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Hammered

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Mark Suszko
Hammered
on Oct 22, 2009 at 9:28:05 pm

If you are a fan of science fiction programming, you know all about what Bonnie Hammer and her appointed replacements did to the SciFi channel. They knocked off most of the science fiction as "too narrow in appeal" and added wrestling and ghost-busting shows in an attempt to "expand the brand" into a more general audience, making it more like Spike TV. Now you can hardly find any good SF on there, especially since Galactica is now ended. SYFY's re-branded identity is languishing in the ratings. Gee, I wonder why.

I bring this up because of something that came across my inbox this week; apparently the same crew of geniuses is now moving to do this same treatment on... wait for it...


The Weather Channel.




Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot.


They are planning apparently to replace some of the weather reports with movies like "The Day after Tomorrow", "Twister", etc. anything with a weather-related theme. It's not bad enough they already take up whopping sections of their broadcast day running documentaries about the weather and endless repeats of old weather disaster footage... now there's going to be even less actual weather reporting on a channel devoted to just that one thing.

I remember when a genial Chicago weathercaster first came up with the idea for a 24-hour cable channel that just gave you the climate and forecast info you needed, any time of day, the answer to the simple question: What's it gonna be like outside today?" Initially he was laughed at, but rapidly the channel built into a great success and then he was summarily edged-out by his co-investors. I wonder what he thinks of his channel now?

No music videos on MTV. Now no weather on the Freaking Weather Channel. And Fox news ch-... oh, well never mind that last one:-)


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walter biscardi
Re: Hammered
on Oct 22, 2009 at 10:17:24 pm

I stopped watching when it was re-branded to Sy Fy. Without a doubt the dumbest network ID ever.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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John Davidson
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 12:34:12 am

Battlestar Galactica was the best thing, and maybe the worst thing, to ever happen to Scifi. The show changed so much about what to expect from a science fiction series. You mean, we can have space battles AND drama that doesn't involve 15 minutes of bs technobabble about dilithium crystals? Nothing else they make even comes close to comparing with it.

I can't even deal with that new name. ugh.



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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 12:48:21 am

[John Davidson] "You mean, we can have space battles AND drama that doesn't involve 15 minutes of bs technobabble about dilithium crystals?"

Excuse me, John, as we need to reverse the quantum flux on this website and get the silicon persistent current flux correlations calculated by the quantum chaology.

After that, we will have to reboot the transverse neutronial vericyclometer.

That should power-up the TV so that we can watch Battlestar Galactica, so we won't miss what happened on the Planet Kolob when the Council of 12 built sex kittens to pump up the ratings on the show they'd left with SciFi.

Throw in Farscape, Stargate, Invasion, Surface, The 4400, etc., etc., and it is all quite over the top.

I suspend disbelief watching all of it, and just enjoy it instead. In fact, Kathlyn and I sometimes "predict" what solution they are going to come up with: "Reverse the quantum flux, Captain! It's gonna blow!"

And it usually does, but only on the first few seasons of Battlestar.

:)

Ron Lindeboom


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grinner hester
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 12:17:56 am

lol
When was the last time ya saw a race on Speed?
Or actuality on TRU?
Ever seen a discovery on Discovery?
GTV prolly plays less gaming content than anything else.
The list goes on and on. As networks hand ratings to youtube they feel compelled to make great change. Instead of making that towards ratings via added interactivity, they have tried to get hip with reruns instead.
go figure.
They'll evolve long after the net adds proper bandwidth... leaving them buying time from web providers later rather than selling as they do now.




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Chris Blair
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 12:55:57 am

The Weather Channel has been heading down this road for a long time. They've been trying to "create" stars our of Jin Cantore and "Abrams and Bettis" for a couple years now. Now they've got Al Roker on at 6am! Like anybody gets up and tunes in to see Al Roker?

It's ridiculous. People tune in for one thing...THE WEATHER!

I don't mind the weather documentaries that much, as long as they still do the area forecast every 8 minutes! But theatrical movies with weather themes? Are you serious?

