Displaying items by tag: Too Much TV

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, December 18th, 2020

18 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, December 18th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by tomato soup and Tylenol.

THE BEST USE OF YOUTUBE BY A STREAMER THIS YEAR
While both linear networks and streamers make extensive use of YouTube to promote their programs, most of the video that is posted tends to be along the lines of trailers and behind-the-scenes pieces. Netflix ups their YouTube game today with the release of a truly smart idea. A two-hour video which has Stranger Things stars David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, and Natalia Dyer playing the "ultimate game of Dungeons & Dragons." It's a very clever way to give fans of the show another way to interact with the cast while they wait for a new season of the show.

I have long thought that networks should be using untraditional marketing more aggressively, particularly during the pandemic. Given the number of TV actors, writers and crew that play video games, I'm shocked that no network has thought to do a regular segment on a Twitch channel which features their stars playing video games, trash talking and maybe even mentioning their shows along the way.

HOLLYWOOD'S BIG STREAMING PIVOT WILL BE COSTLY FOR INDIE FILMS
The streaming industry has all sorts of complex issues that can tend to be overlooked when journalists focus on the horserace of which service is growing faster or which title is grabbing more viewers. One issue that hasn't gotten enough attention in the past few weeks is the impact that the shortening of theatrical windows will have on smaller, independent films. Ted Mundorff is the president and COO of ArcLight Cinemas/Pacific Theatres has a guest column in The Hollywood Reporter in which he discusses why independent films need a longer theatrical run to find their audience:

The opposite is true in “independent” distribution. When an indie title is released, the expectation is that the opening weekend will be the smallest weekend financially. If the screen average is high enough on a limited number of screens, the film will receive attention not only from reviews, but also from potential moviegoers and other theater operators. The film, after an initial successful weekend, will then expand by adding more screens in more cities as the word-of-mouth continues. Word-of-mouth is a critical piece of the equation, because these films do not have the large marketing budgets that wide releases have.

How does all this tie together with the streaming announcements? Films such as Moonlight and Parasite played for 20-plus weeks in many key theaters. Their box office grew each week, keeping these films onscreen in cinemas. This may not be the case if studios keep pushing to accelerate to streaming. I believe the ability of an independent film to grow attendance at a theater when it is competing with the streaming outlets is simply not sustainable.

ODDS AND SODS
HBO Max orders a Second Season Of The Flight Attendant

Netflix orders an early season three renewal for Locke & Key.

RECOMENDED READING
Steep Ratings Declines Create Potential Prime-Time Cash-Back Scenarios (MediaPost)
New AVODs (ad-supported streamers) may offer a new place for networks to make up the fall deficits in viewership.

A Creepshow Holiday Special - Official Trailer [HD] | A Shudder Original -  YouTube
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) A Creepshow Holiday Special (Shudder)
In the holiday themed, hour-long episode, fearing he is a murderer, an anxious man searches for answers for his "unique condition" from an unusual support group.

2) Christmas On The Menu (Lifetime)
Josie Jennings (Kim Shaw) a celebrated, romantic, 35-year old chef in the city heads home to spend the holidays at the quaint, magical bed and breakfast where she grew up, and where her mother Shannon (Cynthia Gibb) has just opened a new restaurant. Famous food critic Tanner Rhodes (Clayton James), who has given Josie harsh reviews in the past, comes to town to review the new restaurant and Josie’s Christmas Cuisine.  As the holidays unfold, Josie and Tanner get to know each other better, and a romance soon begins to blossom but will Tanner find a way to right his wrongs, write a rave review for the bistro’s delicious cuisine, and win Josie’s heart by Christmas Eve? 

3) El Cid (Amazon)
Ruy Diaz de Vivar is a young page who loyally serves his master, Sancho, the future king of Leon and Castile. While he fights to come out on top in the Court thanks to his natural talent with a sword, he gets caught up in a conspiracy to overthrow the King, which would cause as much bloodshed, pain, and death in the Christian Kingdoms as it would in the Muslim taifas.

4) Home For Christmas Season Two (Netflix)
When love rings your doorbell, are you ready? Follow Johanne through another December as she continues her pursuit for eternal, warm and real love. When her family and the world around her fall apart, how can she still believe in real and bottomless love? Does it even exist and will she find the one true love for Christmas this year?

5) Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Netflix)
Tensions rise when the trailblazing Mother of the Blues and her band gather at a Chicago recording studio in 1927. Adapted from August Wilson's play.

6) On Pointe (Disney+)
A six-part docu-series that captures a season in the School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York City. Featuring unprecedented access to the famous ballet institution, the series follows the lives of the students ages 8 to 18 pursuing their dreams to become ballet dancers.While older students from all over the country rigorously train for professional careers, younger students from New York City are put through their paces as they rehearse and perform in New York City Ballet's holiday classic "George Balanchine's The Nutcracker" onstage at Lincoln Center.

7) Sweet Home (Netflix)
As savage monsters inflict terror and threaten humanity, a troubled teen with inner demons emerges as his neighbors' best bet for survival.

8) The Grand Tour Presents: A Massive Hunt (Amazon)
The intrepid trio find themselves back on four wheels for their latest adventure. Armed with sports cars, Richard, James and Jeremy think they are in for a cushy road trip as they arrive on the exotic island of Reunion and race on the world's most expensive piece of tarmac. But a bizarre challenge propels them to Madagascar where they must tackle the world's toughest road.

9) You'll Be Home For Christmas (HGTV)
As the countdown to Christmas ticks on, Albie Mushaney, world-famous strongman and Salem, Oregon-based real estate agent who moonlights as a Santa impersonator, will help first-time homebuyers find their forever home in time for the holidays. Alongside his festive family, Albie will make the houses extra “ho-ho-home-y” by adding special seasonal touches like a fully decorated tree with gifts underneath, stockings hung on the chimney and freshly baked cookies and hot cocoa welcoming them at the door.

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, December 17th, 2020

17 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, December 17th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by some sort of hot herbal tea.

THE FUTURE OF DUBBING VOICE TRACKS
One of the under-appreciated challenges of releasing TV shows and movies globally is that no matter what the original language of the program, the voice tracks need to be dubbed into a number of languages. And aside from time spent casting the right local voices and recording the tracks, the entire process is not a cheap one. A Tel Aviv-based startup has a new product in Beta that appears to be a big breakthrough, based on this YouTube demo video it recently posted.

DeepDub came out of stealth mode yesterday and it uses machine learning to automate the dubbing process. Currently it can dub into six different languages, including French, German and Spanish and the plan is to steadily expand that to around 60 languages. One of the things that makes their process interesting it that their dubbing changes the language of the audio while still retaining the vocal qualities of the original audio. In other words, audio of James Earl Jones would still sound like him, even when translated into a different language.

I talk a lot about global content, but technology such as DeepDub - combined with new software that can visually change an actor's face to match the new dialogue - will make the experience of watching content originally produced in a different language seem almost the same as locally-produced content. This feels as if we are only a couple of years from a company such as Amazon or Netflix being able to produce content anywhere in the world and easily roll out customized versions that appear to civilian eyes to be locally produced.

ROKU TORMENTS ENTERTAINMENT GIANTS IN QUEST TO DOMINATE STREAMING
The Wall Street Journal's Patience Haggin has a really informative look at Roku and how it has become an increasingly important player in the streaming entertainment industry:

Since going public in 2017, Roku’s market value has expanded 30 times to more than $40 billion, surpassing those of ViacomCBS Inc. and Fox Corp. It is worth more than Discovery Inc., AMC Networks and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. combined. Its shares are up 260% since mid-March, as at-home consumers stream more video.

“We’re often underestimated by the industry,” said Anthony Wood, Roku’s chief executive and founder, who named the company after the Japanese word for “six” because it was the sixth company he started. Described as aloof and inscrutable by some employees, he’s impatient with legacy media companies that chafe at the streaming era’s changes.

Although Roku built its business selling streaming devices, these days it barely makes any profit off that hardware, and instead focuses on selling ads in the streaming apps it carries. Roku has more than 10,000 apps in its Channel Store, both free and paid. It generally gets a percentage of the ad space, based on an arrangement with the app’s owner. Ads were the greatest contributor to Roku’s $1.1 billion in revenue last year. Roku also generally gets a percentage of subscription revenue from partners.

