Displaying items by tag: Too Much TV

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, January 15th, 2021

15 January, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, January 15th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Gatorade and mini tacos.

THE HIGH PRICE OF MOVING A MOVIE SLATE TO STREAMING
The Hollywood Reporter has some really great sources at the various Hollywood agencies and while that closeness might tilt its coverage at times, it also allows the trade publication to put together this really fascinating piece on what it will likely cost WarnerMedia to make the backend participants on the movies it is moving to HBO Max happy:

Seemingly no formula has been adopted by the studio yet, but at least one proposal has been sent to reps. According to sources, a Warners draft proposal outlined that talent making less than $4 million will be paid an additional 25 percent of their salary upon the release of the film as an advance against box office bonuses. Anyone making $4 million and over the advance would be getting 40 percent of their salary. Moreover, the box office performance thresholds tied to the bonuses would be halved. And regardless of the film’s run at the global box office, all deferments would be honored upon the film’s release. (Warner Bros. declined comment.)

Even with domestic theatrical closures, the thought among some reps is that the new halved worldwide box office thresholds will be easier to reach than pre-pandemic bonus benchmarks. But, as a new surge of COVID-19 cases sees countries implementing new shutdowns, the state of exhibition is in constant flux. The proposal is not a one-size-fits-all fix that can be transposed onto every deal.

And my hunch is that some of the movies being released later in 2021 (like the Legendary Pictures remake of Dune), will end up shifting back to a theatrical-first release schedule. Albeit with a shortened theatrical window.

NICKELODEON'S FIRST CHINESE PRODUCTION IS COMING TO THE U.S.
The animated pre-school series Deer Squad is premiering on Nickelodeon on January 25th and it is the first Nickelodeon-backed Chinese production to air in the U.S.:

The show, which stars a pack of magic anthropomorphic deer, marks the first time Nickelodeon has backed a Chinese project from the development phase. Deer Squad was produced by Iqiyi, a major Chinese streaming service which has branched out into original programming. Nickelodeon International and VIS Kids, the new kids’ content division at ViacomCBS International Studios (VIS), partnered with Iqiyi for the creation of the show, with Nickelodeon providing creative guidance.

After launching in Asia in August 2020, Deer Squad aired in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. later in the year. It performed strongly in several territories, becoming the number-one show in the Philippines among children aged 2–14. A second season is in production.

THE DOWNSIDE OF CRIME SCENE RE-ENACTMENTS
This piece from the University Of Wisconsin-Madison Center For Journalistic Excellence argues that crime scene reenactments - the staple of true crime television - can re-victimize crime victims:

“Reenactment has the word acting. It’s using the human form to create the illusion of an event,” Shourd said. “That is dangerous territory when you’re using an actual human body to symbolically represent another human being’s life.”

The dangerous territory in Cedeño’s case was enhanced by the fact that her case is still under investigation. For Shourd, reenactments are an inherently unethical tool while a legal case is underway because it interferes with the process.

“It’s completely unethical to create a representation of a crime as the truth when that crime is still being investigated and still undergoing in its process in the legal and court system,” Shourd said.

The unethical aspect of reenactments is not limited to questions of representation. There are also serious psychological components. How do reenactments affect the audience, the victim and the victim’s family?

HBO MAX EXTENDS ITS DISCOUNT PRICING DEAL THROUGH MARCH
Variety's Todd Spangler posted a piece yesterday about HBO Max's decision to extend a 22% discount deal for two more months:

Did “Wonder Woman 1984” fail to deliver the HBO Max subscriber haul WarnerMedia was banking on — or was its promo pricing so successful it reupped the deal? The media company, looking to lock up more paying customers for HBO Max through mid-2021, extended its 22% promotional discount for new subscribers who prepay for six months.

The special offer is available to new and returning HBO Max subscribers who prepay for six months at $69.99 (about $11.66 per month, versus the regular $14.99 monthly price). The promo was set to expire this Friday, but WarnerMedia has now extended that until March 1, 2021.

AT&T-owned WarnerMedia company is putting its shoulder into maxing up HBO Max, with the direct-to-consumer price discount playing a key role in its attempt to move the needle. The company introduced the six-month prepay offer three weeks ahead of the Christmas Day debut of “Wonder Woman 1984,” starring Gal Gadot, simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters.

It's tempting to want to read a lot into this move. But it really gets down to one metric that we don't have on the outside and that is the service's average customer acquisition costs (CAC). This discount is about 15 dollars,  which I am almost certain is much less than their current CAC. And it ties the subscribers down for at least six months, which has the added benefit of cutting down on churn.

This extended discount is more about maximizing marketing resources than it is about any impact from Wonder Woman 1984. Although that's as fun a headline for journalists.

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 on Monday. 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, January 14th, 2021

14 January, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, January 14th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by almonds and a strawberry soda.

I'M NOT SURE WHAT THE FUTURE OF STREAMING NEWS IS...BUT I AM PRETTY SURE WHAT IT'S NOT
All of us in the entertainment/media industrial complex whine about there not being more transparency in the streaming world. I'm fine not having specific numbers for some random individual streaming show. But I really wish streaming companies and their execs were more willing to discuss programming philosophies and expectations. I don't need to know how many people did or didn't watch your show last night. I'd much rather know who you think the audience might be and why you believe people are going to watch.

I bring this up now because I decided to revisit the daily news original programming Peacock has been streaming in its news tab. I initially checked out the new shows by Mehdi Hasan and Zerlina Maxwell when they premiered late last year. But I didn't review them at the time because it takes news panel shows awhile to find their feet. But at this point, these shows are likely where Peacock wants them to be.

And to blunt, they are both pretty lifeless efforts. Both Maxwell and Hasan are solid anchors, but their respective shows do neither of them any favors. These are both essentially low-budget MSNBC primetime shows, done in a front of virtual backgrounds so cheesy most people wouldn't want to use them on a family Zoom call. There are some small tweaks to the standard format, but nothing substantial enough to entice new viewers. The shows feel like time-killers. Peacock needed some original programming for the news vertical, so they commissioned these two new shows as well as a semi-simulcast of The Majority Report With Sam Seder. Tuning in, you can hear the pitch that spawned the shows: "it's like MSNBC, expect with younger, hipper anchors!"

I would love to know what Peacock's expectations are for the show. Maybe they are both wildly successful and are bringing in scores of new viewers to the news verticals. Honestly, I think that's extremely unlikely. But please, someone there convince me that I'm wrong.

I agree that Peacock needs some original news programming. But instead of attempting to cobble together a cut-rate MSNBC out of leftover cable TV parts, why not create some programming that is truly different, while still being cost-effective. That means shorter shows, a mix of daily and weekly. Unexpected formats, ranging from a reimagined version of the old weekend Up With Chris Hayes panel show (with a different host), to specials and panel shows created by local NBCOO affiliates. Opening up perspectives doesn't just mean finding some hosts who aren't white. It also means hearing from people outside the traditional media centers. If you want people to regularly check in, you need to give them something unexpected. And once you do that, for the love of everything hire someone whose job it is to rework and share the content on every possible platform.

