Displaying items by tag: Too Much TV

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, February 11th, 2021

11 February, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, February 11th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by lots and lots of coffee.

DISNEY EARNINGS ARE OUT
The Q4 numbers are just being released now and by the time you read this newsletter, you probably will have already seen a lot of the highlights.

But I did want to pass along the Disney streaming numbers: 146 million total paid subscribers. Broken down by unit, Disney+ has 94.9 million, Hulu SVOD has 35.4 million, ESPN+ has 12.1 million and Hulu Live has 4 million.

It's worth noting that the biggest growth driver for Disney+ was Latin America, which likely is part of the reason why that region is also the next place HBO Max is targeting for expansion.

WAITING FOR PARAMOUNT+
A few details are beginning to slip out at what new programming might be coming to the Paramount+ streaming service. We are supposed to get the full rundown at an Investor Event on February 24th. But as was thinking about the service today, I'm struck by how amorphous the service is in my head. Going into presentations before the launch of Peacock and HBO Max, there were some tentpole TV shows and movies that were already being touted as reasons to subscribe. And so far, the mission statement from Paramount+ seems to be "we'll have a lot of stuff. Yes, some of it was really popular in the 90s and you can see it other places. Bid we mention there will be a lot of stuff."

I've been told on background that there will be some new programming announced and all I can say is that based on what I've been told, Paramount+ will be digging deep into Viacom/CBS IP mines. Not that there is anything wrong with that, I just haven't heard anything that screams "must subscribe." Paramount+ seems to be shooting for the same niche as Peacock. People who look at the variety of programming available and say "well, it's only a few dollars a month, so what do I have to lose?"

As readers of this newsletter already know, I've been extremely critical of Viacom/CBS's policy of being a content arms dealer. The company needs a steady stream of revenue and is willing to license off just about anything (albeit mostly on a non-exclusive basis) if they can make some money. But the downside of that is they end up licensing some of the best catalog to rivals who are wringing all the value out of it. As I write this, two Nickelodeon shows (Henry Danger & iCarly) are on Netflix's Top Ten most-viewed list. The fact that this is coming so soon before the launch of Paramount+ seems like a bad thing.

ABOUT THAT BEAR GRYLLS INTERACTIVE SPECIAL FOR NETFLIX
In yesterday's newsletter, I mentioned the upcoming Bear Grylls interactive special that hits Netflix in a few days. I posted a review of the special last night and among others, I pointed out that the special seems to have a programming error which can force you to repeat parts of the episode you have already completed. You can read the entire review here

ODDS AND SODS
Bloomberg is reporting that CBS is making a spinoff of 60 Minutes for Paramount+, which may or may not resemble the version it made for Quibi.

Image result for clarice cbs
TODAY'S PREMIERES

1) Capitani (Netflix)
Detective Luc Capitani investigates the mysterious death of a teenager after her body is found in the forest near a village in northern Luxembourg.

2) Chris Gethard Beautiful/Anonymous Series Premiere (Topic)
Based on the popular podcast of the same name, host and comedian Chris Gethard tweets out a phone number and has a half hour conversation with whoever gets to him first and the conversation will be illustrated by different imagery such as still photos and video footage. Chris' innate curiosity about people and their lives as well as his ability to disarm all of those he speak to, leads to a conversation you never knew you wanted to experience but are so glad you had. What unfolds could be a shocking confession, a therapeutic discovery, a philosophical debate about an opposing view or a series of funny and relatable stories. Past podcast episodes have revealed a survivor of the Las Vegas mass shooting who turned tragedy into positive action, a mother calling from a Children's Hospital awaiting the results of her daughter's cancer scan and the pride of a young woman who not only came out to her family but got her Trump-supporting neighbor to help her hang a pride flag out her front door.

3) Clarice Series Premiere (CBS)
A year after rescuing Catherine Martin from the horror of Buffalo Bill’s basement, FBI Agent Clarice Starling (Rebecca Breeds) gets an urgent assignment from Catherine’s mother, Attorney General Ruth Martin (Jayne Atkinson), to join the Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (VICAP) in the investigation of three serial killings.

4) For My Man (TV One)
Real woman in real relationships that will do anything for their man.

5) Layla Majnun (Netflix)
While in Azerbaijan, Layla, an Indonesian scholar, falls for Samir, an admirer of her work — but her arranged marriage stands in the way.

6) Lovers' Lane Murders (Oxygen)
A look at murders that take place...on lovers' lanes.

7) Never And Again (BET+)
The movie portrays the budding romance between Kevin (Jackie Long) and Jasmine (Denise Boutté) which sparked during their teenage years. Years later, they cross paths again; but are the wounds from the past hurt too much to reconcile what they once had, or will they trust each other and allow fate to prevail?

8) Red Dot (Netflix)
On a hiking trip to rekindle their marriage, a couple find themselves fleeing for their lives in the unforgiving wilderness from an unknown shooter.

9) Squared Love (Netflix)
A celebrity journalist and renowned womanizer starts to rethink his life choices after he falls for a mysterious model who leads a double life.

10) The Bridge Series Premiere (HBO Max)
Narrated by BAFTA-winning and Golden Globe®-nominated James McAvoy, THE BRIDGE features twelve strangers from across the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland, who set out for a cabin nestled deep within the British wilderness with no knowledge of what they’ll be doing – only that £100,000 is at stake. This reality competition series places a massive cash prize on an island in the middle of a lake – but to reach the money, contestants must construct an 850-foot bridge with their bare hands and limited supplies. Given only 20 days to complete this gargantuan task, the competitors must figure out how to work together, though only one can take home the prize. Wild and unpredictable, THE BRIDGE is an adrenaline-packed, physically grueling adventure filled with mind games and power plays.

11) There Is No "I" In Threesome (HBO Max)
The series is about a New Zealand couple who decide to open up their relationship.

12) They Call Me Dr. Miami (Discovery+)
Fans come from all over the country to take selfies with him, and rap artists name-drop him in lyrics. At the same time, he has been condemned by the medical establishment. DrMiami aka Michael Salzhauer is America’s most controversial and famous plastic surgeon; his meteoric fame built on live streaming graphic procedures on social media to millions of followers, blurring the lines between entertainment and surgery.

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 Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

10 February, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, February 9th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by lots and lots of coffee.