The reporting on this piece is extremely detailed and it has information on a number of Roku deals that I hadn't seen anywhere else:

Last year, Roku showed up to negotiations with A+E Inc., which owns channels like Lifetime and A&E, asking for the right to put the programmer’s library on The Roku Channel and take 50% of ad revenue from those shows, said a person familiar with the talks. A+E resisted and provided a smaller amount of ad revenue. It still had to give Roku rights to some 600 episodes of some of its top shows, including “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” “Hoarders,” “First 48” and “I Survived,” the person said.

IN A RELATED TWEET



ODDS AND SODS
Peacock is adding a number of comedy specials from Kevin Hart's LOL! Network.

HBO Max is running ads on social media offering discounts of 10-25% off of a six-month prepaid subscription.

RECOMENDED READING
Disney+ To Reach $4 Billion In US Subscription Revenue By 2022 (DigitalTVEurope)
Disney’s expansion will also contribute to wider OTT growth in the US, with total revenues for the sector expected to increase by 29.9% in 2021 to $38.15 billion. 2022 will see reduced growth of 19.4% as the sector reaches maturity.


WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Beyond The Pole: Living Under Lockdown (WEtv)
From virtual strip clubs to OnlyFans, the queens of hustle and grind are back for a unique behind the scenes look at their journey to financial freedom. When Atlanta shuts down its famous nightlife scene due to a global pandemic, the clubs’ exotic dancers, bartenders, and bottle girls struggle to find income streams. Ms. Dime, Angel Kake, Empress, and Lyric self-document their fight for survival.

2) Dogs Of The Year (The CW)
Hosts Kevin Frazier and Nischelle Turner count down the Top 10 dog stories of 2020, celebrating the dogs that go above and beyond, that leave their mark on society, and achieve the nearly impossible. Some of the exceptional dogs to be featured in the special include Narwhal, the unicorn puppy who makes therapy magical; Triado, a decorated dog who protects airports and events; Hansel, the first Pitbull to become a firefighting K9; Ariel, a service dog who can detect oncoming seizures; and Plum, a dog with disabilities who is a social media superstar

3) Homeschool Musical: Class of 2020 (HBO Max)
This documentary shines a light on the personal experiences and incredible musical talent of teens across America that have been confronted with the many unique challenges of 2020. Each teen will perform a well-known song which organically expresses their emotions about their experience as high school seniors faced with their world turned upside down. Along with their musical numbers, we’ll hear directly from them in interviews that showcase their unique perspective, their wide range of emotions, hurdles, laughs and resilience that they’ve experienced during the past year. 

3) Sesame Street: Holiday At Hooper's (HBO Max)
It's Holiday time on Sesame Street! When their parents run late from the holiday concert, Elmo and Baby Bear stay with Alan and Nina at Hooper's store. But they are disappointed not to celebrate Christmas Eve and Hanukkah as they had planned. Alan wonders how to make Hooper's feel more festive. What if they make their own holiday decorations? Elmo, Baby Bear, Nina, and Alan sing carols, eat latkes, and make lots of decorations. They create a wonderful holiday celebration all by themselves—and Elmo and Baby Bear realize that the best part of holidays is being together with friends and family.

4) The Available Wife (UMC)
Nicole Wright, a successful music CEO, realizes that her life is about to crumble in front of her. While the secrets that have built her music empire threaten to tear her down, Nicole struggles to maintain a family and motherhood.

5) The Stand (CBS All-Access)
Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world decimated by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil. The fate of mankind rests on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail and a handful of survivors. Their worst nightmares are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man.

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, December 15th, 2020

15 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, December 15th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee....coffee....and coffee.

I'M NOT SAYING THIS IS THE DUMBEST TAKE I'VE READ TODAY...BUT IT'S IN THE TOP TWO
One of the worst trends in online entertainment journalism in recent years are these takes that aren't "hot" takes per se. They don't stake any real controversial opinion, but instead are crafted to get passed around a lot, even if the virality of it is mostly readers dunking on it.

Verge posted a piece this morning entitled "A Year Without Marvel Movies Left A Pop Culture Void," and it as massively stupid as you might expect it to be. Sure, lots of terrible things have happened in 2020, but this guy's moaning over the fact that there wasn't a MCU movie released this year. Worse, he conflates the experience of sitting in a movie theater with the joy that is Marvel, in a way that only magnifies the fan-boyish quality of the piece:

In a year where I feel more disconnected from people than ever, where I’m searching for community from the confines of a tiny studio apartment, not having that quintessential part of normalcy — sitting in a theater and watching the couple of Marvel movies that come out every year — feels enormous.

The absence of Marvel movies is the absence of a very specific kind of excitement. Living within the confines of our new normal for the last 10 months means trying to find little things to look forward to every week. A new show on a streaming service helps or a Zoom catch-up with family who can’t visit. But it doesn’t replace the physicality of community or the excitement of leaving home to experience something people may have been waiting on for several months. In 2020, a year filled with death and travesty at the worst of times and mindless boredom at the best of times, the absence of unbridled anticipation was tough to swallow.

Yes, O wise one, you are correct. Of all the troubling things that hit the pop culture world this year, not having a new Marvel movie was certainly difficult. 

REVENUE FOR AVOD'S LIKE TUBI LIKELY TO SOON SURPASS BROADCAST TV
When Fox acquired Tubi for $440 million in March 2020, there was a certain amount of surprise from industry analysts who hadn't been paying attention to free, ad-supported streaming services. But if you want to know Fox made that move, simply listen to Fox Corporation CFO Steve Tomsic, who said last week that the company expects the revenues of its ad-supported streaming service Tubi to surpass those of its broadcast networks in the next two to three years:

As of September 2020, Tubi reported 33 million active users, a 65% increase year over year (YoY). And while Fox Corporation does not yet break out Tubi revenues in its earnings, other firms have noted that free, ad-supported streaming services, including Tubi, have made significant ad revenue gains this year.

For example, MoffettNathanson said in August that ad revenues across the five major ad-supported streaming platforms—Roku, Hulu, Peacock, Pluto TV, and Tubi—jumped 31% YoY in Q2 2020 to $849 million. And according to Morning Consult, Tubi is one of the fastest-growing brands in 2020 (along with Pluto and Peacock), defined by the growth in share of consumers who expressed an interest in the brand over the course of a year.

A BIT OF HOUSEKEEPING
I'll remind everyone again next week, but just wanted to give everyone the heads-up that - barring some huge piece of media news - this newsletter will be taking an extended holiday break. The last daily newsletter of the year will be on Wednesday, December 23rd and it will resume on Monday, January 4th, 2021. There isn't likely to be much in the way of news, especially since just about every publicist in the industry will be gone. Plus, I could use a bit of a break after the craziness of the past few months. I'm going to send out a special newsletter on Monday, December 28th that will have premiere listings for the entire week. And I'll still be posting a bit on the the web site. But I plan to spend some time with my family & I'll maybe even sleep in a day or two.

ODDS AND SODS
The HBO Max app is available beginning today on Xfinity X1 and Flex. [press release]
Live streaming TV service Vidgo is offering its service for $10/month for the first two months. It's $55 a month after that, which isn't a great deal, considering its missing the broadcast network feeds of CBS, NBC & The CW as well as all of the NBCU cable networks.

RECOMENDED READING
Discovery Won’t Limit Number of Discovery+ Marketers For New Streamer (Ad Week)
Unlike NBCUniversal’s rival streamer Peacock, Discovery isn’t limiting the number of brands that can participate in the launch of its new platform.

2021 Ad-Supported TV Growth To Remain Strong, Become Fragmented (NScreenMedia)
2021 will bring continued strong growth for free ad-supported TV. But branded apps (Pluto TV, Xumo) will suffer as devices push their own.

Study Reveals SVoD Viewing Shift (Broadcast Now)
A University of Huddersfield’s Covid-TV: Routes to Content During Covid-19 qualitative paper found the majority of participants "turning to VoD as part of their habitual TV viewing", with older people "far more likely to have discovered SVoD services during lockdown" and more accessing YouTube.

Comcast Says It Reaches Hearst TV Retrans Deal (NextTV)
Agreement includes out-of-market stations previously expected to be dropped.

Song Exploder | Netflix Official Site
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Cooking Christmas (OWN)
Meagan Holder ("Pitch") stars in this family-centric holiday story as Chloe, an Atlanta-based chef at a fine dining restaurant who gets fired just weeks before Christmas and reluctantly takes a job with pro baseball player Donovan Jackson (OWN's "Greenleaf" star Lamman Rucker), who is a single dad of three needing a live-in-chef to get him through the holidays with the kids. Chloe only takes the job in order to save up enough capital to live out her dream of opening her own restaurant, but soon finds herself caught up in the ups and downs of the Jacksons encounter during her residency. Throughout the holiday season in the Jackson household the importance of family and Chloe's good Southern cooking are two constants that remain. As Christmas comes to an end, Chloe discovers that her lifelong dream might finally come true... and that her heart has a mind of its own.

2) Play On: Celebrating The Power Of Music To Make Change (CBS)
This memorable concert special will feature three stellar music lineups spanning genres from country and rock to hip hop and jazz/funk, with exciting artists just added to the performance lineups in New York City and Los Angeles. LL Cool J featuring DJ Z-Trip will now take over the hip hop portion of the lineup in what will be a magnetic performance at the famed Troubadour in Los Angeles. Also, additional artists at Apollo Theater in New York include Sara Bareilles, Emily King, Pedrito Martinez and Steve Jordan for a powerful and moving collaboration.

3) Song Exploder Volume 2 Premiere (Netflix)
Based on the acclaimed podcast of the same name, and from host Hrishikesh Hirway and Oscar-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville, each episode of Song Exploder features some of the world's greatest musicians as they reveal how they brought one of their songs to life. The series weaves together in-depth interviews, archival footage, and raw recordings as each artist breaks down their song, layer by layer, sharing intimate insight into the personal inspiration behind the music and lyrics.

4) The Voice Season Nineteen Finale (NBC)
Another winner will be announced tonight and I'm sure they'll be as successful as last year's winner......(frantically searching Google for the name).

5) 30 For 30: The Infinite Race (ESPN)
The documentary explores the story of the Tarahumara, an indigenous community in Mexico, famed for their legendary running ability, and their preference for running barefoot, who inspired an ultrarunning craze across the world, and what’s happened as their homes and communities were ravaged by drug cartels and violence.

6) Walking With Elephants (Animal Planet)
Each year, thousands of elephants make an incredible journey to the Okavango Delta in Botswana to feed on its lush vegetation, in one of the biggest natural events on the entire planet.

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, December 14th, 2020

14 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, December 14th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by hot tea and a lot of antacids.

2021 MIGHT BE A TOUGH YEAR FOR SVOD 
Maria Rua Aguete, Research Director for OMDIA, has a report out today that forecasts a challenging 2021 for most SVODs. In the report, she argues that while 2020 was a great year for streamers, they have now exhausted the pool of new subscribers who are the low-hanging fruit of subscriber acquisition. So 2021 will likely be more difficult, particularly for Apple TV+:

The four fastest-growing services of 2020 were Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+, and Amazon Prime. All saw significant net adds stemming from COVID-19-affected markets. In 2021, all these services are expected to see significant declines in net additions. For Netflix and Amazon, 2021 will be their smallest year of growth in absolute terms since 2015.

For Apple TV+, the future is even more stark. After seeing a bumper year of growth, it is expected that the service will churn subscribers throughout the year, losing almost 8 million by year-end. This will partially be due to the end of generous free trials, but also due to the small library of content available on Apple’s subscription platform.

Image

'THE OFFICE' HEADS TO PEACOCK NEXT MONTH, WITH FIRST TWO SEASONS AVAILABLE ON PEACOCK AVOD
At this point, it's not news that the long-running NBC comedy The Office is headed to the NBCU streamer Peacock in January. What is new today is that Peacock announced the first two seasons of the show will be available for free on the free, ad-supported version of Peacock. 

I have complicated feelings about the importance of moves like this one. Peacock was able to outbid Netflix last year and secured the show for five years, at a reported cost of about $100 million per year. That's not Big Bang Theory money, but it's a hefty investment. Given the optics of the show not being available on Peacock, the company had no choice but to nab the rights, whatever the costs. But despite all of the hype, I'm not convinced Peacock having The Office is any sort of gamechanger. Yes, it's nice to have an I am sure plenty of subscribers will be happy. But will having the entire run of The Office available on Peacock encourage anyone to subscribe?

Based on what I heard a few weeks back from an executive at Netflix, the answer is probably "No." Last month I spoke to someone at Netflix on background and was told that while The Office was an extremely popular series on the service, subscribers who watched the most of the series tended to be long-time subscribers to the service. There also appeared to be a subset of those subscribers who watched the show in intermittent long stretches. Which led company engineers to suspect these subscribers would turn on the show and leave it on as background while they were doing other things. Especially since many of these viewers seemed to be randomly watching multiple episodes.

But while their data is by no means perfect, having The Office available didn't encourage people to subscribe to Netflix. But it was another reason for them to stay.

I have no doubt having The Office available on Peacock will be good for the streaming service. But I suspect their experience will match what was seen by Netflix engineers. It's a good show to have on your service. But it's not going to lower subscriber acquisition costs to any great degree. Of course, that fact won't stop the flurry of hot takes next month when the show hits Peacock.

ODDS AND SODS
Sky is adding Amazon Prime Video to its pay TV services in Europe. The app launches today on Sky Q, Sky Ticket and Now TV in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. Sky's Now TV and Sky Ticket platforms will also launch on Amazon's Fire TV devices as part of the deal.

Tubi arrives today on the Roku platform in Mexico. It includes some curated channels from Mexico's media giant TV Azteca.

RECOMENDED READING
How A Tiny Startup Fixed The Future Of TV (Protocol)
Reelgood doesn't make shows, and it doesn't make TVs. What it does is try to make sense of the future of TV and movies. And it's doing it really well.

Dish And Cox End Long Retrans Dispute, Restore 14 Stations in 10 Markets (NextTV)
Dish Network has announced a multi-year agreement with Cox Media Group to restore 14 stations in 10 markets that had been blacked out on the satellite TV operator’s platforms since July. 

Disney Analyst Downgrades Stock: 'Now The Hard Part Begins (Hollywood Reporter)
BMO Capital Markets analyst Daniel Salmon downgraded his rating on Disney's stock today, citing recent gains. In a report entitled "Now the Hard Part Begins," he made Netflix his top pick.

Roblox Acquires Loom.ai, Accelerating Development Of Avatar Realism And Emotions (Roblox)
Roblox announced today the acquisition of Loom.ai, a privately-held company specializing in real-time facial animation technology for 3D avatars, using deep learning, computer vision, and VFX.

How 'Slings & Arrows' on Acorn TV made a Shakespeare fest a cult hit - Los  Angeles Times

WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) A California Christmas (Netflix)
With his carefree lifestyle on the line, a wealthy charmer poses as a ranch hand to get a hardworking farmer to sell her family’s land before Christmas.

2) Celebrity IOU Season Premiere (HGTV)
Drew and Jonathan Scott offer renovations from Hollywood A-listers to individuals who've made a lasting impact on their lives. The celebrities this season include Zooey Deschanel, Allison Janney, Rainn Wilson and Justin Hartley.

3) Christmas With The Tabernacle Choir (PBS)
Kelli O'Hara and Richard Thomas join Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir.

4) Deliciousness Series Premiere (MTV)
Host Tiffani Thiessen and panelists Angela Kinsey, Kel Mitchell and Tim Chantarangsu celebrate the funniest food moments on the internet from home cooking disasters to barbecue fails.

5) Haul This House Series (fyi)
Haul This House follows the larger than life exploits of the Nickel Brothers –a Vancouver-based multigenerational family business who specialize in buying houses set for demolition, re-selling them to homeowners who want a home on the waterfront at a reasonable price, and then hauling these massive structures via truck and barge to their hard-to-reach-destinations. As picturesque as the Pacific Northwest is, these roads are also loaded with obstacles – pitch black nights, hanging power lines, massive hills, tight roads and even sinking landscapes present only a few of the challenges they’ll face.

6) Hilda Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
As Hilda explores new places and hidden spaces around Trolberg, her love of adventure and a growing streak of independence could lead her into trouble.

