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Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, September 25th, 2020

Written by 25 September, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, September 25th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by iced tea in a can and cheese enchiladas

WELCOME NEW SUBSCRIBERS
I've gotten a lot of new subscribers over the past couple of days, so I wanted to say thanks to all of you. I also wanted to give you the heads up that the Friday newsletter is typically a bit shorter unless there is some breaking news. That is primarily due to the fact that is also the day that has the largest number of new shows I need to highlight.

THE LIMITS OF NETFLIX STARDOM
TV critic Miles McNutt has a great piece laying out some of the factors that limit Netflix's ability to create a Disney Channel-type teen star. He talks a lot about the new Netflix series "Julie And The Phantoms," which is maybe the best Disney Channel teen series of the past five years. Even if Disney didn't make it:

Disney’s embrace of this model accompanied the horizontal integration of their operations, as Disney Channel stars were leveraged as “talent” to be deployed across Disney’s theme parks, record labels, TV channels, and more. Take, for example, Milo Manheim, who starred in the Disney Channel original musical Z-O-M-B-I-E-S in 2018: before it debuted, he and co-star Meg Donnelly appeared on a Disney Channel Christmas special filmed at Walt Disney World, and later that year Manheim competed on Dancing with the Stars, which airs on the Disney-owned ABC. And after the release of Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2 in early 2020, he moved onto recording, releasing the single “We Own The Summer” on Walt Disney Records with an at-home, Disney Channel cameo-filled video produced during the COVID-19 pandemic; this was in addition to recording an at-home sing-along duet with Donnelly for the Disney Music channel. A Disney Channel star is by nature a force of synergy across the larger Disney ecosystem.

While McNutt doesn't mention it, I wonder if the way Netflix purchases shows also has an impact on its ability to create stars and keep up-and-coming actors inside its ecosystem. Since Netflix is paying a premium to buy out the people who would normally be profit participants in a new show. And I can't help suspecting that becomes an issue when you're a suddenly hot actor who wants to financially capitalize on their fame. 

U.S SVOD SUBS TO HIT 317 MILLION BY 2025
According to a new report by Digital TV Research, the number of SVOD subscribers in the U.S. is set to rise from 203 million last year to 317 million in 2025. While the firm estimates Netflix will add 10 million new domestic subscribers over the next four years, that growth will be dwarfed by many of its rivals. Disney+ will add 27 million new domestic subscribers, Hulu will add 22 million and Peacock, HBO and CBS All Access/Paramount+ will add more domestic subscribers than Netflix.

A Wilderness of Error
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) A Perfect Crime Series Premiere (Netflix)
In April 1991, Detlev Rohwedder, the head of Treuhand, the East German Privatization and Restructuring Agency, was assassinated in Dusseldorf. An inspection of the scene revealed three cartridge cases, a plastic chair, a towel and a letter claiming responsibility by the Red Army Faction (RAF), a radical left terrorist group that killed 33 people between 1971 and 1993. To this day, the assassin has never been identified.

2) A Wilderness Of Error (FX)
When Army surgeon Jeffrey MacDonald is sent to prison for killing his family, a storm of swirling narratives challenges our very ability to find the truth all the while overshadowing a chilling possibility: MacDonald may be an innocent man.

3) Magic Of Disney's Animal Kingdom Series Premiere (Disney+)
Celebrity dog groomer Jess Rona leads the judges panel with Emmy nominee Robin Thede, with Matt Rogers serving up comedic commentary as the series host. Each episode features three dog groomers facing off over two rounds  with the lucky groomer taking home Best in Show and walking away with $10,000 and a first place rosette. These doggy makeover wizards compete to turn the K-9s into K-10s. Meet some of these fierce competitors ahead of the series premiere this Thursday and tune-in to see the winning transformations.

4) Fandango At The Wall (HBO Latino)
This music documentary follows multi-Grammy Award-winning musician Arturo O'Farrill and multi-Grammy Award-winning producer Kabir Sehgal who journey to Veracruz, Mexico to recruit master musicians for a live album recording at the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

5) Magic Of Disney's Animal Kingdom Series Premiere (Disney+)
Josh Gad gives viewers a backstage pass to explore the magic of nature within Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at EPCOT. Each of the eight episodes dives into the details, unveiling the multifaceted aspects of animal care, conservation and Disney Imagineering and showcases the parks’ magnificent array of more than 300 species and 5,000-plus animals and the herculean tasks their animal care experts undertake to keep things running day and night.

6) Public Trust (YouTube)
Through the work of Montana investigative journalist Hal Herring, Public Trust focuses on three land-based conflicts—the slashing of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah; the potential permanent destruction of the Boundary Waters Wilderness in Minnesota; and the de facto sale of one of the last wild places in America, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The film makes a clear case for protecting our public lands and how the extractive industries, driven by only greed and profit, are trying to rob us and future generations of our shared American experience and heritage.

7) Secret Society Of Second Born Royals (Disney+)
Second in line for the throne. First in line to save the world.

8) Sneakerheads Series Premiere (Netflix)
Devin (Allen Maldonado), a former sneakerhead turned stay-at-home dad, gets back in the game only to quickly find himself five G’s in the hole after falling for one of old friend Bobby’s (Andrew Bachelor) get-rich-quick schemes. Desperate to get his money back before his wife finds out he’s fallen off the wagon, Devin enlists the help of a ragtag group of fellow shoe lovers on his global hunt for the elusive "Zeroes," the holy grail of hard-to-find kicks.

9) Tehran Series Premiere (Apple TV+)
This new series tells the utterly thrilling story of a Mossad agent who goes deep undercover on a dangerous mission in Tehran that places her and everyone around her in dire jeopardy. The series stars young Israeli actress Niv Sultan

10) The School Nurse Files Series Premiere (Netflix)
Eun-young might seem like an ordinary school nurse, but behind her mundane appearance is her supernatural ability to see monsters (ectoplasm) as jelly figures. When she's appointed to a new high school, she quickly discovers mysterious secrets that threaten the students and fights alongside her fellow teacher In-pyo, the handsome heir to the school.



TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A 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, 25 September 2020 13:58

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, September 24th, 2020

Written by 24 September, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, September 24th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by McDonald's coffee and strawberry waffles.

SCRIPPS BUYS ION MEDIA
The E.W. Scripps Co. said today that it will buy national broadcast network Ion Media for $2.65 billion, combining the business with Scripps’ Katz networks and Newsy "to create a full-scale national television networks business." Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway will make a $600 million preferred equity investment in Scripps to finance the transaction. As part of the deal, Scripps will divest 23 Ion stations. 

It appears that these stations will continue to operate as Ion stations, since the unnamed company that is acquiring the 23 stations has agreed to continue to run Ion programming. And it makes financial sense to do so. While ION's programming mix of second-run procedurals isn't sexy, it reaches more than 100 million homes. One interesting sidenote is that the Ion stations don't receive retransmission money. They provide their signals to cable and satellite services for free, which allows them to use the FCC "must carry" clause to force cable systems to carry the station's signal. 

The deal is really all about having another place to sell ads. 

THE CASE FOR SMALL INDEPENDENT ENTERTAINMENT WEB SITES
Media consolidation is occurring in just about every industry, so I can't say I was shocked by yesterday's announcement of a joint venture between Penske Media and MRC that will bring entertainment news titles like The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline, TV Line, Billboard, Vibe and many others under one new combined division. While both companies promise the outlets will all have editorial independence, it's not difficult to imagine a scenario in which some of these titles go away. 

