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  1. #1081
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    Re: Television Random, Random Scripted/NonScripted

    The Leftovers has been renewed for season 2 by HBO. Took them longer than usual to make the decision. Its ratings are middling but consistent. When you add in HBO repeats, HBO Go, On Demand, and DVR, it reached 8 million per week, which pretty much guaranteed a renewal.

  2. #1082
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    Re: Television Random, Random Scripted/NonScripted

    They saw that I wasn't going to watch it anymore and decided that made it safe to renew...had I been still watching it would have been cancelled for sure!

  3. #1083

    Re: Television Random, Random Scripted/NonScripted

    Cable's New Business Model: Lower Ratings, Higher Revenue
    5:00 AM PST 08/20/2014 by Paul Bond

    As top channels lose viewers and reality hits age, conglomerates are pumping profits with sub fees and overseas growth — but can it last?

    This story first appeared in the Aug. 29 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

    The stats are sobering: Seven of the 10 most profitable cable channels have seen total viewership fall significantly in both primetime and full-day averages during the past 12 months, the exceptions being ESPN, Discovery and TBS. At the same time, THR reported Aug. 4 that cable upfront deals for the 2014-15 season dipped 4.7 percent to $9.7 billion, the first drop since the recession ended in 2009.

    But the metric that matters most — profits — keeps climbing. At Disney Channel, cash flow in 2014 will be up 5 percent compared with 2013, estimates SNL Kagan, even though Nielsen says primetime viewership is off 12 percent. Cash flow at USA should be up 5 percent, MTV up 3 percent and FX up 4 percent, yet all have had smaller audiences. In fact, of the top 10 cable channels based on cash flow, just one — ESPN — is expected to decline in 2014 (albeit by less than 1 percent).

    It's enough to ask: What's going on in the cable TV business?

    Reasons for fear are many: A glut of similar reality programming is fragmenting audiences; several popular cable shows are ending amid a lack of new hits; too many new channels and online video outlets offer original programming; and consolidation among providers — Comcast buying Time Warner Cable and AT&T scooping up DirecTV — will give these mega-entities more leverage in future fee negotiations.

    So far, though, those reasons for pessimism have been no match for rising subscriber fees and cost-per-thousand rates, and many analysts say the upfronts were an anomaly and ad revenue is headed higher. PricewaterhouseCoopers, for example, says advertising at multichannel networks in North America will generate $30.5 billion by 2018, up from $24.2 billion in 2013. Plus, in many cases, foreign expansion is more than making up for sluggishness at home. Discovery Communications said June 30 that while its quarterly revenue decreased 2 percent year-over-year domestically, international growth was 23 percent. Taken together, revenue was up 10 percent.

    Also, as Laura Martin of Needham notes, while large cable channels might not be adding viewers, some smaller ones are. Investigation Discovery, for example, has averaged 774,000 primetime viewers during the past 12 months, up 16 percent versus the previous year. Conglomerates own lots of channels — Viacom's stable includes MTV, Spike, Comedy Central and more than a dozen others — so declines at some hurt less.

    "Viewing is not down if you look at the cable-channel ecosystem. We see it growing 1 to 2 percent annually," says Martin. "ID is so popular that if it grows another 12 percent, 10 smaller channels can decline 4 percent each and still not equal the gain made by ID."

    New channels often don't turn profits immediately, but they can become cash cows when nurtured. 21st Century Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch told analysts Aug. 6 that it took Fox News Channel seven years to turn a profit, and now it makes $1 billion annually. Of course, consumers can support only so many new channels. Nielsen says the average U.S. household had 189 channels to choose from in 2013, up from 129 in 2008, but the average consumer tuned in to only about 17, the same number as five years earlier.

    "There are a lot of channels that have questionable brand propositions," conceded Disney CEO Robert Iger on Aug. 5. "I think the marketplace will continue to grow for those channels that are best branded, most in-demand, best programmed — and I think we've got those channels."