Remember when CNN Headline News actually did news headline? Now it's HLN and has 8 hours of Nancy Grace and A.J. Hammer. Remember when CMT had country music videos and shows about country music? (yeah I like country music).

What's next, ESPN devoting huge blocks of time to something that doesn't exist like Fantasy Football? Oh wait, they're already doing that (Sports Illustrated does it too).

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN
http://www.videomi.com


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walter biscardi
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 12:58:56 am

[Chris Blair] "Now they've got Al Roker on at 6am! Like anybody gets up and tunes in to see Al Roker? "

Well of course. NBC purchased them so of course Al is going to appear on the network.


[Chris Blair] "I don't mind the weather documentaries that much, as long as they still do the area forecast every 8 minutes! But theatrical movies with weather themes? Are you serious?
"


It's the Weather, just more interesting. :-)


[Chris Blair] "Remember when CNN Headline News actually did news headline? Now it's HLN and has 8 hours of Nancy Grace and A.J. Hammer. Remember when CMT had country music videos and shows about country music? (yeah I like country music). "

Yeah, I used to work at CNN. Folks who still work there tell me it's taboo to say "Headline News" now. Ted Turner said it best. "It's unwatchable now."







Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
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Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" now in Post.

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Shane Ross
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 1:43:21 am

This is happening everywhere. History Channel...now doing NON-history stuff. Ice Road Truckers? Axmen? This is HISTORY? Oh...wait, they have a new tagline now... "History made every day." Ahhh, NOW I get it.

And Discovery...they have a HUGE hit with Planet Earth, that they did with the BBC. But do they want to follow that up with other shows in that vein? Noooooo... they make a REALITY SHOW where they CAST people from 5 states, put them in a warehouse in LA, made it "post apocalyptic LA" and told them to "survive." This is THE COLONY.

I too haven't watched SyFy at all. I am not watching Warehouse 13...and all the other SciFi shows never did it for me. Stargate, Farscape, Flash Gordon... and no, I have never gotten Dr. Who. The normal shows that they make (well, I like Eureka) are all typical drek... Battlestar soared above.

But the rebranding to try to get more MASS appeal is a disease that is hitting all the networks. I liked channels with themes...you knew what you were getting. Now? People just all want that same old demographic... Men aged 18-49, Women aged 16-35...and they all aim for that.

Yup, all started falling to crap when MUSIC TELEVISION no longer aired Music Videos. Oh, from 3-6 am they do.

ugh.


Shane



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Mike Cohen
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 1:56:00 am

I thought the whole point of 500 channels is that niche programming creates a specific audience for each genre. But apparently niche audiences don't pay the bills. I am a bit surprised that tv ratings even exist anymore.

I loved the premise of Galactica - believable people involved in extraordinary situations with a realistic style. What sold the show for me was that the ordinance used in space were bullets and missiles, not corny lasers. The show jumped the shark after the New Caprica season, but it was still some of the best sci fi ever on television.

A show like Warehouse 13 or Fringe one would expect to see on SciFi Channel, but with lower budgets and if possible, even worse acting.

I remember fondly when you could turn on MTV and the videos ran 24/7. Mid 80's they introduced variety programming like the MTV half hour comedy hour and Remote Control, then came Beavis and Butthead, Aeon Flux and Real World Season 1. That's when MTV jumped the shark and the networks have been following the Fonz ever since.

Occasionally we get a surprise, like the unannounced live U2 concert on a flatbed truck in NYC, or Planet Earth or Deadliest Catch (that's for you Grinner). But we have been watching every non-pay channel die a slow death. Makes me wonder if the network execs are aware of how bad their programming has become, or if all they care about it sellin' ads.

I agree that in a very short time, the best shows will be available exclusively online and NBC will be begging to buy programming from web-based producers. Creative COW Television Network - we're waiting for you.

