Features 2

Features 2 (65)

New Trailer Released For 'Mare Of Easttown'

Written by 01 April, 2021

Academy Award®- winning actress Kate Winslet executive produces and stars in this mysterious seven-part crime drama following small-town Pennsylvania detective Mare Sheehan (Winslet) as she investigates a local murder at a time when her own life is crumbling around her.

Mare of Easttown is an exploration into the dark side of a close community and an authentic examination of how family and past tragedies can define our present. It also stars Julianne Nicholson (The Outsider) as Lori Ross, Mare’s best friend since childhood; three-time Emmy®-winner Jean Smart (Watchmen) as Helen, Mare's mother; Angourie Rice (Black Mirror) as Siobhan Sheehan, Mare’s teenaged daughter; Evan Peters (American Horror Story) as Detective Colin Zabel, the county detective called in to assist with Mare's investigation; Guy Pearce (Mildred Pierce) as Richard Ryan, a local creative writing professor; Cailee Spaeny (Devs) as Erin McMenamin, an isolated teen living with her volatile father; David Denman (Outcast) as Frank Sheehan, Mare’s ex-husband; John Douglas Thompson (Let Them All Talk) as Chief Carter, Mare's boss at the Easttown Police Department; Patrick Murney (Seven Seconds) as Kenny McMenamin, Erin's father; James McArdle (Ammonite) as Deacon Mark Burton; Sosie Bacon (Here and Now) as Carrie Layden, Drew’s mother and Kevin’s ex-girlfriend; Joe Tippett (Rise) as John Ross, Lori's husband and high school sweetheart; and Neal Huff (The Wire) as Mare’s cousin, Father Dan Hastings.

Winslet also acts as executive producer for the series alongside creator and writer Brad Ingelsby (The Way Back), with all episodes directed by Craig Zobel (The Leftovers). 

Mare Of Eastown premieres April 18th, 2021 on HBO Max.


Last modified on Thursday, 01 April 2021 11:15

TV Criticism In The Age Of COVID-19

Written by 17 March, 2021

The past year has changed just about everyone's jobs and personal lives in a myriad of unexpected ways. And as more and more Americans are getting vaccinated and we increasingly feel a bit more optimistic about the future, we are all beginning to take stock of how our lives have changed. And trying to figure out if those changes are temporary or a precursor to something more permanent.

CNN's Brian Stelter had an brief paragraph about how the pandemic had altered his television viewing habits in a recent edition of his "Reliable Sources" newsletter:

Finally, getting back to my opening question, think about what and how you watch. News and sports are still the only categories that are relatively unscathed by these changes, emphasis on the "relatively." Personally, my wife is in the middle of "The Crown" on Netflix. I'm on season five of "Superstore" on Hulu and hoping to finish my binge at the same time the series finale airs on NBC next week. But I'll still watch the finale on-demand on my own time. I really want to watch "Nomadland" next, in light of its Oscar noms, but I'll stream it instead of going to a theater. How about you?

While I can't say that my TV viewing habits have changed all that much since the advent of COVID-19, the pandemic has had a profound effect on my job as a TV critic. Unexpectedly, it's made some things much easier.

I live and work out of the suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota, far away from either coastal media center. And while I can do a solid job of covering the media and entertainment world remotely, I do miss out on some things in normal times. I generally don't get to attend press events, premieres and junkets. Although I am able to make it to some set visits (have I mentioned how much I miss set visits? When you can, invite me again. I'm ready).

One irony of the pandemic is that it has moved a lot of junkets and press events online, into a mix of zoom calls and other video-centric presentations. And suddenly it doesn't matter as much where I'm based. It's as easy for me to do a Zoom interview as someone based in L.A. and as a result, I have probably done more press events and junkets in the past six months than I have in the past six years. Even more helpful, my increased presence in theses events has led to more opportunities and a better relationship with publicists I've never met in person.

When it comes to the business side of the pandemic for me, it was initially a mixed bag. As more people were stuck at home watching television, traffic to the site continued to rise. According to Google Analytics, AllYourScreens.com did just over a million unique visitors in March 2020. Based on the month so far, I'll probably end March 2021 within the margin of error of two million monthly visitors. And since - like Brian and his wife - people are watching a mix of older and newer shows, the site traffic has skewed more in the direction of older programs and more obscure international television.

And that increased interest in less mainstream programs has meshed well with the overall editorial philosophy of AllYourScreens. I think of myself as the streaming TV world's equivalent of the old iconic video store clerk who can help guide you to all of those great, quirky and overlooked programs that don't get all of the press buzz. "What do I watch next?" is an important question for anyone and the better I can answer that for readers, the more successful I will be.

The downside of the past year is that the first few months of the pandemic were pretty brutal financially. Like most news and entertainment web sites, my ad revenue dropped about 40%. It has since recovered to close to pre-pandemic rates, but it was an unsettling experience to make substantially less money while at the same time hitting new traffic high marks each month. I also launched a free daily M-F newsletter (you can subscribe here), but I've opted to not shift to a subscription model, in order to grow it as fast as possible. The upside is that I hit my one-year subscriber number in two months. The downside is that I'm not making any direct revenue from something which takes up an hour or two of every weekday.

Another unexpected consequence of the past year is that all of the turmoil has forced me to develop some clarity of what this site is and the best way to promote it. I've been reluctant in the past to tout the fact that AllYourScreens is essentially a one-person operation. I have the occasional bit of freelance help, but otherwise I am the only person working on the site. And given that, the fact that I'm squeezing nearly two million visitors a month out of my efforts is impressive (he says modestly). 

In a year where close to 14,000 journalists lost their jobs and everyone in the industry in discussing the "creator economy" and whether journalists can "build their brand" with a newsletter, the fact that I can make a good living running my own little one-man media operation is a good story. Watching friends of mine struggling with unemployment in the midst of a pandemic has forced me to get out of my shell a bit and talk about my business. I've given a couple of virtual presentations in which I discuss my business model and the many complications. That's not something I would have been as comfortable doing in the past.

Being more upfront about the one-man nature of the site also helps me manage the challenges of a daily workflow when I'm also dealing with family conflicts and personal issues. It's easier for me to tell my readers "Hey, my teen son had a rough day doing virtual schoolwork today, so this is review/feature is running a bit late." It's a problem lots of people are dealing with as well and I believe admitting it honestly is better for everyone in the long run.

I can't speak for anyone else, but this past year has transformed my professional life in ways I could never have predicted. I think I'm a better writer and I am definitely more confident about telling my story.

I hope at least some of the zoom calls continue, but I look forward to seeing more of you in person in 2021. 




HBO Max Releases New Trailer For 'Zack Snyder's Justice League'

Written by 14 March, 2021

In Zack Snyder's Justice League, determined to ensure Superman’s (Henry Cavill) ultimate sacrifice was not in vain, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) aligns forces with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) with plans to recruit a team of metahumans to protect the world from an approaching threat of catastrophic proportions. The task proves more difficult than Bruce imagined, as each of the recruits must face the demons of their own pasts to transcend that which has held them back, allowing them to come together, finally forming an unprecedented league of heroes. Now united, Batman (Affleck), Wonder Woman (Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), and The Flash (Ezra Miller) may be too late to save the planet from Steppenwolf, DeSaad, and Darkseid and their dreadful intentions.

The feature film debuts this Thursday, March 18 on HBO Max.

Last modified on Monday, 15 March 2021 01:57

Editor's Pick: Friday, February 26th, 2021 - 'Gold Rush' Military Special

Written by 26 February, 2021

When it comes to non-scripted television, there are few franchises more reliable than Discovery's Gold Rush. It's not just that the main show has been cranking out fascinating seasons since sometime back in the 1970s (not really, but it seems that way). But the primary Gold Rush series has also spun-off a number of related specials and stand-alone series, including the current Discovery+ original Freddy Dodge's Mine Rescue.

