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post #301 of 98064 Old 04-26-2007, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

A reminder:

Friday night at 9 PM ET/PT is the finale of Raines on NBC. The episode was written by the son of frequent hot Off The Press contributor jandron.

So tune in!

I'm going to miss this one, I really enjoy Goldblum, hopefully he'll show up in something else in the fall. It's a shame as he's so freakishly perfect for this current role.
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post #302 of 98064 Old 04-26-2007, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a feeling that it would have worked a lot better as a 13-episode summer cable series on TNT, USA or FX.

It is quirky and more than a little off-beat but there are a number of series which seem to do quite well in that playing field in the summer time.
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post #303 of 98064 Old 04-26-2007, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

I have a feeling that it would have worked a lot better as a 13-episode summer cable series on TNT, USA or FX.

It is quirky and more than a little off-beat but there are a number of series which seem to do quite well in that playing field in the summer time.

I agree, seems like it would been perfect on TNT.

BTW, have you posted anything on what appears to be two new shows this summer on TNT? One with Treat Williams and the other with Holly Hunter? There's also a CIA type show that's been advertised. Been seeing all the adverts while watching the NBA playoffs.

And I guess "Saved" wasn't saved?
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post #304 of 98064 Old 04-26-2007, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by keenan View Post

I agree, seems like it would been perfect on TNT.

BTW, have you posted anything on what appears to be two new shows this summer on TNT? One with Treat Williams and the other with Holly Hunter? There's also a CIA type show that's been advertised. Been seeing all the adverts while watching the NBA playoffs.

And I guess "Saved" wasn't saved?

It's a 6 hr. miniseries entitled "The Company"
http://www.zap2it.com/tv/news/zap-tn...0,542036.story
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post #305 of 98064 Old 04-26-2007, 08:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

It's a 6 hr. miniseries entitled "The Company"
http://www.zap2it.com/tv/news/zap-tn...0,542036.story

Thanks.

Quote:


"Our strategy with original series is to provide an environment in which the industry's best and brightest can work and be successful," says Michael Wright, who oversees original programming at TNT. "The roster of top talent coming to work at TNT demonstrates our commitment to providing our viewers with the very best dramatic entertainment possible."

More and more it seems that the cable-style of 10-13 eps and out per season is going to be the best way to get the sort of programming Mr. Wright talks about above as it seems the major broadcast nets have gotten gun-shy to almost anything that's not going to give them a boatload of ratings numbers, quality of the actual programming be damned.

There's a lot of good names in that article, names we probably would never see on a 22-26 ep broadcast net show.
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post #306 of 98064 Old 04-26-2007, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by keenan View Post

There's a lot of good names in that article, names we probably would never see on a 22-26 ep broadcast net show.

I'm sure Treat Williams probably feels more comfortable with his new TNT series (assuming it gets good numbers) than if he had to deal with another Everwood-type debacle all over again.
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post #307 of 98064 Old 04-26-2007, 09:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by keenan View Post

...More and more it seems that the cable-style of 10-13 eps and out per season is going to be the best way to get the sort of programming Mr. Wright talks about above as it seems the major broadcast nets have gotten gun-shy to almost anything that's not going to give them a boatload of ratings numbers, quality of the actual programming be damned.

There's a lot of good names in that article, names we probably would never see on a 22-26 ep broadcast net show.


And the cable "summer series" model works well in that quality actors can be lured for a 12-26 week shooting schedule which still allows them plenty of time for other projects during the year.

Obviously the networks need a new paradigm for successful series. What they have now is simply bleeding viewers year after year.

And giving up in the summer, letting the FXs, USAs and TNTs do all the heavy drama lifting only makes the situation worse.

Make the nets -- or at least one of them -- should try a fall and winter season. The fall season: 18 weeks. Starts August 27th (2007) ends the last full week before Christmas. The second runs 20 weeks: (this year have been the week of January 15 to the Week of May 20th.)

Order some series for just 18 episodes the others for 20.
Some play in the "fall season" others in the "Winter/Spring" season.

And some, with large ensemble casts ("Desperate Housewives", "Grey's Anatomy", "ER" and almost all the procedurals) get 30-32-week orders.


How do they fill the extra eight episodes? It wouldn't be easy, and it would require even more serious planing on the part of production companies, but it could be done. Those extra epsidoes would be shot at the same time the regular cycle was being done -- maybe getting one completed every two weeks of shooting or so..

Use the cast members that don't usually get as much face time. Use a second unit to shoot those episode, work out deals with the major stars so that if they appear at all (and they should at least be in a scene or two) they get some extra $$, but not their "star rate". Each would work only one crossover day per episode -- and the schedule for the "original" show would be tweaked so they weren't needed on the set that day.

In addition, put together a pair of "clip" shows for each franchise. Now these additional ten "episodes" should cost far less than normal, but allow the networks to keep their momentum. It would also mean shows could be syndicated after four seasons, not five.

Of course you continue to fill Thanksgiving week and the weeks surrounding Christmas with specials and holiday-themed repeats from previous years (billed as "classics" of course).

All of a sudden you have pretty close to 40 weeks filled with not a real repeat in sight. The networks could be tough -- but fair -- with the producers (shows don't need to be paying eight executive producers, etc) and work on cutting costs.

