Saturday, January 31, 2015

CK Sales

Peter Kakfa is impressed by how well Louis CK's latest comedy special is selling online despite little marketing or buzz.

Amazon Exclusivity

Bryan Bishop reports that Amazon is dropping Doctor Who and other BBC programming because it demands exclusivity, rather than sharing with Netflix or other services.

Friday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: Undercover Boss (CBS), Shark Tank (ABC), Hawaii Five-O (CBS), Blue Bloods (CBS)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Constantine (NBC), Hart of Dixie (CW), Glee (Fox)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

The View's Decline

Marisa Guthrie delves into struggles at The View.

Super Bowl Ad Magic Gone

Jason Lynch says the excitement around Super Bowl ads is now dissipated because they're all posted early online.

Viewers For Sale

TVBTN reminds us that viewers are the product for sale on broadcast TV.

SNL Sets

Mike Ryan takes us to the factory where sets for Saturday Night Live are built.

Novelist TV Writers

Rachel Deahl says movies and TV are inviting more novelists to write for them.

The Americans on Whisper

Michelle Castillo highlights a branded content campaign on the Whisper platform tied to The Americans.


Liz Shannon Miller tells us what it's like watching Game of Thrones in an IMAX theater.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: “The Big Bang Theory” (CBS), “Mom” (CBS), “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC), “Scandal” (ABC), “How To Get Away With Murder” (ABC)
- Honorable Mention: “Two and a Half Men” (CBS)
- Losers (excluding repeats): “Backstrom” (Fox), “Reign” (CW)

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

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Good TVeets

Warning: Parenthood finale spoilers at the end.

Al Jazeera English Leaks

Al Jazeera English is dealing with memo and email leaks, but the news director says the outlet has nothing to hide.

Diversity Value

Cecilia Kang looks at how diversity is helping to boost ratings at ABC and Fox.

Super Bowl Alternatives

Andrea Morabito thinks TV needs to quit it with all the Super Bowl counter-programming.

Comcast Service

Another negative story about Comcast customer service is in the news.

Global Trend

Liz Shannon Miller appreciates the internationalization of TV.

Nightly Boost

Brian Steinberg considers how The Nightly Show has helped recharge Comedy Central's efforts to retain viewers.

Lonely Binging

A new study finds binge-viewing of TV is tied to loneliness and depression.

Parenthood Finale

Jason Katims wrote a farewell column about Parenthood yesterday and has done post-finale interviews with BuzzFeed and TVInsider.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Snapchat Discover

Snapchat has debuted a platform for brands, with CNN, Comedy Central, and ESPN among early adopters.

HBO Tech Exits

Liana B. Baker reports on the exits of technology execs at HBO as the outlet determines its online strategy. This doesn't make HBO look in great shape for the launch of the standalone HBO.

Cable & Internet Bills

Zachary M. Seward explains what the rise of internet bills has to do with cable TV.

Empire's Ratings

Empire's ratings rose again this week. Brian Stelter and Frank Pallotta look at the impact of African-American viewership on a number of shows this season. And Michael O'Connell highlights the effectiveness of Fox's targeted marketing for Empire.

Wednesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: American Idol (Fox), Empire (Fox)
- Honorable Mention: The Mentalist (CBS), Criminal Minds (CBS)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Marry Me (NBC), About a Boy (NBC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted.

Family Drama Goodbye

Alan Sepinwall wonders if the family drama is going out with Parenthood tonight. Also, Sara Stewart argues that the series was "stealthily feminist." Merrill Barr praises Parenthood for being uniquely risky for broadcast TV.

Peering Plan

While everyone is focused on the FCC's coming net neutrality announcement, Jeff John Roberts looks at what decisions could be made about peering and interconnection.

The Americans' Look

Todd VanDerWerff performs visual analysis on the opening ten minutes of The Americans. Also, you can look like Elizabeth Jennings thanks to a new line of lingerie tied to The Americans.

Teen Girls in Dramas

Jenni Maier questions why numerous prestige dramas feature annoying teen girls.

