Displaying items by tag: Too Much TV

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, November 11th, 2020

11 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, November 11th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Apple Juice and mini-Snickers bars.

It's a bit of a crazy day here, with lots of virtual interviews as well as the normal TV news. 

IF A TV SHOW AIRS AND NO ONE TALKS ABOUT IT, DID IT REALLY AIR AT ALL?
Both NBC and CBS have season premieres tonight for some of their higher-profile dramas and I'm struck by how little buzz I am hearing about them. Yes, this is a very odd pandemic-centric year and that has had a profound impact on promotional efforts. But even given that disclaimer, it just feels as if most of the broadcast network shows are just marginal players at best in the pop culture zeitgeist. Speaking with various network publicists, I just don't get any sense of urgency to change things up or try and market their shows in ways that might reach new eyeballs. It's as if they've decided that since most people are going to be watching the shows on a time-shifted basis, they don't need to be as aggressive trying to obtain pre-air publicity. Which just seems like an odd choice to me.

CAN THESE EXECS SAVE VIACOM/CBS' STORIED CABLE BRANDS?
Variety's Cynthia Littleton has a really great piece on efforts by Chris McCarthy and Nina L. Diaz to turn around Viacom's cable networks.

Some day someone is going to write a great book about the last 20 years of Viacom and how the company has squandered numerous chances to reboot itself into the digital age. You could assemble a couple of decent collections of digital executives from all of the people who have cycled through Viacom on their way to somewhere that could make better use of their talents. 

But there is also the open question of whether the Viacom/CBS approach to content is the right one in the long-term. Bob Bakish believes with all of his heart that the future of Viacom/CBS lies in being a content arms dealer: expending as much effort as possible selling Viacom IP off to other outlets. And while those efforts have helped boost the bottom line of the company, there are real questions about whether the net result is that Viacom will hobble its own efforts to turn around its cable outlets as well as its streaming services:

The new approach was evident earlier this year when McCarthy’s group opted to sell Darren Star’s dramedy series “Emily in Paris” to Netflix rather than have it air on ViacomCBS’ Paramount Network as planned. McCarthy recognized that the show would perform much better in a binge-watch streaming environment than it would as a weekly series on linear TV. “Emily in Paris” has ranked as one of Netflix’s most watched series since its Oct. 2 premiere.

For sure, figuring out the right formula for scripted programming for the linear cable networks is one of the big challengers McCarthy has to tackle with his expanded channel portfolio. Paramount Network, which has enjoyed a sleeper hit with Kevin Costner-starrer “Yellowstone,” has set a new course that will emphasize original telepics with a focus on providing opportunities for emerging directors. Comedy Central, meanwhile, is significantly upping its investment in animated series in the hopes of finding a next-generation “South Park."

Moves like the selling off of Emily In Paris are ones that I find perplexing. Yes, it's true that Emily In Paris probably had more of a cultural impact at Netflix than it would have had on Paramount. But if you're trying to build on the success of Yellowstone by building up your scripted roster, wouldn't having Emily In Paris on the schedule be a wise move? Viacom could have still sold the season to Netflix and while they would have generated less revenue, it would have been better for the network in the long run.

And that's the thing I find so perplexing about Viacom/CBS. The company's insistence on prioritizing short-term revenue gains over long-term growth.


WHAT'S ON TODAY:

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

1) A Queen Is Born (Netflix)
Gloria Groove and Alexia Twister make drag dreams come true as they help six artists find the confidence to own the stage in this makeover show.

2) Aunty Donna’s Big Ol' House Of Fun Series Premiere (Netflix)
Australian comedy group Aunty Donna invites you into their Big Ol' House of Fun! In their new Netflix original six-part sketch series, Aunty Donna’s Big Ol' House of Fun, Mark Samual Bonanno, Broden Kelly, and Zachary Ruane take viewers along for an absurdist adventure through their everyday lives. Come on inside if you’re prepared to handle satire, parody, clever wordplay, breakout musical numbers, and much more.

3) Eater's Guide To The World Series Premiere (Hulu)
Join narrator Maya Rudolph on a quest to find the most unexpected places to score an epic meal, while drinking and dining with the locals along the way.

