Thursday, May 31, 2012

Charter Rebranding

Charter Communications is considering a rebranding effort.

Battleground Changed the Game

Janko Roettgers considers how Hulu's Battleground has changed the web TV game.

Mad Men & Advertisers

Bloomberg's Diane Brady delves into how marketers feel about their association with Mad Men.

DVR Gridlock 2012-13

Daniel Fienberg is launching a daily analysis of the fall schedule and viewing habits, starting with Sunday. Then Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.

Too Much Murder

Alyssa Rosenberg expresses frustration with the predominance of murder on American crime shows and praises the late No. 1 Ladies' Detective Story and The Unusuals for moving beyond that.

New TV History Site

Starting June 11, a new TV history website will emerge with a great schedule of reviews and discussions.

Emmys Change

The TV Academy is merging the Emmy Awards for leading and supporting acting in a miniseries/movie. Lifetime is not happy.

Checking Out Conan

Andy Greenwald looks beyond TBS touting Conan O'Brien's multi-platform value and checks out what his TV show is actually like: "The truth is, after being inundated with visions of just what a truly “pro-digital, post-ratings” show aimed exclusively at “engaged” young people might look like, it’s hard not to be disappointed with the reality of Conan."

Upfronts Deals Start

Fox and ABC have started to secure upfronts deals.

Nurse Jackie Renewed

Nurse Jackie has been renewed with a new showrunner.

Mobile Viewing Studies

Will Richmond highlights the main takeaways from four new studies into mobile and online video viewing. (link fixed)

Remotes Then & Now

William Grimes looks back on the legacy of the remote control.

Idol Retool

Bill Carter reports that American Idol is getting overhauled.

The Wire Oral History

Maxim (yes, I know) offers up an oral history of The Wire.

Netflix Strategies

Paul Bond presents thoughts from Netflix's chief content officer about where the service is headed next.

Australian Convergence Policy

Terry Flew discusses media convergence policy in Australia.

Actress Roundtable

THR sat down with January Jones, Julianna Margulies, Claire Danes, Emmy Rossum, Kyra Sedgwick, and Mireille Enos to chat about their shows and acting. Video footage of the roundtable.

Community Fan Art Exhibit

An LA art museum is hosting an exhibition of Community fan art.

TV Locations

Brandon Nowalk puts in a pin in every US map location where a TV show is set.

Fox v. Dish Halted

A judge has put Fox's suit against Dish Network for the Auto Hop feature on hold.

Cable News Ratings Declines

Bill Carter says it isn't just CNN experiencing ratings declines; MSNBC and Fox News are too. Turner's CEO is unhappy about CNN's decline.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Netflix as CW Savior

Daniel Frankel reports on Netflix's content chief implying that Netflix saved The CW.

Hulu's Bind

Will Oremus notes that Hulu and its owners want users paying subscriptions, which would naturally lead them to make free Hulu mediocre.

Self-Esteem Impact

Jezebel reports on a study finding that "television exposure was responsible for a decrease in self-esteem in both white and black girls and black boys, but it led to an increase in self-esteem in white boys." Alyssa Rosenberg adds thoughts.

Multi-Screen Viewing

Two new studies indicate that mobile devices and multiple screen viewing are becoming ever more common for TV viewership.

Univision Anchor Power

Laura M. Colarusso speculates that Univison's star news anchor Jorge Ramos could have an impact on the presidential election.

Fox & Friends' Obama Criticism

Fox News' morning show Fox and Friends has twice aired a four-minute segment that some characterize as an anti-Obama ad. The segment was not authorized at the senior exec level, and the producer behind it has lost a CNN job offer. James Poniewozik deconstructs the video. John Hudson calls out MSNBC for an anti-Romney video aired during Hardball in February.

Sorkin Interview

Peter Kafka live-blogged an Aaron Sorkin interview. Video of the interview will be available later. Funding

Janko Roettgers describes, a DVR & streaming device looking for Kickstarter funding.

Football Ad Sales

CBS is briskly selling ads for college football next season. Also, the Super Bowl is about half sold.

All-Time Ad Complaints

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has released a list of the top ten most complained-about TV ads of all time.

Online Video Growth

Janko Roettgers reports on the growth of online video viewership.

Mad Men Style

Tom and Lorenzo tackle "The Other Woman."

Mad Men Plot

Both James Poniewozik and Linda Holmes express major reservations with a certain Mad Men plotline from Sunday's episode. And Jaguar's VP of brand development discusses the company's reaction. Update: Christine Hendricks has chimed in, and Ken Tucker has another take. Margaret Lyons also adds thoughts. As does Emily Nussbaum and Jaime Weinman.

British Game Show Reviews

John Teti has launched an intriguing set of comprehensive reviews of British game shows. Here's the introductory entry, which includes an assessment of Pointless, and reviews of The ChaseThe Exit List, and The Countdownwhich he describes as "the most British game show of them all."

