So you're getting an audition on NBC's "America's Got Talent." You fly into L.A, and you prepare the night before. What do you do next? Some Ecstasy, of course -- as well as misplacing your wife. You perhaps think she's dead. But you go to your audition anyway. No, this is not an episode of "CSI" or "Castle" or "The Closer". This is what happened to Joe Finley and his now-departed wife -- at least, according to TMZ.com.
Who knew that Cablevision already makes lots of money by running Fox TV programming? At least that's what Kevin Reilly, president of Fox Entertainment, says. What Reilly was in fact talking about at a recent industry luncheon in Los Angeles this week was viewership. He says Cablevision video customers pay around $15 a month for broadcast-network retransmission -- which, I'm guessing is about a third of their overall monthly video bill. Why a third? Because that's around the share levels the broadcast networks have these days. No, it isn't the 50% or 60% of years ago, but still 30% is …
CW says a whopping 95% of its online commercials are being seen to completion. Ready to buy in? A better statistic for the CW isn't whether all its commercials were seen in their entirety, but whether viewers made it until the end of the episode. Were they happy Internet users of "Gossip Girl" and those advertising messages -- or just plain vanilla users?
Who -- or what -- is driving the TV advertising market these days? TV networks, marketers -- or perhaps an individual day of the week? It's a complicated formula.
As a marketing tool, TV networks want their programs to be "searched" for on the Internet -- but not at the expense of ruining their existing financial system. Meanwhile, Google wants network programs to be connected more fully to the online world, saying that's what consumers want. TV networks say, not so fast.
Are sports on TV becoming more like a TV reality show? That's what at least one coach is suggesting. TV critics complain that massive editing help give reality TV the "drama" it needs to draw in viewers. But business gets in the way as well. Cast members may need to talk up a makeup brand on "America's Next Top Model" or a new Burger King meal needing marketing help on "The Apprentice." "Cast members" on sporting events might have to do their part as well when not enough of those 20 some-odd commercial breaks get into a telecast.
For a long time the myth has been that Hollywood is pushed by one demographic. Actually, for most movies, that's not the case. But then we have Paramount Pictures and MTV Films' "Jackass 3D." After weeks of middling theatrical openings, we get an eye-popping $50 million opening weekend. In mid-October, no less! Who's responsible for this activity? Young men, of course.
NBC's critics might be having a party this week: NBC's new 10 p.m. shows are doing worse than "The Jay Leno Show" was doing in the same time slot a year ago. Of course, we all might forget that "Leno" was doing worse than the shows he replaced a year before that.
TV success is all relative, and cable and broadcast network shows are still distant cousins. Veteran TV analyst Steve Sternberg makes an excellent point on what is successful and what isn't in broadcast and cable. The most glaring example is that Fox's "Lone Star" pulled in more viewers than "Mad Men" -- yet "Lone Star" was an obvious and quick failure. How is that?
Loud consumer-marketed retransmission campaigns might seem more focused in their attacks these days. But the picture gets blurrier for viewers and consumers. What brands get hurt here?