Displaying items by tag: Too Much TV

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:
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.

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.

Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Thursday, April 29th, 2021

29 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, April 29th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by McDonald's coffee and random cut-up fruit.

THE STATE OF STREAMING
Conviva has released a report on the state of streaming during the first quarter of 2021. They analyzed content, social media, advertising, and quality of experience, including 1.8 trillion real-time events per day via 3.3 billion applications streaming on devices in 180 countries. You can download a copy here, but here are a few takeaways:

* Streaming viewership continued to skyrocket with time spent up by 36% as North America saw solid 18% year-over-year growth, but the true streaming explosion occurred internationally, with South America, Africa, and Europe all experiencing triple-digit growth.

* While Roku captured a significant 30% share of global big screen viewing time, this dominance was primarily driven by North America where it commanded 37% share in Q1 2021. In Europe, the second largest market for Roku, Roku only accounted for 8% share of the big screen, and it did not fare any better in other regions, with 4% share or less in Africa, Asia, Oceania, and South America.

*  Streaming on big screens accounted for 73% of global viewing time. While people are streaming more, they are at home on larger screens as smart TVs saw the biggest expansion of viewership with a 115% increase over Q1 of last year. In contrast, mobile phones, tablets, and desktops saw growth in line with the global average. 

* Overall growth over the last year was 36%, as on-demand content grew much faster with an almost 45% increase, while live streaming was up 14%. On demand now accounted for more than three quarters of all time spent streaming in Q1 with 76% share to live’s 24% share. 



HBO MAX RAMPS UP PRODUCTION IN LATIN AMERICA
HBO Max is launching in Latin America and the Caribbean in June and in anticipation of that expansion, the company announced today it plans to develop more than 100 local productions in Latin America over the next two years, 33 of which are already in production. All of the programs will be exclusive to HBO Max and will launch under the "HBO Max Originals" banner.

Some of the programs now in production include:

* An anthology stop-motion animated series about horror stories for children from Mexico called Frankelda's Book Of Spooks.

* Also from Mexico, the action comedy Bunker and the contemporary family and romantic drama Amarres.

* From Argentina, a four-episode long documentary series that will feature stories from the most relevant figures from Argentine soccer called Bilardo, El Doctor Del Futbol.

* Also from Argentina, a YA musical drama entitled Dias De Gallos.

AD-SUPPORTED HBO MAX TO COST $9.99 PER MONTH
CNBC is reporting that WarnerMedia’s June debut of an ad-supported version of HBO Max will reportedly cost subscribers $9.99 per month, compared to $14.99 for the current ad-free option that launched last May. According to the story, ads will not run on HBO content, but will run on HBO Max programming. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about the ad load, etc and so far WarnerMedia has not confirmed (or denied) the accuracy of the story.

PEACOCK MAY OR MAY NOT BE DOING BETTER THAN EXPECTED
Comcast revealed this morning that its streaming service has had 42 million "sign-ups" to date. The sign-ups designation does not mean "subscribers," since Peacock is a hybrid free/paid service. So sign-ups will include people who have signed up for the free service. It also apparently includes customers who have transitioned over from the recently shuttered WWE Network, as well as Comcast and Cox pay-TV subscribers, who receive the premium version of Peacock for free.

THE CW UNVEILS EXPANDED SUMMER SCHEDULE
Everyone's favorite #4 broadcaster announced a number of summer premieres today as it continues to adjust its semi-post COVID schedule. In The Dark season three premieres June 23rd, Wellington Paranormal premieres July 11th, Coroner season three premieres July 15th, Dead Pixels season two premieres July 18th, Roswell, New Mexico season two premieres July 26th, Stargirl season two premieres August 10th, Riverdale season 5b returns on August 11th, Masters Of Illusion premieres on August 13th, the final season of Burden Of Proof premieres on August 19th and the final episodes of Supergirl will premieres on August 24th.

ODDS AND SODS
* In the least surprising media news today, The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Verizon is exploring the sale of some or all of its media assets (subscription required)

* HBO is premiering the documentary Revolution Rent on June 15th. The film follows efforts to stage a production of the Broadway musical "Rent" in Cuba, which would be the first Broadway production to premiere in that country in over 50 years.

* BT is confirming that it is in talks that might result in the sale of its sporting arm. BT Sports most notably has the British rights to soccer's Champion's League.  The Daily Telegraph reported on Wednesday that Amazon, Disney and Dazn were in talks with BT, but that an unnamed British broadcaster might also be in the running to buy the sports business.

* Later this year, Netflix plans to open a Nordic hub in Stockholm, which will serve as a regional production and executive center.  Last year, Netflix released Cadaver, its first original film from the region, and the company is planning to bring a wide variety of films to the service soon, including Dancing Queens,”Vinterviken, Against the Ice, Troll, and Black Crab.


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) Chasing Ocean Giants (Discovery+)
Chasing Ocean Giants features modern sea explorer Patrick Dykstra who takes his camera to places others don’t dare to reveal the secrets of our ocean’s giants, from blue whales off the coast of Sri Lanka, to the biggest population of Orcas in the world in the Norwegian fjords. Patrick’s takes discovery+ audiences through some of the most difficult and hostile places on Earth with breathtaking rewards: scenery and displays of animal behavior the world has never seen before.

2) Deadhouse Dark (Shudder)
An anthology of six interconnected horror short films, Deadhouse Dark is anchored by a woman who receives a ‘mystery box’ from the dark web, each item within it gradually unveiling a dark and troubling truth. A boxful of dark and chilling tales of terror inspired by frighteningly familiar modern trends including dark web mystery boxes, dash cam footage and Insta-fame hungry vloggers. Deadhouse Dark is a giant mystery box of chocolates – while there is something in there to suit a variety of different tastes, in the end chocolate is still chocolate. And who doesn’t love chocolate?

3) Duff's Happy Fun Bake Time Series Premiere (Discovery+)
Join Duff Goldman in his laboratory kitchen, along with his puppet crew, as they explore the science behind cooking and baking to create some of the most popular foods on this new series from The Jim Henson Company. Each episode is a flavorful adventure that goes beyond food rules and recipes to discover how ingredients work together to create delicious dishes and desserts.

4) Flip Or Flop Season Premiere (HGTV)
The series continue to follow the divorced duo as they co-parent their two children and run a successful SoCal home reno and flipping business.

5) Let's Be Real Series Premiere (Fox)
Executive-produced and written by Robert Smigel (“Triumph The Insult Comic Dog”), the new series will debut new puppets from the worlds of entertainment and politics, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Ted Cruz, Kim Kardashian and LeBron James. Previously featured puppets, such as President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former President Donald J. Trump, Former Vice President Mike Pence and Kanye West, also will appear, as the satirical comedy series will cover politics and pop culture in 2021 through topical sketches, celebrity cameos and remote pieces.

6) Lucy The Human Chimp (HBO Max)
The documentary feature tells the profound story of Lucy Temerlin, a female chimpanzee raised as human from birth in a domestic environment, and Janis Carter, the woman who took on the seemingly impossible task of giving her a new life in the wild.

7) The Bad Seed (Sundance Now)
Simon Lampton (Matt Minto, Shortland Street, The Blue Rose), a respected obstetrician, has a lovely home in Herne Bay with two daughters and a beautiful wife, Karen (Jodie Hillock, The Inland Road): a well-organized mother and pillar of their community. Older brother Ford Dean O’Gorman, The Hobbit, Trumbo), once estranged and still rough around the edges, is staying in the spare room and appears to be the only outward disruption to Simon’s controlled life. But Simon has a secret-- he’s having an affair with a beautiful young woman from one of Auckland’s seediest suburbs. When Julia Stevens, the Lamptons’ neighbor, is murdered in her own home, Detective Marie Da Silva (Madeleine Sami, Super City) starts focusing on the Lampton household, and Simon’s attempt to cover up his affair begins to unravel his carefully constructed life.