BTW, my apologies for the sloppy editing in yesterday's newsletter. I was rushing to get to a doctor's appointment and didn't pay as close of attention as I should have to the text before I sent it out. And of course, I noticed the problems about five minutes after the newsletter hit everyone's inbox. It's very embarrassing.

NETFLIX'S 'CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE' EPISODES ARE GREAT TECH IN SEARCH OF THE RIGHT SHOWCASE
Netflix has invested a significant amount of money in their efforts to develop a viable "choose your adventure" type genre of streaming television. They've developed technology that seems to work very well (although it's not flawless). And they have created special "choose your adventure" episodes of shows ranging from Black Mirror to Captain Underpants. But for the most part, the efforts have been been interesting to watch, but not all that entertaining.

And watching the upcoming Bear Grylls special Animals On The Loose: A You Vs. Wild Movie, I realized what the big problem has been with all of these efforts. The best thing about the paperback books that inspired this idea is that some of your choices ended up going spectacularly badly. Your character would die or you would end up stranded alone on some desert planet. There were actual unpredictable consequences to your choices and that just isn't the case with most of these specials. 

For instance, the worst case scenario in the Bear Grylls "choose your adventure" special is that you end up trapped and are forced to call in the park rangers. After playing through the various choices a few times, the deadliest consequence I could find was one in which Grylls fires a flare after he is unable to extract himself from the grip of a boa constrictor. As he fires the flare, he is gasping that he can't breath. Which would seem like a fatal choice, except that you're returned to the beginning of the chapter and asked if you want to try it again.

Sure, it would be fun if you could pretend to kill off Bear Grylls, but that isn't going to happen for a variety of reasons. And in the end, that's the biggest problem with these "choose your adventure" episodes. Because they utilize existing IP, the choices available to the subscribers are constrained by what the IP owners will allow. Sure, it would be fun to have an adventure in which Carmen Sandiego makes the choice to become a villain. But that is never going to happen.

Which makes me think that the future of interactive programming is with new characters. I'd love to see Netflix do one of these episodes with original animated characters. Give viewers choices that have unpredictable consequences and unexpected twists. That's the real future of "choose your adventure" streaming shows. I'm just not sure how long it will take to get there.

I DON'T MEAN TO BE THE UI POLICE
I know, I know. I complain about streaming service user interfaces a lot. But that is because the UI is literally the face of any service and it is one of those things that can have a huge impact on the way subscribers think about the service.

I've been using the Discovery+ app a great deal at home and it has become the go-to choice for me when watching Discovery Inc. networks. I pay for the ad-free edition and that has had a huge impact on my viewing habits. And while the app does a good job of juggling its many networks and massive amounts of programming, I am frustrated by how hard it can be to find the newest Discovery+ originals.

There are basically two types of originals. Some of them are merely linear programs that now are only available on Discovery+. For instance, the most recent season of Property Brothers: Forever Home is only available on the service and is billed as an "original." Even though the episodes originally aired on HGTV. Another example is the new season of The Food Networks Chopped Sweets, which premiered exclusively on the streaming service after the first two seasons had premiered on the Food Network.

But then there are the specials and programs that are created specifically for Discovery+ and it is frustrating how difficult it can be to find them. Sometimes they are highlighted in the header box of the particular genre category that fits the program. Sometimes they only show up in some "trending" section. And sometimes they don't show up at all. I was trying to find a new Bigfoot special that was premiering this week and I ended up having to run a search for it. If I didn't already know it existed, I might not have ever found it.

Discovery+ is devoting a great deal of resources to creating original programming. And it should really create more intuitive ways for viewers to easily find them.

Image result for cecil hotel

TODAY'S PREMIERES

1) Crime Scene: The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel (Netflix)
For nearly a century the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles has been linked to some of the city’s most notorious activity, from untimely deaths to housing serial killers. In 2013 college student Elisa Lam was staying at the Cecil when she vanished, igniting a media frenzy and mobilizing a global community of internet sleuths eager to solve the case. Lam’s disappearance, the latest chapter in the hotel’s complex history, offers a chilling and captivating lens into one of LA’s most nefarious settings.

2) Nature: Big Bend - The Wild Frontier Of Texas (PBS)
This special takes viewers on an exciting tour deep into the most remote corner of the Rio Grande River in the borderland known as Big Bend, a vast, unspoiled wonderland of serene beauty and home to some of America’s most iconic animals, including black bears, rattlesnakes and scorpions.

3) OnlyFans: Selling Sexy (Hulu)
A new documentary by that takes a deep dive into the salacious social media network OnlyFans.

4) The Misadventures Of Hedi And Cokeman (Netflix)
In Paris, two dysfunctional dealers use family ties to try to boost their small drug business in this crass comedy based on the webseries.

5) Tough As Nails Season Two Premiere (CBS)
The 12 new contenders who are everyday heroes take on their first job - making concrete - with the first two to complete the individual task named crew bosses who get to select their own crews for the team competitions.

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 Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

09 February, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, February 9th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by lots and lots of coffee.

THIS IS WHY MOST CLASSIC TV ISN'T AVAILABLE FOR STREAMING
I love the television industry. Television has always been a marker for the state of American society and aside from the great quality of some of the early television shows, they are fascinating to watch from a historical standpoint. There is an audience for the old shows and while it's not huge, in theory, a streaming TV equivalent of Turner Classic Movies would seem to be a slam dunk. To say nothing of what Disney or WarnerMedia could do with their archives. So why is it so rare to see obscure programs from the classic age of television available for streaming?

As with most things, it comes down to money. Although maybe not in the way you might think. For the most part, any TV show that aired from the early 1960s forward is available in some archive. Finding a copy is usually not a problem. Unfortunately, every step after that costs money.

There is a cost to transfer the prints and remaster them into a format suitable for streaming. A number of the old shows that are streaming were converted for DVD sets or recent syndication deals. While the transfer costs aren't massive, they only make financial sense if there is some pre-sold market that will help underwrite the expense. An example of the latter are shows such as LaramieThe Virginian, and The Man From Shilo, which were remastered after a cable deal was finalized. There are thousands of hours of television that sit in vaults and won't be transferred because the perception is that it's not worth the expense. Dozens of anthology shows, lots of programs in black-and-white. The cost of remastering is too steep for some niche streamer to justify and the large streamers aren't interested in making a substantial investment for a niche audience.

