Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Criminal Minds: Here is the newest letter from Edward Allen Bernero, Executive Producer of Criminal Minds, to the show's fans:

Hello Again Fanatics –

I’m writing to you on the morning of the 2nd of
January 2008 (that 8 is going to look weird until
February). I want to first say that I hope you all
had a great New Year’s celebration wherever you were
and that the coming year is incredibly prosperous,
exciting and fulfilling in every way. You Fanatics
distinguished yourselves last year as the most
incredible fans and friends of a television show I
have ever come across. Your compassion for, and
dedication to, not only the show but to the people who
make it is peerless, and our gratitude to you and your
families is real and deep. Thank you, thank you,
thank you.

So – as you know --we are still on strike. I’m
fairly stunned by that idea. I believed that at some
point, the people I call ‘partners’ on the other side
of this action would have stepped in and stopped the
ridiculousness at the AMPTP. Would have seen that the
personal relationships that are the heart of this
industry, relationships that took years of nurturing
and care, are being crushed by the vindictiveness of
the AMPTP’s spin machines and ‘tactics’. I thought
that, when even the Wall Street Journal (actually
owned by Rupert Murdoch) reported that the cost to the
companies (of agreeing to EVERYTHING the Guild was
asking for) would be NEGLIGIBLE, someone would step in
and inject some sense into the other side’s position.
That my ‘partners’ would at least ask themselves if
they shouldn’t get Counter and his team of lawyers
back to the negotiating table. This thing can not end
any other way so, every day that their side refuses to
come back to that table is a day in which THEY have
forced the stoppage to go on longer. I have seen much
reporting that this is just business from the AMPTP’s
standpoint, but I think that fundamentally
misrepresents and misunderstands the way our industry
operates because, without personal relationships, the
industry can’t function.

I see that you are forming a petition on this board
asking Les Moonves what he, personally, is doing to
end the strike. I think that’s a good question. I’ve
been surprised to see just how much he and his team
would allow other networks to benefit from a stoppage
that is surely affecting CBS more than any other
network. NBC is even running major advertisements on
television and in newspapers trumpeting the fact that
they have more new episodes than any other network in
January. They are ADVERTISING their benefit to
keeping tens of thousands of people out of work as
well as the competitive edge it gives them over CBS
and CBS doesn’t really seem to care. For some reason,
they are willing to let the fourth place network up
off the mat for a negligible savings. I thought they
were competitors. Confusing? Hell, yeah.

It’s also been shocking and… eye opening.

Eye opening because I really did believe that CBS
thought the relationship and the partnership with
those of us who make their product was real. Clearly,
they have decided that their relationship with the
other members of the AMPTP is far more important.
It’s going to be extremely difficult when this is over
to forget that decision. I don’t really know how
things will be when this situation comes to an end. I
guess a lot of that will depend on events as they move
forward. On who steps in to help end it as opposed
to who continues to act in ways that only prolong this
thing needlessly.

But – enough about the past. Let’s talk future.

I am not going to allow the people who work for me to
continue to be hurt by the AMPTP if there is anything
I can do to stop it. So, I am exploring alternative
ways of funding new vehicles to put everyone back to
work as well as giving you all something to watch.
Great storytelling does not require the AMPTP. It’s
actually kind of exciting that there may be new trails
to blaze in the face of this sobering wake-up call
about where the creative forces behind these shows fit
in the hierarchy of importance to the companies. The
money is there, the interest is there, and we are
going to move forward in every way possible. We have
some exciting ideas and can’t wait to share them with

But I want to start off the New Year with some
questions for you all, the fans of our work. You are
all internet savvy and exactly the audience we’d be
looking for. With that in mind, tell me -- how would
you prefer to get internet entertainment? Would you
prefer paying something like a small, monthly
subscription fee and see content without commercials
(like a cable network), or would you prefer free
downloads that have commercials in them? Would you
prefer very short, three to five minute episodes that
would eventually string together into longer pieces,
or is eight to ten minutes (which would be close to a
traditional act of a television show) doable for you?
Where do you want to watch these stories? At work?
At home? And do you watch the content actually on
your computer screens (on the sites themselves) or do
you transfer it to larger screens with one of the
various devices that make that possible? Would you
download bits as each became available or wait until
there was a number of shot episodes you can watch all
at once.

Don’t feel limited by the questions in your response.
If there’s an alternative way you’d like to see this
happen, post it. We’re open to any suggestions. We
want you all to be a part of this. I guess what we're
saying is, tell us what you want and we'll do
everything we can to give it to you.

Again, Happy, Happy New Year and thank you for
everything that you are.

Ed Bernero


allie said...

I like how the networks show episodes on the internet. Every 5 or so minutes there is a commercial and then the next segment starts until you have seen the whole show. It is like watching on tv really but I can watch it on my computer.

olivia said...

I am starving for intelligent content. I love our repeats but I need something new to watch.

I download from network sites but I would pay a small fee. I would prefer the internet but I am game for whatever.

You write it and I will find a way to watch it.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to be able to get it over the internet because I can watch it at home or at work. Ads don't bother me at all.

Is there a way that it could be a cable show like on HBO or Showtime or is that WGA work?

ImpyChick said...

Just like what allie said, I don't mind watching the content on network websites (like innertube on the cbs site) that's segmented like a real tv show. The commercial breaks give me a chance to run to the bathroom or get a snack. I'd be watching at home, on my computer. Also, if it helps, I would not mind paying a monthly fee to see anything that you & your team put out!!!

Good luck in your future endeavors!!!

Anonymous said...

This is exciting! Love that the crew will be working again and not waiting around for the strike to end.

I'll take it anyway I can get it!

Internet, cable, etc.

Anonymous said...

The internet is really how I watch many of my shows. I watch them on my computer instead of on the tv. It is easy and I can multi-task. I would pay a fee but I would be concerned that some people could not afford it.

FYI: When an internet commercial comes on then I send some emails until it is over. Ads online are no big deal.

simone said...

Hurray! We are a season behind the US in CM. If you do an internet show we would be able to watch it the same time our friends there do. I vote for any form of internet delivery. I would even pay for an internet delivery method.

Judiebuk said...

Thank you Ed for taking the time to ask us.

Regards CM in particular, I would take new episodes any way I could get them.

With regards to new projects in general.... I would be happy to pay a SMALL fee for downloads without commercials, although I don't mind FREE downloads with commercials. I also don't have any issues with the length of the shows/projects - whether it was bite size clips or longer segments. I would prefer to be able to download the clips/segments and watch on a larger screen (or portable device) rather than watch streamed content on the net, so I can get on with my work on my computer. I have a high speed connection so the file size isn't a problem for me, but some people may have issues with the length of time a download takes if they have slower connections, or if they are using public/work computers.

Wishing you all the very best for the new projects, and I'm hoping and praying for a quick end to the strike.

Anonymous said...

Ed, The delivery of new material really doesn't matter to me personally. I like the option of watching with/without commercials if I can watch it on my computer. Segment size is not an issue for me but I agree with judiebuk that small downloads might be nec. for people with dialup or slower computers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for coming to us for input. I watch-used to watch-whole episodes of many of my favorite tv shows online. I never knew before the strike that the writers didn't get paid for my viewing episodes in this way. I would LOVE to be able to have the same type of format as cbs, nbc and abc. It is just like watching it on your tv set but in my case the picture quality is better on my computer screen. I would also pay to watch. I do have many of the premium channels. I love not having commercials and you have more than 40 minutes of show. Whatever you decide to do has my support and me as a viewer! You can take that to the bank and bank it.

BrigitteCMFan said...

Hello Mr. Bernero,

First let me say Happy New Year to you and everyone at CM. Hoping the new year will bring an end to the strike soon.

I wouldn't mind paying a fee but adds don't bother me.

I prefer to watch longer episode.

I prefer to watch at home.

I would watch on my PC but I would still burn episodes on DVD to re-watch later on my TV.

I would download as soon as new episodes are available.

Last, WHAT I want is more CM :) either on CBS or on the net, just get it out there please!

Thanks for taking the time to ask use fans what we want.

Kimberly said...

I wouldn't mind paying a small fee monthly to watch internet episodes without commercials. But watching the episodes with commercials don't bother me either. To be completely honest I realy don't care how its delivered to me as long as I get to see our hard working writers back at work knowing that they once again will be able to provide for their families, themselfs, animals etc. I do have one sugestion have you thought of maybe tring another network like USA, Spike or something like that, don't know if their WGA or not but it might be worth a try.

Keren said...

First of all, Happy New Year! I hope the holidays were fun and full of great foods for you and your family.

I don't know if you have ever looked up "Sanctuary", ( a web based show that was completely computer generated (except for the actors). They did four free eps, viewable by download (one download per IP) or on a web-based player. after the fourth ep, you had to pay $1.99.

I like having the eps viewable on the web, however the commercials annoy the hell out of me. I can understand if you need them to help pay for production, but I'd rather go without.

You could also do bundles, eps 1-10 of the season would be $15 instead of $20 if bought all together.

I would vote for full eps, not downloads separated into acts. Doing it that way would make me forget what I had watched before. If I'm going to pay a fee, I except a full story.

I really hope you do find a place to make this deal. Good Luck!

I prefer to watch them at home, since I'm never guaranteed an uninterrupted moment here at work.

Anonymous said...

Oh goody! I get to comment on what I've been talking to DH about!

I think that downloadable is good, in smaller segments (I am on dialup). I also think there should be commercials. Not because I am that crazy about commercials, but because it would keep the advertisers involved and 'hooked' for involvement if/when CM goes back to broadcast television.

I watch at home, but would save the episode to watch later as a whole, like I tape episodes from TV now.

Also, would dvd offering of seasons be available after a season, like we have now? I am a cyber-luddite at times! lol

Thanks for asking us, and we do miss y'all a lot. Our best to cast and crew.

Cathy B

Elizabeth said...

Happy New Year, Ed

I would consider paying a fee to watch without commercials, but it would depend on the size of the fee. Commercials are annoying, but I can handle them.

I would prefer to download and watch rather than streamed video. And no, I can't watch/download stuff at work. That's naughty. *g*

I have broadband, so segment size isn't too much of an issue. I tend to watch on the PC - I'm sure I could convert and burn to disc, but the picture quality and sound is pretty good on the computer.

I hope that helps.

barbara said...

Ed, Happy New Year to you and your whole extended CM family!

The more I can watch on my PC the happier I am. I never understood why CM wasn't offered for download by CBS but now that I know the writers would have been screwed by it I am glad that it never happened.

