March 22, 1992 |
Raymond Burr took an unaccustomed pay cut on NBC's "Perry Mason" movies. On "Quantum Leap," the fantasy drama about a scientist traveling through time, pop tunes from the '50s and '60s no longer are heard. The rights fees cost too much. Twentieth Television, producer of "Anything But Love," made the supreme sacrifice: It pulled the plug on the Jamie Lee Curtis sitcom.
June 19, 1992 |
CBS' broadcast tonight of the film "Age-Old Friends," a sentimental look at the relationship between two aging retirees played by Hume Cronyn and Vincent Gardenia, quietly marks a dramatic development in the network television business. "Age-Old Friends" was not developed by CBS as a movie-of-the-week, nor was it produced as a feature film that ran first in movie theaters--the two most common ways movies find their way to prime-time network television.
June 28, 1999 |
The tune is familiar--it's the one now known throughout the civilized world as "Hello Mudduh, Hello Faddah." But the words, sung by a reedy, painfully earnest male voice, are new: "People always try to please you, People always hug and squeeze you, When you're little, life's exciting, So the thought of growing up becomes inviting." At first blush, this sounds like a bad joke, or somebody's wicked little parody.
August 17, 1990 |
When the Public Broadcasting Service trims its children's series "Wonderworks" to once a month instead of once a week this fall, the move will be more than just a routine cutback. The change, made at the behest of PBS programming chief Jennifer Lawson, signals a new era for public television, one in which a single executive controls decisions that were once made by a consortium of public stations and their officers, and in which Hollywood, prime time and ratings are no longer dirty words.
May 23, 1993 |
Worlds are colliding. The worlds of theater and television, that is. There have been near-misses before, theater translated to the small tube, and sitcom-flavored scripts presented in theaters. The current innovation, which opened Friday at Hollywood's newest 99-seat plan venue, the Egyptian Arena Theatre, is called "Cheap Talk."
October 24, 1987
The National Football League has reimbursed the three major television networks an undisclosed amount for some of the revenue lost in the 24-day players' strike, a league spokesman said Friday. Newsday reported that ABC, CBS and NBC had received $6 million each, and that the league would give back $60 million to the networks over the next two seasons to make up for the one missed weekend of play, the reduced ratings and the decline of advertising.
May 19, 2001 |
To the average TV viewer, it might be hard to comprehend a prime-time schedule that requires choosing between "NYPD Blue" and "Law & Order," sets quiz shows "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" and "Weakest Link" against each other in several time zones and places "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and its spinoff, "Angel," not only on different nights but on different channels. The best way to analyze decision-making in television these days, however, boils down to a simple phrase: Follow the money.
May 19, 1998 |
In a reflection of the deteriorating health of network television, NBC will unveil a landmark proposal this week to affiliates gathered in Los Angeles to phase out nearly $200 million paid to TV stations annually to carry its programs under a system dating back to the early days of radio. The plan, in the works for nearly a year, would be the most radical restructuring of the economic model governing broadcasting and affiliates.
August 13, 1997 |
Much has been written about how movies have become the dominion of big-budget action and science-fiction fare--in part because stories short on dialogue and long on thrills play especially well overseas. Often overlooked, however, is how television has paralleled this trend, with executives saying the viability of one-hour drama series now depends to a significant degree on their appeal abroad--where action and sci-fi often travel better than softer, character-driven programs.