Saturday, August 31, 2013

YouTube Economy Problem

Fruzsina Eördögh doesn't think YouTube's current economic strategy is sustainable.

Breaking Bad Shots

Cinematographer Michael Slovis explains a handful of shots from the last Breaking Bad episode.

News Reporting

Ben Sisario says social media has become key for getting news out of Syria, given restricted access to other means. In the US, Mary McNamara says what she's seen on Al Jazeera America so far doesn't look like anything that will change the woeful state of U.S. cable news.

TV Value

A number of links that tie in with what consumers get for their TV dollar: Chris Door questions the value pay TV subscribers get in return for the big ESPN carriage fee, Sarah Barry James assesses the value of antennas for those customers affected by the TWC-CBS blackout, Mike Stein expects a CBS-TWC settlement by fall season start due to the revenue at stake, and Wayne Friedman finds double meaning in saying TV's fall is coming, which is why CBS is fighting for every retrans penny.

Good TVeets

Friday, August 30, 2013

A&E Highs

A&E's summer shows Longmire and The Glades hit ratings highs as their seasons ended. And Longmire has accordingly been renewed, but The Glades has been cancelled.

Thursdays Big for NFL Network

Anthony Crupi says the addition of Thursday games has been a tremendous boon for NFL Network, especially in terms of carriage fee revenue.

CBS Uses Football

CBS is turning to football stars to put marketing pressure on Time Warner Cable.

OWN's Surge

Lynn Elber says Oprah Winfrey is reveling in OWN's resurrection to profitability and good ratings.

Shooting Scandal

Cinematographer Oliver Bokelberg talks about working on Scandal.

Chappelle Show

Dave Chappelle had a rough return to stand-up comedy last night, leaving audience members uncertain about why it happened. Ebony's Lesli Ann-Lewis attended and is frustrated at how the story will be told: "Chappelle wasn’t having a meltdown. This was a Black artist shrugging the weight of White consumption, deciding when enough was enough." Jesse David Fox talks with a Chappelle chronicler about the situation.

PLL Tweeting

The Pretty Little Liars summer finale reportedly generated the most tweets for a TV series episode ever.

Letterman Anniversary

David Letterman celebrated 20 years at CBS in a relatively low-key way.

Big Brother Interview

Many enjoyed last night's Big Brother eviction and post-eviction interview, which was apparently legendary, but Andy Dehnart says CBS still deserves scorn for its presentation of this season.

Good TVeets

Warning: Big Brother spoilers at the end.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Bridge Solution

James Poniewozik praises The Bridge for figuring out how to keep a murder mystery show engaging.

Best New Shows

HuffPost is hosting videos of critics discussing fall shows. First up, best new comedies. Next, best new dramas. Next, favorite stars. Next, best returning shows.


CNBC is hitting decades-old lows in the ratings.

BBC English

BBC News style editor Ian Jolly discusses an ongoing debate over the BBC's use of "correct grammar" compared to "Americanisms."

Guide for the Blind

Bob Fernandez introduces us to Tom Wlodkowski, a blind Comcast exec who is working on a talking TV set guide.

Fusion Growing

Univision is adding more employees to Fusion to prep for its October launch.

Smart TV Security

Freddie Laker considers the security implications of smart TVs that can interact with viewers.

Carriage Disputes

The ire of Time Warner Cable customers is intensifying as the CBS blackout drags on, and Ben Koo delves into a stalemate between DirecTV and the Pac 12 Network.

SHIELD Interview

Alan Sepinwall talks to a pair of producers behind Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. about the show and Joss Whedon.

Netflix Comedy

Netflix will host a comedy special from Aziz Ansari, part of a larger move into comedy.

Stylistic Analysis

The AV Club is launching a new series that approaches film and TV texts from the standpoint of neoformalist analysis. Scott Kaufman starts with a consideration of the role of framing in Hannibal and The Godfather Part II.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Olbermann at ESPN

Joe Lucia considers questions the long-term viability of Keith Olbermann back at ESPN.

Idol Judge Search

American Idol judge casting continues to stumble along.

Why Capaldi?

Andrew O'Day delves into Peter Capaldi's selection as the next Doctor.

Snark Damage

Joel Keller says TV critics' propensity to be snarky on Twitter about pilots like Dads is detrimental to television.


