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post #181 of 96487 Old 04-24-2007, 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Fredfa View Post

Plus, daylight savings time came three weeks earlier this year and people are outside more.

I've never understood good weather as an excuse for a downturn in network ratings (even during the summer months). By that measure ratings in Los Angeles and any Western market below Seattle (where it rains 24/7 so being indoors is not an option ) should be perpetually low even during Fall and Winter months given their year-round good weather. But AZ stations still have ratings higher in the right months and lower when, guess what, repeats and filler programming replace the new episodes of the regularly-scheduled shows everybody wants to watch.

For morning, daytime and early evening programming maybe, but what about primetime and latenight? People can't spend their entire day outside, they have to come back inside to catch a little TV. Leno, Letterman and Conan air at a time when most viewers are indoors, and the late night shows' ratings never drop off as dramatically during Spring and Summer months as their primetime counterparts. And how can "The Closer" and other cable shows get their highest ratings of the year when they counter-program the broadcast networks with original episodes? Will the final episode of "The Sopranos" get a lower rating because it will air in a warm June night than a cold one in late December? I don't think so. If the show is good and people want to watch it doesn't matter what the weather is like outside.

I blame a lifetime of network TV programming training viewing audiences to expect a 'Gone Fishing' sign in the form of wall-to-wall repeats at the end of May for the cyclical (and predictable) low ratings. Besides, the VCR and DVR machines work the same whether its July 4th, November 10th or February 1st. If there's nothing good to watch (and the summer slate from the broadcast networks this year seems particularly weak) of course the viscious cycle of perpetually lowering viewership will continue. Why do you think cable has always targeted summer as the time to launch its best shows? When the cat's away...
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post #182 of 96487 Old 04-24-2007, 11:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shuttermaker View Post

During the summer months there are only 2 shows I watch. Big Brother and Rockstar . Maybe this summer there will be something else to catch my eye.

I seem to really get my moneys worth out of Netflix during the summer, thats for sure.

Check out "The Closer" this summer. It is terrific.
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post #183 of 96487 Old 04-24-2007, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rustycruiser View Post

About time. It must be almost two or three years since I first heard of "Pacific" (I think it was through an IMDB listing in 2004). Band of Brothers was so terrific, I can't wait to see this series.

I am with you.

"Band of Brothers" was among the finest TV series I have ever seen.
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post #184 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 12:49 AM
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Doesn't October Road have its Season's Finale April 26 (Thursday) as listed in one of this thread's beginning posts?

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Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Critic’s Notebook
The Season’s Final Month
Will Flower With Finales, Cliffhangers
By Robert Bianco USA TODAY

We've reached the May Sweeps, a time for see-you-in-September cliffhangers from shows that are coming back and we're-outta-here goodbyes from shows that aren't. It's jam-packed; USA TODAY leads you through the May maze.

•April 26
30 Rock, NBC, 9 ET/PT (Thursday)
Raines, NBC, 9 ET/PT (Friday)
The sweeps kick off with two early farewells, one of them final. 30 Rock wraps up with a special episode featuring fabulous Broadway diva Elaine Stritch, which should be a great setup for the show's fall return. No such luck for Raines, which pours out its last hour Friday.

•May 3
My Name Is Earl, NBC, 8 ET/PT
Those jokers at NBC are spicing up — more exactly, smelling up —Earl with a "scratch and sniff" episode, which sounds like fun. Unfortunately, they're also "super-sizing" the whole schedule, including a 67-minute ER, which sounds like considerably less fun. Not that it matters: Most people will likely watch the two-hour Grey's Anatomy (ABC, 9).

•May 6
The Amazing Race, CBS, 8 ET/PT
This "all-star" version of the Race has been less amazing than a mistake. But if you've been watching this long, you probably want to see who wins. Or at 9, tune to NBC for a special look back at SNL in the '90s.

•May 7
Drive, Fox, 8 ET/PT
Well, that was fast — which I guess is only fitting. Fox's cross-country car race comes to a sudden stop with what it hopes is a cliffhanger, and not just a plunge off the TV cliff.

•May 10
Without a Trace, CBS, 10 ET/PT
Trace ends its season on the night where it belongs. Welcome back, old friend. Where have you been?

•May 13
7th Heaven, CW, 8 ET/PT
The family soap meets its maker after a long run. The run was a year longer than it should have been, but loyal fans will still want to say goodbye.

•May 14
King of Queens, CBS, 9 ET/PT
Speaking of long runs and late goodbyes, CBS' working-class, worker-bee sitcom signs off after nine seasons. Find it hard to believe the show lasted that long? They probably do, too.

•May 16
The Price is Right Spectacular, CBS, 8 ET/PT
If anyone deserves a salute for longevity, it's Bob Barker. He gets two this week: Wednesday's Spectacular and Thursday's Bob Barker: A Celebration of 50 Years on Television.

•May 17
Ugly Betty, ABC, 8 ET/PT
It's the last Thursday of the season, meaning you'll also be taking leave of the night's biggest hits, Grey's and CSI. But considering the ride so far, you just know Betty has one of the year's wildest ends in store.

•May 21
24, Fox, 8 ET/PT
Jack's dreariest day ends. We know he'll prevail over the bad guys. Whether he prevails over Heroes (NBC, 9) remains to be seen.

•May 22
Veronica Mars, CW, 8 ET/PT
Goodbyes can be tough even when the time is right for parting. Like the two-hour finale of Veronica Mars, a great show that has sadly run its short course.

