Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, July 15th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by a fruit smoothie.
COMPLAINING ABOUT AMAZON'S TERRIBLE STREAMING UX SEEMS ALMOST POINTLESS AT THIS POINT
I've spent entirely too much time over the past year complaining about the terrible interface on Amazon Prime Video and now its ad-supported sister streaming service IMDb TV. The search function is nearly unusable, things are collected into odd and often inaccurate categories. Even worse, if you subscribe to a streaming service through Amazon Channels, that content is shown in an Amazon wraparound interface. Believe me, you haven't experienced frustration until you're tried to find an older title of Starz by searching through its Amazon Channels interface.
Amazon and IMDb TV made big news yesterday when they announced a number of Norman Lear's most popular shows would be coming to those streaming services beginning today. But fans are already complaining about the experience, from being unable to find the shows at all to discovering episodes are listed out of order and some are missing altogether:
I've some off-the-record talks with people at Amazon and even after their explanations, I remain perplexed about why these issues continue to plague the company. A lot of stuff falls into the category of basic UX issues that any serious streamer should be able to solve. And for whatever reason, it's not a big priority at Amazon.
ESPN'S JIMMY PITARO TALKS THE FUTURE OF SPORTS AT DISNEY
Variety's Brian Steinberg has a good interview with chairman of ESPN and Disney sports content Jimmy Pitaro and the future of sports programming and how more of it is shifting to streaming from its traditional linear home:
“Sunday Night Baseball” has been a mainstay of the Disney sports network since the show’s launch in 1990, but on August 8, the program will air on ESPN’s corporate cousin, ABC. When ESPN this fall launches its first NHL season coverage in a decade and a half, a good chunk of the games will be made available for viewing by ESPN digital subscribers on Hulu. In 2024, portions of ESPN’s Wimbledon coverage will turn up on ABC and the streaming outlet ESPN Plus. And in 2026, when Disney gets the rights to its first Super Bowl in 20 years, ESPN’s chief expects viewers will be able to watch several different broadcasts of the game across multiple networks, some potentially with unique camera views and others with celebrities and athletes joining the conversation.
ABC, NBC ANNOUNCE THEIR FALL SCHEDULES
We are getting more broadcast network premiere dates as I am writing this. Rather than making this newsletter even later today, here is a link to the comprehensive AllYourScreens premiere dates page, which I am updating as I write this. It's updated multiple times a day, so it's a good page to bookmark if you want to keep track of these programming changes.
JUNE VIEWERSHIP-AT LEAST, ALL THE VIEWERS NIELSEN CAN PUBLICLY DISCUSS
Nielsen Media Research released its "The Gauge" viewing infographic for June and the big change is that Netflix and Disney+ each gained a percentage point from May's numbers, primarily at the cost of the broadcast networks:
ANALYST ESTIMATES NETFLIC ADDED JUST ONE MILLION FOREIGN SUBS IN Q2 2021
Ahead of the Netflix Q2 earnings report, Wedbush Securities media analyst Michael Pachter said today that he is estimating that Netflix will add one million international subscribers and stay unchanged in North America for the fiscal period ended June 30th. That's inline with guidance from Netflix, but below the Wall Street consensus of 1.97 million subs:
Regardless, Pachter says Netflix’s pact with Steven Spielberg’s studio Amblin Partners, and separate five-year deal with Sony Pictures, in which Sony movies will stream on Netflix in the U.S. after their theatrical and home entertainment runs, represent strong cards in hand for the SVOD pioneer.
“This appears to be a major coup for Netflix when it is both facing immense competition and a drying spigot of licensed content,” Pachter wrote.
ODDS AND SODS
* IMDb TV may pick up the canceled ABC series Rebel.
* Paramount+ has renewed the iCarly reboot for a second season.
* The Television Critics Association have announced the 2021 TCA Award nominees.
* Steam is jumping into the handheld gaming device business with Steam Deck. Designed by Valve, powered by Steam. Shipping December 2021 at a cost of $399.
* Netflix has hired a former Facebook and EA exec to lead its videogame push.
* Viacom/CBS and Charter have signed a new carriage deal.
