Daily Marauder



Will Ferrell‘s “You’re Welcome America — A Final Night With George W. Bush” pulled in 2.3 million viewers on HBO Saturday night. It was the largest viewership for an HBO comedy special since “Chris Rock: Never Scared” premiered in April 2004. Variety (3/17)


Comedy Central attracted a robust 4.1 million viewers to its recent roast of comedian Larry the Cable Guy. It was the most-watched show on cable that night among viewers 18 to 49 as well as males 18 to 34, and it was the network’s third-best roast special ever. Broadcasting & Cable (3/17)


VH1’s new series VH1 Tough Love attracted 2.0 million total viewers last Sunday night at 10p, holding 85% of lead-in show Rock of Love with Bret Michaels. (Cynopsis 3/18)


NBC is closing in on a deal with the United Kingdom’s Hat Trick Productions to bring the BBC panel show “Have I Got News for You” to the United States. “News” features teams of celebrities and newsmakers humorously trying to answer questions about current events. (http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/03/nbc_looks_to_adapt_british_new.php 3/17)


Caris & Co. analyst David Miller is upgrading CBS, noting that the network is the only broadcaster to see ratings grow across the board this season. Even among the desirable demo of viewers ages 18 to 49, the network is logging a 3% uptick while its rivals are all down. (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-cotown-tvratings18-2009mar18,0,7696664.story 3/18)

Nielsen live-plus-same-day ratings show USA Network maintained an 11-for-11 prime-time ratings win so far this year by capturing the most viewers in two leading demographic categories for the week that ended March 15. The network attracted 1.19 million adults ages 25 to 54 and 1.17 million viewers ages 18 to 49. Mediaweek (3/17)

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Added 1 day ago and already amassing over 1 million views, this video is one of the funniest things I’ve seen since Tina Fey as Sarah Palin on SNL. Jack Black as Jesus? As Rachel Zoe would say, I die. I loved Neil Patrick Harris on Broadway but he’s even more in his element here. Of course Funny or Die would make one of the best video cases against Proposition 8. Loves it.

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Tomorrow we vote.  But before that, let’s take a look back on the online video which defined the campaign.  Here’s the Daily Marauder top 5 favorites.  I did try to keep this list non partisan but unfortunately, I would have to lie to do it.  Keep this in mind while watching.

One more thing and it’s just a small request.  Don’t vote Republican or Democrat.  Vote for the person who supports the issues you hold dear.  Vote on y’all.

#1: Yes We Can

Watched by over 11 million people, this video features an all star cast and a song written by will.i.am from the Black Eyed Peas who was inspired by Barack Obama’s ‘Yes We Can’ speech.  I teared up the first time and now, the 6th as well.

#2: Sarah Palin Rap

My favorite SNL moment from this season didn’t actually include Tina Fey.  It was a lovely little rap ditty about Sarah Palin from the comic genius stylings of Amy Poehler.

#3: Tina Fey Debuts Sarah Palin

Tina Fey debuts her Sarah Palin impression with a speech alongside Hillary Clinton.  Classic.

#4: Wassup 2008

Over eight years have rolled by and I almost forgot about the Wassup boys.  Here they weigh in on the campaign and over 3 million people tune in to watch.

#5: Dear Mr. Obama

You may not agree with him.  I surely don’t.  But this video from an Iraqi soldier expressing his support for McCain has been viewed over 12 million times.

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The premiere of 30 Rock last Thursday on NBC seems to indicate a similar win/win relationship between online and on air views. Following the viral explosion of Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin impersonations on SNL, the show was watched by a record 8.5 million viewers (4.1 rating/10 share in 18-49 demo)  – a huge boost from last season’s average audience of 6 million. (Cynopsis 11/3)

Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” for Macs is now live. (http://www.crunchgear.com/2008/11/02/netflix-mac-beta-now-open-better-hurry 11/2)

Techcrunch has received a couple of anonymous tips that DirectTV, a $24 billion satellite TV provider, may be entering the online TV wars with a new site called DirectTV Web On Demand. The site would compete with startups like Hulu, Joost, Fancast, Sling.com, etc. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/01/directtv-may-enter-online-tv-war-with-web-on-demand-service 11/1)

