Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Jan. 15 Morning Round Up

As I gear up for work each morning, I try to spend the first half hour (or so) of my day catching up on some news. I'll try and post some of the most interesting stuff here.

Blog for Play - seriously. Playwrite David Mamet is promoting his new play "November" through a website with a blog. The blog is written from the point of view of the main character, a man running for President (played by Nathan Lane). It's such a fantastic extension of "The Daily Show" or "Colbert Report" satire. Arrording to the New York Times, Mamet is going to continue the character blog even after the show opens. I love it.
P.S. On a nerdy note: the site design is great. Clean, easy to navigate, etc. Some of the real candidates should take those kinds of things into consideration with their own campaign sites!

ABC cancels contracts - The studio has acted under a force majeure clause and started dropping people left and right. Basically, anything that was in early development or the creative stage has been dropped. The studio can't pay money to projects that haven't been launched when there's not much money coming in. See this Hollywood Reporter article.
I'm not an industry expert, and haven't been following this in-depth, but I can't help but wonder how much longer it can go on. I sympathize with the writers and their demands, and it appears the studios are being a little bull-headed, but doesn't everyone have a breaking point? I do. And it's approaching quickly with all the bad TV on at night.
Someone more familiar with the process scared me even more. She said that if the writer's strike isn't resolved by May then there won't be any "upfronts" (where new series are pitched to the studios). Without upfronts, we're almost guaranteed to not have a regular Fall TV season this year. Bummer.
On the other hand, will these very smart, very creative people take their work somewhere else now that they're out of a job? YouTube has seen an increase in traffic since the site. Maybe we'll see the creation of new websites, launched by producers, to showcase their own work. I can only hope.

More on bad TV - NBC wants more "American Gladiators." ugh. Broadcasting and Cable is also reporting that the studio will back the television version with a website, live tour, and animated series. Seriously?
I guess I can't be too indignant. Chris and I contributed to the show's spectacular opening ratings. We can't be blamed too much though. There was just NOTHING else on!
On a side note, I think it's interesting that the gladiators have been tested for steroids. There was a conversation about this on "Mike and Mike" this morning, but I missed most of it. I find it hard to believe they aren't taking anything (they're HUGE), but oh well.
Broadcasting and Cable points out this irony: "Gladiators debuted Jan. 6, the same night baseball pitcher Roger Clemens appeared on 60 Minutes to discuss the allegations that came forth from the Mitchell Report, the examination of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball that implicated some of the sport’s biggest stars."

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