4) S.W.A.T. Season Premiere (CBS)
Hondo, his father Daniel Sr. (Obba Babatund), and his teen charge, Darryl (Deshae Frost), confront the history of racial tension in Los Angeles between law enforcement and the Black community through flashbacks to the city in 1992 following the Rodney King verdict. Also, the SWAT team pursues El Diablo's scattered drug cartel hiding in the city and a Jihadist group detonating bombs in coordinated attacks.

5) The Liberator Series Premiere (Netflix)
Based on “Operation Avalanche” in WWII, this film follows the Allied invasion of Italy and the story of the regiment known as the "Thunderbirds."

6) The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City Series Premiere (Bravo)
The Mormon church is undeniably engrained in the culture of Salt Lake City, but these women represent a spectrum of religious beliefs ranging from Mormon, Islamic, Jewish and Pentecostal. Here perfection is not an aspiration, it’s a mandate.  With a deep-rooted history, these women share a special bond, but when circles are this tight it’s only a matter of time before beliefs and personalities collide. Whether hitting the slopes, attending parties at Sundance or hosting the city’s elite, these housewives hold themselves and each other to an extremely high standard and never hold back when things go sideways, but lord knows they are always there for each other when they need it most.

7) What We Wanted (Netflix)
A couple facing fertility issues finds their marriage tested on a vacation to a Sardinian resort — and the family next door only adds to the tension.

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, November 9th, 2020

09 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, November 9th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by unsweetened ice tea and leftovers.

ABOUT THAT FRIDAY NEWSLETTER
You might have noticed that you didn't receive a newsletter on Friday. I had one all ready to go, but I forgot to follow one of the cardinal rules of writing a newsletter: it's not a newsletter until you actually click "send."  

MORE DATA ONLY HELPS IF YOU UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT
If I was going to put together a list of the "Rick's Rules For The Media Industry," this would be in the Top 10. Everyone wants as much data as possible in order as they work towards what they hope is the best, data-driven decision. But more data only makes the situation clearer if you understand the context behind the raw numbers.

The Entertainment Strategy Guy posted this piece on his web site and it talks about Nate Silver, election polls and how more data is only helpful if you understand the context in which it's been collected:

Let me provide just one example from my experience. In my previous role at a streamer, I gathered all the data to help the key decision-makers decide what shows to order and renew. Yet, the data wasn’t mine alone. Often, executives wanted the data immediately. Meaning a streaming show premieres on a Friday morning, and the executives wanted email updates for how the show was performing. Sometimes hourly! Several times, a show would start slow, for whatever reason, and finish strong. Or vice versa. But executives checking every hour would often use their first impression as the takeaway for how the show did.

In other words, I routinely saw the mistakes being made for this election at  a big company in America.

This is one of the reasons I am less concerned with raw viewing numbers than most TV critics. Yes, it would great to have more specific viewing numbers from the various streamers. But I can completely understand why they wouldn't want to provide them. Given the lack of understanding you  see from media reporters when it comes to even basic trends in the industry, there is almost zero chance they could properly frame viewing numbers that may or may not reflect global viewing and may be gathered over different time frames and various platforms.

What I do find helpful is seeing comparative  tracking of how shows are doing compared to each other. Whether that comes from Netflix's Top Ten lists or Nielsen's fledgling streaming Top Ten. The raw viewing numbers are less interesting to me than getting a sense of how viewership compared to other projects. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to get more data. It's just that without having the correct context, the data can be deceiving at best.

EPIC GAMES, DISNEY+ EXPAND THEIR RELATIONSHIP
Epic Games runs Fortnite, one of the most popular games of 2020 and it's current season features players skins and weapons of a number of Marvel characters. It's been a monumental success with players and it's also been one of the best uses I've seen of the Marvel Cinematic Universe outside of the feature films.

Epic announced early Monday that it is expanding its relationship with Disney and will offer players the chance to earn a discount on the streaming service Disney+. According to Epic, beginning on Wednesday, Fortnite players in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand and who are new subscribers to Disney+ can receive up to two months of service when they make a real-money purchase in-game.

"After years of a strong relationship between Disney and Epic, we’re excited to expand on our collaboration with the new Disney+ Fortnite offer,” said Michael Paull, president of Disney+, in a statement. "We’re coming up on the 1-year anniversary of Disney+ and delighted to mark the occasion by extending the Disney+ experience and incredible content to Fortnite’s passionate fans."

