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Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 16

post #451 of 93688
Here's a quick suggestion.

Commission a study to determine the percentage of DVR/TiVO/VCR/etc. viewers who watch commercials. Apply that percentage to the normal ad-rate.

Lets take American Idol-TUES.

Its ad-rate for the 2006/2007 season was/is $594,000 per 30 sec. spot.

2.2M are watching time-shifted. The article stated that's 10% of the total audience. So, 10% of the ad-rate = $59,400.

Now lets say (a complete guess) that 50% of the commercials are zapped, well then that means you can charge $29,700 per 30 sec. slot.

You obviously can't charge full price because, well, many people are not going to watch the commericials, but I agree some money should be made off it.

Sell ads for 1) live+sd and 2) live+7 days.

In this situation the networks will be making back some of their lost revenue that is attributed to time-shifting and advertisers won't have to pay more than they feel is necessary. It's a win-win situation no? So why wouldn't it work?
post #452 of 93688
Thread Starter 
The Business of Television
TiVo Ratings Data to Shed Light on Commercial Avoiders
By Anthony Crupi MediaWeek April 30, 2007

Last week, Nielsen Media Research issued its first official estimate of national DVR penetration, and in so doing, added another gout of blood to the marketplace waters. By Nielsen's reckoning, DVRs have worked their way into 17.2 percent of all American television households, up 1.4 percent from the number of DVR homes in the current national sample.

That increase goes a long way toward illuminating why media agencies have begun casting around for alternative systems of measurement for TV viewing. Two days before Nielsen clients received the DVR numbers, The Interpublic Group said it would subscribe to TiVo's StopWatch ratings service, giving all of its media agencies, including Magna Global, Initiative and Universal McCann, access to detailed information about viewership patterns during individual commercial spots.

As a second-by-second service, StopWatch offers insight into the viewing behavior of the company's 4.5 million subscribers, capturing as it does both live and time-shifted viewing. Nielsen Media Research, owned by Mediaweek parent The Nielsen Co., does not offer such a granular data set to its clients; the closest it comes is with its minute-by-minute ratings, which it first began issuing on a limited basis in October 2006.

Steve Sternberg, executive vp, audience analysis, Magna Global USA, said the TiVo data won't come into play during this year's upfront; instead, his team will begin sussing out the raw feed in the summer, after much of the business has wrapped. The TiVo data is not meant to replace Nielsen, Sternberg said. They are the ratings currency right now, whether we like it or not.

Still, Sternberg said there are key advantages to TiVo's service, including the scope of its sampling. StopWatch data is culled from 20,000 TiVo subs; as he notes, that's about 15 times the size of Nielsen's DVR sample.

Until he starts digging into the TiVo data, Sternberg cannot say what he expects to find when he compares the two currencies. We've done extensive analysis of commercial pods limited to minute-by-minute data, so it's just a matter of fine-tuning, Sternberg said. We'll either get insight into how minute ratings are just not acceptable, or we'll find that there's no quantifiable difference.

IPG is the second media agency to sign on for the service, following Starcom, which began its subscription when TiVo first introduced the system in January. Like Magna, Starcom does not anticipate bringing the second-by-second numbers to the upfront table this year.

The TiVo data is helping us to understand the level of commercial avoidance in a time-shifted universe, said Tracey Scheppach, vp, video innovations director, Starcom USA. The hope is that in limning viewer behavior, Starcom can establish further guidelines on making the messaging more relevant or captivating, Scheppach said.

Starcom also happens to be the first agency to sign with TNS Media Research, which is collecting second-by-second ratings data from 300,000 Los Angeles-area Charter Cable homes. In March, when Starcom CEO John Muszynski declared that he would do a few test deals based on second-by-second data, he was referring to the TNS numbers, Scheppach said. The TNS test should also offer insights into addressability, she said, whereby demo-specific ads can be sent directly to the set-top box.

Meanwhile, TiVo continues to evolve from its role of giant slayer to ad-biz ally. Last week, Jon Nesvig, president of sales for Fox, said he was looking to test an ad-replacement technology with TiVo, effectively allowing spots to be swapped out of recorded programming in favor of fresh ads. (TiVo declined comment.)

Nano-data has its cynics. One ad sales chief met the IPG news with a shrug. We're going to be separating the pepper from the flyspeck all summer, he groaned. Forget all thatwhat about our shows?

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/news/rec..._id=1003577813
post #453 of 93688
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RussTC3 View Post

Here's a quick suggestion.

Commission a study to determine the percentage of DVR/TiVO/VCR/etc. viewers who watch commercials. Apply that percentage to the normal ad-rate.

Lets take American Idol-TUES.

Its ad-rate for the 2006/2007 season was/is $594,000 per 30 sec. spot.

2.2M are watching time-shifted. The article stated that's 10% of the total audience. So, 10% of the ad-rate = $59,400.

Now lets say (a complete guess) that 50% of the commercials are zapped, well then that means you can charge $29,700 per 30 sec. slot.

You obviously can't charge full price because, well, many people are not going to watch the commericials, but I agree some money should be made off it.

Sell ads for 1) live+sd and 2) live+7 days.

In this situation the networks will be making back some of their lost revenue that is attributed to time-shifting and advertisers won't have to pay more than they feel is necessary. It's a win-win situation no? So why wouldn't it work?



Some plan like that will work, Russ.

(Although I would doubt that anywnhere near 50% of the commercials are watched in DVR homes.)

And what about commercials which are specifically targeted: the famously expensive Thursday spots for weekend movies, car dealers, or retail sales events?

The reported TiVo/Fox plan, where new commercials (or presumably new advertisers entirely) can be substituted seems like it would have more acceptance.

But we still come down to how many people who record shows on DVRS actually watch commercials?
post #454 of 93688
Yeah, which is why they would need to do some sort of study to determine the amount of viewers watching commericials.

I know when I play back a program on my DVR, I do watch certain commericials. I don't completely skip every single one. I'm probably in the minority on that though.
post #455 of 93688
Thread Starter 
Critic's Notebook
Is '24' running out of time?
By Scott Collins Los Angeles Times Staff Writer in the Channel Island TV Industry column April 30, 2007

Jack Bauer, America's favorite counter-terrorism agent with the violent code of honor and the weird sadomasochistic bent, is squaring off against a stealthy and unforgiving new enemy.

His fans.

After peaking in the ratings last year, Fox's thriller "24" has been getting dumped on by seemingly everyone in this, its sixth season. Critics and fans alike are aiming tomatoes at the stage, carping about the soapy and repetitive plotlines that unspool Jack's unlikely familial past, tiresome romantic triangles in the security bureaucracy and endless bickering among Oval Office advisors.

Last week, with a fresh episode designed to lay the groundwork for what the creators promise will be a typically suspenseful finale next month, "24's" ratings in the key young-adult category swooned to their lowest level in more than three years, with a total audience of just 10.4 million, according to figures from Nielsen Media Research.

More than one-third of viewers have bailed since the special four-hour season premiere that aired over two consecutive nights back in January. And if that wasn't enough bad news for the series, last week "24" was one of the prime-time shows that the Federal Communications Commission singled out in urging Congress to curb TV violence.

The vox populi protests have not escaped the attention of the show's producers, who promise that some big changes are on the way for Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) and other regulars next season. There's also speculation that something else might be at work in accounting for viewers' tune-out this season, but more about that in a minute.

"It hurts to hear the criticism," said executive producer and writer Howard Gordon, who spoke with me last week by phone as the cast and crew crashed to finish shooting the season's final episode, set to air May 21.

"I don't dispute it's been a challenging season to write for us. But it's reinvigorated our determination to reinvent the show. This year could be seen to be the last iteration of it in its current state."

Oh, dear. Reinvention? That does sound ominous. But Gordon says not to worry, as Jack "won't be flipping burgers."

"It won't be a musical or a half-hour," he added. "I've got a couple ideas, none of which I could even begin to share responsibly."

So "24" the TV institution, to say nothing of the show's ongoing narrative has at last arrived at a crossroads, and what an odd trip it's been.

Premiering less than two months after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, "24" initially amounted to barely a blip on the pop-culture radar. The premise each episode unfolding in real time over the course of a single day as Jack races to foil some dastardly conspiracy sounded gimmicky. And given recent American history, Jack's missions against Middle Eastern bad guys could easily have struck too close to home. (As it is, the show has prompted plenty of complaints for propagating noxious ethnic and religious stereotypes; witness this season's major plot involving a diabolical terrorist overlord named Abu Fayed.)

But Fox stuck by the show, and, thanks in large part to the about-to-explode television DVD market, it steadily grew a fan base that finally made it blossom into true hit-level status sometime during the critically acclaimed and Emmy-winning fifth season.

I always loved "24's" willingness to work without a net, to go to crazy extremes in expanding the thriller format and somehow live to tell the tale to outLudlum Robert Ludlum, as it were.

But two personal anecdotes brought the show's mass appeal home for me: My 70-something mother-in-law, a rock-ribbed Republican with narrow TV tastes outside of "The O'Reilly Factor," confessed that she never missed "24." And last year, while walking in downtown Burbank, I happened to observe a middle-age man take his female companion's hand and inquire, in a tone of voice at once soothing and conspiratorial, "What do you say we go home, build a fire and watch '24'?"

But the clock is ticking, for fans as well as for Jack Bauer. Longtime devotees are struggling to keep the faith during this trying season.

"The writers have recycled some plots this season that are glaringly obvious: a recording, an almost removed president, an assassination attempt on that president, an attack on a Middle Eastern country, an impending nuclear strike, a person close to Jack kidnapped, etc.," Victor Lana, a novelist who follows "24" for BlogCritics Magazine, wrote in an e-mail. But "the bottom line is that we still care about Jack Bauer."

Meanwhile, with apologies to my mother-in-law, "24's" audience is getting noticeably grayer, typically a sign that a show is losing its purchase on the windy crags of pop culture. According to Brad Adgate, senior vice president at the New York ad firm Horizon Media, the median age is 47.4 so far this season, compared with 45.1 last year and 42 in the 2003-04 season.

Those born with resistance to "24's" charms have noted that in the second and third seasons the show benefited from following "American Idol." Now, though, its scheduling is cutting the other way: In recent weeks the show's Monday lead-in was "Drive," a new cross-country caper that bombed and got yanked last week. (The network hastily replaced it with reruns of "House.")

"We had every hope that 'Drive' would be a good companion to '24' and successor to 'Prison Break.' We were wrong," Fox Entertainment President Peter Liguori told me, adding quickly that he nevertheless believed "24" would bounce back stronger next year.

But Gordon said he and his writing staff were wondering if something else was afoot besides the normal cycles of storytelling and network scheduling.

Could it be that the vague but gnawing post-9/11 fears that helped turn "24" into a hit are ebbing the nightmares that envisioned great cities laid low by chemical weapons spilled into the water supply, say, or suitcase nukes wielded by shadowy assailants?

"It's something we talked about at the beginning of the season," Gordon said. "9/11 is becoming, quietly, a memory; the memory is starting to fade. I do think that people are looking at the world differently, with less fear."

If so, that's probably good for America. And alas, that's probably bad for "24." Real-life political tension does wonders for creators of thriller fare. Look how kind the Cold War was to Ludlum and Tom Clancy.

Even so, Gordon sounds optimistic that "24" can recover from its annus horribilis and deliver the goods next season, no matter what changes are ultimately in store for the ever-suffering Jack Bauer.

"Certain tropes of the show will remain the same," Gordon said. "It'll keep its contract with the audience. We'll keep the adrenaline going."

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...dlines-entnews
post #456 of 93688
Thread Starter 
The Business of Television
Sweeps Periods Still Matter,
But Less Each Year
By A.J. Frutkin MediaWeek April 30, 2007

As Nielsen Media Research's May sweeps kicked off last week, it was nearly a foregone conclusion that Fox would win both the ratings period and the season among adults 18-49, while CBS would take total viewers. All this, despite the fact that CBS aired the Super Bowl--which, traditionally, has given the host network a ratings edge.

