Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good TVeets

Inclusive Fan Con Kickstarter

A Kickstarter for the 2018 Universal Fan Con, which is "dedicated to inclusion, highlighting women, LGBTQ, the disabled and persons of color" in the world of fandom, is nearing its goal. Update: The goal was reached.

Thoughts on 2016

More 2016 summary posts: Sahil Patel outlines what we learned about OTT in 2016; Harry A. Jessell lists the ten most jaw-dropping broadcast TV stories of the year; Daniel Fienberg looks back on the year in TV nostalgia; Spotted delineates the top 10 ratings moments of 2016; and Mark Lawson assesses 2016 as the year the UK TV industry was turned upside down by streaming.

Learning From Losses

Maureen Ryan tries to find meaning in this year's losses of Muhammad Ali, Carrie Fisher, David Bowie, and Prince.

Ramsey Lawsuit

Ted Johnson analyzes the prospects for the lawsuit JonBenet Ramsey's brother has brought against CBS for defamation.

NBC's O&O Gamble

Cynthia Littleton reports on NBC's risky launch of a new O&O in Boston coming overnight.

Homeland Premiere Available

Showtime has made the new season premiere of Homeland available for subscribers to stream two weeks ahead of the series' linear premiere.

New KKK Allegations

Nate Thayer reports KKK members who participated in A&E's shelved Escaping the KKK docuseries claim they were instructed to fake scenes.

Fee Fights

There are a number of retrans and carriage fee showdowns to watch as January 1 approaches: NBCU vs. Charter, which could black out NBCU channels in 17 million homesboth Hearst and Cox Media vs. DirecTV, which could result in 48 stations going dark; and Griffin Communications vs. Dish Network, which would black out a few CBS stations.

Best TV of 2016

As usual, I am compiling Best of TV lists for 2016 in this post. If I miss any, please let me know. And check out the 2015 version if you'd like to compare. Because the list is long, I've placed only a handful on the main page. You can find the rest after the jump.

Once again, Metacritic is also making a master list of 2016 lists and tallying shows by mention frequency.

AV Club: 30 Best Shows Part 1, Part 2The Ballots, Performances
Eric Deggans: Standout TV
Daniel Fienberg: 11 Best Shows
Tim Goodman: 38 Best Shows, Best Network Shows
Ryan McGee: 1-56-10Honorable Mentions, Most Hopeful & Emotionally Impactful Shows
Emily Nussbaum: Best TV But Totally Not a List
Willa Paskin: Top 10 Shows
Poniewozik/Hale/Genzlinger at NYT: Best Shows, Memorable Episodes
Maureen Ryan: Top 20 ShowsBest Returning ShowsBy the Numbers
Sonia Saraiya: Top 20 Shows20 Best Episodes
Matt Zoller Seitz: Best Shows
Alan Sepinwall: 20 Best Shows21 Best New Shows, Best Episodes
Uproxx: TV Critics' Poll
Todd VanDerWerff: 21 Best Shows

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Comedy Under Trump

Seth Simons queried a number of comedians about the future of comedy in the Trump era.

Cable Vulnerability

Gerry Smith looks at how cord cutting is encouraging programmers to join with distributors, with standalones and smaller channels left vulnerable as the bundle shrinks.

Hulu Gets Disney Movies

Hulu has started an exclusive deal with Disney that adds 56 older movies to its streaming library.


Todd VanDerWerff points to two recent releases indicating DVD is helping to keep TV history available.

Mr. Robot & USA

Chris Morgan discusses how Mr. Robot's Emmy wins signaled the end of the "blue sky" era for USA Network.

ESPN's Out-of-Home Lift

Anthony Crupi details the ratings lift ESPN has gotten from out-of-home measurement.

Assessing Escaping the KKK

Daniel Fienberg offers thoughts on his conflicted viewing of A&E's now-cancelled Escaping the KKK docuseries.

Wrong Predictions

Mike Shields details ten media and ad industry predictions made at the start of 2016 that didn't pan out.

Household Penetration

Nielsen's new estimates going into 2017 show TV households up, while pay TV households are down, and networks that have seen drops in subscriber homes include ESPN, Spike, and CMT, while FXX, Sprout, and BBC America are up.

Univision's Struggles

Court Stroud updates us on Univision's recent struggles and what might lie ahead, especially given Televisa's potential moves.

