Displaying items by tag: Too Much TV

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, May 24th, 2021

24 May, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, May 24th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by unsweetened ice tea.

PEACOCK'S BIG MISS WITH EUROVISION
The streaming business - like nearly every other business - depends on a company's ability to successfully execute the small things. That is especially the case when you're talking about executing things such as cross-promotions across multiple product lines and divisions. Stock analysts devote a great deal of attention to the supposed upsides of "synergy" and "scale." But what good does it do to own multiple related companies if you don't spend the time to wring every last benefit out of the combined assets?

I find NBCUniversal to be the most confounding of all of the traditional television/media companies. They own a wide array of networks as well as a streaming service (Peacock) and yet too often their marketing and promotional efforts feel tired and almost as if everyone involved is just phoning it in. And that is especially frustrating when I see them miss slam dunk opportunities to cross-promote projects and use their size and scale to drive viewers to programming.

Early last week, Peacock announced that it had nabbed streaming rights to Eurovision 2021 finals, which aired live on Saturday. And while there were a couple of news stories at the time, there wasn't much in the way of promotion I could see from the streamer itself. Much less any of its sister entertainment divisions. 

I understand that everyone only had a few days to throw together a marketing plan and get it executed. And since the live show was taking place overseas, it premiered in an off primetime here in the U.S. But thanks to the success of last year's Eurovision movie starring Will Ferrell, there was an unusual amount of interest in the event this year. And if you were on social media on Saturday, you would have seen lots of talk about the show, including a hilarious running jokethon from NBC's Amber Ruffin. But what you didn't see was any effort by Peacock or NBC to promote the show. There was a lone vague tweet from the official Peacock Twitter account (with only about 130,000 followers), but nothing at all from NBC's account. Or from accounts that might have some followers who would be interested in Eurovision, such as the official Twitter account for The Voice. And before you bring up  "oh, well, it's a bit off-topic for them, that account (with its 5 MILLION followers), tweeted out stuff about the Billboard Music Awards program that aired on NBC on Sunday.

And that is my point. Why are the promotional efforts at NBCU so siloed and unimaginative? Yes, in the scheme of things a Eurovision stream isn't a huge event. But it's emblematic of the haphazard way that NBCU approaches even the simplest efforts at cross promotion.

NETFLIX DEBUTS YOUTUBE SERIES 'SNYDER SCHOOL'
Netflix is becoming increasingly aggressive on YouTube and in the past couple of years have moved from a focus on trailers and behind-the-scenes features to posting original video created especially for YouTube and social media. Today the Netflix Film Club YouTube channel posted part one of a four-part series entitled "Snyder School" to the channel's 1.3 million subscribers. In each 13-15 minute video, writer/director Zack Snyder discusses an aspect of filmmaking and how he approaches the subject. In episode one, Snyder breaks down the opening sequence of Army Of The Dead and discusses his process of putting together the nearly six-minute collage of images. If you've seen the movie already, it's a good glimpse at his work process and hopefully at some point Netflix will bundle the four "classes" into one special for the core streaming service. To watch episode one, click here.

THE WARNERMEDIA/DISCOVERY DEAL COULD HAVE WENT VERY DIFFERENTLY
Here is an interesting tidbit from the NY Times Dealbook:

In October 2016, shortly before Time Warner and AT&T announced their deal, Bob Iger, the head of Disney at the time, placed a call to Jeff Bewkes, the chief of Time Warner, according to two people intimately familiar with those details. The Disney leader asked Bewkes if he’d be interested in a possible merger. It was too late, Bewkes said. There was already something in the works. Iger wished him well and hung up the phone. Later, Iger called another media chief in the hopes of forging a deal. It was Rupert Murdoch.

ODDS AND SODS

* Netflix is breaking season five of Money Heist into two parts because of pandemic-related production delays. Part one premieres on September 3rd and part two premieres December 3rd.

* A really good look from the Hollywood Reporter on Why Local-Language Adaptations Are the Next Round of Remakes.

* Rachel Campos-Duffy, the conservative commentator and former participant in MTV's Real World, has been named new co-host of Fox & Friends weekend edition.

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert will return to The Ed Sullivan Theater on June 14 welcoming back a "full and fully-vaccinated studio audience."

ICYMI:
Here's a rundown of some of the pieces that were posted on the web site over the weekend and this morning:

* The iCarly Reboot And The Ticking Time Bomb That Is Dan Schneider
A reboot of the Nickelodeon series iCarly is premiering on June 17 and it's a reminder that Viacom still hasn't come to terms with its biggest HR problem of the past.

* Today's Song You Should Know: 'Make You Feel My Love' By Garth Brooks
It's the birthday of Bob Dylan and I highlight a cover version that has a lot of meaning for me. Because let's face it, it's all about me. 

* First Look: Murder Nation



TODAY'S PREMIERES 
1) Mad For Each Other (Netflix)
Bothered to realize thet are next-door neighbors and share a psychiatrist, a man and a woman find it's impossible to stay out of each other's way.

2) Whitestable Pearl Series Premiere (Acorn TV)
With her son grown, single mom Pearl (Kerry Godliman, After Life) pursues her lifelong dream and starts a private detective agency, which she runs from her family restaurant in the coastal town of Whitstable. Drawn by her caring nature, locals soon flock to her with all kinds of cases. But when a friend dies suspiciously, Pearl finds herself in conflict with gruff new cop in town DCI Mike McGuire (Howard Charles, The Musketeers, Liar, Shadow and Bone). The series also stars Frances Barber (Mr. Holmes, Silk, Doctor Who) as Pearl’s outspoken mother, Dolly.

3) Women In Entertainment: The Next Generation (Lifetime)
Lifetime and The Hollywood Reporter present this one-hour special that highlights the stories of extraordinary high school girls selected by Big Brothers Big Sisters LA and paired with a female Hollywood executive as a mentor. It will follow each of their journeys and see how these relationships have changed all their lives. Hosted by Padma Lakshmi, the special will also feature appearances by Anna Kendrick, Anitta, Elizabeth Olsen, Emma Corrin, Gillian Anderson, Lana Candor, Jurnee Smollett, and Kathryn Hahn, and a special performance by Sara Bareilles. This is a special about women helping women.

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, May 20th, 2021

20 May, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, May 19th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by unsweetened ice tea.

WELCOME TO THE NEW SUBSCRIBERS
The piece I wrote on Jason Kilar for yesterday's newsletter turned out to be a bit of a viral hit, so much so that I broke it out into a separate piece for the web site so it was easier for people to share. Here is the link. I also heard from number of people who had thoughts about his possible exit from WarnerMedia. If you have any comment, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and with your permission, I'll share it in tomorrow's newsletter. And if you'd like to talk to me on or off-the-record about the situation, I'd also like to hear from you.

For those of you who are new subscribers, each daily newsletter is divided into two parts. Part one is a mix of commentary, reporting and links to reporting I think you should read. The exact mix depends on the news of the day. Part two is highlights of the new programs premiering that day on linear television and streaming.

QUIBI SHOWS PREMIERE ON ROKU CHANNEL
The first round of 31 shows from the archives of the late mobile-first streaming service Quibi premiered today on the Roku Channel. They are ad-supported and available on the Roku Channel app if you have a Roku. You can also stream them online at this link.

No matter what you think of Quibi's business model or management, the service created some impressive shows and watching them on a screen reminds you that the company's biggest flaw was to wait so long to make its programming available on the big screen. Shows such as The Fugitive, #FreeRaychawn and Most Dangerous Game look as impressive as the programming on any existing streaming service. But as much as people watch programming on mobile, they seem to also want to option of watching it on a bigger screen.

Here is a rundown of all the Quibi programming available today, with some brief descriptions.

DIVERSITY AND THE WORLD OF TV AND MOVIE CRITICS
I have a soft spot for the Chicago Tribune, in large part because I sold my first freelance pieces to the newspaper back in the dinosaur days. Nina Metz writes about TV and the movies for the Chicago Tribune and in this piece, she tackles a thorny problem with the entertainment press: if diversity matters when it comes to who makes TV and film, then it’s just as important when it comes to who writes about the stories about those projects. She spoke with several POC critics about the problems they face with access and just getting the same opportunities as their white, often male, colleagues. TV and movie critic Sharronda Williams described the problem this way:

“When you’re a Black journalist and you ask for a screener, they send you to the multicultural PR agency, which only deals with POC journalists, talent and movies,” she said. “So because I’m Black, I have to be segued to a whole different department.”

Why does she think that’s the system in place? “I’m sure the studios have these multicultural departments in order to make sure they’re including us. But if my white colleague can go directly to a studio contact but you automatically send me to a multicultural contact because I’m Black, that’s modernized segregation.

And often, she said, her requests are denied or simply ignored. Many critics of color express similar frustrations.

