After the events of the last 24 hour hours, some TV marketing executives have already come to a no-brainer decision: Paris Hilton should run for office. CNN's airing of Hilton's exclusive interview on "Larry King Live" brought in 3.2 million viewers -- three times the show's normal average. Even more important, that number outdrew CNN's recent presidential debates -- for both Democrat and Republican deliberations.
The biggest question for media buyers concerning MTV's moves in the coming weeks: Is this enough?
Stopping violence on TV by governmental mandate? That would be like trying to stop any widespread behavior, according to Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), speaking at a Senate committee hearing on violence."We tried it once," he said. "It was called prohibition."
When it comes to new music reality shows, maybe Fox, instead of remembering a song's lyrics, should just hum a few bars. After NBC announced that it would debut "The Singing Bee," where contestants would compete to remember song lyrics, this summer, Fox then announced a similar show, "Don't Forget the Lyrics."
At $9 million to produce, Michael Moore's "Sicko" doesn't have the biggest advertising budget. But, hey -- does it really need it? Film producer/distributor Harvey Weinstein, the master of spin for any movie, spun "Sicko" nicely to some big, controversial noise.
In the fierce competition for whatever is left of network news, no one will admit to paying for high-priced, high-celebrity interviews -- especially for a sit-down with Paris Hilton. Yet newspapers such as the New York Post say NBC will get to do just that with jailbird Hilton once she leaves the big house in a couple of weeks -- all for a cool $1 million. The New York Times then reports this: "The spokeswoman for NBC News, Allison Gollust, insisted, however, that 'NBC News does not pay for interviews -- never have, never will.'" Does someone have a bad-boy, ...
The Kaiser Family Foundation wants TV commercials to better target their specific audience --- all to keep kids from getting the wrong message. In a perfect world of micro-targeted niche networks, all this would make sense.
TNT should be proud: its original series "The Closer" outdid itself, improving 11% in viewers for its premiere this season by some 8.8 million -- more than any other original series in the history of advertising-supported cable. But wait. That episode was commercial-free, sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales for the Toyota Camry. So, it wasn't the highest in the history of advertising-supported cable, it was the highest in the history of basic cable programs with no TV commercials.
Let me get this right: A report said NBC executives courted the popular Jon Stewart and his agent with dinner and this proposal: We would be interested, if you were available. That's like the New York Knicks' brass having dinner with Kobe Bryant and his agent, and saying if he were available, they might have a spot for him on the team.