Displaying items by tag: Too Much TV

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, April 15th, 2021

15 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, April 15th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Cinnabon-flavored coffee and pineapple.

I mentioned last week that I was dealing with some medical stuff and that has impacted my work in general, including this newsletter. With any luck, things are settling down now and everything will get back to a more predictable schedule. Today's newsletter is a bit short, but hopefully things should be back to normal tomorrow.

HOW MUCH IS AMAZON SPENDING ON CONTENT?
While the news that Amazon Prime has reached more than 200 million subscribers worldwide is getting a lot of headlines, Hollywood Reporter editor and reporter Alex Weprin pulled an interesting data point out of Amazon's latest 10-K: "the company spent $11 billion on video and music content last year. Up from $7.8 billion in 2019. Big increase."

In response to a question from me, he also provided a back-of-the-envelope estimation of how much of that $11 billion content spend last year was on music:

Amazon Music had about 55 million subs a year ago, half as many as Spotify. Spotify paid $5B in royalties to artists, so Amazon would be around $2.5B.

It's an interesting figure and it certainly matters that Amazon has aggressively increased the rate of its spend on content year-over-year. Still, it's difficult to know what it means, since there are so many other unknowables in this story. How much of the video spend is on original content vs licensing? How many of Amazon's 200 million subscribers actually watch the videos in any given month? Is the content spend for non-English programming increasing faster or slower than the rate for English-language programing?  So given all the lack of context, this ends up being an interesting number that doesn't provide any clarity on Amazon's business or how well it is performing when compared to Netflix.

THE CASE FOR DIGINET NEWS CHANNELS
One America News Network (OAN), the news network perched somewhere to the Right of Newsmax, announced last Friday that it is launching "OAN Plus," a broadcast digital sub channel that will have its first launch on a TV station in the Las Vegas market.

Aside from the discussion about whether having wide distribution for a network such as OAN is a good idea for American society, it did highlight the fact that for whatever reason, none of the big broadcast network affiliates have included a news channel as one of their digital sub channels. Both CBS and ABC have 24/7 news networks that get wide distribution on AVOD services and other streaming outlets. So simply adding a diginet channels seems like an easy decision and it certainly wouldn't interfere with branding efforts.

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WANTING TO CHANGE THE FOCUS OF YOUR NETWORK AND ACTUALLY DOING IT
HGTV announced another new series today and the premise is going to sound really familiar regular viewers of the network. In Fix My Flip, real estate expert Paige Turner (who previously hosted the series Flip Or Flop Nashville):

...help SoCal’s overwhelmed flippers by taking over their flip. She is betting on her expertise by putting her own money down to help them get them back on track to make top dollar. Powered by her proven success, insider knowledge of the local real estate market and a dose of tough love, Page is ready to lend her expertise to floundering flippers.

Forgive me for not being excited about yet another HGTV series focused on flipping house in southern California. The show certainly isn't going to offend anyone, but it seems like the safest possible choice the network.

And that's a perplexing decision, given that network executives have argued in several recent interviews that HGTV is altering its programming mix to better reflect the changing audience. If that is indeed the desire of the network, why not focus on some ideas that speak to a 2021 audience? For instance, how has HGTV not launched a series that focuses on the challenges of people trying to carve out space for them to work from home? This trend is going to continue, with many companies now deciding to have their employees work at least partly from home. And for most people, that involves carving out a Zoo call-friendly space out of a corner of a bedroom or under-used part of the kitchen. Maybe I don't understand the audience dynamics at play here, but ordering another flip show feels like a holding action.

CBS RENEWS 'NCIS,' "BULL,' MORE...
Most of the decisions aren't a big surprise, but CBS has announced a number of renewals for its long-running procedurals. The broadcast network ordered a twelfth season of Blue Bloods, a sixth season of Bull, a fourth season of Magnum P.I. and a fifth season of S.W.A.T. The Hollywood Reporter is also reporting the network has come to an agreement with Mark Harmon, which will bring back NCIS for a nineteenth season. It's not clear how many episodes will feature Harmon, who originally planned to leave the show at the end of the current season.

TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Dark City: Beneath The Beat (Netflix)
In this documentary, TT The Artist captures the irrepressible bounce and infectious beats of a Baltimore club scene that demands to be heard.

2) Infinity Train (HBO Max)
In Book 3, Grace and Simon are the leaders of the Apex, an anarchic group of kids on a mysterious train. During one of their destructive missions, Grace and Simon get separated from the rest of the Apex and must find their way back. As the duo navigate through the myriad worlds of the train, they meet Hazel, an optimistic young girl, and Tuba, her gentle gorilla companion. Will Grace and Simon find new inspiration in Hazel’s innocence, or will the ways of the Apex recruit yet another aboard the train?

3) Restaurant Recovery Series Premiere (Discovery+)
Restaurateur and philanthropist Todd Graves is rolling up his sleeves to help struggling restaurant owners recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

4) Ride Or Die (Netflix)
Rei helps the woman she’s been in love with for years escape her abusive husband. While on the run, their feelings for each other catch fire.

5) Banishing (Shudder)
In the 1930s, a young reverend, his wife and daughter move into a manor with a horrifying secret.

6) The Swim (Discovery+)
Ben Lecomte makes a historic swim across the Pacific Ocean.

7) The Wordmaker Series Premiere (Topic)
Complex family dynamics come to light when Dr. Ari Milus, a family man and a professor of sleep disorders, wakes up one night at a bar, with no memory of how he got there. He goes back to his old neighborhood in Jerusalem to consult with the doctor who treated his childhood parasomnia, but in the morning the doctor is found dead, and Dr. Milus is the prime suspect. A series of murders forces him to confront his troubled past within a religious sect, led by a charismatic and revered figure named “The Wordmaker” – a man who disappeared and whose actions led to the death of Dr. Milus’s mother.

10)  Wahl Street Series Premiere (HBO Max)
Mark Wahlberg juggles the demands of a rigorous film schedule coupled with an ever-growing network of diverse businesses including his clothing line, Municipal; his gym studio, F45; restaurant chain Wahlburgers and his production company, Unrealistic Ideas.

11) Wave Of Cinema (Netflix)
Walk down memory lane and experience the soundtrack to the film "Generasi 90an: Melankolia" through nostalgic performances.

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 Friday, April 9th, 2021

09 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, April 9th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Werther's Candy and ginger ale.

ROKU RECOMMENDS: THE FINE LINE BETWEEN CONTENT DISCOVERY AND JUST ANOTHER AD UNIT
Digiday is reporting that Roku is pitching a new video ad unit called "Roku Recommends" to advertisers:

Roku will tease Roku Recommends through the display ad that appears on the right side of the platform’s home screen. After a person clicks on the banner, a video will play in which a host will highlight certain programming available from apps across Roku’s platform. The video is expected to run for five to seven minutes and will be presented by a sponsor — for example, “Roku Recommends, brought you to by Brand X” — with the brand’s logo also appearing on the display ad that links to the video, the agency executives said.

Roku has not detailed to agency executives what specific TV shows and movies will be promoted from which services or how that programming will be selected for inclusion, but the executives said they expect major streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and HBO Max to be included as well as Roku’s own The Roku Channel. 

I don't want to be one of those people who constantly touts their predictive powers, but it is worth noting that a few months ago I suggested that Hulu produce genre-specific original videos which would look very much like this idea. 5-7 minutes that highlight some programs or movies that might be under the radar of subscribers. There were some differences in my idea. The videos would be weekly, so subscribers could add the video to their feed so they wouldn't miss the latest edition. I also strongly suggested that the programs be editorially independent. In other words, the programs being highlighted aren't being selected by the advertisers.

I still like the idea and I believe it would be very helpful for subscribers overwhelmed by choices. As well as being a way to remind subscribers why Hulu is such a great deal. 

Roku Recommends could be a similar type of content discovery tool. But it sounds primarily more like another way to deliver ads. And if that is the way it is approached, it might be a good deal for advertisers, but it will just be more clutter for viewers.

SONY OUTPUT DEALS OUTSIDE OF THE U.S.
Yesterday's big media news was the deal between Sony Pictures Television and Netflix that was giving the streamer a Pay-One window for a number of Sony films beginning in 2022. It also includes an unspecified number of older catalog Sony films.

But if you're wondering why the deal was limited to the U.S., the simple answer is that Sony has a patchwork of local and regional output deals globally, all of them expiring at different times. It's not easy to figure out the scope and details of the deals from public pronouncements, but here are a few details I've put together for a longer piece I'm posting next week. These are just a few random notes, to give you an idea of the complications involved in trying to cover Sony's various international deals.

* In July of last year, Sony Pictures Television renewed a deal with Sky gives the Comcast-owned pay-TV operator access to Sony’s movies across the UK and Ireland, Germany, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. At the time, it was described as a "long-term" deal that built on an earlier 2016 agreement. It doesn't appear to be a first-run deal, but it apparently includes a package of better-known recent titles that would be appear on Sky Cinema as well as a package of older titles. To complicate matters even more, the UK part of the deal also includes some Sony TV titles, including The Blacklist, The Good Doctor and S.W.A.T.

