Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, January 18th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Ginger Ale & peppermint peanut butter cups.
My apologies for the lateness of today's newsletter. This morning was a flurry of interviews and telephone calls.
BEING AWARE OF YOUR BLIND SPOTS
I don't really make New Year's resolutions, but if I did it would be to work on the blind spots in my media industry analysis. All of us have our blind spots - companies we don't believe in, executives whose judgement we don't trust. And one of the biggest challenges for any journalist or media industry analyst is to be aware of those blind spots. We're human, so you can never take the emotion of our judgements. But if you're honest about your blind spots, it reminds you to doublecheck your theories when they touch on those blind spots.
I was reminded of that this morning when I read an in-depth rundown of the streaming sector from an analyst that is super smart. His breakdown of each services positives and negatives feels spot on. Except for his take on one streamer, which he continues to underestimate. Unless that service is my blind spot, and in that case, ignore all of this. But my overall point is to just be mindful of your own biases.
NETFLIX'S GLOBAL AMBITIONS, PART 345
I'm a bit late seeing this, but Allocine has a very enlightening interview with Damien Couvreur, director of French original series at Netflix. The interview is here, although you'll have to use Google Translate to read it. He talks about the success of Lupin and Netflix's approach to production in France:
In fact, we will continue to strengthen our investments in France, following on from the opening of our Paris offices last year with the desire to work hand in hand with the French creative community. This year, we will be offering around ten series including 5 new original series. An assumed variety: from Lupine to Robbers , including our first "Christmas special" or the expected return of series such as Mortel , Family Business or Plan Coeur… Even if volume is not at the heart of our concerns, this testifies to a real acceleration since our installation in Paris a year ago.
Couveur also confirmed the drama La Revolution will not be returning for a second season. Which is too bad, since I really enjoyed the series.
A GREAT USE OF NEWS ARCHIVES
I've been very critical of the way that the large media companies have used (or to be more specific, not used) their extensive content holdings and news archives. While minor TV shows from the 90s and news specials assembled from old news footage might not be glamorous, there is a niche audience for it. And given that the productions costs are relatively low, this is another item that seems to fall into the low-hanging fruit category.
CBS-owned diginet Decades has been doing some interesting things with footage from the CBS News Archives, although to be honest, the presentation is as dry as the Sahara Desert after climate change. But on Wednesday, Decades is presenting every presidential inauguration that appeared on television in an eight-hour block beginning at 5:00 am ET. Here is the entire schedule. This seems like it would have been an easy thing for Peacock to put together to beef up their news tab as well as something they could have used in a special "channel." It iis also perplexing that while CBS is doing this on Decades, it doesn't appear to be planning to do a similar presentation as a special live channel on CBS All-Access. Although in the case of CBSAA, my understanding is that they don't have a process in place to easily add temporary live channels and that any change in that section would require a series of approvals and at least two weeks to implement. Which seems....clunky?
ODDS AND SODS
WarnerMedia has announced the integration of all its sports assets and content under a single brand identity and editorial line for Latin America: TNT Sports. More about the move here.
HBO Max has given an eight-episode first season order to Julia, based on the life of world-renowned chef Julia Child. The series from Lionsgate Television and 3 Arts Entertainment stars Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley) and David Hyde Pierce (Frasier),
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the paltry number of new television programs premiering today:
1) All-American Season Premiere (The CW)
Spencer (Daniel Ezra) finds himself on the defense after an interview he gave comes out, upsetting his old teammates and emotions get the best of them. Coop (Bre-Z) and Layla (Greta Onieogou) return from tour, but while Coop tries to figure out what happened with Patience (Chelsea Tavares), she tries to learn why Tyrone’s sister is back. Billy (Taye Diggs) is excited for a fresh start at South Crenshaw High, but he must confront something from his past first that could be a roadblock to his success. Meanwhile, Jordan (Michael Evans Behling) and Simone (guest star GeffriMaya) struggle with saying goodbye to someone they love.
2) American Greed Season Premiere (CNBC)
Tonight's episode chronicles the rise and fall of the flashy litigator who burst onto the scene in 2018, representing porn star Stormy Daniels in her dispute with President Donald Trump. What Avenatti’s fans at the time don’t know is that he has legal troubles of his own brewing – with allegations of crimes ranging from fraud to tax evasion. Still, he continues to dominate the airwaves and build support on social media –until a brazen scheme to extort sportswear giant Nike brings his publicity tour to an abrupt end.
3) 9-1-1 Season Premiere (Fox)
Bobby and the 118 adjust to life as first responders during the pandemic and when the Hollywood Reservoir dam breaks, the team races into action.
4) 9-1-1: Lone Star Season Premiere (Fox)
The 126 crew responds to a military tank on the loose in downtown Austin and a human pile-up at the roller derby. Meanwhile, new paramedic captain, Tommy Vega (new series regular Gina Torres), joins the team and Owen is reunited with his ex-wife and T.K.’s mother, Gwyneth (guest star Lisa Edelstein), and receives an update on his cancer.
5) The Clown And The Candyman (Investigation Discovery)
This four-part special takes viewers down the rabbit hole to a murky world of predators in the ‘70s. Centered around the evil of John Wayne Gacy and Dean Corll, the special offers a deep dive into their crimes, how they were discovered, and the race to identify their remaining nameless victims. The special also investigates their connections to John David Norman, the key operator of a nationwide pedophile ring, while never-before-heard tapes of Gacy offers viewers a glimpse into the disturbed man and his hideous actions.
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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