Friday, September 29, 2006

America's Funniest Viral Videos

I'm shocked. In complete disbelief. Speechless.

Vin Di Bona Productions led the charge for user-generated videos when it Americanized segments from the Japanese series, "Fun with Ken and Kaito Chan," to create "America's Funniest Home Videos."

AFV preemed way back on November 26, 1989, and it was the King for 15 years. It was the outlet for funny and stupid vids from the average Joe.

And then broadband spread like wildfire. Prices on digital video cameras plummeted. Video editing became a snap.

You know the result. YouTube became a sensation. VH1 aired "Web Junk 20." Bravo followed with "Outrageous and Contagious Viral Videos." Even Television Week sends me e-mails with "TVWeek Daily Viral Videos."

And only now Vin Di Bona jumps on the viral video bandwagon? On September 22, 2006 Vin Di Bona Productions filed docs to protect the phrase, "America's Funniest Viral Videos." At least it finally used the "America's Funniest" moniker. Back on January 9, 2006 Vin Di Bona protected the generis phrase "Hilarious Downloads."

I wonder if there was a power struggle with ABC over "America's Funniest."

Just a note for you domain squatters:
  • points to Vin Di Bona Production's home page.
  • is still unregistered.


According to trademark docs filed on September 22, 2006, The Cartoon Network is developing a new show called "Santologia." I confirmed their effort when I found Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. registered on June 15, 2006.

I have to say. This name really threw me for a loop and I immediately e-mailed The Cartoon Network for more info. And, yet again, my e-mail went unanswered. I see a pattern forming already.

Update (16 Nov 2006): It's a good thing that my readers are smarter than me. (Take a look at the comments. Thank you reader!) The show will be about the Mexican superstar wrestler, Santo. The front page on the website,, is also currently available.

strikethrough added on 16 Nov 2006
Let's see what we can figure out on our own.

I Googled Santologia, but that didn't do much for me. On Yahoo! I found a Spanish-language book, primera santologia which has the subtitle select stories on high personages. Hmm...still doesn't help very much.

What if we break the word into two parts Santo and Logia. It's no surprise that Santo means Saint — that's the only reason I separated the word. Logia is Greek for "oracles, divine responses, utterances, or sayings."

A cartoon about a saintly oracle? Maybe "Fairly OddParents" crossed with "Davey & Goliath"? But even funnier? I could see that show on Adult Swim.

Just Jordan

That's the name of a new Viacom show that's in development.

Google returned no real info. E-mails to Viacom about the new show went unanswered, which means one thing. I get to speculate all I want, but take the rest of this post with a grain of salt.

At first I figured MTV was doing another reality series about the solo career of a former boy-band member. The word "Just" fit this idea perfectly. Ashley Parker Angel had another 15 minutes of fame early this year. It just seemed right that Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block would have his turn.

But then I thought about it some more. MTV is known for doing reality-show spin-offs. It would've been perfect if Heidi's ex, Jordan Eubanks, got his own show. "Just Jordan" could've been a spin-off of "The Hills" which was a spin-off of "Laguna Beach." This show would've been right up MTV's programming hot spot since it's filming multiple reality shows in Hawaii.

And then I searched a bit more and read more carefully. On September 20 and 21, 2006, Viacom filed docs to protect names for multiple shows, including "Island Fever" and "Just Jordan." One thing about these filings stuck out. The app for "Just Jordan" specified a series that "featured animation" while all other apps were for live-action series.

So much for my theories.

Update (8 Oct 2006): Since all of the Viacom docs were for MTV shows in development, I'll stick with "Just Jordan" as an MTV show. If you have any thoughts about an animated MTV show called "Just Jordan," I'd love to hear them.

Update (8 Oct 2006): Fortunately one of my readers has a better idea. An animated show on Nick. I'll update the entry if there are additional comments before Viacom's official announcement.

Update (23 Oct 2006): "Just Jordan" is scheduled to preem on Nickelodeon on January 6, 2007.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Live and Learn from TV

I was reading the newly-published patent apps early this morning, and I came across the Educational television broadcast system (20060218614; Published: September 28, 2006). The basic idea is fine — interactive, live education using pay-per-view TV — but I don't really see what's novel about this particular app.

