September 28, 2009 |
One week into the fall TV season, a strange and unsettling mood is creeping over network programmers. It's called optimism. Dark clouds still linger over the broadcast industry, but surprisingly strong numbers for such new shows as ABC's comedy "Modern Family" and CBS' "NCIS: Los Angeles" and "The Good Wife" have executives hoping that their long-beleaguered prime-time schedules are finally on the rebound. "Despite all the naysayers, it seems like we still have a viable business here," CBS scheduling chief Kelly Kahl said in an interview Friday.
August 10, 2009 |
"The Jay Leno Show" won't hit the air until next month, but the head of ABC is already taking some none-too-subtle swipes at it. By putting a talk show in the 10 p.m. hour usually reserved for scripted dramas, NBC is "doing their own thing, and the other networks seem to be following in the tradition of putting on great material," Steve McPherson, president of the ABC Entertainment Group, told reporters at the TCA press tour in Pasadena on Saturday afternoon....
August 3, 2009 |
Better make those park reservations now. Ken Burns' "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," a six-part, 12-hour documentary celebrating the virtues of the country's nearly 400 federally protected spaces, sets up camp on PBS on Sept. 27 and stays through Oct. 2. The country's most famous documentarian, who spoke Saturday during the semiannual Television Critics Assn.
June 9, 2009 |
Will Heidi and Spencer stay or go? For the last week, that has been the soap opera rocking NBC's reality show "I'm a Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here!" In some ways, the off-screen antics -- which include a weekend hospitalization for "The Hills" star Heidi Montag Pratt, allegations that the pair endured "torture" at the hands of producers, feverish Twitter updates from relatives and her husband Spencer Pratt's reported intention to sue the network -- really are the show.
June 9, 2009 |
The digital switch is the end of one TV era, but broadcasters and device companies hope it's opening up another. Their vision for the future: a world in which we access live television not just on big screens in our living rooms, but also on cellphones and computers and in cars.
May 27, 2009 |
Hollywood's annual TV bazaar known as the L.A. Screenings, where international broadcasters descend upon Los Angeles to buy the recently announced new fall shows, is underway. But this year the studios can't count on the broadcasters for foreign aid. With the domestic market for TV programs contracting, overseas sales in recent years have become crucial in allowing the studios to recover production costs.
March 16, 2009 |
During the next month, the broadcast networks are rolling out at least 10 new midseason series. NBC unveiled its epic drama "Kings" last week. Two new ABC sitcoms are coming, "Better Off Ted" this week and "In the Motherhood" next. And Fox has a variety show with the Ozzy Osbourne clan, which, given its erratic history could result in either spontaneous brilliance or spontaneous combustion. Is there a hit somewhere in this bunch? The networks could sure use one.
January 26, 2009 |
Now that Gil Grissom has left the building, we can get acquainted with a simple truth: Thursday nights on network TV are totally up for grabs. When William L. Petersen left "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" after more than eight seasons playing the crusty forensics ace Grissom, the dynamics of television's most important night -- when marketers try to hit viewers planning their weekends -- changed yet again. And no one really knows where things will end up.
January 23, 2009 |
After years of bad blood and nearly three weeks of court testimony, Mexico's entertainment giant Grupo Televisa and the dominant Spanish-language TV company in the U.S., Univision Communications Inc., abruptly ended their four-year legal battle Thursday. The settlement averted a potentially disastrous outcome for Univision, which could have lost its pipeline of Televisa's popular soap operas, called telenovelas, that drive Univision's enormous ratings.