Daily Marauder



The premiere Oct. 22 of Comedy Central‘s “The Jeff Dunham Show” attracted 5.3 million viewers, the most ever for a series debut on the Viacom-owned network. After factoring in showings later in the night, the series amassed an opening-day audience of 7.9 million viewers. The Hollywood Reporter (10/23)

Jeff Dunham

CNN, which invented the cable news network more than two decades ago, will hit a new competitive low with its prime-time programs in October, finishing fourth – and last – among the cable news networks with the audience that all the networks rely on for their advertising. (NY Times 10/26)

Microsoft is backing out of its sponsorship off Fox‘s upcoming “Family Guy” comedy/variety special. The software giant planned to sponsor the show to tout its new Windows 7 operating system. The special’s content, Microsoft says, “was not a fit with the Windows brand.” (Iwantmedia 10/27, Variety10/26)

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Bravo surged last Tuesday night as The Real Housewives of Orange County debuted season four at 10p with 1.37 million A18-49 viewers and 1.87 million total viewers. This episode drew in 51% more A18-49 viewers compared to the season three premiere on November 6, 2007 (1.37 million vs. 909,000) and Tuesday’s episode was the highest-rated Real Housewives franchise season premiere ever with both A18-49 and total viewers. Bravo also scored big viewer numbers with The Real Housewives of Atlanta: Watch What Happens Reunion Special at 9p, driving in 2.05 million A18-49 viewers and 2.81 total viewers. (Cynopsis 12/1)


Final estimates for the November Sweep will be out today and available tomorrow (delayed because of the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend), yet the early expectation is ABC will secure its fourth consecutive November sweep among A18-49 by a small margin. CBS should win among A25-54 and with total viewers while NBC will be in third place followed by FOX and The CW. However, all of the broadcast networks are expected to be down an estimated -9% in viewership compared to the same period in 2007, due in part to losing viewers to heavy political coverage on the cable networks earlier in November. (Cynopsis 12/1)

Only 5 million fans of Rosie O’Donnell tuned into her NBC variety show last Wednesday night — prompting Ro to pull the plug on “Rosie Live.” “There will b no more,” O’Donnell wrote on her blog. “No ratings. Bad reviews.” She ended her blog post with, “Still — a thrill 4 me.” (Iwantmedia 12/1, http://extratv.warnerbros.com/2008/11/rosie_live_canned.php 11/30)


With some exceptions, cable stocks are expected to continue to outperform market forecasts, according to this article. The theory is that when the economy turns south, people don’t stop watching television, using their computer or talking on the telephone, which is good news for triple-play-toting cable providers. The Wall Street Journal (11/29)


NBC has an unnamed procedural drama in its development pipeline from writer Frank Spotnitz with actress Gabrielle Union in the lead, reports Variety. The plot is about a detective (Union) who must move quickly to save a person’s life before it is too late. (Cynopsis 12/1)

While the broadcast networks are scaling back new pilot orders and opting to repurpose more content, their cable TV brethren aggressively are developing a record number of new programming projects, according to this report. Take a look at HBO, for instance: The pay-cabler has 20 comedies and dramas in the hopper. Variety (11/26)

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The Sci Fi Channel was the No. 1 basic-cable destination for viewers ages 25 to 54 in prime time with the premiere of its new original series, “Sanctuary,” on Oct. 3. With an audience of 2.7 million, it was the best debut for the network since “Eureka” in 2006. Multichannel News (10/7)

Citing declining ratings, FX pulled the plug on The Riches, reports Variety. The series ran over two seasons and experienced a -44% dip in ratings among A18-49 viewers during season two compared to the inaugural season. The Riches, featuring Minnie Driver and Eddie Izzard in lead roles was produced by Fox Television Studios and FX Productions. (Cynopsis 10/8)

A new take on the British comedy Absolutely Fabulous is in development for FOX, cites Variety. FOX handed Sony Pictures Television a script order with penalties attached. The new version will copy the original series, created by Jennifer Saunders, keeping characters Edina and Patsy, two over-the-top 40-ish best friends who party hearty and try to act young, while Edina’s disapproving teenage daughter looks on. The new edition though will be set in Los Angeles versus the UK. (Cynopsis 10/8)

Look for coverage of the World Baseball Classic next year across a full range of ESPN platforms including ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN2, ESPN2 HD, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN International, ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile Properties. Live simulcasts of 23 games begin on March 5, 2009 in the U.S. (Cynopsis 10/8)