NETFLIX BECOMES EUROPE'S 2ND BIGGEST TV GROUP

A new report from Ampere Analysis shows found that Netflix became the second-largest TV group in Europe by revenue last year. Comcast (which owns SKY TV) garnered 12 percent of the European market in 2020, with Netflix holding 6.1 percent. German broadcaster ARD followed with 5.7 percent, then the BBC with 4.2 percent and Canal+ Group with 3.2 percent. 

Tony Maroulis, principal analyst at Ampere Analysis, offered up this bit of analysis in the report:

While Netflix has enjoyed success across the continent, local broadcasters are facing increased pressures. The coronavirus pandemic has thrown the TV advertising market into decline, compounding and accelerating the woes of traditional and established brands. And while Netflix’s pockets are getting deeper, local entities are struggling to compete. Over the next few years, Netflix alone is set to be better funded than many leading commercial broadcasters, and its scale means that it is able to produce quantities of high-quality content that most of its local competitors cannot match. This global vs. local imbalance will further accelerate the online viewing shift, which is now beginning to shift to older demographics as well as young.

ODDS AND SODS
Netflix has released its first inclusion report. You can read the entire report here.

HBO Max has given an eight-episode first season order to Juliabased on the life of world-renowned chef Julia Child. The series from Lionsgate Television and 3 Arts Entertainment stars Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley) and David Hyde Pierce (Frasier), 

Streaming on Shudder, 'Hunted' modernizes the Little Red Riding Hood myth  into a take on misogyny | Couchsurfing | Orlando | Orlando Weekly
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the paltry number of new television programs premiering today:

1) American Gangster Trap Queens (BET+)
Trap Queens is a new installment of the critically acclaimed American Gangster series that examines the lives and the legend behind some of America's most notorious female criminals.

2) Cleopatra In Space Season Premiere (Peacock)
Viewers can follow Cleo as she is transported 30,000 years into the future, to an Egyptian-themed planet that is ruled by talking cats and where she discovers she is the prophesied savior of the future world. In order to prepare for her role and mission, Cleo is sent to an elite academy where she has to train to take on the bad guys, figure out how to eventually get herself back home to Egypt, as well as tackling the highs and lows of being a teenager in high school.

3) Double Cross Season Two Premiere (ALLBLK)
Erica & Eric Cross (Ashley A. Williams, Jeff Logan) are the "Wonder Twins" that decide to take matters into their own hands after a sudden rise of sex trafficking in their neighborhood. Haunted by their own traumatic past, the twins set down a unique path of vigilante justice.

4) Hunted (Shudder)
What started as a flirtatious encounter at a bar turns into a life-or-death struggle as Eve (Lucie Debay) becomes the unknowing target of a misogynistic plot against her. Forced to flee as two men pursue her through the forest, she’s pushed to her extremes while fighting to survive in the wilderness—but survival isn’t enough for Eve. She will have revenge.

5) Locked Down (HBO Max)
Just as they decide to separate, Linda (Anne Hathaway) and Paxton (Chiwetel Ejiofor) find life has other plans when they are stuck at home in a mandatory lockdown. Co-habitation is proving to be a challenge, but fueled by poetry and copious amounts of wine, it will bring them closer together in the most surprising way.

6) Search Party Season Four Premiere (HBO Max) 
Dory (Alia Shawkat) is held prisoner by her psychotic stalker Chip (Cole Escola), who is determined to make Dory believe that they are best friends. Meanwhile, Portia (Meredith Hagner) is starring in a film about the trial, although not as herself; Elliott (John Early) has switched party lines to become a far-right conservative talk show host; and Drew (John Reynolds) is trying to escape his dark past by working as a costumed cast member in a theme park. As the friends begin to connect the dots that Dory might not be touring Europe as her faked social media suggests, they must decide whether to put their traumatic pasts behind them and once again become a search party – but this time, for Dory.

7) The Event (HBO Max)
Known as the crème de la crème of the industry, Wolfgang Puck Catering is responsible for some of the nation’s most legendary corporate, cultural, and entertainment events. Placing viewers both behind-the-scenes and inside these lavish affairs, this four-part special follows renowned restaurateur Wolfgang Puck and members of his skilled catering team through every step of their intricate execution process. Each episode features a different high-profile event – from the SAG Awards to HBO’s “Westworld” premiere party – offering access to trade secrets and an unprecedented look into the creative development, planning, and immense scope of running a world-renowned catering company.

8) UFO Witness Series Premiere (Discovery+)
Former federal agent and paranormal investigator Ben Hansen is on a mission to uncover the truth behind the country’s most shocking and infamous UFO sightings. With unprecedented access to more than 10,000 case files from the archives of Dr. Alan J. Hynek, the chief scientific consultant of Project Bluebook, Hansen believes the answers to UFOs in America are hidden in the cases of the past. Aiding Hansen on his quest is Jennie Zeidman, the last surviving operative of Project Bluebook, and Mark O’Connell, an accomplished UFO investigator and former confidant of Dr. Hynek. Together, they will uncover the secrets of the past to shed new light on today’s freshest UFO encounters.

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, January 11th, 2021

11 January, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, January 1th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee and Cap'n Crunch Christmas Crunch cereal.

A WAKE-UP CALL FOR THE NFL 
The NFL and its broadcast/cable partners experimented on Sunday with some non-traditional broadcasts of a couple of wild card games. And while I could be snarky and ask why it's taken until 2021 for this experiment to take place, I think the final product was rough in spots, but a definite sign of the future.

Freeform did the earlier game, a Ravens at Titans match-up the channel described as a "Watch Party." The presentation showed the game live, but had ESPN's Jesse Palmer and Maria Taylor in boxes along the left-side of the screen, along with some special guests. Palmer and Taylor made some effort to talk about the game, but the conversation often went off on tangents - many of them having very little to do with the game.

I liked the idea a lot. The presentation and flow reminded me a lot of the gaming reaction videos that are a core part of YouTube. One host or maybe several people play a game like Fortnite while providing a running commentary. Or in some cases, the provide the commentary over an aggregation of gaming highlights. The Freeform version would have been very familiar to teens who spend a lot of time watching YouTube and it's an audience that can easily be captured with a more gammified presentation.

The NFL releases ten-minute or so game highlight videos to its YouTube channel and if I were the league, I would seriously consider releasing "Watch Party" highlights reels next season. Hire some of the YouTubers who are already cranking out reaction videos for Madden and give them the opportunity to reach a new audience. And bring along some of their own. 

