How many of these channels do you watch?

 

Do you watch every single channel on your cable subscription? Do you know that even though you do not watch it you are still paying the cable company for access to it? In a recent LA Times article from December 1st, it said that nearly half of the monthly cable or satellite bill goes to sports channels. This rise in prices is because some sports leagues signing exclusive deals with channels to air games and content solely on their channels. The most expensive channel for most people is ESPN. Customers are paying around $5 of their average bill monthly bill to be able to watch ESPN. This is compared to around the $1 it costs to watch Disney channel and the $0.57 to watch CNN every month. ESPN has always had a high subscription fee because that is what they negotiated with all of the cable companies. The rise in prices comes from higher fees for regional sports networks that carry local sports or international soccer games.

The prices are just going to go up too. According to NDP Group, a market research company, they expect prices to go up nearly 40% on average to a monthly bill of around $125 just to watch TV! As prices continue to rise, should a pay per view system be setup? I feel that this would be a good alternative because you only pay for the channels you want to watch. I am not going to watch channels like HGTV, Style network, or Disney Channel. So, I should not have to pay for the channels. According to the LA times article, cable executives argue that a you-pick system would actually cost more because companies would have to raise prices to make up for the loss in subscribers. I do not know if I agree with this. I mean, I see their point but, if you have a you-pick system it would make customers happier because you are letting them choose what they want. I know a lot of people who have given up on their cable box or satellite because it came just too expensive to have. They only watched a certain number of channels and couldn’t keep affording the high rates for channels they did not watch.

So, do you like your current cable setup? Would you want a you-pick system? I think it’s only a matter of time before cable companies and satellite TV companies switch to a system like a you-pick. There are so many channels out there, no one can possibly watch them all or know about all of them. It seems like every time I channel surf I stumble upon a new network. Will it ever end?

 

LA Times article, December 1st by Joe Flint and Meg James

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-fi-1202-ct-sports-cost-20121202,0,5996855,full.story

 

Link to Image

Duck Dynasty

I am afraid I have some bad news for you. You are probably not watching one of the most popular shows on television. It is not a show that has terrorists, criminal investigators, or celebrities dancing. It involves Ducks. The show I am talking about is A&E’s Duck Dynasty. Duck Dynasty follows the Robertsons family who own a manufacturing company where they sell some of the best duck call and decoys on the market. They are a wacky group of people who try to balance the importance of family with the rise of popularity and a booming business.

I have personally watched a couple episodes of Duck Dynasty and I am not going to lie, I think it’s kind of entertaining. I know in my last blog post I bashed AMC for airing shows about a family security company. But, this show is different. Duck Dynasty is a different type of show because of its content, but, also in its ratings and popularity. Duck Dynasty, although sometimes wacky, has a real message that it tries tell the American people. It stresses the importance of family and how no matter what we do we will always have our family to support us. When you look at the ratings and popularity of the show, the American people must be really enjoying the show and like the message it is sending.  According to Nielsen estimates, published in a Variety article, Duck Dynasty is averaging more than 4 million viewers and earned a national adults (18-49) rating/share of 2 out of 6 during its back-to-back episode block in the 10 o’clock hour on Wednesday. This 2 rating Is the second highest in all of television on Wednesday nights, only trailing “CSI” which is averaging about 11 million viewers. The second season of the show premiered to 3.8 million viewers and ratings have been constantly rising. According to an LA Times article from November 29th, the episode on November 28th, had a record 4.9 million viewers. These numbers are not typical for a reality show. For example, Honey Boo Boo hit a high of 3 million people earlier in the year.

Overall, when you look at these numbers and compare them to other cable shows, Duck Dynasty is killing the competition. The top three cable shows on November 28th, according to TVbyTheNumbers, were two new episodes of the show and one repeat. The only other cable show that comes close to Duck Dynasty is American Horror Story on FX that had around 2.9 million viewers. So, is A&E on to something with Duck Dynasty? Can there be good reality TV shows that express family values?

 

 

Variety Article about Duck Dynasty

http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118062272?refCatId=14

 

Duck Dynasty Website on A&E

http://www.aetv.com/duck-dynasty/

 

LA Times Article

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-duck-dynasty-ratings-record-ae-20121129,0,2609354.story

 

Wednesday November 28th Cable TV ratings

http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/11/29/wednesday-cable-ratingsduck-dynasty-wins-night-american-horror-story-moonshiners-the-challenge-hot-in-cleveland-south-beach-tow-more/159537/

 

AMC is currently home to three of the most popular television shows on cable, The Walking Dead, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad. The Walking Dead season three premiere, according to Entertainment Weekly, was the most-watched cable show in history with around 10.9 million viewers. Mad Men won four consecutive Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series, 2008-2011. Finally, Breaking Bad has won seven total Primetime Emmy Awards. These three shows have propelled AMC into one of the most watched cable networks.

