Tag Archives: AARP.org

Tony Bennett Thinks Gaga Will Be Bigger Than Elvis

Tony Bennett

Lady Gaga will be bigger than Elvis? Well, maybe — in the opinion of none other than beloved 85-year-old crooner Tony Bennett, who calls her a “magnificent, magnificent performer.”

In an interview carried on AARP.org, Tony points out that at his age, he’s
worked with pretty much everyone who’s anyone on the music scene, and he says of Gaga, “I’ve never seen anybody that intelligent when it comes to knowing how to perform properly.”

Bennett, of course, has his highly anticipated “Duets II” album coming out
Tuesday (Sept. 20) with Gaga as part of a lineup of stellar partners — a roster that also includes Carrie Underwood, Aretha Franklin, Michael Buble and the late Amy Winehouse.  Carrie will join Tony onstage Sept. 24 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles — along with John Mayer and Stevie Wonder — for a special concert benefitting the Drive to End Hunger, the national effort by AARP and the AARP Foundation to end food deprivation among older Americans. The concert comes at the end of the organization’s giant Life@50+ National Event, Sept. 22-24 at the LA Convention Center. (See AARP.org for information.)

Greying of America Has Transforming Effect on TV Content, Ratings

Kelsey Grammer

For decades, TV executives and advertisers have based decisions about what you watch on the numbers of 18 to 49-year-olds who are looking at various shows.  The importance of the 18 to 49 bracket has been unquestioned, unassailable.  Until now.

The greying of America in general, and television viewership in particular, has already had a transforming effect on the TV landscape, with more shows fronted by stars in their fifties and up than ever before.   Kelsey Grammer is the latest, with his “Boss” dramedy heading into production for Starz and Lionsgate TV.   Gus Van Sant makes his TV directing debut on the project about a Chicago mayor with a dark secret.

There are obvious absurdities in the thinking that’s dominated demographic considerations for so long.  David Poltrack, Chief Research Officer of CBS Corp. and President of its CBS Vision business unit, points out, “The idea that a 49-year-old woman and her 18-year-old daughter are of equal potential in buying a product, and then when the mother turns 50 she ceases to be of any value, doesn’t make any sense.”

In fact, “Traditional age-based targets are less and less relevant,” according to Poltrack, with whom we spoke for an AARP.org story about current trends in TV as the audience, and stars, age up.

“We now have very large databases and analytical tools that allow us to look at audiences in much more meaningful ways — by lifestyle, family situation, technology orientation.”

He explains, “What happens now, with cable television and satellite television connections with set-top boxes that are able to monitor what is being watched in a home, you’re able to get information from hundreds of thousands, even millions of households.”  At the same time, each time consumers use shopper cards at markets and pharmacies, their purchasing data is recorded.   Combining and comparing data on shows viewed and products purchased provides information on the effectiveness of commercials.

With such a wealth of pertinent data available to mine, making ad buying decisions based on age ranges seems clunky and outmoded.  Poltrack informs that a new CBS study using these cutting-edge means debunked the notion that shows viewed by 18 to 49-year-olds generate more product sales.

Could a paradigm shift in how advertisers view audience demographics be at hand?

“That’s what we’re hoping,” he says.

Dana Delany Wants Nathan Fillion Quid Pro Quo

Dana Delany good-naturedly “blames” Nathan Fillion for her casting as medical examiner Dr. Megan Hunt on her hit new “Body of Proof” series — since it was her appearance as an FBI agent on his “Castle” whodunnit that put her into the minds of her “Proof” producers last year.  Now she thinks Fillion should guest on “Body of Proof.”

“It’s quid pro quo — the perfect ABC cross-promotional opportunity,” she says. Such a guesting would have to wait awhile, since “Body of Proof” has already wrapped production of its first season.

When we spoke to the actress for AARP.org, she noted that whether “Body of Proof” works out or not, she’d be fine with the outcome, because there are plenty of other activities that spark her interest:

“I’d be happy to spend the rest of my life traveling.  I’d like to get back to New York and do more theater.  I like to do things that scare me; singing in public scares me, so I’d like to get over that fear.  I’d like to develop a quirky smaller type show for cable.  There are so many things I’d like to do.”

As it stands, “Body of Proof” will be keeping her busy, at least into the 2011-2012 season.