STAY TUNED: Comcast and NBC an odd couple

BILL GREEN
FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2009 file photo, the Comcast logo is displayed on a TV set in North Andover, Mass. The Federal Communications Commission may approve Comcast Corp.'s proposed purchase of NBC Universal Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011,according to reports. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2009 file photo, the Comcast logo is displayed on a TV set in North Andover, Mass. The Federal Communications Commission may approve Comcast Corp.'s proposed purchase of NBC Universal Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011,according to reports. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

Most of you have heard of the irresistible force paradox: “What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?” Well, now that the feds have cleared the way for Comcast to buy NBC, I can’t help but wonder: What happens to TV when a company with a reputation for poor customer service meets a network that would green-light “The Cape” … Jay Leno in prime time or a fourth hour of “Today?”

For too many years municipalities gave virtual monopolies to cable companies and allowed them to grow into these mega media giants. Time Warner has huge investments in all aspects of broadcast, so this Comcast-NBC marriage is not a new idea. But where will it lead us? Is it good for viewers? Only time will tell.

What do you think? Send me your thoughts: bgreen@naplesnews.com.

TV on parade in Miami

TV big wigs descend on Miami Monday for the National Association of Television Program Executives (NAPTE) meeting at the Fontainebleau. More that 5,000 program buyers from 40 countries are expected.

Attendees will see a Florida flavor, with Latino entertainer Don Francisco of megahit “Sabato Gigante” on hand, and a focus on USA series “Burn Notice,” which shoots here.

Sony and Disney, two major Hollywood holdouts from recent NATPEs, are returning. The annual gathering has been on a downward spiral for a decade as the domestic syndication market. The economic recession, which hit the local TV station biz particularly hard, also took a toll.

But with TV advertising having picked up and syndie staple “The Oprah Winfrey Show” vacating a coveted daytime time period, a lot more shifting and shuffling among new and old shows is expected — and will add an element of excitement to the three-day event.

I’ll be attending the three-day convention and filing daily reports. Look for my NAPTE journal starting Monday at naplesnews.com and Wednesday in the print edition of the Naples Daily News.

Who will be the next Oprah? Will I meet her in Miami? What local stations will be represented? What’s in development for daytime TV? I’ll attempt to answer these questions and more. Look for my full report in next week’s column.

Reader questions

M. Quiles writes: “Can you tell me why the Health Channel took out my favorite shows, like Dr. G, “Mystery Diagnosis” and other interesting health-related shows? Don’t get me wrong in not liking Oprah; she is good and an interesting person to watch, but Dr. Phil is on at 5 p.m. on ABC 7; he is on again at 7 p.m. on OWN, and the “Mystery Diagnosis” is on at 6 p.m., the same time that nightly news is on. I miss those other shows we viewed on the Health Channel that can educate us and I can relate to.”

Discovery Health Channel (DHC), as we knew it, did become OWN (the Oprah Winfrey Network) on Jan. 1. As you mentioned “Mystery Diagnosis” remains a part of OWN, just in a different time slot.

I do have some good news for you: Many of your other DHC shows may be coming back as well. It has since been announced that Discovery Health will make a return, merging with FitTV to create Discovery Fit and Health Channel, premiering Feb. 1. Check with your cable or satellite provider to see if they will carry this new channel.

As for time your show airs, might I suggest you buy a digital video recorder like TiVo or request one from your cable or satellite provider. It’s easy to use and you make the TV a slave for you, instead of the other way around. I watch the 6 p.m. nightly news around 7:30, while I’m cooking dinner.

Agnes Lloyd writes: “Enjoy your column very much. Any news on whether loyal ‘Damages’ fans will be able to see it on cable sometime in the future after it moves to satellite?”

As you mentioned and as we discussed in a previous column, seasons 4 and 5 will be on a satellite exclusive channel (The 101 Network). Season 4 premieres in July and it promises to be a good one because “Roseanne” veteran John Goodman has been added to the cast.

To answer your question, generally satellite companies can pick up a series like this because the distributor will sell the series for less money to get to that magic number of episodes it needs to distribute the show in syndication.

So I believe Sony has every intention of selling the show, either to a cable channel or broadcast outlet. The fact that the last two seasons will be seen by a limited number of eyes could make the show attractive to a buyer. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Gleek Alice Orr writes: “Where has the cute and very talented Sunshine Corazon gone? She was apparently taken away to the school which is a competitor for the Nationals. I can’t believe ‘Glee’ hasn’t used her more often, as they do Rachael.”

One of the reasons “Glee” hasn’t used Sunshine more is because the actress who portrays her, Charmaine Clarice Relucio Pempengco — or Clarice, as she is internationally known — has rocketed to stardom. The Filipina singer who rose to popularity through YouTube was dubbed by Oprah Winfrey as the “Most Talented Girl in the World,” and she is the first solo Asian artist in history to land in the Top 10 of the Billboard 200 album chart.

But, yes, we will see her on “Glee” again. Until then, stay tuned.

In this image from video released by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, co-hosts Regis Philbin, left, and Kelly Ripa are shown during the broadcast of 'Live with Regis and Kelly,' Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, in New York. Philbin announced Tuesday that he will be retiring from the show this year. Philbin has hosted the morning talk show for more than a quarter-century, most recently sharing hosting duties with Kelly Ripa. (AP Photo/Disney-ABC Domestic Television)

In this image from video released by Disney-ABC Domestic Television, co-hosts Regis Philbin, left, and Kelly Ripa are shown during the broadcast of "Live with Regis and Kelly," Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, in New York. Philbin announced Tuesday that he will be retiring from the show this year. Philbin has hosted the morning talk show for more than a quarter-century, most recently sharing hosting duties with Kelly Ripa. (AP Photo/Disney-ABC Domestic Television)

Tell all

I always love hearing from readers. Here are some topics I’d love to hear your opinions about:

- Regis? Are you glad he’s retiring? At 77 is he past his due date or does he still have a few more good years in him?

- Did you watch the Golden Globes? Did Ricky Gervais do a good job hosting or was he too abrasive? Was your favorite TV show robbed or rewarded?

- What are you watching? Any of you like the “Cape?” “V?”

Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist with a secret life as a couch potato. Contact him at bgreen@naplesnews.com.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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