Tonight, Discovery has a Gold Rush special that focuses on the all-military veteran team that mine boss Fred Lewis assembled. During the episode, fans will learn about their war injuries, paths to recover and how they got into gold mining. It also reveals that crewmember Kyle Pletzke is one of the nation’s many homeless veterans. The crew hasn't had a great season to far, as they've been struggling to get to the gold in the midst of so many setbacks.

Below, you'll find a clip giving you a bit of background about Fred Lewis and his efforts and honestly, it's pretty inspirational.

One note for people who want to specifically watch this special. Most listings I've seen (including the ones at Hulu and Philo) only give you the option of recording the entire 3+ hour Gold Rush block tonight in one piece. Which I suppose makes sense for fans, but if you want to specifically watch the special and you regularly record the series, you'll have to fast-forward through the two-hour Gold Rush episode to get to it.

Gold Rush airs tonight at 8 PM ET/PT on Discovery, followed by the military Gold Rush special at 10 PM ET/PT on Discovery. Fans can also binge all previous seasons of Gold Rush on discovery+.

Last modified on Friday, 26 February 2021 16:04

Compete For A Chance To Win Part Of A $55K Prize In Big Game #TumsWorthySweepstakes Bingo

Written by 04 February, 2021
Last modified on Thursday, 04 February 2021 11:17

Everyday Art: Classic Tin Lithograph Toys

Written by 19 December, 2020




































Last modified on Saturday, 19 December 2020 14:23

Classic TV Flashback: 'Land Of The Giants'

Written by 18 March, 2021

Land Of The Giants was an Irwin Allen-produced series that aired for two seasons on ABC from 1968-1970. Set a years in the future - in 1983 - the premise was pretty simple. The series followed the adventures of the crew and the passengers of a sub-orbital plane named "Spindrift." While flying from Los Angeles to London, the ship entered a magnetic storm, which dragged it into a mysterious "space warp" to a planet where everyone was 12 times larger than they were on Earth.



The Spindrift crashed when it landed on the planet, and luckily the large inhabitants spoke English and seemed to live a life very similar to that on Earth. The bad news is the ship wasn't the first one to crash land on the planet. So the government was offering a reward for the capture of any "little people." Trying to get that reward by capturing one of the Spindrift's crew or passengers was pretty much the plot for every episode.



Despite having a massive (for the time) budget of $250,000 per episode, Allen was always looking for ways to save money, given the high cost of the over-sized props. That included using footage and props from Allen's Lost In Space or re-using stock footage from 20th Century Fox's film library. 



Sadly, the series ended without a resolution, stranding the survivors on planet extra-large. After years of being out of syndication, Land Of The Giants now airs on MeTV on Saturday and Sunday nights, along with the Irwin Allen shows The Time Tunnel, Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea and Lost In Space.



The cast of Land Of The Giants:

Gary Conway as Captain Steve Burton
Don Matheson as Mark Wilson
Stefan Arngrim as Barry Lockridge
Don Marshall as Dan Erickson
Deanna Lund as Valerie Scott
Heather Young as Betty Hamilton
Kurt Kasznar as Alexander Fitzhugh



























Last modified on Friday, 19 March 2021 01:12

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020

Written by 02 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by watered-down coffee and mini-pretzels.

THE SOCIAL ASPECTS OF SVODs
Maybe three years ago an engineer at Philo gave me a rundown of an integrated social sharing tool they were experimenting with in-house. You could share programming suggestions with friends, connect with people who shared your love of a show and create viewing lists you could share publicly or privately. The plan was eventually to offer networks the opportunity to send direct messages about shows to viewers who opted in. According to the engineer, the features had been very popular internally. But it hadn't been rolled out to the public, because it required a large subscriber base in order to scale correctly.

"Social" is a very mushy term, but in the content of SVODs, it really is about sharing your viewing experiences. Sometimes the sharing is direct - think the various experimentations with watch parties. But the very nature of the way a SVOD works (and various content restrictions) makes those types of sharing difficult to bring to scale. But there are ways of creating a social experience that don't require actual direct social interaction.

