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TV Blog Buzz: Is HBO's online sharing of 'Last Week Tonight' a good omen?

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Is the virality of John Oliver's recent "Last Week Tonight" rants a good sign for cord cutters and TV subscribers who don't want to shell out for HBO?

HitFix notes the cable network has been surprisingly generous with posting segments from Oliver's new weekly news satire show to YouTube. Even more shocking, the clips haven't been geoblocked to shut out Canadians.

So you may have been his smart takes on Net Neutrality http://bit.ly/1s9V4t3 or soccer's corruptive powers http://bit.ly/1l6u1e8 being shared by friends and family on social media.

HitFix reports that HBO hasn't decided whether it will continue to share clips of the show online going forward. But it's happy to experiment and see whether online sharing might help ratings.

"There is no cookie-cutter approach to promoting a new show; every program demands its own strategy. We are always looking for interesting ways for viewers to sample our programming and with the topicality and timeliness of 'Last Week Tonight' we feel putting select clips on YouTube is an effective and simple way to allow audiences to see John’s unique take on the news events of the week," an HBO spokeswoman says.

http://bit.ly/1q9iWLd

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If you feel like there's less and less good TV worth watching all the time, you're not alone.

New York magazine's Vulture blog has taken a look at how network TV shows fared this past season (excluding the cable channels like HBO, where much of the best stuff airs) and it's interesting to note how few shows were hits.

Just 10 out of nearly 80 shows had a ratings boost in the most recent season, with "Scandal" coming out on top with a 45 per cent increase in viewership. Other shows with more modest increases included "Supernatural," "Kitchen Nightmares," "Chicago Fire" and "How I Met Your Mother."

At the bottom of the list? "Raising Hope," which saw its ratings plummet by 50 per cent.

Former megahit "Glee" was second last on the list with 45 per cent less viewers.

http://vult.re/1qCFKk8

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NPR is singing the praises of "Working Stiff TV" -- shows you don't get cool points for watching and don't get as much discussion around the office or virtual water cooler.

But that doesn't mean they're not good.

Among the shows it highlights is "Major Crimes," which airs on TNT in the U.S. and on Super Channel in Canada.

Another one is the western "Longmire," which you can catch on A&E

http://n.pr/1s9Xc40

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