Andrew Wallenstein defends from The Onion's mockery: "It’s difficult to subsist on substantive journalism without some help from more crowd-pleasing content."

ESPN's College Football Scheduling

Mike Reynolds looks at how ESPN will manage to air over 400 college football games across its platforms, with 46 coming on opening weekend alone.

History of the Bleep

Maria Bustillos delves into the history of censorship and broadcast bleeping.

New Disney Studio

Disney has gotten the ok to break ground on a new film and TV production studio in LA.

CW Seed

Liz Shannon Miller checks out CW Seed, The CW's new digital platform focused on experimentation.

Antenna Sales

Radio Shack is trying to lure cord cutters with a sale on broadcast antennae, and Time Warner Cable continues to give them away.

Murphy Brown Controversy

The TV Club roundtable revisits the Murphy Brown-Dan Quayle episodes.

Twitter Acquisition

Twitter has picked up Trendrr, and Mike Isaac considers why.

Aereokiller Hearing

Representatives of FilmOn, the service formally known as Aereokiller, argued at a hearing for the streaming service's legality. Jonathan Handel says the judge's responses indicate problems ahead for the networks.

Too Much TV

Mike Stein addresses the proliferation of TV programming and says a market correction is coming because "[a]t a certain point the audience will be spread too thin to be financially feasible and the creative talent pool will run dry.

NASCAR Breakup

SBJ reports that ESPN and TNT are looking to get out of their deal to air NASCAR races a year early. Matt Yoder has analysis.

Chromecast Update

Peter Kafka says the new Chromecast update is targeted to battle Apple TV.

TiVo Profits

Jeff Baumgartner reports on TiVo's upswing in profits this year.

AJAM's Potential

Lawrence Pintak watched the first week of Al Jazeera America and considers what challenges are ahead for the outlet.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

Robert David Sullivan looks back on Alfred Hitchcock Presents and what its most representative episodes reveal.

Ratings Primer

TVBTN offers up its annual estimates on what Nielsen ratings numbers will equate to for the coming season, starting with 115.8 million TV households in the US.

Bob's Burgers Walkthrough

AV Club has started a Bob's Burgers walkthrough with showrunner Loren Bouchard: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Dream Speech Anniversary

Networks and cable outlets will carry live coverage of the anniversary of Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech this afternoon. TVBizWire highlights a CBS roundtable aired the evening of the original speech featuring Sidney Poitier, James Baldwin, Marlon Brando, and others discussing the state of race relations.

Editor Roles

Adap Epstein says film and TV editors now have to be as wide-ranging in their skills as ever.

ESPN Competition

Jeff Bercovici says the new competition for ESPN coming from Fox Sports 1 helps everyone.

Hulu Gets Lionsgate Series

Hulu has picked up a Lionsgate comedy from the creators of Wilfred.

Fantasy Frenzy

Stuart Elliott looks at how advertisers, who already love football, have also embraced fantasy football.

Good TVeets

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

NASCAR FCC Complaints

Patrick George digs into the 18,529 indecency complaints filed by NASCAR viewers with the FCC over the past three years: "It turns out that like the viewers who complained about the Super Bowl, they are deeply upset over profanity and portrayals of sexuality in both the NASCAR races themselves and the advertisements aired during those races. "

Summer Winners & Losers

Josef Adalian highlights who should be happy or sad about this summer's ratings. Toni Fitzgerald considers cable winners and losers. Alan Sepinwall also highlights winners and losers.

TWC Xbox App

Time Warner Cable's 300-channel app is now available on Xbox 360, and Janko Roettgers notes that there's a net neutrality issue here.

AHS's Return

American Horror Story is back on October 9 with the subtitle Coven.

New Flow Issue

Check out the new Flow featuring Aymar Jean Christian with The Black TV Crisis and the Next Generation, Li Cornfeld with Shamefaced: Reframing the Dove Real Beauty Sketches, Jessalynn Keller with Tavi Gevinson and the Possibilities of Girls’ Popular Feminism, and Adolfo R. Mora with Reactions toward disliked in-group media figures: The role of ethnicity on perceived social appearance.

Intel's Acquisitions

Janko Roettgers highlights the acquisitions Intel has made to develop its online pay TV service.

NBC's Struggles

Mike Stein chronicles NBC's recent programming problems.