Mike Cohen


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grinner hester
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 4:17:11 am

[Mike Cohen] "I thought the whole point of 500 channels is that niche programming creates a specific audience for each genre."
Nope. They know you'll still just watch 4 channels. They advertise 500 because their compretition boasts 499.
Many of these providers have installers that use buzz wirds like component then grab your coax cable to hook it up. It's all a big song and dance but that's what TV is. It is it's very purpose. Some thought it was for communication. Others still thik it's for entertainment. It's a square sales dude that takes no questions.
So why is it losing? BEcause the net does take questions. It'll even respond. BEcause it's interactive, more folks will watch a 320X250 pixelated picture in a picture than a beautiful 56" LCD fed by that coax I mentioned. Content has always ruled, we just haven't always had a choice or a voice.




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Mark Suszko
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 5:01:22 am

What makes me scratch my head about the change of direction at SciFi channel is that they actually despised and rejected their original target market: Men aged teens thru forties with disposable income and interested in anything high-tech. You would think you could sell a ton of all manner of electronics products, cars, tools, food/drink, and the like to them. All I see them sell on STY-FY is Viagra and Levitra.

If I had a spare genie wish and could program that network, what I'd do is bring back a lot of the old re-run TV series from the 60's, 70's and even 80's, the super-corny Irwin Allen shows and a lot of the British stuff, particularly the Gerry Andersen stuff, all in small doses, spread thru the week, and based around theme nights to encourage group viewing as a social event instead of single-person monastic consumption.

I'd hire Harlan Ellison to do... well, anything he wants to do, except cuss. I'd give him a flagship talk show where he and guest SF authors and science and technology experts would brainstorm some story concepts or extrapolate an SF premise from the tech and social news of the week. Viewer votes would help pick some of those ideas to develop into one-off TV movies and web comics/audio podcasts. I would also run biographies of SF writers and shows on the making of SF books and films.

I would bring back MST3K no matter the cost.

I would run Doctor Who in continuous rotation, perhaps a different doc every night of the week.

I would try to get the rights to re-make Blake's Seven as a series, the way Galactica was remade, with real budgets and top effects and good writing, plot arcs and characterization.

I'd do a deal with the TED people to run a weekly show.

I'd run a weekly NASA show and an astronomy show.

I'd have one little 30-minute SF trivia-based game show. The difficulty level would start at "legendary" and escalate to "Inhuman". The champion would become the most hated person in the fandom world.

I'd add "robot wars", the original British version, but also I would add deep coverage of Dean Kamen's FIRST competitions, covered as seriously as college football. I would cover engineering competitions by Caltech, MIT, etc. as specials, proudly showcasing our brightest minds at work and play, and inspiring viewers to aspire.

I would have a couple hardware fetish tech review shows like the old Australian "Beyond 2000" show, since Discovery Channel stopped being interested. I would also cover SF fandom on TV by accepting viewer-produced content "reported" from the various conventions in a weekly fandom compilation show, both on-air and on the web in extended versions.

My network would be the place to "get your geek on". It would be unabashedly narrowcast and proudly smug about it.

I would not have shows about making cakes. I would not have shows featuring a lot of welding. I would not have shows about mansquitoes, giant anacondas, or ghost hunters or wrasslin'.

I would carry and showcase a lot of anime' but not that Pokemon or emo-teen-ninja type garbage.

I would not have reality shows about indolent ne'er-do-wells carping about their hurt feelings and trying to pork each other in night vision shots while living in a free mansion.

My cop shows would star R. Daneel Olivaw and Lije Bailey, or or Gil the ARM, Dirk Gently, guys like that.

I would option some of the Larry Niven or Niven/Pournelle books to make multi-night mini-series out of them, four or six or more hours, whatever it takes to nail the story.

Basically, I would program to please myself, and invite whomever is interested to come along, or not, but I would not try to chase so wide an audience that I became a generic blob of a network without any particular identity. I would build an audience so fanatical and loyal that advertisers would pay extra just to access them.

And that's when I woke up....


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Mike Cohen
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 1:40:20 pm

Mark - I'd pay for this channel. Let me know when it is live.