Williams also expresses frustration over the fact that POC critics often are pigeonholed by studios and publicists:

“Editors come out of the woodwork every Black History Month saying, ‘Can you write something?’ and then disappear until the next year. Or the only time they’ll reach out to you is to write about a Black title. But we watch all types of films and TV shows! Black people loved ‘The Undoing.’ We love watching messy dramas that don’t necessarily center around the Black experience. But outlets and the studios think that Black people don’t watch white movies or sci-fi or comic book movies, or that Black critics aren’t covering these things. We’ve really been put in a box as to what we supposedly consume.”

It's a really good piece and it highlights a problem that could be fixed by simply hiring a more diverse staff and then making sure they all have the same access and opportunities.

APPLE HAS 'LOST INTEREST' IN TV, CLAIMS ANALYST
Speaking at Freeview’s Out Of the Box event, top analyst Benedict Evans said that “ownership of content has no strategic value to tech companies,” and specifically said that “Apple has lost interest in TV.” The analyst said that “it is important to remember what the tech players are trying to achieve by investing in video” and suggested that the device-agnostic nature of streaming services is antithetical to the strategy of companies like Apple and Google.

I don't think this take is entirely accurate. I do think that even though Apple TV+ is more than a year into its existence, company executives still can't figure out how to create a service that is easy to use and compelling enough to get millions of people to subscribe. Apple TV+ has created some really top flight programming. But not enough to make it anywhere close to a "must subscribe" service, which is why Apple keeps extending various free offers to keep subscribers around. And without a deeper catalog of titles, Apple TV+ feels more like a niche product than a robust streaming service.

ODDS AND SODS

* How much do the 'Real Housewives' get paid? And who pays for those trips?

* In the category of "okay, whatever," Disney+ announced today that Hocus Pocus 2 is coming to the streamer in 2022. No details yet, other than the fact that Bette Midler will be involved.

* Season eight of Brooklyn Nine-Nine will premiere August 12th on NBC.

* Variety has announced a couple of promotions on its TV coverage team.  Diane Garrett has been promoted from her role as an editor in the Focus features department to the title of Senior TV Editor. Michael Schneider - currently senior editor, TV awards - is also adding the title of Deputy TV Editor. Both of them report to Variety co-editor in chief Cynthia Littleton.

* Bravo premieres a new culinary show on July 1st entitled Top Chef Amateurs.

CLASSIFIEDS:
Experience The OZY FEST
OZY Fest, the one-of-a-kind festival described as "TED meets Coachella," is back for a virtual celebration of great entertainment and the biggest conversations, streaming live May 15-16. Hang out with Dr Fauci, Condoleezza Rice, Sevyn Streeter, Malcolm Gladwell, Tig Notaro + more. Register now.

Want to advertise in this newsletter? Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


TODAY'S PREMIERES 
1) Adventure Time: Distant Lands (HBO Max)
When a powerful and dangerous dragon breaks free from its prison beneath the Glass Kingdom, Glassboy—a young bookworm—sets out to find the legendary hero who first defeated the dragon centuries ago: Marceline the Vampire Queen. Marcy, now living in domestic bliss with Princess Bubblegum, is apprehensive about revisiting the Glass Kingdom. It’s a place that holds bad memories for her and Bubblegum. With the help of Glassboy and some new friends, Marceline and Princess Bubblegum will have to confront their rocky past as they face off against an ancient foe.

2) Carmen Christopher: Street Special (Peacock)
In his debut comedy special, Carmen Christopher does stand-up in the toughest room of all: the streets of New York City.

3) Genius Factory (Discovery+)
In the 1980s, eccentric billionaire Robert Graham funded the largest legal genetic experiment in human history to create the world’s smartest kids. Thirty years later, the children of his eugenics experiment walk the streets of America as adults. For the first time, people who worked at the bank are ready to talk, and the genius children are going to meet each other and find out who their fathers are. Never before has nature versus nurture been tested quite like this.

4) Going From Broke Season Two Premiere (Crackle)
Six new cast members drowning in massive debt get help from inspirational guests and financial experts to overcome their financial struggles. The inspirational guests include executive producer Ashton Kutcher, Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky, co-founder of Resy, Empathy Wines and VaynerX Gary Vaynerchuk, actor David Costabile (LincolnBillionsBreaking Bad), award-winning entrepreneur, investor, and bestselling author Kim Perell, Andi Kirkegaard of Kirkie Cookies and the founder of The Scholarship System Jocelyn Paonita Pearson.

5) Gomorrah Season Premiere (HBO Max)
The new season clearly turns the spotlight on Genny (Salvatore Esposito), the lone Savastano dynasty survivor: a character who has shed countless skins in the process of morphing from Don Pietro's spoiled brat into family boss, husband and father. In fact, the new season sees him on his best behavior precisely for the sake of Azzurra (Ivana Lotito) and little Pietro: with his own family to protect and an activity to reboot, he feels the need for a major life change, committing to legit business while sneaking out, as best he can, from the world his father had him grow up in. His interests in Naples are now entrusted to Patrizia (Cristiana Dell’Anna) who, having first betrayed and then killed Scianel, former female leader of The Alliance, has earned her rank within the Savastano clan. Along with Genny, to level the scores and keep the peace in gangland, they will lean on the Levante clan, a branch of late Donna Imma's family. Meanwhile Enzo (Arturo Muselli) and Valerio (Loris De Luna), having tightened their grip over the central Naples turf, are faced with new challenges. 

6) Special Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
Ryan really needs to get his shit together. It's been two months and he still hasn't spoken to Karen since their fight and he has a gnarly case of writer's block that's getting him in hot water with Olivia. Enter Tanner, a fun, flirty dance instructor who charms Ryan despite not being totally available. When his writer's block eventually lifts, he's inspired to write a longform piece about disability. From there, he begins a journey of self-discovery that creates unexpected complications in his relationship with Tanner. Meanwhile, Kim lets her guard down when she meets Harrison, a sensitive tech mogul with a humble background - but her insecurities and jealous tendencies continue to hamper her personal life and threaten to push Harrison away. With her spiraling credit card debt driving Kim even further towards rock bottom, she makes a hard choice to regain control of her finances and personal life. Since taking care of Ryan was her life's purpose until their fight, Karen realizes that she needs to take an active approach to create a fulfilling life for herself - beyond just taking care of her ailing mother. Will she be content with continuing to clean up everyone else's messes, or will Karen be able to lean into her newfound independence and create a life that centers around her own desires for once?

7) Too Close Series Premiere (AMC+)
Drama starring Emily Watson as dedicated forensic psychiatrist Emma Robertson, who is assigned to assess the sanity of Connie Mortensen, a ‘yummy mummy’ accused of a despicable crime.

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, May 19th, 2021

19 May, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, May 19th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by unsweetened ice tea.

IN DEFENSE OF JASON KILAR
When news broke on Sunday that AT&T was spinning off WarnerMedia and combining it with Discovery Inc., one of the first questions centered on the fate of WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar. 

There were a number of pieces in the trades that quoted unnamed entertainment industry sources who were almost gleeful about the prospect of Kilar exiting the company. The Wrap posted "The Brief Rise And Fall Of Jason Kilar, WarnerMedia's Soon-To-Be-Ex CEO," which included this memorable opening paragraph:

“Just because someone knows a business well doesn’t mean they know how to actually run the f—ing business,” one showrunner says.

A piece in the NY Times entitled "A Titan Ascends In The Media World's Game Of Thrones" was more circumspect, but still made sure to lay out of all Kilar's supposed missteps:

With a swagger that astounded Hollywood — who does this outsider think he is? — Mr. Kilar implemented a wide-ranging overhaul, ousting two of WarnerMedia’s top television programmers, smashing the company’s infamous silos, and enraging A-list filmmakers, stars and agents by abruptly deciding to release movies simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max. His 2020 pay package was worth more than $52 million.

It also included the often-heard charge from people in Hollywood: that Kilar didn't understand the importance of relationships in the industry:

“Let’s hope the new management has less disdain for creative talent,” said Jason E. Squire, the editor of “The Movie Business Book” and a professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.

Deadline had a piece entitled "Hollywood Cheers AT&T Retreat, Viewing Discovery As More Talent-Friendly Warner Steward," which was filled with the optimism supposedly felt by industry-types now that the big meanie Jason Kilar was likely on his way out:

Few mergers are perfect, and the time between now and the completion of the Discovery-WarnerMedia transaction promises to be a stretch with yet more uncertainty and executive comings and goings. But numerous people in the film world Deadline spoke with felt a newfound sense of optimism about life under David Zaslav. The longtime Discovery boss, who will run the combined entity, is perceived as more industry-savvy and talent-friendly than the current regime at the top.