8) The Big Shot With Bethenny Series Premiere (HBO Max)
In each half-hour episode, the next generation of business moguls will compete for a chance to be second-in-command to business tycoon and Skinnygirl founder Frankel, and win a coveted position working on her executive team. In business and in life, Frankel never settles and only accepts excellence. Through a series of real-life tasks and challenges, each aspiring mogul will be tested to see how far they can push their creativity and determination to rise to the top.

9) Things Heard & Seen (Netflix)
A Manhattan couple moves to a historic hamlet in the Hudson Valley and come to discover that their marriage has a sinister darkness, one that rivals their new home’s history. Based on the acclaimed novel by Elizabeth Brundage.

10) Yasuke Series Premiere (Netflix)
He came from Africa and fought alongside a mighty feudal lord in brutal 16th century Japan. They called him the Black Samurai, and he became a legend.


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, April 28th, 2021

28 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, April 28th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Dunkin' Donuts coffee and trail mix.

IT'S AS IF THEY WROTE THIS PIECE JUST FOR ME
As most of you have probably figured out already, I am somewhat obsessed with user experience (UX) issues at the various streaming services and I probably spend a bit too much time in these newsletters tracking how the various services are tweaking how their subscribers interact with their apps. I am especially obsessed with content discovery and how streaming services struggle to make discovery as seamless a process as possible.

Vulture's Joe Adalian has an absolutely fascinating piece on Netflix and their efforts to solve the "decision fatigue" problem:

It’s a week before Thanksgiving, and Cameron Johnson, the Netflix exec who oversees product innovation for the platform’s TV interface, is on Zoom giving me a look at the company’s next big product innovation. A final name for the feature hasn’t been determined. Inside Netflix, the company simply refers to the project as Instant Joy.

About a minute into Johnson’s demonstration, I tell him it reminds me of channel surfing on a regular TV. He tells me that’s exactly what Netflix’s designers were going for. “It’s trying to take what is one of the best things about linear TV, which is immediate entertainment, but make it even better, because it’s personalized,” Johnson says. So unlike old-school TV, Netflix’s version of changing channels makes sure you start at the beginning of a title and not somewhere in the middle. It knows if you’re halfway through a binge, serving up the next episode in your queue rather than one from two seasons ago. And of course, the programs you’re shown are determined by the algorithm, rather than some anonymous network executive. “It uses [member] taste, but it takes away a lot of that decision-making angst,” Yellin explains. In other words, Play Something is meant to evolve the Netflix recommendation engine, not replace it.

At one point, Netflix engineers considered a design that completely blows up the current UX and would make interacting with Netflix feel much more like a traditional television experience:

Having drawn inspiration from its linear predecessors, Netflix designers started sketching out their first rough visual representations of how Instant Joy might work. An early thought among the team was to consider what it would look like if they blew up the established browse-centric Netflix home page and just started from scratch. “Today, you select your profile, you go into the grid of titles … and then from the grid of titles you can get the playback. It’s a very understood paradigm,” Davis tells me one afternoon over Zoom. He then shows me a slide of a very different-looking Netflix home screen, one with the streamer’s kids’ show Carmen Sandiego front and center. It’s a static image, but Davis tells me to “imagine the video is actually playing” as soon as I select my user profile, Zenith-style.

In this vision of a Netflix home page, the now-familiar rows of categories would be invisible at first. Instead, you’d click in, and a title would just start playing, with the show’s title and the words “now playing” appearing in the upper-left-hand corner of the screen. You’d still be able to browse the full content catalogue if you wanted, of course: Icons such as a magnifying glass and a row of boxes would also appear onscreen, reminding users they had other options. But the default would be a personalized Netflix “channel” playing something the algorithm thought you might enjoy. “If we actually built this and shipped it to members today, it would probably be far too jarring,” Davis says, “because it disrupts the expectations of what Netflix is too much.”