Regardless, let's imagine how the system might work for pre-school children.

Connect your child's LeapFrog system to your TV. Instead of using one of the L-Max Games you purchased, you select a live lesson from LeapFrog's pay-per-view menu. Your child's name/city is transmitted to the on-screen edutainer, and your child enters a new world. Each channel has a maximum number of subscribers so that the edutainer can speak your child's name multiple times during the show.

The TV program is technologically advanced enough to distribute a single visual/audio feed with multiple overlay graphics. Why is this important? Every child sees the same main image and hears the same audio, but the overlay graphic is different for each child based on her interaction with the show! Your child's LeapFrog system decides which overlay graphic to display.

For instance, if the edutainer asks a multiple choice question with four options, your child's LeapFrog selects one of the four overlay graphics based on her answer. But that's not the end of it. All answers are transmitted to the edutainer and she'll decide what's next in the program based on these responses.

With such a system, there are multiple layers of interaction and personalization at a minimal cost to the content provider.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

All Modes Lead to Rome

"Ugly Betty" starts her job this Thursday at Mode, a Manhattan fashion magazine.

I really hope nobody considered calling the show "Betty a la Mode." I just have these horrible visions of writers sitting around a table trying to Americanize "Yo Soy Betty La Fea" with one scribe trying to be punnier than the next at some late-night brainstorming session.

Curious about other shows the features magazines? Match each mag with its series.
Series NameMagazine
1."The Doris Day Show" (CBS, 1968)a.Blush
2."The Hills" (MTV, 2006)b.CrimeWorld
3."Hot Shots" (CBS, 1986)c.Flavor
4."Just Shoot Me" (NBC, 1997)d.The Gate
5."Ladies' Man" (CBS, 1999)e.Stuff
6."Living Single" (Fox, 1993)f.Teen Vogue
7."Madman of the People" (NBC, 1994)g.Today's World
8."The Preston Episodes" (Fox, 1995)h.Women's Life
9."Shirley's World" (ABC, 1971)i.World Illustrated
10."Suddenly Susan" (NBC, 1996)j.Your Times


Monday, September 25, 2006

Monthly Update for trivialTV Schedule Search

I've added four more weeks (8/14/06 - 9/10/06) to the trivialTV Schedule Search database. That's 555 more records, bringing the grand total to 123,136 records for this feature.

Whenever I update the Schedule Search, I also update the Total Tube Time feature in the near right sidebar. Usually there's nothing interesting to mention. This time? ''The Simpsons'' passes ''Friends'' on the sitcom list.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tomorrow Is Another Date

About a month ago, you may have read that "Blind Date" and "Elimidate" were cancelled. Neither will return next Fall.

I read that news with great surprise. With the amount of air time to fill these days, I don't see us being without a lot of dating shows. They're relatively inexpensive. More importantly, if the shows are done the right way, they're kind of like cooking segments on late-night TV — you don't want to turn the channel because you never know what's going to happen next.

Universal TV may fill that empty feeling in TV's heart. On September 13, 2006, it filed trademark docs to protect "Create-a-Date" for "a television dating game show."

UniTV has a great track record of applying for trademarks really early for shows that do eventually reach the airwaves. We might not see the series until next Fall when "Blind Date" and "Elimidate" leave us for good.

Don't Change Agents in Midstream

Back on July 21, Sundance announced a schedule change for early 2007. It plans to unveil Sundance Channel Green as a weekly feature on The Sundance Channel. Channel Green will make Sundance the first US channel to "establish significant, regularly-scheduled programming destination dedicated entirely to the environment."

As you know, nets sometimes announce grand plans like this and don't follow through. So far, it seems like Sundance is staying true to their press. Last week, Sundance filed trademark docs for "Change Agents" — the first series in this block of programming. Sort of an eco-newsmagazine.

New Pollution Is the Better Part of Valour

Here's something for fans of extreme sports. Fuel TV is developing a new show called "New Pollution." Their recent trademark filing isn't very helpful since it simply states that the phrase will be used for "a television series featuring sports."

