TV’s 10 Worst Time Slots

October 21, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If a TV series is placed in a terrible time slot and no one is around to watch it, does it make a noise in the ratings? Of course not, which is the conundrum of network TV scheduling: every show, no matter how good or bad, is ultimately at the mercy of its time slot, especially when it’s put one of the spots that routinely repels audiences. As CBS Entertainment Chairman Nina Tassler explained to me recently, “You get into the room with a bunch of options, and it is moving pieces around on the chessboard.” Except that on TV, some of the chessboard squares are more like black holes, where series after series quickly disappear without a trace. One ABC time slot was so toxic that it took down three shows last season, and that radioactivity can linger for years. Those scorched earth time slots are once again wreaking havoc on new shows this fall. While two long-doomed spots seem to be safe for viewers again—the Mysteries of Laura has reclaimed Wednesdays at 8 p.m. for NBC, while a relocated Grey’s Anatomy has brought audiences back to ABC on Thursdays at 8 p.m.—others have already slid into television’s equivalent of death row. Here are the 10 worst timeslots on broadcast television. Abandon hope, all ye who are scheduled here:

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When Not Whacking Zombies, This TV Star Is Lurking on Reddit

October 20, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Steven Yeun Age 30 Claim to fame Stars as Glenn Rhee on AMC’s The Walking Dead (Sundays, 9 p.m.) Base Los Angeles Twitter @steveyeun What’s the first information you consume in the morning? I turn on the computer and I’m probably on Reddit straight away. I’m a lurker. That’s what they call them, right? People that don’t post but they just read stuff? I really like the science subreddits, but typically I just go to the front page and let it tell me what the day is about. What are your go-to social media platforms? I use Instagram and Twitter. A long time ago, when I first started, I used to tweet a lot of “this is what I’m into” or “this is what I just watched” or stuff like that. I’ll still do that on occasion, but I’ve gotten better at not boring people who are following me. So I just periodically post some information or something that I’m interested in. It’s still not very well-curated, I guess [laughs]. Who do you follow? My favorite people to follow on Twitter are probably Howard Stern, Sarah Silverman, Steve Carell—he rarely tweets but when he does, it’s very potent—Hannibal Buress, Jimmy Fallon. Any comedy dudes. Do you listen to any comedy podcasts?

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You’ll Be Able to Get HBO Go Without a Cable Subscription Next Year

October 15, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

HBO Go has finally done what subscribers have been begging for since the announcement of the streaming service: it's going cable-sub-free. The over-the-top streaming network will be available without a cable package starting next year, HBO CEO Richard Plepler announced at Time Warner's investor day on Wednesday morning. This has been in the air for a while—HBO Go has been available on progressively smaller and smaller cable pacakges over recent months, but never totally subscription-free. But there's a fairly large burden of proof on Time Warner today, as it fends off angry stakeholders still sore over the company's rejection of 21st Century Fox's $85-a-share offer for the company (the stock sits at $71.85 at the time of this writing, down from a high of $87 and change just before the Fox deal collapsed). The goal today is to give investors a sense that the company has strong growth prospects without consolidation; HBO remains the companys most lucrative single asset outside its movie studio division and is a point of focus during the proceedings; also at issue (though less pleasant for Time Warner) is the problem of declining ratings at Turner. The subdivision is in the midst of a major round of layoffs during which 10 percent of its workforce is expected to leave. “It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO, " Plepler told investors. "So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States. We will work with our current partners, and we will explore models with new partners. All in all, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them.” Much of this territory has been colonized by Netflix and it remains to be seen whether people will want another streaming service on top of their current offerings; but HBO Go has been very popular and is frequently spread across users without cable subs through password sharing. This gives HBO a chance to monetize some of that spread, and to clamp down on pirates while providing an alternative

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Walking Dead, Killer Clown Top TV Twitter Ratings

