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Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, November 2nd, 2020

Written by 02 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, November 2nd, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by a quart of coffee. My apologies for the delay with today's newsletter - and its briefness - but some personal stuff has kept me occupied most of the day.

HULU TESTS NEW AD UNIT
With any streaming service that is at least partially ad-supported, there is a natural tension between increasing revenue and retaining the best possible user experience That's certainly the case with Hulu, which purposely carries an ad load that is generally lighter than what you'll find on traditional linear television. Which makes for an interesting challenge when they try and increase ad revenue. If you can't increase the ad load & there are limits to what you can charge, what other options are available?

Apparently one option being considered by Hulu is an integrated paid listing that looks similar to the services existing content suggestions. The difference is that these "suggestions" would be paid for and highlighted as a sponsored suggestion with a small button reading "ad." 

Here is one incarnation of what that ad would look like. In this case, it's for the Freeform series Grown-ish



Sources I've spoken with at Hulu say that no final decision has been made on the rollout of these ad units, although one person argued it was "just a matter of time," given the ad unit's easy integration into the UI. It is also an ad option that would likely be shown even to subscribers on the "mostly ad-free" option, since ad executives apparently don't consider the unit to fall into what subscribers would consider an "ad."

Here's how much money the cast of Below Deck makes
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Below Deck Season Premiere (Bravo)
Captain Lee returns to the Caribbean, and fan favorite Eddie Lucas (Bosun) comes along for the sail with new crew members Francesca Rubi (Chief Stewardess), Rachel Hargrove (Chef), Elizabeth Frankini (Stewardess), Isabelle “Izzy” Wouters (Stewardess), James Hough (Deckhand), and Shane Coopersmith (Deckhand). Cruising around the Caribbean’s white sandy beaches and crystal blue water, Captain Lee must adjust to the many new personalities on board while the crew juggles a series of challenging and unprecedented charters.

2) Holiday Baking Championship Season Premiere (Food)
Host Jesse Palmer kicks off the competition for 12 bakers with the kind of dessert people are embracing at home -- holiday decorated quick bread wreaths. Then, to spice things up, Jesse reveals the rankings of every challenge will appear on the new naughty or nice list. If a baker is naughty, there's no hiding it! In the main heat, the competitors must make a winter hat cake to charm judges Nancy Fuller, Duff Goldman and Carla Hall.

3) Q Talks Series Premiere (Quibi)
Faulty teleprompter. They'll have to say (and do) anything the teleprompter instructs. What happens if it cuts out? Improvise.

4) The Good Doctor Season Premiere (ABC)
Dr. Shaun Murphy and the team at St. Bonaventure continue to grapple with the life-changing events of last season while working on the frontline of the global pandemic.

5) With Drawn Arms (Starz)
This new documentary that uncovers the legacy of Olympian Tommie Smith who, after winning the gold medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics, stunned the world by thrusting his fist in the air during the playing of the national anthem in silent protest against racial inequality.

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, 02 November 2020 15:48

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, October 30th, 2020

Written by 30 October, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, October 30th 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Earl Gray tea and a bowl of grapes.

ABOUT THAT NETFLIX PRICE INCREASE
As I am sure you are well aware by now, Netflix announced yesterday that it is raising its subscription price for its standard and premium plans. Any Netflix price hike will bring out the less-than-reasoned hot takes, and a few people arguing that Netflix shouldn't hike prices because it has yet to create the "next Game Of Thrones."

These discussions are generally coming from people who don't understand the differences between what it takes to add new subscribers vs. the challenges of subscriber churn. It's true that high-profile, buzzy projects are a big driver in new subscriptions. But the factors that reduce subscriber churn are much more nuanced. Numerous studies have shown that modest price increases don't have a huge impact on subscriber numbers, if current subscribers remain satisfied with the service. 

About a year ago, I write a piece entitled "Streaming Services And The Theory Of Perceived Value" which lays out some of the reasons why I don't think this Netflix price hike will have any long-term effect on subscriber numbers. In basic terms, subscribers will shrug off price increases as long as they feel they are getting value for their money:

The lesson from all of this is that the temptation is to look at some ideal monthly subscription fee charged by a streaming service & use that as a benchmark for a service's "value." But in reality, what a service is worth in the real world is a concept called "perceived value." This is how it's described in the business dictionary:

A customer's opinion of a product's value to him or her. It may have little or nothing to do with the product's market price, and depends on the product's ability to satisfy his or her needs or requirements.

Media industry analysts and reporters often parrot the argument that "content is king." And while content is important, a bigger factor in the success of a media business is perceived value to the customer. How valuable is the content to the customers you're targeting? Is your user interface friendly enough that it doesn't lessen the value of your content in the eyes of frustrated users? There are a lot of factors that go into how customers perceive the value of a streaming service. And because it's all a bit squishy & difficult to quantify on a spreadsheet, it's often overlooked by industry analysts.

For instance, subscribers numbers are important. But to a certain extent, subscriber numbers are also a lagging indicator of perceived value. The customers subscribe in large BECAUSE the price matches or is lower than their perceived value of the service. It's why the cost of Amazon Prime Video is rolled into a package that includes everything from free music to free shipping. That's the customer's perceived value of the Amazon content. 

I'd argue that for now Netflix's subscription price still falls below the service's perceived value for most of its subscribers. It's not just the content itself that gives their subscription value. Netflix has done a good job of creating niche shows that end resonating in pop culture. These buzzy shows would be called "water cooler" shows if we still had water coolers. And there are tens of millions of people who don't want to miss out on the shows all of their friends and co-workers are talking about.

Netflix can raise prices now because they have a relationship with their subscribers that allows them to do so. And while this is a topic for anther piece, a lot of the motivation for the company’s recent wholesale revamping of its television executive ranks is the realization that in order to continue to have that relationship with their subscribers - especially the ones outside North America - Netflix needs to be create programming that will be seen as essential to customers in Egypt as it does in Erie.

CAN JUDGE JUDY OVERCOME HER BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
The news that Judge Judith Sheindlin is heading to Amazon's IMDB TV to do a new courtroom show is certainly a big deal and while it's not clear what it is going to cost Amazon Studios, it's likely no more than what they would pay for the average skipping-theaters-for-streaming feature film. I have no real sense of whether there is a big enough audience for this type of show on streaming. My biggest problem with the idea is that the most logical use of a Judge Judy series - as a way to get subscribers to visit every couple of days to see new episodes - is a lot harder to pull off when you have a UI that is so stubbornly difficult to navigate. Amazon's UI (which is where IMDB TV is most commonly found) is a mess and if there is a term for software that is designed to make assignment television near impossible, that is precisely how I would describe Amazon Instant Video. There haven't been a lot of details about the deal, so perhaps the plan is for Sheindlin to crank out regular 15-20 episodes "seasons" every few months. In that case, ease-of-discovery is somewhat less of an issue. 

