Showbiz Sandbox 169: How TV Networks Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The DVR

Major networks used to bemoan the use of DVRs out of fear that audiences would use them to skip over commercials. However, with DVRs in almost half of all US homes, they have begun touting the big audience increases some of their shows get after factoring in time shifted viewing. Scott Collins, a television reporter with the Los Angeles Times, discusses modern-day TV ratings and how the industry is coping as viewing habits change.

And if you thought television networks were in trouble, they’ve got nothing on the film industry. If you were to believe folks like film critic David Denby and a recent New York Times article, movies may not even be relevant anymore.

Talent agencies aren’t immune from all the changes affecting the industry. Last week the longtime head of ICM Partners, one of the world’s largest ten percenteries, announced he’d be leaving to start a new agency.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including how a child sex abuse scandal at the BBC, the merger of publishing giants Penguin and Random House, and an Amy Winehouse musical.

Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 169: How TV Networks Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The DVR


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

Swine Flu Curbs Telenovela Kissing

Billy Elliot Leads Tony Nominations

Bono, The Edge Team Up For “Spider-Man” Musical

“Phantom” Sequel Delayed Until 2010

“Twilight”, “Slumdog” Lead MTV Kudos

MTV Movie Awards Ballot

Celebrities Win Madeup Webbys, Big Media Wins Some Real Ones

NBC Announces 2009/2010 Primetime Schedule

Fox Orders Second Season of Fringe

Nikki Finke On CW Upfront Rumors

Shows To Scrimp On Scribes

Networks Fume Over Nielsen Delay

TV Ads That Measure Viewer Engagement

Disney’s Bob Iger On YouTube Hulu: “New Media Isn’t Going Away” Planning Movie Subscription Service

MPAA To Teachers: Don’t Rip DVDs, Just Record Your Television With A Camcorder

Warner Music Hits Online Slump

Sirius XM’s Subscriber Drain

Polanski won’t appear in U.S Court

Endeavor Spins Recent Client Exodus


Showbiz Sandbox 2: Disney Hearts Hulu, Endeavor Hearts William Morris

Disney Hulu“Wolverine” opens big with $87 million in North American box office, Disney joins online video site, meanwhile Sony streams movies on  An advance look at NBC’s uprfront announcement about which of their television shows are being picked up and which are dumped.  Scrubs may be back on ABC next season after all.  Hasbro and Discovery are putting together a cable network. Obama’s ratings drop and McCain hosts a movie marathon.  Oliver Stone will make “Wall Street 2” with Shia LeBeouf, Chris Noth signs on to “Sex and the City 2”, Universal remakes “Drop Dead Fred” and Don Johnson will play a porn director.  Theatre chain National Amusements is up for sale and studios stop paying for 3D glasses.  Finally, it’s official – talent agencies Endeavor and William Morris will be merging.

“Wolverine” A Hero At The Box Office

Disney’s Anne Sweeney Talks Hulu: It’s All About Casual Viewers

Disney’s Hulu Deal Raises Question About YouTube Model

Denis Leary goes Hulu, mocks your ‘Tweety-pages’ and your ‘Faceyspaces’

“TV Everywhere”: Pay your cable bill, watch Entorage online

Sony Offers Free Films On Crackle

NBC Gets Rolling Before Its Upfronts

NBC Exec Dies On “Parenthood” Set

Chuck Decision Delayed For A Week Or More

Talks Continue For “Scrubs” Return

Hasbro and Discovery Plan Channel Based On Toy Brands

Full Orchestra Puts “Lost” Audience On Edge

Obama Presser Audience Slides But Still Beats Idol

McCain To Host AMC Movie Marathon

Stone To Walk “Wall Street” Again

Mr. Big To Return In “Sex and the City 2”

Universal remaking “Drop Dead Fred”

Don Johnson set to play porn director

Bruce Willis Is Living Hard

Relativity reaches deal with Lionsgate

Viacom Profit Veers Down

National Amusements Ups Ante On Auction

Biz Balks At Cost Of 3D Glasses

Battle Brews Over 3D Glasses In Europe

WMA, Endeavor Approve Merger

As Willliam Morris and Endeavor Near a Merger, a New Book May Cause Discomfort

Paradigm Makes a Move of Its Own


Showbiz Sandbox 1: The Replicability Podcast

SAG President Alan Rosenberg

Talks to merge the William Morris and Endeavor talent agencies continue, while the Screen Actors Guild and the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers may have finally reached an agreement on a new contract.  Critically acclaimed movies tank at the box office.  Fox closes Atomic, reshuffles release dates and hires Angelina Jolie for a biopic.  David Slade is selected for the third “Twilight” film.

MPAA visits Washington D.C., script doctors are kept busy writing for Tom Cruise.  Cannes unveils it’s festival lineup and Francis Ford Coppola is not in it (though he is down the street at the Fortnight).  Jay Leno visits the hospital and Rod Blagojevich visits Hollywood (but not Costa Rica like he wanted).

A classic Pedro Almodovar film gets remade for the small screen, PBS goes online with its content and Oprah learns Twitter etiquette.

WMA Finds Devil In The Details

SAG National Board of Directors Approves Tentative Television and Motion Picture Contacts

Flush times for theatrical movies? Don’t tell A.O. Scott

Down Economy = Dumbed Down Movies/TV? Stop the Inanity!,,20269754,00.html

Fox Folding Atomic Label

Fox Shuffles Film Schedule

Angelina Jolie Teams With Fox 2000

Slade Slated For Third Twilight

MPAA Reaches Out To Lawmakers

Script Doctor’s In For Tom Cruise

Digital Governator Set For Termininator

Robert Rodriguez Wields “Machete”

Cannes Unveils Lineup

Coppola’s Thinking Outside The Cannes

Coppola’s “Tetro” To Open Fortnight

Leno Misses First Tonight Show in 17 Years

Blagojevich Says Still Wants Piece Of Reality Show

Pedro Almodovar On “Verge” Of TV Series

ABC Announces Several Renewals

Watch PBS Online? You Can If You Visit Its New Video Portal,0,56403.story

Oprah Gets Pwned By Shaq On Twitter