American Idol has changed that completely. Even always-competitive CBS steps out of the path of Idol's final results show on Wednesday, May 23the last day of sweeps seasonairing season finales for both Criminal Minds and CSI: NY a week earlier.

Of course, sweeps aren't what they used to be. For years, media buyers complained that the networks falsely inflated sweeps ratings through stunts. In response, broadcasters shifted the emphasis to regular series during these ratings periods. At this point, both camps see sweeps as a nuisance.

But with local people meters installed in only 10 major markets, most affiliates still sell off of sweeps. And that practice likely will continue through 2011, which is when Nielsen is targeting coverage with continual measurements in 60 markets.

Until then, bragging rights for winning the ratings war may be the only upside to sweeps. And with a tenth of a ratings point separating first from fourth place, most TV executives admit that even a sweeps win won't carry the weight it once did.

What does still carry weight, advertisers noted, is how the networks compete against themselves, not how they compete against each other. To show growth [year-to-year] is an accomplishment, said Brad Adgate, senior vp of research at Horizon Media.

And none of the four major networks is growing. If you sustain year-to-year losses, you may have to go negative on year-to-year CPMs, said Shari Anne Brill, vp, director of programming at Carat USA.

Reversing their losses is key for all networks. And most executives see sweeps scheduling as part of the problem. In a fragmented marketplace, stopping and starting series has only served to hinder momentum. It does no one any good, going out of business waiting for May sweeps, said Vince Manze, president, NBC program planning, scheduling and strategy.

In fact, Manze added, broadcasters cannot wait four years to make further changes to sweeps. There probably will have to be compromise, where stations won't get as many originals as they like during these ratings periods, Manze said. At the same time, we won't end airing originals in March, either.

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/news/rec..._id=1003577812
post #457 of 93688
Thread Starter 
TV Notebook
Ro-placements
By Don Kaplan New York Post April 30, 2007

A Rosie is a Rosie is a Rosie.

Roseanne Barr has emerged as the top contender to replace Rosie O'Donnell next year on "The View," sources say.

A rep for Barr says she has not been approached.

"It's almost like that rumor that spread last month about how she was going to be on 'Desperate Housewives,' " said Barr's spokesperson.

"She's a piece of work, she's a character, she says what's on her mind and she's funny," said a source with knowledge of ABC's sudden and desperate search to find a new co-host to replace O'Donnell who quit the show last week.

"They're missing strong personalities on that show, and that's what they're going to need if they want to keep it going," an ABC staffer close to the situation told the Post.

During an appearance on "Larry King" last week, Roseanne danced around the question of joining the "The View."

"I'm not looking for the job," she said at one point - and joking at another, "Well, I want $10 million, like Rosie."

But she never said she wouldn't take it if offered.

Since last week's announcement when Rosie said she planned to leave the show in June, several names have surfaced as possible replacements.

Among them are Joan Rivers, Whoopi Goldberg, Kathie Lee Gifford and Connie Chung. Out of all of them, Roseanne seems to be the best fit.

"It's going to be hard for them to follow Rosie," says an industry insider. "Roseanne could be the only one capable of pulling it off."

Industry insiders have also suggested Bette Midler and D-lister, Kathy Griffin.

The job is particularly hard to fill for more reasons than just the difficulty of finding a new, strong personality.

The open chair is the No. 1 seat on the show, requiring a star who can, in effect, be the show's quarterback - moving the discussion along, introducing guests and other duties that a TV neophyte might not be able to pull off believably.

O'Donnell said Wednesday that she's leaving "The View" after one year because she and ABC could not agree on a new deal.

Insiders have said she wanted more control over the show and decided to quit when that was denied. O'Donnell had replaced former "View" co-host Meredith Vieira. Starr Jones, who also left the show last year, has yet to be replaced.

http://www.nypost.com/php/pfriendly/...don_kaplan.htm
post #458 of 93688
Thread Starter 
TV Sports
Baseball Ratings Start Off Strong
By John Consoli MediaWeek April 30, 2007

Advertisers that bought commercial time in regional and national Major League Baseball telecasts are reaping the benefits during the first month of the season, with ratings significantly overdelivering guarantees.

Cumulative household ratings for all the regional sports networks across the country are averaging a 4.0 for MLB telecasts, 20 percent higher than last year's 3.3 average. On the national front, Fox is averaging a 2.7 through three weekend telecasts, up 13 percent, while ESPN overall is averaging a 1.8, up 50 percent over last season.

Kyle Sherman, executive vp of ad sales for the regional Fox Sports Networks, said that 60 to 70 percent of regular-season inventory was sold prior to the start of the season. That means a significant number of advertisers are benefiting from the ratings bump, whether they bought individual networks, or combined regions in packages. FSN Southwest, which televises the Houston Astros' games is producing the largest percentage gain, rising 78 percent to a 5.0 (see chart).
Some of the other ratings increases come in markets where the teams are off to strong starts. Household ratings on SportsNet New Yorkwhich carries the Mets, who led their division at press time last weekare up 43 percent to a 3.2. FSN Prime Ticket, which televises the division-leading Los Angeles Dodgers' games (again, at press time), is up 35 percent to a 1.8. Ratings on the Cox regional network in San Diego for Padres games are up 20 percent to a 7.5, while ratings on FSN Detroit for the Tigers' games are up 68 percent to a 5.8.
But there's more going on than just winning teams. On FSN Northwest, ratings for the Seattle Mariners games are up, as they are on FSN Florida's Devil Rays' games, and on Sun Sports' coverage of Marlins. Even the lowly Yankees, who occupied the cellar of their division last week, are helping YES Network in New York increase its ratings by 19 percent to an average 4.4.