    Iger and other CEOs can't afford to be wrong about their cable channels given how dependent they are on them. Barclays estimates that Disney's ESPN is worth $47.2 billion by itself. Viacom's cable networks are worth $46 billion, compared with $2.4 billion for the film unit, while Turner, owned by Time Warner, is worth $45.4 billion. Even CBS boasts a cable business worth $13.7 billion, more than its $13.2 billion broadcast network, says Barclays.

    All of the majors have seen financial growth at their cable networks in 2014, despite ratings issues. But it's not all rosy. In early August, Scripps Networks Interactive, owner of HGTV and Food Network, and AMC Networks, owner of AMC and WE tv, each reported declining quarterly profits. Those dips owed to rising production costs as the channels shift to owning programs, which analysts say is a good strategy.

    CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves, for example, boasted to analysts Aug. 7 that the company now owns many of its cable hits: "As our collection of owned Showtime hits grows, so too will our syndication revenue, which is now becoming a very meaningful part of our cable segment."

    Even those who fret that larger channels are losing viewers might be exaggerating, say some analysts, because Nielsen won't begin counting viewership on new platforms like mobile devices until the fall season. It could make a meaningful difference: TV viewing in fourth-quarter 2013 essentially was flat at slightly more than five hours a day compared with 2011, but viewing of video on smartphones grew from 48 minutes a day to 67 minutes. In June, 80 million people connected to ESPN via computers and mobile devices to keep up with the FIFA World Cup and other sports, Iger said Aug. 5.

    "When you look across platforms, viewership is very rich," says EY analyst Peri Shamsai. "Younger viewers are watching shows on mobile devices, and that measurement information is certainly not coming through yet."

    And despite ratings challenges, advertising rates keep rising. Indeed, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said July 22 that USA, the conglomerate's biggest cable channel, needs to raise its CPMs by about 10 percent to be on par with the competition, even as ratings at the network have dropped. In the short term, cable ad sales also are not expected to suffer from competition from online video, according to RBC Capital Markets, which notes that a half-hour TV show can support 16 commercials but the average online video (about four minutes) can support one 15-second spot.

    "There are a lot more companies that want to be affiliated with The Walking Dead than with a dog on a skateboard," quips Tony Wible of Janney Capital Markets.

    The strongest case for bullishness remains sub fees. Disney Channel, for example, rose from $1.09 per subscriber in 2012 to $1.15 now despite the ratings drop, and 21st Century Fox says its affiliate revenue has surged by 16 percent this year. "Inflation in affiliate fees will continue," predicts Steve Birenberg of Northlake Capital Management. But to help reverse ratings, "there has to be more and more investment in TV production."

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/new...Angeles_acouch
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  4. #1084

    Re: Television Random, Random Scripted/NonScripted

    Katie Couric on Diane Sawyer: 'I Wonder Who She Blew This Time'

    In a juicy new tell-all book, Katie Couric comes across as brash, striving, and self-absorbed, Diane Sawyer is a Machiavellian, often-inscrutable workaholic, and Christiane Amanpour has an off-putting moral superiority.


    For Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Christiane Amanpour, the moment of truth is about to arrive—or at least a book-length facsimile thereof.

    News executives and network publicists have been distracting themselves from this summer’s seriously depressing or otherwise alarming world events by passing around and poring over bound galleys of The News Sorority, veteran journalist Sheila Weller’s gossipy chronicle of the rise (and occasional stumbles) of three of television news’ best-known women.

    Some highlights:

    *When Sawyer was up for a job at CBS News’ Washington bureau after years in the press office at the Nixon White House and then helping the disgraced former president with his memoirs in San Clemente, Dan Rather advised CBS News President Bill Small: “Don’t hire her!” Rather later admitted he’d been wrong.

