Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, December 21st, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by the thought of a relaxing holday break
A HOLIDAY WISH LIST
This is the time when all good media journalists write a media holiday wish list. And since I am contractually obligated as a member of the Association of Random Media Journalists Not Working For A Big Outlet Association to write up my wish list, here is mine for 2021:
Philo: Profiles. I love this service & frequently recommend it to people looking for a virtual cable alternative that offers the most major channels for the cheapest cost. But the fact that it doesn't offer individual profiles is a big misstep.
Hulu: Most watched lists. Netflix's Top Ten lists are helpful not just for journalists, but for subscribers looking for stuff they might have missed.
Netflix: Expand the Top Ten lists to a Top Fifty. The services has been experimenting with this idea and I think it's a very helpful one.
NBC: Yes, Peacock is the focus of the company and where a project originates is increasingly less important. But for the life of me, I can't figure out the programing philosophy of NBC. I know arguing that a network needs defining creative leadership is about as obvious as arguing for world peace. But that is just what this formerly great broadcast network needs.
Amazon: Do something....anything...to improve the user experience for people using the Prime Instant Video app.
Disney+: Take advantage of the deep Disney archives and add a deeper "classic TV" channel. While none of these obscure shows are going to draw huge numbers of viewers, it's also low hanging fruit. The only real cost is cleaning up and digitizing the video and renegotiating some contracts. Which is still a cheaper option than cranking out more "behind-the-scenes" specials.
Netflix: I would also like to see Netflix integrate a watch party feature that allows larger groups of viewers to co-watch Netflix Original titles. Allowing someone to "host" a watch party that features hundreds of viewers would open up a new type of hybrid viewing experience & the growth of trusted independent watch party hosts.
Fox: As long as we're mining old IP, why not do a Sliders reboot? The show's "what if" premise has a new resonance after the year we've had.
I'll have a longer list of these on the web site on Wednesday. Tomorrow I'll be looking back at some of the things from the newsletter this year that deserve a bit more attention.
WHAT IS FAVE TV?
I continue to be perplexed by the fact that in such a competitive media environment, projects can roll out with absolutely no effort to publicize it. The latest example of this is a new diginet from Viacom/CBS called "Fave TV." The digital network rolled out on all of the CBS owned-and-operated TV stations in the past few days and it's been the source of a lot of confusion from viewers. If you try and search for information on the network, the only thing you'll find are some references to a now-shuttered Fave TV Christian programming service. But absolutely nothing else. Nothing on the Viacom/CBS corporate web site or their press site. Calls to four different O&O's today offered up four variations of the same answer: "hey. it comes from corporate, we're not really sure about the programming."
Based on what I've seen locally (it's just been added to the Twin Cities CBS digital lineup), it's a mix of old Paramount and Viacom programming. Lots of house ads for Viacom cable networks such as MTV and VH1. And as I'm watching it now, the network is airing episodes of The Jamie Foxx Show, but they are starting on the quarter hour (ie 12:45 p.m. CT) SO I am very confused. I've reached out to CBS for some more info and will update you tomorrow.
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:
1) Ariana Grande: Excuse Me, I Love You (Netflix)
The Netflix documentary film follows the Grammy-winning, multi-platinum singer-songwriter around the globe on her sold out 2019 Sweetener World Tour, capturing the spectacular performances of the hits that have burned up the charts, as well as exclusive, never-before-seen footage of the internationally-beloved superstar at home and on the road with her dancers and band. The film offers an exclusive peek at the many facets of the passionate, raw, and always real artist and provides backstage access to the pre-show rehearsals, iconic styling, and the intimate and emotional moments that are the reason for the special connection she has with her fans.
2) Dr. Pimple Popper Season Premiere (TLC)
Because nothing says Christmas like an oozing boil.
3) Let's Make A Deal Primetime (CBS)
Families come on down to the iconic game show stage to play for festive prizes.
4) Spotlight On Christmas (Lifetime)
Dumped two weeks before Christmas, actress Olivia O’Hara (Tori Anderson) secretly returns to her tiny hometown to hide out, eat cookies and avoid the press. What she doesn’t expect is to be faced with the family she left behind, meeting a charming new guy Casey Rawlins (Victor Zinck, Jr.), and a noisy reporter following her every move. Completely overwhelmed, Olivia contemplates running away from her life once again but with a new found confidence and freedom, Olivia bravely steps up to take the starring role in her own life, realizing that home is where the heart is and that she deserves to be loved for exactly who she really is.
5) The Price Is Right Primetime (CBS)
There will be holiday decorations, and festively themed games and deals. Plus, Christopher Jackson, star of CBS’ Bull, makes a special guest appearance.
This newsletter is called "Too Much TV" because....well, it's hard to keep track of all the new television premiering everyday. To help you prioritize your viewing, click here to see our list of more than 400 upcoming television premieres, movies and finales. You'll find listings from more than 70 networks, as well as streaming services and web shows.
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