Showing posts with label television. Show all posts
Showing posts with label television. Show all posts

Thursday, January 31, 2013

twitter goes to bed with tv

Inquiring minds at Brandwatch and My Clever Agency did an interesting study on how "dual screening" is transforming TV watching. Finds:

1. Dual screeners are most likely to tweet from bed. (Surely soon to be a New Yorker cartoon.)

2. Viewers are 12 times more likely to tweet about a show during days it's on air vs. days it isn't.

3. Tweeters are more negative about shows as they're being aired than they are about them after they've aired. (The past is always better, even in TVland)

4. Less than half of TV shows in the US include official hashtag in their broadcast. (When will showrunners get with the program their audience is watching?)

5. Most TV shows do use official hashtags on Twitter, however. (At least there's that.)

6. Almost half of the official TV show Twitter accounts seldom engage fans, not responding to mentions or queries.

More goodness here, with pretty infographic.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

social tvland

image swiped from LA Weekly
One of the most interesting offerings at the banquet that is Social Media Week was a panel hosted by Alan Wolk of KitDigital, intriguingly titled "My Social TV App Thinks I'm My Dad."

Social TV has become a buzzword lately, though "social" misleadingly refers to a phenomenon that's been been around for a while. Mike Monello of Campfire pointed out that TV viewing has always been social. You may watch your favorite shows at night blobbing alone on a sofa, but part of the experience is deconstructing them the next day with coworkers or classmates. The difference is, now you don't have to wait until the next day. You can rant or rave with friends about episodes as they air, via the real time magic of Facebook and Twitter.

Research shows that a critical mass of viewers are now online while they're watching TV. What impact is this having in TV Land? Thanks to the plethora of info disseminated knowingly or unknowingly by users of social networks, entertainment companies and advertisers are far more knowledgeable about viewing behaviors and preferences of audiences. Which means they're shifting dollars to more accurately target spending. One panelist, Dan Neely reported that his company advised a client *not* to buy a halftime ad in the SuperBowl this year, but to air a spot on Walking Dead. Why? Because his social data showed that a critical mass of men don't watch halftime, they switch over to watching the AMC show instead. (Whether or not this resulted in sales, it indisputably saved millions.)

Jim Spare suggested that the biggest opportunity for the industry is to provide a companion structure for the frenzy of consumer activity that's already happening around programming, referred to as "second screen experience." Once this happens, he predicted, commenting on a show via hashtags and posts will seem archaic. And as more viewers become trackable via social media, advertisers will migrate to where the eyeballs are and advertising will support and elevate this experience.

More panel goodness can be found here, in a surprisingly satisfying Livestream experience. Don't miss the excitement about halfway through when Wolk takes on Neely in a showdown fueled by the age-old rivalry between creative and research.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

pioneer "Girl Writer" made us love Lucy

I’d never heard of Madelyn Pugh Davis until this week when a friend posted a memorial tribute to “the genius behind two of my favorite TV scenes ever: Lucy and the chocolate conveyor belt scene, and Lucy and Ethel raising chickens.” (See below.) Oh! All those years I spent rushing through homework on Monday nights to catch “The Lucy Show” (remember when TV was appointment only?), it never occurred to me that a writer was behind the redhead’s comic genius. Ball, however, was always quick to attribute credit. According to Ball's daughter, Lucie Arnaz, whenever her mother was asked what she thought was the secret of her show's enduring popularity, she said: "My writers." One of them, Madelyn Pugh Davis, passed away this week at 90.

Davis always knew she wanted to be a writer. She was editor of her high school newspaper in Indianapolis and member of the school's fiction club, along with her classmate Kurt Vonnegut. She majored in journalism at Indiana University and hoped to be a foreign correspondent after graduating in 1942. She couldn’t land a job at a newspaper, and so settled (like many of us do) for advertising, writing commercials and copy for a local radio station. According to an extensive tribute to Davis in the Atlantic, her break came during World War II, as it did for many women of her generation. Her family moved to Los Angeles and she got a job as staff writer for NBC radio, and then six months later she was writing for CBS. "No one actually wanted to hire women in 1944," Davis said in her memoir. “But with so many men away at war, what else was there?"