Ad-supported MOJO HD will soon be shuttered by its distributor, InDemand. Owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox, InDemand confirmed it will only program MOJO HD through December 1, 2008, although some MSOs may chose to discontinue the channel much earlier, opting to use the channel space for other HD networks. (Cynopsis 10/8)

Tokyo Broadcasting System is suing ABC over the reality series Wipeout, claiming copyright infringement, per Variety. The Japanese broadcaster filed the lawsuit in the federal court in Los Angeles yesterday, alleging Wipeout took elements from three of its programs Takeshi’s Castle, Sasuke and Kuniochi. Takeshi’s Castle aired in the U.S. on TBS from 1986-89 and Sasuke has also been on TBS since 1998. (Cynopsis 10/8)

AccuWeather.com’s Weather On Demand service was picked up by AT&T’s U-verse IPTV platform in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas-Ft.Worth, Indianapolis and San Diego with plans to offer it to all U-verse customers in 2009. Customers can use the service to view current local weather conditions, get forecasts, view satellite imagery and access a range of data accessible by city, zip code or region. (Cynopsis 10/8)

Oceanic, a Time Warner Cable subsidiary, is the first major provider to offer services using ActiveVideo technology. ActiveVideo, whose products allow Web video playback on TVs, will power interactive cable features for Oceanic customers. Broadcasting & Cable (10/8)

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In September, Seth MacFarlane, creator of “Family Guy” on television, will unveil a carefully guarded new project called “Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy.” Unlike “Family Guy,” which is broadcast on Fox, this animation series will appear exclusively on the Internet. The innovative part involves the distribution plan. Google will syndicate the program using its AdSense advertising system to thousands of Web sites that are predetermined to be gathering spots for Mr. MacFarlane’s target audience, typically young men. Instead of placing a static ad on a Web page, Google will place a “Cavalcade” video clip. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/30/business/30google.html?_r=1&oref=slogin 6/30)

And. . .if you’re a Family Guy fan, this photo I took in RI over the weekend should have meaning.

Google just announced its odd Google Media Server, a Windows app that finds photos, music, and video and makes it available to DLNA devices like the PlayStation 3, XBox 360, and most Media Center PCs. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/06/27/google-goes-after-the-tv-with-google-media-server 6/27)

In an industry first, Sony Pictures’ hoped-for blockbuster “Hancock,” starring Mr. Smith as a bungling superhero, hits theaters on Wednesday and will be available — after its theater run but before release on DVD — over the Internet, directly to viewers’ television sets. That is, if they own a Sony Bravia TV with a Web connection. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/30/technology/30sony.html?ref=technology 6/30)

Yahoo once again makes the case to shareholders that its existing directors are better equipped to lead the company forward than an alternate slate proposed by Carl Icahn. (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/30/yahoo-makes-new-pitch-to-shareholders-as-stock-drops-further/index.html?ref=technology 6/30)

Streaming music service Rhapsody has joined the likes of Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Napster by launching an MP3 storeIts move to offer unprotected music downloads has been anticipated since last Fall when Real Networks joined forces with MTV and Verizon. The Rhapsody MP3 Store offers music from all four major labels (Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group, and EMI) at 99 cents per single and mostly $9.99 per single disc album.  (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/06/29/rhapsody-agrees-drm-is-dead-launches-mp3-store 6/29)

Apple’s iTunes will have more competition for consumers’ musical attention come August. The masterminds who started Hot Topic, a chain of clothing and accessories stores inspired by pop culture and music, have designed a digital-music store called ShockHound, which at launch will sell MP3s from at least three of the four major labels and hundreds of independent labels. ShockHound also plans to use MP3s to help increase sales of clothing and accessories carried by Hot Topic. (The New York Times 6/30)

And here I thought Hot Topic had died a silent but respectable death somewhere. . .

A key feature of Twitter has been down most of this week: Replies. The core Twitter service itself is alive, but the team took the Reply feature down on Tuesday when the service started to slow. As of now, Friday afternoon, Replies are still down.  Disabling certain features is Twitter’s recent attempt to keep their frail architecture from failing completely. They tried it out during Apple’s recent WWDC keynote and it worked, so they’re clearly using this approach more often now to deal with problems. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/06/27/conversations-come-to-a-screaming-halt-on-twitter-users-simply-move-to-friendfeed 6/27)

Twitter angers and annoys me generally.  I’m all for switching services but let’s be honest for a second here, Twitter still isn’t exactly mainstream unless you call new media fanatics typing away on their iPhones nervously twitching from too much caffeine mainstream.

