TV upfronts! The very best time of year!

The U.S. networks have announced most of their cancellations and pickups for the coming season, kicking off the annual round of frantic, high-pressure sales to advertisers and (of course) Canadian networks looking for stuff to simulcast.

Who's watching the watchers?

Who’s watching the watchers?

A lawsuit in India alleges that the Nielsen rating system is inherently flawed


Netflix vs. the networks

Now that Netflix has driven video rental companies out of business, it’s going after the television networks

Ignatieff’s “party of the network”

John Geddes reports on the wrap-up to the Liberal thinkers’ conference


Under the Radar

Thanks to reader Zack for pointing me to this quote from Joss Whedon in his recent interview with Mo Ryan. The quote is about the difference between working for the WB/UPN and working for bigger networks, but it also sheds some light about why network TV goes through certain periods (like the late ’80s and parts of the ’90s) when it’s more open to weird ideas and approaches than it usually is.


The Network Jump: What’s the Longest a Show Has Lasted?

Deadline Hollywood Daily mentioned recently that Fox may pick up My Name Is Earl for a fifth season if NBC drops it. The show’s decline in creativity and popularity has been so huge that even NBC may not want it around, but more importantly, it’s not owned by NBC; it’s owned by Fox, and if it gets enough episodes for syndication, that won’t help NBC at all. It makes more sense for NBC to keep 30 Rock on the air despite low ratings; not only is it a better show, but its long run will benefit the company more than a long run for Earl.



Near the end of another article about the problems of the American TV business (well, lots of American businesses have problems these days), the creator of Scrubs, Bill Lawrence, has this to say: