On Monday, New York City's WABC began telling Cablevision customers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut that it would pull its signal after midnight Sunday morning if a deal isn't reached by then. Cablevision, in return, issued a statement warning customers that ABC now wants to charge for what it used to give away for free, and that Cablevision customers might have to cough up an extra $40 million a year if ABC gets its way.
The threatened blackout follows two similar episodes earlier this year, including one involving Cablevision, but it probably won't be the last, as broadcast networks and basic cable channels are demanding a bigger share of cable subscription fees.
I don't watch them half as much as I used to, but I still like them. They're shows that actually show us how we can redo our rooms and homes easily and without spending a ton of money. I find shows like that useful. I might not do exactly what the hosts say, but they always give me ideas for something I might want to do in my own place.
I can't say that same about Designers' Challenge though. I think this might be the worst show on HGTV, and here's why.
According to a press release, the cable company has reached a deal with Scripps Network Interactive to allow its Food Network and HGTV programming to return to its subscribers, starting today.
This effectively ends the nearly month-long stand-off over contract disputes between Cablevision, which provides service to more than 3 million households in the tri-state New York area, and Scripps Network Interactive, which owns Food Network and HGTV.
The 'Super Chef Battle: An Iron Chef America Event,' which NYC viewers couldn't watch because Food Network and HGTV programs are no longer being carried on Cablevision, will be rebroadcast 8 p.m. Sunday on WPIX-TV, Channel 11, in NYC and WTXX-TV, Channel 20, in Hartford, Conn., both free channels.
There will be an encore presentation of the Food Network's highly-rated program Super Chef Battle: An Iron Chef America Event on the local networks WPIX-TV in New York and WTXX-TV in Hartford, Connecticut. The HGTV special HGTV Dream Home 2010 Tour will also be appearing on WPIX.
One can only wonder if this is the future of television, in which cable channels make deals with networks for encore broadcasts. It would help the networks find cheap programming and there have already been experiments with cable and networks sharing programs (such as Friday Night Lights).
In the end, Scripps and Cablevision will likely come to an agreement, just as Fox and Time Warner Cable did. Now if only Cablevision would start carrying BBC America to make me happy.
As of 12:01 on New Year's Day, three million TV subscribers in suburban New York, New Jersey and Connecticut were shocked that Food Network and DIY and HGTV and all the Scripps networks were off Cablevision.
I don't know how the corporate folks feel about this kind of negotiation, but as a TV viewer I think it sucks. I used to live in that market and if I was expecting to watch Food Network, I would expect to see it.
Though neither side is talking about the financial terms struck, both parties seem relieved. "We're pleased that, after months of negotiations, we were able to reach a fair agreement with Time Warner Cable, one that recognizes the value of our programming," said News Corp COO Chase Carey in a statement.
As for the cable provider, Time Warner Cable's chief executive Glenn Britt said the company had "reached a reasonable deal with no disruption in programming for our customers."
That's what subscribers to the New York City area Cablevision cable system found themselves facing this morning as the Scripps company pulled The Food Network and HGV from Cablevision, which services about 3.1 million households in the region.
Cablevision and Scripps could not come to a distribution deal before the midnight deadline.
The British producer will be expected to "infuse [the show] with fresh perspective and innovative ideas that will serve as a blueprint for a successful fifth season," according to HGTV senior vice president of programming Freddy James.
Burnett introduced competition-based reality programming to American audiences. In addition to his work on 'Survivor,' Burnett has produced everything from 'Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader,' to 'The Apprentice' to MTV's 'Bully Beatdown.'
In 2007, his work on 'Survivor' won him an Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction Program (Special Class).
'Design Star,' which just wrapped its fourth season in September, is a bit of a departure from Burnett's resume. Which means he may have to spruce it up a little to compete with the intensity of his other shows.
On the upcoming special 'Holiday of Stars' (Sun., Dec. 6, at 5PM on ABC), celebrities from the entertainment and sports worlds share their holiday ideas and traditions. Kelly Edwards, home decorating expert for AOL Living and co-host and design coordinator for HGTV's 'Design on a Dime,' was brought on board to huddle with former Giants and 49ers quarterback Jesse Palmer (now a sportscaster for ESPN) to spruce up his New York apartment.
It was the perfect assignment for Edwards, whose style is all about giving the appearance of being high-end while being both value-conscious and sensitive to the personal taste of the home dweller.
Read our Q&A with Edwards after the jump.
While walking the streets of Manhattan, heading to the office early this morning, one of those giant open-air tour buses came flying by me as I crossed Sixth Avenue. Normally, since I see them everyday, I ignore them. But this one had a giant ad plastered across the side of it for Ed Begley Jr.'s green livin' reality show, and I couldn't help staring at it because it confused the hell outta me. Not because it's an inherently confusing ad, but because the fonts and text create an inherently confusing message.
Now, I'm no ad man, but am I the only one who sees the problem here?
Me? I'm a fan. The guy is obviously talented. I like his edgy designs and his laid back everyman attitude. His new show, The Antonio Project, will definitely be something different for HGTV. It won't be for everybody, but it'll be refreshing to see a guy like Antonio host a show on a cable network mostly populated by dull yuppie types.
The HGTV Web site has a preview of this Sunday's premiere of The Antonio Project. The former set designer will have to redesign his own home in five days. By the looks of his house, the network is doing Antonio a favor. The place looks like a crime scene or an abandoned strip mall. Head after the jump to see a pic.
Both designers were cool and confident throughout the challenge, and their final products were nothing short of stunning. These guys know their stuff, and they deserved to make it to the end of the show, beating out nine other contestants for a shot at their own series on HGTV. But there could be only one winner.
1. Heroes. The show has problems, which have been analyzed to death in the past several weeks, but it's still an entertaining hour of television. Great cast, and it's a fun ride. But a few things about the show bother me. One is the number of characters. Well, not the amount, per se, but how the show is structured with all of the characters. I'd rather see several characters sit out an episode than have ten characters all fighting for screen time in one episode. It's just too much. I also hate that there doesn't seem to be any real danger on the show, no real risk. I mean, if Hiro can go back in time, where's the real danger? If something can be done where a character can come back to life even after he is killed, where's the real risk? The show has to do something to change that in the next chapter.
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