Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Univision's Upfronts

Juan Ayala covers the impression and information Univision gave at its upfronts presentation.

AGT Lawsuit

America's Got Talent and Tyra Banks have been hit with a lawsuit alleging emotional distress and battery.

Preserving TV

Bryan Gardiner profiles a man digitizing hundreds of hours of old broadcast tapes.

ESPN Schadenfreude

Bryan Curtis considers why many are finding joy in ESPN's struggles.

Snapchat, Twitter, Mobile

Andrew Wallenstein covers the growth of Snapchat as a mobile platform for shows, as James Corden announced a coming Late Late Show Snapchat series, while Kerry Flynn looks at technology being developed to put Snaps on bigger screens. Meanwhile, Marissa Lang says Twitter's push into video could push out some users, and AT&T's CEO foresees 20 minute-episodes of Game of Thrones made for watching on phones.

Film Festivals & TV

Liz Shannon Miller offers a proposal to film festivals for better celebrating television.

Cancellation & Renewal

NBC has cancelled Chicago Justice, while Comedy Central wants more episodes of The President Show.

Amazon vs. Netflix

In a bid to better compete with Netflix and Sky, Amazon has added 40 new channels to its UK service, including some live sports. In the stock market race, Netflix is pulling ahead.

The Bachelorette & Race

The Bachelorette premiered with its first African-American lead last night and started out solid in the ratings. Ali Barthwell says the show felt different, but Jackie Strause and Kathryn VanArendonk each observe that race wasn't addressed in the episode.

Love for Mr. Rogers

Twitter was captivated today by a lovely story that Anthony Breznican told about a meetup he once had with Mr. Rogers. Phillip Maciak explains why heading to Twitch to watch some Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood episodes right now would be a good idea.

Stewart's HBO Project Cancelled

John Koblin reports that HBO and Jon Stewart have cancelled their animation project deal.

Fox News & Hannity Controversy

Fox News has retracted its report claiming that the murder of Seth Rich was DNC-related on the same day that Rich's parents pleaded with the press to stop politicizing their son's death. Sean Hannity insisted earlier today that he wouldn't let the story go, but on tonight's show he said he won't discuss the case "at this time" out of respect for the family. Will Oremus proposes reasons why Hannity is sticking with it, and Margaret Sullivan sees this as part of a larger corrosion of truth that should concern all Americans.

MSNBC Ratings Victory

MSNBC achieved an unprecedented victory in the weekly prime-time ratings last week.

Colbert Cleared

The FCC has declared that Stephen Colbert did not violate any actionable rules with his recent vulgar Trump insults.

Twin Peaks Ratings

Ratings analysts are calling the Twin Peaks premiere ratings "soft," but Josef Adalian notes that Nielsen ratings don't carry as much weight anymore.

Season News

NBC will win the 18-49 demo ratings race for the season, while CBS will keep its total viewers streak going. In a season of few ratings success stories, Kate Aurthur highlights five of them. Alison Herman summarizes the state of television as the networks exit upfronts.

Monday, May 22, 2017

TV Shows Praised

Ryan McGee explains why Jane the Virgin is a singularly great work of television, while Lorraine Berry recommends that we watch Call the Midwife for its representation of working-class feminism.

Trial & Error Renewed

NBC wants a second season of Trial & Error.

SNL Exits

Add Sasheer Zamata to the list of those departing from Saturday Night Live.

Conservative TV

Jim Rutenberg covers possible routes for a Bill O'Reilly comeback. Margaret Sullivan notes that one of those routes, via Sinclair's Tribune acquisition, is only FCC approval away.

Huckabee Sanders Profile

Hunter Walker profiles Sarah Huckabee Sanders, a rising star in speaking on behalf of the White House.

Seth Meyers & Trump News

Alan Sepinwall talked with Seth Meyers about how he manages to incorporate late-breaking Trump news into his late night show.

