Thursday, March 31, 2016

SCMS Hiatus

I'm at the annual Society for Cinema and Media Studies conference this weekend, and tons of fascinating panels have me too busy to blog. Check out the hashtag #SCMS16 on Twitter if you want to see what we're all talking about.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Monday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Nielsen's Challenge

Nicole LaPorte delves into how Nielsen plans to better measure audiences in a fracturing TV landscape.

Viceland VR & Ratings

Viceland and Samsung are partnering on virtual reality ads, and Viceland is downplaying early ratings data.

Obama Criticizes Media

President Obama says the news media bears responsibility for the problematic state of presidential campaign rhetoric.

TiVo's Buyer?

Steven Rosenbaum tries to determine who will buy TiVo.

Georgia Threats

Myles McNutt explains why AMC and The Walking Dead didn't, and really couldn't, threaten to pull production out of Georgia in the wake of a controversial bill, which the state's governor will veto.

Channel 4 Won't Get Black Mirror

Endemol Shine has broken off negotiations with Channel 4 over Black Mirror rights, meaning the new episodes will stream on Netflix exclusively in the UK.

Starz Rebranding

Encore will be incorporated into a single Starz master brand, and the new Starz will have the tagline "Obsessable" and a new programming strategy to target underserved audiences.

International Drama Co-Productions

Kayti Burt explains how the growth of international co-productions is changing TV drama.

New In Media Res

Theme: Disney Princesses

  • Monday, March 28, 2016 - Kathyrn Talbot (University of Queensland) presents: Always the Princess, Never the Queen 
  • Tuesday, March 29, 2016 - Juan Llamas-Rodriguez (University of California, Santa Barbara) presents: “It’s in my code!”: Glitch as Gendered Ontology 
  • Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - Katie Morgan (Independent) presents: Problematic Motherhood: Disney Princesses and the Missing or Overbearing Mother 
  • Thursday, March 31, 2016 - Nicole Motahari (Georgia State University) presents: "Noble Maiden Fair (A Mhaighdean Bhan Uasal" Soundscape
  • Friday, April 1, 2016 - Kieffer Wilson (Ohio University) presents: Deviating on the Princess’ Behalf

Sports Challenges

Bill Cromwell lists five sports experiencing ratings declines, and Tim Baysinger talks with MLB's commissioner about the challenge of drawing younger viewers in. David Barron covers the challenges sports channels are facing as viewing habits change (Google News link).

Good TVeets

Viacom Upfronts Preview

Brian Steinberg covers Viacom's confidence about its content amidst operational scrutiny as upfronts loom. Steinberg also reports on Viacom's plan to "reimagine" MTV.

Charter Merger

Emily Steel and Cecilia Kang chat about the likely Charter-TWC-Bright House merger.

Dish Fee Fight

Dish Network and Media General are in a retrans negotiation stalemate, and Dish could lose 70 stations in 48 markets if agreement isn't reached by Thursday.

Sunday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Good TVeets

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Brian Williams & MSNBC

Tom Risen analyzes Brian Williams and MSNBC's partnership in redemption.

Orphan Black After-Show

BBC America is adding a post-show talk show for Orphan Black's fourth season.

The Bacehlor's Whiteness

Meredith Blake notes the second season of UnREAL will help us reflect on the whiteness of the Bachelor franchise.

Friends' Popularity

Adam Sternbergh tries to understanding the sustained popularity of Friends among 20-somethings.

How Netflix Works

Wired's Brian Barrett offers a deep dive into Netflix's strategies, global expansion, and data-driven approach. And Stephen Lovely notes that Netflix's U.S. film and TV catalog has shrunk by a third in the last few years.

Al Jazeera Job Cuts

Al Jazeera is cutting hundreds of jobs due to declining oil money in Qatar.

Yankees vs. Comcast

Joe Flint and Matthew Futterman highlight a battle between 21st Century Fox's YES and Comcast as a flashpoint in the high-priced sports-rights boom (Google News link). Will Richmond also covers this.