Google Wins Piracy Case

Google won a YouTube piracy case in France, which found that the website isn't liable for hosting copyrighted material as long as it tries to remove the content once alerted to the violation.

Hating & Fandom

Noel Murray addresses the function of "hating" in sports and entertainment fandom.

Apple TV News

Rumors say that production has begun on the Apple TV set and that it could arrive in December. Update: Apple's CEO admits that TV technology is an area of intense interest for the company, though he didn't confirm any rumors.

10pm Drama Problem

Anthony Crupi highlights how poorly the 10pm network drama slot has done this season. Update: Kevin Downey says the networks have high hopes to start fixing this problem in the fall, as do affiliates who want better lead-ins to the local news.

GOP Election Spending

Politico reports that GOP backers expect to spend $1 billion this election year, with a lot of that appearing on TV.

Another CNN Addition

CNN has added John Berman from ABC News to a morning show.

Canadian Upfronts

John Doyle gives an overview of Canadian upfronts week.

Family Guy Emmy Controversy

An Emmy mailer from the producers of Family Guy is raising controversy.

Hatfields & McCoys Doing Well

The Hatfields and McCoys miniseries on History is drawing big ratings and mostly held up on night two. And it finished well. Josef Adalian analyzes the demographics.

Aereo's Not New

Brad Adgate says that Aereo isn't a new concept -- it basically echoes how the cable industry started -- but a different era brings a different reaction from broadcasters. Update: A judge listened to arguments about Aereo today.

Yet More Singing

NBC is confident we want another singing competition show, this one incorporating negotiation.

Demo Focus Questioned

Brian Lowry questions TV's disregard for older viewers (behind Variety paywall).

Good TVeets

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bieber's Canadian Idol

Myles McNutt traces out the elision of Carly Rae Jepsen's Canadian Idol past in favor of a Justin Bieber discovery story.

Tops on iPlayer

The three episodes of Sherlock's second series top the list of most-watched on BBC's iPlayer this year, with the first episode, which includes female nudity, well ahead in the lead slot. Also, two EastEnders episodes made the top ten.

Flat Screen Sales

Daniel Frankel notes that while flat screen sales have slowed in the US, set sales are burgeoning in some other markets.

Summer Programming

June Thomas explores why summer is a slow time for networks and a hot time for cable.

Amazon on Xbox

Xbox 360 users can now access Amazon Instant.

10 Summer Shows

Alan Sepinwall highlights ten summer shows to be excited about.

Bourdain Joining CNN

Anthony Bourdain is exiting the Travel Channel and joining CNN to host a weekend show. David Carr has analysis.

Auto Hop Lawsuits

Jon Lafayette catches us up on the Auto Hop lawsuits.

Postwar Amateur Experimenters

Max Dawson has posted a conference paper on postwar television and the amateur experimenter, in which he offers "a perspective on 1950s television that stresses the mutability of its technologies and the resourcefulness of its viewers, and that furthermore is sensitive to the hyper-local variations that characterized the medium’s early reception practices."

TiVo on the Go

Will Richmond describes a new TiVo feature that allows users to watch DVRed programs on an iPad or iPhone.

Dirk Gently Cancelled

Many British viewers are unhappy about the cancellation of the drama Dirk Gently due to BBC budget cuts. This comes on the heels of the BBC cancelling The Fades, which subsequently won a Bafta Award for Best Drama.

What Harry's Law Tells Us

Jaime Weinman analyzes what we can draw from the cancellation of Harry's Law in terms of advertiser and network indifference to over-50 viewers and the survival of the current television model.

Parks & Rec Ratings

Spotted traces out Parks and Recreation's 18-49 ratings history.

The Voice Changes

With The Voice seeing ratings drops following the blind auditions in multiple international incarnations, changes are afoot.

Absentee Mothers

Charlotte Howell discusses the threat of absentee mothers in Revenge and Grimm.

US & Canada Top 20s

TV Addict lists the top 20 shows for the US and Canada side-by-side.

Moving to Mobile

Stats show a significant rise in mobile access of the BBC's iPlayer over desktop access.

Connecting Screens

Cory Bergman describes Yahoo's attempt to link second screen apps to connected TVs.

Local Sharing

Brian Stelter looks at how local stations are sharing resources to produce news, which federal regulators may find problematic.

Girls Comments

The AV Club reviews of Girls have apparently become a hotbed of misogyny and discussion of misogyny. Todd VanDerWerff's response in the latest episode's comments section is the best place to start if you have to stomach to explore the quagmire. Ryan McGee and Corey Atad chime in, as does Alyssa Rosenberg.

Good TVeets

Monday, May 28, 2012

Awake as Depression

Anne Moore reads Awake through the lens of depression.

Rebranding Sheen

Larry Getlen discusses FX's efforts to market Charlie Sheen's Anger Management.

