Showbiz Sandbox 168: Why TV Audiences Abandoned Broadcast Networks

October 22, 2012

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 53: I’m Sleeping With Richard Dreyfuss

May 11, 2010

The Cannes Film Festival kicks off in France this week and our very own Michael Giltz and J. Sperling Reich are on the Croisette to cover all the news. When they’re not sharing a bed they’ll be seeing all the big movies and speaking with all the filmmakers.

Back in North America “Iron Man 2” opened to huge numbers, earning $128 million over the weekend, giving it the fifth biggest opening of all time. Meanwhile, the Washington Post is struggling with it’s own numbers. The media company has decided to put Newsweek magazine up for sale as its profit has declined 30%. On the other hand, their online property Slate.com has seen ad revenue increase 30%.

Another group looking to make money online are music publishers. They’re going after websites that publish music lyrics without permission. Even though song lyrics are copyrighted, how much money could there possibly be in such sites?

On television, 88-year-old actress Betty White continued her improbable comeback by scoring huge ratings when she hosted last week’s “Saturday Night Live”. Another actress making a comeback is Lindsay Lohan who was just cast in a porn film. . . sort of. She’ll be playing Linda Lovelace in a biopic about the porn star.

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