You really need to read the entire piece, which is jammed with great behind-the-scenes details about Netflix's efforts to improve content discovery.

And it's a reminder of why this newsletter is called "Too Much TV." There is a tidal wave of new content coming every day and the aim of this newsletter and the web site AllYourScreens.com is to help you cut through the clutter a bit and hopefully highlight some less-publicized programs that are worth your attention. The world has plenty of reviews of The Handmaid's Tale. My goal is to help remind you about some of the other great new stuff.

SPEAKING OF CONTENT DISCOVERY ISSUES
I am a big fan of Discovery+ for both personal and business reasons. The Discovery/Scripps content is the one category of programming that my wife and I can both agree on in a pinch. And the ad-free option is a life changer if you're used to watching the regular cable networks. Discovery reported yesterday that Discovery+ already has more than 15 million subscribers, which puts is ahead of most analyst estimates for growth. 

One of the upsides of Discovery+ is that is rolling out a large number of originals each month, ranging from brand extensions of established titles to new specials and documentaries. But it almost impossible to keep up with the new content, for a couple of unrelated reasons. 

For whatever reason, the Discovery+ app tends to favor popular titles over new ones in the highlight areas. Which I suppose makes sense if the goal is to highlight the titles the most people are wanting to see at that moment. But I can't count how many times I've opened Discovery+ and looked for a new title without finding it highlighted or even visible in the correct genre tab. I can always find the title by searching for it, but the percentage of subscribers willing to do that is extremely small. To be charitable, the Discovery UX is a work in progress and hopefully this an issue they figure out in the near future.

The second content discovery issue is a more inside-baseball thing and I'll preface this by saying that I don't have behind-the-scenes knowledge of how the publicity assignments for Discovery+ are organized. But from dealings with publicists there, the PR responsibilities for Discovery+ seem to mostly be shared by existing publicists for the various cable networks. An arrangement that almost guarantees a lot of smaller new titles will be given less attention internally, which leads to less promotional attention. My sense is that this is an issue that everyone there is aware of, given that in recent weeks I have been begun to be contacted more by outside publicists working for individual Discovery+ programs and specials.

ODDS AND SODS
* Longtime Sony Pictures Entertainment executive Keith Le Goy has been named the studio’s chairman of worldwide distribution and networks.

* Niecy Nash will be hosting a new version of Don't Forget The Lyrics, which will during the 2021-2022 season on Fox.

* Starz will premiere the six-part limited series Little Birds on Sunday, June 6th. The series is described as "a modern tale of a woman losing and then finding herself down a mesmerizing rabbit hole, which is set in 1955 Tangiers."

* Ad Week has a good interview with Ken Gibbs, who is the Head of Series, Social at Prime Video.

* Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show is set to premiere a six-episode series about working during the pandemic.

Image

TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Headspace Guide To Sleep Series Premiere (Netflix)
Learn all about sleep, your relationship with it, and how to build healthy habits for a more restful night in Headspace Guide to Sleep. Over the course of seven animated episodes, Headspace Director of Meditation and Mindfulness teacher, Eve Lewis Prieto, reveals the science behind a healthy night’s sleep and provides tips on how to get the best sleep you’ve ever had. Each fifteen minute episode explores a different aspect of our relationship with sleep—such as insomnia, stress, our phones, and even sleeping pills—followed by a guided wind down designed to help you on your journey to a better sleep.

2) Life Under Renovation (Discovery+)
The series follows five families from across the country as they take on the ambitious task of capturing the ups and downs of the biggest renovation of their lives. Inspired by a major life event, from accommodating a newly blended family or unexpected twins, the self-shot series tracks the progress of the families’ home renovation realities from beginning to end.

