Friday, February 28, 2014

BBC-BSkyB Retrans Deal

It was previously the case that, in the reverse of the U.S. network situation, the BBC was paying retransmission fees to BSkyB for carriage, but the they have now agreed to end that payment.

Seinfeld Revolution

In an excerpt from his new book, Saul Austerlitz delves into how Seinfeld revolutionized the sitcom.

Duck Dynasty Drop

Josef Adalian considers what's behind Duck Dynasty's ratings decline and says it isn't about Phil.

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Total Viewers: CBS: 10.54 million, ABC: 7.76, Fox: 6.63, NBC: 3.16, CW: 1.63
- Adults 18-49: CBS: 2.5 rating/8 share, ABC: 2.4/ 7, Fox: 1.5/ 5, NBC: 1.1/ 3, CW: 0.7/ 2
- Winners: “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS), “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC), “Two and a Half Men” (CBS), “Scandal” (ABC)
- Losers (excluding repeats): “Countdown to the Oscars” (ABC), “Community” (NBC), “Parks and Recreation” (NBC), “The Crazy Ones” (CBS), “Hollywood Game Night” (NBC), “Rake” (Fox), “Parenthood” (NBC)

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

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Comcast-TWC & Sports

John Ourand says the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger could benefit sports channels.


New issue of Critical Studies of Television featuring:

Aereo Action

Michael D. Berg previews the Aereo-related action to come in courts over the next few months.

Courting Republicans

Lucas Shaw says the MPAA is shifting lobbying attention over to Republicans in hopes of getting more favorable anti-piracy support.

Good TVeets

Thursday, February 27, 2014

ITV Labor Claim

Jonathan Handel reports on WGA East accusations that ITV Studios' American division is overworking and underpaying its writers and producers.

Univision Sweeps

Rick Kissell highlights Univision's best-ever 18-34 sweeps performance in February.

Finding New Shows

Wayne Friedman reports on a study finding that half of viewers most prefer channel flipping as a way to find new shows.

Hulu Japan Purchase

Todd Spangler reports that Hulu Japan will be purchased by Nippon TV.

AMC's Lift

Anthony Crupi reports that The Walking Dead has significantly boosted AMC Networks' revenue, helping to offset losses from Low Winter Sun and The Killing.

California Incentives

A new study calls for a major overhaul of California's film and TV production tax incentive programs to stem the tide of jobs leaving the state.

Upfronts Schedule

Toni Fitzgerald lays out the schedule for all the upfronts presentations coming from network, cable, and digital outlets over the next few months.

Politics After TV

Clay Shirky wonders what politicians could do in the wake of declining mass audiences for TV.

ESPN Conference Channels

Todd Spangler reports that ESPN is launching a group of dedicated college sports conference channels on Apply TV and Roku boxes.

Awards Show Value

Jeanine Poggi explores how valuable awards shows have become for TV and advertisers.

ABC & Twitter Ads

Todd Spangler reports on ABC signing up for Twitter's sponsored-tweet program just in time for the Oscars.

Movies & Labor

David Sirota explains how the MPAA's anti-piracy maneuvers could be mobilized to help support the domestic visual effects industry. And if you're interested in the state of the visual effects industry, you'll want to check out Life After Pi, a documentary about the bankruptcy of the Rhythm and Hues VFX company.

Sirota follows up by analyzing the MPAA's response to his report, which he says only makes the VFX workers' case stronger.

Comcast Deals

John Vanderhoef at the Media Industries Project has a well-lined summary of the Comcast-TWC deal, while Dan Rayburn breaks down the specifics of the Comcast-Netflix deal, which Netflix's CFO says was necessary.

Wednesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: Fox: 10.64 million, CBS: 9.69, NBC: 6.77, ABC: 5.94, CW: 1.98
 -Adults 18-49: Fox: 2.6 rating/8 share, CBS: 2.5/ 7, ABC and NBC: 1.8/ 5 each, CW: 0.7/ 2
- Winners: Survivor” (CBS), Modern Family (ABC), Criminal Minds (CBS), Chicago PD (NBC)
- Down But Still Dominant: American Idol (Fox)
- Honorable Mention: Arrow (CW), Law & Order: SVU (NBC) -Losers (excluding repeats): Revolution (NBC), Mixology (ABC), The Tomorrow People (CW), Nashville (ABC)

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

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

The Americans did ok but didn't get a bump over last season.

MLB Defense

Eriq Gardner looks at Major League Baseball's defense of its territorial rights practices in a class-action anti-trust lawsuit over sports on pay TV.

Being Mary Jane Renewed

BET wants a second season of Being Mary Jane.

Good Wife Furniture

In a CBS video, a Good Wife producer talks about the importance of set design choices, especially chairs, in regard to defining characters.

Viewing Health

Harvard researchers have found that too much TV watching, i.e. sitting around, increases obesity.

Evolution of Video

Michael Chang discusses the evolution of video from TV to YouTube, and Michael Z. Newman talks about his new book on the historical evolution of the various media we have named video.

Texts in TV

Casey Johnston looks at how text messages are being used as plot devices in movies and TV shows.

Oscars Streaming

Alex Weprin reports that ABC will stream the Oscars, but only for certain pay TV subscribers.

Kudrow Case

Lisa Kudrow is being sued by a former manager who worked for her in her Friends days and testified yesterday that he doesn't deserve more money from her.

Update: Kudrow has to pay up about a Friends episode salary portion of money.

Data & Duck Dynasty

Andrew Ross Sorkin looks at how A&E used social media and "Big Data" to decide how to respond to the Duck Dynasty controversy.

Gender on Comedy Central

Nick Marx explores gender on Comedy Central shows like The Kroll Show and Inside Amy Schumer.

Mixology's Experimentation

Myles McNutt explores what is ambitious and intriguing, if not wholly successful, about the narrative structure of ABC's new sitcom Mixology.

Cross-Platform Measurement

Charlene Weisler reports on a possible leap forward for cross-platform ratings measurement called Project Blueprint.

House of Cards Chatter

Michael Rosten reports that there's far more discussion of House of Cards on Twitter in its second season compared to the first.

Facebook Targeting TV Advertisers

Jennifer Saba reports that Facebook is trying to convince TV advertisers to bring their money over to the social media platform.

Al Jazeera Protest

Today is a global day of protests against Al Jazeera journalists being held in Egypt.

TWC Broadcast Fee

Duane Dudek says some Time Warner Cable subscribers will notice a new charge on their bills, a "broadcast TV fee" tied to the cost of retransmission fees.

New Channels

Alex Weprin reports on how Comcast's agreement with the FCC to carry some independent channels in the wake of its NBCU buy has helped bring new niche channels to life. One of them is the El Rey Network, launched by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez in order to bring more diversity to TV.

Late Night Talk

Bill Carter reports on the new Tonight Show's strong start in ratings and on YouTube. And Arsenio Hall's syndicated show has been renewed for a second season.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Comcast-TWC Analysis

Neal Ungerleider analyzes the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal from the standpoint of the set-top box and Comcast's attempts to battle against over-the-top options. Rocco Pendola considers the possible fate of niche channels in the post-merger world.

Marvel Filming

The upcoming Marvel series for Netflix will shoot in New York City, thanks to a tax incentive deal for Disney.

License Fee Perils

BBC director general Tony Hall delivered a speech saying that further cost-saving cuts could imperil the quality of the BBC's services and that the license fee should be modernized, including assuring that iPlayer viewers are license fee payers. And a new study predicts a significant reduction in value, volume, and quality from potential BBC license fee cuts.

Dodgers Carriage

Andy Fixmer notes that some LA Dodger fans who get their pay TV from someone other than Time Warner Cable may not get to see their team on TV much this season, as other pay TV operators push back against the carriage fee demands TWC is making for SportsNetLA.

ITV's 2013 Success

John Reynolds reports that Britain's ITV had a very profitable 2013, but it isn't interested in buying Channel 5. And ITV's audience share also went up, for the first time since 1990.

International Rights

Dylan reeve explains why international rights and broadcasting issues prevent simultaneous distribution of TV shows globally.

TV Shows & Novels

Are TV shows like novels something something New York Times Dickens The Wire? (Someone out there just won Cultural Legitimacy Bingo.)

Comcast-Netflix Deal

Lance Ulanoff tries to clear up facts about the Netflix-Comcast deal, and James O'Toole predicts the deal won't result in Netflix price hikes.

Fukunaga Profile

Marlow Stern interviews True Detective director Cary Fukunaga.

Netflix Revenue Comparison

Peter Kafka highlights a chart showing that Netflix now exceeds numerous cable networks in revenue.

Ripper Street Revived

Amazon is pulling the BBC's Ripper Street out of the cancellation bin for a third series. Ben Lawrence sees this as precedent-setting.

Olympics Ratings

The final Olympics ratings are in, and the Sochi Games ended up the lowest-rated in 18-49 ever. Toni Fitzgerald proposes reasons for the decline.

Looking Renewed

HBO wants a second season of Looking.

Tuesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Total Viewers: CBS: 13.59 million, NBC: 9.25, ABC: 6.61, Fox: 2.83, CW: 2.16
- Adults 18-49: NBC: 2.6 rating/7 share, CBS: 2.2/ 6, ABC: 2.0/ 6, Fox: 1.2/ 3, CW: 0.9/ 3
-Winners: NCIS (CBS), The Voice (NBC), The Bachelor (ABC), NCIS: Los Angeles (CBS), About a Boy R (NBC), Supernatural (CW)
- Honorable Mention: Growing Up Fisher R (NBC)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Glee (Fox), New Girl (Fox), Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox)

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

Analysis from Spotted and Hitfix.

