Thursday, April 23, 2009

News Round-up: YouTube, Michael Grade, Raya Meddine

Switching on the YouTube viewers
The Susan Boyle phenomenon illustrates how web video clips are cross-fertilising with TV programs and bringing in a wider audience. Views of officially sanctioned clips of the singer's audition have passed the 100-million barrier and are set to break YouTube records. Even by the standards of ITV1 talent shows, the extent to which the web has driven Boyle's international profile is phenomenal and played no small part in pushing the show's TV audience up to 12 million last weekend.

Crucially, this is not about making money online – there's currently no advertising around the Susan Boyle clips on Rather, as James DuBern, vice-president of content at Current TV, puts it, it's "a TV marketer's dream".

"All broadcasters have learned that these web video clips are difficult to monetise and the priority has become securing wide distribution," he says. "People will take an interest in Susan's progress and that of other contestants. And viewers don't care where they see it, as long as it's instant."

Channel 4 head of multiplatform commissioning Louise Evans adds: "If we put a great clip up first, other people don't tend to bother as much. We have people within the and teams on the lookout for these moments. Some are obvious and you can plan ahead – you know a kiss in SKINS will do well. You can't create one million views just by putting up a clip. It must tap into the zeitgeist. People have to love it to want to forward it or use it on their Facebook profiles."

ITV chairman Michael Grade to give up day-to-day role
Michael Grade, the veteran broadcast executive parachuted in from the BBC to revive the fortunes of ITV, is to give up day-to-day control of the struggling broadcaster later this year. ITV said on Thursday that Mr Grade will move from his role as executive chairman to become non-executive chairman at “the conclusion of the regulatory reviews” before the end of December, but the process of finding a new chief executive is already underway.

CADY MCCLAIN: Busy at ATWT, Musical Rosanna
"So what’s next? A lot of work on ATWT. Im sad to say I have so much to do there that I’ve had to drop my Psych class. There was just no way I could do both. Too exhausting. We get up at 5 am most days, and it leaves little energy for much else. It’s okay though, I learned a lot and I can take it again some time. I’m really happy that I get to play my music on the show! It’s a really cool new Rosanna- a bit of the old gal, and a bit of a new one."

Hollywood foreign policy: Raya Meddine
"Actors from other locations, including those from India and the Middle East, tend to fly under the radar in Hollywood. Following the 2005 Lebanese box-office hit Bosta, the Lebanese-American actress Raya Meddine landed a recurring role in the soap THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS after telling the casting director she was Italian. (It helped that she spoke the language fluently.) Her Italian-French art-curator character was killed off last year, but her career is moving steadily forward. Meddine went on to play an American in CSI: MIAMI, hosted a major reality show in Lebanon and will next be seen in the Ramallah-set Barbershop Trinity."

JIM CORNETTE: The "Write" Stuff
An inside look at the writing process of professional wrestling. Notice the parallels with many of the behind the scenes problems that soaps encounter.

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