Saturday, June 30, 2012
The BBC has seen its global audience rise notably in the past year, especially from coverage of world events via regional services. The BBC's COO says profit goals will never overrule programming decisions at the corporation. BBC1 and BBC2 have increased viewing share over the past five years, though total viewing on all British terrestrial channels is down and all channels have been hit by budget cuts to drama and arts programming. BBC3 will use the internet to test out comedy. Despite earlier reports to the contrary, YouView is apparently set to launch in July, but some are skeptical of the VOD service's value.
Consider the returns of Wilfred and Falling Skies, Matt Zoller Seitz explores why a TV show's second season can be more important than its first.
Anger Management set a cable viewing record with its Thursday premiere. Louie didn't, but was still well up from last year's premiere. Josef Adalian explains where Anger Management fits at FX, and Willa Paskin isn't sure Louie fits as a comedy.
The Supreme Court supported overturning the fine for CBS over Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction by refusing to hear an appeal, but Chief Justice Roberts noted that this doesn't open the floodgate for more fleeting naughtiness: broadcasters have now been warned. In another ruling, the Court decided it won't hear media ownership rule arguments.
And we're back. As you know by now, News Corporation will indeed split apart into separate publishing and entertainment companies. The Murdoch family will still dominate control. Rupert Murdoch has also ruled out another BSkyB bid, saying he doesn't want to invest in the UK anymore. David Carr analyzes Rupert Murdoch's thinking. The newspaper people are reportedly worried, while Chris King says the Wall Street Journal will be the center of the new news division.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
The Newsroom drew 2.1 million viewers on its inaugural voyage, though it didn't rate well with women. If you missed it, you can watch it free online. Also, someone has edited together clips of repeat dialogue from Sorkin shows. Natan Edelsburg looks at how the show did on social media.
The Guardian's Stuart Heritage points out that those who don't subscribe to Sky in Britain will miss out not only on HBO programming via Sky Atlantic but original productions too, like a new Alan Partridge installment.
John Eggerton highlights details from a PEJ database: "Comcast, through NBC, is the top provider of network TV morning and evening news as well as the No. 3 provider of both cable and online news."
Willa Paskin really doesn't care for Anger Management. Alan Sepinwall says it is what you'd expect. And Andrew Wallenstein considers the potential impact on FX's brand.
John Consoli says that with soaps on the way out, networks are finding it a challenge to replace them.
Kyle Conway writes about Little Mosque on the Prairie and how it translates religion via humor. In part 2, he discusses how the show found a home on CBC. In part 3, he tackles jokes. In part 4, he addresses international distribution.
In an intriguing application of the Americans With Disabilities Act to the internet, a judge has refused to toss a lawsuit against Netflix involving closed captioning on streaming video.
News Corporation could be splitting into two companies, one focused on publishing, the other entertainment. News Corp. has now confirmed consideration of the idea, and shareholders seem to approve, though BSkyB investors not so much. Goldman Sachs is reportedly on board to help. The Guardian's Roy Greenslade tries to pinpoint why this is happening.
I'm just going to give Louis CK direct access to my bank account. I trust him enough at this point.
— Doug Tilley (@Doug_Tilley) June 26, 2012
I don't have an opinion about The Newsroom or Aaron Sorkin. Am I still allowed to use the Internet?
— A.S. Paul (@aspaul) June 25, 2012
anyone have a link to Scalia's dissent on "THE NEWSROOM"
— Alex Pareene (@pareene) June 25, 2012
I can't be alone in my fear that the creative changes they're making on Smash make it actually good and force me to stop watching.
— erinn hayes (@hayeslady) June 26, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
Paul Grainge reads the London 2012 Olympics mascots as part of the Games' branding efforts: "Wenlock and Mandeville are a deliberate departure from the history of cuddly Olympic mascots first embodied by the cartoon bear Misha at the 1980 Moscow Olympics and carried through to Beijing’s Fuwa mascots. Phallic fears notwithstanding, they assume the appearance of high-tech toys born from – and for – a digital world."
One study claims that a shift from bundling of cable channels to a la carte will cost channels and jobs. Wayne Friedman analyzes the claims.
Eric Pfanner highlights how TV rights to soccer in Europe keep rising, despite the financial crisis. (Considering last night's Euro2012 match between England and Italy drew a 77% share in England, that maybe makes sense.)
Theme: Gaming History
- Monday, June 25, 2012 - Nicolas Ricketts (The Strong Museum of Play) presents: When Idle Hands Were the Devil’s Workshop: Did Early Game Manufacturers Overcome a Predjudice Against Gaming?
- Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - Michael Z. Newman (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee) presents: Atari Commercials and the Boy Culture of Video Games
- Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - Carly Kocurek (Illinois Institute of Technology) presents: Putting Atari to Work
- Thursday, June 28, 2012 - Steven Boyer (University of Glasgow) presents: TI Imposters: Clones, Innovation, and Iteration in Digital Games
- Friday, June 29, 2012 - Shane Toepfer (Kennesaw State) presents: The Digital Evolution?: From Tabletop to Online Simulation
Soon Aaron Sorkin will write a show about people reacting to a new long-anticipated, critically panned TV show. Then you'll be sorry.
— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) June 25, 2012
Watching HBOs #Newsroom. It should really be a play. A play we don't go and see.
— Emily Cutler (@CutlerEmily) June 25, 2012
Man, people are giving The Newsroom so much shit they're starting a vacation fund for it.
— James Urbaniak (@JamesUrbaniak) June 25, 2012
Sunday, June 24, 2012
I'm certain most people didn't realize, or care (poor dying soaps...), but the Daytime Emmys were held last night. General Hospital was the big winner (at least that one's still on the air! But still, One Life to Live got screwed.) Update: The ratings were very low.
Andrew Beaujon highlights the TV critic pans of Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom, and Alyssa Rosenberg adds another. The "Fox mole" assesses what the show gets right and wrong. David Haglund assesses everything Sorkin has ever done. Linda Holmes extensively picks apart the show's attitude. Maggie Furlong defends it. Andrew Wallenstein compares it to CNN's real issues, and David Carr says CNN should pay attention. This interview with Sorkin is stirring up reaction.
Sounds right. Wait, reverse that. RT @WSJ On average, Americans spent 2.75 hours watching TV each day and 8.7 hours sleeping.
— Andy Daglas (@AndyDaglas) June 22, 2012
Please say it's Dane Cook! RT @MichaelAusiello: NBC Comedy Scoop: Dane Cook's NEXT CALLER Drops Cast Member tvline.com/2012/06/23/nex…
— Evan Kirby (@evankirby) June 23, 2012
Looking forward to Tina Fey's sharper, longer-lived version of The Newsroom.
— Alex Baze (@bazecraze) June 23, 2012
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Friday, June 22, 2012
The Supreme Court decided unanimously against the FCC on its indecency rulings against Fox and ABC; however, the Court didn't rule on the constitutionality of the indecency enforcement policy in general. You can read the opinion here. The Center for Creative Voices has issued a response statement. B&C covers other reactions. An FCC commissioner has released a statement, saying it's time to get back to work processing indecency complaints, and there are over a million of those. Broadcasters are still left uncertain after this. Alyssa Rosenberg offers analysis.
TV Critics hate the #Heat because Juwan Howard once appeared in #WestWing and Aaron Sorkin created #Newsroom and they hate that.
— Andrew Rabin (@arrabin56) June 22, 2012
"I can't wait to hear what Skip Bayless has to say about this tomorrow!" said people who can distinguish glue brands by flavor
— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) June 22, 2012
If I were a character in a soap, I would be a villain so it would be acceptable to talk to myself out loud. In fact, it would be expected.
— Cassie Belek (@cassiebelek) June 22, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
So I guess Sorkin's new show is a preachy, stagey lecture-fest starring a daddy figure who'll set us all straight. #WhoCouldHaveForeseen
— Ken Lowery (@kenlowery) June 20, 2012
Strange, CBS. By Summer 2013, the only person who remembers "Unforgettable" ever existed will be Marilu Henner.
— Daniel Fienberg (@HitFixDaniel) June 20, 2012
Headline: "NYPD Blue Writer Punches Dog To Death.": Am now gathering Shield writers to see how we can top that.
— Shawn Ryan (@ShawnRyanTV) June 20, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Sam Thielman checks out the ratings for four summer cable shows, and Claire Atkinson finds USA surprisingly down in the ratings. The Killing finale's ratings were down, leaving a third season in question.
Netflix is battling Sky for first-run pay TV movie rights in the UK and plans to complain to regulators about Sky's marketplace control if it can't make a dent in Sky's dominance within a year.
The Ann Curry era of Today has seen ratings declines, and now comes word that she's being replaced. Savannah Guthrie is the rumored replacement. Howard Kurtz looks at where Curry went wrong. Update: Curry showed up for work this morning, though NBC was ready if she didn't. Update: Compensation for Curry is holding up the exit.
