Monday, March 31, 2014

HIMYM Finale

Seems like there will be a lot of talk about the How I Met Your Mother finale. If you missed it, you can start with a recap from Michael O'Connell. Then after you've seen it, move on to reviews from Donna Bowman, Alan Sepinwall and again Sepinwall, James Poniewozik, Jaime Weinman, Myles McNuttBrian Lowry, Verne Gay, David Bauder, Rick Porter, Matthew Gilbert, Miriam Krule, Margaret Lyons, Neil Drumming, Max NicholsonAlyssa Rosenberg, Linda Holmes, Eric Thurm, Josh Visser, Michelle Stark, Brian Mereness, Brittany Mazur, Ellen Gray, Kevin McFarland, Steven Lloyd Wilson, Virginia Pasley. Pre-finale, Donna Bowman looks back on the series, and Nellie Andreeva details its innovative form. Post-finale, Todd VanDerWerff considers the whole series and elsewhere says it was a series about failure. Post-finale, Emily Orley puts the series' key moments into a chronological gif timeline. The showrunners tweeted gracious responses. A fan has cut together a new ending from the episode.

FCC Rules

The FCC has issued new rules limiting TV station partnerships by banning new joint ad sales agreements. There are also new limitations on joint retrans negotiations. Chairman Tom Wheeler is defending the new rules.

Gaming & TV Health

A new study finds that gaming is healthier for kids than watching TV.

WWE Streaming

Seth Berkman delves into the WWE's new video streaming outlet and its potential.

Mogul Families

On the heels of the recent news about Rupert Murdoch putting his sons in position to take over dad's company some day, David Carr analyzes the pros and cons of family ownership of media conglomerates.

Demise of Reruns

Mike Ryan says that changing viewing habits among young audiences have led to the demise of classic TV rerun culture.

Elliott Leaving GMA

Josh Elliot is headed to NBC Sports, after failing to work out a raise to stay with Good Morning, America.

Asian Women Leaving Shows

A number of shows have female Asian characters departing, and Joanna Robinson explains why this is especially problematic.

Lohan's Reality

Andy Dehnart says Lindsay Lohan's reality series on OWN has offered a fascinating window on reality TV production.

Aereo Analysis

Richard Greenfield digs through the relevant laws that could establish Aereo as legal and says broadcasters should be lobbying Congress to update those laws.

Net Neutrality & Indie FIlmmakers

Jordan Zakarin explains why independent filmmakers need to concern themselves with net neutrality and VOD.


BET has launched a TV Everywhere app.

A&E Profile

Alex Ben Block looks back on 30 years of A&E Networks.

Amazon Shows

Amazon has now officially picked up six news series and renewed Alpha House.

Cable Promos

David Sims judges a set of pay TV channel promo videos.

TV That Divides

Emily Nussbaum uses All in the Family and divided audience responses to Archie Bunker to reflect on the relationship of TV to its audience, including in today's era: "The best series rattle us and wake us up; the worst are numbing agents." Sam Adams adds thoughts, as does Ross Douthat.

Sunday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Total Viewers: CBS: 11.73 million, ABC: 6.45, NBC: 3.86, Fox: 3.48
- Adults 18-49: CBS: 2.3 rating/6 share, ABC: 1.8/ 5, Fox: 1.5/ 4, NBC: 0.9/ 3
- Winners: 60 Minutes (CBS), The Good Wife (CBS) -Honorable Mention: The Amazing Race (CBS) 
- Down But Not Out: Resurrection (ABC)
- Losers: Bob’s Burgers (Fox), American Dream Builders (NBC), Believe (NBC), Crisis (NBC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Colbert Controversy

A Colbert Report joke and subsequent tweet featuring racial slurs has raised controversy and a Twitter hashtag demanding the show's cancellation. Neil Drumming says the response says more about the internet than Colbert. Brittney Cooper says Colbert's satire failed here, while James Poniewozik disagrees with the outrage, which Lisa de Moraes says is the typical press response. Jeff Yang analyzes the hashtag effort. Jay Caspian King details the #CancelColbert campaign.

Good TVeets

Warning: The Good Wife spoilers at the end.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Saturday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

WGA Analysis

David Robb argues that lessons from the last WGA strike will help negotiations resolve in the current contract talks.

Good TVeets

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Friday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Total Viewers: CBS: 9.85 million, NBC: 6.55, ABC: 5.73, Fox: 1.67, CW: 1.38
- Adults 18-49: CBS: 3.1 rating/10 share, NBC: 1.3/ 4, ABC: 1.2/ 4, Fox and CW: 0.4/ 1 each
- Winners: NCAA Basketball (CBS), Dateline (NBC)
- Honorable Mention: Whose Line is it Anyway? (CW)
- Losers (excluding repeats): The Neighbors (ABC), Rake (Fox), Enlisted (Fox), Hannibal (NBC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Cable Ad Threat

Mike Shields says cable outlets need to start worrying about YouTube and other online video outlets taking ad dollars away.