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Jodi Kaplan
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 9:01:19 pm

Me too!!!


Jodi Kaplan
http://www.kaplancopy.com/blog


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Nicholas Bierzonski
Re: Hammered
on Nov 13, 2009 at 6:34:32 pm

Me three!

-Nicholas Bierzonski
Senior Editor/DVD Author/Java Boy
http://www.finalfocusvideo.com




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Steve Wargo
Re: Hammered
on Oct 26, 2009 at 5:37:56 am

I'd watch that.

Steve Wargo
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walter biscardi
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 11:26:49 am

[Shane Ross] "This is happening everywhere. History Channel...now doing NON-history stuff. Ice Road Truckers? Axmen? This is HISTORY? Oh...wait, they have a new tagline now... "History made every day." Ahhh, NOW I get it. "

And it's also a way for them to tap into Original Productions which, to their credit, has had a slew of cable hits and have been one of the top programming providers for the Discovery networks for years. I actually liked the very first season of Ice Road Truckers because it was something I had never heard of before and they actually had some interesting characters. But now it's all about pretending something big is about to happen after the break with a big letdown when you see it was just something minor. Modern Marvels is still one of my favorites on History.


[Shane Ross] "Noooooo... they make a REALITY SHOW where they CAST people from 5 states, put them in a warehouse in LA, made it "post apocalyptic LA" and told them to "survive." This is THE COLONY. "

Yep, one of the worst show concepts I think I've ever seen. Kind of reminded me of Junkyard Wars just without all the humor and entertainment.

We're actually concentrating on PBS for the majority of the shows we're pitching right now because there's a real sense of working together AND we get to retain ownership of the shows.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author.
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Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" now in Post.

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Mark Suszko
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 2:52:13 pm

Tv is becoming as bad as radio.

There was a time, before mass mergers and Clear Channel made it into a commercial wasteland, when terrestrial radio had people called "disk jockeys", who found, picked, and introduced you to music THEY liked or found worthy, and if you liked it TOO, well, then great. And if you didn't, another DJ might appeal to your tastes better, and then you'd stick with that guy and station.

Then it was decided that the business was too important to risk on the personal tastes of any one man, so picking the music became the program director's job, using statistical analysis and trends and marketing jibber-jabber. Maybe it was safer, but it sure became blander. Can you imagine a contemporary Alan Freed breaking Beatles records in today's climate? No, he'd be fired because like the marketing and A&R folks with their research and stats said to Brian Epstein back then; "we're going to pass on your four lads, groups with guitars are on the way out".

The networks are doomed by their lack of long term vision, excess of short-term greed, and overall fear of innovation and risk, as they keep racing each other towards mediocrity in pursuit of market share, each aiming to be bigger by being blander and grayer.





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Mike Cohen
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 3:18:56 pm

That's what I hated about college radio. It was sold to us as "have your own radio show, even as a Freshman." Then you get your weekly time slot, and you are required to play 50% or more songs from the rotation each hour, plus weather plus news, plus commercials and promos, leaving you little time to talk. And then you had to fill out your playlist so that the record companies would keep sending free records. Yes we used records as well as these newfangled compact discs and of course the ubiquitous cart.

So my roommate and I created a weekly comedy skit called the Yugoslavian Chef, I played a lot of Van Halen and Led Zeppelin and talked a lot. As the years went by I also became the news director, using this newfangled internet thing to get my daily headlines, did some live reporting on campus. I talked so much they gave me warnings, and eventually gave me a joke award for the "DJ who doesn't shut up." Sorry Sonic Youth, but your songs didn't get played on my show. The last straw, when I knew I got their attention, they offered me my own weekly call-in talk show. I guess the talking wasn't so bad after all.

But I turned down the talk show, because I had already found my new passion, the campus tv station. As general manager and news director, I made up my own rulebook and helped the new underclassmen get the most out of their experience, and eventually people started getting anchoring and news photog jobs straight out of college.

If you don't like something, change it. It seems a lot of people don't like what is happening to television at the moment. Eventually, someone is going to change things and the SciFi and History Channel folks can either adapt or perish.

