• Bush Interrupts Sweeps Week
    Shrewd programming moves got President Bush a plush press conference time slot during the all-important first day of the May sweeps. This seems to suggest White House officials not only know their Social Security, Osama bin Laden, and Iraq issues - but also a thing or two about audience flow and lead out programming.
  • Keep the TV on and Set Your Parental Controls High
    Poor cable industry - it never gets a break. When the business isn't under attack from new technology competitors, government regulators take a swing. After years of fighting the incursion of satellite distribution and federal concerns over monthly consumer price hikes, some congressmen want to put the business in the same indecency regulations arena as broadcasters.
  • Worshiping Idols - Fox and ABC News
    ABC News has been planning to glom onto the "American Idol" juggernaut by airing a segment suggesting the show's producers and host manipulate the show's results. Fox is having none of it, according to Matt Drudge. The Drudge Report says Fox is threatening legal action should ABC air the segment next week during the all-important May sweep period. Fox believes ABC News is looking to 'maliciously destroy' the nation's most-watched TV show.
  • All Bets Are Off
    TV viewers always root for the underdog; it makes for a better story and drama. But once you become the main dog, all bets are off.
  • Cable Networks: The Brand That Bends
    History shows many cable networks will turn into something they didn't intend. A&E was originally positioned as a high arts and entertainment channel -- now it's a general interest entertainment network. MTV ran music videos, but now hardly airs one, preferring straight-ahead programming such as "Pimp My Ride."
  • Paxson Goes Back to Infomercial Roots
    When failing to program a network, just let small-time advertisers take your channel to infomercial-land.
  • Cruising for a Branded Entertainment Bruising
    Rushing for branded entertainment? Make sure no one gets hurt in the process - or at least have your floatation device strapped on tight. The storm-battered Norwegian Dawn, which was quickly making its way back to New York from the Bahamas, was scheduled to shoot an episode for "The Apprentice," according to the New York Post. The show's producers, Mark Burnett Productions and Donald Trump Productions, planned to pay the Norwegian Cruise Line a $1 million fee for the use of its ship.
  • NBC Reloads Like the New York Yankees
    Just weeks before the start gun goes off in the upfront network race, the wild card network in the event is showing that it has at least two pair. NBC got rid of "The Today Show's" executive producer, Tom Touchet, a day after it plunked down $600 million a year to bolster its primetime lineup with NFL "Sunday Night Football."
  • "Monday Night Football" to ESPN: Everybody Dance Now
    New Walt Disney Co. chairman Bob Iger has passed his first completion - shifting ABC's legendary "Monday Night Football" package to its cable network ESPN. NBC also had good play at the line scrimmage. It figured out the right time to get back into NFL football - after a six-year hiatus - in getting the Sunday Night Football package. ESPN currently has the package of games.
  • Viewers Get to Work, Fox Needs Your Marketing Skills
    For TV networks, Fox is creating a marketing campaign viewers can create themselves. It's a mandatory request - otherwise the show will be cancelled. The show is "Arrested Development" -- and Fox has started its own grassroots campaign to try and revive it for another season. In this case, viewers become local street teams - the people actually doing the marketing work.
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