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April 23, 2014

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TV 101: What Can the Networks Do to Compete With Cable?

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Apr 6th 2011 3:00PM
Network TVIt's no surprise that television audiences are looking away from the big four networks (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC) when they want quality, soul-preserving programming. It used to be that "network" was your only choice, and if you wanted to see Bo Duke in painfully tight denim on 'Dukes of Hazzard' you had to work for it. You had to orchestrate your life around it. That's pretty powerful stuff.

Drunk with power, the networks got complacent at the wrong time, as television soon began to expand quite considerably. The development of basic and premium cable channels offered a myriad of not only diverse and original programming but various delivery methods as well, giving the power back to the audience.

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WWE Will Have Its Own Network Soon

by Brad Trechak, posted Feb 13th 2010 9:00AM
WWEWorld Wrestling Entertainment will soon have their own cable network. That's what you do when you own one of the hottest properties on cable television. Ask Oprah. Of course, Vince McMahon has been wanting this since last year. Given their dominance of pay-per-view, it's surprising that they don't have their own PPV network as well. Or maybe they do and my information is outdated.

This makes sense. WWE owns millions of hours of wrestling footage from the last six or so decades from the various properties it's acquired. They could have all kinds of wrestling shows on their network, including either 'Raw', 'Smackdown', WCW, ECW ... the list goes on. They could even have retro 80's shows for old fogies like myself. For reality television, they could show reruns of 'WWE Tough Enough', or have new seasons of the show. Eventually Channel Drift will kick in and they'll have shows like Doctor Phil but with "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.

Whatever happens, I can rest in the comfort that my cable company will never have this network. It's too good for them.

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Ask TV Squad: Chuck, Katherine Heigl and where to watch shows online

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Nov 18th 2009 10:02AM
Katherine HeiglThe "Ask TV Squad" column, published every Wednesday, answers your questions about current and past TV shows, as well as about the celebrities appearing on TV. Every week, I will pick a question (or more) sent to us and provide answers in the column. If your question is not picked for a column, it may be answered in a subsequent column or in TV Squad's APB Podcast.

To submit questions to the "Ask TV Squad" column, you can post them below in comments or email them to asktvsquad@gmail.com.

This week, I answer questions about Chuck, Katherine Heigl, and where to legally watch shows online for the U.S. and Canada.

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TV Squad Ten: The best movies about television

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 20th 2009 11:02AM
TV movies
As much as there have been movies about the theater and movies about movies, the films that have been made about television are some of the best ever. This year alone, there are two movies nominated for Best Picture of the year by the Academy Awards that are all about television -- Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon. Without TV, neither of these films would exist. Looking back, here are the films about TV that set the standards by which Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon are measured.

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Alas, my DVR won't save me tonight

by Richard Keller, posted Feb 2nd 2009 3:03PM

Chuck, Greg or Sheldon -- which two will you choose?

The networks are cold, heartless bastards.They want us to watch their shows in order to grab ratings and ad revenue; yet, they mess around with their schedules so much that it's frustrating. Eventually, it gets hard for us not to pick up the damn television and throw it out the window. Well, more like get a few people to pick it up and throw it out of the front door. Come on, those flat screens are heavy!

You're probably wondering what I'm ranting about, aren't you? Well, it involves tonight's primetime schedule during the 8 pm time slot. On CBS, we have The Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother, while FOX has a new House. The 100th episode of House, to be exact. Now, this wouldn't normally be an issue, since I could watch one network and record the other on my DVR. But, NBC decided to bring back Chuck tonight, as well.

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WGA Strike: How will it affect TV show spoilers?

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Nov 15th 2007 11:02AM
NetworksA few TV Squad readers contacted me to know how the strike will affect TV show spoilers and if columns like Spoilers Anonymous would vanish at some point this winter.

The short answer is that spoilers will be quite rare this winter if the strike last beyond the Holidays but not gone since a few series that already shot all or part of their upcoming seasons (e.g., The Shield, Greek, Monk, etc.) will start airing new episodes in spring time. As for the long answer...

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AOL to stream ABC programs on the web

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 20th 2007 12:21PM
ABC and AOLABC and this blog's parent company AOL have reached an agreement to stream ABC programming online. You can already watch a number of TV shows directly from ABC's website, but today's announcement brings us one step closer to being able to watch any program from any network without opening up 20 different web pages.

Although ABC's latest deal is with AOL, the announcement is part of a growing trend. When the networks began streaming TV shows online, the goal was to get people to visit a network website. Now we're seeing more networks teaming up to make content available on sites like MySpace, AOL, and Yahoo!.

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Celebrate your Sweet 16 on reality TV!

by Isabelle Carreau, posted Sep 14th 2007 8:02AM
Sixteen CandlesI'll admit it, I'm a fan of reality TV. However, there is a limit to what I'll watch. Lately, it seems that the networks are desperately creating new reality series. Maybe it's because they fear a writers' strike or maybe they just think we will actually watch?

Earlier today an unnamed major television network sent out a casting call for a reality series that will follow the planning of a Sweet 16 party!

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33 ways to watch TV online (wouldn't one be enough?)

by Brad Linder, posted Jun 19th 2007 1:03PM
TV Links
At this point, television networks have made some prime time content available for free online. We're not talking about $1.99 downloads from iTunes. We're talking free streaming episodes from networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and the CW.