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO WORK WITH NETFLIX ON A SHOW
Forbes has a fascinating interview with Michael Price, who is the co-creator, Executive Producer and Showrunner of the Netflix animated series F Is For Family. He has some interesting perspective on the creative process and interaction between him and Netflix executives:

It's definitely a different form of storytelling. When we first pitched it to Netflix, we had in mind more of a standard, Simpsons style of storytelling, where each episode was self-contained. But then when Netflix ordered it, they urged us to embrace serialization. 

It was challenging at first, but when we started really thinking about it, it became very stimulating. Now I can't imagine the show that other way, I can't picture it at all. 

Over these first four seasons, we move from September of 1973, to Halloween in 1974, so we see these characters grow and expand in this world, move forward in time. They’re still carrying grudges from what happened in season 1. 

This is a really great interview. Lots of stuff about The Simpsons, which Price has worked on for a number of years.

WHAT'S THE FUTURE OF NOGGIN?
One of the things that got somewhat buried in last week's CBS/Viacom investor's call is that the company is apparently planning on shutting down the majority of its smaller niche streamers, including the kids-oriented Noggin. That streamer is an interesting case, because it requires almost no new content. Nearly everything currently available on Noggin is either shows that were airing on the linear channel Noggin before it was rebranded or acquired programs from smaller distributors and overseas markets such as the U.K. and Australia. Noggin has even continued to use the old linear channel characters Moose and Zee. 

Buried in the announcement of the likely closings was the factoid that Noggin apparently has around 2.5 million subscribers currently. Which I believe is in the ballpark of what the subscriber numbers are for BET+. So given those numbers and overall lack of effort needed to keep it going, does it makes sense to close Noggin? Or if you are going to close it, can you roll it into the upcoming Paramount+? That latter move only makes sense if Paramount+ will offer a dedicated kids interface, so parents could limit what their kids are watching when they aren't supervised.

ODDS AND SODS
Voters in both Denver and Chicago have overwhelmingly thrown their support behind local community broadband projects.

NickALive!: DreamWorks' 'The Mighty Ones' Was Once Set To Be A Nickelodeon  Series
WHAT'S ON TODAY:

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

1) Bargain Mansions Season Premiere (HGTV)
A busy mother of four, expert designer and restoration enthusiast buys dilapidated manors surprisingly cheap and uses budget-conscious design to turn them into forever homes for families. Working alongside her father and mentor, Ward Schraeder, Tamara takes care to keep the homes' historic features and unique architectural charm intact, while she modernizes layouts and adds luxe amenities to attract top dollar from buyers. The fresh renos include a dark and dated 1960s Colonial whose untouched façade gets a bright transformation and the complete rebuild of a 1940s brick ranch-style house to add a second story and a finished basement with a media room. In addition, the episodes spotlight Tamara taking on personal projects in her own Kansas home, including updates to the main bathroom and backyard deck.

2) Christmas Cookie Challenge (Food)
Eddie Jackson and Ree Drummond challenge five daring cookie makers to prove their holiday skills through two rounds, as Eddie and Ree are joined each episode by judges Gesine Prado and Jason Smith to determine which bakers will have the best Christmas of all, walking away with a $10,000 prize.

3) Industry Series Premiere (HBO)
This new series gives an insider's view of the blackbox of "high finance through the eyes of an outsider, Harper Stern (Myha'la Herrold), a talented young woman from upstate New York. Through the eyes of these young grads fueled by ambition, romance and drugs, Industry examines issues of gender, race and class in the workplace as the impressionable new employees begin to forge an identity within the pressure cooker environment of Pierpoint & Co.'s trading floor. They were promised meritocracy, but hierarchy is king.

4) The Big Bake: Holiday (Food)
Host Brad Smith conjures up images of freshly fallen snow, glistening ice crystals and the prettiest snowflakes to inspire the baking teams to craft winter wonderland cakes for judges Harry Eastwood, Nancy Fuller and Eddie Jackson. Host Brad Smith conjures up images of freshly fallen snow, glistening ice crystals and the prettiest snowflakes to inspire the baking teams to craft winter wonderland cakes for judges Harry Eastwood, Nancy Fuller and Eddie Jackson.