At the same time, offer those actors who play second-tier characters more money for those extra episodes which will feature them. And give the stars a decent extra bump for basically making cameos.

Then, during the summer, add in a few "light", game or reality shows, but put together the "best of" the regular series and run those 12-13 episodes. All in their normal (or soon-to-be-normal) in the new season time slot).

And if any of the summer fill-in shows catch on ("Dancing With The Stars", etc.) it can be plugged into the Winter-Spring schedule without much problem.

This plan wouldn't work for sitcoms -- but the good ones tend to repeat much better, anyway.

I am not suggesting this kind of thinking would immediately change the fortune of a network. Many actors, agents and others might fight it. But give them extra $$$, with no extra work days, and what is to fear? And viewers might become far more loyal if they thought they weren't being so obviously ripped off year after year.

So what do the networks have to lose?

The current system is rapidly falling apart. Some kind of new and innovative thinking is needed.
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post #308 of 98064 Old 04-26-2007, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Obituary
Jack Valenti, 85
MPAA chief tirelessly touted film biz
By Richard Natale, Cynthia Littleton Variety (Timothy M. Gray and William Triplett contributed to this obituary.)

Jack Valenti, the colorful, charismatic head of the Motion Picture Assn. of America for almost four decades and the prime mover behind the movie ratings system, died Thursday. He was 85.

Valenti had checked out of Johns Hopkins U. Medical Center on Wednesday. He had been hospitalized after suffering a stroke.

A private mass celebrating Valenti's life will be held in Washington. The family will announce details in the coming days.

The highly articulate and pugnacious Valenti, a former aide to President Lyndon Johnson who served as the industry's Washington, D.C., liaison from 1966-2004, was among the most visible lobbyists in the country, as comfortable testifying at a government hearing as he was appearing on the Academy Awards.

Industry executives who knew Valenti well remembered him Thursday as a warm, intellectually curious, loyal man who was a born diplomat -- skills he put to good use during his tenure at the MPAA.

"He had a tremendous grasp of the entertainment business," said Bob Daly, former Warner Bros. co-chairman and a longtime friend of Valenti's. "He had to work for some pretty strong, opinionated people who were sometimes on different sides of an issue. I don't ever remember him being defeated. He'd lobby every single person to come up with a compromise we found acceptable."

And he most certainly lived up to his professional obligation to be the industry's most ardent cheerleader.

Dan Glickman, the former Kansas congressman and Clinton administration cabinet member who had the formidable task of following the legend at the MPAA, called his predecessor "the ultimate leading man."

"Jack was a showman, a gentleman, an orator and a passionate champion of this country, its movies and the enduring freedoms that made both so important to this world," Glickman said. "He also embodied the theatricality of our industry with his conviction, quick wit and boundless energy."

Even after he handed over the MPAA reins to Glickman three years ago, Valenti maintained a public profile. He spoke before congressional committees to publicly defend the ratings system, created just two years into his MPAA tenure as a viable and successful alternative to government enforcement of content.

Valenti was also a staunch defender of the industry's importance to America's balance of trade. He frequently found himself embroiled in skirmishes over Internet piracy, TV ratings and the V-chip, the fin-syn rules, cable deregulation or the constant rise in the cost of movies -- about which he constantly carped, though he was rarely able to suggest a remedy.

His detractors complained that he protected the status quo of the major studios, even to the detriment of other parts of the industry. He championed the industry's 2003 ban on awards screeners as a way to guard against Internet piracy despite protests from specialty arms and independent filmmakers. After some distributors sued, a court issued an injunction lifting the ban.

Born Sept. 5, 1921, in a poor neighborhood in Houston, Valenti aspired to public life from an early age. He graduated from high school at 15 and earned his B.A. from the U. of Houston, worked for a time in advertising at Humble Oil, then added a Harvard MBA. He flew 51 combat missions as an Army Air Corps pilot in WWII. After the war, he continued in advertising and branched out into political consulting.

In the early 60s, Valenti's agency Weekly & Valenti did leg work for Johnson. On Nov. 22, 1963, he was part of the presidential motorcade in Dallas when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and he is visible in the famous photo of Johnson taking the oath of office aboard Air Force One. After taking office, Johnson took Valenti to Washington as his special assistant, and Valenti gained a reputation as one of the president's most loyal staffers.

At the time Johnson was also developing a strong friendship with one of the most powerful men in Hollywood, MCA chieftain Lew Wasserman. Hollywood was enduring a tumultuous period in the mid-1960s, with the studios facing hard financial times, changes in ownership and even bigger problems with local censorship boards popping up in various cities to weigh in -- rarely with positive reviews -- on the merits of movies, moral and otherwise. Wasserman and Johnson realized the situation was untenable, and they decided it was time to revive the fortunes of Hollywood's lobbying org with a strong, dynamic leader. They didn't have to think long before settling on Valenti for the job.

Valenti was hired at the then-princely salary of $200,000 per year. By the time he retired, he had a salary well over $1 million and was one of the country's highest-paid lobbyists.

In sharp contrast to the majority of his tenure, Valenti's first few years at the MPAA were anything but easy for the determined Texan. The strong backing from Wasserman raised red flags among other MPAA members. It was during this trial by fire that Valenti honed his skills in dealing with highly competitive moguls.

Banding together with the National Assn. of Theater Owners, Valenti created the industry's standard voluntary ratings system in 1968. It overrode decades of local ratings systems, which often contradicted one another.