TV & VOD in 2017

Alan Wolk offers twelve predictions for the TV industry in 2017, and Scott Roxborough and Georg Szalai say the global expansion of Netflix and Amazon will be key to watch for next year.

Lawsuit News

Gabrielle Union has settled her lawsuit with BET over her Being Mary Jane contract. JonBenet Ramsey's brother is suing CBS for defamation stemming from a recent docuseries. And Sony and Days of Our Lives are battling a suit brought by an actress alleging retaliatory non-casting.

Congressional Livestreaming Ban

House Republicans led by Paul Ryan want to ban livestreaming and photo posting from the Congressional floor. But such a ban could be unconstitutional, and Gary Legum thinks it could backfire on Ryan.

2016 Viewing

Cable news ratings were strong in 2016, and Rachel Maddow had a great year for MSNBC.  Michael Schneider lists channel winners and losers for 2016, and Gerry Smith highlights HGTV's big ratings year.

Good TVeets

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Trump & Pop Culture

Spencer Kornhaber notes that Inauguration booking news illustrates Donald Trump's pop culture challenges.

Women & the NBA

Alex Reimer highlights ESPN's bold moves in placing women in prominent positions in its NBA coverage, with Doris Burke as a key figure.

Online TV in 2017

Amanda Lotz analyzes the chances of Hulu and Google upending the TV industry in 2017 with new bundled channel services.

Cable Ratings in 2016

Wayne Friedman notes that cable news outlets enjoyed big ratings in 2016, while most other cable channels saw declines (the six non-news prime-time gainers among the top 30 channels: HGTV, Hallmark Channel, Investigation Discovery, Bravo, TV Land and Nick Jr.).

Stephen Battaglio also reports on the cable news rise, entertainment channel decline in 2016.

Nielsen's Top Shows

Nielsen has released a handful of lists detailing the top 10 shows of 2016 in various categories.

Physical Media Value

Peter Suderman argues that physical media, i.e. DVD and Blu-ray discs, remain essential in the streaming era. Jon Spira says we will be haunted by the demise of DVD.

Fox Sports & ESPN's Debate Wars

Stephen Battaglio notes the debate show race taking place between ESPN and Fox Sports 1.

Netflix's Identity

Meredith Blake says Netflix's brand identity has gotten fuzzier as the service has expanded its programming slate.

U.S. Viewing Maps

The NYT offers a series of U.S. maps purporting to show what series are most and least popular in particular areas of the country, with many divides falling along urban and rural lines.

Fuller House Renewed

Netflix wants a third season of Fuller House.

KKK Series Shelved

A&E has cancelled its controversial documentary on the KKK after learning some participants were paid. Andy Dehnart has substantial questions for A&E about what exactly went on here.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Good TVeets

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Good TVeets

Thursday, December 22, 2016

CBS M&A Rumors

With a Viacom merger off the table, Cynthia Littleton says other merger rumors for CBS are now swirling.

Abortion in 2016

Ariane Lange highlights four series in 2016 that had important abortion storylines.

Herzog Interview

Daniel Holloway interviewed departed Viacom exec and MTV chief Doug Herzog.

Weiner Looks Back & Ahead

Jason Lynch interviews Matthew Weiner about Mad Men and his upcoming Amazon series.

Producing SNL's Opening

Saturday Night Live has posted a behind-the-scenes video depicting the last episode's set change from cold open to monologue.

Generation KKK Controversy

A&E is reconsidering how to present its controversial documentary series on the Ku Klux Klan, which will premiere on January 10.

Facebook Originals

Facebook is in the market for original video content, i.e. TV show-like items.

Shonda Rhimes on TV Writing

Shonda Rhimes will teach an online class on TV writing.

Total Content Ratings Questioned

NBCU believes Nielsen should delay its Total Content Ratings measurement launch.

British VOD

The BBC and ITV are teaming up on a US video-on-demand service called BritBox, which will launch in March. AMC Networks will have a minority stake.

21st Controlling Sky

21st Century Fox has a deal in place for full control of the Sky satellite service. Damian Tambini says a full regulatory review of the deal is called for, and David Bond has questions about the deal.

Amazon's Global Expansion

Amazon is rolling out a global expansion, including Prime Video expansion.

Third Seasons Denied

Netflix has cancelled Marco Polo after two seasons, and two seasons was also enough for Starz and Blunt Talk.

