• ABC's Lucky Number At This Year's Crap Table: Little Joe
    Forget the importance of being No. 1 for a TV network. Four could be a key digit for one network this fall. Descriptions of four of ABC's new fall programs say it all: all have four main characters.
  • NBC Offers Five New Shows, Still Saves Money
    NBC will give us five new shows next season -- but maybe it really wanted to give us six or seven. These are the network's new economics at work.
  • Nets' New-Season Motto: Help The Weak
    U.S. viewers have given broadcast networks an offer they can't refuse this season: return low-rated shows to schedules, or start up new shows with the likelihood they will do even lower ratings. No wonder Tony Soprano is not coming back -- business is tough all over.
  • If European-type Drug Probes Strike U.S. Sports, Marketers Will Sit On Bench
    In Europe, sports marketers have a way to get TV exposure for a tenth of the cost of buying traditional TV time. What is this great deal? It's product placement in professional road cycling. For around $7 million to $10 million, sports marketers can get attached to a mid-level pro team, which puts their corporate names on biking jerseys, bringing exposure in front of rabid TV viewers who watch scores of hours of live and taped European races from February through October. In recent months, it might cost sponsors even less than that -- but not for the best of ...
  • Albrecht Leaves HBO, But Entertainment Life Still Goes On
    As TV journalists we hear all the time how network executives are a "team," always deferentially spreading credit among all. When something goes wrong, however, there's really only one person to blame. All this usually ends with the big TV executive suddenly leaving to pursue "other opportunities," or to front some social networking site or fringe entertainment company that no one has ever heard of. HBO chief Chris Albrecht didn't get that kind of exit -- nor should he.
  • Potential New Home For 'Law & Order': Another Cable Milestone?
    We here at TV Watch can't decide how to describe the possible move of "Law & Order" from NBC to TNT. Will it be a coup for a cable network to grab the long-running procedural crime drama, or will the move be not much more than taking a network's sloppy seconds?
  • Comcast Looking To Stick TV Viewers Into Spider-Man Net
    If the most powerful cable operator in the land -- Comcast Corp. -- had its way, it would have sold "Spider-Man 3" this past weekend to homebound viewers for $50 a pop. Comcast wants movie studios to let it sell theatrical movies when they come out in theaters -- on a so-called "day and date'" schedule.
  • Mobile TV: Advertisers Mostly Idling
    Mobile TV entertainment may be the moving wave of the future, but right now advertisers, for the most part, are just idling at the traffic light. Though many studios -- from Warner Bros. to Fox to MTV Networks -- have produced new series or different versions of series for cell phone users, advertising has been slow-moving
  • If He Buys It: Murdoch Would Rebrand Fox Business Channel
    As big a brand as Fox is, even Rupert Murdoch knows the Wall Street Journal is a media brand on a whole 'nother level. He told the New York Times if his offer to buy the Journal is accepted, he'd like to figure out how to work the name into his soon-to-be launched Fox Business Channel. All that would give his new big network an even greater cachet.
  • Imus Should Run A TiVo-Proof Campaign; TiVo Should Run Away From Viewers' Habits It Created
    To listen to Don Imus and his attorneys, he broke no rules and should be given his job back. To listen to TiVo launch its new marketing campaign, viewers should break as many rules as possible.
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