or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Programming › Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information - Page 1935

post #58021 of 93720
The 2010/2011 Season
What to watch this fall, night by night
By Tim Goodman, San Francisco Chronicle - September 12th, 2010

A lot of fall previews are heavy on the coming season's new shows. But that conveniently ignores this question: What if most of the new shows are not that good? What's the point of being told about a bunch of shows you shouldn't watch anyway? Since the 2010-11 television season - at least on the network side - doesn't look to have a lot of sure bets among newcomers, let's try something simpler: a straightforward list of what you should be watching on both broadcast and cable.

The picks might not always be critical darlings, but they will cover quality, entertainment and impending water-cooler series.

Mondays: "Lone Star" on Fox and "The Event" on NBC are worth checking into at 9 p.m. (premiering Sept. 20), though it remains to be seen if either show, getting decent buzz, will pan out. (Sometimes that's the bottom-line truth.) CBS' "Hawaii Five-O" at 10 p.m. (Sept. 20) deserves a few episodes to see if a little retro escapism is something you should book. Otherwise, on the cable side there are two standouts: "Top Gear" (British version, of course) is the best unscripted series on television (Sept. 27, 9 p.m., BBC America). And last season's biggest scripted surprise, "Men of a Certain Age," returns to TNT (Nov. 29, 10 p.m.).

Tuesdays: ABC's "No Ordinary Family" (Sept. 28, 8 p.m.) is basically a non-animated version of "The Incredibles" and could be a lockdown hit. For a more traditional family series, the underappreciated "Parenthood" begins Season 2 on NBC (Tuesday, 10 p.m.). For laughs, Fox's "Running Wilde" (Sept. 21, 9:30 p.m.), from "Arrested Development" creator Mitch Hurwitz, might turn around the network's fortune in the comedy department. And there's always "Glee" (Sept. 21, 8 p.m., Fox). On cable, the only must-see is FX's "Sons of Anarchy" (which roared into Season 3 on Tuesday at 10 p.m.).

Wednesdays: One series you might reconsider is "The Middle" (Sept. 22, 8 p.m., ABC), which earned a sophomore season by being funnier than anyone imagined. And Emmy-winning "Modern Family" returns to ABC the same night at 9 p.m. Though Fox blundered by putting it on in the summer, "Lie to Me" returns (Nov. 10, 8 p.m.) and remains solidly entertaining.

Cable is strong on Wednesdays, with FX's "Terriers" (it premiered Wednesday at 10 p.m.); Bravo's "Top Chef: Just Desserts" (it will have a preview Wednesday at 11 p.m., then go to its regular slot at 10 p.m. the next week); "Mythbusters," the second-best unscripted series on TV, returning to Discovery (Oct. 6, 9 p.m.); and USA's "Psych" (Nov. 10, 10 p.m.) all worth your time.

Thursdays: This is mostly a comedy night, with no new series ultimately worthy of your devotion. Go with NBC's "Community" and "30 Rock" from 8 to 9 p.m. (Sept. 23), then take a drama break with the always-intriguing "Fringe" on Fox at 9 p.m. (Sept. 23). Close out the night with another two hilarious half hours on FX starting at 10 p.m. with "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "The League." (Thursday).

Fridays: They're in danger of becoming another Saturday night (translation: dead), so the networks are looking to revive Fridays with bigger stars - in familiar genres. ABC's "Body of Proof" (Sept. 24, 9 p.m.) features Dana Delany as a star surgeon who turned medical examiner after suffering an auto accident. NBC's "Outlaw" (sneak preview Wednesday, 10 p.m.) has Jimmy Smits in the improbable role of a Supreme Court justice who quits - yes, quits - to go into private practice. Cheesy, but Smits-y. Finally, CBS has Tom Selleck in "Blue Bloods" (Sept. 24, 10 p.m.), playing the patriarch of a cop family - by far the most interesting of this lot.

Saturdays: Nothing to see here.

Sundays: Yikes. This night is seriously dominated by cable. However, PBS' "Masterpiece!" starts its 40th season Oct. 3. Two AMC series which have already been airing - "Mad Men" and "Rubicon" - are the clear choices before good company joins them with HBO's much-anticipated "Boardwalk Empire" (next Sunday, 9 p.m.), Showtime's "Dexter" (Sept. 26, 9 p.m.), and two returning comedies from HBO, "Bored to Death" and "Eastbound & Down" (Sept. 26, 10 and 10:30 p.m.). Last, look for BBC America's acclaimed detective series "Luther" (Oct. 24, 10 p.m.) and AMC's buzz-stirring zombie series, "The Walking Dead" (Oct. 31, 10 p.m.).

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...PKPL1F6Q50.DTL
post #58022 of 93720
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

^^ I'm pretty sure that article has already been posted, though maybe it was in another thread.

I posted it on the 8th (the day the Times' posted it online) but it was meant for publication today (the 12th) so I moved it up and deleted the previous posting from the 8th. Shhhhh, I won't tell if you don't tell.
post #58023 of 93720
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

It's definitely not an anti-DVR technique. It's an "anti-changing the channel" technique.

Well, it is in the respect that if FOX would just provide the actual runtime, 61 or 62 mins versus the standard 60 mins, like every other network does, then the DVR would pickup the entire broadcast instead of cutting off the last minute or so.

That's why I believe it's more a timing issue with the network rather than having anything to do with keeping viewers from changing the channel. I think foxeng basically said as much in his previous post talking about AI. Although, I've seen it happen when AI wasn't even aired.
post #58024 of 93720
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

I posted it on the 8th (the day the Times' posted it online) but it was meant for publication today (the 12th) so I moved it up and deleted the previous posting from the 8th. Shhhhh, I won't tell if you don't tell.

Ah, that explains why I couldn't find the other posting in the search...
post #58025 of 93720
Quote:
Originally Posted by keenan View Post

Well, it is in the respect that if FOX would just provide the actual runtime, 61 or 62 mins versus the standard 60 mins, like every other network does, then the DVR would pickup the entire broadcast instead of cutting off the last minute or so.

That's why I believe it's more a timing issue with the network rather than having anything to do with keeping viewers from changing the channel. I think foxeng basically said as much in his previous post talking about AI. Although, I've seen it happen when AI wasn't even aired.

In the case of a live show, they really can't do that.

From AI's perspective, running over into the next hour may be a way of picking up viewers who switched in expecting to watch the next show.

With non-live programming, I often see listings in my guide with any runover included - even on Fox, though I seldom watch shows on the network, so I can't confirm how consistent it is.

The only time I've ever had a timing issue is on Sundays when a sporting event runs over. Most other times, the guide shows the accurate timing.
post #58026 of 93720
Obituary
Prolific actor Kevin McCarthy, best known for 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers,' dies at 96
By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times - September 12th, 2010

Kevin McCarthy, the veteran stage and screen actor best known for his starring role as the panicked doctor who tried to warn the world about the alien "pod people" who were taking over in the 1956 science-fiction suspense classic "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," died Saturday. He was 96.

McCarthy died of natural causes at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis, Mass., said his daughter Lillah.

During a career that spanned more than 70 years, beginning on stage in New York in the late 1930s, McCarthy played Biff Loman opposite Paul Muni's Willy in the 1949 London production of "Death of a Salesman."

Reprising his role in the 1951 film version opposite Fredric March, he earned a supporting-actor Oscar nomination and won a Golden Globe as most promising male newcomer.

