The Television Critics Association Press Tour is going to be crawling with TVWeek staffers. Check this space for observations from the presentations, hallway chatter and the dope on who was misbehaving at the parties. TVWeek’s Jon Lafayette, Josef Adalian, Andrew Krukowski, Sergio Ibarra and Vlada Gelman all will post as they scour the scene for news.


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Blogging the TCA

Live-Blogging the HDNet TCA Panel

July 8, 2008 1:43 PM

Peter Bogdanovich and HDNet's Mark Cuban

Sneak Preview Director Peter Bogdanovich and president of HDNet Mark Cuban discuss HDNet Movies' Sneak Preview films.

We've got some food, we've switched rooms, and we've got Mark Cuban, chairman and co-founder of HDNet, director Peter Bogdanovich and "Humboldt County" directors/writers Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs on the panel.

1:57 p.m.: We've seen some clips of HDNet Movies' Sneak Preview films. Sneak Previews will allow VOD users to see the film on the Wednesday before the film is released in theaters. "Humboldt County" is one of those films.

1:59 p.m.: "They paid us in pot," says Mr. Bogdanovich, who co-stars in the film.

2 p.m.: Mr. Bogdanovich was asked how he felt about having films premiere on television over theaters. "I don't think there's anything to replace the experience of seeing a movie on the big screen with an audience," he said. But he said with a shrug that he guessed Mr. Cuban's HDNet Movies system is working.

2:08 p.m.: Mr. Cuban said premiering a film on television won't disqualify it from the Oscars. As co-owner of Landmark Theaters, he can preview screen a film somewhere in New York or Los Angeles and clear Oscar requirements.

2:16 p.m.: A broadcast drama costs about $4 million per hour, while Mr. Cuban is banking on a $2 million gross for his independent releases. When asked about the cost-effectiveness of this, he said HDNet Movies isn't angling for the blockbuster. "These are passion projects," he said. But while initial VOD numbers aren't stupendous for films, Mr. Cuban said that over the lifetime of the film on the channel, they will make money on the movie.

2:25 p.m.: Mr. Bogdanovich said it's bizarre that people are able to see movies on screens the size of a postage stamp, referring to iPods. Mr. Cuban said the only time he watches material on an iPod is when he is working out, and he watches movies on a laptop only when he's stuck in a hotel room.

We're through and making our way over to BBC America.

—Andrew Krukowski


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