If you're an NFL executive, can you get too much of a good thing? Your league scores a lot of points for having the biggest TV sport in terms of advertising revenues and ratings. Some advice: Give up the ball to your other teammates once in a while.
Networks don't debut TV shows on the very first day of the year, with one exception. HGTV bucks the no-debut trend, launching big shows and events on Jan. 1 that lean naturally toward domestication. Among them is the new series "Living with Ed," a reality show about actor Ed Begley, Jr. and his actress wife Rachelle Carson, showing off Begley's wacky life as a noted celebrity environmentalist.
Watching Rosie O'Donnell and Donald Trump fight last week was a reminder, as Woody Allen once said, that no matter how cynical you are, it's never enough to keep up. Not to question their sincerity (Trump called O'Donnell disgusting and fat; she called him a snake oil salesman and bankrupt), but they're also playing media outlets like substitute teachers, so forgive me for thinking both are enjoying this.
For the TV viewer--or executive--success depends on one's particular craving. TV nutrition can come from unusual places. Steamy, trashy sexy talk and women might not be the right meal. Just ask the folks at MyNetworkTV and their not-so-hot telenovelas. However, over at the Food Network total viewers are up 13%, while prime-time viewership has inched up 3%. A non sequitur, you say? That depends on your appetite.
What do the really rich people watch on TV? That's not a plum assignment for anyone to figure out. Plum is an entertainment company looking to build local cable networks and stations with the sole purpose of luring big-income viewers in really rich communities and resort areas.Mainstream networks are typically proud when touting big ratings among upper income viewers--$75,000 plus or $100,000 plus. But this would be chump change to the audience Plum is looking for.
It doesn't really matter if Viacom is in or out of a proposed YouTube-wannabe service backed by a consortium of networks. This has as much chance of surviving as a network television trade association or a new competing service to Nielsen Media Research. Big media companies and broadcast networks rarely get along in any industry-wide effort. Can you imagine them being partners in a joint video service?
We like TV math--and maybe viewers need more of it. As the year comes to a close, we take heart that there are TV producers who are willing to share with their audience what it takes to stay in the business.
PBS executives have humbly figured out they don't know what you want to watch. They have an easier way: You decide.
Judith Regan was fired from her HarperCollins publishing post last Friday, no doubt, in part, for her ill-advised project concerning O.J. Simpson. Does that mean the end of this type of project or for Regan? No way.
From the department of I-didn't-see-it-coming: CBS is getting back into the record business and Oprah Winfrey will start up two prime-time reality series.Perhaps CBS will buy the New York Yankees again.