Trump's Media Communication

Donald Trump has set his communications staff and given Kellyanne Conway a key position. Conway insists the press will get daily access to the president.

Last week, it was reported that the Trump campaign team struck a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group exchanging access for favorable coverage. Paul Farhi has analysis.

Michael Wolff sees media battles ahead in the Trump era.

Looking Ahead to 2017

Lacey Rose and Marisa Guthrie give us twelve industry narratives to look for in 2017, while FX Research tells us Peak TV will get Peaker next year. Natalie Jarvey foresees the cellphone replacing the cable box. And Stephen Battaglio notes that the network morning wars are heating up again.

Looking Back on 2016

Josef Adalian highlights 2016 viewing trends, Michael O'Connell pinpoints the top 10 TV stories of 2016, Jason Lynch identifies the most-watched shows and networks of 2016, and Inkoo Kang discusses how diversity helped make 2016 special. Cable television had a great 2016 (financially speaking).

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Good TVeets

Thursday, December 15, 2016


Sorry it's been a week since I posted any links. I'm buried under finals grading, plus seeking out TV news means also coming across all of the regular news, and that's just been hard on the brain lately. I have hopes of getting back into the swing of things once grading is done this weekend. Until then, thanks for your patience.

Good TVeets

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Good TVeets

Thursday, December 8, 2016

TV Treatment of Rape

Maureen Ryan talked to showrunners and writers about the representation of rape on TV.

Changing Channels

TruTV is rebranding as a comedy channel and turning to more scripted programming. Over at MTV, MTV News is undergoing an overhaul toward diversity and prestige.

Trump & The Apprentice

Cynthia Littleton reports that Donald Trump will retain an executive producer credit on The Apprentice, and his camp says he'll have "a big stake." Scott Collins sees a mess ahead for NBC. Meanwhile, Trump has reportedly been working on inauguration ideas with Mark Burnett.

Tuesday & Wednesday Ratings

Tuesday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Wednesday network numbers from TV By the Numbers.
Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Hairspray Live!'s ratings weren't impressive.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Good TVeets 12/7/2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Gilmore Girls

Symphony's ratings measurements say Gilmore Girls is a big hit for Netflix. Lili Loofborouw offers analysis of the series and of Lauren Graham's rich portrayals of single moms there and in Parenthood.

Online Theorizing

Thoughts on how viewer theorizing on the internet could be ruining TV from Todd VanDerWerff and from Alison Herman.

Million Dollar Extreme Cancelled

Adult Swim has cancelled the controversial Million Dollar Extreme.

Luke Cage Renewed

Netflix wants a second season of Luke Cage.

Sunday & Monday Ratings

Sunday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.
Westworld finished its season on a high mark.

Monday network numbers from TV By the Numbers.
Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Good TVeets

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fox Back In at TCA

Fox has reversed course and now says the network will have an executive session at the winter TCA. Amanda Lotz argues that broadcasting's public trust commitment should compel executives to appear.

Good Girls Revolt Cancelled

Amazon has cancelled Good Girls Revolt, but Sony will shop it elsewhere. Josef Adalian has analysis of the cancellation, which many have found disheartening.

Megyn Kelly's Status

With her Fox News contract up soon, Megyn Kelly is fielding offers from other outlets, but a bidding war may not happen. Kelly tweeted we shouldn't believe the speculation we're seeing.

Thur/Fri/Sat Ratings

Thursday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Friday network numbers from TV By the Numbers.
Analysis from Spotted.

Saturday network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

DirecTV Now Analysis

Jason Lynch offers initial takeaways on DirecTV Now, which launched with significant technical problems that Steve Kovach says offer a reality check about the TV's streaming future. Tali Arbel compares DirecTV Now to competing services. Will Richmond notes both potential and limitations in DirecTV Now.

Good TVeets

Friday, December 2, 2016

Good TVeets

Thursday, December 1, 2016

NFL Viewing Declines

Joe Flint reports on a new survey into what's behind the NFL's ratings declines this season, and Richard Sandomir notes that ESPN is paying a lot for games while the ratings decline.

Hulu Live

Lucas Shaw talked to Hulu's CEO about the service's streaming strategies, which include a package of live channels coming next year.

Fox News' Big November

Fox News had strong ratings throughout November.

New Flow Issue

Check out a new Flow featuring:

Lauer's New Contract

Matt Lauer has signed a hefty new contract to stay with Today for at least a few more years. Tom Huddleston, Jr., explains NBC's thinking here.