Nickelodeon did the NFC wild card game between the Chicago Bears & the New Orleans Saints and to be honest, the goofball Nickelodeon presentation was the only thing that made the one-sided game tolerable to watch. There were a lot of expected Nickelodeon add-ons, including virtual slime cannons that went off during touchdowns. And some of the technology - like the brightly colored digital yard lines - didn't always work. But it was fun and it felt like something a kid would like to watch.

NFL Football can be a complicated game for novices and there are so many arcane rules that traditional NFL broadcasts just assume most viewers understand. Former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson did color commentator for the game, and he did an exceptional job of explaining even the simplest game rules in a way that was geared towards kids without being dumbed down. At one point, he explained that moving the ball down the field was the homework and getting the ball into the Red Zone was the test. Which is just the perfect way to describe game play to a 10-year-old.

I have no idea what the future is for these niche-specific NFL broadcasts. But I can't think of a better way to build a new generation of football fans, especially in a generation that has heard mostly bad things about the sport.

I will also note that there was an exceptional amount of ill-advised social media dragging of the experiments by older media reporters who should know better. If a broadcast is aimed at 20-year-olds and you're 60...well, maybe you should cut back on the snark and talk to some viewers in the target demographic.

DISCOVERY+ IS NOT QUIBI
The new streaming service Discovery+ has only been out for a week and I'm already seeing some analysts comparing it to Quibi. For instance, here is a bit of the comparison from Andrew A. Rosen:

My biggest issue with discovery+’s strategy is this, as I wrote on Monday:

“discovery+ reflects a bet that the limitations of the OTT model can be bulldozed with the power of TV personalities and globally known linear TV brands.”

But, when thinking about Product Channel fit, the most successful strategies outside of Netflix have either been IP-focused (Disney) or Genre-focused (AMC, STARZ).

discovery+ falls into neither bucket.

Quibi made a similar mistake, banking on the power of Hollywood celebrity and globally known linear TV brands to “bulldoze” its way into the OTT streaming marketplace.

I really like Rosen's work and he is always worth reading. But I couldn't disagree more with his premise. The old maxim "everything looks like a nail to a hammer" fits pretty well in this instance. Quibi's main problem weren't channel distribution, partnerships or "product channel fit." Quibi failed because no one has been able to convince customers to pay for a mobile-centric streaming service. It's true that Quibi would have better served if it had allowed screen sharing from the beginning, so that users could cast the video to their televisions. But that technical flaw (along with not allowing screenshots) wasn't the main cause of Quibi's demise. It failed because there just aren't many people willing to pay a monthly subscription fee to watch serialized short films on their mobile device.

Finding Joy: Catastrophe meets Fleabag in W comedy | BT TV
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) All American Stories (The CW)
Ths special profiles eight incredible athletes who overcame unimaginable obstacles in their relentless pursuit of greatness. Yogi Roth sits down with each athlete and as they share their story in a unique and powerful way, with additional insight and commentary provided by co-host Spencer Paysinger, who triumphed over his own obstacles to make it to the NFL

2) A Little Late With Lilly Singh Season Premiere (NBC)
Comedian, actress, social media sensation, producer and author Lilly Singh bring her unique perspective to late night. Singh hosts celebrity interviews, talks current events, performs musical and sketch comedy, plays games and more.

3) CRACK: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy (Netflix)
In the early 1980s, the crack epidemic tore through America’s inner cities like a tsunami, ravaging all in its wake. Decades later, the destructive effects on people’s lives, families and communities are still deeply felt. Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy examines not only the personal devastation caused by the drug, but also the shadowy origins of the crisis and the resultant, ongoing marginalization of Black and Brown people trapped by the U.S. prison and healthcare systems.

4) Finding Joy Season Two Premiere (Acorn TV)
Encouraged by her stint as an internet sensation, the thirtysomething lifestyle vlogger Joy Morris (Huberman) establishes her own video channel and continues to try new things outside of her comfort zone to help achieve happiness and fulfillment. She hopes to make it big as an online influencer, but attracting subscribers and sponsors is harder than it seems.

5) Independent Lens: A Day In The Life Of America (PBS)
Director Jared Leto crafts a sweeping yet intimate cross-section of America shot on a single July 4th in 2017 with 92 film crews fanning out across each of the United States and Puerto Rico to capture A Day in the Life of America. A gargantuan production shot over a single 24-hour period across the country, the film weaves a wide range of beliefs and backgrounds into a rich tapestry of life.

6) Straight Up Steve Austin Season Premiere (USA)
WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and a celebrity guest get real, heading out to different cities across America to take part in one-of-a-kind adventures, while swapping stories about their lives and careers. It’s a unique twist on the standard interview show, with no studio, no couch and no cue cards -- just a straight up good time and good old-fashioned American fun.

7) Street Outlaws Season Premiere (Discovery)
Oklahoma’s Top Ten List has produced the fastest street cars in history. But when the 405 focused on dominating the track in No Prep Kings, other street racers and their teams have risen to the top as they and their cars have gotten faster. Now, it’s a new era and the OG of the streets, Chief, has a plan to build this crew better...stronger...and faster. But they’ll have to push their cars – and themselves - harder than ever. No one can dominate the street like the 405. And to prove it, Chief drops a bombshell this season that will up the stakes of street racing in America forever.

8) Street Outlaws: Mega Cash Days Season Premiere (Discovery)
All of the Street Outlaws all-stars are back, but this time, it’s every man or woman for themself. While no strangers to the popular Cash Days, these drivers have never seen a double elimination competition to this scale. With more racers and more money on the line, they’re gearing up for a MEGA race with A $600,000 prize pool on the line. Hosted by race-master Boosted GT (Chris Hamilton)

9) Ty Breaker Series Premiere (HGTV)
Popular carpenter, craftsman and designer Ty Pennington will help conflicted homeowners decide whether to overhaul their current home or renovate a different property to suit their needs in the new HGTV series Ty Breaker. Premiering on Monday, Jan. 11, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, each of the eight hour-long episodes will feature one of HGTV’s savvy design experts: Alison Victoria (Windy City Rehab), Grace Mitchell (One of a Kind) or Sabrina Soto (The High Low Project), as she tries to persuade the family to let her create a beautifully customized new place. Meanwhile, Ty, who spends quality time with each family to find out about their property’s problem areas, will strive for clients to stay put and enjoy a whole-home renovation. The friendly competition will up the ante between Ty and the starring guest expert as each vies to impress clients with stunning home renovation options. Two design plans will be presented, but only one will be the "Ty Breaker."


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, January 7th, 2021

07 January, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, January 7th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by several 7.5 ounce cans of Root Beer.

My apologies for the lack of a newsletter yesterday. It was a problematic day and like a lot of people, the news of the day was jarring enough to knock me off of my game. Watching the events unfold in the nation's capitol, I found it difficult to focus on television.

