Features 2

Features 2 (61)

Everyday Art: Vintage Slot Machines

Written by 16 October, 2020

The term "slot machine" dates back to the late 1880s, when became common to find vending machines that involved some game of chance in every little corner store. There were a multitude of styles and functions, but what nearly all of them had in common was that they had a slot on the front or side to insert a coin. But those earliest machines don't resemble what we think of today as slot machines. They often involved featured things like toy horses racing around a small track. Bar patrons would bet on the races using nickels or tokens provided by the bar. Winnings could then be used to purchase beer or other bar items.

The first slot machine that is recognized as being closer to the modern slot machine design was developed in a Brooklyn bar in 1891. It had five spinning drums with ten cards on each drum. It was essentially a mechanized poker machine, but it was near impossible for the machine to make automatic payouts due to the number of possible combinations. A more familiar design came five years later when a Bavarian-born San Franciscan named Charles Fey created the "Liberty Bell." That machine used three spinning drums with the now familiar bells, hearts, spades, diamonds, and horseshoe symbols. The simplicity made gameplay much easier and the machine itself is considered one of the holy grails for collectors. But of the hundreds of machines that he sold, only four are known to have survived the San Francisco Earthquake.

A number of competitors began knocking off versions of Fey's design and the machines became extremely popular, leading a number of cities to impose gambling bans. But machine operators got around most of those laws by shifting the reels to ones that featured fruit. Generally, bar patrons were then able to "win" fruit gum that matched the symbols on the wheel. In 1916, the Mills Novelty Company developed a way for slot machines to automatically return winnings, which made the gameplay much easier. But by 1920, many cities had made the machines illegal. In 1931, Nevada made slot machines completely legal, leading to an explosion of new designs and gameplay.

While many of the older models are wildly collectable, the value of a machine in good shape with original parts can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. For collectors, the pre-1930 machines are considered antique, while those that are post-1930 are considered contemporary. One reason for that distinction is that the pre-1930 machines are much less likely to have replacement parts, since they generally weren't available for the older machines.

Here are examples of some of our favorites.



One Cent Mills Jockey Trade Simulator


Twenty Cent Mills Black Beauty Slot Machine



Twenty Five Cent Mills Poinsettia Slot Machine



Twenty Five Cent Tic Tac Toe Slot Machine



Twenty Five Cent Watling Blue Seal Jackpot Vendor Slot Machine




Five Cent Callie Little Wonder Coin Flip Cigar Trade



Five Cent Coin Front Roll A Top Slot Machine



Five Cent OD Jennings Chief Slot Machine



Five Cent OD Jennings Standard Chief Slot Machine



Five Cent Paupa & Hochreim Five-Way Poker Trade Simulator

Last modified on Friday, 16 October 2020 19:12

The Best Fictional 'Kolchak: The Night Stalker' Comics You'll Ever See

Written by 16 October, 2020

Etsy is the home for all sorts of knock-off and bootleg pop culture products. But I've never wanted any of them more than I want these incredibly perfect (yet still imaginary) Kolchak: The Night Stalker comic book covers.

The four covers have the exact look and feel of a classic Gold Key TV adaptation comic and the stories are just goofy enough to seem real to fans of the show.

Seriously, these covers are super clever.

Now if I could just get this person to do some for the classic TV series Cannon.














Last modified on Friday, 16 October 2020 14:42

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, October 16th, 2020

Written by 12 October, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, October 16th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by McDonald's coffee.

I THINK WE CAN ALL AGREE THAT THE AMAZON PRIME VIDEO UI IS THE WORST
No matter what you think of Amazon Prime Video's catalog or programming philosophy, it's clear to just about everyone that being part of the larger Amazon Prime universe has some serious downsides. That's most apparent in the user interface for Prime Video, which appears to have been crafted by a group of Amazon sales division heads. All of whom have different priorities and "must have" requirements. The end result is an interface that is as close to useless as it is possible to get in a mass market streamer. 

The interface is this weird amalgamation of free Prime content, rentals, titles for purchase, future sports programming, pitches for Amazon Channels (which is where you can subscribe to a number of outside services) as well as random columns of links that show you what you could watch if you subscribed to those outside services. It is an awkward and confusing mess and I would argue that it costs Amazon customers. Or at the very least, regular engagement. 

I HATE the interface. You can't find anything easily, you can't just see things that are available for free with your Amazon Prime subscription. The interface is clunky, you can't see what is new and the genre groupings they have seem to have been populated by drunk chimps. But other than that....

Earlier this week, Amazon offered a discounted subscription deal for Amazon Prime Days. You could subscribe to a number of streaming services for 99 cents per month for two months through Amazon Channels. The billing goes through Amazon and you can only watch the services through the Amazon Prime Video interface. I subscribed to two services I currently don't have: Showtime and Epix. And after playing around with them for a couple of days, I can tell you that once the trial period is over, I am gone.

The Amazon Channels interface is as awkward and non-intuitive as the main Amazon Prime Video interface. You can't search the library, there is no link to a list of every title on the service. Instead, you get a few horizontal collections of titles. Which is fine unless you are looking for a title that isn't one of the selected ones highlighted in the interface. 

I just don't get it. Amazon has a lot of bright people working for them. I can't imagine that they haven't figured out that this interface is terrible and made moves to change it. And no, the recent addition of profiles doesn't count. That feature is one of the bare minimum features any streaming service should have in 2020.

NETFLIX'S GLOBAL AMBITIONS
I've talked a lot in the past about Netflix's ambitions to be a true global service. The company's executives have made a point of stressing that ambition in their recent interviews and a number of the recent executive changes have been the result of the company moving its entire content creation and acquisition efforts in a less Hollywood-centric direction. 

It makes sense on a number of levels, particularly since some of Netflix's newer competitors like HBO Max and Peacock are struggling to implement their global plans. But the real question is whether Netflix can take content created outside of Hollywood and make them true global hits. I don't think anyone knows the answer to that question but as a fan of global television, I hope it works.

One example of that global strategy is the new series La Revolution, a French Netflix original series that premieres globally today. It's an impressive and well-made series that in every way is as well constructed as any of Netflix's well-known in-house English-language successes. The show is alternative history of the early days of the French Revolution, complete with a bit of witchcraft and a disease that literally puts the blue in "blue bloods." I was blown away by the series and it has the potential of being a buzzworthy hit. It's going to be interesting to see how it's received in the U.S. and across the rest of the globe.

SPEAKING OF SIGNS OF SUCCESS OR FAILURE

I don't want to read too much into any one move, but it is worth noting that Apple seems to be extending the free Apple TV+ trial for all of the subscribers who signed up for it a year ago. That would suggest that they are concerned a number of those subscribers won't stay around if they are forced to actually pay for the service.


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

1) Bad Hombres (Showtime)
The feature-length film chronicles the Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos, the world’s only binational professional baseball team. Amid the United States government’s proposal for a border wall, and with U.S.-Mexico relations at a low point, the team’s cross-border heritage provides a powerful symbol of unity, joining countries, cities and families.