NFL on All Access

Brian Steinberg reports that CBS All Access will stream the network's Sunday and Thursday games NFL games starting this weekend.

DirecTV Now Problems

Early subscribers to DirecTV Now are reporting technical problems with the service. AT&T insists everything's fine now despite evidence to the contrary.

MTV's New Strategies

Lesley Goldberg talked to MTV's new president on his strategies to get Millennials watching the channel.

Trump Voter TV

David Canfield says CBS's older, whiter-skewing programming has played well to Trump voters, while Josef Adalian reports that ABC's Channing Dungey indicates the election has driven her to consider developing more dramas about working-class Americans.

Network Execs Skipping TCA

The Big Four networks have decided against having exec Q&A sessions at the winter TCA press tour. Tim Goodman calls this cowardly collusion and says they'll miss a chance to shape their narratives. The Masked Scheduler disagrees and points to recent changes at TCA that justify this move.

Z Nation Renewed

Syfy wants a fourth season of Z Nation.

Broadcast Drama Ratings

The Wrap has a slideshow ranking the 47 broadcast network dramas by their ratings (18-49 including one-week delayed viewing where available). #1 is Empire; #47 is No Tomorrow.

TV Measurement & Upfronts

Brian Steinberg reports on media buyers pushing for measurement of viewership across all screens to be factored into upfronts negotiations.

Netflix Downloads

Netflix has made select shows and movies available for offline viewing on mobile devices. Will Richmond is excited about this development.

Representing Muslims

Melena Ryzik talks to writers and showrunners about the challenge of representing Muslims on TV.

Masters of Sex is Done

Showtime has confirmed that the fourth season finale of Masters of Sex was the series' last episode.

RIP Grant Tinker

Legendary television executive Grant Tinker died Tuesday. Maureen Ryan marks his huge legacy. He's especially noted for having turned around NBC in the 1980s; an in-depth 1986 profile of him in the New York Times explores how.

Mon/Tues/Wed Ratings

Monday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Tuesday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Wednesday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Thursday Night Football Questions

Following rumors that the NFL was considering the possibility of ending Thursday night games, the league insisted it's "fully committed" to Thursday Night Football, but Andrew Bucholtz considers what that could really mean.

DirecTV Now Details

AT&T introduced its DirecTV Now streaming service today, but it lacks CBS, as well as a DVR service. In pointed timing, Sling TV announced its cloud DVR on the same day as a competitive OTT advantage. AT&T's data cap rules raise net neutrality questions. An AT&T exec spoke with Georg Szalai about DirecTV Now's features, including a dedicated Taylor Swift channel. Colin Dixon has analysis.

Ad Week's Hot List

Ad Week has a best of 2016 collection, including features on executive of the year John Landgraf, news anchor of the year Megyn Kelly, TV creator of the year Samantha Bee, and the year's hottest shows and networks.

Tough Fall Landscape

John Koblin surveys the winners, losers, and new rules of the fall season.

MTV Originals' Head Out

MTV's head of original programming is stepping down after only six months on the job.

Amazing Race's Future

Andy Dehnart wonders if The Amazing Race has unceremoniously ended production, with one filmed season left to air maybe next summer.

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Good TVeets

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Muslim News Anchor

Etan Vlessing introduces us to a hijab-wearing Muslim anchor on Canadian TV news.

DirecTV Now Event

AT&T will unveil DirecTV Now Monday afternoon via Periscope.

Trump & the News

Craig Timberg reports that Russian propagandists played a significant role in spreading fake news during the election campaign. Michael Calderone notes that Donald Trump himself continues to share fake claims on Twitter, which the media then spreads. Charles Sykes warns that alt-right media will only continue to rise under Trump's reign.

TV's Importance

Cameron Glover explains why television has meant even more to her than usual following the election.

Reboot Ratings

Rick Porter says ratings for recent remade and rebooted shows illustrate that their success is no more likely than for original shows.

ABC Owns Comedy

Liam Mathews argues that ABC's sitcoms stand head-and-shoulders above all other network comedies.

Michigan-OSU Ratings

Saturday's football game between Michigan and Ohio State was the highest-rated college game this season.

RIP Ron Glass

Firefly and Barney Miller actor Ron Glass died on Friday. His Firefly crew and Joss Whedon have offered tributes.