I'm interested to see how this all shakes out. Genres like courtroom shows have not proved to be especially suited to streaming audiences in the past. Judge Judy is an interesting experiment for Amazon and for IMDB TV.



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

1) A Crafty Christmas Romance (Lifetime)
Starring Nicole Posener and Brad Johnson, it’s the story of a craft and hobby store owner who finds an old copy of “A Christmas Carol” during a holiday book drive, a discovery that sends her on a holiday journey to find the book’s owner and maybe a little romance along the way.

2) A Swingin' Sesame Street Celebration: 50 Years And Counting (PBS)
Sesame Street comes to Jazz at Lincoln Center for a swinging celebration of the show’s 50th anniversary. See some of your favorite feathered and furry friends like Big Bird and Elmo sing classic Sesame Street songs alongside the world-renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis.

3) Bronx (Netflix)
A team of cops investigating the seedy underbelly of Marseille, France, find themselves in over their heads as they realize that some of their fellow officers may be deep in the pockets of the city’s gangs, and they risk losing their jobs — or worse — unless they can set things right.

4) His House (Netflix)
After making a harrowing escape from war-torn South Sudan, a young refugee couple struggle to adjust to their new life in a small English town that has an unspeakable evil lurking beneath the surface.

5) Justin Bieber: Next Chapter (YouTube)
While Justin Bieber: Seasons gave fans an all-access look into Justin’s life after he had stepped away from the spotlight for two years, Justin Bieber: Next Chapter picks up where he left off and shows viewers what Justin’s day-to-day life looks like now, post-album and during this unprecedented time of uncertainty. The special will follow Bieber and touch on a variety of meaningful topics as Justin looks back at his life with his friends and collaborators from the intimacy of his own home. Topics such as his incredibly personal song and music video "Lonely," his growth from a childhood star to a mentor for young emerging artists, and reflective thought on both his personal and professional life.

6) Menendez: The Day Of The Lord (Netflix)
Menéndez is a retired priest who lives in his dark and ruinous apartment turning his back on the world. He suffers from a crisis of faith and is haunted by horrible nightmares and acts of his past that torture him. One day, he receives the visit from Sebastián, an old friend who knows Menéndez’s past business. He claims his daughter is possessed by the devil and begs for Menéndez's help to exorcize her, although he’s well aware of the aggressive methods the priest uses. Pushed by Sebastián's insistence and his inner conflict, Menéndez takes this case as a chance for redemption. He has a new goal in life but is she really possessed or will she suffer a senseless torture?

7) Monstrum: The History Of Zombies (PBS)
Dr. Emily Zarka takes audiences deep into the lore of the zombie throughout American history, examining zombie legends and tales to share what these creatures reveal about shifts in society, history and our deepest anxieties. The special also provides unique insight into America’s dark past of slavery and foreign occupation, as well as modern-day uncertainties about pandemics and bioterrorism.

8) My Big Italian Adventure Series Premiere (HGTV)
Lorraine Bracco renovates a 200-year-old Sicilian home she purchased for just one euro.

9) Rogue City (Netflix)
Caught in the crosshairs of police corruption and Marseille's warring gangs, a loyal cop must protect his squad by taking things into his own hands.

10) Somebody Feed Phil Season Premiere (Netflix)
"Everybody Loves Raymond" creator Phil Rosenthal travels the globe to take in the local cuisine and culture of five new cities.

11) Suburra Season Three Premiere (Netflix)
The final judgement in the battle for land in an Italian seaside town is close, and the criminals are ready to play the game for the last time.

12) The Mandalorian Season Two Premiere (Disney+)
More Baby Yoda

13) The Challenge ETA Series Premiere (Amazon)
An eight-episode documentary about the Guardia Civil's fight against the Basque terroirist band ETA. A fight that lasted for half a century, until the dissolution of the band and its definitive renunciation of weapons.

14) Truth Seekers Series Premiere (Amazon)
Broadband installer by day, paranormal investigator by night, Gus is annoyed to be partnered with "noob" Elton, but comes to appreciate having someone along for the ride as they discover a spike in supernatural activity. They're soon joined by Astrid, who has ghost problems of her own, and the gang soon embark on creating a ghost-huntin YouTube channel, uncovering a terrifying conspiracy as they go.

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 Friday, 30 October 2020 14:38

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, October 29th, 2020

Written by 27 October, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, October 29th 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by room temperature coffee & leftover sushi.

THERE'S A LOT GOING ON AT COMCAST
Comcast released its third quarter earnings today and a couple of things stand out. There is going to be a lot of attention given to the subscription numbers for the new streaming service Peacock. But there a couple of very big caveats. First, even Comcast admits that its X-1 platform was a "driver" for new subscriptions. And by driver, they mean that anyone who uses the X-1 platform qualifies for a premium Peacock subscription. Which makes a Peacock subscription an even lower threshold than HBO's "convert an HBO subscription into HBO Max, given you jump through some random hoops." Also, Peacock ran an aggressive pre-launch deal which offered subscribers about a 50% discount if they prepaid for a year. So keep all of this in mind when you read stories about Peacock's incredible success.

A second thing that came out of this morning's call was that NBCUniversal is undergoing a massive reorganization. Essentially collapsing all of its network and streaming business into one streamlined organizational chart. The theory is that shows will no longer be "created" for a specific network. Instead, they'll be created and then assigned to the spot where the show most makes sense. I think it's a good move, but it's also an acknowledgement that NBCU broadcast and cable networks are in a freefall and it doesn't make sense to stick with an organizational chart that is still stuck in 2010.

Image

THE MARCH OF THE GLOBAL TELEVISION SHOWS
I've written a lot about Netflix and Amazon's ambitions to create local shows from their various territories that could be both popular where they were created as well as globally. There have been a few "hits" over the past couple of years (most notably Netflix's Elite), but there haven't been enough of them to make it a successful business strategy. It's especially been a challenge here in the United States, where audiences are much more accustomed to watching TV shows and movies produced in Hollywood.

But there are some indications that audiences might be slowly embracing this global strategy. Last week, Netflix released its made-in-France original La Revolution, which based on global Netflix Top Ten charts seems to have done well everywhere but the U.S. This week brought the German-produced original Barbarians, which is not only doing well internationally, but is currently sitting at #4 on the overall Netflix U.S. list

Another recent winner seems to be the Amazon Original Mirzapur, which has been very popular in India since it's release last week. And it seems to be doing very well in territories that are multicultural or have sizable Indian populations.

