is debuting a comedy series on MySpace, sponsored by Taco Bell.

Mad Men & Race

Two Tanner Colby essays on Mad Men and race: one saying the show has treated race bravely and accurately, another saying season 5 could bring race more to the forefront.

Santorum Accuses Fox News

Rick Santorum thinks Fox News favors Mitt Romney.

HBO Drops Lee

HBO has decided not to pick up a Spike Lee project.

Good TVeets

Another Luck Death

Another horse has died during production of Luck, prompting the show to cease filming with horses while an investigation is conducted.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

More AMW

You may not have realized America's Most Wanted is still airing new episodes (or should I say I didn't realize it), but it is, and Lifetime has ordered more of them.

LA Times Paywall

The LA Times paywall has finally gone up for me, which is a bummer, as I link to it often here. I try not to link to things that most readers can't access (especially me), so we'll see how this goes. They allow 15 articles for free per month, so I guess I'll just have to be very selective. Just a head's up.

Smash & Social Media

Austin Morris is baffled by the Smash character Twitter accounts.

Big 12 Deal

Michael Smith and John Ourand report that ESPN and the Big 12 conference are on the verge of a big TV rights deal.

Grylls Fired

Discovery has told Bear Grylls his services aren't needed anymore.

Tax Credits

Richard Verrier talks with Walking Dead producer Gale Ann Hurd about the value of production tax credits.

Deal or No Deal Gambling?

The UK Gambling Commission thinks Deal or No Deal might be gambling, not game showing. John Plunkett describes: "Deal or No Deal could be breaking the law because the format, which features 22 different boxes containing various amounts of money from 1p up to £250,000, does not involve an element of skill. Non-skill games played for profit require a gambling licence."

Don & Roger Slash Vid

A creative fan has re-edited bits of Mad Men to give the impression that Don Draper and Roger Sterling are gay and get outed. The creator describes: "We love watching powerful men run into the walls created by their traditional masculinity. I wanted to tell a story where Don subverts rather than sells traditional maleness to finally give our hero some relief."

Nielsen Alternative

The intrepid folks at TV Addict are trying to drum up support and money to develop an alternative to Nielsen ratings, a website that will track viewing habits: "100% of the money raised during this drive will go directly to designing and developing a website that will (a) give the average American television viewer the opportunity to report on what, how and when they're watching television via foursquare style check-ins, and (b) publicly and freely share that data the very next day, giving network executives, advertisers, media outlets and anyone else who is interested a broader picture of the modern day television audience."

Female Friendships

Katie Stroh praises Parks and Recreation for offering one of the few genuine female friendships on TV.

DH Trial

Harriet Ryan covers the latest in the Desperate Housewives trial. Follow Maria Elana Fernandez on Twitter for up-to-the-moment coverage, including a new twist playing out right now.

Update: The battery charges against Marc Cherry have been dropped.

Hallmark Revamp

Hallmark Channel is undergoing an overhaul.

The Lure of Violence

Tom Jacobs reports on a new study finding that marketing violence can lure TV viewers in, but they may actually prefer it when less violence is depicted.

Twitter & TV Follow-Up

James Poniewozik reports back from his Twitter and TV panel at South By Southwest.

Monday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Winners: The Voice (NBC), The Bachelor (ABC): The Bachelor: The Women Tell All (ABC)
-Disappointing: Smash (NBC)
-Losers: Alcatraz (Fox)

-Total Viewers: NBC: 11.93 million, ABC: 9.34, CBS: 7.10, Fox: 4.32, CW: 700,000
-Adults 18-49: NBC: 4.2 rating/11 share, ABC: 3.0/ 8, CBS: 1.9/ 5, Fox: 1.4/ 4, CW: 0.2/ 1

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. The Bachelor hit a finale low. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Daniel Fienberg's coverage.

Game Change Ratings

The ratings for HBO's Game Change were strong.

Intel TV

The latest company rumored to be working on a virtual pay TV service is Intel. Will Richmond says the odds of success are long.

Where Canoe Went Wrong

Chuck Ross outlines the development and demise of the Canoe interactive advertising project.

Missing Mr. Rogers

Mary Elizabeth Williams discusses what we lost when Fred Rogers died.

GetGlue's Addictions

June Thomas discusses the addictive properties of GetGlue, including the practice of hoarding badges. She also generated a great Twitter list of people who tweet smart stuff about TV.

Strained Laughs

Ken Levine has a fun topic: reasons why it can be tough to get a multi-cam audience laughing (besides a show not being very funny).

Cleavage Defended

BBC morning show presenter Susanna Reid defends her display of cleavage at breakfast time.

Buffy Love

Check out 115 reasons to love Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Viacom Blog

Viacom has started a blog, with links to news stories and original content, like an interview with the executive vice president of Logo.

Spanish-Language Boom

Sam Thielman highlights the boom in Spanish-language TV, from stalwarts like Univision to a flood of new startups, and also observs the growth of Hispanic-focused content online.

St. Elsewhere Examined

In his latest entry examining shows that made it past 100 episodes, Todd VanDerWerff explores one of my all-time favorites, St. Elsewhere.

The Bachelor's Manipulation

Eric Freeman discusses how The Bachelor manufactures sincerity.

Aereo Countersues

Aereo is fighting back with a countersuit against the networks.

Univision Change

Gabriel Beltrone talks with a Univision exec about the outlet's consolidation of broadcast and digital branding units in order to "better serve advertisers with content tie-ins that span the network’s TV, radio, online and mobile platforms."

2.5 Men at PaleyFest

Philiana Ng once again got PaleyFest duty, last night with Two and a Half Men.

Good TVeets

Note: There are Bachelor spoilers in here, so those tweets are at the end.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Community's Return

Bill Carter discusses Community's hiatus and return this week.

Good Wife Interview

Jace Lacob talks with Michelle and Robert King about where The Good Wife stands right now. There's excellent info on here on the storytelling decisions for season 3 and the reasons behind them. Also, here's a brief discussion of Caitlin's choice in last night's episode.

Walking Dead & Diversty

Aymar Jean Christian laments that The Walking Dead isn't doing more with its potential for diversity. (Link fixed)

Louis CK & Context

Sean O'Neal covers the fallout around Louis CK first accepting then pulling out of Radio And Television Congressional Correspondents dinner after Greta Van Susteren complained.

Disney Upfronts

Disney has announced the programming slate for its family of kids' channels next season.

Showtime Returns

Homeland and Dexter return to Showtime on Sept 30.

TV Holds Strong

Anthony Crupi says networks and cable are still holding their own in media revenue.

Univision v. NBC

Univision has hired a former NBC exec to help persuade advertisers to put their money in Spanish-language programming rather than at networks like NBC, which Univision frequently beats in 18-49 ratings.

Netflix Branding

Netflix has started launching branded pages for TV channels, hinting at a possible future as a cable package substitute, while Charter has defended linking to Netflix on its website from a broadband service perspective, if not a cable operator one.

Madness Revenue

Toni Fitzgerald outlines the revenue at stake during the NCAA men's basketball tourney.