Ford Wins Tonight

Automakers courted Jimmy Fallon after he announced he was buying a new truck, and Ford was the winner, perhaps due to an ad pact between Ford and NBCU, Todd Spangler says.

Aereo Ruling Consequences

Todd Spangler explains why an Aereo loss at the Supreme Court would not doom cloud services.

Psych Praise

Emily Yahr offers praise for Psych, as "the epitome of one of those inoffensive, non-prestige cable dramas that actually does very well for the network while never getting an outpouring of mainstream attention."

OITNB's Feminist Binge

Anne Moore has posted a conference paper in which she argues that "Orange is the New Black emphasizes the feminine concerns of intimacy, both on the level of plot and in its adoption of the serial tropes that elicit the kind of readerly devotion that leads to binge-viewing."

Duck Dynasty Drop

Bill Carter reports on declining viewership for Duck Dynasty.

Channel-Sharing Success

A pair of Los Angeles stations successfully carried out a channel-sharing trial, with two HD and two SD running over the same 6MHz channel. This could have an impact on the upcoming FCC spectrum auction.

Critics & Aesthetics

Matt Zoller Seitz calls on film and TV critics to educate themselves about formalism and write more about visual style. Emily Nussbaum responds.

Love For Enlisted

Alan Sepinwall admonishes Fox for not scheduling and promoting Enlisted better. And Ryan McGee celebrates the value of falling in love with shows like Enlisted.

TWoP Legacy

Margaret Lyons looks at how the soon-to-end Television Without Pity influenced popular culture, and Doree Shafrir says this marks the end of an internet era, as TWoP and DailyCandy aren't geared to the social media age that has arrived. Caitlin Kelly discusses what TWoP meant to her. Keidra Chaney explains why the decision to pull TWoP down so it is no longer publicly accessible is very problematic.

ABC Cancellations

Kyle Killen has another short-lived network show on his resume, as ABC has dropped Mind Games and will replace it with Celebrity Wife Swap. ABC has also cancelled Once Upon a Time in Wonderland.

Diversity News

Mekeisha Madden Toby relays network executive comments that they want greater diversity in showrunners, and Mary McNamara says a number of shows this season illustrate greater cast diversity on network TV compared to cable's prestige dramas. Mindy Kaling says she feels singled out for accusations of a lack of diversity on her show because of her ethnicity. And writer Brooke Eikmeier tries to explain the diversity she was striving to depict with her ABC Family-dropped show Alice in Arabia.

Ratings News

Anthony Crupi notes that Thursday night shows continue to limp along in the ratings, which is especially problematic given what a crucial night it is for advertisers. The NCAA tournament is finding ratings success, however. Douglas L. Howard says ratings in the digital age raise many questions and expose gaps.

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Total Viewers: CBS: 7.79 million, ABC: 6.76, Fox: 5.89, NBC: 4.25, CW: 1.61
- Adults 18-49: CBS: 2.5 rating/8 share, ABC: 2.2/ 7, Fox: 1.7/ 5, NBC: 1.2/ 4, CW: 0.7/ 2
- Winners: NCAA Basketball (CBS), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), Scandal (ABC)
- Disappointing: Surviving Jack (Fox)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Once Upon a Time (ABC)

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

Analysis from Spotted.

Good TVeets

Friday, March 28, 2014

Good TVeets

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Comcast News

Swanni reports that Comcast seems to be losing the PR battle in regard to its merger with Time Warner Cable. And Richard Greenfield notes that Comcast's intentions to roll out cloud-based DVRs could conflict with the NBC and the other networks' Aereo stance.

E! Upfronts

Stuart Elliott covers E!'s upfronts presentations. Jeanine Poggi notes that both E! and Bravo might finally have scripted shows to launch.

Twitter Exclusivity

Peter Kafka reports that Twitter is telling some companies and networks that use social media posts that it wants those outlets only using Twitter and not displaying Facebook posts.

EW Blogging

Entertainment Weekly has announced it will create a contributor network inviting bloggers to provide content, with only some getting paid for their labor. Scott Meslow says this is shameless exploitation.

Game-Changers Questioned

Jeff Jensen questions big narrative twists this week from The Good Wife and New Girl.

Amazon News

Greg Bensinger reports that Amazon is giving thought to launching an ad-supported streaming service separate from Prime, but Amazon denies this is true. Alyssa Rosenberg considers why Amazon might contemplate this. In other news, Amazon is expected to unveil a streaming device next week.

Wednesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Total Viewers: Fox: 9.15 million, CBS: 8.15, ABC: 6.11, NBC: 3.68, CW: 2.42
- Adults 18-49: Fox: 2.1 rating/6 share, ABC: 1.8/ 6, CBS: 1.7/ 5, NBC: 0.8/ 3, CW: 0.8/ 2
- Winners: Survivor (CBS), Arrow (CW), Modern Family (ABC)
- Honorable Mention: The Middle (ABC), The 100 (CW)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Prince Harry’s South Pole Heroes (NBC), Suburgatory (ABC), Mixology (ABC), Nashville (ABC)

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

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

TWoP Shuttering

NBCU is shutting down Television Without Pity and DailyCandy. (That alone is bad enough, but there's also this: "So what happens to the huge amount of content in the archives of both DailyCandy and TWoP? It will all be saved in the digital ether, but not be available to the public.") Daily Candy blames NBCU mismanagement.

21st CF Control

Rupert Murdoch's sons have moved into key corporate line positions in News Corp. and 21st Century Fox, but Joe Flint says Chase Carey is still in 21st control.

Netflix's Binge Investment

Marcus Wohlson looks at why Netflix has a vested interest in preserving binge-watching culture and limiting in-season stacking on other streaming outlets.

Killing Characters

Adam Carlson discusses the growth of character deaths on TV. (Warning: the article starts with a Teen Wolf spoiler.) And Michael Hale discusses what CBS is doing in the wake of a Good Wife death (so spoilers there, obviously).

Aereo Filing

Aereo has filed its final legal brief with the Supreme Court and defended its service as technological innovation.

Mad Men Info

Time looks in on the final days of Mad Men, and James Poniewozik interviews Matthew Weiner.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Viacom v. Small Cable

Joe Flint reports on frustration among a group of small cable operators with how Viacom is squeezing them for carriage fees.

Movie Streaming Problems

Farhad Manjoo explores how windowing helps to explain what's wrong with movie streaming sites.

Straight-to-Series Analysis

Joel Keller details the pros and cons of straight-to-series orders for networks.

Community Movie

A Community movie reportedly really is under consideration.

B99 Interview

Alan Sepinwall talks to Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creator Mike Schur about the first season of the sitcom.

Summer Programming

Fox and NBC have announced their summer programming plans.

Comedy Praise

Kathryn Doyle highlights web comedies that have made the successful transition to TV, including Broad City, and James Poniewozik has praise for both Broad City and Review as comedies that are helping to distinguish Comedy Central.

Streaming Competition

Sanjay Sanghoee highlights the streaming competition among Netflix, Amazon, Hulu Plus, and HBO Go and considers what could happen with Apple in the mix.

Millennials Watching Devices

Dawn Chmielewski reports on a study finding that Millennials view less video content on TV sets than they do on electronic devices.

Live Ads

Stuart Elliott highlights live commercials coming up tonight on TV Land, as cast members from Hot in Cleveland and Soul Man appear.

AMC Upfronts

Lesley Goldberg reports that AMC has put its first original comedy into development. Tambay A. Obenson reports on the rest of AMC's upfronts announcements, featuring an expansive slate.

From Dusk Til Dawn Renewed

You may not have heard of From Dusk Til Dawn the TV series yet, but the network it airs on, El Rey, has already renewed it for a second season.

Psych's Life

Neil Genzlinger notes that the life of Psych, which ends tonight, spanned a generation of basic cable from reruns to impactful originals.

Aereo Stakes

Aereo's CEO told Bloomberg TV that the service may disappear if it loses the Supreme Court case.

Reality's Drop

Gary Levin notes that network reality TV shows have dropped in the ratings.

Tuesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Total Viewers: CBS: 15.00 million, NBC: 7.80, Fox: 2.63, ABC: 2.35, CW: 1.84
- Adults 18-49: CBS: 2.3 rating/7 share, NBC: 2.1/ 6, Fox: 1.2/ 3, ABC: 0.7/ 2, CW: 0.7/ 2
- Winners: “NCIS” (CBS), “The Voice” (NBC), “NCIS: Los Angeles” (CBS), “Person of Interest” (CBS) -Honorable Mention: “About a Boy” (NBC)
- Losers (excluding repeats): “Glee” (Fox), “New Girl” (Fox), “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (Fox), “Mind Games” (ABC)

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

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Dish-DirecTV Merger

Alex Sherman reports that Dish Network has approached DirecTV about merging. Joe Flint highlights the hurdles this merger would face.

A&E Series Pulled

A&E has pulled Those Who Kill after only two episodes, but the series may still air later. Update: The series will now unfold at Lifetime Movie Network.

Good TVeets

Warning: If you still haven't heard what happened on The Good Wife and don't want to know yet, don't read the tweets at the end.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

BBC America Comedy

BBC America has picked up its first original comedy, about a pair of spoiled British aristocrats coming to America.