AND OTHER NEWS
Here are a few other stories I covered this morning:

IMAX Reports Record $42.2M Q3 Loss

Sales Of British Homes Named "Hill House" Dropped After Release Of Netflix Series

Former 'Entertainment Tonight' Host Leanza Cornett Dies Following Head Injury

Byron Allen Media Group Buys Diginets This TV & Light TV From MGM

British Comic Bobby Ball Dies At 76 Following COVID-19 Diagnosis

Deutschland 89 Trailer: Martin Must Choose a Side as the Berlin Wall  Crumbles - Paste
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) A Creepshow Animated Special (Shudder)
The half-hour special features two stories directed by Creepshow showrunner Greg Nicotero. "Survivor Type" is based on the short story by Stephen King and adapted by Nicotero, stars Kiefer Sutherland as a man determined to stay alive alone on a deserted island no matter what the cost. "Twittering from the Circus of the Dead" is based on the short story by Joe Hill and adapted by Melanie Dale, stars Joey King as a teen whose family road trip includes a visit to the gravest show on earth.

2) City So Real (NatGeo)
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James' fascinating and complex portrait of contemporary Chicago delivers a deep, multifacted look into the soul of a quintessentially American city, set against the backfrop of its history-making 2019 mayoral election, and the tumultuous summer of COVID-19 and social upheavel following the death of George Floyd.

3) Court Cam Season Premiere (A&E)
This series gives viewers a front row seat to some of the most wild, unruly and outrageous courtroom moments recently caught on tape. 

4) Deutschland 89 Season Three Premiere (Sundance)
As Germany reinvents itself for the fourth time in the 20th century, Martin Rauch (Jonas Nay) finds himself in limbo during the peaceful revolution around him, both the existence of the HVA (East German Foreign Intelligence) and the future of his country left uncertain. Martin, pursued by Western spy agencies and the KGB, is determined to finish his last job for his new and mysterious superiors after uncovering a terrorist plot, going undercover to infiltrate an anti-imperialist terror cell. As he tries to bring the perpetrators to justice, he becomes entangled in the schemes of his Aunt Lenora (Maria Schrader) and his new partner in crime, Nicole (Svenja Jung). In the face of a fast-changing world, all our heroes need to reinvent themselves.

5) Ghost Adventures: Horror At Joe Exotic Zoo (Travel)
As the world has recently witnessed, the Greater Wynnewood Animal Park has a history marred by tragedy and drama. But believe it not, there’s another chapter in this sensational saga. Park staff regularly experience mysterious and unexplained activity, which they are sure is connected to the park’s ill-reputed events. Now, the “Ghost Adventures” crew – Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, Jay Wasley and Billy Tolley – have been called to investigate, breaking new ground with the first-ever paranormal investigation inside the Oklahoma park.

6) The First 48 Season Premiere (A&E)
The biggest enemy for any homicide detective is not the suspect...it’s the clock. In fact, if they don’t find a lead in the first 48 hours, their chances of catching the killer are cut in half. The First 48 tracks real homicide detectives as they struggle to solve murder cases across the country. Gripping, authentic and dramatic, viewers are brought along for the ride as the detectives hunt for killers to bring to justice.

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, 29 October 2020 14:34

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, October 23rd, 2020

Written by 23 October, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, October 23rd 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by iced coffee and waffles. 

This newsletter picked up quite a few new subscribers this week and thanks to all of you. If you ever have feedback, tips or just want to say hello, you can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I treat all my emails as off-the-record unless we both decide otherwise. And I can also be reached via WhatsApp at 612-207-2018.

One other programming note. Friday newsletters tend to be lighter on news and commentary due to the large number of new stuff that typically premiere today.

CHRISTMAS, ENGAGEMENT AND CONTENT CURATION
I write a lot about the challenges of surfacing relevant content on streaming services and how highlighting the new programming that engages subscribers can help keep down churn. But that's also the case with vMVPD's such as Hulu Live TV and Sling. There are a lot of channels available and more programming than any civilian could ever keep track of without help. These services tend to rely on content pushes from inside the interface. New programming sections or "things you might like" sidebars. 

I am somewhat surprised that no one is creating their own mini-shows they can drop into people's feeds to push viewers to programs they might like. One example of this would be for Christmas movies, which are spread across numerous channels. Viewers who enjoy these movies tend to watch a lot of them. And they would likely engage strongly with a five-minute show that highlighted the new Christmas movies of the week and where to find them. The potential internal challenge of this idea is that sales and marketing would see this as a place to wring money out of networks and studios by offering pay-for-play placement. But this idea only works if it's recommendations are organic and have credibility.


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

1) American Selfie: One Nation Shoots Itself (Showtime)
From celebrated filmmaker Alexandra Pelosi comes a visceral cross-country journey during one of the most tumultuous years in history

2) Bad Hair (Hulu)
In this horror satire set in 1989, the movie follows an ambitious young woman (Elle Lorraine) who gets a weave in order to succeed in the image-obsessed world of music television. However, her flourishing career comes at a great cost when she realizes that her new hair may have a mind of its own.

3) Barbarians (Netflix)
Torn between the mighty empire that raised him and his own tribal people, a Roman officer's conflicted allegiances lead to an epic historical clash.

4) Bruce Springsteen's Letter To You (Apple TV+)
The feature-length vérité documentary features full performances from the E Street Band, in-studio footage, never-before-seen archival material, and a deeper look into “Letter To You” from Springsteen himself. Written by Springsteen and directed by his frequent collaborator Thom Zimny, the film is a tribute to the E Street Band, to rock music itself, and to the role it has played in Springsteen's life.

5) Christmas On Ice (Lifetime)
Courtney Bennett (Abigail Klein), a former US figure skating hopeful, runs the city’s public skating rink but when the Mayor (Will Lyman) announces its closing, Courtney is heartbroken but determined to save it. After Courtney’s attempts to warm the Mayor’s Scrooge-like heart fail, she enlists the help of Noah Tremblay (Ryan Cooper), a former professional hockey player and single dad, who owns the new indoor skating center, to help her, and together they find more than just the spirit of holidays on the ice.

6) Gold Rush Season Premiere (Discovery)
When a global pandemic shut down the world in March 2020, markets crashed and rocked the U.S. economy. However, with economic uncertainty comes great opportunity for those who can seize upon the moment. And in the goldfields across North America, the opportunity of a lifetime awaited as gold prices spiked to record highs and the price of fuel, a miner’s biggest expense, bottomed out.