I happen to think that the consolidation of voices in entertainment news is a bad thing. And not surprisingly, I have a few thoughts about the subject. Check out the column I wrote very early Thursday morning on the topic & I would be interested in hearing your feedback, positive or negative.

'PRETTY LITTLE LIARS' RETURNS
A remake of Pretty Little Liars is headed to HBO Max. Here is the logline sent out as part of the announcement:

Twenty years ago, a series of tragic events almost ripped the blue-collar town of Millwood apart. Now, in the present day, a group of disparate teen girls — a brand-new set of Little Liars — find themselves tormented by an unknown Assailant and made to pay for the secret sin their parents committed two decades ago...as well as their own. In the dark, coming-of-RAGE, horror-tinged drama Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin, we find ourselves miles away from Rosewood, but within the existing Pretty Little Liars universe — in a brand new town, with a new generation of Little Liars.

THEO COOPER, PAM KIRK, BARBARA KRANT
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Bridezillas Season Thirteen Premiere (WEtv)
You know how this works. Monster brides want everything their way, all while being televised. The only difference this season is that Lonnie Love joins as the new narrator.

2) Celebrity Family Feud Season Premiere (ABC)
It's a battle of the legendary daytime show hosts when Kathie Lee Gifford competes against Ricki Lake. In the next game, rappers 2 Chainz and Big Boi go head-to-head to test their skills.

3) Haute Dog Series Premiere (HBO Max)
 Celebrity dog groomer Jess Rona leads the judges panel with Emmy nominee Robin Thede, with Matt Rogers serving up comedic commentary as the series host. Each episode features three dog groomers facing off over two rounds  with the lucky groomer taking home Best in Show and walking away with $10,000 and a first place rosette. These doggy makeover wizards compete to turn the K-9s into K-10s. Meet some of these fierce competitors ahead of the series premiere this Thursday and tune-in to see the winning transformations.

4) India From Above (NatGeo Wild)
One of the oldest civilizations on the planet... ...will be the youngest country in the world by 2020. with an average age of 29 years. In the 2019, it will experience the largest democratic exercise in world history, where more than 850 million voters will form a government. This is the story of that nation. 

5) Match Game Season Premiere (ABC)
Yes, it’s totally random and that’s what makes it BLANK! We are celebrating the way only “Match Game” knows how with Alec Baldwin at the helm and plenty of hilarious hijinks.

6) Press Your Luck Series Premiere (ABC)
Legendary contestants from the original series return 35 years later to try to win those BIG BUCKS!

7) The Chef Show Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
The Chef Show returns for another season as Jon Favreau (Director/actor) and award-winning Chef Roy Choi come back together to continue learning, sharing, and celebrating different flavors, cultures and people. The two friends explore new recipes, collaborate with big names in the culinary world, and connect over their shared passion for bringing people together over a delicious meal.

8) The Murders At White House Farm (HBO Max)
An infamous true crime story. Over thirty years ago, three generations of one family were murdered at their isolated farm. Initial evidence pointed the finger at the daughter of the family who had a history of mental illness, however one detective refused to accept this and delved deeper into the investigation. His determination uncovered new evidence that shed suspicion on another family member. This is a dramatized true crime story based on extensive research, interviews and published accounts, looking at the mystery behind what happened that fateful day.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A 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 Thursday, 24 September 2020 13:22

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

Written by 22 September, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffeeeeeeeeeeeeee.......

Today's newsletter will be a short one. I'm buried in interviews and screeners.

STREAMING AND THE HOME SCHOOLING MARKET
Even before the pandemic, homeschooling was a growing trend in education. And now with COVID-19, nearly every child is either going to school entirely remotely or is doing some sort of hybrid mix of in-school and remote learning. Given the fact that millions of kids are working from home, I am somewhat surprised that none of the streaming services or linear networks have made an effort to reach these households. Networks such as History, NatGeo, Discovery and others have vast libraries of documentaries and specials that would be of interest to kids learning from home. Much of the stuff isn't streaming right now and it seems like it would be a slam dunk to curate that programming into themed lists and make them available in some sort of AVOD service. Smallers streamers such as CuriosityStream and History Vault also have the opportunity to drop their paywall in some way which would offer young viewers the chance to access relevant documentaries while still working to bring in new paying subscribers.

SPEAKING OF SMALL STREAMING SERVICES:
I've started doing some interviews with executives at small streamers. I'm really interested in this part of the market and I think it doesn't get enough attention from the media. But I have to say that I am surprised at how reluctant some execs are to talk about their service and answer questions about their programming philosophy. If you work at one of those smaller streamers and would like to talk, please reach out at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Agathie Christie's Criminal Games Season Four Premiere (MHz Choice)
Agatha Christie's world-famous mysteries are adapted in a new series of French TV movies - sexy, witty and definitely addictive! Set in the 1950s, these iconic stories introduce new investigators in classic Christie style: Chief Inspector Laurence, a man of class and refined taste, and the young ambitious journalist Alice Avril - along with Laurence's ever-loyal secretary, Marlène.

2) All-Round Champion Series Premiere (BYUtv)
The series assembles ten of North America's most decorated young winter athletes to compete in the ultimate winter sports competition. The catch? They won't be competing in their own sports; they'll be competing in each other's. Scored on skill, sportsmanship and improvement, the athlete with the most points at the end will be crowned the All-Round Champion. 

3) Chico Bon Bon: Monkey With A Tool Belt Season Three Premiere (Netflix)
It's another season of solving problems for monkey mechanic Chico Bon Bon and his Fix-It Force.

4) Frontline: The Choice 2020: Trump vs. Biden (PBS)
Ahead of the 2020 election, Frontline's critically acclaimed series "The Choice" returns with interwoven investigative biographies of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. The 2-hour special examines the defining moments that shaped their lives, their approach to power, and their visions for America’s future at this pivotal juncture.

5) Jack Whitehall Travels With My Father Season Four Premiere (Netflix)
Jovial comic Jack Whitehall and his stuffy father, Michael, chronicle more travel misadventures in another season of this unscripted comedy.

6) Kal Penn Approves This Message Series Premiere (Freeform)
Hosted by Kal Penn, the show is a smart, irreverent unscripted comedy series that explores issues relevant to Millennial and Gen Z voters. Each episode will consist of comedic field pieces as well as a sit-down interview with Kal and a featured guest. With topics ranging from voting basics to voter empowerment, the economy to climate change, the series will break down key issues young voters are passionate about and arm them with the tools they need to make an impact and vote.

7) Kiss The Ground (Netflix)
Science experts and celebrity activists unpack the ways in which the Earth's soil may be the keu to combating climate change and preserving the planet.

8) Mighty Express Series Premiere (Netflix)
In a playful world crisscrossed by railway tracks, a team of locomotives and their kid pals keep things moving and get deliveries through no matter what!

9) The Playbook Series Premiere (Netflix)
The Playbook profiles legendary coaches as they share the rules they live by to achieve success in sports and in life. Through emotional and in-depth interviews, each coach reveals the critical moments in their personal lives and careers that ultimately helped form their coaching philosophies. Featured coaches include the Los Angeles Clippers' Doc Rivers; two-time FIFA World Cup-winning coach Jill Ellis, the winningest coach in U.S. soccer history; Premier League’s José Mourinho, one of the most decorated football managers of all time; Serena Williams’ famed tennis coach, Patrick Mouratoglou; and hall of fame basketball player and coach Dawn Staley. The Playbook is produced by SpringHill Company, Delirio Films and Boardwalk Pictures.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A 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.