Complete Season Ratings

TV By the Numbers has the whole season's ranking of 18-49 ratings, from #1 (Sunday Night Football) to #195 (LA Complex). Reality Blurred highlights the reality shows on the list. Rick Porter isolates the top shows by network.

The Passionate Fan

Emily Nussbaum explores the Community and Doctor Who fan communities: "Cult shows, such as Doctor Who and Community, often have this quality: they shrug off the condescension that people have toward their “lower” genres, using their constraints to find a greater freedom. When you look at a show like that from a distance, it might seem too narrow to contain much of interest. But it’s so much larger when you’re on the inside." Alyssa Rosenberg adds thoughts.

New In Media Res

Theme: Connected Viewing

  • Monday, May 28, 2012 - Jennifer Holt (University of California, Santa Barbara) presents: Welcome to Connected Viewing 
  • Tuesday, May 29, 2012 - Sharon Strover (University of Texas at Austin) presents: Beyond Flow 
  • Wednesday, May 30, 2012 - Greg Steirer (University of Pennsylvania) presents: Secondary Markets and Digital Media 
  • Thursday, May 31, 2012 - Aynne Kokas (University of California, Los Angeles) presents: Global Stardom, Local Platforms: Daniel Shiao’s Shanghai Calling and International Digital Distribution 
  •  Friday, June 1, 2012 - Ethan Tussey (University of California, Santa Barbara) presents: "Connected Viewing" on HBO Go: Enhancement or Mobile DVD Extras?

Bafta Winners

The Bafta TV awards were handed out yesterday; Mark Lawson has analysis.

Good TVeets

The internet is being a jerk to me this morning, so I'm not able to embed the top 3 tweets. But there are a whole ton of them after the jump, including, I warn you, Mad Men spoilers.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Media Industry News

My latest media industry news links post is up at Antenna, with info on Google+, Cannes, newspapers in crisis, and Spotify.

Good TVeets

Daniels on TV

Greg Daniels talks with The Newsroom star Jeff Daniels about adapting to TV.

Summer Preview

Robert Lloyd lists the shows coming along this summer.

TV Loyalty Program

June Thomas describes Viggle, an app that offers you rewards for watching TV, including ads.

Pitch Problems

Devin Leonard says AMC's The Pitch doesn't work but is still revealing: "It makes for lousy television, but it reveals quite a bit about why there is so much execrable advertising."

Barthes & Cultural Criticism

Sam Anderson discusses Roland Barthes' 1957 book Mythologies as the invention of cultural criticism.

Less is More

John C Abell says  he's ok with TWC CEO's threat that services like Auto Hop would lead to less TV production: "Maybe scaling back should be a promise instead of a threat."

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Eurovision Host Issues

Joshua Kucera discusses the conflict between Eurovision host country Azerbaijan's conservativism and the outlandishness of the event and its significant gay following. Update: Protests are leading to arrests.

Transmedia Frictions

John Kennedy reports on a European lecture tour by Henry Jenkins, in which the scholar is discussing the rising conflict between transmedia forms and traditional media owners' control over content and revenue.

CNN International

One of the channels continuing to grow internationally is CNN, and FT discusses CNN International's global news efforts.

International Channel Growth

Michael Johnson discusses how access to international channels is growing for expatriates everywhere.

Watching Together

On the Media talks with David Carr and Matt Zoller Seitz about the decline of group and scheduled TV viewing.

Summer Plans

Scott Collins highlights the more active programming slate for summer this year: "This could be the most-watched summer in TV history. At least, that's what cable and broadcast networks have worked hard to make happen."

Olympics Investment

Daniel Roberts cites what NBC is spending on Olympics coverage and considers the payoff. And Scott Collins highlights a key absence at NBC this time around: Dick Ebersol.

Good TVeets

Friday, May 25, 2012

Stewart Criticism

A former writer for The Daily Show has critical words about Jon Stewart.

Girls Without TV

Brian Stelter looks at how some fans are watching Girls without the luxury of either a TV set or an HBO subscription.

Game of Thrones RPG

Rowan Kaiser and Andrea Peterson discuss problems with the Game of Thrones RPG.

Wiig & SNL's Future

EW contemplates what the future might hold for Kristen Wiig. And Andrew Wallenstein contemplates where SNL is left without her.

Game of Thrones Cinematography

American Cinematographer highlights the work done on Game of Thrones.

TV Everywhere Apps

Wayne Friedman reports on SNL Kagan data finding that people seem to prefer TV Everywhere apps from content owners over pay tv distributors, which raises marketing issues.

Cable Mood

Alex Ben Block reflects on the Cable Show by noting how anxious cable execs are, even as many are doing well.

Un-Aired SNL Bits

Peter Kafka praises SNL for posting unaired sketches online.