As I have looked into this, one surprising hang-up is the number of TV shows that are hung up due to music clearance rights. It's not surprising that it's difficult and often expensive to clear well-known songs. It's the reason why the family of Rick Nelson has spent more than a decade trying to get episodes cleared from The Ozzie & Harriet Show. And those are the same problems that affect a range of shows from Bachelor Father to Harper Valley PTA and some of the episodes of Name Of The Game.

But sometimes the music clearance issues are more mundane. Many of the great 1960s and early 1970s detective and adventure shows from Warner Brothers are held up in a clearance issue because the studio decided at the time to save money by library music instead of original background music to save money. And so now to prep the shows for streaming, they would have to have big hunks of the background music replaced. Which is cost-prohibitive for nearly all of the programs. One of the few Warner Brothers shows from that era that has been syndicated & streamed is 77 Sunset Strip. But that is because MeTV was willing to make a deal that would cover the costs of the editing.

And there are also a number of shows that are tied up by other rights disputes. Part of the rights are owned by a long-defunct production company and it's no longer clear who can legally give approval. Or there are shows such as Run For Your Life where the owners are known, but for whatever reason don't have any interest in making a deal. That's also the case with Hec Ramsay, which is owned by Jack Webb's estate. These independent production companies are also the cause of most of the shows that are missing from archives. For instance, Jack Webb apparently trashed all the episodes of Pete Kelly's Blues to save on storage costs. That is generally not something you have to worry about with the larger studios. They have their faults, but they also generally have pretty solid asset management systems. 

Then there are the high-profile shows such as Homicide: Life On The Streets that are aren't available for streaming for reasons which don't seem to be clear to any of the rights holders. Due to some contractual wrangling partway through the series run, various underlying rights are held by several different entities, some of which have changed ownership a couple of times over the ensuing years since the show went off the air. Every rights holder has to sign off to make the show available and every one of the rights holders I spoke with claimed they were agreeable to having the show on a streamer. BUT, they claimed, it was X who was standing in the way. And when I spoke with X, they blamed one of the other rights holders, and so on.

This problem - like most of the issues in Hollywood - can be solved with some good lawyering. But the negotiations can be messy and expensive and so far no media company has stepped up to tackle the job.

And if we are talking about the major studios, there are also two other snags in getting classic television onto streaming and they both come from major studios. Sony TV has a lot of great stuff in their vaults, but now that they don't have a streamer of their own, they have absolutely no incentive to spend the money to transfer and remaster old TV shows. And as for Disney....all I can say is that they don't seem to be interested in releasing anything from the 20th Century Television vaults, which is a shame.

There is a lot more I could add to this, but at least now you have a sense of why it is so difficult to get classic television onto your favorite streaming platform.



TODAY'S PREMIERES

1) Black Art: In The Absence Of Light (HBO)
"A vital and illuminating introduction to the work of some of the foremost African American visual artists working today, including Theaster Gates, Kerry James Marshall, Faith Ringgold, Amy Sherald and Carrie Mae Weems, the film is a testament to the indelible contributions of Black American artists in today’s contemporary art world."

2) Chopped Sweets Series Premiere (Discovery+)
"In an all-new season, Scott Conant challenges four pastry artists to battle baffling basket ingredients under pressure. They utilize their skills to create divine desserts in hopes of claiming the $10,000 prize."

3) Fright Club Series Premiere (Discovery+)
"In a frightening yet friendly competition, paranormal investigators Jack Osbourne and the Ghost Brothers – Dalen Spratt, Marcus Harvey and Juwan Mass – come together to freak each other out with the craziest and creepiest paranormal footage they can find. These guys have each faced their fair share of paranormal disturbances, so they know what’s real … and what’s really freaky. It’s an uproarious and jaw-dropping battle of the paranormal."

4) Love Naturally (MHz Choice)
"A Parisian businesswoman travels to rural France for a wedding and falls in love with Luc, a single father and farmer."

5) Mafiosa Season Four Premiere (MHz Choice)
"A gripping drama about the inner workings of a notorious mob clan after its patriarch dies and his young niece takes over as heir to the family business."

6) The Food That Built America Season Premiere (History)
"For generations of Americans, food titans such as Herman Lay, James Kraft and the McDonald brothers have been household names. However, before they became titans, they were brilliant – sometimes ruthless – visionaries who revolutionized food and changed the culinary landscape of America forever. Through dramatic recreations, fascinating facts, anecdotes, and expert commentary, season two delves into their unbelievable stories of grit, innovation and determination. The series also leans into America’s nostalgia with food by highlighting the product inspiration and numerous trials, triumphs and tribulations endured by these entrepreneurs whose unrelenting innovation ultimately helped them come out on top."

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 Monday, February 8th, 2021

08 February, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, February 8th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by lemonade and breakfast sausages.

ISN'T IT TIME FOR NETFLIX TO PULL 'CHEER?'
I am generally not someone who believes a network or streaming service should pull a series from distribution the first time one of the cast members is involved in a controversy. I'm able to separate some random misdeed from the show itself and unless the alleged crime is egregious, I am more than willing to let viewers decide for themselves if they feel comfortable continuing to watch the show.

But there exceptions to that rule for me, and I think the Netflix series Cheer might have crossed the line from "uncomfortable" to "this should be pulled."

Cheer is a reality series that focuses on the nearly 40-member Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team from Corsicana, Texas. It premiered in January 2020, and the story of the cheer squad as they prepare for the 2019 National Championships garnered a lot of attention from Netflix subscribers. The show received extensive media coverage and while Netflix doesn't share much about viewing numbers, it seems to have been widely viewed.

But in the year since the series debuted three different men associated with the series have faced allegations of some sort of sexual misconduct. In September, Jeremiah 'Jerry' Harris was accused of child sexual exploitation and abuse, according to a lawsuit filed by two attorneys representing the two alleged victims. The lawsuit claimed Harris "exploited his popularity and position of fame" following the release of Cheer to engage in inappropriate behavior with two 13-year-old males. An attorney for Harris has categorically disputed the charges.

Then last week, two other men who appeared on Cheer faced allegations of their own. On Wednesday, Navarro College cheer team member Mitchell Ryan, 23, was arrested near Dallas on Wednesday on suspicion of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Also on Wednesday, Chesterfield County, Virginia Police arrested coach and choreographer Robert Joseph Scianna Jr., 25, based on allegations of indecency with a child and "use of an electronic communication device to solicit sex."

All three men have issued statements proclaiming their innocence. But given that there are now three people involved with Cheer that are facing allegations of sexual misconduct, this feels to me to be the threshold where Netflix should just pull the series until the allegations are resolved. I don't know that I have a hard-and-fast rule for how different allegations of sexual misconduct should warrant removing a series from the public. But right now, three seems like a good number.

THE FLASH IS COMING TO FORTNITE
Keeping any game feeling fresh is a challenge, but one thing Fortnite does very well is continue to add pop-culture skins and characters to the game - generally for a limited amount of time. In the past year, players have been able to play with weapons and characters from Star Wars, the greater MCU Universe as well as many other lesser pieces of IP. Next up for the game are some characters from DC and first up is The Flash.

A Flash Cup will be available for play on February 10th and it will be a two-player game. Here's a look at the character:
Image

TODAY'S PREMIERES

1) Balthazar (Acorn TV)
This sexy French-language crime drama (with English subtitles) follows the suave, smart, and somewhat strange Raphaël Balthazar (Tomer Sisley, Messiah, We’re the Millers) who can make the dead “speak” like no one else. He helps solve Paris’ most disturbing and complex crimes, but there’s one case that continues to haunt him—the murder of his wife, Lise (Pauline Cheviller, Le Secret d’Elise), over a decade ago.

2) Black Lightning Season Premiere (The CW)
Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams) is still mourning the death of his long-time friend Detective Henderson. Meanwhile, Gambi (James Remar) is presented with an interesting opportunity. Lastly, Lynn (Christine Adams) and Jefferson are still not able to see eye to eye.

3) Finding Bigfoot: The Search Continues (Discovery+)
The team sets out to examine compelling Squatch evidence in Ohio and West Virginia.|

4) Independent Lens: Women In Blue (PBS)
This documentary shines a spotlight on the police women within the Minneapolis Police Department working to reform it from the inside, as the national conversation around police reform still resonates loudly across the country. Filmed from 2017 to 2020, the documentary focuses on MPD’s first female police chief, Janeé Harteau, and three of the women in her department as they each try to redefine what it means to protect and serve.

5) VH1 Family Reunion: Love & Hip Hop Edition (VH1)
Love & Hip Hop cast members from New York, Atlanta, Hollywood and Miami gather to celebrate Black joy and discuss important social issues -- and of course, turn up.

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, February 4th, 2021

04 February, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, February 4th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by hot tea and Pad Tai.

THE CHALLENGES OF PROMOTING NETWORK TELEVISION
I suspect anyone who even casually follows the broadcast television space realizes that it is an industry with a number of systemic issues. Declining ratings, pressure from advertisers and difficulty launching new programs. It's challenging to get viewers to sample any new TV series, much less one on networks that increasingly seem old-school to viewers in the prime 18-35 age demographic.

CBS has three new shows premiering in the next few weeks and that network has focused much of its promotional firepower on its traditional media outlets. The shows will receive heavy promotional attention on this Sunday's Super Bowl and the debut episodes of Clarice and The Equalizer will be streaming the day after their linear premiere on YouTube and Pluto TV and will also be streaming in front of the paywall in Amazon's Channel section. I'd argue that is a very safe approach, but given the demos of CBS, that might be enough to help both shows.

But then there is NBC, who has a couple of new high-profile comedies premiering soon, as well as the new Sci-Fi tinged drama Debris. And I'd like to focus on the latter show, which has a premise that is right in my sweet spot for network television.

Here is the logline of Debris, as explained by NBC:

When wreckage from a destroyed alien spacecraft scatters across the Western Hemisphere, it soon becomes apparent the pieces are messing with the laws of physics, changing lives in ways we can’t comprehend. Two agents from different continents, and different mindsets, are tasked to work together to recover the debris, whose mysteries humankind is not quite ready for.

Sounds like an interesting premise, right? It certainly feels like a show that would have an audience among younger viewers, science fiction fans and maybe a comfortable-with-technology audience. And yet as far as a I can tell, NBC hasn't made any real effort to reach out to those audiences or try and get the show in front of people who aren't typically reached by the traditional methods of television promotion.

Running network promos or posting some clips on YouTube is not going to cut it in 2021. Hell, that would been seen as the least possible PR effort in 2011. If you want a show like Debris to find an audience and survive, you need to aggressively fight for promotional bandwidth in a crowded media world. 

So what would I do if NBC asked? I would be relentlessly promoting the series on Peacock. Highlighting the show on the opening splash screen. First with Peacock-only trailers and then in the week before the linear premiere, with a ten-minute sneak preview. I'd make sure that to remind subscribers to add it to their watchlist. I'd find members of the show who are gamers (and believe me, there are some) and organize a Twitch stream for where they can play games and riff about the show. Reach out to niche web sites that have audiences that are a great with the show's premise and offer them exclusive interviews, video and photos. Set up interviews with influential media newsletters discussing the promotional efforts for the show. Create fake clips for TikTok that feature cast members "discovering" the debris and interacting with it. A bunch of this stuff will fail and some of it might be mocked on social media. But that's fine. The goal is to cut through the promotional clutter and get people to tune in. If not live, then before the next episode premieres. Debris is a show that has episodes you have to watch in order. And history suggests that if an audience gets too far behind, they won't stick around. Create ads that ask people to sign up for a once-a-week Debris texts. Which they'll get the morning the new episode premieres, along with a link to a clip from the episode. All of these ideas are marginal on the face of it. But in a world where a .07 share is considered a ratings win, it doesn't take much to substantially move the ratings needle.

And while NBC executives would never go for the idea, I love the idea of creating a promo for the show that features one of the network executives sitting in their office and telling viewers: "Look, I know you've burned in the past by shows that go off the air right after you fall in love with them. I can't promise Debris will run for seven years. But I promise Debris will get a complete first season. And if we don't pick it up for season two, we'll do a special that explains all of the mysteries we didn't have time to reveal." Lean into the transient nature of moist rookie shows. Have some fun with it & get some free media coverage from the various news outlets that will be fascinated by the move.


TODAY'S PREMIERES

1) A Nightmare Awakes (Shudder)
While composing her famous novel Frankenstein, Mary Shelley descends into an opium-fueled fever dream while carrying on a torrid love affair with Percy Shelley. As she writes, the characters of her novel come to life and begin to plague her relationship with Percy. Before long, she must choose between true love and her literary masterpiece.