Sudeep Dasgupta explores television studies' deployment of "Quality TV" analysis: "The bulk of this essay will investigate how the term ‘popular’ was approached intellectually, deployed by the television industry, and now re-deployed by television studies itself. Productively complicating the term in order to underline the political stakes of taking the popular seriously, the remainder of the essay will briefly address how contemporary changes in television around textuality, audiences, and production make a re-thinking of the reliance of television studies on the popular all the more urgent."
Janko Roettgers highlights the success of online distribution of US shows in Germany, similar to the success of British TV on Hulu lately.
Currently collating today's 50,000 Twitter jokes about Adam Carolla by gender. Should be able to settle this shortly.
— Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) June 19, 2012
I hope someone makes a cop show about keys presumed to be lost forever and the talented lady detective who can totally HEAR them jingling.
— Julieanne Smolinski (@BoobsRadley) June 19, 2012
Catching up on episodes of The Killing. Surely, no one wants to be Mayor of Seattle this badly.
— Tess Rafferty (@TessRafferty) June 19, 2012
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Really enjoyed the "Girls" finale but I was hoping they would answer who the girls were.
— Morgan Evans (@totallymorgan) June 18, 2012
If #Bunheads only lasts one season, Amy Sherman-Palladino should end it revealing it was all a play written by Sarah Braverman.
— Mark Waller (@marqualler) June 19, 2012
Just watched my first 5 minutes ever of The Bachelorette. So, what, it's a show about a bunch of gay guys looking for a female friend?
— Morgan Murphy (@morgan_murphy) June 19, 2012
Monday, June 18, 2012
Brian Byrd has four recommendations for the networks: "If motivated, networks could restore their reputation among younger, cultured, spend-happy TV viewers in two or three years. Some of the solutions are rather obvious, others more complex and risky. None are easy or cheap. But with cable networks siphoning off more and more viewers from the network tank every year, the choice is either adapt or die."
Alfred Martin finds significance in TBS picking up Cougar Town: "I argue that TBS’ agreement to air new episodes of Cougar Town may signal the next network to employ the “Fox Formula” whereby market share is built courting black viewership, only to be discarded once a critical mass of mainstream viewership is attained."
Andy Dehnart has some problems with CBS's promos for Big Brother: "New promos for Big Brother are particularly bad, although perhaps they provide some insight into what the network thinks the draw of its summer show is."
The LA Times has a showrunner roundtable with Glen Mazzara, Graham Yost, Alex Gansa, Liz Merriwhether, and Vince Gilligan. (It's a wonder these folks have time to run shows given how many roundtables they sem to do.) Also comedy actor and drama actor roundtables.
Amy Sherman-Palladino's response to Shonda Rhimes' concerns about Bunhead's lack of diversity is dismissive toward Rhimes. And she says she doesn't do message shows. Elsewhere, one blogger insists Sherman-Palladino can do better with diversity.
Theme: Wedding-Based Reality TV
- Monday, June 18, 2012 - Gemma Philage (Barry University) presents: (Weddings * 4) + Audience = ∞ Surveillance
- Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - Alice Leppert (University of Minnesota) presents: The Marginalized Brides of Say Yes to the Dress: Big Bliss
- Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - Sonia Arellano (University of Arizona) presents: Who is Really Saying “Yes”?
- Thursday, June 21, 2012 - Rosalynn Rothstein (University of Oregon) presents: "that gargoyle or whatever it was": YouTube Comments Meet Television Content
- Friday, June 22, 2012 - Bärbel Göbel Stolz (University of Kansas) presents: Cinderella Needs a little TLC - The Fairy Godmother of Poor Brides
Alan Sepinwall reviews the Girls finale and talks to producers Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner: Part 1 and Part 2. Meghan O'Rourke also interviews Dunham, and that one also takes 2 parts: Part 1 and Part 2. Maureen Ryan discusses why Girls' first season was terrific and a hit with guys. Also a review from James Poniewozik. Matt Zoller Seitz traces Girls' journey. Grantland has a roundtable discussion.
AMC has a clock in the upper-right corner counting to The Killing finale. I too have been eagerly waiting for it to be over.
— Les Chappell (@Lesismore9o9) June 17, 2012
Continuing a string of bad Sunday night press, tonight we learn that Rosie Larsen was killed by a Jaguar executive.