EMI, which is looking less like a music label and more like a lawsuit label, is at it again. This afternoon they filed a lawsuit alleging “massive and blatant” copyright infringement by Hi5, VideoEgg and ten John Doe defendants to be named later. The core of the suit is over copyrighted EMI content that appears on Hi5, particularly music videos. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/06/27/emi-music-sues-hi5-videoegg-and-ten-defendants-to-be-named-later 6/27)

Need to schedule a meeting or phone call, but can’t agree on a time that is good for everyone? Try using When Is Good, a dead-simple Web app that does just one thing: zero in on a meeting time that is good for everyone without sending 20 emails back and forth. There are plenty of other apps that help you find a mutually convenient time time for meetings or events (such as Presdo, Scheduly, or Jiffle). But When Is Good strips the process down to its bare essentials. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/06/27/when-is-good-the-bare-bones-meeting-scheduler 6/27)

Ingenious.  I would LOVE to avoid the 10-plus e-mail streams surrounding even the most simple tasks like lunch or coffee.

Zemanta Pixie

May 20, 2008, 8:16 PM
Filed under: BROADCAST/CABLE | Tags: , , , , , , ,


The voice talents behind the characters on FOX’s The Simpsons have not made a deal with 20th Century Fox TV for the 20th season of the show. Per Variety, despite FOX announcing The Simpsons would be back on Sunday nights during last week’s upfront presentation, production is on hold until this talent deal is resolved which may force FOX and the studio to reduce the number of episodes to 20 instead of 22. Currently the cast is reportedly make $360,000 per episode and if the new deal comes to fruition they could each possibly make $500,000 per episode in addition to other bonuses. (Cynopsis 5/20)

Fox has greenlit a new series Hole in the Wall from FremantleMedia N.A., which is already a hit in several foreign territories.  Based on the video game Tetris, contestants standing on a platform are required to move their bodies into certain shapes so that the wall moving toward them with the cutout shape successfully passes by them.  If they are not in the right shape, the wall pushes them into the water. Fox has ordered 13 episodes. (Cynopsis 5/20)

HBO on Sunday night will premiere “Recount,” a dramatization of the 2000 presidential recount that eventually led to George W. Bush‘s first term in office and, for a short time, made “chads” water cooler conversation. The film stars Kevin Spacey and Denis Leary and does not pick sides on the controversial election: “The film is not about who should have won,” said screenwriter Danny Strong. “This movie is about our electoral process and gives us an intimate look at how this process went down in one particular state. And then it sort of asks the American people: Is this how you want to elect a president?” (Los Angeles Times 5/19)

Recount Trailer

Mark Greenberg, a 25-year cable veteran who was most recently with Showtime, has been tapped to run a pay-TV channel being developed by Paramount, MGM and Lions Gate Entertainment. The new company, expected to launch next year, will face rivals such as HBO, Starz and Showtime. (The Wall Street Journal 5/20, The Boston Globe/Associated Press 5/19)

AOL Time Warner ex-CFO John Michael Kelly and seven other former execs are being charged with accounting fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over their role in helping the company inflate revenue by more than $1 billion after AOL’s merger with the media giant. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.crainsnewyork.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080519/FREE/652695851/1057 5/19)

Sen. Barack Obama, in new public remarks, says he will make Big Media a target of his administration’s antitrust enforcers if he is elected president. Much of the Democratic Party base blames media consolidation for uncritical coverage of the Bush administration’s lead up to the war. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.thedeal.com/dealscape/2008/05/obama_would_target_big_media.php 5/19)

Senator Barack Obama

The White House is blasting NBC News for what it contends is “deceitful editing” of correspondent Richard Engel’s interview of President Bush. Counselor to the president Ed Gillespie asserts that the interview misrepresents Bush’s remarks concerning Barack Obama. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.tvweek.com/news/2008/05/white_house_blasts_nbc_broadca.php 5/19)

IFC has acquired the North American rights to South Korean action film “The Chaser,” about a man on the run from police as he tries to rescue a serial killer’s victim before it’s too late. The channel is expected to premiere the movie late this year or early next and make it available on its VOD platform as well. (Variety 5/19)

This looks amazing.  The important point to make here is that this is a TRUE story.  I can’t find a version of this trailer in English but even from the Korean version, you can tell that this is shot beautifully and filled with drama.