YouTube & the Election

Drew Harwell looks at the role YouTube is playing in the presidential election campaign.

Tribune CEO Interview

Emily Steel talked with Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori about WGN America and the state of the TV business.

Friday & Saturday Ratings

Friday network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted.

Saturday network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Friday, March 25, 2016

WGA Women/Minorities Report

The latest WGA report on women and minority TV and film writer employment shows slow or stagnant progress.

Facebook Canvas Ads

Mike Molnar touts Facebook Canvas ads as a potential boon to network TV.

The Episode Problem

Todd VanDerWerff says original series from Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu share a problem in underestimating the importance of the episode as a single unit of TV storytelling.

Widescreen Evolution

Simon Brew takes us through the development of the TV image from 4:3 to widescreen.

Millennial Viewing Habits

A new Nielsen report finds that millennials' TV viewing habits differ depending on what life stage they're in.

Friends' Anti-Intellectualism

David Hopkins finds larger anti-intellectual relevance in Friends' mockery of Ross.

Brands on Baskets

Jason Lynch explains why Baskets is featuring brand-name products but not charging the brands for it.

More on The 100

Debate about and answering for The 100's character death continues: showrunner Jason Rothenberg has apologized and posted on Medium about it. But Elizabeth Bridges says Rothenberg's apology is hollow and he still doesn't get it. Caroline Framke provides an historical contextualization and overview of the situation. The 100 fans created a Tumblr for open letters to Rothenberg. Dany Roth covers the Rothenberg apology and lessons learned.

Writing Quantico

Frazier Moore takes us into the Quantico writers' room.

When to Stop Watching

Tim Goodman and Daniel Fienberg debate how one decides it's time to stop watching a show.

Small Stations & the Auction

Jim Puzzanghera notes that recent buyers of small independent stations could gain a windfall during the spectrum auction.

Political Ads Impact

Tim Higgins reports that Wheel of Fortune is benefitting more than any other show from election campaign ad spending, while local car dealers, while Nick Niedzwiadek says car dealers are suffering from political ads squeezing them out in local markets.

TWC-Dodgers Deal

Phillip Swann sees Time Warner Cable's lowered carriage fee for SportsNetLA, the cable channel home of Los Angeles Dodgers games, as an empty PR gesture, and David Lieberman similarly doesn't expect any pay TV providers will take them up on it.

OTT Ad Growth

Joe Mandese reports on the growth of advertising in the over-the-top sector.

Set-Top Box Debate

John Eggerton reports that programmers representing diverse audiences have called for the FCC to reject delays in pushing forward Tom Wheeler's new set-top box proposal. Chris Morran questions the cable industry's claims in response to Wheeler.

Georgia Boycott Threats

Numerous media companies are threatening production boycotts of Georgia if its governor signs a bill viewed as discriminatory toward LGBT citizens. Jason Lynch notes that billions of dollars are at stake here.

CBS Renewals

CBS has announced the renewal of eleven series, but none from the freshmen class yet.

Viceland Viewership

The new Viceland channel is apparently performing poorly in cable ratings, but is gaining traction on YouTube.

Togetherness Cancelled

HBO has decided to end Togetherness at two seasons.

Smart TV Evolution

Niley Patel explains how Vizio and Google have revolutionized smart TV specs, and Will Richmond and Colin Dixon's podcast this week covers the smart TV ecosystem and its state of flux.

TiVo-Rovi Merger

Leslie Picker reports that TiVo and Rovi are in merger talks.

Discovery's Upfronts Pitch

Anthony Crupi explains how Discovery Communications has changed its upfronts approach for this year by merging linear and digital ad sales.

The Americans' Costume Design

Emma Fraser talked to The Americans' costume designer about the show's apparel choices.

Fox Renewals

Fox has renewed Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Last Man on Earth, and New Girl is likely to be renewed.

ComScore + Adobe

ComScore and Adobe are teaming up to compete against Nielsen for digital video consumption measurement.

Apple Original Series

Apple has its first original series in development, an unscripted series about apps.