•May 23
American Idol, Fox, 8 ET/PT
Lost, ABC, 9 ET/PT
Not an easy choice: Idol winner or the two-hour finale of Lost? I'll be Lost, but most of you will be running on Idol.

http://www.usatoday.com/life/televis...y-sweeps_N.htm

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post #185 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

TV Notebook
HBO Films well-armed for Pacific
By Nellie Andreeva The Hollywood Reporter April 25, 2007
......

"Pacific" is based on the books "With the Old Breed" by Sledge and "Helmet for My Pillow" by Leckie, as well as original interviews conducted by the filmmakers and Hugh Ambrose, son of "Brothers" author Stephen E. Ambrose, who died in 2002. Hugh Ambrose serves as a consultant on the miniseries.

This should be as outstanding as Band of Brothers. The story of John Balisone is a fascinating one. My father served with him and I know the stories very well. Too bad most of the guys that were there never lived long enough for Hollywood to get their act together to see their story told. The later Pacific battles and the European Theatre get all the ink and in the Pacfic where if it wasn't for the smaller but vital victories of the Guadalcanal's and the shellackings of the Tarawa's (where the Marines took a hellava beating) of 1942 and 1943, the Iwo Jima's of 1944 and 1945 would have never happened.

If you are interested in a precurser of the flavor of the Pacific Campaign, check out Richard Tregaskis' book "Guadalcanal Diary" orignally published in 1943 (and still required reading of Marine officers) and has been reprinted many times and the DVD of the 1943 movie of the same name. The movie starred William Bendix, Richard Conte, Anthony Quinn, and John Archer and marks the film debut of Richard Jaeckel. Though the movie is more a moral booster for the folks back home, being made during the war right after the Marines left Guadalcanal, but still a good movie. It is B&W 4:3 and maybe one day will be available in HD.

As the marker at Lunga Point, Guadalcanal says about the Marines who served,

"That when he goes to heaven. To Saint Peter he will tell. Another marine reporting Sir. I have served my time in hell."

If Hanks and Spielberg can capture that feeling, this will be awesome. I can hardly wait for Pacific!!

All opinions expressed (unless otherwise noted) are the posters and NOT the posters employers. The poster in NO WAY is/will speak for his employers.
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post #186 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Check out "The Closer" this summer. It is terrific.

I tried two episodes. I just can't get past that nails-on-the-chalkboard accent.
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post #187 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

I tried two episodes. I just can't get past that nails-on-the-chalkboard accent.

I grew up in the South (and I'm a proud Winthrop grad ) and I've always thought her accent was over the top until I called to make a hotel reservation in Atlanta the other day. I swear it was Brenda Lee Johnson that answered the phone, she sounded exactly the same.
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post #188 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RussB View Post

Doesn't October Road have its Season's Finale April 26 (Thursday) as listed in one of this thread's beginning posts?

Yes it does, RussB.

Bianco's list is not meant to be all-inclusive.
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post #189 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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foxeng: It amazes me how few people today realize the incredible feats those guys in ther Pacific accomplished.

Perhaps the HBO series will do a little to raise our consciousness.
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post #190 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 06:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Cable Nielsen Notebook
Big bang for Discovery's 'Planet Earth'
Series finale draws 5.57 million total viewers
By Toni Fitzgerald MediaLifeMagazine.com staff writer April 25, 2007

Planet Earth, the Discovery Channel's 11-part documentary meant to capture the natural wonders all around us, began filming five years ago, well before the current trend toward environmental consciousness that last year boosted An Inconvenient Truth to a huge box office tally.

Clearly, Earth stood to benefit from the renewed interest in all things green, and that it did. The series ended its run Sunday night with an Earth Day marathon of the show, and it finished as the most-watched program on basic cable for the week ended April 22.

The 9 p.m. finale episode of Earth averaged 5.57 million total viewers, topping ESPN's Red Sox-Yankees game, which finished No. 2, by more than 100,000 viewers.

Three episodes of Earth that night finished in the top 13 for the week, including the 8 p.m. episode focused on forests and the 10 p.m. one entitled Pole to Pole. The 9 p.m. edition was about caves.

The effort put into the documentary was impressive. Seventy cameramen traveled to more than 2,000 locations around the globe, filming footage in high definition.

But what's perhaps most interesting about Planet was its drawing power across demographics. These days there aren't many shows, on broadcast or cable, that draw a broad audience of adult viewers.

There are usually only one or two shows that make the top 10 cable shows among adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54. Earth has made all three demos' top 10 nearly every week since it premiered on March 25.

While most programs are narrowly targeted at either twentysomethings, like Adult Swim's Family Guy, or fiftysomethings, like Discovery's Deadliest Catch, there were elements of Earth that appealed to everyone.

The environmental aspect drew in the younger crowd, who've grown up in the age of recycling and global warming. Animal storylines likely spoke to the older folks, parents who, like the Earth animals, worry over protecting their children.

"Earth" was certainly helped by nearly universally favorable reviews. Media Life's Andrew Lyons wrote, What makes this miniseries so impressive is its storytelling. No matter how striking the scenery is in a documentary, it's always the narrative that holds viewers, and in Planet Earth' there are dozens of compelling narratives woven through.

Earth seems likely to become an Earth Day staple and will probably be rerun by Discovery and its sister networks throughout the rest of the year. The tiny Science Channel, for example, has already aired part of Earth and drew its third-largest audience of the year.

Discovery says that more than 46 cumulative million viewers have watched the series, meaning they've caught at least 6 minutes of one show over the past month.

