Friday, December 29, 2006

A Ford to the Wise

I was at the library today doing some research about '70s TV and came across this timely gem.

Exactly 32 years ago, America started to view "Gerald Ford's America" (PBS, 12/29/1974). Today, America started to view Gerald Ford.

And if you know your Michigan history — I have to know these things since Wolverine fans are converging on Pasadena yet again — you'd know that Gerald Ford won his first major contest in '32 as a member of Michigan's national championship football team.

Keep Your Fingerprints Crossed

Only one newly-published patent application really jumped out at me today — Fingerprint-based technique for surveying an audience (20060294537). It's a long-winded patent that discusses different ways to use fingerprints to monitor viewing habits of multiple persons. The entire patent hinges on audience members using a fingerprint reading device.

I don't really think that my girlfriend would pass her hand over some device as she leaves the apartment to go swimming while "Scrubs" is playing on Comedy Central just so the audience monitor knows she's not watching anymore. I appreciate the desire for more accurate audience identification, but the ideal device really has to be passive rather than active. I guess the fingerprint reader is easier (and more accurate) than a journal or some other active method, but it's not the Holy Grail.

As I was reading the patent, one thing did strike me though. What if Scientific Atlanta put a fingerprint reader in my remote control? They could collect our household viewing habits and know whether I, my girlfriend or somebody else changed the channel. And if Scientific Atlanta also put a smart proximity sensor in the remote, it would know when the channel changer — the person, not the remote — leaves the room and comes back.

All that data and I wouldn't have to change the way I watch TV.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

It's a Mystery to Me

There must have been something in the water that made execs think about movies. On the same day that HDNet filed paperwork with the USPTO to protect a tagline for a series of movies, WE: Women's Entertainment also filed docs for movies. What will WE call its "ongoing series featuring films and commentary?" Real Mysteries

The Slogan Behind the Story

Great stories well told.

If you're an HDNet fan, you'll probably see that tagline everywhere in the coming year. On December 18, 2006 HDNet LLC filed docs with the USPTO to protect that phrase for "entertainment in the nature of on-going television programs in the field of movies."

Blog Like an Egyptian

Twenty years ago, The Bangles' Walk Like an Egyptian was the #1 hit in America. Surprisingly, TV writers didn't really pay homage to this song until the late '90s. Maybe that means a bunch of teenagers loved the song and then told the world about their youth as 20-something writers.

What else do people do like Egyptians?
  • Slide Like an Egyptian (''Sliders,'' 1/17/1997)
  • Sleep Walk Like an Egyptian (''Mummies Alive!,'' 9/16/1997)
  • Stalk Like an Egyptian (''Big Wolf on Campus,'' 6/11/1999)
  • Clock Like an Egyptian (''Cyberchase,'' 1/31/2002)
  • Shop Like an Egyptian (''Time Squad,'' 2/1/2002)
  • Die Like an Egyptian (''Killer Instinct,'' 10/28/2005)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

trivialTV Ep Vid Finder: Update #09

I'm still doing some quality control for this update and the pages aren't quite ready yet, but I thought I'd tell you now what you should expect to see tomorrow morning.

In this update I added more than 3650 links and nearly 2500 new eps. The trivialTV Ep Vid Finder now contains almost 21,000 links to legal, full-length eps online.