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, September 21st, 2020

Written by 21 September, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, September 21st, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by canned ice tea and granola bars.

QUIBI IS EXPLORING 'STRATEGIC OPTIONS'
While the story hadn't posted at the time I write this, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that according to sources at the company, Quibi is exploring "strategic options, including a possible sale." Aside from this being the least surprising news of the week, I have a lot of questions. What happened to Quibi's effort to make their programing accessible on televisions, including via an app on Roku & Amazon Fire? And what exactly would any potential suitor be purchasing if they were interested? Quibi hasn't announced its subscriber numbers, but it's rumored to be in the low-medium six figures? The content that was created for the service would obviously be the biggest asset the company has, but it's not even clear to me how much of it is owned by Quibi and how much is controlled by the various celebrities and their production companies.

It's easy to dunk on Quibi and I certainly have been vocal about the fact that their press relations efforts are as bad as I've ever seen from a well-funded media organization. But I'm not rooting for Quibi to fail. I  just have difficulty seeing the value proposition of the service right now.

I'll also note that given the small number of people willing to pay for Quibi, I can't help but wonder what would have happened if they had taken that billiion plus the company raised and had decided to launch a Quibi streaming ad-supported streaming service that was available everywhere. They've created enough content to be a viable AVOD. But as the company has learned, mobile-only subscription TV services are extremely challenging to get right.

PEACOCK LAUNCHES ON ROKU
As of this morning, Roku customers now have access to Peacock and for right now I'll pass on parsing out the various business implications of the deal. But can I just say that as a consumer, I'm still not convinced on the value of Peacock. Yes, I know all of the business reasons why it's important. But as a viewer, I find that I haven't really been using it all that much. I don't fault Peacock for not having a more lively slate of "original" programs. The pandemic did have an impact on that, although given that COVID-19 shut down production only a few months before the Peacock launch, I can't help thinking that the service should have had a bit more in the can so close to the planned launch date.

But for all of the corporate synergy, Peacock still doesn't feel like something I would pay for every month. It has a surprising lack in depth of content in both older TV and movies. Which given Universal's deep catalog, should have been a home run. I have plenty of disagreements about how HBO Max has been executed, but that service has strongly leaned into its existing assets. Although you can make a similar argument with HBO Max's lack of deep catalog titles.

I bought a year's worth of premium Peacock access at the pre-launch price, which translates out to about $2.50 a month. But at this juncture, at renewal time I would likely opt for the free ad-supported service, even if it means giving up access to the Peacock Originals.

FORTNITE TO PREMIERE EXCLUSIVE BTS MUSIC VIDEO
The popular K-Pop band BTS announced on Monday that it will be premiering an exclusive choreography-only version of the music video for its single "Dynamite" on the gaming platform Fortnite. The single debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 100 and set the record for the most YouTube views in one 24-hour period - 101.1 million. The Fortnite event will take place on September 25th at 8:00 p.m. ET inside the Party Royale mode. After the premiere, Fortnite will host a virtual BTS afterparty that will include karaoke.

Gabrielle Union & Jessica Alba are Back in LA's Finest Season 2 Trailer
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) A Love Song For Latasha (Netflix)
Latasha Harlins was 15 when she was wrongfully killed by Soon Ja Du, 13 days after the brutal beating of Rodney King. Du was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter but received no jail time. The death of Latasha was a leading catalyst for the 1992 LA Riots. 

2) Bang Series Premiere (Acorn)
Detective Sergeant Gina Jenkins (Catrin Stewart, Stella) discovers a mutilated body on the beach, setting off a search for a serial killer who is targeting a group of men connected to a historic rape allegation. With Gina consumed by the investigation, her troubled brother, Sam (Jacob Ifan, Cuffs), returns home from prison and struggles to start a new life.

3) Big Hero 6 Season Premiere (Disney XD)
Hiro and a short-handed Big Hero 6 team attempt to stop Noodle Burger Boy and his new family.

4) Ellen Season Eighteen Premiere (Syndicated)
Ellen daytime talker is back and she's promised to explain how all of those terrible things happened on her show without her knowing anything about it.

5) Filthy Rich Series Premiere (Fox)
Meet the Monreauxes, a mega-rich Southern family famed for creating a wildly successful Christian television network. On the cusp of launching a digital retail arm of the company, the family’s patriarch, Eugene (Gerald McRaney), dies in a plane crash (or so we think), leaving Margaret (Kim Cattrall), a now-"Oprah" to the religious and Southern communities, to take charge of the family business. Not surprisingly, Eugene’s apparent death greatly impacts the Monreaux children: Eric (Corey Cott), the couple’s ambitious son, married to the prim and snooty Becky (Olivia Macklin), who assumes he will now run the show; and daughter Rose (Aubrey Dollar), a budding fashion designer, who constantly struggles to evade the vast shadow cast by her mother.

6) L.A.'s Finest Series Premiere (Fox)
When a young woman’s murder is livestreamed on social media, Syd and McKenna must find the killer before he strikes again. Meanwhile, McKenna’s past collides with Syd’s search for Gabriel Knox 

7) Manhunt: Deadly Games Broadcast Premiere (CBS)
The most complex FBI manhunt on U.S. soil begins following the deadly terrorist attack at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A 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.

Everyday Art: Gas Pump Globes

Written by 19 September, 2020

In the first half of the 20th Century, gas stations weren't as well-lit at night as they are now and gas pumps were also much more rectangular than they are now. Gas globes were spherical glass signs that sat atop gas pumps, advertising a specific oil company or brand of gasoline. The gas globes were lit up and were often one of the few things drivers could see as they approached the station. That era was also before the last great period of gas station industry consolidation, so there are hundreds of examples of pumps, many with brands you've never heard of until now.

Here are examples of some of our favorites.


















































Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, September 18th, 2020

Written by 18 September, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, September 18h, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by hot tea and strawberries.

It sounds as if some of you might not have received a newsletter yesterday. My apologies, I'm not sure what the problem was but I'm trying to track down the issue today. If you're interested, here's a link to the Thursday newsletter. And speaking of the newsletter, thanks to all of you for your support. I just passed the 24,000 subscriber number, which is really flattering. I'm glad to see that people are finding it useful.

NATGEO HAS FINALLY BROKEN ME
Even though I have more television to watch and review than any one human would have time to consume, there are times when I just want to turn my brain off and zone out with something a bit mindless. My go-to choices recently have been the long-running NatGeo reality shows Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks and Life Below Zero. We have Hulu LIve as our default live TV service (along with Philo) and a few weeks back I set both shows so that only new episodes would be recorded. That was a big mistake.

You might remember a recent newsletter in which I complained some networks were engaging in what I called "DVR creep." Labeling episodes of clip shows and other extra programming as "new," so they would be picked up and recorded by people's DVRs. I guess enough viewers watch the unexpectedly saved programs to make it worthwhile for the networks. But it's not just annoying to everyone else, but in an era where a lot of the virtual MVPD's have a limit on their DVR storage, having a bunch of unexpected programming showing up in your DVR can lead to shows you care about being deleted.

NatGeo has taken DVR creep to Defcon Ten by throwing a staggering number of extra episodes onto the DVR's of people stupid enough to try and watch several of their popular shows. I just checked this morning and there have been seven random "new" episodes of Wicked Tuna added to my DVR since the last new episode aired as scheduled last Sunday. And there have been *11* new episodes of Life Below Zero added in the past few days. There are clip shows, shows of what appear to be outtakes assembled Frankenstein-like into extra episodes and a particularly annoying 13-minute "first look" episode. That episode is the least useful idea to me, since it's just the first portion of the upcoming episode. And given that I'm recording the new episode anyway, why would I watch the sneak and then rewatch the beginning of the episode again in a few days?

