It's already incredibly hard to devise new TV channels with any originality these days. With nowhere left to turn, our TV leaders now turn to Hollywood's actors and directors to offer up some viewing referrals.
Put me in a half-nelson and body-slam me to a media plan! Wrestling's ratings may be down from the really big ratings of years ago, but it continues to be a good piece of the puzzle for some networks.
Aaron Sorkin, take note: This season's TV election ratings are up 20% versus that of 2002. It must be time for a political TV show. How about one about the back-office drama of a U.S. president?
Some prime-time TV writers don't seem to have their TV business jargon down. Or are they sending us a message?
In an episode of "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," Jordan McDeere, the president of entertainment for the fictional NBS network played by Amanda Peet, sticks to her guns, not caving to corporate pressures to remove a sketch called "Crazy Christians." Somewhat half-kiddingly, she says when the show does even better ratings, and the advertisers want to return, the network will just charge them more. They'll pay a "coward's fee."
Strangely, Comcast Corp. has agreed to carry the new business news cable channel from Fox, even though Fox hasn't definitely decided to develop one....
MyNetworkTV, the wannabe broadcast network, isn't even a wannabe cable network. MyNetworkTV not only doesn't register with broadcast viewers--but it would land below 15th place among cable networks. At a little fewer than 1 million viewers on any given night and an average .3 to .4 rating in the 18-49 demo, a TV station would probably be better off just running reruns of "I Love Lucy" or "Bewitched," says Jon Currie, president of Currie Communications, a West Coast TV station consultant.
Television executives seemingly don't grunt--but maybe they should. When things don't go their way, we don't hear from them much. Not much whining, either. We do hear some panting from time to time, as they move quickly from meeting to meeting.
There has been much talk lately about spending less on TV shows -- especially for those weak-advertising 8 p.m. time slots. Fox has another idea -- how about just spending less on the marketing of those shows?
All TV distribution is good--and growing. No one wins the day. It's one for all, and all for one.
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