Streaming Service News

Ryan Knutson and Shalini Ramachandran report that Netflix has been throttling its streaming quality for subscribers watching on AT&T and Verizon wireless networks due to data cap issues. Jan Dawson insists Netflix is in the wrong here.

Meanwhile, Redbox is taking another crack at launching a streaming service.

Daytime Emmy Nominations

Nominations for Daytime Emmys have been announced, but you won't be able to see the eventual winners accept their awards on TV.

Wednesday & Thursday Ratings

Wednesday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Thursday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

RIP Garry Shandling

Comedian Garry Shandling died yesterday. Jason Lynch assesses how Shandling changed TV with HBO's The Larry Sanders Show, Todd VanDerWerff explains his importance to TV, and Matt Zoller Seitz remembers him as one of TV's great artists. Jeremy Enger offers a remembrance, and Tim Goodman outlines Shandling's legacy. James Poniewozik looks back on The Larry Sanders Show. Matt Roush offers an appreciation. Hank Stuever marks Shandling as a cringe comedy pioneer, and Les Chappell considers how he changed TV.

RIP Ken Howard

TV actor and SAG-AFTRA president Ken Howard died earlier this week. Gabrielle Carteris is now acting president.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Good TVeets

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

New Nashville Showrunners

Providing ABC renews it, Nashville will have new showrunners next season: Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick. Alan Sepinwall has analysis of this odd move.

Reality Up, March Madness Down

Toni Fitzgerald notes that ratings are up for reality TV shows, while ratings for NCAA tournament games is down.

Viewing Habits

A new study says binge viewing is now commonplacesocial media outpaces TV ads as a recommender, and multi-tasking while watching TV is rife. The results also call into question what exactly it means to "watch TV" today.

Showtime's Release Experiment

Showtime will release all six episodes of a new Andrew Dice Clay comedy online before the linear weekly release of the series.

Netflix Mail Costs

The USPS has lost a bid to make Netflix and GameFly pay more for transporting discs through the mail.

Amazon Gets Doctor Who

Amazon Prime now has exclusive U.S. streaming rights to Doctor Who.

YouTube Red's Push

Michael Malone assesses YouTube Red's intervention into the SVOD landscape.

Nielsen Metrics

Jason Lynch talked to Nielsen's COO about the delays in rolling out Total Audience Measurement and reports that Nielsen will also make connected TV usage data available. Todd Spangler also reports.

UK Netflix Subscriptions

Jasper Jackson reports that nearly a quarter of UK households subscribe to Netflix, which is well ahead of its Amazon Prime and Sky Now streaming competitors.

Advertisers Adapting

Cynthia Meyers puts today's advertising and sponsorship changes in historical context.

Tuesday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Good TVeets

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

NBCU Content Studio

Jason Lynch reports on NBCU's creation of The Content Studio, which will create branded content for the NBCU portfolio of channels and beyond.

Directing For AMC

Daniel Fienberg talked to Michael Slovis about directing episodes of Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad and becoming a producer-director on Preacher.

The Good Wife's Good Man

Kelli Marshall and Kristen Warner explain how Jeffrey Dean Morgan's character on The Good Wife is the perfect man.

Pop's Growth

The year-old Pop channel will be making a big push at upfronts as it continues to court advertisers.

Univision's Challenges

Media Life assesses the state of Univision and sees growing pains.

Kids' Upfronts

Read previews of the upfronts for children's channels from Brian Steinberg and Jeanine Poggi.

Full Frontal Vitality

Pilot Viruet says Samantha Bee's Full Frontal has already become a vital part of late night TV.

FX vs. Netflix

John Landgraf talked to Jason Lynch about how FX competes for programming with Netflix without pockets as deep.

Monday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Good TVeets

Monday, March 21, 2016

Jimmy/Saul Analysis

Sonia Saraiya appreciates how Jimmy McGill in Better Call Saul diverges from the recent archetypal anti-hero.