Meanwhile, in other cable ratings for the week ended April 22:

Top five networks in primetime (18-49s):
USA, ESPN, TNT, Discovery, TBS

Top five networks in primetime (total viewers):
USA, TNT, Fox News, ESPN, Discovery

Top movie (18-49s):
USA's 50 First Dates (Sunday, 7 p.m.) 1.36 million

Top sporting event (total viewers):
ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball: Red Sox vs. Yankees (Sunday, 8 p.m.) 5.48 million

Shows making the top 10 among 18-34s, 18-49s and 25-54s:
USA's WWE Entertainment (Monday, 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.); Discovery's Planet Earth (Sunday, 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.); ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball: Red Sox vs. Yankees (Sunday, 8 p.m.)

[/b] [/color]Show on the rise: [/b] [/color]
ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball: Red Sox vs. Yankees, Sunday 8 p.m. Baseball's most heated rivalry drew the network's best SNB ratings in three years.

[/b] [/color]Show on the decline: [/b] [/color]
VH1's Charm School, Sunday 10 p.m. Without an I Love New York lead-in, the network's latest Flavor of Love spinoff plummeted in its second week, averaging 2.69 million total viewers, or barely half last week's 5.09 million. It dropped out of the top 10 in all the major adult demos as well.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...nter_11646.asp
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post #191 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Nielsen Weekly Ratings in the 18-49 Demo
On TV, April sinkers bode May stinkers
Many top network shows are hitting season lows 9s
By Toni Fitzgerald MediaLifeMagazine.com staff writer April 25, 2007

With May finales just a month away the dramatic tension on most broadcast shows is heating up, but ratings for a large number of primetime programs are actually cooling off.

Call it the mid-spring doldrums. Last week shows across all of the Big Four networks dipped to season or series lows, nearly all of them current or former hits that have already been renewed for next season.

That's the last thing the networks want heading into sweeps.

ABC's Desperate Housewives, the No. 2 scripted show on television last year among adults 18-49, tied a series low with a 6.1 rating Sunday night. The network's top-rated new show, Ugly Betty, dipped to a series-worst 3.0 on Thursday.

On CBS, CSI: Miami averaged 15.3 million total viewers, matching a season low last Monday, and first-year drama Shark dipped to a 3.0 in 18-49s, a series worst. Two days earlier, Fox's "American Idol" had its lowest Tuesday rating of the season, 10.2. The network's "Simpsons" also dipped to a series low of 3.0 Sunday.

And NBC, which posted its lowest weekly average rating among 18-49s ever for the second time in the past month, saw Thursday shows ER and My Name is Earl tie previous series lows.

There's no one reason for the declines. Instead it's likely a variety of things combining for the viewership decline, beyond the usual culprits of weak storylines or stronger timeslot competition.

Daylight savings time came three weeks early this year, and television usage levels saw big falloffs from their level at the same time the year before. It's possible many of those viewers, upon venturing outside instead of turning on the television, still haven't come back as numbers are still off from last year. Households using television (HUT) levels have fallen four out of the last six weeks, according to Nielsen data analyzed by Fox.

Meanwhile, more and more people are using delayed viewing to watch their favorite shows. According to Nielsen, some 2 million additional people are watching shows such as ABC's Lost, which hit a series low earlier this month, on their digital video recorders, meaning they're not showing up in the weekly Nielsen ratings that measure live plus same-day DVR viewing. Still others are watching online, where the Big Four networks claim to have served millions of program downloads since they became available last year.

Another problem may be the lack of solid lead-ins for several formerly top shows. ER and CSI: Miami, for example, have lost huge chunks of their lead-ins over the past two years, with programs like Everybody Loves Raymond and Will & Grace going off the air. ER now routinely builds on its lead-in by at least a third, which is asking a lot of an aging show.

And quirky spring scheduling certainly doesn't help any show. After weeks of reruns, ABC's Housewives and Grey's Anatomy and NBC's Heroes only recently returned with originals, and it sometimes takes viewers a few weeks to realize that a show is back. And a new "Shark" aired after a repeat "CSI," which never helps.

Meanwhile, in broadcast ratings for the week ended April 22:

Among adults 18-49,
Fox led with a 3.9 average rating and a 12 share, followed by ABC at 3.3/9, CBS at 2.6/7, NBC at 2.1/6, Univision at 1.7/5, CW at 1.3/4, Telemundo at 0.4/1, MyNetworkTV and Telefutura at 0.3/1, and Ion and Azteca at 0.1/0.

Among adults 18-34,
Fox led with a 3.5 average rating and an 11 share, followed by ABC at 2.8/9, Univision at 1.7/6, CBS at 1.7/5, NBC at 1.6/5, CW at 1.4/4, Telemundo at 0.4/1, Telefutura and MyNetworkTV at 0.3/1, and Ion and Azteca at 0.1/0.

Among adults 25-54,
Fox led with a 4.3 average rating and an 11 share, followed by ABC at 3.6/10, CBS at 3.3/9, NBC at 2.4/6, Univision at 1.6/4, CW at 1.2/3, Telemundo 0.4/1, Telefutura and MyNetworkTV at 0.3/1, Ion at 0.2/0 and Azteca at 0.1/0.

Top five (18-49s):
1. Fox's American Idol - Wednesday 11.2; 2. Fox's American Idol - Tuesday 10.2; 3. Fox's House 9.1; 4. ABC's Grey's Anatomy 8.7; 5. ABC's Desperate Housewives 6.1.

Top five (total viewers):
1. Fox's American Idol - Wednesday 28.93 million; 2. Fox's American Idol - Tuesday 26.55 million; 3. Fox's House 22.41 million; 4. ABC's Grey's Anatomy 21.12 million; 5. ABC's Dancing with the Stars 18.87 million.