Good TVeets

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Breaking Bad Tourism

Tom Steward was in Albuquerque and checked out the Breaking Bad tourism scene.

From Web to TV

Aymar Jean Christian explores the conditions that can help a web series make it onto TV.

CNN Ratings

CNN continued to drop in the ratings in February.

Limited Series Issues

Myles McNutt argues that the rise of limited-run series is about brand management, not innovative form, and they raise questions about distribution.

Debut Reactions

Betha Hanna notes that the response to Seth Meyers' first night as a talk show host was mostly positive; the response to Ronan Farrow's start as MSNBC host was not. Meyers also started well in the ratings.

Being Human Cancelled

Syfy's Being Human will end with the current fourth season.

TiVo Streaming Box

Janko Roettgers reports on TV's release of a new video streaming box called QPlay.

Ruining The Internet

Nilay Patel explains why recent events are screwing up the internet.

Monday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: NBC: 14.25 million, ABC: 8.34, CBS: 7.19, Fox: 5.14, CW: 844,000
 -Adults 18-49: NBC: 4.2 rating/11 share, ABC: 2.2/ 6, CBS: 2.1/ 6, Fox: 1.6/ 4, CW: 0.3/ 1
 -Winners: The Voice (NBC), How I Met Your Mother (CBS), The Blacklist (NBC)
- Fading: The Following (Fox)
 -Losers (excluding repeats): Star-Crossed (CW), Intelligence (CBS)

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

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Olympics & Corporate Ads

Adrienne Shaw uses BP as an example to illustrate how corporations trade on Olympics commercialism in partnership with each other. And Beth Synder Nulik explains why Samsung decided not to advertising during the Olympics.

House of Cards Viewing

Derek Thompson tries to pin down some specifics about House of Cards viewing measurement and what constitutes a "hit" on Netflix.

BBC's International Hits

BBC News highlights which British shows export best to particular countries; Downton Abbey is huge in Finland, but not Doctor Who.

Tennis Channel Denied

The Supreme Court won't hear Tennis Channel's tiering case appeal against Comcast.

Disney iTunes Deal

Disney is launching a cloud-based movie storage service via iTunes. Will Richmond says this looks good.

Comcast's Power

John Cassidy highlights Comcast's success at getting what it wants in Washington, and Susan Crawford says the Comcast-Netflix deal is great for Comcast, but not for internet innovation.

Broad City Renewed

Comedy Central wants more Broad City.

Good TVeets

Monday, February 24, 2014

Mobile Gaining Ground

Sean J. Miller reports on a survey finding that preference for mobile and tablet viewing is quickly gaining ground on TV viewing.

New Flow Issue

Check out a new Flow featuring:

New In Media Res

Theme: Cinema Journal Presents In Focus: Queer Studies

  • Monday, February 24, 2014 - Quinn Miller (University of Oregon) presents: Queer Recalibration
  • Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - Ramzi Fawaz (University of Wisconsin, Madison) presents: Stripped to the Bone 
  • Wednesday, February 26, 2014 - Curran Nault (University of Texas, Austin) presents: Queer Cinema’s Undead 
  • Thursday, February 27, 2014 - Matthew Hays (Concordia University) presents: Gay Gardens 
  • Friday, February 28, 2014 - Margaret Rhee (University of California, Berkeley) presents: After ZEE

True Detective Title Sequence

Will Perkins interviews the creative director of True Detective's title sequence about its visual execution.

ESPN Plugging Vikings

Brian Steinberg explains why ESPN is helping History to market the second season launch of The Vikings.

License Fee Defense

Reuters highlights the arguments the head of the BBC will make this week in defending the BBC's license fee funding.

Late Night Writers' Rooms

Kate Dries says late night writers' rooms are gaining more gender and racial diversity, especially among the shows with younger hosts.

Network Warnings

Eriq Gardner covers the arguments networks are making, including threats of potentially dire consequences for "free TV," in the Aereo case. Rich Greenfield goes over the info.

DGA Deal

Joanthan Handel reports on the details of the Directors Guild's new contract.

Comcast-TWC Date

Cynthia Littleton reports that the first public discussion of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal will happen via the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 26.

More Comcast-Netflix Links

Jeff Morganteen reports that Verizon expects a deal with Netflix in the wake of the streaming service's deal with Comcast, and Peter Kafka says Verizon isn't the only broadband provider in line. Todd Spangler says Netflix is coming out of this deal as the winner

Ratings News

Rick Kissell has a summary of NBC's Olympics ratings, and Lisa De Moraes has a summary of Downton Abbey's PBS ratings, which ended strong.

Netflix App

Janko Roettgers delves into the recent relaunch of the Netflix app and the logic behind its redesign.

