Nobody Knows Anything Dept.

Big NBC slate may hurt new shows’ chance to score
By Liana B. Baker and Lisa Richwine

(Reuters) – NBC plans to premiere 16 new shows in prime time starting this fall, by far the biggest crop of launches for any network for the next TV season and one of the biggest new slates in recent years.

The large number of new shows is a function of the network’s status as the ratings cellar-dweller among the big four broadcast networks – the others are CBS, News Corp’s Fox, and Walt Disney Co’s ABC. But the amount of new shows also has the potential to overwhelm viewers.

“You are dividing your attention so many more ways. It’s like having 10 children instead of two. How do they all get attention?” said media industry consultant Adam Armbruster of Eckstein, Summers, Armbruster & Co.

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We love Reuters because it’s like the last remnant of Genuine Old Media. You know, when major news gathering organizations had serious cred. Reuters never gets emotional. Never overtly displays any agenda but reportage…and yet, here we have an excellently written and researched article that’s entirely conjecture.

Or, to be more precise (as Reuters would be), an article that’s fair and balanced reportage of other people’s conjectures.

It’s an interesting and in its way informative look into the minds of media buyers and sellers, but we’re not sure we accept the conclusion, summed up by the writers as, “While NBC will face a challenge to make new shows stand out from the pack, media buyers say it had few other options but to order so many shows, throw money at them and then hope something sticks.”

What we conclude from the info at hand is more like this: “It’s showbiz, Jake. Nobody knows anything. Still.”

(Our thanks to special guest quotees Robert Towne and William Goldman.)

Get Ready for Your Decorator TV

Hey, we’re TV! We’re superficial! And we’re going to completely fulfill our superficiality potential! NOW!

IKEA’s New Take on TVs: They Should Look Good in Your House
By Lee Neikirk

IKEA announced in early April of this year that they’re soon releasing a new kind of television. It’s not engineered with any new technology—at least, not in the way most people would think. IKEA’s TV, called Uppleva, is more than a TV: it’s also its own entertainment center, Blu-ray player, and audio system.

Francis Cayouette, one of the designers behind Uppleva, said during the Milan showing of the TV: “People actually consider the TV as a piece of furniture, but it is always something that looked very technical, has a lot of cables, is complicated, and just doesn’t fit in the home environment.” Whether you agree with this implied credo of a home environment or not, the man does have a point. He goes on to explain that the idea behind Uppleva was to merge the worlds of home furnishing and electronics.

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Like the mega-corporations always say, when it comes to business – even show business – profit is the best revenge.



Charlie Sheen’s TV show sets cable audience record

(Reuters) – Charlie Sheen may have lost a man and a half, but the bad boy actor has rebounded from last year’s television debacle with a record-setting audience for his new TV comedy.

More than 5.4 million U.S. viewers watched the debut episode of “Anger Management” on FX on Thursday night according to audience ratings data, making it was the most-watched, scripted comedy series debut in primetime cable TV history.

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So, approve of them or not, Charlie Sheen’s antics have leveraged him from mere highest-paid-star-in-TV-stardom to the dizzying realm of godlike-household-name.

Because it has to be Charlie that brought in the audience, and kept it for the length of the show. It sure wasn’t anything else about the episode. Especially not the embarrassingly milquetoast, continually backpedaling script. (Hey, we’re a writing site. Gotta comment on the words. And, speaking of words, how about that “milquetoast,” huh? When’s the last time you read that on the web?)

AMC and ATT Make a Deal in Nick of Time – Wotta Shocker!

AMC Networks, AT&T Reach New Carriage Deal
by George Szalai

AMC Networks, the company behind cable networks AMC, IFC, and WE tv, AT&T’s U-verse pay TV service, unveiled a new carriage agreement on Sunday.

“We have reached a long-term agreement with AT&T that appropriately recognizes the value of our networks and our award-winning and high-quality programming,” AMC Networks said. “We respect AT&T as a partner that has a genuine interest in working with us to ensure their customers continue to enjoy our programming, which includes the upcoming July 15 premiere of AMC’s Breaking Bad…”

Earlier this weekend, satellite TV giant Dish Network dropped the channels of AMC Networks, including “The Walking Dead” home and flagship network AMC….

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Looks like Dish Network subscribers are still plumb out of luck. Unless there’s a miraculous, last-minute agreement, plucked out of the air as though by God. Which, btw, is pretty much what always happens in these situations.

Just sayin’.

Can’t Argue with This

Karlovy Vary 2012: Helen Mirren Calls for More Women Directors

Honored for her lifetime achievement at the Czech Republic festival, the “Prime Suspect” actress urged more female filmmakers to make movies.

Where are all the women directors?

So asked Helen Mirren Friday night as she accepted a lifetime achievement award on the opening night of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival with impromptu remarks.

Paying tribute to the late Nora Ephron,who died earlier this week, Mirren called out for more women to follow her lead as one of the few successful women screenwriter/directors in the entertainment industry.

Mirren recalled her own early acting career when few women directed films.

“When I was making those (early) films, they were very, very few female directors, and there were certainly no women on set, which made taking one’s clothes off all the more difficult,” she observed.

All that has changed in recent years, Mirren continued, after Julie Taymor directed her in The Tempest, and Hurt Locker helmer Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to win an Oscar as best director.

“Things have moved on, but as far as I’m concerned, they haven’t moved on enough,” Mirren insisted…

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