Bottom five (18-49s):
Tie-91. CW's The Game, Everybody Hates Chris and NBC's Heroes-Encore 0.8; Tie-94. CW's America's Next Top Model-Encore and All of Us 0.7; 96. NBC's Heroes-Encore 0.6; 97. CW's 7th Heaven-Encore 0.5.

Bottom five (total viewers):
93. CW's Girlfriends 1.93 million; 94. CW's Everybody Hates Chris 1.89 million; 95. CW's All of Us 1.70 million; 96. CW's America's Next Top Model - Encore 1.56 million; 97. CW's 7th Heaven-Encore 1.34 million.

Show on the rise:
The Apprentice, NBC, Sunday 10 p.m. The Donald's reality program struggled all season, but it did finish strong, with its finale last week posting a 3.2 among viewers 18-49, up 33 percent versus a 2.4 the week before and 7 percent over its 3.0 season average.

Show on the decline:
Raines NBC, Friday 9 p.m. It's safe to say the Jeff Goldblum drama won't see another season. The show posted a 1.3 rating among 18-49s last week, off 13 percent from an already-disappointing 1.5 the week before.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...icle_11645.asp
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post #192 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Weekly Nielsen Notebook
Broadcast Erosion: Many Culprits, Few Solutions
Franchise dramas bottom out

by Wayne Friedman, MediaPost.com Wednesday, Apr 25, 2007

This seasons' surprising dip in broadcast ratings has many analysts digging deeper into the reasons, exploring type of programming, DVR usage, the Internet and even the usual suspect, cable TV.

Live-only broadcast ratings are down anywhere from 11% to 15%--a steep fall off from the last three years, when broadcast viewership has been basically flat versus the seasons before.

Just a handful of network prime-time shows have seen ratings improvements over a year ago, such as "House" and "America's Funniest Videos." But the list is long on the other side of the ledger. Shows like "24," "Desperate Housewives,' "Lost," and "CSI" have taken sizable dips.

Previously in the 1990s, broadcast viewership regularly dipped 3% to 5% per season--with cable networks getting the benefit. Some analysts say the huge drop this year isn't all going to cable.

A big key in broadcast's drop could be DVR users, who now represent 14% of all U.S. TV households. Sources say that fully 40% of DVR users time-shift. That in itself could result in a 5% drop or more, according to one network executive. "That's huge," says one executive. "Among DVR users, the highest-rated TV show in every half hour in prime time is DVR playback. I'm shocked we are not down more."

As for Internet usage, networks said early on that online viewing didn't affect regular viewership of certain shows--meaning consumers weren't foregoing the traditional prime-time airing. However, if they are watching "Desperate Housewives" on their computers in prime time, "they are not watching something else on TV."

Still, programming on the networks' Internet sites has skyrocketed to some 250 shows versus a year ago, when only a handful could be viewed on computers.

Other executives complain about the high number of serial drama programs, which frequently take long multi-week breaks between original episodes. That makes viewers apathetic, pushing them to go elsewhere.

But DVRs and the Internet may not be the only reasons. Jack Wakshlag, chief research officer for Turner Broadcasting, says when looking at live-plus seven days of DVR viewership, cable is up 3% in ratings over a year ago. This compares to some lower broadcast erosion than just live-only numbers--8% for the six networks, 5% for the four networks.

If this season appears rougher for the broadcast networks, he says, it's because it comes after an Olympic year, which typically witnesses a big hit in ratings. Whatever the reasons, many media executives are still worried--mostly because broadcast erosion got such attention this year.


http://publications.mediapost.com/in...29733&p=413494
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post #193 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 07:35 AM
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NEW YORK (AP) -- Rosie O'Donnell's stormy tenure on "The View" will be a short one. ABC said Wednesday it was unable to agree on a contract with the opinionated host, and she'll leave the show in June.

O'Donnell said in a statement that "my needs for the future just didn't dovetail with what ABC was able to offer me."

"This has been an amazing experience," she said, "and one I wouldn't have traded for the world."

O'Donnell has helped raise the ratings for the daytime chat show invented by Barbara Walters. But her outspokenness has caused almost constant controversy, including a nasty name-calling feud with Donald Trump.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



To bad she wouldn't leave planet earth
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post #194 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
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TV Notebook
Rose O'Donnell Leaving 'The View'
(ABCNews.com)
April 25, 2007 - Rosie O'Donnell is leaving "The View." ABC has been unable to come to a contractual agreement with "The View" co-host. As a result, her duties on the show will come to an end mid-June.

The president of daytime programming for the Disney-ABC Television Group, Brian Frons, told ABCNEWS.com, "Going in we knew we would have an amazing year with her, and that anything beyond that would be gravy. But we were willing to take the chance because we understood what a coup it was to entice Ro back to daytime television. So here we are a year later, and while we've tried to come to terms on a deal that would extend her co-hosting duties on 'The View,' we find ourselves unable to agree on some key elements."

According to Barbara Walters, creator and co-executive producer of "The View," the departure is an amicable one.

In a statement, Walters said: "I induced Rosie to come back to television on 'The View' even for just one year. She has given the program new vigor, new excitement and wonderful hours of television. I can only be grateful to her for this year. I am very sad that ABC Daytime could not reach an agreement with her for a second year. We will all miss Rosie on 'The View,' and hope she will be back with us often next season. She remains for me a cherished friend and colleague."

O'Donnell said: "This has been an amazing experience, and one I wouldn't have traded for the world. Working with Barbara, Joy and Elisabeth has been one of the highlights of my career, but my needs for the future just didn't dovetail with what ABC was able to offer me. To all the viewers out there, I just want to say 'thank you' for opening up your hearts and your homes to me this past year. But you can always find me at rosie.com. Here's hoping there's more confetti for all of us going forward."