On the national front, Fox's Saturday game rating of 2.7 is its highest household rating since 2002 (granted, through only three Saturdays), and its total viewer average of 3.9 million, up 17 percent over last season, is the highest since 2000. A direct week-to-week comparison cannot be made, however, because last season Fox began its telecasts in mid-May, while this year it televised its first game on the first Saturday of the season in April. A later start time (3:30 p.m. this season instead of 1 p.m. last year) could be helping draw a larger audience.
Male demos on Fox are also up 21 percent among men 18-34 to a 1.7 and up 13 percent among men 18-49 over last year to a 1.8. Fox's Saturday, April 21 window of two regional telecastsYankees vs. Boston Red Sox, and St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubsdrew a combined 3.2 household rating and 4.7 million viewers. Those numbers topped both NBA playoff telecasts on ABC on April 21 and 22.

Meanwhile, ESPN's ratings are up significantly for its Sunday night exclusive national game, to a 2.8 from a 2.0, an increase of 40 percent. Across all its telecasts (Sunday, Monday and Wednesday), ESPN is up 64 percent in men 18-34, and 61 percent in men 18-49.

Jason Kanefsky, senior vp, national broadcast at media agency MPG, said some of the heavy viewership has been driven by the bad weather in several parts of the country throughout April, particularly on the weekends. If you can't go outside, you'll watch TV, and the weather in many parts of the country has not been good, Kanefsky said. Three games in Cleveland were snowed out and it rained in Houston nine of the first 23 days in April. We're happy that the ratings were up, but let's see where they are a month from now. It's a long season. I think it's a little too early to say everyone has suddenly fallen in love with baseball.

Harry Keeshan, executive vp, national broadcast at media agency PHD, said ratings are also up because many of the early matchups involved compelling rivalries (such as the Yankees/Red Sox). There won't be these compelling matchups every week throughout the season, he said. But Fox plans to televise eight more Yankees games, six more Red Sox games, seven more Mets and Dodgers games, all of which should draw solid viewership in those larger markets.

Keeshan said that while many prime-time entertainment shows are struggling to reach viewers, MLB telecasts are a good way to target harder-to-reach men. ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball has become appointment television for many viewers, he said.

And FSN's Sherman believes the regional sports nets' ability to offer advertisers product integrations beyond traditional :30s has also made their coverage more attractive to clients looking for that extra pop. While advertisers are happy about the overdelivery of audience, he explained, they are also pleased with the way we can customize integration of their brands in our telecasts.

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/news/rec..._id=1003577822
post #459 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

TV Sports
Baseball Ratings Start Off Strong
By John Consoli MediaWeek April 30, 2007

Advertisers that bought commercial time in regional and national Major League Baseball telecasts are reaping the benefits during the first month of the season, with ratings significantly overdelivering guarantees.

Jason Kanefsky, senior vp, national broadcast at media agency MPG, said some of the heavy viewership has been driven by the bad weather in several parts of the country throughout April, particularly on the weekends. If you can't go outside, you'll watch TV, and the weather in many parts of the country has not been good, Kanefsky said.

But what good is it for the TV station/network carrying the local team's game that there's bad weather keeping viewers inside their homes when it's a home game and the local team doesn't have a dome stadium to play in? The game is cancelled! If it's an away game though...
post #460 of 93688
Thread Starter 
TV Sports
TV Sports Can Be A Real Turnoff
By Norman Chad in the Washington Post Monday, April 30, 2007

These are 23 (more) facts, tried and true, about the widening world of sports television:

1. Here's my problem with Ultimate Fighting -- if nobody dies, how ultimate is it?

2. Can you imagine the sound effects Fox Sports would've used if it covered Apollo 11's mission to the moon in 1969?

3. I think Gary Bettman made a bold move taking the NHL off of national TV.

4. You've got to hand it to the NFL Network -- even in the offseason, it's live every day reporting nothing.

5. I want more cricket on TV and I'm hoping John Kerry agrees with me.

6. You know, when Sergio Garcia spit into the 13th hole a while back, it's possible he was aiming for NBC's Johnny Miller.

7. I programmed my TiVo to record all poker shows and my TiVo hired a workplace attorney.

8. Somehow, Mel Kiper Jr.'s gone from Punxsutawney Phil to Ryan Seacrest.

(Column Intermission I: For the first time in nearly 20 years, Couch Slouch passed on the NFL draft. I realized I had gone too far last year when I watched the NFL draft and the NFL scouting combine. So I had a self-intervention and spent this year's NFL draft rereading Dr. Seuss's "The Cat in the Hat" and Dostoyevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov.")

9. I spoke with Jim Gray the other day on the phone. Well, at least I think I did.

10. I sent my kid to CSTV because he didn't have the grades to get into ESPNU.

11. Tim McCarver and Boomer Esiason each have a weekly TV talk show. This is what gaming theorists would call a "statistical improbability."

12. If Don Imus is a victim, I sure hope there's an 800 helpline he can call for support.

13. I'll take Vin Scully and an Orange Crush every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

14. When you turn on MTV, you hardly ever get music videos -- maybe that's a programming model the Golf Channel should consider.

15. Tragically, Ahmad Rashad's broadcasting body of work now spans two centuries.

16. "A thing of beauty is a joy forever," Keats once wrote. I assume he was talking about bowling on TV.

(Column Intermission II: "Beckham Fever" continues to grip America -- last week 14,087 gathered in Dallas, 13,572 in Columbus and 7,438 in Kansas City for MLS games, with each stadium abuzz over the almost impending arrival of the soccer messiah. David Beckham, meanwhile, was sighted in England wearing -- no lie -- a Cincinnati Reds cap, perhaps a belated tribute to Pete Rose for his chronic betting support of Manchester United.)

17. We are now putting DVD players into minivans for rear-seat passengers. What's next, satellite dishes in CAT scanners?

18. I'm not above watching a "Walker, Texas Ranger" rerun on Hallmark.

19. As it turns out, George Washington might've cut down that cherry tree because it was blocking the signal from his DirecTV receiver and he desperately wanted MLB's Extra Innings package so he could watch as many Red Sox games as possible.