    *Sawyer’s famous rivalry with Barbara Walters for ratings-grabbing interview subjects was akin to mortal combat. “Barbara and Diane were determined to kill each other—to wipe each other off the face of the earth,” says an ABC News staffer.

    *Couric and Sawyer competed relentlessly for “gets” both when they hosted rival morning shows—Couric at NBC’s Today—but with radically different approaches.

    Weller writes: “When a friend of Diane’s, a public figure, was being pursued by Katie’s people, the wooed eminence got a call from [Diane’s husband, the famed director] Mike Nichols, who said—in a very nice way, to be sure—that he and Diane would essentially cut off all social contact if their friend appeared on Today.”

    When Diane beat Katie on an interview with a 57-year-old woman who’d given birth to twins, Katie mused aloud, according to a person who heard the comment: “I wonder who she blew this time to get it.”

    *When Couric became the first woman to front a network evening news program alone at CBS, she wooed iconic anchor Walter Cronkite over a couple of dinners, and the old man’s blessing was such that he recorded the introduction to the broadcast. Later Cronkite privately expressed discomfort with Couric’s allegedly soft-news style.

    *Sawyer maneuvered her former GMA co-anchor, Charlie Gibson, out of the anchor chair at World News. “In the summer of 2009 Charlie had lost his momentum and Diane moved in for the kill…Charlie told people that he was called into David’s [Westin’s] office and told, ‘You’re out.’”

    Representatives of Couric and Amanpour declined to give me on-the-record reactions to Weller’s account. Sources at ABC News, speaking on behalf of Sawyer, sought to dismiss the book’s portrayal as overwrought and occasionally wrongheaded—especially Weller’s detailed reporting about the increasingly tense relationship between Sawyer and ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood, who started out years ago as her intern and acolyte, according to Weller, but ended up as her less than enthralled, occasionally impatient boss.

    MORE: http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...this-time.html
    Ssshh. Don't tell PEHK I am cheating on him with Dominic Thiem!

  5. #1085

    Re: Television Random, Random Scripted/NonScripted

    So did Tony Soprano die in the end?

    I had been talking with Chase for a few years when I finally asked him whether Tony was dead or alive. We were in a tiny coffee shop, when, in the middle of a low-key chat about a writing problem I was having, I popped the question. Chase startled me by turning toward me and saying with sudden, explosive anger, “Why are we talking about this?” I answered, “I’m just curious.” And then, for whatever reason, he told me. [...]

    He shook his head “no.” And he said simply, “No he isn’t.” That was all.

    (...)

    ...When I asked Chase about the cut to black, he said that it is about Poe's poem "Dream Within a Dream." "What more can I say?" he asks when I prod him to speak more, and I admire his silence. I am his audience too and he wants me to reach for his meaning. And here's what I conclude. Though you wouldn't know it from watching Hollywood movies, endings are by nature mysterious. There is the instability of loss in an ending as well as the satisfying sense of completion. American television before Chase, with the exception of David Lynch's Twin Peaks, one of Chase's avowed key inspirations for the art of The Sopranos, built a craft that dispenses with the destabilizing aspects of an ending. The true art of closure will not tolerate such a boring decision. Moreover, the art of closure forbids merely telling the audience in words that there is loss, since words can create the illusion of safety and control. Chase's art seeks a silent level of knowing more profound than words. He believes we already know if we open up to that deeper part of us.

    http://www.vox.com/2014/8/27/6006139...f-the-sopranos

    Very interesting interview about the role of Carlos Casteneda's "Don Juan" novels and Bunuel in Chase's approach.
    Oh heaven...I wake with good intentions but the day it always lasts too long... Emeli Sande

  6. #1086
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    Re: Television Random, Random Scripted/NonScripted

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    Katie Couric on Diane Sawyer: 'I Wonder Who She Blew This Time'

    In a juicy new tell-all book, Katie Couric comes across as brash, striving, and self-absorbed, Diane Sawyer is a Machiavellian, often-inscrutable workaholic, and Christiane Amanpour has an off-putting moral superiority.


