All posts by Chelsea Hirsch

Issues – Branding *Edited*

Branding, the practice of artists turning themselves into commodities that they can sell,  is extremely prevalent in the television industry — especially in reality television.

June Deery, author of “Consuming Reality: the Commercialization of Actual Entertainment,” said in an interview that stars tend to go on “celebrity shows to revive their careers” to hopefully launch other business models from it.

She added that the most obvious of example of branding is the Kardashian family, as they were able to turn their reality show into fashion lines for both teens and children, a nail polish line with OPI,  and a book “Kardashian Konfidential.”

Courtesy of Kris Jenner’s Celebuzz

The Kardashian family empire began in 2007 with the premiere of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” The E! reality show has gone on to have nine seasons, and three spin-off series, “Kourtney and Khloe Take Miami” which later became “Kourtney and Kim Take Miami,” “Kourtney and Kim Take New York,” and “Khloe and Lamar.”

Due to the popularity of the show, they have signed contracts with larger brands like Skechersto endorse products in stores and through commercials.  They have had their own clothing line with Sears for years,  and it was announced last month that they have decided to expand the line for babies at Babies ‘R Us.

Kim is also in the midst of a new business venture — her wedding. International Business Times reports that she is expected to make $21 million dollars for her May 24 wedding to Kanye West. She previously made $17.9 million for her wedding to basketball player Kris Humphries.

The Kardashian empire has not always been met with praise. In the past,  the Kardashian Kard was taken off the market after receiving criticism for its high fees. Recently, the shows that have made them household names have been coming under scrutiny for being staged and fake, which has caused a decline in ratings.

Regardless, the Kardashian brand does not seem to be suffering. Celebrity Networth reports that Kim is worth $40 million due to her branding, Kourtney is worth $18 million and Khloe is worth $20 million.

News – 21st Century Fox Powerhouse

It was announced earlier today, March 15,  that 21st Century Fox and Apollo Global Management are in the beginning stages of a deal that would make one powerful television production company by taking over three smaller ones.

Courtesy of Pentagram

The negotiations would bring together Apollo’s Endemol and Core Media Group with Fox’s Sunshine Group, according to ft. For those who are not familiar with the media companies, that simply means that “American Idol,” “Deal or No Deal” and “The Biggest Loser” would all be produced by the same company.

This is an extremely important potential merger because of what each side has the ability to bring to the deal.

21st Century Fox is known among its 1.5 billion subscribers for its cable, broadcast, pay TV and film productions on Fox, FX, FXX, Fox (including Business Network, Sports, Sports Network), and National Geographic channels.

In addition, Fox’s Shine Group was started by Elisabeth Murdoch in 2001. It now consists of 30 production companies.

Apollo Global bought Core Media in 2011 for $509 million. At the time it was believed that this was to expand “American Idol.” Endemol is responsible for  popular shows “Big Brother” and “Deal or No Deal.”

The combination of these two companies would “likely reduce costs for all involved,” reports Variety. It would also increase their competitiveness as other television production companies are doing their best to merge and consolidate as well.

The LA Times reports that these negotiations have not been finalized yet. A statement from 21st Century Fox states that “there can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will be completed.”

Representatives from 21st Century Fox were unavailable for comment at the time of this blog post. This story will be updated to reflect their statements upon speaking with them.

Issues – Branding

Branding, the practice of artists turning themselves into commodities that they can sell,  is extremely prevalent in the television industry — especially in reality television.

June Deery, author of “Consuming Reality: the Commercialization of Actual Entertainment,” says that the most obvious of example of branding is the Kardashian family, as they were able to turn their reality show into fashion lines for both teens and children, a nail polish line with OPI,  and a book “Kardashian Konfidential.”

Courtesy of Kris Jenner’s Celebuzz

The Kardashian family empire began in 2007 with the premiere of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.” The E! reality show has gone on to have nine seasons, and three spin-off series, “Kourtney and Kim Take Miami” which later became “Kourtney and Kim Take Miami,” “Kourtney and Kim Take New York,” and “Khloe and Lamar.”

Due to the popularity of the show, they have signed contracts with larger brands such as Skechers and Sears to create and endorse products in stores and through commercials.  They also have worked with various companies to endorse their products on Twitter. Business Insider reports that Kim Kardashian makes “$10,000 per Tweet from her contract with in-stream advertiser Adly.” She also reportedly makes $25,000 per tweet when she mentions Armani.