Queer Women Deaths

The 100 creator Jason Rothenberg is speaking up about the show's controversial character death, while Trish Bendix pleads for an end to the trope of queer women dying on TV.

Trump & Media Dependency

In his first column as David Carr's replacement, Jim Rutenberg explores the mutual dependency of Donald Trump and the media.

ABC Comedy Development

Anthony Crupi reports on ABC's desire to air more comedies produced by ABC Studios for the ownership advantages.

Auction Schedule Back On

The final court threat to delay the spectrum option has been denied, so the schedule is back on track.

Amazon Selling Comcast

Amazon is now selling Comcast cable, internet, and phone services via its website.

New In Media Res

Theme: Emergent Countries, Emergent Media

  • Monday, March 21, 2016 - Eleanor Huntington (University of Southern California) presents: The Filmic Example of an Emergent Nation: Beatriz’s War and East Timor 
  • Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - Heather Lusty (UNLV) presents: Emergent Countries, Emergent Media - Currency as National Identity 
  • Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - Michael Anthony Turcios (University of Southern California) presents: France’s Combat of Extremism Through Social Media 
  • Thursday, March 24, 2016 - Eszter Zimanyi (University of Southern California) presents: Seeing “Through” The Wall: Palestine’s Al-Rowwad Outdoor Film Festival 
  • Friday, March 25, 2016 - Zach Finch (University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee) presents: Better Together in Outlander?

The Passion Reviewed

Mike Hale describes last night's live-ish airing of The Passion on Fox as like a halftime show, Emma Green calls it "the ultimate experiment in turning religion into entertainment." Myles McNutt deconstructs the show's partial liveness and its underlying logic.

TV on Facebook

E! has launched a live talk show on Facebook, and a number of NCAA Tournament teams are also using the Facebook Live feature.

Canadian TV Lament

John Doyle is unhappy with the state of Canadian TV programming and the executives who don't seem to care about it.

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and Kissell.

Good TVeets

Sunday, March 20, 2016

New CST Posts

Check out new posts from Critical Studies in Television:

Lesbian & Bisexual Character Fates

In the wake of The 100's controversial character death, a blogger compiled a list of major lesbian and bisexual characters who have been killed off of TV shows. That was followed by a much smaller list of lesbian and bisexual characters who got uplifting happy endings.

Millennials & Sports

David Shoalts says broadcasters have a challenge ahead in convincing millennials to pay to watch sports programming.

Changing Representations of Asian-American Men

Diep Tran is pleased that TV is finally presenting Asian-American men as sex symbols, and Susan Cheng talked to the actor who plays Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Asian love interest about changing representations of Asian-American men on TV. Joe Starr looks at Korean actor John Cho's frustrating career.

YouTube Stars

Natalie Jarvey notes how Hollywood studios are increasingly investing in YouTube stars.

Daredevil's Streaming Launch

Janko Roettgers takes us inside the Netflix technology room from which Daredevil's second season launched.

An Arab SNL

Sudarsan Raghavan introduces us to the Middle Eastern version of Saturday Night Live, based in Egypt.

$90 Million Netflix Movie

Netflix won a bidding war with a $90 million payment for a Will Smith movie in development.

L+3 Gainers

Rick Kissell covers recent L+3 ratings, with People vs. OJ Simpson and Better Call Saul as the big gainers.

Viacom + comScore

Viacom has signed a cross-platform deal with comScore that will affect ad buying by enabling specific audience targeting across platforms from linear to OTT.

Showrunning HTGAWM

Jarett Wieselman profiles Pete Nowalk, creator and showrunner of How to Get Away With Murder.

Race & Distribution Battles

Cynthia Littleton points to recent carriage battles where racial and ethnic discrimination are charged.

Good TVeets

Social Media & Live TV

Claire Atkinson reports that Facebook and Twitter are seeking out live TV rights to acquire; Alan Wolk has analysis.

Thursday & Friday Ratings

Thursday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Friday network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted.

Emotion & Ad Recall

A new study of Twitter finds that emotional reactions to TV shows can help foster better ad recall in viewers. Adweek has an infographic of the study's findings.