Like we couldn't have figured that one out for ourselves.

E-mails to Fuel TV requesting additional specific information were not answered.

Update (23 October 2006): "New Pollution" is scheduled to preem on Fuel TV on December 31, 2006.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Cut Your Remote According to Your Sloth

I was reading a new patent application (app: 20060212913; published: 21 Sep, 2006) about a remote control that uses networks/channels instead of numbers. The twist to this patent is simple — the network-to-number conversion table resides in the set-top box instead of the remote.

Initially I thought this idea was a non-starter. My first thought? How can you fit that many network buttons on a remote? But then I thought about it. Niche remotes. Customizable remotes. OK. It might work. Maybe viewers can create personal remotes like the remobeads (via Gizmodo), shown below.

My second thought? Who puts the conversion table in the set-top box? I can see viewers programming the remote themselves, but I can't see a local cable company maintaining the conversion table unless they can make some cash.

And that led me to my third thought. What if your local cable company sold or leased niche remotes, such as child-friendly remotes? Imagine a remote that has logos for PBS, Disney, Nick, Nick Toon, Discovery Kids, the Noggin, and a few others so kids can easily find what they're looking for. Imagine a remote that requires a special combination of button pushes to turn it on so that adults are in control. Imagine a remote that has an internal timer so adults can pre-set viewing time. Imagine a remote that automatically disables the channel up/down buttons on the set-top box so curious children can't find ways of watching things they shouldn't.

Who knows, maybe this patent will be worth something.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Badd Music Travels Fast

Fifteen years ago the #1 song on Billboard's Hot 100 was I Adore Mi Amor by Color Me Badd.

The phrase, "Color Me ____," was definitely not new in the early 90s. People used "Color Me Pink" for ages. In the mid-70s we heard "Color Me Beautiful" for cosmetics. In the early 80s panty hose told women to "Color Me Sheer." I finally understand why women were drawn to Color Me Badd — I knew it wasn't the music, but I didn't make the connection to pop ads back then.

Since the saying has been around forever, TV writers should've been all over "Color Me ____" for ep titles. I was surprised to find only a few:
  • Color Me… (''Sheila Bridges: Designer Living'')
  • Color Me Addams (''The Addams Family'')
  • Color Me Barbra (''Great Performances'')
  • Color Me Dark (''Dear America'')
  • Color Me Dredful (''The Drak Pack'')
  • Color Me Gummi (''Adventures of the Gummi Bears'')
  • Color Me Invisible (''Voltron: Defender of the Universe'')
  • Color Me Piquel (''Bonkers'')
  • Color Me Yellow (''Man About the House'')

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In For a Pinny, In For a Sound

We're now officially seeing version 2.0 of Matt Pinfield. You can find him on VH1 ("VH1's Top 20 Countdown"), HDNet ("Sound Off with Matt Pinfield") and Sirius ("Matt Pinfield Plays Whatever He Wants"). It's almost like the last half of the 90s when he was at the top of MTV.

Is that enough of Matt's music for the masses? Viacom has another wish.

On September 11, 2006 Viacom filed docs with the USPTO to protect the phrase, Pinfield 101.

There's No School Like an Old School

If you watched ''The Class'' on CBS last night or on one of the off-broadcast digital outlets, then you know the pilot ep focused on the 20th reunion of a third grade class from Woodman Elementary School.

Here's your first pop quiz of the new school year. Match each school with its series.
Series NameElementary, Middle or Jr. High School
1."The Bad News Bears" (CBS, 1979)a.John Adams Jr. High
2."Boy Meets World" (ABC, 1993)b.Gerald R. Ford Middle School
3."Drexell's Class (Fox, 1991)c.Grant Elementary
4."The Faculty (ABC, 1996)d.Grantwood Elementary
5."Growing Up Creepie" (Disc Kids, 2006)e.Hamilton Middle School
6."Homeroom" (ABC, 1989)f.Hoover Jr. High School
7."Leave It to Beaver" (CBS, 1957)g.Robert F. Kennedy Jr. High
8."Lizzie McGuire" (Disney, 2001)h.Middlington Middle School
9."Nick Freno Licensed Teacher" (WB, 1996)i.North Hills Jr. High
10."The Secret World of Alex Mack" (Nick, 1994)j.P.S. 391 Elementary School
11."The Wonder Years" (ABC, 1988)k.Paradise Valley Jr. High


