In TV land these days, it's not whether or not to bite the hand that feeds you -- it's the size of the bite. Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's "The Last Word" took some 13-plus minutes to dig into not just Donald Trump's theoretical run for the presidency, but into NBC executives letting the glaring media attention on Trump get to this level. He is critical of the network that probably knows whether The Donald will make good on his big promise.
Hulu couldn't do what Comcast's TV-based video-on-demand can: Offer current programs from all the broadcasting networks (including CBS, which Hulu doesn't have). Mind you, it isn't all current TV shows. Comcast's Xfinity TV On Demand service will have 32 of the top 50 network prime-time programs. And, as with other services, Comcast will offer only a few recent episodes -- four in Xfinity's case, as compared with five with Hulu.
Little surprise here: In the future, entertainment promotion -- from all participants -- won't be an option. Today, we find tweeting somewhat of a fascination. But with entertainment options multiplying almost every day, the need to get ahead of the noise becomes more important. Twitter as an entertainment marketing tool becomes more necessary.
NBC has enough problems. Now, with the potential presidential candidacy of Donald Trump, the future of one of the network's decently rated shows, "Celebrity Apprentice," could be in jeopardy -- and other marketing issues could come up as well.
These jobs aren't forever, Katie Couric told David Letterman recently. Being the main anchor of a big TV news broadcast used to be akin to a Supreme Court judgeship -- you held the job until basically you couldn't do it anymore. CBS' Walter Cronkite held the job for decades; so did Dan Rather. Couric? Just five years. We know her remarks to Letterman had a point. Those early evening newscasts aren't what they once were.
Influencing friends and business partners -- that's what it comes down to in modern TV dealing Fox's regional sports cable TV operation loaned some $30 million to Frank McCourt so his Los Angeles Dodgers could make payroll. But if not Fox, it would have been Time Warner Cable. That's one way to influence things.
What would be the psychological effects of cable's upfront ad revenues matching -- or exceeding -- the broadcast networks, as more than a few analysts predict? Short term? A small cheer. Long term? Cable still has a long way to go in other areas.
The business of television nurturing still seems to be looking for a new formula. Take second-year NBC show "Parenthood." It just had its season finale, posting a decent 2.5 rating among 18-49ers, up from its 2.1 rating the week before. At Mediapost's Outfront event recently, Bill Carroll, VP and director of programming for Katz Television Group, noted how NBC was slowly nurturing the 10 p.m. show. The trouble is that less of this nurturing goes on today.
Finally, a burnout over reality! "We heard a lot from viewers about how they felt that some programs were too manufactured -- that they could see the producers' thumbprint on the shows," Tom Calderone, president of VH1, recently told The Wall Street Journal.
Plenty of TV critics still complain cable networks are mostly just a bunch of reruns. That criticism isn't entirely wrong. But have you seen the broadcast networks lately -- and, more importantly, have you seen your DVR list of recorded shows?