I like the idea of long episodes with or without commercial breaks. If I need to pay for it then I would do it but I think having commercials gives you more financial support which is probably very important. If you produce a new project with commercials and the show does well it seems to me that you would have an additional advantage when you decided to do another new project. I hope I am making sense.

I think besides getting the crew back on finacial land you will be sending a very strong message to the NETWORK idiots. They need to understand once and for all time that they are not the only game in town. I think teaching them that lesson now will benefit all shows including Criminal Minds. CBS treats the show like it is garbage. They need a wake up call!

Madelyn said...

Happy New Year!

For me, I would prefer free episodes with ads -- the ads aren't annoying, and it's easier and more manageable to me than monthly payments.

I would almost certainly watch each episode as it came out, and even if it was a download, I would watch it on my computer.

Also, since I have a pretty fast connection, I think the larger the segment, the better, as it's much more convenient.

Thanks for the letter,


Adam Craig said...

I don't watch Criminal Minds so I hope that it is alright for me to comment. If not please delete.

I found your post to be very interesting. I wish other show runnners would do the same thing that you are talking about doing.

The internet is not new media. I watch tv on the internet everyday. I don't see the need for paying for the shows. Ads bother nobody.

Good luck to you and pass your idea around. There are many talented writers who need to work.

Dani said...

I hope and pray the strike ends as heart goes out to those who are being hurt by it. The people who are not in front of the cameras, but behind, and sometimes forgotten. I miss 'Criminal Minds' and will take it anyway you want to give the show to us! LOL

I don't download, I watch it at the site. (However, if I needed to download, that would not be a problem) I watch where ever I have time, sometimes at home, sometimes during my lunch hour, sometimes while waiting for the bus/train/plane. (Kind of sounding like a Dr. Seuss book here, isn't it?!)

I like longer...hate to wait for the ending, so would probably wait for several if you go with a 5-10 min shot at a time. Unless it's going to be a daily thing, then I would probably watch it daily.

Does that make sense?

Money is tight, so I would rather the ad format...if you do have to do it with fees, please remember that many of us are struggling too, and keep them as low as possible.

I watch on my in an apartment with five others means the television is tied up most times. (Though I have turned them into fan of the show as well.)

Anything that gets the show back on air, in any format, is a good thing. Best of luck to you, Mr. Bernero, and to the rest of the cast, crew and creative minds of 'Criminal Minds'.

heidi said...

Happy New Year Ed!

I wouldn't want to pay for the show and ads are not a problem. Money is tight and high speed internet service costs me big $s already. Anything that I could watch on my computer PC would be fine with me.

Annie said...

py to get my CM any way I can get it but as money is an issue for me, especially as I'm in australia which could make paying for a subscription problematical, I'd go for the free eps with commercials. Any length would work for. I'd prefer something downloadable so I could save it to watch again.

All the very best with whatever you decided to do and thanks for keeping us in mind.

One thing I'd like to mention is that there's been very little coverage of the strike here in Australia and I'm wondering if it would be any help at all to get some mention of it in the media here, especially since Rupert Murdoch has made his comments about it.

Lyn said...

Hi Ed
Keep up the good fight, guys. I'm happy to pay a small fee foe downloadable episodes with no commercials - cable TV here in Australia has commercials, despite us paying for none. 8-10 minute segments sounds good and I watch a lot of DVDs etc on my computer so I'd be happy with that. There's several programs available too that will download computer files to DVD format for watching on your TV.
I deally, I want the writers back at work where they belong and my regular weekly fix of Criminal Minds but at this point, I'll take whatever I can get.

Good luck to all of you and may the New Year eventually bring all of us good news.

henri said...

1. Would international viewers have access to the shows?

2. I like the idea of longer segments.

3. I watch at home and prefer to watch online.

4. Free is best imho. Commercial breaks are not an issue with my family.

lily said...


Happy New Year. I'm in disbelief that the strike is still in effect. Obviously they are trying to break the guild.

Full episodes with commercials or a small fee sounds best to me but I could also download smaller segements and watch that way.

I like the traditional type of tv segment best.

Tamara said...

First off, Happy New Year to all of you who have brought us Criminal Minds these past few years.

As for Internet television, my preference is always for free downloads with commercials, simply because it suits my financial situation. When it comes to segment length, my opinion is always going to be ‘the longer, the better’, because with good TV, you’re left wanting more. (I’ve never been anything less than giddy when 9pm rolls around on a new episode Wednesday night.)

I, personally, would always be watching from home rather than from work, but my sense of online TV fans in general is that I may be a bit of an anomaly that way.

I’d likely watch on my computer screen, rather than on any other device, and I would probably watch each episode as soon as it became available, due to the ‘always left wanting more’ issue I mentioned above.

But realistically, the bottom line is that if it’s good storytelling and a well crafted product otherwise (acting, directing, etc.), chances are that I’ll be watching regardless, even if I have to pay for it and even if the segments are too short for my liking. I’m a sucker for good TV, and you and your team have made it only too clear that you can deliver on that front.

One concern that comes to mind is the access available to people outside of the US. Many network shows that stream episodes online are not accessible from other countries. Given that CM has a fairly global fanbase, I think it would be of significant importance to a lot of people for you to make any Internet show widely available, if at all possible.

In any case, good luck to you, and kudos to you for trying to find alternatives in this situation.

happycritic said...

Personally, my internet content is greatly varied, and none of it seems particularly better than the next.

I don't mind having breaks for commercials, but I would be willing to pay if it was necessary.

I think if a series of short scenes were released, I would probably wait until I had an entire episode to watch.

Anonymous said...

Ed, your an honorable man! Thank you for giving us this opportunity to express ourselves.

I miss CM and would find a way to watch it!!!! My internet viewing would be at home. I would prefer free/ad based. Being a college student, things are a bit strapped. said...

I wouldnt mind watching the show on the internet but I dont have good internet services and on top of that the internet at work SUCKS!!! because they have a blockage on some sites that require flashplay, quicktime,adobe, etc. anything that requires a software that needs to be downloaded to view videos of some sort like youtube. And I spend most of my time at work due to the demand of the field I'm working in and due to the fact I'm in process of seeking a new career in acting it may be a little steep for me to pay a monthly fee is there a way it can be viewed on the internet and then transfer to be sold on DVD? Thats how I watch CM, heck thats how I watch any show I have to purchase the Season(s)on DVD because I'm ALWAYS at work and I have to run to another floor in the hospital to watch CM on
anywho, either way I'm still going to support However you guys choose I'll be there somehow, someway.

Anonymous said...


With regards to the Subscription/Advert selling model, do both.

An advert free subscription channel with hi-res downloads available, that can be watched on Computer/Media Centre/burned to DVD. Maybe available a week ahead of the Ad paid version.

An ad paid version available to stream smaller chunks in a browser. The ad paid version should be the best quality possible that won't exclude dial up users. The trade off between quality and download speed should be driven only by people's connection speed, perhaps even doing a short test to determine the best speed. The people who may not be able to afford a subscription shouldn't be penalised. After all, everyone wants the show to look it's best whatever the delivery mechanism.

I think that segment sizes should match the rough act size of a normal TV show, if that is the format you intend to use. I don't want to see half an act, or have the story compromised because of lack of running time, but it's a difficult call. I know many people who can't watch more than 3 or 4 minutes of video on the web before losing attention, but will happily sit through 50 minutes of TV when sitting in the armchair.

I would always prefer to watch content at home, preferably on the TV. So it is likely that I would be among the people who waited for a whole story to be told before burning to disc and watching.

That is unless you are planning on breaking convention and running a story that spans a length of time longer, or shorter than a normal TV show, in which case I would probably be hanging each week for the next part.

If you choose to provide downloads, they must be device agnostic. I realise I might be preaching to the converted, but it never hurts to keep the point in people's minds.

Keep the price sensible for any subscription offering. iTunes USA is selling 24 Season 6 for $44.99 in average quality. is hawking the DVDs for $37.99.
Any downloads should cost less than buying a physical product.

Finally (and I apologise for going on so long), the spelling probably gave it away, but I'm in the UK. I know the USA is a huge market, but if you own the content, licence it worldwide, the potential rewards would most likely match the domestic income.

Good luck in any venture,

caitlin said...

Thanks for the greetings Ed!

I find that I am constantly adding new ways of using the internet to my daily life. I would love to sit and watch a new show or two on the web. I prefer whole episodes with commercial breaks rather than short downloads. I am the impatient type of viewer. I always want to know what happens next. I download episodes onto my ipod and the whole episode only costs a few bucks. I also watch shows free on the internet sites. Commercials are a nec. nuisance and it would not be a problem since I am already used to it now.

I think as long as you make your show user friendly then people will adapt. You definately need to make it available overseas.

slashgirl said...

I'll tell you upfront: if I have to pay a fee for it, I won't be watching it. (Unless of course it ends up on torrents then I will d/l it that way, for free. Hey, I'm honest about what I'll do.)

The whole cable thing doesn't apply to me since I get my TV via satellite and can choose which channel packages I want to see. And I'm in Canada.

I would ignore commericials online the same way I do on TV. I'd just multi task til the show came back. *G* And I'd rather see ads on the download site than commercials in the product. But I'd take commercials over a fee based site.

I would rather have full ep downloads than streaming eps(or at least have the downloads available afterward if it were streaming media). While I might be able to watch at work, I couldn't--since I have this stuff called, oh, work, that I need to do and that they pay me to do. *G* I have highspeed at home, so can d/l from there. I'd most likely just watch on my comp--my flat screen is pretty good for that.

One thing--make sure the content will be available internationally. Most US network sites are blocked to those who are not in the US.

I'll be honest with you--because this won't be CM and because you've given us absolutely no idea what you may be producing, I can't honestly say if I would watch it. I don't want a cm-clone/wannabee type show; I already have CM.

Would I give it a go, most likely...but it all depends on what the show is and is about. I'm not a huge tv watcher--there are maybe four or five shows I watch on a regular basis, and CM is my only "won't miss" show.

I will definitely be looking for more news on this venture!

Anonymous said...

Nobody is going to turn down free but I would pay a small fee for a really good show. I paid for cable channels years ago just to watch one show that I loved.

I think that as long as your show is really good (and I am sure that it will be) people will find a way to watch it.

PC at home for me. I'd love to ditch the television out of my house. I love my new big screen monitor. I still have the tv in the livingroom if you decide to go that way.

