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Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, September 10th, 2020

Written by 10 September, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, September 10th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by McDonald's coffee and a gluten-free cinnamon/banana muffin.

It's good to be back after a few days off for Labor Day. I also have been getting my 15-year-old ready for his sophomore year of high school, which is just as confusing as you might expect in the middle of a pandemic. 

THE SECRET TO TIKTOK'S ALGORITHM
ON Wednesday, TikTok gave some reporters a behind-the-scenes look at how it uses data to serve up videos it believes users are most interested in seeing.

Basically, when users first sign into TikTok, they're presented with eight videos that cover some general topics such as news, movies, music, etc. TikTok then uses the information it gathers about the user's preferences to further narrow the eight videos shown in the future. As you might expect, TikTok tries to anticipate a user's preferences by tracking a variety of metrics: subject matter, hashtags, favorite creators, language, country setting, captions and device type.

Once their machines have learned enough about a user's preferences, they group users into a "cluster," which includes other users who have similar preferences. It also groups videos into "clusters" of similar topics and languages. It then uses data to exclude videos from the preferred feed based on global location, language and to prevent users from seeing a stream of videos from the same creators.

TikTok execs did admit that like other services such as Facebook that use machine learning to help craft feeds, it struggles with the side effects inherent with any data-driven algorithm: creating filter bubbles that end up only delivering exactly the data the user is most likely to find engaging. That bubble tends to magnify problems with the spread of conspiracies and false information. TikTok is taking several steps to try and solve the problem, which includes using human content reviewers to filter videos from controversial users, along with experiments to see how much the filter can be expanded without adversely affecting engagement.

TikTok's chief security officer, Roland Cloutier, said the company is also building a monitoring, response and investigative response center in Washington D.C. to actively detect and respond to critical incidents in real time.

I don't know that I was surprised by anything I learned, but I appreciated the company's efforts at transparency. I wish some of the streaming services that use machine learning for content surfacing (cough, Netflix) would be as willing to discuss their methodology with the press.

AD-SUPPORTED VERSION OF HBO MAX REPORTEDLY SET FOR Q2 2021 LAUNCH
It's no secret that HBO Max hopes to have a free, ad-supported version of its service launched sometime in the first half of 2021. This piece in Digiday provides a bit more information, reporting that ad buyers have been told the AVOD HBO Max will launch in the second quarter of 2021:

WarnerMedia has told ad buyers that it plans to roll out HBO Max’ ad-supported tier in the second quarter of 2021, according to agency executives who have been briefed on the matter. One of the agency executives said that WarnerMedia has left the door open to debut the ad-supported tier in the late first quarter in time of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament, which partially airs on WarnerMedia’s TV networks. A WarnerMedia spokesperson declined to comment.

Most interesting to me is the way WarnerMedia is approaching ad sales. While it's keeping the ad load pretty low, it is also apparently asking a relatively high CPM for its ads:

The company is asking that advertisers spend at least $250,000 per quarter, according to the agency executives. “The cost of entry is really low,” said a second agency executive. However, WarnerMedia is setting high CPMs for its ads, so that $250,000 may not go so far. The company is setting the CPMs at the agency level, so the executives declined to discuss specifics but said the CPMs are in the range of CPMs for primetime broadcast TV shows, which can hover around $80. As a result, the lower commitment may make it easier for HBO Max to attract a large number of advertisers, but the high CPM is likely to lead some advertisers to wait until they have a better sense of what they would be getting in return for that money, said a third agency executive.

WarnerMedia is taking a different tact in pitching its streaming service than NBCUniversal did when lining up advertisers for its Peacock streamer. Instead of seeking out a small number of exclusive launch sponsors that would pay tens of millions of dollars, WarnerMedia is looking for a broad array of advertisers to run ads across HBO Max. To that end, the company is aiming its pitch at agencies that will then identify particular clients to advertise on the service. 

#CANCELNETFLIX
I am generally skeptical of social media campaigns arguing for a boycott of some company. But it's worth noting that one of the hottest topics on social media today comes from people who claim they are cancelling their Netflix account because of what they consider as inappropriate sexuality in the movie Cuties. The film won the Directing Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival and its screening there garnered almost universal positive reviews. Netflix had previously apologized for the marketing materials released for the film, which were criticized for sexualizing underage girls, but now that the movie is available to users, a campaign has sprung up which claims Netflix is distributing what amounts to child pornography.  The film tells the story an 11-year-old Senegalese Muslim girl who joins a dance group and "rapidly grows aware of her burgeoning femininity — upsetting her mother and her values in the process."

While I don't agree with some of the criticisms, I'm all for having a discussion about it. But it didn't take long for social media complaints about the film to get lumped into these QAnon-related conspiracy theories about Hollywood being the center of a worldwide pedophilia ring. And those type of nutty claims make it very difficult to have a rational discussion about content.

ODDS AND SODS
If your TV jam is watching a divorced couple combine flipping houses with passive-aggressive hatred, then you'll be happy to know that HGTV's Flip Or Flop  with Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead is returning for a new season on Thursday, October 15th.

Horror-centric streamer Shudder has started production on season two of the anthology series Creepshow. This season's guest stars include Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect), Keith David (The Thing), Ashley Laurence (Hellraiser), Josh McDermitt (The Walking Dead) and Adam Pally (The Mindy Project). According to Shudder, the first season of Creepshow  set "records for Shudder in number of viewers, new subscriber sign-ups and total minutes streamed to become the most watched program in Shudder history."

Starz has greenlit a series spinoff of the provocative and critically-acclaimed Lionsgate film Blindspotting. Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs, who also starred in the film in addition to writing and producing it, will write and executive produce the half-hour dramedy. Casal will serve as the series showrunner in addition to having a recurring role.

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

1) Bin Laden's Hard Drive (NatGeo)
Nearly 470,000 digital files; 250 gigabytes of data; more than 100 USB drives, DVDs and CDs; five computers; and multiple cell phones… Piecing together every shred of evidence from these items taken from the Abbottabad Compound where Osama bin Laden was killed, this special scrutinizes the al-Qa’ida founders’ layered personal psychology; his relationship with his family; the lens through which he viewed faith and religion; and his nihilistic legacy of violence and destruction. Premiering Thursday, September 10, at 9/8c, the special offers a roadmap into the mind of a mass murderer that offers increasing twists and contradictions the deeper it goes.

2) Impact Of Murder Season Two Premiere (Investigation Discovery)
Using the gripping victim impact statements delivered in court as the driving storytelling technique, this series showcases how victims can be empowered against their perpetrator to stand up in court and confront them – and in some cases, unexpectedly find forgiveness. Through a victim’s own words, viewers understand the horror they endured or the significance of the life that was taken, providing an acute and emotional understanding of the collateral damage of murder. 

3) Julie And The Phantoms Series Premiere (Netflix)
Teenage Julie finds her passion for music and life while helping the Phantoms -- a trio of ghostly guys -- become the band they were never able to be.

4) Tamar Braxton: Get Ya Life! Series Premiere (WEtv)
To save her small law firm, earnest lawyer Susan (Rachael Leigh Cook) takes a high-paying case from Nick (Damon Wayans Jr.), a charming new client who wants to sue a dating website that guarantees love. But as the case heats up, so do Susan and Nick's feelings for each other. 