7) How To With John Wilson (HBO)
In a uniquely hilarious odyssey of self-discovery and cultural observation, Wilson covertly and obsessively films the lives of his fellow New Yorkers while attempting to give everyday advice on relatable topics. The awkward contradictions of modern life are eased by Wilson’s candid, unpolished commentary, with season one’s episodes offering up his distinct take on a range of deceivingly simple topics. Building upon Wilson’s previously released “how to” short films, the episodes take wildly unexpected turns, but are grounded in John’s refreshing honesty.

8) Move (Netflix)
Discover the brilliant dancers and choreographers who are shaping the art of movement around the world in this documentary series.

9) Once Upon A Snowman (Disney+)
The previously untold origins of the innocent and insightful, summer-loving snowman who melted hearts in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 2013 Academy Award®-winning “Frozen,” and its acclaimed 2019 follow-up, “Frozen 2,” are revealed in the all-new animated short. The film follows Olaf’s first steps as he comes to life and searches for his identity in the snowy mountains outside Arendelle.

10) On The Rocks (Apple TV+)
A young New York mother faced with sudden doubts about her marriage teams up with her larger-than-life playboy father to tail her husband. What follows is a sparkling comic adventure across the city – drawing father and daughter closer together despite one detour after another. Acclaimed filmmaker Sofia Coppola brings a light touch to this blend of an exuberant love letter to New York, a generation-clash comedy about how we see relationships differently from our parents, and a funny celebration of the complications that bind modern families even as they tie us in crazy knots.

11) Over The Moon (Netflix)
Fueled with determination and a passion for science, a bright young girl builds a rocket ship to the moon to prove the existence of a legendary Moon Goddess. Directed by Oscar®-Winning Filmmaker & Animator, Glen Keane, and produced by Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou. Starring Cathy Ang, Phillipa Soo, Robert G. Chiu, Ken Jeong, John Cho, Ruthie Ann Miles, Margaret Cho, Kimiko Glenn, Artt Butler and Sandra Oh.

12) Perdida (Netflix)
Antonio sets himself up to be arrested so he'll be sent to Colombia's worst prison, La Brecha. He's after the man who kidnapped his daughter years ago.

13) Puppy Dog Pals Season Four Premiere (Disney)
When an airline accidentally loses Dr. G’s robot dog, it’s up to Bingo and Rolly to find their robo-buddy.

14) Put A Ring On It Series Premiere (OWN)
Will Packer’s newest unscripted relationship series Put A Ring on It follows three longtime couples, with help from master relationship coach Dr. Nicole LaBeach, who embark on the ultimate relationship test. From week to week the couples are pushed outside their comfort zones to confront the question they’ve been too afraid to ask: is this their happily ever after? The couples will finally find out if they are truly meant to be together by dating other people, and in so doing they’ll discover if there’s a love connection they’ve been missing all along. Will they decide it’s time to go their separate ways, or is it finally time to put a ring on it?

15) Ready To Love Season Premiere (OWN)
Record breaking Hollywood producer Will Packer’s popular dating series “Ready toLove,” hosted by Thomas “Nephew Tommy” Miles, explores the real-life dating interactions of sexy, successful and grown Black men and women in their mid-30s to early 50s who are each looking for lasting love and an authentic relationship.

16) The Big Fib (Disney+)
Ever thought you could spot a fib better than a kid? Find out on this new game show, hosted by Yvette Nicole Brown and featuring Rhys Darby as her robot sidekick, C.L.I.V.E. In each episode, a kid starts by playing a warm-up round where a silly liar and an authentic expert share fabulous fibs and fun facts. Next our kid contestant plays the main round where they question an expert who’s paired with a really good liar on the same topic. It’s up to our kid to find the fibber. There are visual clues, fascinating props, a hot seat round of rapid-fire questions and various topics, including jellyfish, venom and killer plants. The show culminates with the expert and liar standing under the Fib Foam machine to await their fate. If our kid chooses correctly, the liar gets foamed.

17) The Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery Of Prodigious Bribe To American Regime For Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan (Amazon)
Hey, it's another Borat movie. This one with some images of Rudy Guiliani you probably don't want to see.

18) The Queen's Gambit Series Premiere (Netflix)
Abandoned and entrusted to a Kentucky orphanage in the late 1950s, a young Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) discovers an astonishing talent for chess while developing an addiction to tranquilizers provided by the state as a sedative for the children. Haunted by her personal demons and fueled by a cocktail of narcotics and obsession, Beth transforms into an impressively skilled and glamorous outcast while determined to conquer the traditional boundaries established in the male-dominated world of competitive chess.

19) The Rise & Fall Of The Spanish King (True Royalty TV)
This documentary is a new and powerful portrait of the young man who reclaimed the Spanish monarchy in 1975 and won the hearts of his people only to be forced to relinquish his throne in 2014. Juan Carlos I left his own country this year followed by allegations of money laundering, corruption and adultery.

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 Friday, 23 October 2020 15:18

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, October 22nd, 2020

Written by 22 October, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, October 21st, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee that is way too strong.

THE TROUBLE WITH QUIBI
To absolutely no one's surprise, Quibi admitted late Wednesday that it sees no path forward and is shutting down. I'm sure you've read a number of hot takes on the subject by now and of course I posted one to the web site last night. So rather than rehashing my thoughts again, here is a link to the piece, entitled Five Things We Can All Learn From The Failure Of Quibi:

Everyone agrees that people like to watch mobile video. But I never got a sense that executives at Quibi knew why people watched it or how they typically consumed it. In an infamous piece in Vulture, Quibi CEO Meg Whitman admitted that she "wasn't much of an entertainment enthusiast." And Jeffrey Katzenberg has an assistant print off his emails so he can read them. On the upside, they bragged that they had hired "smart millennials" who viewed mobile video regularly and knew the marketplace.

That is one of the craziest things I've ever heard. The unspoken part of that statement is "yeah, I don't know this space. But I'm so smart I can figure it out without any problems." But the more obvious issue is that if you are essentially creating an entertainment niche from scratch, you should understand your customers and know what they are looking for in a mobile video product. Running Quibi and not being a regular consumer of mobile video is like running a broadcast TV network and saying "Yeah, I don't own a television. But I've hired some young couch potatoes who tell me those housewives on Bravo are very real."

MORE CHALLENGES FOR HBO MAX
AT&T released its Q3 2020 results
this morning and there is a lot to unpack. A lot is going to be made about the stat that HBO Max received 8.6 million activations in Q3. But it's worth noting that AT&T has yet to reach agreements with Amazon Fire and Roku, which would make HBO Max available on those platforms. And even with the impressive-sounding Q3 numbers, more than 2/3 of the existing HBO customers who could switch over the HBO Max have yet to do so. And there are another 10 million or so who can't switch to HBO Max because of carriage issues with AT&T's cable partners. So the service has a very steep hill to climb in 2021.