1) Deep (Netflix)
"Four insomniac med school students are lured into a neuroscience experiment that spirals out of control - and must find a way out before it’s too late."
2) Explained Season Three Premiere (Netflix)
"From monarchies to apologies, pooches to plastic surgery, this docuseries explores a wide range of fascinating topics to illuminate your world."
3) Extinct or Alive: Jaws of Alaska (Discovery+)
"International wildlife biologist Forrest Galante travels the world in search of rare and elusive wildlife, including those lost to science, and mysterious cold-water sharks. "
4) Fear Street Part Three: 1666 (Netflix)
"Dark secrets. Unspeakable evil. The merciless world of 1666 holds the truth behind a powerful curse — and the key to one town's future."
5) Icon: Music Through The Lens (PBS)
"The series follows the fascinating lives and often wild experiences of the artists who documented popular music in images, from the earliest darkrooms to the fast-evolving digital landscapes of the present day. Featuring irreverent interviews with some of the most famous music photographers, musicians, gallerists, music journalists and social commentators, Icon is an eye-opening thrill ride that captures what it was like on both sides of the camera when the most recognizable images in history were taken."
6) I Was Prey: Terrors Of The Deep 2 (Discovery)
"Two adventure seekers recount their horrifying shark attack experiences."
7) Johnny Test (Netflix)
"How much trouble could one imaginative boy, his faithful dog and two science-loving sisters possibly get into? Hmm, that sounds like a challenge!"
8) Making The Cut Season Two Premiere (Amazon)
"Making the Cut is once again on a mission to find the next great global fashion brand. In the second season, hosts Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn will be joined by new judges Winnie Harlow, world-famous supermodel, and fashion pop icon and Moschino Creative Director Jeremy Scott. Plus, additional guest judges, including Prabal Gurung and Shiona Turini will make cameos throughout the season."
9) McCartney 3,2,1 (Hulu)
"Paul McCartney sits down for a rare in-depth one-on-one with legendary producer Rick Rubin to discuss his groundbreaking work with The Beatles, the emblematic 70s arena rock of Wings and his 50 years and counting as a solo artist. In this six-episode series that explores music and creativity in a unique and revelatory manner, join Paul and Rick for an intimate conversation about the songwriting, influences, and personal relationships that informed the iconic songs that have served as the soundtracks of our lives."
10) Monster Sharks Of Andros Island (Discovery)
"Shark researchers Dr. Tristan Guttridge, Annie Guttridge, Alannah Vellacott and Khrys Carole travel to Andros Island to determine if it's a new Great Hammerhead hotspot, and they're using reports of a half-octopus, half-shark creature known as the Lusca to help them locate massive sharks for their study."
11) Mystery Of The Black Demon Shark (Discovery)
"In Mexico, legends swirl around El Demonio Negro, a 50-foot shark that has terrorized fisherman and tourists alike for generations. Is this an undiscovered predator? Forrest Galante hunts for answers in the most rugged and remote parts of the Baja Peninsula."
12) Ninja Sharks: Mutants Rising (Discovery)
"In the icy waters of Alaska, off populated beaches of New York, and lurking in ghostly shipwrecks off the coast of North Carolina, scientists and shark experts Dr. Craig O’Connell, Joe and Lauren Romeiro, Avery Paxton, Madeline Marens and Hap Fatzinger have discovered three sharks that have developed unique and deadly ninja skills."
13) Schmigadoon (Apple TV+)
"A parody of iconic Golden Age musicals, “Schmigadoon!” stars Strong and Key as a couple on a backpacking trip designed to reinvigorate their relationship who discover a magical town living in a 1940s musical. They then learn that they can’t leave until they find “true love.” The six-episode season also stars Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth, Aaron Tveit, Dove Cameron, Ariana DeBose, Fred Armisen, Jaime Camil, Jane Krakowski and Ann Harada. Martin Short guest stars. "
14) Space Jam: A New Legacy (HBO Max)
"In the film, basketball champion and global icon LeBron James goes on an epic adventure alongside the timeless Tune Bugs Bunny and the Tune Squad in this animated/live-action event. This transformational journey is a manic mashup of two worlds that reveals just how far some parents will go to connect with their kids."
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