Monday, March 16, 2009

List of stuff to rant about today

Sci-Fi channel changes its name to "SyFy"
This is really really stupid. It's a terrible name for starters. Just awful. They're doing an expensive corporate rebranding of their network when TV budgets on every channel are being forced to trim so that the profits from the entertainment sector can help make up some of the losses in GE's other divisions during the recession. The reason they did it was that they couldn't trademark the term "Sci-Fi". Nor should they, but I can understand wanting to have a brand name for your network that you can own. But if you want to do that, come up with another name for the channel, not some bullshit thing that's spelled like a remedial class third grader's book report. They're trying to make the channel appear less geeky in order to get a wider audience, and that's also dumb. Science Fiction is a popular genre. You're THE channel for it. Stick with it, and let other stations handle the broader stuff. Don't piss off the very people who've been your core audience and paying all your salaries for the last 15 years.

Update: I've recently learned that "Syf" is Polish for syphilis, so SyFy means "syphilis-y". So way to broaden your appeal by naming yourself after a madness causing STD, you must be so proud of your brand marketing dept.

Celebrity Apprentice gets better ratings that Kings
I haven't seen Kings yet. I have it on my hulu queue, and hopefully I'll watch it tonight after work. So far it sounds like very good drama. Every review calls it an intelligent show, and that's especially great since there aren't that many of them out there, but tons of shitty reality shows that bring out the worst and dumbest in people. Today they already have articles discussing the ratings, which of course don't factor in DVR and can't factor in online views. They said that Celebrity Apprentice got better ratings in the same timeslot last week. That's right, the crappy reality show did better. This is a problem on multiple levels. First, that people are choosing that kind of show over good scripted television in the first place. Second, because it shows how dumb the ratings system is. Of course the audience for intelligent shows is going to use their DVR and online viewing more. They're the SMART people, who can work their DVR and Hulu, and often have to set aside time to watch TV. And young people especially, the audience that is much better to hook in many cases, watch things online. For online views you're hitting your target audience precisely. And yet somehow these advertisers and the networks are convinced that it's worthless to spend money on hulu ads, but it's worth millions for them to put them on regular TV when everyone uses that time to get up off their couch and use the bathroom before their show comes back on.

"That's not enough for the weekend."
The junior exec/former assistant in the office and I were chewed out this morning because when the bosses asked what we did over the weekend, they didn't consider a weekend read and notes on a script outline were enough work. Guys, you don't pay benefits, or overtime, and I'm often in the office until past 7:30 or 8pm on weeknights. You get plenty of extra work and time out of us. I understand that there's weekend reading and stuff like that associated with this job, but don't act like you're entitled to more work out of us on a weekend than during a week day. That's us doing extra work during our time off, not a time that we should be able to get more work done without the distraction of having to answer your phone.

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