PlayStation Vue

Janko Roettgers checks out Sony's upcoming PlayStation Vue internet TV service.

Overstock's Prospects

Natalie Jarvey weighs Overstock's chances of success in the VOD world.

Black Mirror Remake

Endemol is pushing for an American remake of Black Mirror.

Truth of News Claims

PolitiFact's latest truth claims scorecards reveal a predominance of falsehoods on Fox News, whereas the truth fares much better on CNN.

FCC Rejects Tennis Channel

The FCC won't rehear Tennis Channel's tiering complaint against Comcast.

Schlamme on Directing

Sonia Sariya talks to Thomas Schlamme about his directing work on The Americans and Manhattan.

Allure of Dark TV

S.E. Smith explores why viewers are drawn to dark, violent shows like Hannibal and The Killing.

AutoHop the Super Bowl

Dish Network's AutoHop DVR will allow fast-forwarding of the Super Bowl game, but not the ads.

Nickelodeon OTT

Nickelodeon is the latest pay TV outlet to announce a stand-alone subscription channel online. It will be available next month. Allison Keene considers what this means for the future of TV. Phillip Swann says people may balk at paying a subscription fee for shows they've been getting via other streaming services already.

Showtime in Canada

Emily Steel reports that Showtime programming will now be available in Canada as part of a global push, as a block of programming rather than a whole channel, though.

Ad Clutter

Brian Steinberg reports that ad load on cable grew last quarter due to declining viewership. David Lieberman also reports.

Super Bowl Sold Out

If you were hoping to advertise during the Super Bowl, you're too late. But Will Richmond says the Super Bowl collection is missing ads with engagement value.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Americans

The Americans is back tonight. Andy Greenwald says it's the best show on TV, and Todd VanDerWerff wonders why it isn't more popular. And you can find more links to The Americans content on TVTattle's new home at

Target Viewer

Jim Romenesko shares the story of a South Carolina newsroom using a cardboard cutout of a white mother as a reminder to staffers of their target audience.

Merger Uncertainty

Meg James says approval of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger isn't looking so certain now.

Snapchat Series

Snapchat is the latest home for a scripted series, this one sponsored by AT&T.

CBSN Live Viewing

Mike Snider has stats on viewership of the CBSN online news channel, which show a preference for live viewing over on-demand.

Hulu Ad Value

Mike Shields reports that Hulu is seeing a financial benefit from ad viewability.

Ratings Battle

Toni Fitzgerald reports that NBC and CBS are neck-and-neck in the 18-49 season ratings race.

Blacklist Bet

Bill Cromwell analyzes NBC's strategy in putting The Blacklist on after the Super Bowl.

Italian TV Show

Beppe Severgnini considers the representational implications of Italy's most popular TV show, which focuses on a crime family.

LGBT Representation in Kids' TV

Laurence Barber has launched the first in a series of posts on queer representation in children's TV.

Togetherness Renewed

HBO wants a second season of Togetherness.

ESPN's Studio

David Pierce takes us inside ESPN's expensive new studio and its multi-platform strategies.

Latino Presence

NPR's Eric Deggans talks about the disproportionately low number of Latina/o characters on US TV.

Comics Adaptations

Derek Kompare tells us what we need to know about the trend in comic book adaptations.

Agent Carter's Ratings

James Hibberd notes that Agent Carter's ratings decline is a concern, especially for those optimistic about female-led comics properties.

Empire's Value

Josef Adalian considers what Empire's success means to Fox and the network TV business.

Netflix Secrecy

Merrill Barr questions how much longer Netflix's data secrecy strategy could remain viable.

Tuesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: NCIS R (CBS), The Flash (CW), NCIS: New Orleans R (CBS), CSI (CBS)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Marry Me (NBC), About a Boy (NBC)

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

Analysis from Spotted.

Good TVeets

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Empire Analysis

Emily Steel and Ben Sisario consider how crucial Empire's success is for Fox. And Mary Mitchell sees Empire as part of the blaxploitation genre, while Anne Helen Petersen positions Empire and Jane the Virgin as family melodramas with important racial elements.

