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Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Written by 25 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, November 25th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by almonds and a strawberry soda.

Just a reminder that I am taking a long weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving and recharge my batteries. I'll be back with a new daily newsletter on Monday, November 30th.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, a sincere thank you to all of you who have subscribed to this newsletter and/or visited the web site. I appreciate the support.

NETFLIX TESTING TOP 50 LIST
Saqib Shah from S&P Global Market Intelligence has spotted a Netflix test of a Top 50 list. He spotted it on a PS4 in the UK, but didn't see it on the web. A Netlflix spokesperson confirmed the test, telling him that "As we have seen with the Top 10, members like to know what’s popular when picking what to watch. We’re testing if showing an expanded list of popular titles around the globe will be helpful. As with all our tests, we will only roll [it] out if members find it useful."

Shah said there was an overall Top 50 list on the front page, as well as Top 50 TV and Movie lists in those individual sections.

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NETFLIX ORIGINAL MOVIE RATINGS:  THE DIVIDE BETWEEN THE NUMBERS AND ACTUAL VALUE.
Brandon Katz from The Observer has an interesting look at Netflix original movies and whether they're cost is really worth it once you figure out some probable viewership and impact in the market:

In 2018, Netflix original movie head Scott Stuber teased a “cinematic onslaught” from the company complete with 90 original films per year ranging from $20 million indies to $200 million blockbusters. Last year, the company released 72 original features; 2020 will see more than 120 original films released when all is said and done. Clearly, the streamer has made original movies a top priority, which coincides with an explosion in the company’s annual content budget. (A January forecast from BMO Capital Markets projected that Netflix will spend $26 billion per year on content by 2028, or more than the annual GDPs of countries like Iceland, El Salvador, Senegal and many more.)

Yet original films that premiere on Netflix generate the majority of viewership within the first week or weekend. In fact, Netflix original films rarely maintain a tangible top-tier grip on consumers beyond two weeks, which refutes Sarandos’s claim that they have the same cultural impact as a $1 billion blockbuster. The Entertainment Strategy Guy, using Nielsen data from March 30th to October 18th that measures viewing time, revealed a significant decay rate for Netflix original films. As seen below, there are steep drop offs in hours watched from Week 1 to Week3.

The piece sparked a long Twitter thread of back-and-forth that touched on everything from the future of Bright 2 to whether "cultural impact" is a metric we should worry about. Check out the entire thread here.

PEACOCK'S BLACK FRIDAY DEAL
I mentioned Hulu Basic's Black Friday deal yesterday and today I wanted to pass along one from Peacock. For a limited time, you can get a full year of Peacock Premium for just $39.99 (normally $50) or Peacock Premium Plus (ad-free) for just $89.99 (normally $100). Visit this page to get the special 20% off discount deal.

Cast | Good Morning Christmas!

WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the paltry number of new television programs premiering today:

1) Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions (Disney+)
Taylor Swift and a few friends sing every track from her new album and talk about how the songs came together.

2) Good Morning Christmas (Hallmark)
Two competing TV hosts are sent to a festive small town over Christmas. While pretending to get along for the sake of appearances, they discover that there’s more to each other than they thought.

3) Great Pretender Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
After their string of successful cons, Makoto leaves Laurent's team. But the web of deceit binding them together goes farther back than he knows.

4) Happiest Season (Hulu)
This new holiday movie is a holiday romantic comedy that hilariously captures the range of emotions tied to wanting your family's acceptance, being true to yourself, and trying not to ruin Christmas.

5) Nature: Santa's Wild Home (PBS)
In this new documentary, get an intimate look at the wildlife of Lapland, a region in northern Finland. It's the fabled home of Santa Claus and actual home of reindeer, great gray owls, wolverines, eagles, wolves, musk oxen, brown bears and more.

6) Nova: Saving Notre Dame (PBS)
The film explores the intricacies of Notre Dame’s architecture and the medieval craftsmanship that created the iconic structure. One year after a powerful fire ravaged its timber and lead roof, the structure is still perilously close to a collapse. The special gives viewers an inside look at the fire itself and the incredible effort to stabilize the teetering walls. Once they’re secured, a restoration project begins: Teams prepare to rebuild the oak roof and fallen spire and save the centuries-old stained glass, all while preventing rain from pouring in through gaping holes in the limestone vaulting—and working amid the toxic lead contaminating the site and 550 tons of melted scaffolding threatening to collapse at any moment. NOVA joins scientists as they determine their reconstruction plans and whether the key to a successful restoration lies within the structure of the cathedral itself.

7) Saved By The Bell Revival Series Premiere (Peacock)
When California governor Zack Morris gets into hot water for closing too many underfunded high schools, he proposes they send the affected students to the most well-funded schools in the state – including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the privileged Bayside kids (who never have a problem that can't be solved in twenty-two minutes) a much-needed dose of reality.

8) The Mystery Of D.B. Cooper (HBO)
Directed by John Dower, this documentary brings to life the stories of four people believed by their family and friends to be “DB Cooper” a man who hijacked a 727 flying out of Seattle and jumped from the plane over the wilds of Washington State with a parachute and $200,000, never to be heard from again.

9) The Christmas Chronicles 2 (Netflix)
It’s been two years since siblings Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis) saved Christmas, and a lot has changed. Kate, now a cynical teenager, is reluctantly spending Christmas in Cancun with her mom’s new boyfriend and his son Jack (Jahzir Bruno). Unwilling to accept this new version of her family, Kate decides to run away. But when a mysterious, magical troublemaker named Belsnickel threatens to destroy the North Pole and end Christmas for good, Kate and Jack are unexpectedly pulled into a new adventure with Santa Claus (Kurt Russell).

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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Last modified on Wednesday, 25 November 2020 14:01

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Tuesday, November 24th, 2020

Written by 24 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, November 24th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by leftover chili and lukewarm coffee.

Today's newsletter is a short one. I am buried in other television-related duties, including interviews and writing four reviews by the close of business today. Back to normal tomorrow.

THE TREND IN JOURNALISM THAT IS ONLY NEW IF YOU MOSTLY FOLLOW THE BIG MEDIA STARS
This is bit off-topic from television and the media, but it is a perfect distillation of what is wrong with national journalism generally. Whether we are talking politics, the media or trends in journalism, news only seems to matter if it is happening to someone who has a well-known national platform and/or name recognition. Something can be taking place across the country, but until it affects someone whom the national news gatekeepers recognize, it might as well be taking place in Mongolia.

Take, for instance, the recent explosion in stories about journalism driven by news that a number of nationally recognized writers are leaving their traditional digital media jobs to write a column for Substack and/or launch their own website. And because it involves familiar media names, major news outlets treat it as a recent development that has seemingly come out of nowhere:

That is fine with Andrew Sullivan, who joined Substack in the summer after years at New York magazine, where his contrarian essays led to criticism from its liberal readers and a tense relationship with its editors. “There’s something wonderful about writing just for readers,” he said. “Because your people are there, you have to be accountable, but it’s a very pure relationship. It reminds me of the wonderful old days of the blogosphere.”