Outing Parsons

A New York Times profile of Jim Parsons mentioned only in passing that the Big Bang Theory star is gay, and Chuck Ross believes the news should have been more prominently featured.

Screen Distraction

Steve Smith reports on a new study finding that two-screen viewership cuts heavily into our attention and recall.

Good Guys Among Bad

Andrew Daglas discusses identifying with "anti-anti-heroes" within morally murky narratives in shows like Breaking BadThe Good Wife, and Game of Thrones. 

New Idol Contract

The AP has details of the new contracts American Idol is giving out, which seem to be adjusted for the show's ebb.

Indy 500 Transmedia

Tim Carmody says this weekend's Indianapolis 500 will offer a model of transmedia programming.

Cable Rerun Value

NPR explores why cable channels are quite happy with reruns.

New Cougar Town Showrunner

Cougar Town's new showrunner is Ric Swartzlander.

USA Thesis

Cory Barker earned his MA with a thesis on USA Network's programming and promotion; check it out here.

Adult Swim Rut

John Lichman sees Adult Swim as suffering from a rut of nostalgia and online competition. Noel Kirkpatrick expressed similar thoughts, but with more industry info, last week.

RIP Lee Rich

TV mogul Lee Rich has died.

Auto Hop Lawsuits

Brian Stelter reports: "Brandishing lawsuits like swords, the Dish Network and at least three television networks filed dueling lawsuits on Thursday over Auto Hop, a feature that allows Dish subscribers to automatically skip all the advertising during most prime time shows." James Poniewozik adds thoughts and some more. Alyssa Rosenberg follows up. Jeff Bercovici says this reveals the networks' hypocrisy. Peter Kafka analyzes Dish's perspective, which involves a desire for cheaper carriage fees. Anthony Crupi says the device will have little impact anyway. Andrew Wallenstein advises calm.

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: CBS: 7.64 million, ABC: 6.46, Fox: 6.23, NBC: 2.94, CW: 713,000
-Adults 18-49: Fox: 2.4 rating/8 share, ABC and CBS: 1.6/ 5 each, NBC: 0.9/ 3, CW: 0.3/ 1
-Winners: The Big Bang Theory R (CBS), Person of Interest R (CBS), The Mentalist R (CBS)
-Down But Still a Demo Favorite: So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)
-Respectable Start: Duets (ABC)
-Losers: Perez Hilton: All Access (CW), Awake (NBC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratingsCable ratings.
Coverage from Daniel Fienberg and Spotted.

Pelton Poster

You can purchase a poster featuring every Dean Pelton costume.

The Friday Niche

Bloomberg describes how Fridays have become a key night for niche network shows that people may be likely to timeshift on the weekend.

Female Showrunner Roundtable

Josef Adalian talks with six female sitcom showrunners about "their comedy icons, whether ratings matter, and getting flack on the Internet."

Network Averages

Spotted charts out how the broadcast networks have done in 18-49 ratings averages over the last 12 years. The NBC nosedive is precipitous.

Sports & Social

A group of sports programming executives discussed how valuable social media can be to sports TV viewership.

Aereo's Value/Threat

Nitasha Tiku describes how Aereo could truly be a cord cutter enabler, if it gets legally cleared.

Energy Efficient DVRs

Daniel Frankel says manufacturers are trying to develop more energy efficient DVRs.

Bafta Predictions

The Bafta TV Awards are Sunday; Michael Hogan and Vicky Frost offer predictions.

Cable Bloat

Time Warner Cable's CEO acknowledges that there are too many cable channels creating elevated cable bills.

PBS Summer

Rob Owen describes the summer programming PBS has lined up.

Awake Interview

Alan Sepinwall talks with creator Kyle Killen about the Awake series finale.

Good TVeets

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cable News Peak

Jack Shafer considers that cable news has peaked in terms of ratings.

30 Rock Walkthrough

TV Club walks through 30 Rock with co-showrunner Robert Carlock: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4.

Working in Hollywood

Gavin Palone describes the Hollywood production grind.

FCC Defends Itself

Julius Genachowski defended the FCC against Sen. Chuck Grassley's accusations that it does not operate with transparency.

Suggestion for Apple

James McQuivey thinks Apple could shake up the TV business, but only if it makes a non-TV TV, an apps hub rather than a TV set.

Real World at 20

Andy Dehnart marks 20 years of The Real World by considering its influence and worthlessness alike.

NBCU Wants MSNBC.Com Back

Mike Shields says NBCU is trying to get back into the fold to better capitalize on MSNBC online.

Sports Business Awards

Fox Sports and ESPN won awards at the Sports Business Awards, which apparently are awards that are given out for sports business.

Ad Agency Predictions

B&C talked with four ad agency execs about their projections for next season.

Idol's Drop

Brian Stelter assesses American Idol's ratings drop this season. But Josef Adalian points out that it's still a top show and beat The Voice handily, and Ed Martin says it's still a giant to beat. And it set social media records.

