Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, May 22nd, 2023

Post by: Rick Ellis 22 May, 2023

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, May 22nd, 2023.

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There is a lot of coverage in the entertainment news press that focuses on the results of decisions being made in the streaming industry. But there isn't a lot of time being devoted to the strategy behind the decisions. Knowing why things are happening - or at least why the decisions are being made - helps inform a lot of other things happening in the sector.

Take, for instance, the fact that Disney+, Hulu are removing a bunch of original titles this week. (Here is the updated list) You've no doubt read a lot of glibly written explanations that involve the the streamers want to save money on residuals. And also that some of the titles will end up being licensed to other streamers or moved onto a FAST channel.

But the second-layer question is "why those specific titles?" Generally speaking, similar titles would have a similar residual cost. So what makes one show worth saving while another ends up on the chopping block? Figuring that out and trying to get into the head of Disney executives might provide a bit of insight into where the company is headed.

In the case of Disney+, a lot of the titles exiting this week turn out to be part of the failed Disney+ effort to build some new YA and family-oriented originals. Most of the shows were well-made and although a few lasted more than one season (i.e. Big Shot, The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers), none of these shows really found any serious traction with audiences. Why that might have happened is a discussion for another time. But it seems clear that management thinks the shows might do better elsewhere and indeed, I suspect someone will pick up shows such as Willow, Artemis Fowl or Diary Of A Future President. Although it's also true that series with only one or two seasons are a lot less valuable when it comes to licensing them out. Disney+ is also losing a couple of random movie titles, including The Princess. In the case of that film, if I was in charge of licensing titles for Netflix, I would jump on that film. It's a great action film, really distinctive style and I can see it very easily popping with the Netflix audience.

As far as the Hulu removal list is concerned, it's dominated by NatGeo titles, several of them fairly popular, long-running shows such as Trafficked With Mariana Van Zeller and Locked Up Abroad. Those titles, along with the mix of documentaries included on the list, feel very much as if someone is putting together a package to license to someone specific. That's likely the same situation with the three underperforming FX/Hulu originals exiting the streamer: Little Demons, Pistol and Y: The Last Man.

There are also a couple of other random originals leaving Hulu, including the series Dollface. 

Now these are just guesses about the motives behind these titles, but I believe they are relatively informed ones. And especially in the case of Disney+, knowing the streamer might be losing confidence in its ability to develop originals that resonate with a YA audience - something which used to be a Disney hallmark - is an important thing to keep on your radar.

September marks the 30th anniversary of the premiere of Fox's The X-Files and a number of cast and crew will be celebrating the moment at the PhileFest con at Minnesota's Mall Of America.

I recently spoke with two of the organizers about the event and to be honest, it sounds as if it will be a blast:

Q: And I think that's a selling point for this as well. It's a smaller, more intimate gathering. It's not battling through a crowd at Comic-Con.

Trevor Nelson: I have great admiration for people that put on those other types of cons, those gigantic ones. But we're not going to be one of those cons where you walk in and there's 200 vendors and a few side rooms with panels. So this is going to be very intimate. 

Because and I know I have great admiration for the people that that put on the other, the other type of cons, those gigantic ones. But we're not going to be one of those cons where you walk in and there's 200 vendors and side rooms and a few side rooms with panels. So this is this is all going to be very intimate.

Kristin Sauter: We want this to be an event that gives you time to really interact with the cast and creatives. It's not going to be a typical con where you slide quickly through the line and you don't even have the chance to say "Hi." 

These are people who really take time with their fans and they are all very giving with everyone who's coming. Everybody seems to be excited to be coming and to celebrate the part they played in the show's success.

For more information or to purchase tickets to PhileFest, visit this link.

* Josh Duhamel is obsessed with his Doomsday Prepper cabin.

* Paramount+ with Showtime is confirmed to officially launch June 27th at $11.99 with the standalone Showtime app to be discontinued later this year. The essential plan will move to $5.99 the same day. It's not clear what will happen with subscribers like myself, who are grandfathered into the $59.99 annual limited ads rate, which I would lose now 

* My movie is being removed from Disney +, or why streaming sucks.

* Season two of Power Book IV: Force will premiere Friday, September 1st on Starz.

After today, HBO Max is no more. The newly christened Max debuts tomorrow and while I had the opportunity to play around with it a bit, I'm under embargo until the launch.

What I will say is that I suspect this rebranding effort will be the focus of business marketing classes for decades. It is a series of just odd choices, from the name to the decision to shift the branding color from purple to a variation of the same blue a half dozen other streamers use.

There certainly is no big shift in content decisions. A few more titles are disappearing and a handful of new shows premiere tomorrow. But nothing that wouldn't have fit in just as well on HBO Max. There will be even more reality/unscripted stuff from the various old Discovery/Scripps networks. But many of these seem to be also staying on Discovery+.

I'll have much more tomorrow. But what I can say now is that I don't see any changes that will help with churn, which seems to be a big concern for the Warner Bros. Discovery C-Suite.


Bob Hearts Abishola Season Finale (CBS)
* Crime Scene Kitchen Season Premiere (Fox)
* Happy Valley Season Three Premiere (Acorn)
* NCIS Season Finale (CBS)
* NCIS Hawaii Season Finale (CBS)
* Prehistoric Planet Season Premiere (Apple TV+)
* Prisoners Of The Snow (ABC)
* The Creature Cases (Netflix)
* The Neighborhood Season Finale (CBS)
* The Randall Scandal: Love, Loathing & Vanderpump (Hulu)

Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.


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Last modified on Monday, 22 May 2023 20:14