20. I've got a hunch that ocean lifeguards thumb their noses at swimming-pool lifeguards.

21. I assume Gus Johnson, in a previous life, was the town crier.

21a. Ibid., Kevin Harlan.

22. If ESPN were around back in 1919, you've got to figure the veins in Skip Bayless's neck would've burst during the Black Sox scandal.

23. I get paid to watch television every week. I wish someone would pay me more not to watch it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...901171_pf.html
post #461 of 93688
Thread Starter 
Sunday'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.
post #462 of 93688
Thread Starter 
The 2007-2008 Season
A Bursting Bubble
By Marc Berman MediaWeek.com in his Mr. Television column April 30, 2007

With just two weeks to go before the fall 2007 prime-time schedules are announced, network executives are knee deep in strategizing for next season. And one of the bigger challenges is deciding what to do with the seemingly endless number of shows on the "bubble" for renewal. Should veterans like ABC's According to Jim and George Lopez, NBC's Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Scrubs, and The CW's Girlfriends, Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill and Veronica Mars be granted another season? Should life go on for modest freshman performers like ABC's October Road, CBS' Jericho and The Class, NBC's Friday Night Lights, Fox's 'Til Death and The CW's The Game? Will there be any surprises?

Of course there will be surprises. When it comes to setting up a schedule there are always surprises. But let me open this Mr. TV column by predicting the current bubble series most likely to be granted renewal: Fox's 'Til Death, which a) improved creatively as the season progressed and b) got a nice boost after the recent exposure out of American Idol. I also think NBC is not ready to give up on Friday Night Lights (it did issue an order for six additional scripts), and ABC has said it would pick up Scrubs if NBC dumped it (because Scrubs is produced by ABCTV). But since I am not one to shy away from offering my opinion, here's a word of advice to ABC: Get rid of both According to Jim and George Lopez. With more than enough episodes to support a run in syndication, there is no need to keep these shows on the air. No one is watching anymore.

ABC also should sharpen the axe and swing it on October Road. The drama is soggy and retention out of lead-in Grey's Anatomy is less than 50 percent in all key categories. So, why waste the time (and money) on a renewal? It didn't, after all, work for the similarly disappointing What About Brian this season.

Since NBC is in a quandary about the current granddaddy of scripted dramas, Law & Order, and spinoff Criminal Intent, I have an easy way out: Renew both series, but cut the episode orders. After 17 seasons, it really can't (or actually shouldn't) axe Law & Order without giving it a proper send-off. So, my advice to NBC is to order 13 episodes, line up a host of former series regulars to make guest appearances and bill 2007-08 as the final season. When the 13 episodes are up (which pushes it past the 400 episode mark), move Criminal Intent into the time period, then make a judgment call about its future. I knew all along that too much of a good thing would get NBC in trouble.

CBS, as usual, has the least number of shows on the bubble because it has the strongest schedule. And that means it can afford to potentially cancel a moderately successful drama like Close To Home because it skews too old. But that doesn't justify the decision. Despite the fact that many adults 50-plus have real money to spend, the networks just don't value these viewers. And I don't think they ever will, to their detriment.

But CBS also needs to cancel The Class, because it is no Friends (and never will be), and Jericho, because the early momentum was permanently halted when the network foolishly gave it a 10-week break. But if the Eye net makes some much-needed changes on The New Adventures of Old Christine (including shortening the title to just Christine and making Wanda Sykes a regular), it could use Julia Louis-Dreyfus to try to launch another night of comedies.

I haven't even bothered to include shows like NBC's The Black Donnellys and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip or Fox's The War at Home on the endangered list because we all know they are over.

Last is The CW, which hoped it could create a "new" network with a host of marginal series from failed networks UPN and the WB. Guess what? It didn't work. And the only way it will work is if the network's aforementioned, on-the-bubble seriesincluding Gilmore Girlsare put out to pasture and replaced with new and aggressive programming. Simply put, these shows have all outstayed their welcome. So, start packing, Lorelai and Rory. The casts of Girlfriends, spinoff The Game, All of Us, Veronica Mars and the occupants of One Tree Hill should also start looking for their suitcases. And Everybody Hates Chris has been spared only because the network can't cancel all its shows at the same time.

http://pifeedback.com/eve/forums/a/t...991/m/80610684
post #463 of 93688
Thread Starter 
The Business of Television
FiOS TV Subs Jump in 1Q
Residential Access Lines Down, Broadband Connections Up
By Todd Spangler Multichannel News April 30, 2007

Verizon Communications said its video business accelerated in the first quarter with a net 141,000 new customers for FiOS TV, bringing the telco to a total of 348,000 subscribers at the end of the quarter.

According to Verizon, it averaged 2,200 net FiOS TV customers per day in the quarter, compared with 1,450 per day in the last three months of 2006.

FiOS TV was available for sale to 3.1 million homes as of March 31, in more than 400 communities in 10 states, giving the service a penetration rate of about 11%. That's up from 9% penetration among 2.4 million homes passed at the end of 2006.

Verizon said it obtained 769 cable-TV franchises, covering about 10 million households, by the end of the first quarter.

Meanwhile, FiOS Internet was available for sale to 5.3 million premises by the end of the first quarter. Penetration for that service is 16%, compared with 14% of a 4.8 million-potential-customer base at year-end 2006.

Overall, Verizon's fiber-to-the-premises FiOS network passed a total of close to 6.8 million premises by the end of the first quarter of 2007. The company anticipated reaching 9 million homes passed by the end of the year.

Verizon's primary residential-access-line business continued to decline, with a net loss of 408,000 lines in the quarter to 27 million (compared with 30.2 million a year ago). However, the telco said this was outpaced by a net addition of 416,000 broadband connections for the period, to a total of 7.4 million.

http://www.multichannel.com/index.as...leID=CA6437843
post #464 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

The 2007-2008 Season
A Bursting Bubble
By Marc Berman MediaWeek.com in his Mr. Television column April 30, 2007

But CBS also needs to cancel The Class, because it is no Friends (and never will be), and Jericho, because the early momentum was permanently halted when the network foolishly gave it a 10-week break.