* In 2017, Sony Pictures Television signed a deal with the Alibaba Group-owned Chinese online video service Youku, which appears to include some sort of Pay-One window as well as access to a number of other Sony films. It's not clear if it included any TV titles and while the duration of the deal wasn't revealed at the time, it appears to still be in effect. The two companies had signed a previous licensing deal in 2015, but that agreement only made the Sony films available for purchase.

* Because Sony has such an extensive portfolio, no one streamer or pay network has access to all or even most of the Sony Pictures Television catalog. Which makes it extremely difficult to decide whether any specific deal is a good one. Sony frequently seems to license individual movies or TV shows globally instead of including them as part of an overall larger package. One good example of this is the TV series Alex Rider, which was licensed in over 100 territories in a complicated mix of deals:

Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT Group) has picked up the series for their streaming service Viaplay in Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

Lionsgate-owned streamer Starzplay has licensed the show for broadcast in multiple territories across the Middle East and North Africa, while MNET has acquired the series for Showmax across Sub-Saharan Africa including South Africa.

Across Asia, buyers include Sony Liv in India, Korea Telecom in South Korea, and U-Next bringing the series to Japan. TVNZ are streaming the series in New Zealand. Last week, SPT revealed the series will air Amazon Prime Video in the U.K. from June 4.

The series has also been picked up by Moviestar Plus in Spain, Kinopoisk HD in Russia, and will air on Nova in Greece, and DSmart in Turkey. AXN will broadcast the series across multiple European territories, including Portugal, Hungary, Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

* All of this is complicated by the fact that Sony operates a large number of television and digital channels internationally. No two channels seem to have the same access to Sony Pictures Television content and because at least some of Sony's licensing deals seem to be non-exclusive, it's pretty much impossible for the outside to figure out which package of films and/or TV is licensed to a specific service.

But to be honest. I am less interested in the details of any specific deal than I am with how global licensing is structured and how it's evolved over the past few years. As an example, for Western Europe is a very different market than Eastern Europe and South Korea is very different from The Philippines. The licensing chalklnges are very different depending on where you are and while Netflix & Amazon might be the only truly global streaming services (for now), some local streamers dominate their markets. This Sony/Netflix reminds me that there is a lot in this segment of the industry that is under-reported in the entertainment press  and I one of my goals in the medium-term is to bring some clarity to the global streaming markets for the readers of this newsletter and AllYourScreens.com.



TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Doing The Most With Phoebe Robinson Series Premiere (Comedy Central)
It's a talk show, but instead of sitting down on plush couches for a few minutes of banter about her guest's latest project, they're taking their discussion out into the world.

2) Ed Gein: The Real Psycho (Discovery+)
Sixty years after arrest of serial killer Ed Gein, documentary film producer and paranormal investigator Steve Shippy and world-renowned psychic medium Cindy Kaza travel to Gein’s hometown in Plainfield, Wisconsin, to conduct investigations of the most haunted locations connected to the infamous killer. For the first time in history, cameras are allowed on the Gein property where the gruesome evidence was first discovered. Shippy and Kaza also meet up with local residents who provide insight on Gein and discover never-before-seen artifacts believed to be used by this malevolent monster on his helpless victims. With each investigation, the team reveals more evidence to determine what was behind his drive to kill.

2) Heaven Official's Blessing (Netflix)
Banished to the mortal realm to exorcise ghosts, a deity must reckon with a demon and soon uncovers a dark secret behind the heavenly gods.

3) Have You Ever Seen Fireflies? (Netflix)
Rebellious, irreverent wunderkind Gülseren navigates loneliness, love and loss against the current of political turmoil and social change.

4) Night In Paradise (Netflix)
Hiding out in Jeju Island following a brutal tragedy, a wronged mobster with a target on his back connects with a woman who has her own demons.

5) Secrets In The Woods (LMN)
Sandra is excited to go on a romantic cabin getaway in the woods with her new boyfriend, Brant. Everything is going well until Sandra begins to feel like someone is watching them. Brant dismisses her worries as a city girl out of her element. But when Sandra sees a strange man lurking, she runs for her life. Unable to escape, she learns the man is Brant’s father, Langley, who’s been using his son to lure women into the cabin to hold them captive until they agree to assume the role of his deceased wife. 

6) Them Series Premiere (Amazon)
Produced by Lena Waithe and created by writer Little Marvin, the small screen's latest horror anthology will devote each season to a single, stand-alone story. This debut season, subtitled Covenant, centers on an African-American family that moves from North Carolina to an all-white (and, apparently, haunted) L.A. neighborhood in 1953. 

7) Thunder Force (Netflix)
Two childhood best friends reunite as an unlikely crime-fighting superhero duo when one invents a formula that gives ordinary people superpowers.

8) Two Distant Strangers (Netflix)
All he wants is to get home to his dog. But when he steps out the door, the worst day of his life begins....over and over again.

9) We Children From Bahnhof Zoo (Amazon)


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, April 8th, 2021

08 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, April 8th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by iced coffee and peeps on a stick.

NETFLIX SIGNS U.S. OUTPUT DEAL WITH SONY
There aren't a lot of deals that very obviously have a winner and a loser. But when Netflix and Sony announced today that the streamer had signed a Pay 1 window deal in the U.S. for Sony films beginning next year, the deal was one that is a very positive get for Netflix. And it also leaves Starz as the big loser, since it will lose access to the first-run Sony movies at the end of this year.

As is generally the case with these output deals, specifics are a bit hard to come by, but most of what has been publicly reported is similar to what is in this Variety article:

Netflix already had a deal with Sony Pictures for all of its animated releases. Starting with next year’s slate, all movies from the various film banners on the Culver City lot — including Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Classics, Screen Gems and TriStar Pictures — will stream exclusively on Netflix after their theatrical and home entertainment releases. That promises to bring to Netflix future installments of the “Spiderman,” “Venom” and “Jumanji” franchises, among others. The pay 1 window usually begins about nine months after a film’s theatrical release, although that timetable may have been sped up for Netflix. Over the course of the pandemic, Sony has sold multiple slate titles to Netflix outright, including Kevin Hart’s “Fatherhood,” and the animated films “The Mitchells Vs. The Machines” and “Wish Dragon.”

According to various reports, Netflix will be paying a traditional sliding scale for each movie, based on its domestic and/or international box office. Which means that Netflix and Sony both expect the theatrical business to be recovered by next year. It also implies that it is in Sony's best interest to maximize the box office take of the movies as much as possible.

This deal is more than just a Pay 1 window deal. It also covers a number of other Sony film properties-both new and old:

Netflix has also set a first-look agreement with Sony for all of the studio’s original movies produced for the direct-to-streaming market. That deal also requires Netflix to commit to a certain number of titles from the studio, but it doesn’t stop Sony from selling direct-to-streaming titles to Netflix’s rivals. And Netflix will license an unspecified number of older titles from Sony’s movie vault.

Variety is also reporting that Sony is working on some sort of other theatrical deal outside of this Netflix deal. But it's not clear what that might be, although the two best options would either be a package of older films not part of the Netflix deal or some sort of an international output deal for territories outside the U.S.

As I mentioned at the top, this deal is a body blow for Starz. The Sony films comprise a large percentage of their new movies and while the service has found success with its television projects in the past few years, this will leave a hole in their library. And unfortunately, there aren't a lot of places to go to replace the films. The next big output deal is the HBO-Universal deal, which expires in 2022. And even if there was a big output deal available, Lionsgate (which owns Starz) doesn't have the deep pocketbooks needed to compete with the bigger streamers and premium movie services. If you combine this loss with the recent deal that sent the two "Knives Out" sequels to Netflix, then any way you slice it, Lionsgate has had a staggeringly tough week.

IT'S HARDER TO BE AN ARMS DEALER WHEN YOU ALSO NEED THE BEST WEAPONS
Sony refers to itself as an "arms dealer" when it comes to licensing content and as today's output deal with Netflix illustrates, the plan to sell to the highest bidder has worked out very well for the company.

Viacom/CBS also considers itself an "arms dealer," but the problem with their plan is that they also own a general interest streamer (Paramount+) as well as a premium TV service (Showtime). And those complications mean that very often the company is trading the chance to build up their pay services in exchange for a quick hit of revenue.

For example, it was announced today that the Chris Pratt sci-fi movie The Tomorrow War to Amazon Prime. So not only is Viacom/CBS not keeping the movie for its own services, it has now licensed a movie that Amazon apparently plans to premiere on July 2nd. The same day Paramount's Top Gun: Maverick hits movie theaters.

While I have to say that I don't understand the long-term vision of the Viacom/CBS "arms dealer" approach, I do have to commend the company for sticking to the plan even though it is doing immense damage to other parts of the company.