Social Activity Matters

FremantleMedia's head of digital insists that social media engagement now matters more than ratings.

Wilmore's Fresh Perspective

Genetta M. Adams appreciates what Larry Wilmore has brought to late night.

Gender Equality

Alyssa Rosenberg delves into the complexity of attaining gender equality in Hollywood.

Subscriber Figures

Mike Farrell reports that Comcast and Charter have added video subscribers in the past quarter, while the satellite operators have seen declines.

Go Daddy Ad

Go Daddy has gotten its name in the paper again over a Super Bowl ad.

Ferguson Signs With Lionsgate

Craig Ferguson has signed an overall deal with Lionsgate Television.

Netflix's Decisions

Tim Wu proposes that Netflix's programming decisions rely just as much on Ted Sarandos as on any data algorithm.

Viewing Habits

Lara O'Reilly covers a new report on video viewing habits, showing millennials prefer watching TV online more than on a TV.

Sweatshop Reality

A reality TV show in Norway has fashion bloggers undergo the horrors of working in a garment sweatshop.

TV & Digital at Sundance

Brooks Barnes looks at the emergence of TV at the Sundance Film Festival. Brian Stelter says digital outlets are also descending on Sundance to look for content. James Poniewozik also covers the topic.

Simon Profile

Amos Barshad checks in on what David Simon is working on.

The View Plans

Ramin Setoodeh reports that Rosie Perez was going to be fired from The View, until Variety started reporting it.

Lear Remake Plan

Michael Schneider reports that Norman Lear is pitching a Latina/o-cast One Day at a Time remake.

WWE Anger

Stephen Totilo explains why WWE fans are angry and demanding refunds.

Monday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials (CBS), The Bachelor (ABC)
- Honorable Mention: Celebrity Apprentice (NBC)
- Improved: Jane the Virgin (CW)
- Losers (excluding repeats): State of Affairs (NBC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted.

The Americans Interview

Alan Sepinwall talks to the showrunners of The Americans about the show's return tomorrow.

Good TVeets

Monday, January 26, 2015

New Flow Issue

Check out a new Flow featuring:

Shaq Sitcom

TruTV is developing a sitcom around Shaquille O'Neal.

Comcast & Politicians

Spencer Woodman reports that Comcast is ghostwriting TWC-merger letters of support for politicians.

Fox Sports Go

DirecTV subscribers will soon get access to the Fox Sports Go streaming app.

Marvel News

Fox confirms that an X-Men series is in the works, and David Tennant will play a villain in Netflix's AKA Jessica Jones.

Price Interviews

James Hibberd talks to Amazon Studios VP Roy Price about the company's TV efforts and its move into theatrical films, and Brian Stelter has a video interview with Price about the movie move.

Empire Soaring

Joe Flint highlights Empire's strong ratings, including its impressive VOD performance.

Second Season Faith

John Jurgensen looks at the catalysts enabling low-rated series to get renewed for second seasons. (Jason Lynch previously wrote about second seasons.)

NFL on YouTube

Mike Shields looks at how the NFL is finally taking advantage of YouTube with its own channel.

Dramatic Acting

Matthew Gilbert celebrates the high caliber of dramatic acting on TV right now.

Sunday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: The Miss Universe Pageant (NBC)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Mulaney (Fox), Galavant (ABC), Resurrection (ABC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted.

Sling TV

Reviews of Sling TV have appeared: Richard Greenfield highlights its features, Todd VanDerWerff says it's not a cable killer...yet,  while Geoffrey A. Fowler says it's a giant step from cable, Phillip Swan shares what he likes and dislikes about it, and Janko Roettgers has a video showing what Sling TV looks like. Eric Deggans says it's a cord-cutter's dream. Richard Lawler has a review, as does Adam Flomenbaum.

SAG Awards

SAG awards were handed out last night, and black women took home the two top actress prizes for the first time ever. Netflix was a big winner. Michael Schneider highlights how TV's diversity won. Viola Davis gave a powerful speech. Jazmine Hughes laments that the diversity mainly came from only two sources.