Aereo in Austin

Aereo is planning a launch in Austin next week despite its legal issues.

Amazon's Plan

Marcus Wohlsen explains how Amazon hopes to transform television.

True Detective & Women

Emily Nussbaum pinpoints problems with True Detective's portrayal of women, while Willa Paskin says there's a thematic point to how the show treats its female characters. Alyssa Rosenberg also adds to the conversation, as does Sam Adams. Andrew Romano interviews one of the show's actresses, Michelle Monaghan, about her character's portrayal.

Sunday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: NBC: 13.52 million, Fox: 6.30, CBS: 5.52, ABC: 5.11
 -Adults 18-49: NBC: 29 rating/8 share, Fox: 2.0/ 5, ABC: 1.3/ 4, CBS: 1.0/ 3
 -Winners: XXII Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony (NBC), Growing Up Fisher (NBC)
 -Losers (excluding repeats): Nothing…the only other shows in originals was 60 Minutes and The Amazing Race on CBS.

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

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Good TVeets

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Piers Morgan is Out

David Carr reports that CNN is ending Piers Morgan's 9pm show in March. Brian Steinberg sees this as part of Jeff Zucker's plan. James Poniewozik has analysis. Alex Weprin considers what's coming next in CNN prime time.

Comcast-Netflix Deal

Stacey Higginbotham confirms that Netflix has a deal with Comcast to provide for better streaming. Swanni points out that it's a big deal that Netflix is paying for this. Shalini Ramachandran reports. Timothy B. Lee explains what's going on here. Anthony Crupi considers what precedent this could set. A video from 2010 in regard to the Level 3-Comcast dispute helps explain what interconnection and peering are. Eric Limer says this will end up costing us all.

Dan Rayburn says there's a lot of misreporting and misunderstanding going on. Richard Greenfield digs into the Netflix perspective on this. Stacey Higginbotham says this sets a troubling precedent. Will Richmond says the agreement seems fair. But watchdogs have concerns. Kevin Drum explains the basic framework in play here.

Channel 5 Bid

Roy Greenslade reports that Discovery Communications and BSkyB may offer a joint bid for Britain's Channel 5.

Global Olympics Coverage

David Bauder looks at a day of Olympics coverage from various countries.

Saturday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

About a Boy had a solid start on NBC.

Hannibal on Amazon

NBC is promoting a social media event revolving around binge-watching Hannibal on Amazon to catch up before its second season starts. Andrew Wallenstein says this is smart marketing and a good way for a serial to benefit from SVOD.

Good TVeets

Older Viewers

Meredith Blake notes that the median age of broadcast network viewers continues to rise, leaving networks considering how to respond.

Friday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Fienberg.

Heroes Reboot

Maybe I'm having a fever dream and will have to delete this in the morning, but as of right now, sources seem to be saying that NBC is rebooting Heroes as a 2015 miniseries.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

BBC Worldwide Showcase

Georg Szalai describes the upcoming BBC Worldwide Showcase, which will draw buyers from around the world to pick up rights to shows from the BBC and other British outlets, and offers news that Luther will get a Russian remake.

Comcast Competition

Gautham Nagesh relays Comcast comments that its deal with Time Warner Cable won't limit fair broadband competition. The Nation sees it differently.

Good TVeets

Friday, February 21, 2014

Venezuela v. CNN

Venezuela, which is experiencing opposition unrest, has threatened to expel CNN from the country, though it subsequently backed off. The AP reports that the internet is also becoming a local battleground.

Olympics Coverage

Paul Farhi notes that NBC has largely steered clear of covering Sochi's controversies, while Josh Levin ties broader problems with NBC's coverage to reality TV conventions.

Silverman's Plans

Network TV legend Fred Silverman is now looking to help overhaul local television with a focus toward local programming and production.

Roku IPO

Bloomberg reports that Roku is debating the option to go public this year.

House of Cards 3 Delay

Deadline reports that House of Cards' third season is delaying production as the team waits out Maryland tax incentive legislation.

Ergen Comments

Jeff Bercovici relays comments from Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen about the possible impact of Comcast-Time Warner Cable and a possible Dish-DirecTV merger.

Embrace the Bundle

Joe Marchese offers a gym membership analogy for why we should quit complaining about cable bundling.

Lifetime Movie Reinvention

Ann Friedman looks at Lifetime's reinvention through its TV movies.

Kimmel's Wolf Prank

Jimmy Kimmel pulled off another viral video prank with footage of a wolf wandering around the Olympic Village. Emily Yahr says Kimmel should quit with the hoaxes. And David Bauder reports that ABC News knew before anyone else that it was a prank but stayed silent.

Younger Hopes

Bill Carter highlights NBC's hopes to get younger in late night ratings with Jimmy Fallon. Chelsea Handler laments that she warrants only a parenthetical reference here, representative of the treatment of her gender within this field.

