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WHATS UP WITH PRIMETIME NETWORK TV

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Title: WHATS UP WITH PRIMETIME NETWORK TV


1
WHATS UP WITH PRIMETIME NETWORK TV ?
2
Chapter 1 --- THE TV LANDSCAPE
3
A PLETHORA OF MEDIA OPTIONS
  • Six major broadcast TV networks
  • An average 75 cable networks per Cable household
  • 13,898 radio stations
  • 5,340 consumer magazines
  • 1,457 daily newspapers
  • 6,699 weekly newspapers
  • 400,000 billboards
  • Hundreds of thousands of commercial Internet sites

4
Television Adjuncts
  • ANCILLARY DEVICES EXPAND THE TV EXPERIENCE
  • Remote controls and VCRs are ubiquitous,
    Cable/Satellite almost universal as well, and DVD
    ownership is now a majority.
  • More than three-fourths of homes households more
    than one TV set.

98
91
75
of TV households
62
17
4
Source Nielsen Television Audience 2003, Nielsen
Home Technology Report
5
Usage by Medium
  • A PLETHORA OF MEDIA OPTIONS ---
  • but TV usage is paramount

Time Spent per Day by Medium- Adults 18
6
ARE THEY FINALLY HERE?
  • Video on Demand
  • Interactive TV
  • What is the purpose of a TV set
  • to play a videogame (with people around the
    globe?)
  • to show pre-recorded material, such a movies or
    recoded TV program
  • to access High Definition programming
  • to view TV programs as they air

7
Chapter 2 --- INDECENCY
8
THE US ELECTION RESULTS ARE IN Gore wins! Gore
Violence Defeat Nudity Language
9
IF IT IS BROADCAST watch what you say or
reveal IF IT IS ON CABLE push that envelop,
baby!
10
WATCH WHAT YOU SAY ---
  • Quotes from everywhere about how nudity and
    language are now at the top of the list
  • HBO believes in (Dirty Bomb) so thoroughly …
    that it is sharing the film with PBS … the only
    difference being a scene in the decontamination
    shower that was re-edited to reduce another kind
    of skin exposure
  • FCC FINES CBS over Janet Jackson …

11
WATCH WHAT YOU SAY ---
  • FCC FINES FOX over sexy reality series scenes …
  • The complaints to the FCC for Friends, The
    Simpsons and Gilmore Girls were filed by the
    Parents Television Council
  • Despite buying Desperate Housewives at very
    inexpensive Upfront prices (XXX) has decided to
    pull its advertising from the megahit due to
    complaints …
  • Super Bowl 2005 anecdotes!

12
  • We are not editorializing, rather sharing
  • the apparently growing impact this situation
  • is having on the creative (and business)
  • community in the USA

13
  • THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT MOST OF THE
    AD-SUPPORTED SERIES ON CABLE THAT ARE ADULT
    HAVE SOME DEGREE OF TROUBLE ATTRACTING HIGH
    SPENDING ADVERTISERS IN THE USA
  • --- even NYPD Blue has this liability

14
BUT HOW YOU GONNA KEEP THEM DOWN (EDITED and
EXPURGATED) BROADCAST, NOW THAT THEYVE SEEN …
  • - wackings on Sopranos
  • - virtually all of the anatomy on Sex/City
  • - watched any Nip/Tuck
  • - sat through Carnivale
  • - subject matter in L Word and Queer as Folk
  • - realistic dialogue in HUFF

15
CABLE KEEPS PUSHING THAT ENVELOPE
  • LETS WATCH
  • RESCUE ME
  • (there are just too many clips from so many Cable
    series that I am hesitant to show with such a
    classy crowd )

16
Chapter 3 --- SHOW BUSINE
17
NEXT TOPIC ECONOMICS
  • Producers lease shows to broadcasters based on
    deficit financing --- hoping for windfall
  • After five year run from Broadcasters renegotiate
  • Syndicating to local US stations
  • Selling international rights
  • Too few successful newcomers (too few episodes)
  • Short-run failures turning up on Canada
  • Moderate hits turning up on Cable
  • Cable exports to Broadcast (Sex The City ----
    edited and re-shot)