Fixing Retrans

Rich Greenfield challenges the current logic driving up retransmission fees: "We side with broadcasters in the belief that their content is valuable; however, local broadcast retransmission consent legislation was never intended to fund NFL rights acquisition and prime-time network programming — Congress wanted to ensure funding of “local” television." Robin Flynn also considers the state of retrans and what's at stake.

Influential Writers' Rooms

Dustin Rowles selects the ten most influential drama writers' rooms in TV history.

FCC Involved

Todd Shields and Alex Sherman report that the FCC is now involved in resolving the CBS-TWC dispute.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine Interview

Alan Sepinwall talks to the creators of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, who were formerly part of Parks and Recreation's room.

AJAM Ratings

Alex Weprin analyzes Al Jazeera America's launch ratings, which are starting low.

WealthTV Rebranding

WealthTV execs fear the channel was being misrepresentated by its name, so it is rebranding as AWE (A Wealth of Entertainment).


Dear Black Woman adds to the discussion of racial stereotyping in Orange is the New Black, and Recorded Future speculates about the show's ratings by on comparing online references with other shows.

Iconic Logos

Rudie Obias gives the backstory behind some iconic TV production company logos, like Bad Robot and Deedle-Dee Productions. (Link fixed)

Ofcom Investigating Violence

UK regulator Ofcom will research the volume of violence in shows that children are likely watch.

Fox News Firing

Gawker has more (alleged) details on the firing of a top Fox News exec at the behest of Roger Ailes. The fired exec's lawyer is talking tough.

McCain is Wrong

Rafi Mohammed explains why he thinks John McCain's a la carte cable bill is problematic.

Carter Pilot

X-Files creator Chris Carter looks to get back into the game at Amazon.

Production Emergency

Los Angeles' mayor is speaking out with urgency about media productions fleeing the city for more favorable tax incentives.

ESPN's Empire

The NYT concludes its look at ESPN's power by analyzing how it fights to maintain its dominance. Elsewhere, Dean Starkman highlights ESPN's journalism problem and conflicts of interest, and Kelly McBride considers the investigative reporting angle. And Blair Kerkhoff and Mark Davis look at how Fox is trying to challenge ESPN.

Good TVeets

Monday, August 26, 2013

Flash Forward Vogue

Neil Drumming notes the prominence of flash forwards in the current seasons of Breaking Bad and The Newsroom.

Person Erased

Andy Denhart considers the implications of Big Brother literally erasing a character from a scene.

VMA Reactions

Spencer Kornhaber says MTV's Music Video Awards presentation last night was culturally tired and safe, despite what some GIFs might lead you to believe. Jon Caramanica was also unimpressed. It was also noted that Daft Punk didn't perform, which is notable in the wake of the Stephen Colbert incident. Jody Rosen discusses Miley Cyrus's minstrelsy, NinjaCate follows up on race, as does Tressie McMillan Cottom, Alyssa Rosenberg raises bisexuality, and Soroya Chemaly raises the gender double-standard. Anne Helen Petersen considers the impact (or lack thereof) this will have on Cyrus. Sean O'Neal tells it like it is. The Onion tells what it is. The Parents Television Council is outraged. Fred Graver and Simon Rogers cover the official Twitter angle.

Agenda Benefits

Cynthia Littleton notes how various factions have taken advantage of the CBS-TWC dispute to market their own causes.

ABC Streaming in Houston

ABC is now available live on mobile devices to pay TV subscribers in Houston. This service was previously launched in a few other major cities, with Fresno coming next.

A Bunheads Farewell

Amy Sherman-Palladino has directed a Bunheads farewell and thank you for fans.

Breaking Bad Links

The writer of last night's episode talked about it with Denise Martin and with Aaron Couch. Leigh Kolb earlier this week wrote about Skyler, Lydia and Marie and women taking control. Willa Paskin chimes in on the Skyler talk, as do Andy Greenwald and James Poniewozik. Also, Indiewire features a four-hour interview with Vince Gilligan from 2011.

Miniseries Emmy

Ryan McGee discusses the messiness of the miniseries category within the Emmy Awards.

Finke Leaving

No really, Nikki Finke might really be leaving Deadline this time. I guess.