5) The Babysitter: Killer Queen (Netflix)
Two years after defeating a satanic cult led by his babysitter Bee, Cole's trying to forget his past and focus on surviving high school. But when old enemies unexpectedly return, Cole will once again have to outsmart the forces of evil. 

6) The Gift Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
Reckoning with a different world, Atiye races against time to realize her destiny as the mysterious syndicate behind Serdar threatens the future.

7) The Idhun Chronicles (Netflix)
After a necromancer takes over the magical world of Idhun, two adolescent earthlings help fight an assassin sent to kill all Idhunese refugees on Earth.

8) Unpregnant (HBO Max)
Seventeen-year-old Veronica (Haley Lu Richardson) never thought she’d want to fail a test—that is, until she finds herself staring at a piece of plastic with a blue plus. With a promising college-bound future now disappearing before her eyes, Veronica considers a decision she never imagined she’d have to make. This never-taken-lightly decision leads her on a 1000 mile hilarious road trip to New Mexico over three days with her ex-best friend, Bailey (Barbie Ferreira) where they discover sometimes the most important choice you’ll make in life is who your friends are.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A THING
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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

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 Thursday, 10 September 2020 14:48

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

Written by 01 September, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, September 1st, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by lukewarm coffee and Skittles.

THE LIVE EVENTS INDUSTRY IS HAVING ITS NAPSTER MOMENT
Live events are an integral part of the entertainment industry. From fan-centric events like Comic-Con and the Austin Television Festival to industry gatherings to set visits, live events are woven into the fabric of how we do business. All of the larger media web sites use special events and festivals as a prime revenue stream. And according to Skift CEO and founder Rafat Ali, the event industry is undergoing what he describes as its "Napster moment":

Zoom is the Napster of the event industry, the ease with which you can put on good-enough virtual events with a global audience, almost for free, much to the undercutting of the underlying economics of the physical events world. All types of business event — conferences, trade shows, conventions — are in danger of their revenues streams of tickets, sponsorships, memberships, and other types of fees being eroded as the world gets used to digital formats and alternatives emerge to physical networking, matchmaking and other tasks we get out of these events.

The problem, according to Ali, is that virtual events bring in only a small percentage of the revenue generated by live events. While also making some things such as casual business travel a luxury of the past:

We estimate for our Skift events, in the best case scenario, virtual one-day events bring in only about a quarter to a third of what a physical conference revenues used to pre-pandemic, and while that is one example and mileage will vary from industry to industry, company to company, and event to event, very likely revenues from digital events will never get close to offline events. We are habituating the business world to free or almost free events where we used to charge thousands of dollars for conferences and other business events. We are habituating sponsors to pay up fraction of what they used to pay, with more precise targeting that online tech and tracking allows. We are habituating a world to less business travel, a world that is arguably better and happier without so much weight of people criss crossing the planet and countries. We at Skift are estimating that about 10 to 15 percent of business travel demand may leave the market permanently, and it may also lead to the death of single-meeting business trip, all of which will have direct and indirect implications for the events industry.

It's a really thought-provoking piece on an issue that is going to permanently alter the way the entertainment industry functions on a daily basis. As a journalist working in the Twin Cities, the growth in virtual events has been a net positive. Virtual press tours and live events has given me access to people I wouldn't normally be able to speak with because I'm not located in Southern California. I won't lie. I love the physical set visit and would be sad if those went away permanently. But I can already see some changes becoming permanent, no matter what the outcome of the pandemic.

It's also a reminder of how quickly an idea can change the landscape of an industry. Benchmark's Chetan Puttagunta shared this tidbit today about the virtual networking software company Zoom:

Zoom's market cap today ($133B) is higher than Cisco's market cap in 2011 when Eric Yuan left Cisco to start Zoom. This is after Cisco rejected his idea of a new video conferencing app.

SPEAKING OF VIRTUAL EVENTS
I'll be doing a 15-minute virtual session for this year's Twin Cities Start-Up Week on Thursday, September 17th at 12:30 pm CT. I'll be talking about the economics of running a web site that creates original reporting and content and walking everyone through some of what I've learned running AllYourScreens.com. A lot of attention is paid to the revenue streams for sites such as Buzzfedd or Vox. But there isn't a lot of discussion about smaller operations and I think the talk will be very informative. And hopefully, entertaining.

THE BATTLE FOR OUTPUT DEALS
Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw has a good look at what promises to be the next battleground in the streaming wars. Two big movie output deals that will be coming up for renewal at the end of next year:

The deals could generate as much as $250 million per studio annually — and, in some cases, more — according to people familiar with the matter. Amazon.com Inc., Netflix Inc. and Hulu have all expressed interest in the rights, as have HBO and Starz, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are in preliminary stages.

As many as a half-dozen services are bidding for the rights, which would let streaming companies show the movies about nine months after the films have appeared in theaters. The winning platforms may have the exclusive rights for 18 months and then regain them for a second window of time, several years later. But the companies are discussing many options, especially since the biggest media giants now have their own streaming services to feed.

This is an especially big deal for HBO and Starz:

Currently, AT&T Inc.’s HBO has the exclusive rights to new movies from Universal, a collection that includes the latest installments in the “Jurassic World” and “Fast & Furious” franchises. Starz, which is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., holds the exclusive rights to movies from Sony, including the latest “Jumanji” and “Spider-Man” sequels.

Both HBO and Starz are trying to renew their current deals, which are set to expire at the end of next year. But they’re facing competition from deep-pocketed streaming services — Netflix, Amazon and Hulu — and find themselves negotiating with studios owned by companies that also have streaming services.

Piégés* - Premiere Date

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

1) Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices (Netflix)
This is a live-action collection of twelve five minute episodes featuring prominent Black celebrities and artists reading children's books from Black authors that highlight the Black experience. Hosted by Marley Dias (author and founder of #1000BlackGirlBooks campaign), the collection of books and conversations center around themes of identity, respect, justice, and action -- providing families a toolset to start meaningful conversations with kids about difficult topics through short-form book-based content.

2) Felipe Esparza: Bad Decisions and Felipe Esparza: Malas Decisiones (Netflix)
Stand-up comedian, actor and “Last Comic Standing” winner Felipe Esparza digs deeper into his past in his first Netflix Original comedy specials, Felipe Esparza: Bad Decisions and Felipe Esparza: Malas Decisiones. Filmed in Santa Ana, California as two separate performances – one in English and one in Spanish – the specials showcase Esparza’s edgy style of humor as the perfect vehicle to weave through difficult anecdotes of his childhood and mistakes in his adult life with ease.

3) Ghosted: Love Gone Missing Season Premiere (MTV)
Hosts Rachel Lindsay and Travis Mills help distraught people track down former friends or lovers who suddenly cut off all contact with them, and the truth about the ghosting is revealed.

4) Pieges Series Premiere (MHz Choice)
An ordinary woman discovers she’s the lucky beneficiary of one million euros gifted to her by a stranger. But before she can touch it, she must complete one macabre task: "To kill a man who deserves to die."

