Conspiracy theorists are having a field day with the YouTube freeze on view counts of all Scientology related stories that prevented several videos that are critical of Scientology from appearing on YouTube’s “Most Popular Videos” home page feature. As exclusively reported in the TV Maven blog at www.JackMyers.com, YouTube blames the freeze on server issues, but the “Anonymous” video that was the catalyst for widespread global protests against the cult religion and that has generated nearly three million views has never been featured as a YouTube most popular video. Share your opinions on Scientology and YouTube below.
With the Writers Guild of America strike finally over after three months, it remains unclear to me why this settlement could not have been reached without the huge economic losses to the Los Angeles and New York economies and without the incredibly destructive hardships imposed on so many workers who were forced to live three months without pay. In the final analysis, the strike enabled the networks and studios to shed bad deals they had contracted for and to break the 50-year cycle of program development and pilot production that has become progressively more irrelevant. While there have been economic losses, and it remains to be seen what the long-term implications will be for primetime programming, the net-net for broadcast networks and studios has most likely been break-even economics. For the writers, while they achieved their goal of institutionalizing a share of gross revenues for digital content in year three of their contract, there are so many factors influencing the accounting for those revenues, they might find their gains were more emotional than economic. Next up: the Screen Actors Guild contracts due for resolution by June. It’s extremely unlikely there will be another strike. The producers and actors are likely to rubber stamp a close facsimile of the Writers’ agreement. Share your opinions on the strike below.
The strike settlement also brought an announcement from CBS that it will hold its Upfront presentation as originally scheduled on May 14 at Carnegie Hall, so with CBS, Fox and ABC committed to Upfront presentations as usual, the industry can rest easy that the shrimp will be plentiful, the bars will be open, and Fall season programming information will be flowing. NBC, which will also host an Upfront presentation, appears to be equivocating on format and is likely to use this year’s abnormal circumstances to somewhat reinvent their Upfront messaging. All networks, rather than presenting fall schedules and specific line-ups, will most likely present returning shows and a handful of new series highlights, but will focus on strategy, digital and cross-platform initiatives, and how they intend to reinvent the network television business models for the future. At this time, an estimated 50 other media companies are scheduling events during the frenzied March through May Upfront period. Are the Upfronts still relevant? Share your opinions below.
I have yet to watch the new Starz Original, Crash – The Series, based on the 2006 Academy Award winning Best Picture. But the network deserves kudos for one of the most effective promotional brochures I’ve seen. An oversized, elaborately produced book, the promotion piece focuses on the theme “When you look inside, you don’t change what you see. Only the way you see it.” A series of mirror-image photos with words that contrast how they can be interpreted are exceptionally impactful, sharing nothing about the Crash series, but certainly encouraging reviewers to watch the accompanying DVD. My colleague Ed Martin will report on whether the series is equal to the promotion at JackMyers.com.
Changing the subject completely, I am compelled to comment on Roger Clemens and the steroid controversy. As a lifelong fan and New York Yankees’ season ticket holder for more than two decades, I was thrilled when Clemens joined the Yankees, as I was when Randy Johnson and even Alex Rodriquez joined the team. What fan who values the game’s history would not be excited to see some of the greatest players of all times play the game we love. I remain thrilled to have seen Clemens pitch several games, including a handful of legendary ones over the past several years. Steroids have been an integral part of baseball and sports for the past decade. This nation has a long history of singling people out for both fame and infamy, whether they deserve it or not. We reward Britney and Paris with notoriety and wealth for acts undeserving of our attention. We elevate athletes to role models and are then shocked when these pampered and spoiled super stars fail to live up to unrealistic expectations. The press thrives more on bringing these stars down to earth than it does on elevating them to unworthy stature. Now the press has determined that Roger is a criminal. His only criminal act at this time would be lying to Congress, if he in fact lied. There can realistically be no proof that he has lied. Only conjecture and speculation. But the press has found him guilty, and the court of public opinion has also found him guilty. Clemens remains one of the two or three best pitchers of all time, and whether he took steroids or not does not change that reality. He competed in an era when many, if not most power hitters were injecting, and when many marginal players elevated their batting prowess through steroids. Baseball has changed dramatically through the years. Let’s put an asterisk on every record of the past ten years, every batting average, every home run stat, every ERA. And let’s move on. Baseball as a sport waited far too long to take meaningful regulatory action against steroids. Their use was not illegal nor was it against the rules for years. I am pissed at Andy Pettitte. No one likes a rat. His comments are hearsay and inadmissible. They are irrelevant. And as for this ass of a trainer who owes his career to Roger Clemens, he will go down in baseball lore as the Benedict Arnold of sports. And George Mitchell should be ashamed of himself for naming names based on the hearsay evidence of a bitter, out-of-work ass who made a living shooting people up with steroids.
Share your comments on Clemens and steroids below.