Media: Tuning In
December 03, 2010
ABC News got a new leader today, but Ben Sherwood's tenure at the helm of this venerable institution might not be as storied and fascinating as his resume.
November 23, 2010
We've heard lots of talk about the need to invest in better scripted programming -- from all the broadcast networks. Now the networks are falling back on that most reliable of cheap substitutes, reality programming. You can blame viewers for the retreat.
November 17, 2010
Some of the most convincing ads for TV shows are the "scenes from next week" that typically appear in the last minutes of the program in question. Now ABC has decided to turn those promotions into advertising for someone else.
November 15, 2010
A bevy of mainstream advertisers lined up to support the debut episode of "Sarah Palin's Alaska" on Discovery Communications' TLC channel Sunday night. Our bet? Damping down Ms. Palin's political agenda and leavening her personality with nature trips and a little family soap opera worthy of any venerable reality program helped keep concerns about polarizing and partisan political talk at bay.
November 11, 2010
Reports of executive changes coming to NBC Universal as Comcast takes over shift every day, but all the chatter is beginning to suggest that Comcast likes how CBS has been handling its business. That means eschewing the sorts of narrowly targeted sitcoms and dramas that appeal to the modern urbanite -- think "30 Rock" or "Friday Night Lights" -- in favor of big broad stuff that reels in the masses.
November 10, 2010
The appearance of Microsoft's Bing search engine on the screen of an LG Electronics mobile device during this week's "Hawaii Five-0" delivers something other than an answer to a character's query. Instead, it's a sign of the advantage makers of tech gear and web services are enjoying over marketers of more traditional goods when it comes to placing products in TV shows.
November 09, 2010
Conan O'Brien kept the beard he's been growing ever since he departed from NBC's "Tonight Show" earlier this year. But there's something else he should consider shaving -- all the jokes about how he's been banished to basic cable and the tumult he once endured at the Peacock's hands. "This is an exciting night," Mr. O'Brien said during his monologue. "I'm glad to be on cable. The truth is, I've dreamed of being a talk show host on basic cable ever since I was 46." Ba-da-bump.
November 04, 2010
The latest study from the Alliance for Family Entertainment, a consortium of major advertisers, found that 63% of you hold advertisers responsible for what's on TV, up from 43% last year. And you mostly want escapism on TV, not serious dialogue on big issues. So why does TV with adult themes continue to spread?
November 03, 2010
Advertisers have long yearned to reach young viewers whose alliances with specific brands of deodorant, automobile or laundry detergent have yet to be established. So why are we hearing a steady drumbeat of media and advertising outlets warning marketers not to forget their elders?
November 02, 2010
For those curious about Conan O'Brien's new late-night talk show slated to debut next week on TBS, the comedian has posted a "warm-up show" online that he calls "Show Zero."
October 29, 2010
Anyone watching the World Series is getting an eyeful of ads that actually block the view of the game, at least for a few seconds. And sports on broadcast TV, unfortunately, provide a proving ground for ad tactics that eventually spill into comedies and dramas.
October 28, 2010
We knew Paula Abdul was about to launch a new dance competition on CBS in January, but what we didn't know was that her program will compete with Fox's "American Idol," a show she was associated with for years. Does CBS sense blood in the water?
October 27, 2010
"Law & Order" did a crossover with "Homicide: Life on the Street" and "One Tree Hill" did one too, with "Life Unexpected," but those were on the same networks. Why is the Dunder Mifflin crew on NBC's "The Office" having a viewing party for Fox's "Glee"? Separately, how much Charlie Sheen can "Two and a Half Men" take?
October 22, 2010
Three-quarters of new TV shows typically fail, and "Lone Star," "Outlaw" and "My Generation" have already joined that three-quarters of seasons past. So how did CBS manage to pick up all five of the new shows it introduced this season?
October 20, 2010
Ads and TV shows seem to go together like Mom and apple pie. A program segment ends, the ads begin, and harmony ensues. The last week, however, has seen two intriguing cases where the ads clash with the content they support in a strange way.
October 19, 2010
CBS CEO Leslie Moonves, the husband of "The Talk" co-host Julie Chen, appeared on the show in a taped segment yesterday wishing his wife well, but insisting that if "The Talk" doesn't perform well, he'll cancel it.
October 15, 2010
Much of KFC's big role in NBC's "Community" last night was dreamed up by show writers before NBC approached the chain about paying for the integration. But KFC could have made more of it with a heavier presence during the commercial breaks.
October 14, 2010
AT&T is heavily promoting Conan O'Brien's new TBS show before one episode has aired, a reversal of the typical model: buying ads during a show that's already popular. If you're watching the baseball playoffs, you've probably heard announcers call attention to a "Conan" blimp hovering above some of the games. You can thank AT&T for these "blimp moments" -- yes, that's right -- and countless other tactics to advertise the new show.
October 13, 2010
The Chilean miner rescue watched live around the world, and carried by all the cable news channels, was probably the most uplifting piece of news video in years -- almost enough to make you forget that live feed of the BP oil spill. But once the miners are out, cable news will revert to its normal, brutal competition.
October 12, 2010
Get ready for more ads online. The CW network, which raised eyebrows earlier this year by offering to sell packages of ad inventory in a combined TV-digital package, is preparing to release new research showing that people who view TV shows online don't need to be coddled with limited commercials. They'll sit through a more traditional ad break, the research is expected to show.