    For Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Christiane Amanpour, the moment of truth is about to arrive—or at least a book-length facsimile thereof.

    News executives and network publicists have been distracting themselves from this summer’s seriously depressing or otherwise alarming world events by passing around and poring over bound galleys of The News Sorority, veteran journalist Sheila Weller’s gossipy chronicle of the rise (and occasional stumbles) of three of television news’ best-known women.

    Some highlights:

    *When Sawyer was up for a job at CBS News’ Washington bureau after years in the press office at the Nixon White House and then helping the disgraced former president with his memoirs in San Clemente, Dan Rather advised CBS News President Bill Small: “Don’t hire her!” Rather later admitted he’d been wrong.

    *Sawyer’s famous rivalry with Barbara Walters for ratings-grabbing interview subjects was akin to mortal combat. “Barbara and Diane were determined to kill each other—to wipe each other off the face of the earth,” says an ABC News staffer.

    *Couric and Sawyer competed relentlessly for “gets” both when they hosted rival morning shows—Couric at NBC’s Today—but with radically different approaches.

    Weller writes: “When a friend of Diane’s, a public figure, was being pursued by Katie’s people, the wooed eminence got a call from [Diane’s husband, the famed director] Mike Nichols, who said—in a very nice way, to be sure—that he and Diane would essentially cut off all social contact if their friend appeared on Today.”

    When Diane beat Katie on an interview with a 57-year-old woman who’d given birth to twins, Katie mused aloud, according to a person who heard the comment: “I wonder who she blew this time to get it.”

    *When Couric became the first woman to front a network evening news program alone at CBS, she wooed iconic anchor Walter Cronkite over a couple of dinners, and the old man’s blessing was such that he recorded the introduction to the broadcast. Later Cronkite privately expressed discomfort with Couric’s allegedly soft-news style.

    *Sawyer maneuvered her former GMA co-anchor, Charlie Gibson, out of the anchor chair at World News. “In the summer of 2009 Charlie had lost his momentum and Diane moved in for the kill…Charlie told people that he was called into David’s [Westin’s] office and told, ‘You’re out.’”

    Representatives of Couric and Amanpour declined to give me on-the-record reactions to Weller’s account. Sources at ABC News, speaking on behalf of Sawyer, sought to dismiss the book’s portrayal as overwrought and occasionally wrongheaded—especially Weller’s detailed reporting about the increasingly tense relationship between Sawyer and ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood, who started out years ago as her intern and acolyte, according to Weller, but ended up as her less than enthralled, occasionally impatient boss.

    MORE: http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...this-time.html


    Other than the Diane Sawyer's husband making calls bit, not much meat in these highlights for such long careers. People at the top of their competitive profession are competitive? Shocker.


  7. #1087

    Re: Television Random, Random Scripted/NonScripted

    To absolutely no one's surprise, Jay Carney has signed on with CNN.
    Ssshh. Don't tell PEHK I am cheating on him with Dominic Thiem!

  8. #1088

    Re: Television Random, Random Scripted/NonScripted

    Quote Originally Posted by Moose View Post
    To absolutely no one's surprise, Jay Carney has signed on with CNN.
    Don't White House press secretaries have sign their media deal prior to taking the job in the White House.
    We All Play for Canada

  9. #1089
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    Re: Television Random, Random Scripted/NonScripted

    Apparently the White House press podium is but a stepping stone.
    Hello, Grigor.

  10. #1090
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    Re: Television Random, Random Scripted/NonScripted

    The poor child just wants to be in closer proximity to Nancy Grace in case someone bullies him in the CNN cafeteria.
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  11. #1091
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    Re: Television Random, Random Scripted/NonScripted

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    The poor child just wants to be in closer proximity to Nancy Grace in case someone bullies him in the CNN cafeteria.
    Wouldn't it be likeliest that Nancy Grace is the bully?


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