I understand the need to suggest content and try to reach the viewers most interested in episodes. But cluttering up fan's DVRs with multiple clip shows and random footage just doesn't seem like an effective long-term plan to increase engagement. I ultimately decided just to stop recording the shows and will just catch up in episodes as I remember to search for them. Which is pretty much the opposite of engaging with a TV show.

COMCAST VS. ROKU, PART 112
Speaking of customer-unfriendly ideas, Variety is reporting that Comcast is threatening to pull its NBCU TV Everywhere apps from Roku if that company doesn't agree to begin carrying the app for Comcast's new-ish streaming service Peacock:

With respect to Peacock on Roku, the impasse in talks relates to access to advertising inventory on the ad-supported versions of the NBCU streamer.

According to Roku, Peacock has refused to grant any ad inventory to Roku, arguing that it is offering the app at no cost to Roku customers and is delivering 5 minutes or less of ads per hour of programming, which it sells to a hand-picked set of marketers. Roku’s standard distribution terms ask for 30% of advertising inventory, and the company has offered to take an even lower split from Peacock, but NBCU has declined to share any portion of the ad avails.

A source familiar with NBCU’s position said Roku has kept adding new provisions as stipulations for carrying Peacock and added the media conglomerate has been willing to make concessions on the ad-revenue front.

Given that anyone who has a cable or virtual cable package will still be able to access the various NBCU network video-on-demand offerings, this move will mostly impact viewers without a pay TV package. I haven't been able to find any numbers for how many people that would impact on Roku. But given that those people are presumably the least-engaged viewers of the networks, making it harder for them to see new programs doesn't appear to me to be a winning combination.

That being said, it's hard to know where the problem lies in the negotiations between Comcast and Roku. The details of these negotiations are always secret with only the vaguest and most self-serving details leaked by each side.

DC UNIVERSE EXITS SCRIPTED PROGRAMMING
To the surprise of pretty much no one, DC Universe is shifting all of its original scripted programming to HBO Max and will focus on being a home for comic books and related materials. The streamer had successfully produced several really solid scripted series based on DC characters, including Harley Quinn, Titans and Doom Patrol. But DC Universe was never able to grow its subscription base enough to make the efforts financially viable:

Harley Quinn will join Doom Patrol and the previously announced third season of Titans as an HBO Max originals. Previous seasons of all three shows will also now migrate to HBO Max. The trio of Greg Berlanti-produced dramas from Warner Bros. TV will join other originals Young Justice and Stargirl.

Harley Quinn, from showrunners Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker, has picked up steam since its first two seasons arrived on HBO Max. Sources say the renewal, which came early Thursday, followed a round of negotiations that hinged on a new budget for the series. That process had been stalled by the major executive shake-up at the streamer that saw senior leaders Bob Greenblatt and Kevin Reilly pushed out and oversight of the platform given to HBO's Casey Bloys.  That all of the original scripted and library offerings on DC Universe would move to HBO Max comes as little surprise. The platform stopped buying months ago and originals had been slowly moved elsewhere. (Stargirl, for example, was renewed for a second season on The CW, while Doom Patrol's sophomore run was shared on both DCU and Max.

Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) American Barbecue Showdown Series Premiere (Netflix)
It's an eight episode food competition series that follows the country’s best backyard smokers and competitive barbecuers as they compete for the title of American Barbecue Champion. The series is hosted by Rutledge Wood and Lyric Lewis, with judging duties falling on barbecue legends Kevin Bludso and Melissa Cookston. Each episode, Kevin and Melissa will task the cookers with a challenge that will test their barbecue skills in ways they couldn’t possibly imagine. From unique meats to old school techniques, they will have to prove they have the skills to smoke another day.

2) Becoming Series Premiere (Disney+)
From Executive Producers LeBron James & Maverick Carter, Becoming chronicles the inspirational life stories of world-class entertainers, musicians and athletes. Each episode follows a different celebrity back to their hometown as they revisit memorable locations that were central to their upbringing. Family members, coaches, teachers, mentors, and close friends share significant, personal memories of the subjects before they hit it big. These rarely heard stories provide an intimate look into the central moments in each star’s journey towards becoming who they are today.

3) Great Performances: Now Hear This, Series 2 (PBS)
The critically-acclaimed documentary miniseries hosted by renowned violinist and conductor Scott Yoo returns for another season. Now Hear This will merge music, storytelling, travel and culture returns with four new episodes raising the curtain on signature works by composers Haydn, Schubert, Mozart and Beethoven

4) Habla Now (HBO)
The one-hour documentary special features testimonials from U.S. Latinos sharing their personal experiences directly to the camera for a national audience, in both English and Spanish. The special features chef and humanitarian José Andrés, Olympian Laurie Hernandez, actress Diane Guerrero, and many more.

5) Jurassic Park: Camp Cretaceous Series Premiere (Netflix)
Six teens attending an adventure camp on the opposite side of Isla Nublar must band together to survive when dinosaurs wreak havoc on the island.

6) Masters Of Illusion Season Premiere (The CW)
Hosted by actor Dean Cain, the series features amazing magic performed by cutting-edge illusionists and escape artists, and performers in each episode displaying skills ranging from perplexing interactive mind magic to hilarious comedy routines.  Live audience members and viewers at home will be baffled by the astounding skills of these modern illusionists. Some of the magicians featured this cycle specialize in categories including Comedy Magic, Sleight of Hand, Escape Artists, Fire Eating, Mentalists, Floating Objects, Quick Change Artists, and Grand Illusions.

7) Mighty Little Bheem Season Three Premiere (Netflix)
An innocent toddler's boundless curiosity-and extraordinary might-lead to mischief and adventure in his small Indian town.

8) PEN15 Season Two Premiere (Hulu)
From the producing minds of The Lonely Island, and the brain child of real life best friends and comics, Maya Erskine and Anna Konkle, PEN15 is middle school as it really happened. Maya and Anna star in this adult comedy, playing versions of themselves as thirteen-year-old outcasts in the year 2000, surrounded by actual thirteen-year-olds, where the best day of your life can turn into your worst with the stroke of a gel pen.

10) Ratched Series Premiere (Netflix)
This dramatic prequel to "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest" follows the character Nurse Ratched.

11) The Au Pair Nightmare (LMN)
Trying to leave behind the memories of her fiancé, Taylor becomes an au pair for an out-of-state couple and their 8-year old daughter - but there's a dark secret behind every perfect family.

12) Whipped (Netflix)
Four buddies attend a class taught by a love guru who leads them to question their romantic attachments-until her hidden agenda comed to light.

13) World's Funniest Animals Series Premiere (The CW)
Hosted by Elizabeth Stanton ("Popstar This Week") who, along with her celebrity guest stars and panel, looks at animals doing the funniest things ever caught on video. The series includes viral internet clips of funny animal moments, hilarious animal clips from major motion pictures and your favorite TV series, animal outtakes that surprise the whole cast and crew, as well as videos of celebrities and their pets.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A 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.

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, September 17th, 2020

Written by 17 September, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, September 17th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is fasting until I get blood work done later today. And my apologies for the lateness of today's newsletter. I did a session this morning for the Twin Cities Start-up Week about what it takes to monetize a smaller news site & while it was fun, it threw off the rest of my day.