The following shows are new to the trivialTV Ep Vid Finder since the last update:
  • A variety of theatrial episodic series. (Many of these appeared later on TV.)
  • "1945" (Unbox)
  • "Arrested Development" (Fox; MSN)
  • "Assy McGee" (adult swim)
  • "Atom Ant" (NBC; Hanna-Barbera)
  • "Battlestar Galactica" season 1 (ABC 1978; iTunes)
  • "Brandy & Mr. Whiskers" (Disney)
  • "Brothers & Sisters" (ABC)
  • "Buzz Lightyear of Star Command" (ABC; Disney)
  • "Cheerleader Nation" (Lifetime; iTunes)
  • "Clean House" seasons 4 & 5 (style; iTunes)
  • "Cold Case Files" multiple eps (A&E; Unbox)
  • "The Cosby Show" seasons 1 & 2 (NBC; Unbox)
  • "Dan Cruickshank" (BBC; MovieLink)
  • "The Dick Van Dyke Show" season 1 (CBS; CinemaNow)
  • "The Fabulous Adventures of Mister Magoo" (NBC; MovieLink)
  • "The Flintstones" season 2 (ABC; iTunes, Unbox, AOL Video)
  • "Flip This House" (A&E; Unbox)
  • "Great Ships" (History; CinemaNow)
  • "Hong Kong Phooey" (ABC; Hanna-Barbera)
  • "The Incredible Hulk" season 1 (CBS 1978; iTunes)
  • "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" (ABC; iTunes)
  • "Lilo & Stitch" (Disney)
  • "Lincoln Heights" (ABC Family; ABC)
  • "Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead" (Lifetime; iTunes)
  • "Lovespring International" (Lifetime; iTunes)
  • "Magilla Gorilla" (ABC; Hanna-Barbera)
  • "Manhunt: Search for America's Most Gorgeous Model" (Bravo; Outzone)
  • "Mysteries of the Bible" multiple eps (History; Unbox)
  • "Nick News" (Nick)
  • "Off the Leash" (Lifetime; iTunes)
  • "Peter Potamus" (ABC; Hanna-Barbera)
  • "Phil of the Future" (Disney)
  • "Pimp My Ride" season 3 (MTV; iTunes)
  • "Pixie and Dixie" (Syn; Hanna-Barbera)
  • "Precious Pupp" (Hanna-Barbera)
  • "Quick Draw McGraw Show" (ABC; Hanna-Barbera)
  • "Roseanne" seasons 1 & 2 (ABC; Unbox)
  • "Saturday Night Live" season 1 (NBC; iTunes)
  • "Secret Squirrel" (NBC; Hanna-Barbera)
  • "Sleeper Cell: American Terror" ep 1 (Showtime; CinemaNow, Unbox, MovieLink)
  • "Snagglepuss" (CBS; Hanna-Barbera)
  • "Space Ghost: Coast to Coast" (Cartoon; swim fix)
  • "Split Ends" (style; iTunes)
  • "Squiddly Diddly" (Hanna-Barbera)
  • "Touche Turtle" (Syn; Hanna-Barbera)
  • "twentyfourseven" (MTV; iFilm)
  • "Veronica Mars" season 3 (CW; iTunes)
  • "Voltron: Defender of the Universe" (Syn; adult swim fix)
  • "Wally Gator" (Syn; Hanna-Barbera)
  • "What About Brian?" season 2 (ABC)
  • "What's New Mister Magoo?" (CBS; MovieLink)
  • "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?" season 5 (style; iTunes)

The following shows are no longer available (mostly in2tv & swim fix):
  • "12 oz. Mouse"
  • "Animaniacs"
  • "The Big O"
  • "Day Break"
  • "Freakazoid"
  • "Frisky Dingo"
  • "Korgoth of Barbaria"
  • "Night Visions"
  • "The Nightmare Room"
  • "Paranoia Agent"
  • "Pinky & the Brain"
  • "Romeo"
  • "Samurai Champloo"
  • "That Girl"
  • "Thieves"
  • "Tom"
  • "Too Something"/"New York Daze"
  • "The Will"

Here is the summary of this update, including the new sites I've added:
  • ABC: typical update
  • adult swim fix: typical update
  • AOL Video: typical update. these shows are new for this service:
    • "Animatrix"
    • "Babylon 5" seasons 1 & 2
    • "Dukes of Hazzard" season 1
    • "Friends" seasons 2 & 3
    • "The Jetsons"
    • "MAD TV"
    • "The West Wing" seasons 1 & 2

  • CBS innertube: typical update
  • CinemaNow: typical update. these shows are new for this service:
    • "America's Castles"
    • "Biography"
    • "Criss Angel: Mindfreak" season 1
    • "Digging for the Truth" season 1
    • "Fat Actress"
    • "Free for All"
    • "In Search of History"
    • "The L Word" season 2
    • "Modern Marvels"
    • "Sleeper Cell" season 1