Edith Zimmerman, a former editor of The Hairpin, whose Substack newsletter, Drawing Links, features slice-of-life comics, also noted the similarity between Substack writers and bloggers of yore. “They seemed to be having fun in a way I hadn’t seen in a while,” she said. “People were creating these spaces for themselves to be goofy and a little protected from the turbulence of just throwing yourself at the entire internet.”

To be honest, if your last experience with reading journalists having fun is the "golden age of blogging" (a mystical time that seems to have ended once today's media stars stopped doing it), then you're just not reading enough journalists outside the NYC/DC/LA axis. Journalists like myself have been slogging away in the hinterlands and the national press could care less. But when a couple writers from Vulture or Slate decide to launch their own newsletter, it spawns vast think pieces about the "creative economy" and how journalism is now moving to a more personality-centric model.

I don't begrudge any of those journalists their success or media fame. But it does drive me nuts that there are plenty of journalists like myself, working outside the media spotlight and as far as the national press is concerned, we mostly don't exist. Many of us have substantial audiences and have influence inside out industry. But when it comes to press coverage of our efforts, we are mostly invisible.

Now back to our regular programming.

AT THIS POINT, THEY ARE ALMOST GIVING AWAY BASIC HULU SERVICEImage
Beginning at midnight on Thanksgiving Day (11/26), new and eligible returning subscribers can sign-up for Hulu's ad-supported plan for just $2 per month for one year. The offer is good through 11:59 PM PT on Cyber Monday.

COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST NETFLIX IN INDIA OVER 'A SUITABLE BOY
An FIR (first information report) has been filed in India against Netflix over allegations that the BBC adaptation of Vikram Seth's A Suitable Boy has "hurt religious sentiments." The FIR was filed today by a BJP youth leader, who claimed a scene promoted "love jihad" - a right-wing conspiracy theory about relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women:

Gaurav Tiwari, the National Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), has demanded an apology and the removal of "objectionable scenes" that "encourage love jihad".

"Kissing scenes (filmed) inside a temple of Lord Maheshwar (a historic town located on the banks of Narmada) have hurt sentiments of Hindus. This is also encouraging 'love jihad'," Mr Tiwari said.

The complaint names Netflix Vice President of Content Monika Shergill and Netflix Director of Public Policies Ambika Khurana.





WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the paltry number of new television programs premiering today:

1) A Christmas Tree Grows In Colorado (Hallmark)
Erin is planning the town’s Christmas celebration and must win over firefighter Kevin in order to obtain the beautiful spruce tree on his property for the celebration.

2) Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team (CMT)
They're dancers. They want to make the team.

3) Dragons: Rescue Riders: Huttsgalor Holiday (Netflix)
Huttsgalor's favorite winter festival is finally here! But will some ice-breathing dragons put a frost on everyone’s fun.

4) Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix)
Based on the bestselling memoir by J.D. Vance, this is a modern exploration of the American Dream and three generations of an Appalachian family as told by its youngest member, a Yale Law student forced to return to his hometown.

5) Jennifer Aniston: More Than Friends (Reelz)
She's an award winning sitcom star, movie star, producer and philanthropist. There are many levels to global superstar actress Jennifer Aniston who became a fan favorite on the 10-season hit TV series Friends before transitioning her career to star in successful movies and returning to TV on a popular streaming service. But the road to success did not come without challenges. Learn about her four failed TV series that preceded Friends. Explore her inner struggle to find lasting love with facing very public divorces from Brad Pitt and Justin Theroux.

6) Moonshiners Season Premiere (Discovery)
How do moonshiners deal with a pandemic. Apparently by making more moonshine.

7) Notes For My Son (Netflix)
Facing a terminal disease, a mother decides to use her unwavering optimism and sarcastic humor to make sure her 4-year-old son remembers her.

8) The Informer Series Premiere (MHz Choice)
Berlin law student Aylin (Aylin Tezel) knows exactly what she wants: to become a lawyer. To finance her studies, she works as an escort. Because she had to defend herself against an intrusive businessman, she now faces five years in prison. Immediately after her sentencing, Special Agent Jan (Ken Duken) walks up to make an offer

9) Wonderoos (Netflix)
An adventurous and lovable team of young animals from all over the world play, laugh, sing and learn together to solve relatable preschool firsts.

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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Last modified on Tuesday, 24 November 2020 14:23

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, November 23rd, 2020

Written by 23 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, November 23rd, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by baked potatoes and iced tea.

IS THIS LEAKED DISNEY+ VIDEO REAL?
There is some video circulating today that is supposedly some of what will be announced during Disney upcoming investors meeting on December 10th. It certainly feels real, based on the look and the overall parameters of the details. But as you might expect, Disney has declined to discuss the video or whether it is legitimate. 

According to the video, Disney+ is creating a new tier called "Disney 18+," which would be the home for more adult fare from 20th Century Fox and Disney. It would include movies such as Deadpool, Shape Of Water and Logan. It also appears that there will a Disney+ premium tier of some sort, which could be the home for movies that skip theatrical release as well as a stop for movies between a theatrical release and PVOD. This move fits with recent rumors that Disney is skipping the theatrical release for some of its films such as Cruella, Pinocchio and Peter Pan. Somewhat expectedly, it appears to show Black Widow heading to the premiere tier in April and Falcon & Winter Soldier in August.

The video also shows Disney+ adding more adult current programming, including shows such as The Good Doctor and Modern Family.

If true, all of this sparks a number of questions we don't yet have the answer for yet. What impact does this have on Hulu? Is this just a domestic plan? International only? What would the various tiers cost? It's a bold plan and I really hope it's real. But it looks as if we won't know for sure for a few weeks. 

NETFLIX TOUTS 'THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT' VIEWING NUMBERS
Netflix sent out a press release this morning announcing that its original series The Queen's Gambit is the streaming services' "biggest limited scripted series ever," with more than 62 million viewers. There are plenty of reasons why that mushy viewing number is interesting but not especially helpful. But the release did spark some conversation online about the importance of a series that is by its very nature a one-off. For instance, Andrew Rosen argued that despite its success, it's not a "franchise IP" that you can build on for the future

While that is true, people tend to forget that "franchise IP" is so valuable because it is near-unicorn rare. If you're lucky, you can create a franchise every decade or so. And it's instructive that when you look at the last fifty years worth of content that is represented on Disney+, you have three true examples of franchise IP: Star Wars, Marvel and The Simpsons. And all three of those were acquired from the outside. Yes, there are plenty of examples of successful Disney IP. But it is also IP that falls more into the category of a double or triple than a home run.

And that's fine. Launching home run-level IP is near impossible. What separates the winners from the losers is how any studio, network or streaming service manages the rest of the portfolio. Which most importantly includes creating a steady stream of doubles and triples to stay relevant from year-to-year.

BTW, this is also what makes the possible Disney+ Premium idea I discussed earlier so interesting. It's not a place you would send the home runs. But it's a tier for those doubles and triples that fall in the value chain between the home runs and the movies that can go straight to Disney+.

WHY IS AN OBSCURE 'B' SIDE PAVEMENT'S MOST LISTENED TO SONG ON SPOTIFY? IT'S COMPLICATED
If you spend any time watching Netflix's Top Ten lists, you'll notice that it's common to see weird and sometimes obscure movies suddenly appear on the lists. Some random Adam Sandler or Mark Wahlberg film will unexpectedly be the 3rd most-watched film and there is often no discernable reason for it to happen. It's clear Netflix's suggestion engines are surfacing the title for users. But why?