But here's the thing: in this case the conventional wisdom of Hollywood is wrong.

There has never been a mature industry that has disrupted its familiar business model willingly. IBM ignored the personal computer market until it was too late, Blockbuster famously passed at the chance to acquire Netflix. Most rational people don't want to give up a familiar revenue stream for a new business model that is unfamiliar and risky.

And yet, that's often the best move in the long run. Embrace a short period of extreme pain and get through it as quickly as possible. The other option is to delay change as long as possible, hoping things will magically improve or that you can get through the transition without any discomfort.

While no comparison between two industries is exact, I think it's fair to compare the challenges faced by Kilar when he took over WarnerMedia from John Stankey to those faced by the music industry when Napster rise to popularity in 1999. That person-to-person file sharing program quickly became massively popular. The ability to seamlessly share files of individual songs at a time when consumers were still primarily purchasing entire albums on CD permanently altered the way people thought about music and how to listen to it. It was a disruptive idea that was quickly embraced by consumers not swayed by musicians who wanted every track of their albums heard in the order they intended. 

It didn't take long for Napster to be sued by both the music industry and by individual groups such as Metallica. At the time, Napster head Shawn Fanning tried to convince the industry to work with him and his pitch might sound familiar to people who worry about the future of the movie and television industry in 2021: "revenue in your industry is slowly falling. Consumers want to enjoy content in this new way. So let's figure out how to make this happen and build new revenue streams. You can willingly make the changes now and get it over with or you can wait until the changes are forced on you by the market and by consumers."

Like in the movie industry of 2020, the music industry of two decades years ago couldn't see past the "this is the way we've always done it" mentality and Napster was taken offline by lawsuits. The result was 15+ years of plunging profits, piracy concerns, battles with Apple iTunes and things didn't begin to turn around until the rise of streaming music services brought some semblance of predictable revenue. As for the musicians like Metallica, they discovered that the music labels had consolidated into three large companies and figured out a way to grab the lions share of digital revenue. While the musicians who actually created the music that drove the industry made pennies.

When Kilar took the lead role at WarnerMedia, he was faced with the similar existential challenge that faced the music industry twenty years ago. A softening market battling the rise of new technology and increasingly strong competitors. He could have made changes around the edges, but not only would that not have solved the problem, I suspect he knew the fickle and unpredictable management of AT&T would be impatient. He opted to make massive changes at WarnerMedia, hoping to evolve the company quickly enough to outrun the dangers buffeting the industry.

We can quibble about some of the decisions and no executive is perfect. But the overall arc of Kilar's efforts was to reshape WarnerMedia into a company that was equally at home in the traditional theatrical business or the newest digital markets. His much criticized decision to move WarnerMedia's theatrical slate to a same day digital release on HBO Max not only reflected the more pessimistic take on the pandemic last spring, it also was an opportunity to force the movie business towards a future when the theatrical window is dependent on the movie and the audience. And indeed, it's worth noting that Disney has adapted that mixed release approach, moving some releases directly to Disney+ and others to its $20 "premium" tier.

Despite what passes for conventional wisdom in Hollywood, the probable exit of Jason Kilar from WarnerMedia isn't an indication that he didn't understand the creative community or that he overreached in his decision making. It's a reflection of the reality that he wasn't able to move the massive media company fast enough to begin seeing the results demanded by an impatient AT&T.

A common mantra in Hollywood is that the American movie and television industry is built on relationships. And that is certainly true to an extent which isn't really healthy in many cases. Building business relationships around word-of-mouth and interpersonal connections means that abusers are able to continue their abuse for years because no one wants to burn any potential bridges by being known as someone who complains. It means that support staff and the infrastructure that keeps the industry running often works long hours in unhealthy situations because raising your voice could potentially cost you the chance to continue to work in the future.

It also means that people can confuse how someone makes them feel with the validity of their decision-making process. It leads otherwise rational people to give interviews describing Discovery as a more "talent-friendly" place simply because you don't like your current boss.

Jason Kilar wasn't the perfect boss. But he was the right one for WarnerMedia and he is often willing to burn personal relationships in service of making the correct business decision. I don't know where he'll land if he does indeed leave WarnerMedia. But I would trust his judgement over that of some of the so-called experts of Hollywood.

ODDS AND SODS

* Disney Plus is expected to use the Hotstar brand when it launches in Thailand next month, partnering with telco giant AIS.

* Dish files patent suit against Peloton alleging that they infringe on Move Networks streaming patents tied to adaptive bitrate streaming.


CLASSIFIEDS:
Experience The OZY FEST
OZY Fest, the one-of-a-kind festival described as "TED meets Coachella," is back for a virtual celebration of great entertainment and the biggest conversations, streaming live May 15-16. Hang out with Dr Fauci, Condoleezza Rice, Sevyn Streeter, Malcolm Gladwell, Tig Notaro + more. Register now.

Want to advertise in this newsletter? Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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, May 18th, 2021

18 May, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, May 18th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by cinnamon coffee and leftover pasta.

IS MGM REALLY WORTH $8-$10 BILLION?
There are numerous reports today that Amazon is close to acquiring MGM Holdings Inc. for a price that has been reported everywhere from $8 to $10 billion. If that sounds like a lot, it certainly seems to be on the face of it. MGM has been attempting to sell itself for awhile and several companies - including Apple - apparently values the company at closer to $6 billion. And last December, a piece in the Wall Street Journal valued the company at about $5.5 billion. So why would Amazon pay such a premium for MGM, other than the fact that it can?

I spoke with several people at Amazon this morning on background and while they declined to even confirm on the record that a sale was in the works, we did play a game of "well, if we WERE interested, this would be why."

* Obviously, the crown jewel of the MGM library are the James Bond movies. And at one point, the most recent installment of the franchise almost premiered on streaming because of the pandemic. But thanks to a unique deal MGM has with the Broccoli family, Barbara Broccoli and her half-brother Michael G. Wilson retain an enormous amount of control over the franchise. They currently serve as the final arbiter on everything from the scripts to the casting to the promotional materials. A situation one of my sources described as "not a deal breaker, but worrying." I was told Amazon executives have had at least one meeting with the duo in an effort to wrestle creative control away while allowing them to retain their current split of the profits. It's not clear whether that effort was successful, but I'm told that Amazon executives have already explored the idea of a young James Bond TV series, along with a vague plan to roll out some made-for-Amazon movies set in the Bond cinematic universe.

The older James Bond movies have been available for streaming on just about every major streaming service, but the prize for Amazon would be the exclusive rights to upcoming Bind films, with the expectation that the movies would shift to a same day-and-date release or an Amazon exclusive some point down the road.

* MGM Holdings owns a lot of well-known intellectual property, although I was told that ownership on several of the more well-known titles was not as clear cut as publicly reported. While it isn't as popular as it was in the 1990s and early-aughts, the Stargate franchise is an obvious starting point for any reboot efforts coming out of MGM.

* The content library of MGM Holdings is massive and includes the post-April 1986 MGM film and TV library, the MGM animation library as well as third-party animated films released by MGM, Orion Pictures (which includes a large number of smaller studio projects), the pre-1994 Castle Rock Entertainment library, as well as most of the Cannon Group and Dimension Pictures library. It also includes the post-1952 United Artists library, which includes nearly 200 pre-1947 Monogram Pictures films as well as the library of ZIV Television programs.

My sources tell me that the library would be of great interest to Amazon because it would serve multiple purposes. Many of the better-known titles have been extensively licensed to AVODs in recent years and one plan would slowly remove those from the market before making them Amazon exclusives. Some of the titles would become part of the Amazon Prime library, but the lions share would be rotated through IMDb TV. That ad-supported service is an increased focus for Amazon and the MGM library is seen as a steady provider of titles. There has apparently also been some talk of using some of MGM Holdings deeper catalog to launch at least one subscriber-supported Amazon Channel - most likely a classic movies channel. But I was also told that idea was in the more-than-speculation-but-early-planning stage. 

Is this all worth $8-$10 billion to Amazon? Keeping the library away from rivals certainly has value and there is enough in the library for the deal to make financial sense if it's exploited correctly.  My concern is that Amazon's biggest weakness has been its streaming UX and content discovery. It's easy to imagine a scenario in which all of this great content gets buried in the streaming world's worst interface.

DISCOVERY UPFRONTS ROUND-UP
As you might expect, this morning's upfront presentation from Discovery Inc. was heavy on new programming announcements. Here's a link to a long list of renewals, new shows and specials for the big Discovery linear networks, as well as Discovery+.

There weren't many big surprises, although it was announced that beginning later this fall, all 13 of the Discovery Go apps will include content from all of the other Discovery networks. The logical question is that if all of the TV Everywhere apps are going to include similar content, why not just have one TV Everywhere app for all of the networks? Apparently it has something to do with the agreements with the various TV providers, although I have reached out to Discovery for clarification.