As old Hollywood was giving way to a new permissiveness, reflected in movies like "Bonnie & Clyde" and "Midnight Cowboy," the ratings system kept censorship wolves at bay but caused controversy within the industry. The X and then NC-17 ratings were seen as punitive to filmmakers' self-expression. But many agreed the ratings system was the only way to prevent possible government intervention.

In the mid-'70s, with videocassettes becoming a major revenue growth source for the industry, Valenti became a staunch supporter of antipiracy programs to protect the studios' interests in 68 countries abroad. His nonstop crusading helped the at-first meagerly funded effort ($76,000) grow in budget to $40 million over the years.

Valenti also helped set a standard for television ratings in the mid-'90s when conservatives complained that the entertainment industry was hostile to "family values." President Clinton also heeded prevailing opinion and backed a V-chip to block certain programming. Valenti had been opposed to such a measure, but when it became inevitable, he stepped in to steer the implementation of the device in a way that the industry could accept. However, the ultimate effect of the chip was minimal, as most viewers never took advantage of it.

Valenti was ever vigilant to abuses from emerging countries, particularly China -- a market that, like South Korea, he had helped open to film trade. The Korean agreement helped boost revenues from that market from $8 million in 1987 to $135 million a few years later.

One battle he fought successfully for more than two decades but eventually lost was that over the networks' participation in the ownership and syndication rights to TV shows. Valenti was the major studios' and producers' staunchest champion. But by the 90s, fears about the monopolistic tendencies of the Big Three had dwindled thanks to the proliferation of rival weblets and cable channels.

But perhaps more than anything, Valenti acted as a conscience for Hollywood, reminding industryites about their responsibilities and excesses. However, he constantly defended show business from attackers and rarely criticized the business himself.

One rare example was his attack on Oliver Stone's 1991 "JFK." Valenti defended the Warren Commission (established by his mentor Johnson), casting aspersions on Stone's controversial film. However, his timing was, as always, discreet: He waited until four months after the film had opened, after the Academy Awards, before speaking out against the pic.

The silver-haired Valenti was a natty dresser and courtly gentleman who enjoyed using five-dollar words and arcane historical and literary allusions as he spoke out on numerous issues, all of which seemed to get him into a high lather.

For example, in 1985 at ShoWest, he described new technologies as "metal skeletons whirling about in the heavens, hurling down beams of delivery systems."

The resurgence of JFK conspiracy theories in 1992 caused him to lament, "The Lord only knows how many more conspiratorial badgers are out there burrowing into the entrails of Alice's Nonsense Wonderland, ready to barter their gauzy and grotesque notions for gold in the publishing and movie marketplace."

After retirement, Valenti wrote a column for the Politico, including one in which he expressed his opposition to the war in Iraq and made comparisons to Johnson's ill-fated efforts in Vietnam.

"Having served one president in wartime, I'm reluctant to criticize another chief executive because I'm aware of the personal agony they feel in ordering troops into harm's way," he wrote. "Yet in launching the war in Iraq, our commanders ignored the errors of other drawn-out conflicts, including Vietnam. The mistakes made then were repeated in Iraq. How sad."

Valenti also wrote several books: "The Bitter Taste of Glory," "Speak Up With Confidence," "A Very Human President" and the political novel "Protect and Defend in 1992."

His long-awaited memoir "This Time, This Place: My Life in War, the White House, and Hollywood" was scheduled for release on June 5. Publisher Harmony Books, a division of Random House, has said it was scheduling a sizable 100,000-copy first print run for the tome, which will tell of Valenti's long career in both Hollywood and Washington.

A rep from the company couldn't be reached to say whether publishing plans had changed.

In other instances of an author's passing, however, publishers have moved up a book's release date to take advantage of the media surrounding the death (and to compensate, in part, for possible lost media opportunities later on).

"This is not a get-even book," the former head of the Motion Picture Assn. said at the time of the book's sale. "There may be three or four people I vent a little spleen on, but it takes too much energy to be vengeful or hateful."

The French government honored him with its Legion of Honor award for his efforts on behalf of the country's film industry.

He and wife Mary Margaret divided their time between Washington and Los Angeles.

In addition to this wife, he is survived by their three children, Courtenay, exec VP of production at Warner Bros. Pictures; John, who's CEO of film industry informational service Icreate.com; and Alexandra, a photographer and video director, as well as two grandchildren.

The family requests that donations be directed to the Jack Valenti Macular Degeneration Research Fund at Johns Hopkins U., c/o Dr. Neil M. Bressler, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins U. School of Medicine, 550 N. Broadway, Suite 115, Baltimore, MD 21205-2002.

http://www.variety.com/index.asp?lay...&categoryid=13
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post #309 of 98064 Old 04-26-2007, 09:58 PM
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Fred, Ive checked post #4 and did some searching on the CBS website for info on Big Brother and Rockstar. Nothing comes up for future shows.

Do you have any info on these?
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post #310 of 98064 Old 04-26-2007, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
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I don't know off hand about Rock Star.

But Big Brother is back this summer.
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post #311 of 98064 Old 04-26-2007, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
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post #312 of 98064 Old 04-26-2007, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Make the nets -- or at least one of them -- should try a fall and winter season. The fall season: 18 weeks. Starts August 27th (2007) ends the last full week before Christmas. The second runs 20 weeks: (this year have been the week of January 15 to the Week of May 20th.)

