Monday, February 22, 2010

Daily Kor for February 22, 2010: Lee gets the gold, Ohno gets the press coverage

More Olympics news, and not much else. The North Koreans are waiting until Kim Yuna wins gold before they start lobbing missiles at the fish.
  1. Lee Jungsu wins second gold medal, this time in men's 1000-meter, with more big race to go (Reuters, NYT, AP via WaPo, UPIBBC, YonhapJoongang Daily)
    • Lee Hosuk wins silver in men's 1000-meter (Yonhap)
    • South Korea coming in at #4 in medals ranking (Korea Times)
  2. South Korea to permanently lease royal Korean texts looted by France in the 19th century (YonhapJoongang Daily, Korea Times)
  3. Posco will spend 50 billion won over next three years to hire ten Nobel Prize and Fields Medal laureates (Joongang Daily)
  4. Seoul talks with USFK over redeployment of American troops stationed in South Korea to conclude this year (YonhapJoongang Daily, Korea Times)
  5. About 150 activists in Seoul rally against Afghan troop deployment (Yonhap)
  6. Forty-five-year-old man receives ten-year sentence for repeatedly raping daughter (Korea Times)
  7. Daewoo receives $345 million order to build five ships for Angola (YonhapJoongang Daily)
  8. 260,000 people take advantage of state-sponsored debt rescheduling in 2009 (Yonhap)
  9. South Korea to expand tax breaks for aerospace R&D (Yonhap)
  10. South Korean business failures decline in January (Yonhap)
  11. World Cup-bound North Korea national soccer team defeats India, 3-0, in AFC Challenge Cup (Times of India)
  12. In Sports Illustrated interview, ROK Olympic Committee chair explains South Korea's keen interest in short track and speedskating: "We heard it was about race, so we knew our country would be very good at it" (


  1. You might want to check out this website: It details the Asian-American woman chosen to be the new La Femme Nikita and how many Americans are really watching speed skating (not many).

  2. The website says 22.6 million people watched speed skating. Compared to many programs, that's actually a lot. I would certainly consider "Lost" to be a nationally known and popular phenomenon, but if you look at their television ratings, even in their best years they were only two-thirds of that.

    I used "Lost" because I happen to like that show and hear about it a lot from others as well. "Dancing With the Stars," which I don't watch, received 20.6 million voters in its sixth season premiere in 2008, which the link described as "debuting big" and winning the night.

  3. I'm curious what the people meant in the link you provided:

    The potential hire of Maggie Q in the role of Nikita, signifies the highest-profile series role for an Asian actress on a broadcast drama series and the most prestigious CW minority casting since the network launched.

    Do they mean the highest-profile series role for an Asian actress in general or just on the CW? It doesn't seem like it's the latter, because the second part of the sentence ("most prestigious CW minority casting") specifically mentions the CW.

    I ask because if they mean the former, they dropped the ball. Kristen Kreuk, who will star in a CBS series, "Parenthood." Ms Kreuk, like Ms Q, is half Asian. Maybe because Maggie Q will have the title role they consider it higher, but that's splitting hairs; I'm guessing they forgot Ms Kreuk is part Asian.

  4. "Compared to many programs, that's actually a lot."

    Television ratings have been dwindling over the years to next to nothing and "Lost" is not a phenomenon, "NCIS" (20+ million) and "American Idol" (30+ million) are bona fide inexpensive hits while "Lost" doesn't generate near as many viewers and costs a fortune to shoot in Hawaii with its large cast. CBS is doing whatever it can to spin off series off of "NCIS," while "Lost" barely got the go ahead to finish out this last season with no prospective spin-offs or up-coming feature films like "24" has in the works. And in comparison to previous Olympics, an average of 26.6 million viewers have watched the Vancouver Games through the first seven nights, the most since CBS drew 37.5 million for the opening week of the Lillehammer Games 16 years ago. In a country of 320 million people, numbers going down this much is not a good thing, but network (and cable) spin doctors have to spin it to keep that ad revenue coming in. They don't want you reading truth that the losses NBC is taking on this Olympics are beyond staggering.