Content Off Amazon

Janko Roettgers reports that Food Network and other Scripps content has been pulled from Amazon Prime, and the WSJ also reports that Discovery content has been dropped due to price demands, as scripted fare is turning out to be more valuable to streaming outlets than unscripted.

CNN's Tragedy Benefit

Eic Chemi looks at how CNN's ratings spikes are tied to saturation coverage of tragic events.

Crackle UK Closing

Janko Reottgers reports that Sony is closing Crackle in the UK due to defeat by Amazon and Netflix.

Emmy Categories

Shameless is changing its Emmys category from drama to comedy, while True Detective will compete in the drama series category, rather than miniseries. Daniel Fienberg has analysis of the latter, as does James Poniewozik. Rick Porter says this shows the Emmys have category problems.

New Flow Issue

Check out a new Flow featuring:

Post-Racial TV

John Blake says TV shows like Sleepy Hollow provide evidence of a post-racial America, but Brittney Cooper raises questions about this conception.

Cable Company Disapproval

Comcast and Time Warner Cable topped a Consumer Reports survey of least favorite cable companies.

Vikings Renewed

The Vikings will get a third season on History.

Hub Changes

Brian Steinberg reports on The Hub turning away from reruns in prime time and toward a family-targeted original programming block, which will include a reality show hosted by Joey Fatone.

Charting Popularity

Here's another intriguing user creation, a website called Graph TV, which, as Dan Selcke describes, "looks up the IMDB user ratings for every episode of a given TV show and turns them into points on simple graphs that show the ebb and flow of public opinion over the course of a series." Wired charts 13 shows.

The Office Time Machine

Joe Sabia has created a database of clips from The Office that catalogs cultural references by year, with the ultimate aim of making a point about fair use and the need for copyright reform.

State of TV

Lauren Zalaznick quizzes readers on the changing state of television.

Monday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Total Viewers: ABC: 12.75 million, NBC: 12.11, CBS: 8.91, Fox: 4.95, CW: 870,000
- Adults 18-49: NBC: 3.4 rating/10 share, ABC: 2.1/ 6, CBS: 2.0/ 6, Fox: 1.4/ 4, CW: 0.3/ 1
- Winners: “Dancing With the Stars” (ABC), “The Voice” (NBC), “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS), “The Blacklist” (NBC)
- Fading: “The Following” (Fox)
- Losers (excluding repeats): “Star-Crossed” (CW), “The Tomorrow People” (CW), “Intelligence” (CBS)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings. (links fixed)

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Good TVeets

Monday, March 24, 2014

24 Leaving Netflix

Netflix's deal to stream back-seasons of 24 is expiring, which may help Amazon.

Trade Wars

Brooks Barnes reports on The Wrap's resurgence in the Hollywood trade news wars.

Film Concerns About TV

Pamela McClintock reports on comments made by Universal International president David Kosse that TV's accessibility on multiple platforms is hurting movies, and studios therefore need to take greater advantage of VOD options.

Disney Buying Maker

Disney is buying Maker Studios, and Todd Spangler says it's likely more multichannel network deals are on their way. Tom Dotan says Disney has a challenge ahead with this deal.

Enlisted's Ratings

Alyssa Rosenberg highlights how Enlisted's military focus might explain part of its ratings troubles.

Twitter Viewing

A new study from Fox and Twitter (add grain of salt) says tweets about a show can drive viewership. Star tweeting can also boost viewership.

ABC Summer

ABC has announced its summer schedule, featuring five new scripted dramas.

The Killing Promotion

Netflix has begun promoting season 4 of The Killing on Instagram.

Remote Control Regression

Miles Weaver says the remote control isn't keeping up with TV innovations in other areas.

New In Media Res

Theme: The Race Beat

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 - Meredith D. Clark (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) presents: What Are We Talking About When We Talk About Black Twitter
  • Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - Chvonne Parker (Old Dominion University) presents: "Pass the Read like we used to do": Podcasting, Reading, and Race in the Read 
  • Wednesday, March 26, 2014 - Steve Spence (Clayton State University) presents: Racism Ended When 
  • Thursday, March 27, 2014 - Sanjay Sharma (Brunel University) presents: Black Twitter - Contagious Hashtags 
  • Friday, March 28, 2014 - Ben Aslinger & Tzarina Prater (Bentley University) presents: #ABCReports and Black Twitter

Good Wife Links

The Good Wife did something big last night. The showrunners explain why in a letter and in an interview. Reactions are offered by Willa Paskin, Mary McNamara, Kate Stanhope, Chancellor Agard, Jace Lacob and Louis Peitzman, and Margaret Lyons.