McCarthy had appeared in several other films and had a string of TV anthology-series credits behind him when he was cast as Dr. Miles Bennell in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," director Don Siegel's thriller about an unsuspecting California town whose residents were being replaced by emotionless alien clones grown in oversized seed pods.

In the film's most memorable scene, McCarthy's frantic Bennell runs into traffic, screaming to motorists, "Stop and listen to me. . They're not human. Can't you see? Everyone! They're here already. You're next!"

The low-budget film became an enduring cult classic that was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress' National Film Registry in 1994.

McCarthy, who made a cameo appearance in the 1978 remake, got a lot of mileage out of the original film in his later years, appearing often as a guest at film festivals and autograph shows.

"I must say I'm enthralled by the power of the picture all over the world," he told the Knoxville News-Sentinel in 2000. "It's the science-fiction picture of our time. The toasts just keep coming my way."

McCarthy dismissed assertions that "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" was an allegory about the Communist infiltration of America or an indictment of McCarthyism.

"There was no assignment of political points of view when we were making the film," he told the Bangor Daily News in 1997. "People began to think of McCarthyism later.

"I thought it was really about the onset of a kind of life where the corporate people are trying to tell you how to live, what to do, how to behave. And you become puppets to these merchants that are somehow turning individuals into victims.

"It seemed to me to be about conforming, the need to control life so it would be more tolerable."

McCarthy's long career included numerous guest appearances on TV series such as "The Twilight Zone," "Burke's Law," "Flamingo Road" and "Murder, She Wrote."

He also appeared in about 50 films, including "An Annapolis Story," "40 Pounds of Trouble," "The Prize," "The Best Man," "Kansas City Bomber," Buffalo Bill and the Indians," "Piranha" and "The Howling."

In addition to his many Broadway and other stage credits, McCarthy toured for many years as President Harry Truman in the one-man show "Give 'Em Hell, Harry."

He also was a footnote in the movie career of Marilyn Monroe, playing the husband Monroe divorced in Reno at the outset of "The Misfits," the Arthur Miller-written, John Huston-directed 1961 drama starring Monroe, Clark Gable and Montgomery Clift.

McCarthy had to be talked into playing the role, in which he and Monroe talk on the courthouse steps.

"They wanted me to come out for it, but I was too vain," he told the Columbus Dispatch in 2003. "I said the part was too small. I finally said I would do it if they paid me a hundred dollars a word. They said they would. Turns out I had 29 words."

The son of a lawyer and his homemaker wife, McCarthy was born Feb. 15, 1914, in Seattle. He and his two brothers and sister Mary McCarthy, who later became an author and wrote the bestselling novel "The Group" were orphaned when both parents died in the 1918 flu epidemic and were sent to live with relatives.

McCarthy began acting in the 1930s at the University of Minnesota, where, on a dare from a friend, he played a bit part in "Henry IV, Part 1."

"That day, I realized that I could do something," he told the Bangor Daily News in 1997. "I didn't study acting. I didn't even think about it. But evidently I have some innate ability, some talent. It was maybe a gift. In any case, I was in one play after another after that."

After moving to New York, he made his Broadway debut in a small role in " Abe Lincoln in Illinois," starring Raymond Massey, in 1938. As Sgt. Kevin McCarthy during World War II, he appeared in Moss Hart's "Winged Victory," the Broadway play produced by the Army Air Forces.

McCarthy appeared in several Broadway plays in the years immediately after the war, including Maxwell Anderson's short-lived "Truckline Cafe" with Marlon Brando and Karl Malden. He also was a founding member of the Actors Studio.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 31 years, Kate Crane McCarthy; children James Kevin McCarthy, Mary Dabney McCarthy, Tess McCarthy and Patrick McCarthy; stepdaughter Kara Lichtman; and three grandchildren. He was divorced from actress Augusta Dabney, who died in 2008.

http://www.latimes.com/news/obituari...tory?track=rss
post #58027 of 93720
Business (TV Sports) Notes
TBS Is Swinging for the Fences
Ninety percent postseason sellout, big-city bats hot
By Anthony Crupi, Mediaweek.com - September 12th, 2010

It's perhaps a bit premature for any Major League Baseball franchise to start hanging out the stadium bunting just yet, but with three weeks to go before the postseason begins, a number of major-market teams can smell a whiff of October in the late summer air.

The number crunchers at Baseball Prospectus have projected that franchises representing four of the top 10 DMAs have at least an 80 percent chance of claiming a spot in the playoffs, while a fifth (San Francisco) has a 50-50 shot. As of Friday, Sept. 10, the club with the best odds of playing October baseball is the 2009 World Series champion New York Yankees; per Baseball Prospectus' calculations, the odds of the Bronx Bombers storming into the postseason are 98.7 percent.

As one might expect, another appearance by Forbes magazine's No. 1 sports brand has MLB broadcast partner Turner Sports putting the champagne on ice. Heading into its fourth postseason, TBS once again boasts the exclusive rights to carry the American League and National League Division Series, and per the terms of its alternating schedule, the net will also cover the American League Championship Series.(Waiting on deck for the Oct. 16 start of the National League Championship Series, and the 2010 World Series after that, is Fox.)
TBS has sold between 85 percent and 90 percent of its guaranteed game schedule.

According to media buyers, the network is asking between $80,000 and $90,000 for a 30-second spot in the ALDS and NLDS, and between $125,000 and $150,000 for time in the ALCS.

Entitlements are once again playing a major role in Turner's sales strategy, and among those buying premium sponsorships are returning clients BlackBerry, Captain Morgan and Hass Avocado. Also suiting up for Turner's postseason lineup are Chrysler-Jeep, Capital One and AT&T. Heading into what is shaping up to be the waning weeks of its tenure as an official MLB sponsor, Anheuser-Busch InBev will hold down the fort for the beer category.

BlackBerry is the first to step into the batter's box, taking its cuts as presenting sponsor of TBS' ALDS and NLDS coverage. In addition to voiceovers and logo placement leading in and out of commercial breaks, BlackBerry has broadened up its digital footprint. The company will sponsor a playoff countdown clock on Yahoo Sports' MLB page and will be featured in highlight video pre-roll and bumpers.

With the first two playoff games set for Oct. 6, Turner's sellout levels are well ahead of where they were a year ago. Some of the momentum can be chalked up to multiyear commitments with premium sponsors, but that doesn't tell the entire story. According to Jon Diament, executive vp, Turner Sports ad sales and marketing, 27 new advertisers have signed on for the 2010 MLB playoffs, and the endemics have been particularly robust this time around.

Financial services account for the greatest percentage of TBS' playoff bookings, and revenue is up 67 percent versus a year ago. Auto continues to come on strong, as foreign and domestic dollars have improved 140 percent.

Chrysler-Jeep, which will take the field as the title sponsor of the 30-minute pregame show TBS MLB On Deck, is new to Turner's postseason roster. Last year, the Chrysler Group invested an estimated $115.4 million on sports, focusing on a pair of NHL sponsorships, ACC basketball and the Motor City Bowl (since rebranded as the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl).

Diament said he's not surprised that car dollars have been pouring into October baseball, given automakers' mad scramble for NFL and college football inventory earlier this summer. The health of the NFL marketplace definitely helped baseball sales, Diament said. The scarcity of football inventory made postseason baseball a healthy alternative.

