Daily Marauder



The Season 3 finale of AMC‘s “Mad Men” attracted 2.3 million viewers, according to preliminary Nielsen data, the show’s second-highest viewership mark of the season. The drama about the advertising business in the 1960s averaged 1.8 million viewers per episode during its third season, a 20% improvement over last season. Variety (11/9

Mad Men Season 3

NBC’s exit from scripted series to air “The Jay Leno Show” weeknights at 10 p.m. has left 1.82 million young viewers up for grabs, and CBS and ABC have let most of them slip away six weeks into the television season. (Bloomberg11/9)

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November 2, 2009, 11:56 PM
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Media-watchers say the big story of the the 2009-10 television season is the rise of the Fox network, up 3% in viewers thanks largely to its new musical comedy “Glee” and the strength of medical drama “House.” Fox is the only broadcaster that is “up in all demos.” (Iwantmedia 11/2, Reuters10/30)


Comcast is closing in on a deal with General Electric that would give the country’s largest cable provider majority control of NBC Universal. According to unnamed executives, the two sides arrived at a tentative agreement Friday and the deal could be signed in the next week. The New York Times(11/1) , Reuters (11/2)


Several weeks after David Letterman was shaken by an image-rocking scandal, CBS‘ “Late Show With David Letterman” has shown little sign of weakening audience support. Far from hurting the host’s popularity, the sex-and-extortion headlines seemingly have had little impact on his late-night show and possibly even

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Also this past Thursday at 10p, Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta concluded its second season drawing in a little more than 2.0 million A18-49 viewers and nearly 3.0 million total viewers. These tallies are up 22% and 35% respectively compared to the season one finale. (Cynopsis10/26)

DH Atlanta

NBC, Universal Sports and UniversalSports.com plan 1,250 hours of coverage of Olympic sports leading to the Winter Games in Vancouver. “For the first time ever, this all happens and is accessible to the American public,” says NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel. (Iwantmedia 10/26, Yahoo10/26)

HBO renewed its 30m drama series In Treatment, starring Gabriel Byrne as Dr. Paul Weston, for a third season. Production on season three begins early next year in New York with a premiere slated for later in 2010. (Cynopsis 10/26)

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The continued popularity of the National Basketball Association was good news for TNT, which on Sunday night attracted 8.97 million viewers to the playoff matchup between the Orlando Magic and the Cleveland Cavaliers. For the week ending May 24, TNT averaged 3.32 million total viewers, including four of the top 10 shows of the week. Mediaweek (5/27)

Classic rock fans will have a front row seat to VH1 Classic’s 100 Concerts in 100 Days beginning July 6. The network will air concerts performed by such rock legends as Led Zepplin: The Song Remains the Same, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: Live in NYC, Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon, Iron Maiden: Somewhere Back in Time and Live Aid: The Day the Music Changed the World. (Cynopsis 5/28)

I had to go with a seventies shot of Led Zeppelin.  Mc Lovin it.


John Lithgow will play a serial killer, joining the cast of Showtime’s Dexter. Lithgow’s character, Walter Simmons (aka the Trinity Killer), will appear in all 12 episodes of the drama’s fourth season set to open in September. (Cynopsis 5/28)


Sister cable networks TBS and TNT have signed a major rights deal with Warner Bros. for a total of 13 titles, including three upcoming releases. The recent films covered by the deal include “Terminator Salvation,” which could run on TNT as early as late 2011, as well as “Watchmen” and “Gran Torino.” The Hollywood Reporter (5/27)

Bravo sizzles in South Beach this summer as it debuts Miami Social on July 14 at 10p. The series follows four friends who are successful young professionals by day and party hounds at night. Pink Sneakers produces the series for Bravo. (Cynopsis 5/28)

NBC is setting a low-water mark of historic proportions for television viewership. Last week the network averaged 4.4 million prime-time viewers, the smallest-ever audience outside of the summer doldrums. NBC hasn’t had such a small audience since the early days of TV. (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/NBC-makes-history-in-the-apf-15363388.html 5/27)

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman says that the company’s MTV network is lagging in ratings because it largely lost touch with young male audiences as it pursued programming for young women, such as “Laguna Beach.” Says Dauman: “We expect to see results” at MTV. (http://www.smartmoney.com/news/ON/?story=ON-20090527-000813-1456 5/27)

Media companies are joining forces with unions to lobby for tougher action against piracy, as rising unemployment focuses their attention on the threat to jobs from copyright infringement. Fighting piracy “is a jobs issue,” says NBC Universal general counsel Rick Cotton. (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/d52152fa-4ae6-11de-87c2-00144feabdc0.html 5/27)

