The new broadcast season begins in three weeks. Can you feel the excitement in the air? Me neither. There doesn't appear to be very much interest anywhere in any of the new series that the networks have been feverishly promoting since the final weeks of the May sweeps.
I sat down with media legend Jack Myers to talk about the publication of his recent book, "Hooked Up; A New Generation's Surprising Take on Sex, Politics and Saving the World." His book is based on an IPSOS/OTX research survey of one thousand 17-to 21-year-olds plus interviews, and offers a range of insights on the influences, mindsets and behaviors of this first truly Internet-immersed generation. Jack calls those born between 1991 and 1995 "Internet Pioneers," and says the way they view and interact with the world not only has immediate implications but also a long-term impact on society.
TLC's latest reality offering -- "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," a spin-off from the network's "Toddlers & Tiaras" centered on one of that show's more memorable pageant princesses -- has, since it appeared out of the heat and humidity two weeks ago, become one of the most talked-about series on television. No surprise there; it's a perfect train-wreck diversion at the end of a punishing summer of record-breaking heat, roaring wildfires and increasingly nasty political confrontations. What's more, even with its pig-pooping, mud-flopping and armpit-farting, it may be one of the most culturally significant entertainment programs of our tumultuous times, ...
Reality TV has a lot to answer for. Its contributions to the ongoing debasement of popular culture are well-documented. Shows that celebrate our moral weaknesses and reward bad behavior with celebrity and riches are, to put it mildly, unfortunate. But there is a whole subgenre of reality TV that is actually educational and generally celebratory of the human spirit. These shows, which, oddly enough, generally appeal to men, explore nature, adventure, and exotic jobs. They're not smutty, exploitative or condescending. You can watch them with both your kids and your parents. At the top of the heap is "Pawn Stars," ...
The Olympics provided enough thrills and suspense to keep anyone enthralled, but even without them this summer would likely be remembered as one of the most satisfying for anyone drawn to television drama. One need only consider the triumphant return of "Dallas" on TNT, the gripping finale of TNT's "The Closer" and the arrival of the effortlessly enjoyable "Bunheads" on ABC Family, the perfect lightweight summer drama for tweens, teens and grown-ups alike.
We're one month away from the series premiere of Disney-ABC Domestic Television's "Katie," the nationally syndicated live daily talk show starring Katie Couric. This program is hugely important to ABC, the daytime division of which remains in dire need of exciting new blood after the departures of syndication superstars Regis Philbin and Oprah Winfrey; the cancellations of long-running soap operas "All My Children" and "One Life to Live"; the lukewarm response to "The Chew," the bland cooking show that replaced "AMC," and the embarrassing failure of "The Revolution," the ill-formed show that replaced the vital and popular "OLTL."
Well, well, well. It looks like the London Olympics might end up demonstrating - in a way that all the detailed viewing reports from TV researchers never seem to make clear - that people still like to watch a lot of TV.
To make a judgment call off pilots alone, which is not necessarily an advisable course of action but is nevertheless the way much of the television business and related industries operate, the most exciting new series coming to the broadcast networks in the 2012-13 season are once again slated for midseason. It's not that there aren't other promising shows coming to broadcast in the months ahead. But right now, "The Following" and "The Carrie Diaries" both look to be something extra special.
Automatic content recognition (ACR) is an idea whose time has come in a multiplatform media environment. Here's how it works: Imagine that a TV viewer is watching a network while using her iPad, and a commercial airs. ACR recognizes that the ad is on and can then display complementary programming or advertising automatically on the iPad. ACR will also enable programmers to know that their content was consumed on both devices simultaneously, thus potentially facilitating measurement as well as minimizing any audience fragmentation impact.