Sunday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Total Viewers: CBS; 10.27 million, ABC: 7.07, NBC: 4.27, Fox: 3.65
- Adults 18-49: CBS: 2.1 rating/6 share, ABC: 1.9/ 5, Fox: 1.7/ 5, NBC: 1.0/ 3
- Winners: NCAA Basketball (CBS), 60 Minutes (CBS), The Amazing Race (CBS), Resurrection (ABC), The Good Wife (CBS) -Modest: Believe (NBC), Crisis (NBC)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Bob’s Burgers (Fox), American Dream Builders (NBC), C

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

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Apple-Comcast Talks

The WSJ reported last night that Apple and Comcast are in talks to create an online TV service that would be received through an Apple device but run through Comcast's infrastructure. Janko Roettgers, Will Richmond, and Andrew Wallenstein are both skeptical about the report and the likelihood of this happening. Brian Stelter also reports. Netflix's stock dropped in the wake of the reports. Josh Levy says this would be an unholy union.

Sweeney's Successor Named

Ben Sherwood has been named to replace the departing Anne Sweeney as head of the Disney/ABC Television Group, which Cynthia Littleton says Disney CEO Bob Iger has had in the works for awhile. Jethro Nededog has analysis. Joe Flint has a profile of Sherwood.

Harmon Interview

Alan Sepinwall has a lengthy interview with Dan Harmon: Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3.

Good TVeets

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Muslim Show Dropped

Rega Jho reports that ABC Family has ended development on a pilot called Alice in Arabia following expressions of concern about stereotyping from Arab-American advocacy groups.

Incentivizing Diversity

Drew Grant reports on two bills in the works in New York that would offer tax incentives for gender and racial diversity in a TV show's writers' room.

UK Imports

Tim Dams reports on how UK producers have found greater import success in the US than ever before.

Aesthetics Achieved

Mike Ayers delves into set design on The Americans, and True Detective's cinematographer explains how nine shots were achieved.

AJAM Assurance

Al Jazeera America's CEO sent a memo to staffers this week assuring them that the channel is on solid footing and will persevere in the long-term, despite early ratings struggles.

Fanvid Revenue

Joel Eastwood reports that the "recording industry is making more money from fan-made mashups, lip-syncs and tributes on YouTube than from official music videos."

Pay TV Subscriptions Drop

Streaming is gaining on cable/satellite pay TV.

More Originals

John Reynolds says Yahoo is following the path of Netflix and Hulu in aspiring to develop original content, especially geared toward global audiences. And Josh Dickey reports that PlayStation is getting into the originals game soon with a superhero show produced by Sony.

YouTube for Kids

YouTube is reportedly working on a version of its site targeted toward kids younger than 10.

TV and Festivals

Ben Travers says the arrival of TV at South By Southwest is another sign of television encroaching on indie cinema's turf. And Sundance Institute is now getting involved in supporting TV writers and creators.

Viacom-Google Deal

Viacom and Google settled a case that's been in the courts since 2007 over copyright infringement in YouTube videos. Eriq Gardner has analysis of the end result. YouTube's head of entertainment says this represents media world acceptance of the outlet.

Liberty Most Profitable

SNL Kagan rankings declare that Liberty Media was the most profitable media and entertainment company in 2013, with 21st Century Fox and Disney next behind Liberty.

Station Group Merger

Cynthia Littleton reports on the merger of the Media General and LIN station groups, creating the second-largest pure-play broadcast group in the US. David Gelles also reports.

NBC Renewals

Earlier this week, NBC announced renewals of Grimm, Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, and Parks & Rec.

The Walking Dead Syndication

Off-net broadcast rights for The Walking Dead have sold to MyNetworkTV, in a TV-14 version edited for broadcast TV.

Netflix News

I'm still at the conference, but will try to do a little blog catchup here, and it looks like I've missed a busy few days for Netflix chatter: Reed Hastings posted on the Netflix blog Thursday that he didn't like having to sign the interconnection deal with Comcast, thinks broadband providers should interconnect for free, and strongly endorses net neutrality. But Dan Rayburn says the issue is more complicated than Hastings is letting on. And then AT&T's Public Policy blog chimed in and said Netflix should be paying up, and James O'Toole explains the ISP side. Janko Roettgers reality-checks Hastings suggestion of a possible P2P future for Netflix if peering conflicts continue. Sarah Morris explains why this all matters. Ben Popper doesn't like the precedent set. Meanwhile, Andrew Wallenstein reports that over in Australia, streaming services are proliferating, but Netflix isn't in the country yet, at least not legally. Alyssa Rosenberg highlights the connectivity challenges of streaming media content.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


The annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference is this week, and I'll be in attendance, which means posts here will likely be sporadic across the rest of the week. If I miss anything crucial, feel free to let me know.

Good TVeets

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Flow Issue

Check out a new Flow featuring:

Over-the-Top Possibilities

Frank Rose considers what could happen if networks and cable went online.