KATEY SAGAL, ANDY GARCIA

TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Bringing Up Bates Season Premiere (Up)
The married couples are continuing to grow their families as we see pregnancy announcements and gender reveals all season. Katie and Travis work on their relationship and may be headed for another big step. But this season is not just about the girls and their pending nuptials…will the new season finally see a Bates boy headed to the altar?

2) Chef Boot Camp Series Premiere (Food)
In each episode, three struggling chefs embark on a three-day boot camp with Cliff Crooks who will assess their skills in the kitchen and address their areas for improvement. After an introduction to each chef that reveals what brought them to boot camp, he gets a firsthand look and taste of one of their signature dishes to begin to understand what the issues may be. Next, the chefs must demonstrate fundamental cooking techniques of a classic dish which they must create on time and to Cliff’s satisfaction, showing their skills, knowledge, and ability in the kitchen. Then, the chefs must bring it altogether - working a fast-paced, live dinner service at one of Cliff’s restaurants, and then, finally, whipping up a creative, new dish for their restaurant owners to demonstrate their growth and progress from boot camp. Some will rise to the challenge while others will not, with the fate of their career in the hands of chef Cliff.

3) Everything's Gonna Be Okay Season Premiere (Freeform)
After their heartbreaking trip to New York, the Moss family and Nicholas’ boyfriend, Alex, are just trying their best to move forward. With everyone back home, Matilda is rethinking her life goals, Genevieve starts putting herself out there – even dating – and Nicholas is working out how to balance being a brother, parental figure, boyfriend, and cute entomologist. This season also welcomes new eccentric friends, unexpected hookups, and a lot more bugs.

4) Fire Masters Season Premiere (Cooking)
Teams of open-flame fanatics light the match and heat the coals in this ultimate grilling competition. They face off in three blazing culinary challenges, pushing their talents to the limit as they cook up creative, flame-kissed dishes. After two eliminations, the remaining team faces an epic throwdown with a Fire Masters judge and an opportunity to win $10,000 and the coveted Fire Master title.

5) First To The Top Of The World (Discovery+)
It starts out like a bad joke - an insurance salesman and a doctor walk into a bar - but this epic, true story ends with the most unlikely team of explorers re-writing the history books by becoming the first people to actually reach the north pole.

6) Going From Broke (Crackle)
The first season of Going From Broke gave ten young people radical financial makeovers. Now, exec producers Ashton Kutcher and Dan Rosensweig are going live with all new stories. Each week, watch brand new episodes in “real time” as tales from the global pandemic unfold, taking audiences inside the live process of financial transformation.

7) No Activity Season Four Premiere (Paramount+)
This season, Patrick Brammall reprises his role as Special Agent Nick Cullen, who is finally realizing his dream of joining the FBI, only to quickly discover being an FBI “special agent” isn’t what he expected it to be. When he’s assigned to a seemingly dull observation detail, he finds a potential career case in the form of an emerging cult. When a large-scale operation takes aim at the cult, it’s unclear which side will break first. Despite the promotion, Cullen’s path continues to cross with former partner Judd Tolbeck’s (Tim Meadows), who is also adjusting to life with a new partner (Joe Keery) of his own.

8) Rebel Series Premiere (ABC)
Inspired by the life of Erin Brockovich today, Annie “Rebel” Bello is a blue-collar legal advocate without a law degree. She’s a funny, messy, brilliant and fearless woman who cares desperately about the causes she fights for and the people she loves. When Rebel applies herself to a fight she believes in, she will win at almost any cost.

9) Secrets In The Basement (LMN)
Delilah and Shawn's new house seems perfect. But there's a masked figure hiding in their basement.

10) Story Of Kale: When Someone's In Love (Netflix)
After leaving a toxic relationship, Dinda embarks on a romance with Kale, whose view on love soon shatters as he wrestles with his own insecurities.

11) The Power (Shudder)
London, 1974. As Britain prepares for electrical blackouts to sweep across the country, trainee nurse Val (Rose Williams) arrives for her first day at the crumbling East London Royal Infirmary. With most of the patients and staff evacuated to another hospital, Val is forced to work the night shift, finding herself in a dark, near empty building. Within these walls lies a deadly secret, forcing Val to face both her own traumatic past and deepest fears in order to confront the malevolent force that’s intent on destroying everything around her.

12) The Way Of The Househusband (Netflix)
After disappearing from the underworld, the legendary yakuza Tatsu, "the Immortal Dragon," resurfaces — as a fiercely devoted stay-at-home husband.


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 Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

07 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, April 7th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by iced coffee and peeps on a stick.

My apologies for the lack of a newsletter yesterday. I am undergoing some medical stuff this week and it's making my workday a bit unpredictable. And some of the newsletter's might be shorter (and later) than normal. But things should hopefully settle down after this week.

NETFLIX FINALLY MAKES A CASE FOR INTERACTIVE PROGRAMMING
Netflix has spent a lot of time and effort over the past several years on its "interactive" programming. Which is essentially their version of a "Choose Your Own Adventure" episode, although they legally can't call it that.

But for all of their attempts, most of the interactive episodes have felt more like a curiosity than a legitimate form of entertainment. While the interactive technology is generally intuitive and reliable (excepting that horrible Bear Grylls episode), the biggest problem has been matching the interactivity to the right content. One of the best things about those old "Choose Your Adventure" books is that some of the most entertaining moments come from the many unexpected ways your character can die or face the consequences of some life-altering decision. And for better or worse, most IP owners aren't willing to sign off on a script that kills their characters multiple times. 

Netflix released their latest effort yesterday and The Last Kids On Earth: Happy Apocalypse To You is the interactive episode we have all been waiting for. If you're not familiar with the animated series, it centers around a small group of kids who are living through a zombie apocalypse. It has plenty of monsters of all kinds and while there is a fair amount of danger involved in each episode, the show also a lot of wit and heart. The Last Kids On Earth doesn't take itself seriously and that makes the show the perfect platform for an interactive adventure.

The biggest change from Netflix's previous interactive episodes is that the characters in this episode can die. In fact, you'll be hard-pressed to get through the episode without killing off one or more of the characters multiple times. Various characters can get turned into zombies, forcibly turned into 2-D creature, drafted into becoming some lonely monster's surrogate baby or eaten by multiple creatures. Even better, choosing what seems to be the safest option often ends up with the entire team being killed in some randomly unexpected way. Other choices simply take you the long way around to the next challenge or back to the previous decision. And like in the "Choose Your Adventure" books, the screw-ups and missteps are half of the fun of the journey.

I don't often write what is close to being a traditional review in this newsletter. But I wanted to highlight this episode for anyone who is curious about the future of interactive programming.The Last Kids On Earth: Happy Apocalypse To You illustrates that this technology can be more than just a gimmick in the right hands. This episode is a blast to "play."

ADVENTURES IN USER INTERFACES
Roku is rapidly expanding the range of its content for the Roku Channel and in the past couple of months they've made deal to acquire content ranging from the leavings of Quibi to the complete This Old House programming library. But having all of that content doesn't help if viewers can't find it.

Looking through the Roku Channel app today, I was reminded that it doesn't have a "wish list" or "save" option. Which means that if you stumble across a program you'd like to watch later as you scroll through the dozens of genres and categories, you have to remember its there and hope you can find it again when you're ready to watch it. It's an easy fix and would help a lot with content discovery, which is the biggest challenge for any streaming service. 

AND SPEAKING OF CONTENT DISCOVERY
Let's play a little game right now. Based on the demos for this newsletter, most of you are pretty wired into what is going on in the world of television. So presumably, you are the audience most likely to be aware of new programming. ABC is premiering a new scripted comedy tonight executive produced and starring Topher Grace. How many of you can name the show? Or for this newsletter's AP students, what is the premise of the show?

And that, my friends, is one of the biggest challenges of content discovery. Yes, it's been a weird pandemic-filled year and that means that the broadcast networks are suffering through some real challenges with their content pipeline. Still, so many times it feels as if these new broadcast shows are just falling in the forest without anyone even knowing they existed. 

BTW, for the answer to this question, see below:

TOPHER GRACE, JIMMY TATRO

TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Dolly Parton: A MusiCares Tribute (Netflix)
In a star-studded evening of music and memories, a community of iconic performers honor Dolly Parton as the MusiCares Person of the Year.

2) Exterminate All The Brutes (HBO)
Acclaimed filmmaker Raoul Peck presents a four-part series that provides a visually arresting journey through time, into the darkest hours of humanity. Through his personal voyage, Peck deconstructs the making and masking of history, digging deep into the exploitative and genocidal aspects of European colonialism – from America to Africa and its impact on society today – challenging the audience to re-think the very notion of how history is being written.

3) Home Economics Series Premiere (ABC)
Starring and executive produced by Topher Grace, this scripted comedy takes a look at the heartwarming yet super uncomfortable and sometimes frustrating relationship between three adult siblings: one in the 1%, one middle-class and one barely holding on. The comedy is inspired by the life of writer and executive producer Michael Colton.

