Get ready for Ryan Seacrest to interview an animated bunny on E!'s Red Carpet coverage before the Academy Awards. For contestants on NBC's "Celebrity Apprentice" to come up with a campaign for the character. And Comcast phone customers to get free 411 calls if they're willing to listen to his voice.
The NBC morning show asked Friday at what point CBS becomes an "enabler" in Charlie Sheen's troubling behavior. Both an addiction expert and author of a book on crisis communications, Steve Adubato, said the network has been part of the problem for a while and needs to change course. For the 45-year-old Sheen, if CBS or Warner Bros. were to invoke some kind of morals clause and terminate him, he may have trouble getting another job.
The evolving nature of bedfellows and bed-foes in the entertainment ecosystem is moving at a pace faster than Xfinity Mbps. The marriages and break-ups are hard to keep up with. Time Warner Cable and Disney battle publicly over rights fees, then reach an agreement. Disney reaches a breakthrough deal with Netflix, while a large cable operator is questioning Netflix's long-term viability.
Israeli company SeamBI has an intriguing platform for virtual placement opportunities. A McDonald's logo can be pasted on a bag in the background during "How I Met Your Mother," a Chrysler image on a calendar hanging behind Jason Lee's character in "My Name is Earl." Local brands can be inserted as well. The great selling point is the opportunity for localism.
It's hard to argue with Leslie Moonves' strategy to restrict digital distribution of CBS content. Even as Hulu formed and Netflix streaming emerged, the CBS chief held firm that he wanted CBS to maintain control of the company's content, not license it to another party.
At NAPTE, Jeff Zucker and Ben Silverman spoke candidly about their futures, while Silverman discussed the limitations on entrepreneurship he faced in his tenure at NBC. He noted that silos in big-company structures kept departments from talking to each other, making new initiatives difficult.
When Skip Bayless left sports writing in San Jose to join ESPN, he told readers he had always hungered to move to New York and play for the Yankees. Referring to ESPN's dominance and budget, he said that "ESPN has become the Yankees."
Dear America: hold on, don't let her go. She's nearly 78. You've embraced Betty White -- why not Joan Rivers? Sure, she's easy to lampoon; there's more material than Snooki or Sheen, but in between her new reality show and the "Fashion Police," the 2010 documentary "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work" is a revealing look at the woman behind the laugh lines.
A federal judge's decision striking down charges that Nielsen runs a monopoly makes it clear that the company will always provide the currency in the national TV market. Decades-long speculation that a viable challenger will overtake Nielsen can simply end. Stick a fork in it.
A certain type of conversation that broke out during the Golden Globes on Sunday highlighted once again why this is indeed a golden age of television. Call it the "never-heard-of-it" exchange. It's been filling up dinner parties for some time, while breaking out over cubicle walls in the workplace. Even a decade ago, though, there was barely a trace of it -- really no need for it.