The Chaser Trailer

NBC officially ordered the new drama Kings to series yesterday, despite announcing back in April the drama was part of the winter schedule in the Sunday at 10p time period. Apparently, network executives had only ordered a two-hour movie but after viewing footage of the contemporary re-telling of the David vs. Goliath tale starring Christopher Egan and Ian McShane, they decided to make it official. (Cynopsis 5/20)

The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists warned members in an email not to expect a quick resolution to the thorny issue of consent for online use of its work. Like SAG, AFTRA is objecting to producers’ proposal to pay a flat fee for online distribution in return for not having to obtain artists’ consent. SAG held a town hall meeting last night in LA to update members on contract talks. (Cynopsis 5/20)

Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt, participating in a panel discussion at The Cable Show in New Orleans, said cable networks should not wonder whether the country’s second-largest cable provider minds when channels stream shows for free the same day they are on TV. “Guess what. We do mind,” Britt said. “If you’re talking about putting (a program) online for free on the same date (it airs on TV), that will erode your other business model.” (The Hollywood Reporter 5/19)

The Sundance Channel will kick off an aggressive increase in its video-on-demand offerings beginning June 1. Sundance Channel On Demand, currently available in 29 million homes, will boost standard-definition VOD programming from 10 to 25 hours per month and HD VOD from six to 12 hours monthly. (RBR.com 5/19)

Univision unveiled the most extensive on demand library of Spanish-language content yet assembled on VOD. Scheduled to launch in Jan. 2009, the broadcaster promises more than 1,000 hours of sports, news, movies and entertainment offerings. (Cynopsis 5/20)

Video-on-demand technology may still be evolving, but one thing is clear: Cable-industry executives see it as a potentially important way to more precisely target advertising messages in the future. “Where the customer is and where the advertising is can be linked by the technology,” said Cablevision Chief Operating Officer Tom Rutledge, who participated in a panel discussion at NCTA’s The Cable Show. “VOD is just a part of the application — a more intriguing technology for delivering advertising.” (OneTRAK 5/19)

Charter Communications will become the first multiple-system operator to deploy Digeo’s new cable set-top box the Moxi Cable HD DVR 3012, Digeo announced at NCTA’s The Cable Show. The second-generation system combines dual high-definition tuners and a DVR. (TWICE 5/19)



NBC Universal is signing an exclusive pact with the producers of “Project Runway,” as the hit reality series prepares to jump to Lifetime from NBC’s Bravo. NBC’s move means that Weinstein Co., which owns the rights to the show, must scramble to put together a new production team. (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-runway6-2008may06,0,3970030.story 5/6)

Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy on FOX, sealed an overall deal with 20th Century Fox TV that could be worth more than $100 million making him the highest paid TV writer/producer. Under the terms of the new deal, which reportedly took two and a half years to negotiate, Seth will remain at 20th TV through 2012. So far the deal includes Seth’s continued work on Family Guy and his two other animated series for 20th TV and Fox, American Dad! and the Family Guy spinoff The Cleveland Show. The agreement includes new media associated with Seth’s TV series in addition to the DVD and merchandising revenue. (Cynopsis 5/6)

If Rupert Murdoch doesn’t testify in a lawsuit that accuses one of his companies of corporate espionage, it could cost News Corp. hundreds of millions of dollars, says the federal judge in the trial. News Corp. unit NDS is accused of hacking into EchoStar/DISH Network’s security code. (http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4789512 5/5)

This video seems more appropriate for TMZ rather than ABC News.  And furthermore, this newscaster might want to work on his fitness level.  He sounds like he might pass out simply from walking down the street stalking Murdoch like the paparazzi stalk Paris Hilton.

Sumner Redstone is downplaying speculation of a “battle” between his Viacom and CBS, saying such talk “has been manufactured” by the media. Redstone also says: “We cannot tolerate piracy by anyone, including YouTube.” Plus: “I will not object” to the return of Tom Cruise. (Iwantmedia 5/6, http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080506/skorea_viacom_redstone.html 5/6, http://www.reuters.com/article/industryNews/idUSSEO13218720080506 5/6)

AP Photo: Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone delivers a speech during a Seoul Digital Forum in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, May 6, 2008.

