Showing posts with label Viacom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Viacom. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

As I was saying. . . .

Before humans were so progressive and advanced, marriage was a sacred thing -- a sacrament. An outward sign of an internal, sanctifying grace.

Looking at it this way, matrimony was a manner of a man and a woman helping one another to get to Heaven. It was how men and women got to model God -- model the Holy Trinity, with the love of the first two persons producing a third . . . a child.

"We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son."

BUT THAT'S NOT important now. What's important is whether we can entertain the masses with matrimony -- whether there's a buck (or several million) to be made off it.

Marriage: It's not the stuff of love and life anymore. It's a programming concept for reality television. It's a profit center for network bean counters.

On television in this postmodern age, according to The Live Feed,
it's nothing sacred:
The network has ordered a new series from the producers of "Top Chef" that puts lovelorn singles into arranged marriages.
The show introduces four adults age approximately 25-45 who are anxious to get married but have been unsuccessful in their search for a mate. Their friends and family select a spouse for them, and the newly paired couple exchange marital vows. The series follows their marriages.

The rest of the details for the project, whose early working title is "Arranged Marriage," are being kept under wraps.

The series is from Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth of Magical Elves, which launched "Project Runway" on Bravo and produces the network's "Top Chef."

It is the second series greenlighted by CBS' new reality chief Jennifer Bresnan, following the recent order for "Block Party," a competition among neighboring families.

The series order for "Marriage" shows CBS is not shying away from reality projects that might draw a few pointed editorials in the wake of the network's previous envelope-pushing social experiment, the fall 2007 series "Kid Nation."

The marriage series comes on the heels of CBS' success with traditional scripted fare this past fall, led by hit new procedural "The Mentalist."

Although it might seem surprising that CBS would opt for a potentially hot-button series when it's on a roll with tried-and-true concepts, reality TV is unlike scripted. New dramas and comedies can get away with showing merely the slightest twist on a decades-old format. But reality shows are built on taking chances with social experiments and competitions giving viewers something they have not seen before.

I CAN'T WAIT for the sequel. Maybe something involving divorce and firearms.

After all, on "Network," Howard Beale bought the farm on live television. Assassinated because of slumping ratings.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Turn off your TV. Turn it off now.

And speaking of Paddy Chayefsky's prophecy . . . look at TV Land now.

TV Land, owned by the giant conglomerate Viacom. I want my Dick Van Dyke Show back. And Ruby . . . in Poochini.

Hell, I'll settle for a test pattern.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

SlimeBob GreedPants vs. Big Cable

Hey! Kids!

If your cable company doesn't pony up, we're gonna kill SpongeBob! And then we're gonna take Dora and we're gonna explore her! If you get our drift.

Tell Mom and Dad to call Big Cable and complain. Tell Mom and Dad you'll hold your breath until you turn blue.

SpongeBob's waterlogged life is in your hands, kids! Don't let him down.

OF COURSE, reports the Los Angeles Times, this worked fantastically. Because we're that kind of country.

Facing a backlash from TV viewers furious at the prospect of losing "SpongeBob SquarePants" and "Dora the Explorer," two media giants reached a new programming agreement that keeps those popular cartoon characters on the channels of the country's second-largest cable operator.

Viacom Inc. had threatened to pull 19 of its cable channels, including Nickelodeon, MTV, VH-1 and Comedy Central, from the Time Warner Cable Inc. systems at midnight Wednesday when their previous two-year contract expired.

At midnight in New York, minutes into the new year, Viacom granted an extension that allowed the two sides to keep talking. They then clinched a deal. The New Year's Day accord avoided a blackout of Viacom's programming in 13.3 million homes in the U.S. served by Time Warner Cable Inc., including nearly 2 million in the Los Angeles area.

Details of the new contract were not immediately available.

The resolution came after a long day of squabbling as each side accused the other of greed, and irate customers jammed Time Warner Cable's call centers, saying they wanted their MTV and Nickelodeon. The reaction from viewers was stoked by Viacom's costly media campaign in print and on television, much of it targeted at kids.

"Demanding that our customers pay so much more for these few networks would be unreasonable in any economy, but it is particularly outrageous given the current economic conditions," Time Warner Cable Chief Executive Glenn Britt said early Wednesday. "Huge price increases like what Viacom is demanding threaten the ultimate value of cable TV."

Viacom had purchased newspaper advertisements, featuring a tearful Dora the Explorer, and placed an on-screen crawl on its channels to alert viewers to the impending programming blackout. The ads encouraged viewers to complain to Time Warner Cable.

The tactic worked -- parents reported having to soothe children who were upset over the prospect of not being able to watch their favorite shows on Nickelodeon, including "SpongeBob SquarePants."

"Our family will cancel Time Warner if a suitable agreement is not reached," threatened Debra Cooper, a mother of two who lives in San Diego. "I admit SpongeBob's laugh drives me nuts, but he is part of our family, as is George Lopez, 'Home Improvement,' 'i-Carly,' and all the rest."

Cooper said she called Time Warner Cable twice Wednesday to lobby for the channel. The company was inundated with calls, and executives from both companies put their holiday plans on hold to return to the negotiations.
KILL YOUR TV. It's important.