Frons said: "That's the business, and something we knew was a real possibility the entire time. So we part as friends, and hope that we can entice Rosie back next year to take part in a series of one-hour specials for us like our recent show on Autism. And maybe, if we're lucky, we'll be able to convince her to guest co-host once in a while as well."

O'Donnell has been the recent subject of headlines for her ongoing feud with Donald Trump, and media speculation over her departure from "The View."

The real estate mogul and O'Donnell tussled after O'Donnell called him "a snake oil salesman," after he announced he would not fire scandal-plagued Miss USA Tara Conner. Trump threatened to sue O'Donnell, but later backed down.

There are no current plans to announce a new co-host.

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/print?id=3077493
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post #195 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Tuesday'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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post #196 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 08:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, but accidentally deleted the Monday ratings.

Hopefully it will be a one-time incident. My plan to leave the previous two day's numbers in the second post at the top of the thread.
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post #197 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 08:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Critic's Notebook
What's on TV?
How should you know?
By Tim Goodman San Francisco Chronicle Television Critic Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dedicated TV enthusiasts will certainly rejoice as they get new gadgets like flat-screen plasmas. They will one day believe that Apple TV or TiVo or Slingbox is awesome. Being able to watch online for free with pristine picture quality -- yes! More and newer widgets and options will make all of our lives super enjoyable and efficient.

Now will someone tells us when our shows are on? Or why they disappeared? When are they coming back? Are they canceled? Moved to a new night? New time? Hello?

There is a great and troubling disconnect between the people who make and air television and those who sit down on plump couches and big chairs to watch it. This has nothing to do with cutting-edge technology. It has to do with a basic lack of understanding on the viewers' part when it comes to what the networks and cable channels are doing.

Honestly, this is one of those problems that's a lot less complicated than it sounds. If television is a business -- and a very familiar one that we interact with every day -- why is the communication so lame? For example, do you know when the corner store in your neighborhood closes? Do you know how late the supermarket with all the parking stays open on a Sunday?

For the most part, you do.

Let's say you're lucky enough to be able to walk to your friendly produce store. Hey look, there's Joe, the green grocer! Hi Joe! And there you are, with your cute little eco-friendly cloth shopping bag, picking up some fruit on your way to get a fresh baguette and maybe some meat to cook up. Hey, Joe, where are all the fresh strawberries? Joe tells you there'll be a bunch more in two days. The bread lady tells you not to miss swinging by her store on Friday because she's going to have special olive bread -- you won't want to miss that. And look, Bill the butcher is talking about how he's going to have two days of seafood specials, back-to-back.

My, you are one informed consumer.

But when you go home -- informational chaos! You turn to your favorite new midseason show -- granted, you don't really know when "midseason" is, but one night you stumbled on a series and liked it -- and now it's gone. There's a rerun of another show you don't like, from the same network, except it's rerunning on a different night. What?

So you flip around. You go up to the cable channels. You can't find "The Closer" or "Monk" and you're wondering when those shows even start their seasons. Do they have seasons? Why is cable programming so erratic?

All right, you get the picture. You don't need me to paint it -- or mock it -- because you're living it. I can't tell you how many people have asked questions like, "Why was there a lull before these last five episodes of 'Heroes?' Did something happen?" Or, "What happened to the rest of 'Men in Trees?' Was it canceled?" Well, in the first case, network programming happened. There's just no logic to it. In the second, ABC has decided to hold the final five episodes until next season, but had no good way of telling die-hard fans of the series that: a) Hooray, your favorite show got renewed! or b) About those last five episodes, well, we're still deciding what to do with them.

Things got so bad that Jenny Bicks, the writer and creator of "Men in Trees," posted a blog item on the ABC Web site with some of this information and some apologies. She said two or three of the episodes could air in May, but then again, they may not. And how would fans find them? Bicks was concerned.

As well she should be. This kind of misinformation, or total lack of information, plagues the TV industry. What other business keeps its customers so ill-informed and then bemoans a downturn in business?

If networks think that millions of people are going to randomly check its Web site for information, then they have too much faith in some people's grasp of technology and most people's priorities.

There are all kinds of ways to better improve communication between the people who make television and the people who watch it. There certainly needs to be some kind of education campaign about the most basic aspects of television.

Hey, TV critics do their best. But even we are forced to hunt for all kinds of information that the networks somehow managed to not tell us.

And so, I wonder if among the many ways communication between producer and viewer can be improved, if we shouldn't give some thought to the lowly e-mail.

Would you be willing to give the networks and cable channels you watch -- you don't have to let the CW or Lifetime in on this -- your e-mail address? Would they, in turn, be willing to ramp up for mass blastings of information to their loyal audience? It sounds so simple. There must be a great, nefarious flaw in it somewhere.

I know, there are plenty of listings services that keep people informed online. I even use them. I also get billions of e-mails from the networks, not all of them helpful (perhaps we've spotted one early flaw in this idea). But for the general population, why not? Wouldn't fans want to know immediately that their series was renewed? Loyalty for the future! Wouldn't they want to know that "Battlestar Galactica" was going to have a mini-marathon over the weekend so they could catch up on what they missed?

What if NBC sent out an e-mail that said, "Alert! We're switching nights!" Or if CBS said, "Show X is going off the air for 13 weeks. Here's why. Here's when it will be back. Thank you."

Handy.