7) Lonestar Christmas (Lifetime)
When a single mom Erin (Stephanie Bennett) takes her daughters to spend Christmas with her estranged dad on his Texas ranch, she unexpectedly falls in love with local restaurateur Mateo (Marco Grazzini) while learning to forgive her father for the past.

8) Reunions (Acorn TV)
In this heartwarming, contemporary French drama, two half-brothers who learn about each other’s existence after the death of their father inherit a hotel on the paradise island of Réunion. Since the hotel is on the verge of bankruptcy, Jérémy (Loup-Denis Elion) and Antoine (Nicolas Bridet) and their respective families make huge sacrifices in working together to turn things around. Chloe (Laëtitia Milot), Jérémy’s companion, is immensely excited by the prospect of moving to the island with its stunning white sandy beaches and sees it as the ideal opportunity to start a new life, where the couple can leave behind their massive debts. She plunges herself enthusiastically into management with Jérémy and Antoine, who are from different races and economic classes. But things are not as rosy as they seem. This series explores the importance of family, parenthood and the class divide.

9) Slings & Arrows Virtual Reunion (Acorn TV)
Celebrate the critically-acclaimed, cult Canadian comedy Slings & Arrows series with a virtual reunion taped in October 2020, by ATX TV. The participants include cast and creators Bob Martin, Susan Coyne, Mark McKinney, Martha Burns, Luke Kirby and Paul Gross.

10) Tiny Pretty Things Series Premiere (Netflix)
When an attack brings down the star student at an elite ballet school, her replacement enters a world of lies, betrayal — and cutthroat competition.

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 Friday, December 11th, 2020

11 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, December 11th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by the thought of an upcoming weekend...It's a short one today. It's been a long week.

DISNEY INVESTOR DAY 2020
You already know what was announced yesterday, so let me just pass along a few semi-unrelated thoughts, inspired by a number of hot takes I've read in recent hours.

* It's certainly an impressive lineup of titles. Yet I have to admit to feeling slightly underwhelmed. A number of analysts this morning were touting how close they were to predicting everything Disney announced. But to me, that is less about their predictive expertise and more about Disney's predictable slate of new programs.

* And "new programs" is a mushy term in this context. A lot of the stuff that was highlighted had been previously announced and some of the other projects are pushed out so far into the distance that there is a decent chance they won't actually go into production. Perhaps I'm cynical, but it's difficult for me to count on any live-action TV series going in front of a camera when it's being announced for a 2023 premiere date.

* I was somewhat surprised only one Disney film is headed for its extra-cost "premium" Disney+ tier. But to be honest, I'm not convinced there are enough people willing to pay $20 or $30 for a mid-level film to make it financially worthwhile.

* If movie theater chains should be mad at anyone, they should be mad at Disney. Disney has announced ten Star Wars projects and nine Marvel projects will premiere exclusively on Disney+ over the next four years. And some of those projects could have easily had a theatrical premiere.

* There was a lot announced yesterday. But nothing from 20th Century Studios, Fox Animation or Searchlight Pictures.

* One of the less well-known side stories from yesterday was that a number of established writers are unhappy with Disney's push to make directors the showrunners on many of the Marvel-produced TV shows. I'll have a longer piece about this next week, but I did post a fairly snarky piece this morning which lays out the general complaints.


The Prom' on Netflix: What to know and how to watch
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) A Trash Truck Christmas (Netflix)
When Santa crash-lands in the junkyard on Christmas Eve, Hank, Trash Truck and their animal friends all have a hand in rescuing the holiday for everyone.

2) Canvas (Netflix)
A grieving grandfather struggling to reclaim his passion for painting after suffering a loss finds the inspiration to create again.

3) Clifford The Big Red Dog Season Premiere (Amazon)
Join Emily Elizabeth and her big red dog, Clifford, as they explore their island home and go on new adventures! With a fun and furry new cast of characters and brand-new songs, Clifford's world, and heart, just keep on growing!

4) Curious George Season Premiere (Peacock)
First introduced to the world of children’s literacy over 75 years ago, Curious George was created by Margret and H.A. Rey in 1941 and remains one of the most beloved children’s classics of all-time. The animated series targets preschool viewers and follows the adventures of everyone’s favorite monkey and his insatiable curiosity to bring delightful antics, gentle humor and heartfelt emotion to each fun-filled episode. With a focus on education, the Emmy award-winning program incorporates early concepts in math, science, technology and engineering and encourages children to use their imagination and expand their own investigations of the world.

5) Crafts In America Season Premiere (PBS)
For more than a decade, Craft in America has taken viewers on cultural journeys across this nation, honoring craft artists and documenting the dynamic evolution of contemporary craft. 

6) Disney Channel Holiday House Party (Disney)
Hosted by Miranda May (Bunk'd), the ensemble of comedic actors will deck the halls with a variety of wacky characters and hilarious sketches, including a Gen Z influencer take on a Charles Dickens classic, a Disney Wand ID fail and a “High School Musical” throwback. Starring are Raphael Alejandro, Suzi Barrett, Issac Ryan Brown, Kylie Cantrall, Scarlett Estevez, Kaylin Hayman, Ramon Reed, Trevor Tordjman, Ruby Rose Turner and Tobie Windham.

7) Giving Voice (Netflix)
Students from across the US audition for a spot in the August Wilson Monologue Competition, culminating in a riveting final round on a Broadway stage.

8) I'm Your Woman (Amazon)
In this 1970s set crime drama, a woman is forced to go on the run after her husband betrays his partners, sending her and her baby on a dangerous journey.

9) Inn Love By Christmas (Lifetime)
Mandy Leeds (Jonna Walsh), a successful young woman living in Miami, is climbing her way up the corporate ladder in the hotel industry. Though she doesn’t get back to her small northern hometown much, this year her Gram (Jayne Eastwood) is able to finally convince her to come home for Christmas. Mandy has another reason too - the quaint local inn is for sale, and she wants to acquire it for her company. With her eyes on the prize, Mandy travels back home but on her way there, she runs into Lucas Menzino (Jesse Hutch) — her high school rival — who also has his eye on the inn as well.

10) Michael Kosta: Detroit. NY. LA (Comedy Central)
The special was filmed at The Gem Theatre in Detroit, New York Comedy Club in New York City, and The Improv in Los Angeles over three separate nights. This one-of-a-kind, three-city special, highlights the silly yet thought-provoking observations of a self-aware mid-westerner. The result is a nostalgic and hilarious reminder of what life was like pre-pandemic, when people could be in rooms together and laugh, carefree. Topics include: side boob, Leonardo DiCaprio, and even the 2nd Amendment.

11) My Lottery Dream Home: Holiday Extravaganza (HGTV)
David Bromstad will show fans how to deck the halls like a lottery winner—but on a realistic budget—in My Lottery Dream Home: Holiday Extravaganza. The popular HGTV designer will transform a living room into a lush Christmas tree forest, set a spectacular tablescape for a festive dinner party and adorn a home’s exterior with so much holiday razzle dazzle that the whole neighborhood will cheer.

12) Safety (Disney+)
Safety is a drama inspired by the empowering story of former Clemson University football safety Ray McElrathbey (Jay Reeves), a young man facing a series of challenging circumstances, whose dedication and persistence help him to triumph over repeated adversities. Aided by his teammates and the Clemson community, he succeeds on the field while simultaneously raising and caring for his 11-year-old brother Fahmarr (Thaddeus J. Mixson).

13) Small Axe: Alex Wheatle (Amazon)
This episode follows the true story of Alex Wheatle, award-winning writer for your people, and his own remarkable and often hilarious journey through the care system, and then to prison following the Brixton uprising of 1981.

14) The Mess You Leave Behind (Netfix)
A teacher starts her job at a high school but is haunted by a suspicious death that occurred there weeks before... and begins fearing for her own life.

15) The Prom (Netflix)
A group of down-on-their-luck Broadway stars shake up life in small-town Indiana as they rally behind a teen fighting to bring her girlfriend to prom.

16) The Wilds (Amazon)
A group of teen girls from different backgrounds must fight for survival after a plane crash strands them on a deserted island. The castaways both clash and bond as they learn more about each other, the secrets they keep, and the traumas they've all endured. There's just one twist to this thrilling drama..these girls did not end up on this island by accident.