Downton Abbey Ratings

Josef Adalian tries to put Downton Abbey's PBS ratings in historical UK import context.

Netflix Issues

Kaja Whitehouse says concerns are growing about problems Netflix could have with ISPs, including a fear of blackouts. David Talbot says it's tough to obtain data pertaining to slowdowns. And Stacey Higginbotham reports that Netflix and Comcast have at least come to an interconnection agreement, though details are still sparse. Swanni reports that the Netflix-Comcast deal has Netflix paying for better streaming. Jon Brodkin looks at the issues between Netflix and Verizon and the peering interconnections via Cogent.

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: NBC: 19.92 million, CBS: 6.62, Fox: 6.60, ABC: 2.95, CW: 815,000
 -Adults 18-49: NBC: 4.9 rating/14 share, Fox: 1.7/ 5, CBS: 1.6/ 5, ABC: 0.8/ 2, CW: 0.2/1
 -Winners: XXII Winter Olympics (NBC)
 -Losers (excluding repeats): The Taste (ABC), Rake (Fox)

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

Analysis from Fienberg and Spotted.

Producing Veep

Valentina I. Valentini offers great production information about Veep and explains how the show achieves its cinematographic look.

NBCSN Ratings

Matt Yoder says it's not likely that those giving NBC Sports Network a ratings boost for the Olympics will stick around once the event is over.

Talk Show Politics

Hadas Gold says with Jay Leno out, the late-night network talk scene might change politically, and Brian Lowry wonders if Jimmy Fallon will broach political viewpoints. Alex Pareene says Republicans will miss Leno's softball questions. Over at CNN, Piers Morgan's falling ratings have Rick Kissell wondering if the host's gun viewpoints are hurting him.

Friday Fun

It's been awhile since I highlighted something fun on a Friday, but here we are: A Hungarian designer created posters to represent each Breaking Bad episode.

BitTorrent Refocusing

Janko Roettgers reports that BitTorrent is shuttering its streaming website and focusing instead on mobile platforms.

Amazon News

Peter Kafka reports on Amazon's moves to launch a connected set-top box. In the UK and Germany, Amazon is rebranding its LoveFilm service and bundling it with Amazon Prime in order to better compete with Netflix, which will result in a higher subscription fee for Prime.

Walking Dead Suit

AMC Networks is disputing claims made in Frank Darabont's Walking Dead suit.

Emmy Rules Changes

Brian Lowry summarizes new changes to the Emmy rules, including miniseries and TV movies splitting categories and a split of reality TV categories.

Good TVeets

Thursday, February 20, 2014

International Soap Viewing

A online roundtable is covering the topic of the impact of soap operas from abroad on American viewing.

Sports Video Channel

Alex Weprin reports that three of the four major professional sports leagues are launching a digital video channel oriented around two-minute segments.

Straight-to-Series Praise

Showrunner Noah Hawley, currently working on FX's Fargo, says the straight-to-series model is far better than the pilot model.

House of Cards Viewing

We don't have Netflix ratings, but Andrew Wallenstein says the figures we do have show House of Cards surging in its second season. Wallenstein follows up with more info on House of Cards traffic after its first weekend. Cain Rodriguez also reports on the weekend tracking.

Scheduling Against Olympics

Joel Keller insists the other networks needn't have scheduled reruns against NBC's Winter Olympics broadcasts.

Idol Suit

Eriq Gardner reports on a lawsuit brought against Sony Music for underpaying American Idol artists.

Millennial Viewing

Will Richmond reports on new stats about millennial viewing, which finds free streaming sites dominant and subscription sites following just ahead of physical media.

Twitter-TV Flat

Cotton Delo reports that TV tweeting is remaining rather flat, rather than growing as Twitter hopes.

Tassler Promoted

Nina Tassler is now CBS's Chairman of Entertainment, with her contract extended through 2017.

Wednesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: NBC: 20.11 million, Fox: 9.88, CBS: 8.38, ABC: 2.94, CW: 888,000
 -Adults 18-49: NBC: 5.0/15, Fox: 2.6/ 8, CBS: 1.8/ 5, ABC: 0.8/ 2, CW: 0.3/ 1
 -Winners: XXII Winter Olympics (NBC)
 -Losers (excluding repeats): Super Fun Night (ABC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Fienberg.

Netflix Ratings Genius

Dorothy Pomerantz says Netflix's refusal to release ratings data is a brilliant marketing strategy.

Scripted Bravo

Bravo has picked up its first scripted series.

Today Ratings

Brian Stelter explains why Today's Olympics-induced ratings win is actually a sign of problems.

Pilot Trends

Lacey Rose summarizes what she's seeing in 2014's pilots.

Closed Captioning Improvements

Joe Flint reports on the FCC's intention to improve the quality of closed captioning and the journey to get here.