Trump & TV

Kyle Blaine looks at Donald Trump's TV dominance and the ambivalence those covering him feel about it. Tom Risen notes that election campaign has been a boon for TV ratings. There's also the matter of Trump's odd Megyn Kelly obsession, which Fox News claims to be fed up with.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Good TVeets

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Real O'Neals' Importance

Shilo Adams explains why a lead gay character makes The Real O'Neals a very important show.

Pay TV + Streaming

New Nielsen research suggests streaming is leading to cord shaving more than cord cutting.

Network Obsolescence

A new Barclay's report predicts that the concept of the TV network could become obsolete soon, content could be split between only scripted shows and live events, and online and offline platforms could merge.

CBS & March Madness

Tim Baysinger notes that the NCAA Final Four and National Championship game will not air on CBS this year, as sports continue to migrate to cable.

Rough Ratings

Anthony Crupi reports on February's C3 network ratings, which were well down compared to last year.

Of Kings and Prophets Cancelled

ABC really didn't like the ratings it saw from Of King and Prophets and cancelled it only two episodes in.

Pilot Casting & Diversity

Lesley Goldberg talks to six casting directors about the diversity push this pilots season.

Deadly Timeslots

Rick Porter identifies the worst-performing timeslot on each broadcast network in recent years.

ABC-WB Stacking Deal

ABC and Warner Bros. TV came to a stacking deal, which will see all in-season episodes of their joint new series available on-demand, not just the most recent five. Jason Lynch says this is a big win for viewers.

Wednesday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Good TVeets

TV's Ad Value

Stuart Elliott says advertisers are still happy to spend money on TV, trusting in its effectiveness.

CNN's Digital Expansion

Mike Shields reports that CNN is spending big money to expand its digital resources.

The Bachelor's Whiteness

Sonia Saraiya takes note of The Bachelor franchise's ongoing whiteness.

Charter-TWC Nearly Approved

The FCC will reportedly approve the Charter-Time Warner Cable merger with a few online video competition rules.

Malone Profile

Cynthia Littleton profiles John Malone and the assets he's sitting on and seeking.

Cable's Storytelling Value

The creator of Mr. Robot touts the creative freedom he's found on cable TV.

Comedy Supremacy

Maureen Ryan says TV's latest Golden Age or whatever we're calling it is rooted in comedy, not drama. But Willa Paskin sees problems in today's prestige comedies, exemplified by Netflix's Flaked.

Gotham Renewed

Fox wants a third season of Gotham.

Megyn Kelly Special

Megyn Kelly is getting a prime time interview special on Fox a la Barbara Walters.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

MHP Podcast

Melissa Harris-Perry talked to the Another Round podcast about her exit from MSNBC.

Olympics Advertising

Toni Fitzgerald reports on the state of Summer Olympics advertising.

Fox Programmatic Advertising

Fox is introducing programmatic advertising.

Station Independence

Anthony Schoetle explains how WTHR in Indianapolis survives as an independent in an era of station mergers and affiliations.

Xena Reboot

Executive producer Javier Grillo-Marxuach reveals that Xena will be openly gay in the series reboot.

Better Call Saul Renewed

AMC wants a third season of Better Call Saul.

2015-16 Ratings

Josef Adalian shares a grim chart of 2015-16 network ratings.

The Simpsons Predicted Trump

A March 2000 episode of The Simpsons foresaw a Trump presidency.

Tuesday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

The Tuesday primaries were big for cable news outlets.

CBS's Plans

CBS unveiled a five-year business plan yesterday, which includes the intent to sell off its radio assets. In programming news, CBS announced spring premiere dates and a final season of Person of Interest, as well as summer premiere dates.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Monday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Lane Bryant Ad

Controversy has arisen over a Lane Bryant ad featuring plus-sized models allegedly being rejected by ABC and NBC.

Little Big Shots Renewed

NBC has given an early renewal to Steve Harvey's Little Big Shots.