2) Esme & Roy (HBO Max)
Esme and Roy are best friends – and the best monstersitters in Monsterdale! From Sesame Workshop, this animated series brings viewers into a colorful world where even the littlest monsters can overcome big challenges together. Esme & Roy follows a clever young girl (Esme) and her meatball-loving monster friend (Roy) – two pals who share an impressive skill: they’re great at taking care of monsters. Each relatable adventure is packed with playful learning and musical fun, showing that even monster-sized problems can be solved through mindfulness and play. While Esme and Roy keep their precious charges safe and sound, their warm, infectious humor will have little ones learning through laughter!

3) Fast Foodies Series Premiere (truTV)
The one thing Joel McHale misses the most from his Midwestern childhood stomping grounds is the Chicago-style wiener. Nuclear-neon green relish, poppy seeded bun and all. But today is Joel's lucky day as our three chefs tackle the recreation of the dog of all dogs - the Chicago red hot! Once they conquer the copycat wiener mountain, it's off to the remix round where they'll put a haute cuisine spin on the hot dog classic. Only one chef will walk away with the Chompionship trophy, and Joel's love and approval. The wiener heat is on!

4) Impractical Jokers Season Nine Premiere (truTV)
Four longtime friends compete to embarrass each other with a series of hilarious dares. If they refuse, they lose. At the end, the big loser must endure an epic punishment.

5) Married At First Sight: Australia Season Premiere (Lifetime)
Married at First Sight: Australia details the matching of each couple by experts John Aiken, Mel Schiling and Dr. Trisha Stafford, leading to their weddings and honeymoons, and follows as they settle into their domestic lives together. At the end of the social experiment, each couple must decide if it’s happily ever after for them, or if it’s time to get a divorce and go their separate ways.

6) Married At First Sight: Couples Cam Season Premiere (Lifetime)
Following the couples ongoing stories in real time, in the completely raw and self-shot show, the couples invite viewers into their homes via mounted cameras, diary cams and virtual group chats. The series will also feature never-before-seen footage captured by couples, revealing deeply intimate access to their lives, including births of their MAFS babies, and other personal highlights of their lives, since their time on their seasons. The show will also bring the couples together virtually as they discuss their own hopes, dreams and futures.

7) Mary McCartney Serves It Up Series Premiere (Discovery+)
It’s the most delicious and delectable invite as home cook Mary McCartney invites us into her London kitchen to serve up family favorites and fabulous vegetarian food her friends adore. In each episode, she’ll be joined by a famous friend, including Cameron Diaz and Nicole Richie, Dave Grohl, Kate Hudson, Gayle King, Mark Ronson and Liv Tyler.

8) The Murders Series Premiere (Sundance Now)
The series revolves around Kate Jameson (Jessica Lucas, Gotham, Melrose Place), a rookie homicide detective in Vancouver whose negligence resulted in a fellow officer’s death. Now, she’s seeking redemption in her investigations alongside Detective Nolan Wells (Dylan Bruce, Orphan Black).

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 Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

02 February, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by black coffee and lots of random leftovers.

PARAMOUNT+ LAUNCH CAMPAIGN IS.....PERPLEXING
I think even the biggest supporter of ViacomCBS will admit that the upcoming rebranding/relaunch of CBS All-Access into Paramount+ is going to be challenging. The general interest streaming world is extremely competitive and even though CBSAA has carved out a small place in the mindspace of consumers, it's also a streaming service that puts forward a lot of mixed messages. It's partly a home for next-day CBS programs, although because some of the network's biggest shows are produced by other studios, CBSAA doesn't have stacking rights for all of their hit shows. And because ViacomCBS executives are big believers in maximizing their revenue stream by licensing everything that isn't nailed down, a number of their biggest titles are also available on competing streamers. 

Paramount+ is being touted as the home for the entire universe of ViacomCBS programs, but with so many of the titles also available elsewhere, it remains a tough sell for me. I don't doubt that there is an audience for the service. I'm just not convinced that the upside for a streaming service that's mission statement is "we're the home for a lot of familiar stuff you can always stream elsewhere" is all that substantial.

That's why I was happy to see Ad Week's Kelsey Sutton do a deep dive on the media launch for Paramount+, which is set to kick off in earnest during Sunday's Super Bowl:

As part of a major promotional push for Paramount+—a rebranded and expanded version of the existing streaming service CBS All Access, slated for a March 4 debut in the U.S., Canada and Latin America—ViacomCBS is planning to pull out all the stops for Super Bowl Sunday.

Paramount+ will be featured prominently in promos during CBS’ Super Bowl 55 telecast (including pregame and postgame coverage), coupled with digital and social support, talent participation, paid efforts and even some in-game stunts and content teases to introduce its big subscription effort.

"We’re going to wrap the Super Bowl in surround sound," said Domenic DiMeglio, ViacomCBS Digital’s CMO. "We really want to make this a moment for Paramount+."

The campaign will culminate during the CBS broadcast of The Grammys and will include a series of spots that I just find perplexing. I know being able to feature the well-known names from the various ViacomCBS shows is fun. But is it really the kind of thing that will drive large numbers of new subscribers?:

The campaign’s first phase, featuring the mountain-climbing expedition, will make use of CBS’ promotional inventory throughout the Super Bowl broadcast to tell a sequential story of characters climbing to the peak of Mount Paramount—“the ultimate metaphor” that makes use of the iconic mountain that has opened Paramount movies for decades, said Josh Line, ViacomCBS’ chief brand officer.

The existing spots that have already run highlight the tone that the service is trying to strike: fun, lighthearted and a little silly. (“I’m too hungover for this,” Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi of MTV’s Jersey Shore Family Vacation declares while trudging up a mountain in one spot.)

“There’s a real self-awareness and accessibility to the tone that we just love,” Line said. “It feels very modern.”

I'm not sure that I would describe an ad that features Jersey Shore's Snooki as "very modern."

AN INTERESTING USE OF 'EXCLUSIVE' BY DISCOVERY+
While Discovery+'s limited rollout of a "channels" feature sparked lots of hot takes over the weekend, that's not a feature that is likely to have an impact on subscriber numbers in the U.S. in the near future. What is more important is how the service is quietly using its massive catalog of recent episodes from their linear networks as a way to drive subscriber interest. I recently noticed that several shows such as Property Brothers: Forever Home were being billed on Discovery+ as "exclusives. And what that means is that episodes from the show's current season are only available on Discovery+. Not on-demand and not in the various authenticated network apps. It's not something that is being widely promoted - I suspect because Discovery is purposely not wanting to annoy their linear partners. But as I've said before, it's clear that Discovery+ is positioning itself as the best place to find next-day programming from all of its networks.