Banshee Record

Banshee's season finale set ratings records for Cinemax.

Sony Layoffs

Alexandra Cheney reports on major layoffs at Sony, with a digital marketing division as the first to go.

CNN's Plane Ratings

Bill Carter highlights CNN's ratings surge as the focus on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane continues.

Upfronts News

Stuart Elliott covers upfronts news from the family cable channel realm, and Kevin Downey talks with an ad salesman for Twentieth TV about syndication upfronts.

Peabody Awards on Pivot

The Peabody Awards will be televised this year via Pivot.

Comcast Objections

The Economist argues that regulators should block the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. And J.S. Greenfield tries to clear up misconceptions surrounding bundling related to Comcast-TWC objections and offers suggestions for what reforms are needed.

Set-Top Box Improvement

Janko Roettgers reports on how a startup called Boxfish is trying make smarter set-top boxes: "Imagine you turn on your TV, and it tells you exactly what’s happening on each channel. We’re not just talking show names and schedule grids, but live updates down to the topic that’s being discussed on each and every network, be it Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, March Madness or Crimea." (Ok, yes, I want one.)

Public TV Funding Rise

Elizabeth Jensen reports on upticks in state funding for public broadcasting after previous deep cuts.

Playhouse 90

Stephen Bowie traces the rise and fall of Playhouse 90 and the live anthology drama.

Greenblatt's Plan

Merissa Marr looks at Robert Greenblatt's strategy to develop "bigger, louder and more event-like" series at NBC.

Distribution Problems

Andrew Wallenstein notes that the Veronica Mars digital distribution problems fit with other recent examples, from HBO GO to the Oscars.

New In Media Res

Theme: Paratexts Without Texts

  • Monday, March 17, 2014 - Johannes Mahlknecht (University of Innsbruck) presents: The Many Texts of Textless Paratexts 
  •  Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - Taylor Nygaard (University of Southern California) presents: Displacing Meaning: Parodic Ads "Without Texts" 
  •  Wednesday, March 19, 2014 - Jonathan Gray (University of Wisconsin, Madison) presents: Silly Elephants Dancing Without Meaning? On "Paratexts Without Texts" 
  •  Thursday, March 20, 2014 - Angelina Karpovich (Brunel University) presents: This Actually Needs to Happen: The Daria Movie Trailer 
  •  Friday, March 21, 2014 - Ellen McCracken (University of California, Santa Barbara) presents: Living Footnotes: Paratexts Without a Text?

18-34 Primer

Spotted has launched a multi-part series investigating 18-34 ratings fundamentals. Part 2 is up.

Harpo Sold

Oprah Winfrey has sold Harpo Studios in Chicago to a developer, but the studio will continue to operate at the site for two more years.

Broadband Subscribers

Will Richmond covers 2013 broadband ISP subscriber reports.

Sunday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Total Viewers: CBS: 9.11 million, ABC: 7.65, NBC: 5.91, Fox: 3.94
- Adults 18-49: ABC: 2.1 rating/6 share, ABC: 1.7/ 5, CBS and NBC: 1.5/ 4 each
- Winners: 60 Minutes (CBS), Once Upon a Time (ABC), Family Guy (Fox), Resurrection (ABC) 
- Modest: Believe (NBC), Crisis (NBC)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Bob’s Burgers (Fox), Revenge (ABC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Good TVeets

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Saturday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
-Total Viewers: NBC: 4.93 million, ABC: 4.16, CBS: 1.67, Fox: 1.46
 -Adults 18-49: ABC and NBC: 0.8 rating/3 share each, CBS: 0.4/ 2, Fox: 0.4/ 1
 -Winners: Nothing
 -Losers (excluding repeats): Summer Dreams (CBS), Nightline: Prime (ABC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.


The City of Los Angeles is suing Time Warner Cable over missing franchise fees.

The Voice Contract

Don Kaplan has a copy of the contract The Voice contestants must sign, and it pretty much lets NBC do whatever it wants.

Sherlock in France

Sherlock airs twice in France, first on a channel targeting young adults, and then a year later on a channel catering to older audiences.


Daniel Fienberg summarizes what he gleaned from the Orange is the New Black PaleyFest panel.

The Age of Enthusiasm

Linda Holmes dubs our current state of cultural reception the Age of Enthusiasm: "Far from being the disaffected, disconnected people we're often accused of having become, we are in fact awash in things we chose specifically and talk about and share."

BBC in Danger

Jacke Seale says the end of BBC3 raises the specter of the whole BBC's existence being at risk.