ESPN is shedding around 100 positions in a cost-reduction move as a result of the slumping economy. The job cuts are expected to be across a wide variety of levels, from production assistants up to executive roles. ESPN says: “Most of the jobs are being repurposed.” (http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/277167-ESPN_Goes_Forward_With_Restructuring_Plans.php 5/27)

Despite the depressed economic conditions, Standard & Poor’s has upgraded its outlook on Comcast from “stable” to “positive.” The credit agency said that Comcast will remain the top cable, broadband and telecommunications provider in most of its service areas for some time. The Wall Street Journal (5/27)

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Google CEO Eric Schmidt hints that a deal with Twitter could be close, although he dampens speculation that he is planning to buy the microblogging phenomenon. “We do not have to buy everyone to work with them.” Google is believed to be seeking real-time search. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/5351937/Google-chief-hints-at-partnership-with-Twitter.html 5/20)

Google twitter

After NBC “unceremoniously” cancelled “My Name Is Earl,” one of the sitcom’s actors, Ethan Suplee, turned to Twitter to complain. His actions helped spark a Twitter-based campaign to resurrect the series. An earlier geek-led campaign purportedly helped save NBC’s “Chuck.” (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2009/05/my-name-is-earl-creator-greg-garcia-is-a-writer-because-he-has-a-way-with-wordsasked-for-his-take-on-nbcs-unceremonious-canc.html 5/19)

My Name is Earl

U.S. cable giant Comcast climbed the most in customer-satisfaction ratings among its peers by using Twitter to calm disgruntled subscribers, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Comcast employs 10 people to monitor tweets about the company. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a71HPbtIMT20 5/19)

ESPN on July 15 will launch the first integrated video player on YouTube and also will be the first network to run pre-roll ads on the Google-owned site, the Walt Disney Co. unit announced at its upfront. “We’re programming dayparts as if ESPN.com was a new network,” said Sean Bratches, ESPN’s executive vice president of sales and marketing. “We want to make ESPN and our partners’ brands available to fans in every conceivable way.” Advertising Age (5/19)

The DVD box set of the just-ended season of “24” on News Corp.’s Fox network became available for sale the day after the airing of the season finale. News Corp. describes the unusually quick DVD release as an “experiment” amid changing viewing habits in the digital age. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/technology/news/e3ic8543054a8a9084dc949c8916b611a54 5/19)


You’d be hard pressed to find someone who tries the online streaming radio service Pandora that doesn’t like it. In fact, some users like it so much that they actually ask for ways to pay the company, to make sure it stays alive (something that has been a question mark given the oppressive Internet radio licensing costs). And while there has been a limited subscription version for some time, Pandora has never proactively promoted it. But starting tomorrow it’s taking the freemium model seriously, with the launch of Pandora One. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/19/pandora-gives-the-freemium-model-a-thumbs-up-with-pandora-one/ 5/19)

pandora one

Remember TotalMusic, the failed music initiative created by Sony BMG and UMG that was built from the start with the goal of serving as Facebook’s music platform (and was ultimately rejected by the social network)? Its assets were recently acquired by Project Playlist, the troubled music streaming startup that just lost its CEO to MySpace last month and has had lawsuits pending from the major record labels since late last year. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/19/the-record-industrys-failed-totalmusic-project-finds-a-new-home-at-project-playlist/ 5/19)


A U.S. district judge is ordering YouTube to pay $1.61 million in royalties to the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the performance rights organization, for streaming music on the video site. YouTube is expected to pay songwriters going forward. (Iwantmedia 5/20, http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090519/1127454934.shtml 5/19)

Google has released a new version of Reader that’s been tweaked a bit. Google has added a new set of tabs in the trends page called “Friends Trends,” where you can see which friends share the most content and whose shared items you read. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/19/google-releases-new-version-of-reader/ 5/19)

Friends Google

Following a suit filed by Discovery Communications against Amazon in March alleging infringement on a patent held for e-book technology, Amazon has filed a lawsuit against Discovery alleging infringement on four e-commerce patents held by the company. Discovery has not responded in court to the suits but is in the “process of reviewing those and will respond appropriately in due course.” The Wall Street Journal (5/20)

Looks like Windows Media Center, that hub for video and audio which I’ve never used, is getting full Netflix streaming support. This is good news for those of you running HTPCs with Vista on them — no need for an extra layer or front-end, just open up WMC, enter your info and you’re on your way. (http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/05/20/windows-media-center-gets-netflixd 5/20)

WMC Netflix

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In the midst of a competitive May Sweep, President Obama’s third press conference drew the least amount of total viewers Wednesday night at 8p. The live event on ten networks posted an 18.8 HH rating and was viewed by 28.8 million people in the US, cites Nielsen. President Obama’s first press conference on February 9 tallied 49.5 million viewers on eight networks and the second one on March 24 drew in 40.4 million viewers via 11 networks. Networks carrying Wednesday’s press conference include ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, CNBC and mun2. (Cynopsis 5/1)


Senator John McCain will get more television face time as he hosts a six-pack of classic war films during the Memorial Day movie marathon, War Heroes on AMC. The movies begin May 25 at 8a and during the marathon Sen. McCain will speak about his personal combat experiences and the significance of Memorial Day. Movies in the lineup include Midway (1976), Patton (1970), The Longest Day (1962), Hamburger Hill (1987), Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970) and Battle of the Bulge (1965). (Cynopsis 5/1)

Ah yes, McCain is finally back on air.  It’s like the party gang is almost back together again.  Maybe Palin will make a cameo during The Longest Day?