IS A VIRTUAL CES STILL THE CES?
The Consumer Electronics Show is going to be entirely virtual next week and I think it's fair to say however the event shakes out, it is going to be a diminished experience for everyone. The CES has always been as much about about glitz as content, with splashy celebrity-filled presentations one of the highlights of the week. The other highlight for longtime participants - whether they be industry execs or the the press - are the multiple opportunities for networking and meeting people face-to-face over a drink or at a party. For all of its flaws, the CES has become a vital cog in any company's promotional plan and much of that is gone this year.

Maybe that's why so many major companies are either skipping CES entirely or making only a prefunctory appearance. Google, Amazon, HTC, Sonos and Facebook are all skipping the CES entirely. And a number of smaller companies will be doing their own thing, but releasing the news during the CES window in hopes of getting some relates attention.

There are going to be some big virtual presentations, beginning with LG's announcements beginning at 5:00 am PT on Monday. Samsung will do its thing an hour later, with Hisense, TCL, Panasonic and Philips also doing presentations throughout the week. Since it is virtual, I'll be "attending" events and I'll pass along anything of interest. 

SPEAKING OF VIRTUAL EVENTS
As I've mentioned before, one of the upsides of so many organizations doing virtual press events is that it provides a lot more opportunities for journalists like myself who are based in non-traditional places. (And having lived here for nearly 15 years, I can tell you that Minneapolis-St. Paul is non-traditional in all sorts of ways). But I'm really curious to see whether networks and outside PR firms stick with virtual press tours once the pandemic recedes later in the year. It's cheaper and more convenient for the organizers to do these events virtually. And while things like set visits can't be replicated via Zoom, a lot of the functions of publicity are much easier in a virtual world.

January is typically when the Television Critics Association (TCA) would be doing their January gathering. Twice a year, the various networks and media companies would present their priority shows in front of about 200 critics assembled in Pasadena. There are also some related parties and set visits. But it's mostly a chance to put a bunch of panels of cast and producers in front of the press. The TCA's traditional July tour was done virtually in 2020, and while it wasn't a disaster, I don't think it accomplished much for anyone. There will apparently be some sort of virtual January tour in a couple of weeks. But it does open the question about what these events will look like in a post-pandemic world? Even before the pandemic, I had argued that the format wasn't the best use of anyone's resources. It's going to be interesting to see how networks view this issue moving forward.

SPORTS VIEWERSHIP DURING A PANDEMIC
There's been a lot of discussion this year about the causes of the decline in sports viewership. The data intelligence firm Morning Consult asked Americans who said they're watching less often why, and their written responses were illuminating.


Image

Here is a link to the complete report, which gives some guidance to what 2021 might bring for the industry.

THE CASE FOR MULTIPLE STREAMING SERVICES.
Here are a couple of interesting tweets from Devin Emery, Chief Product Officer & EVP Content Strategy of CuriosityStream:




Gordon Ramsay HELL'S KITCHEN | Caesars Palace Las Vegas
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Celebrity Wheel Of Fortune Series Premiere (ABC)
It's just like the traditional Wheel Of Fortune...but with CELEBRITIES!

2) Coyote Series Premiere (CBS All-Access)
This is the story of Ben Clemens (Michael Chiklis), who after 32 years as a border patrol agent is forced to work for the very people he spent his career trying to keep out of the United States. Now exposed to life on the other side of the wall, Ben will start to question his black and white views of the world, challenging his ideology and his loyalties.

3) Growing Up Hip-Hop Atlanta Season Four Premiere (WEtv)
As Atlanta emerges from quarantine, the cast struggles to navigate a new world in troubling times. Bow's scandalous album rocks Atlanta, Ayana receives a terrifying health diagnosis, and Deb drops a bomb that shocks Waka and threatens her reputation.  

4) Hell's Kitchen Season Premiere (Fox)
The culinary competition show returns for its 19th season in a flashy new setting, as Chef Gordon Ramsay takes the show to Las Vegas, the city that’s home to Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen restaurant at Caesars Palace. For the first time ever, 16 aspiring chefs from around the country will roll the dice and head to Sin City in the hopes of winning big

5) Law & Order SVU (NBC)
As commander of the SVU, Capt. Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) is a seasoned veteran of the unit who has seen it all. She leads with empathy and professionalism, all the while dealing with her difficult past as a product of rape and her responsibility as a trailblazer in survivor advocacy, both of which influence the way she relates to the victims and perpetrators of each case. Olivia Benson is the longest-running female character in a primetime live-action television series.

6) Mr. Mayor Series Premiere (NBC)
This comedy follows a retired businessman (Ted Danson) who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s "still got it." Once he wins, he has to figure out what he stands for, gain the respect of his biggest critic (Holly Hunter) and connect with his teenage daughter, all while trying to get anything right for America’s second weirdest city.

7) Pieces Of A Woman (Netflix)
A heartbreaking home birth leaves a woman grappling with the profound emotional fallout, isolated from her partner and family by a chasm of grief.

8) The Chase Series Premiere (ABC)
A heart-racing quiz show where three competitors face off against the Chaser, a ruthless quiz genius determined to stop them.

9) The Hustler Series Premiere (ABC)
This new series breaks the game show mold by featuring one player who secretly already knows the answers.

10) The Real Black Chyna Series Premiere (WEtv)
The show reveals the behind-the-scenes dynamics of Chyna’s life and relationships never before showcased on screen, including – her ongoing efforts to change the direction of her sometimes controversial and always complex life; including relationship statuses with her mom Tokyo Toni, her exes, various lawsuits, business ventures, and more. 

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, January 4th, 2021

04 January, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, January 4th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by the thought of getting back to work after ten days away from this newsletter.

WELCOME TO 2021
It's the first newsletter of the New Year and I have a couple of housekeeping things before I dive into the crazy amount of today's news. Once again, thanks for all of the support in 2020. The newsletter really grew and I always open to feedback. Feel free to reach out anytime at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Along those lines, I just wanted to emphasize that both the web site and the newsletter will remain free. I could load the web site up with more ads or begin charging a fee for this newsletter. But I think part of the growth of both in 2020 is due to the fact that it's free and available to anyone.

That being said, I do regularly hear from readers who like to help support my efforts. I'll be adding a donation link to the web site this week when I do some light updating. But you can also help support my work via this BuyMeACoffee link. Which is really just a way to donate a few dollars on a one-time basis. 

DISCOVERY+ LAUNCHES IN THE U.S.
The new Discovery streaming service Discovery+ launched this morning in the U.S. and it includes about 55,000 episodes from 19 different networks. My initial take on the service can be found here. And if you'd like more info on the couple of dozen Discovery+ originals premiering today, check out my rundown of the shows on this post.

