Showbiz Sandbox 226: Back To The Future – Why TV Networks Suddenly Love Old People Again

Broadcast television networks are finally catching on to what most of us have known all along; people over the age of 50 actually watch a lot of TV. In a never-ending pursuit to attract younger viewers, networks discovered that baby boomers make up a large portion of their audience. Surely we’ll be seeing a lot more programming meant to appeal directly to this new found demographic.

Maybe some of these new, more mature shows can be turned into movies one day. That seems to be the new trend in Hollywood as studios get set to release two movies that are spun-off from canceled series (“Veronica Mars”) or are have actually already appeared on television as mini-series (“Son of God”).

Speaking of Hollywood studios, it turns out that despite crying poor on a perennial basis, they all managed to make hundreds of millions of dollars in profit during 2013. Not revenue… actual profit.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including Cee Lo Green quitting “The Voice”, CNN quitting Piers Morgan and the end of Moviefone’s movie listing service.

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Showbiz Sandbox 168: Why TV Audiences Abandoned Broadcast Networks

The start of the new television season has been a huge disappointment for broadcast networks with ratings down as much as 28% on Fox. Only NBC has seen an increase in viewership in key demos and after years of coming in fourth among networks, now finds itself bouncing back. Why have audiences abandoned broadcast television? Here’s a hint; it has to do with zombies.

Industry analysts fault lackluster new series and strong programming alternatives on cable for broadcast networks latest woes. We provide a rundown of which new shows might stick around for a while, those that might be put on hiatus and which have already gotten the ax.

If you paid to download any of this season’s new TV shows you may be interested to know that you are only licensing the right to view them and don’t actually own them outright. Two upcoming court cases may help resolve the issue, if they don’t wind up muddying the waters further.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including the new agreement between Dish and AMC, Beyonce’s new Super Bowl gig, and the end of Newsweek as a print magazine.

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Showbiz Sandbox 124: UltraViolet Is A Solution In Search Of A Problem

More than 75 companies have teamed up to form UltraViolet, a new service that promises to give consumers the freedom to watch movies and television shows wherever and whenever they want. However, early adopters have discovered that untethering content from physical media such as DVDs can be a tedious and confusing process. As the entertainment industry experiments with rapidly evolving technologies, viewers seem hard pressed to find any benefits in moving to the cloud.

When it comes to music though, fans have already migrated to online services such as Pandora, iTunes and Amazon. Now Google is preparing to launch its own music offering which is rumored to allow users to share music with their friends and family.

And if you thought digital technology was a tough racket, so is trying to copy the success of the hit television series “Mad Men”. NBC failed with it’s 1960s drama “The Playboy Club” and ABC isn’t fairing much better with “Pan Am”, a similar knock-off. They could have picked up Charlie Sheen’s new sitcom, “Anger Management” as a replacement, but FX scooped it up before anyone had a chance.

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Showbiz Sandbox 123: DVR Data Can Save TV Shows From Cancellation

It turns out your DVR can be helpful beyond just recording your favorite television shows. Examining which commercials you skip past might be able to help predict box office flops and monitoring which shows you watch can save a borderline series from being canceled. We’ll debate whether television networks and movie studios can benefit from the data being collected from your DVR.

Apple however may be trying to make your DVR obsolete. The long standing rumors that Apple might be working on a next generation television set have heated up once again. Would you welcome Apple into your living room?

Dozens of entries make up this year’s Best Foreign Language Oscar list, though all of them will ultimately be nominated. We’ll explain how the list ultimately gets whittled down to just five movies.

We also cover the week’s top entertainment headlines including why Hulu is no longer for sale, why Jonny Depp’s “Lone Ranger” is back in production and how Amazon plans to make publishers unnecessary.

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Showbiz Sandbox 75: Hollywood Stunned By A Jackass (And It’s Not Perez Hilton!)

Everyone expected the latest installment of the low-rent “Jackass” franchise to bring in a few bucks, especially since it was filmed in 3D, but nobody expected the movie to take in $50 million in its debut weekend and set records for an October opening. Another surprise from this past week came when gossip blogger Perez Hilton told the world he would no longer “bully” or “out” celebrities on his popular website. Hilton has left everyone wondering if he is being honest, or just trying to grab a few headlines.