NBCU Labor Dispute

Writers for nonfiction shows on NBC and USA are objecting to NBCU's handling of a union election, as the parent company is trying to nullify election results that would give writers for nonfiction shows union rights. And a production company owned by NBCU is criticizing the union.

SoA Post-Show

Sons of Anarchy is getting a three-episode discussion show online.

Spacey's Speech

Kevin Spacey gave a lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival in which he called for TV execs to embrace new modes of viewing and give viewers more control. The Guardian garnered some responses from UK execs, who defended traditional modes. Analyst Raymond Snoddy also responds.

VMA Ratings

Ratings for the Video Music Awards were up 66% compared to last year, but Josef Adalian says the numbers really aren't that impressive otherwise.

MLB Live Events

Brian Stelter explains why MLB Advanced Media is licensing live events that are not baseball-related.

Live Sports Needed

Caleb Denison says Apple's attempts to create an iTV set and an internet pay TV service will only be successful if it can attract ESPN and live sports to the table.

MSNBC & Liberals

Kelefa Sanneh says MSNBC is trying to figure out what liberals want to watch. (Full article is in print or behind subscriber paywall)

The State of WWE

Matt Squires delves deeply into where the WWE stands relative to mainstream entertainment.

Global Warming & News

The Guardian reports on a new study finding that conservative news outlets like Fox News breed mistrust in science and are a major force behind the belief that climate change is not a significant problem caused by humans

Super Bowl Ads

Fox has sold 85% of its Super Bowl ad inventory, so you better get your $4 million in soon if you want a piece of the action. General Motors is returning to the game.

Duck Dynasty's Fortunes

Bill Carter looks at how life has changed for the Duck Dynasty family.

Retrans Standard

Alex Ben Block says when CBS and Time Warner Cable settle, that will set the new retrans standard, with the other networks subsequently asking for historic increases.

Bringing Characters to Life

Travis M. Andrews discusses the growth in TV characters taking on a life beyond their shows by tweeting, writing books, and creating playlists.

ESPN Links

ESPN's ombudsman has chimed in on the Frontline/concussion story. He says it appears to be about branding, with ESPN president not liking what he saw in a trailer. In other ESPN news, James Andrew Miller covers Keith Olbermann's return, and the next installment of the NYT's look at ESPN's power over college football looks at how the outlet helped resurrect University of Louisville athletics.

Good TVeets: Non-VMAs

Good TVs: VMAs

Because there were so many tweets, it was easier to enter them in reverse chronological order, so if you want to relive the night as it unfolded, you have to start at the bottom.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sarandos' Revolution

Dawn C. Chmielewski looks at how Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos has upended traditional models.

Cable Monopoly Problems

Michael Hiltzik details the problematic results of cable company monopolies.

More on Skyler

Maureen Ryan says Skyler White hate isn't just about the haters; it's also about the problem of writing female characters effectively.

Dads & Racism

Asawin Suebsaeng analyzes Dads' racial representations.

Internships & Diversity

An NBCU exec sayd paid internships at the company have helped enhance labor diversity.

AJAM & Climate Change

Al Jazeera America has already made climate change a frequent topic, compared to its cable news competitors.

British TV Criticism

Joe Moran surveys the historical development of British television criticism.

ESPN's Dominance

The NYT has launched a series of articles about ESPN's industry power, starting with its dominance of college football.

Good TVeets

Warning: Breaking Bad spoilers at the end via Retta tweets

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Poverty Programming

Andrew Collins questions the representational impact of recent British shows featuring impoverished people.


James C. McKinley Jr. looks at what MTV is doing with the Video Music Awards this year. And Joan E. Solsman says MTV is working harder on making the social media aspect more valuable.

Comcast's TV Efforts

The WSJ checks out how Steve Burke is trying to implement Comcast's plan for NBCU. (Article is behind paywall)

Drescher Cancelled

Fran Drescher's Happily Divorced has been cancelled by TV Land.

Gunn on White

Actress Anna Gunn discusses the troubling reactions to Skyler White from Breaking Bad.

Good TVeets

Friday, August 23, 2013

ITV Wins

ITV has been named Channel of the Year at the Edinburgh TV Festival. Broadchurch, Black Mirror, and Chris Chibnal were also honored.

CNN Morning Drops

CNN's New Day morning program is struggling for a ratings foothold.