Order some series for just 18 episodes the others for 20.
Some play in the "fall season" others in the "Winter/Spring" season.

And some, with large ensemble casts ("Desperate Housewives", "Grey's Anatomy", "ER" and almost all the procedurals) get 30-32-week orders.

When you say "make the nets -- or at least one of them --" you can only be talking about The CW and to a lesser extent Fox. Since these networks program less primetime hours than the three broadcast networks they're the only one's that can experiment with such an unorthodox schedule. That and The CW shows are likely to star unknowns or second/third-tier stars that can be made to work harder/longer for less money, something that your proposals below make them unlikely to be implemented on big networks with stars that can push their weight around (i.e. David Caruso, Simon Cowell, the "Desperate Housewives," etc.).

Quote:


How do they fill the extra eight episodes? It wouldn't be easy, and it would require even more serious planing on the part of production companies, but it could be done. Those extra epsidoes would be shot at the same time the regular cycle was being done -- maybe getting one completed every two weeks of shooting or so..

Use the cast members that don't usually get as much face time. Use a second unit to shoot those episode, work out deals with the major stars so that if they appear at all (and they should at least be in a scene or two) they get some extra $$, but not their "star rate". Each would work only one crossover day per episode -- and the schedule for the "original" show would be tweaked so they weren't needed on the set that day.

At the same time, offer those actors who play second-tier characters more money for those extra episodes which will feature them. And give the stars a decent extra bump for basically making cameos.

I am not suggesting this kind of thinking would immediately change the fortune of a network. Many actors, agents and others might fight it. But give them extra $$$, with no extra work days, and what is to fear? And viewers might become far more loyal if they thought they weren't being so obviously ripped off year after year.

But would audiences settle for watching the secondary characters (which are secondary for a reason, i.e. they revolve around the leads the audience tunes in to watch) when they tune in to see the lead characters do their thing? They've done this on Lost many times and the audiences come away poe'd that they wasted the hour watching the adventures of characters that they didn't give a rat's behind about. And "Lost" has an upper-hand in trying this because it has a multitude of mostly-loved supporting characters to go to the well with for filler episodes in a pinch. New shows need to establish the secondary characters, and sometimes that's a growing process that results in cast changes or new writers understanding what the actors/characters at their disposal can do (witness the early vapidity of the supporting ADA's in Shark when the season started).

Remember that actors also have higher aspirations than being on a TV show for years getting typecast in a specific role. They all want to be the next George Clooney and use a hit TV show as a platform to jump into movies. Unless the network/production company has a pipeline to a movie studio and use that as leverage (do two more seasons of "__" hit show and we'll give you a two-movie picture deal) the big stars are going to want more money for less work. Witness the debacle that was The X-Files in its last two seasons when David Duchovny was either a semi-regular or absent for 95% of the season but always refered to as "being around." It's a case-by-case, show-by-show, actor-by-actor pissing contest between network executives and selfish actors looking for their own best interests... with diligent, overworked and underpaid writers/producers/directors getting the shaft as they juggle all these insanely put together balls of schedules up in the air.

Quote:


In addition, put together a pair of "clip" shows for each franchise. Now these additional ten "episodes" should cost far less than normal, but allow the networks to keep their momentum. It would also mean shows could be syndicated after four seasons, not five.

Of course you continue to fill Thanksgiving week and the weeks surrounding Christmas with specials and holiday-themed repeats from previous years (billed as "classics" of course).

All of a sudden you have pretty close to 40 weeks filled with not a real repeat in sight. The networks could be tough -- but fair -- with the producers (shows don't need to be paying eight executive producers, etc) and work on cutting costs.

Major problem with this reasoning is that it doesn't take into account that the vast majority (if not all) these shows could tank hard right out of the gate, and then what? Not every show is a critical darling like Friday Night Lights or 30 Rock with a contingency of TV writers bestowing praises on the network for sticking with low-rated fare. By this measure CBS should have stuck with Smith and Fox with Drive until the end of their runs even though their ratings (or potential growth) were weak. Worse are the shows that have mediocre ratings, neither good or bad, that still cost a ton of money to be made and aren't likely to reach a sophomore season (let alone the magic 100 episode mark). Your hypothetical plans for a Fall and Winter season can be thrown out the window if only one or two of the shows gets cancelled or low viewership.

Quote:


Then, during the summer, add in a few "light", game or reality shows, but put together the "best of" the regular series and run those 12-13 episodes. All in their normal (or soon-to-be-normal) in the new season time slot).

And if any of the summer fill-in shows catch on ("Dancing With The Stars", etc.) it can be plugged into the Winter-Spring schedule without much problem.

This plan wouldn't work for sitcoms -- but the good ones tend to repeat much better, anyway.

Agree, networks should make sure people associate the time slot of a hit show (even during summer and non-sweeps months) by putting a 'best of' run during summer. Is it any wonder "Lost" keeps dropping viewers with every new episode it airs when there are no repeats to help faithful viewers that miss even one episode feel they're completely out of the loop? But these "light" game/reality show are inexpensive to make (versus a scripted show) which is why they're more likely to be midseason replacements than summer fare. Especially if, as I mentioned above, a large portion of your dream Fall/Winter season programming getswiped out by the inevitably fickle taste of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Blow.