While regular season national baseball ratings are slumping, Turner believes it's in for a blockbuster playoff stretch, with clubs from New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Dallas and San Francisco likely to be in the mix. Last season, TBS was snakebit, as three of its four division series were sweeps, robbing it of as many as six games. The Phillies-Dodgers NLCS also was truncated; the five-night series was marred by two blowouts and delivered an average 5.9 million viewers, down 20 percent versus the seven-game 2008 ALCS, which drew 7.45 million.

When football moved the chains on the upfront, we knew that fall sports in general were going to be a hot commodity, said one national TV buyer. Baseball's like basketball, as far as not being able to control how many games you'll get. Knowing this, you load up on the first three or four. The rest is gravy.

All told, TBS' slate of 18 MLB playoff games averaged 5.15 million viewers, down 4 percent from the 5.38 million it drew with its 22 postseason telecasts in October 2008.

The run-up to the Fall Classic has always been a strong promo platform, and as such, TBS has been filming a number of segments with Conan O'Brien. The former Tonight Show host debuts his new 11 p.m. series, Conan, on Nov. 8, and he'll be well represented throughout TBS' playoff coverage. While details remain scant, sources confirmed that O'Brien also will pop up in a spot for AT&T.

Despite taking pains to measure its away-from-home deliveries a year ago, Turner will not make guarantees against that bonus viewership. TBS' playoff deliveries increased 13 percent when out-of-home viewing was added in, while adults 25-54 grew 16 percent, per Arbitron's ARB-TV data.

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_...+News+-+All%29
post #58028 of 93720
TV Notes
Tony Awards Stay at Home on CBS
By Rachel Lee Harris, The New York Times - September 12th, 2010

CBS has extended its agreement with the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing to televise the annual Tony Awards ceremony, which honors theater professionals for distinguished achievement on Broadway. CBS has announced that a three-year agreement, through 2013, will keep the Tonys with the network, which has been broadcasting the ceremony since 1978. The Tony Awards telecast earned CBS two Emmy Awards this year, one in the special-class category and another for outstanding writing for a variety, music or comedy special. Next year's show is to be televised in June.

The awards were first held at the Waldorf Astoria on April 6, 1947, after being founded by the Broadway League and the American Theater Wing as a tribute to Antoinette Perry, an actress, producer, director, and secretary and board chairwoman of the American Theater Wing throughout World War II.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/th....html?_r=1&hpw
post #58029 of 93720
Thread Starter 
5.6 Million Page Views ! ! !

At about 6:10 p.m. ET Sunday Hot Off The Press (including both its first and second incarnations) hit 5,600,000 page views.

Thanks again to all of you for continuing to stop by and -- and for (mostly) keeping the level of discussion on a civil and adult level.

Special kudos go to long-time - and prolific -- posters Dad1153, dcowboy7, doubleDAZ, keenan and foxeng. Also to DTN for his continuing and insightful look behind the Nielsen numbers and RussB
(along with domino92024) for keeping an exceptionally keen eye on the accuracy of the listings I post each day.

As always, appreciation goes to Ken H, who helped shape a vision for this thread -- and came up with the Hot Off The Press name - to CPanther95 who keeps a keen eye on things here to make sure they run smoothly and to DrDon who is always eager to lend his hand when needed to keep me -- but more importantly, some of you -- out of trouble.

I am delighted by continuing growing number of you (up just over 50% from this time last year) who visit, comment, contribute and generally keep this thread a place of civilized conversation about what is going on in the world of television.

As a reminder of how much things have changed over these past almost six years, here is the link to the very first posts back in August of 2004:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=838060
post #58030 of 93720
Sweet!

post #58031 of 93720
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

A few weeks ago a baseball game went into extra innings and pushed one of the "COPS" repeats off the schedule ("AMW" started on time if I recall correctly), but that was only on the markets carrying that particular game. Fox's Game of the Week being regional means the whole country doesn't watch the same game nationally, unlike NASCAR's national coverage.

Not too many weeks before that game, there was a Saturday game involving the Mets on Fox that I believe went to or past the 18th inning and pushed the entire prime-time lineup off the schedule in those east coast markets that carried the game and went right to local news or programming.
post #58032 of 93720
Thread Starter 
On The Air Tonight
Monday Network Prime-Time Programming Options

(All shows are in HD)

(Reminder: If you are recording these programs, check your provider’s listings for precise start/end times. For PBS, please double check your local listings.)

ABC:
8
Bachelor Pad. (Two hours)
10 Dating in the Dark.

CBS:
8
How I Met Your Mother (R, May 24)
8:30 Rules of Engagement (R, May 3)
9 Two and a Half Men (R, May 24)
9:30 The Big Bang Theory (R, April 12)
10 CSI: Miami (R, May 17)

NBC:
8
America’s Got Talent (Two hours, R, September 6)
10 Dateline NBC

Fox:
8
House (R, May 17)
9 Lie To Me

PBS
8 Antiques Roadshow: Honolulu, HI. Correspondence signed by Queen Victoria; 18-karat gold Victorian cuff bracelet; rare painting of Hilo Harbor by Joseph Nawahi (R, January 8, 2007)
9 History Detectives: Lauste Film Clip; Baker's Gold; Transatlantic Cable. Strip of film may be connected to ``talking'' movies; etchings of gold nuggets; fragment may have been from the trans-Atlantic cable. (R, July 5)
10 Lafayette: The Lost Hero. Marquis de Lafayette left France at the age of 19 and helped fight for America's freedom.

The CW:
8
90210 (Season premiere)
9 Gossip Girl (Season premiere)
post #58033 of 93720
I guess Kevin McCarthy finally fell asleep. I saw Body Snatchers when I was a kid and it flat scared the heck out of me. RIP

Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

Obituary
Prolific actor Kevin McCarthy, best known for 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers,' dies at 96
By Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times - September 12th, 2010
post #58034 of 93720
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post


Special kudos go to long-time - and prolific -- posters Dad1153, dcowboy7, doubleDAZ, keenan and foxeng.

Pft, still got some catching up to do foxeng!

User Name Posts
fredfa 22,510
dad1153 7,046
DoubleDAZ 2,161
keenan 1,403
dcowboy7 1,384
VisionOn 1,041
foxeng 963
NetworkTV 880
Riverside_Guy 829
rebkell 811
post #58035 of 93720
Quote:


On The Air Tonight
Monday Network Prime-Time Programming Options


CBS:
8
How I Met Your Mother (R, May 24)
8:30 Rules of Engagement (R, May 3)
9 Two and a Half Men (R, May 24)
9:30 The Big Bang Theory (R, April 12)
10 CSI: Miami (R, May 17)

The U.S. Open Men's Finals Match was rained-out on Sunday and moved to Monday at 4PM ET/1PM PT on CBS. There's a real chance that Finals match could run late (you never know with tennis) and push all or some of the Monday CBS shows off the schedule in the East Coast. Pad your DVR accordingly but at least they're all repeats so it's no big whoop.
post #58036 of 93720
Quote:
Originally Posted by dad1153 View Post

The U.S. Open Men's Finals Match was rained-out on Sunday and moved to Monday at 4PM ET/1PM PT on CBS. There's a real chance that Finals match could run late (you never know with tennis) and push all or some of the Monday CBS shows off the schedule in the East Coast. Pad your DVR accordingly but at least they're all repeats so it's no big whoop.

If that happens, Dick Enberg will tell the winner of the match, "We're running out of time!" during the on-court interview.
post #58037 of 93720
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

It's definitely not an anti-DVR technique. It's an "anti-changing the channel" technique.