4) Kung Fu Series Premiere (The CW)
A quarter-life crisis causes a young Chinese American woman, Nicky Shen (Olivia Liang), to drop out of college and go on a life-changing journey to an isolated monastery in China.  But when she returns to San Francisco, she finds her hometown is overrun with crime and corruption and her own parents Jin (Tzi Ma) and Mei-Li (Kheng Hua Tan) are at the mercy of a powerful Triad.  Nicky will rely on her tech-savvy sister Althea (Shannon Dang) and Althea’s fiancé Dennis (Tony Chung), pre-med brother Ryan (Jon Prasida), Assistant District Attorney and ex-boyfriend Evan (Gavin Stenhouse), and new love interest Henry (Eddie Liu) as well as her martial arts skills and Shaolin values to protect her community and bring criminals to justice…all while searching for the ruthless assassin who killed her Shaolin mentor Pei-Ling (Vanessa Kai) and is now targeting her.

5) Save My Skin Season Premiere (TLC)
TLC heads across the pond to the private practice of Dr. Emma Craythorne, one of England’s top dermatologists, as she diagnoses and treats patients with some of the most extreme skin conditions in the United Kingdom.

6) Snabba Cash (Netflix)
The lives of an ambitious businesswoman, a charming gang enforcer and a troubled teen collide amidst a desperate — and sinister — pursuit of wealth.

7) The Big Day Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
Time-honored customs marry with contemporary values — and of course, couture outfits — in this celebration of six more larger-than-life Indian weddings.

8) The Wedding Coach Series Premiere (Netflix)
Bridesmaids and in-laws and mason jars, oh my! Weddings are a beautiful cause for celebration, but planning one is far from a party. After barely making it down the aisle of her own wedding, comedian Jamie Lee is on a hilarious, heartwarming mission to help six engaged couples overcome the stressful real-life challenges that pop up before and on The Big Day.

9) This Is A Robbery: The World's Biggest Art Heist (Netflix)
In 1990, two men dressed as cops con their way into a Boston museum and steal a fortune in art. Take a deep dive into this daring and notorious crime.


AND IN CASE YOU WERE LEFT HANGING, HERE WERE TUESDAY'S PREMIERES:
1) Bannan Season Three Premiere (MHz Choice)
In this Scottish Gaelic drama, Màiri MacDonald returns home to the island she escaped eight years prior, fleeing its customs and a dysfunctional family. It turns out family ties – bannan – are enough to turn her visit into a much longer stay.

2) Chad Series Premiere (TBS)
A 14-year-old pubescent Persian boy (Nasim Pedrad) navigates his first year of high school on a mission to become popular. Chad's friendships and sanity are pushed to the limits as he uses every tactic at his disposal to befriend the cool kids, while enduring his mother's new dating life and reconciling with his cultural identity. Pedrad, who first made her mark on Saturday Night Live, is also creator, writer, executive producer and showrunner.

3) Le Petit Tour (MHz Choice)
Each episode takes viewers on a delicious culinary journey in France's Aosta Valley. Not only will the spectacular cheeses, wines, cured meats, breads, pastries and other regional products showcased in the series whet your appetite, you’ll also get to meet the producers of artisanal products who are preserving centuries-old cultural, historical and culinary traditions.

4) Storm Warning (MHz Choice)
As an unforgettable storm lashes the Breton town of Perros-Guirec, a ten-year-old boy goes missing. Starring Blandine Bellavoir (Agatha Christie’s Criminal Games) with Antoine Dulery (Perfect Murders).

5) The Last Kids On Earth: Happy Apocalypse To You (Netflix)
Help Jack and his monster-battling friends make choices to stay alive — and have some fun — in this interactive "Last Kids on Earth" adventure.

6) Wonderland Series Premiere (MHz Choice)
In this romantic fantasy-thriller, a man from the present travels back to 1960s Biarritz and meets a mysterious woman whose destiny is inexplicably linked with his own. Starring Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace, Oblivion).

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, April 5th, 2021

05 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, April 5th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by cinnamon coffee and random leftovers.

THE CASE FOR NETFLIX AND DRIVE-IN MOVIES
Last summer, I wrote a piece arguing that streamers such as Netflix which have original programming should consider screening some of their older titles in drive-in movies. And the passage of time just makes that idea seem even more practical.

One of the advantages Netflix has is that it owns an increasingly large amount of its original content. And owning things give you some flexibility in how you can use that content in marketing efforts. 

It's not easy owning a drive-in or independent movie theater. It's a battle to get popular titles and even when you can, they are extremely expensive. And then there are all of the weird contractual quirks, like the one that prohibited drive-ins from screening "Tenet" unless they are located in an area where the movie also ran in traditional movie theaters. The consolidation of Disney and Fox also led to a number of Fox movie titles being pulled from future bookings in indie movie theaters. These theaters are eager to get movies that are somewhat pre-sold and can acquired at a reasonable cost.

I'd like to see Netflix begin packaging some of their older titles for limited theatrical runs. These are titles that are likely on the long tail of their streaming viewership, but still would be interesting to see on a big screen. I certainly would pay to see Extraction or Rim Of The World on a big screen. And it would be a prime chance for some customer acquisition. Offer moviegoers a special code for a 3-month discount or some similar subscription-driving offer. Odds are that people watching a Netflix movie at a drive-in are less likely to be a current subscriber than the normal random American. And given that Netflix already owns NYC movie theater that runs older Netflix titles, rolling the idea out nationally into drive-ins seems like a natural brans extension.

There are some costs to Netflix for this idea. While the company doesn't discuss the contractual outlines of their productions, I spoke to a few people on background who have done projects for the streamer. In some cases, Netflix apparently has deals which would allow it to screen a film in theaters without any additional costs. But in some cases, a theatrical run would trigger some additional payouts or require an update to the original production deal. Either way, the costs are relatively modest and there is a decent upside to the idea. Especially given the press coverage that Netflix would get for the idea.

IN THE CATEGORY OF 'EVERYTHING OLD IS NEW AGAIN'
This 2007 NY Times piece by Richard Siklos will sound familiar to anyone who has read the business pages in recent months and wondered about the sudden explosion of "special purpose acquisition corporations," or SPACs. It turns out that these investment instruments have been around for a long time:

Last month, a company called Media & Entertainment Holdings led by Mr. Granath, the longtime ABC executive and former chairman of ESPN, raised $100 million by selling shares and warrants. In February, another SPAC called Churchill Ventures raised $108 million. Its chief executive, Christopher Bogart, is a former general counsel of Time Warner and chief executive of Time Warner Cable Ventures.

Last summer, a company led by Mr. Hartenstein, the founder and former chief executive of DirecTV, raised $150 million for a new company called HD Partners. Soon after, a company led by David C. McCourt, the former chief executive of RCN Communications, raised $90 million.

It would be interesting to go back and see how successful these SPACs were at identifying and acquiring money-making investment opportunities. But from my brief research this morning, it wasn't the smoothest of rides for some of these SPAC's. For instance, Christopher Bogart's Churchill Ventures was formed in 2006 and did an IPO in 2007, just before the economic downturn. The fund was liquidated in 2008. Spoiler: everyone lost a lot of money.

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HOW NETFLIX IS CREATING A COMMON EUROPEAN CULTURE
I've frequently written about how Netflix growing reliance on internationally-produced content is changing the way many Americans view global programming. But this piece in The Economist discusses the flip side of that conversation - the way that Netflix's global ambitions have inadvertently created a common viewing experience across Europe:

"Barbarians," a Netflix drama set 2,000 years ago in ancient Germania, inverts some modern stereotypes. In it, sexy, impulsive, proto-German tribesmen take on an oppressive superstate led by cold, rational Latin-speakers from Rome. Produced in Germany, it has all the hallmarks of a glossy American drama (gratuitous violence and prestige nudity) while remaining unmistakably German (in one episode someone swims through a ditch full of scheisse). It is a popular mix: on a Sunday in October, it was the most-watched show on Netflix not just in Germany, but also in France, Italy and 14 other European countries.

Moments when Europeans sit down and watch the same thing at roughly the same time used to be rare. They included the Eurovision Song Contest and the Champions League football, with not much in between. Now they are more common, thanks to the growth of streaming platforms such as Netflix, which has 58m subscribers on the continent. For most of its existence, television was a national affair. Broadcasters stuck rigidly to national borders, pumping out French programmes for the French and Danish ones for the Danes. Streaming services, however, treat Europe as one large market rather than 27 individual ones, with the same content available in each. Jean Monnet, one of the eu’s founding fathers, who came up with the idea of mangling together national economies to stop Europeans from killing each other, was once reputed to have said: “If I were to do it again from scratch, I would start with culture.” Seven decades on from the era of Monnet, cultural integration is beginning to happen.

As a side note, I loved Barbarians, but while it was very popular internationally, it barely cracked the lower reaches of the Top Ten lists here in the U.S. While American audiences seem to be embracing some genres of international television, it's a struggle to get them to watch foreign-made comedies or more serious historical dramas such as Barbarians or La Revolution! (a French-produced drama set in the French Revolution).