For all I know, e-mail alerts may already be routinely available. But I do know this -- if they are, most people who want them don't know they exist. And that's another communication problem.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...type=printable
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post #198 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 08:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Weekly Nielsen Notebook
National Ratings in Prime Time:
Week of April 16-22, 2007
By Marc Berman MediaWeek.com April 25, 2007

Excluding a tie with CBS for first in households, it was a clean sweep for American Idol-ignited Fox on the lazy mid-April week of April 16. Fox has now ranked first among adults 18-49 for 11 consecutive weeks.

ABC and CBS shared the No. 2 spot, with the Eye net second in total viewers and ABC second in the three surveyed demos.

NBC plummeted to another potential historical low among key adults 18-49, with a fourth-place 2.1 rating/6 share in the demo. How much further can it fall in this still traditional season?

NBC also finished in the No. 4 spot in the remaining categories.

Last, of course, was disappointing The CW, which must come up with an aggressive schedule of new programming for next season to get some momentum going.

Year-to-year, ABC is benefiting by two-and-a-half hours of Dancing With the Stars per week (excluding the repeat recap), with gains of as much as 27 percent (among adults 18-34) this week. Fox was close to year-ago levels, while CBS and NBC suffered from double-digit across-the-board losses. The CW, meanwhile, remained close to both UPN and the WB one year earlier -- certainly not a good thing.

In time period-premiere news, NBC's improvisational Thank God You're Here moved into the Wednesday 8 p.m. hour (in place of Friday Night Lights) with an improved 7.04 million viewers (#41 overall) and a 2.9 rating/7 share among adults 18-49 (tied for #32). But Fox's Drive, which debuted in the Monday 8 p.m. hour, was stuck in second gear with just 5.66 million viewers (#64) and a 2.3/ 6 in the demo (tied for #48).

Although Fox's Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader continues to flourish in the Thursday 8 p.m. anchor spot and ABC's October Road is benefiting from the Grey's Anatomy lead-in (see rankings below), other recent entries leave little to be desired. Take a look:

Notes From the Underbelly (ABC) - Tues. 8:30 p.m. (time period premiere)
Viewers: 6.26 million (#59)
A18-49: 2.4/ 7 (#44t)

Raines (NBC) - Fri. 9 p.m.
Viewers: 5.85 million (#63)
A18-49: 1.3/ 4 (#83t)

Identity (NBC) - Fri. 8 p.m.
Viewers: 4.91 million (#74)
A18-49: 1.4/ 5 (#78t)

Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll (CW) - Tues. 9 p.m.
Viewers: 2.98 million (#85)
A18-49: 1.5/ 4 (#74t)

CBS' older-skewing Hallmark Hall of Fame made-for, Crossroads: The Story of Forgiveness, got some mileage on Sunday, meanwhile, with 10.66 million viewers (#20) and a 2.3/ 6 among adults 18-49 (#48t). And NBC's competing The Apprentice closed season No. 6 Sunday at 10 p.m., with 7.98 million viewers (#34) and a 3.2/ 8 in the demo (#21t).

Here are the final national ratings for the week of April 16, 2007 (with percent change versus the comparable year-ago period in parentheses for the Big 4 -- the CW is not included), followed by the top 30 ranked programs for the week in total viewers and adults 18-49.

Households:
Fox: 6.3 rating/11 share (+ 3)
CBS: 6.3/11 (-20)
ABC: 6.2/10 (+17)
NBC: 4.2/ 7 (-13)
CW: 2.0/ 3

Total Viewers:
Fox: 10.26 million (+ 3)
CBS: 9.62 (-20)
ABC: 9.48 (+19)
NBC: 6.24 (-13)
CW: 3.02

Adults 18-49:
Fox: 3.9 rating/12 share (- 5)
ABC: 3.3/ 9 (+14)
CBS: 2.6/ 7 (-21)
NBC: 2.1/ 6 (-13)
CW: 1.3/ 4

Adults 25-54:
Fox: 4.3/11 (- 4)
ABC: 3.6/10 (+ 6)
CBS: 3.3/ 9 (-25)
NBC: 2.4/ 6 (-17)
CW: 1.2/ 3

Adults 18-34:
Fox: 3.5/11 (-10)
ABC: 2.8/ 9 (+27)
CBS: 1.7/ 5 (-19)
NBC: 1.6/ 5 (-20)
CW: 1.4/ 4

Source: Nielsen Media Research data

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/newslett...ider/index.jsp
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To bad she wouldn't leave planet earth

I'd much rather see Trump leave the planet. To say he's a pig is an insult to swine everywhere.
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TV Notebook
Rosie leaving ABC's 'View' come June
Network declines to meet O'Donnell salary demands!
By Toni Fitzgerald MediaLifeMagazine.com staff writer April 25, 2007

After infuriating Donald Trump, clashing with Barbara Walters and sending The View's ratings soaring, Rosie O'Donnell is ending her short stay on the ABC morning chat show.

This morning O'Donnell released a statement saying that she will leave the program in June, less than a year after she joined as the replacement for Meredith Vieira, who went to NBC's "Today."

Her departure had been rumored for months, seemingly as soon as she signed on to the Walters-produced show, with many seeing it as a stepping stone to another talk show.

It wasn't clear whether O'Donnell's exit was completely voluntary or if Walters, after months of controversy during which O'Donnell feuded with celebrities and several ethnic and religious groups, is getting rid of her. Walters emphasized during the opening of today's show that she wanted O'Donnell back and had nothing to do with the negotiations.

O'Donnell said in a statement this morning that she and ABC could not reach a contract agreement, presumably because the network wouldn't meet her demands. She signed on last year for a one-season deal, and she will return as a guest host and to do specials for the network.