Al Jazeera Trial

Egypt will put Al Jazeera journalists on trial in March. Al Jazeera is calling for a Global Day of Action in late February as a protest. Gregg Carlstrom explains what Egypt has against Al Jazeera.

CBS-TWC Deal Questions

Joe Flint reports that the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal could open up parts of CBS's rights deal with TWC for renegotiation.

Aereo Rulings

A Utah court has ruled that Aereo is infringing on broadcaster copyright and should halt in Salt Lake City and Denver, though a 14-day stay has now been issued.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Comcast Wins

Brent Lang and Lucas Shaw look at Comcast's success at getting what it wants.

New HLN Shows

HLN's overhaul will bring new game shows, a docuseries, and a social media app.

TV Everywhere Trademark

Todd Spangler reports that Dish Network has given up its efforts to trademark the phrase "TV Everywhere."

Female Representation

A study from the Women's Media Center finds that underrepresentation of women in film and TV is still a major problem. Sara Morrison highlights the problems in sports journalism.

Addressable Ads Primer

Jeanine Poggi covers the basics of addressable ads and how pay TV operators hope to use them.

More Anti-Piracy

Andrew Wallenstein reports on industry calls for better anti-piracy measures. Dana Liebelson reports why it's gotten harder to prosecute illegal downloaders. Pressure is also being put on brands who advertise on piracy sites.

Net Neutrality Revisited

FCC head Tom Wheeler says the FCC will try develop new rules for net neutrality. Analysis from Amy Schatz and Edward Wyatt.

Tuesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: NBC: 18.47 million, Fox: 9.62, CBS: 8.07, ABC: 2.71, CW: 923,000
 -Adults 18-49: NBC: 4.8 rating/14 share, Fox: 2.7/ 8, CBS: 1.3/ 4, ABC: 0.7/ 2, CW: 0.3/ 1
 -Winners: XXII Winter Olympics (NBC) -Honorable Mention: American Idol (Fox)
 -Losers (excluding repeats): Killer Women (ABC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Fienberg.

Getting On Renewed

HBO wants more Getting On.

Olympics Coverage

NBC is being criticized for pushing a Bode Miller interview too far (Miller addressed it on Today) and for essentially in early prime time about the status of Evgeni Plushenko. Robert Bianco says NBC is trying to give spectator's choices. NBC's O&Os are active in Sochi. Steve Zeitchik says there have been both compelling and weird moments. Amar Toor looks at how the Russian media is distorting the Olympics.

Update: Jeff Pearlman proposes that perhaps the Miller interview was staged.

Netflix Links

The WSJ delves into the Verizon-Netflix slowdown. Brian Stelter reports that customer satisfaction with Netflix is up. And House of Cards is playing well in China and without censorship.

Good TVeets

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

AJAM Doc Series

Brian Steinberg reports that Al Jazeera America is planning an ambitious set of documentaries on political issues.

Comcast Responses

R. Thomas Umstead says reaction to the proposed Comcast-TWC deal among independent cable channels has been mixed. And Brooke Sutherland says Charter is responding by eyeing Cox Communications, but Swanni wonders about regulator reaction.

Netflix Advantages

Matthew Yglesias highlights the advantages Netflix has over HBO when it comes to viewing practices. Chuck Tryon responds, as does Sam Adams. Chris Dorr discuss the viewer control Netflix allows.

X1 Box

Will Richmond shares a demo of the new X1 set-top box from Comcast.

House of Cards Takes

Amanda Marcotte says House of Cards has become refreshingly feminist in its second season. And Mike Moody questions the use of direct address asides in the series.

Showtime Renewals

Showtime has renewed Shameless and House of Lies.

Data Cap Issues

Leslie Horn points out that marathoning 4K Netflix content in a few days could put you up against data cap restrictions.

Sudan's Apprentice

Isma'il Kushkush describes Sudan's version of The Apprentice, which has become popular among young viewers as an inspiration.

Netflix Player

Austin Carr delves into the development history of the Netflix Player, which was abandoned and turned into the Roku box.

Olympics Launch

Toni Fitzgerald looks at NBC's hopes for using the Olympics to launch new shows.

Cigarette Ads

E-cigarette ads are now airing in Britain, though a ban is still being weighed.

Monday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: NBC: 23.46 million, ABC: 7.66, CBS: 5.31, Fox: 5.21, CW: 1.01
 -Adults 18-49: NBC: 5.6 rating/15 share, ABC: 2.0/ 5, Fox: 1.7/ 4, CBS: 1.2/ 3, CW: 0.4/ 1
 -Winners: XXII Winter Olympics (NBC)
 -Honorable Mention: The Bachelor (ABC)
 -Losers (excluding repeats): Star-Crossed (CW), Beauty and the Beast (CW)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Sports Gains

Wayne Friedman lays out the numbers for the dominance of sports programming on TV.

