Put this in your vampire diary: The CW coming to Hulu

Hulu has signed a five-year licensing agreement with The CW, the company announced Friday. The deal will bring current season programming, including The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl and Supernatural, to both subscribers of Hulu Plus, and Hulu’s ad-supported web-based service.

Gossip Girl’s Josh Schwartz Is Too Cool for TV

TV writer and producer Josh Schwartz makes shows that appeal to young, pop culture-savvy viewers — The O.C., Gossip Girl, Chuck. That means he’s landed headfirst in the changing reality of how that audience consumes content. He spoke this week at the NAB Show in Las Vegas about creating television in the digital age.
Josh SchwartzSchwartz addressed the matter of his shows’ online audiences not measured by Nielsen — knowing that they rank highly on iTunes and Hulu but not having specifics about how many people watch them there. He wasn’t particularly riled up about the situation, but then again his shows have thus far managed to stay on the air (Chuck awaits its fate, but Gossip Girl‘s cultural phenomenon status seems to eclipsed its relatively weak numbers). Of current Nielsen ratings, Schwartz quipped, “It’s like if Rod Stewart put out a Christmas album and it was No. 1 on Billboard.”
Schwartz said he disagreed with the CW’s decision to take down free streaming episodes of Gossip Girl last year in an attempt to drive live viewer numbers up. “We fought them on that. People who watch online don’t always also watch on TV,” he said. (The CW eventually came around and resumed posting episodes on its site, where they are “disproportionately popular,” according to Schwartz. We have a little theory that has something to do with the show being a guilty pleasure.)
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StatShot: 30Rock’s all A-Twitter

Heroes lost some of its power on Trendrr‘s list of the top Twittered broadcast TV shows for the week ending Jan. 13, down from the 2,000 tweets a day it was getting before the new year. Gossip Girl got some of its social mojo back to finish the week strong, and 30 Rock returned to the airwaves bringing the Twitter thunder along with it. Unfortunately, last week’s buzz for Superstars of Dance went bust as it fell off the list.


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Vid-Biz: DTV Coupons, Sling, Lionsgate

DTV Coupon Program Out of Money; government program offering $40 toward digital converter box out of money weeks earlier than anticipated. (TVWeek)

Sling Shows Off iPhone App, Mac Capabilities; SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone will let users watch TV and control their home DVR, SlingPlayer for Mac HD will let Sling users stream content to their Macs. (emailed release)

Lionsgate Buys TV Guide Network and TVGuide.com; purchase price was $225 million, Lionsgate plans to expand the network’s original programming lineup. (The LA Times)

Gossip Girl Creator Heading Up Web Series for TheWB.com; Rockville centers around the lives of a group of twenty-somethings at a nightclub where real-world acts like the Kaiser Chiefs and Travis will perform. (Variety)

MobiTV Ramps Up for Inauguration; the presidential election was a big draw for the mobile TV service, company is gearing up to handle the expected surge of interest for Obama’s inauguration. (Bits Blog)

Blu-ray Ends 2008 on a High (Def) Note; sales of the players were so good that Adams Media Research raised its U.S. Blu-ray household estimates to to 3.1 million by year’s end up from 2.9 million. (The Hollywood Reporter)

FFWD Releases APIs to Developers; developers can integrate the video recommendation engine’s functionality into their sites; company also says Boxee will be incorporating FFWD into its future releases. (TechCrunch)

Is the Web Hurting Guilty Pleasure TV Shows?

So, um, I watch Gossip Girl. But I do it on my laptop, when nobody else is around.
gossipgirlstreamingAnd as I read recently of complaints by Lipstick Jungle‘s creators that its cancellation threats are unfair because much of its audience isn’t measured, I had to wonder if maybe they weren’t just whining.
Could the increasing number of options for watching TV shows that fall under the guilty pleasure category mean they are slipping in the conventional rating systems? Soap operas are some of CBS Interactive’s most popular online programming, I’ve been told. I’ve also heard concern from networks that younger-skewing shows just aren’t as economically viable these days, because their audience could care less about the TV. BitTorrent, YouTube, TV Links, iTunes — it’s all at their fingertips.
But I wonder if as online viewing goes more mainstream, this wouldn’t be a broader concern for shows that people prefer to watch in private or when nobody else is around. I don’t mean anything salacious, necessarily, I just doubt that I’m the only one who would rather not admit I know what Blair Waldorf’s latest blackmail scheme was.
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Gossip Girl Returns to Streaming

You’ll be happy to know that the CW, either egged on by our post asking for online episodes (probably not) or sticking with a stupidly long planned delay, has, in fact, posted the season two premiere of Gossip Girl online. TVbytheNumbers‘ Robert Seidman kept his eyes on CWTV and let us know he caught sight of last week’s episode posted yesterday afternoon, a few hours before the new one aired on the East Coast.

So it appears, for now, that the CW’s new strategy is to post streaming versions of its primetime shows a week after they air (Gossip Girl is on Mondays). In keeping with that schedule, the series premiere of the new 90210 (which aired last Tuesday) is live today. I believe that, in the past, CW posted new episodes after a couple days’ delay, but not a week. All along it has been posted to iTunes with much more alacrity.

This new posting schedule follows the network’s attempt to drive up oldteevee viewership of Gossip Girl last year by discontinuing ad-supported streaming of new episodes. Over the summer the network announced it had changed its policy and would be bring the show back to the web, but when no new episodes had appeared six days after the season premiere we had started to wonder if it was having second thoughts.

So now we know. A week, though? Are you trying to drive up TiVo sales or something?