5) 16 And Recovering (MTV)
The four-part documentary series follows the triumphs and tragedies of students working toward graduation while living with substance use and mental health issues at a recovery high school in Boston.

6) Supernany Season Premiere (Lifetime)
With new the social and behavioral challenges parents face today, Jo Frost will bring hope and uplift families with her advice, techniques, and tips to iron out the chaos in their homes. 

7) The Boss Baby: Get That Baby! (Netflix)
In this interactive special, you'll find your calling at Baby Corp by making choices and carrying out missions as part of a virtual aptitude test.

8) The Match (La Partita) (Netflix)
A single football match played on a dirt pitch in suburban Rome centers this story of a poor community struggling with ethical and moral dilemmas.

9) Transplant Series Premiere (NBC)
When Dr. Bashir Hamed, a charismatic Syrian doctor with battle-tested skills in emergency medicine, flees his war-torn homeland, he and younger sister Amira (Sirena Gulamgaus) become refugees, struggling to forge a new life in Canada. But if Bash ever wants to be a doctor again, he must redo his medical training from the ground up and obtaining a coveted residency position is nearly impossible. 

10) True: Friendship Day (Netflix)
When a giant Grippity-Grab snags Grizelda’s friendship bracelet and turns her into a mermaid, True heads under the sea with magic wishes to save the day.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A THING
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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

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, 01 September 2020 11:32

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, August 31st, 2020

Written by 31 August, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, August 31st, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by hot tea and cinnamon/raisin bagels.

NETFLIX OFFERS A FEW MOVIES, TV EPISODES FOR FREE
Offering some subscriber-only content for free is an increasingly common way to encourage people to sample before hopefully subscribing. Netflix is trying its own version of the idea, by offering up a few movies and the first episodes of several of its higher-profile TV shows for free. Here is the link for the offer on the Netflix site and while I think it's a good idea in the abstract, it's not any potential big driver of new subscribers. That being said, the costs to Netflix for doing this is close to zero and at a time when domestic subscriber growth is slowing, there is a lot of motivation for the service to become increasingly more inventive with their promotional efforts. No one outside Netflix has any idea what the current customer acquisition costs are for Netflix. But given what I know about other streamers, I would be surprised if it was under $50. So offering a few movies and TV episodes for free is a cheap way to do some marketing.

THE CASE FOR NETFLIX AND DRIVEINS
Speaking of marketing ideas, one of the advantages Netlfix has is that it owns n increasing amount of its original content. And owning things give you some flexibility in how you can that content in marketing efforts. For instance, owning content means you can offer up free samples, as in the case of the previous story. But it also opens up some other possibilities. 

It's not easy owning a drive-in or independent movie theater. It's a battle to get popular titles and even when you can, they are extremely expensive. And then there are all of the weird contractual quirks, like the one that prohibits drive-ins from screening "Tenet" unless they are located in an area where the movie will also run in traditional movie theaters. The consolidation of Disney and Fox also led to a number of Fox movie titles being pulled from future bookings in indie movie theaters. These theaters are eager to get movies that are somewhat pre-sold and can acquired at a reasonable cost.

I'd like to see Netflix begin packaging some of their older titles for limited theatrical runs. These are titles that are likely on the long tail of their streaming viewership, but still would be interesting to see on a big screen. I certainly would pay to see "Extraction" or "Rim Of The World" on a big screen. And it would be a prime chance for some customer acquisition. Offer moviegoers a special code for a 3-month discount or some similar subscription-driving offer. Odds are that people watching a Netflix movie at a drive-in are less likely to be a current subscriber than the normal random American.

There are some costs to Netflix for this idea. While the company doesn't discuss the contractual outlines of their productions, I spoke to a few people on background who have done projects for the streamer. In some cases, Netflix apparently has deals which would allow it to screen a film in theaters without any additional costs. But in some cases, a theatrical run would trigger some additional payouts or require an update to the original production deal. Either way, the costs are relatively modest and there is a decent upside to the idea. Especially given the press coverage that Netflix would get for the idea.

THE CULT OF EXECUTIVE TRACK RECORDS
This is an idea I'm going to be fleshing out in a future piece, but I think it's worth talking about a bit now. I just read a long post from an industry analyst who was writing about a long-time Hollywood executive's moves in the digital space. And essentially his point was "I'm not sure why he's doing the things he's doing, but you have to consider his track record."

While there are a few obvious exceptions, the past decade has shown us that being a successful television or music industry executive doesn't necessarily give you any special insight into what it takes to make a digital or new media business successful. Quibi only exists because it was able to raise billions of dollars of funding due to the track record of Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman. But it's also clear that their blind spots have made it much more difficult for Quibi to succeed. Susanne Daniels had an impressive career in television. But I think it's fair to argue her run as head of YouTube Originals has brought some mixed results. Her television experience helped her develop programs for YouTube (like Cobra Kai). But she has the least amount of experience and knowledge with the part of the job that is the most challenging: getting people to pay for YouTube Originals.

So qualities does a traditional media executive need to thrive in the digital media space? Do you have to be intimately familiar with the products to be successful?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Feel free to reach out on Twitter at @aysrick or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

All or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur release date | Amazon Prime Video - Radio  Times
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) All Or Nothing: Tottenham Hotspur (Amazon)
Go behind-the-scene of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club during one of the most defining seasons in their history. Chairman Daniel Levy makes the mid-season decision to sack manager Mauricio Pochettino and hire Jose Maurinho. PLayers including Dele Alli, Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane fught to put the club amongst Europe's elite against the backdrop of the global cornoravirus outbreak.

2) Being The Queen (NatGeo)
The film focuses on important moments when the hidden side of the House of Windsor collides with the public life of the monarchy. The one-hour special is told through an incredible array of archival material, rare photographs and hundreds of hours of footage to showcase a treasure trove of intimate, rare and never-before-seen or heard accounts of Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne.

3) Planet Earth: A Celebration (BBC America)
Featuring new narration from David Attenborough and a newly-arranged instrumental track from Hans Zimmer (in partnership with Jacob Shea and the team at Bleeding Fingers), this exciting, adrenaline-packed journey to some of the most extreme environments around the world is breathtakingly beautiful – the celebratory trek inspires as all manners of species, sometimes endangered, continue to survive and thrive despite all odds. Within the score’s string section performed by the renowned BBC Concert Orchestra, and accompaniment on the grand piano by Brit and Mercury Award-winning UK rapper, Dave, the special is meant to elicit calm amidst the chaos as our global collective works to create community and heal itself from a devastating pandemic.

4) The 93 Victims Of Samuel Little (ID)
Samuel Little may not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking of serial killers, but he is one of the most prolific and elusive of all time. He was convicted of murdering four women but is thought to have killed as many as 93 women over four decades. For the first time ever, viewers will have exclusive access to investigators, stories from families and chillingly detailed descriptions from Samuel Little himself. 

5) This Joka With Will Smith Series Premiere (Quibi)
In the show, Smith plays host to a diverse guest list of comedians, ranging from up-and-comers to legendary performers. This Joka showcases their stand-up sets and will feature one-on-one conversations between Smith and the comedians plus docu-style moments shot backstage and around Vegas.