THREE QUICK RECOMMENDATIONS
It's Monday, so remember to watch Debris, the fabulous sci-fi series NBC has apparently decided to pretend doesn't exist. I'll have a recap of the episode up later this evening. And you should also check out two documentaries that were released on Friday. In both cases, I didn't have a review screener ahead of time, so I'm just posting review today. Netflix's White Boy is a true crime story that will leave you enraged by the corruption of everyone from the Detroit police and the state government to the local news media. You even get to see longtime Dateline reporter Chris Hanson admit that he *might* have not been fair in his coverage of a supposed 17-year-old drug kingpin. 

Hulu has We Work: Or The Making & Breaking Of A $47 Billion Unicorn, which is infuriating if you've ever had to listen to venture capitalists bray on and on about how smart they are when it comes to judging people. We Work was a disaster that most people should have seen coming. But because a lot of business reporters and investors are believers in the "all you need for success is a charismatic founder with vision," they allowed the story of We Work to overwhelm the company's actual financial story. One spoiler: this is not the documentary to watch if you are hoping to see a bad CEO punished for his hubris.


TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Bloodlands Series Finale (Acorn TV)
When an expensive car belonging to a well-known crime associate and containing a possible suicide note is pulled out of the sea at Strangford Lough, Brannick (James Nesbitt) instantly sees the connection to an infamous cold case with enormous personal importance. It seems someone is trying to force the police to re-open their investigation into a notorious and long-buried series of mysterious disappearances just prior to the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement ending The Troubles, the violent sectarian conflict that scarred Northern Ireland for three decades. Bloodlands follows Brannick’s obsessive campaign to identify and unmask the legendary assassin behind these events, “Goliath,” nicknamed after the famous giant shipyard crane that dominates the Belfast skyline.

2) Coded Bias (Netflix)
This documentary investigates the bias in algorithms after M.I.T. Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini uncovered flaws in facial recognition software.

3) Family Reunion Part 3 (Netflix)
The McKellans may be tight on funds, but the family's never lacking in love as they power through heartache, loss and adversity of all kinds this season.

4) Gutfeld! (Fox News)
Longtime Fox News anchor/host/guest Greg Gutfeld tries his hand at a late night talk show. It should be different.

5) Hemingway (PBS)
The three-part, six-hour film examines the life and work of Ernest Hemingway, one of the most influential writers America has ever produced. 

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, April 1st, 2021

01 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, April 1st, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by iced tea and a bucket of Tums.

AMC NETWORKS CEO JOSH SAPAN ON STREAMING
Sapan was recently interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter and he discusses a number of issues, including whether or not AMC's strategy for AMC+ is a good idea:

Last year, you also launched, for $8.99 monthly, or $6.99 for people who have AMC as part of a pay TV subscription, AMC+, which includes such ratings hits as The Walking Dead. Is AMC+ your way into offering a more broad-based streamer?

AMC+ is a bit of a "best of." You get Shudder and Sundance Now and select material from AMC, BBC America, IFC and you get new material. So it is focused ultimately on two things: prestige drama and epic worlds. So it is really quite focused. So you won't see kids programming, you won't see sports programming, you won't see news programming, you won't see nonfiction programming. It's a very clear proposition. You know what that AMC material is like, and it gets served up to you. "I like AMC-type shows that are character-driven dramas." It's very focused.

So you can buy Shudder and Sundance Now, and they'll cost you $11 or $12. Or you can buy AMC+ for $8.99. So it is a very great deal if you're predisposed toward that material. So we're doing essentially our own bundling. There are many bundles that are alive, and we have one,  and people are liking it and buying it. And if you're a subscriber to those services on Amazon, Amazon will say "convert to this and you'll save money."

THE ONE MEDIA-RELATED APRIL FOOL'S JOKE I WISH WAS TRUE
A few media companies attempted some sort of April Fool's Day joke today on social media and to be honest, while there weren't any huge public relations disasters, most of the ideas also weren't very funny.

One joke that did make me chuckle a bit was Philo's black-and-white April Fool's Day makeover as a classic television service. It also reminded me how much I wish this existed in real life. You can see the entire makeover here.



WAS 'ZACK SNYDER'S JUSTICE LEAGUE" A HIT FOR HBO?
The Observer's Brandon Katz takes a look at all of the third-party analytics available in hopes discovering whether the four-hour film was a success for the new-ish streaming service:

WarnerMedia is sacrificing an estimated $1.2 billion in revenue by moving its 2021 theatrical film slate to a day-and-date release on HBO Max, per Variety. According to Stratechery, HBO Max generates a monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) of $12, which equates to $144 in annual ARPU. So to cover the estimated $1.2 billion in lost theatrical film revenue in 2021, HBO Max would likely need to add around 8.3 million new subscribers. The upside benefit of a subscription-based model, however, is the potential for recurring revenue, which is one reason why Wall Street gives tech-based streaming services so much more leeway than traditional media stocks.

Not to be a spoiler, but the ultimate answer is...maybe?

SO DID NETFLIX OVERPAY FOR THE 'KNIVES OUT' DEAL?
When news broke yesterday that Netflix had paid a reported $450 million for the rights to the movies Knives Out 2 and 3, there was a lot of eye-rolling by analysts who were sure that it was insanely high prices for two films. I certainly wondered how the streamer was going to make the numbers work.

Michael Rifkin is the Head of Operations and Business Development and Sony Pictures Int’l Productions and he posted a breakdown on Twitter of some of the factors to consider about the deal. And to be honest, he makes a pretty good case that the deal might make financial sense and he lays out a number of factors I hadn't considered - including whether Netflix was able to make localized versions of the films. Here is the entire thread and it's really worth reading the entire thing.


TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Expedition Deep Ocean (Discovery+)
Explorer and entrepreneur Victor Vescovo and his Five Deeps Expedition team made up of scientists and vessel experts set off on an expedition to the bottom of the five oceans. 

2) Irul (Netflix)
A romantic escape just became a deadly trap. But just who can she trust-the man she came with, or the man she just met?

3) Law & Order Organized Crime Series Premiere (NBC)
Christopher Meloni, reprising his role as Elliot Stabler, returns to the NYPD to battle organized crime after a devastating personal loss. However, the city and police department have changed dramatically in the decade he's been away and he must adapt to a criminal justice system in the midst of its own moment of reckoning. Stabler will aim to find absolution and rebuild his life while leading a new elite task force that is taking apart the city's most powerful criminal syndicates one by one.  

4) Made For Love Series Premiere (HBO Max)
Based on the novel by Alissa Nutting, the comedy series is a darkly absurd and cynically poignant story of love and divorce following Hazel Green (Cristin Milioti), a thirty-something woman on the run after 10 years in a suffocating marriage to Byron Gogol (Billy Magnussen), a controlling tech billionaire. Soon she discovers that her husband has implanted a monitoring device – the Made for Love chip – in her brain, allowing him to track her, watch her, and know her "emotional data" as she tries to regain her independence. Through the chip, Byron's able to watch Hazel's every move as she flees to her desert hometown to take refuge with her aging widower father Herbert (Ray Romano) and his synthetic partner, Diane. 

5) Magical Andes Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
Crossing and uniting seven countries in South America, the Andes always have another landscape, adventure and story to tell. Discover them all.

6) Manifest Season Premiere (NBC)
Over a year has passed since the miraculous homecoming of Flight 828 and the discovery of others who have mysteriously returned. While the Stone family endeavors to keep their friends safe and make their enemies believe the unbelievable, new challenges will test their trust of the callings and each other. But sticking together is more important than ever, because no matter what happens, it’s all connected.

7) Prank Encounters Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
Host Gaten Matarazzo pulls the strings on a new season of elaborate pranks involving everything from haunted mansions to ancient burial grounds. Yikes!

8) Tersanjung: The Movie (Netflix)
After growing up in a tumultuous household, Yura finds herself in a love triangle with two close friends as she faces a personal and financial crisis.

9) Wipeout Reboot Series Premiere (TBS)
The big balls are back, albeit with new hosts on a new network.

10) Worn Stories Series Premiere (Netflix)
In this funny, heartfelt and moving docuseries, real people unpack the fascinating and quirky stories around their most meaningful pieces of clothing.



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 Tuesday, March 30th, 2021

30 March, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, March 30th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by pineapple chunks and some sort of unidentifiable hot tea.

Today's newsletter is shorter than normal and a bit late because I am suffering through some incredibly annoying broadband issues. On the upside, the Comcast tech person comes tomorrow morning...

