Sep 30, 2014
7:21 am

Whoa! Cable TV Mogul Says It’s Likely Bundling of Cable Services Will Fall by the Wayside (NY Post)

The CEO of one of the major cable operators in the United States believes that the bundling of cable TV services will eventually go away, reports our good friend Claire Atkinson in the New York Post.

Cablevision CEO Jim Dolan “believes the cable programming bundle will fall by the wayside thanks to advances such as Netflix,” Atkinson writes.

The story quotes Dolan saying: “As we start to see more [companies like] Netflix, they’ll siphon away from the bundle but you might see programming you like go away.”

“Dolan spoke as part of an Advertising Week panel on the changing face of marketing sports, music and movie stars,” the report notes. Dolan also runs MSG, which is Madison Square Garden. MSG owns the NBA team the New York Knicks.

For the quarter of the year ending June 30, 2014, Cablevision reported 3.1 million customers. Its average monthly cable revenue per video customer, the company said at that time, was $174.14. Cablevision primarily serves customers in the New York/Tri-State metro area.

James DolanJames Dolan






Sep 30, 2014
6:52 am

We All Knew This Was Coming. Netflix Is Getting Into the Business of Distributing Major Theatrical Movies Over Its Service. Next Summer a Sequel to a Popular Academy Award-Winning Film Will Debut Simultaneously on Netflix and in Imax Theaters Only (NY Times)

“In a first deal of its kind, Netflix and the Weinstein Company said Monday that they planned to release next year’s sequel” to an Academy Award-winning movie “simultaneously across the globe on Netflix and a select number of Imax theaters,” reports The New York Times.

The movie is a follow-up to Ang Lee’s 2000 Best Picture nominee “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” That film won four Oscars and was nominated for a total of 10 Academy Awards. With a U.S. box-office gross of $128 million, this martial arts movie ranks far and away as the No. 1-ranked movie on Box Office Mojo’s list of top-grossing foreign language films.

The sequel, officially called “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend,” will be “available on Aug. 28 at no additional fee to Netflix subscribers and is the first of several films that Netflix is backing that will follow this new model for release,” the story reports, adding, “Only Imax is involved; other theater chains will not screen the film.”

The Times story adds, “In the sequel, Michelle Yeoh reprises her role as the warrior Yu Shu Lien but Mr. Lee does not return. The Weinstein Company has instead given the directing reins to Woo-ping Yuen, a well-known director in China. “The Green Legend,” set 20 years after the events of the first movie, follows four martial arts heroes trying to protect the Green Destiny sword.”

To read more details about this story — including how the big U.S. theater chains feel about such deals — please click here to read the original story in The New York Times.


The sequel to the popular martial arts movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” will be released simultaneously on Netflix and in Imax theaters

Sep 29, 2014
6:00 pm

Fox News Host Apologizes for Sexist Joke — and Then Apologizes for Apology (Mediaite, TheWrap)

A Fox News host apologized for a joke that was criticized as sexist, and later apologized for his apology. Mediaite reports that Eric Bolling first apologized Thursday for his joke about the first female pilot for the United Arab Emirates, in which he called her “boobs on the ground.”

The story notes that a roundtable discussion on “The Five” about the female pilot, Maj. Miriam al Mansouri, prompted Bolling to ask, “Would that be considered boobs on the ground?” His Fox News colleague Greta Van Susteren took issue with the joke, saying on her 7 p.m. show that “the gents on ’The Five’ should get a do-over on that one.”

After his on-air apology Thursday, Bolling later apologized again, saying Friday that his initial apology “was inadequate,” reports TheWrap.

He added, “Fox News has received letters from viewers, including from women in the military, and I’ve taken them to heart.”

eric bolling

Eric Bolling

Sep 29, 2014
5:56 pm

The Puzzling Reaction by the Editors of The New York Times to TV Critic Alessandra Stanley’s Wrong-Headed Essay About Shonda Rhimes (TVWeek)

TVWeek Open Mic blogger Chuck Ross compliments The Times’ public editor in her investigation of Alessandra Stanley’s stilted essay about Shonda Rhimes, but he’s concerned about the thinking of The Times’ editors who are dealing with the incident. Please click here to read why.

Sep 29, 2014
5:54 pm

Germany Considers Ban on Late-Night Work Emails. Our Non-TV Story of the Day (Huffington Post)

Germany might pass legislation that would prevent late-night work emails, reports The Huffington Post. According to the article, “Last month, German Labor Minister Andrea Nahles commissioned a study to assess the psychological and economic effects of work-related stress. The findings, slated to be released in 2016, are expected to generate legislation that would ban employers from contacting workers after office hours. Such a law, currently being pushed by the powerful multi-service trade union Vereinte Dienstleistungsgewerkschaft, or ver.di, now seems more likely to reach fruition since it gained” the Labor Minister’s support.

The article adds: “’There is an undeniable relationship between constant availability and the increase of mental illness,’ Nahles told the Rheinische Post. ‘We have commissioned the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to work out whether it is possible to set load thresholds. We need universal and legally binding criteria.’ “

The story adds, “Though some workers in France earlier this year adopted a so-called ban on emails after 6 p.m., the labor agreement was not cemented into law.”

Sep 29, 2014
5:52 pm

Fox News Anchor Eyes Return Following Rehab (TVNewser)

An on-air regular at Fox News Channel is working his way back into the lineup. TVNewser reports that Gregg Jarrett, who has been off the air since he checked himself into alcohol rehab earlier this year, is attempting to make his return.

Jarrett, who was arrested after an incident in an airport bar, has written a piece about sexual assault on college campuses, the story notes. He wrote the article after taking his daughter to college.

