Showtime’s addictive “The Tudors” ends its 2nd season in eerie enough fashion. Queen Anne gets her head handed to her (literally) while Henry gorges himself on some kind of white-swan-carcass covered meat pie as he gazes through the camera like ‘lil Alex in “A Clockwork Orange.” Can’t wait for season 3 when the king really starts getting grumpy…
Something to Watch Dept
Monday brings an interesting deal announcement in which Sci Fi Channel and gaming company Trion World Network will partner with NBCU’s net to co-develop “a new entertainment franchise across both interactive and traditional media formats.” Apparently, the duo will co-develop a video game/TV show, with the content on each platform sharing the same fictional universe. The company brass says the cross-platform design will allow the storyline and the universe to grow and expand over time, building depth and dynamically evolving the world. No word on the type of show being contemplated. But if executed well, this could become a great experiment in audience engagement and interactivity just as tru2way’s deal with Sony accelerates the leap to 2-way receivers built directly into TVs and any number of other devices. Sci Fi should be in a good position to capitalize on all of this as it comes to fruition. And in the meantime, the youth demo it will no doubt target with Trion is already watching TV while tapping away on a laptop—why not watch while playing away on a laptop, right? Trion co-founder/CEO Lars Buttler, didn’t waste any time inviting other nets to come calling: “We are laying the foundation for an exciting new co-development model between top cable entertainment and lifestyle brands such as SCI FI and connected game and interactive entertainment companies such as Trion.” If Sci Fi and Trion pull this off, don’t be surprised to see others follow. We’re thinking a “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” game connected to Cartoon Network/TNT’s airing of that highly anticipated series might be a no brainer.
In an intriguing effort toward ratings convergence, Nielsen and NBCU have teamed up to create new sales metrics around Nielsen’s “fusion”-branded products, which tie together data on TV ratings, streaming Internet video and databases on consumer activity for broader categories like packaged good, automotive, etc. “In this case, the development of the fusion metrics will enable us to more accurately pair NBC Universal’s unique media properties with high-value consumers for our advertisers,” said NBCU pres, research Alan Wurtzel. As advertisers demand more precise measurability, they have also asked for more wholistic reporting that takes into account metrics from multiple platforms. It will be interesting to see how advertisers react to Monday’s NBCU-Nielsen announcement, and whether the effort satisfies their voracious appetite for converged data.
Carats and Sticks
Everyone’s buzzing about the shuffle late last week over at Carat Digital Exchange, a popular forum that periodically brings together thought leaders in the advertising world. Founder Mitch Oscar informed exchange members Fri that he’s leaving the agency and continuing the exchange under a new name. But that was immediately followed by a missive from Carat announcing that the exchange would live on without Mitch under a new, broader focus including social networking, mobile, search marketing, digital TV, etc… No word on whether Oscar will indeed start a new exchange under a different name. But as the cable industry often says, competition is good.
A More Flexible Acrobat
It’s not going to get massive coverage by the cable trade press, but cable content mavens should take notice that Adobe’s new version of its ubiquitous “Acrobat” software includes a video component. The addition of a Flash Player within Acrobat means that PDF documents could now include video (we’re not quite sure how that will print, but we digress). If anyone in cable needed further proof that viral video promotion of cable content must take multiple and highly flexible forms, consider that once unassuming PDF docs may soon include the latest trailer for “The Closer.” And for those of us who put together daily newsletters called CableFAX, we’ll try to resist the urge to embed the latest episode of “The CableFAX Show” within the document. Really, we’ll try.
to Discovery for getting The New York Times to publish a big piece on Monday about the launch of Planet Green, which bows at 6 pm on Wed night. Annie Howell and the gang over there must know what they’re doing.