Monday, September 18, 2006

trivialTV Ep Vid Finder: Update #01

Today I've added ~900 links to the trivialTV Ep Vid Finder, including 849 links to the following sites:
Toonami Jetstream
adult swim fix
Of course there are some links to CinemaNow shows you can already buy elsewhere, but you might find this update especially interesting since many of the links lead to exclusive FREE full-length eps for:
  • CinemaNow
    • ''Danger Man'' (ITV)
    • ''Graham Kerr's Kitchen''
    • ''Joe 90''
    • ''Liography''/''Liography'' (Comedy Network - Canada)
    • ''Nilus the Sandman''
    • ''Petey & Jaydee''
    • ''Real Life 101'' (Synd)
    • ''ReBoot'' (Cartoon Network)
    • ''Second Chances'' & ''Hotel Malibu'' (CBS): JLo ALERT!
    • ''St. Bear's Hospital''
    • ''The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet'' (ABC)
    • ''The Big Garage''
    • ''The Danny Thomas Show'' (ABC)
    • ''The Dinah Shore Chevy Show'' (NBC)
    • ''The Frank Sinatra Show'' (CBS)
    • ''The Jim Rose Twisted Tour'' (Travel)
    • ''The Longhouse Tales''
    • ''The Protectors'' (Synd)
    • ''The Saint'' (ITV)
    • ''UFO''
  • Toonami Jetstream
    • ''Hikaru no Go''
    • ''Mar''
    • ''Megas XLR''
    • ''Naruto''
    • ''The Prince of Tennis''
  • Adult Swim
    • ''Aqua Teen Hunger Force''
    • ''Korgoth of Barbaria''
    • ''Metalocalypse''
    • ''Paranoia Agent''
    • ''Pee-Wee's Playhouse''
    • ''Robot Chicken''
    • ''Samurai Champloo''
    • ''Squidbillies''
    • ''Stroker & Hoop''
    • ''Tom Goes to the Mayor''
Plus you'll be able to purchase eps of ''Survivor: Cook Islands'' & ''Solitary'' with the choice of renting or buying ''Bikini Destinations.'' And even more.

Enjoy and start here

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Wish Is Father of the Speed

CBS has innertube. Comedy Central has Motherload. E! has The Vine. What do they have in common? They're all great portals to watch streaming content, but you can't download anything.

Looks like Speed Channel may lap them all.

Right now you can watch more than 40 streaming vid clips in the interactive/video section of Speed Channel's site. Not too bad. Soon you may even be able to download clips from the site!

According to documents that it filed with the US Patent & Trademark Office on September 8, 2006, Speed Channel protected the phrase, Speed Garage, for "downloadable television programs and audio visual content."

That says it all.

I have no other information, but I will speculate a little bit:
  • I'm guessing that you'll see Speed Garage in the main menu right next to Speed Store.
  • The main site for Speed Store is, and I would expect the main site for Speed Garage to be I especially think so because is owned by somebody else & and its variations are all still available for purchase.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Exercise Misery Loves Company

I was just reading a new patent application, "Systems for interaction with exercise device" (20060205566; Sept. 14, 2006). The patent app mainly focuses on interaction between a home exercise device and a trainer at some remote location, allowing the trainer to control your treadmill, bike or other torture device. The patent is broad enough that the trainer can even control the tension in your ThighMaster, but I hope it never comes to that. Plus, the trainer can be live, taped or simulated.

Imagine this.

Connect your treadmill to a cable box and turn on the telly. Pick a workout from the FitTV VOD channel. Enjoy your workout!

How is this exercise different than a workout from iFIT? Plenty different.

When you use iFIT, a computer program controls your exercise device and provides music and scenery. What's missing? Interaction. The iFIT workout is all one way. It does the same thing regardless of what you're doing. The trainer shouts the same things at the same time every time.