Good TVeets

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Spies in Hollywood

Ian Shapira notes that ex-spies are finding a lot of work in Hollywood on espionage shows and movies.

Indie Web Series

Aymar Jean Christian highlights the best of independent web series from 2014 and wonders about the future of the category given the rise of Netflix and Amazon originals.

Netflix Plans

Netflix has big ambitions for scripted series this year, and it is also now in the Duplass movie business. Dorothy Pomerantz expects both Netflix and Amazon to have a tougher time with movies than TV.

Saul Interview

Alan Sepinwall talks to the creators of Better Call Saul.

RIP Joe Franklin

Talk show legend Joe Franklin has died. David Hinckley looks back on Franklin's unique career.

Serious Ladies Panel

Video is available of a panel at Sundance featuring Jenji Kohan, Mindy Kaling, Lena Dunham, and Kristen Wiig. Jace Lacob highlights topics that came up. Kyle Buchanan also has coverage.

Friday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: Undercover Boss (CBS), Shark Tank R (ABC)
- Losers: Constantine (NBC), Glee (Fox)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted.

Good TVeets

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Netflix Exception

Comcast and other broadband providers want high-volume users like Netflix excluded from net neutrality regulations.

Pilot Pickups

ABC has ordered a bunch of pilots, as has NBC, including an amnesia drama from Greg Berlanti and a sniper drama.

Good TVeets

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ramos & Politics

Jackie Calmes looks at why Republicans are worried about Jorge Ramos, a Univision and Fusion news anchor.

Vudu Stick

Walmart has a Vudu streaming stick for sale.

Predicting Twists

Paul Gulyas explores why it's gotten harder to predict plot twists on TV shows these days.

Netflix Content

Canada's Netflix reportedly has half the content of US Netflix but a few more movie hits.

Comcast Challenge

The WSJ looks at the hard work Comcast's lobbyists have to do in Washington.

Wilmore's Week

Todd VanDerWerff says The Nightly Show had an impressive start, while Brian Lowry wonders if Larry Wilmore might have trouble booking future guests given the show's format.

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: The Big Bang Theory R (CBS), Mom (CBS), American Idol (Fox), Two and a Half Men (CBS)
- Could Be Better/Could Be Worse: Backstrom (Fox)
- Losers (excluding repeats): The Taste (ABC), Bad Judge (NBC), A To Z (NBC)

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

Analysis from Spotted.

Educational Soaps

Sophie Goodchild praises British soap operas for educating audiences about issues like mental health and cancer.

SVOD Momentum

Will Richmond's podcast this week focuses on momentum among subscription video-on-demand services. Colin Dixon also covers this territory.

Over-the-Air Challenges

Colin Dixon looks at how broadcasters are fighting to maintain position as TV moves online.

Exiting Russia

Leo Barraclough reports that NBCU will pull its pay TV channels out of Russia, part of a wave of international media company exits.

Pro Bowl Efforts

Brad Gagnon points out all the stops ESPN is pulling out to make the NFL Pro Bowl watchable.

Empire Ratings

Spotted compares Empire's ratings success to a previous first-season ratings phenom, Desperate Housewives.

Sports Costs

Wayne Friedman highlights how much sports channels cost in our cable bills. Coming in at a far distant second are movie channels.

Super Bowl Ads

Toni Fitzgerald lists ad spending figures related to the Super Bowl, and in a CNBC video, an analyst talks about the money that goes into Super Bowl advertising.

Stewart's Anger

Aaron R. Hanlon defends Jon Stewart's frequent reliance on dismissive obscenity to address Fox News tactics and explains the place of this strategy in satire.

Multi-Cam Value

Ken Levine defends the honor of the multi-cam sitcom, and the stars of Mom talk about the production method in terms of a recent serious turn for the series (spoiler alert).

Free Transparent

Transparent will stream free to all tomorrow on Amazon.

Baldwin Controversy

Fans have signed a petition asking for Adam Baldwin to be disinvited from a Firefly convention due to his Gamergate-related behavior.