What I do not understand, for the life of me, is how they continue to place mediocre television shows to follow these three great shows. The only show that does decent after one of the big three on AMC is The Talking Dead. The Talking Dead is a talk show that precedes every new Walking Dead episode that has famous fans or writers of the show come on and discuss the events that happened in the previous episode. The Pitch, which comes after Mad Men, is a show about ad executives who pitch their ideas to various companies and compete for the business. According to TVbytheNumbers, the show has never had an audience larger than 0.52 million people. I understand why AMC supports shows like these. However, what I don’t get is why they approve a show about a private security company set in a rural Georgia city. Small Town Security, which comes after Breaking Bad, has never held an audience higher than 1.02 million people. Pete Vonder Haar, a columnist for the Houston Press, says the show, “Feels like something the North Korean government broadcasts to sap its citizens’ will to live.” I have never wasted my time watching Small Town Security. I feel like I would rather watch an episode of the Real Housewives of whatever city than this show. Now, AMC is coming out with a new wacky reality television show called Freakshow. Freakshow follows a family business that operates the Venice Beach Freakshow. This is another show that feels like it belongs on TLC leading into Honey Boo Boo.

Overall, I am not against these programs, Small Town Security and Freakshow, I just don’t think they belong on AMC. They have three great shows and lousy shows following them. If they had decent shows then maybe I would not change the channel immediately following, The Walking Dead, Mad Men, or Breaking Bad. Do you or anyone you know watch Small Town Security, The Talking Dead, or The Pitch? Am I just overreacting, should I give them a chance? I just don’t get it.

 

Freakshow AMC

http://www.amctv.com/shows/freakshow

 

Pete Vonder Haar’s Review of Small Town Security

http://blogs.houstonpress.com/artattack/2012/07/reality_bites_small_town_secur.php

 

Entertainment Weekly article on The Walking Dead Season 3 Premiere

http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/10/15/walking-dead-season-3-premiere-ratings/

 

Picture Source:

http://blogs.amctv.com/movie-blog/2010/12/2010-golden-globe-nominations.php

That is the million dollar question that the Big Four networks, FOX, CBS, NBC, and ABC, face every year when they debut their new fall shows to the public. In a recent Warming Glow article by blogger Josh Kurp, he asks the question whether this season of television is the weakest season of new shows in the past ten years. Looking at the numbers is really interesting. Over the past three years, not including this year’s cancellations and new shows aired, there have been 110 new shows premiered by the Big Four Networks and of those shows, 76 of them were canceled in their first year. That is a cancellation rate of 69%! When you break down the numbers by station, NBC canceled the most shows the past three years with 24 total. ABC is in second with canceling 23 shows over the past three years. FOX and CBS both canceled 14 shows. The biggest surprise to me from these numbers is the number of shows ABC has canceled. They averaged around 7 cancellations each season. I always thought of ABC as stable network and not taking a lot of chances with their programming. What didn’t surprise me was the number of shows NBC has canceled. In my opinion, NBC has dropped in quality. Shows like the short lived, The Paul Reiser Show, or even Free Agents just did not capture my attention. The shows I do like on NBC get no love. I love Community and Parks and Recreation, but, they are most likely going to be canceled after this season. (I am preparing myself for the worst.)

Looking at this year, so far there have been 18 shows to premiere and of those there have already been 5 cancellations; Made in Jersey (CBS), Partners (CBS), 666 Park Avenue (ABC), Last Resort (ABC), and Animal Practice (NBC). There are still 17 more shows to premiere this season and of those I am going to guess more than half will not make it. So, what does America want? What is the winning recipe for a show to be successful? Does it involve more vampires or zombies? Does it involve more cops? Do we need more reality shows? I don’t know. I know what I want, but, that does not go with the American public. I think that’s why I find myself watching cable networks more, like HBO and FX. I know this thou Americans are really picky people.

 

UPDATE: Three more new shows that premiered this fall have been canceled. Mob Doctor (FOX), Emily Owens, M.D. (CW), and The InBetweeners (MTV).

 

Warming Glow Article

http://www.uproxx.com/tv/2012/11/an-investigation-is-this-the-weakest-season-for-new-shows-in-a-decade/#page/1

Hulu and rival Netflix have begun to venture into the production and distribution of original programming. Netflix announced last year that they were going to revive the critically acclaimed, Arrested Development series. Hulu responded with their own deal this past summer when they reached an exclusive distribution and production agreement with popular British television series, “The Thick of It.” According to the deal, Hulu receives an exclusive all-media window to broadcast the newest season of the show and the three past season and two specials already done.

