Television always looks for the out-of-nowhere hits in the sometimes-sleepy summer period. And Current TV, with Keith Olbermann's new show starting in a few days, hopes to wake things up.
Low salaries for well-known actors? How should the average TV viewer feel about this? The answer depends on the current sentiment -- which can change swiftly.
A couple of years ago, a TV network marketing executive lamented to a reporter about all the fuss that goes into currying the favor of TV critics at the twice-a-year cushy TV Critics Tour presentations: "We feed them. We entertain them. And then they all rip into our shows. Does this make sense?" Well, no. But that's the nature of entertainment marketing and publicity. You win some, you lose some.
Take down the filters, and your ratings will go up. That's one theory, anyway. During a recent Promax conference in Las Vegas, Joe Early, president of marketing for Fox Broadcasting, said there is more marketing impact when viewers don't expect messaging for new TV shows, when "they don't have their filter [sic] up."
Every Olympic event in the future will be seen live -- even if it starts at 2:30 a.m. on your local TV station, even if it's only on your tablet device. It is more of a transparent TV world, after all.
Successful TV shows are tougher to come by. Only 23% of shows from last year made it to a second season. That's down from 50% a year ago. What kind of reaction does this get from traditional TV advertisers? They mostly shrug their shoulders. Increasingly they expect shows to be canceled, knowing they'll then be offered options to continue their deals in the same time period for whatever the network puts on next.
Glenn Beck makes it easy to understand how some traditional TV shows can move to the digital TV world: Want a piece of me? You'll pay.
For Katie Couric it isn't a question of whether this is the second coming of Jane Pauley, but whether this the first coming of a newer kind of afternoon talk show. Launching a little more than a year after Oprah Winfrey's departure from syndication, Couric's afternoon talker from Disney-ABC Domestic Television will look to fill a gap -- if there is one.
Just moments after the Memorial Day weekend is over, my wife always asks me a telling entertainment question: "When will TV come back?" Well, I tell her, there are these cable networks with shows like "The Closer," "In Plain Sight," and "Drop Dead Diva" -- shows that you love so much, running this summer. "Yes, but when will TV come back?"
Taking a break from the upfront talks this week, one media agency executive mused about how far the business has come in 20 years -- since 1991. The key question, he says, is "What has changed in regard to upfront TV negotiations since then?" "Absolutely nothing," he answers.