3) Sexify (Netflix)
While working to create a sex app, a young woman and her friends set out to explore the world of intimacy and learn about themselves in the process.

4)
The Handmaid's Tale Season Four Premiere (Hulu)
On the run, June and the fugitive Handmaids seek refuge. In Gilead, Aunt Lydia reels from the loss of 86 children on Angel's Flight. The combative Waterfords, in custody in Toronto, learn of June's feat.


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, April 27th, 2021

27 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, April 27th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Diet Rite and jalapeno cheese ravioli.

NHL, TURNER SPORTS REACH DEAL FOR GAMES ON TNT, TBS
The NHL and Turner Sports announced a seven-year media rights agreement Tuesday that will have regular-season, Stanley Cup Playoff and Stanley Cup Final games televised on TNT and TBS starting next season and running through 2027-28:

Turner Sports joins the Walt Disney Co. and ESPN as the NHL's national media rights partners in the United States for the next seven seasons. The NHL, the Walt Disney Co. and ESPN announced a multiplatform media rights deal March 10.

As part of the agreement, Turner Sports' networks will televise the NHL Winter Classic, the League's annual New Year's Day outdoor game, in all seven seasons of the deal. They will show all games in the Stanley Cup Final in 2023, 2025 and 2027, one conference final series each season and half of the first two rounds of the playoffs along with 72 regular-season games per season.

Bleacher Report, which is owned by Turner, will have rights to use NHL highlights on its digital platform.

I'll leave the sports analysis to people wiser than myself. But there are a couple of TV-related takeaways. One is that despite the assurances from TNT/TBS execs that this doesn't mean the networks are stepping back from original scripted programming, the two networks were already in that direction before this deal was finalized. 

When deals like this are made, there are a lot of discussions about the increasing costs of live sports and whether it's possible to still make money in an era when viewership in general is flat or declining. But in the case of TBS/TNT, the pivot to more live sports is as much a reflection of its increasingly limited options as it is a ringing endorsement of the power of live sports programming. Both networks have long carried some sports programming and in recent years TNT's primetime programming has been a hybrid of live sports, off-network syndicated programming, theatrical movies and a limited number of original productions. But that mix is becoming impossible to sustain. There are fewer big hit network TV shows in the pipeline to strip out in primetime and thanks to increased competition from streaming services, the costs of those programs is increasingly rapidly.

It's a similar story with theatrical movies. There are only a few major movie output deals becoming available in the next five years and those precious titles have been essentially priced out of the linear television market. And as for original programming, while TBS has had some success with original game shows & other unscripted series, both TBS and TNT have struggled to launch new scripted titles. Both because it's difficult to find traction in an increasingly crowded marketplace. And because the growth of streaming services has meant that both networks are facing increased competition to snag the projects as they are being developed.

While an NHL deal might not be the future the Turner Networks had planned on, it's likely a cornerstone of what will become the company's best-case programming scenario for the next five years.

SPEAKING OF SPORTS AND CABLE TV
The two "general interest" cable networks over the past 25 years have been TNT and NBCU's USA Network. With TNT adding more sports, it will be interesting to see where USA is headed in the next five years. With NBC's sports net disappearing, it's likely some sports might be headed to USA. Especially given that like TNT, USA has struggled in recent years to launch any new programming other than a handful of reality shows. NBCU doesn't currently have a lot of live sports rights to work with and it also has to figure out how USA fits into a universe in which NBCU's streaming service Peacock is being promoted as being a destination for Premier League soccer. 

I don't envy NBCU executives navigate the future of the USA Network. It currently gets a lot more in affiliate fees than its current lineup would support. And like TNT, it doesn't have a lot of good options when it comes to new off-network programming and/or movie packages.

ODDS AND SODS
* 'The Flintstones' sequel series Bedrock officially enters development at Fox. Elizabeth Banks will voice a 20-something Pebbles making her way in a new Bronze Age world.