6) Wireless Series Premiere (Quibi)
A 20-year-old finds himself stranded off a snow covered Colorado road on New Years Eve armed with his quickly dying phone.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A THING
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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

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.

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, August 27th, 2020

Written by 27 August, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, August 27th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee and the aftermath of a fairly awkward Zoom interview, which included my teen son coming into the room to tell me the toilet was overflowing.

YOUTUBE BOSS TALKS ABOUT AVOD RATIONALE
Broadcast has an interview with YouTube Originals head Suzanne Daniels, in which she explains a bit about the service's current approach to original programming and whether or not to put it behind a paywall

“After three years, it didn’t feel like the right strategy to put all the original programming behind a paywall,” she said. 

“So we came up with a dual strategy. The original programmes are available to everyone for free with ads on YouTube, but in addition they’re behind a paywall, ad-free and ready to binge at any time, and often with ancillary content.”

She added that that the “pressure point of the tremendous advertising interest” was another precipitating factor for the strategy shift, with advertisers demanding at its ‘Brandcast’ upfront event, “why can’t we have access” to YouTube’s slate of originals.

Speaking to Broadcast ahead of her keynote conversation at the Edinburgh TV Festival, Daniels said YouTube’s unscripted slate revolves around “kid’s and family, learning and education, music and ‘personalities’.

THIS IS SOME STRONG BRANDING
No matter what you think of the underlying sentiment, this image from the NBA Player's Association is some impressive branding.
Image

A NICE USE OF TIKTOK
I spent a bit of time yesterday discussing the ways in which networks should be using TikTok. Someone who is using it in interesting ways is Dan Povenmire, the co-creator of Phineas and Ferb. There is a new P&F special premiering tomorrow on Disney+ and he's been promoting it in all sorts of ways. Including this idea, in which he asked fans for things they would like one of the show's characters to say and he then posted a video a day using their ideas. The character is the show's awesomely dense evil scientist "Dr. Doofenschmirtz," which Povenmire also voices in the show.

BORIS JOHNSON WAS BEING TROLLED....BUT NOT IN THE WAY YOU THINK

I don't usually report meme-ish type things, but this is an example of the difference between re-aggregating a story and actually doing the job of a journalist and reporting out the story. A lot of big media outlets reposted the image below of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving a "welcome back to school" talk at a school library. Of course, it wasn't long before people noticed that the titles of the books behind him seemed to have been chosen to troll Johnson. Leading a bunch of web sites that should have known better to dash off quick "See One Librarian's Massive Troll Of Boris Johnson" pieces. 


But a reporter for the Huffington UK spent the time speaking to librarians at the school and the truth is even more bizarre:

In fact, the display has been in place – apparently unnoticed – for more than six months, and was left by the outgoing librarian as a message to the school’s senior leadership team.

“It’s so bizarre, I actually feel a little bit sorry for the prime minister because it wasn’t ever intended for him – I did it as a message for the school management before I left in February,” the 48-year-old former librarian, who asked not to be named, told HuffPost UK.

“It just became untenable to carry on working there because of the lack of support I had and I was left with no choice but to resign. 

“That’s why I decided to leave them a big message during my last week. They obviously never actually noticed, and it went untouched for six months.” 

FORTNITE HAS A NEW SEASON
The wildly popular game Fortnite kicked off its new season today and as I write this, my 15-year-old son is working his way through all the new features. It's a massive Marvel Universe tie-in, with the ability to play and earn popular Marvel characters and items. More tomorrow (including a link to a short piece my son is writing about the new season). But just from a branding standpoint, there are few media or gaming companies do updates and branding as well as Epic Games, the owner of Fortnite.
Ravi Patel's Pursuit of Happiness Trailer Explores Culture, Connections |  Collider
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Aggretsuko Season Premiere (Netflix)
Lovely pianist Gurara hits rock bottom when she meets the rough and mysterious Fritta Sunwoojun. Can Fritta bring Gurara back to life?

2) Celebrity Game Face Season Premiere (E!)
Each week, Kevin Hart invites you for a night of outrageous and unpredictable fun and games with his celebrity friends, all playing from their own homes. Watch as these couples compete to outdo each other in wacky challenges that will test their skills and their relationships. It's a classic game night that only Kevin Hart could host.

3) Pure Series Premiere (HBO Max)
Twenty-four year old Marnie has bad thoughts all the time and she can’t tell anyone. Her mind is XXX-rated and intrusive thoughts are piling up inside her head. She is caught in the grip of an excruciating form of obsessive compulsive disorder – nicknamed ‘pure O’ – where her obsessions take the form of intrusive sexual thoughts, and the compulsions are unseen mental rituals that deeply affect her daily life. After imagining her parents engrossed in an orgy at their 25th wedding anniversary party, Marnie is at breaking point. Something. Has. Got. To. Give. She packs a bag and, with no plan, jumps on a coach to London. In the capital, Marnie soon discovers she’s not the only one who’s lost. 

4) Ravi Patel's Pursuit of Happiness Series Premiere (HBO Max)
A four-part buddy comedy docuseries that follows actor / documentarian / philanthropist Ravi Patel (Meet the Patels) as he travels the world seeking answers surrounding life’s universal questions.  At each stop throughout this comedically heartfelt journey, Patel is joined by a friend or family member, with whom he shares a big conflict or question about life. His travels take him to Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Denmark to explore the traditional customs of the people they meet and experience their unique approaches to life’s most pressing matters.

5) Through Greenland With Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Series Premiere (Topic)
The series is a visually spectacular program series with Danish Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau on an adventurous expedition through Greenland.

6) Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Farewell Play (BET+) 
Madea, the gun-toting matriarch drives a couple of hours to a rural town in Georgia to be with her loving family. Madea’s great-grandson is graduating from law school, and the entire family is gathering to celebrate the occasion. The family is in need of a happy time after Darlene has gone through a bitter divorce, leaving her financially and emotionally drained. The entire family has pitched in to help Darlene, and her son, Malik as he has barely paid his tuition bills. The graduation party is off to a joyous start until Darlene’s ex-husband shows up uninvited. Sparks immediately begin to fly, as Madea in the fashion of life coach, Iyanla, begins to fix everyone’s life.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A THING
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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

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 Thursday, 27 August 2020 12:40

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Written by 05 May, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, May 5th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee & sugar-free lemon drops.

THE CASE FOR AIRING 'STAR TREK: DISCOVERY' ON CBS
You might not have noticed, but AMC has begun airing episodes of "Creepshow," a notable move since the show was one originally created for the AMC sister streaming service Shudder. There are a couple of other examples of this streaming/linear television synergy, including NatGeo's decision to run episodes of the Disney+ series "The World According To Jeff Goldblum." But despite traditional television's current need for new programming, you so far have not seen any major made-for-streaming shows reairing on linear television. 

And that decision makes a lot of business sense. The high-profile, big budget streaming originals are designed in part to be a motivation for people to subscribe to the service, since viewers can't see the shows any other way. No streaming service wants to give up that motivating factor, even if airing the show on a sister broadcast or cable network would garner huge ratings. An industry fact that has so far limited the synergy to lesser shows that aren't subscription drivers.

There is one example that I believe might break that mold and it's the CBS All-Access series "Star Trek: Discovery." This show has been a major driver for the second-tier streaming service and it's one of the service's few break-out hits. So why would it want to air episodes of the show on CBS?

