Monday, December 16, 2013

The TV MegaSite's Blog Post #104

Network TV sweeps are over; coming up are lots of re-runs, reality shows and holiday specials. Blah.

I hope you all enjoyed the Psych musical episode this week. I had fun interfering them earlier this week! I should have the transcript of that chat up soon.

Most of this week I was just watching soaps and not much else. We had family visiting, so I didn't watch much TV besides that.

What is your favorite Christmas special or movie? My favorite is "Miracle on 34th Street". I also love the original Grinch cartoon, Rudolph, and the Peanuts special.  There are so many good ones, though. I wish I had more time to watch all the great Lifetime and Hallmark Christmas movies!

Last week they showed a new version of "The Sound of Music", and I haven't seen it yet, but I hope to watch it. It looks good. I don't know if I'll be able to see Bill the Vampire from "True Blood" in the Christopher Plummer role, though.... that might be too much of a stretch, especially since we've seen him naked on that show so many times.

They decided to re-show the special again on Saturday, which meant they had to pre-empt their planned showing of "It's a Wonderful Life", so now they're showing that next Friday. I hate when the networks change things at the last minute.

I also don't know why the various TV networks all have different levels of quality and information on their press websites.  CBS and FOX are the best and NBC is the worst.

FOX has one page each week, which lists all of their shows for the week. They have a guest star list for each show. This is their "schedule" but they also have separate press releases as well, which they also email.  Plus, they have a section for "Screeners" so we can watch some of the shows ahead of time. That makes them the best. You do need a password for the screeners and photos.

CBS has great press releases for each episode of each show, with a long cast list for each one. They don't password-protect their press releases, so anyone can view them.  They put photos in their press releases and also the Twitter handles for each actor or writer on the show.  They are the only network that has a good long cast list for each show.

They are very good about keeping everything on their site updated. Occasionally they all do make mistakes, like this week CBS News' press site did not have any press release for 60 Minutes, even though it was a new episode. Also, sometimes they forget to change the dates on the press release for their re-runs, so two this week said June or some other date instead of December. No biggie, though.

While all of the networks sometimes change their schedules at the last minute, CBS seems to change it a lot more, which can be annoying. Also, they put "cheat tweets" in their press releases, and a link to the photos which only press with passwords can see, so that's annoying - I have to edit those out every time.

Unfortunately, they also own The CW, which is password protected.  However, the CW does send me show descriptions and video links in email, so I can't complain too much about them :)

ABC password-protects their photos and videos, and they don't think my site is popular enough to give me a password, apparently :( They used to let me but changed things, I guess.

ABC has press releases for each show, like CBS, but I don't like the way they have it set up. It's not as user friendly as CBS or FOX, IMHO.  They don't put photos in them like CBS does and the guest cast lists are not nearly as good. Often they just put "TBA" and then never tell us who was in the show. It's very irritating when they don't tell us who will be in the show because if it's an actor that was on a soap or one of the other shows I cover specifically, I would like to let people know on our site. I don't know why they wouldn't want to tell us, to help promote their shows.

ABC Family is also part of their site, and they have the same kind of press releases, too.

NBC is the worst press site because it's super-slow. It takes a long time for their pages to load sometimes. Also, the information there is not as nicely laid out as it is on the other press sites. It's hard to explain but trust me, it's very hard to find the information on all the shows. In fact, I usually go to their public schedule page and compare that to the press releases so I can make sure I have all of the shows covered. And even then, sometimes the information is wrong on one of the sites!  Their news press releases are terrible because they often don't put the information up at all for "Dateline".  ABC News and CBS News usually do put theirs up, even though it's at the last minute.

Lifetime/A&E/History has a great press site. So does PBS.  NBC, Syfy, USA and TNT all send me information in email like The CW does. I get lots of press releases, video clips and more. Sometimes I also get information from the other networks, especially History, TLC, Discovery, etc. I guess AMC doesn't care if we promote their shows or not because they never send out anything and rarely give any episode descriptions or cast lists out. FX does send a lot of video clips and some descriptions.  The BBC Press Site has some good information but doesn't send out much in email.

A lot of the networks also let me interview their actors and many mail me screeners. I'm very grateful for all of them and what information they put up and give out. I just wish they ALL had great websites like CBS and FOX!

Have a great week, everyone...