The voting hasn't officially closed for the Emmys, but NBC decided to tout its Aug 29 broadcast anyway -- and that has some TV producers' knickers in a twist. NBC began running "Saturday Night Live" spoof TV ads featuring "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon -- also host of the Emmy Awards show -- playing a version of Don Draper from AMC's "Mad Men." This angered other TV drama producers looking for big awards, since "Mad Men" has won for best TV drama for the last two years.
Here's a TV Watch column about a significant news development, but you won't find any links to coverage about it. That's because no major news organizations have covered it. What's the news? It's a new Gallup Poll showing that American's confidence in TV news outlets remains at a record low. That's right, only 22% of U.S. adults say they have a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in television news coverage, a drop from 23% last year, and matching the all-time low the medium achieved in 2007, according to Gallup.
It's August. The lucky are watching the waves roll in and not moving a muscle. The less fortunate are shaking sand out of their cell phones before a quick conference call. Then there are the office-bound, maybe sweating marketing campaigns for the new fall TV season or debating whether social-media firms are worth it. So, before Jennifer Lopez, Shania Twain or Glenn Beck (perfect pick, more irascible than Simon) becomes the savior of "American Idol," it's time to look ahead to the TV biz this fall and forecast the leaders and bleeders. Forget the environment, print this out and check …
Okay, so those attributes aren't all that new, but lately it seems that the TV industry is more prone to pandering to personalities who simply lose control of their id and let it all hang out. How else to explain the two big stories circulating through the TV trade and consumer press: MTV's announcement today that it has invited rapper Kanye West back to the stage -- this time officially -- for its annual "Video Music Awards" telecast; and the way the TV news industry has obsessively covered the story about a JetBlue flight attendant who went berserk.
By dint of jealousy or other motives, the TV trade is littered with over-dogs the skeptical classes continually jab. Until NBC's new shows bomb this fall, maybe give Jeff Zucker a break. Two entities, however, can't seem to shake the punching-bag treatment: Canoe Ventures and Google TV Ads.
In the world of road cycling, it's customary, if not gentlemanly, to wait for your opponent if he has an unfortunate incident not related to his actual fitness level -- that is, if he has a flat tire, or another mechanical accident. I'm wondering if this should be applied to television. Maybe a TV executive has fallen on hard times unrelated to his actual working performance. Competing networks should wait... and wait... under order is restored. It's only fair.
And you thought just adding a pay component to the Hulu site -- HuluPlus -- was just to get more money from consumers? Nah. Seems one of the bigger pieces of the puzzles is getting more content providers to come aboard.
Everything in TV costs more than you first think it will. The Oprah Winfrey Network? Looks like that'll set back Discovery Communications, who co-owns it with Winfrey's Harpo Productions and operates the network, more than the expected $100 million.
A really bad review mixed with a pricey media buy: exactly a perfect match for any entertainment company executive. For example, Universal Pictures' mostly positively reviewed "Despicable Me" supposedly got into a bit of a mess in its home court: the Los Angeles Times. There, a crushing review was run in the same section as an elaborate print ad for the movie.
Does it matter that two broadcast and cable financial measures are still out of kilter? For years, we have listened to cable networks complain about not getting their fair share of advertising dollars -- that is, compared to what broadcasters grab. A 60% audience share by a cable network should yield 60% of the media dollars --- in theory. But what about the other side of the coin: distribution/cable subscriber fees? For a long time, cable networks have grabbed perhaps too high revenues in this area -- at least compared to the broadcast networks.