eTrade Baby Curses Jets Once More


I can sometimes take the pulse of the Universal TV Watching Mind by noticing when there’s a sudden spike on traffic for a year-old post on my blog. Judging by this morning’s logs, a bunch of people are coming to Tuned In by Googling the terms “James Brown,” “eTrade Baby” and “shame” …

X-Factor to Bring the Pepsi (Literally) to Idol's Coke

When Fox signed up Simon Cowell to produce The X-Factor singing competition after leaving American Idol, it was perhaps not the ideal situation—how Idol will survive Cowell’s loss remains to be seen—but it made sense. Better not to risk someone else grabbing Cowell’s project and set up a competitor across the street: Fox would have …

Which TV Viewers Should Count?



It’s a common and understandable myth that TV shows stay on the air by getting as many viewers as possible. They don’t. In commercial television, shows stay on the air by making money, something that relates to, but does not correlate directly to, getting as many viewers as possible. If you’re a network that airs commercials, you …

And Now for Something Completely Familiar: Conan's New Ad


TBS has a new ad for Conan O’Brien‘s late-night show, debuting in November. I’m not sure if it’s reflective of the sensibility of the new show or just the sensibility of the TBS promotions department, but it’s Monty Pythonesque. More in the Terry Gilliam aesthetic than in actually …

Dead Tree Alert: Last Golden Girl Standing

The debut of Hot in Cleveland, starring Betty White with a trio of sitcom-nostalgia iconettes, attracted nearly 5 million viewers Wednesday night, making it the most-watched show on cable. Those numbers would be fairly decent for a broadcast network show (it’s not far from what, say, 30 Rock or Parks and Recreation draw), they’re …

Nike Discovers the Flash-Sideways


Nike has launched a new ad—at three-plus minutes, a mega-ad—for the World Cup, and it’s a doozy. Directed by Alexander Rodriguez Alejandro González Iñárritu, the hyper, kinetic, hyperkinetic commercial, “Write the Future,” follows several international footballers through the …

Lost Audience Not Record Setting, But Watched Ads Really Hard

When I wrote my print TIME feature on the end of Lost, one section I had to drop for space had to do with how much money ABC was asking for ads in the finale—reportedly $900,000 a pop—even though Lost was not close to the highest-rated program on TV. That fact points to something that has potential to shape the business, and thus …

Nike, Tiger Woods and the Saddest Ad of All Time


So there are a few things that are pretty much known to move product. Sex, of course—we all know sex sells. And a good deep discount—people love to save money! Oh, and also? A pained, publicly shamed celebrity staring dead-eyed at you while being interrogated by the edited,

Best Picture: Logorama's Brandscape Painting

Just so you know we’re not all about Oscar complaints here this morning, last night’s awards got one thing 100% right: the award for Best Animated Short went to Logorama, one of the most spectacular things you’re likely to see in quite a while. The 15-plus-minute film tells a hardboiled action-disaster story in a Los Angeles built …

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