What causes the departure of a network programming chief? Surely, low-rated shows are a big factor; conflicting personalities can also be a consideration. But most times it's a mystery. The departure of Stephen McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment, right before the start of the TV Critics Association meeting in Los Angeles could be a signal, that executives, like old magicians, will eventually run out of programming tricks.
Video is dead? Who knew? Actually, it seems "video is dead" as a retail business. Media analyst Laura Martin, speaking to small cable operators, said they need to move their businesses away from video -- and fast.
Wealthy viewers are often "light" TV viewers who typically are not exposed to specific brands. So marketers will often pay a premium to get access to such viewers. But what about years from now?
Some TV producers say the networks don't want good -- but sometimes modestly rated -- serialized shows like "Lost," "24" or "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" anymore. Is the same true for advertisers?
There'll be more talk, less romance -- and no Oprah -- associated with CBS next year. CBS is ready to start up a "View"-like talker featuring Julie Chen, veteran TV news journalist currently on "The Early Show" and "Big Brother" -- as well as actors/personalities Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Holly Robinson Peete, Leah Remini, and Marissa Jaret Winokur. All this is to replace the long-time CBS soap opera "As the World Turns."
WLS-TV Chicago's decision not to replace "The Oprah Winfrey Show" at 9 a.m. with another big, nationally syndicated show with a recognized host speaks volumes about the business, and the future of TV stations.
Where are the commercials for upcoming TV shows? Some analysts say it seems there are fewer promos around this summer season than in previous ones. TV marketers are increasingly counting on other areas to make up the slack. We speak, of course, of the big popular culture fan convention, Comic-Con.
Reality TV performers going out on strike? Something is wrong with that sentence. Couldn't the producers find some other "real" people? Is there a shortage I don't know about?
We've all grown accustomed to TV drama and sitcom stars working new-style programming content into branded entertainment commercials. You know the deal. After a particular segment, another scene appears -- one not necessarily associated with the show. The kicker usually comes with some line about how good this mobile phone is, or why this particular car is good and safe, or how yummy a particular food product is.
We have reached new ground in the 10-year-old history of modern TV reality shows: the death of a major cast member. Discovery Channel pulled in big numbers -- 8.5 million viewers -- for the rough world of crab fishing in "Deadliest Catch," all to watch how the show handled the death of Captain Phil Harris.