Comic-Con Streaming Service

Lionsgate and Comic-Con are partnering on launching an SVOD service in May.

Sitcom Representations

Emily Nussbaum appreciates The Middle for its representation of American life. Black-ish producers and stars spoke at PaleyFest about their police brutality episode. And Sonia Saraiya praises The Carmichael Show for the important issues it tackles. Jerrod Carmichael explains why the show tackled the Bill Cosby controversy.

Vue Rolls Out

Sony's Playstation Vue TV service is rolling out nationwide, and it currently lacks local channels.

Camera Evolution

Gizmodo has a cool collection of photos of TV cameras from the 1930s to today.

Anthologies & Actors

John Koblin talked to John Landgraf and Ryan Murphy about how the seasonal anthology series can draw high-level actors to TV. (Just like in the 1950s! I wrote a book about that. #selfpromotion)

Wheeler's Moves

Victor Luckerson outlines the big TV and internet changes FCC chief Tom Wheeler is trying to institute. Nilay Patel has an interview with Wheeler about what's coming next.

Trump's Free Time

Nicholas Confessore and Karen Yourish report on the huge advantage in free media time Donald Trump is getting thanks to coverage of his campaign.

Dish-NBC Dispute

Dish Network and NBCU are locked in a carriage fee dispute, which could lead to a blackout starting Sunday. NBC has launched a website to make its case to customers. Update: Dish has sued NBCU for breach of contract.

Shrinking Bundles

Richard Greenfield says pay TV is in trouble if bundles don't start shrinking, and even Les Moonves says skinny bundles are inevitable. Lucas Shaw notes that a la carte is becoming the norm outside the US, including in Canada, though cable operators there are still trying to add in fees.

CBS Eyeing Starz

Nellie Andreeva reports that CBS has interest in buying Starz.

Judge Judy Suit

CBS is facing an agency lawsuit over Judge Judy revenue, but Judy herself says the case has no legitimacy.

Upfronts News

Brian Steinberg previews the 2016 upfronts, noting that the networks are in a position to demand higher ad rates, but that's because of audience erosion. Steinberg also reports that Fox Networks is prepared to do deals based on targeted audience segment numbers rather than Nielsen guarantees. Meanwhile, Kaylee Hultgren says changing cable ad loads are something to look for at upfronts, and Cablefax assesses the digital vs. TV ad battle.

Netflix News

Netflix's shares keep falling, but its subscriptions keep rising among young and old, as well among the wealthy. However, a third of Americans watching aren't actually paying for it. Affinio is impressed with Netflix's use of data to expand globally, and Spencer Lazar hopes Netflix develops local content as it expands into other countries.

NYT TV Newsletter

The New York Times is launching a TV-centric vertical led by Gilbert Cruz and Margaret Lyons.

Good TVeets

Monday, March 14, 2016

TBS Late-Night Success

Emily Yahr looks at how Conan O'Brien has survived years of late-night TV turmoil, while Caroline Framke says Samantha Bee could have the defining late-night show of 2016.


Andrew Bucholtz says recent statements by Bob Iger indicate a possibility that ESPN could offer a direct-to-consumer option, but it's not clear if this is serious talk yet.

Politics & TV

Mark Joyella looks at how recent hires have helped CNN raise its political game. Brian Flood notes that Donald Trump has made a joke of the equal time rule. And Jacob Sugarman laments that comedians and satirists eviscerating Trump have seemingly had no impact.

Redstone Profile & Viacom Meeting

Emily Steel profiles Shari Redstone as control of Viacom enters the battle stage. Viacom's annual meeting will be held on Monday, and Steel outlines the players. Georg Szalai and Paul Bond report on the meeting's results.

The 100 Lessons

Maureen Ryan delineates lessons writers and fans can learn from the recent 100 death fallout.

SVOD Penetration

Over 50% of U.S. households now subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu. Will Richmond notes that while SVOD penetration is surging, cord cutting isn't.

China's Gay Ban

China has instituted a ban on TV depictions of "abnormal sexual relationships and behaviours," which includes depictions of gay relationships.

