While experts are still trying to figure out how to make money from the DVR, the industry has agreed that these "Live+7" numbers will be the figure that count for the history books.
But no fight this year has gotten as ugly as the current one between Fox and Cablevision, which has resulted in a blackout currently in its third day, a shutoff that has already cost 3 million households in three states the opportunity to watch some much anticipated baseball and football games.
The good news for Time Warner Cable's nearly 15 million subscribers in 28 states: It looks like the cable behemoth is no longer in danger of losing such Disney-owned channels as ABC and ESPN on the eve of college and pro football seasons and the new primetime broadcast season. The bad news: The deal between the two entertainment giants leaves the door open for further clashes between programmers and cable service providers, disputes that are likely to add to your cable and Internet bills in the near future.
Disney and TWC had been battling for weeks in the run-up to Sept. 2, the day Disney's current contract with TWC expires. Disney wanted higher fees for its popular channels, including ABC (which cable service providers used to pay nothing for, since its signal was broadcast over the air for free), the Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN2 and other viewer favorites. If its terms weren't met before the contract expired, Disney had threatened to pull the signals and darken those channels for TWC subscribers. For its part, TWC had resisted the higher carriage fees, though it would ultimately be passing on those increased costs to its subscribers.
Now, however, the two sides have reached a truce, and while there is no official deal in place, both sides seem to expect the details to be worked out before the threatened signal pull-out at midnight Wednesday night. While neither side will discuss the details of the negotiation, it's clear that Disney has won some concessions, which will eventually mean higher cable bills for TWC customers. And probably for other cable customers as well, since the current battle is hardly the first that has erupted this year over carriage fees; nor is it likely to be the last.
Disney vs. Time Warner Cable: Yet Another Battle That May Take Away Your Favorite Channels or Raise Your Bill
Playing this week in summer reruns: another battle between a cable network and a service provider that threatens to either take away your favorite channels or increase your monthly cable bill.
There have been several such battles this year. The latest is between Disney (parent company to such widely-viewed channels as ABC, the Disney Channel and ESPN) and Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest service provider. Like other programmers in those earlier squabbles, Disney is negotiating for increased carriage fees, the per-subscriber amounts that the service provider pays to carry each channel.
Enter Patrick Moran, the man whose photo says, "Even my toenails are confident." He will be the new head of drama at ABC Studios. As the former senior VP of drama at US studio 20th Century Fox Television, Moran's big credits include developing 'Glee,' 'Prison Break' and 'Bones.'
He will be replacing Josh Barry, who has been with ABC since 2000 and helped develop 'Desperate Housewives' and 'Lost.' He's only acted as head of drama for about a year. However, in TV years, that's 15 unsuccessful years.
Look for Moran to start developing to creative new projects to prove his worth soon. Perhaps a musical series about intelligent but quirky prison escapees who solve crimes?
Deadline.com reports that Murphy, also the creator behind long-running FX drama 'Nip/Tuck' and the 1999-2001 WB teen dramedy 'Popular,' is signing a new four-year, $24 million deal with Fox that will cover his duties on 'Glee' and new series development via his Ryan Murphy Productions company.
Potentially even more significant in Murphy's new deal with Fox: He'll also receive a share of the revenues from 'Glee's music-related spin-off projects, including CD sales and music downloads, as well as the cast tour and 'Glee' merchandise. That clause is retroactive, according to Deadline.com, which means Murphy will get a slice of what has already been a successful first season for the show's ancillary products, including three soundtrack CDs and two EPs, the cast's sold-out summer concert tour, and swag like books, t-shirts and tote bags.
The Annual William S. Paley Television Festival (dubbed "PaleyFest" for short) is one of the highlights of any Los Angeles-based TV aficionado's calendar, offering audiences the chance to view fresh new episodes of their favorite shows weeks before they hit the air, and grill panels of actors, showrunners and writers about their craft.
This year's 13-night schedule of events (Feb. 26-March 14) included some of the most critically acclaimed, most talked-about and most unmissable shows of the year, from newcomers such as 'Glee,' 'The Vampire Diaries' and 'Modern Family' to primetime stalwarts like 'Dexter' and 'Lost.' Now that the dust has settled and the red carpets have been rolled away, we've compiled this handy list of panel highlights for some of your favorite shows, to ensure that you won't miss out on any of the scoop that was dished out at the festival.
O'Brien has the dubious honor of hosting the flagship late-night program on NBC at a time when the network is mired in fourth place, when his own ratings have plummeted, when the desperate cheapness of the Jay-Leno-at-10PM experiment seems to be dragging down both prime time and late-night, and when what's left of the proud Peacock network is about to be sold to a cable service provider.
At least Conan's not the captain of this Titanic; he's more like one of the fiddlers desperately sawing away at "Nearer My God to Thee" as the vessel sinks. But then, he has no obligation to go down with the boat. Maybe, as San Francisco Chronicle TV columnist Tim Goodman suggests, it's time for O'Brien to jump ship.
It's all part of the Entertainment Industry Foundation's "iParticipate" campaign. Variety reports that more than 60 of this week's primetime and daytime shows have agreed to work volunteerism into this week's plots, either via casual references or central storylines.
Like Peggy, Gordon rose quickly to valued writer from her initial post as personal assistant to the top creative guy (in this case, series creator Matthew Weiner. She was soon promoted to writer's assistant and then to staff writer. She shared a writing credit on last season's all-important finale, which led to her sharing the Emmy podium with Weiner on Sept. 20 (pictured). And now that season 3 is in the can, the Emmy-winning rising star suddenly gets the boot? What gives?
I don't think that this report comes as a surprise to anyone. As an overly avid TV watcher, it's no shock that most series center around white characters while people of color often play secondary or tertiary roles. I mean, almost every series out there today has to have a BBF (black best friend) or EBF (ethnic best friend) and if not that, then the GBF (gay best friend, but that's another report all together), but it is disappointing to note that there are so few people of color in lead roles.
After about an hour and a half of fake fights, thrown tennis balls, and clap after clap after clap, everyone sat down for a Q&A.
The students were able to ask questions of the following three people:
Robert Russel, the aforementioned reality show casting director.
Dave Martin, finalist on season one of Bravo's Top Chef.
Jorge Bendersky, "Dog Stylist" on Animal Planet's Groomer Has It.
I'm going to do something that I haven't done up until this point: report what happened without snarky asides or not-so-subtle digs at the students or organizers. This hour was actually worth the price of admission. If you're someone that is truly interested in the way reality shows work and what they're looking for, the Q&A gave some real insight into the process.
The Screening Room, a new monthly half-hour series for CNN International, will debut on March 30 at 1:30 p.m. Myleene Klass, one of the celebs from the UK reality series I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! will host the new series, which will delve into the film business from an international perspective with the usual celebrity interviews, red carpet moments, and film festival coverage. If you don't have CNN International, you can download episodes from the series' site when it launches on March 30.
I don't know how far this new series will stray from typical TV coverage of the movie business, but I do like the idea of broadening the focus to places outside of the United States.
A friend of mine sent me this link of the fifty greatest cartoons of all time as voted on by folks in the industry back in 1994. The peeps at Cityrag scoured video sites for the cartoons and have links to all but six of the cartoons for your viewing enjoyment.
I have to say, I can't find too many things wrong with this list. Warner Bros. figures heavily on the list, naturally, but it's nice to see Popeye and Betty Boop pop up on the list as well, not to mention "The Cat Came Back," a great Canadian cartoon based on the old song of the same name.
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