17) Where's Waldo? Season Premiere (Peacock)
Twelve-year-old Waldo (Joshua Rush) and his best friend Wenda (Haley Tju) are members of the Worldwide Wanderer Society—the international order of curious travelers who circle the globe celebrating cultures and solving problems through observation. Their mentor—Wizard Whitebeard (Thomas Lennon), a seasoned wanderer—sends these inquisitive young adventurers on international travel missions so they can earn their stripes and someday become wizard-level wanderers too. But standing in Waldo and Wenda’s way is their rival Odlulu (Eva Carlton), who can’t help but cause trouble wherever she goes.

18) Wolfwalkers (Apple TV+)
In a time of superstition and magic, a young apprentice hunter, Robyn Goodfellowe, journeys to Ireland with her father to wipe out the last wolf pack. While exploring the forbidden lands outside the city walls, Robyn befriends a free-spirited girl, Mebh, a member of a mysterious tribe rumored to have the ability to transform into wolves by night. As they search for Mebh’s missing mother, Robyn uncovers a secret that draws her further into the enchanted world of the “Wolfwalkers” and risks turning into the very thing her father is tasked to destroy.

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, December 10th, 2020

10 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, December 10th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Ginger Ale and some Manwich.

THE TICKING TIME BOMB THAT IS DAN SCHNEIDER
News broke later yesterday that Paramount+ is working on a reboot of the Nick teen series iCarly, starring three stars from the original series. It's not surprising news, given how all of the streamers are mining whatever old IP they have available. But it's a reminder of the the mysterious disappearance of Dan Schneider, who co-created and produced a number of successful series for Nickelodeon in the 1990s and early 2000s.

After writing and producing on the variety series All That and Keenan & Kel, Schneider created and produced The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, iCarly, Sam & Cat and Henry Danger. At the time, he was described as the "Norman Lear of kids television" and while that's a bit much, he was the most influential teen show producer of the era. But by all reports, he was also a difficult person to work with and work for. He was well-known in the industry for his tirades towards cast, crew and any network executives that were unlucky enough to get in his way. And in early 2018, it all came to an end when Nickelodeon suddenly severed ties with Schneider and his production company Schneider's Bakery. The network paid him some undisclosed amount of money to essentially go away (reportedly in the range of $7-10 million). But he appears to still retain his ownership interest in the series he created and produced. Including iCarly.

Now you wouldn't know that from the coverage of the iCarly news, which seems to all be designed to pretend this problem doesn't exist. Schneider hasn't given an interview since he split with Nickelodeon and I have spent a depressing amount of time over the past two years trying to piece together an in-depth story. No one at Viacom is willing to discuss the matter publicly & despite having spoken with close to 40 people who worked on one or more of his shows, I was never able to nail down some of the primary details enough to publish some of the more troubling allegations.

All of this is made more complicated by some of the crazy stories that surround Schneider. This April 2018 piece of mine discusses some of them, which will send you deep into the Hollywood Pedophilia conspiracy rabbit hole. For the record, while I have heard some allegations of fairly horrific behavior by Schneider, pedophilia isn't one of them. But it's a believable allegation to many people, given some of Schneider's unsettling social media posts, which had a strange fascination with the feet of various cast members of his shows.

The real problem for Viacom is that they apparently received several HR complaints about Schneider, which were ignored and/or settled privately. There were complaints about his behavior from network executives, with one former exec telling me they ultimately refused to deal with him directly. None of this issues were dealt with at the time and all of these allegations are out there just waiting to explode. And if that is going to happen, it's likely to be brought on by former co-workers and employees who haven't forgotten how they were treated. And who see the return of some of his shows as a slap in the face. 

If you are in corporate communications at ViacomCBS, the temptation is to just ignore the issue and hope it doesn't explode. But while it can take much too long, these stories almost always surface. Usually at the worst possible time. Like when you're trying to rebrand and relaunch a streaming service that is the core part of your business moving forward.

FYI, here is some of the pieces I've written about Schneider over the past couple of years. They are not nearly as specific as I would like. But that's the challenge when you are trying to report out a story where so many people are still afraid of the consequences of talking publicly.

03/28/2018: Dan Schneider's Exit From Nickelodeon Leaves Many Answered Questions

04/02/2018: Former Viacom Exec: 'I Never Saw Any Evidence' Of Sexual Misconduct With Dan Schneider

04/04/2018: #Pizzagate, Hollywood And The Great #Pedogate Conspiracy

09/22/2018: Guest Column: 'This Is Me Screaming'

05/20/2020: Whatever Happened To Dan Schneider?

DISNEY INVESTOR DAY 2020
Disney's investor day takes place late this afternoon after I send this out but likely before you read this. So rather than making a bunch of predictions, I'll just note that WarnerMedia's dual release announcement last week gave Disney execs a lot of cover today. They'll likely announce a multi-approach release schedule and the advantage the company has now is that any moves they make will likely seem tame compared to WarnerMedia's move.

NETFLIX'S TOP FOREIGN MOVIES AND TV SHOWS
It's such a crazy day that I don't have much time to spend on this piece in the Wall Street Journal, which touts typically vague numbers provided by Netflix that claim a "50% increase" in the amount of foreign programming being viewed by U.S. subscribers. Now if you've been reading this newsletter for awhile, you know I think international content is an area where Netflix leads its competition and I believe Netflix's increased investment in local production internationally is an extremely wise move. Still, this piece doesn't include a single piece of actual data and while I expect more from WSJ reporting, I know that it's difficult for reporters to say no when offered up some exclusive non-specific data they can use to build a viral story around.

Film-Forward – Let Them All Talk
WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Alice In Borderland (Netflix)
A video-game-obsessed young man finds himself in a strange version of Tokyo where he and other visitors must compete in deadly games to survive.

2) Funny Boy (Netflix)
A satudent must navigate issues of sexuality, identity and family amid Sri Lanka's social turmoil of the 1970s and 1980s.

3) Haute Dog Holiday Special (HBO Max)
It’s a Winter Wonderland – but the competition isn’t heating up, it’s cooling down! Join our groomers as they get in the howl-iday spirit, unleashing festive creations on their furry friends for a shot at a holly jolly gift of $10,000.

4) House Of Ho Series Premiere (HBO Max)
The multi- generational family docusoap House of Ho chronicles the daily lives of patriarch Binh Ho, matriarch Hue Ho, their daughter Judy Ho, their son Washington Ho and his wife Lesley Ho, Aunt Tina, and Cousin Sammy.

5) Let Them All Talk (HBO Max)
Let Them All Talk tells the story of a celebrated author (Meryl Streep) who takes a journey with some old friends (Candice Bergen and Dianne Wiest) to have some fun and heal old wounds. Her nephew (Lucas Hedges) comes along to wrangle the ladies and her literary agent (Gemma Chan) also books herself on the trip.

6) One Night Only: The Best Of Broadway (NBC)
Several of Broadway’s best shows will take over the streets of New York City with special performances from the casts of “Ain’t Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations,” “Chicago,” “Jagged Little Pill,” “Diana: The Musical,” “Jersey Boys,” “Mean Girls,” “Rent” and an appearance by the cast of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”The night will also showcase special sneak peaks at Broadway shows coming in 2021.

7) Summer Camp Island Season Three Premiere (HBO Max)
Let Them All Talk tells the story of a celebrated author (Meryl Streep) who takes a journey with some old friends (Candice Bergen and Dianne Wiest) to have some fun and heal old wounds. Her nephew (Lucas Hedges) comes along to wrangle the ladies and her literary agent (Gemma Chan) also books herself on the trip.

8) Time Person Of The Year (NBC)
In addition to the 2020 Person of the Year, the special will spotlight TIME editors’ selections for the categories that recognize the influence of individuals in specific sectors: Businessperson of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, Athlete of the Year and Guardians of the Year. 

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, December 9th, 2020

09 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, December 9th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Ginger Ale and some Manwich.

THE FINE LINE BETWEEN GENIUS AND MADNESS
I was a financial reporter for a SF Bay-area start-up during the tech boom and I can tell you that it is often difficult to tell the difference between someone making a decision that will leapfrog the competition and one that will destroy a company. At the time, most industry folks thought the Time Warner/AOL merger was forward-thinking. Although it was clear to any of us in the tech sector that the deal was a shotgun marriage with no real plan of what to do after the wedding. 