DISCOVERY'S SVOD SERVICE IS STILL ON ITS WAY
Discovery, Inc. chief David Zaslav spoke Thursday morning at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia and looking over his comments, the thing that jumped out at me is that he doubled down on the idea of Discovery launching a pay streaming service. On one hand, it makes a lot of sense. Discovery owns thousands of hours of original content, including a ton of catalog stuff. They have spent the past couple of years signing key talent to new comprehensive deals that include everything from traditional linear television to web video and original streaming service.

Zaslav says the new service will have a lot of new, original content. But there are still a lot of open questions. In the Communacopia interview, he admitted the new service still hadn't negotiated deals with several key platforms (I'm guessing Roku and/or Amazon). And there's no price point or estimated launch date. And he was a bit vague on whether or not Discovery was still planning on launching the stand-alone Magnolia streaming service that is supposed to be part of the new Chip and Joanna Gaines Magnolia cable channel.

It's worth noting that Discovery currently does a similar multi-tier approach with its Motor Trend channel. It exists as a traditional linear channel. But the channel also pushes people to a subscription-based Motor Trend streaming service, which includes extensive VOD offerings as well as original programming.

In the end, one advantage Discovery has over some of its larger competitors is that it will have a much easier time rolling out the service internationally. The company already has extensive global production units and it has locally-produced content already in place in a number of major territories.

WHY COMCAST & AT&T ARE LUKEWARM ABOUT THEIR TRADITIONAL PAY TV BUSINESS
NScreenMedia has a good look
at why Comcast & AT&T are ambivalent about their pay TV business, even though between them they currently have 35 million subscribers:

Why are both companies so indifferent to their still large MVPD services? Simply put, they make them no money. Margins have eroded dramatically, thanks to the ceaseless demands for higher license fees from TV programmers. For example, at Comcast, the amount of video ARPU going to pay for programmer fees has increased from 52.4% to 61.8% in just five years.

Comcast video ARPU 2016 vs 2020

ABOUT THOSE SPORTS RATINGS
FrontOfficeSports.com has a recap of the ratings for the first week of the NFL season and while it's too early to declare any trends for the year, the numbers are lower year-to-year:

The carnage was worse for ESPN’s "Monday Night Football" cable TV doubleheader, featuring the Steelers-New York Giants and Denver Broncos-Tennessee Titans games.

Despite the popular college football announcing duo of Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler calling their first NFL game in 25 years, ESPN’s Steelers-Giants telecast averaged 10.8 million viewers, down 18% from last year’s comparable early game. 

The later Broncos-Titans game fared even worse, with average viewership plunging 27% to 7.7 million viewers. That telecast also had the curiosity factor of introducing ESPN’s latest “Monday Night Football” booth team of Steve Levy, Louis Riddick, and Brian Griese.

Still, Steelers-Giants was cable TV’s most-watched sporting event since January. The annual doubleheader helped ESPN win the night. The Disney-owned network was the most-watched network in primetime Monday night across broadcast and cable TV.

ODDS AND SODS
HBO Max has ordered a second season of the Ridley Scott sci-fi drama Raised By Wolves. In the press release announcing the deal, HBO Max notes that the audience for the show has increased by 50% week-over-week. Of course, there's no way of knowing what that means in actual viewers. But it does at least imply that people are discovering the show. New episodes of the series premiere each Thursday on HBO Max and the season one finale is on October 1st.

Everything You Need to Know about The Bradshaw Bunch Cast | Feeling the  Vibe Magazine
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Bradshaw Bunch Series Premiere (E!)
Legendary quarterback and television-broadcast icon Terry Bradshaw gives us an intimate look at life in the off-season. He's been called "The Greatest of All Time," but now this touchdown titan spends his days surrounded by women in his most coveted position: World's Greatest Dad. As husband, father and "Papi" to the Bradshaw Bunch, Terry hilariously helps his family navigate the pitfalls of their extraordinary lives and lets you in on a side of Terry Bradshaw you've never seen before!

2) Departure Series Premiere (Peacock)
Passenger plane Flight 716 shockingly vanishes, and brilliant investigator Kendra Malley (Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife), alongside her mentor Howard Lawson (Christopher Plummer, Knives Out) are brought on to lead the investigation. When battling forces threaten to undermine their work, Kendra must find the truth and stop it from happening again. The series also stars Kris Holden-Reid (Umbrella Academy), Rebecca Liddiard (Run This Town), Tamara Duarte (Longmire), Mark Rendall (Versailles), Peter Mensah (Midnight, Texas) and Sasha Roiz (Suits).

3) Dragon's Dogma Series Premiere (Netflix)
Resurrected as an Arisen, Ethan sets out to vanquish the Dragon that took his heart, but with every demon he battles, the more he loses his humanity.

4) Flipping 101 With Tarek el Moussa Season Premiere (HGTV)
The season kicks off with a young couple who bought a century-old Craftsman-style house sight unseen. To help them attract buyers and make top dollar on the sale, Tarek must convince the couple to install a proper garage instead of a party room. He also recommends they do whatever they can to keep the property’s historic charm in lieu of a too-modern layout. Despite dramatic ups and downs and twists and turns, Tarek’s expertise could lead to smart design decisions and a favorable realtor commission rate that keeps them from losing out on their investment. Throughout the season, Tarek helps more rookie flippers navigate challenging home renovations, including a property that catches fire mid-reno, a high-dollar home where reno costs blow the budget and a house previously inhabited by animal hoarders.

5) Gims On The Record (Netflix)
Go backstage with the beloved rap superstar Gims in the year leading up to his major 2019 Stade de France peformance in this up-close documentary.

6) Mo Willems And The Storytime All-Stars Present: Don't Let The Pigeon Do Storytime! (HBO Max)
This first Storytime special, shot at the Kennedy Center, includes live readings and sketch comedy by celebrities including Anthony Anderson (black-ish), Yvette Nicole Brown (Community), Rachel Dratch (Saturday Night Live), Cameron Esposito (Take My Wife), Tony Hale (Veep), Greta Lee (Russian Doll), Tom Lennon (The Odd Couple), Natalie Morales (Abby's) and Oscar Nunez (The Office).

7) One Lane Bridge Series Premiere (Sundance Now)
This New Zealand crime thriller follows ambitious young Māori detective, Ariki Davis (Dominic Ona-Ariki, The Commons), who arrives in Queenstown with high hopes for his future. When local legend Grub Ryder is found dead at the bottom of the infamous One Lane Bridge, Ariki joins the investigation led by his boss, respected stalwart, Detective Senior Sergeant Stephen Tremaine (Joel Tobeck, The Luminaries). During the investigation, Ariki inadvertently unlocks his Matakite – a supernatural ability akin to second sight that he hasn’t experienced since his youth. As ONE LANE BRIDGE twists and turns and the pressure to solve the crime heats up, Māori metaphysics collides with Southern Man scepticism and Ariki’s spiritual gift threatens to endanger the case, his career and his life. And at the centre of it all sits the mysterious One Lane Bridge, a historic Queenstown landmark synonymous with murder, suicide and fatal accidents. Grub’s death wasn’t the first. And it won’t be the last.

8) Residue (Netflix)
A young screenwriter returns to his hometown to write a script base on his childhood and discovers his neighborhood has been gentrified.

10) The Great Pottery Throw Down Series Premiere (HBO Max)
Seeking to unearth Britain’s best home potter, each season of the series follows ten potters as they forge fantastic creations in a competition-style format. At the conclusion of each episode, one potter faces elimination after the judge’s scrutiny and review for the chance to become Potter of the Week.

