Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, November 13th, 2020

Post by: Rick Ellis 12 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, November 13th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by super-strong coffee and cheese sticks.

I've added a lot of new subscribers over the past couple of weeks and currently I am about 50 short of hitting the 15,000 mark. It's an amazing number and I am happy I can put out something so many find helpful and worth reading.

The growth of the newsletter is matched by the growth of AllYourScreens and it's prompted me to make some process and editorial tweaks to better fit with the needs of the growing audience. 

For the newsletter, the changes are driven by feedback from some of you as well as what I learned from a deep dive into the analytics. This newsletter has an exceptionally high open rate, but it is also a newsletter that readers seem to put aside until they have time to really read it carefully. Since there is so much timeshifting - and because I always struggle to with the newsletter's length - I'm dropping the "stuff that is premiering today" listings that had previously made up the bottom half of the newsletter. 

I'll still be creating that daily list, and there will be a link to them every day at the bottom of the newsletter. But I think they'll be more relevant posted on the web site & it will also be better for SEO reasons. I'm also shifting the target time for the newsletter to hit your email inbox to between 2-3 pm ET M-F. Based on feedback and analytics, sending it out early in the morning makes it more likely to get lost in the mix of all the other newsletters. And the later release gives me the chance to add late breaking ideas.

One last thing. I've had some people ask about how they can help support the newsletter and/or web site. I don't have any plans to add a subscription level to the newsletter. Keeping it free allows me to reach as many people as possible and the newsletter is shared a lot. What I am going to do is create an optional subscription option beginning on 12/01 for those you who'd like to show some support. At least in the short term, you won't be getting anything extra for subscribing, it's there more as an option if you find the newsletter helpful. I'll also be adding a Patreon link on the web site at the first of the month. But everything will remain fee and accessible. 

Thank you again for your support. I really do appreciate it.

I've written a lot in recent months about Netflix's efforts to move towards being a global production-centric service with its original slate and how most of the company's recent management changes should be seen through that lens. I had seen other comments from the Paley International Council Summit appearance of Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos and chief content officer, interviewed Bela Bajaria, the streamer’s new global head of TV. But I hadn't seen these comments from Bajoria before, which speaks directly to the company's efforts to move away from a Hollywood-centric content production focus:

She went on to take over international originals at the platform before being upped to head of global television. "What gives us great pride at Netflix is entertaining the world," Bajaria said. "Historically, Hollywood was always export. Now [we’re] making shows in any language from any country and they are traveling everywhere. I want us to be at the forefront of entertaining the world, and I love that we do that in so many ways. We can do it with a reality show about an Indian matchmaker, we can do it in a French comedy about a family business, we can do it in a limited series about a chess prodigy and we can do it with a prestigious show about the British monarchy."

Bajoria also spoke about the company's efforts in Asia Pacific, which doesn't get nearly enough attention from U.S.-based analysts and journalists:

"In India, we are going into more unscripted, which has been a nice complement to the slate. We have a very strong slate next year in lots of different genres. When we started, we had some great big shows but many of them were darker and edgier. Now you’re seeing a wider variety of genres and tones. With Korea, it’s been rewarding to see this love of K dramas, not just in Korea—they travel to Japan, Southeast Asia and the U.S. Kingdom had huge impact. Similarly, in Japan, looking at anime and the investment there. I’m excited about the slates coming up; the next two years look really interesting for AsiaPac."

Lots of people have joked about the possibility over the past four years, but Axios is reported yesterday that President Trump is strongly considering the launch of a Trump-oriented subscription video service when he leaves office:

Trump's digital offering would likely charge a monthly fee to MAGA fans. Many are Fox News viewers, and he'd aim to replace the network — and the $5.99-a-month Fox Nation streaming service, which has an 85% conversion rate from free trials to paid subscribers — as their top destination.

The piece also makes the point that Trump's email and test lists are extremely valuable and could be an important asset if he does attempt to launch a service.

But Axios doesn't mention the biggest impediment in launching such a service: it's hard work and that really isn't in the president's wheelhouse. Subscribers would expect daily content from him and that doesn't touch on the promotional efforts he need to do. Trump can't just slap his name on something and make it a success. Especially in a market where both Fox, Newsmax and The Blaze already have established brands, linear channels and streaming services. I'm just not convinced he's willing to put in the sizable amount of work that would be necessary to make any Trump TV viable.

What I can see him doing is taking the same approach he does with hotels: leasing his name (and in this case, his contact list) to someone who actually has the expertise and drive to make it a success.

This piece in Bloomberg offers up an interesting scenario for the future of "Wonder Woman 1984," which is currently set to hit theaters on Christmas Day. But according to sources in the story, execs at WarnerMedia are considering a plan to premiere the film on HBO Max within weeks of its theatrical release:

While theaters have criticized studios for releasing new movies at home so soon after they appears in theaters, they may be willing to relax their objections in this case. More theaters risk closing for the rest of the year if Warner Bros. delays “Wonder Woman 1984,” an unwelcome thought for chains already teetering on the brink of insolvency. Additionally, in exchange for shortening the time between the film’s theatrical and online release, Warner Bros. may make a payment to theater owners, the people said.

Richard Middleton at Television Business International has a good look at the state of the international AVOD business in 2020:

Samsung is also rapidly emerging as a key player in the AVOD battle and it too has been acting on its own expansion plans. The electronics manufacturer’s ad-supported Samsung TV Plus streaming service is now set to become available on all of its smart TVs released since 2017, expanding the reach of the service in one swoop and signaling a mood shift away from an offering that reserved the AVOD for select devices. The move means free access to 80 live and on-demand TV channels for viewers based in the UK, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France, Spain and Italy, with plans to expand into more European countries in 2021. Distributors have already struck numerous content deals too.

Peacock TV has begun offering its 50% off annual subscription rate, a deal it last offered widely just before the launch of the service last spring.

People rightfully focus a lot of attention of the largest streamers. But I'm fascinated by what is going on at some of the services seem as "niche" offerings. One surprising thing I learned on the Q3 earnings call for CuriosityStream is that they currently have around 13 million paying subscribers. Which is impressive.

SXSW is currently asking people to vote on what sessions they would like to see next year and this proposal from WarnerMedia and HBO's Multicultural Marketing Team is one that I would love to see. In fact, if it doesn't work out at SXSW, I'm more than happy to speak with them for my site (and newsletter). 


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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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 Friday, 13 November 2020 13:54