Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Tuesday, November 17th, 2020

Post by: Rick Ellis 17 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, November 17th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Iced Tea and pasta salad.

YouTube And Engaged Viewing
Having a 15-year-old in the house is useful if you write about the media, because it provides real world insight into how teens use platforms such as YouTube. It's been interesting to me to see him shift so much of his media consumption to YouTube. Given the choice, he'd rather watch gaming videos on YouTube than something on a streaming service. He watches short animated history docs on YouTube rather than a special about the same subject on the History channel. He frequently uses YouTube as background noise, in the same way that older people use traditional radio. 

I've seen some studies that show under-18 viewership shifting to platforms such as YouTube. But I can't find anything that specifically tracks what they are watching and why. Does anyone know of any data along those lines? 

Twitter execs had a call with media this morning where the company rolled out a couple of new features and one of them certainly falls into the category of "who asked for this?" The platform is introducing "Fleets," a new style of tweet that will disappear after 24 hours. This is the company's explanation of the new feature:

Twitter’s purpose is to serve the public conversation – it’s where you go to see what's happening and talk about it. But some of you tell us that Tweeting is uncomfortable because it feels so public, so permanent, and like there's so much pressure to rack up Retweets and Likes That’s why, unfortunately, there are so many Tweets left in drafts! To help people feel more comfortable, we've been working on a lower pressure way for people to talk about what’s happening. Today, we're launching Fleets so everyone can easily join the conversation in a new way – with their fleeting thoughts.

There are several obvious problems with this. Less accountability and transparency is not what discourse on Twitter needs. People are much more likely to tweets all sorts of false or misleading things knowing that the tweets will be gone in 24 hours. And to complicate matters, fake tweets are already a huge problem and they can be hard to identify. That will be even a more difficult problem when the original tweet may or may not have been automatically deleted.

Users of Amazon Fire TV and/or people who subscribe to HBO through Amazon Channels were thrilled to learn that they would get access to HBO Max. But I'm hearing reports that the transition is not as easy as it was presented in the original announcement. Specifically, that current subscribers of HBO through Amazon Channels can't log into the HBO Max app. Here is the language that was used in the HBO press release announcing the deal:

Immediately upon launch, current subscribers of HBO through Amazon’s Prime Video Channels will be able to log in to the HBO Max app with their Amazon credentials at no additional cost.

But I have heard from multiple people who tell me things like this: "I’ve been trying for an hour! This language (log in to the app w amazon credentials) doesn’t match the actual login options presented on the app."

Has anyone out there attempted to log into HBO Max this way? Someone from the Amazon Fire team did provide this piece of info to me: "You should be able to use your Amazon login and password directly in the HBO Max app on any device where HBO Max is available. If this doesn't work, please feel free to reach out to our customer service team."

So I'm not sure what the situation is with this problem. Is is user error? Or is there a problem Amazon hasn't noticed? If you have any experience with this problem, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I announced last week that I was dropping the listings that I had been including in my daily newsletter. I had cited some reasons why and even now, the analytics seem to show that the listings are of use to a smaller subset of subscribers. But as I've often argued here, data shouldn't be the only factor driving decision-making. Since I have made that decision, I have heard from a large number of you (more than 200) that you find the listings helpful. So I bow to popular wisdom and am bringing them back beginning today.

Here are a few pieces of interest I've posted on AllYourScreens in the past 24 hours:

I'm not saying that New Yorker piece about Netflix & Ambient TV is the dumbest thing you'll read this week. But...

Conan O'Brien To End TBS Talk Show For Weekly HBO Variety Series

Hulu Live TV announced it was hiking rates $10 per month and that was a good reason to update my guide to Building The Perfect Discount TV Bundle

Amazon Prime and Amazon Studios have announced a €1 million ($1.18 million) commitment to support the Italian entertainment industry through the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Ainu Mosir (Netflix)
A sensitive Ainu teen searches for a spiritual connection with his recently deceased Dad while navigating his indigenous identity in a changing world.

2) Beyond Oak Island (History)
Hosted by real-life treasure hunters Rick and Marty Lagina, this eight episode series chronicles the greatest treasure hunts of the past, present and (perhaps) future. “Beyond Oak Island” offers a combination of great story telling, compelling interviews with treasure-hunters, historians and experts, as well as on-location treasure hunts in progress, sometimes with the Laginas themselves.

3) Big Sky Series Premiere (ABC)
While on a road trip to visit her boyfriend in Montana, Danielle Sullivan and her sister Grace are kidnapped by a truck driver on a remote part of the highway, setting off a chain of events that leads private detectives Cody Hoyt and Cassie Dewell to team up with Cody’s estranged wife and ex-cop, Jenny Hoyt, to search for the sisters. But when the investigators discover these are not the only girls who have disappeared in the area, it’s clear they’ve stumbled onto something much bigger than them all.

4) FBI Season Premiere (CBS)
The team welcomes a new member, Special Agent Tiffany Wallace (Katherine Renee Turner), as they search for killers who orchestrated a mass shooting at a media company, and OA’s personal connection with the case threatens to cloud his judgement.

5) FBI Most Wanted Season Premiere (CBS)
With COVID devastating the country, two gunmen take out their desperation and rage on the elite class they perceive to be oppressing them as the team attempts to track and stop them. Also, Jess’ father (Terry O’Quinn) returns to his son’s life and, although he’s brought a new girlfriend, he may not be over his old ways

6) NCIS Season Premiere (CBS)
Gibbs and Fornell (Joe Spano) attempt to track down the leader of a drug ring who supplied drugs to Fornell’s daughter. Also, the team deals with the case of a missing cadaver from the NCIS autopsy room.

7) Spiral Season Seven Premiere (MHz Choice)
The acclaimed French television police procedural and legal drama returns for its next-to-last season.

8) Start-Up (Netflix)
Young entrepreneurs aspiring to launch virtual dreams into reality compete for success and love in the cutthroat world of Korea's high-tech industry.|

9) The Boss Baby: Back In Business (Netflix)
Boss Baby is finally the boss, armed with an ambitious plan to achieve total baby love. But enemies old and new are teaming up to bring him down.

10) The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special (Disney+)
Directly following the events of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” Rey leaves her friends to prepare for Life Day as she sets off on a new adventure with BB-8 to gain a deeper knowledge of the Force. At a mysterious Jedi Temple, she is hurled into a cross-timeline adventure through beloved moments in Star Wars cinematic history, coming into contact with Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi-Wan and other iconic heroes and villains from all nine Skywalker saga films. But will she make it back in time for the Life Day feast and learn the true meaning of holiday spirit?

11) We Are The Champions Series Premiere (Netflix)
From executive producer Rainn Wilson, We are the Champions explores the quirkiest, most charming, and oddly inspirational competitions you never knew existed. Each episode follows a unique competition, providing a window into a world of determined, passionate, and incredibly skilled competitors who put it all on the line to become heroes in their own extraordinary worlds. Featured competitions include Cheese Rolling, Chili Eating, Fantasy Hair Styling, Yo-Yo, Dog Dancing and Frog Jumping.

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 Tuesday, 17 November 2020 13:36