I'm not a gambler, so I am not going to try and predict subscriber numbers for the service. I will say that if you like watching non-scripted, lifestyle, food or true crime programming, Discovery+ will be a must-have. There is nothing else in the market that has this deep of a catalog in these genres. And while Discovery execs have made a point of saying that they value their current linear TV partners and don't think Discovery+ will encourage people to drop their cable, I suspect they might be wrong. Some of the current programming from the various networks will be available the same or next day on Discovery+. And apparently nearly everything will become available on Discovery+ once the current season wraps.

So if you spend a lot of your time watching Food, HGTV, Discovery, TLC, Travel, etc., why would you keep your current cable service? An ambitious company such as Roku could create a bundle of basic Hulu, Discovery+, free Peacock, CBS All-Access that would give viewers access to nearly all of the programming from their favorite shows, albeit on a delayed basis. Even without a discount, it would cost less than $25. And if you love Hallmark Networks, you could add Frndly for $6 a month, which includes live feeds of all the Hallmark Networks, along with GSN, the Weather Channel and a few smaller networks.

Not to be glib, but watching Discovery+ makes me wonder if "delayed viewing" could be the new cable bundle.  

MOST POPULAR GAMES STREAMING ON TWITCH
Streaming gameplay is one of the bread-and butter uses for Twitch, so this list of 2020's most-stream games from Roundhill Investments is pretty interesting:

Most Popular Games On Twitch 2020
1. League of Legends
2. Fortnite
3. Grand Theft Auto V
4. Valorant
5. Call of Duty: Warzone
6. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
7. Minecraft
8. Dota 2
9. World of Warcraft
10. Among Us

ELLEN'S GAME OF GAMES Exclusive Clip: 'Aw Snap' Gets Brutal - Give Me My  Remote : Give Me My Remote

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

I am not including the couple of dozen Discovery+ shows premiering today. For that info, check out this post

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

2) Get A Clue Season Premiere (GSN)
It's a new game show...that involves....clues?

3) Gigantosaurus Season Two Premiere (Disney Jr)
In the Season 2 opener, life in Cretacia is pretty good after Termy’s banishment – that is, until the dinos realize her absence is causing an ecological disaster in the lake! Maybe their new buddy Giganto will help them find her. But when they try to rely on him during their search, they begin to wonder whether or not he’s truly their friend!

4) The Wall Season Premiere (NBC)
Hosted and executive produced by actor, comedian, author and TV personality Chris Hardwick, “The Wall” will offer a pair of teammates life-altering cash prizes. The rules are simple: Get a question correct and a green ball will fall down the wall and add the value of the slot to the players’ winning total. Miss a question and an ominous red ball with fall and deduct the value from the teams’ total. Teammates have to work together to build a huge cash prize.

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, December 23rd, 2020

23 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, December 23rd, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by the thought of the foot or so of snow we're getting today here in the Twin Cities

A SINCERE THANKS TO ALL OF YOU
The industry is wrapping up for the holidays and this newsletter is taking a break (almost) until Monday, January 4th. I'll be sending out a newsletter this coming Monday (the 28th) with links to some end-of-year pieces that will be going up between now and then as well as some programming highlights for the week ahead. But unless some crazy media news story breaks over the holidays, the newsletter won't return until the following Monday. As an FYI, that newsletter on the 4th will be out earlier in the morning, because that is the day Discovery+ launches and I'll have extensive coverage of the launch. Including reviews of at least a dozen Discovery+ titles.

I also wanted to thank all of you for the support in 2020. The newsletter has gone from 0 to about 15,000 subscribers in less than a year and I have virtually met some incredible people along the way. I have enjoyed the interactions and have learned a great deal from the conversations.

There are some new things coming in 2021 for both the newsletter and the web site. The newsletter will remain free, but I will be adding a couple of classified ads to the bottom. And I will also be releasing an e-book that builds out some of the themes I've discussed here.

Once again, a sincere thanks to all of you for your support and feedback. May you and yours be safe. And may you have as wonderful a holiday as you can have under the circumstances.

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 on Monday, January 4th. 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, December 21st, 2020

21 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, December 21st, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by the thought of a relaxing holday break

A HOLIDAY WISH LIST
This is the time when all good media journalists write a media holiday wish list. And since I am contractually obligated as a member of the Association of Random Media Journalists Not Working For A Big Outlet Association to write up my wish list, here is mine for 2021:

Philo: Profiles. I love this service & frequently recommend it to people looking for a virtual cable alternative that offers the most major channels for the cheapest cost. But the fact that it doesn't offer individual profiles is a big misstep.

Hulu: Most watched lists. Netflix's Top Ten lists are helpful not just for journalists, but for subscribers looking for stuff they might have missed. 

Netflix: Expand the Top Ten lists to a Top Fifty. The services has been experimenting with this idea and I think it's a very helpful one. 

NBC: Yes, Peacock is the focus of the company and where a project originates is increasingly less important.  But for the life of me, I can't figure out the programing philosophy of NBC. I know arguing that a network needs defining creative leadership is about as obvious as arguing for world peace. But that is just what this formerly great broadcast network needs. 

Amazon: Do something....anything...to improve the user experience for people using the Prime Instant Video app.

Disney+: Take advantage of the deep Disney archives and add a deeper "classic TV" channel. While none of these obscure shows are going to draw huge numbers of viewers, it's also low hanging fruit. The only real cost is cleaning up and digitizing the video and renegotiating some contracts. Which is still a cheaper option than cranking out more "behind-the-scenes" specials.

Netflix: I would also like to see Netflix integrate a watch party feature that allows larger groups of viewers to co-watch Netflix Original titles. Allowing someone to "host" a watch party that features hundreds of viewers would open up a new type of hybrid viewing experience & the growth of trusted independent watch party hosts.

Fox: As long as we're mining old IP, why not do a Sliders reboot? The show's "what if" premise has a new resonance after the year we've had.

I'll have a longer list of these on the web site on Wednesday. Tomorrow I'll be looking back at some of the things from the newsletter this year that deserve a bit more attention.

WHAT IS FAVE TV?
I continue to be perplexed by the fact that in such a competitive media environment, projects can roll out with absolutely no effort to publicize it. The latest example of this is a new diginet from Viacom/CBS called "Fave TV." The digital network rolled out on all of the CBS owned-and-operated TV stations in the past few days and it's been the source of a lot of confusion from viewers. If you try and search for information on the network, the only thing you'll find are some references to a now-shuttered Fave TV Christian programming service. But absolutely nothing else. Nothing on the Viacom/CBS corporate web site or their press site. Calls to four different O&O's today offered up four variations of the same answer: "hey. it comes from corporate, we're not really sure about the programming."

Based on what I've seen locally (it's just been added to the Twin Cities CBS digital lineup), it's a mix of old Paramount and Viacom programming. Lots of house ads for Viacom cable networks such as MTV and VH1. And as I'm watching it now, the network is airing episodes of The Jamie Foxx Show, but they are starting on the quarter hour (ie 12:45 p.m. CT) SO I am very confused. I've reached out to CBS for some more info and will update you tomorrow.