Farrow's Journey

Brian Steinberg looks at the career development of MSNBC's Ronan Farrow.

Tween Sitcom Lament

Speaking of frustration with youth TV, KJ Dell'Antonia objects to a new Nickelodeon sitcom for its depictions of girls involved in sports.

RIP Peggy Charren

Peggy Charren, an activist who fought for better children's TV, has died. Brian Lowry how she successfully battled against the TV-toy industrial complex.

Good TVeets

Thursday, January 22, 2015

X-Files Reboot

Joanna Robinson shares details on the possible X-Files reboot.

Oliver Effect

Victor Luckerson looks at the real political impact John Oliver has already had with Last Week Tonight. And a video from MoFreedomFoundation explores the power Oliver now has.

Too Much TV

Another cool chart, courtesy of FX research and posted by Josef Adalian, showing the explosion of scripted cable series over the years.

Simpsons Voice Actors

A designer has created a cool chart tying Simpsons characters to their voice actors.

OTT Audiences

Peter Kafka reports on a survey finding that HBO's upcoming over-the-top availability could offer a blow to pay TV. Alan Wolk looks at what audiences Dish Network's Sling TV is targeting. Richard Greenfield highlights how Sling TV is sacrificing broadcast outlets.

Empire's Ratings

Merrill Barr says there are potentially significant cultural ramifications to Empire's huge ratings success.

DirecTV's Name

Phillip Swann questions AT&T's consideration of dropping the name DirecTV from the satellite service if the companies merge.

Network Chief Comments

THR gathered brief comments on a variety of topics from 23 TV execs.

Viacom Wins Data Suit

Eriq Gardner reports on Viacom's court victory in regard to a lawsuit trying to penalize Viacom and Google for collecting information on what videos kids viewed on Nickelodeon's website.

Super Bowl Ad Tumblr

Todd Spangler highlights a Super Bowl Tumblr from NBC Sports that will feature the broadcast's ads on gameday. Bob Fernandez also notes that Comcast will be all over the event.

Costume Designer

Jenn Rogien explains her professional journey to become a costume designer for Girls and Orange is the New Black.

Backstrom's Cynicism

In his review of Backstrom, Merrill Barr takes note of the series' cynicism, a likely reason why CBS opted not to pick it up.

Political Game Show

CNN reportedly has a politically-oriented quiz show in the works.

Streaming Telenovelas

Janko Roettgers highlights Pongalo, an new online video service featuring Spanish-language Venezuelan telenovelas.

Imports Pulled

China has pulled Empire, Agent Carter, and Shameless from streaming sites over content objections.

De La Hoya TV

Oscar De La Hoya is launching a Spanish-language cable channel that will feature combat sports and lifestyle content.

Sorority Sisters Expunged

VH1 seems to have made an attempt to pretend their reality show Sorority Sisters never existed.

Wednesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: American Idol (Fox), Empire (Fox)
- Honorable Mention: The Mentalist (CBS), Criminal Minds (CBS)
- Losers (excluding repeats): The 100 (CW)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Stunningly, Empire's ratings have gone up in weeks two and three.

Fresh Off the Boat's Challenge

Jeff Yang explores the difficulty critics have had talking about Fresh off the Boat.

Facebook Ad Spend

Eric Blattberg says Facebook is trying to get TV ad buyers to shift their money to the social media platform.

Kelly Profile

Jim Rutenberg profiles Megyn Kelly's rise to success at Fox News.

Justified Interview

Showrunner Graham Yost talks about the Justified premiere.

Representing the Midwest

Alyssa Rosenberg analyzes how the Midwest is represented in The Bachelor and Parks and Recreation.

Killing Characters

Rob Owen looks at the trend of TV series killing off major characters. (Check the label tags if you know before clicking which shows get spoiled.)

Amazon's Strategy

Andy Greenwald tries to make sense of Amazon's streaming TV strategy.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Netflix News

Phillip Swann lists off what we learned today about Netflix from its quarterly report and conference call, and Peter Kafka summarizes. Netflix is ramping up originals production. Growth abroad is speeding up, while the US slows. Netflix could have had Transparent, but passed. Netflix wants to license shows globally rather than country by country.

