• Reality Round-Up: 'American Idol,' 'Q'Viva! The Chosen,' 'Dancing With The Stars,' And More
    My column last week about the mentor issues swirling around Fox’s “American Idol” was already in production when the show seemingly proved me right. Talented Erika Van Pelt submitted to a wholesale image change (from sporty blond with shoulder-length hair to intense Kris Jenner mode) and was promptly voted off by an audience that was likely thrown by her dramatic and perhaps alienating makeover. Van Pelt may not have been a front-runner to win the competition but she was far from the most deserving to get tossed after last week’s performance show. At least she made the top10; that’s what …
  • Return-Path Data Lexicon: Drifting
    How often do we look at a clock and realize that the time is slightly off? This occurs on occasion with computer clocks and set-top boxes (which are also computers to a certain extent). The cause of Clock Drift may have to do with the speed of processors, or service gaps or tuner mistakes. While next week we will review terms to correct this phenomenon, this week we list all the terms related to Drift in its many forms:
  • Media Insights Q&A With Experian Simmons' Ken Wollenberg
    Ken Wollenberg, president/general manager of Experian Simmons, has a range of measurement experience from MRI to Nielsen to Arbitron, which led to his current position at Simmons. In my interview with him. Ken talks about the pros and cons of STB data measurement, research quality, and the modeling and hybridization of STB data and other big data sets -- especially as it applies to Experian and the future of media.
  • American Idol': Are All Those Mentors Helping Or Hurting The Contestants?
    One of the best moments in what has proven to be a decidedly uneven season for Fox's "American Idol" came this past Wednesday on Billy Joel Night, when contestant Phillip Phillips took the stage. He sang his own very distinctive rendition of "Movin' Out" -- and nailed it. Significantly, he did so by sticking to his own instincts and flatly ignoring the advice he had received earlier in the week about his performance style from "Idol" in-house mentor Jimmy Iovine and guest mentor Sean P. Diddy Combs. He also rejected the styling advice he received from the newest member of …
  • Return-Path Data Lexicon: 'Average' Reach Metrics
    As with last week's column on Average Frequency, we examine the definitions of Frequency's companion metric, Average Reach. Interestingly, while Average Frequency definitions include interactivity components, so far the various definitions of Reach tend to remain television-centric. This might be because it is much harder to measure unique, unduplicated usage across platforms.
  • Recapping The Recappers
    Maybe you've heard this already, but a new season of "Mad Men" is returning to television Sunday night. But it's not just the TV show that's back; this will also mean the return of the "Mad Men" recappers.
  • AMC's 'Talking Dead' Effectively Enhances The 'Walking Dead' Experience
    "That episode is going to require some recovery and therapy," said a happily stimulated Chris Hardwick during the opening moments of last week's edition of "Talking Dead," the live AMC talk show telecast every Sunday following new episodes of "The Walking Dead." As was undoubtedly true of millions of viewers, agreeable host Hardwick was so worked up over events in last week's senses-shattering show -- the penultimate episode of "Walking Dead's" sophomore season -- that he could barely contain himself.
  • Return-Path Data Lexicon: 'Average' Frequency Metrics
    Continuing from last week's discussion of frequency (Return Path Data Lexicon: Frequency) is an examination of terms regarding average frequency. It is interesting to note that because of datapoints such as trick play and connectivity in the return path, it will become possible to combine television behaviors such as viewership with interactive behaviors such as click-throughs. Set-Top-Box data can help expand the measurement of content, as we see in the following average frequency definitions:
  • Netflix: The King Of Comedy
    In any given week, there’s only a handful of first-run comedies I really want to watch: “The Office,” “Modern Family,” “Parks and Recreation,” “30 Rock,” and “New Girl.”  Yet thanks to an unexpected source -- Netflix -- I find myself watching more TV comedy that ever before. Yes, Netflix --  the same service I was on the verge of cancelling last year because of its poor selection of movies -- is now the place to go for quality time-shifted television. The New York Timesreported two weeks ago  that TV series now account for more than half of all …
  • TNT's 'Southland' Is The Season's Most-Improved Show
    The year is still young, but my early choice for most improved returning series of 2012 is TNT’s gritty cop drama “Southland,” currently finishing up its fourth season. I can’t recall another series that made several key changes so far into its run and emerged much better than it had ever been. Beginning with its first season, which unfortunately was on then hit-repelling NBC, this saga of Los Angeles detectives and street cops was too grim and serious for its own good. That’s not to say that its cast and production values weren’t always first-rate. But in its efforts to …
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