Interaction is the key to this new patent. Your treadmill will send data to the trainer, and the trainer will respond with context-sensitive instructions and treadmill controls. Just like the gym.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The First Ep Is Always the Hardest

Looking for full-length TV episodes online? Tired of searching multiple sites and coming away with nothing? Or just some short clips?

I understand. And I'm here to help.

Click here to access the trivialTV Ep Finder. So far I've cataloged over 10,000 links to legal, full-length TV eps scattered across the web for you to watch, rent or buy. I'll update the trivialTV Ep Finder weekly so that you always have the most current online guide for TV eps.

In this first release, I've included eps from:
AOL Video
Google Video
Outdoor Action
Peer Impact
TV Land
Unbox (Amazon)

I expect your search for TV eps to only get more difficult. There will probably be six main download centers, each with its own exclusive content. Other copyright holders will develop their own web presence, making it even more difficult to find what you're looking for.

I hope that you'll make trivialTV your first resource in your search. Enjoy!


Monday, September 11, 2006

Hope for the Gr8est — or even the Gr83st — and Prepare for the Wor5t

So far I've tantalized you with a few of the greatest:As you know, anybody who compiles lists of the greatest ______ also needs lists for the worst _______.

I'll soon unveil my version, tv's wor5t ______, where I present the five worst. I don't anticipate ever doing a longer worst list, but if I really feel the need you'll read about tv's w3r5t, where I disclose the 35 worst/werst.

Consider yourself warned.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Unbox(ed): Series You Can't Find Using TV Network Sidebar Links

If you navigate Amazon's Unbox using the network links in the left sidebar, you'll miss more than you think. If you want to see all of the shows, you should use the 'See all TV genres' option rather than navigating their collection network-by-network.

First, you'll find a few networks aren't listed in the network menu. Spike TV and SciFi. That means you'd be missing these shows:
Sometimes the network is listed, but you won't see all of the available shows in the sidebar on the homepage for that network:

Friday, September 08, 2006

A Little Knowledge Is a Rangerous Thing

BVS Entertainment, Inc. filed six docs with the USPTO on August 28, 2006 to protect the phrase, Morphin' Heroes, for multiple classes of goods & services. Surprisingly, is not yet registered — maybe this is an opportunity for you domain squatters.

This latest series of filings covers almost any product that you can imagine having a Power Rangers logo or character. TV shows, action figures, games, cosmetics, Christmas decorations, clothing, sports equipment, electronic gadgets, and stationery products. The usual vast range of products covered by every BVS filing for word marks related to the Power Rangers franchise.

Let the speculation about Morphin' Heroes begin!

Don't Put Off for Tomorrow What Cannon Does Today

''Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ’n Out'' is doing so well on MTV that he's apparently developing another show, ''Nick Cannon Presents: Short Circuitz.'' Viacom filed docs with the USPTO on August 30 for the new television series.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Vid Day Report

Amazon's Unbox Video is live. Typical price to buy an ep. Each series and each episode is assigned its own ASIN; so I'll easily be able to add links in the trivialTV database.

AOL's in2tv did its monthly housecleaning and changed its collection a little bit. They introduced (or re-introduced):
  • "The Ben Stiller Show"
  • "The DA" (2004)
  • "Gilligan's Island"
  • "Kirk"
  • "Max Headroom"
  • "The Office" (1995)
  • "Police Academy"
  • "The Real Gilligan's Island"
They removed:
  • "Thieves"
  • "Tom"
  • "The Will"
from the 'All Episodes' listing, but they're still available if you know the show home pages. (We'll see how long that lasts.) in2tv also reshuffled eps for all other series.

Looks like I have a lot of work this weekend!

Pilots on a Plane

Flying home from Cleveland today, the plane's video monitors showed eps of ''Four Kings,'' ''Joey'' and ''Out of Practice'' to fill air time after the featured selection. While I spied passengers actually watch these crappy shows, I had a thought.

During pilot season, network execs should screen TV pilots on airplanes for viewer feedback.

I know your first thoughts. "That's an awful idea. The monitors are small. You have to wear headphones. Video and audio quality suck. You're interrupted by pilot announcements, flight attendants with food service, and fellow passengers with bathroom issues."