5) The Mighty Ones Series Premiere (Hulu)
In every backyard, a secret world exists filled with tiny creatures. The Mighty Ones follows the hilarious adventures of a group of creatures: a twig, a pebble, a leaf and a strawberry. These best friends, self-named "The Mighty Ones," live in an unkempt backyard belonging to a trio of equally unkempt humans whom they mistake for gods. Despite their diminutive stature, The Mighty Ones are determined to live life large and always have fun in their wild world.

6) The South Westerlies Series Premiere (Acorn TV)
Orla Brady stars as a single working Dublin mom and environmental consultant on the verge of a lucrative promotion, except for one final major assignment: to go undercover in a small town to quash fierce opposition to a wind farm. Incidentally, she has a complicated history in Carrigeen, where there are secrets she’d prefer to leave buried. Soon after arriving with her 18-year-old son, she runs into an ex-friend and an old flame and realizes her task won't be a breeze.

7) Undercover Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
The line between justice and revenge begins to blur when Kim's hunt for illegal arms dealers plunges Bob into a dangerous new undercover operation.

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, November 5th, 2020

05 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, November 5th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by a cup of man's most evil creation: pumpkin-spice coffee.

EVERYTIME I GET READY TO HIT 'SEND'
It's been one of those days in which so much news is coming in, I've nearly sent out the newsletter several times but been interrupted by something else I wanted to add. Here are a couple of other last-minute earning notes and then I'm sending this. Probably.

* Lionsgate posted a loss in its most recent quarter, which was expected. But Starz did very well, adding record 1.8 million streaming subscribers in the U.S. during the latest quarter. That gives it a total of 9.2 million streaming customers domestically. It also added 2.3 million Starz streaming customers in international markets, including for STARZPLAY Arabia, to get to 13.7 million subscribers overall. It's worth noting that Starz also ran some very aggressive promotions in the U.S. So it will be interesting to see the retention rates on those subscribers in the next quarter.

* Roku reported some very impressive numbers for last quarter, with active accounts increasing by 43% to 46 million, according to the company, while streaming hours rose 54% to 14.8 billion. Monetized video ad impressions were up almost 90% year-over-year in Q3, up sharply vs roughly 50% year-over-year in Q2,” said Scott Rosenberg, senior vice president of Roku’s platform business in a statement.

AMAZON VIDEO IS WORKING ON ITS OWN 'WATCH PARTY' FEATURE
At least if this job listing is any indication. The company is looking for an Android Engineer:

Do you like watching movies and TV shows with family and friends? Are you excited about building a new engaging entertaining experience for millions of customers? Prime Video Global engagement team is building new co-viewing experiences to connect customers in a socially distant world.

You get to be on the ground floor of expanding co-viewing experiences by building critical components for features that will last for many years to come. You will have the opportunity to work on new customer facing mobile and device experiences that bring a new experience for Prime Video customers.

DISCOVERY TO ANNOUNCE ITS DTC STREAMING SERVICE IN DECEMBER
Discovery CEO David Zaslav provided a bit more information about the company's plans for a new streamer during Thursday morning's Q3 earnings call. "We’re going to do an extensive discussion, with full disclosure in early December, which we’re super excited about," he told investors.  We’ll take you through every category—where we’re going, how we’re going, why we think we’re advantaged, how globally we think we can attack it, who’s helping us. The whole company has been focused on this, so in early December, we’ll come out with the whole package."

I've spoken with a number of people at the company in recent months about the efforts on background and I don't want to get too far ahead of things, especially since a lot of things apparently aren't finalized. But what I have heard makes me pretty optimistic about their plans. Discovery has a deep pocket of content to draw content from and much of it is already familiar to audiences.

One move I would like to see them make is to roll the existing SVOD Food Network Kitchen into this new service. That streamer is producing a lot of live programming featuring the current Food Network personalities and indeed over the past couple of years has renegotiated their contracts with their talent to include a digital original component. But the service also seems to be hitting a natural ceiling on how many people are willing to pay for that type of programming. One indication of that is it recently offered a year of the service for a massively discounted price to Amazon users who have an Amazon device.

An already existing Food Network stream that has an existing connection with Discovery's audience would be a win for any new streamer. And given that Discovery wants its new consumer streamer to be global and these Food Network personalities are global...well, that is what you call synergy.

I will also be interested to see how much Discovery leans into its global production capabilities with this new service. The company has already streamed several shows created outside the U.S. on its TV Everywhere app and several programs produced in Australia have aired on Discovery. It seems like another bit of natural synergy, albeit it will take some work to properly highlight the shows to the North American viewers.