Great thread.

Mike Cohen


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John Baumchen
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 4:23:07 pm

I've been contemplating canceling my sat tv service for a couple of months now, but have been delaying it to do a perception check. After reading the above, posts it's become clear. It's gotta go. I mean do I really need 7 home shopping channels, 8 faith channels, 6 sports channels, 5 channels in a language I can't understand, and specialty channels that aren't?

Thanks for the posts. Just made my decision a lot easier.

Cheers.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 4:40:22 pm

Did I just talk myself out of a future network job? Oh well, you know the old Groucho Marx line about "...any club that would have me for a member..."


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Todd Terry
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 4:44:55 pm

I used to watch tons of TV. Tons. Too much. Way too much. If I was home, the TV was on. Sometimes two of them.

I bought a new (well, old... but new to me) house earlier this year.

I killed the cable service at my old house, but didn't transfer it to the new place right away. The house really wasn't wired for cable, and I hate seeing any wiring and knew I'd do a better job of it than the cable company, so planned to do all the internal cabling myself the first week I moved in.

It was a busy time, I didn't get around to it the first week. Or the second week. Or the second month. I finally did, and did a nice job, hidden cabling discretely running throughout the house under floors and inside walls.

I still haven't called the cable company. Just haven't.

I'll call them tomorrow. But then again, I said that yesterday, too.

Stunningly (even to me), I've lived without live television in my own home since April. I don't get as mad seeing how bad the television stations and cable companies louse up our commercial spots. I've discovered movies that I didn't even know I owned. Many still in the shrink wrap. I was finally able to watch all of Arrested Development (although I still won't watch the finale... because then it's "over"). I've gotten more done. I've even read a book or two.

I don't miss it. Much.

And I don't tell our clients that.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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John Davidson
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 5:28:23 pm

We fired quite a few shows this year, but I'm not ready to kill the Golden Goose just yet. Canceling HGTV and Food network would likely destroy my marriage. You guys are braver than me!


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cowcowcowcowcow
Tim Wilson
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 5:47:25 pm

I'm going to make some specific observations to speak to the general observation: the demographics are changing faster than you're watching. There's no hand biting here. Money talks.

It's not just greed talking, either. Audiences grow when they get what they want.

[Mark Suszko] "racing each other towards mediocrity in pursuit of market share"

Market share is bad? This is a business forum for criminy's sake. I would think that you guys would understand business better.

So let's talk business. If you're selling something with your name on it, you better have the rights to that name. There is no combination of Sci and Fi and Science and Fiction that they were able to trademark. No legal name with ANY of those things in it. There's not enough money to make that problem go away. Enter Plan B. A goofy name that sounds the same, and can be protected.

And I will say as a company whose trademark has been a big part of how people feel about it, it's worth getting this right.

You may not like the new branding, but the money has spoken: Q3 09 was the channel's best quarter ever. (Do you people not read?)

I'm also not sure why you guys are complaining about the lack of science fiction programming on the channel. We can have that conversation another time, but Warehouse 13 and Stargate Universe have been setting records. The latter is outdrawing sci-fi god Joss Whedon's Dollhouse on Fox - that's right, science fiction on SyFy is beating science fiction on Fox in the same timeslot. But the premiere of SGU brought the highest ratings since BSG's premiere in 2005.

(Note that the show BEGAN in 2004. It only started airing on Sci-Fi in 2005.)

Whether you guys like it is beside the point. Eureka, Warehouse 13, Sanctuary, Stargate, original sci-fi movies every Saturday night - you're watching these, right? There's plenty of sci-fi on Syfy.

Three quick issues related to biting this particular hand.
1) Top rated show for H2 09? Warehouse 13. For the first half? Ghost Hunters. You might not like it, but the audience does. Place the blame where you may. Syfy can't hear you because the money is talking to them.

2) Sci-fi/Syfy/Psi Fye/etc has never been the only, or even entirely the best source for science fiction tv. I'll point to Fringe and The Seeker for now, but there are other examples.

