Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Director Genders

Game of Thrones won't have any female directors for its next season, while Transparent's second season will have only one cis male director.

HBO Originals Key

Forbes says revenue from HBO's original programming is key to Time Warner's future success. (FYI: It says there's a page 2 there, but the article ends on page 1, so save yourself the click.)

ESPN's Bloat

Ken Fang reports on belief that ESPN might be starting to drag on Disney's bottom line due to huge sports rights contracts.

Women's Sports on TV

Wendy Parker insists that we're in a golden age for televised women's sports.

Big Brother Live Feeds

Andy Dehnart laments that all the good action on Big Brother is contained to the online live feeds and not appearing on TV.

TiVo Bingers

Anthony Crupi reports on TiVo research that finds over 90% of its subscribers binge-view, but half do it alone.

Holt's Ratings Victory

Brian Steinberg reports that Lester Holt won the evening news ratings battle in his first week permanently anchoring NBC's desk.

Netflix Subscribers

The latest figures put Netflix subscribers at 70 million globally, with 43.5 in the US.

Tassler's Feminism

Marisa Guthrie highlights Nina Tassler's impact as the only woman running a broadcast network and striving to make CBS more female-friendly.

Monday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: The Bachelorette (ABC), American Ninja Warrior (NBC)
- Fading: So You Think You Can Dance (Fox)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Cedric’s Barber Battles (CW)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted.

BBC's Threat

Polly Toynbee argues that conservative politicians in Britain oppose the BBC and its license-fee funding because its success challenges market-based ideology.

BBC3 Online

The BBC Trust has upheld the plan to move BBC Three exclusively online.

Writing Rape Scenes

Laura Hudson explains why the writing of rape scenes is often lazy and misguided.

Good TVeets

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cuba Series

Discovery will air a series shot entirely on location in Cuba, focusing on car culture there.

CBS Upfronts

CBS has finished its upfronts sales, and Brian Steinberg reports the result is a dip in volume.

Trump Out at NBC

NBC has severed ties with Donald Trump, though it's not letting go of Celebrity Apprentice and will find a new host. Univision's CEO defends its company's actions.

DirecTV vs. AJAM

DirecTV has boosted its lawsuit against Al Jazeera America over a licensing dispute.

Big Data & Spot Advertising

Harry A. Jessell talks to a media buyer about how Big Data could help save spot advertising.

Tracking HBO Now

Richard Greenfield analyzes the progress of HBO Now in its early stages.

Sunday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: Celebrity Family Feud (ABC)
- Losers (excluding repeats): Golan the Insatiable (Fox), American Odyssey (NBC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted.

MTV Revamp

MTV is undergoing another branding overhaul in an attempt to stay culturally relevant.

Trump Victory

Alyssa Rosenberg says Univision and NBCU are playing right into Donald Trump's hands in generating hype for him.

UnREAL Praise

Emily Nussbaum appreciates how Lifetime's UnREAL is deconstructing The Bachelor. The show's co-creator talks about what lead her to the series.

Eisner & Local TV

Brooks Barnes reports on Michael Eisner's lucrative move into local syndication programming.

TV's Winning the Internet

Michael Wolff argues that television, not digital media, is mastering the internet model of entertainment revenue. Sharon Waxman says he's wrong.

Sony Pictures Hack

Forbes has launched a multi-part investigation into the Sony Pictures hack. Part 2 is now up.

Murdoch & Politics

New 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch insists he doesn't let his politics interfere with business.

Tax Incentives

Nashville will keep production in the titular city thanks to a new Tennessee budget incentive package, while Jason Lynch notes that Graceland is one of the last shows being shot in Florida due to crumbling tax incentives in the state.

Marriage Equality & Entertainment

Variety has a special issue on the entertainment industry's impact on marriage equality acceptance. (A post here yesterday collected some other articles on this too)

Binge Decisions

Drew McWeeny considers why we tend to binge-watch some shows and not others.

Producing Last Alaskans

Andy Dehnart talks to a producer of the reality series The Last Alaskans about its spectacular achievement.

Daily Show News

Amy Schumer says she turned down a Daily Show hosting job offer, and Jon Stewart's final show will give his foes a chance to blast him back.

Transgender Representation in Sense8

Willow Maclay praises Sense8's representation of a transgender character.

First Season Woes

In his review of Humans, Todd VanDerWerff notes that a lot of shows would be better off just skipping ahead to their second seasons.

Tudor Pleasures

Thomas West considers why the Tudor period is a popular one in TV shows like The Tudors and Wolf Hall.