2) Big Mouth Season Four Premiere (Netflix)
Teenage friends find their lives upended by the wonders and horrors of puberty in this edgy comedy from real-life pals Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg.

3) Clouds (Disney+)
Inspired by an incredible true story, Clouds is a vibrant ode to the life of singer/songwriter Zach Sobiech (Fin Argus). Zach is a seventeen-year-old, fun-loving student with raw musical talent living with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. At the start of his senior year, he is ready to take on the world, however when he receives the news that the disease has spread, he and his best friend and songwriting partner, Sammy (Sabrina Carpenter), decide to spend Zach’s limited time following their dreams. With the help of Zach’s mentor and teacher, Mr. Weaver (Lil Rel Howery), Zach and Sammy are given the chance of a lifetime and are offered a record deal. Along with the support of the love of his life, Amy (Madison Iseman) and his parents, Rob and Laura (Tom Everett Scott and Neve Campbell); Zach embarks on an unforgettable journey about friendship, love and the power of music.

4) Disney Channel Halloween House Party (Disney)
Disney Channel fan-favorite stars take on a variety of zany characters and spooktacular spoofs in this sketch comedy show. Filmed remotely, and hosted by Tobie Windham (“Just Roll With It”), the cast transforms themselves and their homes for a hilarious party filled with wacky sketches, including a befuddled monster, a pet goldfish’s virtual celebration, and other ghostly surprises and treats for kids and families.

5) Dream Home Makeover Series Premiere (Netflix)
Shea and Syd McGee of Studio McGee help dreams come true for real families looking to update their home tailored to their own unique style.

6) Generation Nation: A PBS American Portrait Special (PBS)
The half-hour specil explores how people in different age groups, from adolescents to seniors, see themselves and their place in America. It reveals the common experiences that bind people together within and across age groups and the generational differences that can put us at odds with one another.

7) Grand Army Series Premiere (Netflix)
Five students at the largest public high school in Brooklyn take on a chaotic world as they fight to succeed, survive, break free and seize the future.

8) Great Performances: Grammy! Salute To Music Legends (PBS)
The awards ceremony and tribute concert is hosted by five-time Grammy Award winner Jimmy Jam. Laurie Anderson, Philip Bailey, Brandi Carlile, Cynthia Erivo, Chris Isaak, Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires, Cyndi Lauper, Sam Moore, Leslie Odom, Jr., and Yola. Presenters include Rhiannon Giddens, Joe Mantegna, John Legend, LL COOL J, Greg Phillinganes, Henry Rollins, and Don Was.

9) Helpsters Season Two Premiere (Apple TV+)
Cody and the Helpsters are a team of vibrant monsters who love to solve problems. Whether it’s planning a party, climbing a mountain or mastering a magic trick, the Helpsters can figure anything out — because everything starts with a plan.

10) Helstrom (Hulu)
As the son and daughter of a mysterious and powerful serial killer, Helstrom follows Daimon (Tom Austen) and Ana Helstrom (Sydney Lemmon), and their complicated dynamic, as they track down the worst of humanity — each with their own attitude and skills.

11) Is There A Killer On My Street? (LMN)
After Lindsay (Julie McNiven, Black Hearted Killer) falls for her new neighbor Stephen (Trevor Donovan, The Au Pair Nightmare), dead bodies start to accumulate, and she begins to fear her life may be in grave danger.

12) La Revolution Series Premiere (Netflix)
1787, France. While investigating a series of mysterious murders, Joseph Guillotin - the future inventor of the world famous ‘Guillotine’ - uncovers an unknown virus: the Blue Blood. The disease, quickly spreads amongst the French aristocracy, driving them to murder ordinary people and soon leads to a rebellion… What if the French Revolution didn’t happen the way we were told?

13) Meet The Chimps Series Premiere (Disney+)
This six-part series tracks the ups and downs of this extraordinary group of chimps that are given a second chance at life by a staff whose dedication, compassion and commitment knows no bounds. Through a seamless blend of natural history and observational-documentary filmmaking, the chimps are at front and center of the series. A real-life drama with a full emotional range, the series gives unparalleled access to everything happening at Chimp Haven, including food squabbles, alliances, romances, 'bromances,' tears, tantrums, high jinxes and heartbreaks.

14) Shark Tank Season Premiere (ABC)
A father and his 15-year-old son from Cincinnati, Ohio, help the Sharks get creative while sharing their solution for storing paint efficiently. Two tech-savvy entrepreneurs from Somerville, Massachusetts, put the pedal to the metal when they show off their portable electric vehicle charger. A husband and wife from Milltown, New Jersey, think they can smell success as they pitch their product designed to keep garments safe from bacteria and odor.

15) Someone Has To Die aka Alguien tiene que morir (Netflix)
In 1950s Spain, a couple summon their son home from Mexico to introduce him to his fiancée, but are shocked when he returns with a ballerino.

16) The Last Kids On Earth Book Three Premiere (Netflix)
As the four pals continue to live it up with their monster allies, Jack worries a newly discovered radio transmitter may put an end to the fun.

17) The Perfect Weapon (HBO)
Directed by John Maggio, the film explores the rise of cyber conflict as a primary way in which nations now compete with and sabotage one another. Cheap, invisible and devastatingly effective, cyber weapons are the present and future of geopolitical conflict – a short-of-war pathway to exercising power. THE PERFECT WEAPON draws on interviews with top military, intelligence and political officials for a comprehensive view of a world of new vulnerabilities, particularly as fear mounts over how cyberattacks and influence operations may affect the 2020 U.S. election, vulnerable power grids, America’s nuclear weapons arsenal, and the global networks that are the backbone of private enterprise. The film also explores how the U.S. government is struggling to defend itself from cyberattacks while simultaneously stockpiling and using the world's most powerful offensive cyber arsenal.

18) The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (Netflix)
What was intended to be a peaceful protest at the 1968 Democratic National Convention turned into a violent clash with police and the National Guard. The organizers of the protest—including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Tom Hayden and Bobby Seale—were charged with conspiracy to incite a riot and the trial that followed was one of the most notorious in history.

19) What The Constitution Means To Me (Amazon)
Fifteen-year-old Heidi Schreck earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful, and achingly human show, Heidi resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives.

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, 16 October 2020 11:00

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, October 9th, 2020

Written by 09 October, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, October 8th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by McDonald's coffee & banana bread.

TOLDJA!
Back in the dinosaur days, entertainment journalist Nikki Finke was well-known for her triumphant use of the word TOLDJA when some story she published turned out to be later verified by other outlets. It's tempting to do that when you're a journalist ad/or analyst. It feels good to put something out there and have the world decide you're right.

I did have a bit of my own TOLDJA! moment this morning when I saw this piece in the Hollywood Reporter that featured a report from MoffettNathanson's Robert Fishman, in which he argues that cinemas struggling to find new films should strike deals with the various streaming services:

"Theater owners should consider finally striking a deal with Netflix, Amazon and other SVOD services as a lifeline to get more product on movie screens," MoffettNathanson's Robert Fishman wrote in a report.

