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

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Showbiz Sandbox 29: Camped Out For “Twilight: New Moon”

There was a debate over titling this week’s episode “The Profanity Podcast “due to some various disagreements and the name of a new sitcom. Intrigued? Read on.

Harry Medved from Fandango.com joins us briefly to talk about next week’s number one movie at the box office, “The Twilight Saga: New Moon.” (Did we get the name right? Can’t we just call it “New Moon” or “Twilight 2”?) Yes, that’s right, we’re prognosticating next week’s number one movie in North America. Hey, when women of all ages are lining up just to catch a glimpse of Robert Pattinson and/or Taylor Lautner at the premiere, you know you might have a hit on your hands.

Speaking of hits, is Twentieth Century Fox taking a huge risk by bankrolling a film based on an unfamiliar story with no Hollywood superstars and a budget approaching $500 million? We’re talking about “Avatar,” and particularly Michael Cieply’s article in the New York Times’ on the film directed by James Cameron. (So, is Cameron himself not a superstar?) John Horn and Claudia Eller from the Los Angeles Times write that the movie’s price tag continues to climbe and that its global marketing campaign could cost as much as $150 million, “Avatar” won’t have to do “Titanic” business to make money, but it will have to fill auditoriums around the world for weeks to become profitable. Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 29: Camped Out For “Twilight: New Moon”

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Showbiz Sandbox 8: Everybody’s A Critic On The Internet

This week “The Hangover” hung around, and “The Taking of Pelham 123” opened at lower numbers than expected. Was the film miscast?

James Cameron proves he’s King of the World, or at least of the digital age, by pushing game publisher Ubisoft to create the videogame industry’s first stereoscopic title. What does this mean for future relationships between films and videogames? In other film news, “Slumdog Millionaire” director Danny Boyle signed a three year deal with Fox Searchlight; the quasi-classic “Conan The Barbarian” will be remade; and rumors abound that the director of the summer action film “G.I. Joe” was fired. Plus, DVD fans may have to wait a little longer until movies they didn’t bother seeing in the theaters are available for viewing on the couch.

Despite repeated warnings, chaos still ensued when the switch to digital TV finally happened in the United States. And though there were obvious clues about his sexual orientation, “American Idol” runner up Adam Lambert finally came out to Rolling Stone magazine. Plus, the debate rages on: Can Jay Leno survive at 10pm? Advertisers sure aren’t happy about his new time slot. Continue reading Showbiz Sandbox 8: Everybody’s A Critic On The Internet

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