CBS is very foolish. They are killing themselves with this strike. If there is an upside for them then I am just too simple minded to see it. The fan backlash alone should be scaring them to settle.

Tapati said...

In my dreams I can download whole shows without commercials and watch them wherever I choose, computer, tv, or iPod. I am ok with commercials for free content but also want the option to pay for a commercial free version. Most tv I've watched online has been via iTunes. I would subscribe to a season of Criminal Minds there if that's the only way to watch it if the strike continues! Or anything else you produce.

I prefer longer segments, say at least 15 minute increments. When I watch from iTunes I just have the entire commercial free episode and that's the best.

miramax lover said...

I feel rather like a young child in a candy store with money in my pockets. So many choices.

If I could have anything I wanted then it would be the ability to go to an internet site that I could either pay a small amount to for an advertisement free episode or have the option to watch it entirely free but with advertisements every segment.

I don't download so that isn't interesting to me. I like to watch a show when I feel like it.

I'm afraid I was of little help to you but I will certainly give your new show a whirl.

Elizabeth said...

oh, and I forgot - a lot of us are outside the US, so it would need to be available to the rest of the world.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that alternative options for employment are being canvassed in the current hard times!

Speaking as somebody (and there are still quite a lot of us out here) who only has internet access via library computers and work--neither of which permits downloading or watching of media files because they take up way too much bandwidth and way too much time--I simply wouldn't watch an internet TV show. I wouldn't be able to. I certainly wouldn't pay for downloads, because I can't: not all of us own credit cards, either.

Actually, I'd *prefer* television, but I understand that that's not a workable solution to the current dilemma. I prefer longer episodes, and I will only watch them at home, on a television screen. I guess I would actually prefer direct-to-DVD, so long as it was made available in Australia and I knew that the writers were getting their due from it.

--Cal from LJ.

Norma Jean said...

I would prefer something streaming similar to CBS's InnerTube...I would be reluctant to pay for downloaded material. Advertising within/during episode breaks would be fine and welcome.I have been drawn to Criminal Minds for the intelligent writing and great cast and am delighted to find such a show on network television..I will tell you, the only way I watch premium channel shows are borrowing through my local library after as season has gone to DVD. Thanks again for using this forum to communicate and for seeking our thoughts and input...

han-uhh said...

It's sad that this is still going on, but I'm delighted to hear there's going to be something done to enable writers to continue writing (even if it doesn't result in shows on tv).

I wouldn't mind commercials in between content, because I mean, we deal with commercials all the time (except when using TiVo/DVR, but that's different =D).

As for watching directly online or from a device, would you be able to make them available both online and as podcasts? I would definitely download them as podcasts, even with commercials. Like I said, commercials don't bother me - whereas while I'd like to pay the fee, I don't have a debit card in my own name as of yet, and I do major commute to college.

As for the length, I really wouldn't mind either, but the longer length is preferable. =) Just because I'm a selfish TV watcher, tee hee!

But I'm certainly not picky, and I'm game for everything! (Even if it means having to go and get a checking account to pay the fee, really!)

Hope you guys get to write soon, regardless of what it is you're writing!

sherlockette said...

Thanks Ed
Just some ideas and opinions:

I would be fine with watching streaming on the computer but Inner Tube does not work well on DSL. CBS made a mistake (one of many) putting things out over that piece of crap technology. I am willing to pay a small fee for access to a decent platform. I want to see unlimited access to episodes, so they can be re-watched.

If that is not possible, then I prefer something like a subscription service-where I can choose from a program menu, rather than being forced to buy all content. Free samples are great, and would help me decide if I want to purchase the subscription.

I like the tension building structure of tv dramas, and I prefer the longer format. with some exceptions. Shorter worked for The Twilight Zone, but less than 30 minutes is not enough time to tell a good story (or to make me want to make time for it). I don’t want to view a show in pieces nor would I feel compelled to make time for a fifteen minute segment of viewing. A big question would be whether the shows were continuing dramas, with characters we have to get to like, or stand alone stories. If you want us to like them we need bonding time, in the form of longer initial segments.

I have to WORK at work, so I view shows when I am at home and at my own computer.

I am fine with commercials. If they are short and cute, I even watch them. Maybe we need to change the way commercials are made…for the net.

From a fan point of view it is hard to get the same excitement with asynchronous viewing as one gets with everyone viewing at the same time. I suggest a premiere date/time so fans can get together and discuss the episodes-like we do now. After the “premiere” then the show is available for everyone.

Kirsten said...

I would watch it on the internet, for free with ads. It's not that different than watching it on television, and I don't have an issue with ads.
My issue is with where episodes will end up. I'm in Canada, and if the Canadian networks don't put it on broadband, I can't watch it on the net. All the U.S. networks seem to have a block on international viewers watching the shows on their sites.The only exception I have found is the cable news sites, since I watch Olbermann on MSNBC's video site. If CTV isn't allowed to put CM on broadband, I would have to go illegal, which I do not want to do.
I know that CTV does have some network TV on their broadband network ( Pushing Daisies is there), so I really want to know- is it a licensing issue?
And I will always buy my favorite shows on DVD, so if that's the only way I can get good television, I'll go there. It's the only way I've been able to see The Wire.

Phoenix said...

Ed, thanks again for your honest, straight forward approach to a complex situation. I too, am stunned by the AMPTP's "decision making" and actions--or should I say "inactions"? They know the technology is merging and internet delivery is not on the horizon--it's here. I cannot fathom what they are thinking. How can they not be creating and strengthening partnerships for change rather than destroying the very heart of the industry?
Anyway, that's not what you asked. Okay, here's my 2 cents.
Work vs Home: Personally, I would not be able to download programs of any length at work. It's too much of a bandwidth hog. My work has recently locked down internet sites to prevent tying up corporate resources to download “YouTube”, etc. As downloads and streaming video compound the stressors of internet radio, more and more corporations will be taking measures to prevent employees from using corporate bandwidth for work-time entertainment.
At home I have an HP Media Center connected to my LCD TV, so essentially ALL of my TV runs through the computer. I currently download episodes of shows that I have missed for some reason or another and watch them on the TV. On rare occasions (like when my husband is having a NASCAR day), I’ll download something on my laptop to watch. I know that there is “made for the internet” shows out there, but I have not personally explored them. If there were quality shows available as full-length stories, I would have no problem with getting them from the internet.
Commercials vs. subscription or pay-per-view: The commercials don’t particularly bother me—I’ve grown up with no other option and don’t know anything else. However, my European friends hate watching TV when they visit because the commercials drive them nuts. However, I do admit that I’m tending to “TiVo” a lot of shows and watch them later so that I can fast forward through the commercials.
Somehow I can’t see myself adding one more subscription for entertainment. While “cable” shows are theoretically “better”, I’m still dealing with commercials even after I’ve paid DirecTV an arm and a leg—well, maybe just an arm. And, once I’ve seen this month’s offerings on Discovery, The Science Channel, History Channel and a few others, I still find days with 500 channels and nothing I’m interested in watching. That’s when I’m looking to see what I’ve ordered on Netflix. I think there would have to be A LOT of really good programming available on the internet before I’d go with another entertainment subscription—even a small one. There would have to be enough programming for me to seriously consider switching FROM DirecTV to an internet subscription service—especially since I would also have to keep my DSL just to be able to receive it.
As for a pay-per-view business model, I’m pretty ambivalent about that too. Rates I’ve heard have been like $2.00 per episode download ( For me, that’s not a budget breaker, but it would be for others. And for an entire season, you are approaching DVD prices. The other thing that bothers me about this model is that I hate the feeling of being “nickel and dimed to death.” I don’t want a bunch of $1-$2 charges on my credit card, especially since I know what Visa/MC merchant charges are (at least for a small business owner like me.) The only way I would consider doing that would be to buy say $25 worth of “credits”. Then if it’s a “hot show” that I really am willing to pay 2 credits an episode, I can. If it’s a new show that I just want to try out once, then it may be worth say, 1 credit. If I don’t like it, I haven’t paid for the whole season. When my $25 is gone, I either buy more or say forget it. That way if I’m on vacation or really busy, I’m not paying a monthly subscription for something I’m not using like I currently do for DirecTV and Netflix.
Delivery modes: I think flexibility is the key here. First, delivery must be device agnostic and format consistent across ALL shows, no matter what website they originate from. The last thing we need is another VHS vs Beta, Hi def vs Blue Ray issue. If we’re changing media delivery systems then we need to change the way we think about them. Not only is the internet “anything anytime,” but also “everything all the time”. It’s not an “either/or” question, but a “both/and” one. It’s not “6 minute acts OR full episodes,”---it’s BOTH. I’m NOT talking about producing two different versions of the same show—that’s an unnecessary expense. It’s one show, just packaged as smaller chunks for easy download (yes, there is still a lot of dial up out there) OR, as the complete show—however the consumer wants to access it. You could even do a commercial–free version with a fee attached or free commercial sponsored one. Maybe the free one comes out a week after the paid one. Let the market make the ‘with or without commercials’ determination. Some shows may do very well in a commercial-free pay-to-view environment. Others may need the commercial support to build a following.
The internet also removes another broadcast TV mental model. When you produce a broadcast show, you have to decide “Is this a 30 minute show or a full hour?” With the internet, you don’t have to think about it like that. It a can be BOTH—or neither. Since the internet is asynchronous, you don’t have to fit it into an arbitrary programming schedule. You can make it whatever the SHOW needs. If you have a complex story line that needs 63 minutes to tell it, that’s fine. The next episode may only need 51 minutes. No more cutting out great scenes to meet an arbitrary time commitment. Every episode can be “the director’s cut.” Just label it like they do movie DVDs so you know how long it is.
Other comments: Most of my experience so far has been with streaming video rather than downloaded & saved episodes. Here’s an issue I think you should consider. There’s no permanent capture of streamed video. I know this is a touchy subject within the industry, but if you are changing to a user-driven medium like the internet, it’s time to rethink the issue of user captures. There are MANY of us out there that love doing screen caps and “playing around with them.” We make wallpaper, icons, banners and all forms of “fanart.” Yes, yes, yes, there are copy write issues here that are near and dear to every writer’s heart. But just TRY to look at it from an open-internet user’s perspective and then from a “what’s best for the medium?” perspective. Try thinking about the use of these images as “free advertising” for the show. No one is selling them. We post them, trade them or just admire them. It’s one of the things that hold fandom together—hell, it’s one of the things that create it. Long before any network is ready to fund “CM calendars and coffee mugs” for sale, fans are out there making their own. Thousands of computers are booted up every day to CM wallpapers. Just check the “FAN ART” section of the CM Message board. The same is true for Stargate, 24, Lost, and hundreds of others. Screen captured icons and avatars are on millions of pages of blogs, message boards and journals. It’s millions of dollars of free advertising, not to mention how it builds a loyal fan base. I’d hate to see shows go to a locked-down format that makes it impossible for the average person to grab a few images of their favorite shows. An internet medium should make it EASIER to do these things, not harder. Hey, you could promote the shows by providing free downloadable images and fan contests for the best wallpaper—and you would get some darn good ones too.
The internet is a whole different way of doing business. Try not to take too much of the broadcast TV industry’s business model and attitudes with you. We already know that system is broken. I know this is long, but you did ask. I hope it helps. Now go get your crew back to work! :)

rachie said...

