Posts Tagged ‘cable’

FX Wants to be the ‘Best’ Channel on TV, Not the Highest-Rated One

January 21, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

FX is now the No. 4 cable network when it comes to 18- to 49-year-olds, up from sixth place a year ago. While many networks in its position would be gunning for the top spot, FX Networks CEO John Landgraf made an unusual proclamation at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour: He'd rather be the "best" channel on TV instead of the top-rated one. "Obviously we want as many people as possible to watch our shows, we want them to be as highly rated as possible, but there's quite a range [of ratings], and we can support that range," said Landgraf, referring to some of FX's critically acclaimed, but lower-rated, shows like Louie and The Americans. "We're not really a channel that's trying to be the highest-rated channel in television. We're trying as hard as we possibly can to be the best channel in television, whatever that means. If we weren't therefore supporting shows that would help us get there, just because [they weren't among the highest-rated], we'd be idiots." That said, Landgraf's patience does have its limits: The Bridge's declining Season 2 audience forced him to cancel the drama last fall, despite a creative resurgence. Landgraf noted that more than 1,700 original seasons of television aired in 2014, up from the 1,300-plus in 2013. Per FX's research department, 353 scripted original series aired last year on U.S. broadcast, basic and premium cable, and on over the top platforms like Netflix. The number of original scripted series on basic and pay cable in prime-time doubled in the past five years, from 91 to 180. "The amount of competition is just literally insane," Landgraf said. However, "the reality is there's a whole lot of shows on television that are probably relevant to almost no one." FX thinks it's solved the relevancy problem with shows that seem to be resonating. The network's research department compiled all 2014's Top 10 lists from TV critics, and found that FX lagged behind only HBO on the highest representation of shows by network (250 for HBO and 213 for FX, with AMC in third place with 74). At this point, Landgraf said, "the race for the best in TV is really only a competition between two channels: [HBO and FX.]" He also discussed FX's decision to experiment with shows that stray from typical episode and season lengths, explaining that while The Sopranos and other dramas changed the game, eventually their formats "started to feel like a box in some cases

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TV Guide Network Relaunches as Pop, With Original Shows and No Annoying Scroll

January 13, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On Wednesday, free of scrolling listings, the TV Guide Network is relaunching as Pop, a network catering to "enthusiastic fandom" in pop culture. Pop is targeting a 35-45 audience that grew up in the late '80s and early '90s, a group that network president Brad Schwartz is calling the "modern grown-up" (Pop has copyrighted the term, which is the network's version of Bravo's "Affluencer" and Syfy's " Igniter ."). Instead of emulating E! or Bravo, Schwartz said the channel is patterning itself more after the pop culture-worshipping sensibilities of Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres. As Pop launches, all of TVGN's license agreements with its distributors remain intact, since the network—which will debut in more than 80 million homes—is still considered a general entertainment channel. "We're putting a different logo on it and a new energy and new programming, but we're still certainly exactly what we're defined to be," says Schwartz (who oversaw the rebranding of Fuse, as well). "We couldn't have turned this thing into a military channel or a sports channel or a kids channel, but what we're doing is exactly what our definitions are." Pop's "great channel position" also hasn't been affected by the rebranding, aside from the "more analog distributors, where TV Guide was still channel 5," who have relocated next to channels like E! Even better, all market agreements for TVGN's much-maligned TV listing scroll—which had been the network's initial reason for existing—finally lapsed six months ago

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Workaholics Star Adam Devine’s Bedtime Routine Includes Instagram Stalking

