CBS chief Les Moonves joined the chorus of media execs telling analysts today that they aren’t feeling any pain from the anemic economy. “We don’t see a slowdown,” he told the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Media, Communications and Entertainment Conference. Ad pricing in the TV scatter market is strong, he says. Also, “people who bought (ads) in the upfront are increasing their orders.” Even radio and billboards are holding up. Indeed, Moonves expects the television network to be “very much in demand in the first quarter. Our schedule is very strong. The other guys have a lot of new shows. I know we’re the boring network, but we’re the stable network and we just win.” Stations also will benefit from what he says will be a record level of spending for the 2012 elections. “It may not be good for the country, but it’s going to b good for CBS.” Read More »
After 12 years at CBS TV Studios, Anthony E. Zuiker, creator and executive producer of the CSI franchise, is moving into a new TV home. Zuiker has signed a three-year first-look deal with ABC Studios for his company, … Read More »
As the 51st Monte Carlo Television Awards confirmed, TV procedurals remain the world’s most popular drama format. CSI was crowned the world’s #1 television franchise at the 6th International TV Audience Awards. It pulled in 65.3 million viewers worldwide in 2010. The only other shows that came near it were CSI Miami and House. And both of those are procedurals, too. According to TV consultancy TAPE, the various CSI strands were top of the U.S. imports in France, Germany, Spain and the UK. Meanwhile procedurals NCIS, Hawaii 5-0, and House were among the most popular U.S. imports in Italy. So what is it about the format that makes it so appealing to international audiences?
For a start, procedurals are the TV equivalent of comfort food. By the end of each episode, justice is done, the disease contained, order restored. They’re reassuring for viewers. Crucially for foreign audiences, the format is easy to understand. Also, there’s hardly any serial component, so shows like CSI Miami and NCIS can be viewed in any order. Go on vacation, miss a couple of episodes? No problem, nothing has changed. That’s why Blue Bloods – a show which sounds a bit dull on paper — does so well internationally compared to a critics’ darling such as Mad Men. CBS Studios International president Armando Nunez has praised Blue Bloods as “perhaps not as sexy to talk about, but it has proven a success both on the network and in terms of global distribution”. Blue Bloods has sold around the world not just to tiny channels but to big ones like Sky Atlantic in the UK, Australia’s Network Ten, and Discovery Latin America. John Peek, director of TAPE, whose clients include ABC, NBC and cable channels A&E and TNT, says Blue Bloods’ popularity stems from mixing up a police procedural with a family drama. CBS recently tapped Law & Order veteran Ed Zuckerman to make the show even more procedural. Peek says: “The continuing trend is for procedurals because they use a predictable structure. You know what you’re getting, which makes them palatable when they’re dubbed. Shows that obey the basic rules are easier for audiences overseas to get to grips with.” Read More »
So the world’s #1 television franchise is CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. The CBS/CBS TV Studios/CBS Studios International/Jerry Bruckheimer TV show was presented with the International Television Audience Award for a Drama TV Series at the 51st Monte Carlo TV Festival. … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: After two-and-a-half seasons, Laurence Fishburne is leaving CSI. The Oscar-nominated actor’s deal on the show was up and he opted not to renew it. He is expected to return to features full-time. It was a major coup for CBS … Read More »
This February marked the 10th anniversary of CBS’ overnight transformation into a major player on Thursday with the successful relocation there of Survivor and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. But, after nine and a half seasons, Survivor was pulled from the Thursday 8 PM slot at the beginning of this season, when CBS opened a comedy block on the night anchored by The Big Bang Theory. Will CBS continue the rejuvenation of its Thursday lineup by replacing longtime anchor CSI this year? As usual, CBS is mum on its scheduling plans, but the buzz is that this may be the year that CSI vacates TV’s most lucrative night. CBS laid the groundwork for such a move last year. With the very risky decision to uproot red-hot Monday comedy The Big Bang Theory to Thursday to launch a comedy block, the network understandably opted for stability on the rest of the night, keeping its 9-11 PM drama block of CSI and The Mentalist intact. But now that the network has established a foothold on the night with Big Bang, it can focus on rebuilding the rest of the lineup, most importantly, addressing the continuous ratings decline of CSI, which hit several series lows this season. Also helping the case for a change is the fact that neither of the other Big 4 made a move at 9 PM, leaving three aging shows — ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, Fox’s Bones and NBC’s The Office — vulnerable to assault by an upstart. Read More »
Elisabeth Harnois, who co-starred on CBS’ Miami Trauma, will be joining the cast of another CBS/Jerry Bruckheimer drama as a regular, the mothership CSI series. She was originally signed to guest star in the May 5 episode as the estranged daughter of Conrad Ecklie (Marc Vann), who works for the Los Angeles Police Department and helps the Las Vegas crew hunt down serial killer Nate Haskell (Bill Irwin). Read More »
After the dramatic American Idol results show last week featuring the elimination of 11 semifinalists, which shot up 15% from the week before and 30% from last year, the show came back to Earth last night with a respectable showing as broadcasters faced big NBA games on TNT. The hourlong … Read More »
And if no one did, just mail me a check. (Haven’t you seen that CSI hit an all-time low last Thursday?) Today’s HuffPo headline links to this article.