Streaming executives make these decisions based on a calculation of risk/reward, i.e. is the hit we'll take on new subscriptions worth the attention we'll receive otherwise? And in this case, it is. Unlike "Picard," "Discovery" has already released two seasons (with a third on the way). You could air just season one of the show on CBS, which would drive people who enjoyed the season to subscribe to CBS All-Access to get season two. And by running promos for "Picard" during the episodes, it's conceivable that episodes airing on CBS could be a steady subscriber driver to the service throughout the run.

The one thing that's unclear to me is whether there are any contractual reasons why this move couldn't take place. I know that CBSAA has sold off the streaming rights to Netflix outside of North America. But I don't know if there are any other contracts in place that would prohibit episodes being shown on CBS. But if not, I think this would be one of those rare win-win situations.

Here is a rundown of the new shows premiering today....

1) Arde Madrid Series Premiere (MHz Choice)
The series, set in 1961, centers around actress Ava Gardner’s time living in Francoist Spain after divorcing Frank Sinatra in 1957. It's a weirdly specific premise for a show, but all you need to know is that it stars Debi Mazar as Ava Gardner.

2) Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles Season Premiere (Bravo)
This season, these top agents must think outside the box to generate interest and navigate an ever-changing market, dominated by unrealistic sellers and softening prices. Josh Flagg is willing to travel far and wide for a shot at a record-breaking sale, even if it means teaming up and road tripping with his mortal enemy...Josh Altman. It's not all a buddy comedy as this duo end up on opposite sides of the negotiating table.

3) Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (HBO)
Gregson Wagner explores her mother’s public life and private persona through personal interviews with those closest to her, including husband Robert J. Wagner, who speaks on-camera about Wood’s death for the first time.

4) Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours To Kill (Netflix)
The special features a spectacular arrival to the Beacon Theatre in New York City, and showcases Seinfeld’s sharp angles on everyday life, uncovering comedy in the commonplace.

5) The Queen At War (PBS)
An examination of Queen Elizabeth’s childhood as she endured WWII and how her actions impacted England as a whole.

6) Tirdy Works Series Premiere (truTV)
This unscripted sitcom is a hilarious look at a moose turd entrepreneur and her unexpectedly heartfelt journey to unite a small town.

For a rundown of all the new episodes of television premiering tonight, click here.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A THING
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.

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.

 

Walk Around Like You're A Successful NBC Executive...From The 80s

Written by 26 August, 2020

The 1986-1987 primetime TV season was a great time to be an executive at NBC. The Cosby Show, Family Ties and Cheers were the top three shows on television that season. The Golden Girls was #5 and Night Court was #7. And let's not forget L.A. Law, Highway To Heaven, Miami Vice, Matlock, AlfHunter, Amen and 227 were all in the Top 30. So it's no surprise that the network executives wanted to commemorate the season with something special.

Apparently, it involved a Super Bowl-style ring that certainly screams domination.

An auction web site is offering one of the rings for sale and with a minimum reserved price of $1,100, it sadly won't end up at AllYourScreens HQ. But it's an impressive ring, even though I have to imagine that the market for this type of thing is fairly small.

You can find the auction here, with this handy explanation of what you'll get:

Corporate recognition award rings are a powerful symbol of accomplishment, appreciation and honor!

Corporate award rings always impress!

This one is no exception! – Beautiful, elegant award ring created by NBC TV Channel for 1986-87 Ratings Champion.

Now you have a chance to purchase this memorabilia jewel! -

Created in the end of 1980’s.

Features an oval cabochon synthetic ruby set in blackened 10k yellow gold.

The synthetic ruby measures 9.50 x 7.54 mm.

The ring is size 5 and can be sized if needed.

It weighs 10.8 grams.

The ring is 5/8" wide in the center.

It is not big; it is gracious and sophisticated.

In great condition; wear consistent with age and use

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

Written by 26 August, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, August 26th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by the fact that I got a rare full night of sleep. Which also explains why the newsletter is running a bit late today.

TIKTOK AND THE FANS OF 'CRIMINAL MINDS'
Los Angeles Time digital editor Tracy Brown has a fascinating look at the explosion of people of TikTok who are obsessed with the long-running CBS drama Criminal Minds. Earlier seasons of the show are on Netflix and that has apparently sparked a boom of teens becoming obsessed with the show. And of course, sharing their obsession on TikTok:

We’re not just talking about casual fans here, either: Videos marked with the #criminalminds hashtag have been viewed over 1.5 billion times on TikTok, which is more than 10 times that of content posted under hashtags associated with other popular crime procedurals such as “Law & Order: SVU,” “CSI” and “NCIS” ... combined.

But the notion of teenagers and young adults creating and sharing digital content about a CBS crime procedural that premiered in 2005 shouldn’t be written off as a humorous novelty. “Criminal Minds” TikTok also offers a striking glimpse at television’s streaming, and social, future.

The entire article is a must-read, but one of the unanswered questions it left for me is whether any of the networks has given serious thought to trying to connect with these fans. There are a lot of downsides to the slumping ratings for every broadcast TV network. But one of the few upsides is that when the audience is smaller, it doesn't take much of an increase in viewers to substantially move the bar. In many cases, just a few hundred thousand additional viewers in the right demo can make or break a show. And many of these TikTok fans are either in the right demo or close to it. These are the very potential TV viewers that the broadcast networks have lost over the past few years.

While Criminal Minds may have ended, there are plenty of other shows and stars with fanbases that can be reached on TikTok, Twitch and other platforms. It's frustrating to me that I haven't seen them make more of an effort to do so.

SPEAKING OF TIKTOK
The ABC comedy The Goldbergs is back in production and series star Hayley Orrantia has been sharing on TikTok the many changes that COVID-19 has had on the production of the show. She uses TikTok very well and it's an example of what I'd like to see the networks doing on a more widespread basis this season.

TASTEMADE AND REALTOR.COM TEAM UP ON BRANDED HOME AND DESIGN SHOW
Branded television gets a bad name, but when done well the branding isn't any more intrusive than those incessant Wayfair mentions sprinkled throughout your favorite HGTV series. In a new four-part series for Tastemade, realtor Andrew Tyree walks first-time homebuyers in four cities through some of the things they should look for when searching for their dream home. Some of the episodes were apparently shot after the COVID-19 outbreak and deal with some of the pandemic-related issues potential homebuyers might face. I haven't see the episodes yet, but it's interesting to me to see how companies like Tastemade are figuring out ways to create compelling programming while still integrating strong branding into the final product. 

Beyond The Block premieres on Tastemade on September 3rd.

There are linear networks where this approach might work as well for off-prime hours (CNBC and USA come to mind). But doing it well requires a production expertise that doesn't come naturally to either traditional infomercial producers or more traditional television units.

And while we're on the subject, I was going to reference a very old daytime show I remember seeing on cable maybe 25 years ago, but I can't find a mention of it anywhere. I believe it was on USA (although I could be wrong). But it was a daytime show in which the host did things such as cooking, but the various items of cookware, clothing, etc were also available for purchase. Do any of you remember this show or am I just insane? Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bounce - In The Cut
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol (Netflix)
Lovely pianist Gurara hits rock bottom when she meets the rough and mysterious Fritta Sunwoojun. Can Fritta bring Gurara back to life?