    We live in a new era. The netbook, gaming, and satellite television era. Back in the heyday of phenomenons like "Bonanza," "Dallas," "Cheers," and "I Love Lucy," it wasn't like every person in the household had their own personal TV, pc, and gaming system.

  5. "Do they mean the highest-profile series role for an Asian actress in general or just on the CW?"

    In general. She will be the stand-alone lead as was Peta Wilson in the previous "Nikita" cable version.

    "("most prestigious CW minority casting")"

    The CW casts many minorities, including Kristin Kreuk who was previously on "Smallville" and now currently on NBC's "Chuck;" however, she never carried a network show by being cast as the lead. That may be changing as she will be a co-star in CBS's upcoming pilot, "Hitch." I don't know where you got "Parenthood" from.

    "that's splitting hairs." That's just the way it is in acting and television. A supporting actor, like Kristin in "Smallville" was expendable, while the lead, Tom Welling, is not.

  6. Mea culpa. I was thinking "Hitched," but earlier in the day I had read something about "Parenthood" and that was in my head.

    I was comparing Maggie Q starring in "Nikita" with Kristin Kreuk starring (or co-starring) in "Hitched." But I will happily concede that being the principal character is "higher" than being one of two principal characters.

    Anyway, I still don't think 22 million people watching something is anything to scoff at, particularly with, as you noted, such a fractured audience these days.

  7. "Anyway, I still don't think 22 million people watching something is anything to scoff at, particularly with, as you noted, such a fractured audience these days."

    It is when you aren't reaching your target audience of 18-34 year-olds. Instead, they are getting those who are old and don't have satellite TV, cable, or gaming systems. My buddies still working for NBCUniversal are really worried about their futures right now, especially after the Leno debacle and these lackluster Olympic ratings.

    An Asian-American who actually carried a show was Jamie Jilynn Chung on ABC Family's "Samurai Girl." However, it didn't make it past the mini-series, and it wasn't on network TV.

  8. Do you have any numbers on the age group breakdown?

    NBC-Universal should be worried about how their ADDesque policy of moving on to something else before the quality stuff in the last batch had a chance to build a following has made it so they no longer have anything compelling to watch, except on Thursdays.

  9. "except on Thursdays"

    Not even on Thursdays, as they don't even register anymore since the departure of "Friends" and "e.r." The competition is destroying them every night of the week. Again, you hear what their promotion spin doctors would like you to hear, and they don’t tell you that the likes of "Bones" crushes them, so just think what the likes of "CSI" and "Grey's Anatomy" are doing to them.

    I have the Nielsen breakdowns by age and gender, but I can't give them out as they come from network websites that require company passwords to access and they track who is accessing them and how they got those passwords. I used to work in the business (sometimes still do when a friend needs help) and may again in the future, so I can't go and shoot myself in the foot again (I let an ex-professor of mine have access and it nearly cost me my job at that time). However, you can find some of the Nielsen numbers at sites like the one I directed you to in the first comment and at

    I wish I could give you the breakdowns, but Nielsen is the only game in town and they charge a bundle for the industry to use the numbers. The breakdowns by age, gender, and ethnicity are to be used only by those who purchased them, so they take a harsh line against those who don't go through the proper channels in obtaining (paying for them) and using them without citing the source. People don’t understand how highly rated shows like “Murder She Wrote” or “Matlock” could be cancelled when those with slivers of an audience like the current “Melrose Place” (which has an Asian-Australian star) and “90210” can still be on. It’s all about demographics and the perceived buying power of said demographics. Somehow, old equals bad and young equals good. Just imagine yourself as a 70 year-old woman. Now think about how many current shows on television you’d be interested in watching.

  10. Not even on Thursdays, as they don't even register anymore since the departure of "Friends" and "e.r." The competition is destroying them every night of the week.

    Oh, I know they have lousy ratings. I meant "compelling" in the sense that it's something I feel a need to watch, not something that a lot of people are necessarily watching.