Nightly Ratings

Tony Maglio reports on the first-night ratings for The Nightly Show.

Better Call Saul

Initial Better Call Saul reviews are coming in and they're mostly positive.  Tim Goodman and Alan Sepinwall are on board.

Tuesday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

The State of the Union address hit a 15-year low rating.

Good TVeets

WWE Suit

A pair of former wrestlers are suing the WWE over their injuries.

Overstock OTT will reportedly launch an over-the-top video service later this year. (And if you think I'm joking, you may just be remembering this.)

Justified Oral History

Uproxx has an oral history of the creation of Justified.

Broadcast Syndication

A new report finds local broadcast syndication stronger than cable syndication. Kevin Downey looks at broadcast daytime syndication and the possible impact of reality TV.

Nielsen Endures

Miriam Gottfried notes that Nielsen is still standing, despite recent battering.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jane the Virgin on Immigration

Emily Orley highlights the statement on immigration reform that Jane the Virgin has made.

So Many Shows

Tim Goodman tallies up the total number of shows on TV and finds too many.

Netflix Expansion

Netflix intends to complete its global expansion by 2017. Also, Netflix's Q4 subscriber numbers were better than expected.

BBC3 Bid

A pair of production companies have offered a bid to the BBC for BBC3, in an effort to keep it from going online only, but the BBC has declined the offer and said the channel's not up for sale. The BBC trust insists it wants to hear what viewers think about the potential move online.

TV Legislation

TVNewsCheck has a handy guide to all the current legal and regulatory proceedings tied to broadcasting in Washington.

Super Bowl Stream

NBC will stream the Super Bowl, no authentication required. Todd Spangler notes that NBCU is using this to as an opportunity to advertise their TV Everywhere services.

Lear Talks

Cynthia Littleton covers Norman Lear's session at NATPE.

Fox News Mockery

French satirists are mocking Fox News for its reports on Muslims in Europe. There's also word that the city of Paris wants to sue Fox News over this. Fox News thinks a lawsuit would be "misplaced."

Covering the SOTU

Brian Steinberg covers the many available options for viewing tonight's State of the Union address, including on multi-platform outlets.


Debra Kamin reports that the Islamic State group is planning to launch a 24-hour TV network.

Net Neutrality Plans

Wendy Davis looks at the Republican plan for net neutrality. John Eggerton reports on cable company opposition to the FCC's expected rules and looks at how this all could help shape President Obama's legacy.

Monday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: The Bachelor (ABC), 2 Broke Girls (CBS), Mike & Molly (CBS), Scorpion (CBS) 
- Honorable Mention: Gotham (Fox), Celebrity Apprentice (NBC)
- Losers: State of Affairs (NBC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Empire & HTGAWM Impact

Merrill Barr says the big success of Empire and How To Get Away With Murder should have a positive impact on 2015's development season in terms of boosting the chances for non-adaptations.

Sleepy Hollow Location

Rob Owen reports that Sleepy Hollow will move production from North Carolina to Georgia if it gets renewed, due to North Carolina's expiring tax incentives.

Empire v. Black-ish

Nellie Andreeva considers the impact of Empire being scheduled in the same time slot as Black-ish.

Hotel Streaming

Mike Flacey reports that the Marriott hotel chain is testing out adding Netflix and Hulu to its rooms.

Instant Replay Impact

Matt Schiavenza considers how the late Tony Verna's invention of instant replay changed sports forever.

NFL Ratings

The conference championships on Sunday drew big ratings, but were down from last year.

Wilmore Reactions

Critics offer their initial reactions to Larry Wilmore's Nightly Show: James Poniewozik, Tim GoodmanBrian SteinbergEd Payne, Robert Lloyd. Eric Deggans looks at what Wilmore is bringing to late night.

Good TVeets

Monday, January 19, 2015


The BBC and PBS will partner up on 8-10 documentaries a year.

