• The 2012-13 Season Starts Early, With Special Previews Of Two New NBC Series
    NBC's coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games begins in a few hours with its eagerly anticipated presentation of the opening ceremonies. But tonight's telecast may also be considered the beginning of something even bigger (if not necessarily better), because in some ways it marks the start of the 2012-13 broadcast season.
  • The Most Memorable TV Moments?
    The recent release by Nielsen and Sony of the 20 most memorable TV moments generated an enormous amount of news coverage, and why not? If there are two things that people love, it would be: 1) television, and 2) lists. I don't think the news media drew exactly the right conclusion from the study, though. According to Reuter, for example, the survey revealed "the most impactful TV moments of the past 50 years." This is almost certainly not the case. It would be a very strange world where news reports on the death of Whitney Houston (#11) are more "impactful" …
  • This Week in TV: More Drama From 'Idol' And Emmy
    Which one is the bigger television story this week: the announcement of the nominees for the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, or the latest round of entertaining turmoil that has engulfed the medium's most important show, "American Idol"? I'll go with "Idol," because as excited as media mavens will be during the next two months about this year's Emmy competition, "Idol" matters more to the audience, its network and all of broadcast television.
  • Media Insights Q&A With Ellen Oppenheim
    Ellen Oppenheim of Oppenheim Media Consulting began her career in media research at Y&R, and soon switched to media planning, where she benefited from the company's excellent training program. Her background spans such a wide swath of the industry that she likes to say that that she "has done everything that one can do in media that is legitimate; bought, sold, marketed and promoted all forms of media." In my interview with her, Ellen talks about her work at the MPA, the impact of second screen on print, the concept of engagement and what skill sets the next generation of …
  • Fearless Emmy Advice: Comedy Series
    Following last week's Fearless Emmy Advice for dramatic series, what follows are my thoughts about which shows and actors should be nominated this year in the comedy series categories, as well as my picks for the winners. It's my hope that voting members of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences will keep these suggestions in mind while poring through submissions for potential Emmy Award nominees.
  • The Question Of Cross-Platform Metrics
    There are two major research issues facing the industry now, as evidenced by the attention they received at the recent ARF 7.0 Insights Conference. One issue is how we define television, with the question being, "Is it the television set that forms the basis for the U.S. TV universe, or are sets no longer the best base on which to measure the ability to receive 'television' content?" The other, a corollary to the definition of TV, is, "What are the best cross-platform measurement metrics to use for the media industry?"
  • The Showrunner's The Thing
    The recent death of Andrew Sarris recalls a time when film criticism really mattered -- while simultaneously reminding us there has never been a television critic with his reach and intellectual influence. And that goes for his contemporaries Pauline Kael, John Simon and Stanley Kauffmann, too. Sarris, of course, was famous for popularizing the "auteur theory" of film criticism, which posited that the way to understand and analyze film is to regard the director as the "auteur," or author, of the work. Sarris had his pantheon of great filmmakers - Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Orson Welles, Jean Renoir, etc. - …
  • Fearless Emmy Advice: Drama Series
    While voting members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences are busy poring through submissions for this year's potential Emmy Award nominees, here are my thoughts about which shows and actors should be nominated in the drama series categories, as well as my picks for the winners. It's always very satisfying to assemble such lists, if only to acknowledge the best of the best, but it can also be quite challenging. This is such an extraordinary time for television content that it is often near-impossible to select only six nominees in each category, the maximum number allowed in the …
  • HBO's 'Newsroom' Milestone In Emerging T/V Business Model Continuum
    Last week's premiere of "The Newsroom" on HBO marked the return of Aaron Sorkin's special brand of premium television.It makes sense that Sorkin -- whose previous shows, "The West Wing, "Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip," and "Sports Night," aired on NBC, NBC, and ABC respectively -- has turned for the first time to pay cable giant HBO as distributor rather than traditional television networks. The initial financial commitment to a series like this requires a huge cash outlay, and content producers/distributors today must consider the cash-certainty of the business model they are working with.
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