'Jericho' is one they need to keep. Besides sports, it's the only thing I watch on CBS, and is the one shining light of non-procedurals and tired reality shows they've got. I can't be alone in that. It covers some interesting ground in examining what might happen if government just completely breaks down after an unimaginable catastrophe. And, by golly, it's fun!
post #465 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

TV Sports
TV Sports Can Be A Real Turnoff
By Norman Chad in the Washington Post Monday, April 30, 2007

These are 23 (more) facts, tried and true, about the widening world of sports television:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...901171_pf.html


I like this guy. He used to be fairly entertaining on ESPN radio when he had a segment with Tony Kornheisers radio show.
post #466 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

'Jericho' is one they need to keep. Besides sports, it's the only thing I watch on CBS, and is the one shining light of non-procedurals and tired reality shows they've got. I can't be alone in that. It covers some interesting ground in examining what might happen if government just completely breaks down after an unimaginable catastrophe. And, by golly, it's fun!


I agree completely...KEEP IT.

I like the class as well. True, its not "Friends" but, I like the Jason Ritter and Lizzy Caplan roles. Jesse Tyler Ferguson's role is funny as well.
post #467 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

The Business of Television
FiOS TV Subs Jump in 1Q
Residential Access Lines Down, Broadband Connections Up
By Todd Spangler Multichannel News April 30, 2007

http://www.multichannel.com/index.as...leID=CA6437843

Has anyone seen a roll out schedule for their service anywhere on the net? Id love to try this out. Im sure my location will be years into the future.
post #468 of 93688
Thread Starter 
The 2007-2008 Season
A Sleepless Road for October Road Producer
By Ben Grossman Broadcasting & Cable 4/30/2007

October Road appears to be headed for a second season on ABC, but that may not be the best thing for Executive Producer Josh Appelbaum's health.

The rookie drama, about a young writer who returns to his hometown after trashing it in his novel, debuted March 15. That night, Appelbaum and two others stayed up until the first ratings came in the next morning at 8. When the numbers were good, superstition kicked in: They've pulled all-nighters after all six episodes.
If we get picked up for 22 episodes, he says, I don't know how we are going to last.

Indeed, the show has endured some challenges of its own. It was made only after ABC brought in media-
investment giant Group M to co-finance it. The network didn't give it a six-episode order until October, when most of ABC's other rookies had already debuted. And marketing a character-driven drama as the similarly character-driven Six Degrees was bombing proved especially tricky.

Things began looking up when ABC gave it the plush post-Grey's Anatomy slot. Then the critics savaged it.
That was brutal, Appelbaum recalls. To write the show off is one thing, but there seemed to be an active hatred towards us by critics.

But, after October averaged a solid 4.4 rating in the 18-49 demo over its first five airings, two recurring cast members signed on to be regularsa good sign for a second season.

As for those all-nighters, Appelbaum has the answer: a lot of Red Bull.

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/ind...leID=CA6437775
post #469 of 93688
shuttermaker, I thought SC was taken care of by AT&T(formally BellSouth)
post #470 of 93688
Thread Starter 
The Business of Television
Ad clutter dips (slightly) on broadcast networks
Non-program time is cut by 8 seconds per hour
By Toni Fitzgerald MediaLifeMagazine.com staff writer April 30, 2007

For the second time in a week, there's word that TV commercial clutter, the bane of media people, has finally stopped growing.

And broadcast clutter has actually declined slightly compared with last year, according to a new study released this morning by Magna Global USA, the media buying giant.

Non-program time on the Big Four networks, which includes commercials, public service announcements and network promotion time, fell an average 8 seconds, to 16 minutes and 29 seconds, compared with last year for dramatic series and by 5 seconds, to 8:24, for comedies.

The previous year, Magna found a 22 second decline for dramas but 7 second rise for comedies.

The study also finds that NBC was the only network to show year-to-year increases in the length of non-program time for both sitcoms and dramas. In the latter category, the networks slashed 30 seconds from their average commercial pod time two years ago.

The report comes days after MindShare released its annual commercial clutter study, which found that ad clutter was even to the previous year. That study included broadcast and cable, while Magna looked at just broadcast.

Advertisers have railed against rising commercial clutter for years, saying that it makes it harder for their messages to stand out. Though media people caution that 16 minutes per hour is still a huge chunk of time, the decline is seen as promising. It indicates that networks may be finally heeding advertisers' calls for less clutter, or perhaps realizing that there's simply not much more room for clutter.

The study did find an increase in national commercial time, which is in part being offset by fewer network promotions than in the past.

Since most people are limited to just looking at national commercials (all that Nielsen provides), it seems to many that overall non-program time has gone up, writes Steve Sternberg, author of the report and Magna's executive vice president of audience analysis.

Since we taped and logged in every program in our studies manually, and lined up our log seconds with Nielsen's NPower-reported minutes, we were able to get data for the full commercial podincluding promos (which Nielsen doesn't measure properly), and local commercials (which Nielsen includes as program time).

The biggest rise in national commercial minutes time for dramas came on ABC and NBC, up 55 seconds and 22 seconds, respectively, over the past two years.

Overall, ABC had the most non-program minutes for dramas at 17:17, followed by NBC at 16:51, Fox at 16:01 and CBS at 15:56.

While national commercial time was up for dramas, every category was relatively stable for sitcoms.

The commercial pod data for comedies was more stable than for dramas, with little change in the overall amount of non-commercial time, national commercials, local commercials, or network promos, Sternberg writes.

For comedies, NBC led with 8:40 non-program minutes, followed by Fox at 8:37, ABC at 8:19 and CBS at 7:47.

The Magna study was based on analyzing one episode per month from November 2006 to February 2007 for 60 primetime programs.

