Sunday, March 30, 2014

It's all about the ratings! A Snapshot of Evening TV

Ratings, ratings, ratings! It's all about the ratings and now that it has been a full quarter of the year, it's a great time to look to see how this year's shows are doing.

There has been a lot of changes in evening TV including Jay Leno's farewell to The Tonight Show and its move to New York City with Jimmy Fallon as its new host. SNL brings on a new black female cast member and Seth Meyers takes Fallon's seat in Late Night. These changes were sure to bring a change of viewership and were put in place in hopes of more positive reviews and ratings, but how have these changes in TV fared so far? Let's take a look at the numbers:

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon is seeing very favorable numbers with a 3-week high rating of 1.35 in adults 18-35. Compared to last year's numbers with Jay Leno, this season (since February 17th) has seen a total of 5.395 million viewers where last year, during the same time period, the show saw 3.311 million viewers. Fallon is off to a great start as the new face of the Tonight Show and bringing back seasoned guests like Bill Cosby and Joan Rivers (who is back after a 25 year ban from the show) is keeping audiences happy.

Now let's visit Fallon's old stomping grounds, Late Night. With Seth Meyers taking the seat of the 12:35 time slot, the show is seeing significant gains in viewership as well. In just it's fourth week, the show's ratings are up 36% from exactly a year ago and it's viewership has risen by 16% with 1.854 million viewers. American audiences of late night television aren't afraid of change, and it seems that these new shifts were what these late time slots needed to boost the numbers!

While these talk shows are seeing gains in audience viewership, SNL this season has not been so lucky despite changes to the cast and new hosts. After last night's show, with 2nd time host Louis C.K., the numbers were the 2nd lowest in it's 5 episode run since the beginning of 2014. However, despite the show's low numbers, SNL managed to trump the Big 4 networks and was the top telecast of the night. In Nielsen’s 56 metered market, the show averaged a 4.0/10 in household results and a 2.1/9 in adults 18-49 in the 25 markets with Local People Meters

So what do these numbers say? American audiences are supportive of change and welcoming of the fresh faces of late night television... oh, and that hosts Louis C.K. and Lena Dunham are no Alec Baldwin!

TV Impulse 
TV By the Numbers

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spotlight on- Need For Speed

Hollywood has seen its fair share of racing movies and from watching the previews, this one seemed to be just "another one of the racing movies".

It wasn't the fancy Bugati's or Maserati's featured in this film that brought me to watch it, rather the lead actor, Aaron Paul from the incredible TV series, Breaking Bad. Having watched the actor play the role of Jesse for so many seasons it was pure curiosity that led me to watch him on the silver screen. What originally seems like a knock-off version of The Fast and the Furious franchise, Need for Speed features high end racing cars that collectively cost more than a few mansions in Beverly Hills. 

This film offers more than a few high-speed chase scenes and car explosions than most of its predecessors--it actually had a plot that was believable and characters that the audience is able to sympathize with. Aaron Paul delivers as the lead role and although it may not exactly be Oscar worthy, I do hope we'll get to see him on the silver screen more often.

The high intensity, gut wrenching stunts take place from the very beginning of the film until the end and has the audience on the edge of their seats while they follow Paul's character on his wild ride to win the ultimate race. Fresh out of jail for a crime he didn't commit and with nothing to lose, Tobey (Paul's character) seeks justice for his close friend whose life ended in a tragic car crash caused by famous race car driver, Dino Brewster. Tobey's motive is not to seek revenge on Dino but rather to unveil who the real criminal in his race towards victory in the most prestigious and top secret race around. 

The suspenseful flick isn't all serious business, there's a refreshingly good amount of comic relief provided from Tobey's gang who provide some big laughs just when you feel your neck and shoulders tensing up from the death defying driving throughout. And of course, the movie wouldn't be complete with a beautiful blonde love interest who happens to be right by Tobey's side in the passenger seat the entire time.

If you're looking for a fun filled two hours, Need for Speed will definitely leave you satisfied!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Before you decide on selling that great movie idea to investors...

When it comes to writing business plans, everyone has their own way of what they think makes the most successful business plan. In the entertainment industry business plans include pitches for movie ideas and for start ups such as production companies.

Kevin Geiger has been in the film industry for over 10 years as a visual effects artist for films including Chicken Little, Fantasia 2000 and Reign of Fire. The industry expert suggests that the most important thing in writing your business plan is conducting research and keeping it organized. He stated simply that if you can’t pitch your movie in 10 slides or less, you don’t know what you are doing. What Geiger is trying to say here is your business plan must be concise and to the point. He also suggests to include a cash flow projection to show investors how there are going to make their money back. That is probably the most important part of the plan as the investors won’t be interested if the pitch can’t articulate or show them how they will receive a return.