Key Mobile Case

Marco Santana points to a court case regarding mobile television as key to the future of viewing options, including prospects for Aereo.

Anti-MSNBC Campaign

A Tea Party group is leading an anti-MSNBC campaign focusing on Al Sharpton and calling for Comcast boycotts.

TWC's Top Lawyer

Shalini Ramachandran profiles Melinda Witmer, a TWC lawyer taking command in the CBS negotiations.

Expand Ownership Regs

Harry A. Jessell thinks the FCC should relax station ownership limits.

What if JAG...

Alan Sepinwall wonders how network TV today would be different if NBC hadn't cancelled JAG after one season.

ESPN Efforts

Christopher Palmeri points to new initiatives by ESPN as efforts to take on the Fox Sports 1 challenge.

Future's Not Here

Janko Roettgers says despite all the talk of online pay TV service deals, the industry is nowhere near taking future step yet.

Breaking Bad Criticism

Matt Fowler explains why Skyler White is not terrible, and Dustin Rowles digs up how critics responded when Breaking Bad first aired.


ESPN has pulled out of its collaboration with PBS on a Frontline documentary investigation into NFL head injuries, leaving significant questions behind. Marc Tracy reports on the situation.

Update: James Andrew Miller reports that NFL pressure influenced ESPN's decision. ESPN is denying such reports. But ESPN looks bad.

SNL Additions

Saturday Night Live is reportedly looking at four new cast members.

Tablet Recall

Laura Hazard Owen reports on a study finding viewer recall of ads is strongest when watching on a tablet.

UK Viewing

Mark Sweney reports on figures showing the average UK viewer watches four hours of TV a day on a TV set and 90 minutes a month on other devices.

70s NYC Credits

The Bowery Boys website analyzes 1970s TV show title sequences depicting New York City.

Gilligan Inteview

GQ talks to Vince Gilligan, who discusses, among other things, the Breaking Bad color theory.

Home Costs

Bankrate considers what some TV homes would cost in real life.

Leonard & Justified

Tim Goodman recalls Elmore Leonard's praise for Justified.

Downton Challenges

Downton Abbey's popularity is posing challenges for shooting.

BuzzFeed Helped OITNB

Natan Edlesburg considers how BuzzFeed enhanced Orange is the New Black's buzz.

Good TVeets

Thursday, August 22, 2013

European Co-Productions

A BBC Worldwide drama exec talks about the value of co-productions in Europe.

Saturday Night For Women

Mike Hale notes the growth of programming targeted toward women on Saturday nights.

Fall Screens

Brian Steinberg says networks are diving more deeply into second screen efforts this fall.

Diversity Problems

Roxane Gay says the praise for Orange is the New Black's diversity just shows that we're setting the bar for it too low. Myles McNutt sees a problem with this piece and others like it. Anthony Oliviera wants to specifically talk Taystee.

ESPN Online

Disney has launched preliminary talks into making the suite of ESPN channels available to an online pay TV service like Google, Sony, and others are planning. Jeff Bercovici says this would be a huge deal for over-the-top viability.

FXX's Plan

Lacey Rose interviews a pair of FXX execs about the channel's upcoming launch and target audience.

Netflix Economics

Andrew Wallenstein considers how immediate binge viewing of original releases could affect Netflix's bottom line.

Google + NFL

Peter Kafka reports that Google is interested in bidding for the rights to NFL football. Mark Cuban says this is smart. Will Richmond sees at least five big challenges.

Coming Out

Robin M. Boylorn explores why Raven Symoné’s coming out matters, and Alyssa Rosenberg discusses the implications of Wentworth Miller's acknowledgement of being gay in terms of protests against Russian laws.

AJAM Reviews

TVWeek links to some early reviews of Al Jazeera America.

CBS & Verizon Agree

CBS has secured a new retrans deal with Verizon's FiOS service, and Les Moonves wonders why Time Warner Cable won't take the same deal. TWC is now passing out free antennas. Sam Thielman looks at what's taking so long.

Sudeikis Promos

Tim Nudd goes behind the scenes of the Jason Sudeikis promos for NBC Sports football (er, soccer). Jonathan Salem Baskin wonders if the Premier League can become popular on US TV.

Apple's TV Vision

Quartz delves into Apple's TV plans and how it's courting major studios to possibly supply content for an online service.