* The Daily Beast is hiring an entertainment reporter. You can apply for job here.

* Amazon Prime Video unexpectedly dropped all ten episodes of season three of the series Loudermilk onto its service today. The first two seasons premiered on the now-shuttered Audience Network.

* Fox will be premiering its remake of Fantasy Island on August 10th. Beginning on May 1st, episodes of the original series as well as the 1998 UPN remake will stream on Tubi.

ICYMI
Here are links to some of the stories that were posted over the past few hours on AllYourScreeens.com

* Russian Man 'Trapped' On Chinese Reality TV Show Finally Voted Out After Three Months

* NENT Group Secures Bundesliga Rights Until 2029



TODAY'S PREMIERES
1) Fatma (Netflix)
Fatma (35), an ordinary cleaning lady, commits an unexpected murder while searching for her missing husband, Zafer, who was just released from jail. Zafer’s dodgy underground associates soon find out what she did, and the only way for her to survive in this man’s world is to continue killing. She gets away with it too - since no one takes her to be more than an ordinary cleaner, she becomes an invisible killer. In the end, murder becomes a release for the years of struggle and grief that she had repressed, and a new part of her identity she must confront.

2) Go! Go! Cory Carson Season Four Premiere (Netflix)
Whether helping out his friends or making new ones with sister Chrissy, Cory is always on the move and ready for any adventure that comes his way!

3) Labyrinth Of Cinema (Mubi)
The only movie theater on the Onomichi seafront is about to close its doors. Its last night of screenings will be an all-night marathon of Japanese war films. When lightning strikes the theater, three young men in the audience find themselves thrown back in time into the world inside the screen.

4) Man In Room 301 (MHz Choice)
Dark Finnish thriller about a fractured family facing the consequences of their past actions.

5) Under Pressure (MHz Choice)
Justine (Olivia Ruiz pictured above) struggles to reconcile her family life and her job as a police officer when she faces an internal affairs investigation into stolen money.

6) When Phillip Met Missy (Discovery+)
Every resident in the small town of Hartville, Ohio knows that if you want the latest town gossip, you have to head over to the local fast-food joint. In a town of only 3,000 people, coffee shops are limited, and most folks meet to chat and enjoy their morning brew in the middle of a busy drive-through restaurant. One of those locals is Philip Snider. Philip and his wife, Roberta, were longtime Hartville residents, until his wife’s sudden disappearance. Rumors swell that Philip had something to do with it, but no one knows for sure. One day, a new resident of the town, Missy, walks into the restaurant, and things are never the same. She strikes up an unusual friendship with Philip, and the town holds its breath from afar. What starts out as a meet-cute then swirls into a cycle of surprising and sinister twists that viewers won’t see coming.

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, April 26th, 2021

26 April, 2021

Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, April 26th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by Holiday Blend coffee and lots of grapes.

CAN LOCAL TV REMAIN RELEVANT AS VIEWERS SHIFT TO STREAMING?
CNBC's Alex Sherman has a look at how local TV stations are trying to remain relevant in a era where an increasing number of viewers are shifting their primary TV habits to streaming. There is a lot in the article and to be honest, it could have been broken up into several different pieces that are more focused on specific aspects of the story. But two things jump out at me. First, is the issue of retransmission fees. It's hard for me to see how these fees are sustainable in the long run. Which is a problem, given how much revenue they provide to the station groups:

For the past decade, broadcast station groups have collected fees from pay-TV operators -- Comcast, DirecTV, Dish, Charter, etc. -- for the right to carry their stations. The trend began around 2006 when station groups realized consumers wanted access to their local TV channels just as much as -- if not more than -- they wanted the most popular cable networks (such as ESPN or CNN) which had long charged carriage fees.