TODAY'S PREMIERES

1) Awake Series Premiere (MHz Choice)
Dana Nasr wakes up from an 11-year coma with a pesky alter ego who helps her face the challenge of rejoining the world.

2) A Rodeo Film (HBO)
A black bull rider in rural California must choose between his brother and a woman he loves.

3) A Storybook Ending (HBO)
When a black man accidentally kills a white cop in self-defense, the cover-up sets off a chain reaction of deceit, blackmail, and murder.

4) Black Boy Joy (HBO)
Black Boy Joy is about two generations of black men struggling to juggle the demands of raising a young son with Autism while adapting to their new normal after the death of a loved one.

5) Dolapo Is Fine (HBO)
A story about a young black girl's relationship with her hair and name, and how it helps her understand who she really is.

6) Fake Famous (HBO)
First-time director and veteran journalist Nick Bilton, explores the industry of social media influencers through an innovative social experiment. The film’s journey into this world is driven by the casting of three people in Los Angeles who all have relatively small social followings and the attempt to grow them into famous influencers. By purchasing fake followers and an army of bots to “engage” with their social media, the newly made “influencers” discover both the wonders and costs of this unlikely, immersive lifestyle.

7) Just Like Home (MHz Choice)
A French and Turkish family’s cohabitation agreement goes on longer than either family had anticipated.

8) The Cipher (HBO)
With his reputation and record deal on the line, Khalil confronts his opponent Young Reap and defends his secret during a freestyle rap competition in Philadelphia.

9) Tiffany Hadish Presents: They Ready Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
Once again, Tiffany Haddish will introduce six of her favorite comedians to Netflix members around the world with a second season of the Emmy-nominated stand-up comedy series They Ready. Each comedian, all of whom were again personally chosen by Haddish, will perform a 15-20 minute set.

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 Monday, February 1st, 2021

01 February, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, February 1st, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by iced coffee and orange bread.

IT'S CLEAR HOLLYWOOD SUPPORT STAFF DESERVE MORE MONEY
I spend a lot of time talking about the big picture issues of television. It's easy to forget that whether it's traditional broadcast television or the streaming industry, all of this wouldn't be possible without all of the support staff who make it all possible. The smartest producer or most talented actor won't get very far without the work of the people who do all of the work that no one outside the industry sees. Even before the pandemic hit, pay for support staff was embarrassingly low. And even those low salaries were under pressure from studios and streamers who saw support staff pay as an "easy" place to cut when they wanted to rein in budgets. Shorter seasons means less money and more time spent trying to find your next job. And then the pandemic shutdown hit Hollywood's support staff especially hard, since they often did have the financial support to weather a prolonged period without a paycheck.

#PayUpHollywood today released its second annual survey of the challenges faced by entertainment industry support staff, and the results are pretty grim. A total of of 1,014 participants took the survey, and they included current or former assistants at studios, talent agencies, production/development companies, and in-house production and post-production departments.  Here are some of the highlights, but you should really read the entire survey:







I don't usually devote an entire newsletter to one topic. But as an industry, we can't afford to have so many of our support staff living at the poverty level. We talk a lot about representation and expanding the pool of people who get a chance to make television. But if we make the lower rungs of the industry so difficult to survive that only the well-connected or well-to-do can afford to take those jobs, we will never get the diversity we all say we want.

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, January 28th, 2021

28 January, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, January 28th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by black coffee and tomato soup.

WHEN IT COMES TO THIS MOVE, I ADMIT THAT I AM STUMPED
I like Discovery+ a lot. The price is point is good and if you are someone who watches any of Discovery Communications networks on a regular basis (and my household does), Discovery+'s mix of tens of thousands of episodes of your favorite shows, along with new linear programs and originals makes it a must-have. Still, I have to admit Discovery is making some choices I find perplexing.

You can browse for content several different ways in the app and one method is via individual networks tabs that include every program on the service from that network. There is a tab for nearly every Discovery Comm. network, along with ones for A&E, History and Lifetime. But the service has added five more network tabs to the already lengthy mix - digital networks The Dodo, Popsugar, Now This, Seeker and Thrillist. The odd thing is that at least in the Roku app, while those five digital networks show up in the tabs that are listed on the home page, they don't show up if you click "browse" and search that network list.

But a bigger mystery is why these networks are there in the first place. While some of their content is fine, there isn't much there that falls into the category of "must have." And given how much content Discovery+ also contains, the additions seem pointless. I'm assuming it's all part of a marketing deal, but including those widely distributed networks as part of the Discovery+ programming mix makes everything seem less exclusive and special.

ABC NEWS HEAD STEPPING DOWN
In a memo sent to ABC News employees earlier today, ABC News President James Goldston said he is stepping down. His last day is on March 31st. This isn't an unexpected decision, Goldston has been rumored to be leaving for months and according to some previous reporting, Disney executive Peter Rice has said to sources in the past that he did not think Goldston was the right fit for ABC News.

There are a bunch of names being privately floated for his replacement, but there doesn't seem to be a clear favorite as of yet.

THERE ARE BAD NUMBERS AND THEN THERE ARE BAD NUMBERS
You are seeing a lot of streaming service subscriber numbers being thrown around in press coverage this week and most of them are just one step above smoke and mirrors. HBO Max touted its increase in "activations," which isn't the same as subscribers. The number apparently includes people who downloaded the app. Which is the streaming media world's version of describing me as a Mustang owner because I drive one in Grand Theft Auto.

And then there is Peacock, where NBCU head Jeff Shell bragged on Thursday that viewing of The Office on Peacock is ahead of what the "pace" was when it was on Netflix. And no, that's a vague metric that even a psychic couldn't define. He also said that the new streaming service is off to a "promising" start and is "exceeding internal projections." So why would an executive offer up such a mushy bunch of data points? Well, one reason is that entertainment industry trades like Deadline will just spit his comments back out, giving the service some positive press coverage.

All of these subscriber numbers being thrown around drive me a little nuts, because they don't give any sense of how well the service is actually doing at getting people to pay for their product. Premium Peacock is free to millions of Comcast customers and through other partnerships. There are a number of people (like myself) who pre-purchased a year of Peacock at a discount. And it's the same situation with HBO Max. It's not just the people who qualify for an upgrade to HBO Max because they were already an HBO subscriber. There are all sorts of bundles and partnerships that make it nearly impossible to determine how many people are actually paying somewhat close to full price for the service.