BROADCAST NETWORKS CHANGE......SLOWLY
CBS is premiering a new season of its Thursday night lineup tonight and given the paucity of viewers for most scripted broadcast network shows in recent years, you would think the networks would have been trying all sorts of things in an effort to bring in new viewers. And if by "all sorts of things" you mean "ideas that should have been rolled out years ago," you'd be right. Deadline has an interview with CBS president and chief marketing officer Mike Benson and I suspect his time at Amazon Studios will be a big help for the network. Still, I find it somewhat staggering that this is seen as a cutting-edge marketing idea in 2020:

Historically, show promo campaigns would see a second wave at midseason and plenty of "holiday finale" and "midseason premiere" stunting. Benson said his view, influenced by his time at Amazon, is that marketers should see TV as a "365-day cycle. This is not just something where there’s a fall season and midseason."

Television is now a 365-day cycle? When did this happen? I'm guessing at least five years ago, but it's good to see CBS finally joining the parade. 

One other quick observation I've noted from speaking to a lot of publicists at CBS (and the other broadcast networks). Many of them still have trouble promoting their shows in unconventional ways and I think it really hurts them. A lot of that lack of vision comes from the top and I'm hoping Benson has a positive impact at CBS.

ASSUME YOU'RE IN THE MINI-SERIES BUSINESS
Writer/producer John Rogers (Leverage, The Librarian) tweeted out the picture below, which shows a note that he uses to remind him that the days of shows running eight or ten seasons is mostly dead:

People, It's not like I'm denying the realities of modern television development. This is the top left corner of my bulletin board. But it's worth looking at the old model and grokking that it's how we built the most artistically and financially successful pop medium on earth.



I've made this argument before. But the old model of television production is a lot like the golden age of albums. It made people a ton of money & allowed labels to give a band 3-4 albums to find themselves. Great stuff ensued. But once the finances changed, it was unsustainable. It's true that the old broadcast television model that allowed some shows multiple seasons to find their audience resulted in some great programs. But it was also a hugely inefficient model that could only exist when a lack of competition and huge syndication payouts kept it all afloat. Certainly streaming has contributed a lot to the trend of shorter and fewer seasons. But American television was moving in that direction already. And it's worth remembering that the shorter/fewer business model has been the norm for decades.

B Positive' CBS, from 'Big Bang Theory' creator, starts slow - Los Angeles  Times

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

1) B Positive Series Premiere (CBS)
Drew, a recently divorced father, discovers he needs a kidney and finds his donor in the last person he ever would've imagined.

2) Braxton Family Values Season Premiere (WEtv)
Following a year of love and loss, can the family come together and find their harmony once again?

3) Carmel: Who Killed Maria Marta? (Netflix)
Documentary series on the circumstances surrounding the death of María Marta García Belsunce, one of the most controversial criminal cases in Argentina.

4) Ice Road Rescue Season Premiere (NatGeo)
The Ice Road heroes face another harsh winter and new challenges. To stay on top and survive, they must take on new partnerships and explore new territories. But it's not easy when you're used to being the boss and it's time for the next generation to take on the battle of the ice roads.

5) Mom Season Premiere (CBS)
When Bonnie invites the ladies to a slumber party, childhood games reveal adult problem.

6) Operation Christmas Drop (Netflix)
Chasing a promotion, congressional aide Erica Miller forgoes family Christmas to travel across the Pacific at her boss’s behest. Upon landing at a beachside Air Force base, she clashes with her guide, Captain Andrew Jantz, who knows her assignment is finding reasons to defund the facility. The pilot’s pet project — Operation: Christmas Drop, a genuine, decades-old tradition where gifts and supplies are parachuted to residents of remote neighboring islands — has lawmakers wondering if his unit has too much spare energy. Despite their initial opposing goals, Erica softens once she  experiences the customs and communal spirit of Andrew's adopted home.

7) Paranormal (Netflix)
Skeptical about the supernatural, a hematologist is forced to investigate enigmatic events when a ghost from his past comes back to haunt him.