— Andy Daglas (@AndyDaglas) June 18, 2012
If Aaron Sorkin wrote The Killing, an Internet fan forum would have killed Rosie Larson.
— Justin Fowler (@JustinFowler) June 18, 2012
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Brandon Nowalk analyzes Shameless and 2 Broke Girls from the standpoint of class depictions, and has a killer opening line: "Shameless is like if 2 Broke Girls actually gave a shit." What follows is similarly compelling.
Because it was on ABC, I assume #WalkTheWire was really thematically about the Mancession?
— Daniel Fienberg (@HitFixDaniel) June 16, 2012
"A man got to have a code. Also, apparently, according to ABC lawyers, a man got to have a harness." #WalkTheWire
— Ryan McGee (@TVMcGee) June 16, 2012
People who say "exercise helps me relax", have you seen tv?
— Robin McCauley (@RobinMcCauley) June 15, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
Glenn Beck says he will single-handedly take down Glee (perhaps he will succeed where GoodTVeets has failed). (Or, as @chutry says, "I thought the show's writers already had this covered.")
The UK's YouView connected TV service may be ready by Olympics time -- update: No it won't -- while some are concerned the Olympics will be a drain on video-on-demand ad prospects due to the BBC's involvement.
David Conn believes football (soccer, y'all) has been essential to BSkyB's media power: "The Leveson inquiry would almost certainly not be taking place at all had BSkyB not bought the Premier League rights. There would be no national agonising about the power of the Murdoch empire because it might not exist at all."
Brandon Nowalk highlights the ten best LGBT scenes from 2011-2012. (Spoilers for multiple shows here, so be prepared to let your eyes jump to the next in the list if you must.)
Tim Goodman's review of Anger Management questions its place on FX: "It’s not a show that belongs on FX, and it pales in comparison to the series that already air there."
Michael Massing laments how lousy CNN has gotten, while John Hudson says CNN's perceived non-partisan identity helps it succeed internationally, a factor that gets elided in articles about its domestic ratings problems.
If you're caught up with Breaking Bad and want to read more about the things that happened at the end of the season, Glenn Whipp has an interview with Giancarlo Esposito, Bryan Cranston, and Vince Gilligan.
Jason Sperb addresses Prometheus from the perspective of post-television cinema: "The degree to which one likes the new film seems in rough proportion to the degree to which you are drawing on the kind of post-network television narratives like BSG and Lost as your point of reference, or whether or not you are approaching it from the standpoint of the Alien franchise it’s so disingenuously aping."
Todd VanDerWerff sees Girls as challenging masculine expectations for quality TV: "there’s a lack of even the most basic critical charity extended toward Girls that clearly stems from those old sexist attitudes we have about what makes good television." Update: Alyssa Rosenberg follows up on this by invoking Sex and the City.
A Barclay's analyst claims little money is saved in cutting the cord once you find replacements, and he doesn't see much viability for Aereo.
I can't wait for the Bored to Death movie! I'll watch it back to back with the movies HBO did for Deadwood, Carnivale, and No. 1 Ladies.
— Jace Lacob (@televisionary) June 15, 2012
Wolf Blitzer: "We're here in The Situation Room. Absolutely no one is watching. That's the situation.Please, someone get me out of here."
— Andy Borowitz (@BorowitzReport) June 14, 2012
Searching "Community" pics, I'm reminded Allison Brie & Gillian Jacobs once dressed as cheerleaders. Why don't you watch, America?
— Daniel Fienberg (@HitFixDaniel) June 15, 2012
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Lucas Shaw gives an overview of second screen efforts. TV Guide has signed a "second screen" deal with USA, and ABC is finding scripted programming more challenging for second screen experiences.
Will Richmond brings us Time Warner Cable's Chief Strategy Officer and his belief that the company's distribution strategy is "any content, any device, any time and anywhere," while Erik Gruenwedel covers TWC CEO Glenn Britt's thoughts on bundling.
Randee Dawn highlights the growth of what she defines as atypical choices in TV writing: "Today, many of the top dramas aren't just serialized, but told with an arcing structure that resembles chapters of an ongoing novel. Their creators have a vision for where the "book" is going and how it will end — and that's making for some groundbreaking TV that's altered audience expectations of what they can get out of a simple series."
DVD commentary on Game of Thrones revealed that a prosthetic head on a stick in the show was actually a George W. Bush model head. HBO has apologized, and issues another statement.
I'm thinking of starting a magazine that's entirely devoted to short profiles of Lena Dunham. I will call it "The New York Times Magazine."
