SHEEN IS TV'S HIGHEST-PAID ACTOR
Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheen is the highest-paid actor on primetime television, according to a study by TV Guide released on Monday. Sheen is currently paid $825,000 per episode of Two and a Half Men bringing his annual earnings to about $20 million. Coming in second is William Petersen, the star of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, who reportedly earns $600,000 per episode. Mariska Hargitay was the top-paid actress in primetime, earning $400,000 per episode for her work on NBC's Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Kyra Sedgwick, is No. 2 on the list with $275,000 per episode.
BROADCAST TV PASSES NEWSPAPERS IN AD SALES
Broadcast television is expected to receive more ad dollars than newspapers this year, according to a study by the equity investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson. If it does, VSS observed, it would be the first time in U.S. history that newspapers will have been displaced by television. As reported by Reuters, the study predicted that broadcast TV will earn about $51 billion versus $46.8 million for newspapers. (It was not clear whether the study took into account recent reports indicating that the nation's flagging auto companies will likely reduce their spending on advertising by $3-8 billion by the end of the year.) Both media are likely to fall behind the Internet within two years, the study predicted, with the Internet taking in $59.8 billion in 2009; broadcast TV, 51.2 billion; and newspapers, $43.7 billion.
REPORT: HOLLYWOOD REPORTER FOR SALE
The Hollywood Reporter, the Avis of the Hollywood trade publications, is being sold by the Nielsen Company, along with numerous trade publications that it owns including Billboard, Adweek, Brandweek, Mediaweek and Editor & Publisher, former New York Times film writer Sharon Waxman said on her website Monday, citing "two solid sources." Gerry Byrne, the former Variety publisher who now heads Nielsen Business Media, denied Waxman's report. "We've got big plans to expand," he said. "The joint is not up for sale." Hollywood's No. 1 trade publication, Daily Variety, is also being sold.
RULING WILL ALLOW HOME TV RECORDING AT CABLE COMPANIES
A federal appeals court in New York has overturned a lower-court ruling that halted New York cable operator Cablevision Systems from allowing customers to use its own servers to record their favorite programs and play them back instead of having to use individual digital video recorders installed next to their TV sets. Broadcast and cable networks had argued that such an out-of-home system would infringe their copyrights and would encourage users to skip commercials. Cablevision had responded that functionally the system would not differ substantially from the settop DVRs that it currently provides to its subscribers. In an interview with the New York Times, Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge said that the decision: "changes cable's competitive posture against satellite; it makes the services less expensive to provide; and it makes it easier to upgrade the services."
CW MAKING LEMONADE FROM CRITICS' LEMONS
In a unique advertising campaign, the CW network has pulled quotes from negative reviews for Gossip Girl, and is using them in billboard ads to promote the series. Among them, the New York Post's assertion that the show is "a nasty piece of work," and the Parents Television Council's description of it as "mind-blowingly inappropriate." The PTC did not object to its review being used by the network. "Normally," it said, "we have to pay for our outdoor advertising." Meanwhile, on Monday, Gossip Girl picked up six awards at the TeenChoice 2008 ceremony, including Choice TV Show: Drama. It also won for Choice TV: Breakout Show; Breakout Actress in a Drama and Breakout Star Female (Blake Lively), Breakout Star Male (Chase Crawford) and Villain (Ed Westwick).