Pilot Guide

THR has started up its pilot guide for 2015.

SVOD as Complement

A new study by Deloitte concludes that SVOD services should be seen as a complement to pay TV, not a competitor, at least for this year.

New Fox Reality TV Head

Fox has another new reality TV chief, with the previous one ousted after only a year on the job.

Cosby Keeps Going

Chandra Thomas Whitfield looks at how Bill Cosby is carrying on with his comedy shows.

Fox News Subscriber Fee

Brian Stelter reports that Fox News is heading toward a $1.50 subscriber fee, likely only behind ESPN and TNT.

Wilmore Interview

Alan Sepinwall talks to Larry Wilmore, whose Nightly Show begins tonight.

Amazon Movies

Amazon Studios is moving into producing theatrical movies.

Sunday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: NFL Football: AFC Championship (CBS), Scorpion (CBS)
- Losers: Everything else

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Good TVeets

RIP Instant Replay Inventor

Tony Verna, who developed the instant replay for live sports, has died.

Striving For Boldness

Emily Steel takes away from TCA the impression that networks are turning to more bold and innovative programming to stand out in the crowded landscape.

ComScore Measurements

Emily Steel reports that a new metric is coming from comScore, which will measure audiences across devices.

Biggest Loser Experience

A former Biggest Loser contestant is speaking out about the damaging production methods of the series.

MTV in B&W

MTV will air programming in black-and-white tomorrow to mark Martin Luther King Day and encourage discussion of race and cultural differences.

Nickelodeon Adapting

Brooks Barnes looks at changes Nickelodeon is bringing to its sitcoms in order to better adapt to children's changing tastes and viewing habits.

Netflix & Canadian Content

Kate Taylor defends the use of regulations to nurture Canadian TV content, while Netflix operates under no such demands in the country.

GOP Snubs Univision

The Republican National Committee won't allow Univision to carry any 2016 presidential debates, while Telemundo will get one.


Today was FX day at TCA. Daniel Fienberg live-blogged John Landgraf's session, as well as panels on The Americans, Justified, and Louie. Lacey Rose covers Landgraf's comments, and Matt Fowler covers his statement that HBO and FX offer the best in quality TV, with charts to prove it. Todd VanDerWerff has another way of looking at that information in in terms of cable TV economics and how profits from syndicated reruns make possible the prestigious originals. More from Jason Lynch and Ed Martin.

Saturday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Football on CBS

Thursday Night Football will return to CBS next season. Brian Steinberg has details.


Check out a new issue of Critical Studies of Television:

Thinking About Shows

Jason Fox sees a correlation between high ratings and shows that don't demand a lot of viewer cognition, whereas "high-cognitive-demand series" are less-watched but breed discussion and committed audiences.

Superfan Impact

A creator of a crowdfunded video game says projects with the backing of passionate fans are the wave of the future in terms of funding.

Muslims Need Hollywood

Andrew Wallenstein argues that Americans would better understand Islam if American popular culture depicted average Muslims more frequently.

Broad City Stars

Dave Itzkoff profiles the stars of Broad City.

NBC Analysis

Jason Lynch considers if NBC can make their weak spots of comedy and Thursday nights work, and Merrill Barr says the move of Hannibal to summer could save the show. Lynch also analyzes the transitional state of NBCU cable channels E!, Bravo, and USA.

Fox News Apologies

Brian Stelter notes that Fox News has apologized for four different incorrect statements made about the presence of Muslims in Europe. But Zack Beauchamp notes that such statements are part of the myth Fox News is trying to perpetuate.

Fox at TCA

Yesterday was Fox day at TCA. Daniel Fienberg live-blogged the executive session. Gary Levin covers the Fox plan to get back on track, Lynn Elber says they're banking on big producer help, and Todd VanDerWerff says their plan for the future looks a lot like the past. There are also plans to fix Sleepy Hollow. Fox announced renewals for Gotham, Empire, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Andy Dehnart covers the MasterChef Junior panel, and Michael O'Connell covers the American Idol panel.