Underground Ratings

The premiere episode of Underground set an original scripted ratings record for WGN America.

Cancellation & Renewals

While I was away, The CW renewed just about everything, while Freeform has decided to end Switched at Birth after its fifth season.

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Good TVeets

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Spring Break

I'm on a networking trip for my university this week, and it's not looking like I'll have any time to blog. So see you back here next week!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

China's Online TV Crackdown

Amy Qin reports the Chinese government is further tightening controls over online TV and web series content.

NFL Streaming Rights

Peter Kafka tells us who likely is and isn't involved in the competition for Thursday NFL streaming rights. Todd Spangler explains why Facebook wants on the games.

ESPN's Health

Disney's CEO was challenged with questions about ESPN's health at a shareholder meeting.

New Emmy Rules

The Emmys have announced some changes, including the addition of new categories for online video shorts and the expansion of writing and directing nominees.

Univision Discrimination Charge

Univision has accused AT&T of racial discrimination over a station blackout.

Charter-TWC Ruling

Georg Szalai reports that a ruling on the Charter-Time Warner Cable merger is likely to come by May.

Google Fiber TV Slowing

Mark Bergen reports on signs of a slowdown with Google Fiber's TV rollout.

Trump's Ascent, a Nation's Descent

James Poniewozik covers the recent GOP debate dick-measuring spectacle.

Older Demo Viewing Up

Linear TV viewership among those older than 65 is up this year.

Virtual Reality Ads

Brian Steinberg reports on ABC's experimentation with virtual reality ads, launching Sunday during Quantico's time slot.

Empire Suit

The producers of Empire are being sued for copyright infringement.

Childrens Hospital Ending

Childrens Hospital will end after its spring run of episodes.

Bundles Abound

Jason Abbruzzese and Saba Hamedy note that the economics of bundling encourage its emergence in new areas like streaming TV and music.

Stream TV Complaint

Comcast's Stream TV has drawn a complaint to the FCC over data caps and a condition of the Comcast/NBCU merger.

New Flow Issue

Check out a new Flow featuring:

The 100 Outrage

The 100 killed off a character in its last episode, and many viewers are extremely unhappy about this creative choice. Maureen Ryan explains why the death matters. Fans have been bombarding episode writer Javier Grillo-Marxuach with invective; he explains why he is responding by RTing much of the criticism without comment. Geekthropology explains the context for LGBT fan outrage in particular. Ryan McGee adds thoughts, and Caroline Framke has analysis.

Thursday & Friday Ratings

Thursday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.

Analysis from Spotted.

Friday network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Good TVeets

Netflix Originals Arms Race

Lucas Shaw credits Netflix with sparking a spending spree on original programming.

Streaming Push

Meg James covers the push of traditional media companies into streaming.

Netflix & Viewing Declines

Todd Spangler reports on a study into how Netflix viewing has led to drops in linear TV viewing. The analyst behind the report says Netflix is certainly competing with TV, but not killing it.

ABC Renewals

ABC renewed a bunch of shows today.

Wednesday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and Kissell.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Game of Thrones Secrecy

HBO won't give critics early access to season 6 Game of Thrones episodes. Sam Adams has analysis.

Carmichael's Comedy

Jonah Weiner profiles Jerrod Carmichael and his bold comedy style.

Time Warner Streaming Services

Natalie Jarvey explains why Time Warner now owns three streaming services across its three major divisions. One of them, HBO Now, will expand to Brazil and Argentina later this year.

Erin Andrews & ESPN

ESPN is defending itself against claims from Erin Andrews that the outlet forced her to do an interview about her stalker. Julie DiCaro says the case represents typical devaluing of women in sports media.

ABC & Oscar Creative Control

Debra Birnbaum and Kristopher Tapley report that ABC is asking the Academy for more creative input in its Oscars contract extension negotiations.


Phillip Swann says 3D TV seems just about dead.