8) Riviera (Sundance Now)
A year has passed since the explosive finale of the last season and Georgina (Stiles) has abandoned the cursed Riviera, leaving all its devastation and damage behind to start a new life. Now a rising star in international art restitution, she has reinvented herself as Georgina Ryland, traveling the globe with a charming and charismatic new ally, Gabriel Hirsch (Graves), as they attempt to unravel a gilded conspiracy involving stolen artworks that will take them from Venice to Saint-Tropez to Argentina.

9) Young Sheldon Season Premiere (CBS)
After graduating high school, Sheldon has a breakdown when he realizes he may not be ready for college. Also, Dale tries to make amends with Meemaw

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, November 4th, 2020

04 November, 2020

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, November 4th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by a quart of coffee and a lot of election-related angst.

AMAZON'S USE OF DATA TO GUIDE PRODUCTION PROCESS ON VIDEO ORIGINALS
Amazon’s European originals head Georgia Brown has offered up a peek into the production process at the company and it's a reminder that Netflix isn't the only streamer that relies heavily on data to make decisions on the basic details of their original productions. 

Broadcast has a fascinating recounting of the production process on the upcoming reality series The Rig, which began as a pitch from outside producer Wild Mercury:

The Banijay label pitched its idea to Amazon which identified a gap in its catalogue for the show and subsequently tasked the writing team, led by debutante David Macpherson, to create a “creative package” for audience testing. The document typically sets out the tone, some scripts and potential talent attached.

Amazon’s research team then take the package to consumers to gauge whether a show is likely to skew more male or female, and which demographics are likely to respond best.

That data is used to both guide the creative direction of the show as well as to form future marketing of the series. But once the show is in production, all of the creative decisions are made without audience input and that doesn't change until a first cut of the series is finished:

At this stage audiences will be asked a series of detailed questions about a variety of areas including its characters, style and pacing, with the potential to make amends in the final edit.

"We want to make sure that we’re committed to making a show that we think the audience is going to love," said Brown.

She added that the data gathered is invaluable for helping to market shows to the right people.

"Using this research to [inform] our marketing campaign means we stand out against other SVoDs and broadcasters," she said. "It’s a hugely important part of cutting through the market."

ELECTION COVERAGE
So how many people were watching coverage last night? According to Michael Mulvihill, FOX Sports EVP / Head of Strategy, here were the Top Ten Markets for Election Night Coverage, 8:00 pm - Midnight ET:

Nashville - 41.3
West Palm - 38.5
Kansas City - 38.0
Washington DC - 37.8
San Antonio - 36.2
Atlanta - 36.0
San Diego - 36.0
Indianapolis - 35.8
Columbus - 35.8
St. Louis - 35.6

SPEAKING OF THE ELECTION
No matter who you supported for president, you are likely stressed and frustrated today. But you should know that no is more stressed than QAnon supporters,  who still haven't seen those mass arrests they were promised:



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

1) Love & Anarchy (Netflix)
A married consultant and a young IT tech kick off a flirty game that challenges societal norms — and leads them to re-evaluate their entire lives.

2) Nature: Primates (PBS)
Monkey see, monkey do. From baboons facing down leopards, to lemurs exploiting a jungle pharmacy or rhesus macaques charming their way to an easy life, discover the survival strategies used by primates, often in the most unexpected places. Bearded capuchins, counted among the smartest animals in the world, teach their young how to use tools in Brazil’s badlands. A silverback gorilla gives in to his softer side to raise his boisterous offspring in the Congo basin. Bush babies conduct an after-hours raid of a city zoo to find food in the South African winter.

3) Secrets Of The Dead: Abandoning The Titanic (PBS)
Join a team of investigators as they search for the identity of a "mystery ship" that turned away from the "unsinkable" Titanic in its darkest hour.

4) The A Word Season Premiere (Sundance)
In the two years since we left our family, everything has changed once more. Joe is ten, and living in two places at once, processing the seismic change in his life through the filter of his autism. His parents, Alison and Paul, are divorced and living 100 miles apart. His sister Rebecca has returned home from University with a secret that will change everything further. Only Joe’s granddad Maurice is holding it together, and if Maurice is the one holding it together you know you are in trouble.

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, November 2nd, 2020

02 November, 2020

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 October, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

27 October, 2020

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

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

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

Image

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

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

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

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

IMAX Reports Record $42.2M Q3 Loss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

23 October, 2020

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

22 October, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amazon Greenlights 'Lightyears'

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

20 October, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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