Steven Bochco was not the most prolific of TV’s star producers, but he was one of the few whose name everybody knew.
In years past, you could get a pretty good idea of what new syndicated offerings will be airing this fall and which won’t at NATPE and the days immediately following. Not this year. Eleven days after the show ended, there is still no word on clearances for the handful of new shows and a couple of year-old ones on the bubble.
In past years, my annual assessment of the TV reviews posted here during the year gone by usually yields this surprising result: Positive reviews far outpaced the negative ones. But the other day, I combed through the year’s reviews and made lists of positive and negative reviews. Lo and behold, the list of pans was approximately four times longer than the picks.
While contemplating what the future of TV might look like, Adam Buckman began thinking about how, or even whether, advertising will continue to be a part of it. “It was then that I began to realize how much the concept of the TV commercial — the thing that has provided the financial and to a great degree, the creative underpinning of the whole business since time immemorial — is under assault.”
What’s it going to be then, eh? Huge ratings, or an electorate so turned off by now that they’ll stay away from this third presidential debate in droves?
Adam Buckman: “One thing I have never understood: Why do we care so much who wins an Emmy Award (or for that matter, an Oscar, Grammy or Tony too)? It’s great that people are being recognized and awarded in their industry for their work. More power to them, but this annual televised celebration of their industry almost always comes across as gross showing off. I suppose the same can be said of all awards shows.”
Adam Buckman: “They just might be my least favorite group of TV shows all year. They’re the annual tributes to 9/11, all the documentaries and ‘special reports’ recounting the events of that day. Taking them all in — even while trying to avoid them, which is near-impossible at this time of the year — is a sad, maudlin experience.”
Adam Buckman: On my cable system, Time Warner Cable in New York City, multicast networks are given short shrift. I have, at my count, seven of them. All seven are available in a diginet ghetto located way up on the 1200 block of Time Warner’s Manhattan channel lineup — from MeTV at ch. 1239 to Get TV at ch. 1284. They — and TWC’s subscribers — deserve better.
As the October deadline by which Nielsen hopes to start rolling out its replacement for the paper diary nears, some broadcasters are upset. They say the initial results from the code reader system are giving them lower ratings and questionable demos. Meanwhile, the Media Rating Council is taking a hard look before giving the system its blessing.
“Keeping Up With Trump” could be the title of the continuing televised saga of Donald Trump’s run for the presidency. For the past two or three decades, this is a guy who has never exactly been invisible when it comes to drawing the attention of television cameras and news media. But the exposure he’s getting now is breathtaking.
The word “porn” is about to become a lot more prevalent in the titles of TV shows. How do I know this? Because I have seen this before: A handful of shows begin turning up that have a word in common, and before you know it, there’s an avalanche of them.
NBC’s decision to bring in a former NBC News chief, Andrew Lack, to stabilize a division that seems rudderless at the moment would appear to be a good one — at least on the surface.
Adam Buckman: “If you’re asking yourself why CBS is remaking a series as well-remembered as The Odd Couple, then here’s an answer. The old one is really old, and it’s not likely that it is as “well-remembered” today by vast numbers of younger viewers as older ones, despite its long afterlife in rerun syndication (which continues to this day, by the way).”