By running over, it causes people to miss the beginning of something on another channel (if they're watching live), so they're more likely to simply stay with Fox and watch the next show.

This could easily be to make life miserable for DVR users as well. If a 9pm-10pm program doesn't end - for example - until 10:05pm, it takes up one 10pm-11pm slot as well. This means that on a 2-tuner DVR, only one additional program can be programmed for the 10pm-11pm slot. Change the 10:05 end time to 10:00pm? Hope you don't miss an exciting ending.
post #58038 of 93720
Quote:
Originally Posted by domino92024 View Post

This could easily be to make life miserable for DVR users as well.

They've been doing this since before the DVR hit the mainstream so it didn't make life any better for VCR owners either.
post #58039 of 93720
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post


NBC:
8
America's Got Talent (Two hours)
10 Dateline NBC

"America's Got Talent" is a REPEAT of last Tuesday's show.
post #58040 of 93720
Quote:
Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

They've been doing this since before the DVR hit the mainstream so it didn't make life any better for VCR owners either.

I'm familiar with very few 2-tuner VCRs.
post #58041 of 93720
Thread Starter 
TV Notes
Tired of Reality TV, but Still Tuning In

By Bill Carter, The New York Times, September 13, 2010

In a recent poll by TiVo, television viewers said they were growing tired of reality shows, with 40 percent calling reality the most overdone genre of programming. (Suspense was the viewers' favorite.)

But in the only poll that counts the ratings viewers also had an overwhelming favorite for the summer season of TV, and it wasn't suspense.

Reality shows again dominated ratings this summer, especially among viewers whom the majority of networks consider most valuable, those 18 to 49. On broadcast television, 15 of the top 20 highest-rated programs among that younger adult group were reality or unscripted shows.

The shows all had familiar names, like America's Got Talent on NBC, Big Brother on CBS, The Bachelorette on ABC and So You Think You Can Dance on Fox. All of those have worked well for the networks in previous summers.

What viewers say they want and what they really watch are not the same. It's clear people have their favorite summer pastime reality shows, and they're watching them, said David F. Poltrack, the chief research officer for CBS.

The biggest unscripted show of summer on television, without challenge, has been a cable show featuring real people of a particular kind: Jersey Shore has been posting stunning ratings results for MTV. In the last measured week, which included the episode on Sept. 2, Jersey Shore had 4.4 million viewers ages 18 to 49, more than anything else on television.

With the extremely young profile and enormous audience for Jersey Shore, MTV has been able to ask for and get premium rates from advertisers especially film companies said Brad Adgate, the senior vice president for research at Horizon Media, which buys commercial time for advertising clients.

That show has a median age of 23.5, he said. That's just amazing. They're making a ton of money on that show.

Jersey Shore, its sexual hook-ups, cultural caricatures, nasty language and bursts of physical violence, incurred some initial advertiser resistance; Domino's Pizza removed its commercials during the first season. But one senior program executive at another network, who did not want to be identified when speaking in favor of a competing program, said, I do think there are things we can glean from a show like Jersey Shore.'

A number of the biggest network hits of the past decade, including Survivor on CBS, Dancing With the Stars on ABC and American Idol on Fox, all began as summer unscripted series.

But in recent years the networks have been content to rely on what have become their summer staples, like Big Brother and America's Got Talent. They have not been seeking to introduce new reality shows that might emerge as hits transferable to the regular season.

The fact that shows are coming back and becoming reliable staples in summer, Mr. Poltrack said, increases what was already an economic advantage. Reality shows generally cost less than half as much to produce as scripted television.

If you can bring these shows back on a regular basis, Mr. Poltrack said, then you don't have the risk of failure. Bad reality shows can do some really abysmal numbers and die very quickly. The fact that you've got a proven performer, one that you know is going to keep the lights on for you in the summer, is a definitely a tremendous advantage.

The only problem with this strategy, the senior program executive said, is that it leaves no room to take a wild shot on a show like Jersey Shore or whatever the network version of that might be.

There has been a little tendency, because we all have things that are working in the summer, for people to play the hand they have, the network program executive said, to just maintain the audience flow we have, rather than risk losing it altogether.

The reality area that the networks have steered clear of, for the most part, is what is called the docu-soap, an hour of larger-than-life characters interacting and reacting in provocative ways. That loosely describes cable hits like Jersey Shore and Teen Mom on MTV, and all the permutations of The Real Housewives on Bravo.

Given the results this summer, the networks might reconsider that tendency. You'd have to think that Fox could do an even bigger version than the one on MTV, Mr. Adgate said.

The network program executive pointed to how ABC had adapted the TLC series Trading Spaces, about people redecorating rooms into Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which is about refurbishing entire homes of people in dire need.

A lot of times you look at something on cable and see how you can make an even explosive version of one of those, the executive said. We'll definitely be looking at everything on cable to see what we can do next summer.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/bu...ref=television
post #58042 of 93720
Thread Starter 
Business Notes
EXCLUSIVE: HBO subscribers dwindling
DirecTV deal impasse just part of the problem

By Andrew Wallenstein, The Hollywood Reporter, September 13, 2010

The channel that turned vampire killers into hit television is quietly facing the draining of its own lifeblood: subscribers.

2010 would seen have the makings of a big year for HBO given the tentpole programs it launched in the first two quarters of the year: "True Blood," which wrapped up its third season Sunday as the network's highest rated series, and "The Pacific," the WWII miniseries that won more awards at last month's Emmys than any other production.

And yet HBO had 28.6 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2010, according to newly released numbers from SNL Kagan, its lowest total in four years and the second of its first back-to-back quarterly declines in at least six years.

So if HBO is so hot, how come its subscriber base is dwindling?

Figuring out what's hurting HBO is a whodunit worthy of one of the net's drama series, with a confusing mix of incriminating evidence and alibis that point to a number of culprits. But the likeliest suspect no one saw coming: DirecTV.

The nation's biggest satellite service has been locked in bruising carriage negotiations with HBO all year, according to people familiar with the talks, and applying pressure to get the desired deal terms by employing an unknown but brutally effective tactic: drastic reduction of the promotional support crucial to "upselling" HBO to subscribers.

Neither DirecTV nor HBO would comment, though the network did issue a statement laying the blame for the depressed subscriber numbers on an entirely different factor: the sudden, unprecedented downturn in U.S. multichannel subscribers SNL Kagan reported last month, to the tune of 216,000 in the second quarter.

"As the driver of the pay category, it is not surprising to see us slightly impacted by the negative effects on multichannel households," said Eric Kessler, co-president of HBO, in the statement. "This kind of fluctuation is common throughout the year. The most important measurement of success is financial and HBO will enjoy another record year in revenue and profit."

The declines are minor, but the fact they're dropping at all is surprising. HBO's smaller pay-TV competitors, Showtime and Starz, saw increases in the second quarter; why HBO would feel the pinch from the multichannel meltdown but not its competitors suggests there may be other factors at play.

Starz and Showtime have both been on a steady rise for years: Showtime has increased by 6 million subs over the past six years, to 18.2 million in the second quarter, while Starz is close behind with 17.3 million, though its rate of increase has been less dramatic.

HBO is in a league of its own on a sheer subscriber basis, and its $1.2 billion in earnings dwarf those generated by its competitors. But that subscriber toll has been hovering between 28-29 million since 2006.