My needs for the future just didn't dovetail with what ABC was able to offer me," O'Donnell said in a statement Wednesday. "This has been an amazing experience, and one I wouldn't have traded for the world."

There have been signs that O'Donnell would not return.

Walters often seemed uncomfortable with her co-host's angry rants, the most famous directed against Trump. Walters finally put a stop to a months-long war of words between the two on the air earlier this year, but O'Donnell was reportedly upset that Walters did not come to her defense earlier when Trump said the veteran ABC newswoman regretted hiring O'Donnell.

O'Donnell also famously feuded with Kelly Ripa, a Chinese group and several Christian groups over her comments on the show.

Most recently, O'Donnell angered some with her crude language while hosting the annual New York Women in Communications awards luncheon Monday, where she also launched an unprovoked attack on News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch while introducing him.

That prompted Walters to again say she didn't always agree with O'Donnell's views.

But there's no denying that their brief partnership was a successful one for both sides. Ratings for the long-sagging show soared, up 18 percent season-to-date among women 18-49 and 17 percent in total viewers.

Without her, the ratings will no doubt take a huge hit.

And O'Donnell, who'd been out of the public eye since her talk show went off the air four years ago, has a great platform to launch a new one, though she's too late to have a show cleared for this fall. The soonest she could get on the air would likely be September 2008.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...icle_11673.asp
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post #201 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

I'd much rather see Trump leave the planet. To say he's a pig is an insult to swine everywhere.

OK.

We got point and counterpoint.

I think that is enough.
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post #202 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Critic's Notebook
Television: shows on the bubble
By Charlie McCollum San Jose Mercury News

All across Hollywood these days, producers, writers and actors on more than 20 network shows are sweating bullets as executives decide whether to bring their series back next season. These shows are considered to be "on the bubble" - might be back, might not.

All ABC comedies

Vital signs: ABC has failed miserably in recent years to develop commercially successful fresh comedies, and it looks as if all the sitcoms currently on the schedule easily could get the boot. "According to Jim" wore out its welcome a long time ago, and "George Lopez" has lost what traction it had with viewers. Even "Knights of Prosperity" - arguably the best comedy the cnetwork had this year - might not get a second shot because of low ratings.

Prognosis: It appears the two veteran series - "Jim" and "George" - really will be canceled this year. "Knights" - which hasn't been on in weeks - has a chance of coming back next season, but it's a very slim one.

'What About Brian'

Vital signs: Why ABC brought the soapy "Brian" back after mediocre ratings its first season was last year's little TV mystery. In its second year, the series didn't improve either creatively or in overall viewership.

Prognosis: The chances of "Brian" returning rest solely on the fact that it fits into ABC's strategy of programming shows that appeal to young women. If the new shows the network has in production don't cut it, "Brian" could return yet again.

Monday night comedies

Vital signs: "Two And A Half Men," the top-rated comedy on TV, and the new "Rules of Engagement" are set. After that, it's a free-for-all with three shows in play: "The Class," an OK half-hour that never reached its potential; and two very solid traditional sitcoms, "How I Met Your Mother" and "The New Adventures of Old Christine."

Prognosis: "Class" is probably out. Even with substantial support from critics, "Mother" and "Christine" have drawn only modest audiences, and insiders say at least one of them is almost certain to get the ax.

'Jericho'

Vital signs: Not great. The post-nuclear holocaust drama had some momentum in the fall but lost it after going on hiatus for most of the spring.

Prognosis: CBS has some high-profile new dramas waiting in the wings with very few open slots on its schedule. On another network, "Jericho" would stand a better chance of coming back; CBS is likely to scrap it for a newcomer.

'Close to Home'

Vital signs: Airing on Fridays between "Ghost Whisperer" and "Numbers," "Home" always has drawn a decent-sized audience. But artistically, it may be the weakest drama on the CBS lineup, and the ratings weren't that good.

Prognosis: Code blue! CBS needs the hour for the fresh stuff it has in the pipeline.

(Note: Rumors persist that CBS's cuts may go deeper than widely believed and some series that now seem almost certain to return - "The Unit" keeps coming up - could be casualties when the network announces its fall lineup in mid-May.)

'Gilmore Girls'

Vital signs: Creatively, this series is a long way from the days when it was one of the top dramas on television. Still, the CW is dying to bring it back because it remains one of the network's most-watched shows.

Prognosis: It all comes down to whether stars Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel decide to sign up for an eighth season. Word is that Bledel is disinclined to return and Graham wouldn't mind coming back but won't do another year without Bledel. Stay tuned, because it could go right down to the wire, as these negotiations often do.

'Veronica Mars'

Vital signs: This very good drama dodged the bullet two years running and had hoped to pump up its slight audience the third time around. Didn't happen.

Prognosis: Send flowers and say a fond farewell.

'The War at Home', `'Til Death'

Vital signs: "War" is a dreadful sitcom that never should have made it onto the schedule to begin with. Now, after two years and with ratings in the toilet, Fox finally appears ready to flush it down. "Death" was the network's big hope for a comedy breakout - which didn't happen for most of the season.

Prognosis: "The War" is over. But "Death" may have gotten a jolt of life when it racked up Top 10 viewership numbers behind "American Idol" in the spring. A blank screen could attract decent numbers behind "Idol," but those for "Death" were good enough that it may be around come the fall.

'Friday Night Lights'

Vital signs: Some nights, this fine drama has finished behind the CW's "America's Next Top Model" and whatever is on Univision, the Spanish-language network. That normally would earn it a ticket to the TV graveyard. But "Lights" has strong supporters within the NBC hierarchy, stands to win a fistful of post-season awards and has a very devoted core audience.