Stereogum has a really fascinating look at Spotify's recommendation engine and the story starts with a simple question: The Brighten The Corners album outtake "Harness Your Hopes" is the #1 song on Pavement's Spotify page, with over 29 million plays to date, eight million more than "Cut Your Hair," a legitimate and enduring '90s hit. Quickly, and without any obvious reason, it stopped being a rarity and started to become a standard. So how did this happen, exactly?

Online, people have been casually wondering this on places like Reddit and Twitter, with a prevailing theory being that the song must have been featured on a prominent Spotify playlist, and then simply snowballed from there. Malkmus himself was under this impression, too: “I heard it was on a playlist or something,” he says, nonchalant. “I’m not an expert on Spotify but, you know, one of those ‘Monday Moods’ or whatever the fuck they do.”

It’s a reasonable enough explanation. But looking at a similar situation of his own, Damon Krukowski wasn’t so sure. The musician and writer was fascinated with the question of how “Strange” became his former band Galaxie 500’s top Spotify track — by a significant margin — even though it was not a single, was never particularly popular in the past, and wasn’t being picked up on any prominent playlists. In June of 2018, Krukowski laid out the conundrum on his blog, and soon he received a possible explanation from a Spotify employee.

Glenn McDonald, who holds the title of “data alchemist” at Spotify, had taken an interest in the case, and decided to look into it. What he found is that the sudden jump in plays for “Strange” began in January of 2017, which was “the same time Spotify switched the ‘Autoplay’ preset in every listener’s preference panel from off, to on,” as Krukowski recounted on a follow-up blog post. McDonald explained to Krukowski that the Autoplay feature actually cues up music that “resembles” what you’ve just been listening to, based on a series of sonic signifiers too complex to describe. In this case, “Strange” had been algorithmically determined to sound similar to a lot of other music, and was frequently being Autoplayed to the point that it took on a life of its own, and eventually eclipsed the band’s other tracks. It continues to do so to this day.

It's well-worth reading the entire piece and while Spotify refuses to discuss the issue, it's probably not a coincidence the service is beginning to allow bands to select which songs get chosen for this unintentional attention. 

This is the type of insight you can only get from inside the company and Netflix is notoriously shy about discussing its internal recommendation engines. But this Spotify story makes a lot of sense when you put it in the context of Netflix. These lesser, often obscure movies are being recommended not because they are great, but because they are bland enough to match up closely with other popular movies subscribers have previously viewed.

We tend to think of recommendation engines as being complex, manipulative creations that are driven entirely by design. But as this Spotify story illustrates, even the most carefully designed piece of software can produce unintended consequences.

ODDS AND SODS
Sky has acquired the Judi Dench/Leslie Mann movie Blythe Spirit and will release it simultaneously in theaters and on Sky Cinema in the UK and Ireland on January 15th.

What says 2020 more than a Baby Yoda Chia Pet?

Black Narcissus' review: Mountains elevate nuns' anxieties in striking FX  show - Chicago Sun-Times

WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the paltry number of new television programs premiering today:

1) Black Narcissus (FX)
Black Narcissus is an FX limited series based on the best-selling novel by Rumer Godden. Mopu, Himalayas, 1934. A remote clifftop palace once known as the 'House of Women' holds many dark secrets. When the young nuns of St. Faith attempt to establish a mission there, its haunting mysteries awaken forbidden desires that seem destined to repeat a terrible tragedy.

2) Shawn Mendes: In Wonder (Netflix)
Over the course of a world tour, this unguarded documentary follows Shawn Mendes as he makes sense of his stardom, relationships and musical future.

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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Last modified on Monday, 23 November 2020 14:37

Everyday Art: Vintage Beer Cans

Written by 22 November, 2020




























Last modified on Sunday, 22 November 2020 08:36

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, November 20th, 2020

Written by 20 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, November 20th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Manwich and a Mandarin soda.

A LITTLE BIT OF NEWS ABOUT DISCOVERY+
Matthew Keys has a bit of info on the upcoming Discovery+ streaming service, along with a suggested price. According to Keys, the service will cost $5 a month for an ad-supported version and $8 a month for an ad-free version. Although it's worth noting that the screenshots he posted show a price of $4.99 and $6.99, respectively. The screenshots come from a FAQ section, so there isn't any real sense of what the interface will look like. Although apparently users will be able to create up to five profiles per account.

The screenshots also list the networks included, ala the way Disney+ lists its core verticals. The channels listed for Discovery+ are Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, HGTV, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), Food Network, TLC and Investigation Discovery (ID).

I do know that an early proposal for Discovery+ including a suite of "channels," ala what NBCU has done with Peacock and Roku has added to its Roku channel. There would have been channels that were essentially complimentary to each of their linear channels, featuring older programs. But they would be branded with unique names, in order to keep their cable partners happy and to not confuse users. One longer term plan would have been to fold the streaming service Food Network Kitchen into those channels after a current marketing deal with Amazon expires. I was told at the time that the idea was moving forward, due to the enormous amount of work that would be required to integrate it into the Discovery+ offering.

PLAY CHESS WITH BETH HARMON FROM 'THE QUEEN'S GAMBIT'
Chess.com has some bots that allow you to play against virtual versions of well-known chess champions. But they've just launched a really fun bot that allows players to compete against a virtual Beth Harmon from the Netflix series The Queen's Gambit. The bots are Beth at seven different ages: 8, 9, 10, 15, 17, 21.

LOTS OF STREAMING NEWS
We're all familiar with the Friday news dump, but there has been a flurry of streaming industry news this morning. As has been rumored for a couple of week, the Eddie Murphy movie "Coming To America 2" is headed to Amazon in March 2021. Cinemark is giving the Netflix movie Christmas Chronicles 2 a one-week run before it begins streaming. And Deadline is reporting that Disney is considering moving some of its upcoming tentpole movies to Disney+. It's been a crazy and disruptive week.

SOMEONE DIED, BUT THERE'S AN EMBARGO ON THE NEWS
Wall Street Journal media reporter Joe Flint tweeted this morning that he has received an obituary notice that came with an embargo, which he described as a "first." I received the same one and to be honest, if I was going to write about it, I would have ignored the embargo. The death happened a week ago and sending out a proactive embargo on a news event isn't the way these things work.  

But Flint also said part of the reason for people asking for embargos like this is that "because certain trade writers are so used to getting everything under embargo that a bio and background on said person was given out so everyone had a level playing field etc. Of course I don't think anyone is obligated to actually agree to such a thing for someone dead a week."

That prompted a response from The Hollywood Reporter's West Coast TV Editor:



Now if you're not an entertainment reporter, you might think the idea of putting an embargo on an obituary is just nuts. But many reporters - especially those working at the Hollywood Trades are so accustomed to news being spoon-fed to them in a transactional manner that they just consider that process the "norm." This isn't to say that they aren't good journalists. It just means that working at a publication that still has an out-sized amount of clout has made them complacent and comfortable.



WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Alien Xmas (Netflix)
When a race of kleptomaniac aliens attempts to steal Earth's gravity in order to more easily take everything on the planet, only the gift-giving spirit of Christmas and a small alien named X can save the world.

2) Animaniacs Reboot Series Premiere (Hulu)
They’re back! Warner brothers, Yakko and Wakko, and the Warner sister Dot, have a great time wreaking havoc and mayhem in the lives of everyone they meet. After returning to their beloved home, the Warner Bros. water tower, the Animaniacs waste no time in causing chaos and comic confusion as they run loose through the studio, turning the world into their personal playground. Joining Yakko, Wakko and Dot, fan-favorite characters Pinky and the Brain will also return to continue their quest for world domination.

3) A Taste Of Christmas (Lifetime)
For Natalie and handsome Chef Stefano, setbacks at their new Italian restaurant become opportunities in disguise in this saucy movie that brings together two-holiday classics: love and lasagna.

4) Donbass (Film Movement Plus)
In the Donbass, a region of Eastern Ukraine, society begins to degrade as the effects of propaganda and manipulation take effect amidst such turbulent times.

5) Flavorful Origins Gansu Cuisine (Netflix)
From lamb skewers to the glutenous niang pi, the cuisines of Gansu province offer remarkable flavors as layered as its history.

6) Holiday Crafters Gone Wild (HGTV)
Jay Manuel, author and TV personality, will host a competition of epic decorative proportions. During the two-hour special, four teams of talented holiday craft aficionados will battle it out to win a $10,000 cash prize and the title of ultimate holiday craft champion. With challenges ranging from over-the-top tablescapes to one-of-a-kind tree toppers, Emmy® award-winning designer Kim Myles and celebrity party planner and lifestyle expert Michael Russo will grade on creativity, complexity and craftsmanship.

7) If Anything Happens I Love You (Netflix)
In the aftermath of tragedy, two grieving parents journey through an emotional void as they mourn the loss of a child in this beautifully illustrated animated short film.

8) Life After Lockup Season Premiere (WEtv)
People are still living...after being in jail.

9) Marvel's 616 Series Premiere (Disney+)
This new series explores Marvel’s rich legacy of pioneering characters, creators and storytelling to reflect the world outside your window. Each documentary, helmed by a unique filmmaker, showcases the intersections of storytelling, pop culture, and fandom within the Marvel Universe. Episodes in this anthology series will cover topics including Marvel’s world- spanning artists, the trailblazing women of Marvel Comics, discovering the “forgotten” characters of Marvel, and much more.

10) Run (Hulu)
They say you can never escape a mother’s love… but for Chloe, that’s not a comfort — it’s a threat. There’s something unnatural, even sinister about the relationship between Chloe (newcomer Kiera Allen) and her mom, Diane (Sarah Paulson). Diane has raised her daughter in total isolation, controlling every move she’s made since birth, and there are secrets that Chloe’s only beginning to grasp. From the visionary writers, producers and director of the breakout film Searching, comes a suspense thriller that shows that when mom gets a little too close, you need to RUN.

11) The Real Right Stuff (Disney+)
This special tells the remarkable true story of the nation’s first astronauts, the original Mercury 7, and pulls from hundreds of hours of archival film and radio broadcasts, interviews, home movies and other rare and never-before-seen material to catapult viewers back to the late 1950s. The two-hour documentary, from National Geographic, complements the Disney+ original scripted series “The Right Stuff” which will premiere its season finale on the same day.

12) Voices Of Fire Series Premiere
This docuseries follows Pharrell Williams' hometown church as it builds the world’s best gospel choir with undiscovered talent in the community.

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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Last modified on Friday, 20 November 2020 14:58

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Written by 19 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, November 19th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by leftover hot and sour soup.

WHAT IMPACT WILL 'WONDER WOMAN 1984' HAVE ON HBO MAX?
Simultaneously releasing Wonder Woman 1984 to theaters and HBO Max is a big deal and I think it's important to acknowledge that. While also acknowledging that we will likely not be about to determine how much of a financial impact the move will have on HBO Max.

Now this isn't just me saying this. If you read this piece in The Hollywood Reporter that focuses on comments from stock analysts, the general consensus is "hey, who knows?":

The financial math, however, is "complicated," acknowledged Mitchelson. “The first Wonder Woman grossed $413 million in theaters the U.S. and $409 million overseas for an $822 million global take. Warners likely collected a net $200 million or so in the U.S. and would have expected at least that level pre-COVID, with tens of millions more from PPV and home video. At the same time, marketing costs might be less than normal for this release, there will still be some level of theatrical revenue for WW84 (perhaps with some offset of direct payments to theaters for day-and-date rights), and it is unclear when these pre-COVID box office levels would again be achievable."

Now you are going to hear some numbers after the fact that will be essentially useless. HBO Max executives will likely tout some figure like the number of people who watched it. Which doesn't tell you anything about the financial impact. And they'll likely throw around some number of new subscribers in Q4 that they added. But that is of marginal use as well unless you add a LOT of context. For instance, what was the number of new subscribers that were estimated to join before the decision to include "Wonder Woman" was made?

The biggest problem with attempting to ascertain the financial impact of a move like this is that we don't have access to any of the numbers we'd need to make even a rough accurate estimate. Traditionally, the value of a subscriber is determined by tracking a few sets of figures: the acquisition costs of adding a new subscriber times the average revenue per user times the life of their subscription. In other words, what is the average cost to get someone to begin a new subscription? How much will you make off of the average subscriber per month? And how long will they stay subscribed?

Frankly, there's no way to determine any of these numbers. And fair warning, this is just a very general breakdown of the challenge.

First, the customer acquisition costs. The only streaming service we have even a bit of information about when it comes this is Netflix. Because they are a public company and their streaming business isn't rolled into a much larger media company, subscriber acquisition costs can at least be estimated. Netflix is a mature company with a relatively stable subscriber base. So it's likely that HBO Max's acquisition costs are higher than Netflix's. But by how much? After asking a few people in the industry, a $50-$100 cost per subscriber seems fair. 

But even that figure is complicated. Some of HBO Max's subscriber growth is coming from people who are current subscriber to HBO's digital offering and can switch over to HBO Max for free. So how do you properly value that acquisition cost? 

Monthly revenue per subscriber is also a tough challenge. HBO Max has sold a large number of discounted subscriptions, which obviously means less revenue per subscriber. And then there's the challenge of determining the monthly revenue for users who subscribed to HBO through Amazon Channels, but can now access HBO Max through its app. And then are bundle deals and all sorts of other variables.

As for how long the average customer might subscribe, there's just no way to know. HBO Max is a very new service and such a short time frame doesn't provide enough time to make an accurate estimate. Although if you knew the churn rate for HBO subscriptions, you might be able to make a reasonable estimate.

All of this is the long way of saying that you are going to read a lot of takes in the next few months about this idea and most - if not nearly all - of them will be wrong. 

Given all we don't know about the financial impacts of this idea, what would I do if I was an executive at HBO Max? I'd try and maximize the customer growth, even if it meant lessening the revenue per subscriber. Put the current 7-day free trial on hold to prevent people for starting the trial just to see the movie. Instead, offer a heavily-discounted annual subscription rate to down those new subscribers. Even if it means lowering the revenue.