Quote:


So what do the networks have to lose?

The current system is rapidly falling apart. Some kind of new and innovative thinking is needed.

Things have to reach a critical mass point of desperation for these radical changed to even be considered feasible. CBS is unlikely to change their winning formula that has served them well-enough so far, and ABC is only two or three hit shows away from being on CBS' league (and with a better and more upscale 18-49 demo profile to boot). The CW and NBC are the only networks desperate enough to try something radical. Under the reign of Zucker the order of the day is slash costs on expensive shows and embrace cheap-to-produce reality/gameshows though (the complete opposite of what you're proposing, which is to throw more money into the production grill). And nothing short of the complete overhaul that you propose can save The CW from being anything other than an impending asterisk in the footnote of civilized history that network TV will be a brief paragraph of.
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post #313 of 98064 Old 04-26-2007, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
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I disagree.

NBC would be the perfect network to try at least some of this. After all, if it dies, it actually will waste a great brand and tradition. That can't be said for the CW.

Fox doesn't need it - as long as "AI" is so dominant, and probably no one would notice if the CW tried anything so drastic.

I certainly could be wrong, but I can't see how, barring a handful of major hits next year, the CW has any chance at all. And it is a prime example of folks who did things the old way -- they stuck with marginal who that had little upside -- and have gone down in flames.

So have NBC try with one or two ensemble shows -- one of the L&Os, ER maybe even "FNL"and see what happens.

With the lowest ratings in its history the past two weeks, the peacock better do something. Andf it better do it quickly.

And even a watered down version of "ER" (and if done properly, most fans wouldn't really notice at all) will likely do better than any new program the network would put in its place. And certainly it would do better than straight reruns.

The fact is that on the enemble shows quite a few of the characters, even the major ones, either appear very briefly or not at all in some episodes. There is no reason a story couldn't be moved forward, and even made very interesting, with some episodes which episode include, but don't revolve around, the "leads".

But your basic premise is "it can't be done".

My premise is maybe it can't, but continuing down this road leads to total disaster to at least one of the major networks in the next few years. Some kind of new thinking, drastically new, is needed.

The old "we have never done things that way" kind of thinking is one major reason the networks have seen their shares drop from the 90s in the late 70s to the low 40s now. The current method obviously doesn't work. Drastic changes are needed.

The NBC 2.0 plan is just a desperate tweaking of the old system. And it has so far proved to be a total bomb.
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post #314 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Critic's Notebook
The Drama of Daytime:
Friendships, Feuds and Fury
By Alessandra Stanley The New York Times April 27, 2007

Regis Philbin is back. Rosie O'Donnell is leaving.

Is Kelly Ripa really happy to return the spotlight to the senior co-host? Isn't Barbara Walters counting the days until Ms. O'Donnell finally takes her foot off her back?

Anyone who claims that daytime talk shows are restful is watching The People's Court on the sly. The chemistry on shows like The View and Live With Regis and Kelly is layered, a little like the hallucinations in I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. On the surface everything is sunny and serene, but underneath lies a noisy colony roiling with slights, rifts and rivalries that pop out whenever the Thorazine subsides.

Mr. Philbin, who returned to his syndicated show yesterday after bypass surgery and a six-week absence, looked hale and surprisingly hearty; Ms. Ripa solicitously escorted him to their desk as if he were 100 years old and dragging an IV. Mr. Philbin teased her about her glowing star turn while he was away. When you're not with me, you actually shine, Mr. Philbin said, adding, You're never happier.

What do I do to you to dim the light? he asked.

It was a banner day for heart patients. Bill Clinton, who had a quadruple bypass in 2004, cooked whole wheat pasta with a turkey Bolognese sauce on Rachael Ray yesterday to promote healthy eating habits for children. David Letterman, who had a quintuple bypass in 2000, went on Regis and Kelly to welcome back his fellow heart patient with some advice. Stay away from The View,' he said. They're dropping like flies over there.

Yesterday, Carrie Ann Inaba, a judge on Dancing With the Stars, stood in for Ms. Walters and all was peachy around Ms. O'Donnell, who went back to razzing Donald Trump. On Wednesday, when she announced her departure, she received a baked Alaska send-off: sweet and warm on the outside and ice-cold at the core.

When Ms. Walters began to deny any involvement in the contract negotiations, Ms. O'Donnell leaned over and fingered Ms. Walters's lip, ostentatiously removing a speck as Ms. Walters sat rigid in her chair. I would like to make one thing perfectly clear, Ms. Walters said, ignoring Ms. O'Donnell's interjections. I do not participate in the negotiations for Rosie. She predicted, correctly, that the announcement would spark another round of stories about their alleged backstage battles. It brings back a lot of other things I was accused of doing and did not do.

Ms. Walters appeared to be referring to collateral damage from Ms. O'Donnell's rumpus with Mr. Trump, when he accused Ms. Walters of complaining about Ms. O'Donnell to him in a private conversation.