Olympics Rights

Discovery has snapped up European broadcast rights to the Olympics partially starting in 2018 and ending in 2024. The BBC will lose rights control in 2022, and Roger Mosey says the corporation will have to fight to maintain its position in sports.

Nurse Jackie Finale

Nurse Jackie's showrunner talks about last night's final episode. Alan Sepinwall and James Poniewozik have reviews. Eric Deggans looks back on the series.

Good TVeets

Sunday, June 28, 2015

White Supremacy in Pop Culture

Alyssa Rosenberg analyzes TV representations of white supremacists and finds lies intended to comfort.

Pitching Internet TV

Peter Kakfa says Sony's strategy with Vue is illustrating the challenge of pitching internet TV.

WWE Network Success

WWE says its direct-to-consumer subscription network is thriving.

TV Ad Fade

Alan Wolk says the days are numbered for the 30-second TV ad format.

Inside Adult Swim

Christina Lee shows us a day in the life at Adult Swim.

For Your Consideration

Matthew Gilbert highlights under-the-radar performances he thinks are worthy of Emmy nominations.

TV Land Rebrand

TV Land has rebranded its look as part of Viacom's overhaul and is earnestly pursuing young hipsters.

Ergen Interview

Bloomberg's Betty Liu talks to Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen in a video interview.

Gay Marriage & TV

In the wake of Friday's Supreme Court ruling, multiple outlets have run stories about how TV helped pave the way to gay marriage acceptance: LA Times, The Atlantic, Alan Sepinwall, The Frame, and Brian Lowry. Todd VanDerWerff looked back on TV's first gay wedding on the series Roc.

Good TVeets

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Good TVeets

Friday, June 26, 2015

Retrans Growth

Diana Marszalek reports on predictions of rising retransmission fees.

Thursday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: Big Brother (CBS)
- Sharp Decline: Under the Dome (CBS)
- Losers (excluding repeats): The Astronauts Club (ABC), Boom! (Fox), Beauty and the Beast (CW), Mistresses (ABC), Aquarius (NBC), Rookie Blue (ABC), Hannibal (NBC)

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

Trump's Behavior

Donald Trump is going after everyone at Univision, and Harry A. Jessell thinks NBCU should fire him. Brian Stelter reports that NBCU is mulling over the relationship.


New blog entries at Critical Studies in Television:

TV's Rape Stories

Sonia Saraiya examines rape plotlines on prime time and daytime TV and finds grappling with masculinity at their core.

Lindelof Interview

Josef Adalian talks to Damon Lindelof about The Leftovers.

New In Media Res

Theme: Shipping

FS1 Cuts

Joe Lucia reports that Fox Sports 1 is dealing with cutbacks and layoffs.

NFL-Yahoo Deal

Ty Schalter considers the possible revolutionary impact of the NFL's deal with Yahoo to stream a game.

Emmy Campaigns

Michael Schneider covers the cranking up of Emmy campaigns by actors and producers.

TiVo's Pay TV Pitch

Janko Roettgers reports on TiVo's appeal to cable operators to embrace cord cutters with their broadband businesses.

Merger Approvals

Miriam Gottfried doesn't think regulators will block the Charter-Time Warner Cable merger, and Cecilia Kang says the AT&T-DirecTV approval is likely to come soon.

Translating Seinfeld

Jennifer Armstrong discusses the difficulty global translators have had with dubbing and subtitling Seinfeld.

SportsCenter Music

ESPN's SportsCenter will now feature live musical performances.

Consumer Comedy

Devin Blake highlights the rise of consumer comedy, comedy that "seems to involve things that we consume, namely other media like TV shows, movies, and music."

Upfronts News

Upfronts deals have started rolling in the last few days, and Bill Cromwell says it's a buyer's market. Brian Steinberg reports that The CW has volume gains to tout, while ABC is pushing for the price lead.

HBO's True Detective

Michelle Chihara analyzes True Detective within the context of HBO's brand.

TV Watching

Steven Perlberg says new Nielsen figures show that people are still watching plenty of TV over online video.

Black Sex

Stereo Williams praises Starz's Power for groundbreaking representations of black characters having sex.

Good TVeets

Fox & CW Falls

Fox has announced fall premiere dates, as has The CW.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ailes Reups

Roger Ailes has a new contract with Fox News and will still report directly to Rupert Murdoch, who is stepping down as Fox CEO.

Finding Your Roots Pulled

Brian Steinberg reports on PBS's finding that Ben Affleck exhibited undue influence over his Finding Your Roots episode, resulting in the series being shelved for now. John Koblin has analysis.