Movies And Specials: 'Noemi Gold'
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) A Million Little Things Season Premiere (ABC)
After Eddie's devastating accident, the group gathers to support each other as they wait to find out if he'll pull through.

2) Beyond The Spotlight Series Premiere (CuriosityStream)
From the highest grossing actor of all time, Samuel L. Jackson, alongside his Tony Award-nominated wife LaTanya Richarsdon Jackson to the beloved and relatable Kristen Bell... andfrom sports icons Shaquille O’Neal and Joe Namath to the wildly popular influencer MrBeast -- these are the intriguing people who capture our attention, fill our social feeds, and shape pop culture. Each of the six hour-long episodes takes an intimate tone, featuring the deeply profound conversations that happen out of the spotlight when people share, in their own words, what truly inspires them.

3) Breaking Beauty Series Premiere (Crackle)
Josh Varozza became an icon after photos of his 'Dudeoir' calendar shoot went viral, sparking a social phenomenon and quickly becoming the face of a body positivity movement. In each episode of Breaking Beauty, the irrepressible 350 pound model travels across America to discover uniquely beautiful people doing unconventional things. Varozza explores the world of burlesque, fitness trainers, circus performers, filmmakers and more, bringing viewers on a journey of discovery, laughs, a few tears and ultimate self-acceptance. The series breaks down boundaries of conventional beauty and celebrates individuals who love the skin they're in.

4) Cleopatra In Space Season Premiere (Peacock)
A teenage Cleopatra is transported 30,000 years into the future and discovers she is the prophesied savior of the future world.

5) Cold Call Series Premiere (Sundance Now)
A dark thriller set in Manchester, Cold Call follows the story of a single mother caught up in a fraudulent cold call scam that threatens to unravel her life. Following the death of her elderly mother and fueled by a bubbling rage, June attempts to hunt down those responsible to seek her revenge. Each episode explores just how far a normal woman can be stretched when a very real threat to her - and her family's - lives presents itself.

6) I Hate Suzie Series Premiere (HBO Max)
Suzie Pickles, a star on the wane, has her whole life upended when her phone is hacked and a photo of her in an extremely compromising position is released for the whole world to see. This excruciatingly honest show follows the various stages of Suzie’s trauma episode by episode, through Shock, Denial, Fear, Shame, Bargaining, Guilt, Anger and Acceptance as Suzie and her best friend and manager Naomi try to hold her life, career, and marriage together in the face of being exposed for who she truly is. But who the hell even is that?

7) Noemi Gold (Topic)
After experiencing what she believes to be an allergic reaction to Misoprostol (commonly known as the abortion pill), Noemí seeks out the help of a gynecologist, who promptly reports her to the police. To Noemí’s relief, she is not charged with any crime— attempted abortion is not a prosecutable offense in Argentina—and to her dismay, she’s still pregnant. This news coincides with the arrival of Noemí’s estranged cousin from Los Angeles, a social media influencer with millions of followers and dubious talent. With little support from her scatter-brained roommate and self-involved circle of friends, Noemí has only herself to rely on while navigating her present straits.

8) Supernatural Series Finale (The CW)
The Winchesters remember Cas and Jack's sacrifice at...Pie Fest?!

9) The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again (Netflix)
When Duchess Margaret unexpectedly inherits the throne to Montenaro and hits a rough patch with Kevin, it’s up to her double Stacy to save the day before a new lookalike, party girl Fiona foils their plans.

10) Veneno (HBO Max)
The series follows Valeria, a young journalism student who discovers she has more in common with La Veneno than she thought. The two women were born in very different times, but their stories become intertwined when Valeria writes a book about La Veneno. Through learning more about her, Valeria discovers her chosen family, how to love herself, and the impact of mass media in the life of an enigmatic entertainer.

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.


If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Last modified on Thursday, 19 November 2020 13:51

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, November 18th, 2020

Written by 18 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, November 17th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Iced Tea and pasta salad.

ESTIMATING STREAMING SUBSCRIBERS IN THE U.S.
It is amazing to me how difficult it is to get even the most basic information about streaming services. Forget churn rates and subscriber acquisition costs. It can sometimes be challenging to even determine the simplest information, such as the number of U.S. subscribers.

The Entertainment Strategy Guy has just posted part one of his estimate of U.S. subscriber numbers for every streaming service he estimates has more than 2 million U.S. subscribers:

What you know, or have been told once, is how many Amazon Prime subscribers there are. With Prime comes access to Prime Video. We don’t know how many members actually use that service or, more importantly, know how many value the service enough to pay for it on a recurring basis. (What a subscription is, by definition.)

But here’s what’s crazier: we don’t even know how many Amazon Prime subscribers there are by country. They could have 50 million US Prime members…or 125 million. Literally know one knows. (In fact, we haven’t gotten an update on Prime membership since January.)

In this piece, he provides his subscriber number estimates and in the next piece, he promises to talk a bit about his methodology. All of this is very helpful info for anyone who follows the streaming service market and it's one of the few concrete metrics we have to draw on in an industry that doesn't provide nearly enough specific benchmarks.

APPLE TV+ TO SHARE TWO 'CHARLIE BROWN' HOLDAY SPECIALS WITH PBS
The streaming service Apple TV+ announced earlier today that it is sharing two holiday-oriented Charlie Brown specials with PBS and PBS Kids. Apple TV+ recently inked a deal that gave it exclusive rights to a number of Charlie Brown shows and specials. But under the terms of this agreement, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will also air on PBS and PBS Kids on November 22nd at 7:30 pm local time/6:30 pm CT and A Charlie Brown Christmas will air on PBS and PBS Kids on December 13th at 7:30 pm local time/6:30 pm CT. Both specials will air ad-free with a short mention of Apple TV+ before the special begins.

It's a smart deal for both sides. PBS gets access to some beloved specials and Apple TV+ gets some free publicity and plenty of goodwill.

WHEN IT COMES TO NEWS, PEACOCK SHOULD BE THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
The NBCU streaming service is focusing quite a bit of resources on building out its news section beyond just including the clips from MSNBC and NBC News. The service has recently added two new talk shows and while I'd love to know the rationale behind making them two-hours long each day, I have a bigger problem with the efforts so far. 

If NBC really wants to create something that isn't just a pale reflection of NBC News and MSNBC, it needs to greenlight ideas that go beyond the traditional formats and conventional wisdoms of network news. Do shows that have some viral potential, like a series that deconstructs fake news stories that are going viral. Instead of hiring talk shows that are just ike the current NBC News roster (except younger), why not hire hosts based in places outside the NYC/DC axis? Imagine a news show coming from Nashville or Denver or Minneapolis or Baton Rouge? Create a modern-take on the classic CNN Crossfire format.

Much of what Peacock is doing seems to be defined by an attempt to recreate what NBC already has, rather than inventing new genres that can bring in a younger, more engaged digital-first audience.

WHY ISN'T DISNEY+ DOING A 'LOST' SPIN-OFF SERIES?
This started out as a piece for the newsletter, but it ended up running too long. But it's a serious question. Why isn't Disney doing a spin-off of one of its most iconic TV shows? Especially one that offers so much mythology to work with:

So what would a Lost spin-off series look like? Well, one possibility would be the storyline that the Lost co-creator/executive producer Damon Lindelof and executive producer Carlton Cuse laid out in the 12-minute long epilogue "The New Man in Charge," which was released on the season six DVD collection. The short contained two storylines and both of them build on the backstory of the original series.