  • Disney Channel: just added
  • Fox MySpace: typical update
  • GUBA: no new content
  • Hanna-Barbera: just added
  • ifilm: just added, including these shows free:

    • "Aeon Flux"
    • "The Andy Milonakis Show"
    • "Beavis and Butthead"
    • "Blowin' Up"
    • "Coming Out Stories"
    • "Jackass"
    • "Jacob and Joshua: Nemesis Rising"
    • "Laguna Beach" season 1
    • "My Super Sweet 16" season 1
    • "Noah's Arc"
    • "Open Bar"
    • "Pimp My Ride" seasons 1 & 4
    • "Punk'd" seasons 1, 2, 3 & 7
    • "Real Momentum"
    • "The Real World: Austin"
    • "The Ride: Seven Days to End AIDS"
    • "Rob & Big"
    • "The State"
    • "Viva La Bam"
    • "Wild 'n Out" season 1
    • "Wildboyz" seasons 1 & 2
    • "Wonder Showzen"

  • in2tv: updated since integrated w/AOL
  • iTunes: typical update
  • site not working; will monitor.
  • MovieLink: just added
  • MSN Video: just "AD"
  • NBC Rewind: typical update
  • Outdoor Action: additional eps of all shows
  • Outzone: just added
  • peer impact: no new content
  • tbs: just added
  • toonami jetstream: typical update
  • TurboNick: typical update
  • TV Land: no new content
  • Unbox: typical update
    • "30 Days" season 2
    • "The Animatrix"
    • "Drawn Together" season 3
    • "Fairly OddParents"
    • "Horsepower TV"
    • "South Park" seasons 4 & 10
    • "Trucks"

Friday, December 22, 2006

TV's Cr42y Year of Death

Did one of your fave TV characters die in '06? Chances are pretty good since the telly killed off people in unprecedented numbers. And viewers noticed — tv squad, ew, pop candy and many others, I'm sure.

Well, I've been keeping track this year. I may have missed a few, but I recorded 42 significant deaths in 2006. (OK. I'll be honest. I searched until I found 42 because I've been looking for an excuse to use cr42y in the title of a list.)

Instead of playing favorites, I just present you with a list by date of death. These TV characters died in 2006 (with links to iTunes for some):Starting today I've added TV deaths to the list of TV events (births, weddings) that I memorialize daily at the top of the near-right sidebar.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Exes & Ohs and Virgins

About a week ago, Viacom filed trademark docs to protect two phrases related to television — Exes & Ohs and Suburban Virgin.

Maybe you've been following the online story of "One woman's experiences turning a short film into a television series..." Maybe you haven't, which means you don't know that "Exes & Ohs" will be a new, six-episode series on Viacom's Logo in 2007.

What about "Suburban Virgin?" It could be a TV version of the 2004 Nordic film, but I don't know and couldn't find anything relevant. (Although I'm shocked that the domain name is still available.) I received no reply from Viacom regarding my inquiry about "Suburban Virgin."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Every Claus Has a Silver Lined Bag

Last year I wrote about eps that referred to the Christmas song, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus. This year I offer another musical gift. An oldie, but a goodie. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town:
  • Anti-Claus Is Coming to Town (''Big Wolf on Campus,'' 12/14/2001)
  • Placenta Claus Is Coming to Town (''L.A. Law,'' 12/14/1989)
  • Salmonella Is Coming to Town (''Anything But Love,'' 12/18/1991)
  • Santa Claus Is Coming to Steele (''Remington Steele,'' 2/18/1986)
  • Suzie Claus Is Coming to Town (''Rocky Road,'' 12/23/1985)

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Late Night Guests: Second Fiddles

I was watching ''Late Night with Conan O'Brien'' last night and Tony Bennett mentioned something in passing. He said he was on Johnny Carson's debut ep of ''The Tonight Show.'' That is wild, weird stuff. I did not know that.

And that got me thinking. The first guest of a new late-night talkshow gets all the accolades for making a sacrifice, but the other early guests take chances, too. Most of us probably know that Bill Murray has turned himself into the consummate First Guest.® I don't know about you, but I couldn't name a single second guest.