January 12, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Adam Devine Age 31 Claim to fame Star of Comedy Central's Workaholics (Season 5 debuts Jan. 14) and Adam Devine's House Party; voices Pizza Steve in Cartoon Network's Uncle Grandpa; plays Bumper in Pitch Perfect and the upcoming Pitch Perfect 2 Base Los Angeles Twitter @ADAMDEVINE What's the first information you consume in the morning? I just Google myself , see if there's any news out there, get on Twitter and look around. It's weird, that's where I get my news now. Like when [ESPN anchor] Stuart Scott died, I actually found that out through LeBron James' Twitter. We had an earthquake here in L.A. a few months back, which woke me up from my sleep, so I hopped online and looked at Twitter, and it was just, "Earthquake, earthquake, earthquake … Yep, that's it." Who do you follow? Other comedians like Chris D'Elia, Rick Glassman, but also a lot of people that aren't in my industry. I'm a huge L.A. Clippers fan, so I follow Blake Griffin. It's pretty rad how you're able to connect with your fans through Twitter, but also, all of a sudden, my idols are hitting me up too. Like during Comic-Con a couple of years ago, Blake Griffin messaged me on Twitter, and I almost shat my pants. I just kept yelling, "Blake Griffin is my homeboy!" all night. How are your Workaholics fans different from your Pitch Perfect fans on Twitter? With the Workaholics fans, they'll tweet me like, "If you ever come through Boston, man, we're smoking weed!" The Pitch Perfect fans are more like, "Oh, you look so cute in that shirt!" I'm like, how do you even know what I'm wearing right now?

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History Channel Heads West With New Texas Series, Shot in Classic CinemaScope

January 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Following the success of Hatfields & McCoys, History has another Western miniseries premiering on Memorial Day, this time focusing on

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Can Dead People Resurrect A&E’s Ratings?

January 9, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Things unraveled quickly for A&E in 2014: Its top-rated show, Duck Dynasty, plummeted to a 1.0 18-49 rating in November, and it canceled its second-most popular show, Longmire, which skewed too old for its advertisers. ( Netflix picked it up for Season 4. ) As A&E tries to right the ship in 2015, the network is focusing on its loyal audience for Bates Motel (which averaged 4.1 million viewers each week during Season 2) with its new drama, The Returned. At the Television Critics Association's winter press tour on Friday, A&E revealed that The Returned

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Discovery Is Fast-Tracking Its Own Spin on Serial

January 9, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With the runaway success of WBEZ Chicago's true crime podcast Serial,

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Discovery Is Fast-Tracking Its Own Spin on Serial

January 9, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With the runaway success of WBEZ Chicago's true crime podcast Serial,

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NBCUniversal, Cable One Avert Blackout with New Year’s Eve Pact

January 1, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

NBCUniversal and Cable One came to terms Wednesday night on a carriage pact for the Peacock’s key networks, averting the threat of a blackout of as today. NBCU confirmed the pact shortly before 10 p.m. ET Wednesday, meaning execs were working down to the wire on New Year’s Eve to seal the deal. “NBCUniversal and... Read more

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Fox News Dominates Cable News Ratings in 2014; MSNBC Tumbles

December 30, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

In a generally overall down year for the cable news genre, Fox News remained the dominant ratings force in 2014, while CNN made some meaningful demo strides relative to a sagging MSNBC. Behind the highest-rated programs in cable news — including “The O’Reilly Factor,” which was again top dog among all programs — Fox News... Read more

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Will a Wide Audience Tune In to Hockey’s Most Rugged Game of the Year?

December 16, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Every New Year, the National Hockey League takes one of its regular-season games outdoors—an old-school showdown in the freezing-cold elements. And this time, it's looking for innovative ways to draw fans to the Winter Classic. The promotion begins at 10 tonight with the first of a four-part reality series called 2015 Road to the Winter Classic. In the past, the special aired on HBO, available only to subscribers. But after negotiations broke down with HBO over that point, the NHL decided to take its show to Epix—and a wider audience. Viewers will get a fly-on-the-wall look at the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals as they work their way toward a New Year's Day game at Washington, D.C.'s Nationals Park. In addition to airing on Epix, a relative newcomer that stands to benefit from hockey's 60 million U.S. fans, the series will be available to stream on the teams' websites, Epix.com, and NHL.com. Fans can also easily find the show through both company's Facebook pages; the NHL App for Android and iPhone; and the Epix App for Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Roku and Windows 8

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