One of the most interesting aspects of the deal is that Hulu will post the newest episode of the show the same moment it airs on BBC 2. Normally with BBC shows, the American audience usually has to wait upwards to a year to see new episodes of shows through BBC America. Also, Hulu will air all of the episodes uncensored. “The Thick of It” is known for its strong usage of profanity and for American audiences; BBC America has edited the show to take the profanity out. The show’s creator, Armando Iannucci, said in an interview that he was happy Hulu will air the shows uncensored and that it takes away from the experience of the show not watching it the way it was made.

So far, the deal with Hulu has been working out great for the show’s producers and creator. They get to air the show the way it was intended to be and the American audience gets to watch the show right away rather than wait a year for a censored version. According to the producers, Hulu has not interfered with any of the production and has not shied away from the shows usage of profanity. Hulu reached the agreement with the show after the show had already been finalized. But in future season, will provide funding for the show and allow the creators to continue to do what they have done.

So is this the future of television? Online streaming services getting into the production end of television, so, they can broadcast the content exclusively on their website. It will be interesting to see if more people have joined Hulu just because of the exclusive rights for “The Thick of It” and if this deal works out for them.

 

(The picture is of the cast of The Thick of It. The man on the phone is the main character Malcolm Tucker who is player by Scottish actor Peter Capaldi)

Image

A couple months ago, a good friend and I discovered the wonderful world of BBC original programming. This new found obsession started with a show called Luther. After finishing Luther, my friend and I moved to the critically acclaimed series Sherlock. Sherlock is a modern day twist on the classic detective story about Sherlock Holmes and his trusty partner Dr. Watson. The show is one of the best I have ever watched and is definitely a must see. A couple weeks ago, my friend and I found out that CBS was going to premiere their own version of a modernized Sherlock Holmes called Elementary. That’s when I decided to look into if there were any connections between the shows.

So far, there has been a lot of controversy leading up to the premiere of Elementary over the similarities between the two shows. Originally, when CBS was in the preproduction of their version, they contacted the Sherlock showrunner Steven Moffat to come to America and help develop it. However, Moffat and his producing partner declined. Shortly after declining, CBS announced that they were still going forward with their version of the show. The major difference between the two shows, when CBS announced their version, was that the iconic Dr. Watson role was going to be played by a woman. Moffat told TheInsider.com that, “They’ve got three big changes: its Sherlock Holmes in America, its Sherlock Holmes updates and its Sherlock Holmes with a female Watson. I wonder if he’s Sherlock Holmes in any sense other than he’s called Sherlock Holmes.” CBS was warned by Sherlock producer Sue Vertue in a The Independent news article from February, a British newspaper, “that they will be looking at their (CBS) finished pilot very closely for any infringement of our rights.” CBS responded to the comments saying, “That their project will be based on Holmes, Watson and other character in the public domain and that they would be respectful to all copyrights laws and will not infringe on any stories or works that may still be protected.” Even Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who plays Sherlock Holmes in the BBC version, is skeptical about how the CBS version would do. His main concern was how Elementary would “lose the dynamic of male friendship” that Holmes and Watson have between one another. He even raises the question about whether there would be any “sexual tension between the female Watson and Sherlock Holmes.”

Overall, it will be very interesting to see the similarities and differences between the two shows once Elementary finally premieres. After watching Sherlock, I believe that there will definitely be some similarities in the show and that is why I am not going to watch it. I think Elementary is a copy of Sherlock and CBS maybe thought that they would get around any copyright infringement by making Watson a woman. I agree with what Benedict Cumberbatch, that if there is sexual tension in Elementary that it will put in jeopardy the relationship and bond that Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson have that was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Maybe if Elementary gets good reviews, I might check out an episode, but, as of right now there is only one modern Sherlock Holmes that I watch, Sherlock.

 

Citations:

Ausiello, Michael. “Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch Breaks His Silence on CBS’ Elementary: ‘I’d Be Frightened'” TVLine. TVLine Media, 29 July 2012. Web. 15 Sept. 2012. <http://tvline.com/2012/07/29/benedict-cumberbatch-elementary-cbs/&gt;.

Sherwin, Adam. “Jonny Lee Miller to Play Sherlock Holmes in US Series.” The Independent. Independent Digital News and Media, 15 Feb. 2012. Web. 15 Sept. 2012. <http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/jonny-lee-miller-to-play-sherlock-holmes-in-us-series-6939158.html&gt;.

Wieselman, Jarett. “Sherlock vs. “Sherlock”” Www.theinsider.com. The Insider, 16 May 2012. Web. 15 Sept. 2012. <http://www.theinsider.com/tv/52370_Steven_Moffat_Talks_Elementary_Sherlock_Update/index.html&gt;.

Sherlock Vs. Elementary. N.d. Photograph. Screenrant.com. Screen Rant. By Scott Stoute. Screen Rant, LLC, Aug. 2012. Web. 15 Sept. 2012. <http://screenrant.com/elementary-cbs-bbc-sherlock-holmes-comparison-similarities&gt;.