2) In The Cut Season Premiere (Bounce)
Jay "The Dream" Weaver is a barbershop owner and staple in his community. Recently reunited with Kenny, the adult son he never knew he had, life is all new for both of them. Together, they are learning what it means to be adult men: living, working and learning alongside one another. Close quarters, coupled with wisecracking employees, know-it-all neighbors and complicated love interests make for close shaves and good times.

3) La venganza de Analía (Netflix)
Analia Guerrero decides to take revenge against her mother's murderer, a prominent corrupt politician who's running for president of Colombia.

4) Million Dollar Beach House Series Premiere (Netflix)
In the swanky, exclusive Hamptons in New York, the driven real estate agents of Nest Seekers chase multimillion-dollar deals. 

5) Rising Phoenix (Netflix)
Rising Phoenix tells the extraordinary story of the Paralympic Games. From the rubble of World War II to the third biggest sporting event on the planet, the Paralympics sparked a global movement which continues to change the way the world thinks about disability, diversity & human potential.

6) Women in Film Presents: Make It Work! (The CW)
The one-hour variety special, a combination of music, comedy and fun celebrity testimonials, explores the issues and solutions for getting women back to work. Talent confirmed for the special include Malin Akerman, Mara Brock Akil, Lake Bell, Alison Brie, Connie Britton, Logan Browning, Nkechi Okoro Carroll, Rosario Dawson, Jack Donnelly, Beanie Feldstein, Jane Fonda, Jennifer Garner, Elizabeth Gillies, Kathryn Hahn, Ashlyn Harris, Rachael Harris, Cheryl Hines, Sarah Jeffery, Marta Kauffman, Ali Krieger, Javicia Leslie, Melanie Liburd, Rita Moreno, Catt Sadler, Andrea Savage, Sherri Shepherd, Alexandra Shipp, Rain Valedz, Michaela Watkins, Kym Whitley and Alfre Woodard.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A THING
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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

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 Wednesday, 26 August 2020 13:34

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

Written by 24 August, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, August 25th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by hot tea.

THE TYRANNY OF RECOMMENDATION ENGINES
I talk a lot here about user interface issues and how various streaming services try and use data to predict what you really want to see. It's clear that when you highlight a show or network to users, that will drive clicks and engagement. In theory, that decision should be an agnostic one. Services should want to choose the option that best suits the tastes of the user. The ideal push involves an option that seems helpful and non-intrusive.

But the reality is that recommendations-like every aspect of the streaming business-is a balance between commerce and usefulness. Every sales and marketing person is looking for an edge and it's difficult for them not to see content options as a marketing tool. Which is fine in theory. But when the marketing part of that becomes obvious, you've done something wrong.

I mention this because I have noticed that in the latest Hulu update of its interface, the content recommendations seem to be obviously much more driven by who owns the content. Previously, recommendations for live programming seem to select channels you had watched most recently as the default options. Which was helpful, because in the case of an event such as the RNC, it would offer me up the familiar MSNBC first before moving on to one of the dozen other networks carrying the live coverage. But during last week's DNC as well as last night's RNC debut, the first choice I would receive for the live event was ABC News Network, the streaming news service owned by Disney, the parent company of Hulu. Now finding MSNBC's coverage wasn't hard. But given that I've never watched the ABC News coverage, continuing to suggest it at some point just became annoying.

SPEAKING OF HULU...
I just saw this Hulu ad on Facebook:



HOW MUCH IS YOUR FAVORITE NFL TEAM WORTH?
Sportico has its annual look at the valuations for all the NFL teams and once again, the Dallas Cowboys top the list:

The average National Football League franchise is worth more than $3 billion, according to data compiled by Sportico. The Dallas Cowboys rank first at $6.43 billion, while the Cincinnati Bengals rank last at $2.12 billion. Collectively, the fair-market value of the NFL’s 32 franchises, including team-related businesses and real estate held by owners, is $99 billion. For comparison, that is more than the current equity value of Ford Motor Company, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, combined. The teams’ $15.83 billion in revenue in the last fiscal year, which represents the 2019 season, was greater than that of 298 companies on the Fortune 500. That averages to about $495 million per team.

As it turns out, the Dallas Cowboys are essentially too big to sell. NFL guidelines restrict who can own a team and the number of people willing to pay billions for a stake in something they don't control is pretty limited.

INSIDE ROBLOX'S WAR ON PORN
This Fast Company piece is from last week, but I just ran across it and in case you haven't seen it, it provides a fascinating look at Roblox's whack-a-mole efforts to shut down private rooms that feature awkward animated sex. And apparently, lots of swearing:

New players started this Roblox game with a choice: “Boy,” “Girl,” or “other.” Selecting one of the first two options immediately stripped your clothes and transported you poolside; clicking “other” placed you, clothed, in the room with sex toys. Avatars could choose among more than 25 different body positions and movements—most of them simulating sex acts. (Males could also, incongruously, choose “pushups.”) Beer and boom boxes were available too. 

The Haha house would eventually be visited by players more than 600 times in its few hours of existence, but for now it was relatively quiet. Inside, the only soul stirring was a solitary male figure in the home’s open-concept kitchen, recumbent on the breakfast bar. Judging by the motions proximate to his pelvis polygons, he was pleasuring himself. Elsewhere in the house, a player requested a private game server with another—so they could enter an identical, empty copy of the party house and carry on their interactions alone. 

One interesting factoid from the piece: 

A December 2017 study by Comscore found that kids between the ages of 5 and 9 spend more time playing Roblox than doing anything else online on PCs; for those between the ages of 9 and 18, only YouTube consumes more of their online attention.

Roblox is also big money, with data suggesting players spent $490 million on Roblox in just the first half of 2020.

ODDS AND SODS
The miniseries The Stand will premiere December 12th on CBS All-Access. New installments of the nine-episode limited series will then air weekly each Thursday.

Former Home Improvement stars Tim Allen and Richard Karn are reuniting for a competition series at History. On Assembly Required, builders compete from their home workshops to breathe new life into household items that desperately need fixing.

MHz Choice Premieres the New Scandi Noir thriller 'ALEX' - MHz ...
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Alex Season Two Premiere (MHzChoice)
A dark, gritty Scandi Noir thriller about a very bad cop desperately trying to go straight. At the end of Season 1, Alex’s world totally fell apart. He saved his son from the mafia but paid a heavy price. His wife left him and he was sent to jail for killing a fellow police officer. His only chance for survival might very well be to join the gangs he fought in his other life. But when his ex-partner Frida comes to him and offers to reduce his sentence in exchange for becoming an undercover informant, hope reignites in Alex. His family needs him, especially his son Simon, who is taking a wrong path in life. Maybe he still has a shot at redemption? Alex’s resolve and character is tested once again as he gets caught into a complex game, where everyone, including the police, tries to play him and danger is always lurking.

2) Emily's Wonder Lab Series Premiere (Netflix)
In this live-action series, host Emily Calandrelli makes STEAM fun with science experiments, activities and demonstrations that will blow your mind!

