Tuesday, July 25, 2017

HBO Fights Coal Baron

Eriq Gardner reports on HBO's fight against a lawsuit from a coal baron over a Last Week Tonight segment.

Net Neutrality Hearing

House Republicans have scheduled a net neutrality hearing for Sept. 7 and invited CEOs from Facebook, Google, and other tech companies.


Alan Wolk explains why a deal between the National Cable Television Cooperative and Playstation Vue and FuboTV could be a game changer for virtual MVPDs and pay TV.

Broad City Censoring Trump's Name

Kate Stanhope talked to Broad City's stars about why the show will bleep out Donald Trump's name this season.

Tracking Emotional Reactions

Kerry Flynn reports on a tech company's efforts to track emotional reactions of TV viewers via social media.

Star Trek & Socialism

A.M. Gittlitz discusses the original Star Trek's debt to revolutionary socialism.

Viacom Eyeing Scripps

Joe Flint reports on Viacom's consideration of buying Scripps Networks.

Top-Rated Broadcasts So Far

Anthony Crupi presents a chart of the top-50 most watched broadcasts of the year so far: "top-tier sports, award shows and political spectacles accounted for all but one of the top 30 most-watched programs on the tube since the year began."

South Park & Trolls

Sean O'Neal blames South Park for helping to feed the hostile apathy that runs through troll culture today.

Nielsen Adds Hulu & Youtube Live

Brian Steinberg reports on Nielsen adding Hulu's and YouTube's live TV services to its traditional ratings. Jeanine Poggi expects the early impact will be minimal, though.

AT&T-Time Warner Talks

The Justice Department is now talking with AT&T and Time Warner about merger conditions.

New Sony TV Presidents

Sony has named three replacements for the TV execs it lost to Amazon.

Cord Cutting Projections

Jon Lafayette relays an analyst's projection of big cord-cutting to come in the next decade.

ABC's Fall Premieres

ABC announced its fall premiere dates.

Trump & TV

Emily Nussbaum rewatched The Apprentice to better understand the path laid to Trump's presidency. Eric Alterman says Trump allies are creating an alternate reality via their own media outlets, though Sinclair's CEO told Cynthia Littleton he's not planning to start a conservative network. Olivia Nuzzi looks at the relationship between Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and TrumpFox & Friends and the New York Times are fighting over a report that the former got wrong.

MSNBC Ratings

There's more good ratings news for MSNBC, as it finished #1 in weekday primetime viewers for the first time in its history.

Summer TCA Begins

The summer version of the TCA press tour begins today and will run through August 9.  Jason Lynch identifies six outlets with the most at stake.

Monday, July 24, 2017

FCC Criticism

Dell Cameron is highly critical of the FCC and Ajit Pai for a public records request response.

Emmy Snubs Explained

Ben Travers explains why a new Emmys voting process could have shut out certain shows.

CNN Talk on Facebook

Lucinda Southern introduces us to CNN Talk, a CNN International news show that streams on Facebook Live every Friday.

Oxygen Rebranding

Kate Stanhope covers Oxygen's shift to crime-focused programming, as does Michael Malone (who quotes me!).

Hawaii Five-0 Casting

Hawaii Five-0 has added non-white cast members, but Eric Deggans says it's too little, too late.

Talking During Game of Thrones

Daniel Victor wondered if viewers of Game of Thrones talk during the show and got a variety of responses.

Accent Coaching

Ryan Bradley profiles a dialect coach kept busy with work these days helping global acting talent adopt American accents.

Bewkes Planning Exit

Emily Steel reports that if the AT&T-Time Warner merger goes through, Jeff Bewkes will depart as Time Warner CEO.

TV & Film

John Russell covers the encroachment of TV into film festivals, while director Jane Campion explains why she now prefers to make TV over movies.

Queen For a Day

History looks back on one of television's original "misery shows," Queen for a Day: "For decades, it tantalized audiences with the possibility that consumer goods had the power to heal broken hearts."

Streaming's Impact

Kate Bulkley looks at how Amazon's new UK streaming initiative could challenge established pay TV players, and Colin Dixon considers how Hulu Live could threaten traditional pay TV operators and broadcasters. Jason Lynch analyzes how Adult Swim is winning audiences and advertisers with live-streaming video on its website.

TV News at Comic-Con

Coverage of panels at Comic-Con on Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, DC TV, Doctor Who, Westworld, Star Trek: Discovery, The Originals (which announced its final season), Riverdale, Outlander, Gotham, Twin PeaksGame of Thrones, American Horror Story, Psych, Once Upon a Time. Watch all the TV trailers that debuted. THR names winners and losers from the weekend.

Vice Layoffs

Vice Media is the latest company to lay off employees while planning to expand video operations.

Conservative Media News

Dylan Byers profiles Fox News a year after Ailes' departure, writing that it "remains the most-watched network on cable news and one of the most powerful forces in American politics" and under Murdoch has "consistently served as a booster for the President of the United States." Oliver Darcy notes the channel has also relied heavily on Hillary Clinton-bashing lately. Jeremy Barr reports that Tucker Carlson is getting the highest ad rates on all of cable news. At Comic-Con, Matt Groening said 21st Century Fox asked him to go easier on Fox News after the show made a joke about its racism.

In coverage of other conservative outlets, Alex Kaplan offers a history of Sinclair Broadcasting's right-wing politics, while Armstrong Williams argues recent criticisms of Sinclair's conservatism are alarmist. There are rumors that Bill O'Reilly could join with Sinclair on a news venture, possibly with Sean Hannity too. Steven Rosenfeld traces out how Breibart misinformation helped pave the way for Trump.