You are surely a gem and I'm so grateful your ours!

Ten years ago I had a hard time learning how to program a VCR and now I am tivoing and downloading like a pro. Traditional TV viewing is on it's way out. I have everything channeling through my computer and would relish the opportunity to have our wonderful writers come out of the darkness and servitude of network rules and regulations and beam me some new shows.

This strike has given me a very bad taste in my mouth towards the networks. I will watch CM when it comes back. I would also like the opportunity to watch "NEW MEDIA".

I watch at home and not at work. I have no problem paying small fees for shows but I would like full episodes. I don't like YouTube. I would not mind ads on free shows.

You said that we could ask you questions and here is mine: Does CBS think that viewers are stupid? The term "New Media" is offensive and their continued statements that they don't know if "New Media" is going to make anybody any money makes me feel as though they think I am too dumb to know how I am being entertained now!

stephanie said...


Happy New Year!

I'm going to make this very simple for you...

You produce it and I'll watch it.

That simple in my book. Unless it costs an enormous amount of money or special machinery then I am going to watch it.

All I want is the crew and writers of Criminal Minds to have an income.

pamela said...

Hi Ed!

I watch at home and not at work. I prefer to watch on the computer. A small fee is fine with me. The option to also buy dvds would be great. Product ads don't bother me since I don't watch them. Downloading is awesome wrapped in a bow.

Give us a heads up on the new show so we can talk it up to our family and friends.

Pearl said...

I would rather have commericals than have to worry about a fee. I watch my shows over the internet. The network websites are pretty good so modeling after those would be a good idea. I would probably watch mostly from home.

blue said...

Well, I love this show and I like watching TV. And I would like watching on my computer. But, I not working enough to afford any more bills. Sense I already pay for the internet, I would opt for free downloads with commercials. Or itunes which charge a $1.99 per episode. But the other problem I have is my computer doesn't show video very well all the time.

So, the only thing I can think of other then internet would be making a deal with other production companies or investors. Investors like Apple Computers. You know they have that Apple TV, I not sure how that works though. I have a mac, so I always leaning towards mac friendly devices. My mac is old too.

But it sound like you are looking at going towards companies like Google and Yahoo. My concern is how will moving effect the cast? The big studios seem to have money to pay actors big money. And even though the writer are been shorted, they will be looking for a more fair deal too. Will you be able to accomplish this moving to another venue?

Last, I should make this point. If you are able to make the same quality show available via the internet and make it affordable for consumers, then I'm for it. Good Luck Ed.

scott said...

Ed, I would love to see you start a show with an internet company that wants to pull some business away from the companies that also own the networks. They would be able to afford a nice budget with less content restraints.

I watch tv both on the internet and using my tivo. Using tivo I can fast forward through the commercials while on the internet I have to wait for them to end. The internet commercials are never very long so that isn't a problem.

Itunes charges $1.99 plus tax for every episode and I have no problem with a deal like that.

Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I like the format that NBC uses. They break each episode up into 5-6 pieces with ads between each segment. That way it is free. I say go for it.

mona said...

I love the idea of a new non-network show.

If the show is well written, has a good cast and is not really expensive then I will have no problem watching it whether you go free with ads or pay-per-view.

I don't like the idea of really short segments but if it necessary so everyone can watch it no matter what their computer connection is then I will be okay with it.

JoJo said...

Hi all,

I hope everyone had a Happy New Year.

I am in the same boat as many in regards to advertisements. I would watch them if it means my favourite show is just minutes away. Payment for the episodes, on the other hand, could be difficult for some people as they either: don't have the money or simply don't have a credit card or any card that can make payments online, which is where I stand. There is also the limitations to which country you stay in. As I stay in Scotland it may be hard to get the episodes here as I know most sites have a "US only" restriction.

I believe longer scenes (8 to 10 mins) would benefit the viewers more as it means the viewer has less things to remember to download as I am very forgetful and would probably miss a scene out :D.

As for where I watch the show, I usually watch them on television but occasionally watch them on my computer. As my work still consists of school :D and with the school being all "big brother" I probably wouldn't be allowed access to the site to download it.

When it comes to watching video files or listening to podcasts (don't know if this is relevant) I have, on occasion, transfered them to my xbox360 via the media center.

I am truly grateful to all the writers and people who are outside picketing in all weathers. Let us hope it doesn't last long.

I would also like to say that the communication links you have with the Criminal Minds fans is of fantastic inspiration to us all and shows us all that you truly are passionate about your job and the show. :D

from bonnie Scotland :D,

Joanne Lawrie

monica said...


I think now I am "speechless". I hate this strike with a passion but I do like the idea of moving viewers away from network television. When you censor Sally Fields then you have gone way off your medication in my opinion. The networks are living in the stone age. Consumers like myself have so many choices on how, when and where they choose to be entertained and the networks don't seem to understand that they are not the only 'game in town'.

Here's my input: I like to watch shows on my computer when I feel like watching them. I like to download. I don't like ads but can live with them if the show is free. If I am paying for the download then it goes without saying that ads are out. I hate Youtube. I would like a show that is available to my friends outside of the US and Canada.

Put the writers and crew to work! Screw CBS and waiting around. Les Moonves is an ass. A stupid, dinosaur ASS!

Anonymous said...

New content! Thank heavens! Anyway, I wouldn't mind commercials or paying. Segments that string together would be good (ones between 5 and 10 minutes). I would recommend being able to download the episodes, because streaming may be a problem with slower internet connections and constant buffering is the one thing that ruins internet content. Commercials probably not be internationally relevant either (I live in the UK and adore CM), so that might hamper the amount of money companies would pay (or would it, I've no idea). For that reason, fees would probably be better. Olivia put it best: You write it, and I will find a way to watch it.
Support the writers!!

molly said...


I think you should pack up the writers and the crew and join us on the internet.

I don't really like downloading so I would like a site I could go to and watch the show, with or without commercials, and I could afford a small fee.

I didn't understand Monica's reference to Sally Fields but I agree with her when she says that Moonves is an ass.

You know how loyal we all are to you and the writers and we would like the chance to watch whatever you all decide to present to us. With all of you writing it then it has to be great.

Justin said...

Regarding "internet" shows, I would highly prefer ads supported, rather than viewer supported. Though if there was a "pay [x] to view without ads" I might consider it for good/great shows.

For how I would watch, definately, most likely, at home on my computer. Though if the quality was high enough (unlike most current AMPTP online shows) I could easily consider downloading them to a DVD and viewing them on a quality television set, with family.

Depending on how engaging a show is, I may watch them in clumps, of time I can put aside, or emmediately rush to get the single newest episode, that would depend more on my time, and desire for the show than it would on a general "I'll do it this way".

In most cases, for great shows (imho to use a few examples, Battlestar Galactica, Sopranos, Heroes, etc.) I would definately wish to be able to purchase a DVD-set for an individual episode or the entire season, if such a venue is/was possible. Even without the added cost to produce these DVDs as the AMPTP seems to impose, I would *still* be willing to pay competitive (to current price) values for sets/single-dvds.

grahamag said...

This is very cool that you are even coming to the fans! Thanks for asking and Happy New Year to all who make or at least should be making CM right now.

Please not HBO, ect...

Prefer Internet - A fee I can deal with for no commercials but also commercials do not bother me. So however you can make this work...I'm good as long as we get CM back.

I cannot stand waiting for endings so I need full segments.

Good luck in your "talks" and may this your strike end soon. Again, Happy New Year.

heather said...


Criminal Minds is a great show and I remain loyal to it but waiting for new episodes has already gotten very old. Yes, start something new. Can it start tomorrow????

My first choice would be on the internet and free. Ads are a way of life so who cares. The option of paying a few bucks is cool too but I think you may limit your overall audience.

A cable station would be worth the fee if there were other new shows on it as well as yours. I could go that route too.

andrea said...

You and the writers go write. If you need CM fans to walk the picket lines in your places so you are still supporting the WGA then tell Jill and we'll do it.

You need to do whatever makes the most fiscal sense for the writers and the crew. The internet would be great for me and free is always a bonus but I would pay to see your work. There really isn't much that CM fans wouldn't do for all of you. There really isn't much that CM fans wouldn't do for great written shows.

brooke said...

Happy New Year Ed!

Free is best. Ads are ok. If not free then cheap is best. Full episodes rather than small bits each week or something like that. Even 30 minutes would be a show if there were no ads. Internet would be great. I don't like streaming like you tube because the quality isn't always good on you tube.

Lori said...

You all know so much more about the logistics of this than I do, but if Ed finds a way to produce his wonderful shows on the internet, I will figure it out--or bug you all with questions on how to do it!!

A small fee to watch commercial fee doesn't bother me, but like so many have said before me, there are lots of people who couldn't afford to pay even a small fee, and I want them to be able to watch, too.

And, there are so many non-US fans, it would be great if they were able to watch/download/whatever the same shows we in the US are able to watch/download/whatever and at the same time. I think that the numbers of viewers would increase more than we might even realize if the shows didn't block non-US viewers from accessing the sites. Just think of the dollar signs advertisers will be seeing if everyone, worldwide (it is the worldwide web after all) can click on and watch a show.

I don't see our chats being impacted. We can set a date and time after an episode is on the internet, to give people time to watch it, and discuss it.

As to the length of the segment(s), I leave that to someone more qualified than I to decide. I have broadband, so the size of a segment doesn't matter.

I would watch an internet show at home. I like what someone said about downloading all the segments of an episode and burning them onto a DVD to watch on TV. We have a 60-inch big screen TV in our basement and love watching shows on that! But, if that isn't feasible, I would watch on my computer (note to self, get a more comfortable computer chair because I envision myself spending more time sitting in it!).