Spotify announced yesterday that it is introducing new features for their annual "unwrapped" lists. At the end of the year, Spotify typically creates individual lists that show the songs you listened to most throughout the year and the most popular artists for that specific subscriber. The lists are fun to share and they pop up a lot on social media in December. But they are also thought-provoking. I guarantee that when you see your lists, you'll be surprised at some of the songs on it.

The new features Spotify is rolling out this year expand the social aspects of the lists by allowing subscribers to earn badges for things such as creating popular playlists or be a very early listener to a song that later becomes very popular. There are also new personalized playlists, including one called "Missed Hits," which includes song similar to ones you listened to that you missed throughout the year.

All of this is lightweight fun and while it isn't for everyone, it does create a faux-social experience that is different from what users will find on Amazon or Apple Music. And it got me to thinking that this is type of feature I'd love to see Hulu or Netflix roll out in the future. 

While it's not a minor engineering project, it would be fun for Hulu or Netflix to create lists such as "Your Most Watched Shows." These features also could provide a way to glean more specific demographic details from the subset of subscribers willing to provide it in exchange for increasingly helpful content filtering. Asking users to volunteer their sex, ten-year wide age range and state where they are located wouldn't sound too obtrusive to many subscribers. But it would allow services to create content recommendation lists based on what other subscribers in those categories were watching. And from a business standpoint, it would build better demographic info for advertisers, even if only a subset of subscribers agreed to participate.

I think eventually an SVOD like Hulu or Netflix is going to offer features closer to what I saw in that Philo presentation. But in the meantime, even baby steps in the creation of social sharing features would be worthwhile to see.

r/StarWarsLeaks - The Mandalorian in Fortnite Official Loading Screen Art Leaked
A NEW CHAPTER FOR FORTNITE
Fortnite introduced a new chapter to its current season last night and for people who don't play the game, that means an update to the game map, new characters and changes in every other aspect of the game. The chapter was kicked off with a special one-time only event that allowed players to join together to defeat Galactus. After the ten-minute event ended, there was a short tease for the new chapter, the second part of season five. This season has allowed players to fight and play as a number of familiar Marvel characters, as well as purchase Marvel-related skins and items. It was really an impressive integration and I'd argue it might be the best use ever of the MCU in a gaming environment. Fortnite execs report the special event had 15.3 million concurrent players, with another 3.4 million people watching live on YouTube Games and Twitch.

Fortnite was dark for seven hours, then returned with an altered world map and another round of new Disney-owned characters and new quests to complete. The game has added Disney+ characters The Mandalorian and Baby Yoda (or Grogu), as well as several Star Wars-related weapons. There are new map locations and the addition of gold bars, a new in-game currency that allows users to do everything from weapons upgrades to even hiring a bodyguard to help out during missions.

Whether or not you're into Fortnite or gaming in general, you should be paying attention to how Epic Games (creator of Fortnite) continues to use change and surprise as a way to retain users. 

HBO MAX HAS A PLAN
Alison Herman at The Ringer has a look at HBO Max and she argues that new shows such as The Flight Attendant and I Hate Suzie point to the streaming service working towards targeting a specific audience: young, professional women on the market for distraction:

In practice, the two shows have wildly different tones: The Flight Attendant is a zippy, espionage-adjacent farce packed with scenery porn; I Hate Suzie is a harrowing, chaotic rabbit hole its cocreator and star has readily compared to a panic attack. But on paper, they clearly share some DNA. Both are limited series built around a central performance by an underappreciated actress. Both combine elements of drama and comedy. And both follow their antiheroines as their lives spiral out of control from a single traumatic event. Paired so close together, they’re ideally positioned for a back-to-back binge, a weekend’s worth of entertainment conveniently packaged by a single provider.

