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October 8, 2015


Networks air edited version of Saddam cellphone video

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 2nd 2007 2:01PM
Saddam HusseinWhen a cellphone-created video of Saddam Hussein's execution started rocketing around the Internet, news directors were torn as to whether to show it or not, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the video, which we showed here, we not only see images of the hanging itself but also a contentiousness between Hussein and the people in the chamber, audio of which was conveniently left out of the Iraqi government's official video of the event.

Most networks decided to show the yelling between Saddam and the executioners and witnesses, judging that the audio gave additional context to the event, but they decided not to show his body actually falling through the gallows, deciding to stop at the point where the noose gets put around his neck. However, CNN.com showed a little bit more, stopping right before the hanging itself, and FoxNews.com showed the entire thing. Only MSNBC stayed consistent between its network and web site, just showing the first few seconds.

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Networks say coverage of Saddam Hussein's execution will be tasteful

by Joel Keller, posted Dec 29th 2006 3:01PM
Saddam and SatanI never thought I'd see the day when the words "Saddam" and "tasteful" were in the same sentence, but that day has arrived. Word is coming from the Iraqi government that Saddam Hussein will be executed by hanging by Saturday at the latest, and they will tape the entire thing. If that happens, the networks are saying that the coverage of the execution will be tasteful, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Now, they're not doing it out of respect to Saddam, of course; they're doing it out of respect for their audience. They won't air the full video if the Iraqi government makes it available for broadcast. "We're very aware that we're coming into people's living rooms and that there could be children watching," Linda Mason, a senior VP for CBS News, told THR. Since the war started, network news executives have considered using graphic video footage on a case-by-case basis, often editing it down to make it more palatable to audiences.

(Update: Embedded below is reportedly a video of Saddam's hanging.)

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Steven Spielberg says networks need to be more responsible

by Joel Keller, posted Nov 21st 2006 6:33PM
Steven SpielbergEver watch a steamy or somewhat violent network promo during the 8:00 hour, or see something particularly risqué at that time and wonder "didn't there used to be a family hour?" Well, Steven Spielberg is wondering the same thing. He told an audience at the International Emmys board of directors meeting that networks need to be more mindful of what they show during times when children may be watching, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

During his on-stage interview, he cited promos for CSI that showed a lot of blood and dissections. Even his favorite new show of the season, Heroes, showed a scene of someone being cut in half. And, since it was during the 9 PM time period, his kids were still awake; he had to send them out of the room.

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What baby boomers learned from TV

by Julia Ward, posted Nov 7th 2006 11:01AM
All in the FamilyNewsweek's November 13th issue features a story on what television taught baby boomers. Apparently, it first taught them how to buy a Davy Crockett cap and shotgun. Then, however, things got more complicated. All in the Family. M*A*S*H. Good Times. The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Roots. "What boomers ultimately took from early TV was a collective sense of irony." The article isn't entirely convincing in this argument, but it does level a pointed criticism about television today.

Modern TV, according to Newsweek, has lost its edge. "The most popular shows are still crime procedurals (CSI) or soaps (Grey's Anatomy) - slick and sexy, but not about much. The reality shows American Idol and Dancing with the Stars are so retro, they're practically The Lawrence Welk Show. When The Unit or 24 does dare to focus on something like the war on terror, their take is uncritically gung-ho - no network today would risk satire on the level of M*A*S*H."

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Where to find your favorite shows online

by Adam Finley, posted Oct 1st 2006 12:01PM

cable and dslReader Rod wrote to us recently asking for a comprehensive list of all the television programs that can be downloaded or streamed online. That's a pretty tall order, and I'm sure I'll forget a few, which is why I'm asking our faithful readers to fill in any gaps left due to my ignorance or plain forgetfulness. I'm going to focus purely on legitimate downloads and not such things as peer-to-peer downloads or torrents. I'm not going to list specific shows, because obviously as the television schedule changes, so do the programs.

I encourage you to add this post to your Favorites, as I'll be updating it every now and then.

