October 17, 1993 |
The idea seemed simple enough--even fundamental--for a creative TV enterprise targeted at children: Hire people to develop original cartoon series. In fact, however, it was almost radical. Television in the late 1980s had come to be dominated by cartoons that were based on characters children already knew--from toys ("G.I.
August 16, 1992 |
Here's a little quiz, multiple choice. Complete the following sentence: Network television stinks because of: A. Producers. B. Advertisers. C. Networks. D. Dan Quayle. E. All of the above. You could make a case for any of these choices, but my own personal pick would be: C. Networks. Let's face it, if you've spent more than 20 minutes in the television business, you know you can run a network better than "those guys." Of course, whether you'd want to is another matter.
November 12, 1995 |
Thursday nights on NBC are a lot like automatic teller machines. Both have been created within our lifetime, but it's nearly impossible to remember a time when they didn't exist. There was an era when getting cash meant standing in a long line at the teller window and NBC Thursday nights meant "Lewis & Clark" and "Harper Valley PTA." Somewhere along the line, though, cash became available on every street corner and watching NBC's Thursday shows became almost like a job requirement.
April 5, 1992 |
At the time, it seemed a rather brash statement. In May of last year, a mere 17 months after becoming president of CBS Entertainment, Jeff Sagansky predicted that his cellar-dwelling network would win the prime-time ratings race in the 1991-92 season. It is now less than a year later, and perhaps CBS' new theme song should be "The Impossible Dream." When the 30-week, so-called official ratings season ends next Sunday, CBS will be the winner by a wide margin--with its programs averaging about 1.
July 31, 1993 |
The highly anticipated summit on television violence between Washington legislators and TV industry honchos in Beverly Hills is only two days away, but producers of police shows and action series still have murder and mayhem on the brain. Despite Hollywood's anxiety surrounding the Monday hearing amid threats from lawmakers about possible measures to force the industry to lessen the amount of violence, viewers of all ages may be watching these incidents this fall: * A U.S.
January 16, 2010 |
Last year, the Harris Poll crowned Jay Leno as America's favorite TV personality. But amid NBC's messy late-night drama, the comedian who has painstakingly cultivated a "Mr. Nice Guy" image has suddenly found himself cast as a villain and become a national punch line. Breaking a long-standing tradition of avoiding personal attacks on one another, TV hosts have been unloading on Leno all week with a fusillade of acerbic potshot and pointed barbs usually reserved for philandering politicians and bonus-taking bankers.
March 26, 1989 |
Two years ago, Aaron Spelling had an idea for a dramatic and, he thought, different television series about a divorced family as told through the eyes of a little boy. Besides voiceovers (later used by "The Wonder Years"), its main innovation was its format--two back-to-back half-hour shows, one about the boy's weekdays with his mother, the other about his weekends with his father. "I got to tell you," Spelling confided, "I was convinced we were going to sell it."
April 14, 2000 |
For years, parents sat through ABC's "TGIF" block with their kids on Friday nights, watching such comedies as "Full House" and "Family Matters." If the jokes often seemed lame, parents at least felt secure the shows conveyed morals and messages, meaning little tykes weren't going to see anything that would put them in therapy.
January 9, 2010 |
Jeff Zucker was a fearless news producer and fast-rising entertainment executive who was just 41 when he became head of NBC Universal. But in the last few years, the onetime whiz kid behind the "Today" show -- he turned Katie Couric into a star -- has made several costly miscalculations that have led to a spectacular fall by the country's premier television network. Zucker's troubles were magnified this week when, with NBC facing a revolt by affiliate stations furious over their sinking ratings, he decided to move Jay Leno back to late night after less than four months.