Read the entire thing here. And if this idea does happen, I am available for consulting work.

ABC's 'For Life' hopes to change the way we see network TV - ABC News
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Bitter Daisies (Netflix)
While investigating the disappearance of a teen girl in a tight-knit Galician town, a Civil Guard officer uncovers secrets linked to a loss of her own.

2) Crazy, Not Insane (HBO)
Psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis has dedicated her career to the study of murderers, seeking answers to the question of why we kill. This provocative documentary explores, like a scientific detective story, Dr. Lewis’s lifelong attempts to look beyond the grisly details of homicides into the hearts and minds of the killers themselves.

3) Forged In Fire Season Premiere (History)
The series returns with new host, former U.S. Army Green Beret Grady Powell, as world-class bladesmiths compete to create history’s most iconic edged weapons. In each episode, four of the nation’s finest bladesmiths come together to put their skill and reputations on the line, trying to avoid elimination and win the $10,000 prize. They use sweat, fire, force of will, and a well-equipped forge to turn raw material into authentic, fully functional implements of war. These weapons must stand up to a battery of strength & sharpness tests, as well as the critical assessment of our expert Judges David Baker, Doug Marcaida, and Bladesmiths J. Neilson and Ben Abbott.

4) For Life Season Premiere (ABC)
After nine years of fighting to win his freedom, it’s do or die for Aaron Wallace. As dangerous enemies lurk at Bellmore and Marie faces criminal charges for assisting Aaron in prior cases, Aaron must find a way to gain the upper hand on Maskins.

5) Holiday Home Makeover With Mr. Christmas Series Premiere (Netflix)
Benjamin Bradley, best known as Mr. Christmas, is a veteran in the interior design industry with a healthy obsession with the holiday season. For Mr. Christmas, the holidays are all about celebrating love, life, family and friends through meaningful traditions. In the new Netflix series Holiday Home Makeover with Mr. Christmas, Bradley takes you behind the scenes as he puts his design expertise and vast Christmas collection to good use. Equipped with lights, garlands, and enough tinsel to blanket the North Pole, he and his team of elves work around the clock to bring holiday cheer to families and communities deserving of a home makeover for the most joyous time of year. Mr. Christmas invites viewers along for the ride to kick off the holiday season and get inspired to take their own home decorating and traditions to the next level.

6) No Man's Land Series Premiere (Hulu)
No Man’s Land dives into the depths of the Syrian civil war through the eyes of Antoine, a young French man in search of his estranged, presumed to be dead sister. While unraveling the mystery, piece by piece, Antoine ends up joining forces with a unit of Kurdish female fighters, fierce women and ISIS’ biggest nightmare, and travels with them in ISIS occupied territory. Antoine’s journey crosses paths with adventurers and anarchists, spies and innocent victims, and provides a unique look at the tragic events in Syria, and the way they affect the entire world.

7) Resist (YouTube)
This 12-episode documentary series follows the grassroots work of multicultural/intersectional organizations fighting the Los Angeles county’s $3.5 billion jail expansion plan in 2018 and examines the issues of cash bail, unlawful arrest, over-policing of Black and brown neighborhoods, and mass incarceration.

8) The Wonderful World Of Mickey Mouse Series Premiere (Disney+)
it's nothing but fun and excitement for Mickey and his best pals – Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto - as they embark on their greatest adventures yet, navigating the curveballs of a wild and zany world where the magic of Disney makes the impossible possible. Each seven-minute short is filled with laugh-out-loud comedy, modern settings, timeless stories, new music and the unmistakable classic art style of the “Mickey Mouse” shorts. The series will include stories inspired by various lands at Disney parks and cameos by classic Disney heritage characters.



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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Last modified on Wednesday, 18 November 2020 14:01

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

Written by 17 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, November 17th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Iced Tea and pasta salad.

YouTube And Engaged Viewing
Having a 15-year-old in the house is useful if you write about the media, because it provides real world insight into how teens use platforms such as YouTube. It's been interesting to me to see him shift so much of his media consumption to YouTube. Given the choice, he'd rather watch gaming videos on YouTube than something on a streaming service. He watches short animated history docs on YouTube rather than a special about the same subject on the History channel. He frequently uses YouTube as background noise, in the same way that older people use traditional radio. 

I've seen some studies that show under-18 viewership shifting to platforms such as YouTube. But I can't find anything that specifically tracks what they are watching and why. Does anyone know of any data along those lines? 

AND IN THE CATEGORY OF 'WHO ASKED FOR THIS'
Twitter execs had a call with media this morning where the company rolled out a couple of new features and one of them certainly falls into the category of "who asked for this?" The platform is introducing "Fleets," a new style of tweet that will disappear after 24 hours. This is the company's explanation of the new feature:

Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation – it’s where you go to see what's happening and talk about it. But some of you tell us that Tweeting is uncomfortable because it feels so public, so permanent, and like there's so much pressure to rack up Retweets and Likes That’s why, unfortunately, there are so many Tweets left in drafts! To help people feel more comfortable, we've been working on a lower pressure way for people to talk about what’s happening. Today, we're launching Fleets so everyone can easily join the conversation in a new way – with their fleeting thoughts.

There are several obvious problems with this. Less accountability and transparency is not what discourse on Twitter needs. People are much more likely to tweets all sorts of false or misleading things knowing that the tweets will be gone in 24 hours. And to complicate matters, fake tweets are already a huge problem and they can be hard to identify. That will be even a more difficult problem when the original tweet may or may not have been automatically deleted.

AMAZON FIRE AND HBO MAX
Users of Amazon Fire TV and/or people who subscribe to HBO through Amazon Channels were thrilled to learn that they would get access to HBO Max. But I'm hearing reports that the transition is not as easy as it was presented in the original announcement. Specifically, that current subscribers of HBO through Amazon Channels can't log into the HBO Max app. Here is the language that was used in the HBO press release announcing the deal:

Immediately upon launch, current subscribers of HBO through Amazon’s Prime Video Channels will be able to log in to the HBO Max app with their Amazon credentials at no additional cost.

But I have heard from multiple people who tell me things like this: "I’ve been trying for an hour! This language (log in to the app w amazon credentials) doesn’t match the actual login options presented on the app."

Has anyone out there attempted to log into HBO Max this way? Someone from the Amazon Fire team did provide this piece of info to me: "You should be able to use your Amazon login and password directly in the HBO Max app on any device where HBO Max is available. If this doesn't work, please feel free to reach out to our customer service team."

So I'm not sure what the situation is with this problem. Is is user error? Or is there a problem Amazon hasn't noticed? If you have any experience with this problem, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I'M NOT SAYING THAT I WAS WRONG, BUT MAYBE I WAS MISTAKEN
I announced last week that I was dropping the listings that I had been including in my daily newsletter. I had cited some reasons why and even now, the analytics seem to show that the listings are of use to a smaller subset of subscribers. But as I've often argued here, data shouldn't be the only factor driving decision-making. Since I have made that decision, I have heard from a large number of you (more than 200) that you find the listings helpful. So I bow to popular wisdom and am bringing them back beginning today.