RIP Florence Henderson

Brady Bunch actress Florence Henderson died on Thursday. Chris Erskine says her passing feels like a death in the family, and Daniel Fienberg says she offers a reminder of why comfort TV matters.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Good TVeets

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Good TVeets

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

More on Trump & News

Shelliee Karabell explores how and why the media failed the public leading up the presidential election, and Gilad Lotan argues the problem was more than just fake news.

Margaret Sullivan pinpoints where TV journalists went wrong in their meeting with Donald Trump, whereas the New York Times got it right. Matt Kwong sees signs of danger ahead in Trump's media strategy. Lloyd Grove says Trump has dragged the media into his own paranoid universe. Tara Golshan assesses Trump's press fight. Gage Skidmore looks at how local news is trying to tackle political issues separately from national outlets.

Global interest in old episodes of The Apprentice has spiked since Trump's win, reports Claire Atkinson.

Walking Dead Ratings

James Hibberd notes that the ratings for The Walking Dead are declining steadily.

European Ad Privacy Rules

Johnny Ryan says the European advertising industry has a challenge coming with new privacy rules.

Continue the Diversity Fight

Maureen Ryan calls on the TV industry to keep striving for progress on the diversity front.

Macy's Day Dream

Jason Lynch explains why brands love the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Call the Midwife Renewed

The BBC wants three more seasons of Call the Midwife.

Netflix Nostalgia

Bethonie Butler looks at Netflix's success with feeding subscriber nostalgia.

Live + 7 Ratings

Rick Porter has Week 8 Live + 7 ratings.

Tuesday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

AT&T News

AT&T has announced that its DirecTV Now service will launch on November 28. Todd Spangler wonders if its skinny bundles will doom pay TV. Meanwhile, Todd Shields and Scott Moritz explain why Time Warner's satellite dishes have the potential to nix the AT&T deal.

Update: DirectTV Now will reportedly launch without CBS on board.

Top Talent on TV

Lesley Goldberg highlights the big paydays coming to top stars doing TV, especially thanks to streaming competition. Glenn Kenny notes a star migration to Netflix in the name of satisfying loyal fans.

Univision Layoffs

Univision is having to restructure with major layoffs amid revenue losses. Fusion will also be affected.

Million Dollar Extreme Controversy

David Sims covers the controversy growing over Adult Swim's Million Dollar Extreme Presents: World Peace and its alt-right/white nationalist perspective.

Getting Rid of Commercials

Todd VanDerWerff talked to Turner exec Kevin Reilly about reducing ad loads on TBS and TNT and the hurdles of the plan. Adam Buckman proposes that the commercial break could be doomed.

Amazon's Ambitions

Shalini Ramachandran reports that Amazon is seeking live sports rights for Prime, but Todd Spangler questions the availability of deals. Will Richmond assesses Amazon's business model and video ambitions.

One More Halt & Catch Fire

AMC has announced Halt and Catch Fire will get a fourth and final season.

Duck Dynasty Ending

Duck Dynasty will come to an end this season, and Neil Genzlinger assesses its legacy of blurring the line between truth and fabrication, an issue which resonates strongly post-election.

Sunday & Monday Ratings

Sunday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Monday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Trump Coverage

Donald Trump met with TV news executives yesterday, offering many grievances, and asked for it to be off the record, but then he turned around and blasted them all to the NY Post. David Remnick is tracking Trump's press criticism.

Alex Kantrowitz is critical of Facebook's role during the election, and Ben Smith has suggestions for how tech companies and the media can battle fake news. John Herrmann says concern over fake news is overshadowing the problem of media distrust, and Ben Shapiro points to the Hamilton coverage as an example of the media's credibility problem.

Jason Mittell and Chuck Tryon bring a media history perspective in pointing out that the problem of partisan media culture and fake news has deep roots. Federic Filloux says the media's business model is to blame.

Analysis of what might come next in various places: Daniel Holloway on PBS, Katie Baker on Saturday Night Live, Michael O'Connell on MSNBC, Dylan Byers on the Fox News talent pool. Caroline Franke talks to Samantha Bee, Brian Steinberg on the Daily Show, Whitney Friedlander on TV diversity, and Aaron Pressman on the FCC, Brian Fung notes the FCC could potentially be dissolved under Trump.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Good TVeets

Saturday, November 19, 2016

HBO's Challenges

Scott Porch details the tough time HBO is having competing in the streaming service era.