11) The Last Word Series Premiere (Netflix)
In the aftermath of her husband’s death, a woman unexpectedly finds a new source of energy and a lust for life – as she becomes a professional eulogist to the surprise of her family and friends.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A 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 Thursday, 17 September 2020 15:01

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, September 16th, 2020

Written by 16 September, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, September 16th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by rotisserie chicken and lots of ice water.

BLOOMBERG'S 'POST COVID-19' STREAMING SERVICE
The Hollywood Reporter has an interview with Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith, who says the company is relaunching its QuickTake video service on Nov. 9 with 100 dedicated staffers as a global, 24-hour streaming service in an effort to reach the audience that, internally, the company refers to as "modern, rising leaders." QuickTake originally launched as a partnership with Twitter in 2017, but now it's available on a number of other platforms, gathering an audience the company says is around 150 million monthly viewers.

The new QuickTake will be structured more like a traditional streaming service:

Version 2 of QuickTake will launch with about 10.5 hours of original content per day, with the intention of getting to 24 hours of original content within a year or so of launch. It will be a true global streaming service, available in every country that Bloomberg’s apps are accessible, on mobile phones, social platforms, and connected TV platforms like Roku.

At launch, it will be ad-supported, relying on both direct sales and programmatic opportunities, which are abundant on OTT devices.

However, the company also plans to explore other opportunities to try and monetize QuickTake’s content through licensing deals, and QuickTake-branded shows on subscription streaming services (think Netflix or Hulu).

The company is betting that the traditional linear television market will continue to fade away, opening up the market for ad-supported news services that are available on a wide-range of platforms:

“The days of getting paid for carriage are starting to end, unless you are ESPN, and even those guys are under pressure from carriers,” Havens says.

AT&T'S GAMBLE ON AD-SUPPORTED PHONE SERVICE...WITH SOME CONNECTION TO AN AD-SUPPORTED HBO MAX
Chief Executive John Stankey said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday that AT&T is exploring the idea of an ad-supported cell service tier, although he was a bit vague on the details, other than to say the service could be rolled out "in a year or two":

"I believe there’s a segment of our customer base where given a choice, they would take some load of advertising for a $5 or $10 reduction in their mobile bill," Stankey said.

Various companies including Amazon.com Inc AMZN.O, Virgin Mobile USA and Sprint's Boost Mobile have tested advertising supported phone services since the early 2000s but they have not caught on. AT&T is hoping that better advertising targeting could revive the idea.

The planned launch of an ad-supported version of AT&T’s video-streaming service HBO Max next year will serve as a "foundational element" that will provide new advertising inventory, and would be key to new phone plans supported by ads, Stankey said without offering details.

SPEAKING OF JOHN STANKEY....
On Tuesday, Stankey at the virtual Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference and said that he was happy with the initial reaction to the roll-out of HBO Max. Strangely, he said the biggest challenge was the problem of stagnant growth for the legacy HBO brand, which was stuck at around 43 million domestic subscribers:

"HBO had been stagnated at a customer count," Stankey said. "The only time it went up a little bit was when a new season of Game of Thrones would come out and then it would kind of work back down the back side."

He added, "We’re not doing this for a year. We’re doing this to build a platform that can sustain for the next decade."

NOTRE-DAME: OUR LADY OF PARIS
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Academy Of Country Music Awards (CBS)
For the first time in the show’s history, the awards will take place in Nashville, broadcasting from three iconic country music venues: Grand Ole Opry House, Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium and the Bluebird Cafe. The show will also feature performances by Jimmie Allen, Kelsea Ballerini, Gabby Barrett, Kane Brown, Dan + Shay, Florida Georgia Line, Riley Green, Mickey Guyton, Miranda Lambert, Tim McGraw, Maren Morris, Old Dominion, Jon Pardi, Blake Shelton featuring Gwen Stefani, Taylor Swift, Tenille Townes, Keith Urban and P!NK, Morgan Wallen and Trisha Yearwood. Joining the all-star lineup are presenters Lauren Alaina, Lily Aldridge, Clint Black and Lisa Hartman Black, Bobby Bones, Cam, Darius Rucker and Runaway June.

2) Archer Season Eleven Premiere (FXX)
Follow Sterling Archer and his return to the spy world after a three-year coma. While many things changed during his absence, Archer is confident it will take just a little time for him to reset things back to the old ways. The problem: does the rest of the team want that? Everyone else has been doing pretty well and may not be ready for his return to throw a wrench in their well-oiled machine.

3) Baby Season Premiere (Netflix)
Chiara and Ludovica form an unlikely friendship as they struggle to find their place and search for love at a high school in an exclusive Rome neighborhood.

4) Challenger: The Final Flight (Netflix)
Four-part docuseries on the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster, unpacking an indelible moment for a generation of Americans. 

5) Criminal United Kingdom Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
Following a hugely successful first series and great critical acclaim, Criminal returns with four new cases, four new suspects and one room that changes everything. Prepare for bold stories, some surprises, and a completely innovative take on the police procedural.

6) Islands Of Wonder Series Premiere (PBS)
Journey to three of the most exotic, mysterious and remote islands on the planet: Madagascar, Borneo and Hawaii. Isolated from the rest of the world, they harbor remarkable wildlife and pioneering human communities found nowhere else on Earth.

7) Notre-Dame: Our Lady Of Paris (ABC)
The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, and is also the keeper of some of Christianity’s most priceless and revered relics. On April 15, 2019, the unimaginable was broadcast live throughout the world: 500 Parisian firefighters were losing the battle against a raging fire that was destroying it all. The world cried and prayed, powerless as the flames threatened to wipe out nearly 900 years of history. Ultimately the president of France and the general in charge of the Paris Fire Brigade made the significant decision of sending a commando of elite firefighters to an extremely perilous, even suicidal mission to save the cathedral.

8) Sing On! Series Premiere (Netflix)
Hosted by the hilarious and talented Tituss Burgess, this eight-episode series is a karaoke-lover’s dream. In each themed episode, six contestants belt out the biggest hits from that genre while being judged by a vocal analyzer comparing their vocal performance to the original artist’s. The more they sing in tune, the more cash they add to a collective jackpot worth up to $60,000. The first round is worth $10,000 and lyrics are randomly assigned so contestants must be ready for anything - the highest scoring contestant moves on, while the remaining singers vote one fellow contestant out. For five more rounds, the stakes get higher and the jackpot gets bigger, and the final two contestants face off in a head-to-head battle to win the grand prize. Perfect for an at-home sing-a-long, viewers of all ages will find themselves off the couch, belting their favorite tunes and having a sing-off of their own. 

10) The Devil All The Time (Netflix)
In an explosive Midwestern Gothic tale spanning two decades, sinister characters converge around young Arvin Russell as he fights the evil forces that threaten him and everything he loves. Based on Donald Ray Pollock’s award-winning novel.

11) The Paramedic (Netflix)
After an accident puts him in a wheelchair, Ángel decides to get even with those who betrayed him, particularly the woman who left when he needed her.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A 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 Wednesday, 16 September 2020 13:45

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, September 14th, 2020

Written by 14 September, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, September 14th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by lukewatm coffee and pineapple chunks.

SO HOW MANY SUBSCRIBERS DOES CBS ALL-ACCESS REALLY HAVE?
One of the biggest challenges about covering the streaming world is that the various media companies have a very different idea than I do about the meaning of the word "transparency." For them, it means, "we'll provide some general data points that are so vague as to be essentially useless." On the other hand, I think of transparency as meaning "numbers and metrics that allow me to compare apples to apples." 