The networks have been exploring alternative ways to deliver advertisers' messages in addition to the traditional commercial. The CW used content wraps, which integrate entertainment and ad time in a commercial pod, and ABC is experimenting with so-called pop-up messages that appear within a program.

This is in part a reaction to advertiser concern that their ads are being skipped by viewers using digital video recorders.

There may be a better gauge on whether any of these ideas will work in the long term starting next month, when Nielsen begins releasing its long-delayed commercial pod ratings.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...icle_11762.asp
post #471 of 93688
Thread Starter 
Yesterday'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.
post #472 of 93688
Thread Starter 
TV Notebook
TV Guide Channel to Become TV Guide Network
Tries to Distance Itself from Listings, Emphasize Original Programming
By Linda Moss Multichannel News 4/30/2007

Distancing itself from its program-guide roots, TV Guide Channel will undergo a subtle name change next month to reflect its ramped-up commitment to original programming.

In the rebranding, TV Guide Channel will become TV Guide Network June 4. It plans to celebrate its new, tweaked moniker with a big relaunch bash, featuring American Idol runner-up Chris Daughtry, at The Cable Show in Las Vegas next week.

The name change is on strategy with what we're trying to convey to cable operators, advertisers and, equally important, consumers, TV Guide Channel president Ryan O'Hara said.

In terms of marketing, a switch to network from channel in a name may seem like a tiny adjustment. But O'Hara said the rebranding underscores the service's ongoing transformation into a purveyor of entertainment content rather than just a utility offering on-screen TV listings.

We like the name TV Guide Network because it definitely conveys that we're a programming network, straight-forward and clear, O'Hara said. With a lot of networks, it might not matter, the nuance between channel' and network.' They're pretty close. For us, I felt that network' conveyed programming, and we're really working hard to let people know that we're about great programming.

TV Guide Channel has ratcheted up its original-programming efforts in an effort to offset defections from digital viewers who have turned to interactive program guides and because it needs to increase ad sales, facing fairly flat fees from distributors.

Searching for breakout shows to define its brand, the network will add two original series to its lineup this summer. One of them, America's Next Producer, is from the executive producer of reality TV blockbusters Project Runway and Top Chef.

TV Guide Channel made several moves in the past month to bolster its schedule, including signing actress and fashion aficionado Lisa Rinna as the new host for live red-carpet coverage at awards shows, replacing the mother-daughter duo of Joan and Melissa Rivers.

[Rinna] fits really well where we're taking the channel and the brand, O'Hara said, adding that she will appeal to a younger audience.

And in a big acquisition for the network, TV Guide Channel in April secured exclusive rights to a group of VH1 celebreality shows -- including The Surreal Life, Flavor of Love, My Fair Brady and I Love New York -- starting in July.

In one fell swoop, we were able to acquire a lot of really good product, O'Hara said. It adds a lot to our late-night blocks.

To be more viewer-friendly, in June, TV Guide Channel is also reducing the number of local ad avails that it gives affiliates, trimming them to three minutes from 10. And during this upfront, the network, which has seen explosive carriage growth, is trying to broaden and expand its roster of national sponsors.

As we become more of a programming service and are really seen as a leading programming service, there is tremendous opportunity to do more business with blue-chip advertisers, O'Hara said.

Growing ad-sales dollars is crucial for TV Guide Channel, which generated roughly $130 million in revenue last year for parent Gemstar-TV Guide International.

Although it's seen a huge increase in carriage -- to 81 million homes from 57 million in 2003 -- the network's monthly, per-subscriber license fee this year is expected to average just 3 cents, up from 2 cents last year, according to SNL Kagan.

TV Guide Channel has long-term carriage deals that only permit cost-of-living increases from distributors, Gemstar-TV Guide said in a securities filing. Most of its future revenue growth is highly dependent on ad sales, it said.

Advertisers buy a TV network's audience, and TV Guide Channel faces some unique challenges not only attracting new viewers, but hanging on to old ones.

As customers upgrade to digital-TV service from analog, even if they've historically used TV Guide Channel, they often switch over and use IPGs to search for programming, O'Hara said. That's siphoning viewers from the network.

And in an ironic twist, TV Guide Channel is essentially competing for viewers against interactive guides that are its corporate siblings. The network's parent is a major player in the IPG business.

In a digital home, the IPG is many times the utility of choice to search for television listings, O'Hara said. From a company perspective, we are all for that, because in the IPG space, we're [Gemstar-TV Guide] the leader and we're proud of our products and our intellectual property and everything we bring to that equation.

So TV Guide Channel is using original programming -- and jazzing it up -- to lure digital subscribers back, giving them content to look at, rather than just TV listings.

That's why you see us being so aggressive and innovative on the programming side, because we know in digital homes, the programming is the key to the network more so than the scroll, O'Hara said. In homes that are analog -- and there are still a lot of analog homes -- the usage of our scroll is enormous. Even if they only have 40-60 analog channels, they still need to know how much good programming is within those channels and what to watch.

http://www.multichannel.com/index.as...leID=CA6437710
post #473 of 93688
Thread Starter 
Overnights in the 18-49 Demo
Desperate Housewives in a rebound in
ABC hit averages 6.6 in 18-49s, up 10 percent
By Toni Fitzgerald MediaLifeMagazine.com staff writer April 30, 2007

After a week in which a number of hit shows across the broadcast networks slipped to season or series lows, ABC finished the week with some good news. The network's Sunday dramedy Desperate Housewives bounced back from last week's series low to its best original outing in more than a month.

Housewives averaged a 6.6 adults 18-49 rating last night, according to Nielsen overnights, up 10 percent from last week's 6.0 overnight. That had tied the April 8 Easter episode for the lowest overnight rating in the third-year series' history.

Last night Housewives improved from a 6.3 to a 6.9 in its second half hour and was easily the night's highest-rated show, though it's still way down from this time last year and slightly down from its season-to-date 6.9 average.

There are several possible reasons for the improvement. One is that it was the fourth straight original episode of the series, which had been in repeats for several weeks before that. The run of originals may have increased the buzz around the show and brought old viewers back.