"To no one’s surprise," he decided to cut his box office projections "given a high level of uncertainty around the future of the domestic box office and when we should expect to see a return to a new normal level of attendance," he explained. "2020 unfortunately now looks like a year where the domestic box office is set to plummet 81 percent from 2019 down to $2.1 billion."

I've written about this idea several times in recent months, both in this newsletter and on the web site. I still think it's a great idea and I think there is an audience for people who would like to see Extraction or Rim Of The World on the big screen. But having looked into the idea, it is a bit more complicated an issue that you might expect. There seem to be all sorts of variations of deals when a motion picture is acquired and/or produced for a streamer. Some of the deals have carve-outs for a limited theatrical run. But in many cases, contracts would have to be renegotiated before a film could have a wide-release theatrical run. For instance, my understanding is that Sandra Bullock took less money for Bird Box than she would normally make on a theatrical film because she knew it would be going to Netflix and she saw it as a good opportunity to reach a different audience. Much of that reduced amount was due to her forgoing payments based on box office performance, etc. Netflix would have to go back an renegotiate that in order to release the movie theatrically and while I'm sure it could be done, it's not clear to me that it would be worth their time to do so.

That being said, there are maybe a dozen Netflix films that could easily be rolled into a theatrical release schedule and it would be interesting to see that happen. I'm sure there are similar Amazon films that could be released the same way, although I am less familiar with those contracts.

ADVENTURES IN CHASING AN AUDIENCE
Last night the entertainment industry trade publication Deadline accidentally posted a draft article that claimed Vice President Mike Pence had tested positive for COVID-19. I'm not going to dunk on a site for making a big, embarrassing mistake. I've had my share of boneheaded mistakes and they can happen no matter how hard you try. But why is a site that is supposed to be laser-focused on the entertainment industry cranking out political stories?

I wrote a piece about the issue last night and the private reaction I've gotten from some of my fellow TV journalist colleagues has been...well, let's just say heated:

My problem isn't with the mistake, it's with the story itself and the reasons why Deadline was doing an early draft of such an important political story. No matter what you think about their coverage, Deadline is one of the leading trade publications in the entertainment industry. But they don't have any particular expertise in political coverage. They don't have sources in the inner circles of politics, they don't have any real reporting experience covering complex political issues.

And that's clear when you read the body of the now-deleted post. Written by Deadline Deputy Managing Editor Tom Tapp, the piece is a solid mix of aggregated info and familiar backstory. It's well-written, but there isn't one word in the story that you couldn't find in a hundred other publications. There is absolutely no journalistic reason for this piece to exist, or for a draft piece waiting patiently to be posted if Pence does turn out to test positive for COVID-19. The only reason to have a piece about Pence's test status ready to post with the addition of a few links and quotes is that Deadline hoped to get their piece out quick enough to brag a healthy percentage of readers looking for some breaking news. Even if the site doesn't have anything original to contribute to the conversation.

ROKU CHANNEL LAUNCHES ON AMAZON DEVICES
The Roku Channel has launched on Amazon Fire TV devices. The app won't require an account login and like the Roku App that recently launched on Android devices, it includes more than 100,000 free, ad-supported movies and TV episodes as well as 115 live/linear channels. 


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

1) Betrayed By My Husband (LMN)
Gabrielle is devastated by the loss of her husband Parker when he dies on a kayaking trip. She tries to move on with her life and support her young daughter, but on a business trip she believes she sees her husband alive and well. Her brother-in-law, Carson, is later found murdered and she is accused of killing him. Gabrielle decides to launch her own investigation and soon learns that her husband is certainly alive and is conspiring with his brother’s widow to fake his own death and disappear with the life insurance money. She must now race to prove her own innocence and unravel the plot before it claims her as another victim.

2) Chasing the Crown: Dreamers To Streamers (Amazon)
Three Twitch streamers have their sights set on becoming the next big name in gaming. They'll compete in a series of challenges to secure a spot in Prime Gaming's Twitch tournament: the Crown Cup.

3) Deaf U Series Premiere (Netflix)
In this docuseries, a tight-knit group of deaf students share their stories and explore the perks and pitfalls of life at Gallaudet University.

4) Fast & Furious: Spy Racers Series Premiere (Netflix)
When one of their own goes missing, the Spy Racers must leave LA and head to Brazil to take down a crime organization in Rio.

5) Ginny Weds Sunny (Netflix)
Eager to marry but constantly rejected by women, a bachelor hopes to win over a former crush by accepting help from an unlikely source: his mother.

6) Love After Lockup Mid-Season Premiere (WEtv)
Scott’s accusations throw Lindsey into a tailspin. Shawn impatiently waits for Destinie, and Jessica’s dad puts Maurice to the test. Dylan faces the music with his parole officer. John receives a troubling phone call that changes everything. 

7) PBS Kids Talk About: Race And Racism (PBS)
Hosted by Amanda Gorman, the writer, activist and first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of the U.S., features candid and authentic conversations between kids and their parents about race and racial justice-related topics in an age-appropriate way and offers viewers ideas to build on as they continue these important conversations at home.

8) Raven's Home Mid-Season Premiere (Disney)
Now that they are high school students, Booker and Nia feel they are too old for trick-or-treating. They instead convince Levi, Tess and Ramon to join them for a night of real scares and fun in 4B, the apartment that is suspected to be haunted. Meanwhile, Raven and Chelsea stir up their own batch of holiday antics when they throw a Halloween party for the younger neighborhood kids.

9) Shayla Rivera: Its Not Rocket Science (HBO Max)
A featured comedian in HBO Latino’s “Entre Nos, Part 2,” the hilarious Shayla Rivera hits the stage once more – this time for a comedy special of her own. A former rocket scientist, Rivera talks about being Puerto Rican in Texas, the challenges of motherhood, dating non-Latinos, and much more in this uninhibited half hour of comedy.

10) Super Monsters: Dia de los Monsters (Netflix)
Super Monsters visit Vida's home town for a Dia De Los Muertos parade where they meet some new Super Monsters.

11) The Forty-Year-Old Version (Netflix)
Desperate for a breakthrough as she turns 40, down-on-her-luck New York playwright Radha reinvents herself as a rapper and searches for her true voice.

12) The Haunting Of Bly Manor Series Premiere (Netflix)
After an au pair’s tragic death, Henry Wingrave (Henry Thomas) hires a young American nanny (Victoria Pedretti) to care for his orphaned niece and nephew (Amelie Bea Smith, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) who reside at Bly Manor with the estate’s chef Owen (Rahul Kohli), groundskeeper Jamie (Amelia Eve) and housekeeper, Mrs. Grose (T’Nia Miller). But all is not as it seems at the manor, and centuries of dark secrets of love and loss are waiting to be unearthed in this chilling gothic romance. At Bly Manor, dead doesn’t mean gone.

13) The Hispanic Heritage Awards (PBS)
The Hispanic Heritage Awards will honor individuals or organizations doing outstanding work in a variety of fields to benefit the Hispanic and Latinx community in the United States and abroad. The evening will focus on biographical documentary shorts on each honoree to hear about their achievements and work in their own words, as well as include musical performances from prominent Hispanic and Latinx artists.