Simon's Commencement Address

David Simon delivered a David Simony commencement address to graduates of Georgetown University: "Am I’m bringing you down with all of this stuff? Am I bumming you out? I can’t help it. I’m sorry. But hey, if you watched The Wire, or Generation Kill, or Treme – then you knew I was gonna go there, right? Those are angry narratives. They are saying angry things about the American future. And now, forgive me, that future is yours."

New Misfits Cast Members

The next series of Misfits will have new faces.

Wednesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: Fox: 20.71 million, ABC: 7.30, CBS: 5.87, NBC: 5.38, CW: 891,000
-Adults 18-49: Fox: 6.1 rating/18 share, ABC: 2.6/ 7, CBS: 1.5/ 4, NBC: 1.4/ 4, CW: 0.4/ 1
-Winners: American Idol (Fox), Modern Family (ABC), Revenge (ABC)
-Losers: America’s Next Top Model (CW)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Coverage from Daniel Fienberg and Spotted.

Pan Am to Amazon?

Because no show can be cancelled without a second-life rumor anymore, Amazon is reportedly looking at resurrecting Pan Am.

Branded Content

Andrew Adam Newman describes new branded content initiatives, such as AT&T working with Touch on multi-platform marketing and a web series.

TV Everywhere Hopes

David Lieberman reports on content chief hopes that TV Everywhere development could be hurried up, while pay TV chiefs have concerns. Will Richmond talked with a Comcast SVP about the company's TV Everywhere moves.

Fixed-Camera Documentary

Faye Woods describes the aesthetics and public service utility of Channel 4's 24 Hours in A&E on British TV (and BBC America).

TBS Adds Facebook

TBS is partnering with Facebook on a comedy campaign.

Candidates Favor Local TV

Nielsen reports that presidential candidates have utilized local spot advertising most during the campaign.

Univision Numbers

Univision has some impressive numbers to tout from this season: "Univision out-performed at least one or more English-language broadcasters — ABC, CBS, FOX or NBC — on nearly every night throughout the season, among adults 18-34 (225 out of 245 nights) and on two out of every three nights among adults 18-49 (160 of 245 nights)."

WB TV Revenue

Warner Bros.' TV chief claims that TV revenue constitutes half of the income at the studio.

ABC Answers CBS

ABC argues that CBS's Big Brother lawsuit is baseless.


CBS and Fox won season titles, CBS for overall viewers, Fox for 18-49, while Fox won a slow May sweeps. NBC will finish in third place in 18-49, ahead of ABC. The top ten shows were led by football, Idol, and NCIS.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Twitter's Impact

Maggie Furlong explores how Twitter has affected the TV business.

Fringe Syndicates

A cable channel called Science has picked up syndication rights to Fringe, and Amazon could swoop in for subscription VOD rights.

Renewals Help Syndication

Andrew Wallenstein points out that the higher success rate for freshman series this past season compared to last year bodes well for future syndication sales.

Community Memo

A leaked memo from Sony about the Dan Harmon situation proposes some predictable talking points for the show's cast and crew to parrot. (If this was sports, the memo would suggest "both teams played hard.")

International Streaming

Dish and Roku are partnering on a service called DishWORLD that will stream international programming to US customers, whether they are Dish subscribers or not.

Netflix's Boost to AMC

Netflix claims it brought one million new viewers to Mad Men's fifth season thanks to streaming earlier seasons.

Finale Busts

Willa Paskin hasn't found enough to like this finale season.

Shorter Runs Coming

John Consoli reports that the networks are trying out shorter runs next season, with Fox's The Following getting a 13-episode arc at midseason.

Harmon Update

Josef Adalian digs deeply into the details behind Dan Harmon's exit from Community.

Women Writers & Pilots

Neely Swanson looks at how women writers fared during pilot season: "The percentage of pilots written by women in 2012 only fell 3%, to 32% of the overall pilots produced, still well above 2010, the year the bottom fell out." Daniel Lehman also reports on this.


Alyssa Rosenberg considers the rise of some morally clear characters after a recent glut of anti-heroes.

Tuesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: ABC: 14.58 million, Fox: 11.02, CBS: 8.64, NBC: 6.54, CW: 668,000
-Adults 18-49: Fox: 3.6 rating/10 share, ABC: 2.6/ 7, NBC: 2.1/ 6, CBS: 1.5/ 4, CW: 0.2/ 1
-Winners: Dancing With the Stars (ABC), American Idol (Fox)
-Launched Too Early This Season: America’s Got Talent (NBC)
-Losers: The L.A. Complex (CW), Dateline 20th Anniversary Special (NBC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Coverage from Daniel Fienberg and Spotted.