And I have mentioned that we still don't have an official breakdown of how many people subscribe to CBS All-Access? I'm sure that will all be cleared up when everything transitions to Paramount Plus in a few weeks.

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 Tuesday, January 26, 2021

26 January, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, January 26th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by iced coffee and a full night of sleep.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THERE IS AN IMDb APP FOR ROKU. THE BAD NEWS IS.....
I spend entirely too much of my time in this newsletter complaining about the UI of Amazon's Prime Instant Video app. But that's because it is so frustratingly, unbelievably bad. It's challenging to find programming, the search function is not especially accurate and because Amazon is trying to cram so many different categories of content into one app, the result is something that doesn't please anyone.

One of the things that has been rolled into the Amazon video app is its free, ad-supported streaming service IMDb TV. And as you might expect, the interface is clunky and trying to find programming is such an awkward exercise that I generally end up searching for shows or movies on Amazon's web interface and adding them as favorites so I can find them inside the app.

The good news is that Amazon has launched the first IMDb TV app for Roku, which means that viewers no longer have to go through the Amazon video app to watch IMDb TV programming. The bad news is.....well, pretty much everything else.

The app has a clean, straight-forward interface that looks a lot like the Roku Channel app. But it also has some of the same limitations as that app. 

There is no search function. No, really.

There are horizontal content bars, labeled "Continue Watching," "Popular Movies & TV," Popular TV," "Popular Movies," "Sci-Fi Movies," "Action & Adventure Movies," "Documentary Movies"  and "Comedy TV." From what I can tell, the titles in the categories are primarily a mix of random titles & in my case, titles I may have previously looked at and/or favorited.

Did I mention there isn't a search function?

There aren't many times when I find myself absolutely stumped by someone's decision-making. But this app just leaves me speechless. In theory, any AVOD would want to encourage as much engagement as possible. Because the more people watch, the more ads run and the more revenue that is generated. Launching an app that doesn't allow for content discovery just seems crazy.

A+E NETWORKS LEAN INTO LINEAR
Multichannel News has a good interview with A+E Networks group president Paul Buccieri, who said that while there is money to be made in the streaming business, A+E continues to focus on its relationship with its linear television partners:

Why do you feel that the A+E Networks commitment to linear gives the company an advantage in reaching viewers?

I do think we distinguish ourselves as a portfolio because of our commitment to linear.  We have an incredible depth and breadth of upcoming stuff that is premiering on linear brands and have one of the most robust offerings of original content. We have 1,400 hours planned of original content between our brands that’s going to be premiering on linear, which is really something we take a lot of pride in.


Does it concern you that your networks' competitors are potentially reaching new viewers and cord cutters on the digital front with their respective SVOD services

Clearly we're in a moment of disruption. For us, we really value our linear ecosystem -- that’s where a huge portion of our bread is buttered. We are really pleased with our linear audiences and our brands. As to what our competitors are doing in the streaming world, I do think there is obviously a shifting landscape, and clearly we have done library deals with some [streaming] companies. It really shows the strength of our content that it is so desired by a lot of our direct competitors and that they want to be in business with us in that way.


As Buccieri notes later in the interview, A+E Networks do operate several smaller niche streamers that seem to be doing well: History Vault, Lifetime Movie Club and Crime Central. But the reality is that A+E doesn't have the depth of content to successfully launch its own direct-to-consumer general interest streaming service. 

But it's worth mentioning that one future move might be to integrate closer with the newly launched Discovery+. There is already some older titles available on that service and in fact, Discovery+ has them broken out into individual channel tabs. So it would be easy to add more A&E Network content in the future, especially given the audience crossover between A&E and Discovery Communications programming.

Go Dog Go | Netflix Official Site
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the paltry number of new television programs premiering today:

1) Go Dog Go (Netflix)
Handy and inventive pup Tag chases adventure with her best pal, Scootch, solving problems and helping the citizens of Pawston along the way.

2) Love In.....Series Premiere (MHz Choice)
Set against the backdrops of six of the world’s most beautiful and exotic, locations, (Jaipur, Andalusia, Bora Bora, Lapland, St. Petersburg and Vienna, The Love in… Collection explores the ups and downs of being in love in modern relationships.

3) mixed-ish Season Premiere (ABC)
After finding out Johan has been pretending to be a different race, Rainbow gets mad, and Alicia and Paul try to find a way to encourage Johan to be proud of being Black.

4) The Misery Index Season Premiere (TBS)
Teams compete against each other by attempting to determine the ranking of hilarious and miserable real-life events - from getting fired to accidentally sexting your grandfather - on a scale of 1-100.

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 Monday, January 25, 2021

25 January, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, January 25th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by hot tea and pasta salad.

WWE NETWORK MOVING TO PEACOCK IN NEW DEAL
Operating a stand-alone streaming sports service - even with a committed viewership - is challenging. And while the WWE Network currently has 1.1 million subscribers, it's battled a flurry of challenges, ranging from high churn rates and slumping viewership for its flagship talk shows to an industry trying to work around the limitations of doing live events in the midst of a pandemic. There have been rumors that the WWE has been looking for an exit from the direct-to-consumer streaming business and this morning, it was announced the WWE Network will close in March and it's content would become part of the NBCU streaming service Peacock:

In mid-March, WWE Network‘s approximately 1.1 million existing U.S. subscribers will be migrated to Peacock Premium, where they’ll continue to get access to WWE Network but will have the option to pay 50% less — $4.99/month vs. $9.99/month — and get full access to the Peacock Premium tier with ads. WWE Network also will be available on the no-ads Peacock Premium Plus plan ($9.99/month).

The terms of the deal haven't been announced publicly, although The Wall Street Journal's Joe Flint reports his sources place the cost as in the neighborhood for $1 billion for a five-year deal.

Although it's tough to judge the financial implications of the deal from outside, on the face of it, this seems like a smart deal for both sides. It allows the WWE to still monetize its digital assets while not having to deal with all of the marketing and technical challenges that come with operating a standalone streaming service. And it gives Peacock 17,000+ hours of sports-ish content, as well as access to upcoming events. 