The NYT & TV

New York Times television editor Gilbert Cruz sat down for a podcast interview with a pair of critics to talk about covering television.

Biggest Twists

Critics offer their picks for the most shocking plot twists in 21st Century TV. (So, spoilers for the shows listed in the Labels.)

Synonyms for Cancellation

Lesley Goldberg notes that network execs are announcing reduced orders this season rather than cancellations. Anthony Crupi also covers this topic.

Doc McStuffins Renewed

After a period of uncertainty, it's been affirmed that Doc McStuffins will get a fifth season.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

MTV's Attention Strategies

MTV has a new media-buying agency it hopes will help it battle ratings declines, and Brian Steinberg reports on a new drama about a rape vigilantes MTV is hoping will grab attention.

Black Women & Fanfiction

Bim Adewunmi says Black women are turning to writing fanfiction for shows like The Walking Dead when they don't see the nuanced portrayals they want on screen.

AMC Buys Into Funny or Die

AMC Networks has obtained a minority stake in Funny or Die and will push for integrations with IFC.

Fall Ratings Trends

Josef Adalian analyzes the fall ratings thus far.

Monday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Monday, November 14, 2016

IMDb Sues Over Age Law

IMDb is suing the state of California over a recent bill allowing the removal of actors' ages from its site listings. Tim Cushing says IMDb is in the right, and the law is misguided.

Midseason Hiatus Reconsidered

Jason Lynch says networks are shortening some midseason hiatuses midseason hiatus due to last year's second-half ratings erosion.

The Walking Dead Criticism

Scott Meslow explains why he found last night's episode of the Walking Dead particularly irresponsible.

Brand Mentions

Jason Lynch reports on a new measurement platform that allows brands to track all of their media mentions.

Second Season Renewals

HBO has ordered second seasons of Westworld, Divorce, and Insecure, while Amazon wants a second season of One Mississippi.

C3 Ratings

Anthony Crupi analyzes the latest C3 ratings data: "the data that advertisers care most about suggests that the networks are beginning to make some headway in the battle to recapture lost commercial impressions."

Gelman Exits Adult Swim

Comedian Brett Gelman announced he has severed ties with Adult Swim over its lack of gender diversity and airing of an alt-right series.

SNL News

The post-election Saturday Night Light hit a season-high in the ratings. The North Carolina station that censored parts of the episode is now reevaluating its policies on indecency and obscenity and prefaced the next episode with a promise to no longer censor audio. Laura Beck calls out SNL for hypocrisy in its "Hallelujah" opener, and Hua Hsu is critical of the normalization of Donald Trump in SNL and elsewhere.

RIP Gwen Ifill

Journalist Gwen Ifill has died. Caroline Framke considers her legacy as a visible woman of color in the media.

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Nat Geo & Premium Nonfiction

National Geographic is undergoing a rebranding phase, and John Jurgensen looks at how premium documentaries, starting with a series call Mars, are playing a key role in the new brand launch.

Live & DVR Viewership

Toni Fitzgerald analyzes live and DVR viewing figures and finds live/linear viewership still dominant.

Formula-Free Comedy

Daniel Fienberg has enjoyed the formula-free comedy of Atlanta and Better Things.

Viacom Off PlayStation Vue

PlayStation Vue has dropped Viacom channels apparently to keep pricing down.

Thriving Empires

Emily Steel discusses Comcast-NBCU's empire and how the Minions helped build it, while Brooks Barnes covers how Warner Bros. is quietly thriving.

YouTube Red's Struggles

Micah Singleton looks at YouTube Red's struggle to get people to subscribe.

Stop AT&T-Time Warner

Susan Crawford argues that the Time-Warner-AT&T merger should be stopped.

Scripps Exits Netflix

Scripps won't renew its streaming deal with Netflix when it expires at the end of 2016.

VOD Interface Problems

Kaitlyn Tiffany pinpoints the many problematic elements of HBO Go's interface. John Ellis is similarly frustrated by the difficulty of finding programs on VOD platforms.

European Prime-Time

Scott Roxborough says growing local productions are pushing US series out of prime-time in Europe.

Sundance Day & Night

Neil Genzlinger notes the differences between SundanceTV's daytime and prime-time programming and the challenges of basic cable programming that points to.