NBC Universal plans to announce that $3 million will be the entry price for a commercial at the 2009 Super Bowl. While individual slots have sold at that level before, it has never been the starting point for negotiations for the dozens of 30-second ads sold for the game. (Iwantmedia 5/6, http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB121004269277469845.html 5/6)

The New York Times and MSNBC are joining forces for a new political show, “The New York Times Special Primary Edition,” hosted by John Harwood. Times-journos will handicap the election in the series of specials. Segments will also run on NYTimes.com. (Iwantmedia 5/6, http://origin.observer.com/2008/msnbc-and-times-team-new-political-show 5/5)

Adam Nagourney on the trail.

Eyeing research that shows children and their parents are watching more TV together, Nick at Nite is assembling a programming slate that appeals equally to both groups. Shows such as “Home Improvement,” “Full House” and “George Lopez” have already been added, and in January the Nickelodeon channel will begin running “Everybody Hates Chris.” (Variety 5/5)

Freelance news chasers will be the focus of a new series beginning on truTV in September. The show, titled “L.A. Stringers,” goes behind the scenes with those who will do just about anything for breaking news. (The Hollywood Reporter 5/5)

VH1’s next celebreality series I Love Money premieres July 13 at 9p and brings together seventeen contestants from Rock of Love, I Love New York and Flavor of Love vying for a cash prize while in Mexico. Hosted by Craig J. Jackson, the twelve episode series will have the stars battle for the $250,000 grand prize instead of love. Starting this week, VH1 will also have specific I Love Money info available on the VH1 Blog at Blog.VH1.com. (Cynopsis 5/6)

December 6, 2007, 10:42 PM
Filed under: MISC | Tags: , , , ,



Photo Credit: Ashmi Dang

As the WGA writer’s strike hits the one month mark, let’s take a quick look at the impacted TV skeds and their digital distribution. Just as both sides resumed talks earlier this week, Starcom released a report estimating that the ad revenue generated from online video doubled from ’06 and could reach over $1 billion dollars. Not surprisingly, most of it went to the networks. The hot button topic of the strike? The lack of contract language in place for digital distribution – streaming or download. Judge for yourselves. The list below paints an interesting picture of what could bring sweeping changes to your TiVo and the new media landscape.


Digital Platforms (excluding peer 2 peer):

CBS.com, iTunes, & Amazon Unbox


Current Content Status:

CSI – on hold
Two and a Half Men – on hold
How I Met Your Mother – on hold
Late Night with David Letterman – on hold
Cane – benched, in jeopardy
The Unit – benched, in jeopardy
12/10 Democratic Debate – cancelled
Dexter (Showtime) – coming in as replacement program
Weeds, Tudors and Californication, Brotherhood (Showtime) – potential replacements
Big Brother – first in-season run, 3 nights a week 2/12
Survivor – season 16 premieres 2/7
Power of 10 – summer series, returns1/2
48 Hours Mystery – Sunday series regular, Tuesdays beginning 1/22
Jericho – returns midseason after cancellation (unrelated) 2/12, in jeopardy
The New Adventures of Old Chrstine – midseason return, production halted
Cold Case – on hold


Digital Platforms (excluding peer 2 peer):

NBC.com (Including NBC Direct), Hulu.com, Amazon Unbox, & Netflix.com

Current Content Status:
30 Rock – on hold
The Office – on hold
Heroes – early season finale aired 12/3
Tonight Show with Jay Leno – on hold
Late Night with Conan O’Brien – on hold
My Name is Earl – on hold
SNL – on hold
Law & Order – returns to Wednesdays 1/2 10p
Law & Order: Criminal Intent – rescued off basic cable net TNT to 9pm Wednesdays
The Celebrity Apprentice – premieres 1/3
American Gladiators – premieres 1/6
The Biggest Loser – returns
Chuck – on hold
Life – on hold
Bionic Woman –
on hold/in jeopardy
Journeyman –
on hold/ in jeopardy
Burn Notice – potential off basic cable move


Digital Platforms (excluding peer 2 peer):

Foxondemand.com, Hulu.com, Amazon Unbox, and iTunes


Current Content Status:
24 – on hold, 2008 season in jeopardy
Prison Break – on hold
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles – early series premiere 1/13
Back To You – on hold


Digital Platforms (excluding peer 2 peer):

ABC.com, iTunes, & Amazon Unbox

Current Content Status:
Lost – on hold, 2008 season tbd
Jimmy Kimmel Live – on hold
Brothers & Sister – on hold
Grey’s Anatomy – on hold
Private Practice – on hold
Desperate Housewives – on hold
Ugly Betty – on hold

Feature Writer: Ashmi Elizabeth Dang


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