A representative for Fox News said that Jarrett recently began writing for, but added that his on-air return is “to be determined at this time.”

Jarrett, a longtime weekend anchor on Fox News, pleaded guilty in July to disorderly conduct charges in connection with his arrest in May at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Earlier, video surfaced of Jarrett in an apparent scuffle with authorities while he was in custody.

gregg jarrett

Gregg Jarrett

Sep 29, 2014
5:50 pm

ABC Family Cancels Series; Channel Also Picks Up Two Series, Takes a Pass on Another (Deadline)

ABC Family has been busy making programming decisions. The cable channel ordered its first procedural drama series, giving a series order to the supernatural drama pilot “Stitchers,” reports. The channel also pulled the plug on the freshman comedy series “Mystery Girls,” which stars Tori Spelling and Jennie Garth.

The Ashley Tisdale-produced comedy “Young & Hungry” fared better, getting picked up for a second season, the story reports.

“Stitchers” was one of three drama pilots in contention at the network. “Of the other two drama pilots, ABC Family has passed on the tennis-themed ‘Unstrung,’ while there is no decision yet on rehab-themed ‘Recovery Road,’” the story reports.

Said ABC Family President Tom Ascheim: “Stitchers is new ground for us, and I’m excited to bring procedurals to the network.”

The Deadline report adds: “Written by Jeffrey A. Schechter, ‘Stitchers’ follows a young woman recruited into a covert government agency to be ‘stitched’ into the minds of the recently deceased, using their memories to investigate murders and decipher mysteries that otherwise would have gone to the grave. Schechter executive produces alongside Jonathan Baruch and Rob Wolken.”

young & hungry-title

Sep 29, 2014
5:48 pm

World’s Largest Independent TV Producer Names CEO (THR)

A new company that will reportedly be the world’s largest independent television producer has named its CEO. The company that will be formed by the combination of 21st Century Fox’s Shine Group, Endemol and Core Media will be led by former BSkyB content executive Sophie Turner Laing, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Laing, who will be chief executive, will lead what the publication says will become the world’s largest independent TV producer. Endemol has been run by chief executive Just Spee, while Shine’s CEO is Alex Mahon. Both will remain with the company during a transition period, the company notes.

“Pending the parties finalizing an agreement to form a joint venture comprised of Endemol, Shine Group and Core Media Group, the venture partners today confirmed that Sophie Turner Laing, former managing director of content at BSkyB, would become the new venture’s CEO,” the companies said in a statement.

Laing joined BSkyB in 2003 from the BBC, and stepped down earlier this year.

sophie turner laing

Sophie Turner Laing

Sep 29, 2014
5:46 pm

People Magazine Apologizes After ‘Stupid & Insensitive’ Tweet (LA Times)

People magazine apologized after sending out a tweet that it later said was “stupid & insensitive.” The Los Angeles Times’ Show Tracker reports that the publication sent the original tweet during the live telecast of ABC’s “How to Get Away With Murder.”

The tweet read, “Waiting for Viola to break into ‘You is kind. You is smart. You is important,’” an allusion to the 2011 film “The Help,” which starred “How to Get Away With Murder” actress Viola Davis. In the film, Davis played a maid in the 1960s in the South. In “How to Get Away With Murder,” Davis portrays a high-profile law professor.

Twitter users complained the tweet was offensive, with one Twitter user writing, “viola will always be a maid to some people, and that’s extremely unfortunate.”

The magazine deleted the tweet, and followed up with another message. “Apologies for the earlier tweet … it was stupid & insensitive. Won’t happen again,” it said.

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Sep 29, 2014
5:44 pm

What Are the Highest-Priced Shows for Ad Buys? Naturally, Football Leads the Way, but What’s No. 1 in Scripted? (Hint: It’s Not on Broadcast TV) (Ad Age)

When it comes to the price of advertising on television, the priciest shows are those with big live audiences, reports Jeanine Poggi at Advertising Age, which just released its annual pricing survey.

“Football continues to dominate as the most expensive programming for advertisers, with NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football’ and CBS’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ coming in No. 1 and No. 2 in broadcast, respectively, on Ad Age’s annual pricing survey,” she writes.

Advertisers pay an average of $627,300 for a 30-second spot in “Sunday Night Football,” or an increase of 6% from last season’s pricing.

The report adds: “CBS has a new addition to the broadcast top 10, acquiring the rights to air eight ‘Thursday Night Football’ games this season. Commercial time in those games averages $483,333.”

Advertisers are increasingly willing to pay more for live programming, as many other shows are witnessing a shift to delayed viewing, thanks to DVRs and streaming services.

Fox’s “American Idol” doesn’t appear on the pricing chart, because many media agencies haven’t yet bought commercial time in the show, which Fox is revamping, the story notes. The few media agencies that have bought time in the singing competition are averaging $243,200 for a 30-second spot on Wednesday’s episodes and $225,667 for Thursdays, which Poggi writes “would put ‘Idol’ in the broadcast top 10 again, at No. 7 and No. 9.”

The priciest entertainment program on broadcast TV is CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory,” which is averaging $344,827 for a 30-second spot. Still, the most expensive scripted show across both broadcast and cable is AMC’s “Walking Dead,” which comes in at about $400,000, the story notes.

NBC’s “The Blacklist” is a new entrant on the top 10 list, with the drama pulling in $282,975 for a 30-second spot, an increase of 40% from last year. The network also scores five of broadcast TV’s 10 most pricey shows, the piece adds.

Fox only has one show in the top 10, “Sleepy Hollow,” which also scored as the biggest price gainer, with ad prices jumping 47% from last year and reaching $202,500, the piece reports.

Please click here to read the full report from Advertising Age, and click here to see the pricing chart.

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