TV Show Growth

Nathan McAlone presents a chart showing the huge growth in scripted original shows since 2002.

Ad Break Problems

Cynthia Littleton relays a Fox exec's concern that frequent commercial breaks are hurting linear TV. Meanwhile, TruTV is has reduced its prime-time ad load by half, and even the NFL is considering reducing ad loads to combat declining ratings.

Shari Redstone at Viacom

Cynthia Littleton checks in on Shari Redstone's status at Viacom, and Brian Steinberg says she's quietly pushing for the Viacom-CBS merger, but Kim Masters sees a few complications ahead, including Les Moonves.

Post-Election Coverage

Sorry again for another unplanned hiatus, was a challenging week. I'll try to get back into the groove yet again this week.

Last week's election night was the second highest-rated such night in US TV history, but James Poniewozik notes that the networks struggled with how to cover the unfolding results. Marisa Guthrie takes us inside Fox News as the night played out. Last-night hosts the next day were somber.

Some are trying to speculate on the future of media under a Trump administration. Stephen Battaglio considers possibilities for cable news, Leon Lazaroff expects more media mergers, but Michael J. de la Merced and Cecilia Kang say the outlook isn't clear yet. April Glaser says net neutrality is in danger.

Jim Tankersley points to TV advertising choices that doomed Hillary Clinton, and Brian Steinberg foresees a TV news fight ahead for ad dollars.

Megyn Kelly's new memoir contains revelations about Roger Ailes and Fox News, as well as Donald Trump. Gretchen Carlson is also speaking out about her sexual harassment.

Last night's Saturday Night Live opened with Kate McKinnon (sort of) as Hillary Clinton singing Hallelujah, while Dave Chappelle delivered a standup set for his monologue. But some viewers in North Carolina didn't get to hear everything, because a station in Raleigh censored parts of the episode. Daniel Fienberg reviews the episode, and Liz Shannon Miller assesses Dave Chappelle's TV comeback.

An Trump-inspired Law & Order: SVU episode has been pushed to 2017.

Good TVeets

Monday, November 7, 2016

Election Stuff

For the first time in its publication history, Variety has endorsed a presidential candidate. (Alternate Variety-Slang headline: Trump's Perf Among Competish Earns An Ankle)

Media critics are reflecting on the news media's role this election season: Jim Rutenberg says both politics and news are now contaminated, Jay Rosen considers how the news media can rebuild trust, Sonia Saraiya wonders how we can enforce accountability on news organizations, Olivia Gold relays the view that this is all TV's fault, and Jack Shafer says Trump neutered the press by fighting it.

Tim Goodman explains how and why he avoided most of the election news coverage. Jen Chaney points to scripted shows that pointed the way to this election, and Sonia Weiser discusses the tension of writing for TV in the Trump election season.

Fox News has a fancy, expensive new studio ready for Election Day.

A GOP congressman wants post-election congressional hearings investigating network media bias.

DirecTV Now Details

Janko Roettgers has obtained leaked details on AT&T's upcoming DirecTV Now service.

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and Michael O'Connell.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Good TVeets

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Conglomerate Ownership Chart

NPR has a very handy guide to conglomerate ownership in digital media.

Dick Clark Productions Sold

China's Dalian Wanda Group has announced the $1 billion acquisition of Dick Clark Productions.

NFL Ratings

Felix Gillette explores why the NFL's ratings are down. Sally Jenkins says the problem is the product is more disturbing than appealing at this point. John Consoli says advertisers aren't fazed by the ratings trend.

Fuller No Longer Star Trek Showrunner

Bryan Fuller is stepping back from the showrunner role on CBS All Access' new Star Trek series.

The Daily Show Past & Present

Vanity Fair has an oral history of Jon Stewart's Daily Show tenure, while Vann R. Newkirk II looks back on Trevor Noah's first year on the job. Noah had his highest-rated month in October.

Ratings Struggles

Gary Levin finds a lot of ratings strugglers among the season's new shows, and Jason Lynch identifies sophomore slumps in some of last year's new hits.

Diversity News

A new GLAAD report finds record-high representation of LGBTQ, black, and disabled characters on TV this season, and a USA Today video report praises TV's diversity efforts. Daniel Holloway and Brent Lang report on pressure placed on casting directors to boost diversity in movies and TV. Wesley Morris explains why black male sexuality is still a taboo in popular culture.