Now, I am not convinced at all that this is intent of HBO Max executives. This Ringer piece is more of a speculative theory and it fall apart pretty quickly once you give it some serious examination. And I would more willing to consider her theory if she hadn't begun the piece by completely misrepresenting a recent New Yorker piece on "ambient TV."

Still, it's an interesting take & it's a reminder of how users can see a service in ways that are very different than executives might have planned.

AMAZON EXCLUSIVE NFL GAME LIKELY DRY RUN FOR DIGITAL ONLY PACKAGE
The Athletic's Daniel Kaplan writes about the 49ers-Cardinals game that is exclusive to Amazon and Twitch (subscription required). It's the first digital-exclusive NFL game since 2017 and it points towards the increasing likelihood that the NFL will carve out a digital-only game package in the next round of negotiations. 

SEAL Team Showrunner Steps Down After CBS Investigation Ahead Of Season 3 -  CINEMABLEND
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the paltry number of new television programs premiering today:

1) Alien Worlds (Netflix)
Applying the laws of life on Earth to the rest of the galaxy, this series blends science fact and fiction to imagine alien life on other planets.

2) Ari Eldjárn: Pardon My Icelandic (Netflix)
Applying the laws of life on Earth to the rest of the galaxy, this series blends science fact and fiction to imagine alien life on other planets.

3) Baby God (HBO Max)
When retired detective Wendi Babst decides to explore her ancestry through home DNA testing, she makes a stunning discovery. The quest to find the truth about her biological father takes her down a rabbit-hole of furtive medical procedures and unsuspecting women… leading to one man: Dr. Quincy Fortier.

4) Court Cam Season Premiere (A&E)
Join host, Dan Abrams, to find out what really happens inside courtrooms, and to hear the full story from those who were there.

5) Fierce (Netflix)
A gifted young singer becomes an instant sensation on a popular talent show. But her real goal is earning the love of her father, a member of the jury.

6) Hazel Brugger: Tropical (Netflix)
In this stand-up special, comedian Hazel Brugger offers her breezy takes on unruly geese, chatty gynecologists, German bank loans and more.

7) Rescue Cam Season Premiere (A&E)
Hosted by Matt Iseman, Rescue Cam is an incredible, no holds barred look at some of the most shocking and intense, life-or-death rescues, standoffs, animal saves and close calls from across the country and beyond.

8) SEAL Team Season Premiere (CBS)
Bravo Team enters enemy territory in the snowy Spin Ghar Mountain Range to capture Al-Hazred, the leader of a terrorist group and son of the terrorist leader that Jason took down early in his career and made him Bravo One. When they are attacked, Jason and Cerberus, Bravo’s canine member, are separated from the team.

9) Trafficked With Mariana van Zeller Series Premiere (NatGeo)
This new series takes viewers on a journey inside the most dangerous black markets on the planet. Each investigation in the eight-part series embeds with Peabody and duPont Award-winning journalist Mariana van Zeller as she explores the complex and often violent inner workings of a smuggling network. While she dives deeper and deeper into these underworlds, Mariana reveals — with characteristic boldness and empathy — that the people operating these trafficking rings are often a lot more like us than we realize.

This newsletter is called "Too Much TV" because....well, it's hard to keep track of all the new television premiering everyday. To help you prioritize your viewing, click here to see our list of more than 400 upcoming television premieres, movies and finales. You'll find listings from more than 70 networks, as well as streaming services and web shows.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Last modified on Wednesday, 02 December 2020 13:41

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Tuesday, December 1st, 2020

Written by 01 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, December 1st, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by iced tea and Nerds Gummy Clusters.

WHY AMAZON'S UI SUCKS: A PARTIAL ANSWER
I have spent a lot of time in this newsletter pointing out just how terrible a user experience it is to try and use Amazon Prime Video's app. Free video available with your Prime membership are intertwined with stuff you can rent or buy. The search function spits out erratic results, the attempts to curate content are laughable and the integration of outside content through  Amazon Channels can be more frustrating than entertaining.