Show business is booming business in Connecticut, as another television series moves its production operations to the state. NBC Universal Domestic TV Distribution announced it renewed the syndicated version of Deal or No Deal for a second season which is sold in more than 85% of the US for next fall. To keep costs down, Endemol USA and production partner NBC Universal Domestic TV Distribution will begin shooting the new season of Deal or No Deal this summer at the Sonalysts Studio in Waterford. Host Howie Mandel will also make the move to Connecticut from Culver Studios in Culver City. (Cynopsis 5/1)

NFL Network will stay put on the Comcast cable systems for now as both the NFL and Comcast are discussing a new carriage deal. Both the NFL and Comcast are awaiting the outcome of a hearing involving the NFL’s carriage complaint against Comcast. (Cynopsis 5/1)

Hasbro and Discovery are joining forces to take on Disney, Viacom‘s Nickelodeon and Time Warner’s Cartoon Network in the lucrative children’s television market. The toymaker will inject $300 million for a 50% stake of a new cable TV and online venture with Discovery. (Iwantmedia 5/1, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/03771304-35b3-11de-a997-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1 4/30)

E! Entertainment and Forbes magazine have announced a collaborative programming deal that will run through 2010 and result in eight hour-long celebrity specials and two half-hour celebrity lifestyle pilots. The specials will include content derived from Forbes’ editorial material, and the business magazine’s editors and writers will be featured on camera. TVWeek.com (4/30)

Continuing to buck dour economic trends, Comcast added 837,195 revenue-generating units in the first quarter, including 328,613 broadband subscribers and 298,433 digital-phone customers. Overall, the country’s largest cable firm reported revenue was up 5.3%, to $8.84 billion, and net income rose 5.4%, to $778 million. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (5/1) , The New York Times/The Associated Press (4/30)

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TV viewers will see more of Al Roker on weekday mornings as he signed on to host a new program for The Weather Channel called Wake Up With Al. The 60m program, with TWC’s Stephanie Abrams as co-host, will begin each weekday at 6a starting this summer. Wake Up With Al will offer an in-depth look at the day’s weather and Roker will appear in the studio, chatting with guests and viewers as well as in the field, reporting on weather where it happens. (Cynopsis 4/30)


NBC picked up another season of The Celebrity Apprentice slated for Spring 2010 from Mark Burnett Productions in association with Trump Productions LLC. Currently, this season The Celebrity Apprentice is averaging a 3.5/9 among A18-49 with 8.6 million overall viewers. (Cynopsis 4/30)


Viacom says its first-quarter profit fell 34%, hurt by falling advertising and entertainment revenue. But CEO Philippe Dauman is pointing to signs of an ad turnaround, a critical factor for the company’s cable assets. “Over the past few weeks we have seen the ad market stabilize.” (Iwantmedia 4/30, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090430/ap_on_bi_ge/us_earns_viacom 4/30)

Sumner Redstone says he has no plans to step down anytime soon or give up his controlling positions in CBS or Viacom. “I have no intention of dying.” Also, newspapers are one business “I’d never be in.” (Iwantmedia 4/30, http://www.reuters.com/article/industryNews/idUSTRE53S9C520090429 4/29)

Peter Chernin is keeping his cards close to his vest about his post-News Corp. plans, but dismisses talk that he is being wooed by Viacom. “Nothing, no conversations,” says News Corp.’s president and COO. (Iwantmedia 4/30, http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2009/04/panel.html 4/29)

Time Warner Cable during the first quarter beat analysts’ expectations by adding 36,000 basic-video subscribers, 121,000 digital-video customers, 225,000 high-speed Internet subscribers and 166,000 phone lines. The country’s second-largest cable provider reported that revenue was up 5%, to $4.4 billion, but net profit fell to $164 million. The Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Newswires (4/30) , OneTRAK (4/29) , Reuters (4/29)

Powered by its “Waking the Baby Mammoth” special, National Geographic Channel recorded its best April performance during prime time. From March 30 to April 26, the network averaged 445,000 total viewers as well as a 0.28 rating in the 25-to-54 demographic group, the latter of which was a 17% gain. Multichannel News (4/29)

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