3) The Have And The Have Nots Season Premiere (OWN)
The series portrays the ongoing drama between the wealthy Cryer and Harrington families and the poor Young family. The most explosive season yet continues with no one unscathed by scandal, destruction, life-threatening moments, and even death. 

4) Trinkets Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
The teen shoplifters are back for another season.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A THING
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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

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, 25 August 2020 12:07

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, August 21st, 2020

Written by 21 August, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, August 21st, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by apple juice and a leftover Twix bar.

THE CASE FOR STICKING WITH WHAT YOU KNOW
Streaming media executives make the case that they are succeeding against traditional media competitors in part because they are breaking the well-accepted rules of doing business. In particular, Netflix executives tout their aggressive company culture that rewards innovation and success while more-or-less gently winnowing out the also-ran employees.

While they make some good points about the upsides of thinking outside the traditional business norms, there are some lessons that have remained remarkably constant over the decades. When you look back over the last 75 years of the entertainment industry, the one overriding lesson is to know your core business. Know what the company does well and only expand the scope of your business when the market and/or the future of your company demands it. Blockbuster was foolish to not buy Netflix when they had the chance. But they misjudged the future of the industry and their long-term success. On the flipside, it was foolish of Target and Walmart to launch streaming services. It wasn't compatible with their core business and didn't add anything to their overall strategy. They made the move because executives felt pressure to get into the streaming business and they knew it would look good (at least in the shirt term) to investors.

A lot of media business mistakes fall into that latter category. Let's call it "if X jumps off a bridge, would you do it too?" theory of doing business. It's easy to look at a successful niche and think "we should get into that. There's money to be made." The truth is, the money is likely to be made by the people selling you whatever assets you'll need to put together that train wreck of an idea.

I've been thinking a lot about this concept after getting into a Twitter discussion a couple of days ago with The Entertainment Strategy Guy. He's a smart guy, with streaming industry experience and he made the argument that Netflix should invest in one of the free, ad-supported streaming services as a way to get them into the sports and news category spaces:

Think that if you're telling the "where did Netflix's valuation go?" story in 2030, not owning a device, bundler or sports/news would be that.

And there is a certain logic in that argument. It's the "everyone else is doing it" theory and in some cases, that makes long-term sense. But when you start parsing out the consequences and challenges of making it happen, I think the idea falls apart pretty quickly.

First is just the cost. Critics of Netflix already complain that their current debt-driven spend on content is unsustainable. I happen to disagree with that premise, but it's a valid concern. So asking Netflix to spend billions to acquire a service that would provide news and sports content is somewhat of a mixed message from critics of the company.

The next challenge is integration. Netflix has no in-house experience with advertising, other than some product integration. Jumping into an advertising-centric space, which is very competitive and revenue fickle, is no small task. It would require Netflix to build out an entire new division of people to do it. And then there's the content for this service, which is another challenge given the current escalation in the cost of quality programming in general and sports specifically. In fact, I'd argue the increases in the cost of sports are not sustainable in the mid-term. Particularly for sports that aren't the big three leagues.

And let's not forget Netflix's supremely simple interface and product offering. They're not selling different level of content on different programming tiers. They don't have to integrate live and video-on-demand content. Everyone gets the same content. The only difference is how many simultaneous streams you can have or the quality of the stream. Netflix is polar opposite of HBO Max, which struggles to promote a mix of tiers and apps that seem to have been designed by a drunken DMV employee.

This idea also takes Netflix off-mission. They face new, aggressive and well-funded streaming competitors and I think it's fair to say that right now they remain the dominant player in the industry. Any time they spend on a new business deflects attention from their core mission. One that is only going to become more challenging in the upcoming years. Netflix can't afford a distraction.

Finally, Netflix doesn't need live sports or news content. In fact, both types of content play against the core strength of Netflix. As much as possible, they want to be global and create original content that can play in Pittsburgh or Paris. Both news and sports content are generally very region-specific. And in the case of sports, you're paying top dollar for content that you don't own, has very little shelf life and plays to a regional audience.

Netflix doesn't need live sports or news content to thrive. It needs to continue to focus on the qualities that got it this far.


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

1) Alien TV (Netflix)
Mixing computer animation and live action, this silly kids series follows aliens who come to Earth to investigate human life.

2) Backyard Takeover Series Premiere (HGTV)
Seasoned landscape designer Jamie Durie, best known from the network’s popular show The Outdoor Room With Jamie Durie, helps clients transform their neglected and out-of-control outdoor spaces

3) Chemical Hearts (Amazon)
A high school senior falls in love with a new transfer student who hides a heartbreaking secret.

4) Class Of '83 (Netflix)
A demoted cop trains five students as assassins to punish the corrupt bureaucracy and its criminal allies.

5) Clifford (Amazon)
Another season of the reboot of the classic animated kids show Clifford, The Big Red Dog.

6) Dark Forces (Fuego negro) (Netflix)
A criminal on the run finds refuge in a mysterious hotel and soon discovers that the guests of the hotel are not human.

7) Find Me In Paris (Hulu)
As a student of the Paris Opera School in the 21st century, Lena Grisky is a young ballet dancer with a secret: she has time travelled from the past.

8) Hoops Series Premiere (Netflix)
A foul-mouthed high school basketball coach is sure he'll hit the big leagues if he can only turn his terrible team around. Hey, good luck with that.

9) Live Rescue Season Premiere (A&E)
Join host Matt Iseman, and analysts Dan Flynn and Garon Mosby, to follow EMTs, Paramedics, and fire fighters from across the country, LIVE. Witness them bravely put their lives on the line responding to emergency rescue calls – from land, sky, and water!

10) Lucifer Season Five Premiere (Netflix)

Lucifer, bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, resigns his throne and abandons his kingdom for the gorgeous, shimmering insanity of Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD…and the savvy detective Chloe Decker in particular.

11) 100 Days Wild Series Premiere (Discovery)
The series spotlights a new generation who leave their homes and every creature comfort behind as they set out to take on a vast expanse of Alaska. They must work together to establish a self-sustaining colony where they make their own rules all before winter arrives.

12) Psycho Yoga Instructor (LMN)
Justine Grace is desperate to sort out her life, her marriage to her husband Tom, and herself. When Domenic, a handsome yoga teacher, takes an interest in her, it seems like he might be the one to finally bring happiness to her life. However, he has ideas that go beyond yoga. Justine must find the strength within herself to save her marriage, save her life, and survive a sociopath as he tries to seduce her into the perfect pose

13) Rust Valley Restorers Season Three Premiere (Netflix)
Mike keeps buying cars quicker than he can restore him, Avery and Connor visit the Motor City, and Cassidy gets cranking on a personal project.

14) The One And Only Ivan (Disney+)
Based on the award-winning book by Katherine Applegate, “The One and Only Ivan” tells the story of Ivan, a silverback gorilla who learns that life isn’t defined by place and circumstance but by the power of friendship and the courage to make change happen. 

15) The Sleepover (Netflix)
Two siblings discover their mom is a former thief in witness protection and they must team up to rescue her after she is kidnapped and forced to pull one last job.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A THING
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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

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 Monday, 24 August 2020 21:24

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

Written by 18 August, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, August 18th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee and Cinnamon Bread.