October 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Twitter users turned their attention away from Scandal and Washington D.C machinations to zombies and freak shows in this week’s Twitter TV top ten list provided by Nielsen. AMC’s The Walking Dead trampled the competition with 1.32 million tweets reaching an audience of 7.4 million twitter accounts. The show even sacked NBC’s Sunday Night Football by attracting 17.3 million viewers in the 18-49 old demographic. The season five premiere of the zombie drama picked up after the season four cliffhanger at the Terminus which saw the main characters locked up in a train car to feed the undead hordes. Fans were certainly happy to have the zombie fighting crew back together. My weekends actually have a meaning again ❤️ @WalkingDead_AMC #thewalkingdead — Danny (@iversdr) October 13, 2014 So happy to have @WalkingDead_AMC back! I almost cried just now! This episode was awesome and the reunion just now was everything! Everybody back together again!!! #TheWalkingDead — Nat King Troll (@MrMaalyMal) October 13, 2014 FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show finished a respectable second in the Twitter top ten, producing just over a million tweets seen by 6.4 million Twitter accounts. The season four premiere featured a murderous clown that killed parents and robbed little kids. Scary? TV critics thought it was the scariest episode yet and fans took a real liking to Twisty the clown. . I do not like that clown..good job AHS. I will be having nightmares tonight. @AHSFX #americanhorrorstory #AHS — Taylor Leigh (@TayLor___Leigh) October 9, 2014 " @John_Yarbrough2 : I already hate clowns, then this guy comes around. #americanhorrorstoryfreakshow #twistytheclown pic.twitter.com/ghLrBmOTqg — ❥.HollyWo0d&Co. (@Qween_Wezt) October 9, 2014

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Cowboys Gutsy Win Tops TV Twitter Sports Competition

October 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Cowboys-Seahawks clash inspired a runaway victory in the TV Twitter sports competition last week giving Fox another reason to be happy with the popularity of its sports programming. The Cowboys were roughed up in the first part of the game, with Dallas QB Tony Romo taking a shot to the ribs. But the Cowboys bounced back, helped along by a strong 115-yard running performance from DeMarco Murray to win, 30-23. The tweets were whooping up the Boys’ victory with 1.16 million tweets reaching 7.5 million twitter accounts. Woooohooooo!!! #CowboysNation @NickHaydenWI pic.twitter.com/hRoQQFGmjh — Dallas Cowboys (@dallascowboys) October 13, 2014 What a gutty win by the #DallasCowboys . If they stay healthy, they can make a strong run in the playoffs. Never saw this coming!! #wow — Mike Steely (@steelyonsports) October 12, 2014 I don't care what conventional wisdom says, give Demarco Murray a contract extension!! #DallasCowboys — Kevin Hageland (@OThankKevin) October 12, 2014 NBC’s Giants- Eagles game finished second in Twitter TV sports category. The Eagles shut out the Giants 27-0 in an embarrassing defeat that had some Giants fans tweeting their disappointment. This is an embarrassing loss for #NYGiants on every level. Coughlin better have them ready for #Cowboys or his era is over with them. — JT The Brick (@JTTheBrick) October 13, 2014 To make matters worse, the Giants lost the services of star wide receiver Victor Cruz to a knee injury that will probably sideline him the rest of the season. Get well @TeamVic #giantspride #Giants pic.twitter.com/SOjThINanZ — New York Giants (@Giants) October 13, 2014 Fox also placed fifth and sixth with two Cardinals baseball games.

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The Walking Dead Ate the Face off Everything on Broadcast This Season So Far

October 13, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Walking Dead is back, and with it, viewers in the dollar demo. Broadcast watchers have stayed away in droves this season. But with the dead resurrected yet again, everyone who loves TV stayed home Sunday night to see what would happen to Rick and the gang during "No Sanctuary," the huge premiere episode for the fifth season of the show. (It involved face-eating. Also fire.) Oh yeah, and the ratings? An 8.7 in the demo with 17.3 million total viewers tuning in (in actual people, that 8.7 works out to 11 million 18- to 49-year-olds). The series was already the biggest show on TV; now it's the biggest show on TV in a walk, with declines for Duck Dynasty. FX is also doing very well with American Horror Story, and of course HBO's various projects, but the latter aren't ad-supported. October's crop of scary stuff is clearly resonating a lot more strongly with viewers than anything else on the dial. We outlined earlier today