Some of the takes I've seen so far about this deal have wondered why the WWE didn't cut a deal with either Netflix or Amazon. Netflix has been pretty consistent about not being in any particular rush to add sports programming in this fashion. And given that this deal is just for U.S. streaming rights, it's not the scope of deal Netflix is interested in pursuing right now. As for Amazon...well, just imagine the company trying to wedge WWE's catalog into the hellhole of streaming that is the Amazon Prime Video app.

WGN AMERICA IS CHANGING ITS NAME TO NEWSNATION
Longtime "superstation" WGN America is changing its name and its programming. The channel will be rebranded as "Newsnation," which is being touted as the "unbiased competitor to the cable news giants."

It's not a terrible idea. WGN America has never quite found a programming mix that worked. It tried original programming, syndicated drama blocks and movies but the national audience has remained stubbornly small. And given the perceived partisan stances of the big three cable news networks, a new centrish news network makes sense. But there are lot of hurdles to overcome. While news programming is often cheaper than syndicated scripted programming, a viable news network needs to be live as many hours as possible.

But the real challenge is whether viewers will see Newsnation as an important (and unbiased) news source and are willing to give it a try. The recent shift of conservative viewers from Fox News to newer rivals such as News Max shows that viewers can change their habits. But will they in this case?

COMCAST LAUNCHING 
Comcast is launching 29 Wi-Fi connected "Lift Zones" in the Washington D.C. area to help connect low income families to the internet so they can do things such as homework:

Working with its network of nonprofit partners, Comcast Lift Zones will provide robust, free WiFi inside partner community centers to help thousands of low-income students and families to successfully participate in distance learning, search for employment or access other essential services.

While this move is helpful, it also costs Comcast almost nothing. If the company was serious about making it easier for low-income families to have internet access, they would ease the restrictions on their "Internet Essentials" program. That program offers a basic broadband service to households who qualify for programs like the National School Lunch Program, housing assistance, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, and others for a cost of $9.95 a month.

It's a great program, but it's only available to households who haven't had Comcast service in the past 90 days. So if you live in a low-income household and had to cancel your service recently or had it disconnected, then you are out of luck.

ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER DUMB TAKE ON NETFLIX
I could do an entire newsletter that is nothing but highlights of bad takes on Netflix. Even otherwise smart journalists seem to just lose their common sense when confronted with the prospect of writing a Netflix hot take.

This weekend's bad Netflix take came from Scott Mendelson at Forbes, who noted that the 2013 theatrical release Homefront (starring Jason Statham) was currently the most-watched film on the streaming service. So if that's the case, then why is Netflix pouring all of that money into creating original movies?:

As far as its momentary popularity on Netflix, it’s their most-watched movie at the moment, it’s another example of the streaming platform being just as popular (if not more so) for old-school grindhouse action flicks as prestige TV and network binge favorites. I’ve written my share of posts about films like Jennifer Garner’s Peppermint and Zoe Saldana’s Colombiana being momentarily popular, and Liam Neeson’s Unknown had a run near the top just before Honest Thief opened theatrically last week. Meanwhile, in a skewed irony, Anthony Mackie’s Outside The Wire (a Netflix original) is now sitting below the Open Road/Millennium studio programmer. Why spend a fortune on Netflix actioners when studio discards pull in solid viewership for potentially a fraction of the price?

Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos reportedly remarked in 2019 that spending $115 million on JC Candor’s Triple Frontier, a muscular actioner starring Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Pedro Pascal, Charlie Hunnam and Garrett Hedlund may have been a mistake. To be fair, since then, Netflix has paid up for the Dwayne Johnson/Gal Gadot/Ryan Reynolds action comedy Red Notice and is allegedly giving $200 million to the Russo Bros. for the Chris Evans/Ryan Gosling actioner The Grey Man, while the Russo-produced Extraction (starring Chris Hemsworth) is allegedly Netflix’s most-watched original movie ever. Nonetheless, the continuing popularity of third-party star-driven actioners like Unknown, Homefront and Jessica Chastain’s Ava implies that “new to you” action flicks may be good enough for the Netflix consumer base.

I could spend a lot of time carefully dissecting this idea and explaining why it's so ill-conceived. But honestly, I don't think even Mendelson is really being serious. He knows the business well enough to know that it doesn't have to be a zero-sum game. In fact, it can't be, because no streaming service can produce 100 of its own content. And no service can remain viable if they rely strictly on licensed content. It's not just the cost of that content. It's that there isn't enough new-ish content available and there is guarantee about the quality. And quality does matter, no matter how effective your marketing might be.

Snowpiercer | TNTdrama.com
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the paltry number of new television programs premiering today:

1) ATL Homicide Season Premiere (TV One)
On September 13th, 2010, Vince & Quinn  respond to a shooting at a gas station where 19-year-old Ladeddrick Love was gunned down while his pregnant wife and toddler were both in the car.

2) Lucille Ball: Life, Death & Money (Reelz)
Legendary star Lucille Ball is known as one of the greatest comedians of all time. On the air for six seasons she cemented her iconic status in I Love Lucy where she and first husband Desi Arnaz pulled in astronomical ratings. It's also here that Ball forged her way to becoming a leading lady off screen as executive producer later launching mega movie and TV franchises including Star Trek and Mission Impossible. When she passes away in 1989 her sizable estate of $40 million is split among her two children and second husband Gary Morton. Unlike many celebrities Ball left behind a will and testament but even with one so clearly written her estate becomes entangled and bitter. 

3) My Feet Are Killing Me Season Premiere (TLC)
Dr. Ebonie's skills are tested as she attempts to diagnose a patient with feet that are covered in huge, wart-like masses.

4) Reunions Series Premiere (Acorn TV)
This contemporary French-language series (with English subtitles) centers on two half-brothers of different races and economic backgrounds who meet each other for the first time after the death of their father and inherit a failing hotel on the paradise island of Réunion. The two long-lost siblings and their families must make huge sacrifices and band together to save the resort.

5) Snowpiercer Season Two Premiere (TNT)
Set more than seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, Snowpiercer centers on the remnants of humanity, who inhabit a 1001 car, perpetually-moving train that circles the globe. Class warfare, social injustice and the politics of survival play out in this riveting television adaptation based on the critically acclaimed movie and graphic novel series of the same name.

This newsletter is called "Too Much TV" because....well, it's hard to keep track of all the new television premiering everyday. To help you prioritize your viewing, click here to see our list of more than 400 upcoming television premieres, movies and finales. You'll find listings from more than 70 networks, as well as streaming services and web shows.

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I'll be back with another one tomorrow. If you have any feedback, send it along to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.