But I also remember interviewing Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings in maybe 1999. At the time, Netflix was the equivalent of an online Blockbuster and the company seemed like a great idea that was likely to be scooped up some large video chain. What amazed me about the interview was that Hastings talked more about the future than what the company was up to at the moment. And he spun this future where movies would be delivered online directly to consumers. He didn't have all of the details worked out and this discussion was taking place at a time when maybe 80% of Netflix's customers still connected with the Internet via a dial-up connection. But he and the other Netflix executives were willing to bet their company on a future that they knew was out there, even if they couldn't clearly see the details.

Like most media reporters, I've been covering the fallout from WarnerMedia's decision last week to move its entire 2021 movie slate to a simultaneous release schedule in movie theaters and on its streaming service HBO Max. As you might expect, it hasn't been a popular move in the movie industry, even though the decision only applies to the U.S. market. Theater chains already struggling stay afloat are worried this will lead other studios to make similar decisions and the stars, profit participants and other people connected to the various movies involved in the decision have been screaming about the impact it will have on the industry. There are threats of lawsuits and arguments that this move will poison the studio's relationship with the creative community.

I think the general consensus in Hollywood is that this is an insanely destructive decision that will likely also be costly to both WarnerMedia and the various participating parties. But what if it's also the best decision for the long-term success of the company?

Owning a studio is a financial high-wire act in the best of times. The history of the industry is littered with once-thriving studios that collapsed after one or two very bad decisions. Everyone loves to talk about the movies that can bring a billion-dollar global box office. But those unicorns are extremely difficult to create and at a time when there are fewer mainstream movies being made and they're increasingly expensive...well, even the most theatrical-loving movie executive might be looking a long-term lifeline.

It's clear that streaming is an increasingly large component of the American movie industry. And while it's true that streaming can't generate the same revenue as a traditional box-office hit, in an era when any studio just has a handful of those each year, is there a way to thread the needle between large box offices and massive write-offs?

Putting myself into the mind of WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, this would seem like the perfect moment to roll the dice a bit. To take a leap and force the move towards streaming that is coming whether studios want it to or not. By announcing this move now, it does a couple of things. It forces other studios to respond and also gives warning to the creative community that change is coming. The company will take a beating in the short-term and it will be an expensive process. But if things work out just right, WarnerMedia will end up with a simultaneous release for its mid-range titles and can have a flexible theatrical window for its biggest releases. 

The move will also give a boost to HBO Max while also giving WarnerMedia an out for later in 2021. For instance, ultimately deciding to retain the traditional theatrical release for late 2021's "Matrix" and "Dune" will allow the company to reap the increased revenue from a holiday theatrical release after using the possibility of a simultaneous release to build momentum for its streaming business. 

There are certainly a lot of downsides. It's likely to poison its relationship with some big name talent and it might miss out on some potential unicorn projects. But if it ends up with a successful streaming service, a more reliable pipeline for small and mid-level films and a less unpredictable revenue stream, then it's worth it. And if the simultaneous release window works in the U.S., WarnerMedia can roll it out in other territories as HBO Max continues its global rollout.

Kilar isn't going to share his thoughts with me about any of this. But assuming that he is committed to the wholesale restructuring of his business, then this might be the start of a generational change that be painful but ultimately will leave WarnerMedia in a better position for the inevitable hybrid theatrical/streaming future that the industry is painfully headed towards.

HULU'S HOLIDAY PLAYLIST
One of the most popular features in both Spotify and Apple Music are the curated playlists. It's now a large number of subscribers are pointed to new music and the collection of genre and time-themed playlists offer an easy entry for subscribers who want to listen to a certain type of music, but don't feel like spending the time assembling their own playlist.

I have been surprised that this feature hasn't been more aggressively utilized by SVODs. Sure there are some automated lists of new titles or content arranged by themes. But there is no real thought behind the curation, it's more driven by data that suggests which titles should be included. In this case, data is fine, but most people like some sense of curation with playlists. They don't mind the decisions being data-driven, but they don't want it to be obvious or clumsy.

Hulu is doing a nice job with their holiday section, which includes holiday-themed movies and television shows arranged in various themes. But what really makes the section fun are the quirky original videos that are included alongside the more traditional choices. There is video of a roast cooking in the oven, a Kitten-themed holiday party and my personal favorite, a 45-minute "Thermostat Wars" video that is nothing but video of an old-school home thermostat on a wall. And every few minutes, a hand comes in to adjust the temperature up or down.

Maybe they'll create a video for New Year's Eve, which is just an hour-long countdown video that just shows a table full of snacks that is slowly consumed as the timer ticks down to midnight.

Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas The Musical - Trailer - YouTube

WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Alabama Snake (HBO)
This documentary explores the story of October 4, 1991, when a violent crime was reported in the sleepy town of Scottsboro, Alabama.

2) Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love Christmas Special (Netflix)
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… until Ashley has visions of a not-so-festive future dancing in her head on Christmas Eve.

3) Dr. Seuss' The Grinch Musical (NBC)
Matthew Morrison (“Glee”) stars as the curmudgeonly Grinch. He is joined by Denis O’Hare (“Big Little Lies”) as old Max, Booboo Stewart (“Descendants 3”) as young Max and talented young newcomer Amelia Minto (“The Lost Girls”) as Cindy-Lou Who. Producers have also assembled an ensemble of top musical theater actors from London’s West End to complete the cast.

4) Rose Island (L'Incredibile storia dell'Isola Delle Rose) (Netflix)
An idealistic engineer builds his own island off the coast of Italy and declares it a nation, drawing the attention of the world — and the government.

5) The Big Show Show Christmas Special (Netflix)
Ho, ho, nooo! After an injury forces the Big Show to cease all Santa duties, Cassy steps up as Mrs. Claus to keep the Christmas spirit alive.

6) The Challenge: Double Agents Season Premiere (MTV)
This is the thirty-sixth season of the series The Challenge and it features contestants from The Real World, Road Rules, The Challenge, Are You the One?, Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother, Celebrity Big Brother UK, The Amazing Race, Survivor, Geordie Shore, Ex on the Beach (U.S.), Shipwrecked, America's Got Talent, WWE NXT, and Ultimate Beastmaster competing for a $1 million prize.

7) The Great Christmas Light Fight Season Premiere (ABC)
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as season eight of the holiday classic begins. Four festive families face off in the season premiere with the Reynolds family showcasing their vibrant and whimsical handcrafted garden display in La Verkin, Utah; the Fiore family building a stunning Christmas town surrounding their home with facades completely encased in brilliant lights in Wilmington, Massachusetts; the Trevisano family building a cozy Teddy Bear Christmas Land with twinkling lights filled with over 100 stuffed teddy bears in St. Louis, Missouri; and the Barbieri family, putting on the Lights on Liberty display, featuring pyrotechnics, hand-built animatronics and a giant storybook, for its 40th year in Deer Park, New York. Tune in to watch judge Taniya Nayak choose the winner of the $50,000 and the coveted Light Fight Trophy.

8) The Surgeon's Cut Series Premiere (Netflix)
The Surgeon’s Cut profiles four ground-breaking surgeons from around the world, each with a visionary approach to their craft. Viewers will follow along as they perform innovative operations and procedures, and reveal personal insight into their journey into medicine, providing a unique window into the world of surgery. Through the individual stories of these experts, the series explores how our understanding of the human body is constantly being reinvented by new discoveries and techniques. Specialty areas featured include fetal medicine, neurosurgery, transplant surgery and cardiology.

9) The Trial Of Christine Keller (HBO Max)
This BBC series retells the story of the Profumo affair, a '60s controversy that helped end the Conservative Party government of U.K. prime minister Harold Macmillan.

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, December 8th, 2020

08 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, December 8th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by apple juice and a Philly Steak sandwich.

Today's newsletter is a short one, thanks to some virtual press events. Be back to full strength tomorrow.

THE YEAR IN YOUTUBE GAMING
YouTube Gaming posted some 2020 stats for the service and globally it has streamed about 100 billion hours of gaming content so far this year.

The most streamed games this year were:

Minecraft: 201 billion views
Roblox: 75 billion
Garena Free Fire: 72 billion
Grand Theft Auto V: 70 billion
Fortnite: 67 billion

If you're not familiar with Free Fire, it's probably the most popular game most Americans have never heard of. It's a mobile Battle Royale-style game that is exceptionally popular in South America and Asia.