Good TVeets

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Friday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: Undercover Boss (CBS), Shark Tank (ABC), Hawaii Five-O (CBS), Blue Bloods (CBS)
- Modest Opening: World’s Funniest Fails (Fox)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Constantine (NBC), Hart of Dixie (CW), Glee (Fox), Masters of Illusion (CW), Dateline (NBC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

John Waters, Porn Host

John Waters will host a show for Playboy TV presenting classic porn movies.

Netflix Satisfaction

A new survey finds like people like Netflix best among SVOD services.

Women's Shows

Lili Loofbourow highlights shows in the "golden age" featuring women: "Shows like Transparent, Getting On and Doll & Em are for the most part created by women and center on female characters. They’re defying what has come to seem like a glib bleakness in highbrow programming."

MIP Report

The Media Industries Project shares its latest report on the Connected Viewing Initiative.

Netflix Availability

Netflix has renewed its BBC contract, though a few shows are still leaving the platform. Some Hasbro/Discovery kids' shows could exit soon too.

Amazon's Pilots Gimmick

Tim Goodman questions Amazon's crowd-sourcing claims about its pilots selection process.

Lifetime Movies History

Emily Yahr details the 25-year evolution of the Lifetime movie.

Wilmore Interview

The Peabody Awards' latest podcast features an interview with Larry Wilmore.

Criminal Minds Spinoff

CBS's Criminal Minds is getting a spinoff featuring Gary Sinise.


Yesterday was NBC day at TCA. Daniel Fienberg had a live-blog of Robert Greenblatt's session. Greenblatt said comedy is a priority, and he had to address the Cosby question. It was announced that Hannibal won't return til summer. Donald Trump was his usual self at the Celebrity Apprentice panel. There were also panels on midseason shows One Big Happy, The Slap, The Night Shift, and Chicago Fire and Chicago PD. Alan Sepinwall live-blogged the Parks and Recreation session. James Hibberd reports that NBC will choose between The Music Man and The Wiz for its next live musical.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Millennial Media Spend

Ricardo Bilton looks into forecasts about what millennials are, and aren't willing to pay for when it comes to media.

Nix on Drama

Burn Notice showrunner Matt Nix believes procedurals are largely contained to network TV now, as cable dramas have gotten more serialized.

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: The Big Bang Theory R (CBS), Mom (CBS), American Idol (Fox), Two and a Half Men (CBS)
- Losers (excluding repeats): The taste (ABC), Bad Judge (NBC), A To Z (NBC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Good TVeets

Thursday, January 15, 2015

NBCU Ratings

NBCU announced that its cable channels will adopt Live+3 ratings metrics in place of same-day ratings, with live exceptions. NBCU has also announced a plan to expand data gathering on advertisements.

Rape Jokes

Sarah Seltzer considers the implications of female comedians making rape jokes, with Broad City and Poehler-Fey at the Golden Globes as examples.

Comcast's Regional Plan

Mike Farrell reports on an internal Comcast announcement revealing its planned regional reorganization for after the TWC merger goes through.

Rerun Programming

Chuck Darrow notes the growth of classic TV rerun programming due to technology, like digital multicasting, and economics, like demographic appeal.

Best Sitcom Episodes

TV Club reviewers have selected the best sitcoms episodes of the past 25 years: 25-11 and 10-1. They also highlights some orphans and outliers.

On Writing

Sarah Watson describes writing for Parenthood, and Michael Price discusses writing for The Simpsons.

ABC Diversity

Jason Lynch looks at ABC's diversity strategy, on-screen and off.

Dish & Fox Deal

Dish Network has come to a carriage deal with Fox News and Fox Business, with more details forthcoming. Brian Steinberg reports the deal does not include a Sling TV agreement. Joe Flint has details.

Wednesday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: American Idol (Fox), Modern Family (ABC), Empire (Fox)
- Honorable Mention: The Middle (ABC), The Goldbergs (ABC), Criminal Minds (CBS)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Noting…there was something for everyone.

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Benched Cancelled

USA Network is done with Benched.