Here is the list of second guests on network late-night talkshows that preemed in the last 15 years:
  • ''The Tonight Show with Jay Leno'' (Shanice)
  • ''Late Night with Conan O'Brien'' (Drew Barrymore)
  • ''The Late Show with David Letterman'' (Billy Joel)
  • ''Later with Greg Kinnear'' (N/A. only one guest)
  • ''The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder'' (Robert & Kathleen Gingrich)
  • ''The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn'' (Heidi Klum)
  • ''Last Call with Carson Daly'' (N/A. only one guest)
  • ''Jimmy Kimmel Live'' (Warren Sapp)
  • ''The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson'' (Nicole Sullivan)

Monday, December 18, 2006

trivialTV Schedule Finder: Monthly Update

I added 564 more records to the trivialTV Schedule Finder for the most recent four weeks. There's no change in the lists for Total Tube Time (near right sidebar), but "L&O: SVU" is slowly gaining on the bottom spot — by the end of March "L&O: SVU" should overtake "Touched by an Angel."

This update is almost a full day later than planned because I spent the weekend performing quarterly d/b normalization, which is always a painful and tedious — but necessary — process. You won't notice many differences, but I did correct some minor errors.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Conversational Advertising

I was reading newly-published patent applications today and I came across "Methods and Apparatus for Conversational Advertising" (App #20060282317).

The patent isn't quite what I expected. The 2317 patent app simply covers methods by which users interact with computer-based ads served by automated agents in exchange for a reward. No big deal. Some company pays you to interact with its advertising rather than being a passive viewer.

Now let me tell you about my first thought when I read the words, Conversational Advertising. I imagined walking around with a little black box on my belt that monitors my conversations. Every morning my black box told me about ad opportunities specifically for me, based on media and products I had consumed in the previous week. Whenever I mentioned a participating product during normal conversation, the black box detected and recorded the instance. At the end of the day I connected my black box to the internet and the value of my reward was calculated based on the quality of my conversational ads and the number of listeners to whom I delivered these ads.

That's right. I simply saw each one of us as a potential talking billboard to generate fake word-of-mouth buzz. It's often quite fun being naive about the meaning of new buzzwords.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Looks like NASCAR is developing another revenue stream.

On December 4, 2006 NASCAR filed documents with the USPTO for the phrase "Ride Shotgun," specifically for "television subscription broadcasting services." Can't you see it now? You'll have the chance to plunk down some hard-earned cash to watch the race from the vantage point of a camera in the passenger seat next to your fav driver. I'd love to have two-way voice communication just so I could heckle a driver for the entire race.

One More Knight

Lifetime recently cancelled "Lovespring International" and "Angela's Eyes" and pushed "Monarch Cove" out of primetime. With these three shows on the way out, what's in the pipeline?

You can read about some upcoming shows in MultiChannel News' interview with Lifetime President, Susanne Daniels (11 Dec 2006). Of course, Ms. Daniels didn't reveal everything. In the interview she unveils news about "Hello, Goodbye" which she says
is set at an airport. It's basically the comings and goings of people at an airport, but it's very emotional and is something that will appeal to women.
But she didn't tell you about another reality show being developed, "7 Dates, One Knight."

On December 1, 2006 Lifetime Entertainment Services filed docs with the USPTO to protect "Hello, Goodbye" and "7 Dates, One Knight." Since "Hello, Goodbye" is shooting its pilot next week, I assume that a pilot for "7 Dates" won't be far behind.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Bergeron Who Stole the Christmas Special

Did you watch the 40th Anniversary of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" last night? I didn't really want to see Tom Bergeron — especially not that much of him. I kind of wish somebody had stolen him instead.