Now, it's not as if the folks at Amazon don't realize their app is a disaster. There have been number of efforts internally to update it and back in 2018, there were reports that one might be close to being released to the public. Although the only meaningful change in the past two years has been the addition of the ability to create profiles.

Apparently my non-stop complaints about the UI have been noticed, because I have recently heard from two people at Amazon who offered to walk me through the reasons why the interface functions as it does. I was told upfront they couldn't discuss whether or not there were any current plans underway to change the UI and they declined to answer a bunch of other questions I had during the discussions. But it was still an interesting conversation. Even if it reinforced my speculations that sales and marketing efforts were the cause of many of the UI's worst problems.

One of the first things that was brought up was that anytime you try and juggle free and paid content, there are going to be conflicts. And it's true that most of the problems I have with Apple TV relate to their similar integration challenges. That's a valid point, although I'd argue that Apple does a much better job of delineating the two barrels of content.

At one point. Amazon apparently tested a stripped-down Prime video app that only included free content, but the feedback was that users felt there wasn't enough depth in the content offerings. And a small team put together a version of the UI that allowed users to switch various categories of content on and off. For instance, you could make all paid content or sports teases invisible. But the fear was that enough people would take advantage of the option to significantly impact revenue.

One of my biggest frustrations is that the current makes it so difficult to find less popular content in IMDB TV or in networks you subscribe to through Amazon Channels. In both cases, users are limited to a few rows of content collected under general categories such as "new" or "popular. But it's difficult to search IMDB TV for every TV show currently available. Or Showtime for movies that are older or less popular.

I never received a reasonable explanation for why the UI functions in that matter. There was some talk that most users were happy with "curation" and that you could still find the content if you searched by title. But if you don't know what's available, how do you know what to search for?

There was a lot of discussion about IMDB TV and an awareness that it would make more sense in the abstract to have it exist as a standalone AVOD rather than this service awkwardly integrated into the main Amazon Video UI. This is one of those decisions that has a lot of complex reasons behind it, some of which I can't talk about here. But the feeling is that having IMDB TV exist by itself would require Amazon having to give up some things to get it placed on Roku and Apple devices. And the feeling is that the trade-off isn't worth it right now.

I have a lot of sympathy for the plight of engineers trying to design a product while still serving the needs of several masters with very different needs. That being said, even after these discussions, I still think the company could do a better job with the UI without giving up too much on the sales and marketing side of the business.

SOME RECENT STUFF FROM THE WEB SITE:
I'm still getting up to speed, but here are links to some of the pieces that been posted at AllYourScreens in the past 24 hours or so:

Halsey Accuses Grammy Officials Of Taking 'Bribes' For Nominations

HBO Max Acquires Exclusive SVOD Streaming Rights To 'The Middle'

New On IMDB TV: December 2020

Pluto Adds New Showtime Selects, The Price Is Right: The Barker Era, QVC, HSN Channels

Three Celebrity Couples Announced For BBC One's 'Miranda’s Games With Showbiz Names'


Catfish: The TV Show
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the paltry number of new television programs premiering today:

1) Angela's Christmas Wish (Netflix)
A determined Angela makes a wish to reunite her family in time for Christmas, then launches a plan to find her way from Ireland to Australia.

2) Atlas Of Cursed Places Series Premiere (NatGeo)
Author and adventurer Sam Sheridan travels the globe in search of the most cursed places on Earth. Entrenching himself in macabre modern day culture, Sheridan explores regional history and folklore, employs cutting-edge science to illuminate the dangers of the curse, and paints a new and revealing portrait of a doomed place and the people who live there in the process.

3) Catfish: The TV Show Season Premiere (MTV)
Why is that person lying to you on the Internet?

4) Mighty Cruise Ships Season Premiere (Smithsonian)
A 180-pasenger Viking longship built to "duck" under low bridges and a 5,550-passenger mega-ship delivering over-the-top adventures. A liner that offers rugged hiking trails and another that offers opulence and the finest tastes. This season, we travel the globe aboard the most dynamic passenger ships in the world and meet the dedicated teams that keep their vessels running and their passengers entertained. From Norwegian fjords to Bavarian castles to an up-close look at Stonehenge, it's a wild and breathtaking six-part voyage.