Transforming Apple TV

Dave Smith says Apple should transform Apple TV by making iTunes work like Netflix.

YouTube Trade Organization

A group of YouTube multichannel networks are launching a trade organization called GOVA, which stands for the Global Online Video Association and which will be particularly focused on bringing more advertisers to online video.

Inspector SpaceTime Movie

It will soon be one web series and a movie for the Community-inspired Inspector SpaceTime.

Defining Binge-Watching

Noaln Feeney tries to determine a consistent, precise definition of binge-watching.

Addressable Ads

Philip Elliott looks at how addressable ads could be used in political campaigns.

Cinemax Rebrand

Justin Bachman describes Cinemax's attempts to rebrand itself as more upscale but without losing the softcore core.

Fallon Links

Reviews of Fallon's first Tonight Show from James Poniewozik, Robert Bianco, Meredith Blake, Brian Lowry, Marisa Guthrie, Tim GoodmanFrazier Moore, and Margaret Lyons. David Bloom notes that Tonight Show social media use has surged leading up to Fallon's debut, while Matthew Yglesias says The Tonight Show is up against the lure of time-shifting.

Fallon had a good start in the ratings. Bill Carter says this shows the power of event TV.

Good TVeets

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sponsored Shows

Elizabeth Weiss checks out Chipotle's Hulu series through the lens of sponsored-TV history.

SpongeBob's Success

Zack Handlen delves into what has made SpongeBob SquarePants work.

Netflix Links

Louis Peitzman laments the hassle of avoiding spoilers for Netflix shows that people view at differing rates. And Bloomberg reports that Netflix's set-top box negotiations with Time Warner Cable have been delayed by the Comcast buy.

Bogus Complaints

Fox is complaining to the FCC about complaint mills generating fraudulent indecency complaints.

Moonves on Aereo

Karl Bode reports on comments from Les Moonves that he thinks CBS and the networks will carry on just fine even if Aereo wins the Supreme Court case.

Sunday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: NBC: 21.07 million, CBS: 4.17, ABC: 3.60, Fox: 2.03
 -Adults 18-49: NBC: 4.8 rating/13 share, Fox: 1.0/ 3,. ABC: 0.9/ 3, CBS: 0.6/ 2
 -Winners: XXII Winter Olympics (NBC)
 -Losers (excluding repeats): Movie: Up (ABC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Fienberg.

TV Long Takes

If you appreciated True Detective's long take, TV Club highlights others you may like.

Late-Night Survival

Josef Adalian says late night is more about survival than wars these days.

New In Media Res

Theme: Sports and Controversy

  • Monday, February 17, 2014 - Travis Vogan (University of Iowa) presents: Still Crazy After All These Years: ESPN Films’ The Price of Gold 
  •  Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - Chuck Tryon (Fayetteville State University) presents: Too Busy (Stuck in Traffic) To Hate: Atlanta, Sports, and Urban Space 
  •  Wednesday, February 19, 2014 - Harper Cossar (Georgia State University) presents: Upon further review: Instant replay and sports
  •  Thursday, February 20, 2014 - Deb Waterhouse-Watson (Monash University) presents: It’s Damaging the Game: Australian Football Clubs and Sexual Assault 
  •  Friday, February 21, 2014 - Markus Stauff (University of Amsterdam) presents: Confinement and Contagion: Sports’ Desire for Inclusion without Politics

Comcast Summary

David Carr summarizes the growing state of Comcast. Jean-Louise Gassee says what's needed is true alternatives in our pay TV options.

Netflix Poking HBO

David Carr and Ravi Somaiya look at how Netflix is enjoying its forward momentum by taunting HBO.

Good TVeets

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Transgender TV

Jennifer Finney Boylan is pleased to see more transgender characters on TV, but laments that there aren't always transgender actors cast in those roles.

Olympics in CT

Steve Lepore checks out how NBC covers the Olympics from Connecticut, where NBC's International Broadcast Center is located.

Finale Fodder

Tom Steward notes that finales in television often aren't the end.

Television Journal

The new issue of Cinephile, an online journal from the University of British Columbia, is titled "Reevaluating Television" and has the following table of contents: 

  • Will Television Sound the Death Knell for Directors? —Rachel Talalay 
  • Overinterpreting Television: Rubicon and the Limits of Viewership —Graeme Stout 
  • Moral Ambiguity, Colourblind Ideology, and the Racist Other in Prime Time Cable Drama —Michael L. Wayne 
  • Television’s Mid-Life Crisis: Moderate Minimalism and Middle-Aged Masculinity in In Treatment and Louie —Maria San Filippo
  • Haunted by Seriality: The Formal Uncanny of Mulholland Drive —Jason Mittell 
  • In Memoriam: The Script... and the Original Version —Patricia de Figueir├ędo (trans. Mark Harris) 

Saturday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Good TVeets

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Friday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: NBC: 19.08 million, CBS: 5.41, ABC: 4.33, Fox: 2.37, CW: 674,000
 -Adults 18-49: NBC: 4.5 rating/15 share, ABC: 1.1/ 4, CBS: 0.9/ 3, Fox: 0.6/ 2, CW: 0.2/ 1
 -Winners: XXII Winter Olympics (NBC)
 -Losers (excluding repeats): Nothing…the only other program of an original natural last night was ABC’s 20/20.

