Tuesday, March 31, 2009

NBC Announces NFL PreSeason & KickOff Dates/Teams

Released by NBC
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.] Wow, FutonCritic is really paranoid!

Bears at Broncos on Aug 30 in Other "NBC Sunday Night Football" Preseason Matchup

NEW YORK March 30, 2009 "NBC Sunday Night Football" kicks off the 2009 NFL preseason with the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio on Sunday, Aug. 9 as Terrell Owens makes his debut with the Buffalo Bills as they take on the Tennessee Titans who had an NFL-best 13-3 record last season. The preseason national television schedule was announced by the NFL today.

The other "NBC Sunday Night Football" preseason tilt announced today has the Denver Broncos hosting the Chicago Bears on Sunday, Aug. 30. Coverage for both games begins at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

The NFL announced last week that that the Pittsburgh Steelers will open defense of their Super Bowl championship, Thursday, September 10 on NBC, hosting the AFC South champion Titans. In the first "NBC Sunday Night Football" contest of the season, the Green Bay Packers will host their longtime rival the Chicago Bears (on Sept 13th).

In a tradition that began in 2004, the Super Bowl champion annually hosts the NFL Thursday night season kickoff the following year. The first Sunday night primetime game on NBC will feature a division matchup between teams that have won seven of the past eight NFC North titles. The rest of the 2009 regular-season schedule will be completed and announced in April.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Law & Order Franchise Saves Wednesday This Summer

NBC has reshuffled Dick Wolf deck chairs for Wednesdays, with CI, SVU and the original all airing from mid-April on. (It's got to be better than Chopping Block.) Remember Wednesdays are big for Fox's Idol, so NBC is not going to run younger demo programs to counter.

All of my clients were updated over the weekend, with the exception of one client whose server has been unreachable, but the guys in Bham are working on that now.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Chopping Chopped: L&O To The Rescue

By Monday morning, all NBC clients will have updated prime & specials reflecting this and other minor changes. Come back first thing after the weekend to find out more.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Newscasts In Jeopardy from Leno Lead-In?

NBC Affils Launch Study to Shape 'Leno'
Concerns remain about 10 p.m. talk show as late news lead-in
By Michael Malone -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/23/2009

Hoping for unprecedented input into Jay Leno's fall primetime program, the NBC affiliates board has launched an exhaustive research study designed to keep local newscasts from suffering due to the network's decision to move Leno to 10 p.m. A committee that includes Scripps TV Senior VP Brian Lawlor and Post-Newsweek Stations President/CEO Alan Frank is awaiting results of the survey.

“NBC has promised the affiliates' input into the structure of the show, and we believe this research will help us represent the key drivers that will best flow a Jay Leno viewer into affiliates' local late news,” Lawlor says.

Of course, how much Leno and NBC will listen is up in the air. An NBC network spokesperson declined to comment.

Affiliates were split on the idea of Leno taking over the 10 p.m. slot when it was announced in December, many fearing it will never be a ratings smash in a time slot vital for serving up viewers to local late news.

So the study was put forth, including one question asking viewers how 13 elements of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno figure in their decision to tune in. The parts include Leno's monologue, celebrity guests and “Jaywalking.” Another one asks viewers if watching local news plays a part in their decision to tune in to The Tonight Show.

The survey will conclude in the coming weeks. “Once we get our arms around the research, we'll sit down with NBC and figure out what we both want to see and what decisions will be made,” Lawlor says.

The affiliates board is adamant about addressing The Tonight Show's tendency to lose viewers toward the end, which will be partially mitigated with Leno on 95 minutes earlier in the fall. One survey question zeroes in on how long viewers watch Tonight, offering 11 different points for tuning out. Respondents are asked if they stick around through the first or second guest, whether they watch through Jay's “Headlines,” whether they watch until the end, or even stay on for Late Night With Conan O'Brien after Jay.

Affiliates board chairman Michael Fiorile says the study will help reveal what the ideal length of Leno's monologue would be, what time the monologue should air and how the program's breaks should be structured.

The affiliates board meets April 21 in Las Vegas, and the NBC affiliates themselves meet May 19 in New York. The affiliates have frequently clashed with the network in the past, primarily about NBC's inability to jump-start its primetime offerings.

But they were pleased to hear that their board would have a say in the Leno show's architecture. Board members say NBC is in the loop on the research project, and that network-affiliate relations have been constructive.

“NBC has been very receptive,” Fiorile says. “They're giving us a say, and they've been very open to our participation.”

Friday, March 20, 2009

AOL's TV Squad Says Zucker Must Go

NBC's Jeff Zucker has given up


Did you hear this one, folks? NBC is throwing in the towel. The boss of bosses, NBC Universal CEO, the head honcho himself, Jeff Zucker, was at an industry event recently and declared, "I don't think we'll ever be able to say, 'NBC is number one in prime time.'"