CBS ALL-ACCESS ROLLS OUT MORE VIACOM SHOWS
The streaming service soon to be known as Paramount Plus added a number of Nickelodeon and Teen Nick titles to its catalog today, including Drake & Josh, Jimmy NeutronThe Dude Perfect Show, I Am Frankie, Knight Squad, The Mighty B! and T.U.F.F. Puppy.

REDBOX LAUNCHES AVOD
The news that Redbox is launching an AVOD isn't especially big news. Especially when the offering is not just lightweight but also has an interface that makes it nearly impossible to determine when a movie is ad-supported or just available for rent. No, what fascinates me is the PR effort behind the announcement. 

You would presume that this announcement would be a high PR priority for Redbox, but you wouldn't know that at the company's media center, which appears to have last been updated in August. No mention of the new AVOD, not even the press release. Hmm...so maybe we'll reach out to someone in the corporate communications department on the "media contact" page. Which turns out to be a generic contact form that encourages "National and Local Media and Bloggers: For media inquiries regarding Redbox, please submit the contact form below."

Which is certainly a great approach if this was 2003 and my deadline was sometime tomorrow. In a media world where so many companies are vying for attention, I am always fascinated to see how many media-ish companies make it so difficult to reach someone directly.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Here are some of the stories that have been posted on AllYourScreens.com in the past 24 hours:

Apple TV+ Announces Early Season Three Renewal For 'For All Mankind'

Redbox Launches AVOD Platform Redbox Free On Demand

Nigella Lawson’s Bizarre Pronunciation Of 'Microwave’ Lights Up British Social Media

BBC Announces Streaming-Centric Restructuring

HBO's MOVE documentary "40 Years a Prisoner" being promoted with a  drive-through exhibit

WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) A Christmas For Mary (OWN)
Vivica A. Fox stars with Jackée Harry and Morgan Dixon ("Being Mary Jane") in a holiday tale of rediscovery and renewal when up-and-coming journalist Lena Jones (Dixon) is tasked with delivering a story by Christmas that will wow her boss, magazine editor Vivian Vaye (Fox), who is dangling a promotion to head writer over Lena's head. Intrigued by a portrait of a mysterious woman painted by her late grandfather, Lena journeys to the small town of Pineville, where with her mother, Deborah's (Harry) blessing and support, Lena uncovers a long-ago forgotten tale of young love that not only uncovers cherished memories of the past, but also inspires Lena to follow her heart and find her own true love ... and her perfect Christmas story.

2) Emicida: AmarElo: It's All for Yesterday (É Tudo Para Ontem) (Netflix)
Between scenes from his concert in São Paulo's Theatro Municipal, rapper and activist Emicida celebrates the rich legacy of Black Brazilian culture.

3) 40 Years A Prisoner (HBO)
The documentary chronicles one of the most controversial shootouts in American history: the 1978 police raid on the radical, back-to-nature group MOVE by the Philadelphia Police Department. Using eyewitness accounts and archival footage of the not widely known confrontation, the film illuminates the story of a city grappling with racial tension and police brutality with alarming topicality and modern-day relevance. Mike Africa Jr., the son of two MOVE members imprisoned for the death of a police officer that day, has committed his life to finding out the truth about what really happened and fighting for the release of the parents that he has only ever known through prison walls.

4) Lovestruck In The City (Netflix)
Heart stolen by a free-spirited woman after a beachside romance, a passionate architect sets out to reunite with her on the streets of Seoul.

5) Mr. Iglesias: Part 3 (Netflix)
As he begins a new relationship, Gabe pushes his students to face their fears, dream big and believe in themselves — lessons he tries to take to heart.

6) Spirit Riding Free: Ride Along Adventure (Netflix)
Join Lucky and her friends on a mission to save Maricela’s beloved mare, Mystery, from greedy horse thieves who've taken her captive with a wild herd.

7) Super Monsters: Santa's Super Monster Helpers (Netflix)
When Santa needs serious help prepping all of his presents, the Super Monsters lend a hand — and some monster magic — to get every gift out on time!

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, December 7th, 2020

07 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, December 7th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by industrial levels of caffeine.

WILL HULU BE FOLDED INTO DISNEY+ BECAUSE THERE'S STRENGTH IN NUMBERS?
I don't enjoy pointing out bad media journalism, but Collider has been on a streak of cranking out these vague "what if?" stories that get a lot of social media play but aren't especially reality-based. This piece is from Friday, but it's worth pointing out because the premise of the piece is along the lines of "well, *some people* think this makes sense":

Questions remain as to what Disney+ would look like in that scenario, but it wouldn't be too difficult to put parental controls on mature content, or require some kind of passcode to access certain films and TV shows. While some naysayers suggest Disney would never do anything to jeopardize its family-friendly brand, others argue that consumers have become savvy enough to navigate those choppy waters.

Questions remain because combining the two services would be a programming and engineering nightmare. And then there are contractual problems. Plus that one nagging issue that finally gets addressed in the last paragraph of the piece:

Of course, complicating matters is the fact that Hulu offers a Live component that allows ad-ons, so not only are people watching the three major networks via Hulu, but they're also accessing HBO, Showtime and Starz through the streaming service. I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this in the weeks and months to come -- and possibly at Disney's upcoming Investor Day on Dec. 10. Until then, click here to read about WB's decision to release its entire 2021 slate simultaneously on HBO Max and in theaters.

Ah, the tease to other content, the true indicator that this is basically just clickbait. Which, as the owner of a website, I have no problem with the concept. But as a reader - and as a media journalist - this type of article is just useless.

YEAH, SMART GUY. BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE FUTURE OF HULU?
This might sound like an excuse, but I don't think anyone outside of the Disney executive suites knows the answer to that question. We might find out more later this week at Disney's upcoming Investor Day. We do know that outside the U.S.,  Disney will be focusing on Star, a streaming service that can best be described as Hulu for the rest of the world. Disney execs have made a point of saying they don't see Hulu expanding its reach, and then there is that pesky payout to Comcast in a couple of years. So where does that leave it? 

A lot of people have speculated about whether that "Disney 18+" video that was recently circulating on Twitter was real and if it is, what does it mean? 

So when it comes to Hulu, there seem to be three scenarios. One, it stays more of less than same as now, maybe with a rebranding. Some originals, a focus on next-day viewing and on-demand content. The downside is that this limits the growth of Hulu in the long-term and then there are real questions about how much access Hulu will have to Comcast programming beginning in 2024. 

The second scenario is one in which Hulu undergoes a "Disney 18+" type reboot. It becomes the home for Disney's more adult fare, including some of the more adult films that seem likely to slip theaters in the U.S. and go directly to streaming. There is also a place for more of Fox's impressive collection of classic movie titles, most of which aren't streaming anywhere. 

The third option is the extinction-level event for Hulu. Everything is rolled into some version of Disney+, albeit with different subscription tiers. There's the current Disney+, a more adult tier and the Disney+ Premium, which is home for one-off premium events such as "Mulan." This seems to be the option industry pundits are predicting, but it just seems needlessly complex and confusing. 

My guess is that we'll see some version of scenario two at some point, but that's just a guess. It's the option that makes the most sense to me as an outsider, but outsiders aren't the ones that make these kind of decisions. 

2020 PREDICTIONS
I don't usually do "Best of the Year" lists, because they tend to be pretty predictable. Most critics end up selecting a lot of the same shows and there aren't many lists I read where I find myself being surprised at the selections. But I am doing a list of predictions for 2020 and it's in the form of a wish list. I'll outline some things in the media world I'd like to see happen in 2020. Even if some of them are a bit unlikely.

If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear from you. Send your media world 2020 wish to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I'll include them in the piece, which posts next Monday. I'll identify you by the first letter of your first and last name unless you tell me otherwise.

Christmas & Holiday Movies: Watch Online | Lifetime

WHAT'S ON TODAY:
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:

1) Bizarre Foods, Delicious Destinations Season Premiere (Cooking)
Andrew Zimmern explores the driving forces behind the cutting-edge food scene in Chicago. With exotic ingredients and innovative techniques, food suppliers in the Windy City are pushing the limits. Whether it's a fish dish made with ambergris or a world-class charcuterie, Andrew finds that Chicago can feed his appetite for new food experiences!

