"The Bible" was a ratings blessing for the History Channel. (History Channel )
After the coffee. Before syncing my new BlackBerry to my work email.
The Skinny: It's good to be back home. Ask me in a few hours if it is good to be back in the office. Kidding! Tuesday's headlines include a look at how Hollywood tries to spin a bad movie, Paramount is getting back into TV production and History Channel had a Sunday night to remember.
Daily Dose: Steve Capus, who resigned as president of NBC News last month, was given a farewell party Monday night by the network that was his home for two decades. Among those wishing Capus well at Studio 8H were Tom Brokaw, “Today” hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie and David Gregory of “Meet the Press.” Numerous executives were there as well, including NBC News Chairman Pat Fili-Krushell and CNBC chief Mark Hoffman. Capus has been rumored for a possible position at CNN, but that is only because he used to work for new CNN chief Jeff Zucker.
Spin baby, spin! No one in Hollywood intentionally tries to make a movie that will bomb. But no one in Hollywood will also ever own up to the idea that their movie is a bomb either. So they come up with lots of clever excuses that often remind one of Hoover in "Animal House" when he tells Dean Wormer, "We're hoping that our midterm grades will really help our average." The Los Angeles Times on the excuses Hollywood comes up with to explain why their movie flopped.
Back in the game. A long time ago, Paramount made great television shows, including the iconic sitcom "Cheers." But after its parent Viacom merged with CBS, Paramount drifted away from the small screen. Now Viacom and CBS are again separate companies (although both are controlled by Sumner Redstone) and Paramount wants to try its hand at TV again. Its first deal is to team with Sony on a TV version of "Beverly Hills Cop" that CBS (yes, CBS) has ordered. Whether this is just a PR ploy or Paramount is really going to invest the money to sign up writers and producers needed to create a viable TV studio is anybody's guess. But investing in a show you had rights to anyway (Paramount made the original "Beverly Hills Cop" movie) is hardly earth shattering. More from the Los Angeles Times and Wall Street Journal
We guarantee it. TV networks typically offer advertisers a guarantee that their programs will reach a certain number of viewers. But including ratings for programs that air on the Web as well has proven trickier because of a lack of confidence in the measurement of online viewing. But in a show of trust in Nielsen's online measurement system, Walt Disney Co. is offering guarantees on that platform for programs from ABC, ESPN and ABC Family Channel. Offering guarantees may allow ABC to charge more for the ads. Details from the New York Times.
Stix don't nix hix pix! There was a time when television did its best to ignore rural and country life. Sure there was the occasional "Hee Haw" or "The Andy Griffith Show," but they were exceptions. Now, though, thanks in part to the success of reality shows such as "Duck Dynasty," programming about rural life is hot. Looking to capitalize on that is Patrick Gottsch who runs Rural Media Group, parent of RFD-TV and FamilyNet. Variety on Gottsch's plans to create a country flavored TV empire.
The good book delivers big numbers. The debut of "The Bible" on the History Channel averaged 13.1 million, the biggest audience for a cable program this year, and beating even AMC's "The Walking Dead." Also delivering for History was "Vikings," which followed "The Bible" and held on to almost half of its audience. USA Today looks at the numbers.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: As technology changes the way people interact with media, Hollywood is rethinking how it conducts market research.
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