• Network Marketing Slogans Look To Make Comeback
    NBC's new Thursday night marketing line, "Comedy Night Done Right" seems like a throwback to broader network brand campaigns of years ago -- either that, or a nod to current efforts at cable networks.
  • After Five Years Of Reality, MTV Reaches For A Script Again
    Imagine any network being characterized this way: "Faced with mediocre ratings for a number of its reality shows, [the network] has greenlit its first scripted series in five years." How could a network not attempt a scripted show? Are they just lazy? Are they just too cool? Are they cheap? Maybe. The missing name of the network in that introductory quote is none other than MTV.
  • Network Will Pay $24M To Learn Lesson About Educational TV
    Everything is back to TV normal: A big Hollywood studio film, "The Departed," won an Oscar for best picture -- and one network is allegedly trying to pawn off a TV show as something that it isn't.
  • Local TV Hopes For Electronic Billing -- In One Of These Decades
    It's amazing that in 2007 we are still talking about a proposed electronic system for advertisers to buy local and national spot TV. Electronic systems have been a topic of discussion for at least two decades. Now the TVB is taking the bull by the horn, developing its own electronic system, TVB ePort, and hoping that the National Association of Broadcasters will help fund the venture.
  • At ABC, 'Grey's Anatomy' Ready To Do Additional Operating
    ABC now thinks it has found its "CSI," its "Law & Order" --- the network is thinking franchise when it comes to "Grey's Anatomy." It is developing a spinoff for its big show. "Grey's Anatomy" creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes has perhaps the best reason for another "Grey's" show: She says there are way too many popular characters and not enough room for quality plot lines.
  • February's TV Picture: Some Disappointments, One Head-scratching Success
    February is the time of year in the TV season when prognosticators try to forget their big promises and hide their heads from unexpected overachievers. A very traditional-looking three-camera sitcom on CBS, "Rules of Engagement," about two couples and their wacky single friend, played by everyone's wacky single friend, David Spade, has head-scratchingly become the best-performing new sitcom of the year.
  • Teaching TV Violence: Where Do You Draw -- Or Fire -- The Line?
    Some U.S. Army generals are having a problem with all-too-graphic scenes on "24" -- those fictional torture scenes that give new recruits the wrong ideas. Producers on the popular Fox show say the show is there to "entertain." No matter. Now those producers say they are bored with the whole torture thing anyway -- and they'll look to make cutbacks. Perhaps they'll just tickle torturees with a feather instead -- and make them laugh to death.
  • Sports-Branded Entertainment Races, Looks To Avoid Crashing
    During the final moments of the Daytona 500, with Mark Martin in the lead -- and no teammates around to help -- one Fox commentator decided to riff off the name of Martin's car sponsor: "Right now, Mark Martin is an Army of One." Was there an audible groan from the audience? Did the Army get its money's worth -- or was it an over-the-top association? Product placement at its best -- and worst? <
  • Laughing At The News, Fox-style
    Fox News Channel says it's going comedy. Too late -- I've already been laughing for some time. I chuckle and appreciate those strong news opinions. Watching Bill O'Reilly, I can't help but laugh -- and continue to watch. Isn't that why it works? So Fox News is starting up a comedy-political show with the thought-provoking title "The ½ Hour News Hour," its version of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report." Conservative laughs at the expense of those crazy, two-faced Democrat and liberal technocrats. Go get 'em.
  • The Real Bottom Line For Streaming Video
    What's your average cable or broadcast network really pulling in advertising-wise for its digital video downloads and streams? The results may be a tad smaller than current headlines about the new business may be shouting.
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