MTV‘s Choose or Lose campaign enters the home stretch today as the network plans to utilize the latest interactive social tools the cover the election on Nov. 4 & 5:

  • ChooseorLose.com, MTV.com and MTVNews.com will feature a real-time TwitterVision map of the U.S. including Twitter messages from young people, SMS messages from viewers and messages and videos from the campaign’s crew of 51 citizen journalists
  • MTV News will have teams on the ground in New York, Chicago, and Phoenix providing man on the street interviews
  • MTV/Knight Street Team 08 reporters from 15 battleground states will broadcast live
  • mobile-to-web coverage including in-depth videos, blogs and Twitter updates
  • Two MTV citizen journalists will take part in the first-ever AP continuous live video stream, “Big Issue: Election Results,” available to some 2,000 Web sites of newspapers via AP’s Online Video Network (Cynopsis 11/3)

Looking for novel ways to monetize online video, MTV Networks today was expected to announce a plan to link advertising to the segments of shows such as “Punk’d” and “The Daily Show” that are uploaded by MySpace users. MTVN will partner with a high-tech startup called Auditude to make the effort work seamlessly. Los Angeles Times (11/3) , The Wall Street Journal (11/3)

Win or Lose John McCain scored high ranks among viral video fans for his comic timing and depreciating sense of humor. The Presidential hopeful appeared live with Tina Fey (as Sarah Palin) on SNL over the weekend in a mock QVC infomercial. (Cynopsis 11/3)

Eh.  I thought it was actually painful to watch.  The highlight of McCain’s appearance over the weekend was really his wife Cindy’s Vanna White-like vibe.

Professionally-themed social network LinkedIn launched a number of new applications to help members customize their profiles, share information and create project-based entries. Box on LinkedIn shares files within your network. Amazon on LinkedIn allows you to discover what your network is reading. TripIt on LinkedIn allows you see where your network is traveling. SixApart on LinkedIn updates members’ blog posts. (Cynopsis 11/3)

Instant messaging and chat provider Meebo will integrate embeddable Meebo chat rooms into Comedy Central’s Indecision2008.com to host live user commentary during election and post-election television coverage. The network will promote Meebo on-air on Nov. 4 directing amateur pundits to the site to weigh in with their opinions. (Cynopsis 11/3)

People-search engine Wink has joined forces with Reunion.com, a hybrid people-search/social networking site, to create one giant hub for finding people you once knew but forgot to keep in touch with. The two companies have merged and will be launching a new website (and brandname) in early 2009, which the sites say will feature a total of 700 million user profiles. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/11/03/old-friends-wink-and-reunioncom-reconnect-merge 11/3)

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Barack Obama‘s paid political half-hour on Wednesday from 8-830p collectively drew in 33.5 million viewers. The special aired on seven networks: CBS, FOX, NBC, Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One. NBC had the most total viewers at 9.78 million, followed by CBS at 8.6 million, FOX at 7.14 million, then MSNBC at 3.54 million, Univision at 3.47 million, with BET at 714,000 and TV One at 307,000. Also, the 30-minute special posted an overall HH rating of 21.7 in the top 56 local markets, according to MediaBuyerPlanner. (Cynopsis 10/31)

A Wednesday night appearance by Sen. Barack Obama on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” attracted 3.6 million viewers, beating the show’s previous high of 2.9 million people who tuned in Oct. 8 to see Jon Stewart interview Michelle Obama. Reuters/The Hollywood Reporter (10/30) , Broadcasting & Cable (10/30

John McCain is said to be planning to make a guest appearance on this week’s “Saturday Night Live,” the last live episode before the election. A rep for the show won’t confirm or deny the visit. A McCain source says: “It’s really his last chance to appeal to younger voters.” (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27460429 10/31)

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), sent a letter yesterday to the heads of seven networks, asking them to not name the new president-elect next Tuesday until all voting polls have closed at 10p ET for the benefit of West Coast voters, reports Variety. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Wednesday’s Game 5 of the World Series on FOX ended up being the final game with the Phillies winning the coveted trophy. The game averaged a 6.2 A18-49 rating and 19.8 million total viewers from 8:40-1010p, according to Variety. The World Series postgame show from 10-1030p drew in a 3.6 A18-49 rating and 10.5 million total viewers. (Cynopsis 10/31)