In television news, the big story was all about the Chilean miner rescue which drew huge ratings for cable news networks. As for some of the season’s new shows, we provide an update on which ones seem to be fairing well and which may be headed into a permanent hiatus.

The nominations for the American Music Awards were announced, though instead of pulling names from Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, the show relied on the Ultimate Chart published by BigChampagne.

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Showbiz Sandbox 3: Award Season Redux

Star Trek

“Star Trek” cleans up at the box office earning $76 million in North America over the weekend while “Wolverine” pulled in another $27 million. Fox sets release dates for its blockbusters in Mexico, though actors may not start kissing on telenovelas for a while. “Billy Elliot” heads up the Tony Award nominations. Bono and the Edge are headed to Broadway with a Spider-Man musical, but Andrew Lloyd Weber is falling behind on his sequel to “Phantom of the Opera”.

“Slumdog Millionaire” and “Twilight” lead the MTV Movie Award nominations, but does anyone care. Big media and celebrities top the Webby awards. NBC announces its primetime schedule and there are rumors about a few CW shows. Looks like the “Gossip Girl” spinoff is a no-go. As scripted television looks to shrink their writing staffs, CBS debates whether they should bring back such game shows as “The Dating Game” and “Let’s Make A Deal”. A computer bug delayed nearly three days of Nielsen television ratings, however advertisers may want to start using more effective “engagement” ratings anyway.

Disney CEO Bob Iger discusses Hulu and informs everyone that new media is here to stay. The MPAA teaches everyone how to pirate DVD’s using a camcorder, in fact they prefer the method over the ripping of content off DVD’s. Revenue at Warner Music plumets as do satellite radio subscribers at Sirius XM. Looks like Roman Polanski isn’t going to return to see if a court will drop his 30-year-old rape charges. Finally, now that the William Morris/Endeavor merger has been announced, clients have started jumping ship in all directions.

“Star Trek” Draws $72.5 Million
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003414.html?categoryid=19&cs=1

Swine Flu Curbs Telenovela Kissing
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003390.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

Billy Elliot Leads Tony Nominations
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/06/theater/theaterspecial/06tony.html

Bono, The Edge Team Up For “Spider-Man” Musicalhttp://www.spin.com/articles/bono-edge-team-spider-man-musical

“Phantom” Sequel Delayed Until 2010
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003402.html?categoryid=15&cs=1

“Twilight”, “Slumdog” Lead MTV Kudos
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003151.html?categoryid=16&cs=1

MTV Movie Awards Ballot
http://www.mtv.com/ontv/movieawards/2009/

Celebrities Win Madeup Webbys, Big Media Wins Some Real Ones
http://weblogs.variety.com/technotainment/2009/05/celebrities-win-madeup-webbys-big-media-wins-some-real-ones.html

NBC Announces 2009/2010 Primetime Schedule
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/nbc-announces-20092010-primetime-sked/

Fox Orders Second Season of Fringe
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003158.html?categoryId=14&cs=1

Nikki Finke On CW Upfront Rumors
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/that-gossip-girl-spinoff-dead-at-cw/

Shows To Scrimp On Scribes
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003411.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

Networks Fume Over Nielsen Delay

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003280.html?categoryid=14&cs=1

TV Ads That Measure Viewer Engagement
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_20/b4131056581434.htm

Disney’s Bob Iger On YouTube Hulu: “New Media Isn’t Going Away” Planning Movie Subscription Service
http://www.paidcontent.org/entry/419-disneys-iger-on-hulu-youtube-deals-new-media-isnt-going-away/

MPAA To Teachers: Don’t Rip DVDs, Just Record Your Television With A Camcorder
http://www.boingboing.net/2009/05/07/mpaa-to-teachers-don.html

Warner Music Hits Online Slump
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003337.html?categoryid=16&cs=1

Sirius XM’s Subscriber Drain
http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/may2009/tc2009057_956955.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index+-+temp_technology

Polanski won’t appear in U.S Court
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118003182.html?categoryId=22&cs=1

Endeavor Spins Recent Client Exodus
http://www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com/endeavor-spins-recent-client-exodus/

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