— Brian Phillips (@runofplay) June 9, 2012
guys guys! Stop arguing about Girls! We need to get back to what's really important: arguing about Prometheus!
— Rowan Kaiser (@RowanKaiser) June 14, 2012
From someone who's had a show canceled after two episode, please stop saying Weeds was canceled after 8 seasons.It's just ending. Thanks.
— Noah Hawley (@noahhawley) June 13, 2012
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Paul Bond reports on a study measuring favorability toward brands that was then dvided by Democrats and Republicans. Supposedly, Dems like Animal Planet best; the GOP, History.
Kimberly Potts explores why the miniseries has mostly left network TV. But could the success of Hatfields and McCoys help revive the format?
Andrew Adam Newman discusses a Fuel TV reality show about surfers sponsored by Schick razors but that doesn't feature any product placement or significant plugs for Schick. Schick's marketing director says, "Our guys are inherently cynical about advertising, so you need to go beyond the traditional marketing, you need to do something much more engaging that creates an environment that feels more trusting and authentic."
Katy Bachman describes an alternative plan proposed by broadcasters in response to the FCC's requirement that stations post political ad rate info online. Others are appealing the FCC to keep it in place. And Time Warner Cable already posts this info online.
Thomas Catan and Amy Schatz report on the Justice Department's "antitrust investigation into whether cable companies are acting improperly to quash nascent competition from online video" via data caps. Stacey Higginbotham also reports. Will Richmond suggests that the Justice Dept instead look at bundling and how non-sports fans have to pay for sports rights fees. Peter Kafka says this will end up in higher broadband bills. Alyssa Rosenberg says this could shake up the cable TV model. Joe Flint also reports. Dan Mitchell wonders how this might affect streaming.
Carina Adly MacKenzie explores what responsibility shows have toward diversity in casting and representation. OHTD reacts. Amy Sherman-Palladino has reacted to Shonda Rhimes' comment.
My mom is more excited about the return of DALLAS than about anything her children have ever done.
— Barbara Haynes (@barbhaynes) June 13, 2012
Well see there's this guy w 2 lives for some reason and... "@sldy93: @killen8 Any ideas for a new show yet?"
— Kyle Killen (@killen8) June 13, 2012
Bunheads is incorrectly titled. Correct title is NEW AMY SHERMAN-PALLADINO SHOW YOU WANT TO WATCH.
— Jennifer Arrow (@JenniferArrow) June 12, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Tamba discusses the controversy being stirred up by a Brazilian drama featuring a young black boy pursuing and constantly being rejected by a rich white girl.
Natan Edlesburg highlights a marketing agency called Campfire: "Campfire uses social storytelling, digital content and physical experiences to help TV networks ignite fan cultures and communities that they’ll need to successfully launch a show or a new season."
The FCC has opted to drop the viewability rule, which means, as John Eggerton describes, "cable operators will no longer have to deliver dual analog and digital feeds of must-carry TV station signals to satisfy the FCC requirement that they be viewable to their subscribers. Instead, the FCC says that the no-cost and low-cost converter boxes cable operators offer will satisfy the still-important obligation to make must-carry stations accessible to viewers." This is a setback for broadcasters, says Kim McAvoy.
DirecTV's CEO says his company has the rights to Auto Hop-type ad-skipping technology too, but indicates they haven't chosen to deploy it because demand isn't there. (Hmm...)
Andy Dehnart relates allegations that House Hunters contains fakery. James Poniewozik also covers this and says it won't change his viewership of the show. HGTV addresses the allegations, and Dehnart says their defense is ridiculous.
Phil Rosenthal discusses the challenge of accurately measuring ratings today. Stuart Elliot reports on two studies about tracking audiences across multiple platforms, and Gary Levin reports on how DVRs have affected ratings. Alyssa Rosenberg suggests an intriguing cloud idea to help with advertising.
Joe Flint reports on Warner Bros. TV's purchase of Alloy: "Looking to expand its presence in the teen and young adult market, Warner Bros. Television Group has struck a deal to purchase Alloy Entertainment, a content company that specializes in youth-oriented books aimed particularly at females."
Wayne Friedman reports on the networks' frustration with the vast gap between what they get in retrans fees and what cable channels get in carriage fees. Related update: Pay tv subscriber fees are predicted to rise.
Slate investigated what academics study most in pop culture, and to the surprise of no one who has paid attention over the past decade, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was on top. (And to the surprise of no one, there are some obnoxious anti-TV Studies comments that follow the article.)