One theme that came out several times during the presentation is that despite all appearances to the contrary, the streaming service Discovery+ is "complimentary" to its linear television channels, not seen as an eventual replacement. But aside from the programming moves that make that assertion not quite accurate, a couple  of data points about the digital audience stood out for me. One, that 18% of Discovery's audience is digital-only. And that the average Discovery+ subscriber is watching an average of 3 hours a day of programming. Which seems like a large number for a service that is supposed to be "complimentary."

ABC ENTERTAINMENT HEAD ON THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN ABC & HULU
THR's Leslie Goldberg has an interview with ABC Entertainment president and Hulu Originals head Craig Erwich, and among other things, he explains how Hulu and ABC complement one another:

People look to ABC to be inspired and informed; it’s an aspirational brand. Live events, family comedies, shows about heroes — like Grey’s Anatomy, Station 19 and The Good Doctor telling the stories of the frontline workers — these are shows that people can come together around. Those are good hallmarks of what people look to ABC for. All of those shows are on Hulu the next day and are consumed by the Hulu audience. Hulu is a different experience. It’s an on-demand platform and people are curating their own set of content of what they want to watch and when they want to watch it. These shows on Hulu are intended to drive conversation and maybe tackle subjects or themes that might not be as broad as ABC. The thru line is creative excellence and do these stories reflect our world? And then the tones and concepts are almost secondary considerations.

He also talks about his decision to cancel Rebel after only five episodes:

[Rebel creator] Krista Vernoff is brilliant. She’s a vital partner to us and part of the Disney family. She created something very special there. Given the show and given our partnership with Krista, we gave it a really big launch. We focused a lot of our efforts across the entire company in telling people about this show and unfortunately the audience didn’t amass the way it needed to. We tried to give the decision and the show every benefit of the doubt, but ultimately we just couldn’t find a path forward.

Did you discuss holding off on the decision on the show’s future until after the show finished its run? NBC is doing the same with its midseason bubble shows that are still airing their seasons.

It was a very carefully considered decision and one we tried to be methodical about. Part of the process was examining the behavior in terms of on demand viewing and catch up. How is it performing days after its performance on multiplatform viewing? And there was just not a trend there toward continuing to build the audience. Ultimately that’s what led to a very difficult decision.

This is just another reminder of how important that next-day and catch-up viewing is to the success of broadcast shows. 

ODDS AND SODS
*  Deadline is reporting that the Disney Channel has renewed The Owl House for a third season ahead of its season two premiere.

* Paramount+ has announced that season five of The Good Fight will premiere on June 24th. 

* Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of programming at Crown Media Family Networks, is stepping down in June.

* Season two of the zombie series Black Summer is coming to Netflix on June 17th. It's a show that skirted under the radar of critics with its first season, but it was a non-stop thrillfest and it garnered a lot of social media buzz when it dropped.

ICYMI:
Here are links to some recent pieces I posted on AllYourScreens:

* Why NBCU Should Renew 'Debris' (And Move It To Peacock)

* What Primetime Broadcast TV Shows Are New/Renewed/Canceled For Fall 2021?

* Five Reasons Why The WarnerMedia/Discovery Merger Is Probably Going To Cost You Money

CLASSIFIEDS:
Experience The OZY FEST
OZY Fest, the one-of-a-kind festival described as "TED meets Coachella," is back for a virtual celebration of great entertainment and the biggest conversations, streaming live May 15-16. Hang out with Dr Fauci, Condoleezza Rice, Sevyn Streeter, Malcolm Gladwell, Tig Notaro + more. Register now.

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TODAY'S PREMIERES 
1) Broken Harts (Discovery+)
On a coastal section part of Highway 1 in Mendocino County, California, a car was found upside down at the bottom of a 100-foot cliff. Inside police found the bodies of  two adults, later identified as Jen and Sarah Hart, and three children. From the very onset, it seemed more than a normal traffic accident, and it continued to be a confusing and shocking story - both for the local community and the online supporters who had followed the family’s adventures for years.  They were known as a couple leading an idyllic life. Two white women who adopted six black children, promoting a core mission of activism, travel, and community service. As the story of the crash circulated, many began to wonder how this could have happened to a family like theirs, and if maybe the life they showed to the world, wasn’t exactly what it seemed. Expanding upon the hit Glamour podcast and article, this two-hour film peels back the façade this family carefully curated, exposing chilling patterns of abuse, and multiple systems that failed to protect the lives of six innocent children. 

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, May 17th, 2021

17 May, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, May 17th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by iced coffee and baked potato chips.

YOU MIGHT HAVE HEARD THERE WAS SOME MEDIA NEWS TODAY
I picked a bad day to come back to work after taking a few days off: the proposed WarnerMedia/Discovery merger, upfronts from NBCU and Fox...and then there is all of the regular news. In an effort to do triage, I am not wasting your time doing a lot of recapping or commentary that you'll read elsewhere. Today's newsletter will try and provide as many links and context as possible, focusing on some of the lesser-covered pieces of the news. It's a bit sparser than the norm, but this is an exceptionally crazy day.

THAT PROPOSED WARNERMEDIA/DISCOVERY MERGER
Here is some of the stuff you might have missed:

* IGN's Julia Alexander uncovered some details about the merger that I haven't seen covered elsewhere: DC Comics is included in the deal. So is Rooster Tooth, which means that King Shark and Shark Week are part of the same company. And while it's not clear why, apparently WB Games is being broken up, with some assets staying with AT&T and some moving with WarnerMedia.

* WarnerMedia head Jason Kilar is said to have hired a team to help him negotiate his exit from the company. According to the NY Times, Kilar was unaware of the proposed merger until a few days.

* Discovery still plans on having its upfront presentation tomorrow morning, which should make for an interesting and probably awkward time for one and all.

* I've seen a lot of hype around the proposed merger today. But an eventual 400 million subscribers to a WarnerMedia/Discovery streaming service? No, not even if you factor in the subscribers from the eventual colony to Mars.

NBC UPFRONTS ROUND-UP
And here is some of the programming news that came out of this morning's NBCU Upfronts:

* The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon has been renewed for five more years. 

*
Bravo is bringing back its fan event BravoCon this October in NYC.

* E! is launching a new music competition series entitled Clash Of The Cover Bands, with judges Meghan Trainor, Queen lead singer Adam Lambert and songwriter Ester Dean. 

* The focus of this year's upfronts was on the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, with the network pretending that problems ranging from a possible boycott to pushback from Japanese citizens doesn't exist.

ODDS AND SODS
*  Deadline is reporting that the Disney Channel has renewed The Owl House for a third season ahead of its season two premiere.

* Paramount+ has announced that season five of The Good Fight will premiere on June 24th. 

* Michelle Vicary, executive vice president of programming at Crown Media Family Networks, is stepping down in June.

* Fox has ordered a new series that will premiere in the upcoming 2021-2022 season entitled 

ICYMI:
Here are links to some pieces I posted on AllYourScreens:

* In  Retrospect, Having This WarnerMedia Sponsored Email Go Out Today Wasn't Great Timing

* What Primetime Broadcast TV Shows Are New/Renewed/Canceled For Fall 2021?

* Five Reasons Why The WarnerMedia/Discovery Merger Is Probably Going To Cost You Money

CLASSIFIEDS:
Experience The OZY FEST
OZY Fest, the one-of-a-kind festival described as "TED meets Coachella," is back for a virtual celebration of great entertainment and the biggest conversations, streaming live May 15-16. Hang out with Dr Fauci, Condoleezza Rice, Sevyn Streeter, Malcolm Gladwell, Tig Notaro + more. Register now.

Want to advertise in this newsletter? Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


TODAY'S PREMIERES (there is only one today)
1) 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted (MTV)
Nikki Glaser hosts the inaugural edition of this spinoff from the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

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, May 10th, 2021

10 May, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, May 10th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee, coffee and more coffee.

FIRST, A PROGRAMMING NOTE
This will be the last Too Much TV newsletter until next Monday. I'm leaving early tomorrow morning to go see family in Phoenix. So today's newsletter is shorter than normal and other than some pre-scheduled reviews and interviews, I won't be posting anything new on the web site (short of some big, breaking news). It will be my first vacation in more than two years and I am ready.

I will be checking email intermittently and posting a lot of pictures of food on my Twitter account. But with any luck, I'll come back next week refreshed.

ABC RENEWS 'GREY'S ANATOMY' AND 'STATION 19'
It feels as if all the networks are announcing renewals today, as we get closer to the Upfronts. ABC announced in a statement earlier today that it has renewed Grey's Anatomy for an 18th season, after coming to an agreement with series star Ellen Pompeo for a new contract. As you might expect, no terms of the deal were revealed, other than verifying that Pompeo will remain broadcast television’s highest-earning actress in a primetime drama series. Original stars Chandra Wilson (Bailey) and James Pickens Jr. (Richard) have also closed new deals to return for another season.