2) Nurses Series Premiere (NBC)
Filmed and set in Toronto, follows five young nurses working on the frontlines of a busy downtown hospital, dedicating their lives to helping others, while struggling to help themselves.

3) Pickwick Pack Series Premiere (Disney Jr)
Four animal friends work together to deliver magical surprises to the kind citizens of their bustling town.

4) The Santa Squad (Lifetime)
Allie (Rebecca Dalton), an out of work art teacher, has to accept a job with the Santa Squad to help wealthy widower Gordon (Aaron Ashmore) and his two precious daughters rediscover the magic of Christmas. As Allie is lifting the holiday spirits of the family with Christmas decorations, cookies and shopping, her kindness is rewarded with the most unexpected of gifts: love!

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, December 3rd, 2020

03 December, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, December 3rd, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by sweet tea and leftover enchiladas

WARNERMEDIA DEMOLISHES THE THEATRICAL WINDOW FOR 2021
There aren't many decisions in the entertainment industry that can legitimately be described as being "groundbreaking." But WarnerMedia's announcement today that it is is disregarding the traditional 90-day theatrical window in its entirety for at least 17 major titles launching next year. The studio plans to release the films to theaters and HBO Max on the same day in the U.S., a decision that I don't think any analysts saw coming. WarnerMedia still plans to stick to a traditional release plan in other parts of the world, which I suspect is as much a reflection of the limited global reach of HBO Max as it is any vote of confidence in the strength of the world's theatrical market.

"We are living in unprecedented times, which call for creative solutions, including this new initiative for Warner Bros. Pictures Group," Ann Sarnoff, chair and CEO of the WarnerMedia Studios said in a statement. "No one wants films back on the screen more than we do. We know new content is the lifeblood of theatrical exhibition, but we have to balance this with the reality that most theaters in the U.S. will likely operate at reduced capacity throughout 2021."

The films being released in this two-track way include Wonder Woman 1984, Dune, The Suicide Squad, The Matrix 4The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Reminiscence, Malignant, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard and Cry Macho

There are a lot of implications to this decision and it's going to take weeks before we see how it all shakes out. How will this decision impact the planning for other studios? Will this encourage Universal to change its current approach, which offers a shortened theatrical window? There had already been rumors that Disney was considering shifting some of their mid-level films directly to Disney+. Will this force them to accelerate that decision?

And what impact does this move have on HBO Max's competitors? And it's not just from the standpoint of having movie releases that can compete with the WarnerMedia lineup. How is any service going to cut through the promotional clutter this summer when major movies are hitting HBO just about once a week? 

This move also makes me suspect that WarnerMedia has come to some sort of carriage agreement with Roku, even if it hasn't been announced. This decision is going to cost WarnerMedia a lot of money. But it will be a bloodbath if subscribers can't access the service on Roku devices.

And the most important question is the one we probably won't have an answer to until 2022. What will the theatrical window look like in the U.S. after the pandemic is under control? 
Sundance Now Takes 'The Commons,' Starring Joanne Froggatt - Variety
WHAT'S ON TODAY:

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

1) Anything For Jackson (Shudder)
After losing their only grandson in a car accident, grief stricken Audrey and Henry, a doctor, kidnaps his pregnant patient with the intentions of performing a “Reverse Exorcism”, putting Jackson inside her unborn child.

2) Battlebots Season Premiere (Discovery)
Sixty teams from across the globe have converged for the hardest hitting, unremitting, steel splitting tournament in combat robotics. Unproven rookies, up-and-coming stars and legends in the game will throw their fearsome fighting machines into the BattleBox for a chance to walk away with the preeminent prize in robotic sport:

3) Break (Netflix)
After a serious accident, Lucie tries to rediscover herself as a dancer and meets Vincent, a talented b-boy battling his own insecurities.

4) Bugs Bunny's 24 Carrot Holiday Special (HBO Max)
The Looney Tunes are here to get you in the holiday spirit with Bugs Bunny's 24-Carrot Holiday Special. Duck the halls with Porky and Daffy as they travel to the North Pole on a mission to save Christmas.

5) Chico Bon Bon And The Very Berry Holiday (Netflix)
The Fix-It Force makes a plan to hit every home as fast as they can, delivering Blunderberry Cakes before the town awakes to avoid a holiday disaster.

6) Conspiracies Decoded Series Premiere (Science)
Was the Titanic doomed before it set sail? Does the Turin Shroud really show Jesus Christ? Has Amelia Earhart’s body finally been found? Today, cutting edge forensic science may hold the key to solving these questions and more.

7) Flipping Across America (HGTV)
HGTV follows two sets of well-known stars and flipping masters with similar house purchase prices and reno budgets. Designer and real estate developer Alison Victoria guides viewers across the country to find out which of these experts best economize their flips.

8) Heaven's Gate: The Cult Of Cults (HBO Max)
An intimate, four-part series that explores the infamous religious movement and the stranger-than-fiction circumstances that culminated in the biggest mass suicide to ever take place in the U.S.

9) Just Another Christmas (Netflix)
Stuck in a time loop where it's forever Christmas, a family man who hates the holiday starts to learn valuable lessons about what's important in life.

10) Killer Cases Series Premiere (A&E)
Viewers get a first-hand look as they hear from police officers, forensic experts, witnesses, and sometimes even the defendants themselves. Then—with cameras inside the courtroom capturing every twist—the legal drama unfolds as the evidence stacks up and the final verdict is revealed. It’s a journey through the criminal justice process that gives viewers an inside look at real cases like never before.

11) My Gift: A Christmas Special From Carrie Underwood (HBO Max)
Underwood will appear with a live orchestra and choir, performing a combination of beloved traditional favorites celebrating her faith and the spiritual nature of the holiday, as well as new original material from the highly anticipated album which was released on vinyl October 30th.

12) Mysteries Of The Abandoned Season Premiere (Science)
An abandoned North Carolina ghost town which briefly served as the backdrop for the dystopian blockbuster film The Hunger Games. A world-renowned yoga center nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas that once recruited the likes of The Beatles and Mia Farrow in search for Nirvana, now untouched and left alone for decades. A vast labyrinth of subterranean tunnels lying beneath the busy streets of Ukraine with ties to KGB spies, Nazis and criminals who once called the catacombs home.

13) Rocket Around The Christmas Tree (Discovery)
In an epic and explosive holiday themed rocket competition, teams of deck-the-hall daredevils put their rocketry skills to the test each week as they compete in a series of explosive contests to determine who can take their holiday cheer to new heights and walk away with the coveted ‘Golden Rocket-Tree Topper’ trophy.

14) Stylish With Jenna Lyons Series Premiere (HBO Max)
Join Jenna Lyons in her new business aimed at helping people find their own style.

16) Swamp People: Serpent Invasion (History)
The Cajun Navy returns to Florida to help battle the incredibly dangerous and invasive species of Burmese pythons destroying the Everglades. Last year was just the start of a very successful hunt and capture of these aggressive creatures, but now, the pythons are breeding at unprecedented rates.

18) The Commons (Sundance Now)
Eadie (Joanne Froggatt) just wants a normal life, but the world around her won’t let her have it. A brilliant, 38-year-old neuropsychologist, Eadie longs to have a child with her vector biologist husband, Lloyd (David Lyons, ER, Eat Pray Love, Revolution), but multiple unsuccessful IVF treatments have put her dreams of motherhood on hold. Meanwhile, the world around her is in chaos, as global warming and parasitic diseases have made the divide between rich and poor even greater. The Commons is a compelling drama about how interpersonal relationships, and the needs, hopes and desires that everyone has, still exist in a rapidly changing world.

19) Tripping with Nils Frahm (Mubi)
A legendary artist at a legendary location: Tripping with Nils Frahm captures one of the world’s most sought-after live acts performing at one of Berlin’s most iconic buildings.

20) The Voice Holiday Celebration (NBC)
An array of “Voice” coaches past and present, some music superstars and many beloved artists from the “Voice” family perform holiday classics and popular modern favorites. Plus, Season 19 coaches, Blake, Kelly, John and Gwen share some of their favorite holiday traditions and memories.

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.