Another expert on business plans is angel investor, GarryMoltz. He is an established entrepreneur, author and speaker on the topic of starting up your own business and what to look for in business plans. Garry explains that there are certain statements that should NOT be included in business plans including generalities such as “Customers really need out product”, “our numbers are conservative” and “we have no competition”. Those statements may or may not be true but as a potential investor reading these statements, they may deter them from buying into your idea because those statements are not interpreted as they may be intended to be and are often very misleading.

While it’s important to know what components make a successful business plan such as research and organization which Geiger suggests, it is just as important to be sure what not to include to make your business plan equally as successful.

VC Experts

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Wolf of Wall Street

In a follow up to my previous post about the Golden Globes winners and nominees, the SAG Awards have taken place and the much anticipated Academy Awards have since released their nominations for this year!

The Wolf of Wall Street received no recognition form the Screen Actor’s Guild awards, but that’s OK because the film, which I just happened to watch this past weekend, received the recognition it deserved scoring several nominations from the Academy.

In addition to being nominated for Best Picture of the year, actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill are both nominated for their roles in the film and Director, Martin Scorsese also received a nom. My fingers are crossed for the wins of this deserving film, talented actors and amazing director!

Just in the first 5 minutes alone of watching The Wolf of Wall Street, you know that you are in store for a wild ride the next 3 hours. Not made for the easily offended, the film is not short of any nudity and drug use. The wild ride tells the story of a young man’s first experience on the job as a Wall Street broker learning the secrets of successful from a very coked up emaciated Matthew McConaughey. Leo’s character soon quits his Wall Street job and has his sites on building his own firm from the amount of insider knowledge he learned working for McConaughey’s character.

Rounding up some of his closest buds to work for him, Leo manages to team up the very funny Jonah Hill (who put on a hysterical Oscar worthy performance) and to my surprise, the lesser known actor/ comedian Henry Zebrowski-- who I just worked with on set for VH1’s Best Week Ever ! The team of “nobody’s” that were round up to make the start of Leo’s new business venture was a tight knit group of skeezy men trained to essentially talk poor people into giving them their money.

As the movie unfolds and the company steadily builds a ridiculous amount of success, the fast rise and slow fall of Leo’s newly built empire begins to crumble. Two hours in, the film has yet to lose any steam and the wild ride continues for another hour. As a viewer its like watching a train wreck about to happen—you can’t take your eyes away!


Monday, January 13, 2014

The Kick off to Award Season

Last night the Golden Globes kicked off Award Season and recognized the best of TV and film. Hosted by the hilarious female duo, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the best of the best were awarded last night.

Like all major award shows there’s always some snubs expected, Such as Leonardo DiCaprio in almost any award show. But luckily one of the esteemed organizations finally gave Leonardo the praise and recognition many felt he’s deserved for past years. He won the best actor award for his amazing performance in the highly acclaimed film, The Wolf of Wall Street…. Now if only he can get the same recognition from the Academy Awards! Another exciting win was from the host of the show, Amy Poehler for her role in Parks and Recreation. Perhaps one of the least impressive wins was from another SNL alum, Andy Samberg.  Up against some major names on the TV screen, Samberg took home the award for Best Actor in the less than amazing comedic show Brooklyn 99.  It seems even he felt a bit undeserving, which showed through in his acceptance speech.

Typically, the top nominated films at award shows such as these are ones that fell under the radar or have not even been released yet. One film in particular, Blue Jasmine, which was directed by Woody Allen--the night’s lifetime achievement award recipient-- has yet to be released but it’s leading lady, Cate Blanchett took home the prize for best actress. Usually I’m one of the millions who are in wonder about this award winning performance that has yet to be seen, but thanks to a Jetblue flight home to Orlando I was able to watch the movie.  At the time I thought I was watching an older film but now feel I have bragging rights to finally being apart of a small percentage who can actually vouch for her award winning performance.

Of course, the Academy Awards reign as the queen of the awards circuit for film and it will be interesting to see which films and actors will be nominated. The golden Globes can be viewed as a precursor to the Oscars, but the reality is the winners are chosen from a total of 90 voters for the Golden Globes and over 6,000 registered voters for the Academy Awards! The nominees for the Oscars will be announced this week, January 16th.