At the same time ABC announced it had also renewed the Grey's Anatomy spin-off series Station 19 for a fifth season.

HULU TEAMS UP WITH THE LAKERS OF NEW DOCUSERIES
A nine-part original docuseries that covers the past four decades of the Los Angeles Lakers franchise is coming to Hulu in 2022 from Lakers’ CEO and controlling owner Jeanie Buss and Emmy Award-winning director Antoine Fuqua:

The series details the past four decades of the Lakers, and contains colorful and emotional new interviews from over 35 people within the organization, including the Buss family, legendary coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson, and NBA Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and team captain Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, among numerous other current and former players. Also featured are interviews with a range of high-profile fans and a treasure trove of archival footage featuring never-before-seen interviews with the Lakers late owner, Jerry Buss.


ODDS AND SODS
*  HGTV has renewed 100-Day Dream House for a third season of ten episodes. 

* The Premier League has announced that fans will return to the stadiums for games beginning next week, albeit a smaller, socially-distanced crowd.

* Fox has renewed Call Me Kat for a second season.

ICYMI:
Here are links to some pieces I posted on AllYourScreens over the weekend:

* I Didn't Watch Elon Musk On 'SNL' And I'm Just Fine With The Decision

* Review: 'From Cradle To Stage'

* Review: 'Sons Of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness'

* Britbox, PBS Team Up To Revive 'Sanditon'


CLASSIFIEDS:
Experience The OZY FEST
OZY Fest, the one-of-a-kind festival described as "TED meets Coachella," is back for a virtual celebration of great entertainment and the biggest conversations, streaming live May 15-16. Hang out with Dr Fauci, Condoleezza Rice, Sevyn Streeter, Malcolm Gladwell, Tig Notaro + more. Register now.

Want to advertise in this newsletter? Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Maya Rudolph: My Friend's Dog Found The Hollywood Sign Human Head! - CONAN  on TBS - YouTube
TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Blinded - Those Who Kill Series Premiere (Acorn TV)
Five years ago, a serial killer murdered three young men but was never found. When criminal profiler Louise Bergstein is brought back onto the case, she discovers a distinct pattern to the killings.

2) I, Sniper (Vice)
The D.C. sniper attacks of 2002, as told by the surviving shooter himself. 

3) Lifetime Presents Variety's Power of Women: The Comedians (Lifetime)
The special will honor the comedic impact of Emmy nominated Writer, Actor and Producer Mindy Kaling, Multiple Emmy Award-Winning Actor and Saturday Night Live legend Maya Rudolph, Multiple Emmy and Golden Globe-Winning Actor and Producer Julia Louis-Dreyfus, SAG Award-Winning and Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated Actor Sofía Vergara, BAFTA Award-Winning Actor, Writer, Director and Producer Michaela Coel, and Emmy Award-winning Saturday Night Live Actor Kate McKinnon. Each honoree will be interviewed by a close family member or friend - including Aidy Bryant, Bowen Yang, Nastasha Lyonne, Luis Balaguer, and Charlie Hall.

4) The Crime Of The Century (HBO)
With the help of whistleblowers, insiders, newly-leaked documents, exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes access to investigations, and featuring expert input from medical professionals, journalists, former and current government agents, attorneys and pharmaceutical sales representatives, as well as sobering testimony from victims of opioid addiction, Alex Gibney’s exposé posits that drug companies are in fact largely responsible for manufacturing the very crisis they profit from, to the tune of billions of dollars... and hundreds of thousands of lives.

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, May 6th, 2021

06 May, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, May 6th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by an unsettling amount of coffee

NBCU EXPLORES SELLING OFF ITS SPORTS NETS
While there are positives to be owned by Comcast, I've long argued that NBC Universal would have a better future if it wasn't owned by Comcast. Yes, Comcast has deep pockets and their size gives NBCU some leverage in negotiations. But there are more times when NBCU's best move is to do something that conflict's with the future plans of it parent company. One example of that comes from The Wall Street Journal, which reports that Comcast blocked NBCU from streaming NBCSN's local Philadelphia sports net:

NBCUniversal has explored putting its regional sports channels on the streaming service Peacock or selling them off, as the company tries to figure out a future for a business under increasing stress, people familiar with the situation said.

Early this spring, NBCUniversal planned to start streaming NBC Sports Philadelphia, which broadcasts the city’s pro basketball, baseball and hockey games, the people said. The goal was to be up and running in time for the Major League Baseball season that began in April.

The plan was halted over concerns that it would conflict with the broader streaming strategy of NBCUniversal, a unit of Comcast Corp . , the people said.

NBCUniversal is still considering options for streaming its sports channels on Peacock, the people familiar with the situation said. The company also is exploring whether to sell off the networks and sees the teams associated with them as potential buyers, some of the people said. Teams often hold an equity stake in the networks that air their games.

IMDb TV WANTS TO WIN THE FREE TV WARS
In his free "Buffering" newsletter, Vulture's Joe Adalian talks with IMDb TV's with Lauren Anderson and Ryan Pirozzi, who are the co-heads of programming and content for the ad-supported streaming service IMDB TV.  They have a lot to say, including defining the difference between Amazon Prime and IMDb TV:

What’s the difference between Prime Video and IMDb TV? I know you’re free. But a lot of people already think of Prime Video as free, since it’s included with the overall Prime two-day shipping plan. Why does there need to be an IMDb TV when Prime Video already has 200 million subscribers?  

Ryan Pirozzi:
I think the best way to say it is, Amazon Studios is programming two services now. A subscription service in Prime Video, and an ad-supported service in IMDb TV. And what that allows us to do is open up the aperture of people we reach. I like to talk about these two big groups of customers. We’re delighting Prime members who want more selection and are willing to watch ads to get it. And then we’re also delighting people that don’t want to be behind the paywall for one reason or another. I do think that these services should be complementary to one another. They will not feel the same.

You should read the entire interview when it posts on Vulture and you can subscribe to the free newsletter here.

My biggest surprise of the interview is that while Joe asked the duo several programming questions, I expected to hear at least one question asking them why IMDb TV isn't including more obscure classic TV in its programming mix, given that those shows are a particular sweet spot fore Joe (as well as for me, to be honest).

ATX  TELEVISION FESTIVAL ANNOUNCES SOME OF ITS 10TH SEASON LINEUP
Today, ATX TV Fest announces the 20th Anniversary reunion panel for Degrassi: The Next Generation, presented by Tubi, featuring creatives and cast from across the show’s impressive 14-season run as they revisit iconic storylines and moments from the series, the show’s groundbreaking approach to young adult storytelling, behind-the-scenes stories, and more. Confirmed panelists include: co-creator / executive producer Linda Schuyler, executive producer Stephen Stohn, producer / director / actor Stefan Brogren, and cast members Aislinn Paul, Shane Kippel, Luke Bilyk, Lauren Collins, Munro Chambers, Jake Epstein, Daniel Clark, Andrea Lewis, and Christina Schmidt.

Other panels include a "Channel Changers” conversation with top executives from HBO Max, NBCU, OWN, 20th Television and Starz;  finale panels for Younger and The Bold Type ;  Angelica Ross will receive the inaugural "Breakthrough Award" and The CW will host Walker Music Showcase and The Republic of Sarah Panel

Previously announced panels include:

  • Ziwe Marquee Conversation presented by Showtime
  • Small Axe Conversation with Steve McQueen presented by Amazon Prime Video
  • HouseBroken Screening and Q&A with Creatives & Cast
  • A Conversation with "Achievement in Television eXcellence" Awardee Michael J. Fox
  • Faking It 5 Year Reunion with Showrunner & Cast
  • Speech & Debate Conversation with Creatives & Cast
  • Oz Retrospective with Creator Tom Fontana and Cast
  • “Beyond the Scares: Emotional Catharsis & Healing in Horror”
  • “Growing Up Is Hard: A New Generation of YA Protagonists”
  • “Mad as Hell: TV's Dangerous Women”
  • “The Queer Gaze”
  • “Pandemic Proof: Adult Animation”
  • “Showrunner State of the Union”
  • “Buying & Selling with 20/20 Hindsight

 The ATX Television Festival will take place virtually over June 11th-20th, 2021. 