Megyn Kelly's Debut

Mark June 4 on your calendars as the debut of Megyn Kelly's NBC news magazine show.

New Fox News Suits

Three new lawsuits have been filed against Fox News for employee discrimination.

Moonves Extends Contract

Les Moonves's contract at CBS has been extended into 2021.

More on Upfronts

A few more upfronts pieces: Lesley Goldberg collects responses from studio chiefs about the week, Jason Lynch pinpoints five defining trends, Ed Martin offers reviews of each network, and Robert Bianco sees a lot of the same stuff coming this fall.

Peabody Awards Ceremony

Jackie Strause covers the Peabody Awards presentations, which took place on Saturday and will air on TV June 2.

Good TVeets

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Good TVeets

Fox News Trump Coverage

Carlos Maza offers a video detailing how Fox News spins, deflects, and suppresses negative news about Donald Trump.

Netflix & Amazon Emmy Campaigns

Glenn Whipp highlights the elaborate Emmy marketing campaigns Amazon and Netflix are undertaking.

FCC Reporter Manhandled

FCC security guards roughly treated a reporter trying to ask questions of commissioners on Thursday. An FCC spokesperson has issued an apology.

East Los High Ending

Hulu's East Los High will end in the fall with an hour-long special.

Black-ish Spinoff

Black-ish is getting a college spinoff that will air on Freeform.

Friday, May 19, 2017

GH Pharmaceutical Controversy

Two doctors are calling out ABC's General Hospital for promoting a drug treatment in a plotline developed in partnership with the only pharmaceutical company allowed to sell the medication.

The Five Firing

Fox News has dismissed Bob Beckel, a co-host on The Five, for "making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee."

Riverdale Fandom

Kaitlyn Tiffany highlights how Riverdale's active fandom was conceived and fostered from the start by the show's writers and considers the larger implications: "We’re approaching an era where more and more creative properties are viewed as open-source, where deriding something as 'not canon' barely even registers as an insult, and where fans who are given a backchannel to interact with stars, creatives, and each other will use it constantly and aggressively."

Also, catching back up with an article I missed when the blog was on hiatus, Michael Z. Newman covered Riverdale's self-awareness of the greatness of teen drama and the genre's narrative tropes.

NFL's Ad Strategies

Daniel Holloway reports on the NFL's plan to combat ratings declines with reductions in the length and frequency of ad breaks during games.

Facebook News

Facebook will host live MLB games on Fridays, while Twitter will shift them to Tuesdays. Mike Shields reports that Facebook's strategy to move in on the TV advertising market faces challenges. And Sam Levin says Facebook's attempts to combat fake news aren't working.

Mom's Donation

The producers and stars of CBS's Mom will donate their Emmy campaign money to Planned Parenthood.

Post-Peak TV: Reality TV?

Reid Nakamura and Ryan Gajewski propose that reality TV could rise again as scripted TV declines from Peak TV highs.

Cancellation Reaction

American Crime writer Steve Harper shares what it feels like when you learn your show has been cancelled.

Walking Dead Ratings

AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan professes to be unconcerned about The Walking Dead's ratings declines.

Dead Shows Returning

Speaking of Twin Peaks, Ellen Gray questions the voluminous resurrection of dead shows.

The Twin Peaks Revival

Twin Peaks returns to TV on Sunday, so here are some links to get you prepared: The NYT has a bunch of coverage, including a visual glossary, a guide to catching up, a look at how the show came back, and both a look back at and a critics' discussion of its start. Elsewhere, Michael Ausiello talks with David Lynch about the revival, and academic Ross Garner covers the expectations raised by the show's return. Matt Zoller Seitz, also concerned about those expectations, details seven things viewers should keep in mind before watching the new version. Todd VanDerWerff and Caroline Framke answer Twin Peaks questions.

