Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, October 23rd 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by iced coffee and waffles.
One other programming note. Friday newsletters tend to be lighter on news and commentary due to the large number of new stuff that typically premiere today.
CHRISTMAS, ENGAGEMENT AND CONTENT CURATION
I write a lot about the challenges of surfacing relevant content on streaming services and how highlighting the new programming that engages subscribers can help keep down churn. But that's also the case with vMVPD's such as Hulu Live TV and Sling. There are a lot of channels available and more programming than any civilian could ever keep track of without help. These services tend to rely on content pushes from inside the interface. New programming sections or "things you might like" sidebars.
I am somewhat surprised that no one is creating their own mini-shows they can drop into people's feeds to push viewers to programs they might like. One example of this would be for Christmas movies, which are spread across numerous channels. Viewers who enjoy these movies tend to watch a lot of them. And they would likely engage strongly with a five-minute show that highlighted the new Christmas movies of the week and where to find them. The potential internal challenge of this idea is that sales and marketing would see this as a place to wring money out of networks and studios by offering pay-for-play placement. But this idea only works if it's recommendations are organic and have credibility.
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:
1) American Selfie: One Nation Shoots Itself (Showtime)
From celebrated filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi comes a visceral cross-country journey during one of the most tumultuous years in history
2) Bad Hair (Hulu)
In this horror satire set in 1989, the movie follows an ambitious young woman (Elle Lorraine) who gets a weave in order to succeed in the image-obsessed world of music television. However, her flourishing career comes at a great cost when she realizes that her new hair may have a mind of its own.
3) Barbarians (Netflix)
Torn between the mighty empire that raised him and his own tribal people, a Roman officer's conflicted allegiances lead to an epic historical clash.
4) Bruce Springsteen's Letter To You (Apple TV+)
The feature-length vérité documentary features full performances from the E Street Band, in-studio footage, never-before-seen archival material, and a deeper look into “Letter To You” from Springsteen himself. Written by Springsteen and directed by his frequent collaborator Thom Zimny, the film is a tribute to the E Street Band, to rock music itself, and to the role it has played in Springsteen's life.
5) Christmas On Ice (Lifetime)
Courtney Bennett (Abigail Klein), a former US figure skating hopeful, runs the city’s public skating rink but when the Mayor (Will Lyman) announces its closing, Courtney is heartbroken but determined to save it. After Courtney’s attempts to warm the Mayor’s Scrooge-like heart fail, she enlists the help of Noah Tremblay (Ryan Cooper), a former professional hockey player and single dad, who owns the new indoor skating center, to help her, and together they find more than just the spirit of holidays on the ice.
6) Gold Rush Season Premiere (Discovery)
When a global pandemic shut down the world in March 2020, markets crashed and rocked the U.S. economy. However, with economic uncertainty comes great opportunity for those who can seize upon the moment. And in the goldfields across North America, the opportunity of a lifetime awaited as gold prices spiked to record highs and the price of fuel, a miner’s biggest expense, bottomed out.
7) How To With John Wilson (HBO)
In a uniquely hilarious odyssey of self-discovery and cultural observation, Wilson covertly and obsessively films the lives of his fellow New Yorkers while attempting to give everyday advice on relatable topics. The awkward contradictions of modern life are eased by Wilson’s candid, unpolished commentary, with season one’s episodes offering up his distinct take on a range of deceivingly simple topics. Building upon Wilson’s previously released “how to” short films, the episodes take wildly unexpected turns, but are grounded in John’s refreshing honesty.
8) Move (Netflix)
Discover the brilliant dancers and choreographers who are shaping the art of movement around the world in this documentary series.
9) Once Upon A Snowman (Disney+)
The previously untold origins of the innocent and insightful, summer-loving snowman who melted hearts in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 2013 Academy Award®-winning “Frozen,” and its acclaimed 2019 follow-up, “Frozen 2,” are revealed in the all-new animated short. The film follows Olaf’s first steps as he comes to life and searches for his identity in the snowy mountains outside Arendelle.
