Archives For TV Shows

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One new show this weekend that reality show fans will be excited about: The Amazing Race is returning Sunday on CBS. It’s replacing the unloved Viva Laughlin – canceled after only two episodes.

If you’re an Amazing Race follower, you’ll be happy to see season 12 arrive much earlier than previously planned (originally scheduled for January 2008). This season is shorter than those in the past and doesn’t include non-elimination legs.

So set your TiVos or other DVRs to record the Amazing Race at 8pm ET / 7pm CT. Note that in most TV guides it will be labeled as The Amazing Race 12 so you might need to add it manually if your last recording used Amazing Race 11 like mine did.

Additional TV shows coming soon include Project Runway (11/14), The Battlestar Galactica Razor Movie (11/24), and The Cashmere Mafia (11/27). Other than that its all Football for me for a while.

Brent enjoys sharing his reflections on tech, gadgets, software and media. Check out more at Brent Evans Geek Tonic.

Beyond Nielsen TV Ratings

Brent Evans —  October 23, 2007

Nielsen, TiVo and Snapstream Media. One of those three is well known for tracking television viewership, but the other two: TiVo and Snapstream Media (makers of the Beyond TV PC DVR software) are not as well known in this realm, but offer a more transparent and relatively useful snapshot of what Television Viewers like you and I are watching. Would you agree that Heroes and The Office are hit shows – at least better than Dancing with the Stars or 60 Minutes? Well you’d likely agree more with TiVo and Beyond TV users.

Since the early 1940’s the television and advertising industries have relied on Nielsen Media Research to measure the popularity and success of television programming. Nielsen continues to be the leading provider of this information and their list of the top TV shows by demographic are consistently highlighted in the media and watched closely by Advertisers and the Television Networks. While I’m still interested in what Nielsen is reporting as the top shows, I’m left wanting more.

Continue Reading…

What the heck are you thinking, Netflix? I understand and support your goal to minimize disc theft, but you really need to do some more testing in the labs before unleashing this half-baked sticker scheme on your customers. Whatever human or machine applied the anti-theft measure didn’t properly center it on the bottom of the disc, leading my laptop DVD drive to noisily thrash around without video playback. Fortunately, with the help of a ragged fingernail and a Marriott washcloth I removed both the sticker and glue goop to watch Dexter. Good thing too, because I know how Dexter handles evildoers.

Where’s the HD?

Dave Zatz —  October 19, 2007

Chris, of Amazon Daily, and I were recently lamenting that we don’t receive many HD channels via Comcast (he’s in Seattle, I’m outside DC). Maybe it wouldn’t be so painful if we weren’t aware of other Comcast regions, such as New England, receiving at least a half dozen more HD channels – many of which we’d actually watch (CNN, Food, HGTV). However, this phenomenon isn’t limited to Comcast — Verizon has only added two FiOS TV HD channels (A&E, Fox Business) in recent months and EngadgetHD speculates they’re currently out of bandwidth. But even DirecTV’s massive offering of 70 HD channels (about 4x my count), isn’t entirely delivering yet… What percent of those provide true HD content and at what frequency? Heck, I was channel surfing last night and it looks like much (all?) of the national evening news is still 4:3. The studios, networks, and operators really need to get with the program…

starwars George Lucas confirmed he is working on a live-action television series spinoff of the Star Wars Movie Franchise. It won’t include any of the major characters from the movies – no Luke Skywalker and no Darth Vader. From the interview with Lucas:

“The Skywalkers aren’t in it, and it’s about minor characters,” Lucas said in an interview. “It has nothing to do with Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader or any of those people. It’s completely different. But it’s a good idea, and it’s going to be a lot of fun to do.”

Brent Evans enjoys sharing his tech/gadget/internet enthusiast musings online. Read more at BrentEvans Geek Tonic.

Prior to recording even the first episode, I dropped Bionic Woman. And after watching the debut last night of Discovery’s Last One Standing… I dropped it too. LOS is a reality show in which 6 athletes are shipped around the world to participate in “tribal games.” The problem is about half the locales/games involve combat (wrestling, martial arts, stick fighting), and I just don’t see the fitness professional, strongman, BMX racer, etc doing well. As someone who wrestled (and did judo) for many years, perhaps I’m biased – but for this show to work, they need a different sort of contestant with more experience in combat. (A lone kickboxer doesn’t cut it.) Or, they should just drop the whole physical challenge aspect and restrict the show to a fish-out-of-water cultural expose’ – that element was actually entertaining (shaman “healing” the strongman, contestants getting piranha-tooth epilation), whereas the wrestling was just embarrassing. As it stands, Last One Standing is some sort of perverse hybrid. And I wouldn’t be surprised if one or more of these guys gets seriously injured. But maybe that’s their hook?

What shows have you already given up on?

TV Guide Evolves

Mari Silbey —  October 3, 2007

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Last100 put a post up yesterday on TV Guide’s new online video guide, so I decided to check it out myself. Given all of the video search sites available, I didn’t have high expectations for something novel, but I was suitably impressed. TV Guide’s layout is fantastically simple and gave me exactly the information I was looking for.

Example: a search on the show “My Name is Earl” brought up a list of videos available starting with full episodes followed by short clips. Each selection listed the price of the video (usually free or 99 cents), the date posted and the show’s network. If you click on a link, TV Guide then takes you to the URL where the video is housed. In this case, it took me to NBC’s site to watch a free episode of the show. Easy peazy.

In comparison, look at what a search for “My Name is Earl” brought up on two other sites. (Click on thumbnails) Not nearly as useful. (though LocateTV isn’t bad…)

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marketing-shift-logo.pngIt’s not very politically correct, but I’ve always been fascinated by dead pools. I’ve never actually participated in one, but there is something about wagering on life and death that appeals to the degenerate gambler in me.Since I’m pretty sure that participating in a dead pool is illegal in San Francisco, I suppose that I will have to live with the next best thing, dead TV pools. Marketing Shift is putting on a contest where they are asking readers to try and pick ten of the new shows, that you think will be off the air by the end of the fall season.

The winner of the contest will be the first person to have all ten of their picks canceled. The winner will receive a little bit of link love from MarketingShift.com, but the loser ends up with an internship at Cat World the CW ;)

If you want to see a list of all the candidates for the pool, you’ll find it on Marketing Shift’s website, but here are my picks for their first annual TV dead pool contest: Continue Reading…