Thursday, August 20, 2009

News Round-up: Nielsen, Emmys, Bregman, Pyfrom

ANALYSIS: Nielsen Rival—Real Or Ruse?
Time Warner’s announcement that it has concluded a new seven-year contract with Nielsen Co. sheds a whole new light on last week’s reported formation of a consortium aimed at opening up the measurement field as online viewing grows. One might infer from the timing that the newly formed Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement [or CIMM, as the group is known, is less about bringing in new competition and more about bringing the monopoly provider of TV ratings to the negotiating table.

“I think this [consortium] is more strategic thinking rather than an operating plan with reality attached to it,” said one observer with a potential interest in the game

Another insider suggested that Nielsen is eager to wrap up long term renewals with big media companies before set top box data becomes a reality and changes perceptions of the TV ratings business. This person said: “Nielsen has created a billion dollar business, with margins that are estimated at 40%. They have a monopoly and the bulk of their fees come from six programming networks.” Of those family groupings, Time Warner is arguably one of Nielsen’s largest client relationships. Other members of CIMM include Viacom, NBC Universal, News Corp., Discovery, CBS and Disney Co., all looking to challenge, if not overthrow, Nielsen’s dominance.

INTERVIEW: Y&R's Tracey Bregman (Lauren)
"I am a huge worker-outer. I hike for two hours, two to three days a week -straight up. I work out with a Pilates trainer three times a week. I take a ballet barre class and take yoga, too. I try to do six things a week for two hours. I use the bike as my cardio. It's something I need to do. It feels so good about being out in nature."

More of Shawn Pyfrom's move to recurring status on DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
Marc Cherry tells Michaeal Ausiello that he worked out a “cool situation” with Shawn Pyfrom that both grants the actor’s wish to pursue other projects and ensures that Andrew doesn’t vanish without a trace. It’s basically called being bumped to recurring. “He wanted more freedom [so] we [hammered out] a smaller episode order with him,” he says. “I don’t ever want to say goodbye to him completely. He’s a beloved figure around here.”

EASTENDERS script snippet revealed
There is growing speculation about the sex and name of Heather's EASTENDERS baby, following a leak online. According to Digital Spy, a script snippet from an episode at the beginning of November recently appeared on the show's official website, seemingly revealing that Heather's baby is, in fact, a boy. Apparently she will call the baby George, after her idol George Michael.

MELROSE is the place to find steamy, scandalous fun
Many will recall that MELROSE PLACE didn’t become MELROSE PLACE until Locklear arrived late in the first season. The pilot for the new series indicates it will be true to the Locklear era. The hour includes the revelation of a father and son sleeping with the same woman; the episode ends with a murder and several viable suspects.

INTERVIEW: ATI's Jim Romanovich
The producer and "voice" of the Daytime Emmys was a guest on "BuzzWorthy Radio" on Wednesday.

TV star Dudu Topaz discovered dead in prison cell
Dudu Topaz, a well-known TV star in his home country of Israel, has been found dead. Officials say he hung himself in a prison cell. Back in 2003, he bit a star of a soap opera on the arm when they appeared with him on a show, and also broke a critic's glasses after the critic wrote a negative review.

INTERVIEW: DAYS' Lauren Koslow (Kate)
On playing Kate's irrational behavior: "It is challenging. I'm not going to say it isn't. It definitely is. But as an actress, I have to commit to it. I have to enjoy that ride. The way I think of it is that every once in a while, Kate just goes too far. And when she goes out there, she just keeps twirling. But she can be reeled back in eventually."

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