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

1) Ariana Grande: Excuse Me, I Love You (Netflix)
The Netflix documentary film follows the Grammy-winning, multi-platinum singer-songwriter around the globe on her sold out 2019 Sweetener World Tour, capturing the spectacular performances of the hits that have burned up the charts, as well as exclusive, never-before-seen footage of the internationally-beloved superstar at home and on the road with her dancers and band. The film offers an exclusive peek at the many facets of the passionate, raw, and always real artist and provides backstage access to the pre-show rehearsals, iconic styling, and the intimate and emotional moments that are the reason for the special connection she has with her fans.

2) Dr. Pimple Popper Season Premiere (TLC)
Because nothing says Christmas like an oozing boil.

3) Let's Make A Deal Primetime (CBS)
Families come on down to the iconic game show stage to play for festive prizes.

4) Spotlight On Christmas (Lifetime)
Dumped two weeks before Christmas, actress Olivia O’Hara (Tori Anderson) secretly returns to her tiny hometown to hide out, eat cookies and avoid the press. What she doesn’t expect is to be faced with the family she left behind, meeting a charming new guy Casey Rawlins (Victor Zinck, Jr.), and a noisy reporter following her every move. Completely overwhelmed, Olivia contemplates running away from her life once again but with a new found confidence and freedom, Olivia bravely steps up to take the starring role in her own life, realizing that home is where the heart is and that she deserves to be loved for exactly who she really is. 

5) The Price Is Right Primetime (CBS)
There will be holiday decorations, and festively themed games and deals. Plus, Christopher Jackson, star of CBS’ Bull, makes a special guest appearance.

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, December 18th, 2020

18 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, December 18th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by tomato soup and Tylenol.

THE BEST USE OF YOUTUBE BY A STREAMER THIS YEAR
While both linear networks and streamers make extensive use of YouTube to promote their programs, most of the video that is posted tends to be along the lines of trailers and behind-the-scenes pieces. Netflix ups their YouTube game today with the release of a truly smart idea. A two-hour video which has Stranger Things stars David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, and Natalia Dyer playing the "ultimate game of Dungeons & Dragons." It's a very clever way to give fans of the show another way to interact with the cast while they wait for a new season of the show.

I have long thought that networks should be using untraditional marketing more aggressively, particularly during the pandemic. Given the number of TV actors, writers and crew that play video games, I'm shocked that no network has thought to do a regular segment on a Twitch channel which features their stars playing video games, trash talking and maybe even mentioning their shows along the way.

HOLLYWOOD'S BIG STREAMING PIVOT WILL BE COSTLY FOR INDIE FILMS
The streaming industry has all sorts of complex issues that can tend to be overlooked when journalists focus on the horserace of which service is growing faster or which title is grabbing more viewers. One issue that hasn't gotten enough attention in the past few weeks is the impact that the shortening of theatrical windows will have on smaller, independent films. Ted Mundorff is the president and COO of ArcLight Cinemas/Pacific Theatres has a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter in which he discusses why independent films need a longer theatrical run to find their audience:

The opposite is true in “independent” distribution. When an indie title is released, the expectation is that the opening weekend will be the smallest weekend financially. If the screen average is high enough on a limited number of screens, the film will receive attention not only from reviews, but also from potential moviegoers and other theater operators. The film, after an initial successful weekend, will then expand by adding more screens in more cities as the word-of-mouth continues. Word-of-mouth is a critical piece of the equation, because these films do not have the large marketing budgets that wide releases have.

How does all this tie together with the streaming announcements? Films such as Moonlight and Parasite played for 20-plus weeks in many key theaters. Their box office grew each week, keeping these films onscreen in cinemas. This may not be the case if studios keep pushing to accelerate to streaming. I believe the ability of an independent film to grow attendance at a theater when it is competing with the streaming outlets is simply not sustainable.

ODDS AND SODS
HBO Max orders a Second Season Of The Flight Attendant

Netflix orders an early season three renewal for Locke & Key.

RECOMENDED READING
Steep Ratings Declines Create Potential Prime-Time Cash-Back Scenarios (MediaPost)
New AVODs (ad-supported streamers) may offer a new place for networks to make up the fall deficits in viewership.

A Creepshow Holiday Special - Official Trailer [HD] | A Shudder Original -  YouTube
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) A Creepshow Holiday Special (Shudder)
In the holiday themed, hour-long episode, fearing he is a murderer, an anxious man searches for answers for his "unique condition" from an unusual support group.

2) Christmas On The Menu (Lifetime)
Josie Jennings (Kim Shaw) a celebrated, romantic, 35-year old chef in the city heads home to spend the holidays at the quaint, magical bed and breakfast where she grew up, and where her mother Shannon (Cynthia Gibb) has just opened a new restaurant. Famous food critic Tanner Rhodes (Clayton James), who has given Josie harsh reviews in the past, comes to town to review the new restaurant and Josie’s Christmas Cuisine.  As the holidays unfold, Josie and Tanner get to know each other better, and a romance soon begins to blossom but will Tanner find a way to right his wrongs, write a rave review for the bistro’s delicious cuisine, and win Josie’s heart by Christmas Eve? 

3) El Cid (Amazon)
Ruy Diaz de Vivar is a young page who loyally serves his master, Sancho, the future king of Leon and Castile. While he fights to come out on top in the Court thanks to his natural talent with a sword, he gets caught up in a conspiracy to overthrow the King, which would cause as much bloodshed, pain, and death in the Christian Kingdoms as it would in the Muslim taifas.

4) Home For Christmas Season Two (Netflix)
When love rings your doorbell, are you ready? Follow Johanne through another December as she continues her pursuit for eternal, warm and real love. When her family and the world around her fall apart, how can she still believe in real and bottomless love? Does it even exist and will she find the one true love for Christmas this year?

5) Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Netflix)
Tensions rise when the trailblazing Mother of the Blues and her band gather at a Chicago recording studio in 1927. Adapted from August Wilson's play.

6) On Pointe (Disney+)
A six-part docu-series that captures a season in the School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York City. Featuring unprecedented access to the famous ballet institution, the series follows the lives of the students ages 8 to 18 pursuing their dreams to become ballet dancers.While older students from all over the country rigorously train for professional careers, younger students from New York City are put through their paces as they rehearse and perform in New York City Ballet's holiday classic "George Balanchine's The Nutcracker" onstage at Lincoln Center.

7) Sweet Home (Netflix)
As savage monsters inflict terror and threaten humanity, a troubled teen with inner demons emerges as his neighbors' best bet for survival.

8) The Grand Tour Presents: A Massive Hunt (Amazon)
The intrepid trio find themselves back on four wheels for their latest adventure. Armed with sports cars, Richard, James and Jeremy think they are in for a cushy road trip as they arrive on the exotic island of Reunion and race on the world's most expensive piece of tarmac. But a bizarre challenge propels them to Madagascar where they must tackle the world's toughest road.