14) The Right Stuff Series Premiere (Disney+)
The eight-episode, scripted series takes a clear-eyed look at what would become America’s first "reality show," as ambitious astronauts and their families become instant celebrities in a competition that could kill them or make them immortal. The two men at the center of the story are Major John Glenn, a revered test pilot and committed family man with unwavering principles, portrayed by Patrick J. Adams, and Lieutenant Commander Alan Shepard, one of the best test pilots in Navy history, portrayed by Jake McDorman. 

15) To Live Or Die On Everest (Discovery)
A documentary about the 2019 climbing season on Everest, which led to 11 deaths.

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, 09 October 2020 13:55

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, October 8th, 2020

Written by 08 October, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, October 8th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by McDonald's coffee & banana bread.

TUBI ADDS LIVE STREAMING OF LIVE NEWS FEEDS FROM 17 FOX STATIONS
Since Fox acquired the free, advertising-supported streaming service Tubi in February, it has slowly been expanding the programming mix of the service. Today Tubi is making a more substantial change, adding a "News On Tubi" section, which will include news feeds from 17 local Fox stations, as well as offerings from a number of other news services. 

Channels include New York (WNYW-TV); Los Angeles (KTTV-TV); Chicago (WFLD-TV); Philadelphia (WTXF-TV); Dallas (KDFW-TV); San Francisco (KTVU-TV); Washington DC (WTTG-TV); Houston (KRIV-TV); Atlanta (WAGA-TV); Phoenix (KSAZ-TV); Tampa (WTVT-TV); Seattle (KCPQ-TV); Detroit (WJBK-TV); Minneapolis (KMSP-TV); Orlando (WOFL-TV); Milwaukee (WITI-TV); and Austin (KTBC-TV).

"News On Tubi" also includes feeds from NBC News Now, Bloomberg TV, Altice USA’s News 12 New York, WeatherNation, Cheddar, NewsNOW from FOX, FOX SOUL, People TV, fubo Sports Network, Black News Channel and CBC. 

Upcoming additions to Tubi's news tab are Hearst TV stations in Pittsburgh and Manchester NH , Euro News, USA Today News and the 24/7 Spanish-language news channel Estrella News.

Rival AVOD Pluto TV (owned by Viacom) also announced expansions on Thursday, saying it will be rolling out into Spain at the end of October, and into France and Italy in Q1 of 2021.

PROGRAMMING NOTE
Minnebar is a Twin Cities-based tech gathering that in previous years was a day-long conference featuring as many as a dozen simultaneous sessions covering everything from obscure programming languages to how to sell off your media business. Minnebar 2020 is virtual and this Saturday I'll be doing a session entitled "Building A Successful News Site." It runs from 11:30-11:55 am CT. Registration is free. https://sessions.minnestar.org. The is the second virtual session I've done in the last month and while I like to talk as much as the next person, I do miss the interaction of a live audience. 

ODDS AND SODS
Apple TV+ has renewed Dickinson for season 3 and announced season two will premiere on January 8th, 2021.

The Outpost' Renewed For Season 4 At The CW – Deadline
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Charm City Kings (HBO Max)
Mouse (Di'Allo Winston) desperately wants to join The Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt bike riders who rule the summertime streets. When Midnight’s leader, Blax (Meek Mill), takes 14-year-old Mouse under his wing, Mouse soon finds himself torn between the straight-and-narrow and a road filled with fast money and violence.

2) Closer Look Thursday (NBC)
As the monumental election gets down to the wire, Meyers and “Closer Look Thursday” will dissect the events of the day, up-to-the-minute breaking news and other important facts as America begins to cast its vote.

3) Connecting...Series Premiere (NBC)
This new ensemble comedy about a group of friends trying to stay close (and sane) through video chats as they share the highs and lows of these extraordinary times.

4) Good Eats: The House That Dripped Chocolate (Food)
Shot in black and white, the story begins when a cook, played by Brown, buys an old candy cookbook that turns out to be cursed. Every time he makes a treat, the tricks get weirder...not to mention more painful.

5) Injustice With Nancy Grace Season Two Premiere (Oxygen)
Grace continues to shine a light on the investigative and legal injustices in the cases of Lori Vallow's children, JJ Vallow and Tylee Ryan, Jennifer Dulos, Chase Massner, and others along with a special episode on the unfolding story of murdered US Army soldier Vanessa Guillén. Grace lends her expertise in each episode and examines circumstances that illustrate the varied failures, biases, and inconsistences in the legal system. She also focuses on the ways law enforcement, communities, and victims’ families forge a path forward in seeking justice. As Grace explores these twisted stories of injustice, she helps everyone come out on the other side with a new understanding while also helping solve one of the cases herself.

6) Phantom Signals Series Premiere (Science)
We are surrounded by an endless stream of infinite data, with information bombarding us from seemingly every direction. These signals, which are part of our everyday operations, help define our understanding of the Universe, and largely go unnoticed. That is until a glitch occurs. A blip on a screen, a faulty frequency, or a mysterious interference – what are these unknown signals? Where are they coming from? And what do they really mean?

7) Supernatural Season Premiere (The CW)
Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) discover a wood nymph (guest star Meagen Fey) living in the bunker who is determined to protect her family, at any cost.

8) Suspicious Minds Series Premiere (Investigation Discovery)
It's human nature to question things - especially when your safety may be at risk - but when a grim suspicion turns into a horrid reality, it may be time to take things into your own hands. This series reveals the terrifying journeys of real people who suspected imminent danger and became fixated on finding the truth. From stalkers to criminal cover-ups and killers on the loose, emotional first-person interviews detail the endless twists and turns that come with following a dangerous hunch, leaving viewers anxious to learn who the culprit is until the very end. Did I really just see that? Will anyone believe me? Am I imagining things? Can I trust anyone? Nothing is as it seems and everyone is a suspect.

9) The Cleansing Hour (Shudder)
Two entrepreneurs live stream elaborate fake exorcisms until one of the possessions becomes a little too real.

10) The Outpost Season Premiere (The CW)
Zed (Reece Ritchie) forces humans to work a mining camp as Talon (Jessica Green) struggles to keep peace. A sassy genius invades Janzo’s (Anand Desai-Barochia) lab. A dark Priestess unites the Blackbloods.

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, 08 October 2020 13:11

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

Written by 06 October, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, October 6th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee that's too strong & banana bread that needs some iced topping.

NETFLIX AND THE TRUE CRIME AUDIENCE
There is a lot of discussion about Netflix's content spend and whether they can develop in-house IP to rival competitors such as Disney. But it's worth noting that one constant for Netflix in 2020 has been the success of its line-up of true crime-ish documentaries. The horrifying 90-minute American Murder: The Family Next Door has been at the top of Netflix's Top Ten list for six days and let's not forget The Tiger King. None of these shows are IP that can be specifically exploited in the long-term. But they have established Netflix as a destination for this type of programming. 