Ed, you are an amazing man, and I have so much respect for you for continually letting the fans know what is going on.

Thanks so much, and whenever you have something to watch on TV or the internet, let us know. I, for one, will be there.

Shawn said...

Hi Ed,

Happy new year to you! May it be awesome!

I stumbled across Criminal Minds part way through the 2nd season. Immediately I was hooked due to the great stories, great writing, awesome actors and truthfully due in part by the beautiful Ms. AJ Cook. :o) What I did then was immediately purchased the Season 1 DVDs and kicked off Bittorrent downloads to the episodes of Season 2 that I had missed. I watched all of Season 1 and then started from the beginning of Season 2. I have not missed an episode on regular TV since!

After watching an episode or 2 per night, every night for a few weeks, I went into severe withdrawals when I had to wait a week for each new episode. The show is that good, and I have told all my friends to watch, making a few new converts too!

So, I would be happy with whatever solution you come up with. I would download them from iTunes or via Bittorrent, I'd watch them streaming on the net, I'd watch them on pay-per-view from my Cable supplier as long as I could watch them again!

As others have mentioned, if you charge for them, you may limit the range that you would reach. So, adding commercials may be your best bet, to keep it free. Within reason, limit the commercials to at most 4 breaks during a typical 42 minute show.

Those are my 2 cents. Best of luck to you, the writers and the cast! Can't wait to see the new episodes!!


ashley m. said...

"If you build it, he will come." from "Field of Dreams".

"If you produce it, they will come." from a CM fan who appreciates your loyalty to all of us.

Jan and Quentin said...

Hi Ed,
I think I'd rather watch for free with limited commercials, which don't really bother me. I'd probably watch on my flatscreen laptop at home. I'd rather d/l and watch when I want.

I've never watched "TV" on online, except for YouTube. I don't even know what "streaming" is. LOL. I guess I'm not one of the computer savvy folks, but I am motivated to learn for good programming.

The key for me would be education. You'd need to get the methodology explanations out there to me and others who are on the verge of this type of internet usage but just aren't there, yet. I esp. don't want to pay a fee for something and then not be able to use it.

I'm excited by your ideas, though, and trust that you and your people can "git 'er done" and then communicate with the viewers.

rayne said...

I download all the time. The internet is the place to be Ed. I would pay a few bucks to download or watch on the internet with ads.

I hope other writers are thinking about doing this. I really miss all my shows.

michelle said...


Brilliant idea. There is no sense in people starving while waiting for the AMPTP to get their heads out of their asses.

All my media comes through my computer. I would pay a fee for ad free episodes or downloads. I have no problem with ads as a rule as long as the show is good. A good free show is worth the 60 seconds you have to wait for the ad to finish.

Best of luck and keep us informed.

andrew said...

I don't know technical terms. I used to watch whole episodes with commercials on the show sites and sometimes I would download them. I like doing that.

I have cable stations so that would be okay for me.

People are using terms like streaming and I am not sure that I know what that is.

I am pretty handy on the internet so if it is on the internet I would likely be alright.

Commercials and no fees would be great.

Anonymous said...

My opinion? What a wonderful concept! Thank you.
After reading many comments I question the ability of all computers to be 100% effective in delivering a good "product." I know that I would have to go out and buy a new computer which I can't aford.
I enjoy watching CM on TV. I would be willing to pay a small fee, commercials DO bother me (I hate them) but realize they are a necessary about small banners that run across the bottom of the screen or small icons
in corners at certain intervals?
It wouldn't be much fun (IMHO) to watch shorter episodes, actually I'd love for them to be longer and you guys and girls are so talented what are we waiting for???
Thanks again for asking.
Happy New Year to all The "CM Family."

Mr. Bernero, would Federal Mediation be of any help at this point?

thelertman said...

I would not want to pay a fee and watch commercials.

Unfortunately, paying a fee doesn’t guaranty a commercial-free experience.

Regardless of how things start, Internet content will eventually be ad supported. It may be something as benign as "brought to you by...", more subtle like product placement, or as traditional commercials.

* Movie theaters run advertisements before the show. At least these can usually be avoided by geting to the movie about ten minutes late, if you can still find a seat.

* Television stations available exclusively via cable (Bravo, TNT, USA, etc.) run advertisements throughout their shows.

* DVD’s force you to watch advertisements and promos by temporarily disabling the menu feature.

* News sites compel you to watch a commercial before the video begins. Once the commercial starts, they prevent you from choosing another video until the commercial has ended.

How long until they finally prevent the consumer from skipping commercials by disabling the fast-forward and/or the channel Up/Down button on TiVo boxes and DVRs?

addie said...

Ads are not a big deal if there aren't so many of them that they break a show's flow.

I like the idea of being able to download the episodes and watch them when I want to or just a site that I can go to and pick and pay.

nella said...

It is hard to answer all your questions without some more info. When you say 10 minutes do you mean at a time or 10 minutes a week? I would like a longer weekly episode. I would be happy to pay for it to be ad free. I watch at home only and usually only on the internet.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you all come up with.

esther said...

I would like the "cable" type of setup. Pay a fee and watch what you want when you want to watch it. That sounds cool.

renee said...

Happy New Year!

I would like for the new show to be free or at least reasonably priced. I watch only at home. I can watch it on my tv or on my computer. I don't like to d/load large files so small ones would work best for me.

Mizzy_B said...

Personally, I would prefer to watch for free along with the commercials. 8-10 minute segments would satisfy me. Anything shorter would feel, well, too short.

I'd watch them online. But, if they were made available to download, if I really enjoyed them, I would probably download them to have the entire series to watch again. If they were available on iTunes, I am sure I would buy them from there as well.

I do want to note, that, as a Canadian, I cannot watch the episodes that most networks already put up online as they, by and large, are unavailable outside of the U.S. As a Canadian viewer, I have long found this frustrating. If there would be a way for me to watch online, with advertising, here in Canada, that would be great.

LoraLee said...

I'm also on dial-up. For me to watch online it pretty much has to be in short segments, three to five minutes clips that string together are good for me. Anything longer takes forever (An hour or more for a ten-minute video). For the same reason, downloading, rather than streaming would be my preference.

I wish I could say a small fee rather than commercials, but like many others sometimes money is tight and entertainment is the first thing to get cut from the budget, so commercials it is for me.

I would watch the clips as they come out on the computer, then burn to a DVD to watch on the television (larger, better screen) and I use the computer pretty exclusively at home.

Good luck, and I hope the AMPTP gets their collective heads out of their collective butts soon.

taylor said...


I think the new series would be great in something like Itunes. Pay as you go downloads.

I don't really care what method of delivery you use because I will watch it regardless.

Thank you for letting us voice our opinions. I usually have more than this to say but I think most of the options available are ones that I would like so it is all good for me.

Anonymous said...

Criminal Minds fans,

I came to this blog yesterday to sign the CBS petition as a fan of CSI and just came back to see how many signatures it had. I am amazed to find this letter from Mr. Bernero. I hope you all know how lucky you are! Nobody ever asks us our opinion of a damn thing!

I will like to have a new selection of internet only shows. I would like to be able to download them to a cd so I could watch them on either my computer or tv and watch them at my convenience. I would be willing to pay a marginal fee for them even if they had product ads.

This is amazing.

Anonymous said...

I prefer streamed content, with or without ads.

In all honesty, with the amount of free, illegal content out there, charging for online content isnt a viable option. Someone will just pay for it and then upload it for their friends to copy. In otherwords, I would go for comercials in the programming, just like regular TV works now.

I'm happy watching content online most of the time, but the option of downloading a VCD format would be goos for shows i watch with family and friends.

Anonymous said...

I have not read any other comments, so please bear with any repeats. My first choice would be to pay a monthly fee and watch the movies from the internet. I even like the idea of paying a small fee for each epi (like iTunes.) I would probably view on my computer at home, but wouldn't object to uploading it onto my iPod.

As far as the ad option, I say make the advertising in the beginning to then view the epi without interruptions.

I would welcome the oportunity to view something creative and intelligent. Especially after viewing the mind numbing reality-show commercials. I don't watch the epis since the ads are bad enough!

You're the greatest Ed!!!!!!

Marissa :)

Angelwriter said...

Well, I don't know if I would have the money to pay a fee, so I would have to say free content. I'm sure it will be majority rules, so I just hope that whatever it is, I'll even be able to see the show if it goes to internet. I also would need something that I could download or watch in the early hours of the morning, because otherwise, I get penalized for downloading.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see internet delivery of content. I have no problem with advertisements,or with a fee, but I would prefer a pay-per-view fee rather than a subscription. I am also more likely to wait until I have a bunch of segments to watch them.

Anonymous said...

I'm on dial up, so streaming would not work for me. I'm also not very good with downloading stuff, so it would have to be really easy for me to use. I'd probably only download half the story segments, put them in the wrong order and not be able to figure out why the story didn't make sense! So it would need to be pretty techno idiot proof.

Net said...

I think most of us would agree that we would watch on the internet. I would watch on my computer screen at home.

I would pay a small fee per episode. Hell, I pay .99 for a song and 1.99 for an episode of one of my shows on i-tunes why not this?

For example if I miss an episode of a show I am watching or am trying to catch up on a season I will buy an episode or two to fill in the blanks.

I honestly don't know if I am the norm or even an equal part of your demographic. Most of the folks I talk to about the show are YOUNG (it scares me sometimes LOL) I am just a 40 something soccer mom who loves her crime shows. The cost IMO is a small one to be able to watch a show I love.

BTW nice job on the show so far. As much as I hated seeing Mandy go I felt from the beginning that that the "team" in and of itself could stand alone.

Anonymous said...

I don't really care how you deliver new episodes, just as long as we get them! I would be willing to pay a small fee with or without commercials. You, your writers, cast and crew are so incredibly talented, and you can tell we are supportive of your endeavors! Good luck with everything, and I can't wait to see some new episodes!!!

charlotte said...

Thanks for asking us and Happy New Year!

I've read the previous comments and I tend to agree that free with commercials would be the best alternative. You definately want the show to be accessible outside of the U.S.

The reality behind downloading is that there are so many ways of downloading tv shows for free. I'm sure you already know that but it is worth repeating. If the goal is to produce a show and make a profit then putting it on the internet with ads is the way to do it. You get your money from the advertisers and alleviate the need for worrying about downloading. Fans want screencaps and pictures and we all know how to make them. It is the fan side of your business. I think the advertisers will get their money's worth from your large audience, the writers will be fairly paid and the fans will be happy. Win-win!