AND THEN THERE IS AT&T TV NOW
Another factoid that came of the Q3 AT&T earnings report is that its virtual cable service AT&T TV Now had a 37,000 net loss due to what the company described as "less promotional activity." While that claim sounds reasonable, the real challenge for AT&T TV Now is that they price their service in the same oppressive way you typically see only from traditional cable services. They have been running a promotional deal which offers a two-year contract, with the first year costing $59 a month. Which sounds like a great deal until you read the fine print and realize that year two will run you $100 a month for the same service. Gee, with those inflated prices, I am shocked that customers aren't willing to stick around and be massively overcharged every month.

ALSO AT ALLYOURSCREENS
Emily Powers Is New Head Of BritBox North America

Amazon Greenlights 'Lightyears'

'Ratched' Again Tops Nielsen's Streaming Top Ten List



Zemeckis' 'The Witches' heads to HBO Max for Halloween | Entertainment |  starherald.com

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

1) Alieu The Dreamer (BET)
Written, directed and composed by Quincy Ledbetter, "Alieu the Dreamer," starring Denzel Whitaker (Black Panther, The Great Debaters, Training Day) and Haley Webb (The Final Destination, Blonde), takes place in a world where mankind hasn't dreamed for three decades, until a driven government agent discovers a young man in the projects, who has suddenly started dreaming. Sought after by an alluring leader of a religious cult, Reverend Venus, played by Rick Hearst (The Vampire Diaries, Dynasty, General Hospital), Alieu struggles to understand his newfound ability while fighting to care for his family.

2) Cadaver (Netflix)
This is a Norwegian psychological horror film that takes us on a journey where humanity is being put to a test and stars among others Gitte Witt, Thorbjørn Harr, Thomas Gullestad) and Kingsford Siayor. In the starving aftermath of a nuclear disaster, Leonora (Gitte Witt), Jacob (Thomas Gullestad) and their daughter Alice (Tuva Olivia Remman) are on the edge of survival. One day, the local hotel invites survivors to attend a theatre play, with a meal included, as a charitable effort to help those in need. Left with no choice, the family of three decide to go to the hotel, where the director, Mathias (Thorbjørn Harr), introduces the entire hotel as the stage. Attendees are given masks to help separate them from actors, but the play takes an eerie turn when audience members start to disappear. The line between reality and theatre quickly gets blurred, until Alice disappears in front of Leo and Jacob, and there’s no longer room for doubt: Something is very wrong with Mathias’ hotel.

3) Chelsea Handler: Evolution (HBO Max)
During the hour-long special Handler will share hilarious experiences about her family, friendships, and her first foray into therapy—where she was able to unearth why everyone on this planet annoyed her so much.

4) Equal (HBO Max)
This four-part series will introduce viewers to a wide range of LGBTQ+ visionaries portrayed by the cast, many of whom identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. Each part offers a distinct and connected chapter within the historical timeline.

5) Presidential Debate (Various)
It's the last presidential debate for 2020. Which is probably a good thing for everyone.

6) The Witches (HBO Max)
Reimagining Roald Dahl’s beloved story for a modern audience, Robert Zemeckis’s visually innovative film tells the darkly humorous and heartwarming tale of a young orphaned boy who, in late 1967, goes to live with his loving Grandma in the rural Alabama town of Demopolis. As the boy and his grandmother encounter some deceptively glamorous but thoroughly diabolical witches, she wisely whisks him away to a seaside resort. Regrettably, they arrive at precisely the same time that the world’s Grand High Witch has gathered her fellow cronies from around the globe—undercover—to carry out her nefarious plans.



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, 22 October 2020 14:40

5 Lessons To Be Learned From The Failure Of Quibi

Written by 21 October, 2020

In the years to come, entire chapters of business school textbooks will be devoted to the flaming wreckage of bad ideas that was the mobile-first video service Quibi.

According to an open letter released by the company on Wednesday, plans are currently underway to shut down the service, perhaps as soon as in a few weeks. And while dissecting the mistakes of a company before its body is even cold might seem premature, well, this is the Internet, which is built on misguided hot takes and "Here's what your favorite celebrity looks like now" clickbait. So in that tradition of setting the bar low, here are five things I think we should all have learned from the quick rise and fall of Quibi. A company that - along with Go90 - managed to burn through somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 billion without ever figuring out how to attract a viable customer base.

1) 'RUNNING YOUR MEDIA COMPANY LIKE A START-UP DOESN'T MEAN SPENDING MONEY LIKE YOU'RE LAUNDERING IT FOR THE RUSSIANS
To civilians, business start-ups are thought of as nimble organizations that can change direction on a dime and can get $1.24 worth of value out of every dollar its executives managed to wrestle out of the hands of investors. 

In reality, start-ups can also be companies that waste money on expensive swag and office space butter suited for a Wall Street law firm. There are lots of dumb ways to spend money and it seems as if Quibi managed to stumble across all the best of them.


Here is a photo of Quibi's headquarters at 959 N. Seward St. in Hollywood. The company signed a lease last October for 49,000 square feet of office space spread over two floors. The financial terms of the ten-year-lease weren't made public, but landlord J.H. Snyder Co. was asking about $4.50 per square foot for the space before Quibi grabbed it. 

Then there is the amount of money Quibi was paying for its celebrity-centric programming. In several interviews, Quibi Founder & Chairman of the Board Jeffrey Katzenberg bragged the company was paying content creators $100,000 per minute for their programs. That's $6,000,000 an hour or the same amount of money Netflix reportedly paid for an hour-long episode of Away. That show starred Hilary Swank and involved enough CGI to get a crew to Mars.

But let's break it down another way. Let's strip out marketing costs, employee overhead and that swanky office space with a central garden. Each Quibi subscriber was in theory paying $5 a month for the service. So Quibi needed 20,000 subscribers just to pay for one minute of programming costs. Just the programming costs. 

Everything about the cost structure for Quibi was just insane. And some of the fault lies with management, whose job it is to manage expenses and make strategic decisions on where to spend money. Instead of leasing a bunch of expensive office space because it makes you feel successful and as Meg Whitman said in an interview, the walk to nearby Hollywood reminded her of being in Berlin.

2) IF YOU ARE GOING TO INNOVATE A PRODUCT AND CHANGE BEHAVIOR, YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY KNOW HOW THE PRODUCT IS USED AND WHY
Everyone agrees that people like to watch mobile video. But I never got a sense that executives at Quibi knew why people watched it or how they typically consumed it. In an infamous piece in Vulture, Quibi CEO Meg Whitman admitted that she "wasn't much of an entertainment enthusiast." And Jeffrey Katzenberg has an assistant print off his emails so he can read them.