And that is also likely a reflection of the fact that DirecTV is not the first distributor to use the promotional blackout strategy as a carriage negotiation tactic. Not only is DirecTV not the only distributor currently putting the screws to HBO in such a manner -- a source identified a second unspecified cable operator -- but the country's biggest distributor, Comcast Corp., pulled the same move on HBO last year during its own now-resolved negotiations. A Comcast rep declined comment.

Distributors know pay-TV networks' Achilles' heel and they're not above kicking it to get what they want, notes Tom Christie, executive vp affiliate sales at Showtime.

"If you're involved in a nasty negotiation, I have certainly known operators to behave that way in the past," said Christie, who was not speaking specifically of HBO's predicament.

For all the attention original programming like "True Blood" gets, it's the less sexy subject known in the industry as affiliate marketing that is just as crucial a variable in the premium-TV business. Hunky bloodsuckers don't sink their teeth into subscribers' wallets without the efforts of distributors pitching in promotional dollars via direct mail, online ads, local events and the persistent hawking of customer-service representatives over the phones.

So when a distributor the size of DirecTV pulls back on all that, a pay-TV network is going to feel the pain like a vampire at sunrise. No matter how much HBO spends -- even the $200 million forked over for "Pacific" -- bang for the buck can't be maximized without operators there to shill for the show.

"The marketing is hugely tied to how subscriber growth goes," said Deana Myers, pay-TV analyst with SNL Kagan. "There's so many elements to why subscribers sign up. It's not all about original programming."

However, drilling deeper into SNL Kagan stats casts some doubt that DirecTV could be entirely responsible for HBO's slippage. Just as the overwhelming majority of the drop-off in multichannel homes for the second quarter is attributable to cable-satellite actually grew slightly, HBO itself offers a similar story: Only 25,000 HBO satellite customers canceled their subscriptions between the first half of 2010 compared with the same period the previous year, compared to approximately 500,000 on the cable side.

That said, quarterly numbers can be deceiving in the pay-TV business. Contrary to the perception that hit original programs attracted intensely faithful audiences, HBO and its ilk all cop to the volatility of their business, where roughly 5% of their respective subscriber bases could drop out at any given month.

Given that a massive 85% of HBO's earnings is tied up in affiliate fees, a subscriber drop is going to hit the bottom line. But it's also worth noting that the other 15% of HBO's business is booming enough to soften the impact. DVD is one robust revenue stream; an internal estimate put "Blood's" disc haul to date at $100 million. HBO is also squeezing every ounce out of its international distribution, which is slightly broader than its domestic footprint, buying out the majority interest in all three of its joint ventures overseas in recent years.

That diversification of HBO's business is essential given the strong possibility that the network's core business has peaked. There may be no simpler explanation for the absence of subscriber growth. "Thirty million might be where the ceiling is," said Myers.

There are still other factors to consider. Maybe after years of watching HBO programs make their way to DVD, syndication and iTunes, enough of the viewing audience has wised up to the network's distribution lifespan and will patiently forego the subscription window for the more economical options down the line. That's a trend that is only going to accelerate as services like Netflix start to make the kind of deals that eat into the pay-TV window, and ballyhooed products coming to market like Apple TV and Google TV offer the kind the hardware that could make inroads.

HBO's shrinking base will no doubt be seized as evidence in the never-ending debate on the emergence of "cord-cutters," a supposed new breed of consumer ready to throw away their expensive set-top boxes for cheaper offerings on digital platforms. And if you don't buy that this phenomenon is responsible for cutting into the shrinking multichannel market share, perhaps HBO can be chalked up as a luxury more and more consumers are willing to do without during continued economic doldrums in the U.S.

And then there is the theory that would piss off HBO most: The dwindling of HBO's subscriber base may reflect nothing more than its comedown from the heady days of a decade ago, when "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City" brought the network to what may be its peak performance. Many channels, both premium and basic, have stepped up the competition by ripping straight from HBO's playbook.

"Post that era, I don't believe their shows have been as strong as those two, while ours have come along and proven to be quite good," said Christie. Of course, by the same logic HBO's subscriber toll would have tumbled after "Sopranos" left the air in 2007 but it didn't; it was followed by four consecutive quarters of small increases, culminating with a peak of 29.1 million in the first quarter of 2009 -- after both shows were long gone. Maybe the "Sopranos" magic just took a long time to wear off.

Nevertheless, don't expect original programming to be anything less than the core of pay-TV programming strategies going forward. To wit, the third quarter will bring one of HBO's most ambitious efforts yet, "Boardwalk Empire," and Showtime returns its biggest series, "Dexter," for a fifth season.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/...853fdeaa18c395
post #58043 of 93720
Thread Starter 
Critic’s Notes
On The Air Tonight

By Kathryn Shattuck, The New York Times, September 13, 2010

8 P.M. (TCM) TCM REMEMBERS PATRICIA NEAL She was born Patsy Lou Neal in 1926 in a Kentucky coal-mining town and at the age of 10 wrote a letter to Santa Claus that said, “What I want for Christmas is to study dramatics.” By 21 she had won a Tony for her Broadway debut in the Lillian Hellman play “Another Part of the Forest.” At 39, a year after capturing the best actress Oscar for her performance as a shopworn housekeeper who resists Paul Newman’s charm in the 1963 movie “Hud,” she had a series of strokes that put her into a coma for three weeks and left her semiparalyzed and unable to speak. Her husband, the British writer Roald Dahl, oversaw her recovery, and she returned to the screen in 1968, earning her second Academy Award nomination as the bitter mother in “The Subject Was Roses,” adapted by Ulu Grosbard from Frank Gilroy’s play. That film is one of five (starting at 10:45 p.m.) that pay tribute to Neal, who died at 84 on Aug. 8. The evening begins with “Private Screenings: Patricia Neal” (2004), in which she discusses her career with Robert Osborne, and continues at 8:45 with “The Fountainhead” (1949), King Vidor’s adaptation of the Ayn Rand novel, with Gary Cooper as an idealistic architect who refuses to compromise his vision and Neal as the woman he loves. At 12:45 a.m. Neal appears in “A Face in the Crowd” (1957) as a television executive who turns a folk-singing drifter (Andy Griffith) into a media darling. The salute ends with “In Harm’s Way” (1965), at 3:15, with Neal as a Navy lieutenant alongside John Wayne’s aging captain, who is assigned to a desk job after a botched mission against the Japanese.

8 P.M. (CW) 90210 A major earthquake rattles Beverly Hills in the Season 3 premiere, which picks up as Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) deals with the aftermath of her rape. The Season 4 opener of “Gossip Girl,” at 9, finds Blair (Leighton Meester) and Serena (Blake Lively) reveling in the Parisian summer and banishing thoughts of New York boys from their pretty little minds — until Blair spies Chuck (Ed Westwick).

9 P.M. (Lifetime) THE 19TH WIFE (2010) Chyler Leigh trades in her “Grey’s Anatomy” scrubs for a prairie dress to play a wife of a First Church of Latter-day Saints polygamist who endangers her life when she sets out to prove the innocence of another wife (Patricia Wettig) accused of killing her husband.

9 P.M. (TNT) THE CLOSER Brenda (Kyra Sedgwick) is forced to work with a counterterrorism expert, and a rival for the job of police chief, as she investigates the murders of two paramedics..

9 P.M. (Fox) LIE TO ME The relationship between Cal (Tim Roth) and Agent Reynolds (Mekhi Phifer) is put to the test during an investigation into the death of a journalist who was reporting on political corruption. Cal’s relationship with his daughter, Emily (Hayley McFarland), doesn’t fare much better after she expresses a desire to date.