Nobody needs to eavesdrop on Ms. Walters to perceive that working with Ms. O'Donnell can be a challenge. Her career of extreme highs and lows, the raunchy speech she gave this week at an awards ceremony in New York, and her confused conspiracy theories about 9/11 suggest at the very least an untamed temperament. On The View on ABC, however, Ms. O'Donnell's high-octane persona worked wonders for the show and drove up its ratings. She was loud, abrasive, monomaniacal and exciting to watch. She gave offense, but she also poked fun at the show's sponsors and never let America forget she was a lesbian bringing up children with her lover.

But she certainly stood out from the norm. Usually, television personalities spar and give offense in more subtle ways. When Ms. Ripa replaced Kathie Lee Gifford in 2001, she was a refreshing change sprightly, irreverent and clever at playing the adorable idiot sidekick to the irascible Mr. Philbin.

She has since become a highly paid star and is visibly straining for more attention and even respect on an episode in November she was affronted when the American Idol star Clay Aiken playfully put his hand over her mouth to shut her up. She removed it and said that was a no-no, mugging to the camera that she didn't know where his hand had been. Sometimes internecine tensions bleed into other shows. Discussing the incident on The View, Ms. O'Donnell accused Ms. Ripa of homophobia even though Mr. Aiken has never publicly discussed his sexuality. Ms. Ripa then phoned in to The View while the show was on the air and reproached Ms. O'Donnell for misjudging her.

Mr. Philbin, who makes a joke of looking bored when Ms. Ripa chatters, keeps her diva drive in check. In his absence, guests hosts like Anderson Cooper and Martin Short had to be more deferential, and that freedom unleashed way too much of Ms. Ripa's id. On her last show before Mr. Philbin's return, she posed alongside a row of 25 Kelly Ripa look-alikes: a hazy Marcel Duchamp-like tableau of gleaming white teeth and shiny blond hair.

Mr. Letterman couldn't resist teasing Ms. Ripa, either. After comparing surgery scars with Mr. Philbin, Mr. Letterman turned to Ms. Ripa, held his thumb and index finger a millimeter apart and said, You came this close to getting your own show.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/27/ar...gewanted=print
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post #315 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 01:44 AM
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for all you complaining about CBS, you need to be flogged!

CBS has chosen to actually broadcast real HD, not the faux cram it all in crap like FOX has. some of those Fox HD games look wosre than SD.

people, it is not HD quality just because someone sticks two letters on it.... you morons are responsible for destroying tv picture quality.

i'm going to be half you whiners are watching the games using SD only cable on your EDTV plasmas thinking your getting HD.

i've got a solution for you though, take a small post it note, write HD on it and stick it on the corner of your screen, your moron family and friends will probably be none the whiser either.

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cbs is in a tough boat.. they jumped on HD pretty much before everyone.. and at a much higher cost... so while they deserve praises.. they get slammed for not upgrading quickly.. cbs is dammed if they do, damned if they dont.. but I hope that this is true.. maybe now I can finally see more than 2 browns games in a year in hd

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post #316 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 01:51 AM - Thread Starter
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I assume, ctmooregottapee, that this posting was intended for the thread about CBS increasing its NFL HD coverage?
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post #317 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 01:56 AM - Thread Starter
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The TV Column
Hate to Say It, but 'Drive' Has Reached the Finish Line
By Lisa de Moraes Washington Post Columnist Friday, April 27, 2007

When word got out that Fox had yanked its new drama "Drive," a sort of pun madness came over The Reporters Who Cover Television:

Fox has impounded "Drive," steering the show off the network highway after four episodes.

It's been a short "Drive" for Fox's midseason drama.

"Drive" has run out of gas.

The heavily promoted car-race drama has run into a brick wall.

Fox has decided that the auto-friendly "Drive" is a lemon.

The network has taken "Drive" to the impound lot and crunched its already reduced order into a little cube.

Fox has taken the offramp and exited "Drive."

Those last five were all from the same article, on the Web site Zap2it.com, to which was added, "We're sorry, but shows named 'Drive' don't get pulled very often and there are just so many available puns."

Anyway, despite heavy pre-launch promotion to the "American Idol" audience, "Drive" crashed and burned -- oh, sorry -- after just four episodes, averaging only about 5.6 million viewers. It never really had a chance, having clocked a lousy premiere audience of just 6 million.

Fox has replaced "Drive" in its Monday time slot with "House" repeats.

The early cancellation continues executive producer Tim Minear's track record of critically heralded, short-lived series at the network. That list includes "Standoff," "Wonderfalls," "The Inside" and "Firefly."

"Drive," about a disparate bunch of people all competing in a secret, illegal, cross-country car race, only had to get through six episodes to complete its first-season order. Alas, only four episodes aired before it got yanked.

Back in January, at Winter TV Press Tour 2007, one of TRWCT asked Minear, "If the race is a secret, how come people from all walks of life know about it?"

"Well, it's a little bit like my last three shows on Fox," Minear responded. "People hear rumors, and then eventually they either download them or get the DVDs."

During that press tour, Fox entertainment chief Peter Liguori referred to Minear as the "Rocky Balboa of Fox producers and show creators." (He also said Fox suits had "every faith that this is going to be a top show for us," which would seem to be accurate, given the investment of "American Idol" promotion time toward launching the series.) Minear was asked about Liguori's description of him and whether he wouldn't rather be known as the hitmaker.