CBS All-Access is a primary example of this issue. You would think that revealing a metric as simple as "number of subscribers" would be the lowest possible threshold of transparency. And yet ViacomCBS is continuing the practice of rolling the subscriber numbers for CBS All-Access and Showtime together, making it impossible to determine things such as the rate of subscriber growth.  ViacomCBS CEO Robert Bakish was at the Bank of America Virtual Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference last week and this answer he gave about transparency perfectly illustrates the company's definition of transparency:

Jessica Reif Ehrlich: So while these metrics are really impressive, you still don't break it out as a separate item, is DTC comfortable on it. What point will you breakout revenue and EBITDA potentially allowing ViacomCBS to get more credit for these growing assets?

Robert Bakish: Yes Jessica when we combine ViacomCBS, one of the commitments we made was to enhance the disclosure. And as part of that, we now report key streaming related metrics on a quarterly basis. These metrics include Pluto MAUs, pay subscribers, as well as domestic streaming and digital video. And to your comment that disclosure shows that as Q2 we had over 16 million domestic subscribers in pay and 33 million global MAUs in free and again, strong growth rate.

It also showed we had close to $2 billion in domestic streaming revenue on an annual run rate basis that's up - it was up 60% in 2019, it's up 37% year-to-date in the second quarter. And that includes the impact of COVID on digital advertising in Q2. So, we believe this disclosure is helping investors begin to understand the very real value we're creating, particularly in the streaming space and this disclosure does mirror how we run the business because for us streaming is embedded in across multiple business units.

So we don't report it as a consolidated segment. Instead, we're using these additional metrics to provide investors the visibility they need to measure our growth. But that said, as our streaming efforts evolve, we're going to continue to assess whether changes in reporting are warranted.

SPEAKING OF METRICS:
It's always interesting to get some sort of audience numbers for Netflix, although the out-of-context nature of them can make them only slightly useful. Overnights.tv provides ratings for the UK market and it has been able to track the numbers for several shows now on Netflix because they had previously aired on linear TV in the UK. The numbers are worth noting, although I don't know that they provide any sort of clarity overall. The service reports that the 2013 Gillian Anderson series The Fall generated about 500,000 views on just one day last week. Which sounds impressive...I think.

The Overnights.tv Top On-Demand Viewing list is assembled by collating smart-TV viewing and viewing on PCs, laptops, tablets and phones. 

ANOTHER STORY ABOUT SEXUAL ALLEGATIONS BURIED BY SKITTISH MANAGEMENT
While at first glance this might seem like a local news story, it's also example of how even local news organizations can balk at publishing stories alleging sexual misconduct. Reporter Marianne Combs, who worked at Minnesota Pubic Radio for 23 years, resigned on Monday and said she was doing so because management at the organization had been reluctant to publish a story that alleged a DJ at the company's sister station The Current was guilty of multiple examples of sexual misconduct:

I have spent the past two and a half months investigating allegations made about the conduct of a DJ at our sister station,
@TheCurrentIn that time, I gathered testimony from eight women who say that he sexually manipulated and psychologically abused them.....I also interviewed the directors of a summer church camp who told this DJ he was no longer welcome to volunteer there because of his inappropriate behavior with teenage girls. I found out that in June he was fired from another job where he worked with children; that organization is now conducting an investigation into his time there.

Combs goes on to say that while management at MPR hadn't technically refused to publish the story, they hadn't moved forward with it, either:

Despite this, my editors have failed to move forward on the story. They have countered that the DJ’s actions were, for the most part, legal, and therefore don’t rise to the level of warranting news coverage. They described him as “a real creep,” but worried that airing a story about his behavior would invite a lawsuit.

Losing Combs would be a massive launch for any news organization. But as she notes in her resignation tweets, this isn't the first time that MPR has been reluctant to publish stories about alleged sexual misconduct.

ODDS AND SODS:
The Recording Industry Association of America released its 2020 midyear report and it's pretty much what you would expect. While a lot of attention has been focused on the fact that records provided more revenue than CDs for the first time in more than 30 years, physical purchases only provided 7 percent of the industry's revenue. Although the RIAA notes that percentage was likely impacted by the prolonged shutdown of record stores due to the pandemic.

The full-length movie Thomas And The Magic Railroad is coming to movie theaters for one day only in October.



Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Dancing With The Stars Season Premiere (ABC)
The show has a new host in Tyra Banks and the network promises all sorts of changes to the format. We'll see how that looks tonight.

2) Doomsday: Caught On Tape Series Premiere (Travel)
Jaw-dropping footage of extreme weather and natural disasters reveals the powerful wrath of Mother Nature. Survivors, along with geologists, meteorologists, theologians and recovery specialists, provide riveting commentary on these life-altering events.

3) Enslaved (Epix)
Featuring Samuel L. Jackson, this six-episode docuseries explores 400 years of human trafficking from Africa to the New World by following the efforts of Diving with a Purpose, as they search for and locate six slave ships that went down with their human cargo.

4) Halloween Baking Championship Season Premiere (Food)
Hosted by Carla Hall, the competitors nerves and skills are tested like never before as they bake their way through a haunted house brimming with challenges through seven episodes. Judges Stephanie Boswell and Zac Young join Carla to determine whose devilishly delicious desserts earn $25,000 and the title of Halloween Baking Champion.

5) Inside Monaco: Playground Of The Rich (True Royalty TV)
This three-part series gives viewers and unprecedented and intimate view into Monaco’s Royal Family — which is currently led by Albert II.  Prince Albert, who is the son of the late Prince Rainer III and Princess Grace (formerly the legendary American actress Grace Kelly), oversees virtually every aspect of the Monaco’s daily business; a country with the highest concentration of millionaires in the world. The series goes behind the scenes at the Royal palace and follows the life of Prince Albert II and his wife Princess Charlene. Viewers will also hear from Prince Albert’s famous sisters, Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie, as well as royal grandchildren, royal chefs and sommeliers, and the Princely guard - known as the Carabiniers - who protect the Royal Family.

6) Lara And The Beat (Netflix)
When their glamorous, fast-paced lifestyle comes to a screeching halt, two sisters try to rebuild their fortunes through music and enterprise. 

7) POV: Love Child (PBS)
On a cold winter's day a plane arrives in Istanbul with four-year-old Mani, and his parents on board. Though they seem like any other family on a trip, the little boy doesn’t know that the journey is an escape, that the three of them can never return to Iran and that the 'uncle' he is travelling with is really his biological father. With adultery punishable by death, this family could never live together in Iran, so they flee their country in search of a safe place in the West where they can build a life together.

8) The Third Day Series Premiere (HBO)
Told over the first three episodes, "Summer" stars Jude Law (HBO’s "The New Pope") as Sam, a man who is drawn to a mysterious island off the British coast where he encounters a group of islanders set on preserving their traditions at any cost. Isolated from the mainland, Sam is unable to leave the idyllic and dangerously enchanting world he has discovered, where the secretive rituals of its inhabitants bring him to grapple with experiences of loss and trauma hidden in his past through the distorted lens of the present. As boundaries between fantasy and reality fragment, his quest to unlock the truth leads the islanders to reveal a shocking secret.

10) We Are Who We Are Series Premiere (HBO)
A story about two American kids who live on a U.S. military base in Italy, the series explores friendship, first-love, identity, and immerses the audience in all the messy exhilaration and anguish of being a teenager – a story which could happen anywhere in the world, but in this case, happens in this little slice of America in Italy.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A 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, 14 September 2020 12:25

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, September 11th, 2020

Written by 11 September, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, September 11th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by hot tea and a bagel with butter.

