Saturday, April 25, 2015

Friday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Paying Less For TV

New analysis of cord cutter desires indicates people still want a lot of channels, they just want to pay less for them all.

Littlest Hobo Oral History

Elianna Lev offers an oral history of The Littlest Hobo, an iconic Canadian TV show.

Identifying With Black Representations

Bim Adewunmi expresses frustration that while black viewers frequently find points of identification with white characters and representations, especially due to their overwhelmingly presence, white viewers tend not to see themselves in black characters and representations.

Williams Inquiry Expanding

Apparently NBC is finding more Brian Williams lies as it digs deeper into his past comments.

Jenner Coverage

Diane Sawyer's interview of Bruce Jenner was met with mostly positive reaction and big viewership numbers: Gabriel Arana says it set a new bar for reporting on transgender issues, Brian Lowry says it overcame the hype, Brian Stelter says the interview with met with an outpouring of love, and Andy Dehnart was engaged throughout. Jenner will now star in an E! series about the gender transition.

Good TVeets

Friday, April 24, 2015

Netflix & HBO Value

Sam Mattera covers the comparative stock valuation of HBO and Netflix, while Will Richmond's podcast discusses Netflix's "friend or foe" status relative to the TV industry.

Grey's Attention

Todd VanDerWerff deconstructs the "Grey's Anatomy is still on?" reaction that some had last night and explores why it indeed deserves to still be on. There was also significant tweeting throughout the episode, with apparent East Coast and West Coast spikes at the end of the episode.

More Comcast Coverage

Tim Wu covers what brought about the demise of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal. Richard Greenfield considers what's next for various video providers. Shalini Ramachandran says Charter will now go after TWC.


Check out a new issue of Critical Studies in Television featuring:

Jenner Dilemma

Brian Stelter highlights the dilemma journalists are grappling with over what gendered pronoun to use in regard to Bruce Jenner.

Peabody Awards and Valuing TV

Jonathan Gray discusses his experience on the Peabody Awards Board and the process of collaboratively determining value.

Important Media Reporters

Mediaite offers a list of the eleven most important media reporters in 2015.

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: The Big Bang Theory (CBS), Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
- Still Positive but Fading: Scandal (ABC)
- Not Worthy of Renewal: The Odd Couple (CBS)
- Losers: The Vampire Diaries (CW), Backstrom (Fox), Reign (CW), American Crime (ABC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

YouTube Past & Future

Brian Moylan looks back on how ten years of YouTube have changed television, and Joan E. Solsman looks forward and see YouTube stars representing the future of mainstream entertainment.

Bundle Hate

George Simpson says cable subscribers should be fighting against bundling and calling for more control over what they pay for.

HBO News Risk

Andrew Tyndall says HBO is taking a risk by entering into the news business with Vice.

Original Content Strategy

Alan Wolk sees the importance of high-quality original series continuing as networks seek to stand out.

Orphan Black Ratings

Orphan Black premiered on Saturday not just on BBC America but across a spectrum of AMC Networks channels. The latter circumstance resulted in an all-time viewership high for the series, though the numbers for BBC America individually were down from last season.

Comcast Coverage

More coverage of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable deal falling through: Comcast confirmed the deal is dead this morning, and Time Warner Cable also released a statement. Todd Shields notes that Comcast's lobbying force failed, and Amy Schatz says this shows money can't buy everything. Tali Arbel says this won't stop the consolidation wave, and Peter Kafka says we still have a ways to go to get better broadband service. Michael Lev considers this bad news for the TWC-Dodgers impasse. Karl Bode has the Comcast employee perspective

Good TVeets

Warning: Grey's Anatomy spoilers in here, though it's hard to imagine anyone managed to avoid them thus far.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Awesomeness Mom Spinoff

AwesomenessTV will launch a new digital brand aimed at moms of millennials, with soaps and talk shows in the programming mix.

ESPN Exec to Fox Sports

Former ESPN executive Jamie Horowitz will head to Fox Sports to oversee programming for Fox Sports 1 and 2.

Schumer Sketch

Jessica Goldstein talks to the writers of the Inside Amy Schumer's Friday Night Lights-themed "Don't rape" sketch that went viral. Katie McDonough says it's a perfect takedown of rape culture.

Dr. Oz Controversy

Talk show celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz is responding to a group of physicians insisting he should resign from Columbia University due to quackery. Brian Lowry has coverage of the episode in which Dr. Oz goes after his critics.

Marvel Studios & TV Issue

Merrill Barr raises questions about communication issues between Marvel's movie and TV teams.

Cord Cutting Coverage

Nielsen insists cable is doing fine and cord cutting isn't proliferating. But Cablevision, for one, is offering a cord cutter's broadband package.

Verizon FiOS Ads Blocked

Disney and Fox are refusing to air ads for Verizon's FiOS service with smaller custom bundles.

Docs in PBS Prime Time

Independent Lens and POV will stay in prime time on all PBS outlets and will see increased marketing.