9) You'll Be Home For Christmas (HGTV)
As the countdown to Christmas ticks on, Albie Mushaney, world-famous strongman and Salem, Oregon-based real estate agent who moonlights as a Santa impersonator, will help first-time homebuyers find their forever home in time for the holidays. Alongside his festive family, Albie will make the houses extra “ho-ho-home-y” by adding special seasonal touches like a fully decorated tree with gifts underneath, stockings hung on the chimney and freshly baked cookies and hot cocoa welcoming them at the door.

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, December 17th, 2020

17 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, December 17th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by some sort of hot herbal tea.

THE FUTURE OF DUBBING VOICE TRACKS
One of the under-appreciated challenges of releasing TV shows and movies globally is that no matter what the original language of the program, the voice tracks need to be dubbed into a number of languages. And aside from time spent casting the right local voices and recording the tracks, the entire process is not a cheap one. A Tel Aviv-based startup has a new product in Beta that appears to be a big breakthrough, based on this YouTube demo video it recently posted.

DeepDub came out of stealth mode yesterday and it uses machine learning to automate the dubbing process. Currently it can dub into six different languages, including French, German and Spanish and the plan is to steadily expand that to around 60 languages. One of the things that makes their process interesting it that their dubbing changes the language of the audio while still retaining the vocal qualities of the original audio. In other words, audio of James Earl Jones would still sound like him, even when translated into a different language.

I talk a lot about global content, but technology such as DeepDub - combined with new software that can visually change an actor's face to match the new dialogue - will make the experience of watching content originally produced in a different language seem almost the same as locally-produced content. This feels as if we are only a couple of years from a company such as Amazon or Netflix being able to produce content anywhere in the world and easily roll out customized versions that appear to civilian eyes to be locally produced.

ROKU TORMENTS ENTERTAINMENT GIANTS IN QUEST TO DOMINATE STREAMING
The Wall Street Journal's Patience Haggin has a really informative look at Roku and how it has become an increasingly important player in the streaming entertainment industry:

Since going public in 2017, Roku’s market value has expanded 30 times to more than $40 billion, surpassing those of ViacomCBS Inc. and Fox Corp. It is worth more than Discovery Inc., AMC Networks and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. combined. Its shares are up 260% since mid-March, as at-home consumers stream more video.

“We’re often underestimated by the industry,” said Anthony Wood, Roku’s chief executive and founder, who named the company after the Japanese word for “six” because it was the sixth company he started. Described as aloof and inscrutable by some employees, he’s impatient with legacy media companies that chafe at the streaming era’s changes.

Although Roku built its business selling streaming devices, these days it barely makes any profit off that hardware, and instead focuses on selling ads in the streaming apps it carries. Roku has more than 10,000 apps in its Channel Store, both free and paid. It generally gets a percentage of the ad space, based on an arrangement with the app’s owner. Ads were the greatest contributor to Roku’s $1.1 billion in revenue last year. Roku also generally gets a percentage of subscription revenue from partners.

The reporting on this piece is extremely detailed and it has information on a number of Roku deals that I hadn't seen anywhere else:

Last year, Roku showed up to negotiations with A+E Inc., which owns channels like Lifetime and A&E, asking for the right to put the programmer’s library on The Roku Channel and take 50% of ad revenue from those shows, said a person familiar with the talks. A+E resisted and provided a smaller amount of ad revenue. It still had to give Roku rights to some 600 episodes of some of its top shows, including “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” “Hoarders,” “First 48” and “I Survived,” the person said.

IN A RELATED TWEET



ODDS AND SODS
Peacock is adding a number of comedy specials from Kevin Hart's LOL! Network.

HBO Max is running ads on social media offering discounts of 10-25% off of a six-month prepaid subscription.

RECOMENDED READING
Disney+ To Reach $4 Billion In US Subscription Revenue By 2022 (DigitalTVEurope)
Disney’s expansion will also contribute to wider OTT growth in the US, with total revenues for the sector expected to increase by 29.9% in 2021 to $38.15 billion. 2022 will see reduced growth of 19.4% as the sector reaches maturity.


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

1) Beyond The Pole: Living Under Lockdown (WEtv)
From virtual strip clubs to OnlyFans, the queens of hustle and grind are back for a unique behind the scenes look at their journey to financial freedom. When Atlanta shuts down its famous nightlife scene due to a global pandemic, the clubs’ exotic dancers, bartenders, and bottle girls struggle to find income streams. Ms. Dime, Angel Kake, Empress, and Lyric self-document their fight for survival.

2) Dogs Of The Year (The CW)
Hosts Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner count down the Top 10 dog stories of 2020, celebrating the dogs that go above and beyond, that leave their mark on society, and achieve the nearly impossible. Some of the exceptional dogs to be featured in the special include Narwhal, the unicorn puppy who makes therapy magical; Triado, a decorated dog who protects airports and events; Hansel, the first Pitbull to become a firefighting K9; Ariel, a service dog who can detect oncoming seizures; and Plum, a dog with disabilities who is a social media superstar

3) Homeschool Musical: Class of 2020 (HBO Max)
This documentary shines a light on the personal experiences and incredible musical talent of teens across America that have been confronted with the many unique challenges of 2020. Each teen will perform a well-known song which organically expresses their emotions about their experience as high school seniors faced with their world turned upside down. Along with their musical numbers, we’ll hear directly from them in interviews that showcase their unique perspective, their wide range of emotions, hurdles, laughs and resilience that they’ve experienced during the past year. 

3) Sesame Street: Holiday At Hooper's (HBO Max)
It's Holiday time on Sesame Street! When their parents run late from the holiday concert, Elmo and Baby Bear stay with Alan and Nina at Hooper's store. But they are disappointed not to celebrate Christmas Eve and Hanukkah as they had planned. Alan wonders how to make Hooper's feel more festive. What if they make their own holiday decorations? Elmo, Baby Bear, Nina, and Alan sing carols, eat latkes, and make lots of decorations. They create a wonderful holiday celebration all by themselves—and Elmo and Baby Bear realize that the best part of holidays is being together with friends and family.

4) The Available Wife (UMC)
Nicole Wright, a successful music CEO, realizes that her life is about to crumble in front of her. While the secrets that have built her music empire threaten to tear her down, Nicole struggles to maintain a family and motherhood.

5) The Stand (CBS All-Access)
Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man.

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, December 15th, 2020

15 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, December 15th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee....coffee....and coffee.

I'M NOT SAYING THIS IS THE DUMBEST TAKE I'VE READ TODAY...BUT IT'S IN THE TOP TWO
One of the worst trends in online entertainment journalism in recent years are these takes that aren't "hot" takes per se. They don't stake any real controversial opinion, but instead are crafted to get passed around a lot, even if the virality of it is mostly readers dunking on it.