I was thinking about this a lot last night, as I finished watching the five-part documentary The Con, which premieres today on VOD. It is an impressively comprehensive look at how corruption and greed led to bankruptcy, homelessness and suicide in the 2008 mortgage crisis. The docuseries is so frustrating to watch, as filmmakers Eric Vaughan, Patrick Lovell, and Adam Bronfman lay out the many ways average Americans were manipulated and scammed out of their houses. The series is built around the story of a 90-year-old Akron, Ohio widow who killed herself when she was faced with losing her house to foreclosure. As the story unfolds, it turns out that she had never even applied for the loan that resulted in her suicide. Someone had forged her name multiple times, taken out several loans against her home equity and used corrupt appraisers and government officials to ram through the deals. And as The Con lays out in painful detail, this process was repeated tens of thousands of times in the years leading up to 2008.

As impressive as The Con is to watch, I couldn't help thinking that it is going to be lost on VOD. But it is one of those documentaries that would be the topic of the week if were premiering on Netflix. And that is one of the underappreciated strengths of Netflix-it has a breadth of audience and content that can make the right content - even unscripted shows - a hit.

MEET THE CUSTOMER SERVICE REPS FOR SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE MEDIA COMPANIES
While this ProPublica piece doesn't have a direct media industry connection, it does provide a somewhat depressing look at the people providing customer service support for some of your favorite media companies. The investigation specifically focuses on Arise, a company that provides customer service support for a wide variety of companies. Including, as it turns out, AT&T:

After paying about $1,500 for home office equipment: a computer, two headsets and a phone line dedicated to Arise; after paying Arise to run a check on her background; after passing Arise’s voice-assessment test and signing Arise’s nondisclosure form; after paying for and passing Arise’s introductory training, to which she devoted three days, unpaid; after paying for and passing a certification course to provide customer service for Arise client AT&T, to which she devoted 44 unpaid days; after then being informed she had to get more training yet — an additional 10 days, for which she was told she would be paid, but wasn’t; and then, after finally getting a chance to sign up for hours and do work for which she would be paid (except for her time spent waiting for technical support, or researching customer issues, or huddling with supervisors), Tami Pendergraft spent three weeks fielding telephone calls from AT&T customers, after which she received a single paycheck.

For $96.12.

But while people working for Arise might struggle to make money, the company itself is doing quite well:

Arise is privately held, so its finances are not public. But a 2017 confidential slide deck obtained by ProPublica shows quarterly revenue of $40 million and a gross profit margin of nearly 30%. Intuit, Carnival, Disney and Comcast were among the largest revenue generators.

Arise was acquired last year by Warburg Pincus, the New York private equity firm. A report the firm published this year said it seeks, in its investments, to “support the payment of competitive wages and benefits to employees.” A spokeswoman for Warburg Pincus declined to comment.



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

1) Black Box (Amazon)
After losing his wife and his memory in a car accident, a single father undergoes an experimental treatment that causes him to question who he really is.

2) Ellen's Game Of Games Season Premiere (NBC)
The show includes supersized versions of the most popular and action-packed games from DeGeneres’ award-winning daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, as well as some designed especially for the primetime show. Contestants must maneuver massive obstacles, answer questions under crushing time pressure and face gigantic plunges into the unknown – all in a quest to win a big cash prize.

3) Frontline: America Unprotected: The Medical Supply Crisis (PBS)
An investigation into how the U.S. was left scrambling and desperate for critical medical equipment as the coronavirus swept the country.

4) Homestead Rescue: Raney Ranch Series Premiere (Discovery)
For years the Raney family has helped novice homesteaders around the country save their homesteads from brink of failure and helped to bring their dreams of living off the grid to life. Now, inspired by years’ worth of rescues, Marty Raney will attempt his greatest recue of all – his very own 40-acre homestead.

5) Latino Vote: Dispatches From The Battleground (PBS)
Get an inside look at the high-stakes effort to get out the Latino vote in this year’s election. Political candidates are focused on maximizing turnout and support from Latinos, poised to be the largest non-white voting bloc.

6) Siempre, Luis (HBO)
The documentary centers on Luis A. Miranda Jr. who left Vega Alta, Puerto Rico for New York City in the 1970s. Filmed over the course of a year, Luis’ devotion to family and country propels him forward despite recent health issues. Always searching for ways to assist communities in need, particularly when his beloved Puerto Rico is suffering, Luis moves to action following the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, coordinating relief efforts and raising money and awareness while managing the complicated and ambitious tasks involved in bringing his son’s award-winning production of Hamilton to the island.

7) Special Division Series Premiere (MHz Choice)
This Armenian drama is about plainclothes superheroes – an elite Special Division that tackles difficult crimes and embraces its mission as a calling rather than a job. No moral ambiguity here – just good guys ferreting out the bad. It’s a very traditional show, generated by a society more traditional than the US. There is romance, but understated: people, for the most part, keep their clothes on. (Isn’t that more smoldering, anyway?) Special Division offers a look into a culture and part of the world you may not be acquainted with.

8) StarBeam: Halloween Hero (Netflix)
Greedy Captain Fishbeard is stealing everybody's Halloween treats for himself, but StarBeam and Boost have some tricks up their sleeves to save the day.

9) Swamp Thing Series Broadcast Premiere (The CW)
When a mysterious illness strikes the small Louisiana town of Marais, CDC investigator Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) is sent back to investigate. Meanwhile, biologist Alec Holland (Andy Bean) goes missing while investigating in the depts of the swamp and something else rises in his place: Swamp Thing (Derek Mears), a mysterious creature born of the swamp’s mystical and terrifying secrets.

10) The Lie (Amazon)
When their teenaged daughter confesses to impulsively killing her best friend, two desperate parents cover up the horrific crime with a web of lies and deception.

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 Tuesday, 06 October 2020 12:49

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, October 5th, 2020

Written by 05 October, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, October 5th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by cold coffee and peanut butter sandwiches.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR MOVIE THEATERS?
While movie theaters have been able to reopen successfully in Asia and parts of Europe, it's a much different story in the U.S. and U.K. Cineworld Cinemas confirmed late Sunday it will temporarily close 536 Regal cinemas in the U.S. and 127 Cineworld and Picturehouse theaters in the U.K. on October 8th. And earlier this morning, AMC Theatres-owned Odeon cinema chain is closing a quarter of its U.K. cinemas during the week. In both cases, it's not clear how long these closings will last, although the best guess is "early next year."

So what does that mean for the long-term future of the movie business? As things stand now, the high-profile tentpole movies are scheduled to premiere in the spring of 2021, but that assumes nothing gets pushed back again. And given that a lot of scientists are predicting it could be the 3rd quarter of 2021 before a vaccine is rolled out and distributed, the movie industry is looking at more than a year of closures or partial reopenings.

It's clear that some of those theaters will never reopen. Some of the marginal theaters aren't worth reopening and a number of independent theaters don't have the cash flow to survive such an extended closure. But a bigger challenge for the industry may be that this long-term disruption will fundamentally change the way theaters operate. 