    Again, I think this is because they have let things die too quickly, before they became must-see TV for anybody. NBC has too few things that pull you back to their network.


    At the same time, I think that traditional measures of audience are outdated. Though it is completely anecdotal, I think I represent a subset of viewers that is growing. I watch certain programs religiously — the entire Thursday lineup of The Office, Community, 30 Rock, and Parks & Recreation, Lost, and a few other shows I might be a bit embarrassed to admit to — but I almost always watch them online, either on or the networks' sites themselves. Furthermore, I am actually fairly attentive to the commercials they send my way (I dare say a certain car company's persistence may end up paying off for them).

    Yet I'm not sure how much someone like me is counted as a viewer, much less a money-earning viewer. Ditto for when, after I arrived in Hawaii at the beginning of August 2006, I almost always watched network TV on my DVR, usually the day or two after it originally aired.

    The audience is fractured, sure, but for some people at least, that means more chances to watch the same traditional programming.

    BTW, John from Taejŏn, I always assumed you were a 대전에 있는 죤씨, but from your job description above, I'm thinking you might be a 고향이 대전 인 죤씨. You don't have to give such personal information, but it just occurred to me that I might have it backwards.

  11. "much less a money-earning viewer"

    That's the key to understanding ratings. They are broken down to more than just age, gender, and ethnicity. The main keys are income and spending habits. Those people who make up the Nielsen households are broken down into categories and then subcategories and studied and then studied some more.

    If you get a chance watch "Mad Men." It's a great show, and it explains a lot of the behind the scenes shenanigans that go on in the business from Madison Avenue to Hollywood.

    By the way, my take on the various flu bugs has taken a drastic shift. I just finished an awesome scientific thriller that scared the living hell out of me, especially as introducing man-made, and improved upon, plagues (The Spanish Lady to wheat rust and corn smut) to destroy billions of lives and wipe out entire world food supplies isn't really all that far-fetched thanks to today's technology and science. The book is "The First Horseman" by the husband and wife writing team known as John Case. A good portion of the book takes place in North Korean and, sadly, the fictional reaction from South Korea is pretty much spot on when detailing actual incidents in the past.

    Eventually, something catastrophic will happen to the population of the world. There are just too many possibilities to really worry about any "ONE" in particular. After reading this book though, I'm more inclined to think that I have more to fear from an outbreak of the H1 flu version that wreaked havoc over the planet in 1918 than I have to fear from anything else. This book really puts things in perspective concerning biological and chemical weapons as well. You might want to give it a read.

  12. This really has to sting: "NBC's ratings for the Winter Olympics dipped below those of the 2006 Winter Games in Torino for the first time Monday night.

    The broadcast was watched by 20.9 million viewers, enough to easily win the night. But ratings fell 25 percent from last Monday night and were down 7 percent from the same night during the Torino Games. The 2006 games were the lowest-rated games in recent history, according to The Hollywood Reporter."

    The Torino Games suffered because they weren't in the same time zone. These games are on the same continent, so NBC had been expecting much better numbers.

    I know I quit caring about these mostly rich and spoiled athletes crying about their lots in life when they don't win or the winners buying James Bond cars while a good portion of the viewing public happens to be unemployed or underemployed and struggling to get by on a day-to-day basis.

  13. " a few other shows I might be a bit embarrassed to admit to "

    I'm an Emmy voter, and I just watched the best episode of television I've seen all year. It just so happened to be this week's episode of "Greek" (season 3, episode 15). Now, I'll be writing a heartfelt tribute to this show and this endearing episode to a trade my fellow voters read, but more than likely, I'll be shouting in a vaccuum like I did when I sang the praises of "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer," "Farscape," and "The Deadliest Catch" (RIP Captain Phil).

  14. I have not had a chance to see "Farscape" or "Deadliest Catch," but "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" is an all-time favorite show, even if my move from Seoul to Honolulu meant me missing everything after Spike going off to Africa (?).


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