Wynonna Earp is getting a third season at Syfy, while Iron Fist is getting a second at Netflix, though it will have a new showrunner.

White House Communications People

Sean Spicer is quitting; Margaret Sullivan says not to mourn because he was a disaster from the start. Anthony Scaramucci is now in as White House communications director, and Damian Paletta and Renae Merle offer a profile of him. The AP has a profile of Spicer's replacement, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Annie Karni tells us more about the low-profile but central White House Director of Strategic Communications, Hope Hicks.

More on Confederate

The backlash against the announcement of Confederate, the Benioff and Weiss HBO show in early development, was strong enough that they offered a response to Josef Adalian. They also talked with Time, Variety, and Vanity Fair. Additional criticism of the show's premise comes from Damon Young, Lincoln Anthony Blades, and Vivian Kane, while Jesse Washington says let's wait and see. Lisa Woolfork sees a rocky road ahead. Roxane Gay shares her concerns.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Good TVeets

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sinclair's Production Values

Felix Gillette questions Sinclair's low production values rather than its political bias.

Trump's FCC

Alex SIlverman says Senate Democrats gave Donald Trump's Republican FCC nominees a grilling today. In related news, the White House position on the FCC's net neutrality rules is that they should be eliminated.

Banning Gender Stereotypes in Ads

Iliana Magra reports on an initiative by Britain's ad regulator to ban advertising containing gender stereotypes. Kristina Monllos says that would never happen in the U.S.

Tying Megyn Kelly to Today

Brian Steinberg identifies NBC's ad strategy for Megyn Kelly's morning show: package her as part of the Today show franchise.

Interest in Univision & Consolidation

The WSJ reports on acquisition interest in Univision, with John Malone as a leading suitor, and the NYT highlights Malone's interest in riding the industry's wave of consolidation.

BBC Pay & Doctor Who

Steven Barnett argues that the government's move to force the BBC to unveil talent salaries was a strategy to undermine the corporation, and Jake Kanter says the figures show all BBC presenters are being paid well below than their market values. The BBC's director general says the corporation needs to do more.

Given gender gap concerns, the BBC made sure to note Doctor Who's new cast member would be paid the same as her predecessor.  About the Doctor Who casting, Lindy West offers her thoughts.

MTV's Struggle

Scaachi Koul looks at MTV's identity crisis and its attempts to recapture its relevance to youth audiences.

Confederate Reaction

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have a post-Game of Thrones project picked up HBO, an alternate history tale of the South having won the Civil War. Controversy already abounds based on just the premise. Ira Madison III says the project sounds "stupid as hell," and Ryan McGee offers five reasons it sounds like a terrible idea.

Seacrest In

Ryan Seacrest will be back with American Idol when it returns on ABC.

Katzenberg's Entertainment Plans

Andrew Wallenstein tells us about Jeffrey Katzenberg's new short-form video series initiative. Brandon Katz says Katzenberg's mobile entertainment ideas could be revolutionary.

More Arrested Development

Marlow Stern reports on plans for the fifth season of Arrested Development, which will take on Trump.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Game of Thrones & HBO Streaming

Josef Adalian explains how Game of Thrones helped HBO to establish its streaming platform.

Moss Profile

Lacey Rose profiles Elisabeth Moss and her post-Handmaid's Tale activism.

Evolution of Adult Animation

John Hugar explores how Rick & Morty and BoJack Horseman proved to be groundbreaking for adult animation.

Al Jazeera Demand Dropped

A set Arab nations is no longer demanding that Al Jazeera be shuttered.

Walking Dead Stuntman Death Details

Jonathan Handel reports new details about the death of a Walking Dead stuntman.

PTC Goes After The Mick

The PTC has filed FCC indecency complaints over Fox's The Mick.

Kermit Kerfuffle

The voice of Kermit the Frog for the past 27 years has been fired, and Laura Bradley says the story is getting nastier with each new development.

Netflix Spending

Paul Bond covers the debate over Netflix's spending and its valuation, and Ben Weiss defends Netflix's big picture strategies. Hamza Saban looks at Netflix's challenge to movie theaters, which director Christopher Nolan has lashed out against. Nicole LaPorte has analysis of Netflix's global orientation.

Hulu Exclusives

Hulu made a deal with 20th Century Fox Television Distribution to exclusively stream a slew of classic series, including M*A*S*H and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Trump & Cable News

James Poniewozik analyzes the Trump-Fox & Friends feedback loop dynamic. Sarah Ellison covers the heat Trump has put on CNN. And Jay Rosen discusses Trump's ongoing campaign to discredit the press. In other news, Michael Wolff checks in on Fox News one year after Roger Ailes' firing.

NBC News on Snapchat

NBC News has launched a daily show on Snapchat.

Doctor Who Complaints Response

The BBC has issued an official response to those who have complained about the Doctor Who casting news.

More Mad Men at 10

Alan Sepinwall points to Mad Men as the start of the Peak TV trend ten years ago, while Todd VanDerWerff laments that Mad Men didn't change TV storytelling more. Caroline Framke highlights the show's women, and Brian Grubb looks back on Mad Men's premiere.

Scripps Merger

Scripps Networks and Discovery Communications are in merger talks, a combination which Jason Lynch says both makes sense and doesn't. Viacom is also reportedly in play for Scripps, and Brian Steinberg observes that the trend right now is to consolidate.

@midnight Ending in August

Chris Hardwick's @midnight will end on Comedy Central in August.

BBC Top Salaries

The BBC has released star salary figures, including the top 20 highest-paid stars. The figures revealed a gender gap in pay, as well as a dearth of ethnic diversity. Scott Bryan pinpoints more problematic facts from the figures. The Guardian addresses the transparency issue.