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Being Up Front With the Network Upfronts
May 12, 2008  | By David Bianculli

This is Upfronts Week, the week in which the networks (except for NBC, which jumped the gun last month) unveil their fall slates for advertisers. Starting tomorrow with ABC, I'll be there -- but, for the first time, reporting for my website, not for a newspaper.

It's the latest phase of my post-career transition, as I set out to redefine what it is I do and how it is I do it. Before, I was at the New York Daily News, competing with the other big-city dailies to deliver and analyze the respective network schedules for the next day.

But now that I'm on a website, am I competing with wire services instead, trying to get out all the news as fast as possible? Do I still need to break down each network's full proposed schedule? Or should I do something different now, and hone in on finding and championing what look to be the most enticing new shows?


The truth of the matter is, I'm not sure, and I won't know until I get there. I may post several times a day with breaking news, or I may present daily wrap-ups. I don't even know which shows might grab my attention. Sight unseen, the most exciting prospect, to me, is the return of Joss Whedon -- of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly fame -- to series television, with Fox's Dollhouse, starring Eliza Dushku, who played Faith on Buffy and Angel. But that's sight unseen.

This week, clips of that show, and most others, will be sights seen -- though the strike had some series sold on the basis of only a script or pitch. Whatever the sights are, and the most interesting offerings, I'll report them here. I'm just not sure how, or exactly when.

Please stay tuned -- and beginning tomorrow, keep checking back. There's a new RSS link to the site, if that'll help. And if you know what that is.

(If you do, perhaps you could explain it to me some time.)





Stuart Arnott said:

Hi David, I really enjoy your blog.

If you're looking for feedback of what we readers would like from you: *I* reader can find out the networks full offerings elsewhere. However, I respect *your* opinion, judgement and reviews - and I can only get them on this blog.

(Okay, I can get them on your "Fresh Air" appearances too, but you get my point.)

Sorting the wheat from the chaff, and offering up the odd gem that I may have missed on the way is why I keep coming back to your blog.

Stu ;-)

ps Actually with RSS that's not strictly true, because with RSS I don't need to keep coming back in case you've written something. With RSS I'm notified when you *have* written something. Again, though, you get my point... (Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I DO want to know what you value as a reader of this website, and I'm glad you're reading at all. And so THAT'S what an RSS feed does... Thanks. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 12, 2008 9:05 AM

Gregg B said:

I would think various updates during the day (similar to what the Times does) and then a full analysis either late or the next day. Seems like a work in progress; but like you, I'm looking forward to it. (Thanks -- Together, I guess, we'll figure it out. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 12, 2008 10:53 AM

Kelly said:

I feel very much the same way as Stu on this point. I have given many shows a chance because you recommended them, and I have found that you have overwhelmingly trustworthy taste in television. Thank you for your work, and for consistently steering me towards enjoyable television. With so little time free, it's nice to not feel like I am squandering it on unwatchable dreck, but instead discovering things like The Wire and Pushing Daisies.

Anxiously, I await what you think of Dollhouse, which is also the television program I am most eagerly awaiting for next year. (You really made my day... and it's been a long one. Thanks. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 12, 2008 11:53 AM

Marlark said:

I would think from a brand awareness-building perspective, you'd post breaking news with a bit of the ol' David Bianculli viewpoint. Let the search engines and news alerts pick up your posts fast and furious and get your name and website exposure.

Then, from a brand-building perspective, champion those new shows with a promise of making TV Worth Watching in special round-up posts.

Believe me, both approaches would be well-read and appreciated from your current and future readers ("blogiots"?). (Whew -- Sounds like a lot of work for my new pay grade, but I'll try. And anyone who can spread the word, and the posts, feel free. Which, pretty much, is my pay grade right now... -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 12, 2008 2:52 PM

Mark said:

David; What I know is I enjoy your blog and your commentaries. I agree with all the prior that I am looking for something different from what else is out there. PS I have no idea what a RSS is. Mark (PS -- But at least we both know what a PS is. -- David B.)

Comment posted on May 12, 2008 9:07 PM

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