There goes the neighborhood: CBS Television Distribution, the dominant player in the syndication business, has decided not to attend the annual NATPE syndication conference this year in Las Vegas. In recent years a number of major studios have downgraded their presence at the event. But with CBS this will be a shutout of sorts: no floor, no suites, no CBS executives anywhere at the event -- except for its international TV sales group.
To Jeff Zucker, some Internet platforms just equate to big CPMs, big headlines -- and chump change in terms of overall revenue. That's what the president of NBC Universal told New Yorker writer Ken Auletta on Monday, referring to what Apple's iTunes Music Store brought to the party for his TV shows. Zucker said it amount to just $15 million -- or approximately the craft services fee for "Heroes."
Joke all you want to about MyNetworkTV's microscopic ratings. Then look closer. What local media wouldn't want to be in their TV affiliates' place -- in an extra-hot TV advertising market where those stations don't get a broadcast network's or cable nework's usual number of minutes an hour of advertising time to sell? They get a massive nine minutes -- with MyNetworkTV getting five minutes to sell.
Comcast can float all boats -- cable operators' boats, that is. But when waters get rough those vessels tend to list. And that's what happened yesterday. On the heels of Comcast's stock sinking 10% to a 52-week low, a number of publicly traded cable operators also took on water.
n TV world, it's déclassé for any show to be called a "spin-off." Sounds like a throwaway, of sorts. Not too many TV executives will cop to this usable, but much maligned, TV term. They might use other snooty terms - "product extension" or "line extension." Still, ABC's "Private Practice" seems to be doing nicely -- as a spin-whatever show, about a character that used to be on "Grey's Anatomy."
Local California TV news stations have now done stretches -- 12, 14, and 16 hours at a time - in covering the dozen and a half major fires from San Diego to Malibu, and points north.That means no "Simpsons," no "Springer," and most or all, no advertising. People tend to forget that in true public emergencies TV stations will run wall-to-wall news coverage -- with no commercial and programming breaks. TV stations do lose money. But it reminds us why they are valuable, and why they can stand out from local cable outlets.
The CW is off to a slow, revealing start: Do those initials stand for Conventional Wisdom? It would work better if it got more young women 18-34 and 12-24 to watch its shows. Should it market itself with a stronger emphasis in that direction? Should the network offer up a little push, like The CW: Clever Women Welcomed or The CW: The Circumspect Women Network.
Take an unusual TV drama -- so unusual that it has musical numbers as a part of its story. Wouldn't you want to promote that new prime-time wrinkle? Not CBS. It decided not to show Hugh Jackman warbling like Elvis Presley or anyone in the cast of "Viva Laughlin" -- the show that debuted last Thursday. No music, no songs -- at least not in the on-air promos for the show.
Run for president and boost your brand awareness -- there's no better way to do so if you're hosting your own TV show. For Stephen Colbert and Comedy Central, it's a neat trick. Colbert, the funny man with the sometimes-malapropistic political style, says he's running for President.
Steroids, dog fighting, run-ins at strip clubs? Doesn't matter. The NFL survives -- and thrives. Most of the time.