More Peabodys

Peabody awards for documentary, educational, children's, and public service programming were announced today.

Comcast Deal Off

Alex Sherman reports that Comcast will abandon its plan to merge with Time Warner Cable due to likely regulator disapproval. The NYT also reports, as do Financial Times and Shalini Ramachandran. Erin Griffith wonders what Comcast will buy next. Joe Flint says this is a black eye for Comcast CEO Brian Roberts. Jonathan Mahler says the focus on broadband killed the deal.

Hulu-Turner Deal

Hulu forged a deal with Turner for exclusive SVOD rights to Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, TBS, TNT content.

Complex TV Endings

An excerpt from Jason Mittell's new book on complex TV covers endings in serial dramas.

Letterman Special

David Letterman will exit his show with a prime-time special.

AT&T and The Flash

Ed Martin looks at how AT&T is working on-screen promotions into The Flash.

BBC3 Delay

The possible move of BBC Three online has been delayed to 2016 as regulators continue to ponder approval.

Mad Men & Women in Advertising

A female advertising exec offers her take on Mad Men's portrayal of women in the business.

Women on Comedy Central

Megan Angelo presents a timeline of women appearing on Comedy Central.

Ad Personalization

Brian Steinberg documents a push toward more narrowly audience-targeted ads on TV.

Rerun Afterlife

Adriene Hill looks at the evolving value of reruns, as streaming services dig into traditional syndication practices.

Election Shutdown

The British channel E4 will go dark on election day to encourage young people to vote.

Influential Ads

Food Network and HGTV topped a survey into the likelihood that viewers would buy products a channel advertised.

Facebook Video Partners

Todd Spangler reports that Facebook is teaming with partners like Vice, Funny or Die, and Disney to develop sponsored video content.

Louie's Representation of Single Dads

Craig Tomashoff appreciates how Louie portrays the single dad.

Jenner Interview Promos

Brian Stelter highlights ABC's promotional strategy for Diane Swayer's interview with Bruce Jenner.

Community's Pedagogy

Stephanie Brown explores the pop culture instructional function of Community.

Kid in the Hall Tour

Kids in the Hall members did a radio interview about their upcoming tour and why Canadian TV today doesn't have a show like it.

Weather Channel-Dish Deal

The Weather Channel struck a new carriage agreement with Dish Network and will appear on Sling TV this summer.


Adam Sternbergh proposes purge-watching as the term for viewing a show to completion because you feel obligated to finish, not because you like it.

The Life & Death of Playmakers

Aaron Gordon reports on Playmakers, the short-lived ESPN drama about pro football, and how the NFL killed it.

Aereo Settlement

Aereo will pay $950,000 to the broadcast networks in a settlement of its copyright violation suit.

The Decline of Bundling

Ben Popper says the giant bundle business model of cable TV is dying.

Pilot Trends

Andrea Morabito looks at what trends are apparent from the fall pilots in play. And Scott Collins notes that racial diversity is one of those trends.

Mad Men Oral History

This was all over Twitter feed the past few days, so you probably saw it already, but just in case: Clickhole's oral history of Mad Men is a must-read.

Mad Men Style

Tom and Lorenzo analyze costuming in "The Forecast." Alexandra Jacobs talks to Mad Men costume designer Janie Bryant about what's next for her.

Netflix Nostalgia

Sam Thielman says Netflix's algorithms reveal the nostalgia that is bringing shows like Full House back.

Sirens Cancelled

USA has cancelled Sirens, and the fact that they don't own the show played a role in the decision. Merrill Barr digs into that fact further and argues that Netflix or FX should save the series.

Lip Sync Battle Renewed

Not surprisingly, Spike TV wants a second season of Lip Sync Battle.

SVOD & Streaming Viewing

Nielsen has a new study about viewing habits, which stresses viewers gaining power over how and when they watch. A different study finds streaming overtaking live TV as preferred viewing for Americans, plus SVOD viewers wouldn't mind more ads for cheaper services, while another study finds that connected TV owners are active video streamers. Colin Dixon notes conflicting data on the speed of SVOD growth. Nielsen insists it could better measure online viewing if only networks and advertisers would let it, while figures show that Netflix viewing is eating into TV ratings, particular with network rerun content. Will Richmond says new research shows that pay TV subscribers value TV Everywhere options, though most are light users right now.

The Americans Interviews

Alan Sepinwall talks to the producers of The Americans about season 3. Todd VanDerWerff also talked with a co-showrunner about the season finale.

Wednesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: Survivor (CBS), Modern Family (ABC), Criminal Minds (CBS)
- Honorable Mention: The Goldbergs (ABC)
- Losers: Nothing…there was something for everyone!

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

New Flow Issue

Check out a new issue of Flow featuring:

Anti-Piracy Search Engine

MPAA chief lobbyist Chris Dodd is hoping that the search engine will help limit piracy by enabling people to more easily find desired legal content online.

Most Censored Countries

The Committee to Protect Journalists has posted a list of countries where censorship of the press is most extensive.