ODDS AND SODS
*  NBC will debut the competition game show Ultimate Slip ‘N Slide, hosted by Bobby Moynihan (SNL) and Ron Funches (Undateable), with a two-night premiere beginning on Sunday, August 8th, immediately following the closing ceremony of the Summer Olympics

* Amazon is adapting the podcast From Now into a TV series. In the podcast, Richard Madden and Brian Cox play identical twin brothers separated by time. The story chronicles the aftermath of their historic reunion when astronaut Edward Fitz’s (Madden) spacecraft suddenly reappears in Earth’s orbit after having gone missing 35 years earlier -- and Edward emerges looking the exact same age as when he left.

* Floyd Mayweather will return to the boxing ring on Showtime PPV June 6th to fight social media star Logan Paul.


CLASSIFIEDS:
Experience The Stream TV Show
Join the television community this June 15-17 at the largest event covering the biggest trends and topics in the industry today. We'll gather virtually with thousands of peers for keynotes, interviews, panels, case studies, an analyst roundtable, and more during the three day event. We'll have live chat and Q&A for front row access to speakers and sponsors unlike anything you've experienced before. PLUS - our networking feature will connect you for one-to-one meetings with those that share your same interests. Register for free here.

Girls5eva | Official Trailer | Peacock - YouTube
TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) And Tomorrow The Entire World (Netflix)
How to save the world? Trying to turn helplessness into something meaningful, a law student increasingly turns to violence.

2) Citizen Penn (Discovery+)
Sean Penn joins aid workers in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

3) Dark Side Of The Ring Season Premiere (Vice)
Exploring the darkest stories from the golden age of professional wrestling and trying to find the truth at the intersection of fantasy and reality.

4) From Cradle To Stage Series Premiere (Paramount+)
Each episode of the six-part series features an artist and their mother, including Imagine Dragons’ Dan Reynolds, Pharrell Williams, Miranda Lambert, Brandi Carlile, Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, and Rush’s Geddy Lee- alongside Dave Grohl and his mother Virginia- as they share stories about their upbringing and the tools they received as a young talent to navigate the turbulence of success.

5) Girls5eva Series Premiere (Peacock)
When a one-hot wonder girl group from the 1990s get sampled by a young rapper, its members reunited to chase one last chance at a pop star dream.

6) Homestead Rescue: Rainey Ranch Season Premiere (Discovery)
The Rainey Clan races to finish two cabins before snow hits. Marty takes a devastating fall and in danger of losing everything, the Raineys must rally to finish the cabins, harvest the garden and mount a moose-hunting expedition.

7) Legendary Season Two Premiere (HBO Max)
This season features ten new houses igniting the catwalk to battle for the legendary trophy and the $100,000 cash prize. Each episode is a themed extravaganza to see who will be named superior house and move one step closer to becoming "Legendary."

8) Million Dollar Listing New York Season Premiere (Bravo)
Ryan lists a unique $18 million townhouse with commercial space and Tyler gears up to sell his biggest listing ever.

9) That Damn Michael Che Series Premiere (HBO Max)
This groundbreaking new original comedy series uses sketches and vignettes to illustrate what it feels like to experience various every-day situations including racial profiling, unemployment, falling in love and more, from Michael’s perspective. 

10) The Drowning Series Premiere (Acorn TV)
Since losing her son eight years ago, Jodie (Jill Halfpenny, Dark Money, Liar) has been rebuilding her life, but when she catches sight of a teenage boy Daniel (Cody Molko), she is convinced she has found her missing son. Whether she is right or not, in that moment her spark of hope is reignited, and she commits to a dangerous and transgressive path that will take her to the edge of reason. How far will she go to find her missing child?   Also starring Jonas Armstrong (Ripper Street, Line of Duty), Deborah Findlay (Vanity Fair) and Rupert Penry-Jones (Whitechapel, Stan Lee's Lucky Man).

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, May 5th, 2021

05 May, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, May 5th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by a Culver's pot roast sandwich and a root beer.

DISCOVERY, HULU LIVE REACH NEW CARRIAGE AGREEMENT
Bloomberg is reporting that Discovery Inc. has reached a new carriage agreement with Hulu Live TV that will keep the major Discovery-owned channels on the live TV service. It all also add OWN to the Hulu Live lineup for the first time and according to Bloomberg's reporting, Discovery also obtained a rate increase.

The most interesting part of the news to me is that a number of popular titles from the various Discovery networks will be leaving the Hulu Live on-demand offerings and moving forward will only be available on the streaming service Discovery+. As I mentioned before, one of the most underappreciated streaming stories is how aggressive Discovery has been with moving its most popular programming to Discovery+. It's not just that nearly every series is available same-day or next-day on Discovery+. In a number of cases, you can watch episodes ahead of their linear premiere. And a number of shows have already had their older seasons slowly moving off of on-demand and onto Discovery+.

More than most older media companies, Discovery is well-positioned to shift much of its viewer base to streaming for at least some of their media consumption. While several of Discovery Inc.'s cable channels are among the most popular on television, much of their programming is also not time-sensitive.  House Hunters is an extremely popular franchise. But you'd be hard-pressed to find many fans of the show who care whether they watch a specific episode today or next week. And that plays perfectly into the time-shifting nature of a streaming service.

Discovery has also used Discovery+ as a place to build out niche audiences that aren't large enough to support an entire cable channel. Documentaries, sports specials, and spiritual programming have all been prominently featured on the service and none of those are obvious fits for Discovery's linear business. And when you add the growing number of content partnerships with other networks, Discovery+ continues to be the sleeper choice of all the second wave of streamers.

TWITTER UNVEILS NEW PROGRAMMING DEALS WITH NBC, BILLBOARD
During Wednesday's presentation at the NewFronts, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced several new content deals, including an expanded relationship with NBC Universal and a new deal with Billboard:

Perhaps the most notable announcement Thursday was the creation of a new real-time Billboard chart, “The Billboard Hot Trending powered by Twitter.” The chart will track music-related trends and he songs being discussed on the platform. The chart will be supported by advertising on both Twitter and Billboard, with exclusive editorial and video content tied to the chart. Twitter also announced content deals with Genius, Tastemade, and Refinery29, and expanded agreements with MLB and the NHL, which includes real-time highlights and live look-ins at games.

SNAP EXPANDS IT'S ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING
Snap unveiled new reality programming with Megan Thee Stallion and the D’Amelio Sisters, the sibling digital influencers who rose to fame on rival app TikTok during its Wednesday presentation at the NewFronts:

In “Off Thee Leash With Megan Thee Stallion,” the multi-Grammy-winning artist will be joined by celebrity friends and their pets. “Charli vs. Dixie,” meanwhile, is a competition series that will give Snapchatters a different look at the internet-famous sisters as they go head-to-head in “epic challenges that test their bravery, athleticism and ingenuity, while their squad of famous friends judge from the sidelines,” according to Snap. Both shows are set to premiere later in 2021 and are being produced by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Media.

Other new shows in the star-power category are “Meme Mom,” a docuseries from Maven, following Nicole TV — who has one of the fastest-growing accounts on Snapchat — as she navigates life with a newborn, a live-in mother and skyrocketing career; and “Twinning Out,” a docuseries from Bunim/Murray Productions, following twins and internet superstars Niki and Gabi DeMartino, as they “risk their boyfriends, besties, and inseparable sisterhood to make some of the biggest decisions of their lives,” according to the show’s description.

ODDS AND SODS
* Amazon Prime’s fashion competition series Making the Cut will return for Season two on Friday, July 16th.

* Pluto is more doubling its Hispanic contest today, expanding the number of Spanish-language channels to nearly 50, including a number of new movie channels.

* Disney+ has moved up the premiere of its newest Marvel series Loki to Wednesday, June 8th. No reason was given for the change, but part of the decision likely was an effort to move out of the way of the release of Netflix's In The Heights, which is set for release on Friday, June 11th.

* Tubi has secured deals with Cox and Scripps to show live local news feeds. 


CLASSIFIEDS:
Experience The Stream TV Show
Join the television community this June 15-17 at the largest event covering the biggest trends and topics in the industry today. We'll gather virtually with thousands of peers for keynotes, interviews, panels, case studies, an analyst roundtable, and more during the three day event. We'll have live chat and Q&A for front row access to speakers and sponsors unlike anything you've experienced before. PLUS - our networking feature will connect you for one-to-one meetings with those that share your same interests. Register for free here.

Review: 'The Sons Of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness'
TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Crank Yankers Season Six Premiere (Comedy Central)
Season 6 will feature beloved characters such as Spoonie Luv, Elmer Higgins, Niles Standish, Bobby Fletcher, Terrence Catheter, Mr. Birchum and more, with voice talent including, but not limited to, Kathy Griffin, Bobby Moynihan, Adam Carolla, Paul Scheer, Iliza Shlesinger, Chelsea Peretti, Brian Posehn, Jim Florentine, Punkie Johnson, Kevin Nealon, Desus & Mero, Tracy Morgan, Bobby Brown, Kyle Dunnigan, Trixie Mattel, JB Smoove, Sam Jay, Annie Murphy, Wanda Sykes, Tiffany Haddish, Natasha Leggero, Jimmy Kimmel and more.