But you can usually find just few episodes of a few programs. Mashable has put together a list of 33 services that provide online access to TV programs in one way or another. Some are 100% legal, like Joost and Babelgum. Others are a bit shadiers, like TV Links, which doesn't host any copyright-infringing video on its servers, but provides links to sites where you can (probably illegally) stream video.

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Spider-Man 3 wil air on FX in 2009

by Adam Finley, posted May 9th 2007 3:03PM

spiderman 3I'm not a fan of most "big" movies. You know, those movies with a ton of special effects, babes and explosions but very little plot? However, that doesn't mean decent "big" movies don't exist, and I think the Spider-Man films are a good example. Also, nobody brings a comic book to life better than Sam Raimi (perhaps some of my comic book-loving readers will disagree, though).

Anyway, I mention Spidey on this TV blog because FX has garnered the rights to broadcast Spider-Man 3 in 2009. How much FX ends up paying for the movie depends on how much money the movie itself brings in. As of this writing, the movie has brought in $161,401,784. The deal between Sony and FX could also allow Sony to sell the film to other broadcast networks.

Just out of curiosity, who saw Spider-Man 3 and what did you think of it? I liked it quite a bit, though I think it's probably the least of the series so far: a little too much story for one movie, but it did maintain that "old comic book" feel I love so much. I have a lot more to say about it, but I'll turn it over to you guys in the comments. Opine.

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Geldof plans to promote world peace with new channel

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 4th 2007 2:33PM

Bob GeldofBob Geldof, musician, social activist, Live Aid founder and the brains behind the Live 8 concert, is planning to launch a new broadband and television channel in 2008 dedicated to promoting world peace. The new venture will be financed by Point of Peace, a Norwegian human rights organization, and Geldof will launch the channel through his production company, Ten Alps. There's not much information on the channel or what sort of programming it will have, though some sources say the new channel will encourage Western nations to help poorer countries.

My initial thought is that Geldof is going to face an uphill struggle trying to get people to watch a channel dedicated to spreading peace throughout the world. That's not to say most of us wouldn't love to see such a thing happen in our lifetime, but no matter how much we advocate peace in our day to day lives, television still remains a medium mostly dedicated to indulging that part of our brain that loves violence and bloodshed. Getting people to watch a channel about peace is going to involve more than just creating entertaining programming, it's going to mean getting people to approach TV in an entirely new manner.

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Skype creators prepare to launch global broadband network

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 17th 2007 3:02PM

Niklas ZennstrmNiklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, the brains behind Skype and Kazaa, are preparing to launch the first global television network later this year. The new service, called Joost, has already garnered interest from Endemol TV (Fear Factor, Deal or No Deal and 1 Vs. 100), September Films (Beauty and the Geek, Bridezillas) and the Indy Racing League, all of which will be providing content, though what that content will be is unknown at the time.

The creators hope to provide entertainment for viewers using a format that will also allow content providers to keep their shows safe from piracy. The new venture already has several advertisers lined up, which is no doubt due to the popularity of both Skype and Kazaa.

Speaking as a viewer who isn't exactly tech-savvy, I have to say that the success of Joost will come down to how easy it is to use. I've said before that a large part of YouTube's success is that it's incredibly simple to find and watch videos. As long as Joost doesn't over-complicate things and actually provide worthwhile content, it might be worth checking out.

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Adult Swim is on YouTube

by Adam Finley, posted Jan 12th 2007 1:02PM

sealab 2021Adult Swim now has an official channel on YouTube, and I'm not really sure why. The channel only features clips and not full episodes, and while it looks like there are not as many user-uploaded episodes on the site as before, you can still find them if you look hard enough. Also, there's always the Adult Swim Fix that has both full episodes and clips.

So okay, it's more of a promotional thing. That's fine, but if I'm online looking for something to satisfy my craving for Adult Swim content, this is probably the last place I'll go to. Criminy, I sound like such a whiny little bitch: "Oh, why must Adult Swim provide me with free easy-to-view clips of shows I love?" Seriously, I should just shut the hell up. Who do I think I am, anyway? I'm going to go to my room and think about what I've done.

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CBS tries to curb negative comments on its YouTube clips

by Adam Finley, posted Dec 13th 2006 4:23PM

cbsCall me an old crankypuss, but I've never really been impressed with unmoderated discussions on the Web. Once you leave the doors wide open, you're almost immediately overrun by folks who gleefully pound out vicious bromides while hiding behind the anonymity allowed by the Web. One has only to read the comments on any YouTube clip to see how quickly this can bring down intelligent discussion.

Alas, that's how this crazy medium works, so you have to take the good with the bad. That is, unless you're CBS. The network, which boasts some of the most-watched clips on YouTube, is trying to police its comments by moving them to a different page, rather than directly below the videos themselves. The network is also trying to stay on top of profane, off-topic and unconstructive criticism. The network has been doing this since late October, and all I can say is, "Welcome to the user's Web, CBS."

[via Lost Remote]

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On the 11th day of festivus, TV gave to me

by Adam Finley, posted Dec 5th 2006 4:30PM

aqua teen hunger force

. . . eleven Adult Swim moments.

Gather around the fireplace, kids, and let us reminisce about all the joy Adult Swim has brought us in the past year:

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