The Biz


The Biz: Television Takes Center Stage on CNN's The Sixties

John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon at the Nixon-Kennedy debate

If you were to put 1960s television on a psychiatrist's couch, it would be diagnosed as schizophrenic. Primetime was loaded with frothy, high-concept sitcoms, such as Gilligan's Island and I Dream of Jeannie, that became baby boomer favorites, while network news delivered grim images of the Vietnam War, social unrest, and assassinations.

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The Biz: American Masters Explores the Life of George Plimpton

George Plimpton

Author George Plimpton was making reality television long before anyone used the term.

Plimpton's exercises in participatory journalism led to the groundbreaking 1968 best seller Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last String Quarterback, which tells how he suited up with the Detroit Lions. It was a concept easily adapted to television. He did network TV specials in the late 1960s and 70s where he played triangle with the New York Philharmonic, performed as... read more

The Biz: Why Ad Rates Are Up While Ratings Go Down

Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting and Johnny Galecki

Every advertising selling season, broadcast-network executives must privately ask themselves the same question: "How much longer can we defy gravity?"

Through the first quarter of 2004, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox combined had a 48 percent share of viewers ages 18 to 49, the sweet spot for advertisers. In 2013, their share was down to 34 percent. The networks reportedly took in $9 billion in revenue during the 2004 upfronts. Last year, that total was closer to $8 billion — down, but not nearly commensurate with the decline in ratings. With the exception of... read more

The Biz: The True Story Behind Lifetime's Return to Zero

Minnie Driver and Paul Adelstein

Television commercial director Sean Hanish had good reason to believe he was living the dream in July 2005. His career was on the rise as he had written, directed, and produced an ad campaign for supermodel Cindy Crawford's home furnishing line. At home, his wife was close to the due date for the birth of their first child. "The next time I see you you're going to be a daddy," Crawford told him after he presented the spots to her at her home.

"I felt pretty on top of the world that day," Hanish recalls. "And as I'm coming out of Cindy Crawford's driveway, my wife calls me." She gave him the devastating news that ... read more

The Biz: George Stephanopoulos Signs New Deal with Good Morning America

George Stephanopoulos

The churn at Good Morning America is over. ABC News confirmed April 24 that co-host George Stephanopoulos has a new long-term deal which will keep him in his role on the number-one rated morning show and as the moderator of the Sunday roundtable show, This Week.

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The Biz: PBS Celebrates Music's Hall of FAME With Muscle Shoals

Rick Hall, Clarence Carter

The small Alabama town of Muscle Shoals and record producer Rick Hall don't have the same familiar cachet; as the renowned 1960s soul music labels Motown or Stax. But the hits Hall turned out at his legendary FAME Recording Studios are well into their fifth decade of being a beloved part of American pop culture. The familiar riffs heard... read more

Four Big Questions About Josh Elliott's Departure From GMA

Josh Elliot

Another member of morning television's top rated family is leaving home. Josh Elliott, who joined ABC's Good Morning America in 2011 and helped ride it ahead of NBC's Today, is leaving for a high profile role at NBC Sports. He'll be replaced as news anchor by Amy Robach. But is it the last we'll see of Elliott in the morning? It's one of several questions TV news people are asking.... read more

The Biz: Jimmy Kimmel on Letterman, Fallon, and Late-Night Booking Wars

Jimmy Kimmel

David Letterman is Jimmy Kimmel 's comedy hero. So what would happen if Letterman called and told Kimmel he's the guy who should succeed him on The Late Show?

"I'd definitely consider it," the ABC late-night host told TV Guide Magazine as he prepared to do a week of shows in Austin, Texas while South By Southwest is in session. "I am... read more

The Biz: Inside the CNN Documentary Chicagoland

Chicagoland

In the 1976 movie All the President's Men, Robert Redford played Bob Woodward, one of the Washington Post reporters who uncovered the Watergate scandal, the greatest newspaper exposé in history. So he tends to get passionate when talking about the state of journalism.

"Entertainment has... read more

The Biz: Maria Bartiromo Previews Her New Fox Business Network Show

Maria Bartiromo

Where have you gone, Maria Bartiromo? Financial news viewers no longer have to wonder. The veteran anchor and correspondent, who became a star reporting from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on CNBC, is back today on Fox Business Network. She has a new daily two-hour show, Opening Bell With Maria Bartiromo (weekdays at 9am/8c). By the end of March, she'll also be anchoring her own Sunday morning program on Fox News Channel, where politicos will get grilled on economic issues. Bartiromo tells TV Guide Magazine how financial TV news has to change — and why she still loves Brooklyn.

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