10) On The Rocks (Apple TV+)
A young New York mother faced with sudden doubts about her marriage teams up with her larger-than-life playboy father to tail her husband. What follows is a sparkling comic adventure across the city – drawing father and daughter closer together despite one detour after another. Acclaimed filmmaker Sofia Coppola brings a light touch to this blend of an exuberant love letter to New York, a generation-clash comedy about how we see relationships differently from our parents, and a funny celebration of the complications that bind modern families even as they tie us in crazy knots.
11) Over The Moon (Netflix)
Fueled with determination and a passion for science, a bright young girl builds a rocket ship to the moon to prove the existence of a legendary Moon Goddess. Directed by Oscar®-Winning Filmmaker & Animator, Glen Keane, and produced by Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou. Starring Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Robert G. Chiu, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Margaret Cho, Kimiko Glenn, Artt Butler and Sandra Oh.
12) Perdida (Netflix)
Antonio sets himself up to be arrested so he'll be sent to Colombia's worst prison, La Brecha. He's after the man who kidnapped his daughter years ago.
13) Puppy Dog Pals Season Four Premiere (Disney)
When an airline accidentally loses Dr. G’s robot dog, it’s up to Bingo and Rolly to find their robo-buddy.
14) Put A Ring On It Series Premiere (OWN)
Will Packer’s newest unscripted relationship series Put A Ring on It follows three longtime couples, with help from master relationship coach Dr. Nicole LaBeach, who embark on the ultimate relationship test. From week to week the couples are pushed outside their comfort zones to confront the question they’ve been too afraid to ask: is this their happily ever after? The couples will finally find out if they are truly meant to be together by dating other people, and in so doing they’ll discover if there’s a love connection they’ve been missing all along. Will they decide it’s time to go their separate ways, or is it finally time to put a ring on it?
15) Ready To Love Season Premiere (OWN)
Record breaking Hollywood producer Will Packer’s popular dating series “Ready toLove,” hosted by Thomas “Nephew Tommy” Miles, explores the real-life dating interactions of sexy, successful and grown Black men and women in their mid-30s to early 50s who are each looking for lasting love and an authentic relationship.
16) The Big Fib (Disney+)
Ever thought you could spot a fib better than a kid? Find out on this new game show, hosted by Yvette Nicole Brown and featuring Rhys Darby as her robot sidekick, C.L.I.V.E. In each episode, a kid starts by playing a warm-up round where a silly liar and an authentic expert share fabulous fibs and fun facts. Next our kid contestant plays the main round where they question an expert who’s paired with a really good liar on the same topic. It’s up to our kid to find the fibber. There are visual clues, fascinating props, a hot seat round of rapid-fire questions and various topics, including jellyfish, venom and killer plants. The show culminates with the expert and liar standing under the Fib Foam machine to await their fate. If our kid chooses correctly, the liar gets foamed.
17) The Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery Of Prodigious Bribe To American Regime For Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan (Amazon)
Hey, it's another Borat movie. This one with some images of Rudy Guiliani you probably don't want to see.
18) The Queen's Gambit Series Premiere (Netflix)
Abandoned and entrusted to a Kentucky orphanage in the late 1950s, a young Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) discovers an astonishing talent for chess while developing an addiction to tranquilizers provided by the state as a sedative for the children. Haunted by her personal demons and fueled by a cocktail of narcotics and obsession, Beth transforms into an impressively skilled and glamorous outcast while determined to conquer the traditional boundaries established in the male-dominated world of competitive chess.
19) The Rise & Fall Of The Spanish King (True Royalty TV)
This documentary is a new and powerful portrait of the young man who reclaimed the Spanish monarchy in 1975 and won the hearts of his people only to be forced to relinquish his throne in 2014. Juan Carlos I left his own country this year followed by allegations of money laundering, corruption and adultery.
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.
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