Dunder Mifflin Copy Paper IS REAL! After eight seasons of some pretty fantastic transmedia work (Schrute Space, anyone?), the folks and NBC licensing finally did the
impossible obvious…they actually started making Dunder Mifflin paper!
Yes, for only $34.99 per carton, YOU can own your very own utilitarian piece of a hit TV show! Now, I wonder if I can convince the folks at my office to order it…
As the story goes, my grandmother Marion called my great-grandmother Elizabeth one weekday afternoon. Elizabeth picked up and, with great urgency, said:
“Hang up the phone and turn on CBS. As The World Turns is on…”
Growing up, I never really questioned why I watch The Show (as my grandmother sometimes called it), I just did. My great-grandmother introduced it to my grandmother who introduced it to my mother who introduced it to me. It was a family tradition. I’m guessing it’s similar to the way one’s relatives might teach them a special family recipe or pass down antique jewelery from one generation to the next. But since elaborate meals were not really our family forte and we’re a little short on jewels, As The World Turns is the closet thing I have to a secret recipe or a family heirloom.
In fact, the first person who taught me about long-term television relationships was my grandmother. It wasn’t just that she watched As The World Turns, she loved it. After she had finished reading her Soap Opera Digests, she’d mail them to us – complete with all ATWT references circled or highlighted. And the first, and only, TV fan convention I ever attended was for As The World Turns. We’d walk around taking pictures with our favorite characters, entering raffles for autographed paraphernalia, and connecting with other fans who loved ATWT. Yes, it was my white-haired barely 5-foot-tall grandmother who taught me to be a fan.
As The World Turns will air its last episode in September 2010, which means I still have time to check in on Bob & Kim, Margo & Tom, Lucinda, Lisa, Mama Snyder, Susan Stewart, matriarch Nancy, and the rest of the residents of Oakdale, Illinois. And though I haven’t kept close tabs on The Show for a while now, I always took great comfort in the fact that it was there – a daily reminder of our 4 generation-long television relationship.
The two parties in what is, arguably, the longest long-term television relationship just renewed their vows! Nielsen, the source for TV ratings since 1950, announced today that by August 31, 2010 it will add an online component to its national television ratings sample. This initiative (called TVandPC*), originally slated for 2011, was pushed up due to pressure from networks who would like the Internet views of their content (and advertising) to be counted. The move was likely also influenced by the September announcement of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement (CIMM), a venture by 14 leading TV content providers to “promote innovation in audience measurement for Television and cross-platform media.” Its founders were careful to frame the CIMM as supplement to Nielsen and not an replacement, but they were basically saying: “You’re not measuring the ways people actually watch our shows, so we will!”
Allow me to translate into LTR-TV terms:
As they approached their 50th anniversary with Nielsen (their Golden anniversary, in case you’re shopping for gifts), the frustrated networks realized that their needs were not being met by their longtime partner. The networks continued to express their dissatisfaction with their current situation; that their relationship had changed in ways they never could have foreseen. The networks began exploring the idea of an open relationship. Nielsen finally got the message and is now doing everything it can to remain monogamous.
Yes, it all comes back to relationships…television relationships.
* Last time I checked, Nielsen only measured online viewing on PCs and NOT ON MACs. I’m guessing this will still be the case for TVandPC, but that’s another post for another day.
This website is the new home of my research and writing on Long-Term Relationship Television.
The information on this site is the beginning of my conversation about the changing face of the television industry and television storytelling.