• TV Upfronts: Two Jimmys, One Party -- And Little Excitement
    Now late-night TV will have two Jimmys -- Kimmel and Fallon. Shouldn't all networks have one? They should -- especially if they can offer up these sharp observations on the TV business of advertising: "TVs are bigger than ever, kids are fatter than ever, and gas has never been more expensive. We have the whole country on their couches right now. If we can't sell them stuff, we should all be ashamed of ourselves." That was Jimmy Kimmel at the ABC event.
  • CW's Leasing Sunday Night Time Slots
    To some TV programmers, CW selling off its entire Sunday night prime-time lineup is nothing less than giving up. To others, it is a prudent business decision in a difficult time for the network. CW can't figure out how to charm its young viewers on Sunday, so it's handing the keys over to TV production company Media Rights Capital, which has bought out the network's three-hour time block. It's rent-a-network time.
  • Viewers Favor Product Placement Over Commercials -- But What's The Tipping Point?
    A new poll by Entertainment Weekly shows three out of four TV viewers prefer product placement over commercials. What EW didn't survey was whether TV viewers would mind seeing 20 different product placements over 40 minutes of program content -- or around one every two minutes -- every night for every TV show.
  • TV Upfront's Bonfire: Ringing Five Alarms
    The upfront is here -- because we smell the smoke of number-crunching laptops. Merrill Lynch says this upfront may be all up in flames -- with the chance that revenues could dip as much as 14% for the broadcast networks, to $7.73 billion, and cable down as much as 3%, to $7.45 billion. Start pointing your fingers for what's to blame: the recession; the writers strike; and/or dramatically
  • NBC Makes A Leap To 24-Hour Local News Channel
    You can easily make a case that the Internet and other digital options are eating into local TV stations' advertising revenues. So NBC figures to grab more --- not less -- shelf space. It will be starting up a local 24-hour digital news operation under the NBC banner through its New York City outlet, WNBC's new digital signals. It'll run on local cable systems' digital tiers.
  • Just A 'Baby Chimp': Sinclair CEO Pooh-Poohs DVR Impact
    Sinclair Broadcast Group's CEO David Smith says DVR usage has had little impact on his stations -- all of which seems to be some narrow TV watching. Take look at the networks' current May sweep period, which has seen ratings drop by an alarming 20% or more. You can't blame all of this on the cable networks, or even the Internet. Those ratings are being time-shifted -- a lot. But not with Sinclair, apparently,
  • NBC Goes Long For Advertisers In Next Year's Super Bowl
    Think about a better plan NBC could have worked out for trying to dramatically raise the price of a Super Bowl commercial spot -- instead of using The Wall Street Journal as its sales sheet.
  • Now, In Daytime, CW Targets Older Women Viewers
    Just when you thought the network, The CW, was in trouble, it opens up another daypart and another demo -- original programming in daytime for older women viewers. The CW Television Network is teaming up with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution to create a daily two-hour afternoon 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. programming block -- a new one-hour TV court show, "Judge Jeanine Pirro," as well as two half-hour off-net comedies, "The Wayans Bros" and "The Jamie Foxx Show."
  • At End of Broadcast Season, Tension Builds: Where Are Viewers?
    It's May -- and where are all the big TV shows? The May sweep should be the biggest month of the year, with season and series finales and maybe even a few network show finales. But "Grey's Anatomy" was down 9% from its first airing in the May sweeps; "Lost" was down 8%; and "American Idol" was off 5% versus the week before (which wasn't in the May sweeps).
  • TV Programming's A Bloody War -- But Don't Let Your Boss Find Out
    Viacom and CBS Chairman Sumner Redstone doesn't like blood on his hands -- and, if he had his way, his network wouldn't be airing a mixed-martial arts fighting series.
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