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Fienberg.


The second season of Orange is the New Black will arrive on June 6.

Netflix War Room

Peter Nowak describes the Netflix room where House of Cards was turned on. Queena Kim has similar coverage.

The Power of Live Viewing

AMC CEO Charlie Collier says even with all the time-shifting viewing options we have today, the lure of watching event TV at the same time as others is still strong.

Cowell Out

Scott Collins notes the significance that the once-powerful Simon Cowell no longer has a place on US TV.

Ravenswood Cancelled

ABC Family is done with the Pretty Little Liars spinoff Ravenswood.

Good TVeets

Friday, February 14, 2014

Black TV Roundtable

Inkoo Kang summarizes and embeds a roundtable discussion from YouTube on the state of black TV featuring five black female content creators.

License Fee Sharing

The outgoing head of Britain's regulatory body Ofcom thinks the BBC's license fee should be shared with other broadcasters.

Connected TV Penetration

Janko Roettgers reports on a study finding that 63% of broadband households now have their TVs connected to the internet.

Apocalypse TV

Michael Schneider delves into the trend of shows about post-apocalyptic lives.

Comcast Buying Time Warner Cable

Rather than Charter, it's Comcast that will reportedly scoop up Time Warner Cable for $159 a share. Brian Stelter reports, as does Peter Kafka.

Brian R. Fitzgerald considers what the FCC might think, and Peter Weber says the FCC or Justice Department will balk at the control of broadband this would give Comcast.  Om Malik says the deal indeed is all about broadband, not pay TV. Free Press says the deal would be a disaster for consumers, and Swanni also says it would be bad for everyone. Stacey Higginbotham identifies potential winners and losers. Comcast's blog explains the deal and its public interest benefits, and Peter Lauria calls Comcast CEO Brian Roberts the best deal-maker in media. Zachary M. Seward explains in charts why this is happening, while the WSJ cites numbers, and Alan Breznick analyzes the numbers. Andrew Leonard says this is disastrous.

Comcast insists the deal is pre-consumer and that there is plenty of competition out there. Stacey Higginbotham says even though this is a bad idea, regulators will probably approve it. Mathew Ingram has a summary of what's going on. Janko Roettgers says this could change TV forever. Susan Crawford says this deal is bad for America. Lance Ulanoff maps out where the combined company will have coverage. Heidi Moore says this deal is a desperation move. Sam Thielman and Garett Sloane consider eight possible consequences of the deal. Dennis K. Berman has a great chart detailing cable's consolidation from 43 companies to 3 since 1990. Will Richmond says this deal shows how much scale matters in broadband.

Jim Jelter says this raises speculation of a Charter bid for Cox. Jeanine Poggi considers the consequences for advertisers. Chad Gustein provides a rare positive assessment, as does the Chicago Tribune. Amy Shatz says we need to be aware of peering issues. Edward Wyatt weighs the anti-trust concerns. The New York Times Editorial Board offers an opinion. Will Richmond's podcast covers the deal. Ted Johnson considers where this leaves the net neutrality issue. Charles Cooper says we should be worried. The WSJ looks at how Brian Roberts bested John Malone. Brian Steinberg says this will help Comcast with local sports and news. Philip Elmer-DeWitt says this deal could hurt Apple TV, and Alan Wolk also covers that territory. Katy Bachman notes that Comcast has big political clout. Farhad Manjoo considers the cord-cutting perspective. Bloomberg covers how the deal happened. David Gelles looks at the carriage fee implications and says more companies could try to get bigger.

Women of True Detective

Alyssa Rosenberg offers analysis of the female characters in True Detective.

Netflix Storytelling

Scott Meslow wishes Netflix would try to push narrative boundaries rather than offer conventional series like House of Cards. But the writer of House of Cards insists the series isn't traditional TV.

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: NBC: 22.89 million, CBS: 7.02, Fox: 6.96, ABC: 2.78, CW: 1.06
 -Adults 18-49: NBC: 5.9 rating/17 share, Fox: 2.0/ 6, CBS: 1.6/ 4, ABC: 0.8/ 2, CW: 0.3/ 1
 -Winners: XXII Winter Olympics (NBC), The Big Bang Theory R (CBS)
 -Honorable Mention: American Idol (Fox)
 -Losers (excluding repeats): The Taste (ABC), Rake (Fox)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Fienberg.