Fresh Off the Boat Coverage

Josef Adalian talked to Fresh Off the Boat's showrunner about the first season, criticism from Eddie Huang, and what's next, as the season finale aired this week. Jeff Yang says the series has already changed TV, but Lenika Cruz wants more from a second season. Molly Fitzpatrick highlights how underrepresented Asian-Americans are on TV. Slate has a discussion of the series' representations that features Hudson Yang, who plays Eddie.

Monday & Tuesday Ratings

I missed ratings the past few days, so here's some catchup in case you did too:

Monday ratings summary from Marc Berman:
- Winners: Dancing with the Stars (ABC), The Voice (NBC), Scorpion (CBS)
- Disappointing: Gotham (Fox)
- Losers: The Originals (CW), The Following (Fox), Jane the Virgin (CW)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratingsCable ratings.

Analysis from Fienberg.


Tuesday ratings summary from Marc Berman:
- Winners: The Voice (NBC)
- Honorable Mention: Chicago Fire (NBC)
- Disappointing: Undateable (NBC)
- Losers: Repeat After Me (ABC), Weird Loners (Fox), One Big Happy (NBC), Forever (ABC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted.

Comcast Merger Dead?

The FCC is reportedly against the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger and wants a hto hold a hearing on the matter, which analysts say is a sign the deal could be dead. Criticism of Comcast has built in recent weeks, and both Comcast and TWC are among the most hated companies in the cable business. Dorothy Pomerantz questions if Comcast even needs TWC anymore given the state of the cable TV and broadband business now, and Brian Nichols says it doesn't matter for shareholder value anymore. Meanwhile, the AT&T-DirecTV merger possibility is still out there. Richard Greenfield considers what's next.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

5-Season Plan for Orphan Black

E! reports a comment from Orphan Black's co-creator that they have a five-season plan for the series.

Finding Your Roots Issue

Ben Affleck explains why he wanted a slave-owning ancestor excised from his episode of Finding Your Roots, and PBS is now investigating the decisions behind the segment. Mary Elizabeth Williams is disappointed in PBS and what this represents about the state of public media. Gawker obtained a transcript of the full episode.

Bundle Dispute

Verizon says its "skinny bundles" offering is about consumer choice, but 21st Century Fox and NBCU have joined Disney in protesting the packages. More from Brian Stelter.

Comcast Hurdles

The WSJ reports again on the obstacles Comcast is now facing to its TWC merger plan (a link to the non-paywall link) Phillip Swann points to the DirecTV-Hulu role.

ESPN Targeting Upstarts

Brian Steinberg highlights ESPN's pre-upfronts promos showcasing their advertising advantage over upstart video competitors like BuzzFeed and Funny or Die.

Discovery's Personal Pitch

Anthony Crupi looks at Discovery's strategy to downscale upfronts and pitch more directly to advertisers.

Daredevil Renewed

Netflix wants a second season of Daredevil, though different showrunners will take over.

Netflix & Amazon Content

Lucas Shaw says program ownership is the key next step for Netflix. And Issie Lapowsky talks to Cindy Holland, vice president of original content at Netflix and Roy Price, VP of Amazon Studios, about their companies' respective content strategies.

Crime Show Analysis

Rick Porter watched 78 hours of crime procedurals and identifies core conventions, including victim identities.

TV and Feminism

Cleo, a journal of film and feminism, offers a TV-focused issue, with essays on Murder She Wrote, Veronica Mars, Transparent, Adventure Time, Love & Hip Hop, crime drama, TV online, and Issa Rae.

TV Criticism Pulitzer

LA Times TV critic Mary McNamara has won a Pulitzer Prize. The Times links to the columns that earned her the prize.

High Maintenance to TV

Peter Kafka points to High Maintenance going to HBO as an example that TV is still the desired destination for web series.

Late Night Comedy

Snark from a Conan writer has led to an evaluation of the state of late-night comedy.

Stewart's Departure Date

Jon Stewart will exit The Daily Show on August 6.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Netflix as TV Friend & Foe

Will Richmond lays out reasons why TV should consider Netflix both a friend and a foe.

Comcast Deal Collapse Impact

Gerry Smith & Alex Sherman consider what impact a collapse of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger would bring.

Ailes Interview

Marisa Guthrie has a lengthy interview with and profile of Fox News chief Roger Ailes.

Sunday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: The 50th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards (CBS)
- Losers: Revenge (ABC), A.D.: The Bible Continues (NBC), American Odyssey (NBC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

HBO Piracy Pursuit

TorrentFreak says HBO is sending warnings to those who shared leaked Game of Thrones episodes, though no legal consequences will follow.

Peabody News Awards

Peabody Awards for news reporting have been announced, and CNN, Vice News, NPR, and the podcast Serial are among the winners. Hilary Lewis reports.

Netflix Originals

Emily Steel reports that Netflix is banking on its exclusive originals for its future viability.

Good TVeets