We Spent the Morning With Adult Swim’s Eric Andre and This Is What Happened

November 12, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Eric Andre Show on Adult Swim is now in its third season, and there is absolutely no question: It's over the top. We caught up with the show's host in New York, where he spoke about some of his comedic and punk rock inspirations. Given those, it's not surprising he literally destroys his set prior to every show. "I was influenced by GG Allin," Andre said in an interview with Adweek. "He was my favorite." In the video above, Andre talks about the show's new season, drops a few names of his upcoming guests and takes his sense of humor to the street.

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Why No One Comes Back to See Your Great Second Season

November 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Very few TV series emerge fully-formed. Most shows take at least a season to figure themselves and their characters out, or to course-correct after a rocky beginning. Often by Season 2, a series—like FX's The Bridge or ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.—can finally complete its necessary adjustments and become the outstanding show it was always meant to be.

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Canadian Regulators Rescind ‘Netflix Tax’

November 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Canada’s equivalent of the FCC has backed off trying to regulate Netflix by rescinding what has become known as the "Netflix tax," a move which could have significant implications for other U.S. entertainment content providers doing business there. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has ruled that Netflix will not have to pay fees to subsidize Canadian TV productions nor will the company be subject to minimal Canadian content requirements. Canada’s largest cable companies reportedly already provide 30 percent Canadian content, and Netflix features Canadian programs , which has apparently satisfied the CRTC. Netflix has been doing business in Canada since 2010. CRTC Chairman Pierre Blais reportedly told La Presse news site that "Regulating Netflix is the least of our worries." Last week the regulatory agency gave the go-ahead for Canadian television subscribers to be able to change companies without giving thirty days notice. The CRTC has been conducting hearings to determine the extent of regulating U.S. content providers.

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Viacom’s Downturns Have Gotten So Predictable They’re an Easy Buck for Investors

November 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As usual, Viacom is doomed. People have been preaching the End of Days for the company since Tom Freston left and was replaced by Philippe Dauman in 2006, and yet it still trundles along, making quite a bit of money despite myriad objections to its programming decisions, its executive appointments and its advertising strategy (Spike, at one point, was airing a 38-minute hour). Union: Manny Hernandez/Getty Images; Minaj: Jason Laveris/Filmmagic Not only does none of this matter, but the conventional wisdom presents an incredible opportunity for investors, according to Michael Nathanson of r esearch firm MoffettNathanson. "For the third time in less than seven years, Viacom is again beset by collapsing ratings ... negative advertising ... and a free fall in its relative valuation," Nathanson wrote in a report. "Historically, this sequence of events has given contrarian and patient investors a ‘fat-pitch’ way to make money." None of this is to say that Viacom (or, indeed, cable TV) is doing well—PUT levels fell dramatically in the third quarter of this year, both across the board and particularly seriously at Viacom’s networks, with demo declines, too, at MTV (which is off by a full 25 percent) and Nick (off by 20). Those two are the company’s bread and butter, and they’ve tended to rely disproportionately on individual franchises. In Nick’s case, it simply had an amazing third quarter last year—the network ranked No. 1 not just in the demo but in total viewers—and in MTV’s case, it was the Teen Mom franchise that tanked. (The network went through much the same thing when Jersey Shore got canceled.) All of this makes the network appear volatile. But the truth is that it manages to pull in disproportionate numbers of viewers in a demo that is fast abandoning television with buzzy series; the model looks more like a win-some-lose-some film studio strategy than a television network, especially with the largely unsung Comedy Central (which recently had three consecutive quarters of monster growth—33.8 percent up in Q3 of last year alone). This week’s earnings report from the company should prove interesting. Dauman had to field questions about the weak ad market last quarter; this time he’s pretty much certain to get grief about low ratings. But Nathanson observes that Viacom isn’t merely experiencing speed bumps like PUT and ad revenue declines—it’s at the vanguard of an industry that is going to have to cope with those problems en masse. Viacom is also fighting with small cable operators, who are simply dropping its package in an effort to keep costs down as carriage agreement renewals rear their heads, but you can bet the company’s strategies on this front are being analyzed carefully by all of its competitors. AMC Networks, A+E Networks and Scripps are all in a similar boat. Either Viacom will figure out an effective strategy or it will consolidate until it’s part of an entity big enough to get its way

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For Gotham’s Ben McKenzie, No Gadget Beats a Good Traffic App Or a Nice Scotch

November 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who

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Microsoft’s Marketing Totally Backfired When CNN Used Its Devices as iPad Stands