A DEEP DIVE ON HGTV AND DISCOVERY+
The New Yorker's Ian Parker has an absolutely fascinating look at HGTV and how it is responding to the pandemic and to the launch of Discovery+. (On a side note, I'm extremely jealous about the level of access he got to do this story). The piece begins by discussing both HGTV's success in a linear TV world and the challenges that are facing even the biggest of cable TV brands:

But HGTV is a splendid, crenellated house in a neighborhood built on quicksand and termite tunnels. American cable-TV subscriptions peaked twenty years ago. The broader category of linear pay television—cable and satellite combined—peaked in 2009, when subscriptions were maintained by eighty-eight per cent of American households. Today, that number has fallen below sixty-five per cent, and more than three-quarters of American households have signed up for at least one streaming service. Scott Feeley, the president of High Noon Entertainment, a Colorado-based television production company that, last year, was making nine HGTV shows, recently said, “It’s hard for me to imagine that, in five years, anybody’s going to be paying for cable.” Michael Lombardo, the former head of programming at HBO, who now oversees television at Entertainment One, described the cable business as “running on fumes."

That's a reality that I thin a lot of industry analysts still haven't come to grips with yet. They talk about the challenges of the virtual cable business and how the traditional TV business is still like printing money. But the people in the trenches see the future coming and are frantically trying to restructure their businesses before it's too late. One of the challenges for HGTV is that while its programming is the ultimate example of "lean-back" television, is that a format that can draw an audience in a streaming age? HGTV's format certainly works NOW:

Michael Lombardo, who at HBO green-lit “Game of Thrones” and “Veep,” told me, “If I’m sitting there at the end of the day, I’m likely to go to HGTV. It’s relaxing, it’s slightly affirming.” He went on, “I watch ‘House Hunters,’ continually. I love ‘Love It or List It.’ ” Lombardo has detected—in himself and in others—a new resistance to ambitious television shows, of the kind that he used to buy. “I become annoyed when they command your attention,” he said, and laughed. “Is this just all a response to Trump’s four years—you know, P.T.S.D.? Or is this because nobody watches without a phone in their hand?” A sigh. “The television revolution was not supposed to end with me and you talking about ‘Home Town’ ”—in which a young married couple in Laurel, Mississippi, does home makeovers—“yet here we are.”

The long piece breaks down everything from the way HGTV develops shows to its increased willingness to try formats and approaches that they would have stayed away from in the past: 

In 2019, Victoria Chiaro came up with an idea for a third season of “Restored by the Fords” that would extend beyond the fact that the hosts are siblings who find it hard not to smile when the other is talking. Episodes would be longer, and would tell a lavishly emotional story about people who were returning to the Pittsburgh area after living elsewhere—perhaps to a property with family history. In the case of the Carnegie episode, Vicki and Dave Sawyer, a retired couple, were moving back into a house where they’d lived earlier in life, and which was now occupied by their daughter and her family. In the past, HGTV had shied away from shows involving childhood homes: an inheritance story tends to start with death. And the network has often preferred to keep homeowners out of view in the scenes between the walk-through and the reveal. The new show would ask viewers to invest not only in the Fords but in the lives, and the old photographs, of returnees. The show was given a new title, “Home Again with the Fords.” An easy half hour of prettification—crash-bang-boom, a new countertop—would become an earnest hour-long journey: voyage and return. “Tie it to Vicki!” Anderson instructed the Fords during the shoot in August, as they discussed opening up a space next to the demolished kitchen, and turning it into an art studio. “Will Vicki like it?”

At the end of that afternoon, the Fords stood under a tree in the garden, to record observations that would be dropped into footage of the day’s action. Anderson reminded her talent of a further deviation from old bread-and-butter practice: “We’re not saying 'Demo Day' anymore.”

They had spent the afternoon demolishing. Sheepishly, Leanne Ford asked, “Am I allowed to say ‘demo’ ”—pause—“ ‘lition’?”

The article ends with a great description of the programming philosophy for Discovery+ and it's one that is often missed by people who don't watch the streaming service on a regular basis:

Even as HGTV had been maneuvering into emotion and drama, and trying to expand the network’s reach, its primary value to its corporate parent lay for the moment in the size of its library, which includes nearly nineteen hundred episodes of “House Hunters,” in its various formats. According to the executive, the appeal of Discovery+ would be less “Everyone’s talking about ‘The Queen’s Gambit,’ ” and more “That’s a lot of great shit I love.”

When the app launched, in January, its content was primarily searchable not by channel names but by subject matter: Relationships, True Crime, Home, Paranormal & Unexplained, Food. Subscribers have since found their way to more than fifty thousand of the fifty-five thousand hours of programming available. Michael Lombardo, the former HBO executive, was surprised to find that he had bought a subscription.

#FREEBLOCKBUSTER, THE FOLLOW-UP
My piece in yesterday's newsletter about a vision for a next generation Blockbuster received a lot of feedback - split pretty evenly between praise and horror. But Star-Tribune night homepage editor Vince Tuss passed along this piece from the Willamette Week, which highlights a local guy who's slapped together a combination escape room and video rental business he calls "Lockbuster Video":

The shelves are stocked with almost 1,000 honest-to-God VHS tapes, all from Rafferty's personal collection—mostly sci-fi (In Search of an Exit is a Twilight Zone reference), with a curious amount of musicals and golf videos, and nothing that was made after 1990.

He officially opened as a video store last week, while also reopening as an escape room. (To be clear, the only link between the current game he's running in the backroom—set in a mobster-run casino—is an '80s aesthetic. There is an escape room in South Dakota named Lockbuster that uses the video store chain as part of the narrative, but Rafferty says it has no connection to what he's doing.) But if you just happen to walk in off the street, Rafferty won't let on what lies behind the doors with the Employees Only signs.

Sure, this guy is kinda doing the idea as a goof. But it does show that my original idea isn't ENTIRELY insane.



TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) All-Around Champion Series Premiere (BYUtv)
Ten of the best athletes in North America assemble to compete in the ultimate sports competition. The Catch? They won't be competing in their own sports; they'll be competing in each other's. The athlete with the most points at the end will be deemed All-Round Champion.

2) American Cartel (Discovery+)
A cop's murder exposes a gang with possible ties to Mexico's drug cartels.

3) Glad You Asked (YouTube)
This season features new perspectives from five inquisitive hosts and the world's foremost experts to offer an experiential journey that will empower audiences to better understand their world - from exploring the roots of residential segregation to playing hand crafted board games and taking tests that measure racial implicit biases. Joining season two is Vox’s lead race reporter, Fabiola Cineas, and the host and producer of the VICE documentary series Minority Reports, Lee Adams. They will unite with season one hosts Cleo Abram, Christophe Haubursin and Joss Fong to explore these critical questions while demonstrating various social experiments across the season.

4) Lifetime Presents: Women Making History (Lifetime)
An exclusive and intimate interview with the first female Vice President of the United States, Kamal Harris, revealing some of the women who helped shape her life and showcasing some of the extraordinary women who are helping to shape the future.

5) Octonauts And The Ring of Fire (Netflix)
When lava-spewing volcanoes start a chain reaction of disasters across the ocean, the Octonauts must work together to save their sea creature friends.

6) People Presents: Harry & Meghan's American Dream (The CW)
This special follows the lives of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle who stunned the world by existing royal life.   One year later, they are very much living the American dream with multimillion-dollar streaming deals and a California mansion to call home with two-year old Archie. But a personal tragedy and ongoing tensions with brother Prince William and Kate have at times clouded their first year of freedom. This one-hour special will trace Harry and Meghan’s journey from royalty to celebrity.

7) Pooch Perfect Series Premiere (ABC)
Ten pet grooming teams face off.

8) Supergirl Season Premiere (The CW)
As Brainiac (Jesse Rath) lays close to death after trying to stop Lex (Jon Cryer), Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and team soar in to save him, engaging in an epic battle with Gamenmae (guest star Cara Buono). After beating Leviathan, Supergirl turns her attention to Lex (Jon Cryer) who has used the Obsidian platform to brainwash half the world to love him and follow him at all costs, no matter what horrible things he does. Knowing how dangerous this makes her brother, Lena (Katie McGrath) enlists the entire team – Alex (Chyler Leigh), J’onn (David Harewood), Dreamer (Nicole Maines), Kelly (Azie Tesfai) and Brainiac – to help, but Supergirl realizes that the only way to truly stop Lex is to sacrifice herself.

9) 7 Yards: The Chris Norton Story (Netflix)
Tragedy knocked this former college football player down. Then he showed the world the true meaning of strength.

10) The Last Cruise (HBO)
Using intimate footage recorded by passengers and crew, this documentary is a first-person account of the nightmare that transpired aboard the ill-fated Diamond Princess cruise ship, which set sail from Yokohama, Japan on January 20, 2020 in the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

11) Unsellable Houses: Pop Quiz (HGTV)
Lyndsay and Leslie test fans' knowledge of selling homes as they update a split-level with modern, minimalist touches.

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, March 29th, 2021

29 March, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, March 29th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by weak coffee and strong tuna fish.

#FREEBLOCKBUSTER
Well-known brands have some residual value, long after the business that made them famous has dissolved. For instance, while you can still buy Smarter Image-branded items at retail stores such as Target, the essence of the original company is gone. All that remains now is the name, slapped onto cheap items bought in bulk.