With nearly 260 episodes in the can, Fox has decided this will be the last season for King of the Hill.  There are 13 episodes still to go before the “finale.”  “Finale”? Why the quotes?  Because this show has had its finale before … only to be resurrected.  So it remains to be seen if it will stay cancelled this time. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Courteney Cox and Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence are working together on a new 30m comedy for ABC called Cougar Town. ABC has okayed a single-camera pilot produced by ABC Studios. Cox will executive produce with Lawrence and star as a 40-year old mom who is newly single and based on the title is presumably on the hunt for younger men. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Hip-hop star/actor/writer Ice Cube has a one-hour untitled action comedy under development for NBC, per Variety. Cube will write the buddy cop comedy and executive produce with his production partner Matt Alvarez. (Cynopsis 10/31)

NBC Universal’s Bravo is picking up a new U.S. fashion design creative competition series called “The Fashion Show,” in which the winner is chosen by viewers. Bravo’s previous fashion-designer show “Project Runway” is in the midst of a struggle as it plans a move to Lifetime. (http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2008/10/30/Bravo_picks_up_new_Fashion_Show/UPI-33301225416834 10/30)

NBC is developing another novel handing a script commitment to Pretty Little Mistakes by Heather McElhatton for a 60m drama, reports THR. Universal Media Studios will produce about a female protagonist whose story line is decided by readers at the end of each chapter. The book begins with the female character deciding on college or travel after graduating from high school leading to 150 potential endings. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone said that the current global economic turmoil may force the company to alter its plans to spin off Liberty Entertainment, which includes, among other assets, premium cable network Starz Entertainment. Greg Maffei, chief executive officer of Liberty Media, said it was “imaginable” that the unit would not be spun off at all. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) (10/31) , The Hollywood Reporter (10/30) , OneTRAK (10/30)

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YouTube, the Web site that enabled anyone with a computer to watch just about whatever video they wanted as long as it didn’t exceed 10 minutes, has decided to scrap its time limit, making it possible to stream full TV episodes for the first time on the Google-owned portal. YouTube already has started running full episodes of oldies but goodies such as “Star Trek” “MacGyver” and “Beverly Hills, 90210.” USA TODAY (10/23)

The number of people watching the online clips of Sarah Palin’s appearance on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” is growing and will soon surpass the 15 million that viewed her guest spot on television. Pirated versions alone have been viewed nearly 3 million times on sites like YouTube. (Iwantmedia 10/24, http://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=131981 10/23)

Fans of Tina Fey’s screwball  sitcom 30 Rock don’t have to wait until next week for NBC to premiere the show’s third season.  As of yesterday, devotees can catch the season’s first episode of the Emmy-winning comedy. (http://blog.wired.com/underwire/2008/10/hulu-airs-seaso.html 10/23)

Bebo‘s latest interactive series Chelsey:OMG! launched this week, its first crack at the comedy genre produced by Channel X. The fish-out-of-water tale stars Kelly Anne Lyons as a rich American girl who is forced to adapt to British culture. (Cynopsis 10/24)

The New York Times is hurting financially these days, and its online business doesn’t seem to be helping much, but at least it keeps pushing forward. One area where the NYTimes.com has put a lot of effort is in video, and it has just redesigned its video page around the new Brightcove 3 player. Previously, the NYTimes was using the FeedRoom as its main video platform. (This swap doesn’t come out of the blue. The New York Times is an investor in Brightcove). (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/10/24/the-nytimescom-prepares-for-hd-video-drops-the-feedroom-for-brightcove 10/24)

Comcast’s online and VOD network FEARnet will launch the original The Dark Path Chronicles on Nov. 6 – written and directed by Mary Lambert (Pet Sematary I and II, The Attic) – following the journey of a newly awakened vampire and a teen girl. FEARnet will also be profiling 10 new locales this month in a second go around of Street of Fear produced by Atlas Media Corp. Ghost stories behind true places are explored such as Mt. Misery Road in Huntington NY, where a Woman in White was supposedly burned alive in a hospital fire and still haunts the area. (Cynopsis 10/24)