Ambra said...

A belated Happy New Year to you too, Ed, and again, thank you for sharing with us fans.

I wouldn't call myself "internet saavy" but I think I'd prefer watching full episodes with the commercials. At any rate, if I got to see new episodes, I'd be happy, no matter what format they were in.

I hope the networks realize what the AMPTP and their tactics are costing them and force them back to the negotiating table. They need to wake-up and see that these union busting tactics aren't going to work!

faryn said...


It is sad that CM is on hold and you have to pursue other projects while you wait for the strike to be over. I really hope you do another show. Then I can have two favorites but I do have an idea. What about a mini series? Hopefully the strike will eventually end. If you have the crew working on this new project then who would work on CM when it starts back into production?

Maybe you could do a series of mini series. Each series could be five or six episodes long. Just a quick thought.

Also with the mini series concept it would enable you to even keep the crew working during the hiatus if you wanted to do that.

I am a CM fan because of the writing and fine actors. Find new actors since I am sure their contracts wouldn't allow them to work on anything but CM but please take the writers.

Pay or don't pay is fine with me. Internet or TV doesn't matter.

Emma Bull said...

I'd be glad to pay a subscription fee or a pay-per-view fee. Ten-minute segments are an easy watch for me (judging from my YouTube habits), and either streaming content or downloadable files would be fine.

If I were downloading the files, I imagine I'd watch each section as I got it, then hook up to the television and rewatch the accumulated story with my husband. (I always rewatch CM episodes. Once I know where you're going, it's fascinating to watch how you get there.)

I'm delighted--and excited--that you and others are looking for ways to break the AMPTP's monopoly. Thank you for that, and for a ton of good television. Any way we can help, let us know!

babruin said...

Thanks for asking, Ed. I would support anything you and the talented writers put out there as long as your team gets to go back to work. Even if it's on the internet for free or a fee, this old dog will even learn how to download or whatever you call it!
Happy New Year to all!!!!!

blaire said...

Ed, I wish you and your family a Happy New Year. I am still amazed at the selfish and irresponsible way in which the AMPTP is conducting business. I think this is a huge pissing match to see who can hold out the longest. If you do a new show you will be showing them that you can hold out longer than they can. I love that idea.
Pencil my name in on the long list of Criminal Minds fans that will support your new project. Sight unseen, it is a winner in my eyes.

Now for the technical side of viewing your newbie project. I'm willing to pay to watch if the fees charged are reasonable and affordable. I think anyone who says that free with commercial breaks isn't best isn't taking into account those who can't spare the extra money but if it is cheap enough people will try to find a way to view it. I generally only watch at home. Sometimes I do watch during lunch at work. I always watch on my PC when given the option.

I wish you all good things and I look forward to hearing more details about your project as they become available.

Anonymous said...

My preference would be longer episodes and ones that look OK watched on a 20" or larger screen - I don't mind waiting for a long download. As others have mentioned, we are an international audience - I'm down in Australia - so please please international availability. I think that *technically* having all four options of either streaming-viewing or download and either commercials-and-free or pay-and-no-commercials would not be difficult - personally I'd prefer download and ad-free-but-pay, but some people can't afford to pay and some prefer streaming.

I would *strongly* be against anything with DRM in it. I use Mac OS X and I need a lot of accessibility features because of my disabilities so aside from political objections DRM excludes Mac often and disability-needs often.

Also, please remember the part of fandom that has sensory disabilities and needs close captions (for the deaf) or audio description (for the blind). I imagine if you do it privately then the laws about having to have it are not applicable, and I know it costs money, but it's incredibly depressing to know that all your friends are raving about a show you can't access!!

Warmest Regards and best wishes for the future.
Ricky Buchanan

LSrainbow said...

First Ed Thank you for asking us for our opinions. Happy New Year to you and everyone in the CM family.

My husband has this type of content blocked from him, at his workplace. I am disabled and can't work, so money is very tight for us.

We have satellite TV. We have (Low Speed) DSL and can watch shows on-line from ABC and NBC. But, when we try to watch from CBS the player says our Internet connection is too slow. So a player that would accommodate slower connections (also for the people who still have dial-up) would be appreciated.

We don't have, nor can we afford iTunes, pay-per-view, iPods, DVRs, TiVo, Seasonal DVDs, etc. I know it's not just my families situation. There are a lot of families who struggle to make ends meet, for one reason or another. Entertainment is usually the first to get cut out.

So, I would appreciate being able to watch any of your good content for free. Therefore having commercials wouldn't bother us a bit. We can watch from our 20" TV or from our 19" computer monitor.

Again, Thank you for asking us for our opinions. We wish you the best on your endeavors. This strive has hurt many, many people. It's very sad...

PS. I have bought my share of Pencils and contributed to the Assistance Fund, some phone calls, and many e-mails.

gracie said...


It is a good thing that you like writing and producing because you would never cut it as a network executive. Asking the opinions of viewers proves that and thank God!

I have high speed internet and all the various gadgets that my husband could find at Radio Shack to make our computers and tvs "better". I am surprised my house hasn't exploded and lord knows that I don't know how any of it works. When I asked him which way would work the best for us to be able to watch the new show he said that anything you do would be compatible with our equipment. So go ahead and produce your big heart out and I will have my hubby teach me how to watch it. If it costs me a few bucks then I will take it out of his gadget allowance.

Sara said...

I regularly watch television episodes online (or did, until the strike), either downloading or watching through network portals.

I don't mind watching online at all, and appreciate not having to pay for TiVo or fight for the remote.

As for delivery methods, I can tell you that the repetitive car ads on the NBC Heroes site have completely turned me against Nissan. For God's sake, get some variety in the ads, if not the sponsors! Also, their tech doesn't always synch very well.

Less annoying are the 30-second spots soaced throughout full episodes on Tthe timer makes it easier to just sit through the commercial, so I actually see the product, though they, too, could also use more variety to keep the annoyance factor down.

I guess online advertisers must be paying for exclusivity, but it just makes me tune them out.

anne said...


This is so bittersweet. It is great that we will have a show written by the writers we admire but sad because I think we all now realize that the AMPTP has cost us the rest of the third season of Criminal Minds. With no date set for further negotiations we have moved closer to the point of not being able to salvage a full season. Very sad

I could wrap my head around a new show while we wait for Criminal Minds. I like watching on my laptop and I only watch at home. Commercials are okay. I wouldn't care about paying a small amount. I don't download but I could learn to do it if it was necessary to watch the new show. I'm open to all the possiblities.

laurel said...

I have a few questions:

Would it be possible to air the new show on some independent tv channel?

Cable channel maybe?

Will all our writers be with you on this new project?

Will we be able to see it in France?

If it is on the internet:

Will we be able to see it in France?

I can afford small sums like it costs to d/load episodes of other shows.

Do you know when we might see the first show?

Lin said...

Wow. I have to tell you, I read this post yesterday and had to go away and think about it overnight. I mean, Ed, yeah, we knew you respected us, but asking for our opinions on something this big is ... is ... (runs and wraps Ed in a hug cyber bear-hug). Wow.


My opinion is that I'd gladly watch a few ads to not have to screw around with paying a small fee. However, I really like the option mentioned above of "pay (x) to skip ad content." And above all -- if I'm paying a fee, I want no commercials!

I have high-speed access at home and at work, so of course I want the longer episode segments. And I'd vote for having a full-length ep available all at once (like all ten segments that make up a show) -- not a serial-type thing with ten-minute installments every day. Although that might be intriguing ...

I would say I'd do 95% of my viewing at home, except on days when the boss is out.

I've said it before -- wherever you go, whatever projects you take on, this fanbase will gladly follow you. Just tell us where to log on.

Oh, and one benefit you may not have considered. With this "new technology", we'll all help each other figure it out and access it. So there's already free and flexible tech support here. (By we, of course, I mostly mean Stacy. ;-) )

Good luck, and keep us posted!

Lee said...

Ed as always I say thank you for taking the time to leave a message with us, this time asking for our opinion.

This question is hard to answer for me. Basically the situation is that I will ALWAYS support whatever you do. However in the long run my computer is simply way too old to watch shows on. I can barely watch 2 minute videos on You Tube without it taking me 2 hours. So that option would be out for me. Again though, I would support it, I'd tell my friends about it. I just couldn't participate.

So TV on the actual TV with commercials will have to be it for me. But more power to you!!!!

Lee :)

Anonymous said...

I think I'm alone here in that I like watching Criminal MInds on the TV screen. My computer has a small screen and the picture isn't clear. I'm not into the computer at all and dislke sitting here at my desk instead of on my comfortable lazyboy! I probably would learn whatever is necessary and make myself sit here if that was the only way to watch it.

At work I'm only focused on patient care so I wouldn't be using online there.

Commercials serve a purpose even if it drives me crazy! If the ONLY way to watch the quality you have put out so far was to sit at my tiny computer screen in my uncomfortable chair, pay a fee, wait for downloads, etc...I'd do it! Longer segments the better though.

Thanks for staying in touch with us! Happy New Year!

I don't know why but my sign-in won't work..This is Bonnie T.

Anonymous said...

I would take new stuff either way, via a small fee or with commercials. Just so it is new. Star Trek's new production of an epic named of Gods and Men is entirely web based and so far, is fine that way.

I would rather the studios and the writers reach an equitable agreement. I do not think the studios really understand that constant reality/game shows will NOT bring in the same revenue as dramas and comedies, they will find out when their bottom line is hit hard and THEN maybe they will deal fairly.


Kris said...


The internet is obviously going to be the major media market in a short while, which is you all are so justified in this strike. Everyone uses computers these days, at work and at home.

I think the short webisodes with commercials in them would be a good bet to start off with. I say that because it will allow people to watch them at home just as if i were on tv, or perhaps even at work on a break or something. And to start off with, people wouldn't have to bother registering an account and putting on their credit card info. I don't think most people would mind watching something like with commercials if it were free.

I think this would be wildly popular, simply because everything is based on the internet now. When I was in school, everything from our lectures to videos were posted on the web. So, this would be good for students.

Also, so many businesses, even including AIRPORTS have wireless internet capabilities, and more and more people have laptops these days. So, I say why wait? Let's get the webisodes going!

I hope to get to see you in 2008 Ed, but not on the picket lines! 2008 will be good I know it.

And remember, I am an actor ready and willing to work on some great projects!