FCC Eyeing Online Regulation

Brian Stelter reports that the FCC is determining "whether the rules of multichannel distributors — like the right to carry certain popular channels and the responsibility to carry some less popular ones — should apply to new online distributors like Hulu and YouTube. If it decides that they should, then more companies could stream TV shows to computers and smartphones, hastening an industrywide shift to the Internet."

New Syndie Shows

To cut costs, Scripps is developing a new game show and a new magazine show for syndication, and it will drop Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy in exchange.

New True Blood Showrunner

Mark Hudis will now guide True Blood.

R.O.D. Women

Marjorie Anne finds progressive depictions of women in the anime series R.O.D. 

Return of ALF?

The creator of ALF is trying to bring it back.

New Rules of TV

GQ offers a slideshow on the new rules of TV and how we watch.

Milch-Weiner-Gilligan Interview

GQ talks with Matthew Weiner, David Milch, and Vince Gilligan about TV drama. (Make sure you check out the first offering from Milch.)

Mad Men Style

Tom and Lorenzo analyze "Christmas Waltz."

Amazon's Impact

Jay Greene discusses how Amazon is changing how things are done in everything from books to TV.

Harmon's Best

Alan Sepinwall honors Dan Harmon with a slideshow of the 10 Community episodes that defined his mad genius.

Good TVeets

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dish Defends Ad Hop

Dish Network is battling back against criticism and defending its ad-skipping technology. But attorneys are getting ready.

Body Counts

A funeral website (yes, really) has tallied up the deaths depicted in over 300 episodes from this season. Spartacus had 25 dead bodies per episode! And CBS, not surprisingly, was the most corpse-filled network, though The CW leads in death of non-humans.

Lindelof on Lost

Damon Lindelof has an excellent extensive interview about writing Lost and the polarizing ending.

NAB Sues

The NAB has filed suit over the constitutionality of the FCC's requirement to publicly post political ad info online.

Judging Socially

John Consoli reports on an analytics company that predicts what shows are good and bad buys for marketers based on social media buzz. For fall, The Mindy Project and The Last Resort are in the good category; Made in Jersey and The Mob Doctor are in the bad category.

LA Complex Defended

June Thomas says the very low-rated LA Complex is worthy of much higher ratings.

Sitcoms & Satire

Ethan Thompson writes about the problematic divide between sitcoms and social satire.

SNL Beyond TV

Luke Epplin criticizes Saturday Night Live for relying so heavily on TV parodies (especially talk shows) rather than expanding its targets.

'11-'12 in Review

Ken Tucker looks back on the season that was.

Ailes & NYT

Fox News chairman Roger Ailes said something nasty about NYT reporters then reportedly backed off the comment. Update: It turns out that Ailes misstated NYT reporting about him.

Murphy Interview

Denise Martin talks with Ryan Murphy about Glee, AHS, fans, and critics.


Frazier Moore is the latest to take up the issue of hate-watching TV shows. (At least people are watching Smash, right NBC?) Cory Bergman also looks at hate-watching as a new social TV sport.

CNN Hits Low

Bill Gorman reports, "Last week CNN's weekday (Mon-Fri) average primetime viewership of 395,000 was its lowest in more than 20 years (since 1991, I lack prior data)."

Monday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: ABC: 10.63 million, Fox: 7.42, NBC: 7.32, CBS: 5.71, CW: 563,000 -Adults 18-49: NBC: 2.6 rating/7 share, ABC: 2.5/ 7, Fox: 2.4/ 7, CBS: 1.5/ 4, CW: 0.2/ 1
-Winners: Dancing With the Stars (ABC), America’s Got Talent (NBC), House (Fox), The Bachelorette (ABC)
-Honorable Mention: American Ninja Warrior (NBC)
-Losers (excluding repeats): Nothing…46 percent of the schedule was in repeats.

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Coverage from Daniel Fienberg and Spotted.

SEC Media Rights

The NCAA's SEC football conference is negotiating a new TV deal with current partners CBS and ESPN.

Grimm & the Monstrous Feminine

Amanda Nell Edgar discusses Grimm and her "nagging feeling that Grimm’s monstrous women told a politically problematic tale."

Rules Renewed

The TV equivalent of baseball's reliable utility guy off the bench, Rules of Engagement has been renewed again by CBS.

Station Can't Afford Fox

A station in Idaho is dropping its Fox affiliation because it can no longer afford the network compensation.

Aereo Wins One

Matthew Belloni reports that Aereo has won its first court battle: "On Monday, U.S. District Court judge Alison J. Nathan dismissed part of a complaint filed by broadcasters against Aereo, the online video startup backed by Barry Diller. According to the Wall Street Journal, the court dismissed an unfair competition claim but left a copyright infringement claim still to be heard."

France Most Connected

Among four countries surveyed (the US, UK, France, and Germany), France has the highest percentage of internet-connected TVs.

NZ Soap

The 20th anniversary of New Zealand soap opera Shortland Street is being celebrated with a special episode available to global audiences for 48 hours.