Recently acquired photo archive Getty Images purchased rival Jupiter Media‘s online images business Jupiterimages for $96 million in cash. Jupiter Media will continue to operate its online media business, which consists of internet.com and EarthWeb.com for IT and business professionals; DevX.com for developers; and Mediabistro.com and Graphics.com for media and creative professionals. (Cynopsis 10/24)

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Bravo’s Project Runway season five concluding episode Wednesday night at 9p with repeat airings at 11p and 12a attracted a total aggregate of nearly 4.8 million A18-49 viewers and almost 7.2 million total viewers. At the first 9p airing, the finale delivered approximately 3.2 million A18-49 viewers and close to 4.8 million total viewers. (Cynopsis 10/17)

Overall total estimated viewership declined for the final live Presidential Debate between candidates Senators Barack Obama and John McCain Wednesday night from approximately 9-1030p. Nielsen reports 56.5 million total viewers tuned into a combination of 11 networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, Univision, BBC-America, CNBC, CNN, FOX News Channel, MSNBC, mun2 and tape delayed on Telemundo. According to Live Feed, NBC topped the list at 11.3 million; ABC 10.6 million; CBS 9.2 million; FOX News 9.1 million; CNN 8.9 million; and MSNBC 3.7 million. (Cynopsis 10/17)

The big news out of John McCain’s appearance on CBS’ David Letterman show Thursday night is that VP contender Sarah Palin plans to appear in person on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Palin will “probably get more of an audience than our debate did,” McCain says. (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/10/palin-mccain.html 10/16)

With the season finale of “Mad Men” just days away, the future of the hit television drama series is in question. Creator Matthew Weiner has not signed for another season. The official renewal of the first basic cable series to win the Best Drama Emmy Award has not been announced. (http://www.nypost.com/seven/10172008/tv/big_babies_133904.htm 10/17)

SCI FI Channel set the premiere of the fourth and final season of Battlestar Galactica on January 16, 2009 at 10p. The series will air over 10 weeks and end with a finale on March 20. (Cynopsis 10/17)

Additionally on SCI FI Channel, the season finale of Destination Truth Wednesday at 10p packed in 1.0 million A18-49 viewers, 1.0 million A25-54 viewers as well as 1.6 million total viewers. (Cynopsis 10/17)

Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements says it is in talks with its bankers about the company’s debt as a result of the sharp drop in the value of CBS and Viacom stock. The company may be forced to sell “all of its nonvoting shares and even begin to sell some of its voting shares.” (Iwantmedia 10/17, http://www.tvweek.com/news/2008/10/redstone_may_have_to_sell_more.php 10/17)

Liberty Media chief John Malone is eyeing the “wild” yields offered by other media companies’ debt, echoing the tactics through which he built his cable empire. Liberty is “probably not the right buyer” for AOL’s dial-up business. But many content companies, such as Viacom, “look cheap.” (Iwantmedia 10/17, http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cd97f0d2-9bcf-11dd-ae76-000077b07658.html 10/17)

Hollywood‘s big players are scrambling to determine how the economic meltdown will impact their businesses. While the film industry is seen as relatively protected for at least a year or two, television costs will be under pressure as advertising weakens. One TV exec predicts “major cuts.” (Iwantmedia 10/17, http://money.cnn.com/2008/10/17/news/economy/siklos_la.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2008101710 10/17)

As promised by Chairman Brian Roberts at the beginning of this year, Comcast now offers more than 1,000 high-definition options through its linear channels and on-demand offerings. Comcast’s HD menu includes more than 200 movies via its on-demand platform and almost 300 TV shows. Broadcasting & Cable (10/15

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is ordering fines against Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications for preventing subscribers from receiving certain channels. Customers who use digital video recorders are being blocked from viewing certain channels. (Iwantmedia 10/17, http://www.smartmoney.com/news/ON/?story=ON-20081016-000954-1546 10/16)

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