(Last updated on 01/21/07)

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Networks practice a little cross promotion

by Anna Johns, posted Jul 12th 2006 8:19AM
brotherhoodThis summer, NBC and CBS are working hard to drum up excitement for shows that air on cable channels owned by the networks. On Saturday, CBS will air the season premiere of Showtime's new drama, Brotherhood (read Annie's early review). And, for the next two Mondays, NBC will air the first two episodes of this season's Project Runway, which usually airs on Bravo. NBC has already done this with The 4400; airing a wrap-up of the program on its network in hopes of getting viewers excited enough that they'll switch on over to USA. Hopefully NBC will show a little love to Battlestar Galactica when it returns in October. And ABC has been playing episodes of ABC Family's new hit, Kyle XY, on Friday nights.

Whether this "cross-pollenation" works is anybody's guess. Except for Project Runway, these shows aren't exactly getting prime real estate when they do air on the major networks.

[Via TV Tattle]

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When is your favorite show coming back?

by Bob Sassone, posted May 29th 2006 5:24PM
The 4400So the long, hot summer has begun (yeah, I know it's still spring "technically," but it's in the 80s here, humid, and I had to open my window today), and that means repeats, repeats, repeats. Sure, the networks show more new programming in the summer than they used to (even if it is mostly reality), but the real return of TV watching doesn't start til late August.

The Futon Critic has a really detailed list of all the returning shows, and what days they will be coming back. They have the premiere dates for fan favorites like Lost, House, and Family Guy, but also for cable shows like The 4400, 30 Days, and Monk.

This list also confirmed that there is a show on WE called Bridezillas, and that Breaking Bonaduce is coming back for another season. Amazing.

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More people watching online video

by Adam Finley, posted May 26th 2006 8:06AM
cableMore and more television networks and stations are going online with their content. I think some do it better than others, but ultimately it's nice to see that television isn't blind to what the Web can offer and the reach it has. The question is, though, how many people are actually watching video online? According to a recent analysis by comScore, the number is increasing. Between October 2005 and March 2006 users watching online video increased 18 percent. Of course, "online video" covers a lot, not just what's being stuck on the Web by different TV channels. Nevertheless, it does show that there's an audience slowly building for this kind of content, which hopefully means we'll see more and more of it. 

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TV Squad APB #12

by Keith McDuffee, posted May 20th 2006 2:02PM
tv squad apb logoThis week is an all-Upfront podcast! Joel Keller and I go over the highlights and lowlights of what the networks announced (and didn't announce) this week. Do you agree with our thoughts?

Grab the file directly (link), subscribe to our podcast RSS feed (link), or visit the iTunes music store (link). (Running time: 01:03:06)

Be sure to leave us a message at tvsquad@gmail.com or call us and leave a voicemail at 917-421-9477 (NY).

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Nielsen ratings for the week ending April 9

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 12th 2006 8:54AM
Hugh Laurie1. American Idol - Tues (FOX)
2. American Idol - Weds (FOX)
3. CSI (CBS)
4. House (FOX)
5. Deal Or No Deal - Mon (NBC)
6. NCAA Basketball Championship (CBS)
7. Lost (ABC)
8. Survivor (CBS)
10. The Unit (CBS)
11. Law and Order: SVU (NBC)
12. Without A Trace (CBS)
13. 60 Minutes (CBS)
14. Unanimous (FOX)
15. Deal Or No Deal - Weds (NBC)
16. Numb3rs (CBS)
17. Grey's Anatomy (ABC)
18. Cold Case (CBS)
19. Extreme Makeover (ABC)
20. 24 (FOX)

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Things I Hate About TV: Local anchors thanking national anchors

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 9th 2006 9:04AM

Al RokerYou know what I mean. You're watching some national TV show, usually a morning show, and the national anchor or weatherperson, maybe Al Roker, will say something like, "that's the national weather, now here's the weather in your area," and they'll switch to the local weatherperson who says, "thanks Al! Yeah, it's gonna be cold today..."

Why do they do this? Do they think that TV viewers are idiots? That we think, "gee, everyone on TV is in the same place and knows each other! And they all live in my box in the living room!" Give me a break. I watch the syndicated Daily Buzz every morning (side note: I love you Andrea), and Mitch gives the national weather forecast, and then throws it to local affiliates, and Rich, the guy in Boston, always says, "thanks Mitch."

Rich, Mitch probably has no idea who you are, so can you stop thanking him? Thanks. Now I take you back to Katie Couric in New York...Katie? 

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