Until the rise of the multiplex in the 1960s, movie theaters traditionally had a single screen. Multiple screens gave theaters the opportunity to offer a wider range of viewing options and target a more diverse range of audiences. That programming flexibility worked in an era where the audiences were willing and there was a variety of movies available for screening. But even before the pandemic, the industry was moving towards a blockbuster-centric business in which smaller genre films couldn't find an audience. YA and rom-coms didn't move to streamers like Netflix because the studios wanted to do that. They made the move because increasingly, that's where the audience for those genres can be found.

Certainly much smarter people than myself are writing position papers on the future of the movie industry. But from my perspective, I can see a scenario where future cinemas are smaller, with fewer screens and more intimate experiences. Some theaters have had success renting out screens to small groups and that seems like a future hotspot. Being able to rent a theater for 30 of your closest friends could be a big draw in the post-pandemic movie world. But theaters also have to be less rigid about the existing theatrical window. Studios are becoming increasingly comfortable premiering smaller films on video-on-demand or a streaming service. And the major chain's strict rules against screening any film that doesn't respect the theatrical release window is hurting the move chains more than the studios. At a time when theaters are struggling for new films, refusing to run the new "Bill & Ted" movie because it also is premiering on VOD was a bad decision. That movie had great buzz and stars willing to promote the heck out of the film. That was a movie the theaters needed and all of the major chains turned it down.

Of course, all of this would require movie studios to rethink how they price their movies when they negotiate with movie theaters and there's no sign they feel desperate enough yet to consider making wholesale changes to their business model. But that can easily change if we get to January and everything has been pushed back again until late summer.

ODDS AND SODS
The new Bruce Springsteen documentary Letter To You will premiere Friday, October 23rd on Apple TV+.

Roblox is offering its annual October-only deal, a Headless Horseman package that costs 31,000 Robux, which would costs the equivalent of $300.



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

1) 90 Day Fiance: HEA Strikes Back! (TLC)
Each episode of the show will follow the events of Happily Ever After? season five in the same respective air order. Couples get the chance to watch and re-experience their journeys in love and marriage, respond to Pillow Talk commentary and offer viewers a look inside their home lives. Couples will also share behind-the-scenes details missed by cameras and address some of the most outrageous moments of the season.

2) OJ & Nicole: An American Tragedy (Investigation Discovery)
This two-hour documentary film tells the story of Nicole in greater depth than ever before. Viewers will hear from Nicole’s youngest sister Tanya Brown, her best friend Robin Greer, close family friend Ron Shipp, as well as David Gascon, Bill Heider, John Edwards and other officers, law enforcement and legal counsel who took part in America’s most infamous investigation. Intimate archival footage sews together Nicole’s journey to LA, her fateful encounter with O.J. Simpson, their whirlwind romance and later the terrifying phone calls and diaries she kept weeks before her death. Sharing never-before-seen journals and family home videos, this documentary humanizes the woman who for so long was treated first as the accessory to a famous man and then as an accessory at his trial. Using emotional, exclusive interviews with those closest to the case, this documentary reflects on the events that led up to the tragic murders in Brentwood in 1994, showing that although the trial is over, the true impact of the case will never be forgotten.

3) Soulmates Season Two Premiere (AMC)
This anthlogy series is set fifteen years into the future, when science has made a discovery that changes the lives of everyone on the planet – a test that unequivocally tells you who your soulmate is. Each of the six episodes will feature a different cast and explore an entirely new story around discovering (or opting not to discover) the results of this new test and the impact of those results on a myriad of relationships.

4) South Terminal (Mubi)
A nameless doctor is drawn into the front lines of a violent struggle between a government and an armed uprising. While dealing with the mental toll of the war, the doctor is kidnapped to take care of a rebel leader. Becoming a target for the army, he must decide if he can continue to do his duty.

5) Tell Me More With Kelly Corrigan Series Premiere (PBS)
Enjoy an intimate and heartfelt interview series hosted by four-time New York Times bestselling author Kelly Corrigan, who conducts candid conversations with influential leaders in their fields.

6) The Expecting Series Premiere (Quibi)
AnnaSophia Robb, Rory Culkin, and Mira Sorvino star in this edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller about a mysterious pregnancy and the potential dark secrets surrounding it. Fear is brought to life.

7) The Missing Series Premiere (Investigation Discovery)
Tyler Davis goes out and is seen on surveillance walking across a parking lot. Police ping his phone but can't locate him. And then Kristal Reisinger seeks spiritual enlightenment, but vanshes after heading to a drum circle.

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, 05 October 2020 13:10

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, October 2nd, 2020

Written by 02 October, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, October 2nd, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Watermelon juice and strawberry waffles.

I'M NOT GOING TO DUNK ON QUIBI, BUT....
It's no secret the mobile-first streaming service Quibi is struggling to survive. A new piece in Bloomberg ties a bunch of loose threads together and paints a financial picture for the company that has to be a bit frightening for investors, who have already poured at least $1.8 billion into the company:

Quibi’s content is expensive to produce, and the company has had to spend a lot on marketing to build up its brand recognition. As a result, the service needs a lot of people to sign up to be cash flow positive. In a pitch deck to investors before its launch, Quibi suggested that its best-case scenario would be to attract 70 million subscribers after five years, which would allow it to spend $2.6 billion on programming by 2024.

But Quibi is now tracking closer to its worst-case scenario: 11 million subscribers in five years. The app’s pitch deck suggested that under such a scenario, it would decrease its spending on content to $618 million by 2024. Currently, Quibi has a reported $1.75 billion in funding. Based on these figures, and publicly stated marketing costs, advertising revenue and subscriber mix, Quibi is on pace to exhaust its cash balance in 2021 and will need to raise $1.8 billion by 2024.

To make matters worse, Quibi not only wildly overpaid celebrities to create content for the service, Quibi loses the rights to that content in seven years. 

But yes, let's continue to buy into the "our smart CEO can magically make things better" myth:

By compiling Quibi’s reported and public statements about content spending, advertising, subscribers and more, a picture emerges of a company headed for financial distress after a tough first year. In one scenario, if little changes, the company faces a funding shortfall of about $1.8 billion by 2024 and $6 billion by 2030. Katzenberg, who has made a career selling stories of characters beating the odds, has said he’s up for the test.

ODDS AND SODS
Comcast and Activision are offering Xfinity customers early Beta access to "Call of Duty: Black Ops - Cold War." 

Acorn TV has ordered the new British crime drama Whitstable Pearl, a six-episode series based on the Julie Wassmer crime novels The Whitstable Pearl Mystery and Disappearance at Oare. Kerry Godliman (Ricky Gervais’ After Life) will play the lead role as Pearl Nolan.

The annual Edmund Fitzgerald memorial beacon lighting at Split Rock Lighthouse will be an online event this year. This year marks 45th anniversary of the wreck, which inspired the iconic Gordon Lightfoot song "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald."

Peacock today announced two original news shows featuring Mehdi Hasan and Zerlina Maxwell. The Mehdi Hasan Show and Zerlina will debut on Monday, October 5th. Both have appeared frequently on MSNBC, which gives you an idea of where Peacock is headed with these shows.