So station groups began turning down so-called “must carry” provisions, which required pay-TV operators to carry local stations and share ad revenue with them, and instead began taking direct payments from the pay-TV operators -- with the risk that, someday, the pay-TV operators could change their minds and drop these channels.

That shift led to a booming industry. Total paid retransmission fees paid to station group owners grew from about $200 million in 2006 to more than $10 billion by 2018. They’re still rising. Research firm S&P Global expects fees to top $15 billion by 2023.

Nexstar, the largest U.S. owner of local TV stations, took in nearly $2 billion in retransmission fees last year -- about 44% of the company’s total annual revenue. Buoyed by soaring retransmission revenue, Nexstar’s total return between 2010 and 2020 was nearly 3,000 percent, making the company the fifth-best performing stock of the decade in the The Russell 1000 large-company index.

And while it's not mentioned in the article, some of the retransmission fees are clawed back from the stations by the broadcast networks. Which means that these retransmission fees are financial underpinning of the broadcast network TV ecosystem right now. And any slowing or decrease in those fees will have a profound impact on the industry.

The other interesting aspect of this story is the challenges of adding local TV station feeds to free, ad-supported streaming networks. These AVOD's can't afford to pay retransmission fees. So there are all sorts of clunky workarounds popping up in hopes of creating the Netflix of local TV:

There are also free advertising-supported national streaming services, such as Fox Corp.’s Tubi, which have begun to offer local news feeds. ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV has begun asking local stations for access to their news programming as well, according to people familiar with the matter, but the digital feed wouldn’t be live -- which would avoid retransmission payment.

Sinclair Broadcast executive Adam Ware said Pluto executives have asked for access to Sinclair’s 186 stations, but thus far, the company has turned them down. Instead, he’s using this moment in time to develop a streaming service for Sinclair Broadcast Group called Stirr.

Stirr is a free linear service that includes Sinclair station local news programs and other local content specifically made for streaming -- and it’s the company’s plan to go direct to consumers. Sinclair has also started making original local content for the service, such as Stirr City, a linear feed of news, sports, lifestyle and entertainment programming based on where a person lives.

One problem any service like Stirr faces is that this is the mid-1950s, when local TV stations were creating all sorts of original programming that could be shared with a wider national audiences. For the most part, local TV stations produce daily newscasts, a light lifestyle magazine or two and maybe some sort of local sports programming. And little of that is of interest to anyone outside the area. 

NEXSTAR TO LAUNCH NEW CLASSIC TV DIGINET
Nexstar Media Inc. is launching a new classic TV diginet on September 1st called Rewind TV. Here is the list of shows they expect to carry at launch and while there are a number of familiar titles, the big surprise for fans is the addition of The John Larroquette Show, which has never been available for streaming and hasn't been seen in syndication for close to 20 years. 

This move is actually an interesting play for Nexstar, which also owns the diginet Antenna TV. The company is apparently shifting a bunch of the 1980s & 1990s comedies from Antenna to Rewind and then it will refocus Antenna TV as the home for 1960s-1970s era comedies along with nightly reruns of The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson.

ODDS AND SODS
* Sports Business Journal is reporting that NBC has officially pulled out of the bidding for the NHL’s second TV package, according to U.S. and Canadian sources. Next season will now mark the first time since the '05-06 campaign that the network will not carry any NHL games.

* Netflix has launched a companion interactive web site for its new YA drama Shadow & Bone, which premiered last Friday.

* Cinedigm is launching a new children’s animation streaming video channel called Fantawild, which is in partnership with Fantawild Animation, a Chinese producer of children’s animation.

ICYMI
Here are links to some of the stories that were posted over the weekend on AllYourScreeens.com

* Roku Warns Customers They May Lose Access To YouTube TV

* First Look: 'Devils' Series Two

* New On Amazon Prime Video: May 2021

* Fortnite Adds Vikings Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson Locker Bundle

First Look Video: 'The Mosquito Coast' - Episode One

New On IMDb TV: May 2021