2) Human: The World Within (PBS)

Explore the incredible universe inside each and every one of us. An examination of diverse personal stories from around the world reveals how our lives, passions and goals are powered by the amazing systems that define our biology as a species.

3) Kids Say The Darndest Things Season Two Premiere (CBS)
Tiffany Haddish finds kids "wigging| out when they realize one of her wigs on a shelf can communicate only with them. Plus, Tiffany and the kids make a special visit to the iconic CBS game show The Price Is Right where they take turns playing some fun pricing games with host Drew Carey

4) Lava Ka Dhaava Series Premiere (Netflix)
Actor Jaavaed Jaafferi brings his signature humor to this Hindi dubbing of Lava Is Floor

5) Million Dollar Listing Season Nine Premiere (Bravo)
Josh Flagg is willing to travel far and wide for a shot at a record-breaking sale, even if it means teaming up and road tripping with his mortal enemy...Josh Altman. It's not all a buddy comedy as this duo ends up on opposite sides of the negotiating table.

6) The Sons Of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness (Netflix)
The Son of Sam case grew into a lifelong obsession for journalist Maury Terry, who became convinced that the murders were linked to a satanic cult.


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, May 4th, 2021

04 May, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, May 4th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by hot cinnamon tea and some sort of light potato soup. Yes, it tastes as good as it sounds.

And Happy Star Wars Day (aka #MayThe4thBeWithYou) to those of you who observe the holiday. Today is a reminder that Disney+ has still failed to give the greenlight to the most needed new Star War series: Jar Jar Binks: Sith Lord.

GEN-Z AND HOW THEY CONSUME VIDEO
Gen Z audiences still watch long form content on TV and benefit from personalized, interactive TV set experiences that get them even more connected, according to a new Gen Z sturdy just released by Horowitz Insight:



ASSEMBLING THE BEST BUNDLE
The annual Best Bundle study from Hub Entertainment Research has found that consumers feel compelled to sign up for multiple streaming services, or risk missing out and the average US consumer now uses close to six different sources to meet their TV viewing needs:

The research found fundamentally that with all the top streaming platforms touting exclusive content, the average number of individual TV services consumers use to meet their viewing needs continues to climb steadily. It calculated that the typical consumer accesses 5.7 different sources of TV content, including traditional pay-TV service, all available streaming services, and over-the-air reception through an antenna. Hub noted that this number has jumped by nearly one full service since just last year and is almost twice as high as it was in 2019.

Close to four-fifths of TV consumers now use a streaming TV service, 19 percentage points higher than the proportion who have a traditional pay-TV subscription (cable, satellite or telco). The proportion with traditional pay-TV has dropped 7 points since the same time last year. Moreover, the percentage of viewers using any streaming TV service was up only 2 points since last year.

Among some of the other takeaways, this is good news for newer streaming services such as Peacock and HBO Max:

Going forward, Hub’s cautioned that the industry should not expect the size of consumers’ bundles to shrink. Just over a fifth said they plan to add new services in the next six months and among those who plan to add, a strong majority say they’ll add without cutting anything they have currently. In fact, said Hub, those who currently had four or more services, and who expect to add new services, were even more likely to say they’ll keep everything they have (78%) without replacing anything.

TIM HEIDECKER AND LIFE AFTER ADULT SWIM
When Adult Swim shut down its streaming service and digital video wing last November, one of the biggest casualties was the podcast-turned multimedia production On Cinema. In response, Tim Heidecker and Gregg Turkington launched the HEI Network platform at the end of 2020, an independently run website for all things On Cinema, complete with a subscription service that will grant fans access to (and finance) all future On Cinema outings.

Heidecker spoke with Vulture's Chris Kopcow about the decision, including the downsides of working with a major media company:

So if given the opportunity to work with Adult Swim or another network again, would you take it? Or do you want to see how far you can take the independent distribution model?

I mean, the creative relationship with Adult Swim was always great, but it’s always come down to money and who can pay for it. With On Cinema, there was never really an understanding of what it was there. There was one Oscar Special — not the last one, but the one before — where I realized they hadn’t tweeted on social media to let anyone know that it was happening. It was the day of, and I wrote, like, “What’s happening? You guys are paying for this. Why don’t you want to let people know?” It was an oversight, but it was sort of like, “You guys don’t seem to really be into this show.” And there’s a world out there that really loves it. I just want to have a partner that’s excited about it and doesn’t feel like it’s a burden or has an obligation to it.

And for whatever reason, I see this happening a lot when it comes to PR efforts. Shows fall through the cracks or the decision is just made to devote promotional efforts elsewhere. And yes, NBC I am looking at you and you're half-hearted efforts to promote Debris.

AMAZON PRIME TAKES OVER EXCLUSIVE THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAMES A YEAR EARLY
Amazon.com Inc. will take over exclusive video rights for “Thursday Night Football” starting in the 2022-23 season, a year earlier than anticipated, the company and the National Football League said Monday. Amazon was originally set to take over the rights for the 2023-2024 season, but Fox has agreed/decided to give up its Thursday night broadcasts a year early:

Terms, including the cost of acquiring the additional year of rights, weren’t disclosed. In March, Amazon signed a 10-year deal with the NFL to stream 15 games per season on its Prime Video platform. The average annual rights fee is around $1.2 billion and that is the price tag for the additional season, people familiar with the matter said.

In a memo sent to team owners reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the NFL said, “The decision to accelerate the launch of TNF on Amazon for the 2022 season creates incremental economic and strategic value for the League and our fans."

In a related move, the NFL Network will no longer carry Thursday Night Football after the upcoming season. NFL Network still will have seven regular-season games, mostly made up of late-season Saturday matchups.

All of this seems to be an effort by the NFL to conduct an experiment about the ability of a streaming service to provide not just the revenue the league needs from its media partners, but also the engagement. While the viewership for the Thursday Night Football games is likely to be substantially less than the current Fox/NFL Network combination, the viewer numbers will matter less to the NFL if Amazon shows that it can provide a similar or better level of interest and engagement with fans. 

This experiment will go a long way towards helping the various big sports league determine the ultimate future of streaming sports.

ODDS AND SODS
* The new HBO Max late night talk show Pause With Sam Jay premieres on May 21st. It will will run for six weekly episodes.

* Every episode of the beloved series Friday Night Lights is now available for streaming on Tubi

* HGTV has given the greenlight to the new series Curb Appeal Xtreme, starring Jamie Durie, John Gidding and newcomer Rachel Taylor.

* The Hollywood Reporter has launched a redesign of its web site, the first major upgrade since 2014. My prediction: like some of the other Penske Media properties, THR is going to move towards a subscription-only access model.


CLASSIFIEDS:
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The Force Awakens From Its Nap
TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Catfish: The TV Series Season Premiere (MTV)
Apparently there is an endless number of MTV viewers who have both been catfished and who are willing to admit it on global television.

2) Maggie Simpson In The Force Awakens From Its Nap (Disney+)
"In a daycare far, far away… but still in Springfield, Maggie goes on a quest for her lost pacifier in this new short."

3) Selena: The Series, Part Two (Netflix)
"As Selena's career gains momentum, the singer fights to remain true to herself, spend quality time with her family and expand her businesses."

4) Star Wars: The Bad Batch Series Premiere (Disney+)
"This new series follows the elite and experimental clones of the Bad Batch (first introduced in “The Clone Wars”) as they find their way in a rapidly changing galaxy in the immediate aftermath of the Clone War. Members of Bad Batch—a unique squad of clones who vary genetically from their brothers in the Clone Army—each possess a singular exceptional skill that makes them extraordinarily effective soldiers and a formidable crew." Although doesn't the idea of having a bunch of clones with individual personalities and skills seem a bit un-clonlike?

5) The Real Housewives Of New York City Season Premiere (Bravo)
"The Upper East Side welcomes back Luann de Lesseps, who is excited to settle into her new space, be closer to friends, and even spark up a new romance. Luann is thrilled to be cooking up a new single and video with the help of the ladies – her support system as she gets back on a path to sobriety following a small slip up over the summer. "

6) The Secret Of Skinwalker Ranch (History)
There have been at least a half dozen special and series devoted to recounting to so-called mysteries of the Skinwalker Ranch. My prediction is that nothing will be resolved this time either.

7) Teen Mom 2 Season Premiere (MTV)
This show has been on so long it will soon be called "Teen Grandmom 2."

8) Trash Truck Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
"Hank, Trash Truck and animal pals Walter, Donny and Ms. Mona let their imaginations take them on heartwarming adventures in their backyard and beyond."