Okay, there it is. The man has given up. He's basically admitting that his product is inferior and he doesn't think he'll ever catch up with his competitors. So, as a TV viewer, I have to wonder why I should invest in anything Zucker churns out at NBC if he doesn't believe that he's ever going to be number one again?

Think about it, would you want to eat dinner at a restaurant where the chef thinks he's never going to be the best in the business? If you were looking for fill the top spot at a network, is this the executive you would want in charge?

I've been down on Zucker before. I think the Jay Leno in prime time, five nights a week, is a mistake and I don't like the idea of NBC abdicating the 10 o'clock hour to the other networks. I don't care that this was an idea floated in the 1980's with Johnny Carson. It was a dumb idea then and it's a dumb idea now. If it turns out to be a success, I'll eat my mouse, okay?

But here's the thing about Zucker; he's a defeatist. Why isn't he fighting to make NBC the number one network again? I get all the new media/new business model malarky that he extols. The days of big ratings might be in the past, but how does he explain Fox's American Idol or CBS's success with all the CSIs? These shows are not apparitions. NBC could bounce back to the top. It's not out of the realm of possibility, but not when you have a CEO who is running up a white flag of surrender.

Here's my suggestion for NBC Universal: offer Jeff Zucker early retirement. Send him away. Get someone who has the fire and desire to get NBC back to number one, someone who has the vision to develop the TV shows and program them with an eye to long-term success. Zucker's had more than enough chances and while there was a time when NBC could at least claim victory in demographics and the bottom line, these days the network is just looking sad.

I want NBC back. I want the next Seinfeld or Cosby or ER or Heroes (like it was in season one), but it's not going to happen with Jeff -- "we'll never be number one again" -- Zucker at the helm!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

President moves Biggest Loser on 3/24

Loser moves to the last two hours of prime next Tuesday.

L&O:SVU is placed on hiatus, and for Mountain and Pacific Time Zones, Dateline is added in the first hour of prime.

Monday, March 16, 2009

NBC Fall Season To Be Announced May 4th

NBC keeps its upfront ahead of rivals
But advertiser presentations won't be as early as last year

By Nellie Andreeva

NBC is still staying "infront" of the broadcast networks with its upfront presentation, just not as much as last year.

The Peacock is set to present its fall plans to advertisers May 4-5 in New York, followed by presentations May 7 in Chicago and May 12 in Los Angeles.

The first meeting will be two weeks before the official May 18-21 broadcast upfront week but more than a month later than NBC's first "infront" presentations last year, held April 2.

The pushback was a result of requests from advertisers who wanted to see more footage from NBC's new series.

Like last year, NBC's "infront" will be a no-frills presentation held at the network's 30 Rock headquarters, in which scripted and unscripted heads Angela Bromstad and Paul Telegdy, respectively, will lay out the network's plans for next season.

NBC kicked off its pre-upfront meetings with advertisers with "superfront," an event held during the Super Bowl weekend in Orlando, where clients invited for the NBC-carried game were given first glimpse of the net's development. The superfront was followed by one-on-one sitdowns with advertisers by Bromstad and Telegdy. Once again, advertisers were involved in the development of new series, even more than last year.

By going first, NBC hopes to get dibs on what is expected to be a contracted upfront market this year as a result of the sluggish economy. The network hasn't decided yet if it will have a presence during the traditional upfront week.

Fox will kick off upfront week May 18, followed by ABC (May 19), CBS (May 20) and the CW (May 21). Also presenting during the broadcast week are cablers ESPN and Turner Broadcasting.

What NBC Isn't Running This Summer

03.13.09 - 09:17 AM]
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- While NBC will offer up six original series this summer, just as many won't be back.

On the heels of its schedule announcement yesterday, Peacock insiders have confirmed "Last Comic Standing" and "Nashville Star" - two veteran franchises absent from said lineup - indeed won't be back.

Also officially getting the boot: "Celebrity Circus," "Celebrity Family Feud," "Fear Itself," "The Baby Borrowers" and "American Gladiators." And while repeats of "Most Outrageous Moments" will turn up a few times in the coming months (May 19, July 21, July 28, August 26 and August 28), original episodes will no longer be produced.

2008-09 season entries "America's Toughest Jobs" and "Momma's Boys" likewise won't be getting second seasons.

And it's even worse news for "Jobs" executive producers Thom Beers, Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun: the two other series ordered as part of their much-ballyhooed 30-episode deal with the network won't be turning up on the Peacock at all.

The projects in development for said slots - "Salvage," "Shark Taggers," "Swords: Lives on the Line" and late entry "Tornado Road" - however are expected to turn up on cable, where Beers has found success with such series as History's "Ice Road Truckers" and Discovery's "Deadliest Catch."