Even though "The Grinch" is such a big part of pop culture, I'm guessing fewer than 5.5 million people tuned in this year. The average joe might not be as captivated by "The Grinch" anymore, but TV writers sure are. Here's a sample of TV ep titles that pay homage to that green guy:
  • Frasier Grinch (''Frasier,'' 12/19/1995)
  • How Lily Stole Christmas (''How I Met Your Mother,'' 12/11/2006)
  • How Scrinchip Stole Christmas (''Hello Kitty's Furry Tale Theater'')
  • How the Finch Stole Christmas (''ER,'' 12/16/1999)
  • How the Finch Stole Christmas (''Just Shoot Me!,'' 12/15/1998)
  • How the Ghosts Stole Christmas (''The X-Files,'' 12/13/1998)
  • How the Grinch Stole Florida (''Hype,'' 11/26/2000)
  • How the Super Stole Christmas (''The PJs,'' 12/17/1999)
  • The Big How the Ex Stole Christmas Episode (''Half & Half,'' 12/15/2003)
  • The Crybaby Who Stole Christmas (''Nikki,'' 12/17/2000)
  • The Finster Who Stole Christmas (''All Grown Up,'' 12/7/2004)
  • The Mom That Stole Christmas (''The Geena Davis Show,'' 12/19/2000)
  • The Thief Who Stole Christmas (''Dog the Bounty Hunter,'' 5/30/2006)
  • The Wood Who Stole Christmas (''Evening Shade,'' 12/17/1990)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Common Threads #9

What do these TV series have in common?
  • "Jungle Jim" (Syn, 1955)
  • "Troubleshooters" (NBC, 1959)
  • "The Star Games" (Syn, 1985)
  • "More Than a Game" (Syn, 1997)
  • "Flip Flop Shop" (2001)
  • "KidHealth" (PBS, 2002)

Monday, December 11, 2006

trivialTV Ep Vid Finder: Update #08

In this update I added more than 550 links and nearly 400 new eps. The following shows are new to the trivialTV Ep Vid Finder since the last update:
  • "Beach Patrol: Miami Beach" (Court TV; iTunes)
  • "Blue's Clues" season 2 (Nick; iTunes)
  • "Body of Evidence" (Court TV; iTunes)
  • "Cheyenne" (MTV; iTunes)
  • "Corkscrewed The Wrath of Grapes" (Fox Reality; iTunes)
  • "Decoding the Past" (History; AOL Video)
  • "Engineering an Empire" (History; AOL Video)
  • "The First 48" season 3 (A&E; iTunes)
  • "Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law" (Adult Swim; iTunes)
  • "The Investigators" (Court TV; iTunes)
  • "Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl" (?; AOL Video)
  • "Lost Worlds" (History; AOL Video)
  • "Murder by the Book" (Court TV; iTunes)
  • "My Bare Lady" (Fox Reality; iTunes)
  • "My Boys" (tbs; AOL Video)
  • "My Name Is Earl" (NBC; NBC Rewind)
  • "One Punk Under God" (Sundance; iTunes)
  • "Psychic Detectives" season 4 (Court TV; iTunes)
  • "Robot Chicken" season 1 (Adult Swim; iTunes)
  • "Sheep in the Big City" season 1 (Cartoon Net; iTunes)
  • "Shootout" (History; AOL Video)
  • "Sliders" seasons 1 & 2 (Fox; iTunes)
  • "Space Ghost Coast to Coast" (Cartoon Net; iTunes)
  • "Supernatural" season 2 (CW; iTunes)
  • "10 Items or Less" (tbs; AOL Video)
  • "That Girl" (ABC; TV Land)
  • "Tremors" (SciFi; iTunes)
  • "Twentyfourseven" (MTV; iTunes)

iTunes removed the following shows:
  • "A Baby Story" (TLC)
  • "Corwin's Quest" (Animal Planet)
  • "Cyberchase" (PBS)
  • "Horse Power: Road to the Maclay" (Animal Planet)
  • "Most Haunted" (Travel)
  • "Rides" (TLC)
  • "The Save-Ums!" (TLC)
  • "Shalom in the Home" (TLC)
  • "World's Best" (Travel)

Here is the summary of this update:
  • abc: typical update
  • AOL Video: typical update. these series are new for the service:
    • "My Super Sweet Sixteen" (season 1)
    • "NYPD Blue" (season 1)
    • "Wonder Showzen" (season 2)

  • cbs innertube: typical update. removed "The New Adventures of Old Christine"
  • cinemanow: no new content
  • fox/myspace: typical update. removed "The OC"
  • GUBA: typical update. these series are new for the service:
    • "Dr. Keith Ablow" (nine eps)
    • "Friends" (seasons 2 & 3)
    • "Tyra Banks Show" (eight eps)
    • "The West Wing" (seasons 1 & 2)