Here's a favorite: MST3K originated on Comedy Central, and aired there for 7 of the show's 10 years. There's a certain extent to which you guys are longing for a very, very selectively-viewed past...if indeed it ever existed.

2a) The reason it went away wasn't ratings. It was that the cost of licensing was too high, and that the show was ultimately a victim of its own success. There weren't THAT many bad movies to mock, and as they started to spread the net wider, the studios wouldn't play along. And why should they? The show had a shelf life, which it passed.

3) A little rant about viagra. I don't know much about the drug, but I know demographics. The world has shifted under your feet, and you have missed why Syfy may be the highest-impact target buy that Pfizer makes.

First, Viagra's fastest growing demo is in their 40s, and the number has been trending down for years. (Down? Ha ha. Okay, enough giggling. This is real money.) Viagra gained traction among the kids in the rave days, when it was commonly mixed with ecstacy. Some of this was to counteract one of the side effects of e, but some of it is that sex-on-demand on e is so intense that people can die from it. The kids think this is a good thing. And some of THAT is related to all dilation, all the time.

This is around the time that Viagra started sponsoring Major League Baseball and Cialis tied to the NFL. Any thoughts on the dates? Corresponded with the widespread use of steroids, whose side effects include a condition treated with those drugs.

The NFL ended the relationship with Cialis when they found that -- all giggling about performance enhancing aside - it made for such a demonstrably positive effect on on-field performance that the NFL has banned it. Dilation is GOOD, people. So good that it created unfair advantages.

A more widespread cause of erectile dysfunction is stress, which is insanely on the rise of course, and it comes from every direction. Not making any political observations, but McCain supporters' testorone plummeted after the election, and the result was most pronounced among young men.

How does Syfy fit in? It's the #10 station among 18-54 year olds. Note that the key demo is trending upward - it was 49 just a few years ago. Combine that with the fact that folks at the upper range have more money to spend on pharm, and go to the doctor more often, and that ED drugs are targeted at ALL men, not just older ones, and you have in Syfy the best match outside of the sports networks. Better than the news channels. Why would they NOT be advertising there?

Guys, money talks. Pfizer has billions to spend, but will only spend them where they find ROI.

Pay attention: Syfy, Pie Guy, Sigh Fye, whatever = Viagra/Cialis/Levitra's target demo.

++++
A separate rant on people missing the point on MTV.

Without the ability to aggregate viewers, they were losing them, and with them, advertisers. The first attempts to create SHOWS were music-oriented - 120 Minutes, Yo! MTV Raps were the first biggest ones. They were ultimately victims of their own success, as alternative music and hip-hop became ubiquitous.

First truly transformative ratings: The Real World, which had a bigger social impact than Survivor did when it was the top-rated show in the land. It was a big deal for MTV because it provided them their first laser-focused, post hip-hop audience, and it was huge. Massive, massive money.

Their biggest ratings in the past 5 years? The MTV Movie Awards, up a staggering 74% from last year. That's MOVIE awards, and NOT music awards.

++++
One of my favorite non-music shows on MTV: The Jon Stewart Show. (He also did the very funny You Wrote It, You Watch It.) The ratings were so high that Paramount (related to MTV through parent Viacom) created a syndicated version, and tweaked the format more toward a straight talk show that ran in the late-night strip opposite The Tonight Show, Nightline, etc.

++++
re: the popularity of the Movie Awards on MTV, movies have everything to do with music marketing to youngsters, and have since Rock Around the Clock, if not earlier. Recent licensing to movies, TV and commercials has had a (again) transformative effect on the business - greater control of presentation, bigger bang for buck, EVERY placement is a prestige placement, multiple ways to use artists (remember when Aimee Mann played The Bronze on Buffy? She brushed past Spike and said "I hate playing vampire towns"), andlegal ways to collect direct pay-for-play -- except that they're not PAYING, they're GETTING paid. It's win-win.