Williams & MSNBC

Lester Holt is now the permanent replacement for Brian Williams, who will head over to MSNBC, a move that Michael Wolff thinks will save MSNBC.

Miss Universe Pulled

Univision has cut ties with the Miss America pageant because Donald Trump made incendiary remarks about Mexican immigrants. Trump says he'll sue. NBC is now trying to figure out how to respond.

NYT TV Critic

Our long critical nightmare is over: we will no longer be subject to Alessandra Stanley's TV musings.

Streaming News

Hulu Plus isn't a named thing anymore; henceforth, it's just Hulu. And you can now get Showtime OTT via a deal through Hulu, a deal that Colin Dixon analyzes. Jason Lynch covers the decisions by Showtime and Hulu to go with single names for multiple offerings.

Hulu is stepping up its efforts to battle Netflix (google news link), but Jason Lynch says Netflix is winning the streaming service branding battle over Hulu and Amazon. HBO is offering free online access to new series The Brink and Ballers through Facebook, which Kia Kokalitcheva sees as evidence of Facebook's effort to take on YouTube.

Hulu now has every Seinfeld, albeit with ads, and Hulu set up a Seinfeld replica apartment for tours, and a Kramer-esque entrance has already destroyed the front door.

Todd Spangler reports on analysis predicting that Netflix viewing will surpass Big Four network viewing next year. Netflix is continuing its global expansion goal.

Cord cutters are apparently big fans of History and Nat Geo.

TV Takeovers

Jason Lynch looks at TV's encroachment upon the Cannes Film Festival, and Laura Prudom highlights TV's takeover of Comic-Con.

Emmy Ballot Analysis

Cory Barker offers analysis of the Television Academy's Emmy ballots and the various category rules.


NBC wants a second season of Aquarius, and Amazon has commissioned a third season of Transparent, before we even know when season two is coming.

From HBO to HBO Now

Lacey Rose chronicles how and why HBO developed HBO Now.

Clip Technology

Aleszu Bajak explains the technology The Daily Show uses to sift through countless hours of TV in the quest for appropriate clips.

Vue vs. Cable

Dave Gershgorn says Sony's Playstation Vue could now be a serious competitor to cable TV, ahead of Apple.

Hannibal News

NBC does not want a fourth season of Hannibal. Bryan Fuller says other outlets have expressed interest, and Myles McNutt handicaps these various prospects. Alan Sepinwall also talked to Fuller about the show's possible future. Daniel Fienberg discussed the show's aesthetics with cinematographer James Hawkinson, while Libby Hill talked music with composer Brian Reitzell.

CBS & Programming Fees

Eric Kelsey highlights CBS's efforts to negotiate for higher retrans fees.

Streaming Horror

AMC is testing out its OTT streaming site Shudder, devoted to horror movies.

Back in Business

Having been on vacation for two weeks, I'm sure I missed most of the essential TV news over that period, but I did bookmark a few random things here and there, so I'll post some of that over the next few days, and then we'll be back up to full speed by the weekend. If I missed anything you'd like to see here, especially for archival purposes, please let me know!

Good TVeets

Good TVeets is back! And news updates will be back later today too.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Another Vacation Hiatus

I'm traveling again for the next few weeks with likely sporadic internet, so consider this our summer hiatus period!

TV Advertising Effectiveness

Jason Lynch reports on a study finding that TV is still the most effective advertising medium.

Digital Tools for Soap Research

Elana Levine discusses how digital tools have affected her soap opera viewing research.

Netflix Movie Distribution

Joe Neumaier looks at how Netflix is upending the movie distribution business.

Russian Independent TV

Shaun Walker takes us inside Russia's only independent television outlet.

CNN Branded Content

CNN has created a new studio devoted to create branded content for multiple platforms.

Learning From Sesame Street

Jim Tankersley reports on a new study that finds Sesame Street can have a lasting educational impact on children.

Friends Piracy

Warner Bros. is delivering $20 fines to people caught downloading and sharing Friends episodes.

Director Insights

Debra Birnbaum talks to five female directors about their work.

Reboot Fever

Alan Sepinwall questions the rush to resurrect and revive older and cancelled shows.

Monday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: American Ninja Warrior (NBC), The Bachelorette (ABC)
- Considerable Erosion in Week 2: The Whispers (ABC)
- Losers (excluding repeats): The Island (NBC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

SNL Costume Changes

Ryan Vlastelica talks to a Saturday Night Live costume dresser about the choreography of costume changes.