Blockbuster was perhaps on the best-known brands in the 80s and 90s and even today - when only one authorized Blockbuster remains - it's a brand that resonates with people who never stepped inside on the more than 9,000 stores the company owned at its peak. For some perplexing reason, Dish Network bought the company when it was coming out of bankruptcy in 2010 and was down to about 1,400 stores. The final 300 company-owned stores closed in 2014 and at the time Dish negotiated franchise deals with a few people that allowed a small number of Blockbusters to survive. But now only one Blockbuster store remains open in the U.S. and Dish has decided that it will no longer license the Blockbuster name to anyone.

Which is a short-sighted move, since I can see a way that someone with a bit of money and a lot of ingenuity could revive the Blockbuster brand as a chain of small, boutique-style stores that cater to the growing segment of entertainment trendsetters who are embracing our analog past.

Imagine a storefront with the Blockbuster name that is not much larger than a medium-sized Starbucks. It includes popular DVD/BluRay rentals in one corner provided by special Blockbuster-branded Redbox units. There is a selection of rarer independent and collectible discs for rent or sale, along with a highly curated selection of albums, cassettes and even the random 8-track. A few refurbished turntables and other entertainment units for sale, along with a wide range of analog-era entertainment items. You can purchase a small number of drinks and snacks, then rent a disc and watch it onsite at one of the recliners with a built-in screen. There's a small stage for acoustic musicians to play for the crowd on weekends, and the entire store is designed to be cat nip for nostalgia lovers with disposable income. This Blockbuster isn't mass market like the original. But what it does have in common with its namesake is a feeling of place. Once you've been to this Blockbuster, you're left with a comfortable feeling that is unlike any other experience in the market.

One other thing. A big factor in making this idea work is to lean into the local artistic community. Hire managers who know the local scene and give them the ability to stock the store the way they think it will work best. Include plenty of local bands, authors. If someone has a short film, make it available in the store. Making that new Blockbuster the center of the local artistic community only reinforces the analog feel of the space.

To be honest, if I won the lottery tomorrow, this is where I would put my money. The pandemic has only accelerated the consumer trend of leaning into nostalgia and old-school entertainment choices. No one wants to give up Netflix forever. But providing an hour or two away from 2021 technology is a business model that  I think has a tremendous upside.

T-MOBILE PARNERS WITH YOUTUBE TV AND PHILO ON ITS TVISION INITIATIVE
Telecom T-Mobile has been trying to get a toehold in the video business and after a mostly unsuccessful effort to launch its own service, announced earlier today that it is partnering with Google and Philo to provide discounted video subscriptions to its customers:

We are welcoming YouTube TV and Philo to the TVision initiative. As part of an expansive, new, multi-year agreement with Google, we’re going to make YouTube TV our premium live TV service. And we are announcing a new partnership with Philo as our new base live TV service, starting at just $10 per month, exclusively for T-Mobile customers.

With TVision, we provide T-Mobile customers with preferential access to the world’s best streaming services. And we will make those services available on the TVision HUB, our exclusive low-cost TV streaming device that comes with a familiar, easy-to-use remote to make the leap from cable to streaming as smooth as possible. Our customers can get all the streaming services we offer directly with exclusive rates and benefits, such as Netflix, MLB.tv, YouTube TV and Philo (with more to come soon!), while also having access to just about any media out there, because the TVision HUB is built on the familiar Android TV platform.

The big winner in this deal is Philo, which has struggled to grow, despite having perhaps the best deal in the OTT video market. 

IT'S OFFICIAL..THE WORLD HAS GONE MAD
Trademark lawyer Josh Gerben recently noticed that the band Chainsmokers has filed a a trademark application on March 23rd for the name "Blockchainsmokers" in connection with EFT's and a Chainsmokers cryptocurrency:






TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Black Ink Crew: Confessions (VH1)
The "Black Ink Crew" is reuniting for the first time in-person nearly a year later to settle unfinished business. Caeser and the OG tattoo crew break down every beef and reveal if the Harlem shop at 113 survived.

2) Elliott From Earth (Cartoon Network)
Elliott and his Mum, Frankie, investigate a mysterious rock which is not from Earth.

3) Hall Of Flame: Top 100 Roast Moments (Comedy Central)
Comedy Central revisits the top moments from its celebrity roast specials.

4) Independent Lens: 'Til Kingdom Come (PBS)
This documentary unravels the controversial bond between America’s Evangelical Christians and the State of Israel, and the influential pastors wielding prophecy as a political tool. The film exposes the financial and political motivations fundamentally reshaping American foreign policy toward Israel and the Middle East.

6) Magic For Humans: Spain Series Premiere (Netflix)
In this Spanish adaptation of Magic For Humans, folks of all ages on the streets of Barcelona are amazed by tricks that inspire delight and wonder.

7) Race To The Center Of The Earth Series Premiere (NatGeo)
Four teams from across the world compete in the ultimate adventure race for $1 million.

8) Running Wild With Bear Grylls Season Premiere (NatGeo)
Actor Anthiny Mackie joins Bear Grylls for an exhilarating journey in the Italian Dolomites mountain range.

9) The Brokenwood Mysteries (Acorn TV)
After transferring from a big city to the quiet, little, murder-ridden town of Brokenwood, Detective Senior Sergeant Mike Shepherd (Neil Rea, Go Girls) and Detective Kristin Simms (Fern Sutherland, The Almighty Johnsons) uncover more murderous rivalries and lethal grudges with each new episode.

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 Friday, March 26th, 2021

26 March, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, March 26th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by thoughts of a hopefully quiet weekend.

OKAY, I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS
There aren't a ton of details yet, but Business Insider's Claire Atkinson has a piece today reporting that NBCU executives are considering launching a Universal-branded streaming service that would be separate from Peacock. And while the story doesn't offer a ton of details, apparently the idea would be to include Universal movies as well as the NBCU stuff currently headquartered at Hulu. Which sounds a lot like Peacock?!?!?

Honestly, I can usually figure out why a deal makes sense to the participants, even if it's an insanely dumb idea to everyone else. But I admit that I am stumped by this idea. Unless there are some relevant details that not only haven't been publicly disclosed, but are also not obvious to outsiders.

One of the problems from the NBCU side when it comes to Peacock is that they are concerned the name doesn't have any international appeal. And...really? NOW you're concerned about this? Peacock barely has a cachet in the U.S., so I think it should have been obvious to everyone that the name "Peacock" means about as much in France as the name "Fred." Apparently, NBCU executives believe that the Universal name is more beloved worldwide. It certainly might be slightly more recognizable worldwide, but the name doesn't provide any sense to the average person of the type of movie or TV show they might find on a Universal streaming service. The average subscriber would be hard pressed to name a handful of movies made by Universal and the name hasn't been familiar to TV audiences since its heyday in the 70s and 80s. Then there's that inconvenient problem that the name Universal is part of a fair number of high-profile regional religions around the world.

But aside from the name, what would be the point of a Universal-branded streaming service? What purpose would it serve, what niche in the market would it fill in 2021? I just find myself stumped by the entire idea and I can't even speculate how any of this would work in the real world.

TV IS A GLOBAL BUSINESS. IT'S TOO BAD TV PR ISN'T YET
I wrote about a Lebanese-produced series called Awake a couple of weeks ago when it premiered in the U.S. on the international streamer MHzChoice. And like a lot of the more-obscure international TV shows I cover, the review received a modest amount of attention when it first posted. But over the past week or so, the review has finally made its way to distributors in the Middle East, as well as all sorts of random web sites in the region. The review has gotten a lot of attention in a slow burn sort of way and that's one of the reason I cover shows other web sites might ignore. There is a spot in the entertainment journalism industry for a site that highlights the good stuff that isn't flashy or familiar.

But while the television industry is increasingly global, the PR part of the business is still very focused on home countries and specific familiar regions. I write a lot about international shows that premiere in the U.S. on global platforms such as Netflix and Amazon. And I can tell you from personal experience that getting even a minimal level of information about a show produced overseas can be a challenge. Publicists based in the U.S. generally don't interact with their counterparts in other regions. So they have no idea who to speak with about a series produced in Spain or India or Nigeria. And while I don't mind reviewing a series with little or no context, I'd love to be able to speak with the showrunner of a series produced in Turkey or the producer of an Egyptian miniseries. It just doesn't happen and it's too bad because these are projects and people who deserve global attention. 

I'm going to flesh this out a bit more over the weekend. But I am really passionate about international television and I realize that I (and the rest of the industry) have a lot to learn about the industry based outside of Hollywood, the U.K. and Australia.

A Week Away' Movie Cast: Faith-Based Musical Features Familiar Faces
TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) A Week Away (Netflix)
Troubled teen Will Hawkins (Kevin Quinn) has a run-in with the law that puts him at an important crossroad: go to juvenile detention or attend a Christian summer camp. At first a fish-out-of-water, Will opens his heart, discovers love with a camp regular (Bailee Madison), and sense of belonging in the last place he expected to find it.