That said, radio continues to play its role, especially in the teen market where radio has always had its biggest effect. Big, big BIG in urban areas in particular.

Guys? You're not teens anymore. Radio isn't for you.

+++++

Alan Freed first found Little Richard and Chuck Berry through live performances. He didn't do much with The Beatles until after Ed Sullivan did. (That said, The Beatles heard Freed playing Richard and Chuck on Radio Luxembourg.)

At the end of the day, movies and TV have had a bigger, longer-lasting effect on breaking music than radio - always. Right, Elvis?


++++

Anyway, The Weather Channel has found itself in the same position as MTV, but worse. They originally tried to keep personalities off the air, because "weather" was the star. They were idiots. Weatherpeople have always been successful because of their personalities, even when they're not being clowns. While TWC eventually let presenters have identities (stay tuned for THIS PERSON), they still had a problem: nobody had any reason to watch for more than a minute or two except when they were being affected.

Same process as MTV: start with "shows" (local on the 8s), then go a little broader (Killer Twisters or whatever), then a little broader still. People WILL watch movies even when there's no threatening weather. I don't think that weather will ever go away from TWC, and I think that they'll drop movies like a stone when there's a big storm, but they need to draw a crowd.

This is the OPPOSITE of biting the hand. They've got their hand out.

++++
Race to the bottom? Gray, bland programming? We're in television's greatest golden age. The crest of the crest might have been with The Sopranos, but seriously, the dreck we will always have with us. But the only reason I can imagine why somebody can be missing just how good so much TV is these days is that they're pining for a past that doesn't exist the way they remember it.

Kind of like the one where MST3K is a Sci-Fi show. :-)


I could go on like this for a long, long time, but I feel much better now.




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Mark Suszko
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 9:16:17 pm

[Tim Wilson] "I could go on like this for a long, long time, but I feel much better now."

-Sounds like the pill is kicking in, then:-)


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Mark Suszko
Re: Hammered
on Oct 23, 2009 at 9:31:23 pm

If every network aims for the exact same demographic, with the same tastes and wants, that is good for diversity of programming choices how exactly? Aren't they all fighting for the exact same slice of pie?

You want a world with ten or more shows that are clones of "According to Jim" and "2 and a half men?" How many house-flipping and cake-making and spot-welding fake-fighting drama queen shows do we really need? How many ghost hunting and true crime re-enactments? I would agree it is a banner epoch for high-end pay cable like HBO and Showtime. But from my couch, the lower tier is all sinking into one gray goo of reality programming and re-tread clip compilation shows.

Just for the sake of argument.


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Mick Haensler
Re: Hammered
on Oct 28, 2009 at 1:18:48 am

Most People will watch TV whether there is good programming or bad programming. Most People don't watch TV because it's good,Most People watch TV to escape their mundane workaday pitiful excuse for a life. I have a buddy of mine, my best friend mind you. He's filing for chapter 13, single dad, he's on food stamps and every kind of government assistance he can get his hands on. But hell and begone, DON'T TURN OFF MY CABLE!!!

I'm not judging mind you, he's been through an extremely rough patch and is still standing. Most men would be blithering idiots with what he's been through, but the point still stands. He escapes into that box and it really doesn't matter what's on. I have another friend of mine, successful banker, two great kids, kickin' wife, the whole enchilada. His TV never gets turned off...NEVER!!! I have been coming home from a gig at 4 AM and look across the street and the only light I see is that familiar blue glow and a silhouette of his head in the window.

There are those that do things, there are those that make TV shows about people who do things(which is actually doing things), and then there are those that watch the TV shows about other people do things. We have become a nation of freakin voyeurs. Excuse me, I gotta go do sumpin, Anybody wanna watch??

.....that didn't come out right.....

Oh and one more I forgot. There are those that do things and then make a TV show about it. Sorry

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media


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Simon Stutts
Re: Hammered
on Oct 30, 2009 at 5:01:04 am

The Management at SyFy killed Farscape like 7 years ago.

And I think I'm still bitter about that.


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