IN CASE YOU MISSED THESE
Here are a few pieces of interest I've posted on AllYourScreens in the past 24 hours:

I'm not saying that New Yorker piece about Netflix & Ambient TV is the dumbest thing you'll read this week. But...

Conan O'Brien To End TBS Talk Show For Weekly HBO Variety Series

Hulu Live TV announced it was hiking rates $10 per month and that was a good reason to update my guide to Building The Perfect Discount TV Bundle

Amazon Prime and Amazon Studios have announced a €1 million ($1.18 million) commitment to support the Italian entertainment industry through the Covid-19 pandemic.

KATHERYN WINNICK
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Ainu Mosir (Netflix)
A sensitive Ainu teen searches for a spiritual connection with his recently deceased Dad while navigating his indigenous identity in a changing world.

2) Beyond Oak Island (History)
Hosted by real-life treasure hunters Rick and Marty Lagina, this eight episode series chronicles the greatest treasure hunts of the past, present and (perhaps) future. “Beyond Oak Island” offers a combination of great story telling, compelling interviews with treasure-hunters, historians and experts, as well as on-location treasure hunts in progress, sometimes with the Laginas themselves.

3) Big Sky Series Premiere (ABC)
While on a road trip to visit her boyfriend in Montana, Danielle Sullivan and her sister Grace are kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote part of the highway, setting off a chain of events that leads private detectives Cody Hoyt and Cassie Dewell to team up with Cody’s estranged wife and ex-cop, Jenny Hoyt, to search for the sisters. But when the investigators discover these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, it’s clear they’ve stumbled onto something much bigger than them all.

4) FBI Season Premiere (CBS)
The team welcomes a new member, Special Agent Tiffany Wallace (Katherine Renee Turner), as they search for killers who orchestrated a mass shooting at a media company, and OA’s personal connection with the case threatens to cloud his judgement.

5) FBI Most Wanted Season Premiere (CBS)
With COVID devastating the country, two gunmen take out their desperation and rage on the elite class they perceive to be oppressing them as the team attempts to track and stop them. Also, Jess’ father (Terry O’Quinn) returns to his son’s life and, although he’s brought a new girlfriend, he may not be over his old ways

6) NCIS Season Premiere (CBS)
Gibbs and Fornell (Joe Spano) attempt to track down the leader of a drug ring who supplied drugs to Fornell’s daughter. Also, the team deals with the case of a missing cadaver from the NCIS autopsy room.

7) Spiral Season Seven Premiere (MHz Choice)
The acclaimed French television police procedural and legal drama returns for its next-to-last season.

8) Start-Up (Netflix)
Young entrepreneurs aspiring to launch virtual dreams into reality compete for success and love in the cutthroat world of Korea's high-tech industry.|

9) The Boss Baby: Back In Business (Netflix)
Boss Baby is finally the boss, armed with an ambitious plan to achieve total baby love. But enemies old and new are teaming up to bring him down.

10) The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special (Disney+)
Directly following the events of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” Rey leaves her friends to prepare for Life Day as she sets off on a new adventure with BB-8 to gain a deeper knowledge of the Force. At a mysterious Jedi Temple, she is hurled into a cross-timeline adventure through beloved moments in Star Wars cinematic history, coming into contact with Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi-Wan and other iconic heroes and villains from all nine Skywalker saga films. But will she make it back in time for the Life Day feast and learn the true meaning of holiday spirit?

11) We Are The Champions Series Premiere (Netflix)
From executive producer Rainn Wilson, We are the Champions explores the quirkiest, most charming, and oddly inspirational competitions you never knew existed. Each episode follows a unique competition, providing a window into a world of determined, passionate, and incredibly skilled competitors who put it all on the line to become heroes in their own extraordinary worlds. Featured competitions include Cheese Rolling, Chili Eating, Fantasy Hair Styling, Yo-Yo, Dog Dancing and Frog Jumping.

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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Last modified on Tuesday, 17 November 2020 13:36

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, November 16th, 2020

Written by 16 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, November 13th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by super-strong coffee and cheese sticks.

WHY NETFLIX IS A LOT LIKE FORTNITE
There are a lot of people in the television industry who hate bingeing. Some of it is just a generational unease: watching eight episodes back-to-back isn't the way I grew up watching television! Most TV critics hate it because viewers getting an entire season at once compresses the amount of time they have to cover the series. And because they tend to think they have more influence on viewing habits than they do, they conflate fewer opportunities to write weekly episodic recaps with less buzz about a show.

A lot of Hollywood creatives dislike the practice as well. They have some of the same qualms as the critics do when it comes to compressed promotional timelines. There is a sense that dumping an entire season at one time makes it feel as if the season has come and gone within several weeks. And that not releasing an episode a week means the show doesn't have an opportunity to build an audience and drill its way into the cultural zeitgeist.

And any time a show does very well being released an episode a week, there are lots of snarky hot takes along the lines of "See, The Mandalorian did just great and it was released one episode at a time!" Which is a version of the same creative impulsive that led every music label in 1967 to tell the rock bands they had signed that "See, The Beatles did well with a concept album. Everyone should do one!"

While the best answer to the question "Is bingeing a good idea" is the very practical but not all that exciting response "It depends." But the question also opens up another related conversation about how bingeing television is at its core a marketing tool.

My 15-year-old son plays the Battle Royale game Fortnite. At its core, Fortnite isn't all that different that a lot of other games with similar concepts. But Fortnite has become a gaming juggernaut because of the way it uses change to create an overall experience greater than the game. Fortnite creator Epic Games has crafted a series of built-in changes into the game, ensuring that there is always something new to experience. The game is broken down into discreet "seasons," which are massive changes to the gameplay that happen about every 10-12 weeks. But inside each season are a seemingly endless number of new tasks, challenges, mini-games, characters, skins and weapons. When you play Fortnite, it feels as if there is something new every time you log on. The game uses change as a way to increase engagement.

And I'd argue that Netflix uses bingeing in the same way. Sure, given the amount of new content Netflix adds each week, drawing out every season with a once-a-week episode release would be a marketing and promotional nightmare. But more importantly for Netflix, the rapid cycling through of content has become a core feature of the service. While there are going to be some times when you sign onto Netflix for a specific show, most times you just sign on and see what's new. The bingeing release schedule ensures that there are always new options and plenty of good things to watch that you missed when they originally premiered. For Netflix - like Fortnite -change is the best marketing tool it has.

PLUTO TV AND THE GLOBAL MARKET
Protocol's Janko Roettgers has a good interview with Pluto TV CPO Shampa Banerjee. She previously worked at the Indian streaming service Eros Now, and in the interview she talks about the very real differences in how streaming customers globally differ from those in the U.S.:

We're always very U.S.-centric. We think everyone is like us, with 500 devices. It's not [like that]. [If you are] launching in Latin America, for instance, casting is very important. That's how the family watches. Everyone, mobile is what they have. They have one big screen. That's it. And it may not even be a smart TV. So they buy a casting stick, and that's what they're using. Behaviors outside of the U.S., they're quite different.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
There was a lot of new stuff posted to AllYourScreens over the weekend. Here are links to some of the highlights:

Figures From 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' Fetch Nearly 300K At Auction

QAnon Supporters Are Pretty Sure A Biden Campaign Guy Was Arrested. Even Though The Photo Is Of Cuba Gooding Jr.