At CBS, she teamed up with Bob Carroll in a partnership that would last 50 years. At first, they produced comedy sketches for radio, including Lucille Ball’s radio show “My Favorite Husband.” When Ball decided to launch a television series co-starring her real-life husband Desi Arnaz, Davis and Carroll and colleague Jess Oppenheimer wrote the pilot for it. The show premiered on October 15, 1951 and ran until May 6, 1957. It was ranked No. 1 in the Nielsen ratings for four of its six seasons and was never out of the top three.

Unlike much comedy of the day, the writing wasn’t just sight gags and easy one-liners. The writers had to come up with ludicrous physical predicaments for Ball to get herself into. Often, they got their ideas from phone books. One day they came across “Candy Maker” which inspired the script for one of my favorite episodes titled “Job Switching” in which Lucy and Ethel become breadwinners, working in a chocolate factory. I’m convinced the 50s episode wouldn’t have elevated housework to “real” work without influence of the “Girl Writer”, as Davis was known.

Then there was the hilarious episode where Lucy does a live commercial for a liquid vitamin supplement which turns out to consist largely of alcohol.

“I Love Lucy” was one of the first scripted TV shows to be shot on 35mm film in front of a television audience. It is said that Desi Arnaz (the co-star was also producer) was not a believer in retakes so that flubs, bloopers and prop mistakes were all left in the episodes. Which gave shows a freshness you don't find in today's sitcoms where all dialogue is rehearsed and supposedly perfect. One of show's most famous bloopers was when Desi messed up a line and blurted the F word, which he changed to  "Fine" at the last, saving second.

Because the show was filmed live, laugh tracks weren’t canned, they were actual recorded reactions. One scene is said to have gotten the longest laugh in recorded television history: the one where she and Ethel hide eggs in their clothes, but the jig is up when Lucy has to dance the tango with Desi. Talk about far-fetched premises that would never fare well in concept testing.

RIP, Davis and writing based on gut instinct.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

is radio the new TV?

Thanks to wonders of The Worldwide Internet, radio listening is on the rise, and as TV audiences continue to dwindle, I wonder if at some point we'll hit ratios of listeners vs. viewers we haven't seen since 1959.

Part of what accounts for radio's comeback is podcasting, which allows you to tune into discussions that mine whatever esoteric subject you're interested in. If you're reading this blog (hey, thanks, btw) you're no doubt interested in advertising, and two podcasts devoted to this subject stand out.

You may already know about the excellent Beancast, a weekly roundtable discussion hosted by Bob Knorpp. Now, two friends of Beancast have launched Adverve, a less formal podcast devoted to deconstructing the industry. Bill Green (of Make the Logo Bigger) and Angela Natividad (of Adrants) launched the first episode in October exploring a subject rarely spoken of in polite company: Racism in Advertising. Guest speaker Hadji Williams (whom you may know from Racialicious) had so many interesting things to say on the matter, the show was promptly downloaded almost 2000 times. (You can grab it in its entirety here and here .) Bill and Angela have pledged to explore all the "isms" in the business, and I was glad to be tapped for their recent show on ageism. What's next? Possibilities abound: Sexism. Plagiarism. Narcissm. And (paging Don Draper) alcoholism. Angela suggests renaming the series "Adverve Intervention." Ear buds and a sidecar, please.

Friday, March 13, 2009

another reason to move to australia

Aussie tv. My daughter came home from college this week and (aside from dirty laundry) brought We Can Be Heroes, the funniest content I've seen in a long time. It's a faux-reality series running based on a search for “Australian of the Year.” What makes it hilarious, aside from droll reportage, is that one comic actor plays all five contestants:

--a 16 year old prep school girl who sponsors 85 Sudanese children, raising money by fasting two days a week

--a boy who donated his eardrum to his hearing-impaired twin

--a menopausal housewife who holds world championship for the dubious sport of “distance-rolling”, coached by her retired couch potato husband

--40 year old man who saved 9 children from a jumping castle that blew into power lines on a windy day

--23 year old Chinese physics student who, over his parents’ objections, is pursuing a career as an actor.

Extending the show's brand (and its entertainment value) is an in-character website featuring photos, videos, letters and personal revelations from each of the contestants, like the 16 year old's "global vision statement." Which means that ABC Australia not only knows a good thing, they know how to market it. Right down to prominently noting that This show is rated M. It is not recommended for persons under 15 years. It contains coarse language. What could a 12 year old find more persuasive?

translation: dux (not ducks) is award given to student with highest academic achievement