Tonya said...

I love that you're looking for new and creative ways to not only keep your people working, but to provide the audience with quality entertainment. This is why I'm on the writer's side, it's clear to me that writers care about the audience and it's also become quite clear that the AMPTP does not.

I suppose it would depend greatly on how small a subscription fee would be. I like content without commercials, but realistically I couldn't pay much to see individual shows. That said, I would definitely watch free programming with commercials. I'd also prefer something downloadable to something streaming, but both formats do work for me. Downloads are just a little more convenient.

I think I'd prefer longer chunks at a time to tiny bite-size pieces. Either way, I'm more likely to watch individual pieces as they become available than I am to wait for a batch of content to watch all at once.


**Criminal Minds is effected by the strike. There is no way to continue production of Criminal Minds until the strike ends. Ed is talking about a "new" project that would have nothing to do with Criminal Minds that they can work on while the strike is still happening**

belle said...


Ads or no ads is a hard question to answer because it seems that ads are a way of life. In a perfect world ads would be short before each segment. You can keep the amount of ads down by also using product placement to raise revenue. The majority of people who view shows on the internet are not paying fees of any kind. Now that we know that the writers were never compensated we can see why nobody ever asked for our buck.

I watch primarily from home. Long segments rather than short even if that means more ads before each segment starts.

God Bless you and your family this year and in the future. Write the new show and I will watch.

aimee said...

CBS' website was terrible for watching episodes because it just wouldn't play well on my computer but I never had that problem with the other network sites. I'm honestly not saying that to pick on CBS. Their website was different in some way and my PC did not do well with it.

I would rather watch free content with ads in large segments rather than small. I like the idea of d/loading and watching once I have a whole episode or at the least the majority of your story arc.

I can afford a few bucks an episode if it needs to go down that way. I do that now on my Ipod. Once you get the new contract I hope CBS will sell episodes so I can d/load those too.

I hope you have great success with this project. I'm kinda pumped about it. Love, love CM but man o' man Ed, I can't take an extended period of repeats. I know all the lines.

Jemma said...

I would tend to go for the free downloads/episodes, purely because I'm a strapped for cash student, and am a bit warey about giving out personal details over the internet. That said, I try to make sure everywhere I get episodes from is legal, as I hate to think I'm 'stealing' from the people that worked hard to put the episodes out.

Commercials don't bthe rme, as you can either skip through them, get refreshments, or edit them out (if you're savvy enough, and download them). As television has commercials, it doens't bothe rme if internet eps have the same.

I'd watch at home, and tend to watch from the site, and download when possible, although all the content stays on my computor.

I'd tend to wait until you can get either the full episodes, or short bits, although I'm not gonna turn away short clips. Being in the UK, I'm used to falling behind/catching up on the internet, so things like this wouldn't phase me.

As Olivia^^ said, you write it, and I'd find a (legal) way to watch it. Keep up the good work, and know the fans are behind you and your crew 100%

caitlin e law said...

I would like the free download thing. Since I am about to turn 15 I don't have any way of paying a monthly fee... and my parents would never pay... no matter how much I LOVE Criminal Minds.

But I really REALLY hope that the strike comes to a stop without having to change how we watch the show.... its kinda depressing.

I don't know about other people but I don't mind Reruns... only thing... I own seasons 1 & 2 and there are episodes from season 3 that I would like to watch again.

That is my only complaint. There are what.. 13 episodes? I could stand waiting for the strike to end. Even if it takes a new months...


I'm willing to pay for commercial free content, but do understand that it isn't feasible for everyone. I'd be okay with commercials, too.

I think I'd like longer segments and also would like it to be the same length as a traditional tv show--I don't want to wait week to week to get ten minute segments.

I'd only be able to watch them at home, which is fine with me. While I don't mind watching on the computer, I'd prefer being able to download things instead of streaming media--that way if I did want to watch it on tv/dvd, then I'd be able to transfer it to do so. I'd also be someone who'd download/watch things as they became available, another reason I'd prefer longer episodes.

It would be great if the eps were available internationally, not just in the US (as others have already mentioned). CM is an international fandom and those fans are supportive as well.

I'm looking forward to getting more details about this project--like everyone else seems to be! I think this is a great idea.

otontv said...

first of all - many thanks for including us that much in your new project.

I would prefer free downloads/streams with ads.
Please make sure that *whatever you'll work on* can be watched from everywhere on the world - not like e.g. innertube only with a US IP.
And that it runs with a common media player - no need to download just another player...

CU sindee

maxie said...


Happy Belated New Year.

Exciting to read that we may have a new show written by our writers to tide us over until CM returns or to add to our list of favs when it does come back. I can love two shows!

I'm not as computer/internet smart as some of the other commenters. I know that, as a rule, I always prefer free entertainment. I like downloading episodes of my favorite shows and this would be a good avenue for me even if I had to pay a few dollars for that ability. So I guess I am pretty open to what ever medium you choose.

Since I am boycotting tv right now with the exception of David Letterman's show, I am hungry for new internet or WGA approved shows.

violet said...

I think this is a great idea--even if it isn't CM.

I'd rather have commercials than a fee based site--limited budget and all that.

Longer rather than shorter eps, downloadable compared to streaming.

When will we know what it's about and who's attached to the project? Soon I hope.

sammy b. said...

This is a really interesting idea and that it will help out the people in our CM family is just an added bonus.

It doesn't really matter to me what format it's in or if I have to pay or not. I'm just interested in new content and I know if it's coming from Ed & Co., well, it will have to be great! Can't wait to hear more about it. Thanks, Ed.

Geishacat said...

Fees are OK by me; but please keep ads to a minimum if possible.

I prefer to download from network site or innertube

smokey said...

Pay site vs. commercials? I'd have to go with commercials--I think you'd get more people that way. Having to pay for it makes it exclusive and kinda elitist.

It doesn't matter to me if it's streaming media or downloadable, I just want to see some new stuff. I'm more likely to watch it on my computer. I'd prefere longer clips to shorter ones...

I echo those who've mentioned making sure it's available outside the US.

This is certainly an intruguing idea and I want to know more about it! *G*

billie said...


Great way to start a New Year! I can't imagine what your staff is going through and I think it is wonderful that you care so much about their welfare that you are contemplating a new show.

I will pay for quality shows. I will also sit through product ads to watch a quality show. I watch at home and at the office. My favorite thing after a hard day is to snuggle on the couch with my laptop and watch a great show.

I would love a weekly full episode even if it came to me a segment a day. I could download it and watch it when all the segments were completed.

You have my viewership in whatever method or madness you pick. lol

One request, no rabid dogs in this show. I'm still nightmaring over the last CM doggies!

sterling said...

Receipe for a winning internet show:

Great writing
Minimum of one good looking man
Minimum of one good looking woman
Great writing
Great writing

Internet, TV, Pay, Ads....I don't care. I'll watch no matter what.

SweetThang said...

I would prefer to watch a show with commercials so that I won't have to pay a fee. I would like watch a full length show rather than small segments. Could you make your show downloadable (is that a word?) so that I can be able to burn them to DVD. Because I'd prefer to watch them on TV instead of on the computer.

lisa said...

Ed, I am older than the internet generation but I do watch and download TV shows on my computer. If we are all telling you the real poop then you should know that most of us download every Criminal Minds episode after it airs. It doesn't stop us from buying the dvds. I'm sure that this doesn't thrill you but if you are going to work on the internet then you should know the reality of the internet.

If you aren't going to like people downloading your new show for free then you should go with ads because there is always a way to download. No matter what companies come up with to try and stop it there is always somebody in some fandom that figures out a way around it and then everyone starts downloading again.

I'm in awe of your loyalty in us and your coming to us for ideas. We have been very lucky as a fandom. Whatever new show you make already has a fan base. That gives you some type of edge against the competition.

Anonymous said...

I'm inclined to agree with what Flits said.

Do both. You can have a fee based commercial free version and a free version with ads. If I like the show, I'll pay for the subscription model. If you are talking about doing CM this way, I'll subscribe now, just point the way.

I'd love for it (whatever show it is) to be downloadable, media player agnostic and OS agnostic.

Thanks for making such an amazing show.

judy said...

I wish I had good advice to offer to you but I am very new to watching on the web.

I can promise to figure out a way to watch whatever you do even if I have to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

I know Battlestar Galactica produced and aired 10 2-minute webisodes during a long hiatus with short ads before each. Each episode was a standalone, and uninterrupted. They were a great success. BSG isn't going to do it again due to writer/producers stuff (I know at the time the writers did not get paid for internet content, I'm not sure if that was ever resolved) but it goes to show that people starved for new, scripted content will absolutly watch what you put out there (if they know it's there).

eliza said...


I have more questions than answers for you since I will watch the new show regardless of how it is presented. I can do internet or cable. I can download and I can pay.

Can SAG actors work on these types of programs?

Would the new show be weekly?

How soon could you have the first episode ready to air?

What happens to this new show once Criminal Minds is back in production? Can you do two at a time?

How is the network going to react to you and the crew doing a non-Criminal Minds project?

frogdawn said...

wow, Ed, I've been scanning all this and my head is reeling! I don't quite understand all the options, but here's my 2 cents from a gal who dipped her little toe in the internet a year ago and, with the help of a bunch of supportive CM fans, dove in head first:

I'd be willing to pay a small fee, or free with commercials - I like the idea having both options available. On behalf of my international friends I'd love to have it available to them too,(so we can all talk about the excellence of whatever you come with of course).

Until recently I would have had to watch/download any internet shows on a public library computer or on whatever friend or relative I could beg computer time from, but for something I really wanted to see I would have found a way! If I was still doing things that way I'd prefer to download onto a DVD or other widget to watch later, so I could yell advice to the screen without alarming library patrons.

Now as a new computer owner, I think it would be the most amazing thing in the world to watch a show on it - whatever the format. If you do end up going with commercials, I'd like to request Viagra over Cialis please (they were both on Letterman last night) - the new Viva Viagra ones are quite fun, but Cialis still makes me queasy (I think it's the music - too sleazy, urg)

tania said...

I'd like to have both the option to watch from a site or to download and watch later on my computer. I have dsl so my speed is really fast. Large parts would work for me. Ads are ok or a pay as you go system. I wouldn't want to have to have a membership fee. I'm sure that I will like the show but just in case I wouldn't like to have already paid for shows that I won't watch.

Ms Oake said...

