Saturday, May 21, 2005

Kevin Hill Gone but will it be O-Tay?

Wassup, Y'all!

I said I wasn't going to comment on the jacked up fact that UPN decided to cancel my show Kevin Hill, but I'll just mope around the crib all day if I don't. Now nothing against Taye Diggs and all, but I'm already going through the initial stages of Michael Michelle withdrawls and I know it's just gonna get worse once the summer rerun season is over. How'd it all go wrong for KH when it started the season with such fanfare and critical acclaim? A well written piece in the Boston Globe sheds a little light...

First things first, although a nation of homeboys will mourn the death of the 'Kevin Hill NYC lifestyle' dream, no need to mourn for the man who plays Kevin Hill - Taye Diggs. Word on the street is that his newly minted production company, O-Tay Productions, (hey - can Eddie Murphy get some royalty loot off that name??) recently inked a one year deal (with an option for two) with Touchstone TV to develop series projects, so expect to hear more from homeboy sometime soon. So ends the good news.

The Boston Globe's Suzanne Ryan posted an article about a month ago that lays out a few compelling reasons for KH's slow descent into TV purgatory, one being its killer timeslot that put it up against the likes of ratings titans 'American Idol' and 'Alias'. Even its hot lead in from American's Top Model couldn't protect it from that competition (which seems all the more reason to give it a second chance in a friendlier timeslot...). Based on that, KH was struggling with just 2.8 million viewers - or so says the almightly Nielsen Ratings. For a nice take on that heinous outfit's hand in all this, head on over to 2 Guys 2 Cities for brother Donte's breakdown - it's good stuff , y'all.

My take is it's time to flip the script on old Nielsen and its 'few to represent the many' old school sampling model. Now y'all know I'm a Tivo junkie - actually make that a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) junkie as Tivo could be soooo much better with a little more attention to detail, but I digress... I rarely watch live TV these days since everything I want to see gets downloaded to Tivo and I watch it when I want to. So actually I didn't even know that KH was going head to head with Alias even though I haven't missed an episode of either one. Then it hits me like a bag of bricks in a back alley, y'all. Eventually, DVRs will pass VCRs as the tool of choice to record TV content and when that happens, why can't they be used to replace the Nielsen People Meters? If you go by the Tivo model, those joints have to be connected to an outgoing phone line (presumably to receive software updates...) but they also track your viewing habits and, in Tivo's case, can suggest other shows for you to watch. This data is monitored as Tivo made news when it mentioned that the Janet Jackson Breast Baring at the Superbowl was the most rewound and freeze framed moment it had ever seen. So the technology's there for DVRs to become Nielsen meters and allow a much larger sample of viewers to weigh in with what they watch - live or recorded. That's important because with DVRs you can easily watch two shows airing in the same timeslot and as far as I can tell the Nielsen meters only track 'live' viewing habits! Minimally, Nielsen has got to get on this 'time shifting' phenomenon that's only going to grow... Man - do I have to do *everything*, y'all?

In the meantime, I'm headed back to Winky's corner store to pick up another box of Kleenex, I'm still getting my cry on over losing my weekly dose of foine Michael Michelle. Nielsen - if I *ever* see you on the block, homey I'm gonna have to lay your a** out!



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