10 P.M. (TNT) RIZZOLI & ISLES Jane (Angie Harmon), Maura (Sasha Alexander) and Frankie Jr. (Jordan Bridges) fight for their lives when the Boston homicide headquarters is attacked.

10 P.M. (NBC) DATELINE NBC Do parental warnings go in one ear and out the other? In this report children are unknowingly placed in staged but potentially dangerous situations — approached by a stranger, confronted by a bully, asked to ride in the car of a driver who says he has been drinking — as their parents watch on hidden cameras. Kate Snow monitors the reactions.

10 P.M. (Bravo) THINTERVENTION WITH JACKIE WARNER Ms. Warner tethers her overweight clients together and sends them chugging up a mountain.

10 P.M. (Showtime) WEEDS Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) ropes a hotel employee into helping her sell hash to the guests.

10 P.M. (Sundance) THE DAY BEFORE Full Frontal Fashion programming wraps up with Loïc Prigent’s peek inside the Los Angeles atelier of Jeremy Scott, the Kansas City, Mo., native whom Karl Lagerfeld once said was the only designer who could possibly take over Chanel after he left. But can Mr. Scott survive New York Fashion Week? The evening begins at 7:30 with an encore presentation of Mr. Prigent’s reality series “Signe Chanel,” first broadcast in 2006 and shown in its entirety here, which follows Mr. Lagerfeld as he puts together the House of Chanel’s fall-winter 2004-5 haute couture collection. And in “Seamless” (2005), at 10:30, Douglas Keeve (“Unzipped”) watches as four of the most promising finalists compete for a prize offered by a group of garment industry insiders.

10:30 P.M. (Showtime) THE BIG C Cathy (Laura Linney) cashes in her retirement savings and buys a red convertible. She also ponders what sex with Dr. Todd (Reid Scott) might be like.

http://www.nytimes.com/ref/arts/tele...ref=television
post #58044 of 93720
Thread Starter 
Today's HD TV Sports Schedule

(All times are Eastern)

NFL
Baltimore at New York Jets, ESPN, 7 p.m.
San Diego at Kansas City, ESPN, 10:15 p.m.

Tennis
U.S. Open, men's final, Novak Djokovic faces Rafael Nadal in New York, CBS, 4 p.m.

Major League Baseball
New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays or Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves. MLB Network, 7

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/tv.htm
post #58045 of 93720
Thread Starter 
Business Notes
Hollywood Reporter to Become a Weekly Magazine

By Brooks Barnes and Jeremy W. Peters, The New York Times, September 13, 2010

LOS ANGELES — The Hollywood Reporter has been dying a slow death for a decade, bleeding from layoffs, vanishing advertisers and diminished relevance in a news cycle now dominated by cutthroat entertainment blogs.

Its top editors and executives all agreed: to save The Reporter, a mere refocusing of the business model would not do; they needed to eviscerate it.

Starting next month, Janice Min, who became the editorial director in June, and Richard Beckman, chief executive of The Reporter’s parent company, e5 Global Media, will remake the five-times-a-week publication as a glossy, large-format weekly magazine.

The content in the magazine, which will include a mix of analytical and feature articles and photo spreads, will be coupled with an aggressive and redesigned Web operation built around breaking news. A daily digital edition, in a PDF file, will replace the daily printed version distributed to subscribers now.

The Reporter’s message to the competition: Traditional trade reporting in Hollywood has been in need of heart paddles for a long time and — clear! — we’ve finally arrived with them.

“It’s our negligence — the way we’ve served up our content over the last couple of years has allowed some really poor competitors to emerge,” Mr. Beckman said in a recent interview from his office at e5’s Manhattan headquarters. “But we are going to rectify that starting right now.”

The Reporter wants to transform the way it does business but also change the model that has allowed the Hollywood trade publications to exist for nearly a century. Heavily dependent on advertising from the entertainment industry, publications like Variety and The Reporter have long provided favorable coverage of the films and studios that pay their bills. Mr. Beckman is gunning for a larger slice of the advertising market: beauty, fashion, consumer electronics and liquor, for starters.

“We’re not going to be a product that purely strokes the industry because the industry won’t respect that,” said Mr. Beckman, a former top executive with Condé Nast who is known as Mad Dog.

Ms. Min, who ended a successful run at Us Weekly last year, has certainly wasted no time giving The Reporter an edge.

On July 28, she ran an article in which anonymous sources said that the abrupt resignation of Stephen McPherson, ABC’s former entertainment president, was tied to “multiple harassment complaints.”

Mr. McPherson hired the litigator Marty Singer to demand a retraction and threaten a lawsuit. Ms. Min said she faxed a letter back to Mr. Singer saying that The Reporter would relish the opportunity to depose Mr. McPherson and sift through his work e-mail.

Another prominent article delved into the pornography business, a topic the chaste trades have traditionally ignored. Most recently, Ms. Min’s reporters had Time Warner in knots by reporting that it had hired an executive recruiter to solve a succession problem at Warner Brothers. An infuriated Jeffrey L. Bewkes, Time Warner’s chief executive, immediately denounced the article as inaccurate, in an interview with The Los Angeles Times.

“I guess it shakes the system out here that a so-called trade would dare to break news that wasn’t spoon fed,” Ms. Min recently said over lunch. “Well, people had better get used to it.”

Producing more relevant, provocative journalism is only half the battle. The Reporter will have to convince jaded, overstimulated Hollywood readers that it is worth another look.

“I do think The Reporter lost a lot of its luster,” said Lorenza Munoz, an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Southern California and a former entertainment reporter for The Los Angeles Times. “It just hasn’t been very stable. And whenever that happens you lose your brand identity. People stop reading you, and it’s hard to get them back on your bandwagon. But they can make it a must-read. And if they are covering Hollywood aggressively and breaking stories, then people will have to read it.”

The Reporter, along with its older rival, Variety, has also been struggling to adjust to a sharp downturn in industry-oriented advertising. Movie and television companies — making fewer films, battling a sharp decline in DVD sales, watching digital video recorders erode ad sales — have been slashing trade ads. Warner Brothers, the largest movie and TV studio, last year spent half as much on trade ads as it did the previous year.

At the same time, the sort of insider knowledge that once made the Hollywood papers daily must-reads has become ubiquitous, and free, on the Web. IndieWire.com is now the favored destination for specialty film information. In a challenge to Variety, TheWrap.com has started organizing industry conferences, while Deadline.com regularly breaks news that sends the traditional trades, including The Reporter, scrambling.

Annual revenue at the paper, about $50 million four years ago, is now closer to $30 million, propped up in part by consumer ads.

Mr. Beckman’s plan is to enlarge The Reporter in every way possible. He says that its circulation will grow to 60,000 in the first months after the weekly has its premiere, with the goal of quadrupling that in three years. Its current circulation, including international distribution and free copies mailed to celebrities and other industry insiders, is 47,000. (It would not release its total paid circulation.) The price will rise to $5.99 on the newsstand (now $2.99 for the daily issue). The price of a year’s subscription, however, will fall to $249 from about $300 now.

Mr. Beckman would not say how much the remake is costing, but he said the editorial staff of The Reporter would grow by about 50 percent, to 70 people, and that the company had spent several million dollars for a redesign of its Web site, by the agency Razorfish. Ms. Min also did not come cheap; her annual salary at US Weekly was in the $2 million range.