One Season TV: 'M.A.N.T.I.S.'

Review: 'Voices Of Fire'


ONE LAST THING



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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Last modified on Monday, 16 November 2020 14:35

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, November 13th, 2020

Written by 12 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, November 13th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by super-strong coffee and cheese sticks.

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU
I've added a lot of new subscribers over the past couple of weeks and currently I am about 50 short of hitting the 15,000 mark. It's an amazing number and I am happy I can put out something so many find helpful and worth reading.

The growth of the newsletter is matched by the growth of AllYourScreens and it's prompted me to make some process and editorial tweaks to better fit with the needs of the growing audience. 

For the newsletter, the changes are driven by feedback from some of you as well as what I learned from a deep dive into the analytics. This newsletter has an exceptionally high open rate, but it is also a newsletter that readers seem to put aside until they have time to really read it carefully. Since there is so much timeshifting - and because I always struggle to with the newsletter's length - I'm dropping the "stuff that is premiering today" listings that had previously made up the bottom half of the newsletter. 

I'll still be creating that daily list, and there will be a link to them every day at the bottom of the newsletter. But I think they'll be more relevant posted on the web site & it will also be better for SEO reasons. I'm also shifting the target time for the newsletter to hit your email inbox to between 2-3 pm ET M-F. Based on feedback and analytics, sending it out early in the morning makes it more likely to get lost in the mix of all the other newsletters. And the later release gives me the chance to add late breaking ideas.

One last thing. I've had some people ask about how they can help support the newsletter and/or web site. I don't have any plans to add a subscription level to the newsletter. Keeping it free allows me to reach as many people as possible and the newsletter is shared a lot. What I am going to do is create an optional subscription option beginning on 12/01 for those you who'd like to show some support. At least in the short term, you won't be getting anything extra for subscribing, it's there more as an option if you find the newsletter helpful. I'll also be adding a Patreon link on the web site at the first of the month. But everything will remain fee and accessible. 

Thank you again for your support. I really do appreciate it.

MORE ABOUT NETFLIX'S GLOBAL AMBITIONS
I've written a lot in recent months about Netflix's efforts to move towards being a global production-centric service with its original slate and how most of the company's recent management changes should be seen through that lens. I had seen other comments from the Paley International Council Summit appearance of Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos and chief content officer, interviewed Bela Bajaria, the streamer’s new global head of TV. But I hadn't seen these comments from Bajoria before, which speaks directly to the company's efforts to move away from a Hollywood-centric content production focus:

She went on to take over international originals at the platform before being upped to head of global television. "What gives us great pride at Netflix is entertaining the world," Bajaria said. "Historically, Hollywood was always export. Now [we’re] making shows in any language from any country and they are traveling everywhere. I want us to be at the forefront of entertaining the world, and I love that we do that in so many ways. We can do it with a reality show about an Indian matchmaker, we can do it in a French comedy about a family business, we can do it in a limited series about a chess prodigy and we can do it with a prestigious show about the British monarchy."

Bajoria also spoke about the company's efforts in Asia Pacific, which doesn't get nearly enough attention from U.S.-based analysts and journalists:

"In India, we are going into more unscripted, which has been a nice complement to the slate. We have a very strong slate next year in lots of different genres. When we started, we had some great big shows but many of them were darker and edgier. Now you’re seeing a wider variety of genres and tones. With Korea, it’s been rewarding to see this love of K dramas, not just in Korea—they travel to Japan, Southeast Asia and the U.S. Kingdom had huge impact. Similarly, in Japan, looking at anime and the investment there. I’m excited about the slates coming up; the next two years look really interesting for AsiaPac."

MORE RUMORS ABOUT A POSSIBLE TRUMP TV
Lots of people have joked about the possibility over the past four years, but Axios is reported yesterday that President Trump is strongly considering the launch of a Trump-oriented subscription video service when he leaves office:

Trump's digital offering would likely charge a monthly fee to MAGA fans. Many are Fox News viewers, and he'd aim to replace the network — and the $5.99-a-month Fox Nation streaming service, which has an 85% conversion rate from free trials to paid subscribers — as their top destination.

The piece also makes the point that Trump's email and test lists are extremely valuable and could be an important asset if he does attempt to launch a service.

But Axios doesn't mention the biggest impediment in launching such a service: it's hard work and that really isn't in the president's wheelhouse. Subscribers would expect daily content from him and that doesn't touch on the promotional efforts he need to do. Trump can't just slap his name on something and make it a success. Especially in a market where both Fox, Newsmax and The Blaze already have established brands, linear channels and streaming services. I'm just not convinced he's willing to put in the sizable amount of work that would be necessary to make any Trump TV viable.

What I can see him doing is taking the same approach he does with hotels: leasing his name (and in this case, his contact list) to someone who actually has the expertise and drive to make it a success.

IS 'WONDER WOMAN' HEADED TO HBO MAX SOONER THAN EXPECTED?
This piece in Bloomberg offers up an interesting scenario for the future of "Wonder Woman 1984," which is currently set to hit theaters on Christmas Day. But according to sources in the story, execs at WarnerMedia are considering a plan to premiere the film on HBO Max within weeks of its theatrical release:

While theaters have criticized studios for releasing new movies at home so soon after they appears in theaters, they may be willing to relax their objections in this case. More theaters risk closing for the rest of the year if Warner Bros. delays “Wonder Woman 1984,” an unwelcome thought for chains already teetering on the brink of insolvency. Additionally, in exchange for shortening the time between the film’s theatrical and online release, Warner Bros. may make a payment to theater owners, the people said.

2020: THE YEAR OF AVOD
Richard Middleton at Television Business International has a good look at the state of the international AVOD business in 2020:

Samsung is also rapidly emerging as a key player in the AVOD battle and it too has been acting on its own expansion plans. The electronics manufacturer’s ad-supported Samsung TV Plus streaming service is now set to become available on all of its smart TVs released since 2017, expanding the reach of the service in one swoop and signaling a mood shift away from an offering that reserved the AVOD for select devices. The move means free access to 80 live and on-demand TV channels for viewers based in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain and Italy, with plans to expand into more European countries in 2021. Distributors have already struck numerous content deals too.

ODDS AND SODS
Peacock TV has begun offering its 50% off annual subscription rate, a deal it last offered widely just before the launch of the service last spring.

People rightfully focus a lot of attention of the largest streamers. But I'm fascinated by what is going on at some of the services seem as "niche" offerings. One surprising thing I learned on the Q3 earnings call for CuriosityStream is that they currently have around 13 million paying subscribers. Which is impressive.

SXSW is currently asking people to vote on what sessions they would like to see next year and this proposal from WarnerMedia and HBO's Multicultural Marketing Team is one that I would love to see. In fact, if it doesn't work out at SXSW, I'm more than happy to speak with them for my site (and newsletter). 

ONE LAST THING



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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Last modified on Friday, 13 November 2020 13:54
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