On the upside, they bragged that they had hired "smart millennials" who viewed mobile video regularly and knew the marketplace.

That is one of the craziest things I've ever heard. The unspoken part of that statement is "yeah, I don't know this space. But I'm so smart I can figure it out without any problems." But the more obvious issue is that if you are essentially creating an entertainment niche from scratch, you should understand your customers and know what they are looking for in a mobile video product. Running Quibi and not being a regular consumer of mobile video is like running a broadcast TV network and saying "Yeah, I don't own a television. But I've hired some young couch potatoes who can tell me what the really good stuff is."

3) CELEBRITIES ARE LIKE YOU AND I....THEY CAN HAVE DUMB IDEAS
It's not surprising that executives who think their previous success means that they can be successful in any arena would think the same thing applies to celebrities. It's not just that Quibi spent a lot of money on projects with some celebrity connection. It's also that many of the celebrity-led projects weren't very good. Yes, celebrities have name recognition and that can bring in some eyeballs to sample a video. But it's a big ask of any celebrity to ask them to convince people to pay $5 a month for any service. As an example, lots of celebrities have YouTube shows and Facebook Watch series. They have almost all found its very difficult to get fans to watch their shows on a regular basis. And all of those shows are streaming for free.

4) IF YOU ARE GOING TO BUILD A NON-TRADITIONAL SUBSCRIBER BASE, THEN YOU HAVE TO DO NON-TRADITIONAL PR
I have been known to complain about lackluster PR efforts from networks and streamers. In part because in an era where competition for eyeballs is so intense, reaching out to any outlet who will talk to you should pretty much be a default approach to PR. And if Quibi spent money like they were a large veteran media company, then by all accounts they approached their PR efforts with the same focus on looks over results. After its initial launch, it was near-impossible to reach someone on Quibi's PR team and when you did, it was clear they felt as if they were being bothered by insects.

They seem to have spent endless amounts of effort placing "exclusive" stories in high-profile titles such as "Entertainment Weekly." Placements that look good to the boss, but don't do much to actually attract the audience Quibi claimed to be targeting. I find it unlikely that any mobile video-comfortable 22-year-old will ever say "Hey, did you read that piece in Entertainment Weekly! I've got to check out this Quibi!" 

I wrote a lot about Quibi programs over its six-month run, including interviews with writers and producers of various shows. And all of those interviews were the result of outside PR firms reaching out to me. From my perspective, Quibi PR was useless. And based on conversations with fellow TV critics, my experience was pretty typical. Quibi PR seemed to only be interested in dealing with top outlets that made them look good and I presume also made Quibi executives happy. 

And that was a self-defeating approach, since the people who are reading "Rolling Stone" or "Time Magazine" were not Quibi's most likely subscribers. And while the service did several high-profile promotional stunts (including a screening of one of their shows in Fortnite), they never followed up those stunts with the ground-level coverage you need to make any new subscriber-based service feel like a "must-have."

5) RAISE MONEY TO MATCH THE PROJECT, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND
A common thing you see happen in the start-up world is that someone has a good idea and when they go out to raise one million dollars, they suddenly find themselves being offered ten million. And instead of sticking with their million-dollar idea, they try and manipulate their vision to fit the larger budget. And that's what Quibi always felt like to me: money chasing an idea. If Katzenberg and Whitman had wanted to be in the mobile video business, they would have been better off raising a $100 million round and giving $10 million each to 5-6 interesting ideas. Then standing back and seeing which one works. But that more reasonable approach doesn't fit the DNA of an executive like Katzenberg, who has this reputation in Hollywood for "making things happen." He would never put himself in a situation where someone could say "4 of his seed mobile video companies failed," instead of framing as "he found a successful idea and built it out."

If there is one over-arching story about Quibi it is that nearly everyone who heard about the idea thought it was a mis-guided mess. But no one wanted to be the person to bet against the track record of Katzenberg and Whitman. Which might tell you as much about the vision of media industry bankers as it does about the state of the mobile video business.






Last modified on Tuesday, 13 April 2021 21:19

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, October 21st, 2020

Written by 20 October, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, October 21st, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Gatorade and random snacks.

ABOUT THOSE NETFLIX SUBSCRIBER NUMBERS
Netflix held its 3Q call for investors and the press Tuesday after the close of the markets and I'm sure you have read plenty of coverage about the slightly disappointing subscriber numbers for the quarter. And to be honest, after arguing about Netflix on social media all Tuesday evening, just the thought of discussing them anymore makes me ill.

Instead, let me throw out an idea I've been trying to work into a much longer piece for the web site. Much is being made about Netflix's increased willingness to cancel shows or decline to pick them up after a couple of seasons. The general consensus in the industry - both from the creative community and the press - is that this is a bad trend. The creative folks argue that cancelling a show after a couple of 6-10 episode seasons cheats the audience out of the additional potentially great seasons the show would have if it was on a traditional TV network. And the press frame the trend as a combination of cowardice and an indication of a maturing company that is becoming more financially conservative.

I would like to make a counter argument. That shows with only 2-3 seasons of limited episodes isn't a failing of Netflix. Instead, it's an indication that television is undergoing a massive financial and creative restructuring that many people in the industry either don't understand or hope is just a passing phase.

Think of the television industry in 2020 as the music industry in 1970. Back then, the industry had fully shifted to a model in which bands recorded an album every year or two. They toured non-stop and everything was structured towards album sales. And hopefully some hit singles to drive album sales. The price of albums was artificially high and the music industry was a cash cow that threw off more money than most bands could spend. 

The music industry looks very different in 2020 and it's not an exaggeration to say that there were moments in that transition when it wasn't clear that the industry would survive in any recognizable form. The industry has consolidated into three major labels that generate most of the revenue. And the revenue they do generate is driven by streaming and publishing money. Albums are a part of the picture, but an increasingly small part of the overall revenue stream.

I would argue that Netflix offers up a glimpse of the future of the television industry. Shorter seasons and limited runs, with companies buying out the back-end profit participants as a way to maximize their revenue during the project's early, most profitable years. Rather than focusing on potential blockbuster IPs that are the unicorns of the entertainment industry, grind out a bunch of singles and doubles. Projects that are designed to promote engagement for the platforms that carry them. This is a world where a show that keeps current subscriber happy and lessens subscriber churn is as important (if not more so) than the big ticket project that might bring in some new subscribers. Those one-hit projects will become even more integral as streaming services begin to bang up against the maximum number of people who are going to subscribe to their service.