Peak Demand, Poor Models & Measurement

Matthew Ball says shows today aren't cancelled from too much competition but because the industry's models and metrics can't keep up with the on-demand era.

Harry-Perris & MSNBC

Melissa Harris-Perry decided to take the freedom to talk about MSNBC over an exit package from the network. Meredith D. Clark says MSNBC has failed audiences.

Cable Upfronts

Mark your calendar with upcoming cable upfront dates.

Tuesday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted.

Fox News won Super Tuesday.

Good TVeets

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

MSNBC Getting Whiter

Paul Farhi notes that MSNBC is losing minority presence on screen in the wake of recent changes.

Ad Giant Restructuring

Brian Steinberg explains the significance of a major restructuring at the Starcom Mediavest Group media-buying agency as upfronts approach.

Politics & Ratings

Les Moonves admitted he's enjoying Donald Trump's run due to the resulting debate ratings. And Ileane Rudolph notes that the presidential campaign is bringing ratings boosts in many places.

CBS Streaming

Les Moonves says CBS All-Access might launch an ad-free option and also hopes to grab the streaming rights for its Thursday NFL games.

Public TV Viewing Diversity

A new study funded by the CPB found that a racially diverse audience watches public television.

New In Media Res

Theme: Live from the Red Carpet!

  • Monday, February 29, 2016 - Raffi Sarkissian (University of Southern California) presents: Red Carpet, Black Hair: Viola Davis and the Politics of Respectability at the Oscars
  •  Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - Julie Nakama (University of Pittsburgh) presents: Can wE! All Get Along? The Fashion Police and Oscar Diversity 
  •  Wednesday, March 2, 2016 - Natasha Patterson (Simon Fraser University) presents: "Do you do that to the guys?": Feminism and Red Carpet Politics 
  •  Thursday, March 3, 2016 - Kirsty Fairclough (University of Salford) presents: Will they #Askhermore? Celebrity, Sexism and the Red Carpet 
  •  Friday, March 4, 2016 - Elizabeth Lunden (Stockholm University) presents: When Shallowness Enables Depth: The Oscars as a Scenario for Socio-Political Protest

Cord Shaving Worries

Toni Fitzgerald says cord shaving is now the worry for pay TV over cord cutting, with skinny bundles on the rise.

TV Everywhere Uncertainty

Will Richmond says it's tough to pin down exactly how many are using TV Everywhere services.

Family Programming

Harry A. Jessell says broadcast networks should worry about Netflix's shift into family programming.

Series on Interracial Relationships

Bitch Flicks has a series of posts on interracial relationships, including in such shows as Brooklyn Nine-Nine, daytime soaps, Parenthood, and Grey's Anatomy.

Teens on Tumblr

Elspeth Reeve takes a deep dive into the world of teens on Tumblr.

TNT, TBS, & Comic-Con SVOD

RTF at UT-Austin has posted audio of an interview with Phil Oppenheim, previously an SVP of programming for TNT and TBS and now Chief Curator for the Comic-Con Subscription-Video-on-Demand service

Viacom & Big Media's Dilemma

Bloomberg considers Viacom's intention to sell part of Paramount in the context of larger media industry struggles.

Nat Geo Quality

Jason Lynch looks at National Geographic Channel's programming overhaul and ambitions to move to quality over quantity.

Viceland Launches

Vice Media has launched its Viceland cable channel, which will try to reinvent the traditional TV ad model by running many native ads. Oriana Schwindt started watching and is underwhelmed. Filmmaker Spike Jonze is co-president of Viceland and talks to Dave Itzkoff about developing programming for the channel.


AT&T has announced plans for a web TV service called DirecTV Now. Peter Kakfa reports that programmer deals are still in the works. Will Richmond says DirecTV Now will face the same problems Sling TV has.

Network Ratings

Spotted has a summary of Sunday and Monday ratings, and TV By the Numbers has Sunday cable ratings and Monday cable ratings. The Oscars hit a two-decade low in 18-49, but the broadcast was down only 2% among black viewers.

Spotted has a chart of the season-to-date network ratings race.