  • in2tv: no updated content for December
  • itunes typical update. these series are new for the service:
    • "Babylon Five" (season 2)
    • "Celebrity Paranormal Project"
    • "Smith"

  • iwatchnow: no new content
  • nbc rewind: typical update
  • outdoor action: no new content
  • peer impact: no new content
  • tv land: typical update. "I Pity the Fool" full length vids removed.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Visitors vs. Links

In August 2006 I painstakingly harvested data to investigate the relationship between # of links and vistors/day and the effect of syndicates. I've only shared the data with a few friends so far, but one of them has been hounding me to share the plot with a wider audience. With Matthew Hurst's post about Readers Or Links over at Data Mining today, I decided it's worth going off-topic for a day. So here's the plot:

I only included sites that used sitemeter with public data access and that were registered with technorati. Nearly 1800 different sites are represented in the figure.

How is this data related to trivialTV? Back in August trivialTV was struggling and I needed a tactic to increase readership, but I didn't have the data to formulate a sound plan. So I harvested. The data showed that trivialTV was maxed out for visitors/day for the # of incoming links at the time — trivialTV was at the top end of the distribution (vertically). That simple piece of info told me that trivialTV was well-optimized for search engine traffic and that I had to focus on links.

Friday, December 08, 2006


Yesterday the USPTO published a patent app (20060273522) from Broadcast Sports Inc., entitled Camera mounting system for sports goal structures. Why should you care? And who's Broadcast Sports?

Trust me. You know about Broadcast Sports. Do you remember football's TurfCam? Have you watched baseball's DiamondCam? Let me jog your memory.
  • TurfCam (2005): excerpt from link appears below
    Broadcast Sports Inc. of Odenton operated 12 tiny cameras, known as TurfCams, as part of Fox Sports' coverage at Super Bowl XXXIX.

    Eight of the dime-sized cameras were implanted in the orange pylons tucked into the corners of the two end zones, while four others were planted on the field: two at the mark where extra points are snapped from and two on the hash marks at the 20-yard lines.
  • DiamondCam (2004): excerpt from link appears below
    Fox Diamond-Cams, provided by Broadcast Sports Inc., were installed at Houston's Minute Maid Park in June for upward-looking, field-level views of home plate and the pitcher's mound.

    Each Diamond-Cam has a Camera Control Unit (CCU) that contains a Charged Coupled Device (CCD) sensor and a lens, which altogether is about two inches long and one-quarter inch wide. Two were buried in the ground facing home plate and the batter. A third, positioned on the centerline of the pitching mound, looked upward at the pitcher.
Now it appears that Broadcast Sports is creating GoalCam for soccer. Take a look at how they want to install a camera inside the woodwork.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Friends with Benefits

MyNetworkTV is on a roll. It's renaming shows left and right.

The recently departed "Desire" was once called "Table for Three." "Wicked Wicked Games" — which preemed yesterday — was originally named "Art of Betrayal." Last week I mentioned "American Heiress" which is likely the new title for "To Live and Die" set to debut in June 2007.

On November 22, 2006 MyNetworkTV filed docs with the USPTO for two more titles — Friends with Benefits and Saints and Sinners.

Last week MyNetworkTV announced that it changed "A Dangerous Love" to "Saints and Sinners" and will unveil the show March 2007. The filing for that name change was no surprise.

But what about Friends with Benefits? I'm guessing it's the new title for "Friends & Enemies" planned for a June 2007 release.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

All the World's a Stage According to Some

Maybe you saw ''Big Day'' last night on ABC and The World According to Stephen Tobolowsky. OK. That wasn't quite the title. But Mr. Tobolowsky did play The Garf and the ep was called The World According to Garf — an obvious homage to John Irving's novel, The World According to Garp.

