The Glass House controversy is bad news for reality TV

The recent spat between ABC and CBS over the former’s new reality series The Glass House, which CBS alleges is a rip off of Big Brother, undermines the protection of formats and has potentially damaging long-term consequences. So says entertainment lawyer Jonathan Coad, founder and director of the International Format Lawyers Association and a partner […]

DISH’s AutoHop move could smash an US$11 billion hole in the US TV business model

Adam Thomas, Media Research Manager, Informa Telecoms & Media In the 1970s, English soccer enforcer Norman Hunter gained an iconic status for extolling the virtues of “getting your retaliation in first.” And so it was that yesterday pay TV operator DISH and three of the major US TV networks (FOX, CBS and NBC) all rushed […]

Getting creative wth eBooks

Kevin Gillis, CEO, Skyreader Media on creating content for interactive eBooks As we begin to create for the new interactive eBook platform, producers are searching for new ways to use today’s technology. Initial approaches have been to reinvent long-proven traditional content – whether it’s public domain material or books that have existed in the traditional […]

Producers and distributors: we need to talk

Richard Life, head of acquisitions & coproductions, ITV Studios Global Entertainment The holy grail of our business will always be that gem of a programme which sells…everywhere. But whilst that one consistent remains true everything else is changing. In the UK alone there are over 30 distributors but the number of producers who remain independent […]

History with a twist

David McNab, creative director for Wide-Eyed Entertainment on bringing an interesting twist to history programming. For factual TV producers, history surely offers more creative possibilities than any other genre. There are many ways to tell a story from the past – from reality or “living” history through to Ridley Scott epics, on a micro budget […]

Time for a teen takeover at BBC Three?

The news that BBC Three boss Danny Cohen has been promoted to controller of UK public broadcaster the BBC’s flagship channel BBC One comes as no surprise; despite BBC Vision boss Jana Bennett’s recent assertions that Cohen would continue to run the youth-skewing network, it was obvious to most that he was being primed for […]

A coproduction conundrum

Genevieve Dexter, commercial director, CAKE Entertainment One of the hot topics currently in the UK is the need for increased funding to sustain the UK children’s content production industry. Bringing the production back to the UK is not helped by producers groups that specialise in children’s television programmes lobbying for, what is ultimately, self interest. […]

DCD Media CEO David Green on the reality of reality programming in the US

My favourite 90’s trade ad, for the legendary Sunset Marquis hotel in Los Angeles, read: ‘Our hotel is so Hollywood that the pool is shallow at both ends’. Specifically targeted at the bi-annual Cannes TV market, it cleverly played into the international perception of a parade of endless crass and downmarket TV and film products […]

TV should get on board with the pirates…

says The Pirate’s Dilemma author Matt Mason “Well, if you’re wondering what happened… so am I,” exclaimed flustered sports reporter Dan Roan on WGN-TV on November 22, 1987, after a TV pirate dressed as 80s TV icon Max Headroom hijacked the station’s signal. The pirate’s silent transmission jammed the nightly news for twenty seconds, which […]

‘Presenting’ natural history…

Natural history films are notoriously expensive to make. Sending a film crew half way around the world, normally with specialist kit like underwater cameras, infra red lights, camera traps, high access equipment and boxes of anti venom, to sit for weeks in a hide, or to bob on a boat waiting to document some uncooperative […]