GAMING IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC
I don't focus a huge amount of time in this newsletter on gaming, because it's not a subject I cover frequently on AllYourScreens. Still, it does fall in the general catch-all of "media" and it's interesting to me to watch to see how trends in the gaming industry are increasingly becoming indicators for shifts in the media habits of the general public.

There's been a lot of hand-wringing in the television industry as executives attempt to predict what impact the COVID-19 shutdowns will have on viewing habits. There is some anecdotal evidence that audiences are seeking programs that are less confrontational and more comforting to the the soul. But I think it's still not clear whether these are long-terms viewing changes or just a reflection of everyone's collective weariness with the pandemic, the economy and an upcoming election.

It's also not clear what impact the pandemic is having on the gaming industry, other than giving teens a lot more free time to practice their Fortnite skills. But the surprise success of the new game Fall Guys suggests that even gamers are looking for games that are a bit more gentle in spirit while still providing the required level of excitement and skill.

Fall Guys is a Battle Royale-type game, in the same genre as Fortnite, Apex Legends and Call Of Duty: Warzone. The goal in all of these games is to be the last person standing from a group of hundreds or thousands of other players. This winnowing down of players is accomplished in a number of different ways but the primary one usually involves shooting or otherwise killing the other players. Fall Guys has a very chill vibe, with the player elimination being accomplished by a series of mini-games. Rather than killing other players, these games include running, pushing and otherwise being one of the top players in the round, which qualifies you for the next mini-game. And eventually, for the win.

Another wrinkle in Fall Guys is that some of the mini-games require you to partner up with other players in order to advance to the next level. Players are randomly assigned to groups, which live or die on the results of how well they accomplish the task of the mini-game. That differs from most other Battle Royale games, which allow you to play in teams, but generally encourage you to play with people you know.

There are a lot more laughs in Fall Guys than the typical Battle Royale game and it all just seems more innocent and fun. And maybe for that reason, the game has quickly developed a rabid fanbase since its release in early August. Which is surprising given that for now the game is only available for PC and Playstation. But there are already hundreds of Fall Guys play-through videos on YouTube, which is a good way to gauge a game's success in capturing the zeitgeist of the fickle teen gaming market.



DISNEY+ AND OOSHIES
Given the Borg-like dominance of American intellectual property in global markets, it can be easy to forget that we live in a big world, with important brands and products that are unknown to the American public. But despite our somewhat self-important provincial nature, there are times when it's clear that we have a lot to learn about regional markets. Even when it comes to the entertainment industry. For instance, take a look at this headline:

Disney+ To Partner With Woolworths On Exclusive Line Of Ooshies. 

As an American, there are a lot of things to unpack about that sentence. We already know what Disney+ is and that the streaming service is available in a number of countries, including the US, Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, India, and the United Kingdom.

As it turns out, in this case Woolworths isn't the U.S. drug store chain F.W. Woolworths, the South African retail store chain of the same name or even the defunct U.K. Woolworths business. Woolworths is also the name a major grocery store chain in Australia and along with rival Coles it controls about 80% of the Australian grocery market business. 

Ooshies are miniature plastic animals that were first sold in 2017. But Woolworths created a limited-edition line in 2019 to tie in with the release of the live-action Lion King movie. They were also designed to complete with a similar item sold by Coles, called "Little Shop." Woolworths customers were able to claim an Ooshie if they spent $30 in the store and the success of the initial offerings has led to a series of limited-run Ooshies tied into various pop culture characters. The Woolworths line of Ooshies has became a cultural sensation in Australia, with some of the rarer figures selling on auction sites for up to $10,000.

Now Woolworths is teaming up with Disney+ to offer a line of limited-edition Disney+-themed characters, including Elsa from Frozen, Captain Marvel, Woody from Toy Story and the Mandalorian, from the Disney+ series of the same name. The deal was announced earlier this week and it has sparked a frenzy of interest from Ooshie collectors and based on what I've read, there are a lot of them in Australia.

So now you know what a Disney+ Ooshie is and why it matters.

STUDY SHOWS 'PLENTY OF ROOM FOR GROWTH' IN GLOBAL SUBSCRIPTION MARKET
A new study from Ampere Analysis suggests that there is room for 3 billion additional streaming subscriptions across the world’s 20 largest media markets. The study sought to establish the theoretical ceiling for SVOD stacking behavior. According to their data, Ampere estimates that the maximum ceiling for SVOD services per household is highest in the U.S., at roughly eight. In Europe, the figure is lower, at between two to five services per household.

Daniel Gadher, research manager at Ampere Analysis, said in a statement that  "Even as we begin to see growth in SVOD services in emerging markets, our analysis shows that opportunity for expansion is actually still a very solid proposition in established territories. As cord-cutting continues, the US stacking ceiling is theoretically as high as eight services per average household, while in developing markets like Brazil it is far lower, at just 1.5."

Another interesting finding is that the average American still spends around $900 a year on their television services. They just have increasingly been swapping out expensive cable and satellite television packages for stacked packages of various lower-cost SVOD services.

ODDS & SODS
Amazon announced Tuesday that its conspiracy thriller Utopia will premiere on September 25th. Based on the British series of the same name, the show was originally developed for HBO. It stars John Cusack in his first regular series television role.

Ron Meyer is resigning as NBCUniversal Vice Chairman after disclosing affair and extortion attempt. 

Amazon.com: Watch Alice in Paris | Prime Video
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Aber Bergen Season Two Premiere (MHzChoice)
Norwegian defense attorneys Erik and Elea balance their personal relationship with their professional partnership in this unorthodox, character-driven legal drama.

2) Alice In Paris Season Three Premiere (Tastemade)
"The series follows Alice (narrated by her own inner monologue), an energetic young woman, through the streets of Paris to find the best food, restaurants, trendy cafes, and more in a city she knows like the back of her hand, but can still easily get lost in. This season, a mixup at a culinary festival sends Alice on a quest to save her reputation and a restaurant on the verge of losing its Michelin star."

3) Dead Pixels Series Premiere (The CW)
The series follows Meg (Alexa Davies) and Usman (Sargon Yelda), who are obsessed with the online fantasy game "Kingdom Scrolls." Meg would happily cut a date short to go home and defend Castle Blackfinger. Nicky thinks the miscasting of Vince Vaughn as Tanadaal in the “Kingdom Scrolls” movie is an international outrage. And Usman has made a plywood lid for his child’s playpen, so he can play the game in peace. 

4) I Quit Series Premiere (Discovery)
"Entrepreneurs from six businesses risk it all when they give up their steady 9-to-5 jobs to follow their passions in a life-changing journey that begins with the words 'I Quit.'"

5) The Suspect Series Premiere (Sundance Now)
When millionaire Richard Oland of Moosehead Brewing fame suffered a gruesome 45 blows to his head, neck and hands, his son Dennis immediately became the police’s prime and only suspect. The case turned one of Canada’s wealthiest families into the cast of a real-life soap opera.

TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A THING
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.

If you'd like to get this daily feature as an email, subscribe to our free daily "Too Much TV" newsletter here.

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 Wednesday, 19 August 2020 13:32
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