Upfronts Overviews

Upfronts presentations ended yesterday, so overviews are coming in: Eric Deggans offers a summary, and Lesley Goldberg has fully updated the upfronts scorecard of pickups, cancellations, and renewals. Goldberg notes new series orders hit a five-year low, and she features companies and showrunners with the most material on the air. Goldberg and Michael O'Connnell pinpoint the five biggest narratives coming out of upfronts. Jason Lynch names the ten most memorable moments.

Brian Lowry doesn't see much innovation in network schedules. Kate Stanhope highlights time slot battles. Andy Dehnart outlines the network reality TV scene for next year. Peter Kafka and Rani Molla note that network viewers are draining away but advertisers are still sticking around, while Meg James and Stephen Battaglio cover how the networks are trying to respond to ad-skippers and social media competitors. Daniel Holloway observes that the new 2017-18 shows are heavily white and heavily male. John Koblin sees a lot of musicals, murder, and the military coming.

Roger Ailes Dead

Former Fox News chief Roger Ailes has died. Erin McClam and Brian Stelter at CNN have an obituary. Ahiza Garcia looks at how Fox News covered the news when it broke. Julian Zelizer discusses how Ailes changed the media and the country. Christina Cauterucci says Ailes's legacy lives on in Trump.

Critical reflections are offered by Isaac Chotiner ("He made our country nastier, stupider, cruder, and more bigoted"), Matt Gertz ("the legacy he leaves behind is a propaganda machine he created in his own image that has done incalculable damage to the country, slanting facts and information -- and sometimes completely inventing them -- in service of a vicious, right-wing agenda"), and Matt Taibbi ("He is on the short list of people most responsible for modern America's vicious and bloodthirsty character."). Alyssa Rosenberg looks back on Ailes's work for Richard Nixon as a foundation for Fox News.

Jim Rutenberg looks at how Ailes took advantage of divisions among Americans. Chris O'Falt highlights Ailes's visual storytelling influence, and Nicole Hemmer traces out his Fox News legacy. Emily Steel looks back on Ailes's Fox News exit. Don Kaplan covers Ailes's belief in his own innocence. Jonah Engel Bromwich has cataloged reactions from the right and left, including this from the director of the Peabody Awards, Jeffrey Jones: “no single individual has done more harm to American democracy in the last generation.” Bill O'Reilly blames hatred of Ailes for killing him. Ashley Cullins looks at how Ailes's death could affect the legal issues surrounding his Fox News tenure. Michael Wolff covers the complex Ailes-Murdoch relationship. Andrew Ferguson profiles Ailes. Jeff Greenfield discusses the bubble that Ailes created with Fox News, and Jon Klein describes Ailes's Fox News strategy. Bret Stephens insists Ailes was ultimately bad for conservatism. Biographer Gabriel Sherman looks back on his contentious relationship with Ailes. Oliver Darcy looks back on Ailes's creation of the conservative media celebrity. Monica Lewinsky describes how Ailes helped to make her life a nightmare.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Spec Script Fatigue

Bryn Elise Sandberg reports that agencies are combatting a deluge of TV spec scripts.

Last Man Standing Being Shopped

20th Century Fox TV is shopping Last Man Standing following its ABC cancellation.

In the Writers' Room

The LA Times has a video roundtable with showrunners Aziz Ansari, Peter Gould, Gloria Calderon Kellett, Bruce Miller and David Mandel.

FCC Moves

The FCC voted to move forward today on considering the dismantling of net neutrality rules. Democrats hope to spark a backlash to prevent it. The FCC will also review all existing media regulations, such as the "main studio" rule. The FCC will also have to deal with Sinclair's Tribune Media deal.

The CW's Upfronts

The CW released its fall schedule today. Michael O'Connell has analysis. Jason Lynch sees big changes, but Alyssa Fikse notes DC comics properties are still the cornerstone of the lineup. Spotted answers his CW questions. Oriana Schwindt make the case for why The CW sucks. Daniel Fienberg assesses the The CW's new show trailers. Masked Scheduler offers his CW judgment.