I don't have TV and love watching shows on the internet (I feel less guilty of being a couch potato if I'm multi-tasking by watching a show and browsing the internet on my laptap all at once).

The ideal? Shows 15-20min long that broadcast MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK (not a patient person) which can be purchased either in increments or lump-sum for the entire series.

Bottom line...I'm willing to pay. If it entertains, I'll pay for it because it'll be worth it.

EnigmaticZero said...

I am so psyched that you are even asking!

I would prefer to be able to watch the content on my television/DVR, but I can/will watch it on my laptop if it is a well-crafted show.

I would prefer to download it to my DVR/laptop, or to buy DVDs directly from you, with the assurance that the writers would be fairly compensated. :)

I would prefer to pay for what I watch, rather than to have a subscription fee. Paying per episode would be fabulous. Free with commercials is also great.

Considering that I pay $10 to go to a two-hour movie, or $7 to rent a two-hour movie, it seems like the going rate is $4 to $5 per episode/hour (although on iTunes, TV episodes are usually $1.99-but is that because no one is paying the writers?)

The main thing for me is quality writing. If you'll pardon my mentioning it, I paid about $24 to download the first season of "Dexter" onto my laptop, and then drove a weekly 10-mile round trip to a friend's house to watch the second season.

CM has equally fantastic writers, actors, and a wonderful and deserving support team too. I would be just as loyal and forthcoming with the cashola for the fruits of their labors.

If this new creation also starred Matthew Gray Gubler, I could just sign over my paycheck to y'all. :)

Kim m. said...

At this point I wouldn't be able to pay for any additional entertainment either. I (we, the family) don't even have cable or satellite, so paying for an interent subscription is also out.

We've also got a questionable internet service at home - living in the country you don't get a lot of luxuries. We have satellite internet but the service is pretty bad, even though it's faster than dial-up.

But if you put something online, I would find a way to watch it, if it interested me (of course that's always the bottom line). But considering you have been involved in my two all-time favorite TV shows - Third Watch and CM, I have no doubt you'll provide only quality entertainment.

I too am stunned by your caring and faith in us. You never cease to amaze me with your generosity and courtesy, even in the face of what must be one of the most stressful times of your career. Thank you for that.

Anonymous said...

I watch dvds and downloaded content at home only, on my computer screen.
This is theoretical since I'm in Europe and thus, these solutions probably won't be open to me anyway, but I've always been okay with paying for content.
One thing that the "Sanctuary" experiment taught me, however, is that I have limited patience for fragments of a story. So however financed, if by payment or advertisements, it would be nice to have at least 25 minutes of actual story to watch. So if 'it' would be published in chunks of a few minutes at the time, I would probably download them and then watch them all in one go. Of course, this is also how most series lose me - when I keep buying/getting them but never actually watch them, and then it's 18 months later and I'll just give up on them. So this would be a plea not to try to meld the traditionally formatted episodes into something they aren't - if you are telling short stories, of course, make them short. But if it's really just a one act per week thing, I'd personally rather wait five weeks and then get one episode.
Regarding the format: Again, I can only draw from the "Sanctuary" experience since most web-distributed 'promotions' (hah) are not available to non-US ISPs, but please put some thought into formats. Why is it so hard to use common codecs like divx or xvid? The Sanctuary downloads, due to me having sprung for the HD downloads, were ginormous. They would have been half the size while similar in quality if they'd been encoded in xvid instead of quicktime format. Seriously - a normal 42 minute tv episode, when ripped from dvd at a decent quality, is around 350mb big. It's not that hard to get it to that size, there are guides all over the internets which explain how to do so.
As for quality, I loathe youtube and neither have nor would ever like to watch tv in that kind of quality. I suspect network 'promotion' sites offer a similar quality, so that'd be a point in favour of a payable download scheme as opposed to a streaming only due to advertisement scheme.
Lastly, another plea - if you at all can, please do offer your content worldwide (one thing "Sanctuary" got right)? There are so many people around the world who would love to get American tv on their computers but cannot, even though they'd pay for it. (See also: you may be able to buy an American music CD at amazon and have it airfreighted to you only to have you throw the CD away as soon as you converted it to MP3s, but oh no, no WAY we're gonna let you pay for an audiobook at 'Cause that'd just be wrong!)
In any case, thank you for soliciting opinions, and I hope the strike will end soon and that all the writers are holding out okay. I bet it's starting to get really hard now. Please don't give up!

joyce the granny said...

Thank you "Mr. Ed" for your note!

Since I am a big fan of CM and do not have a home computer, I need to watch mainly on TV at home.


I have limited access to CM at my office computer.

I am so sorry for what the strike has put you and our wonderful cast through!! I am upset at the writers "greed" as I see it.

Thanks again!

Melissa said...

My personal preference is to have the entire show ready to download at once. If it came out in serialized bits, I would simply wait until it was all there before I watched.

When I watch, I prefer to download to my machine. That way I can get a larger, higher-res view. I get tired of watching on an Internet site because rarely is my connection steady enough to give me good, steady viewing.

I hate commercials. Despise them. I fast-forward trhough them on my TiVo, and I pay to download from Amazon Unbox or iTunes rather than getting an episode free from the network just because I don't want to be forced to watch commercials.

Would I pay for content I want to see? Absolutely. I do it all the time. It has to be worth the price though. I can get an episode of a regular 1-hour (44 minute) network show for $1.99. I don't see why I'd pay substantially more than that for new content when there's tons of existing content I haven't yet seen out there for download.

Good luck with this!

Melissa said...

Just thinking about the situation...

Networks and cable (traditionally) have different revenue models.

Networks are slaves to the advertiser. Their money comes from their advertisers. Their content is bland and boring, because the advertisers might be scared away by something controversial.

Cable networks, at least when they are "young," are supported by subscriptions from cable companies. They tend also to be low on content. They show a lot of old stuff, and they do just a little new stuff as they can afford it. Young networks have almost no outside advertising. The longer a cable network is around, the more advertising you see and the more new content.

WHat if there was an Internet network? Perhaps many of them, so support different genres. The network could enable viewing online OR downloads. It could specialize in old series that aren't currently available on DVD and new content. All available by subscription, similar to the subscription to HBO.

Melissa said...

You should talk to Jeff Bezos, president of Amazon. Amazon Unbox already has the infrastructure in place for an Internet-based network.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ed and Happy New Year!

I wouldn't mind paying a fee for a commercial free download. When the same commercial is played over and over it drives me nuts. Plus, it's the bad ones that stick in my head, moreso than the good ones.
I think my head might explode if I have to hear the Subway "Mr. Big Hot Pastrami Guy" one more time. I change the channel now.

I do prefer to watch a longer episode.

Although I'd love to watch at work, I'd get snagged as they monitor this.

I would watch on my computer. Unfortunately I suffer from mild seizures and can only use my computer for a couple of hours at a time. The polarizer screen helps though. So, I would rather download so I can watch it later on TV. Plus I like being able to see everything larger and kick back.

Thank you so much for asking our opinions. Hope you have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bernero,

Your communications with us, especially the most recent, brings to mind a quote I found some years back by former first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, which says "There is no more liberating, no more exhilarating experience than to determine one's position, state it bravely and then act boldly. Action creates its own courage; and courage is as contagious as fear." You are, indeed, the embodiment of that quote. We so appreciate and thank you again and again for being bold, being courageous and just for being you.


For me, the longer is the better, and I'm ready to pay. But maybe you have to consider that many of the CM fans here are still teenagers and it'ss THEM who use internet the most. Sometimes is hard for teenagers to explain their parents that it must pay for seing something on the net. So maybe it will be better to "pay" it with ads.

As far as eps of CM I think everybody will be able to make an effort, and get them at any cost. When this madness will come to an end, and hopefully writers will get copyright for all the works that go through the internet, can you please find a way to allow us to download the eps paying the right amount?
Most of us are Europeans, and we just CAN'T wait one year to get our we are obliged to find "solutions" (ask friends to record and send or even worst)

A.P. said...

I prefer the way most sites do it now, segmented full-episodes, some stream them, some offer downloads. I do believe however that there shouldn't be too many, or too-long commercials in between. Maybe a certain company sponsors the streaming so that there's only one or two commercials? (I think that Hulu thing does this)

That's mostly because, as a teenager, I have no money to shell out for paid downloads.

And as long as the advert money is going to the right people...

Kirsten said...

Hello You Magic, Pro-Active, Generous, Bunch of Folks with Strong Stomachs and a Hankering for Psychological Thrill,
I just wanted to let y'all know how much you warm my heart with your invested attention to this whole thing. Sweet Atlantic this strike blows chunks, doesn't it? Arg.I don't know what else to say besides that right now except Happy New Year to you and yours and let's just keep on keeping on.

Blackpanther said...

I don't mind either watching an episode online or downloading it all on my computer, but whichever i get to see it i prefer it to be free as i can't pay for such a thing. I don't mind ad breaks or if there are unskipable ads at the beginning of the episode. I'd watch every episode as it becomes available and i would prefer it if they were in a longer format.

Maybe you could have downloads with two options: one with ads for those who don't want to pay, and an ad-free version for those who want to subscribe.

Thank you for taking the time to communicate with us fans this way,Mr. Bernero, it's very much appreciated.

Elizabeth Bear said...

Dear Ed,

I actually don't have a preference, because I've been a fan of your work since Third Watch, and whatever you bring us, I'll be looking forward to it.

Debbie said...


There are simply no words for how much I admire and appreciate you! Thank you for your loyalty to your staff and the fans.

As for your questions -- I'm not terribly savvy with the internet, but your project would certainly be motivation to learn more. I would be willing to pay a fee, but I don't mind commercials either. Longer segments are better. I would probably wait until they were all available before watching them. I would watch at home.

I really miss CM but support your new project wholeheartedly. We're as much your fans and fans of the writers as we are fans of the show. We want you back to work so you can feed your families and pay the light bill!

I can't wait to see what you come up with.

Best wishes

Suzi said...

Hi Mr Bernero,

For me, honestly, I would prefer it if I can download the episode just cos I can burn it to a DVD and watch it on my DVD player and TV rather than on the comp due to the comp's small screen.

And why download? Cos I'm staying in Asia, and most streaming media are not available outside US. And there's also the case of buffering.

I'm okay with commercials though. It'll be great to watch some American commercials rather than the rubbish that we have on TV here.

I don't have a credit card or a paypal account at the moment so I won't be able to pay if I have too... Maybe, you can release the whole series on DVD internationally so that fans from all over the world can watch it too...