Prognosis: Better than it was a few weeks ago. The network has ordered six new scripts - the first few episodes of a second season - which is a hopeful sign, if not the final word.

'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip'

Vital signs: With Aaron Sorkin doing the writing and a high-powered ensemble cast, "Studio 60" looked like it could be TV's Next Big Thing. Viewers tuned in - but most immediately dropped out.

Prognosis: Consider it gone.

'Law & Order', 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'

Vital signs: Hard to believe, but it looks like the "L&O" franchise that once dominated the NBC schedule may be falling apart. Only "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" is assured of a spot come the fall, and executives are looking hard at both the mother ship and "Intent."

Prognosis: Aging and drawing just half the audience it had five years ago, the original "Law & Order" may be on its last legs after 16 years. The future of "Intent" depends on how much the NBC suits like their new dramas - and they seem to like some of them quite a bit, notably a remake of "The Bionic Woman" and "Winters," a cop drama from the folks behind "House."

'Scrubs'

Vital signs: The feeling in TV world was that NBC would renew either "Scrubs" or the new "30 Rock" but not both. "30 Rock" recently was picked up for a second season, a sign that the long and winding road of "Scrubs" finally may have come to an end.

Prognosis: At NBC, this sitcom appears to be on its death bed. But it is produced by Touchstone, the sister studio of ABC, and may end up on that network for one last season.

'Crossing Jordan', `Medium'

Vital signs: Although they've been steady performers in the past, neither series exactly lit up the Nielsen ratings after being brought in off the bench at midseason. "Crossing" simply may have run its course; "Medium" suffered from being in a brutal time slot opposite "Lost" and "CSI: N.Y."

Prognosis: The betting around NBC is that "Crossing" won't be back but that "Medium" has earned another season by at least holding its own against such tough competition.

http://www.mercurynews.com/portlet/a...269&siteId=568
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post #203 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 08:57 AM
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Critic's Notebook
Television: shows on the bubble
By Charlie McCollum San Jose Mercury News


'Jericho'

Vital signs: Not great. The post-nuclear holocaust drama had some momentum in the fall but lost it after going on hiatus for most of the spring.

Prognosis: CBS has some high-profile new dramas waiting in the wings with very few open slots on its schedule. On another network, "Jericho" would stand a better chance of coming back; CBS is likely to scrap it for a newcomer.

But didn't most of the shows coming back from hiatus suffer loss of ratings momentum? Just read a couple of articles mentioning that right here on SOHOTP (Son of Hot Off the Press). I'd be very disappointed if 'Jericho' doesn't come back; I love that show! And, it's the only thing, other than sports, I watch on creaky ol' CBS.
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"Mark is one of the best-behaved actors in this industry," adds my mole. "He's a willing, hard worker and he doesn't complain easily. For him to [threaten a walk-out] means that the situation is very bad."

http://community.tvguide.com/blog-en...Feud/800013496


One of my favorite shows....let's hope they can work this out. I wasn't sure it would survive them killing off Kate, but it thrived anyway. But I can't see it surviving Jethro leaving.

I'm no expert....so your mileage may vary
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post #205 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Tuesday's fast national 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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post #206 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 09:06 AM
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TV Notebook
HBO Films well-armed for Pacific
By Nellie Andreeva The Hollywood Reporter April 25, 2007

HBO Films has given the green light to "The Pacific," the long-gestating 10-hour miniseries from executive producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg that serves as the follow-up to the duo's Emmy-winning 2001 HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers."


Excellent...BoB was one of the best TV experiences of my lifetime...if it's even half as good it will be great.

I'm no expert....so your mileage may vary
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Prognosis: "Class" is probably out. Even with substantial support from critics, "Mother" and "Christine" have drawn only modest audiences, and insiders say at least one of them is almost certain to get the ax.

I think The Class should be given some more time. I like it.


Quote:


Prognosis: CBS has some high-profile new dramas waiting in the wings with very few open slots on its schedule. On another network, "Jericho" would stand a better chance of coming back; CBS is likely to scrap it for a newcomer.

This is another show I really like. I really wish that shows had the flexibility of moving between networks...kinda like free agents in the NFL. Isnt there like a writers union or something that could band together and assert themselves in contracts. Something to the effect that "if were canceled after so many years of production that we reserve the right to shop our product elsewhere"?

Maybe im still to naive to the way the whole business works.
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post #208 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 09:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Iteki: I couldn't agree more on both "NCIS" and "Band of Brothers".

I recently watched "BoB" again (for the fourth or fifth time) on DVD and it never fails to enlighten and move me.
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post #209 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 09:13 AM
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Critic's Notebook
Television: shows on the bubble
By Charlie McCollum San Jose Mercury News


(Note: Rumors persist that CBS's cuts may go deeper than widely believed and some series that now seem almost certain to return - "The Unit" keeps coming up - could be casualties when the network announces its fall lineup in mid-May.)


http://www.mercurynews.com/portlet/a...269&siteId=568

If CBS axes "The Unit" my wife is gonna absolutely freak!
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post #210 of 96487 Old 04-25-2007, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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... Isnt there like a writers union or something that could band together and assert themselves in contracts. Something to the effect that "if were canceled after so many years of production that we reserve the right to shop our product elsewhere"?

Maybe im still to naive to the way the whole business works.

Most shows are now owned by the networks which show them.

(Until the law changed a decade or so ago, networks were not allowed to have interests in prime time entertainment shows they ran.)

But in some cases (like "House", which is produced by NBCU and "Scrubs" for example) a rival network actually produces the show under its production company.

That is why "Scrubs", if cancelled by NBC, is expected to move to ABC next fall.
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