"Well, I can tell you this, just between you and me: Some days the $2 million is hardly worth it," he responded.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...602454_pf.html
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post #318 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 02:05 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Sports
ESPN right for Big 12 deal
By Paul J. Gough The Hollywood Reporter April 27, 2007

NEW YORK -- ESPN and the Big 12 said Thursday that they have struck a new eight-year multiplatform rights deal beginning in 2008.

The pact calls for the right to pick from 19 exclusive Big 12 football games on ESPN's television and Web services. These include exclusive Big 12 games for ABC during the regular season and the Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship. It also includes the first selection among 95 men's basketball games every year.

In football, ABC will have first pick of 19 games that include primetime and the Dr Pepper Big 12 Football Championship, and ESPN has entitlement rights to the conference (basketball) championship. ESPN GamePlan also will have out-of-market telecasts of Big 12 games available via pay-per-view.

In men's basketball, ESPN and ESPN2 have exclusive national cable rights to a weekly Wednesday game on ESPN2 and games on ESPN on Monday and Saturday on either ESPN or ESPN2. ESPNU and ESPN360.com will carry 20 exclusive conference games; ESPNU will have a weekly Big 12 show. The Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Championship will be carried on ESPN's networks and Web sites including the conference championship on ESPN.

ESPN and ESPN2 will carry six Big 12 events in women's basketball, softball, baseball, wrestling and volleyball plus ESPNU will carry as many as 25 each year.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/...d4e3600e89f04b
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I disagree.

NBC would be the perfect network to try at least some of this. After all, if it dies, it actually will waste a great brand and tradition. That can't be said for the CW.

So have NBC try with one or two ensemble shows -- one of the L&Os, ER maybe even "FNL"and see what happens.

With the lowest ratings in its history the past two weeks, the peacock better do something. Andf it better do it quickly.

And even a watered down version of "ER" (and if done properly, most fans wouldn't really notice at all) will likely do better than any new program the network would put in its place. And certainly it would do better than straight reruns.

The fact is that on the enemble shows quite a few of the characters, even the major ones, either appear very briefly or not at all in some episodes. There is no reason a story couldn't be moved forward, and even made very interesting, with some episodes which episode include, but don't revolve around, the "leads".

Your "ER" idea just gave me a thought: what if Dick Wolf moves "Law & Order" to Los Angeles and starts fresh (new ADA's, new prosecutors, new judges, etc.)? Or Chicago (Dennis Farina can guest-star for an episode as Detective Fontana)? Or any other major metropolitan city you care to think of? "Dexter" has shown me that Miami can be an interesting town to shoot dark subject matter in ("CSI: Miami" and "Miami Vice" did that years ago but I never watched them! ).

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But your basic premise is "it can't be done".

More like "it makes so much sense it won't be done because it needs industry-wide acceptance to succeed in changing the TV biz culture, and executives afraid of being perceived as weak, reckless or both will not risk alienating their bosses with a high-risk, unknown-reward business model." If an industry leader like CBS were to do it and show it works then every network would jump onboard and "follow the leader." But because it'd be NBC or The CW doing it (never thought these two would be mentioned together as being on the same sinking ship) most people in the industry would see for what it is: desperate measures for changing times. Of course being a cyclical business, when its time for CBS/Fox/ABC to fall on hard times then they'll be suffering from their own desperate need to get out of the cellar.

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My premise is maybe it can't, but continuing down this road leads to total disaster to at least one of the major networks in the next few years. Some kind of new thinking, drastically new, is needed.

The old "we have never done things that way" kind of thinking is one major reason the networks have seen their shares drop from the 90s in the late 70s to the low 40s now. The current method obviously doesn't work. Drastic changes are needed.

The NBC 2.0 plan is just a desperate tweaking of the old system. And it has so far proved to be a total bomb.

Agree.
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post #320 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 06:06 AM
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Washington Notebook
FCC says children still see too much violence on TV
An FCC study finds that children are still being exposed to gore
By Jim Puzzanghera Los Angeles Times Staff Writer April 26, 2007

I'm as anti-censorship, anti-government regulation a lib guy as you're going to find. But if I were an advocate against violence on TV my first exhibit against the broadcast networks at an FCC hearing would be any episode of NBC's Heroes aired this past season without any 'Viewer Discretion Advised' parental warnings (besides the 'TV-14' logo in the upper-left corner). Just last week on "Heroes" a guy's limbs were impailed with brushes in a Christ-like floor crucifiction before his head was sliced open, another character had a piece of broken glass impailed in the back of his skull and so forth. And this was one of the tamer episodes! The 20 seconds per episode NBC wasn't willing to give up to have four five-second 'This program contains images of graphic violence and gore. Viewer discretion is advised' vignettes after every commercial break are going to come back and bite the network in the ass real hard. Again, this coming from a single guy in his 30's that loves "Heroes" but constantly wonders how the hell NBC gets away with showing in it what they do without a parental warning (especially since lots of kids must watch it because of its comic book-themed premise).
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post #321 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 06:18 AM
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You will notice I also rarely post items from the NY Post and some other publications.

I try to keep this informative, a bit breezy, but most of all, accurate.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Always learning.....no one really knows it all.
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post #322 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 08:02 AM
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Some comments above made me realize something that I've known for a while about the major nets, but in a slightly different light.