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, May 3rd, 2021

03 May, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, May 3rd, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by breakfast blend coffee and jalapeno cheese ravioli.

ROKU AT THE 2021 NEWFRONTS
Roku made it first Newfronts presentation on Monday and there weren't many details about how the company planned to integrate the content it obtained from Quibi into its Roku Channel.

The presentation touted a few datapoints, including that 57% of its users had no pay-TV subscription, but the majority did subscribe to SVOD's such as Netflix or Amazon. The median age for Roku customers is 39, compared with 60-plus for the broadcast networks.

The 30-minute virtual presentation included a highlight reel of programming from Quibi as well as content from Roku's recent deal with This Old House. The Quibi content will be rolled out in late summer, but it's still not clear how advertising will be integrated into short-form programming that typically runs between 6 and 10 minutes. 

CRACKLE PLUS AT THE 2021 NEWFRONTS
The 2021 Newfronts began today and Crackle Plus - which runs the AVOD streaming services Crackle and PopcornFlix - announced a number of new projects as well as the launch of a new Chicken Soup For The Soul AVOD.

The Chicken Soup For The Soul AVOD is an interesting move, because much of the content is coming from the recent acquisition of Sonar Entertainment. Sonar was the most recent incarnation of a company that was once called RHI Entertainment and was run by the famed producer Robert Halmi Sr. At different points in its history it was also called Qintex Entertainment, Hallmark Entertainment and Robert Halmi Inc. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment acquired Sonar earlier this year and when the deal was closed reports surfaced that the plan was to launch multiple AVOD's using the Sonar Entertainment catalog. That catalog includes several thousand titles ranging from dozens of miniseries and made-for-TV movies from the 1980s and 1990s to the assets of the Hal Roach studio to new productions such as Mr. Mercedes and The Shannara Chronicles.

WARNERMEDIA DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER CHIEF ON FINDING STREAMING MOJO
Deadline's Dade Hayes has a Q&A with WarnerMedia Direct-To-Consumer Chief Andy Forssell in which he answers a number of questions about how he thinks HBO Max has executed so far. He also has some interesting things to say about HBO Max's AVOD plan:

The biggest thing is there are completely new teams to kind of do this type of advertising at a high level where all the content that comes into the platform now has to have ad breaks. We didn’t need ad breaks before. [Ed. note: HBO programming will not carry advertising.] That’s a simple thing to say, but actually takes a lot of sophistication to do efficiently. You can throw humans at it and spend a lot of money but we’re trying to use technology smartly, so we’ve had to build all that capability.

And then you know, there’s a bunch of operational and technical things you have to build and policy on top of it to say, ‘How many times should we show a given user a single ad?’ That seems like a basic question but it actually sets up a really good debate internally and our answer is going to be much fewer times than many other people have decided. That means you have to turn away revenue and say, ‘We’re going to have a really premium user experience here, which means you’re not going to see ads multiple times. You might see it twice in a week.’ So, we’ve had to develop all that. It’s not rocket science but it’s got to be really thought through, especially in terms of how we look and feel different than other providers.

He also talks a bit about the HBO Max UX, which as you may know, is a pet topic of mine:

We launched the product last year without significant personalization. It was the platform that had HBO Go and HBO Now, with a bunch of improvements. [Ed. note: HBO Go, an authenticated app for HBO subscribers, was phased out and HBO Now, a stand-alone streaming version of HBO that launched in 2015, was rebranded as HBO.] We have improvements sketched out literally for the next two years. It’s at least a build every month. Last September, October, November, that really started to pick up, and I won’t call out specific things because a lot of them are small. But they add up to significantly more personalization and better use of data across the board.

We’re exposing 85% to 90% of our entire catalog in any given week. We weren’t doing that last summer, so we’ve gotten a lot better at using purposely limited screen space. We don’t do an infinite scroll like some other services do. You’re getting 17, 18 or 19 rows — which sounds like a lot, but you hit a bottom, right? And that’s very useful. How do we use those as best we can to catch someone’s eye and get them to say, ‘Oh, I’m interested in that, let me play the trailer.’ I think we’ve gotten much better at that matchmaking.

THE BEST INTERVIEW YOU'LL READ TODAY
Pieces in The New Yorker sometimes get over-hyped because of where they're published. But this Mike Sacks interview with famed comedy writer John Swartzwelder is a must-read for fans of The Simpsons. He is arguably one the reasons the show became a success and despite his standing in comedy circles, he doesn't do interviews. In fact, this interview was only possible because it played out for months in email:

Swartzwelder has been deemed “one of the greatest comedy minds of all time.” He is famously private and never grants interviews. Few photos of him exist, although he did make some animated cameos as background “Simpsons” characters—once as a patient in a psychiatric hospital. His voice can be heard on only one “Simpsons” DVD writers’ commentary, for “The Cartridge Family” (Season 9, Episode 5). Ambushed by phone, while at home cooking a steak, he sounds pleasant and courteous but eager to finish up the encounter, which lasts all of a minute and twenty-four seconds.

I especially liked hearing about his approach to writing, which strikes me as the most dangerous approach, albeit the one with the best chance of success if you pull it off:

How much time and attention did you spend on these scripts? Another “Simpsons” writer once compared your scripts to finely tuned machines—if the wrong person mucked with them, the whole thing could blow up.

All of my time and all of my attention. It’s the only way I know how to write, darn it. But I do have a trick that makes things easier for me. Since writing is very hard and rewriting is comparatively easy and rather fun, I always write my scripts all the way through as fast as I can, the first day, if possible, putting in crap jokes and pattern dialogue—“Homer, I don’t want you to do that.” “Then I won’t do it.” Then the next day, when I get up, the script’s been written. It’s lousy, but it’s a script. The hard part is done. It’s like a crappy little elf has snuck into my office and badly done all my work for me, and then left with a tip of his crappy hat. All I have to do from that point on is fix it. So I’ve taken a very hard job, writing, and turned it into an easy one, rewriting, overnight. I advise all writers to do their scripts and other writing this way. And be sure to send me a small royalty every time you do it.

ODDS AND SODS
* It's a big earnings week in the media world. Fox Corp. reports earnings after the bell on Wednesday. On Thursday, ViacomCBS releases earnings before the bell with News Corp, Roku, and AMC Entertainment reporting after the close.

* The CW has renewed Stargirl & Kung Fu for the 2021-2022 season. Kung Fu had its series premiere in April and the second season of Stargirl is set to premiere on August 10th. 

* NBC has given a straight-to-series order to Law & Order: For the Defense, the latest extension of the hit Dick Wolf franchise.

* Deadline is reporting that Apple won the bidding for another Tom Hanks film. The Amblin Entertinment sci-fi movie Finch previously carried the title Bios and was originally intended to be released by Universal. It will now premiere on Apple TV later in 2021.

ICYMI
Here are a couple of stories that recently posted on AllYourScreens.com

Owner Of Chuck E. Cheese & Hostess Buys AOL & Yahoo

'Amphibia' Fans, Cast & Crew Unhappy Over Delay Of Season Two Finale

CLASSIFIEDS:
Experience The Stream TV Show
Join the television community this June 15-17 at the largest event covering the biggest trends and topics in the industry today. We'll gather virtually with thousands of peers for keynotes, interviews, panels, case studies, an analyst roundtable, and more during the three day event. We'll have live chat and Q&A for front row access to speakers and sponsors unlike anything you've experienced before. PLUS - our networking feature will connect you for one-to-one meetings with those that share your same interests. Register for free here.


TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Antiques Roadshow: Celebrity Roadshow Series Premiere (PBS)
How do you produce episodes of Antiques Roadshow during a pandemic? You do a few episodes one-on-one with celebrities.

2) Best Baker In America Season Premiere (Food)
This season’s baking challenges focus on creating unique versions of classic American desserts from different states. The ten bakers from different states, gather in the season premiere to begin their first challenge designed to test their limits. They are first challenged to whip up a Kentucky May Day piecaken with bourbon as the feature flavor. For the second challenge, the bakers’ talents are tested in a challenge inspired by Florida’s signature key lime pie. Other episodes during the season challenge the bakers’ abilities to create sweet treats from the mid-Atlantic, Rocky Mountains, Northern Plains, Midwest, the Pacific, and more. Gesine Prado and Jason Smith will deliberate to determine who gets eliminated and who will be crowned the newest winner of Best Baker in America!

3) VE Day: Minute By Minute (Acorn TV)
Marking the 75th anniversary of VE day, this one-hour special guides us through the events of May 8,1945, as they took place across the world. From key moments such as the surrender of all German forces to the untold stories of soldiers tentatively stepping out of Prisoner of War camps into an era of peace, this is the definitive account of a day like no other. Narrated by Tony Robinson and featuring historians Sam Willis and James Holland.

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.