2014-15 DVR Results

Bill Cromwell highlights DVR time-shifted winners and losers from the 2014-15 season.

GoT Controversy

Joanne Ostrow says Game of Thrones crossed a line Sunday. Andy Greenwald also takes issue with the episode's controversial plot point. James Poniewozik brings Hannibal into the conversation and says sometimes shows give us too much to take.

Writers' Favorites

BuzzFeed had 51 TV writers reveal the favorite thing they've ever written.

Community Engagement

While we don't know its viewer ratings, Mike Shields notes that Yahoo's Community at least did well in digital engagement measurements.

State of the Bundle

Joe Flint tells us how the cable bundle came about and where it stands to go next.

Holt Taking Over

Brian Stelter says it's likely Lester Holt will permanently take over Brian Williams' NBC News anchor chair.

Good TVeets

Monday, June 8, 2015

Binge-Watching Initiatives

Brian Steinberg highlights moves by Comcast and Turner to provide binge-viewing options for current series.

Targeting Black Consumers

Lenika Cruz looks back on how advertisers in the 1970s targeted black consumers, often using problematic stereotypes.

Silent Ads

Mike Shields looks at how advertisers are developing sound-less ads to adjust to web video environments.

Digital Borders

Mark Gallagher considers how European Commission initiatives could affect transnational streaming of geoblocked content.

ESPN Streamlining

Chris Korman reports that ESPN is trying to cut back on production costs for some live sports coverage without reducing quality.

Save BBC3

British stars are getting behind the "Save BBC3" movement and looking to reverse the decision to move the channel to online-only.

Salary Complaints

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are questioning why they weren't paid more than their supporting male co-stars for being the leads in Grace and Frankie.

Fuller Interview

Todd VanDerWerff talks to Bryan Fuller about Hannibal's third season.

FCC Cable Rates Decision

Jon Brodkin reports on a new FCC report and order that lifts regulations on local cable rates.

Jenner Press Srategy

Josef Adalian breaks down Caitlyn Jenner's impressive publicity strategy.

New In Media Res

Theme: Summer Entertainment: Theme Parks, Rides, and Fairs

  • Monday, June 8, 2015 - Charlotte Howell (University of Texas—Austin) presents: Class Struggle at the Wonder Wharf: Bob’s Burgers’ Working Class World 
  • Tuesday, June 9, 2015 - Melanie Wolske (California State University—Long Beach) presents: The Natives Are Restless in Disney’s Jungle Cruise 
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - Beatriz Bartolom√© Herrera (Concordia University) presents: Living in Smurfville: Theming as a Lifestyle 
  • Thursday, June 11, 2015 - Dawn Fratini (Chapman University) presents: Robbins Barstow’s “Disneyland Dream” (1956), a time capsule of theme park visitor “play” 
  • Friday, June 12, 2015 - Elizabeth Blakey (California State University—Northridge) presents: Postmodern Mediated Theme Parties

Declining Cable Ratings

Spotted says declining cable ratings are leading him to change the standards he uses to judge summer performance.

Backing Holt

Brian Steinberg tells NBC to forget about Brian Williams and put more promotional support behind Lester Holt.

Netflix Expansion

By fall, Netflix should be available in Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Georg Szalai covers subscriber projections.

TCA Awards

Television Critics Association Awards nominees were announced a few days ago.

Empire Changes the Game

Sam Adams considers the reverberating effects of Empire's first-season success.

Female Directors

Mary Ann Georgantopoulus analyzes data revealing how few TV episodes are directed by women.

Upfronts Coverage

Brian Steinberg says a complex market is resulting in upfronts deals moving slowly, and Anthony Crupi says we should get used to this slow pace. Bill Cromwell looks at how broadcast outlets are making their case to advertisers. Elizabeth Wagmeister lists the rejected pilots that are still being shopped.

Entourage's Performance

Steven Zeitchik analyzes the Entourage movie's box office results.

Sense8 Piracy

Todd Spangler reports that the new Netflix series Sense8 has been pirated half a million times within the three days of its release.

Sunday Ratings

Marc Berman's summary:
- Winners: NBA Finals, Game 2 (ABC)
- Losers (excluding repeats): A.D. The Bible Continues (NBC), Golan the Insatiable (Fox), American Odyssey (NBC)

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Fienberg.

Showtime OTT Distribution

Jon Lafayette reports that Showtime will be available OTT on Roku and Vue, in addition to Apple devices.