The Kardashian empire has not always been met with praise. In the past,  the Kardashian Kard was taken off the market after receiving criticism for its high fees. Recently, the shows that have made them household names have been coming under scrutiny for being staged and fake, which has caused a decline in ratings. It has also been reported that “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” has caused strains in relationships with those featured on the show such as Kim’s ex-husband Kris Humphries and Khloe’s estranged husband Lamar Odom.

Regardless, the Kardashian brand does not seem to be suffering. Celebrity Networth reports that Kim is worth $40 million due to her branding, Kourtney is worth $18 million and Khloe is worth $20 million.

Critical Analysis – “How I Met Your Mother” – **EDITED**

With all the suspense leading up to the finale of “How I Met Your Mother” on March 31, I decided to binge-watch all nine seasons of the show over the winter break and came to a conclusion as to why it is such a hit: it brings out the nostalgia of other television shows such as “Friends” and “Sex and the City.”

Courtesy of Collider.com

After “Friends” ended in 2004, its fans were left without their guides into New York City life.   “How I Met Your Mother,” premiering just a year later, solved that problem.  Rachel, Phoebe, Monica, Chandler, Ross and Joey were replaced by Ted, Robin, Lilly, Marshall, and Barney.  The “Friends”  hangout Central Perk became the new gang’s watering hole MacLaren’s and Rachel and Monica’s apartment is now Ted, Lilly and Marshall’s apartment.

Courtesy of Ended TV Series

But “How I Met Your Mother” is also comparable to “Sex and the City.” Ted is almost reminiscent of a female Carrie Bradshaw — he’s completely selfish and a sucker for love, but he is the most loyal friend, which softens his selfishness.  He proves this when he chooses not to marry a woman who wants him to end his friendship with Robin.

Meanwhile, Barney Stinson is clearly Samantha Jones, as they both sleep around New York City. Marshall and Miranda share the same profession — law. Lilly’s perceived innocence is similar to Charlotte’s mannerisms. Finally, Robin is a combination of the four women. She pursues an unobtainable relationship that ends in marriage like Carrie and is hardworking like Miranda. She is confident and stands her ground like Samantha, and seeks others’ approval like Charlotte.

I believe that all fans, not just those from New York, love the idea of the big apple. Living in one of the world’s greatest cities has always been seen as a luxury or desire — and these characters get to do it. “How I Met Your Mother” has even inspired real-life tours of the city.

I’m a firm believer that “How I Met Your Mother” is not it’s own show, but a combination of other hit shows. Regardless, I’m still binge-watching and understand why others do as well.

Mini Profile – Brett Cohen **EDITED**

You may recognize Long Island native Brett Cohen from his viral YouTube video, “Fake Celebrity Pranks New York City,” or from his subsequent appearances on “The Today Show” and “Good Morning America.”

The 23-year-old media marketing manager first grabbed the public’s attention two years ago when he hired “bodyguards” and “paparazzi” from Craigslist and had them follow him through Times Square one Friday night for three hours. He said he never expected the prank would be so successful.

“Within four hours the video went viral on Reddit,” Cohen said. “The next day I was getting phone calls from all over the world, from newspapers, from news organizations, TV shows all wanting to book me.”

fakeceleb

The video came out of a joke over lunch with his friend Edward Sturm.

“I told Brett that I thought he was an actual celebrity when I met him,” said Sturm, 25.

But Cohen said that becoming a real celebrity was an something he was not prepared for.

“It took a toll on me personally for a while,” he said of the extensive media tour. “I was definitely depressed for a period of time. It screwed up a lot of relationships with friends and family members.”

He declined to comment further on the matter, but said that since the video has died down and his relationships have been repaired, he’s been able to focus on other projects — like getting ready for his debut on Australian television.

“It wasn’t something I was sure I wanted to do,” he said of the show that is set to air later this year. “But I had the opportunity to go and it was an opportunity to extend my opportunities.”

media3

He said he’s unsure about when it will air in the U.S. but hopes that it’s in the near future — he’s been making some new YouTube videos that can use some publicity.

“I just know that I enjoy this,” Cohen said. “It’s my outlet and it’s something I’m going to continue to do as long as I possibly can without ruining my professional career.”