Kaufman Series

Charlie Kaufman is developing a series for HBO. Catherine Keener will star.

GoT Facebook Game

Game of Thrones is getting a Facebook game.

Measuring Everywhere

Peter Kafka says one problem with TV Everywhere is that proper viewing tracking isn't fully in place yet. And Tim Carmody describes Nielsen's attempts to measure device viewing, with Comcast helping out.

Good TVeets

Monday, May 21, 2012

Facebook TV

Aymar Jean Christian considers a possible original video production future for Facebook.

Glover on Girls

Donald Glover has been cast in the second season of Girls.

House Oral History

TV Guide has a House oral history: part 1, part 2.

Cable Cancellations

No more Dog the Bounty Hunter; no more Sanctuary.

New Louie Editor

Zach Dionne talks with editor Susan E. Morse, who has cut Woody Allen films and who will now be editing Louie.

Slinging TiVo

TiVo is touting a new set-top box that could send live programming to mobile devices without affecting what's being viewed in the living room.

Life After Idol

Daily Beast has a 'where are they now' slideshow (you've been warned) of past American Idol finalists.

New Office Heads

NBC has picked up two new executive producers for The Office.

Against Aut oHop

Time Warner Cable is siding with networks against the Auto Hop ad-skipping DVR from Dish.

RIP Remote Control Inventor

Eugene Polley, considered the father of the wireless remote control, has died.

Breaking Bad Date

Mark your calendar: July 15th is when Breaking Bad returns for an eight episode half-season.

Online & Cable

Will Richmond highlights three opportunities and challenges that online TV offers for the cable industry.

Bachelor Lawsuit

Jennifer L. Pozner digs into the Bachelor and Bachelorette racial discrimination lawsuit and wonders if anything could change.

Wiig's Goodbye

Linda Holmes discusses why Kristen Wiig's final scene on SNL Saturday was touching. And Mary Elizabeth Williams wonders what's next for women on SNL with Wiig's departure.

Cable Woman of the Year

TVWeek interviews its Cable Television Woman of the Year, Time Warner Cable’s executive vice president and chief video and content officer Melinda Witmer.

Cable Wifi Cooperation

Mike Reynolds reports, "Five major cable operators are teaming to provide each other's high-speed data customers reciprocal access to metro WiFi networks, totaling over 50,000 hotspots."

New Complex TV Chapter

Jason Mittell offers up the latest chapter in his work-in-progress Complex TV book, this one on transmedia storytelling. He's really hoping to get a lot of feedback on these chapters, so please do read and comment.

Sunday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: CBS: 11.32 million, ABC: 6.98, NBC: 5.55, Fox: 4.06
-Adults 18-49: ABC: 2.8 rating/8 share, NBC: 1.8/ 5, Fox: 1.6/ 5, CBS: 1.4/ 4
-Winners: 60 Minutes (CBS), Billboard Music Awards (ABC), Movie: Jess Stone: Benefit of the Doubt (CBS)
-Tired: Fox’s entire animation block

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.
Coverage from Daniel Fienberg* and Spotted.

*Demo fact of note: "The first hour of Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt drew a strong 13.05 million viewers for CBS, but the telefilm was fourth for the hour with a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49."

Harmon Out

Sony has essentially fired Dan Harmon as showrunner of Community and is replacing him with a pair of showrunners previously at Happy Endings. In a blog post about the situation, Harmon says Sony hasn't even communicated with him since the Season 4 renewal. Alan Sepinwall speculates on the show's Harmon-less future, and Jaime Weinman also assesses Sony's apparent motivations. Jason Mittell offers perspective from the standpoints of TV authorship, showrunning, budgets, and fandom. Maureen Ryan knows from personal experience Harmon could be difficult to deal with, but still thinks Sony/NBC have messed up. Ryan McGee proposes a two-headed showrunner solution to such conflicts. James Poniewozik outlines how fans lose here. Nick Campbell says Community might end up ok. Thoughts from Jace Lacob. A video tribute: Dan Harmon is Community. Takes from Tim Goodman and Ken Levine, and more from Levine. Amos Barshad looks at how people are coping with this. Willa Paskin considers what Community is without Harmon. Todd VanDerWerff puts this in the larger context of showrunner/network battles and the balance between production needs and art. Alyssa Rosenberg says pirating Community is not a proper response. An anonymous showrunner offers speculation. Josef Adalian digs deeply into the details behind Dan Harmon's exit from Community.

New Comcast Box

Ryan Lawler reports that Comcast is rolling out a more personalized set-top box, and all the processing particulars will be contained on Comcast's network, not in the box, meaning updates won't require new equipment or major hassles. Stacey Higginbotham has news on other Comcast upgrades.

Hulu's Summer

Hulu has announced a slate of summer originals. Matthew Garrahan has analysis of Hulu's original moves.

