Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, April 27th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Diet Rite and jalapeno cheese ravioli.
NHL, TURNER SPORTS REACH DEAL FOR GAMES ON TNT, TBS
The NHL and Turner Sports announced a seven-year media rights agreement Tuesday that will have regular-season, Stanley Cup Playoff and Stanley Cup Final games televised on TNT and TBS starting next season and running through 2027-28:
Turner Sports joins the Walt Disney Co. and ESPN as the NHL's national media rights partners in the United States for the next seven seasons. The NHL, the Walt Disney Co. and ESPN announced a multiplatform media rights deal March 10.
As part of the agreement, Turner Sports' networks will televise the NHL Winter Classic, the League's annual New Year's Day outdoor game, in all seven seasons of the deal. They will show all games in the Stanley Cup Final in 2023, 2025 and 2027, one conference final series each season and half of the first two rounds of the playoffs along with 72 regular-season games per season.
Bleacher Report, which is owned by Turner, will have rights to use NHL highlights on its digital platform.
I'll leave the sports analysis to people wiser than myself. But there are a couple of TV-related takeaways. One is that despite the assurances from TNT/TBS execs that this doesn't mean the networks are stepping back from original scripted programming, the two networks were already in that direction before this deal was finalized.
When deals like this are made, there are a lot of discussions about the increasing costs of live sports and whether it's possible to still make money in an era when viewership in general is flat or declining. But in the case of TBS/TNT, the pivot to more live sports is as much a reflection of its increasingly limited options as it is a ringing endorsement of the power of live sports programming. Both networks have long carried some sports programming and in recent years TNT's primetime programming has been a hybrid of live sports, off-network syndicated programming, theatrical movies and a limited number of original productions. But that mix is becoming impossible to sustain. There are fewer big hit network TV shows in the pipeline to strip out in primetime and thanks to increased competition from streaming services, the costs of those programs is increasingly rapidly.
It's a similar story with theatrical movies. There are only a few major movie output deals becoming available in the next five years and those precious titles have been essentially priced out of the linear television market. And as for original programming, while TBS has had some success with original game shows & other unscripted series, both TBS and TNT have struggled to launch new scripted titles. Both because it's difficult to find traction in an increasingly crowded marketplace. And because the growth of streaming services has meant that both networks are facing increased competition to snag the projects as they are being developed.
While an NHL deal might not be the future the Turner Networks had planned on, it's likely a cornerstone of what will become the company's best-case programming scenario for the next five years.
SPEAKING OF SPORTS AND CABLE TV
The two "general interest" cable networks over the past 25 years have been TNT and NBCU's USA Network. With TNT adding more sports, it will be interesting to see where USA is headed in the next five years. With NBC's sports net disappearing, it's likely some sports might be headed to USA. Especially given that like TNT, USA has struggled in recent years to launch any new programming other than a handful of reality shows. NBCU doesn't currently have a lot of live sports rights to work with and it also has to figure out how USA fits into a universe in which NBCU's streaming service Peacock is being promoted as being a destination for Premier League soccer.
I don't envy NBCU executives navigate the future of the USA Network. It currently gets a lot more in affiliate fees than its current lineup would support. And like TNT, it doesn't have a lot of good options when it comes to new off-network programming and/or movie packages.
ODDS AND SODS
* 'The Flintstones' sequel series Bedrock officially enters development at Fox. Elizabeth Banks will voice a 20-something Pebbles making her way in a new Bronze Age world.
* The Daily Beast is hiring an entertainment reporter. You can apply for job here.
* Amazon Prime Video unexpectedly dropped all ten episodes of season three of the series Loudermilk onto its service today. The first two seasons premiered on the now-shuttered Audience Network.
* Fox will be premiering its remake of Fantasy Island on August 10th. Beginning on May 1st, episodes of the original series as well as the 1998 UPN remake will stream on Tubi.
Here are links to some of the stories that were posted over the past few hours on AllYourScreeens.com
* Russian Man 'Trapped' On Chinese Reality TV Show Finally Voted Out After Three Months
* NENT Group Secures Bundesliga Rights Until 2029
1) Fatma (Netflix)
Fatma (35), an ordinary cleaning lady, commits an unexpected murder while searching for her missing husband, Zafer, who was just released from jail. Zafer’s dodgy underground associates soon find out what she did, and the only way for her to survive in this man’s world is to continue killing. She gets away with it too - since no one takes her to be more than an ordinary cleaner, she becomes an invisible killer. In the end, murder becomes a release for the years of struggle and grief that she had repressed, and a new part of her identity she must confront.
2) Go! Go! Cory Carson Season Four Premiere (Netflix)
Whether helping out his friends or making new ones with sister Chrissy, Cory is always on the move and ready for any adventure that comes his way!
3) Labyrinth Of Cinema (Mubi)
The only movie theater on the Onomichi seafront is about to close its doors. Its last night of screenings will be an all-night marathon of Japanese war films. When lightning strikes the theater, three young men in the audience find themselves thrown back in time into the world inside the screen.
4) Man In Room 301 (MHz Choice)
Dark Finnish thriller about a fractured family facing the consequences of their past actions.
5) Under Pressure (MHz Choice)
Justine (Olivia Ruiz pictured above) struggles to reconcile her family life and her job as a police officer when she faces an internal affairs investigation into stolen money.
6) When Phillip Met Missy (Discovery+)
Every resident in the small town of Hartville, Ohio knows that if you want the latest town gossip, you have to head over to the local fast-food joint. In a town of only 3,000 people, coffee shops are limited, and most folks meet to chat and enjoy their morning brew in the middle of a busy drive-through restaurant. One of those locals is Philip Snider. Philip and his wife, Roberta, were longtime Hartville residents, until his wife’s sudden disappearance. Rumors swell that Philip had something to do with it, but no one knows for sure. One day, a new resident of the town, Missy, walks into the restaurant, and things are never the same. She strikes up an unusual friendship with Philip, and the town holds its breath from afar. What starts out as a meet-cute then swirls into a cycle of surprising and sinister twists that viewers won’t see coming.
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