There are between 14 and 21 of prime-time programming hours that a net needs to fill. Crazily, I've always thought that the heads were trying to fill all of the 14-21 hours with the best programming they could muster. What is now clear is that they really only seek to fill it with about 7 hours of their best programming, and use the remaining 7-14 hours to "try out" other shows, with little intention of keeping them around if they don't qualify as the next big thing. The other 7-14 hours are simply the minor leagues in which shows are born and die quickly, especially at FOX.

I wonder if they'll ever realize that some show has to be last in the ratings every night. It's simply the nature of scoring them first to last.
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post #323 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 08:04 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Sports
Padres go All-HD
By Jay Posner San Diego Union-Tribune April 27, 2007

A change in Channel 4 San Diego's Padres coverage is good news for fans with high-definition TVs: Every Padres telecast after June 17 will be in HD, including 19 post-All Star break games originally scheduled for standard def.

That brings the total number of HD telecasts this season to 128.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniont...1s27media.html
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post #324 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

I disagree.

NBC would be the perfect network to try at least some of this. After all, if it dies, it actually will waste a great brand and tradition. That can't be said for the CW.................

Fred,

I have to agree with you. I still remember the series that had 4 different shows each week and wondered why that didn't make it for a longer run. I think it's got to be very difficult to come up with 22 "fresh" ideas year after year and breaking a schedule in 2 makes perfect sense, epsecially since that is basically what they do anyway. Tthe difference is that viewers would know up front and could plan accordingly. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to figure out the current schedule. DVRs help, but this season seemed particularly chopped up and the endless "catch up" episodes for Lost almost did me in.

Cheers, Dave
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post #325 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Jediphish: you are forgetting about the extra hour the nets (except for MNTV) broadcast on Sundays.

So it is 22 hours a week for ABC, NBC and CBS.

15 for Fox.

13 for the CW. (No Saturday shows)

12 for MNTV (No Sunday shows)
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post #326 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Jediphish: you are forgetting about the extra hour the nets (except for MNTV) broadcast on Sundays.

So it is 22 hours a week for ABC, NBC and CBS.

15 for Fox.

13 for the CW. (No Saturday shows)

12 for MNTV (No Sunday shows)


Thanks for the clarification fredfa. I started to say there were 28 hours of prime-time (since it's officially four hours, with one to be dedicated to local programming), but that would still have been off slightly based on the above. I think my points remain valid nonetheless.
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post #327 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Fred,

I have to agree with you. I still remember the series that had 4 different shows each week and wondered why that didn't make it for a longer run. I think it's got to be very difficult to come up with 22 "fresh" ideas year after year and breaking a schedule in 2 makes perfect sense, epsecially since that is basically what they do anyway. Tthe difference is that viewers would know up front and could plan accordingly. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to figure out the current schedule. DVRs help, but this season seemed particularly chopped up and the endless "catch up" episodes for Lost almost did me in.


And there is no reason NBC couldn't dip its toes in the waters of change by simply trying this with one or a few shows. I am sure the unions and others would want to see how the entir eprocess would work, too, before committing to its on a wide scale basis.
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post #328 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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...I think my points remain valid nonetheless.

I agree.

With their schedules filled with repeats and cheap programming, the networks have given up on Saturdays entirely, and are on the verge of doing the same with Fridays -- which brings the total of programming needed for the Big Three to just 16 hours -- 11 for Fox.

And the new "NBC 2.0" budget-cutting program would have reality and other inexpensive programming filling all the 8 PM ET/PT hours, so that would bring NBC's total down to 12 hours a week -- and during NFL season, it would only need eight hours of scripted material.

(And still it has trouble filling its schedule.)
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post #329 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 08:26 AM - Thread Starter
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The Business of Television
Nielsen to Track HDTV Homes
Ratings Firm Aims to Develop Standard Definition of an HDTV Home
By Linda Moss Multichannel News

Nielsen will begin tracking the number of HDTV homes nationally and for Local People Meter markets starting in November.

Thursday's announcement came one day after the company said it will begin reporting the penetration of digital-video recorders nationally and in local markets, as well as digital-cable penetration locally.

The ratings firm is currently working with its clients to develop a standard definition of an HDTV home.

The service is considering two definitions: an HD Capable Home, a home that is equipped with an HDTV and HD tuner capable of receiving signals in HD; and an HD Receivable Home, a home that is equipped with an HDTV and HD tuner and receives at least one exclusively HD network or station.

Nielsen plans to discuss the two definitions with its clients and will most likely use one or both of them when it begins reporting HDTV universe estimates in the fall.

HDTV falls under the classification of a media-related" universe estimate, similar to wired cable. These estimates are similar in that they all use data from Nielsen's national and local samples that use an area-probability-sample design. These universe estimates are updated four times a year and are available on Nielsen's client Web sites.

Prior to reporting HDTV-universe estimates, Nielsen will provide clients with sample composition information from the National People Meter Sample and LPM markets in August.

Next January, the internal classification process of HDTV homes will be completed, enabling Nielsen to also report HDTV-universe estimates in all area-probability Set Meter Markets by the February survey. Nielsen continues to explore options for reporting HDTV Universe Estimates in Telephone Frame Meter and diary-only markets.

http://www.multichannel.com/index.as...leID=CA6437127
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post #330 of 98064 Old 04-27-2007, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Thursday's metered market over-night prime-time ratings - and Media Week Analyst Marc Berman's view of what they mean -- have been posted at the top of Ratings News the second post in this thread.
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