Mini Profile – Brett Cohen

You may recognize Brett Cohen from his viral YouTube video, “Fake Celebrity Pranks New York City,” or from his subsequent appearances on “The Today Show” and “Good Morning America.”

fakeceleb

He pulled a massive prank on New York City two years ago when he pretended to be a celebrity. He hired “bodyguards” and “paparazzi” off of Craigslist, and had them follow him through Times Square one Friday night for three hours. He never expected the prank would be so successful.

“Within four hours the video went viral on Reddit,” Cohen said. “The next day I was getting phone calls from all over the world, from newspapers, from news organizations, TV shows all wanting to book me.”

media3

“It took a toll on me personally for a while,” he said of the media tour. “I was definitely depressed for a period of time. It screwed up a lot of relationships with friends and family members.”

But now that the video has died down and his relationships have been repaired, he’s getting ready for his debut on Australian television.

After an Australian network saw the fake celebrity video on his YouTube channel, they asked him to star on a reality show that is set to air later this year.

“It wasn’t something I was sure I wanted to do,” he said. “But I had the opportunity to go and it was an opportunity to extend my opportunities.”

He said he’s unsure of when it will air in the United States, but hopes that it’s in the near future — he’s been making some new YouTube videos that can use some publicity.

“I just know that I enjoy this,” Cohen said. “It’s my outlet and it’s something I’m going to continue to do as long as I possibly can without ruining my professional career.”

Critical Analysis – “How I Met Your Mother”

With suspense leading up to the finale of “How I Met Your Mother” on March 31, I decided to binge-watch all nine seasons of the show and have come to a conclusion as to why it is such a hit among its followers — because it reminds fans of other television shows.

For starters,  it can be seen as a modern-day “Friends.” After the series ended in 2004,  its fans were left without their guides into New York City life.   “How I Met Your Mother” premiering just a year later solved that problem.  Rachel, Pheobe, Monica, Chandler, Ross and Joey were found in Ted, Robin, Lilly, Marshall, and Barney.  Central Perk became MacLaren’s and Rachel and Monica’s apartment turned into Ted, Lilly and Marshall’s apartment.

“How I Met Your Mother” is also comparable to “Sex and the City.” Ted is almost reminiscent of a female Carrie Bradshaw — he’s completely selfish and a sucker for love, but he is the most loyal friend, which forgives his selfishness.  He proves this when he doesn’t choose marrying Victoria because she wants him to end his friendship with Robin.  Barney Stinson is clearly Samantha Jones, as they both sleep around New York City. Marshall and Miranda share the same profession — law. Lilly’s perceived innocence is similar to Charlotte’s mannerisms. Finally, Robin is a combination of the four women. She pursues an unobtainable relationship that ends in marriage like Carrie and  is hardworking like Miranda. She is confident and stands her ground like Samantha, and seeks others’ approval like Charlotte.

I’m a firm believer that “How I Met Your Mother” is not it’s own show, but a combination of other hit shows. Regardless,  I’m still binge-watching and understand why others do as well.

 

Mini Profile – Lena Dunham **DISREGARD**

While completing my beat memo (I’m covering TV), I came across a difficult question — who is someone who recently broke through the TV industry. After thinking long and hard, I had an “aha” moment, and immediately started researching Lena Dunham. Since then, I’ve been following her, and came across this recent post on Fusion about her upcoming SNL appearance.

Granted, this is a blogger giving her opinions on Dunham, but I think it embodies someone who is breaking the mold in almost every way in the TV industry.

To begin, Dunham never pretends to be perfect, or tries to be. In fact, she embraces her body in countless naked scenes in “Girls.” As this article addresses, the author is looking forward to Dunham most likely addressing this, and “why we cannot see unretouched pictures of said body in a fashion magazine.” In an industry where appearance is everything — this should be interesting to see unfold.

Dunham is also talented in many aspects of the industry. She acts, writes and directs — something which many cannot, or do not, do — especially at the same time. Alex Alvarez, the author of this article, says that hosting SNL can further demonstrate her versatility. It will be interesting to see if this holds true.

Finally, hosting SNL will give Dunham a chance to show America a different side of her — a side that isn’t her main character Hannah Horvath (who she has become synonymous with).

I look forward to seeing what Dunham’s appearance will do for her career, as well as how America will respond to her in a new light.