What's up with MTV? More executive changes at the seemingly never-ending continuation of the upheaval started when Philippe Dauman replaced Tom Freston as Viacom's chief executive. MTV is letting several executives go and reassigning several others as part of a reorganization under new programming chief Tony DiSanto.
Should one aspire to a legacy in television? Only as much as one should pursue business and ethics, or military and intelligence.
Now we know why NBC didn't make many changes this upfront season: because the fourth-place network will have a new head of entertainment soon to put his imprint on things.
This season, there is a lot of blame going around about the big drop in network broadcast ratings -- DVR time-shifting and the Internet chief among them. But how about this other angle from David Poltrack, chief research officer of CBS Corp, speaking to The Hollywood Reporter: "This was a spring where the networks were not reinvigorated with new programming as in years past. Hence, more repeats. This led to some lowering of overall viewing levels." Yes, just blame bad programming.
Now it's the eve of upfront market -- and cable networks still haven't figured out how they will ink advertising business, according to a number of media research executives. Commercial ratings? Old program ratings?
This is the time of year when many TV shows come to a screeching halt; or, more drastically for some, as if a car traveling 70 mph hits a wall, with all the characters dying at the same time. Lots of shows end this way each year. This year the new and the old -- "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," "Jericho," and "Veronica Mars" -- stopped almost in mid-sentence.
Do movie companies have the upper hand in this upfront? While networks have been circling the wagons around the deal-making viewer metric of commercial ratings and three days of DVR playback usage, all admit they will have to make some concessions in this upfront when it comes to movie companies.
With failing TV-based retail ventures behind them, both Discovery Communications and Disney have realized that selling TV brands stops at the mall.
All the joking, backslapping and boozing is over at the upfronts. Now comes the real work for media buying executives -- picking the contenders, the pretenders and the bitter-enders.
TV shows, violence, and kids, have always been a misunderstood trio. With that in mind, here is a conclusion that wouldn't seem damaging to the TV industry: Aggressive children tend to want to watch more violent shows. That would seem to say that TV, in itself, didn't cause kids to be aggressive. That isn't as bad as this assumption: Non-aggressive children become violent by watching violent shows.