What is going to pay for all this? In large part, ads that are aimed at wealthy consumers — or “influencers,” as Mr. Beckman calls them. The key to his model, he explained, is to get The Reporter into the hands of more than just entertainment industry executives. He wants to reach the opinion leaders, early adopters and taste makers who set consumer trends. In a twist on the traditional trade publication model, known as B2B for business to business, Mr. Beckman calls the new Reporter B2I, with I standing for influencer.

Rivals in the entertainment media seem unimpressed. “I don’t see any business model that supports what they are doing,” said Sharon Waxman, editor of TheWrap.

The prototype of the redesigned Reporter shows how he and Ms. Min plan to reach both audiences. It includes a new, more stylized logo and is printed on heavy, glossy paper. It is divided between fluff — an “About Town” section offers extensive coverage of parties and premieres — and substantive, reported features with tart language like “Coroner’s Report,” an examination of a movie that flopped. “How ‘Mad Men’ Inspired Prada,” reads the headline of another feature in the prototype.

The changes have challenged a rather sleepy newsroom culture. When Ms. Min arrived at The Reporter on June 15, she was shocked to discover that the paper did not hold daily news meetings. “That explained a lot about why coverage had grown very dry and very small,” she said. “It’s the equivalent of covering baseball and only reporting stats.”

She added, “The whole organization had a collective self-esteem problem. It wasn’t ‘What do we think the news is here?’ It was ‘Here is what we are chasing from the Internet, and here is what the studios and networks want us to write about.”‘

And although some in Hollywood may be skeptical, Mr. Beckman, never one to lack brio or confidence, is not deterred. “It makes me laugh to get pigeonholed by these morons,” he said.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/13/bu...hollywood.html
post #58046 of 93720
Thread Starter 
TV Sports
Upcoming HD College Football Schedule
(All rankings are from The Associated Press poll)

Thursday, September 16th
Cincinnati at #45-tie North Carolina State 6:30 ESPN

Friday, September 17th
Kansas at Southern Miss 8 ESPN
#29 California at Nevada 9 ESPN2

Saturday, September 18th
Arkansas at #30 Georgia 12 noon (ESPN or ESPN2)
Ball State at Purdue 12 noon BTN
Connecticut at Temple 12 noon SNY
#33 Georgia Tech at #35 North Carolina 12 noon Raycom
Iowa State vs. #40 tie Kansas State (Kansas City) 12 noon FSN
Kent State at #22 Penn State 12 noon (ESPN or ESPN2)
Maryland at #21 West Virginia 12 noon ESPNU
North Texas at Army 12 noon CBSC
Northern Illinois at Illinois 12 noon BTN
Ohio at #2 Ohio State 12 noon BTN
UMass at #20 Michigan 12 noon BTN
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss 12:21 SEC Network
Air Force at #7 Oklahoma 3:30 FSN
#1 Alabama at Duke 3:30 ABC
Arizona State at #11 Wisconsin 3:30 ABC
BYU at #31 Florida State 3:30 ESPNU
#10 Florida at Tennessee 3:30 CBS
#8 Nebraska at Washington 3:30 ABC / ESPN2
#18 USC at Minnesota 3:30 ESPN
Washington State at SMU 3:30 CBSC
Baylor at #4 TCU 4:30 Versus
Indiana at Western Kentucky 5 BTN
Louisville at #25 Oregon State 5:30 FSNW
Akron at Kentucky 7 FSN, SEC stations
#34 Clemson at Auburn 7 ESPN
Mississippi State at #15 LSU 7 ESPNU
#3 Boise State at Wyoming 8 CBSC
Notre Dame at Michigan State 8 ABC / ESPN2
#6 Texas at #37 Texas Tech 8 ABC / ESPN2
Utah at New Mexico 8 MTN
#23 Houston at UCLA 10:30 FSN
#9 Iowa at #24 Arizona 10:30 ESPN
UNLV at Idaho 10:30 ESPNU
Wake Forest at #19 Stanford 11:15 ESPN2

http://www.lsufootball.net/tvschedule.htm
post #58047 of 93720
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Business Notes
EXCLUSIVE: HBO subscribers dwindling
DirecTV deal impasse just part of the problem
By Andrew Wallenstein, The Hollywood Reporter, September 13, 2010

The channel that turned vampire killers into hit television is quietly facing the draining of its own lifeblood: subscribers.

2010 would seen have the makings of a big year for HBO given the tentpole programs it launched in the first two quarters of the year: "True Blood," which wrapped up its third season Sunday as the network's highest rated series, and "The Pacific," the WWII miniseries that won more awards at last month's Emmys than any other production.

And yet HBO had 28.6 million subscribers in the second quarter of 2010, according to newly released numbers from SNL Kagan, its lowest total in four years and the second of its first back-to-back quarterly declines in at least six years.

So if HBO is so hot, how come its subscriber base is dwindling?

Figuring out what's hurting HBO is a whodunit worthy of one of the net's drama series, with a confusing mix of incriminating evidence and alibis that point to a number of culprits. But the likeliest suspect no one saw coming: DirecTV.

The nation's biggest satellite service has been locked in bruising carriage negotiations with HBO all year, according to people familiar with the talks, and applying pressure to get the desired deal terms by employing an unknown but brutally effective tactic: drastic reduction of the promotional support crucial to "upselling" HBO to subscribers.

Neither DirecTV nor HBO would comment, though the network did issue a statement laying the blame for the depressed subscriber numbers on an entirely different factor: the sudden, unprecedented downturn in U.S. multichannel subscribers SNL Kagan reported last month, to the tune of 216,000 in the second quarter.

"As the driver of the pay category, it is not surprising to see us slightly impacted by the negative effects on multichannel households," said Eric Kessler, co-president of HBO, in the statement. "This kind of fluctuation is common throughout the year. The most important measurement of success is financial and HBO will enjoy another record year in revenue and profit."

The declines are minor, but the fact they're dropping at all is surprising. HBO's smaller pay-TV competitors, Showtime and Starz, saw increases in the second quarter; why HBO would feel the pinch from the multichannel meltdown but not its competitors suggests there may be other factors at play.

Starz and Showtime have both been on a steady rise for years: Showtime has increased by 6 million subs over the past six years, to 18.2 million in the second quarter, while Starz is close behind with 17.3 million, though its rate of increase has been less dramatic.

HBO is in a league of its own on a sheer subscriber basis, and its $1.2 billion in earnings dwarf those generated by its competitors. But that subscriber toll has been hovering between 28-29 million since 2006.

And that is also likely a reflection of the fact that DirecTV is not the first distributor to use the promotional blackout strategy as a carriage negotiation tactic. Not only is DirecTV not the only distributor currently putting the screws to HBO in such a manner -- a source identified a second unspecified cable operator -- but the country's biggest distributor, Comcast Corp., pulled the same move on HBO last year during its own now-resolved negotiations. A Comcast rep declined comment.

Distributors know pay-TV networks' Achilles' heel and they're not above kicking it to get what they want, notes Tom Christie, executive vp affiliate sales at Showtime.

"If you're involved in a nasty negotiation, I have certainly known operators to behave that way in the past," said Christie, who was not speaking specifically of HBO's predicament.