Friday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Veronica Mars Movie

The Veronica Mars movie is out in theaters and online, and its apparent success seems like a win for crowdfunding, a topic that a group of scholars debated in great depth. The Warner Bros. mandated release on Flixster via Ultraviolet did not go smoothly, however, and for some, considerable effort was required to see the movie. Warners claims the glitches were limited, but is offering refunds or alternate measures. The box office start for the film was ok, but it still has a ways to go to be profitable.

Good TVeets

Friday, March 14, 2014

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Total Viewers: CBS: 10.58 million, Fox: 7.02, ABC: 6.11, NBC: 3.22, CW: 1.39
- Adults 18-49: CBS: 2.5 rating/8 share, Fox: 2.1/ 6, ABC: 1.9/ 6, NBC: 1.1/ 3, CW: 0.4/ 1
- Winners: The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC), Two and a Half Men (CBS), Scandal (ABC) -Honorable Mention: Hell’s Kitchen (Fox)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (ABC), Community (NBC), Parks and Recreation”(NBC), The Crazy Ones (CBS), Hollywood Game Night (NBC), Parenthood (NBC)

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

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Russia Today

Rosie Gray delves into the Russia Today channel and how the Kremlin-funded outlet operates.

Overwhelming Channels

A new survey finds a third of respondents overwhelmed by the number of cable channels available to them and content to stick with the same ones.

Scandal's OMGs

Kevin Fallon says the end of last night's Scandal exemplifies the show's bold twists.

Mad Men Fashion

Esther Zuckerman notes that the final season of Mad Men will take place in an era without the aspirational fashion of previous years.

WGA TV Strife

Dave McNary reports that the WGA contract negotiations are hitting snags over TV series hiatuses, which are increasing in length now that shorter-run series are on the rise.

YouTube Censorship

Mike Masnick reports on YouTube reportedly offering the UK government the power to flag and censor videos it finds problematic.

Cable Costs

The Wrap compares carriage fees to average total viewers for cable channels and finds discrepancies at the top. And Robert Gessner says content costs are pushing cable bills up. Reuters considers how the Comcast-TWC deal could affect carriage fees and content deals.

Charter Holding Steady

David Gelles considers why Charter hasn't pulled back on its Time Warner Cable bid prep.

Good TVeets

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Cord Cutting Claims

John McDuling says though 10% of pay TV subscribers say they will definitely cut the cord in the next year, last year's figures show that most won't.

Comcast VOD Up

Erik Gruenwedel reports on Comcast's growing VOD figures in the wake of its Xfinity digital media store opening.

Enlisted Reality

Showrunner Kevin Biegel has penned an affecting column for THR about his brush with death and its impact on his creation of the sitcom Enlisted, which will air an episode exploring PTSD Friday night.

Staying on TV

Jarrett Wieselman talks to successful producer Bill Lawrence about TV today and keeping a show going.

Louie Scheduled

Louie will return to FX on May 5 and air a pair of episodes for seven weeks.

CBS Renewals

CBS has renewed eighteen series for next year.

Women Don't Play

Lara Zarum notes that women rarely play instruments on Nashville.

ABC v. Prospect Park

Eriq Gardner reports that ABC has countersued Prospect Park Network for missing license payments. 

Lee at ABC

Cynthia Littleton reports that Paul Lee may be getting a new contract at ABC.

Wednesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Total Viewers: CBS: 10.19 million, Fox: 10.11, ABC: 5.92, NBC: 5.60, CW: 945,000
- Adults 18-49: Fox: 2.4 rating/7 share, CBS: 2.3/ 7, ABC: 1.8/ 6, NBC: 1.5/ 5, CW: 0.3/ 1
- Winners: Survivor (CBS): Modern Family (ABC), Criminal Minds (CBS), CSI (CBS)
- Fading Fast: American Idol (Fox)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Suburgatory (ABC), Mixology (ABC), Nashville (ABC)

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

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

TV Directing Advice

Shipra Gupta summarizes advice for directors coming to TV from indie film.

Jeopardy Love

Paul Glavic delves into how Jeopardy! first became and then remained central to American game show pride.

HBO GO Complaints

If you're not paying for HBO GO yourself, Richard Lawson doesn't want to hear your complaints about it not working. PJ Bednarski notes the striking circumstance that so many wanted to watch True Detective's finale online rather than on TV. Jeff Bewkes says improving HBO Go technology is a priority, and Jordan Weissmann says it's not true that HBO is ok with rampant password sharing.

Conservative Comedy

Sean McElwee explores the forces that have mitigated against the success of a conservative-leaning satirical comedy show.

Sitcom Struggles

Michael Schneider looks at the ongoing ratings struggles of the network sitcom. Josef Adalian finds the upside.

WGNA Upfronts

Stuart Elliott reports on WGN America's upfronts presentations.

Prime Going Up

Amazon is boosting the cost of a Prime subscription to $99.