18
THE ECONOMIC VISE
  • When you win, you could lose
  • The Story of Friends and Dallas and ER
  • Do I need affiliates to distribute programming
  • Is there anything else I can own?
  • Can I turn a hit series and make on DVD
  • The X-Files schematic

19
THE CONSOLIDATION OF CREATIVITY
  • Disney GE/NBC/UNIVERSAL News Corporation
  • Sony Time Warner Viacom
  • The great majority of programming aired on the
    major Broadcast networks (and exported up North)
    are products of these studios (and their
    divisions)
  • Independent creative is increasingly rare (and,
    like all such studio work, very expensive)

20
THE GOAL IS TO CONTROL AS MUCH OFTHE PROCESS
AS POSSIBLE IN ORDER TO …
  • A) Insure a superior product
  • B) Keep as many talented people happily
    employed as humanly possible
  • C) To keep the stock price up by optimizing
    profits
  • D) To keep my job

21
  • GIVEN THIS ECONOMIC REALITY
  • THE TV GENRE BEST SUITED FOR
  • DEVELOPMENT MAY BE …

22
Procedural Drama at Its Zenith
  • The Law Order franchise ( 4 arriving shortly
    )
  • The CSI franchise
  • These series occupy soon-to-be 7 hours of
    programming weekly and continue to pull enviable
    audience levels, attract topnotch advertisers ---
    and the veterans are doing very well in
    syndication (as well as being repurposed on
    Cable)

23
THE SELF-CONTAINED DRAMA
  • Continuous story-line dangerous as demands
    habitual viewing in increasingly competitive TV
    environment
  • And the ADD factor
  • Crime dramas always popular and in vogue
  • The self-contained hour-long problem solved
  • Occasional arcs
  • Rare cross-overs
  • And unlike the poor performance that most dramas
    suffer when in reruns, this genre has proven to
    be a solid ratings success

24
  • HOT OFF THE DVD BURNER ---
  • NUMBERS
  • MEDIUM
  • BLIND JUSTICE

25
Chapter 4 --- COMEDY IN CRISIS
  • Do you think Im funny, huh, do yah?

26
COMEDY IN CRISIS
  • FRIENDS
  • FRASIER
  • SEX THE CITY
  • EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND
  • And today we have

27
AND TODAY WE HAVE NEW TALENT WITH NEW IDEAS
  • JOEY!
  • LISTEN UP!

28
We have been through cycles before --- only
dramas are hits only comedies are hits only
reality holds promise a sci-fi series cannot draw
large numbers, nor a game show, nor
animation, nor ….
29
Chapter 5 --- TO PROVE THE POINT …
30
  • DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
  • Comedy? Satire? Sexy? Hour-long!

31
  • LOST
  • Drama? Adventure?
  • Science Fiction?
  • And both series telecast on
  • arguably the most troubled of the
  • four major broadcast networks

32
BREAKOUT HITS PULL IN ALL TYPES OF VIEWERS
33
Chapter 6 --- IS ANYBODY WATCHING MY
COMMERCIALS ANYMORE?
34
PRODUCT INTEGRATION vs. DVRs
  • ONE METHOD FOR COMBATING
  • CONSUMER EMPOWERMENT, AKA ---
  • ACTIVE COMMERCIAL EXPOSURE

35
BURGER KING, ANYONE ?
36
Epilogue --- And finally!
37
WHO GAVE THE GO-AHEAD TO THESE
  • Four almost unknowns performers are cast as
    post-30 singles, with often irritating character
    traits, in stories revolving around … nothing
  • To compete with the star-studded medical drama
    that CBS is using to highlight its Fall schedule,
    NBC turns to a very similar new series replete
    with unknown actors and actresses
  • A virtually unknown foreign producer sets 16
    strangers on a small island and simply turns on
    the camera as they compete for a one million
    (taxable) prize
  • Although only half of all Americans actually
    vote, the network elects to bring an expensive
    ensemble on the very subject to Prime
  • A crass youthful comedian, virtually unknown, is
    the mom in yet another sitcom centered on family
    life (but among the working class this time)
  • A youthful Nebraska comedian takes over the 90
    minute late night slot, five evenings weekly,
    from the venerable Jack Paar

38
When it comes to show biz, nobody knows
anything.
2-time Oscar winning screenwriter, and forty
year industry observer, William Goldman
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