Saturday, March 1, 2008

Saving Jericho: The Right Thing

"So, having spent the last few days laid up in bed, smacked out on NyQuil and Sudafed, watching reruns of "Dr. Who," "Jericho" and "Battlestar Galactica" on SciFi leaves me really qualified to make only these policy pronouncements this week:

Second, saving "Jericho" from cancellation hell is the best decision CBS has made in a very long time.

Seriously, "Ghost Whisperer"? "Cold Case?" CBS doesn't have anything that even comes close to "Jericho's" level. Personally, I've always had a soft spot for post-apocalyptic fiction (like "The Road Warrior") and stories about small groups under extraordinary stress ("Das Boot") and "Jericho" combines both into a compelling, character-driven plot that is dynamic and (as TV fiction so rarely is) unpredictable."


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Cable Ratings

"For all the agitation it caused the television industry, the writers strike had an undeniably salubrious effect on cable ratings, as seven of the top 10 ad-supported networks in February saw their primetime deliveries swell by double-digit percentages compared with a year ago.

According to Nielsen Media Research data from January 28-February 24, the 10 leading ad-supported cable networks averaged a 24.9% increase in total viewers in primetime compared with February 2007, a number inflated by CNN's primary-fueled surge of 133%. With CNN pulled out of the mix, the remaining nine still averaged a sizable 15.1% year-over-year increase."

"The Nielsen Co. has formed a national Hispanic/Latino Advisory Council (HLAC), an independent advisory group comprised of community and business leaders, to help the company recruit, measure and accurately report on Hispanic television households in the U.S.

The first meeting of the HLAC is scheduled for March 4 in New York.

“By providing invaluable third-party insight and expertise on the Hispanic community, the Hispanic/Latino Advisory Council will have an important role in helping us successfully achieve these goals,” said Catherine Herkovic, senior VP and managing director of the National Television Client Services at Nielsen.

Jericho: Moonves and Nielsen

"As the media industry ponders its efficiencies in a shaky economy, one bigwig who's not panicking is Les Moonves. The president-CEO of CBS Corp. said in his fourth-quarter 2007 earnings call to investors this morning that the TV side of CBS has not seen a recession thus far.

Earlier in the call, Mr. Moonves also addressed the gray area that continues to surround the effectiveness of Nielsen's commercial ratings in the post-strike TV market. "With the new C3 measurement system, it is virtually impossible to draw apples-to-apples comparisons," he said. "And with the strike adding more repeats there is little conclusion that can be drawn from the numbers this season. What is important is that the advertisers are generally pleased that we have a more precise measuring system."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Nielsen: Charging More

I have to agree with the author here. Nielsen needs to quit jumping into everything (like they did HeyNielsen)and get their core program fixed first.

"Analytics and publishing powerhouse Nielsen continues to find new ways to charge clients more money for services that do little but make for a good press release. (Note to self: AWESOME BUSINESS MODEL!!)

In this doozy of a round, beginning next month, perpetually flailing Nielsen will “shadow” a group of 450 consumers, in separate phases throughout the year, and record any media they consume through each 24-hour day, whether magazines, books, DVDs, or YouTube videos.

If it sounds ambitious, it is, which is why they’re teaming with Ball State University and Sequent Partners (”on behalf of the Committee for Research Excellence”). Recruiting participants will be part of Nielsen’s job, and they’ll pull from the same pool they use to deliver flawed television ratings.

So why does this sound like it’s going to go horribly wrong?

For one, it’s Nielsen, so you should already expect that."

"CBS has begun streaming full-length episodes of Star Trek for free as part of the network's initiative to move archived programming online.

The entire first three seasons from the original series of Star Trek are available to be streamed, along with the first full seasons of MacGyver and Hawaii Five-O and the first two seasons of The Twilight Zone. Additional series are expected to be added over the next few months."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Jericho To Sci-Fi ?

Will CBS make a decision about Jericho after Ep 3 airs this week? Carol Barbee thinks so.

"I think this next airing will probably tell the tale," Barbee said in an interview at WonderCon in San Francisco on Feb. 24, referring to the upcoming Feb. 26 episode, "Jennings & Rall." "Our numbers have been OK, [but] not great. Our [demographic] has been very good; they've been very happy with that. But we'll see. ... If we trend up this week, I think we'll look pretty good. If we don't trend up, or if we stay the same, I think we'll have to wait and see what they want to do with us. I mean, they're going to air all seven; it's just a matter of how they feel about producing more."

Barbee denied knowing anything from CBS but she wouldn't be able to tell if she did know. It is good to hear she's looking into other options.

"Just in case CBS does pull the trigger on Jericho, Barbee said she's already begun looking for a new home on cable television. "There were other people who were interested in us to begin with, and now, I think, with the whole nuts [fan] campaign, and also with the amazing reviews that we've gotten for these seven episodes, I feel like we have made this franchise more valuable to a cable network who would want to take us on as a niche market," Barbee said. (The "nuts campaign" was a successful lobbying effort by Jericho fans, who mailed tons of peanuts to CBS to bring the show back after the network canceled it after the first season.)"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Jericho: Who Will Die ?

"Jericho fans would be nuts to miss out when executive producers Carol Barbee and Jon Turteltaub (along with cast members Lennie James and Brad Beyer) sit for a panel discussion hosted by TV Guide's Craig Tomashoff this Sunday at the San Francisco WonderCon. "I will discuss alternate endings for the [current] season and look beyond to what could happen in Season 3," Barbee tells us. "I will also tease the death of a major character that will occur in Episode 4."

** New Ranger Alert**

"Jericho is one of the best shows I've seen on television in a long time. I downloaded Season 1 from iTunes the other night and had a marathon of sorts, watching every available episode from the pilot on through those I found from Season 2. The writing, acting and even the special effects (a-bomb explosions, etc.) are extremely well-done especially for TV."

Save FNL:
"Friday Night Lights takes place in fictional Dillon, Texas and tells stories of family, friendship, love, loss, success, failure, self-discovery and religion that seem nothing like fiction. Some shows attempt to be about too much, and the characters and storylines suffer as a result. Friday Night Lights, on the contrary, introduces you to the characters and lets you see the daily interaction, the simple conversations, family dinners and football games so that you truly feel as though you are following the lives of real people. They seem human. As every episode draws to a close, you wonder how each character will spend the next week and what life will bring them next."

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Jericho:Eyeballs Online

Well, it would appear that Quincy knows there are a lot of online viewers. Let's hope he tells ClueLes Moonves that we're here.

"Generally speaking there are younger demographics online, and we have to hit them with everything we've got," said Quincy Smith, president of CBS Interactive, in an interview. "We are absolutely using this to go out and find new eyeballs who might not otherwise have seen this.

Under Smith, CBS has been determined to make its programming available on as many Web sites as possible, rather than trying to confine viewers to or other CBS-owned sites.

People who watch 'Jericho' might also like 'Star Trek,'" according to Smith. "We pay attention to DVD sales, to broadcast requests through Nielsen and also to online information. We know from discussions on YouTube that people who like this also like that. ... On Facebook, people who join the 'How I Met Your Mother' group also like stuff on 'Big Bang Theory.'"