November 5, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 had a bad election night on CNN when the on-air talent used the device to prop up their iPads. The product placement thoroughly backfired, with the tablet relegated to a kickstand for its biggest rival. The journalists calling election results mostly tapped away on their personal iPads while the Surface Pro gadgets sat idly by, Gizmodo noted . The Surface Pro is a hybrid device that is part tablet, part laptop, but it has had a tough time gaining market share. Still, Microsoft said last month that sales doubled to $900 million for the quarter. The iPad raked in $5.3 billion during that same time. Microsoft has made some bold marketing moves with the Surface, so it's scratched and fought for every sale. The device is the official tablet on the sidelines of NFL games, thanks to a reported $400 million marketing deal. It's also the official tablet of the zombie apocalypse. And it's been blatantly product-placed in too many shows to count, with varying degrees of success. Here is just a sampling of the Surface Pro's TV cameos:

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Fast Chat: Lisa Kudrow Talks The Comeback’s Return to HBO

November 5, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Comeback is coming back! Nine years after canceling Lisa Kudrow’s brilliant comedy, HBO has revived it for a second season , returning Sunday, Nov. 9 at 10 p.m. ET. The ahead-of-its-time series followed faded sitcom star Valerie Cherish (Kudrow), who is so desperate to stay famous that she agrees to star in a reality series about her comeback attempt: appearing on a generic new network sitcom called Room and Bored. HBO canceled the show, but its fervent fanbase grew over the years, until the network, along with Comeback creators Michael Patrick King (who also worked on Sex and the City during its heyday) and Kudrow decided it was time to catch up again with Valerie 10 years later. In addition to her Comeback return, Kudrow has pulled off something equally unlikely: simultaneously starring in series for HBO and Showtime, where Web Therapy, based on her digital series about an online therapist, just kicked off Season 4. Its rare that the bitter rivals agree to share talent: after Liev Schreiber signed on to star in Showtime’s drama Ray Donovan, HBO forced him to go unbilled in last year’s Larry David original movie, Clear History, while HBO Sports came close to dropping Schreiber as its longtime narrator. Kudrow talked with Adweek about reviving The Comeback, how her guest-appearance on Scandal last season—playing a Congresswoman with a secret—helped make it happen and what might be next for the show after its eight-episode Season 2: Adweek: You’re now a part of this ongoing HBO/Showtime rivalry. Once Liev Schreiber got Ray Donovan, he couldn’t be credited for his HBO acting work. I just learned that! And he’s the voice for HBO. So how were you able to star on shows for both networks? Both shows are non-exclusive. Web Therapy is licensed as a ready-made. HBO, that’s up in the air. Depending on which guild, [The Comeback] is Season 2, but it could also be [considered] a limited series, miniseries, event series… So I don’t know. But they’re non-exclusive, so I can do both. You’ve said you never allowed yourself to believe that The Comeback could be revived, but were there things you saw over the years that you wished you could have addressed on the show

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Ex-Fox Chairman Lands a Top Job at Turner Running TNT and TBS

November 4, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Kevin Reilly, the former chairman of Fox, has been out of a job since just after the upfronts in May. Now, he's landed one of the most interesting gigs in cable television—running TNT and TBS. The executive has been named chief content officer.

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Can Kid Chefs Help Fox Salvage What’s Left of the Fall?

November 4, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fox knew that its fall season was going to be awful—it’s now very clear why Kevin Reilly stepped down as Fox entertainment chairman just weeks after May upfronts—but the network can't have known it would be downright cataclysmic. Four out of its five new series have already tanked: the network finally canceled its $50 million reality series Utopia on Sunday after the show pulled a miniscule 0.5 18-49 rating, and newbies Gracepoint and Red Band Society aren’t fairing much better—production on Mulaney is reportedly shut down. So

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Are DirecTV Customers Going to Lose AMC in the Middle of The Walking Dead?

November 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Ah, November: The Christmas decorations are going up, flights home are getting expensive, and networks are going to war with cable providers. It's always an uphill battle with satellite and terrestrial system operators given how terribly they rate in customer service in the first place, so DirecTV is trying to ease into things by informing viewers that they're in danger of losing The Walking Dead in the middle of the season. The satellite operator picked a novel way to do this: by running ads during The Walking Dead on Sunday evening. This went over great with viewers, obviously: If @DIRECTV takes off @AMC_TV then I'm canceling my contract with them!!! Wtf, they can't take off my fav show! I need the walking dead! — America Garcia ⚽ (@americarbd) November 3, 2014 It probably won't help matters for DirecTV, either, that Walking Dead is now outdoing Sunday Night Football in Live+SD (same day) demo viewers, this time for a second week running. On Sunday night, it pulled in

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