Good TVeets

Friday, June 5, 2015

Vacation Hiatus

Sorry for the lack of posts here, but I'm on vacation. I shall return!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Male Bodies

Rachel Moseley and Gemma Goodman explain why representations of male bodies in Outlander and Poldark are important to analyze.

Poor TV

Esther Breger highlights problems with shows making a spectacle of working-class and poor people, including The Briefcase.

Short Comedy

Ryan Carey notes that comedy is now thriving in short and cheap forms online.

Prison Break Revival

There are rumors that Fox could revive Prison Break as a limited-run series, similar to 24: Live Another Day.

Sitcoms on Stage

Robert Viagas reports that CBS is planning stage versions of some of its classic sitcoms, like Brady Bunch and Cheers.

Playing House VOD Release

USA will make episodes of Playing House available on VOD before they air on TV, with limited ad breaks and branded content.

Entourage Music

Frazier Tharpe profiles Scott Vener, music supervisor for Entourage.

Ferrell-Wiig Lifetime Movie

The rumored Will Ferrell-Kristen Wiif Lifetime parody movie is apparently real and will air on June 20.

Season Winners & Losers

Michael Schneider analyzes the list of the 50 most-watched shows of 2014-15 and identifies winners and losers.

Caitlyn Jenner News

Caitlyn Jenner will be the subject of in an eight-episode docuseries on E!, as new promos show, while Josh Katzowitz says some have taken issue with ESPN bestowing the next Arthur Ashe Courage Award upon Jenner.

Cordon Interview

Josef Adalian has an in-depth interview with James Corden about late night and making his show.

Community's Quiet Season

Todd VanDerWerff laments how little attention was given to this season of Community on Yahoo, which was one of its best.

Apple TV Service Delay

Peter Kafka says we have to just keep waiting for word of when Apple TV's online service will start.

NFL on Yahoo

Yahoo will exclusively stream an NFL game from London in November, with production provided by CBS Sports. It will be free around the globe.

Showtime OTT

Cynthia Littleton reports that CBS Corp. will launch an OTT Showtime outlet in July.

Tuesday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tax Credit Recipients

American Horror Story is reportedly among the TV series that will receive tax credits in California this cycle.

South Korean Suits

Suits is getting remade for South Korea.

Better Measurement Needed

Alan Wolk argues that quality original content deserves to be matched by quality ratings measurement.

Media Racial Bias

Kristen West Savali considers how media stereotyping and distortions are perpetuating bias against blacks in the US.

ABC News Rise

Paul Farhi discusses how ABC's evening news has become a top ratings contender in its time slot.

Starz's Reputation

Thomas J. West III looks at how Starz is trying to rise above its reputation as the lowbrow premium channel.

Bad Customer Service

Brian Stelter reports on the worsening customer service reputations of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and other cable operators.

Monday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Good TVeets

Monday, June 1, 2015

Millennials & News

New Pew figures find Millennials preferring social media to local news to keep up with politics.

Jenner Impact

Anne T. Donahue says coverage of Bruce Jenner's transition to Caitlyn Jenner shows the Kardashian publicity machine can be used for good.

The Briefcase Stays

CBS's The Briefcase has generated a torrent of criticism, but Brian Flood says its ratings mean it's not going anywhere.

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and Fienberg.

Netflix Ads

Jeff Baumgartner wonders if Netflix promos on Xbox 360 are an indication that it could add commercials to its own platform. Update: The answer is no.

Outlander, GoT, & Rape

Outlander showrunner Ronald D. Moore talks to Deadline about the depiction of rape in his series and in Game of Thrones. And Ellen Gray considers the issue in both series.

Biggest Twitter Shows

Nielsen has released info on which shows during the 2014-15 season generated the most Twitter activity.

NBCU Upfronts Strategy

Jason Lynch interviews NBCU's ad sales chairwoman about the company's upfronts negotiations strategies.

Entourage Product Placement

T.L. Stanley covers how Entourage creator Doug Ellin developed so many product placement deals for his series and movie.

Charter's Prize

Emily Steel looks at the Charter Communications CEO's successful pursuit of Time Warner Cable.

The Learning Channel's Evolution

Audrey Waters covers how The Learning Channel became TLC and dropped its educational mission along the way.

Kids' TV Upfronts

Brian Steinberg reports ad buyers are moving fast to lock up inventory on kids and pre-teen targeted channels.

GoT Spectacle

Game of Thrones had perhaps its most impressive action scene yet last night; James Hibberd has some production details.

Awards Night

Two TV awards ceremonies took place last night: the Peabody Awards and the Critics' Choice Awards.

Good TVeets