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2014 Hot List Finalists: TV

October 13, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Hottest Show of the Year The Blacklist (NBC) Fargo (FX) Game of Thrones (HBO) Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) Outlander (Starz) Scandal (ABC) The Walking Dead (AMC) Hottest Guilty Pleasure American Horror Story (FX) The Bachelorette (ABC) Southern Charm (Bravo) Hottest Comedy Archer (FX) The Big Bang Theory (CBS) Orange Is the New Black (Netflix) Silicon Valley (HBO) Hottest Drama/Thriller The Blacklist (NBC) Homeland (Showtime) Orphan Black (BBC America) Transparent (Amazon) True Detective (HBO) The Walking Dead (AMC) Hottest Reality/Competition Series American Ninja Warrior (NBC) Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN) The Voice (NBC) Hottest Late-Night Host Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report (Comedy Central) Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show (NBC) John Oliver, Last Week Tonight (HBO) Hottest Network in Prime Time CBS FX HBO Hottest Comedy Network Adult Swim Comedy Central FX Hottest Drama Network BBC America AMC HBO Hottest Sports Network ESPN TBS/TNT Fox Sports 1 Hottest News Network Al Jazeera America CNN Fox News Channel Hottest Family Network ABC Family The Disney Channel Nickelodeon Hottest Show on Social Media Cosmos (Fox) Pretty Little Liars (ABC Family) WWE Monday Night Raw (USA) Hottest Kids Show Adventure Time (Cartoon Network) Gravity Falls (The Disney Channel) My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (The Hub) Hottest Import Attack on Titan (Adult Swim) Downton Abbey (PBS) Orphan Black (BBC America) Hottest Movie/Miniseries Behind the Candelabra (HBO) The Normal Heart (HBO) Sharknado 2: The Second One (Syfy)

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US TV Networks Seek to Grow By Expanding Internationally

October 13, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On the eve of network TV executives’ annual pilgrimage this week to Cannes, France, for the global programming bazaar known as Mipcom , Viacom announced last Wednesday it will launch men’s channel Spike in the U.K. this spring—with plans for a wider international rollout. Viacom already has a global foothold for a number of its brands. The group, including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, is distributed to 200 countries in 37 languages and has grown steadily. Overseas operations have experienced revenue percentage growth in the mid to high teens annually over the last five years, reports Bob Bakish, president, CEO of Viacom International Media Networks. That growth looks even more impressive, given that Viacom overall will experience a 0.4 percent revenue dip in fiscal 2014, to about $13.7 billion, reports S&P Capital IQ. “The growth opportunities are greater in other parts of the world because the U.S. market is more mature,” explained John Sanders, a principal of the media valuation and consulting firm Bond & Pecaro. “Anyone who would ignore that would do so at their own peril.” And Mipcom is where content buying and selling achieves critical mass. Of course, deals are struck year-round.

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Constantine, Rick and Morty and a New Guardians of the Galaxy Cartoon at NYCC

October 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Where do people in sexy stormtrooper regalia go to hear an improvised table read by the cast of Adult Swim's Rick and Morty? That's correct, the New York City Comic Con at the Javits Center. Friday saw some honest-to-goodness news break out of the event, namely that Guardians of the Galaxy will be a TV series next year as a cartoon on ad-supported Disney XD. Disney put up a preview of the anime-style cartoon as soon

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Constantine, Rick and Morty and a New Guardians of the Galaxy Cartoon at NYCC

October 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Where do people in sexy stormtrooper regalia go to hear an improvised table read by the cast of Adult Swim's Rick and Morty? That's correct, the New York City Comic Con at the Javits Center. Friday saw some honest-to-goodness news break out of the event, namely that Guardians of the Galaxy will be a TV series next year as a cartoon on ad-supported Disney XD. Disney put up a preview of the anime-style cartoon as soon

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