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

1) A Go! Go! Cory Carson Halloween (Netflix)
Cory, Chrissy and Freddie are on the hunt for king-sized candy bars this Halloween! But are all the treats worth the trek to the spooky side of town?

2) Deadly Double Cross (LMN)
Mother, Lisa, is determined to prove that her teen daughter, Amber, is innocent of murdering her older boyfriend.

3) Dick Johnson Is Dead (Netflix)
While a lifetime of making documentaries has convinced her of the power of true stories, Kirsten Johnson is ready to use every escapist movie-making trick in the book if it will help her 86-year-old psychiatrist father elude death.

4) Emily In Paris Series Premiere (Netflix)
Emily, an ambitious twenty-something marketing executive from Chicago, unexpectedly lands her dream job in Paris. Her new life is filled with intoxicating adventures and surprising challenges as she juggles work, friendships, and romance.

5) Kingdom Of Silence (Showtime)
This documentary explores the complicated dynamic between the United States and Saudi Arabia as a backdrop to the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi.

6) Monsterland Series Premiere (Hulu)
Encounters with mermaids, fallen angels, and other strange beasts drive broken people to desperate acts in Monsterland, an anthology series based on the collection of stories from Nathan Ballingrud’s "North American Lake Monsters."

7) Oloture (Netflix)
A young, naïve female journalist goes undercover to expose the shady business of human trafficking in Nigeria and encounters a brutal underworld.

8) Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2  (Amazon)
As a follow up to last year’s ground-breaking event, this year’s Savage X Fenty Show is raising the bar. Debuting the bold and fearless Fall 2020 line, Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 will include performances from an all-star lineup including international superstars Bad Bunny, Ella Mai, Miguel, Mustard, Roddy Ricch, and Rosalía during the experience.  Savage X Fenty Show veterans Bella Hadid, Big Sean, Cara Delevingne, Christian Combs, Normani, and Paloma Elsesser return, walking alongside newcomers Lizzo, Demi Moore, Erika Jayne, Gigi Goode, Irina Shayk, Laura Harrier, Paris Hilton, Rico Nasty, Shea Couleé, Willow Smith, Chika, Miss 5th Avenue, Jaida Essence Hall and many more, wearing the latest savage styles and debuting Savage X Fenty’s fierce and unapologetic Fall 2020 collection. 

9) Serious Men (Netflix)
When a slum dweller spins a web of lies in pursuit of the upward mobility he has long craved, his ruse could be especially dangerous for his young son. 

10) Song Exploder Series Premiere (Netflix)
Based on the acclaimed podcast of the same name, and from host Hrishikesh Hirway and Oscar®-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, each episode of Song Exploder features some of the world's greatest musicians as they reveal how they brought one of their songs to life. The series weaves together in-depth interviews, archival footage, and raw recordings as each artist breaks down their song, layer by layer, sharing intimate insight into the personal inspiration behind the music and lyrics. Featured artists include 15-time Grammy® Award-winning artist, songwriter, and producer Alicia Keys, who breaks down “3 Hour Drive” from her 2020 album, ALICIA; Pulitzer Prize, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award-winning composer, lyricist, and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, who delves into the creation of “Wait for It” from the musical phenomenon “Hamilton”; Rock & Roll Hall of Famers R.E.M. who open up about the influences behind the life-changing track “Losing My Religion”; and Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and producer Ty Dolla $ign who discusses the inspiration behind “LA,” the deeply personal opening track from his gold-certified major label debut album, FREE TC.

11) The Binding (Netflix)
While visiting her fiancé's mother in southern Italy, a woman must fight the mysterious and malevolent curse intent on claiming her daughter.

12) The Real Black Panther (NatGeo)
This isn't Wakanda. Deep in south India is a jungle kingdom that has inspired legends. Kabini, in the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve, is home to a rogue confederation of animal tribes all vying for territory, power and resources. Now a new king, Saya, is on the rise. He is the only black panther in this jungle. Lineage doesn't favor him, but he's got cunning and grit - and he plans to claim Kabini as his kingdom. From internal struggles for power to a cast reminiscent of "The Jungle Book," "The Real Black Panther" transports you to the heart of this jungle kingdom. All hail the new king.

13) Tiny World (Apple TV+)
Narrated by Paul Rudd, this docuseries showcases nature’s lesser-known tiny heroes. Spotlighting small creatures and the extraordinary things they do to survive, each episode is filled with surprising stories and spectacular cinematography.

14) Undercover Boss Season Premiere (CBS)
Bosses go undercover to spy on their employees and reward a few in order to feel better about themselves (I might be slightly mistaken about this)

15) Vampires Vs. The Bronx (Netflix)
A group of young friends from the Bronx fight to save their neighborhood from a band of vampires.

16) Warrior Season Two Premiere (Cinemax)
Set during the Tong Wars in the late 1800s, Ah Sahm, a martial arts prodigy originating from China to San Francisco, ends up becoming a hatchet man for the most powerful tong in Chinatown.

17) You've Got This aka Ahi te Encargo (Netflix)
An ad creative and a successful executive have a great marriage - until he wants to be a dad just as her star is rising. Then he brings someone new home.

A series of challenges push Mildred and Ethel's magical powers to the limit as they compete for the honor of being named Head Girl.

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, 02 October 2020 14:22

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, October 1st, 2020

Written by 01 October, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, October 1st, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by room temperature coffee and Cheez-Its. After battling a cold for a few days, it's good to be somewhat back to normal.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR THE TCA?
ABC has just wrapped up two days of a virtual press tour that connected television critics and journalists with stars from a number of current and upcoming ABC shows. While the phrase "the new norm" is overused to the point of being a cliche, these virtual press tours are the new norm. A bunch of journalists sitting on Zoom calls all day.

Which has got me thinking about what the future holds for one of the primary ways that TV journalists connect with the people they cover: the twice-a-year gatherings of the Television Critics Association (TCA). Each January and July, 200 or so people who cover television on a regular basis spend a couple of weeks in a Pasadena hotel participating in panels and presentations presented by the various TV networks, cable channels and streaming services. It's the opportunity to meet people face-to-face, put together interviews for the upcoming months and eat a lot of bacon. 

The July 2020 gathering was postponed and then canceled, replaced with a patchwork of virtual press tours and while no one is talking publicly about the future, it's difficult to see a scenario in which the upcoming January gathering will take place in person. To be honest, based on the latest scientific data, it's likely the gathering set to take place in July 2021 will be virtual as well. And given that, what does that mean for the future of in-person TCA gatherings?

I've long argued the the practice of getting together twice a year is a nice idea that has outlived its usefulness. An argument which hasn't won over many critics, but it has meant that I'm not a member of the TCA. And that has generally not been a problem for me. Other than the fact that many networks use the TCA membership list as their defacto contact list for TV critics. So I spend an inordinate amount of time making sure networks keep me in the loop when they're setting up interviews and doing press events.

Meeting people in the industry face-to-face is great. There are chances to speak off-the-record and over drinks. I love set visits for this very reason, but as I write this it's difficult to imagine when those will happen again.

