Tuned In

Biz News: TV Thriving, Also Screwed

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Two news items, both from the Hollywood Reporter: 

* Despite widespread news of a decline in broadcast ratings, a Nielsen study finds people using their TVs more than ever. Using them for what? As attractive planters? Doorstops? No: they’re watching cable and—heed Tim Kring—using their DVRs more and more often. 

* That said, the possibility of an actors’ strike next year threatens to deliver broadcast TV another punch in the gut. Emphasis on broadcast TV; as THR notes, cable scripted shows are largely not Screen Actors Guild-covered, and of course reality TV is not affected. Paging the American Gladiators! I still believe—without being privy to any inside information—that a strike is unlikely on the grounds of it being absolutely freaking nuts in the present economic climate. Then again, the writers’ strike taught me not to trust too much in anyone’s rationality, and action by the actors is at least sounding, if not likely, at least less unlikely.