Wednesday night brings a must-see to PBS in the form of a new National Geographic special titled “Battle for the Elephants.”
The special explores the slaughter of African elephants for their tusks, fueled largely by China’s demand for ivory. The program airs at 9 p.m. on WGCU.
In a description provided by the network, two journalists — Bryan Christy and Aidan Hartley — investigate the criminal network behind ivory’s supply and demand: “In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, one of the world’s main ports for smuggled ivory, Hartley poses as an ivory buyer and uses hidden cameras to film poachers negotiating the sale of large quantities of tusks. In China, Christy explores the thriving industry of luxury goods made from ivory and the ancient cultural tradition of ivory carving.”
The show is based in part on an article by Christy, published in the October 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine, titled “Blood Ivory.”
“If the current situation remains the status quo, we are facing the very real possibility that elephants living in the wild will go extinct in the coming decades,” said John Heminway, writer, producer and director of the episode.
Still reeling from the season finale of “Downton Abbey?” Maybe you need a vacation to recover?
Fans of the show will love this idea. For $3,250 per person (that’s a very specific amount), you can enjoy an eight-day trip to the show’s filming locations.
Highlights include a private guided tour of Highclere Castle, the real Downton Abbey, as well as the filming locations for Downton Village, St. Mary’s Church and Downton Place; a visit to Blenheim Palace, childhood home of Winston Churchill and a filming location for “Downton Abbey” writer Julian Fellowes’ 2009 screenplay “The Young Victoria”; and an afternoon tea at London’s Goring Hotel.
Want to know more? Visit www.zicasso.com.
Fans of “Smash,” I’m beginning to get a little concerned.
I’m sure when NBC scheduled the show for Tuesday nights, they thought it would be great counterprogramming to the other networks. But in the end, it’s just counterproductive.
To give you an idea of the present situation, the most recent airing of CBS’ Tuesday combo of “NCIS” and “NCIS: LA” attracted more viewers than all the other networks — ABC, NBC, Fox and The CW — combined.
Last week was the second outing and third episode of the season for “Smash.” The musical-drama dropped around 25 percent to 3.3 million total viewers and a 0.9 rating.
With numbers like this, NBC could choose to yank the series at any moment. If you care about this show, tune in now. “Smash” airs at 10 p.m. Tuesdays on NBC.
A new ratings perspective?
Rentrak, that other TV ratings company we’ve discussed recently, is offering a new report it is touting as a “first of its kind.”
The “Total Audience Viewing Report” combines DVR and video-on-demand viewership information (during a 14- and 28-day period) with that of the live TV audience.
It would offer networks and stations an opportunity to easily see the total audience for a series under a single value.
“We believe in leaving no ‘eyeballs’ behind and realize that DVR and VOD viewing continues to grow greatly beyond seven days,” said Bill Livek, Rentrak’s CEO. “With a report that looks at a month of TV viewing, both networks and their agency clients can discover the true audience shift and lift beyond a week.”
According to a Rentrak news release, the first Total Audience Viewing Report indicated popular network shows such as “The Vampire Diaries” showed more than half of the total audience within 28-days came from DVRs and VOD, while “Grey’s Anatomy,” “New Girl” and “Revolution” each showed more than a third of the 28-day total came from DVR and VOD.
Reader questions, comments
William writes, “Mr. Green: I read with interest your column in the Feb. 18 edition of Naples Daily News. I was especially intrigued by your response to and discussion surrounding the question regarding WINK News. Your mention of call letters quickly brought to mind KDKA in Pittsburg, which I recall from my youth, even though I was born and bred on the East Coast. Your explanation regarding relationships between stations was informative.
“I do have a question that has bothered me. Why do the Florida meteorologists insist on doing weather twice in an hourly news broadcast? The north (at least mid-Atlantic) stations might summarize at the end of a broadcast, but usually there is only one presentation.”
First, thank you for your comments. For those of you who might have missed last week’s Stay Tuned, you can find it at naplesnews.com.
Now on to your question. Weather is big business for all TV stations, and they don’t mind spending the whole year reminding you whom you should turn to in the case of severe weather.
I envy the fact you’ve found a market where it is not overemphasized. I lived in Miami for a decade, and WSVN is probably one of the worst offenders, referring to itself as “The Storm Station” with nearly every reference, weather or otherwise.
I will say this: This market has some of the best meteorologists in the country. And most will tell you it’s a privilege and a challenge to predict weather in the Sunshine State.
Fred writes, “Hey, Bill Enjoyed the column on Jim Ramsburg, as I’m sure many other ‘veteran’ broadcasters now living in the area did as well. Look forward to more.
“Like Jim, I grew up tuned to ‘the theater of the mind’ and it turned out to make a lasting impression and influence on my professional life. Didn’t realize it at the time, of course, but was storing those early day programs and the techniques used to create them for later use in several thousand commercials I wrote and produced for advertisers throughout the country.
“I also owe a lot to Top 40 radio. It chased me from one station to another and eventually out of the business. Best thing that ever happened.”
Susan writes, “I noticed the other day that I have a lot more channels available, i.e. Ch 114 (BBC) and Ch 119 (LMN) just to name a few. The Naples Daily News weekly digital digest doesn’t list those channels. Why not and how can I find their schedules? Thanks!”
Unfortunately, Susan, there are a lot more channels out there than we have room to print. Many cable boxes and newer TVs come with interactive program guides, which I like a lot. The Daily News has a complete TV schedule. The link for the TV Listings is under Entertainment.
As for an actual print guide? I have yet to find one that’s all inclusive.
That’s all the time we have for now. Stay tuned.
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at email@example.com. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.