Channel 5 Drama

Britain's Channel 5 is restarting original drama development, after a near-decade gap, and putting pressure on Channel 4 in the process.

TCM Marketing

Stuart Elliott looks at how Turner Classic Movies is stepping up marketing efforts and trying to foster committed fans, not just viewers.

Fall Discussion

The TV Academy hosted a TV critic panel on the fall season Tuesday night, and the webcast is now online.

Digital NFL

Mike Shields looks at how the NFL is forging ahead alone with its digital efforts rather than partnering with outlets like Twitter and YouTube. Joshua Brustein is frustrated by the NFL's streaming policies (or lack thereof).

On Lorne Michaels

Dave Itzkoff talks with a slew of Saturday Night Live cast members auditioning for Lorne Michaels. There are also extended interviews with some of them.

Watching Cable

Time spent watching ad-supported cable has hit record peaks this summer, with the vast majority watched live as scheduled.

CBS Criticism

Michael Copps calls out CBS for blocking access to for Time Warner Cable broadband subscribers, and Verizon is also decrying this as a net neutrality issue. Meanwhile, Time Warner Cable will let WCBS air political debates on its service in New York.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Ratings Surges

Rick Kissell notes that both Breaking Bad and Duck Dynasty started slow in the ratings but have surged in recent seasons, with Netflix and social media apparently assisting.

Composers Talk

THR presents thoughts from Emmy-nominated composers.

Maker Buys Blip

Maker Studios has purchased Blip in a bid to expand beyond YouTube.

GA Productions

Access Atlanta has a list of TV shows being shot in the Atlanta area.

Al Jazeera English Complaints

Fans of Al Jazeera English are complaining about its livestream being cut as Al Jazeera America launched.

The Russo Test

GLAAD is proposing a version of the Bechdel Test for LGBT characters. Alyssa Rosenberg has analysis.

Reality TV Problems

Michael Schneider notes that reality TV is trying to get out of a creative drought. This while Duck Dynasty is becoming the highest-rated cable show of all time.

Diff'rent Strokes

TV Clubs TV Roundtable tackles the child molester episodes of Diff'rent Strokes.

Disney-ABC Layoffs

Joe Flint reports on major layoffs at Disney and ABC. ABC's O&Os will be particularly hard-hit.

Finke Out?

Rumors are again swirling that Nikki Finke is exiting Deadline.

"Quality TV"

Javier Grillo-Marxuach calls out a distinction between genuinely good quality TV and shows that trying too hard in an effort to be labeled quality TV.

FNC Firing Update

Brian Lewis is saying only nice things about Fox News and Roger Ailes in the wake of his firing, which is reportedly tied to a book about Ailes, and Fox News personalities are standing up for Ailes.

New Queue

Netflix is tinkering with its queue to better tell you what you what to watch. It's called "My List." If you don't like it, you can change it back.

TV License Cases

Figures show that 10% of all court cases in the UK involve unpaid license fee prosecutions.

Alternate Future

Hitfix is launching a new feature called "What If...?" with speculation on what might have happened if HBO had picked up a Winnie Holzman series rather than The Sopranos.

AJAM Dispute

Al Jazeera America is locked in a carriage fee dispute with AT&T already, with AJAM claiming AT&T illegally broke an agreement. This is part of many challenges the channel is likely to face.

Good TVeets

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

TBS Renewals

TBS has renewed Sullivan & Son, Men at Work, and Deal With It.

Complex Female Characters

Jos Truit at Feministing explores the Skyler White hate through the lens of gender and character complexity.

Why TV is Good

TV writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach offers a theory for why TV is as good as it is in this era and gives a lot of credit to storytelling technology.  Grillo-Marxuach also appeared on the Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan podcast, which is getting praise for its informative glimpse at TV production.

Ailes Aide Fired

A top aide to Fox News chief Roger Ailes has been fired, and Gabriel Sherman sees this as a significant development.

State of TV Criticism

Matt Zoller Zeitz adds his voice to the debate about the state of TV criticism: "If you appreciate good TV, this is a fantastic time to be alive. If you appreciate good writing about TV, ditto."

Too Much Good TV

Neil Genzlinger proposes the Television Adjustment Act of 2013 in response to the crisis of too much good TV.