The industry will also spend more time focusing on the "Moneyball" aspects of programming. Identifying niches that can be exploited at a cost that encourages innovation and experimentation. A $100 million movie starring Dwayne Johnson might be an almost sure-thing. But it's also expensive and a streaming service only needs a limited number of those high-value projects per quarter to spark new subscriber efforts. The war will be won and lost with the limited-run TV shows, the relatively cost-efficient genre movies and cheap programming like true crime documentaries that have the potential of breaking big. 

It's easy to get caught up in crunching numbers trying to determine which original streaming movie was most successful. My premise is that the real battle is in the trenches. What will makes and break every streaming service is how they balance their content portfolio. Is Netflix executing that strategy successfully? I suspect every industry analyst has a different take on that question.

I think it's a work in progress. I look at what they've done with a marginal title like Cocomelon & find reasons to be optimistic. I think pivoting the company's content to a more global approach could be as important as the company's initial pivot from DVDs to streaming. But there are still plenty of content issues to sort out & the resolution of some of that isn't knowable from outside of the company.

ADVENTURES IN INTERFACES
One of the many interesting things that came out of the Netflix investor call was a comment about how much viewing is driven by the Netflix interface recommending content to users. Given that, it's interesting to note that Netflix has slightly tweaked its interface again. For a few months they have had a sidebar link to "upcoming shows." Typically, there have been a couple of horizontal rows of suggestions. One row was stuff hitting the service in the upcoming week and a second row touted stuff coming in the next couple of weeks. Users can also click a button to be "reminded" of the titles. Which means the titles will be highlighted in the interface the user sees on Netflix. And they'll also receive an email reminder about the program. After a few weeks, Netflix added a third horizontal column of titles that had just been released on Netflix.

Netflix has now renamed that page as "New & Popular" and has made some additions to the horizontal columns. The top horizontal column is now the "Top Ten in the U.S. Today" list. Second is the "New On Netflix" list. The stuff coming in the next few weeks is now listed as "Worth The Wait," followed by horizontal columns named "Coming This Week" and "Coming Next Week." My guess is that this upcoming content tab is proving to be a reliable way to cut through the clutter and providing reminders to users is a successful content strategy.

SPEAKING OF INTERFACES
I have Hulu Live TV at home & was surprised to see that I could watch the evening news broadcasts from a number of stations around the country last night. They showed up under the "live TV" tab and I'm not sure whether it was a technical glitch or some new content effort.

FWIW, here is what it looked like on my home TV:




ODDS AND SODS
Bob Iger’s first board seat since stepping back at Disney and leaving Apple is at the vegan dairy start-up Perfect Day.

UK's Sky History pulls reality show following complaints over contestant's possible racist tattoos. This story has a pretty funny kicker.

Rebecca review: 'A pallid adaptation' - BBC Culture
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Bitchin' Rides Season Premiere (Motor Trend)
Dave Kindig, owner and operator of Kindig-It Design in Salt Lake City, Utah turns out one-of-a-kind vehicles for his demanding (and sometimes famous) clientele. From rendering and design to building and restoring, viewers see vehicles being made from the ground up before being revealed to the car's owner.

2) Black-ish Season Premiere (ABC)
The season premiere takes us to the beginning of the global pandemic for the Johnsons. As a first responder, Bow receives her family’s praise for her work, with Junior being her biggest fan. But over time, the family loses their enthusiasm, and Bow discovers someone in her house is breaking the quarantine lockdown rules. Meanwhile, Dre tries to convince everyone that he too is an essential worker.

3) My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman Season Premiere (Netflix)
TV legend David Letterman teams up with Dave Chappelle, Robert Downey Jr. and more for another season of in-depth interviews and curiosity-fueled excursions.

4) Nova: Touching The Asteroid (PBS)
On October 20, 2020, a NASA spacecraft called OSIRIS-REx will attempt to reach out and retrieve samples from an asteroid named Bennu to bring them back to Earth. The OSIRIS-REx team, operating the spacecraft remotely from Colorado, has just three chances to extend its spacecraft’s specialized arm, touch down for a mere five seconds, and collect material from the surface of Bennu. If they can pull it off, scientists could gain great insight into Earth’s own origins — and even learn to defend against rogue asteroids that may one day threaten our planet. NOVA takes viewers inside the mission as the team embarks on a daunting quest that pushes the boundaries of what robotic spacecrafts like OSIRIS-REx are capable of. The film offers a clear-eyed look into the painstaking work that goes into answering, piece by piece, big questions about how our solar system was made and how life on Earth began.

5) Rebecca (Netflix)
After a whirlwind romance in Monte Carlo with handsome widower Maxim de Winter (Armie Hammer), a newly married young woman (Lily James) arrives at Manderley, her new husband’s imposing family estate on a windswept English coast. Naive and inexperienced, she begins to settle into the trappings of her new life, but finds herself battling the shadow of Maxim’s first wife, the elegant and urbane Rebecca, whose haunting legacy is kept alive by Manderley’s sinister housekeeper Mrs. Danvers (Kristin Scott Thomas).

6) The Conners Season Premiere (ABC)
The Conners are back and dealing with the pandemic, and life’s financial troubles loom over the family. Dan is still trying to catch up on back-mortgage payments and avoid a potential eviction, while the Lunch Box is closed for everything but takeout and delivery. Becky and Darlene are both forced to search for additional income at the newly reopened Wellman Plastics plant.

7) The Goldbergs Season Premere (ABC)
Adam, now a senior, returns to William Penn Academy as he wrestles with the fact that he is a cool kid and no longer a nerd while his original friend group isn’t as lucky. Meanwhile, Beverly attempts to have a more grown-up relationship with Erica and Barry before they head back to college.

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, 21 October 2020 11:43

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, October 19th, 2020

Written by 18 October, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, October 19th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by McDonald's coffee and a serious lack of sleep.

ITV LATEST MEDIA COMPANY TO UNDERGO RESTRUCTURING
The global pandemic has had a substantial impact on the media industry, most notably forcing large entertainment companies to accelerate consolidations and reorganizations of their business. The latest company to announce a reorganization is ITV, which has just announced plans to restructure its broadcast business into a new entertainment and new media division. ITV is a free-to-air British network and it is the oldest commercial broadcaster in the U.K.

Under the restructuring plan, the ITV channel itself will be part of the broadcasting part of the division, with an on-demand division that will include Hub, Hub+ and BritBox. Kevin Lygo is currently the Director of Television at ITV,  and will head up the broadcast arm of the division. Rufus Radcliffe (currently ITV’s CMO) will head up the on-demand portion. ITV says the restructuring has already begun and will be completed by March, 2021. There is expected to be some number of jobs lost and ITV says it expects to reduce the amount of office space it leases for its main headquarters in London.