Verge posted a piece this morning entitled "A Year Without Marvel Movies Left A Pop Culture Void," and it as massively stupid as you might expect it to be. Sure, lots of terrible things have happened in 2020, but this guy's moaning over the fact that there wasn't a MCU movie released this year. Worse, he conflates the experience of sitting in a movie theater with the joy that is Marvel, in a way that only magnifies the fan-boyish quality of the piece:

In a year where I feel more disconnected from people than ever, where I’m searching for community from the confines of a tiny studio apartment, not having that quintessential part of normalcy — sitting in a theater and watching the couple of Marvel movies that come out every year — feels enormous.

The absence of Marvel movies is the absence of a very specific kind of excitement. Living within the confines of our new normal for the last 10 months means trying to find little things to look forward to every week. A new show on a streaming service helps or a Zoom catch-up with family who can’t visit. But it doesn’t replace the physicality of community or the excitement of leaving home to experience something people may have been waiting on for several months. In 2020, a year filled with death and travesty at the worst of times and mindless boredom at the best of times, the absence of unbridled anticipation was tough to swallow.

Yes, O wise one, you are correct. Of all the troubling things that hit the pop culture world this year, not having a new Marvel movie was certainly difficult. 

REVENUE FOR AVOD'S LIKE TUBI LIKELY TO SOON SURPASS BROADCAST TV
When Fox acquired Tubi for $440 million in March 2020, there was a certain amount of surprise from industry analysts who hadn't been paying attention to free, ad-supported streaming services. But if you want to know Fox made that move, simply listen to Fox Corporation CFO Steve Tomsic, who said last week that the company expects the revenues of its ad-supported streaming service Tubi to surpass those of its broadcast networks in the next two to three years:

As of September 2020, Tubi reported 33 million active users, a 65% increase year over year (YoY). And while Fox Corporation does not yet break out Tubi revenues in its earnings, other firms have noted that free, ad-supported streaming services, including Tubi, have made significant ad revenue gains this year.

For example, MoffettNathanson said in August that ad revenues across the five major ad-supported streaming platforms—Roku, Hulu, Peacock, Pluto TV, and Tubi—jumped 31% YoY in Q2 2020 to $849 million. And according to Morning Consult, Tubi is one of the fastest-growing brands in 2020 (along with Pluto and Peacock), defined by the growth in share of consumers who expressed an interest in the brand over the course of a year.

A BIT OF HOUSEKEEPING
I'll remind everyone again next week, but just wanted to give everyone the heads-up that - barring some huge piece of media news - this newsletter will be taking an extended holiday break. The last daily newsletter of the year will be on Wednesday, December 23rd and it will resume on Monday, January 4th, 2021. There isn't likely to be much in the way of news, especially since just about every publicist in the industry will be gone. Plus, I could use a bit of a break after the craziness of the past few months. I'm going to send out a special newsletter on Monday, December 28th that will have premiere listings for the entire week. And I'll still be posting a bit on the the web site. But I plan to spend some time with my family & I'll maybe even sleep in a day or two.

ODDS AND SODS
The HBO Max app is available beginning today on Xfinity X1 and Flex. [press release]
Live streaming TV service Vidgo is offering its service for $10/month for the first two months. It's $55 a month after that, which isn't a great deal, considering its missing the broadcast network feeds of CBS, NBC & The CW as well as all of the NBCU cable networks.

RECOMENDED READING
Discovery Won’t Limit Number of Discovery+ Marketers For New Streamer (Ad Week)
Unlike NBCUniversal’s rival streamer Peacock, Discovery isn’t limiting the number of brands that can participate in the launch of its new platform.

2021 Ad-Supported TV Growth To Remain Strong, Become Fragmented (NScreenMedia)
2021 will bring continued strong growth for free ad-supported TV. But branded apps (Pluto TV, Xumo) will suffer as devices push their own.

Study Reveals SVoD Viewing Shift (Broadcast Now)
A University of Huddersfield’s Covid-TV: Routes to Content During Covid-19 qualitative paper found the majority of participants "turning to VoD as part of their habitual TV viewing", with older people "far more likely to have discovered SVoD services during lockdown" and more accessing YouTube.

Comcast Says It Reaches Hearst TV Retrans Deal (NextTV)
Agreement includes out-of-market stations previously expected to be dropped.

Song Exploder | Netflix Official Site
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Cooking Christmas (OWN)
Meagan Holder ("Pitch") stars in this family-centric holiday story as Chloe, an Atlanta-based chef at a fine dining restaurant who gets fired just weeks before Christmas and reluctantly takes a job with pro baseball player Donovan Jackson (OWN's "Greenleaf" star Lamman Rucker), who is a single dad of three needing a live-in-chef to get him through the holidays with the kids. Chloe only takes the job in order to save up enough capital to live out her dream of opening her own restaurant, but soon finds herself caught up in the ups and downs of the Jacksons encounter during her residency. Throughout the holiday season in the Jackson household the importance of family and Chloe's good Southern cooking are two constants that remain. As Christmas comes to an end, Chloe discovers that her lifelong dream might finally come true... and that her heart has a mind of its own.

2) Play On: Celebrating The Power Of Music To Make Change (CBS)
This memorable concert special will feature three stellar music lineups spanning genres from country and rock to hip hop and jazz/funk, with exciting artists just added to the performance lineups in New York City and Los Angeles. LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip will now take over the hip hop portion of the lineup in what will be a magnetic performance at the famed Troubadour in Los Angeles. Also, additional artists at Apollo Theater in New York include Sara Bareilles, Emily King, Pedrito Martinez and Steve Jordan for a powerful and moving collaboration.

3) Song Exploder Volume 2 Premiere (Netflix)
Based on the acclaimed podcast of the same name, and from host Hrishikesh Hirway and Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, each episode of Song Exploder features some of the world's greatest musicians as they reveal how they brought one of their songs to life. The series weaves together in-depth interviews, archival footage, and raw recordings as each artist breaks down their song, layer by layer, sharing intimate insight into the personal inspiration behind the music and lyrics.

4) The Voice Season Nineteen Finale (NBC)
Another winner will be announced tonight and I'm sure they'll be as successful as last year's winner......(frantically searching Google for the name).

5) 30 For 30: The Infinite Race (ESPN)
The documentary explores the story of the Tarahumara, an indigenous community in Mexico, famed for their legendary running ability, and their preference for running barefoot, who inspired an ultrarunning craze across the world, and what’s happened as their homes and communities were ravaged by drug cartels and violence.

6) Walking With Elephants (Animal Planet)
Each year, thousands of elephants make an incredible journey to the Okavango Delta in Botswana to feed on its lush vegetation, in one of the biggest natural events on the entire planet.

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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