2) Bad Trip (Netflix)
In a hidden-camera comedy from the producer of “Bad Grandpa,” two pals embark on a road trip full of funny pranks that pull real people into the mayhem.

3) Cocktails and Tall Tales with Ina Garten and Melissa McCarthy Series Premiere (Discovery+)
Ina Garten and Melissa McCarthy connect over stories, secrets and even a double date.

4) Elizabeth & Margaret: Love & Loyalty (Netflix)
The documentary takes an intimate look at the complex, widely misunderstood relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and her sister, Princess Margaret.

5) Ghost Adventures Season Premiere (Discovery+)
Zak Bagans and his crew investigate the most haunted places in the world.

6) Inside Pixar Batch 3 Premiere (Disney+)
How exactly are animated films made using computer graphics? Pixar's creative minds introduce and break down how a movie is made through understandable explanations using metaphors and examples.

7) Magic For Humans By Mago Pop (Netflix)
Illusionist Mago Pop takes to the streets of Barcelona, where he amazes folks of all ages and walks of life with tricks that inspire delight and wonder.

8) Nailed It! Double Trouble Series Premiere (Netflix)
When two clueless cake "artists" team up, the reveals are even more ridiculous. From best buds to brothers and sisters, these bakers are twice as bad.

9) Ni De Cona (Netflix)
Trying to fix their relationships, four couples attend a spiritual retreat at a Caribbean resort, where temptation and mishaps add problems to the mix.

10) Pagglait (Netflix)
Widowed soon after marriage, a young woman grapples with an inability to grieve, quirky relatives and a startling discovery about her late husband.

11) The Irregulars Series Premiere (Netflix)
In 19th-century London, a group of misfits works to solve supernatural crimes at the behest of Dr. Watson and his elusive partner, Sherlock Holmes.

12) The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers Series Premiere (Disney +)
In present day Minnesota, The Mighty Ducks have evolved from scrappy underdogs to an ultra-competitive youth hockey powerhouse. When 12 year-old Evan Morrow is unceremoniously cut from the Ducks, he and his mom, Alex, set out to build their own team. With a new group of misfit kids and an old rundown rink managed by a familiar face -- Gordon Bombay -- they begin a journey to challenge the cutthroat culture of youth sports today, and rediscover the joy of playing just for the love of the game.

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, March 25th, 2021

25 March, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by baked potato chips and hot vanilla tea.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER THE 2020 STREAMING BOOM?
Maria Rua Aguete, Senior Research Director, TV, Online, Advertising at Omdia made a presentation Thursday at Videoscape Europe called "2020: The Year Of COVID-Accelerating Media Trends" and as you might expect from her, it's jammed with lots of fascinating data points about the global streaming media industry:



2020 has been an incredibly strong year for OTT subscription growth globally and it's a trend that transcends any country or region. And Omdia does expect the trend to continue in the next five years, although growth might slow a bit in 2021.

But there are some downsides for the industry. While essentially all of the subscriber growth in the next five years will come from streaming video:



Traditional cable and satellite services  will still produce much more revenue than the streaming sector. Which means that in some ways, streaming television has the same revenue challenges as streaming music:





And one last interesting data point. This one about where the biggest growth will come from the next five years:




It's really helpful to get this data, because we have a tendency in the U.S. to be very North American-centric when we talk about the streaming industry. And it's good to be reminded that this a global industry and the most successful companies are going to take a global approach to their business. 

'RAYA & THE LAST DRAGON' DIDN'T DRIVE NEW DISNEY+ SUBSCRIPTIONS
Measurement and analytics company Antenna took a detailed look at consumer behavior around the release of Raya & The Lost Dragon, which recently premiered simultaneously on Disney+ and in movie theaters.

There were several takeaways and to be honest, I don't think any of them are big surprises.:

* Raya & The Last Dragon received 20% fewer PVOD purchases than Mulan in each film's respective opening weekend. Importantly, Mulan was not released in theaters domestically when it debuted on Disney+, whereas Raya & The Last Dragon premiered simultaneously on Disney+ and theatrically. 

* The release of Raya & The Last Dragon did not drive a notable spike in Sign-ups to Disney+. ANTENNA observed a 30% drop in Sign-ups on opening weekend (March 5-7) compared to the previous four weekends. Mulan, on the other hand, drove more than double the Sign-ups versus its previous four weekend benchmark. The Premier Access titles bookended the releases of The Mandalorian (Season 2), Soul, and WandaVision, which were released to Disney+ at no additional cost to Subscribers.

* Disney enthusiasts drove the majority of PVOD transactions for both films. Nearly 60% of users who purchased Raya & The Last Dragon joined Disney+ in the first two months after the service launched in late 2019. As was also the case with Mulan, over 70% of those purchases came from users who joined Disney+ in November/December of 2019.

* There is significant crossover in the audiences of the two films. 1 in 5 users who purchased Mulan also purchased Raya & The Last Dragon. A quarter of Raya & The Last Dragon purchases came from users who purchased Mulan in September 2020.

<em>No Demo Reno</em> </br>Series Premiere March 25 9|8c
TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Baketopia Series Premiere (HBO Max)
Hosted by social media sensation and executive producer Rosanna Pansino, the 12-episode series features brilliant bakers taking on viral-worthy challenges in a larger-than-life baking wonderland complete with every ingredient and tool a baker could dream of. In each episode, competitors fill their carts with unique ingredients to create trendsetting, delectable desserts in hopes of impressing Rosanna and her "cake council" to win $10,000.

2) Caught By A Wave (Netflix)
After falling in love at a beachside summer camp in Sicily, a painful truth inspires two teenage sailing enthusiasts to live their lives to the fullest.

3) DOTA: Dragon's Blood (Netflix)
After encounters with a dragon and a princess on her own mission, a Dragon Knight becomes embroiled in events larger than he could have ever imagined.

4) For Real: The Story Of Reality TV (E!)
Hosted and executive produced by Andy Cohen, the seven-part limited event series explores different themes including celebreality, dating, competition and extreme makeover series, among others, and shares shocking revelations from those industry executives, producers and journalists who helped catapult reality programming into the pop culture zeitgeist.

5) John Wayne Gacy: Devil In Disguise (Peacock)
The chilling story of one of the world's most notorious serial killers, told through through the words of Gacy himself, those who were changed by his unspeakable deeds and those who believe the full truth remains hidden to this day.

6) Miracle Fishing: Kidnapped Abroad (Discovery+)
The story of a father's kidnapping as told through his son's video diaries.

7) Nightwatch Season Premiere (A&E)
Follow a team of EMTs and EMS paramedics as they take on the harrowing overnight shift to keep the residents and visitors of New Orleans safe.

8) No Demo Reno Series Premiere (HGTV)
Home renovation expert and social media creator Jenn Todryk hosts this 10-episode series where she tears down the notion that major demolition is always necessary to create whole-home transformations. She combines clever design solutions and cost-saving ideas to create stunning home overhauls for clients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area—often without removing walls or tackling large-scale demo.

9) Shtisel Season Three Premiere (Netflix)
A Haredi family living ion an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem reckons with love, loss and the doldrums of daily life.

10) The Restaurant (Sundance Now)
This four-episode series follows the Löwander family during the summer of 1951, as they operate a restaurant in the Stockholm archipelago for the season. Daughter Nina (Hedda Stiernstedt, Svartsjön) once had a passionate relationship with Calle (Charlie Gustaffson, Vikingshill) the chef, but both are now married and have children with others. In the light summer nights on the seaside, their love reawakens – but how great a price are they willing to pay to follow their hearts? Is it really true that love conquers all? Or does it actually destroy all?

11) The Runaway Bunny (HBO Max)
Originally published in 1942 by HarperCollins Publishers, the book has sold over 12 million copies and continues to enchant generations of children. This special brings the illustrations of Clement Hurd and the poetry of Margaret Wise Brown to animated life for the first time. Featuring a restless little bunny who dreams of leaving home, the film is an exploration of love and childhood. Woven throughout the story are songs that accompany the bunny on his imaginary, magical adventures into the world and back home to the comfort of his mother's love. 

12) Secret Magic Control Agency (Netflix)
Hansel and Gretel of fairy tale fame — now acting as secret agents — must use magic, clever thinking and teamwork on a mission to find a missing king.

13) Violation (Shudder)
With her marriage on the verge of collapse, Miriam (co-writer and co-director Madeleine Sims-Fewer, The Substitute) returns to her hometown to seek solace in the comfort of her younger sister and brother-in-law after years apart. In one evening, a small slip in judgment leads to a catastrophic betrayal, leaving Miriam shocked, reeling and furious. She embarks on an extreme course of action to address the situation, but the price of revenge is high and she is not prepared for the toll it takes as she begins to emotionally and psychologically unravel. 

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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