5) Natalie Palamides: Nate - A One Man Show (Netflix)
Meet Nate - Your stereotypical masculine man just trying to be better. Executive produced by Amy Poehler and directed by Philip Burgers, Natalie Palamides: Nate - One Man Show follows an alpha male, portrayed by Natalie Palamides, learning to express emotion and understand the rules of consent.

6) Our Own Christmas (OWN)
The one-hour special will feature uplifting holiday moments, surprise acts of giving as well as festive performances by iconic Grammy Award-winning gospel singers Kierra Sheard, Erica Campbell, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard and Le'Andria Johnson, legendary award-winning gospel group The Clark Sisters, and many more.

7) The Holiday Movies That Made Us (Netflix)
Unwrap the real stories behind these iconic Christmas blockbusters, thanks to insider interviews and behind-the-scenes peeks.

8) The Witmans (Investigation Discovery)
In 1998, 13-year-old Greg Witman stepped off the school bus and 11 minutes later, Greg’s older brother Zach frantically called 911 to report that he had found Greg lying in a pool of blood. 15-year-old Zach went into shock – and then was taken into custody as the police’s only lead. What followed Greg’s murder is a harrowing decades-long journey of one family trapped in a double tragedy - a cruel intersection of small-town panic, media frenzy, and a fractured criminal justice system.

This newsletter is called "Too Much TV" because....well, it's hard to keep track of all the new television premiering everyday. To help you prioritize your viewing, click here to see our list of more than 400 upcoming television premieres, movies and finales. You'll find listings from more than 70 networks, as well as streaming services and web shows.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Last modified on Tuesday, 01 December 2020 14:34

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, November 25th, 2020

Written by 25 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, November 25th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by almonds and a strawberry soda.

Just a reminder that I am taking a long weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving and recharge my batteries. I'll be back with a new daily newsletter on Monday, November 30th.

And speaking of Thanksgiving, a sincere thank you to all of you who have subscribed to this newsletter and/or visited the web site. I appreciate the support.

NETFLIX TESTING TOP 50 LIST
Saqib Shah from S&P Global Market Intelligence has spotted a Netflix test of a Top 50 list. He spotted it on a PS4 in the UK, but didn't see it on the web. A Netlflix spokesperson confirmed the test, telling him that "As we have seen with the Top 10, members like to know what’s popular when picking what to watch. We’re testing if showing an expanded list of popular titles around the globe will be helpful. As with all our tests, we will only roll [it] out if members find it useful."

Shah said there was an overall Top 50 list on the front page, as well as Top 50 TV and Movie lists in those individual sections.

Image

NETFLIX ORIGINAL MOVIE RATINGS:  THE DIVIDE BETWEEN THE NUMBERS AND ACTUAL VALUE.
Brandon Katz from The Observer has an interesting look at Netflix original movies and whether they're cost is really worth it once you figure out some probable viewership and impact in the market:

In 2018, Netflix original movie head Scott Stuber teased a “cinematic onslaught” from the company complete with 90 original films per year ranging from $20 million indies to $200 million blockbusters. Last year, the company released 72 original features; 2020 will see more than 120 original films released when all is said and done. Clearly, the streamer has made original movies a top priority, which coincides with an explosion in the company’s annual content budget. (A January forecast from BMO Capital Markets projected that Netflix will spend $26 billion per year on content by 2028, or more than the annual GDPs of countries like Iceland, El Salvador, Senegal and many more.)

Yet original films that premiere on Netflix generate the majority of viewership within the first week or weekend. In fact, Netflix original films rarely maintain a tangible top-tier grip on consumers beyond two weeks, which refutes Sarandos’s claim that they have the same cultural impact as a $1 billion blockbuster. The Entertainment Strategy Guy, using Nielsen data from March 30th to October 18th that measures viewing time, revealed a significant decay rate for Netflix original films. As seen below, there are steep drop offs in hours watched from Week 1 to Week3.