APPLE'S SOMEWHAT PERPLEXING NEW APPLE MUSIC TV
Apple has launched Apple Music TV, a free 24-hour curated livestream of popular music videos that sounds suspiciously similar to an early MTV channel. According to Variety, Apple Music TV will be available to U.S. residents only on the Apple Music app and the Apple TV app. It can be found at apple.co/AppleMusicTV and in the browse tab in the Apple Music and Apple TV app:

The service premiered Monday morning (Oct. 19) with a countdown of the top 100 all-time most-streamed songs in the U.S. on Apple Music. On Thursday (October 22), it will celebrate the upcoming release of Bruce Springsteen’s "Letter to You" album with an "all day Bruce takeover" featuring music-video blocks of his most popular videos, an interview with Zane Lowe, anchor of Apple Music’s radio station, and a special livestream fan event. It will also have two exclusive video premieres on Friday at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT, Joji’s “777” and Saint Jhn’s “Gorgeous”; the channel will premiere new videos every Friday at that time.

This is the type of idea that is only possible when you are a media company with tens of billions of dollars sitting in the bank. Based on what I've seen so far, Apple Music TV  isn't really an effort to recreate some sort of MTV experience or even cut into YouTube's domination in the music video discovery business. Instead, it's an incremental add-on to Apple Media library. It's not ambitious enough at this point to be a gamechanger or even enough to get Apple into the music video viewing business. It's just "a nice thing to have," a lackluster goal that is only possible when you don't have to care about turning a profit anytime soon.

New Danish crime drama on ITV3: Those Who Kill | Mrs. Peabody Investigates
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Darkness: Those Who Kill Series Premiere (Acorn TV)
This chilling psychological thriller follows the gruesome trail of a kidnapping serial killer and the two investigators trying to find his most recent victims before it’s too late. After the disappearances and deaths of numerous young women in the suburbs of Copenhagen, Investigator Jan Michelsen (Kenneth M. Christensen, Warrior) and Profiler Louise Bergstein (Natalie Madueño, Follow the Money) must come together and apply their own specialized skill sets to solve the grisly case and hopefully save lives.

2) Independent Lens: Feels Good Man (PBS)
This documentary recounts the harrowing journey of Pepe the Frog, the creation of artist Matt Furie, and his transformation from light-hearted comic book character to registered hate symbol during the course of the 2016 election cycle.

3) Street Outlaws: Fastest In America Season Premiere (Discovery)
Twelve of the fastest racing teams in America descend upon a secret concrete road in Wyoming, 5,118 feet above sea level for their chance to fight for the prestigious title of the Fastest Street Racer in America. With $300,000 on the line and 12 teams fighting to win, drivers will do anything to be the last team standing and have the opportunity to race the defending champions, JJ da Boss and his MSO TEAM

4) The Voice Season Premiere (NBC)
The four-time Emmy Award-winning musical competition series “The Voice” returns with the strongest vocalists from across the country invited to compete in the show’s newest season. Rock icon and pop culture phenomenon Gwen Stefani reclaims her red chair alongside superstar coaches Kelly Clarkson, John Legend and Blake Shelton as they return for Season 19. Carson Daly returns as host.

5) Unsolved Mysteries Volume 2 Premiere (Netflix)
Suspicious deaths, missing children, encounters with spirits and other true-life tales unfold in a new collection of unsolved mysteries.

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, 19 October 2020 13:20

Everyday Art: Vintage Slot Machines

Written by 16 October, 2020

The term "slot machine" dates back to the late 1880s, when became common to find vending machines that involved some game of chance in every little corner store. There were a multitude of styles and functions, but what nearly all of them had in common was that they had a slot on the front or side to insert a coin. But those earliest machines don't resemble what we think of today as slot machines. They often involved featured things like toy horses racing around a small track. Bar patrons would bet on the races using nickels or tokens provided by the bar. Winnings could then be used to purchase beer or other bar items.

The first slot machine that is recognized as being closer to the modern slot machine design was developed in a Brooklyn bar in 1891. It had five spinning drums with ten cards on each drum. It was essentially a mechanized poker machine, but it was near impossible for the machine to make automatic payouts due to the number of possible combinations. A more familiar design came five years later when a Bavarian-born San Franciscan named Charles Fey created the "Liberty Bell." That machine used three spinning drums with the now familiar bells, hearts, spades, diamonds, and horseshoe symbols. The simplicity made gameplay much easier and the machine itself is considered one of the holy grails for collectors. But of the hundreds of machines that he sold, only four are known to have survived the San Francisco Earthquake.

A number of competitors began knocking off versions of Fey's design and the machines became extremely popular, leading a number of cities to impose gambling bans. But machine operators got around most of those laws by shifting the reels to ones that featured fruit. Generally, bar patrons were then able to "win" fruit gum that matched the symbols on the wheel. In 1916, the Mills Novelty Company developed a way for slot machines to automatically return winnings, which made the gameplay much easier. But by 1920, many cities had made the machines illegal. In 1931, Nevada made slot machines completely legal, leading to an explosion of new designs and gameplay.

While many of the older models are wildly collectable, the value of a machine in good shape with original parts can range from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands. For collectors, the pre-1930 machines are considered antique, while those that are post-1930 are considered contemporary. One reason for that distinction is that the pre-1930 machines are much less likely to have replacement parts, since they generally weren't available for the older machines.

Here are examples of some of our favorites.



One Cent Mills Jockey Trade Simulator


Twenty Cent Mills Black Beauty Slot Machine



Twenty Five Cent Mills Poinsettia Slot Machine



Twenty Five Cent Tic Tac Toe Slot Machine



Twenty Five Cent Watling Blue Seal Jackpot Vendor Slot Machine




Five Cent Callie Little Wonder Coin Flip Cigar Trade



Five Cent Coin Front Roll A Top Slot Machine



Five Cent OD Jennings Chief Slot Machine



Five Cent OD Jennings Standard Chief Slot Machine



Five Cent Paupa & Hochreim Five-Way Poker Trade Simulator

Last modified on Friday, 16 October 2020 19:12

The Best Fictional 'Kolchak: The Night Stalker' Comics You'll Ever See

Written by 16 October, 2020

Etsy is the home for all sorts of knock-off and bootleg pop culture products. But I've never wanted any of them more than I want these incredibly perfect (yet still imaginary) Kolchak: The Night Stalker comic book covers.

The four covers have the exact look and feel of a classic Gold Key TV adaptation comic and the stories are just goofy enough to seem real to fans of the show.

Seriously, these covers are super clever.

Now if I could just get this person to do some for the classic TV series Cannon.














Last modified on Friday, 16 October 2020 14:42