Nick the Knife: By reinvesting profits from huge cost-per-thousand increases into programming, Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite are staying on the cutting edge of kid's programming and cherry-picking the best of '60s and '70s reruns for the older folks.
I scream, you scream ....: Growing fascination with other people's tragedies has helped lift Court TV off the bottom rungs of the cable ladder. From the Menendez Brothers to O.J. to the next high-profile trial, the zany antics of that wacky criminal justice system are guaranteed to keep Court TV's ratings in an upward spiral.
Something completely different: Comedy Central has managed to cut through the clutter by creating cult hits like "Mystery Science Theater 3000" and slash-and-burn satire such as "Politically Incorrect." An offbeat marketing campaign has buyers buzzing; ads are way up.
Pat on the back: Family Channel is hell-bent on removing its image as the voice of the religious right. While "The 700 Club" still sits in the middle of daytime, prime time and late night, a new surge of original programming and more select use of "Bonanza" reruns has some buyers-and the public-taking another look.
Juiced up: As the world lurches from crisis to crisis, it always spells big ratings for a network dedicated to getting there first with the most. Throw in the O.J. Simpson trial and CNN is on an upswing again.
And the first shall be last: TBS seems destined to go the way of Pan Am.
It beat everyone to the punch and virtually created a category, only to get fat, lazy and vulnerable. Ad money may be up, but ratings are down. The lack of Braves baseball isn't helping Ted Turner's first-born and neither are reruns more cryogenically frozen in time than Walt Disney.
Roger that: NBC had better not miss any child support payments for
America's Talking because it isn't. In fact, nobody-least of all Madison Ave.-is talking about this network. The market for inside-the-beltway blowhards is a small one at best and C-SPAN brings them to us warts and all.
The verdict on VH-1's recent repositioning is still out and whether they will be able to cross-promote Lean Cuisine with Bubble Yum is an interesting question. Problem is, time waits for no one.
Moribundle of joy: Headline News' once-fresh format now seems like that episode of "Star Trek" where a rip in the space-time continuum has the
crew repeating their actions over and over. The cute tricks of a toddler get
a bit old by the time the child reaches puberty, and if Headline News wants
to attract new ad revenues, it better grow up in a hurry.