Low Winter Sun Struggling

Ratings for AMC's Low Winter Sun don't look good.

FXX Launch

FXX will launch on September 2 via all of the major pay TV providers.


Al Jazeera America has just launched, but not on AT&T U-Verse. Alex Howard says AJAM is betting that Americans want serious journalism from their cable news. And it also seems willing to court cord cutters, though it's not online yet.

RIP Elmore Leonard

Writer Elmore Leonard has died. Verne Gay notes his impact on TV. Matt Zoller Seitz has a remembrance.

Rentrak Purchase

Brian Steinberg looks at the ratings company Rentrak's purchase a product-placement measurement business.

Cagney & Lacey

Todd VanDerWerff looks back on what made Cagney & Lacey a ground-breaking series.

Orange Avoidance

Allison Samuels explains why she won't watch Orange is the New Black: "I’m simply not entertained by shows that feature large numbers of black people exiting, entering, or already in prison."

Dads' Racism

Fox is trying to defend the Dads pilot against charges of racism. Melissa Maerz digs into the pilot's problems.

Diet Episodes

Jennifer Jones analyzes a pair of episodes from the early sitcom The Goldbergs that focus on dieting and "demonstrate how ambivalent approaches to corpulence have long coexisted in American culture."

TV Upheaval

Ken Auletta puts the Time Warner Cable-CBS fight in larger industry context: "What we’re witnessing are not the deliberate, calculated moves of two skilled chess players but, rather, two aging players who fear that their game is being disrupted." Peter Lauria figures fall, not football, will end the blackout.

News Corp Bonuses

Meg James reports that 21st Century Fox successes have led to big exec bonuses at News Corp.

Highest Paid

TV Guide highlights the highest-paid TV stars, a list that Jon Stewart now tops in the late-night category, while Judge Judy Sheindlin is tops overall.

Sex on Bob's Burgers

Charlotte Shane praises Bob's Burgers as the most sex-positive show on TV.


Organic light-emitting diode TV sets are apparently the next big thing, but Ty Pendlebury sees problems.

New TiVo

Niley Patel says the new TiVo box is a powerhouse.

State of TV News

David Bauder delves into how the evening network newscasts are doing, particularly ABC and CBS. Emma Green reports on the decline of TV as a news source for young people. And Justin D. Mann says Al Jazeera needs an ombudsman to help its credibility. David Zurawik questions some of the journalistic coverage of Al Jazeera America's launch.

Good TVeets

Monday, August 19, 2013

New In Media Res

Theme: Animal Webcams

  •  Monday, August 19, 2013 - Randy Malamud (Georgia State University) presents: Looking at People, Looking at Animals 
  •  Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - Carolyn Kane (Hunter College, CUNY) presents: Henri le Chat: à la Mode Retro 
  •  Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - Susan Nance (University of Guelph) presents: Ape Cam: Zoo Pets and Surveillance Culture 
  •  Thursday, August 22, 2013 - Lauren Sodano (National Museum of Play at The Strong) presents: Sealed with a Kitten: Turn-of-the-Century Cat Postcards 
  •  Friday, August 23, 2013 - Sarah O’Brien (University of Toronto) presents: Animals on the Loose, in the News!

Fox + Vice

Simon Dumenco explores the 21st Century Fox-Vice Media deal.

BitTorrent Pilot

BitTorrent is asking users for input on its first TV pilot.

Biggest Twitter Moment

The record for most tweets in one second was broken during a Japanese TV airing of Miyazaki's Castle in the Sky.

If Netflix Tried Live

Ben Elowitz speculates on what might happen if Netflix aired a live event.

Gloomy Drama

Ben Lawrence proposes reasons for why British drama is rife with grim dramas right now.

Hate-Watching The Newsroom

Rob Sheffield loves how bad The Newsroom is.

Glass House Settlement

The lawsuit between CBS and ABC over a Big Brother-esque reality show format has been settled, with CBS getting compensation.

Rizzoli & Isles Halts Production

TNT has paused production on Rizzoli & Isles due to the death of a cast member.

NBC News Video

NBC News is creating an in-house digital video unit.

Fox Eyeing Stations

Rachel Abrams reports that Fox's TV Stations Group is eyeing new acquisitions in NFL markets.

