That's because, according to the Hollywood Reporter, 'Smallville' creators Miles Millar and Alfred Gough have teamed up with series co-producer Tollin/Robbins Productions in a lawsuit against Warner Bros. and the CW network. The allegation? Bilking 'Smallville' producers out of profits through the iffy industry practice known as "vertical integration."
Time Warner Cable has officially launched "Project Mercury," a behind-the-scenes marketing project to find the company a new name by the end of 2010. Why now? First, they had to come up with a name for the renaming project.
Maybe we can save TWC some bucks by asking our loyal readers to suggest their own names. And remember, all suggestions are monitored for obscenities.
Both sides reached an agreement in their two week long price fixing war that almost left viewers without their precious Fox shows that could have included some college football bowl games.
Of course, none of the games were interrupted or blocked and the world hasn't ended as a result of it. So consider this debate closed for now until the next time Fox dares to ask a cable service for a penny more of the profits. After all, it's not like Time Warner has raised their rates.
Time Warner has pulled out all the stops in their ongoing battle with Fox over licensing fees by accusing them of holding their viewers' favorite shows hostage.
They even went so far as to present their customers with a faux ransom note that demands the money or "you'll never see Fox again." Give Time Warner Cable one more day and they'll start mailing their customers severed toes.
Now it looks like the networks are giving a thought to providing an alternative. CBS, NBC, Disney, News Corp, Discovery, Time Warner, and Viacom are getting together and hope to have some sort of plan on what the "consortium" will do by the end of September. A VP at Starcom MediaVest, one of the companies involved, says that they don't necessarily want to replace Nielsen but there's no reason why another company can't "come in and do both [TV measurement and digital measurement]"
[via TV Tattle]
Our colleagues over at Cinematical have a good overview of the story (and a link to the FEARnet page showing Night of the Creeps). There's also a page on FEARnet with a phone number for the network, which will lead you to operators who will help connect you with your cable provider to demand (or ask politely, as Cinematical's Scott Weinberg suggests) that they reinstate FEARnet.
I didn't see this going any other way. If Viacom withheld its (very popular) line-up of channels from TWC, both of them would lose a valuable revenue stream. This is not a good idea in such an economy where people lose their jobs; I've learned that when the income stops coming in for most households, the first thing to go is cable television. This is not the case for me because the first thing to go in my house in such a situation would be the groceries (no way am I giving up Stephen Colbert).
At least subscribers can now enjoy such greats as Spongebob Squarepants, South Park, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Sadly it means they'll also have to put up with The Hills.
"To be clear, our fear is that the damage that digital distribution inflicted on the music industry will replicate itself in the movie industry, and our fears are too great to justify keeping neutral or positive ratings on the creators and distributors of movie and TV content," wrote analyst Anthony DiClemente.
Well, it looks like there may be a light at the end of the tunnel. ESPN is talking with The NFL Network about a broadcasting partnership, that according to The Associated Press. If a deal is done, NFL Network games in 2008 could be seen by just about everyone, not just those of us who are satellite subscribers.
Time Warner will soon be offering its users a way to stream Internet video to their television screens as part of an overall home networking system. In short, Time Warner is getting into the same business that Apple TV has already gotten into long ago.
"We're actually going to have equipment we make available to subscribers," said Chief Executive Glenn Brit at the Sanford C. Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference in New York this past Friday. "It's actually going to be a new wireless cable modem that will allow you to network everything in your house."
Verizon Communications is hoping to have its FiOS TV service available to customers in New York City within the next two months. This would be a tremendous boon to those who subscribe to cable, as suddenly the choice for providers will increase from solely Time Warner.
From the article: "spokesman John Bonomo said the city's Franchise and Concession Review Committee had given the green light to the video service, which is delivered along with high-speed Internet over an all-fiber network and is meant to compete with cable television."
This one just struck me as a bit odd. HBO has signed long time NY Times columnist Frank Rich on as a creative consultant. The two are tight-lipped about what projects he may or may not be working on already, but his new position is described as contributing to original program development. Apparently there will also be the opportunity for Rich to become a producer of projects that he helps with.
He's going to keep his gig at the Times while working with HBO, although he will avoid writing about the network, or their corporate overlords (and ours), Time Warner. Hiring creative consultants isn't the usual modus operandi for HBO, and programming group president Richard Plepler added that "it is not something the network is looking to do on a regular basis." Odd as it sounds on the surface, Rich did spend 13 years as the Times' chief theater critic, so he has some background for the gig. And anything that gets us closer to Jay Black, creative consultant to The CW, has to be a good thing, right?
Here's how it works. You can watch pretty much any show on demand the same day it airs, up until midnight. Two of your favorite programs are on against one another? No problem. Watch one live, and watch the next right after. Of course, if those two shows are on at 11PM, you're out of luck, but that's beside the point. Or is it?
If consumers can watch any show they want any time they want, he argues, cable providers can save the time and money it takes to install personal video recorders in their houses. Of course, by eliminating the need for PVRs, cable companies could also be removing the consumer's ability to skip advertisements. "Free" video-on-demand would have to be advertising supported, and that means cable providers would disable the fast-forward function.
And that's why I don't really see Bewkes' plan working. Certainly one of the most appealing aspects of a PVR is that you can watch shows whenever you feel like it. But being able to pause, rewind, fast-forward, and yes, skip commercials is another part of it. Would you be willing to pay as much for DVD purchases and rentals if there were ads that you couldn't skip?
Of course, that's what Time Warner, HBO's (and our) parent company, said in a statement. But according to a statement from Albrecht, the resignation was tendered at the request of his TW bosses. Right after the incident happened, Albrecht was supposed to take a leave of absence so he can continue alcohol treatments and work with AA that he had discontinued, but other incidents involving assaults against women were revealed, prompting TW to ask for the executive's resignation.
The network's COO, Bill Nelson, will assume Albrecht's duties on an interim basis until a successor is found. Albrecht had been with the network since 1985.
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