Another is that viewership levels may increase in general over the next few weeks as series near their season finales.

And yet another is that competition was a bit lighter this week than last among women 18-49 and 25-54. Housewives was up week to week in both those demos in the 9 p.m. timeslot while NBC, which usually runs Deal or No Deal in that slot, was down with the movie Along Came Polly.

Whether this foreshadows a greater rising trend remains to be seen. Last week a number of broadcast hits, including ABC's Grey's Anatomy, CBS's CSI and Fox's Tuesday American Idol, fell to season-low numbers.

"Housewives" helped ABC to an easy win on the first Sunday night of sweeps among 18-49s with a 4.4 average rating and a 13 share. The network has now won two of the first four sweeps nights, also including Thursday.

Fox was second at 3.1/9, CBS third at 2.7/8, NBC fourth at 1.7/5, Univision fifth at 1.1/3 and CW sixth at 0.7/2.

ABC actually led all four hours of the night, starting with a 2.7 at 7 p.m. for America's Funniest Home Videos. CBS was second with a 1.9 for 60 Minutes, Fox third with a 1.8 for an hour of King of the Hill and NBC fourth with a 1.3 for Dateline. Univision was fifth that hour with a 0.8 for Hora Pico and CW sixth with a 0.4 for a repeat of 7th Heaven.

At 8 p.m. ABC led with a 3.8 for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, with Fox second with a 3.7 for an hour of The Simpsons. CBS was third with a 3.0 for The Amazing Race, NBC fourth with a 2.0 for another hour of Dateline, CW fifth with a 1.1 for 7th Heaven and Univision sixth with a 1.0 for its first hour of Bailando por la Boda de Mis Suenos.

At 9 p.m. ABC led again with a 6.6 for Desperate Housewives, with Fox second with a 3.7 average for Family Guy (4.1) and American Dad (3.4). CBS was third with a 2.7 for Cold Case, NBC fourth with a 1.5 for the first hour of the movie Along Came Polly, Univision fifth with a 1.3 for the second hour of Bailando and CW sixth with a 0.7 for a repeat of America's Next Top Model.

ABC finished with a 4.4 at 10 p.m. for Brothers & Sisters. CBS was second with a 3.2 for Without a Trace, NBC third with a 1.8 for the second half of its movie and Univision fourth with a 1.5 for the final hour of Bailando.

Among households, ABC and CBS tied for first for the night, each with a 7.4 average rating and a 13 share. NBC was third at 4.3/8, Fox fourth at 3.9/7, Univision fifth at 1.6/3 and CW sixth at 1.2/2.

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...icle_11772.asp
post #474 of 93688
Fans of "The Price Is Right" should watch tonights episode of "How I Met Your Mother". I wonder if this will be our only chance to see (sort of) TPIR in HD?

Looks like a pretty entertaining story line involving the character Barney (Neil Patrick Harris).
post #475 of 93688
Thread Starter 
TV Sports
Comcast to Buy Cablevision's Stake in Sports Nets
By Anthony Crupi MediaWeek April 30, 2007

Comcast has agreed to acquire Cablevision's stake in two regional sports networks for $570 million in cash.

Under the terms of the deal, which was announced by both parties Monday morning, Comcast will snap up Cablevision's 60 percent interest in Fox Sports Net Bay Area and its 50 percent interest in Fox Sports Net New England. The latter transaction gives Comcast full control over FSN New England; the remaining 40 percent stake in the Bay Area RSN will continue to be held by a News Corp. affiliate.

Once the sale of the RSN assets is finalized, Cablevision will no longer have a stake in any sports properties outside of the New York DMA.

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/news/rec..._id=1003578159
post #476 of 93688
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shuttermaker View Post

Fans of "The Price Is Right" should watch tonights episode of "How I Met Your Mother". I wonder if this will be our only chance to see (sort of) TPIR in HD?

Looks like a pretty entertaining story line involving the character Barney (Neil Patrick Harris).

And a guest appearance by Bob Barker -- who seems to be the king of CBS this May sweep.
post #477 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelFan1 View Post

shuttermaker, I thought SC was taken care of by AT&T(formally BellSouth)

They are. Does this mean no chance for FIOS?

I guess i thought it may be possible because my neighborhood is serviced by both Knology and TWC, as far as cable goes.
post #478 of 93688
Thread Starter 
The 2007-2008 Season
Crossing Jordan Cheats Death?
By Michael Ausiello TV Guide April 30, 2007

Here are seven words I never thought I'd type: Crossing Jordan may be back next season.

Multiple sources connected to the drama tell me that prospects for a seventh season are looking up. That's quite a turnaround from what I heard just a few weeks ago, which was that Jordan was showing signs of rigor mortis.

"Everyone was expecting to get shut down," acknowledges a Jordan insider. "But just last week, NBC started to give indications that the show might return. There's even been some money allocated for next season."

Reaction to this shocking development? Is another season of Crossing Jordan cause for celebration? And, more importantly, what might this mean for NBC's other bubble shows most notably Friday Night Lights?

http://community.tvguide.com/blog-en...rdan/800013894
post #479 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by shuttermaker View Post

Fans of "The Price Is Right" should watch tonights episode of "How I Met Your Mother". I wonder if this will be our only chance to see (sort of) TPIR in HD?

Looks like a pretty entertaining story line involving the character Barney (Neil Patrick Harris).

I'll watch, it'll be my first time watching "HIMYM" (and probably last).
post #480 of 93688
Quote:
Originally Posted by shuttermaker View Post

I agree completely...KEEP IT.

I like the class as well. True, its not "Friends" but, I like the Jason Ritter and Lizzy Caplan roles. Jesse Tyler Ferguson's role is funny as well.

Ferguson popped up on two episodes of Ugly Betty playing a dentist with ties to Betty. IMDB says one ep but I thought I saw him in two. Wonder if that's a pointer to The Class not being in session anymore.
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