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Marianne Paskowski



CBS: Just Do It!

December 13, 2007 12:08 PM

It’s been nearly two weeks since CBS chieftain Les Moonves told investors that his network could ride out the ongoing writer’s strike by running popular shows from sister premium cable network Showtime.

Now that is a great idea to an executive right now with the northeast being pelted by a major snow storm, keeping folks at home with nothing to watch but reruns and mind-numbing reality shows. It’s a win-win for everyone, advertisers, viewers, CBS and Showtime.

What a wonderful way for viewers who don’t pay for Showtime to sample some great shows like “Dexter,” “Weeds” and “Brotherhood.” This move could be a shot in the arm for Showtime that always plays second fiddle to HBO.

What’s Moonves waiting for? This is a no-brainer.

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Comments (4)

Andy S.:

Well, not exactly. Moonves is taking heat from family-oriented groups over the content of those Showtime series (which, incidentally, are among my personal favorites) being put on broadcast TV in prime time. He claims that CBS will edit them the same way they edit R-rated movies for broadcast (is that still even being done?), but the negative PR will not help CBS's cause.

Also, do we really want to encourage the big networks not to settle, but instead to just "ride it out" until the writers either capitulate or decide to take their business elsewhere? Is that the desired course of events for the TV business as a whole?

Marianne Paskowski:

Andy,
The strike has dragged on for seven weeks and it doesn't sound like anyone is talking. Les wouldn't have mentioned this to investors if certain Showtime programs weren't already sanitized for the broadcast crowd. So do it already.

Forget a sec about the writers and studios, think about the viewers and yes the advertisers. I see no reason not to be creative here. Why further destroy a television strategy that seems sliding south every day? Time for new thinking.

Does that mean the writers will be hurt? I don't think so, they will win this, and in the interim, find other outlets like online.

Agree?

Probably not,
Marianne

Andy S.:

"Forget a sec about the writers and studios, think about the viewers and yes the advertisers."

What viewers and advertisers want is an end to the strike. Programming strategies designed to prolong the strike ultimately work against both.

Marianne Paskowski:

Andy,
I don't agree. Both sides here have to be bulls and put on the table their best strategies. CBS said Showtime. The writers said online.

I do agree that viewers and advertisers want this strike to end. Today. Yesterday. But it doesn't look likely, so let's up the ante.

Marianne

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