In this season of the TV writers' strike, networks executives have laser focus on the only thing that matters -- and it isn't their golf game. It's convincing TV viewers that there are high-quality TV shows on the air.
Do you have "role of scale"? You'd better; otherwise you might not have a job for long in television, advertising or entertainment.
Trash TV makes money. And, now your old TV sets, turned into trash, can turn into cash....
Is the skank back in big-event TV, in this new WGA-strike TV world? Some are trying. Victoria's Secret is returning as a Super Bowl advertiser for the first time since 1999. While company products may not be skanky, you can make an argument for cheap, obvious, clichéd women in lingerie. There is no question about GoDaddy.com.
Weinstein Company, United Artists, and Worldwide Pants have given the Writers Guild of America something in their recent respective deals. Exactly what, no one knows. Have they succumbed to what some executives are saying are "ugly nerds"?
Will TV consumers abandon cable systems for Internet-capable TV sets? This all seems like a big jump; but remember, entertainment consumers saunter. Cable operators used to fear that the satellite distributors would be their biggest threat. To a lesser extent, the immediate threat comes from phone companies-backed IPTV and IPTV-like programming services.
Concerning NBC and Hillary Clinton, don't believe the usual polls. In NBC's case, don't believe the conventional wisdom that a cheesy, syndicated athletic pumped-up show over a decade old can't be resurrected, or that it can't give a fourth-place network a surprising early 2008 lead. In Ms. Clinton's case, don't believe political estimates and pundits know everything. Predicting the outcome of political races seemed to be taking the fun -- and drama -- out of good TV coverage in recent years. It's too scientific.
The Golden Globes are only the start. Who will ultimately win for the award for best no-show awards show? The Grammys? The Academy Awards?
Las Vegas -- TV affiliate meetings, NATPE, and advertising upfront presentations be damned. The International Consumer Electronics Show wants to be the new place for traditional broadcasting, cable and syndicated TV producers. And it has an awful good chance of becoming the new conference home to these TV businesses.
After watching one poorly executed, scripted network program the other night, my wife (who'd been rolling her eyes throughout) finally made this remark: "Writers are on strike since December? Seems like a lot longer." Maybe it all makes sense. Broadcast ratings have been dropping by double digits for some time -- even before the strike. Consumers now have the ability to pick and choose the programs they like and fast-forward through the crap they hate -- and not just commercials. The industry has been in turmoil, and maybe the networks have one thing right: TV's problems run deep.