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Network presidents: No threat from iPod

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “You can’t let the cart pull the horse,” NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly said. “You still need a sun for the planets to revolve around.” Quizzed by moderator Dennis Miller about various other topics, the executives admitted that programming on Saturday nights remains a problem with viewership on that night at record lows. The networks are either airing repeat episodes of their prime-time hits or running movies. “Right now, it is a challenge,” said CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler, whose network once ruled the night with classic comedies like “All in the Family” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” “We all look at Saturday and say, ‘What are we going to do about that?”‘ McPherson, whose network is decades past its glory days of “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island,” said that on Saturday nights, “you aren’t going to put huge amounts of marketing into it because we’re not sure what the upside is anymore.” While viewers have all but abandoned Saturday nights, the panel does not believe they will be abandoning reality shows anytime soon despite more failures in the genre and ratings drops for such stalwart franchises as “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race.” “I think reality is going to thrive and survive,” said UPN President Dawn Ostroff, whose network’s “America’s Next Top Model” has enjoyed a ratings bump. “The strong franchises are doing well for all of us.” With a network that airs “The Biggest Loser” and two versions of “The Apprentice” starring Donald Trump and Martha Stewart, respectively, NBC’s Reilly believes reality is just settling into the television landscape the same way that other types of shows have over the years. “The genre is just getting in line with the rest of television,” he said. “The feeding frenzy is over.” Added Tassler: “We had the death of drama, the death of comedy and now we’re having the death of reality. It’s finally matured and earned the right to be dead.” Greg Hernandez, (818) 713-3758 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BEVERLY HILLS – In the wake of Apple Computer Inc.’s unveiling of its new video iPod, the presidents of the six broadcast networks said Wednesday that they welcome such new technology and do not perceive it as a threat to their business. “It is a 2.5-inch screen and while it’s an amazing device, it’s not something you’re going to sit around with the whole family and watch,” said ABC Entertainment President Stephen McPherson, whose network’s shows including “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” are the first to be offered as part the video iPod’s pay-per-download feature. McPherson and the other presidents addressed new technology and a host of other topics at The Hollywood Radio and Television Society’s Newsmakers Luncheon at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel. The executives acknowledged that new forms of technology are rapidly changing the entertainment industry but said creative content providers have to focus on good product and let the various new distribution channels slug it out for themselves. last_img

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