The only reality efforts surviving the aforementioned bloodbath: "Who Do You Think You Are?" and "Breakthrough With Tony Robbins," both of which are likely due sometime next season.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

NBC Prime & Specials Totally Updated Everywhere

Yep, my clients have over 120 inventory lines in NBC Prime and Specials alone.

Take a look at schedules you've previously booked for clients this summer... it's time to rebook using these new programs and the selling book estimates I've provided you.

It's been a long weekend.. this has been the single largest NBC Prime and Specials update I've seen in 10 years.

Happy Selling!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

More than 58 different Prime/Specials changes coming

If you've got clients scheduled in NBC Prime in May or beyond, you'll be very busy in the next few days as almost all summer programming announced earlier today is different from existing prime. Monday night finales have been pushed back to June to support Conan's premiere.

NBC Announces Summer Programming

There's a lot here.. all clients will have inventory and estimates completed by Monday AM.. but several will be ready on Friday the 13th.

[03.12.09 - 12:10 PM]

"I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!" to Be Stripped Over Four Weeks Beginning June 1

Season Finales of "Medium," "Law & Order" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" - Along with Debut of "The Listener" -- Provide Momentum at 10 p.m. in Inaugural Week for "The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien" Beginning on June 1

Network Also Offers Eventful New Miniseries "Meteor" (June 7 and 14) and "The Storm" (July 19 and 26); "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" Episodes from USA Network Join NBC Lineup June 8

UNIVERSAL CITY, CALIF. - March 12, 2009 - NBC will serve up a sizzling menu of new and returning summer series -- accented by all-new original scripted programming with the series premieres of "The Philanthropist," "Merlin" and "The Listener" - and paced by the new alternative series "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!" and "Great American Road Trip" plus the return of summer's top-rated "America's Got Talent."

In a bold scheduling move, "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!," based on the international hit from Granada America, will debut as a two-hour television event on Monday, June 1 (8-10 p.m. ET) and will be stripped over four weeks in June.

NBC's season finales of "Medium," Law & Order: SVU" and "Law & Order" and the premiere of "The Listener" will provide additional primetime momentum at 10 p.m. for the inaugural week of Conan O'Brien beginning Monday, June 1 (11:35 p.m. - 12:35 a.m. ET).

NBC's eventful summer will also include the action-packed original miniseries "Meteor" and "The Storm." In addition, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" episodes from USA Network will join the NBC lineup.

The announcements were made today by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios.

"This summer will feature more original scripted programming than ever before, along with our #1 hit 'America's Got Talent' and two new buzz-worthy reality shows," said Silverman. "In addition, we'll give Conan the best launch possible during his premiere week by slotting the season finales of some of our best dramas at 10 p.m."

"I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!" will air Monday through Thursdays for the first three weeks beginning June 1 (8-9 p.m. ET) and during the fourth week of June, the series will be telecast Monday through Wednesday (8-9 p.m. ET) with the finale on Wednesday, June 24 (8-9 p.m. ET).

"Great American Road Trip" - newly announced today - will debut on Wednesday, July 1 (8-9 p.m. ET) and will continue for eight weeks.

The popular "America's Got Talent" will kick off its fourth season over two nights on Tuesday, June 23 (9-10 p.m. ET) and Wednesday, June 24 (9-10 p.m. ET). "The Philanthropist" premieres on Wednesday, June 24 (10-11 p.m. ET) while "Merlin" begins on Sunday, June 21 with a two-hour premiere (8-10 p.m. ET). The new drama series will also air from 8-10 p.m. on June 28 before resuming in its normal day and time on Sunday, July 5 (8-9 p.m. ET).

"Medium" will broadcast its season finale Monday, June 1 (10-11 p.m. ET), "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" will have its season finale on Tuesday, June 2 (10-11 p.m. ET) and "Law & Order" will unveil its season finale on Wednesday, June 3 (10-11 p.m. ET). The new drama "The Listener" will also debut that week on Thursday, June 4 (10-11 p.m. ET).

NBC illuminates the sky this summer with two major miniseries in "The Meteor" on Sunday, June 7 (9-11 p.m. ET) and Sunday, June 14 (9-11 p.m. ET) as well as "The Storm" for broadcast on Sunday, July 19 (9-11 p.m. ET) and Sunday, July 26 (9-11 p.m. ET).

In addition, episodes from the eighth season of "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (now telecast on USA) will begin on NBC on Monday, June 8 (9-10 p.m. ET)

"Dateline NBC" will begin broadcasts on Mondays (10-11 p.m. ET) beginning June 8.

The annual "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" will take place on July 4 (9-10 p.m. ET).

A summary of NBC's new summer lineup follows (new series capitalized; all times ET):


"I'M A CELEBRITY...GET ME OUT OF HERE!" -- premiere (8-9 p.m.)

"Medium" season finale (10-11 p.m.)


"Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" -- season finale (10-11 p.m.)


"Law & Order" -- season finale (10-11 p.m.)


"THE LISTENER" -- premiere (10-11 p.m.)


"METEOR" -- miniseries (9-11 p.m.)


"Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (NBC season premiere; 9-10 p.m.)

"Dateline NBC" (10-11 p.m.)


"MERLIN" (premiere 8-10 p.m.; June 28 airs 8-10 p.m.; July 5 resumes regular time 8-9 p.m.)


"AMERICA'S GOT TALENT" (9-10 p.m. both nights)


"THE PHILANTHROPIST" - premieres (10-11 p.m.)


"GREAT AMERICAN ROAD TRIP" -- premieres (8-9 p.m.)




"THE STORM" - miniseries (9-11 p.m.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

NBC Sells More Eyeballs Away From Local TV

PlayStation(R)Network's Video Delivery Service Partners With NBC Universal to Offer Lineup of Hit Movies and Television Shows

FOSTER CITY, Calif. and ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J., March 10 -- Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) and NBC Universal today announced that movies from Universal Studios Home Entertainment and television programs from NBC Universal will be available for purchase on PlayStation(R)Network, which is accessible for download via PLAYSTATION(R)3 (PS3(TM)) and PSP(R) (PlayStation(R)Portable) systems in the United States. Today's announcement makes PlayStation Network a premiere platform to access content from every major motion picture studio.

New movie download releases, such as the irreverent hit comedy Role Models and the Academy(R) Award-winning movie Milk, will be available beginning today for download to own. Other recently released and library titles from Universal Pictures and Focus Features, such as Wanted, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Death Race, The Incredible Hulk, Burn After Reading, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and The Big Lebowski, will also be offered for download to own in SD (Standard Definition) or to rent in both HD (High Definition) and SD.

An initial lineup of NBC Universal television programs will include popular and hit shows such as NBC's The Office, Heroes and 30 Rock, as well as SCI FI's Battlestar Galactica and Eureka. Episodes will be available for purchase the day after they air in both SD and HD. Previous seasons and additional programs will be added in addition to content from the extensive NBC Universal television library. NBC Universal and PlayStation Network will also be heavily promoting the availability of HD content by launching a joint campaign to create awareness of these hit shows in the highest quality experience.

NBC Universal will provide PlayStation Network users with a variety of attractive ways to purchase and view movies and TV shows, including varying price points depending on the content and format (HD or SD).

"In just over seven months our video delivery service has grown by leaps and bounds, making PlayStation the premier purveyor of online movie and television content for nearly 9 million PlayStation Network registered accounts in the US," said Peter Dille, Senior Vice President of Marketing and PlayStation Network, SCEA. "The addition of NBC Universal television content adds to our Network's diversity while Universal Studios Home Entertainment's movies establishes PlayStation Network as a premiere platform to access content from every major motion picture studio. Whether consumers choose to be entertained at home through PS3 or on-the-go with their PSP, PlayStation delivers an unparalleled combination of versatile and rich entertainment hardware, software and online services."

With the addition of NBC Universal, the video delivery service is now home to over 1,300 movies and more than 4,500 TV episodes, many available in both SD and HD, making the PS3 system the ultimate entertainment platform, and the PSP system a leader in portable entertainment. Additionally, PlayStation Network now offers movies in HD from all major motion picture studios and gives PS3 users the largest selection of movies on any gaming platform.


Important points: PlayStation Network access is free; competitor Xbox Live Gold is at least $30 per year, and it's required to access Netflix on the Xbox360, where NBC also offers HD content.

Personally, I've been watching back episodes of Heroes (there's a surprise) on Netflix Streaming through my Xbox 360 onto my 1080p LCD in my office on weekends, as well as through MyNetflix (when it works) on the Windows 7 Beta MediaCenter I have running in my bedroom.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Of course, if you want news about TV & Ratings..

You could visit www.TVRD.org

Yet another place I try to save the world!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rants About Ratings Blog Now Available

Nothing But Change is designed to quickly update NBC clients, but once in a while, my venom leaks out. Time to move such opinion to a totally personal blog:

Rants About Ratings

Opinions expressed there are entirely my own. Enter at your own risk.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sunday Nights In May Change

Just two weeks after telling us the schedules for Sunday May 10th and 17th, NBC has changed programming. So, my clients are now being updated.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Third Quarter NBC Sports Specials

At first glance, NBC Sports Specials based on powered motorsports have been cut WAY back, and replaced with various national and international track and swim meets, as well as more extreme foot-powered sports like BMX Motocross.

I'm more than half way through a complete re-estimation of all NBC sports, so I suggest you take a look at your inventory if you've not peeked recently. If you see my Sports Master Planner saved on your system within the last week or so, your station's update is complete.

Don't know how to look for other users' work? A quick call to 800 246-5757 will solve that.