Blog to Podcast to TV

Peter Kafka outlines how Discovery mayhave established a template for developing new stars with Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, who went from blogging to podcasts to their own Discovery show.

Discounting Online

Josh Feldman says TV networks (and advertisers) still haven't embraced online TV audiences and the money they would seem to offer.

Ethiopian Freedom

Benno Muchler reports that Ethiopian journalists are hoping for greater freedom of the press as the country transitions.

Multi-Platform ESPN

Mike Reynolds describes ESPN's plans to incorporate multiple platforms and social media into many ventures, including a new 30 for 30 series.

GM Skipping Super Bowl

General Motors has announced it won't buy ad time during the Super Bowl due to the huge expense.

New In Media Res

Theme: World Wide Web in Your Pocket

  • Monday, May 21, 2012 - Scott W. Ruston (Arizona State University) presents: Fantasies of Mobile Media’s Utopic Ideal: Connectivity in ESPN & CENTEL Commercials 
  •  Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - Jeremy Carter (Illinois State University) presents: Romancing the Connection: The Allure of Democracy Through Social Media 
  •  Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - Megan Mullen (University of Wisconsin-Parkside) presents: “They’re Coming…” Innovation and the Diffusion of iPads in Higher Education 
  •  Thursday, May 24, 2012 - Jeremy Sarachan (St. John Fisher College) presents: Augmented Reality and the Loss of the Exploratory Impulse 
  •  Friday, May 25, 2012 - Mark Tebeau (Cleveland State University) presents: Curating the City

Stewart on Religion

Mark Oppenheimer discusses how Jon Stewart covers religion on The Daily Show.

Upfronts Catchup

After a week away, I'm trying to catch up with upfronts news. Here are some summary links if you are too:

Good TVeets

Warning: Mad Men and Girls spoilers in here.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Funny or Die & Turner

Turner Networks made an investment deal with the online comedy video producer Funny or Die; Brian Stelter describes: "Effectively giving Funny or Die some old-media muscle, the company will collaborate with TBS and Adult Swim both on content and on advertising sales." Daniel Frankel sees this as the start of a rush of partnerships between cable conglomerates and independent online video producers.

Viacom & TWC Everywhere Deal

Viacom and Time Warner Cable settled on a deal to enable streaming of Verizon content on TWC subscribers' iPads.

3D Still Coming

Daniel Frankel says 3DTV is still on its way, despite setbacks.

TV as Wallpaper

Paul Marks says the future format of TV in living rooms could be as wall-sized interactive screens.

Doctor Who Most Downloaded

Andrew Laughlin reports that Doctor Who was the top downloaded series on iTunes in 2011. Modern Family was next, followed by Dexter.

Mad Men Style

Tom and Lorenzo analyze style in last week's "Dark Shadows" episode of Mad Men, and Slate has a cool slideshow interview with costume designer Janie Bryant.

Prepping the Final House

Bill Carter talked with Hugh Laurie and David Shore about wrapping up House on Monday.

Comcast Raises Cap

Responding to complaints from Netflix, Comcast has raised its monthly broadband usage cap, but Netflix says it isn't enough, and it doesn't fix the basic structural conflict. Verizon also announced a change. Cyrus Farivar discusses Comcast's traffic flow on Xbox.

Girls Reassessed

Amanda Ann Klein revisits her initial negative opinion of the Girls pilot and finds herself now enjoying the series, albeit still recognizing some core problems.

The Killing's Mistranslation

Jace Lacob assesses where The Killing went wrong in translating the original.

New CW Measurement

Tim Molloy reports that The CW is developing its own ratings measurement system to better incorporate online viewing, plus it is developing interactive programming online.

Pilot Pickup Agony

Josef Adalian talks with five showrunners about the agony of waiting for pilot pickup news.

TV Finale Needs

Catching up now on some articles from last week. If I missed anything you think should be up here (especially for future archive retrieval), send me the link.

Noel Murray explores what we want from a TV series finale.

Good TVeets

Monday, May 14, 2012


I have to put the blog on hiatus this week due to travel to a land without internet (also known as dad's house). While in one sense, this is the worst time of the year to shut the blog down, in another it's maybe the best time to be away, since every other TV news site in the universe will be covering the upfronts to within a pixel of their lives. I recommend any of the following to fulfill your TV news fix this week: Hitfix, TV Club, Tuned In, Futon CriticTHR, Deadline, and Vulture, and if you want live tweets of all the presentations and parties, I recommend my Twitter lists of critics and bloggers.

Good TVeets

Note: I'm running late for a flight, so I had to just dump the tweets in here without regard to show groupings, and it's in reverse chronological order. Start at the bottom if you prefer chronological order. There are only mild Mad Men spoilers in here, but if you like to stay completely tabula rasa, you can save this for later.

Scandal & Diversity

Emily Nussbaum reads Scandal through the lens of the diversity debate.