Tuesday, August 16, 2011

NEWS ROUNDUP: Are We Looking At TV Ratings All Wrong? GLEE Goes Vogue, Freddie Smith

Are we looking at TV ratings all wrong? Nielsen is having a hard time keeping up with the changing landscape. With each development comes new questions about how best to monetize and measure the effect a show has on the viewer -- questions that keep Matt O'Grady, the EVP of Media Audience Measurement for Nielsen, "up all night." Freddie Smith promises “opportunities for clothes to come off” on DAYS OF OUR LIVES. GLEE's Chris Colfer says, "As Kurt, I get to wear all these amazing things, by people whose names I can’t even pronounce." Chuck Pratt says "The Lying Game" book was also lacking lots of hunky male characters necessary for a good teen soap. Martha Byrne gets Pretty. Kathy Brier and Chris Stack are returning to ONE LIFE TO LIVE.

TV Ratings: Are We Looking At Them All Wrong?
The way studios track TV shows has not kept pace with the way people are watching them. Just because our TVs are turned on doesn't mean we are engaged with them -- or are invested in the content. Yet today, a viewer who stumbles across an episode of CSI:NY while he's cooking dinner is given more weight than a viewer who plows through four straight seasons of MAD MEN on DVD.

The Nielsen Company has maintained a consistent monopoly on ratings measurement since 1950. And in the past 10 years, they've certainly upped their game. Today, Nielsen tracks the consumption stats for DVR, online streaming, mobile devices. Further, it extensively monitors online discussions and social trends, among other new developments in the changing television landscape.

"The online world has not been easy for advertisers, because there's really no way to figure out if it's working," O'Grady told The Huffington Post in Nielsen offices in Manhattan. "We can prove a certain audience in a certain demographic saw a program on TV. It's easy. But online it's much harder. The steps between publisher and advertiser are many; there's the agency, ad server, data exchange, auction sites, all these steps. You're buying clicks, but you don't really know whether you've got the audience you've paid for."

Freddie Smith promises “opportunities for clothes to come off” on DAYS OF OUR LIVES
There’s going to be shirtless scenes coming up!” Smith promised. “I think there’s even more sets to be built, which I can tease a little. I’ll give you that. There’s going to be opportunities for the shirts to come off, the clothes to come off!”

Sarah Michelle Gellar Has a Bonfire on the RINGER Set
Gellar burned some of her character's belongings in a bonfire as she taped her TV series RINGER on Friday. The star shot the new episode with her costar Ioan Gruffudd on the beach in Malibu.

Martha Byrne has many irons in the fire
"I can’t tell you how excited I am to work on PRETTY. It’s a character that requires some bad wardrobe and horrific posture. I love the story and the scripts are so entertaining.

"I’m working with the creators of EMPIRE on a project that is in the beginning stages. It’s been a pleasure working with Greg and Brian and putting our brains together.

"I’m shooting something in the Adirondacks at the end of September as part of an event I’m doing there with Ellen Dolan (www.adirondackaffair.com). I will be writing and collaborating with Alex Roalsvig on that project. Alex and I wrote the original hour pilot for GOTHAM when I was pitching it for TV in 2007.

"I also have another web project that’s in the beginning stages of development that’s really exciting. I will be shooting it in LA in January."

THE LYING GAME: Who's Who and How Is It Different From the Books?
Chuck Pratt says the book was also lacking lots of hunky male characters necessary for a good teen soap. "Derek (Ben Elliot) is a laid back guy who's been in trouble with the law and gets involved in the story," Pratt says. "He becomes a love interest for Char, and she's in a very dangerous high-stakes love affair with a guy who shouldn't be falling in love with this rich girl, but he is." Laurel's sister also gets a b.f. "Randy Wayne plays Justin Miller, who comes in the third episode. You start to wonder about him because: Is he too good to be true? It's also very interesting to see him fit into the family and how it plays into sibling rivalry."

Vogue: GLEE Comes to Fashion's Night Out
"When GLEE started, I had no idea who Marc Jacobs was. In no way was I a fashion person!” confesses Chris Colfer, who won a Golden Globe Award in 2011 for his depiction of the out-­and-­proud high school chorister Kurt. “I did all my shopping at my small-­town Target. Maybe if I dressed better I wouldn’t have had such a hard time in school,” he says, laughing a little ruefully. “Now, as Kurt, I get to wear all these amazing things, by people whose names I can’t even pronounce.”

Prospect Park giving AMC/OLTL actors incentive to stay?
"They told the actors that if they become a part of the Prospect Park family, they'd want to help grow their careers by assisting them in getting parts on their other shows like ROYAL PAINS and WILFRED," says a setsider.

Kathy Brier and Chris Stack are returning to ONE LIFE TO LIVE
Brier is due back on the set of OLTL on August 22, but there's no word on how long Marcie and Chris Stack's Michael will be sticking around Llanview. "I don't know how long it will be," a pregnant Brier reveals.

Russell Armstrong, REAL HOUSEWIVES Husband, Found Dead
Russell Armstrong, the estranged husband of REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS star Taylor Armstrong, was found dead in Los Angeles, the city's coroner's office said. He was 47.

Taylor Armstrong filed for divorce last month after six years of marriage to the venture capitalist. The show frequently showcased their on-air fights and she told People he would sometimes grab her, shove her, throw things at her and pull her air. He told the magazine the show had hurt their relationship.

"Did I push her? Yes, maybe things happened in the heat of the moment, but it was during a time in our lives that was not characteristic of who we were," he said. "This show has literally pushed us to the limit."

TMZ reported the death as a suicide, but the coroner's office says no cause of death had been determined. No note was found at the house on Mulholland Drive where his body was discovered Monday morning.

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