I had those same thoughts, but then I really thought about it. Just hear me out.
  • Audience Interaction: Right now when studios screen pilot eps, they usually show the eps in a conference hall or movie theater to a large audience. That's a fine idea for screening movies because moviegoers are meant to see the flick in the same environment — surrounded by and feeding off the reaction of other viewers. But TV is different. You don't watch it in a group; so why should you see the pilot with a vastly different audience dynamic? If you watch pilots on a plane, you'll experience the ep by yourself or, maybe, with one other person. That sounds about right for TV audiences — shows now average 1.2-1.6 viewers/household for network series. You'll never be able to watch pilots in your home because of secrecy and security issues, but studios can still strictly control distribution if they show pilots on a plane.

  • Interruptions: Are you worried that those plane interruptions will cause havoc and ruin your viewing experience? Sure, theater screenings don't allow as many opportunities for disruption, but how often do you watch a TV show at home without any distractions? No kids, no pets, no phone calls, no e-mail, no nothing. Hardly ever? That's what I thought. Pilots on a plane become even more desirable if each seat has its own video monitor — that way you can watch the show as if you were at home watching TV with a DVR.

  • Demographics: I've never designed or arranged a screening for TV pilots, but I assume that the studios would like to get 18-45 year-old big-time consumers to attend these screenings. That has to be hard. If they're frequent consumers, they're probably out working or buying stuff instead of attending a free screening. I assume that air travelers match the desired network demographics more closely than the people who currently attend theater screenings.

  • Money: No idea has legs if money — OK, greed — is not a prime motivator. Studios should save significant cash by showing pilots on a plane. No room rental. No audience recruiters. Studios can use a built-in theater with a captive audience. Airlines should earn some much-needed cash from studios since the airlines act as middle men. Passengers are not required to participate, but they can receive rewards — free drinks, frequent flier miles, tix for a raffle for free airfare.
Seems to me like pilots on a plane is a win-win-win situation for the studios, airlines and viewers.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Football for One and One for Football

Since the new football season kicks off tomorrow night on NBC, I reckon it's time to bring this trivial tidbit out of the locker room.

A lot of odd things happen on Monday Night Football. Here's one historial MFN oddity I haven't read about yet.

Eighteen years ago (9/5/1988), the New York Giants beat the Washington Redskins 27-20 in the Giants home (and season) opener on MNF. Why is this odd? Two seasons earlier (10/27/1986) the Giants beat the Redskins by the same score, 27-20, at Giants Stadium on MNF. Talk about deja vu!

It's the only time in MNF history that two football teams played in the same stadium and finished with the same score. That's 556 games and one odd replay.

You'll be happy to know that the same-score, same-opponent phenomena occurred two other times — but in different stadiums.
    Atlanta Falcons 14, Philadelphia Eagles 10
    (9/10/1979 @ Philly; 9/12/2005 @ Atlanta)

    Dallas Cowboys 21, Philadelphia Eagles 20
    (9/15/1997 @ Dallas; 11/14/2005 @ Philly)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Scoreboard Update

Over the last six weeks I've added 1,552 series to the trivialTV database, bringing the grand total to 12,806. I've also confirmed preem dates for 186 of these series.

Just a programming note. On Wednesday I'll post this week's trivia during the early evening rather than very early in the morning.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Wa$te Not, Mo$t Wanted

Jupiter Entertainment, Inc. is developing a new women's lifestyle series, "Mo$t Wanted."

You might not know Jupiter by name, but you probably know its shows — "Tools of the Trade" (Nat Geo), "Relentless" (Oxygen), "Snapped" (Oxygen), "City Confidential" (A&E), "Modern Marvels" (History) and "Biography" (Biography).

Birds of a Feather Knock the Hustle Together

Hadji J.S. Williams' book, Knock the Hustle: How to Save Your Job and Your Life from Corporate America, may soon be a TV series. On August 24, 2006 Mr. Williams filed docs with the USPTO to protect the phrase, Knock the Hustle, with the following note:
Currently being used as the title for a series books--need to secure the phrase for exclusive use for upcoming television show and movie.
'nuff said.