But from a strictly business point of view, assembling a couple of hundred critics in a room and presenting a cast for questions is a very old-school idea. It dates back to a time when most new shows premiered in the spring and fall and when a couple of weeks of panels could cover every new show worth knowing. We now live in an industry where TV is premiering every single day of the year and the flood of new programs is more than any one person could possibly cover. Combine those facts with the growth of technology that makes virtual conference calls more seamless and it increasingly makes less sense to gather critics together in person when most of the same goals can be accomplished online for a lot less money.

And that's a challenge for the TCA, since their primary qualification for membership is the willingness to attend those twice-yearly gatherings and take advantage of the access. There's a version of the future that could include a mostly-virtual TCA serving as primarily a clearinghouse for vetting who matters and who doesn't. But does that mission really meet the needs of the networks and other industry partners?

IS IT TOO EARLY TO DESCRIBE AMAZON'S 'UTOPIA' AS A FAILURE?
Since we only can generally only judge a streaming show's success or failure using vague metrics like social media "buzz" and search interest, it can be challenging to determine just how successful any individual program might be just a week after its release. But based on the reaction from audiences and the resulting lack of buzz over the past week, I'm leaning towards labeling the new expensive original drama Utopia a well-meaning failure.

The original version of Utopia aired for two seasons on the U.K.'s Channel 4 and the series was just a magnificent explosion of color and violence that reminded me a lot of Twin Peaks. Dennis Kelly created a show that was unique and entertaining and in theory, some American network or streamer should have just picked up that version of Utopia. Instead, David Fincher decided he wanted to reimagine the series and took the project to HBO. But after that network passed on the series due to concerns about the cost, Fincher's Gone Girl partner Gillian Flynn decided to take over the project and ultimately sold it to Amazon.

The series premiered last Friday on Amazon and in some ways, the timing of the reboot is unfortunate. At this point in 2020,  a series about a pandemic might seem a bit too real. Even if the pandemic in the show is caused by an evil corporation. But the bigger problem with this version of Utopia is that it stripped everything that was distinctive out of the original and made the premise more American and much more linear. In the end, Amazon's Utopia is a well-made but not especially compelling drama that is most notable for what it doesn't quite get right.

And those flaws were enough to keep audiences from embracing the series. Or at least, that's the impression I get from the outside.


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

1) All Because Of You aka Pasal Kau (Netflix)
After falling for a guest, an unsuspecting hotel staff becomes embroiled in a hostage scheme and discovers true love in an unlikely place.

2) A World Of Calm Series Premiere (HBO Max)
A timely antidote for our modern lives, each half-hour episode takes audiences on an immersive visual journey into another world. Building on the record-breaking success of Calm’s Sleep Stories™ – bedtime stories for grown ups with over 250m listens – each relaxing tale is designed to transform how you feel. Transporting the viewer into tranquility through scientifically-engineered narratives, enchanting music and astounding footage, to naturally calm your body and soothe the mind. Each story is brought to life by a different iconic voice and will take viewers on a journey everywhere from a noodle maker’s kitchen in Seattle, to the forests of Latvia, and beyond our solar system to the outer stretches of the universe. Launching Thursday, October 1 on HBO Max, the soothing imagery and tranquil narration will provide audiences of all ages a respite from the stress and chaos of everyday life right now.

3) Bellingcat (Topic)
This documentary takes viewers inside the exclusive world of the "citizen investigative journalist" collective known as Bellingcat. In cases ranging from the MH17 disaster to the poisoning of a Russian spy in the United Kingdom, the Bellingcat team's quest for truth will shed light on the fight for journalistic integrity in the era of fake news and alternative facts.

4) Code 404 Series (Peacock)
The series follows DI John Major (Daniel Mays, "White Lines") and DI Roy Carver (Stephen Graham, "Boardwalk Empire"), the best of the best at an elite police unit. After Major's cover is blown and he is met with his untimely death, he is brought back to life with some glitchy AI technology. Now, he's better than ever - or so he thinks.

5) Connecting Series Premiere (NBC)
An ensemble comedy about a group of friends trying to stay close (and sane) through video chats as they share the highs and lows of these extraordinary times.

6) CripTales Series Premiere (BBC America)
A collection of six short films each written, directed and performed by a person living with disabilities. Each film within the collection is a fictional monologue capturing a life-changing moment for a person with disabilities, based on factual research and lived experience spanning the last 50 years of British history. 

7) Gangs Of London Season Premiere (AMC+)
Set in the heart of one of the world’s most dynamic and multicultural cities, Gangs of London tells the story of city being torn apart by the turbulent power struggles of the international gangs that control it and the sudden power vacuum that’s created when the head of London’s most powerful crime family is assassinated. For 20 years, Finn Wallace (Colm Meaney) was the most powerful criminal in London. Billions of pounds flowed through his organisation each year. But now he’s dead – and nobody knows who ordered the hit. With rivals everywhere, it’s up to the impulsive Sean Wallace (Joe Cole), with the help of the Dumani family headed by Ed Dumani (Lucian Msamati) to take his father’s place. if the situation wasn’t already dangerous enough, Sean’s assumption of power causes ripples in the world of international crime. Perhaps the one man who might be able to help him and be his ally is Elliot Finch (Sope Dirsu), who up until now, has been one of life’s losers, a lowlife chancer with a mysterious interest in the Wallace family. But as the wind of fate blows, Elliot finds himself transported to the inner workings of the largest criminal organisation in London.

8) Let's Be Real (Fox)
The satirical comedy event will cover politics, pop culture and the 2020 election through topical sketches featuring puppets, celebrity cameos and remote pieces.

9) Oktoberfest: Beer & Blood (Netflix)
1900: A rich newcomer with a shady past arrives in Munich determined to crash the local Oktoberfest with his own brewery. But when his daughter falls in love with the heir to a rival brewery, a violent chain of events is unleashed that will threaten both families’ futures.

10) Released Series Premiere (YouTube)
The series will be YouTube’s prime destination for everything happening in music each week with episodes including unfiltered access to the featured chart-topping artist with exclusive performances and announcements.

11) The Salisbury Poisonings (AMC+)
This limited-run series tells the remarkable story of how ordinary people and public services reacted to a crisis on their doorstep, displaying extraordinary heroism as their city became the focus of an unprecedented national emergency. In March 2018, the eyes of the world turned to the British city of Salisbury when it became the epicenter of what has been described as one of the biggest political events of the 21st century – but until now, the heroic acts behind the headlines have not been told. Within three days of the assassination attempt on double agent and spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, key agencies discovered that a lethal nerve agent called Novichok was used, just half a teaspoon of which could kill 20,000 people. Within four days, hundreds of traces were found across the city, and, just when things were finally thought to be under control, a perfume bottle containing the nerve agent was discovered, throwing the investigation into renewed chaos.

12) The Worst Witch Season Four Premiere (Netflix)
A series of challenges push Mildred and Ethel's magical powers to the limit as they compete for the honor of being named Head Girl.

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, 01 October 2020 13:48

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
Page 3 of 5