REMEMBERING 9/11
I held a lot of jobs before I began writing about television and the media full-time. In the 1999/2000 era, I was working at an online financial news startup that only did audio and video. Think Cheddar, but a generation older. One of my jobs was doing a regular Friday morning audio roundtable with three stock market insiders. One regular was Cantor Fitzgerald Chief Market Strategist Bill Meehan and after he lost his life on 9/11, I wrote some remembrances of him that I have reposted every year since. A few years back, I heard from Bill's son, who told me that he and the family had appreciated hearing how this story. And if you're interested, here it is.

SO WHY ISN'T THERE A CLASSIC TV STREAMER?
Streaming media - like any other form of entertainment - is financially driven by the mass market hits. That's where the most eyeballs are at and for all of the costs associated with the rights to The Office or The Big Bang Theory, you can almost guarantee that having those big hits on a service will make the customers happy.

The other less appreciated consequence of a mass market audience is that the audience is large enough that you a streamer can be revenue positive by just serving a small, specific sliver of that larger audience. There are at least a couple dozen smaller niche streamers and while not all of them are thriving, most of them have carved out a space where they can do well.

One niche I had expected to be served by its own streamer at this point was the classic television fan. Sure, watching episodes of barely remembered television isn't for everyone. But there are enough potential subscribers out there that a streamer could make money with a classic TV content mix and a price point of $4.99 or slightly less.

So why hasn't that happened? Liker most things in the streaming universe, it's complicated. The biggest hindrance is financial. For a classic television streamer to be financially viable, it would need to have access to a large amount of programming and that means being part of one of two or three media companies who have both a streaming video business as well as a large catalog of old shows. And for those large media companies, spending large amounts of time and effort to create a business that can maybe only throw off $30-40 million worth of revenue per year just isn't worth it.

But the larger challenge is the programming itself and that has to do with something called the Financial Interest and Syndication Rules (commonly known in the industry as "fin-syn"). Imposed on the broadcasters in 1970, the rules prohibited the Big Three networks from airing any programming in primetime that they had a financial interest in. It also prohibited them from airing any syndicated programming they had a financial interest in. While those rules were relaxed in the 1980s before being phased out in 1993, the primary consequence in 2020 is that the programming in the timeframe that would be the best fit for a classic TV streamer is owned by a grab bag of independent producers and production companies. While a few large production companies have large catalogs available, a surprising number of production companies only existed long enough to crank out one or two TV shows. 

And in a number of those cases, it's not even clear who owns the rights or who is legally able to represent the owners. Some companies just shut down and at this point the principals are dead or unable to be located. Most of these older shows didn't have contracts in place for music rights or even DVD distribution. Much less streaming on a new classic TV platform. And while a streamer can do well financially with shows that are individually not wildly popular, that's impossible if getting them on the service requires extensive legal wranglings.

There are three larger media conglomerates who already own or control enough old television to make one of these streamers relatively less complicated. Both Disney and WarnerMedia own extensive classics television assets. Of those two, WarnerMedia seems to have the best case for launching a service, especially if they decided to launch it as an ad-supported business. One advantage of that approach is that it would give them more ad inventory, esp if they are integrating the backend with their upcoming AVOD version of HBO Max.

ViacomCBS is another story. They own a surprisingly large amount of older television programming. Not just the expected Paramount stuff, but King World, Spelling Television, Miramax Television, Desliu Produtions and much more. They certainly have enough of a catalog of classic television to make a service viable. But the company is also very focused on the licensing side of the business and launching a new streamer would require forgoing some of that revenue in the short term. And that is a move that seems unlikely right now.

There certainly COULD be a classic television streamer in our future, but making it happen is more complicated than you might suspect. That having been said, it you're thinking about launching one and are looking for some programming help, give me a call. I have some thoughts.



Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Dad Wanted (Se busca papá) (Netflix)
What does a thrill-seeker tween girl do when her mom forbids her to enter a BMX race? Cast a struggling actor with nothing to lose to play her dad.

2) Family Business Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
Forced to choose between growing weed and raising his kids, Joe tries to convince his family to quit the business, setting off a wild chain of events.

3) Great Performances: Romeo & Juliet (PBS)
Starring the current generation of The Royal Ballet dancers with William Bracewell as Romeo, Francesca Hayward as Juliet ("Cats"), this film adaptation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece by the BalletBoyz, the award-winning team of Michael Nunn and William Trevitt, takes legendary Royal Ballet choreographer Kenneth MacMillan’s 1965 ballet out of the theater and into the streets of a cinematic Verona, offering a passionate reimagining of this timeless love story.

4) Life After Lockup Season Premiere (WEtv)
The highly-addicting series follows lovebirds hoping to make their way down the aisle with the jailbirds who may or may not be conning them. Whether it's dodging a parole officer, negotiating with a halfway house, or being stuck under house arrest with someone they hardly know, the realities of being on the outside are starting to hit these newly released prisoners. Will they break the law and go back to jail, or save themselves and leave their lovers broken hearted?

5) 9/11 Remembered: The Day We Came Together (ABC)
The hour-long special filmed on May 15, 2014,  marked President Barack Obama’s opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum and reflects the unwavering courage, compassion and sacrifice born out of that tragic morning. The special includes moving and inspiring stories about those who died and those who survived, their families, and the swell of first responders who rushed to help them.  It was a time of fear and uncertainty as we lost people we loved and the future felt unclear. But it was also a time when we came together – as neighbors, as friends, as fellow Americans – to support each other and rediscover the best within ourselves. From that, hope was reborn.

6) 9/11: The Final Moments Of Flight 93 (History)
On September 11, 2001, one hijacked plane never reached its target when United 93 crashed in rural Pennsylvania. In “9/11: The Final Minutes of Flight 93” previously classified streams of evidence are combined to piece together what really happened in a gripping minute-by-minute account. Evidence includes secret service documents, air traffic control transmissions, phone records, voicemails, first person testimony and a top-secret audio recording that helps reveal details of Flight 93’s crucial final moments. It’s a story of heroism in the face of tragedy and sheds light on some of the biggest mysteries of that fateful flight.

7) 9/11: The Pentagon (History)
On September 11, 1941, the U.S. War Department broke ground on a massive new five-sided headquarters that would rise to become the ultimate symbol of the American military. 60 years to the day after construction began, a hijacked airliner crashed into the building as part of the largest coordinated terror attack ever on American soil. Told by the men and women who lived it, “9/11: The Pentagon” is the dramatic story of what happened inside the building in the harrowing minutes after impact; a raw eyewitness account of tragedy, heroism and survival on the day that forever transformed a nation.

8) Pets United (Netflix)
A group of selfish pets are stranded in their luxury hangout when the machines that run Robo City go wild and take over, forcing all humans to flee for their lives. The pets must team up with strays to survive and save their homes, their city and maybe even the world.

10) Selling The Big Easy Series Premiere (HGTV)
The series follows Brittany and her full-service agency as they help families find the house of their dreams by showing them high-end homes with the right amount of history and charm. She also helps clients stage and sell their homes for top dollar in the city’s vibrant real estate market. With an approachable and effervescent style, Brittany effortlessly guides clients through the buying and selling process while touting the enticing amenities that the Crescent City has to offer.

11) The Duchess Series Premiere (Netflix)
Katherine Ryan stars as a single mom who's weighing whether to have a child with her nemesis: her daughter's dad. Can two wrongs make another right?

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A 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.

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