Fallon's Success

Mary McNamara says Jimmy Fallon has revitalized the Tonight Show, and Andrea Morabito reports that Fallon now surpassing Kimmel in the viral video realm. Both Leno's and Fallon's Tonight Show versions will be submitted for Emmys.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

More Amazon Info

Josef Adalian got more info from Amazon Studios chief Roy Price on the next set of series Prime is releasing.

Serious Comedy

Alyssa Rosenberg discusses Amazon's Transparent as part of a trend of comedies focusing effectively on serious topics.

Fox on Show

Michael J. Fox has written an essay for THR about the trajectory of The Michael J. Fox Show.

Positives for Canadian TV highlights ten things to celebrate about Canadian TV.

Key & Peele Deal

Key & Peele are getting more episodes of their sketch show plus an animated series development deal from Comedy Central.

Comcast's Plan

Art Brodsky outlines Comcast's plans for cable and broadband domination.

TV & Movie Stars

Kyle Buchanan notes that movies are no longer the next step up from TV for actors, as TV is offering more advantages. And actor Michael Vartan argues TV actors are losing jobs to movie actors.

Big Bang Renewal

CBS has renewed The Big Bang Theory for three more seasons.

Tuesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Total Viewers: CBS: 9.36 million, NBC: 9.22, ABC: 3.97, Fox: 2.40, CW: 1.65
- Adults 18-49: NBC: 2.4 rating/8 share, ABC: 1.4/ 4, CBS: 1.3/ 4, Fox: 1.1/ 3, CW: 0.7/ 2
- Winners: The Voice (NBC), Chicago Fire (NBC) -Honorable Mention: About a Boy (NBC)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Glee (Fox), New Girl (Fox), Trophy Wife (ABC), Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Fox), Mind Games (ABC)

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

Analysis from Spotted.

TV & Film

Reverse Shot has launched a series related to the TV/film is better argument where authors pair up like-minded episodes and films for comparison. For instance, Genevieve Yue tackles an episode of Scandal in comparison with Primary Colors.

New TV Hire at Twitter

Todd Spangler reports on a YouTube exec moving to Twitter to more deeply mine TV partnerships.

Netflix & HBO Finances

Liam Boluk breaks down and compares the financial performances of HBO and Netflix and notes key differences in their cost structures, which currently favor HBO.

NBC News Union Fight

Andrew Belonsky reports on a battle between the WGA-East and NBC News' Peacock Productions over unionization of writers, which reportedly includes star NBC staffers told to keep quiet about it.

Pay TV v. Broadcast TV

Fred Campbell claims that pay TV is on a mission to kill broadcast TV and usurp its ad revenue.

VOD Value

Time Warner's Jeww Bewkes is optimistic about how video-on-demand can enhance program value and syndication, rather than cannibalize them.

Comcast-TWC Concerns

Shalini Ramachandran and Amol Sharma report on media industry concerns about the Comcast takeover of Time Warner Cable, and Liana B. Baker relays media executive concerns. But Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., says all this concern is overlooking the revolution going on in pay TV and broadband. And Time Warner Cable's CEO calls the merger a dream combination. This deal could also impact a Dish Network-DirecTV merger.

Good TVeets

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Weiner Interviews

Matthew Weiner is talking Mad Men season 7 with Maureen Ryan, Alan Sepinwall, and Jace Lacob.

Online Video Venture

Andrew Wallenstein reports on an upcoming online video venture called Tapp, which will offer a series of subscription channels oriented around celebrities.

Amazon's Box

Janko Roettgers has the latest on Amazon's coming over-the-top streaming box, which will include Netflix and Hulu Plus apps, but not YouTube.

From Exec to Director

Disney TV chief Anne Sweeney will step down to shift her career into TV directing. She discusses the move in a Q&A with the Hollywood Reporter. Peter Kafka and Joe Flint have analysis. Paul Maglio notes that Sweeney's successor will have to tackle ABC's ratings problems. Brian Lowry is questioning the spin here.

Amazon Pickups

Andrew Wallenstein reports that Amazon has given the greenlight to four series: Transparent, Bosch, Mozart in the Jungle, and The After.

Soap Documentary

A documentary called Soap Life, which chronicles the rise and fall of American daytime soaps, is available on iTunes.

Deadwood Analysis

Matt Zoller Seitz introduces a video essay documentary on Deadwood.

Orphan Black Marketing

Merrill Barr contrasts the marketing schemes for Orphan Black on BBC America in the US and Space in Canada.

Cops on Spike

Josef Adalian looks at how Cops continues to thrive, now on Spike TV.

Watching & Arguing

Steven Lloyd Wilson notes that discussion of the True Detective finale has taken a nasty turn, while Anne Helen Petersen offers a taxonomy of ways we react to series today. On the same page as Petersen's essay is a much-praised True Detective finale analysis from Lili Loofbourow.