When looking at ep titles for other shows, I was surprised to find so little creativity. Writers for only one show really had fun with word play:
  • The World Accordion to Bobby (''Bobby's World,'' 10/2/1993)
The rest of the writers just replaced Garp's name with somebody else's name:
  • The World According to Avery (''Murphy Brown,'' 2/15/1993)
  • The World According to Chrissy (''Growing Pains,'' 12/19/1990)
  • The World According to Dil & Spike (''Rugrats,'' 4/20/2001)
  • The World According to Freedom (''Hill Street Blues,'' 1/7/1982)
  • The World According to Garf (''Big Day,'' 12/5/2006)
  • The World According to Jim (''Charlie & Company,'' 10/16/1985)
  • The World According to Jonathan (''Who's the Boss?,'' 12/5/1989)
  • The World According to LARP (''The Life & Times of Juniper Lee,'' 7/24/2005)
  • The World According to Matt (''Melrose Place,'' 9/14/1998)
  • The World According to Mendehlson (''Sheena,'' 2/23/2002)
  • The World According to Smurflings (''Smurfs,'' 11/15/1986)
So disappointing.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hitch Your Wagon To a Guest Star

Forest Whitaker received rave reviews — doesn't he always? — for his guest appearance on "ER." I'm sure we can add him to a long list of Emmy nominated guests on that show. We're at 19 Emmy noms for "ER" guest performers and counting.

After Mr. Whitaker's appearance on "ER," will he finally be asked to lead a skein? Recent history says he might be the lead on a network series sometime in the next two seasons. Sally Field, Ray Liotta and James Woods all got nods for their guest appearances on "ER" and then respectively starred in "The Court," "Smith" and "Shark." There's no guarantee of success — "The Court" and "Smith" each aired only three eps — but I hope Mr. Whitaker gets the opportunity this pilot season.

Here's the alphabetical list of performers who received Emmy noms for a guest appearance on "ER," followed by the TV season of the appearance.
  • Alan Alda (1999-2000)
  • Red Buttons (2004-2005)
  • Veronica Cartwright (1996-1997)
  • Don Cheadle (2002-2003)
  • Rosemary Clooney (1994-1995)
  • James Cromwell (2000-2001)
  • Vondie Curtis-Hall (1994-1995)
  • Sally Field (2000-2001, 2002-2003)
  • Colleen Flynn (1994-1995)
  • Penny Fuller (1995-1996)
  • Swoosie Kurtz (1997-1998)
  • Ray Liotta (2004-2005)
  • William H. Macy (1996-1997)
  • Mary McDonnell (2001-2002)
  • Ewan McGregor (1996-1997)
  • Bob Newhart (2003-2004)
  • Alan Rosenberg (1994-1995)
  • James Woods (2005-2006)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Awards d/b Update

I waited for the Annie Award noms to be posted today before updating the trivialTV Awards database. In today's update I added ~200 more records for the following awards:
  • Annie Award: 1992, 1995 noms & winners (update)
  • Annie Award: 2007 noms
  • Artios Award: 2006 winners
  • CIMA Award: 2006 winners
  • Cult TV Award: 2006 winners
  • Diversity Award: 2006 winners
  • Environmental Media Association Award: 2006 winners
  • Family Television Award: 2006 winners
  • Golden Gasm Award: 2006 winners
  • Golden Satellite Award: 2006 noms
  • Media Access Award: 2006 winners
  • People’s Choice Award: 2007 noms
  • Scream Award: 2006 winners
  • Stony Award: 2006 winners

Friday, December 01, 2006

After the Feast Comes the Recommending

The USPTO published a patent application (20060263041) from Philips Electronics last evening. The title of the patent? "Transformation of recommender scores depending upon the viewed status of tv shows."

The concept is quite simple. Every show is given a similarity score based on how well the program description, genre and other attributes match your user profile. This score is based a blend of explicit and implicit methods. Recommendations are made after comparing the similarity score to some threshold value.

That's not new, but Phillips wants to add a simple twist to this old idea. Phillips wants to modify the recommendation score based on the viewing status of that particular show. In essence, the recommendation score equals the similarity score minus the viewing score. The viewing score is a penalty so that the electronic program guide doesn't recommend shows that you are very familiar with. The magnitude of the viewing score depends on how recently you've seen the show, how much of the show you've seen, and who watched the show with you.