On a recent post-NFL season Monday night, 7.3 million people watched a remake of Hawaii 5-0. Another 6.7 million watched Castle, a crime procedural that’s safely avoided buzz for four seasons. A crowd less than half that size, 3.2 million, watched an American furniture manufacturer tearfully repent for outsourcing the family business, met a real-life moon colonist, and saw a chimpanzee flip through a children’s book. “They like to look at the pictures,” the voiceover explained.
They had landed on the three-month-old newsmagazine Rock Center, NBC’s prime time bid to recapture an audience for TV news by offering a looser format in which to showcase Brian Williams’s formidable charisma. Mr. Williams’s sensibility is so deeply ingrained in the programming that Rock Center executive producer Rome Hartman likes to say that, when it’s working, it feels like “Brian’s playlist.”
Big Real Estate
In their first move since being acquired by Kableto–er–Comcast, NBC Universal just inked a 10-year deal for over 1.4 million square feet of office condos at Rockefeller Center, with over 700,000 square feet of it at 30 Rock alone, the Post reports.
In addition to the massive lease at 30 Rock, NBCU Read More
As only he could, Keith Olbermann quit his top-rated MSNBC show Countdown last night with quite the send-off:
It was an unexpected announcement that ABC suggests had nothing to do the recent Comcast takeover of NBC, while The Times notes that Olbermann is getting the Conan treatment and Read More
Feeling sorry for yourself because you can’t look at Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things? It could be much worse.
Four Midwestern states lost internet access last night due to major Comcast DNS problems, according to Twitter rage and the morning papers. The outage lasted from about 7:30 p.m. Read More
Sen. Al Franken announced yesterday that he would be fighting Comcast’s right to retool NBC’s executive structure prior to the merger’s regulatory approval, writing a letter with complaints to the Justice Department that cried “gun-jumping” on the part of the imposing cable behemoth. If the department hears Franken’s claim that the Read More
It's the web stupid
If you just ignore a problem long enough, it will go away. Right?
That seems to be the strategy of the cable companies. Last week Comcast reported that it had lost 275,000 subscribers in the third quarter and this week Time Warner announced it had seen 155,000 customers terminate their service.
When faced with these Read More
Today, Claire Atkinson of the New York Post reported that Comcast and General Electric have finalized an exit package for current NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker, worth between $30 million and $40 million. According to the Post, Mr. Zucker will leave the network a couple of months after Comcast’s purchase of a majority Read More
WHAT WOULD JACK DONAGHY DO?
“This is an exciting time for NBC; not Seinfeld, Friends, ER exciting, but more like 3D espisodes of Merlin exciting.”
So adaged fictional NBC executive Jack Donaghy on the network’s self-jabbing sitcom 30 Rock. Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, was referring to the network’s acquisition by cable conglomerate Kabletown—”with a K.” And while Read More
Let the record show that Al Franken, freshman senator from Minnesota, bears little resemblance to Al Franken, onetime Saturday Night Live funnyman. At an otherwise genteel subcommittee grilling of the top executives from NBC Universal and Comcast over their proposed media mega-merger last week, Mr. Franken had none of the self-doubt of his famously sheepish Read More
How might the multibillion-dollar Comcast-NBC deal impact the network’s traditional summer social scene in the Hamptons?
For years, a great diaspora of NBC talent—Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Zucker, Alec Baldwin, Matt Lauer, Ben Silverman and so on—would spread along the stretch of the planet that runs between Southampton and Amagansett between June and September.