Breaking Bad Links

Denise Martin interviews Betsy Brandt on her character's big moments last night. Brian Lowry thinks there's too much focus being put on how the show will end. Forbes has some money numbers from the series. Patrick Ryan highlights recent parodies.

Twitter Hire

Twitter has hired an exec from Google to handle movie and TV marketing partnerships.

Good TVeets

Warning: Mild spoilers for True Blood and Breaking Bad at the end.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Fox Sports 1's Start

Fox Sports 1 opened to solid ratings. Tim Goodman was one who tuned in.

New Viewing

A Canadian news outlet covers viewers' relationships to traditional TV and new digital options.

HBO & Male Nudity

Alyssa Rosenberg comments on College Humor's video advocating for more male nudity on HBO shows.

Weather Channel Advice

The Weather Channel's company is using its stockpiled data to help advise advertisers on weather-related consumer behavior.

Baldwin & MSNBC

Matthew Gilbert looks at what MSNBC might be getting into by giving Alec Baldwin a show.

AJAM's Ambitions

Agence France-Presse says Al Jazeera America plans to report on stories ignored by the mainstream media, and Brian Stelter says they plan a more sober approach. Sam Thielman says some advertisers are wary of the channel.

Sony's TV Ambitions

Brooks Barnes details Sony's presence in the fall schedule, with four shows coming from its TV production studio.

Sustaining Orange Buzz

Liz Shannon Miller looks at how Netflix is trying to keep fan interest in Orange is the New Black going.

Fey Selling Shows

Tina Fey has sold two shows (as producer only, not star), one to Fox and one to NBC; the former is a multi-cam sitcom.

Good TVeets

Friday, August 16, 2013

Glee's Plan

Ryan Murphy says Glee will have Cory Monteith's character Finn die, but may not cite the cause.

Yang's Impact

Willa Paskin discusses how Sandra Oh's Grey's Anatomy character changed TV. Oh is now leaving the show.

Breaking Bad Cinematography

Nick Schager has an essay about the cinematography of Breaking Bad's first season, and Dave Bunting Jr. and Max Winter have a video essay.

Fox Sports 1 Fees

John Ourand looks into what Fox Sports 1 is getting for carriage fees.

McCreary Interview

Courtney Vaudreuil interviews prolific TV composer Bear McCreary.

Turkish Soaps

Piotr Zalewski discusses the powerful popularity of Turkish soap operas.

Howard Elected

Ken Howard has carried his SAG presidency into the first SAG-AFTRA presidency.

ESPN3 Expanded

ESPN3 will now be available for free to iPad users on college campuses and military bases.

ESPN's Dominance

Derek Thompson looks at how ESPN has become globally dominant.

Dads Complaints

An Asian-American advocacy group has asked the producers of the new fall series Dads to edit out offensive jokes about Asians.

Real World's Future

The Real World will be back for a 29th season, and Richard Lawson weighs if it might be time to end the franchise.

Burke Extended

Comcast has extended Steve Burke's contract with NBCU.

Fox Drops Clinton

Nellie Andreeva reports that Fox Studios won't produce the Hillary Clinton miniseries. And now NBC is saying the miniseries might not happen.

More Netflix Kids

Netflix is adding more children's content, expanding an aggrement with Scholastic.

Downton Merch

Jill Lawless looks at the proliferation of Downton Abbey merchandise.

GoT Digital Promotion

A research group is offering access to a white paper on international digital promotion of Game of Thrones, which is full of great info.

Oliver's Stint

John Oliver has finished his successful guest-hosting of The Daily Show. Aaron Couch highlights five best moments.

TNT Renewals

TNT has renewed Rizzoli and Isles, Major Crimes, and Perception.

European Cord-Cutting

Apparently Western Europe is now seeing significant cord cutting of pay TV.

Better Female Characters

Mary McNamara hopes that more shows with multi-dimensional female characters, such as those in Orange is the New Black, are on the way. Sophia McDougall would just hope they aren't "strong" female characters.

AJAM Launch

Alex Weprin covers the upcoming launch of Al Jazeera America. The channel will have fewer ads than the cable news norm and more hard news. The channel's parent Al Jazeera is blocking its YouTube videos in the US as a concession to pay TV operators.

Fox News Demos

Jordan Chariton considers Fox News' youth demo challenges.