This was a week to get angry – from vicious hits on the ice to vicious insults on the Capitol steps, not exactly a feel good week. But there was some good, too – and March Madness did not disappoint. What worked for yours truly – and what didn’t:
Rosie may be coming back to daytime. Okay, before you beat the crap out of yours truly, hear me out. While yours truly isn’t a fan of O’Donnell or her “antics”, I think a talk show reboot featuring the former “Queen of Nice” might work. Why? Because two people behind the show – former Warner Bros. syndication veterans Scott Carlin and Dick Robertson – can get it done. These two gentlemen had a successful track record of launching syndicated shows at Warner Bros. in the 1990’s and are forming a company with Ms. O’Donnell to sell her new show. It also doesn’t hurt that both Carlin and Robertson helped launch Ms. O’Donnell’s previous daytime effort when they were at Warner Bros. together.
This is akin to what producers Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner (of Carsey-Werner Productions) did when they launched their first venture in syndication, Bill Cosby’s You Bet Your Life daily strip in 1992 (even though it bombed, it planted the seeds for them to sell their own off-network series in syndication, including That ’70’s Show and later cycles of The Cosby Show and A Different World.)
This is what I like – seeing individuals (like Entertainment Studios’ Byron Allen) hitting the streets to sell product to stations – something syndicators used to do before consolidation eliminated the practice for all but the smallest players in the business. It’s a long shot (Carlin and Robertson have to convince big station groups who are aligned with the big studios to buy the show), but this is a project worth rooting for, even if you don’t like Ms. O’Donnell.
March Madness. Buzzer beaters, upsets, and exciting plays – in both the NCAA and the (diluted) IHSA tournaments – this is what March Madness is all about.
South Park is still relevant. 3.7 million tuned in last Wednesday for the fourteenth season-premiere. With Fox’s animated block nearly running on empty, we need an animated comedy that isn’t afraid of tackling tough issues – and making fun of them.
Days of Our Lives fans. The venerable NBC soap is coming back this fall for its 45th year. Wow!
The National Broadband Plan. FCC Julius Genachowski announced his plan last week which would re-collate spectrum from television broadcasters to wireless broadband providers, which means some broadcasters could wind up sharing spectrum and some outlets could shut down. So who does this benefit? Google, AT&T, and Verizon? Certainly not the broadcasters – or the communities they serve.
Reed Hundt. The former FCC Chairman (from 1994-97 – whom I’ve never liked, BTW) denounced over-the-air broadcasting (and TV in general) as a “threat to our democracy” at a recent speech at Columbia University. No, idiot – its government bureaucrats like YOU are a bigger threat to our democracy. It’s a speech those morons at the Parents Television Council would only love.
The NHL. Well, so much for the post-Olympic bounce the NHL wanted. Back to nasty goon hits, inconsistency over the length of players getting suspended, a commissioner (Gary Bettman) who continues to ignore numerous issues in the sport, and general managers who act like professional wrestlers than professionals. And you wonder why ratings stay low.
Peter Pascarelli fired from ESPN’s Baseball Today podcast. And for what? A throwaway joke about pigeons shitting over MLB Commissioner Bud Selig’s statue in Milwaukee? (they should also aim for Bettman’s statue, should one ever be put up.) And this while other ESPN personalities have said worse? And guess who they replaced the honest and outspoken Pascarelli with on the podcast… an idiot flunkee yes-man who used to work for Commissioner Selig.
With the network spending money trying to acquire every major sporting event known to man (except hockey; see above) so it can collect dual revenues from advertising and a subscriber base – leaving ABC affiliates without sporting events on most weekends and jacking up per-subscriber fees in the process, ESPN is now front and center as the face of Big Media everyone loves to hate.
After those pigeons are done in Milwaukee, they should head for Connecticut and aim for the heads of some ESPN executives.