Monday, September 27, 2010

NEWS: Bar Codes, Low Budget TV, Britney, Amanda Setton

Bar Codes Add Detail on Items in TV Ads
From the comfort of their sofas, mobile-phone users can scan a bar code embedded in commercials on certain evening shows on Bravo and instantly obtain additional information about a product and a discount to buy it.

IT'S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA: Lighting a path for scripted TV's survival
the show has demonstrated that there's a way to make low-cost, high-quality, scripted comedies at a time when studios are struggling to rein in costs. Now, other networks are seeking to copy the success of SUNNY. They also want to produce a half-hour comedy for $400,000 per episode — about one-fourth the industry average. The survival of Hollywood's bread-and-butter business of scripted TV depends upon it: audiences are scattering, cheap reality programs are multiplying and technology threatens to unravel the entire system.

Britney Spears will live tweet Tuesday's West Coast airing of GLEE
"Can't wait for GLEE tomorrow night. I'm going to tweet along as it airs on the West Coast so we can watch together."

Ryan Murphy: Gwyneth Paltrow will sing 3 to 4 GLEE solos
Murphy confirmed that Paltrow is on board for a guest spot. "She is a friend of mine and I admire her," says Murphy, who's directed Paltrow before. "I said, 'If I write a part for you, will you do it?' And she said, 'Yes!'"

Scoop: Darren Criss joins 'Glee' as...Kurt's new BF?
The plot surrounding Kurt’s first boyfriend on GLEE thickens: Actor-singer-songwriter Darren Criss has landed the much-talked-about new gay role on the Fox phenom. But will he have eyes for Kurt? Maybe. Maybe not.

12.8 million watched the season premiere of DH on Sunday night. Meanwhile, B&S was watched by 9.6 million.

2.3 million watched DEXTER's premiere
The number is from both airings on Sunday night and was the show's highest-rated premiere ever. 2.6 million viewers is the highest number the show has ever reached despite massive hype and publicity.

DVRs Bring Some Shows a Boost in Ratings - not LONE STAR
While several series got nice boosts from the DVR numbers (such as GLEE), LONE STAR managed some additional viewing, but not nearly enough to matter. It grew from a microscopic 1.3 rating to a still puny 1.5.

Melissa Fumero and Amanda Setton return to GOSSIP GIRL
On Monday night's episode of GOSSIP GIRL, airing on The CW at 9 p.m. ET, two former ONE LIFE TO LIVE cast members will guest-star. Melissa Fumero (ex-Adriana) reprises her role of social climber Zoe, while Amanda Setton (ex-Kim) returns as Blair's (Leighton Meester) old frenemy Penelope. Both ladies cross paths with Blair as she attempts to gain membership to an exclusive social club on her first day at Columbia University.


  1. Dexter gets a whole 2.3 million viewers! What an exciting number of viewers!

    Oh, isn't that about the same number of viewers who watched GL and ATWT??

    Please tell me why some basic cable company didn't pick up either show??

  2. So, Amanda Setton is back in NYC shooting Gossip Girl?

    Jeez, she should have stayed on OLTL and shot Gossip Girl guest spots on the side.

    I miss Kim & Clint. They were dirty, sexy, nasty, and fun.

    BTW, why does ABC Daytime have such terrible publicity??? Kim Zimmer is joining the show and ZERO publicity for her return has appeared on TV announcing her.

    Shouldn't OLTL be reaching out to GL viewers? Why not online ads on sites that are in the demo for GL? Online ads are CHEAP!!

  3. 2.3 million subscription-paying high-demo (youngish, rich-ish) viewers (Showtime) is NOT the same as 2.3 million daytime soap viewers (older, lower socioeconomic status than Showtime).

    The subscription thing cannot be under-stated. EACH AND EVERY counted Showtime is attached to a PREMIUM subscription fee. That goes directly into defraying show cost. Plus, people vote with their the network knows exactly which shows are resonating with viewers.

    Although the formula is less lucrative, participation in monthly cable fees (i.e., being paid by cable/satellite companies for each and every subscriber household) also makes the other cablers (e.g., USA, AMC) more able to put on good dramas without the fear of ratings.

    2.3 million in daytime is based SOLELY on revenues that can be brought in by advertisers. Because of the demographics of daytime, advertisers won't pay that much for soaps. There is a reason you don't see the big money ads (movies, cars, even department store makeup) on daytime.

    Thus, 2.3 million viewers is not the same on every channel.

    Finally, history has shown that in each and every network where a soap changes networks, it LOSES viewers...i.e., becomes even less economically viable.

    The success of Dexter--a brilliantly written/acted/produced drama should not be viewed as "competitive" with cancelled shows. In my view, it should be viewed as evidence of the vibrancy of the serial format, and that we serial lovers can look forward to more good drama in the future.

    One last thing: I do think that GL's "Otalia" had the right niche appeal and buzz that it COULD have been spun off into a successful weekly cable drama (e.g., on Logo or WETV, etc.)...which would have added a bit of life to the GL franchise. For whatever reason, though, this idea did not seem to have legs.

    So kudos to Crystal Chappell for trying to leverage Otalia's buzz into Venice.

  4. Two other points:

    -Dexter also lives by international and DVD sales (and syndication in the US after the initial run). All those are new dollars, which means the costs of making the show can be amortized over lifetime profits.

    - For whatever reason, international distribution of P&G and ABC shows is pretty scrawny. In addition, I guess due to the volume of content for a small audience, soaps don't have a DVD life.

    (WLS linked another story today noting that live shows, like DWTS [and of course sports] don't get much DVR recording. I think that soaps--continuous, never repeating--are more like live shows. After people have viewed once, they're less willing to view again. I think that explains some of why soaps have no viability on DVD).

    I do agree with @SoapFan78, however, that the UTTER lack of promotion (say for Zimmer) is surprising. (There was a high-profile Michael Logan interview). I'm thinking, though, that is again based on market experience. With the possible exception of Kimberlin Brown coming to B&B (after her initial Y&R stint), I'm not aware of soap star cross-overs EVER having a significant impact on ratings.

    Has any guest star ever seriously affected ratings beyond Liz Taylor? I think the Kimberlin situation was an exception because it was a CONTINUATION of the CHARACTER'S story on a sister show that followed immediately adjacent to Y&R. That simply meant more people left their TV on. It wasn't an activity network/channel/timeslot switch.

    Daytime viewing is habitual. Promotion really doesn't do much except keep legacy/core viewers coming back, IMO.