Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Why TV Still Won’t Embrace the Web Quite Yet

What’s the future of TV? For the near future, it’s more TV.

So says TV producer Steve Levitan.

Levitan has made a bunch of money working on hit TV shows like “Just Shoot Me,” and he’s likely to make some more with ABC’s “Modern Family.” So it’s not a huge surprise to hear him make a case for the status quo.

But Levitan is also a self-professed nerd who loves technology and has tried hard to figure out how to incorporate it into his TV show. He has played around with Twitter and has created special clips for Web viewers. Problem is, he says, he can’t figure out how Internet eyeballs do him any good. And that includes the two million viewers he believes watch his show every week on Hulu.

One day, that’s going to change, as advertisers start to value Web viewers as much as TV viewers. But they’re not there now. Here’s Levitan explaining the state of the business at the D8 conference last week:

Anyone feel differently? Happy to hear from you. And I’ll put the same question to Ricky Van Veen, the College Humor co-founder who is now trying to make TV shows at IAC’s (IACI) Notional. We’re chatting this morning at Mashable’s Media Summit in New York. Here’s a conversation we had on the topic last fall:


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”