Former Senator Fred Thompson, most recently an actor on "Law & Order," will give some TV stations some pause. He intends to announce he'll become a presidential candidate -- thus triggering an FCC rule that TV stations and local cable operators -- but not necessarily broadcast or cable networks -- give equal time to political candidates no matter what the venue: talk shows, news shows, or even fictional entertainment dramas.
"Kid Nation" sounds too adult for CBS -- perhaps too scandalous.Brad Adgate of Horizon Media says if you put the same show on Nickelodeon, the Disney Channel, or any other kids' network, you'd have what appears to be a harmless reality TV show. But not on CBS. "In prime time, it's different," he says. Now you have kids in the adult world.
History was made this summer by a cable network -- but if you are an advertiser, you can't really buy into it. The Disney Channel averaged 3.1 million viewers during the summer -- more than any other network in the history of cable. But marketers can't buy much of the Disney Channel because it doesn't run commercials.
TV program deals can fall through the cracks, with participants losing their grasp -- becoming all thumbs. That isn't the case with film critic Roger Ebert's efforts to negotiate a new deal for his long-time syndicated show, "At the Movies With Ebert & Roeper."
CBS's "Kid Nation" will be looking for TV advertisers that aren't kidding around. Television trade press reports have discussed possible child labor law violations, alleged child abuse, and other iffy issues concerning the reality show. Couple this with the question of kids trying to act like adults -- or better -- and you have one interesting marketing question: How does an advertiser look to engage viewers in this TV show?
Years ago, when cable television was in its infancy, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Russell Baker wrote in The New York Times: "We now have 180 channels for material already inadequate for twelve." Why, then, if the average consumer isn't watching appreciably more television than when Baker first tried to program his Sony Betamax, are so many online news sites carrying so much of the inanity and "inside baseball" nature of television news?
I must admit, I found myself eagerly anticipating "High School Musical 2" along with all of the tweens and their families. I enjoyed the show when it aired -- but then I realized that something was missing.
Last week, citing a general malaise surrounding the production, upheaval and dissension in the cast and crew, negative feedback from critics, and a lack of sustainable financial resources, "American Idol" was cancelled. More specifically: "Idol: The Musical" was cancelled -- after one night on Broadway. Yeah, I got excited, too, when I first heard the news. Is this an omen perhaps?
Start your Olympic motor -- but leave it in neutral. It's never a good sign when a major sponsor like General Motors decides to skip a major TV-sports-marketing event like the Summer Olympics.
From my home in Tulsa, Okla., the drive to Southern Hills Country Club and the PGA was only five miles away, but as breathless and surprised weathermen kept telling me, it was hot out there; so, instead, I cracked open a plastic bottle of water, and stayed in front of the television....