Interesting... I assume this disagreement has also resulted in DirecTV's slooooooooow adoption of HD HBO channels and the complete absence of HBO OnDemand HD offerings. Personally, I've wanted to subscribe to HBO for awhile, but the fact that DirecTV has comparatively less HBO HD content than other premiums lowers the value in my eyes.
post #58048 of 93720
Thread Starter 
The 2010-2011 Season
Fall TV Premiere Dates

By Nellie Andreeva, DeadlineHollywood.com TV editor

With fall premieres coming fast and furious, here is a handy list of what's coming up by date (including the few series that just debuted).

With the broadcast networks one by one announcing traditional rollout over the past 2 months, we knew premiere week would be bloody.

But the number of series debuting each day of the week of Sept. 20 is pretty staggering. On Monday alone, 12 series will premiere, 5 of them new.

(Italics indicates new series)

Tuesday, Sept. 7
Sons of Anarchy, 10 PM (FX)

Wednesday, Sept. 8
America’s Next Top Model, 8 PM (The CW)
Hellcats, 9 PM (The CW)
Terriers, 10 PM (FX)

Thursday, Sept. 9
The Vampire Diaries, 8 PM (The CW)
Nikita, 9 PM (The CW)

Monday, Sept. 13
90210, 8 PM (The CW)
Gossip Girl, 9 PM (The CW)

Tuesday, Sept. 14
One Tree Hill, 8 PM (The CW)
Life Unexpected, 9 PM (The CW)
Parenthood, 10 PM (NBC)

Wednesday, Sept. 15
Survivor: Nicaragua, 8 PM (CBS)
Outlaw, 10 PM (NBC)

Thursday, Sept. 16
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, 10 PM (FX)
The Apprentice, 10 PM (NBC)
The League, 10:30 PM (FX)

Sunday, Sept. 19
Boardwalk Empire, 8 PM (HBO)

Monday, Sept. 20
Dancing With the Stars, 8 PM (ABC)
How I Met Your Mother, 8 PM (CBS)
House, 8 PM (Fox)
Chuck, 8 PM (NBC)
Rules of Engagement, 8:30 PM (CBS)
Two and a Half Men, 9 PM (CBS)
Lone Star, 9 PM (Fox)
The Event, 9 PM (NBC)
Mike & Molly, 9:30 PM (CBS)
Castle, 10 PM (ABC)
Hawaii Five-0, 10 PM (CBS)
Chase, 10 PM (NBC)

Tuesday, Sept. 21
NCIS, 8 PM (CBS)
Glee, 8 PM (Fox)
The Biggest Loser, 8 PM (NBC)
NCIS: Los Angeles, 9 PM (CBS)
Raising Hope, 9 PM (Fox)
Running Wilde, 9:30 PM (Fox)
Detroit 1-8-7, 10 PM (ABC)

Wednesday, Sept. 22
The Middle, 8 PM (ABC)
Hell’s Kitchen, 8 PM (Fox)
Undercovers, 8 PM (NBC)
Better With You, 8:30 PM (ABC)
Modern Family, 9 PM (ABC)
Criminal Minds, 9 PM (CBS)
Law & Order: SVU, 9 PM (NBC)
Cougar Town, 9:30 PM (ABC)
The Defenders, 10 PM (CBS)
The Whole Truth, 10 PM (ABC)

Thursday, Sept. 23
My Generation, 8 PM (ABC)
The Big Bang Theory, 8 PM (CBS)
Bones, 8 PM (Fox)
Community, 8 PM (NBC)
$#*! My Dad Says, 8:30 PM (CBS)
30 Rock, 8:30 PM (NBC)
Grey’s Anatomy, 9 PM (ABC)
CSI, 9 PM (CBS)
Fringe, 9 PM (Fox)
The Office, 9 PM (NBC)
Outsourced, 9:30 PM (NBC)
Private Practice, 10 PM (ABC)
The Mentalist, 10 PM (CBS)

Friday, Sept. 24
Medium, 8 PM (CBS)
Smallville, 8 PM (The CW)
CSI: NY, 9 PM (CBS)
Supernatural, 9 PM (The CW)
The Good Guys, 9 PM (Fox)
Blue Bloods, 10 PM (CBS)

Sunday, Sept. 26
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, 8 PM (ABC)
The Simpsons, 8 PM (Fox)
The Amazing Race, 8:30 PM (CBS)
The Cleveland Show, 8:30 PM (Fox)
Desperate Housewives, 9 PM (ABC)
Family Guy, 9 PM (Fox)
Dexter, 9 PM (Showtime)
Brothers & Sisters, 10 PM (ABC)
Undercover Boss, 10 PM (CBS)
Bored to Death, 10 PM (HBO)
Eastbound & Down, 10:30 PM (HBO)

Tuesday, Sept. 28
No Ordinary Family, 9 PM (ABC)
The Good Wife, 10 PM (CBS)

Wednesday, Sept. 29
Law & Order: Los Angeles, 10 PM (NBC)

Friday, Oct. 1
Human Target, 8 PM (Fox)

Sunday, Oct. 3
American Dad, 9:30 PM (Fox)
CSI: Miami, 10 PM (CBS)

Tuesday, Oct. 5
Caprica 10 PM (Syfy)

Friday, Oct. 15
School Pride, 8 PM (NBC)
Sanctuary, 10 PM (Syfy)

Monday, Oct. 25
In Treatment, 9 PM (HBO)

Wednesday, Oct. 27
Friday Night Lights (DirecTV)

Sunday, Oct. 31
The Walking Dead, 10 PM (AMC)

Wednesday, Nov. 10
Lie to Me, 8 PM (Fox)

Monday, Nov. 29
Men of a Certain Age, 10 PM (TNT)

http://www.deadline.com/2010/09/fyi-...es/#more-66617
post #58049 of 93720
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanSaysYo View Post

Interesting... I assume this disagreement has also resulted in DirecTV's slooooooooow adoption of HD HBO channels and the complete absence of HBO OnDemand HD offerings. Personally, I've wanted to subscribe to HBO for awhile, but the fact that DirecTV has comparatively less HBO HD content than other premiums lowers the value in my eyes.

You prove D*'s point.
post #58050 of 93720
TV Notes
SAG, AFTRA approve contract proposals
By Richard Verrier, Los Angeles Times - September 13th, 2010

Hollywood actors will seek higher minimum pay rates and an increase in contributions to their health and pension plans in the upcoming round of contract negotiations for work in film and prime-time television.

Those are the highlights from a package of bargaining proposals approved Sunday by the joint board of the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

The proposals, culled from weeks of meetings with members of both unions nationwide, will form the framework for contract negotiations with the major studios that are scheduled to begin Sept. 27.

The actors unions, which previously focused heavily on issues surrounding new-media pay, will shift more attention in the upcoming talks to bread-and-butter topics. This focus is intended to shore up the unions' health and pension plans -- which have been hit by investment losses during the recession and by rising medical costs -- and to increase basic pay levels for journeyman actors, who have seen ongoing erosion in their incomes in recent years.

Although the actors' contracts don't expire until June, the unions opted to begin their negotiations early to avoid a standoff like the one that occurred two years ago between the studios and SAG, then under a different leadership.

SAG President Ken Howard and AFTRA National President Roberta Reardon will co-chair the negotiations, a departure from previous negotiations when the unions broke ranks and negotiated separate deals with the studios. SAG Executive Director David White and AFTRA National Executive Director Kim Roberts Hedgpeth will serve as the unions' co-lead negotiators, the unions said in a statement.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/ente...proposals.html
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: HDTV Programming
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Programming › Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information