NBC’s ratings are on track to outdistance numbers from the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which many TV industry executives had figured would be a high-water mark. The last Summer Olympics to consistently attract such large crowds were the Montreal Games in 1976 — long before cable TV networks began splintering the audience.
Wow, NBC had 32 million people watching every night!
One of the hardest decisions a writer makes is “who to write for,” also known as your audience. For this blog I have chosen to assume that my readers are smart rather than dumb, well-educated, and interested “good” stories (not controversy and bad-mouthing).
Huffington Post bifurcated its site between very high end content — celebrities who didn’t blog anywhere else, and more recently very highly paid poaches from organizations like the New York Times– and the rest. Pulitzer Prize material and photos of kittens. The two might seem like they don’t belong on the same site. But having high notes and low notes, is far more effective (and only half as soul crushing from a journalism point of view) than a site that maximizes just for the middle of the spectrum– which is far more common in professional blogging.
I like to think that I come down somewhere above the middle, just short of Pulitzer Prize material.
Does that mean I need a few more animated gifs of kitties?
Since its inception 42 years ago, Comic-Con International has been a celebration of fanboy culture. When geek became the new cool, it also worked as a marketing platform for Hollywood and video game makers. Now, it’s the place where the television industry comes to build buzz for new shows and reward the audiences of established ones.
More than 80 television series courted the crowds at Comic-Con last year with premieres, panels and promotional events. This year in San Diego, the numbers are just as high – and the visibility even greater.
“It’s become a tentpole for us,” says Richard Licata, executive vice president, communications, for NBC Entertainment and Universal Television, echoing the sentiments of many network and studio marketing and publicity heads. “It’s the Super Bowl of response.”
Timing has something to do with it; the dates of Comic-Con make it a perfect place to preview fall shows. Corralling the talent is also a breeze – television has no Sundance or Cannes, making Comic-Con one of the few places on the planet where a television writer is treated like a rock star by screaming thousands.
Early in the second season of “The Andy Griffith Show,” I ventured a suggestion for a line change to make it sound more “like the way a kid would say it.”
I was just 7 years old. But my idea was accepted and I remember standing frozen, thrilled at what this moment represented to me.
Andy asked me, “What you grinnin’ at, youngin’?” I said it was the first idea of mine they’d ever said yes to. Without a pause, Andy responded for all to hear: “It was the first idea that was any damn good. Now let’s do the scene.”
That inclusiveness that allowed a child to truly be a part of something as unique and memorable as “The Andy Griffith Show”is something I will forever be grateful for.
He was known for ending shows by looking at the audience and saying “I appreciate it, and good night.” Perhaps the greatest enduring lesson I learned from eight seasons playing Andy’s son Opie on the show was that he truly understood the meaning of those words, and he meant them, and there was value in that.
To the casual observer, Joss Whedon might seem like an odd pick to bring such a hugely anticipated project to the big screen. Known mostly for his TV work like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, some might have expected a more seasoned helmer…
“There was a moment a couple weeks after I had taken the job when I suddenly went, ‘Agh,’ and my wife just turned to me and said, ‘Honey, it’s just the next story,'” laughs the filmmaker. “I went, ‘O.K., thanks. I’m back.’ That was it, because ultimately it is. The financial burden is not on me. As I have said many times, ‘The first weekend is [the audience’s] job. The second weekend is mine.’ If the story is compelling, if I got it right, if people want to come back to it, yay!”