The piece sparked a long Twitter thread of back-and-forth that touched on everything from the future of Bright 2 to whether "cultural impact" is a metric we should worry about. Check out the entire thread here.

PEACOCK'S BLACK FRIDAY DEAL
I mentioned Hulu Basic's Black Friday deal yesterday and today I wanted to pass along one from Peacock. For a limited time, you can get a full year of Peacock Premium for just $39.99 (normally $50) or Peacock Premium Plus (ad-free) for just $89.99 (normally $100). Visit this page to get the special 20% off discount deal.

Cast | Good Morning Christmas!

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

1) Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions (Disney+)
Taylor Swift and a few friends sing every track from her new album and talk about how the songs came together.

2) Good Morning Christmas (Hallmark)
Two competing TV hosts are sent to a festive small town over Christmas. While pretending to get along for the sake of appearances, they discover that there’s more to each other than they thought.

3) Great Pretender Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
After their string of successful cons, Makoto leaves Laurent's team. But the web of deceit binding them together goes farther back than he knows.

4) Happiest Season (Hulu)
This new holiday movie is a holiday romantic comedy that hilariously captures the range of emotions tied to wanting your family's acceptance, being true to yourself, and trying not to ruin Christmas.

5) Nature: Santa's Wild Home (PBS)
In this new documentary, get an intimate look at the wildlife of Lapland, a region in northern Finland. It's the fabled home of Santa Claus and actual home of reindeer, great gray owls, wolverines, eagles, wolves, musk oxen, brown bears and more.

6) Nova: Saving Notre Dame (PBS)
The film explores the intricacies of Notre Dame’s architecture and the medieval craftsmanship that created the iconic structure. One year after a powerful fire ravaged its timber and lead roof, the structure is still perilously close to a collapse. The special gives viewers an inside look at the fire itself and the incredible effort to stabilize the teetering walls. Once they’re secured, a restoration project begins: Teams prepare to rebuild the oak roof and fallen spire and save the centuries-old stained glass, all while preventing rain from pouring in through gaping holes in the limestone vaulting—and working amid the toxic lead contaminating the site and 550 tons of melted scaffolding threatening to collapse at any moment. NOVA joins scientists as they determine their reconstruction plans and whether the key to a successful restoration lies within the structure of the cathedral itself.

7) Saved By The Bell Revival Series Premiere (Peacock)
When California governor Zack Morris gets into hot water for closing too many underfunded high schools, he proposes they send the affected students to the most well-funded schools in the state – including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the privileged Bayside kids (who never have a problem that can't be solved in twenty-two minutes) a much-needed dose of reality.

8) The Mystery Of D.B. Cooper (HBO)
Directed by John Dower, this documentary brings to life the stories of four people believed by their family and friends to be “DB Cooper” a man who hijacked a 727 flying out of Seattle and jumped from the plane over the wilds of Washington State with a parachute and $200,000, never to be heard from again.

9) The Christmas Chronicles 2 (Netflix)
It’s been two years since siblings Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis) saved Christmas, and a lot has changed. Kate, now a cynical teenager, is reluctantly spending Christmas in Cancun with her mom’s new boyfriend and his son Jack (Jahzir Bruno). Unwilling to accept this new version of her family, Kate decides to run away. But when a mysterious, magical troublemaker named Belsnickel threatens to destroy the North Pole and end Christmas for good, Kate and Jack are unexpectedly pulled into a new adventure with Santa Claus (Kurt Russell).

This newsletter is called "Too Much TV" because....well, it's hard to keep track of all the new television premiering everyday. To help you prioritize your viewing, click here to see our list of more than 400 upcoming television premieres, movies and finales. You'll find listings from more than 70 networks, as well as streaming services and web shows.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.

Last modified on Wednesday, 25 November 2020 14:01
Page 1 of 5