Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Good TVeets

Monday, August 29, 2016

Morning Changes

Charles Osgood will leave his longtime Sunday Morning post on CBS next month, while Good Morning America will start a new era featuring Michael Strahan and a live audience.

Fear the Walking Dead in Mexico

Todd VanDerWerff says shooting in Mexico is setting Fear the Walking Dead apart and paying off narratively.

Bob Ross, Artist

NPR's Morning Edition discussed the rise of Bob Ross, TV/Netflix star-painter.

Inclusion Rather Than Diversity

Melanie McFarland argues that a prioritization of inclusion, not just diversity could bring genuine, lasting change to the industry.

State of Fox News

Derek Thompson writes about Fox News' aging demographic problem. And Sarah Ellison wonders if Fox News can keep star Megyn Kelly around. Meanwhile, Brian Steinberg reports Fox News wants to move the latest harassment lawsuit to arbitration.

CBS + Viacom

Bloomberg says the prospect of CBS and Viacom recombining has gotten more likely.

Stranger Things & "Plotblocking"

Andrew Matthews argues that Stranger Things has a plotting and pacing problem binge-worthy shows are susceptible to.

More TV Homes

Nielsen has increased its estimated number of TV households to 118.4 million, reversing a two-year downward trend. But Peter Kafka notes that broadband-only homes now count.

Big Brother's Toxicity

Andy Dehnart laments that this summer has brought another toxic, sexist season of Big Brother, but says the the show won't change until ratings decline.

Shows Ending

HLN has cancelled Dr. Drew, NBC has announced Grimm will end with its upcoming sixth season, and Pretty Little Liars will depart Freeform after its seventh season, which the showrunner discusses. And in an update to previous news, Jim and Jeannie Gaffigan say it was their decision to end their TV Land show at two seasons.

Good TVeets

Warning: Cat-related spoilers for The Night of in here.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Millennials' Online Video Preferences

Colin Dixon outlines strategies online video providers are using to attract Millennials, including exclusive content.

Twin Peaks Fandom

Andy Hazel chronicles a longtime Twin Peaks fan festival.

CAA Revelations

Tatiana Siegel says CAA partners are dealing with angry staffers over financial revelations from a new book about the agency.

ESPN's Vulnerability

Toni Fitzgerald says ESPN's recent struggles make it vulnerable to competition from Fox Sports, which has teamed up with Sports Illustrated on an advertising deal.

Fall Freshman Hopes

Brian Steinberg mines more data from Variety's survey of media buyers to find what new fall shows they think will do the best in C3 ratings.

Star Trek's All Access Challenges

Maureen Ryan has concerns about Star Trek: Discovery on CBS All Access in regard to ad load and storytelling.

Great Sports Announcing

Noel Murray explains what the best sports broadcasters, like Vin Scully, do that makes them the best.

Season Storytelling Analysis

Maureen Ryan considers the perils of provocative moves in the second seasons of Mr. Robot and UnREAL, while LARB writers debate BoJack Horseman's innovative third season.

The Aging of Fox News

Anousha Sakoui says Fox News may be enjoying big election year ratings, but it has a big average viewer age problem. And Jack Shafer says Fox News may have hit its viewership ceiling and offers advice to the Murdochs about how to change the channel's formula going forward.

Empire Lawsuit

Fox has been hit with a lawsuit over mistreatment of teens at a juvenile detention center Empire filmed at.

Survivor's Remorse Renewed

Starz wants a fourth season of Survivor's Remorse.

Religion on TV

Margaret Lyons and James Poniewozik talk about representations of religion in recent TV shows.

Netflix Stock Advice

Timothy Green insists Netflix is a bad stock buy because it doesn't have a durable enough competitive advantage.

Glover & Atlanta

Rembert Browne profiles Donald Glover and his new FX show Atlanta, which has an all-Black writing staff.

Nashville News

Nashville will launch its fifth season on CMT in January, but Connie Britton will appear in only 10 of the 22 episodes.

DWTS & Image Rehab

Megan Garber considers Ryan Lochte's chance of rehabbing his image on Dancing With the Stars as others have done previously.

GBBO Beats the Olympics

The return of The Great British Bake Off on the BBC drew more viewers than any moment of the Olympics.

Viceland's Ratings

Viceland has half the viewers of the channel it replaced, and while those viewers are a lot younger than H2 used to draw, Oriana Schwindt notes they aren't as young as Vice Media's CEO insisted they would be, illustratring how tough it is to lure Millennials to TV sets.

BuzzFeed Reorganizes

BuzzFeed has reorganized into two divisions, a news group and an entertainment group.

RIP Steven Hill

Longtime Law and Order actor Steven Hill has died.

CBC Praise

Wade Rowland praise the CBC for illustrating the value of public broadcasting in airing the final Tragically Hip concert.

More on the Olympics

Sapna Maheshwari looks back on streaming's role during the Rio Olympics. Daniel Holloway reports that NBC was taken by surprise by the number of people streaming, and A.J. Katz says those figures give NBC optimism going forward. Michael O'Connell's takeaway is the need to better monetize streaming. Raymond Snoddy compares NBC's coverage with the BBC's. Stuart Elliot wasn't impressed by the ads that aired during the Games. Lauren Goode and Sean O'Kane cover the live-streaming technology NBC put in place for the Olympics, which could play a future role in TV. And Sean Keeley says the Olympics ratings show remind us how much NBC overpaid for the rights.

Good TVeets

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Top Social Shows

Karen Fratti has data ranking networks and shows by their social media engagement success.

Peak TV Challenges

Eric Deggans says Fear the Walking Dead suffers from a lack of engaging characters in a time of peak competition, while Melanie McFarland points to Lethal Weapon and Rectify, which share a key actor, as representative of the Peak TV battle for attention.

Netflix Subscriber Growth

New analysis indicates Netflix will have more subscribers outside the U.S. than in it by 2018.

Halt & Catch Fire Praise

Halt and Catch Fire returns tonight, and Maureen Ryan praises the show's evolution, while Todd VanDerWerff sees TV drama's future in it.

Set-Top Box Plan Change

Kyle Daly says it looks like the FCC is changing course on its set-top box proposal plan.

Political Meme Power

Chuck Tryon discusses the power that political memes have taken on in this presidential election.

DreamWorks Deal Closes

Comcast's deal to acquire DreamWorks Animation has now officially closed.

All About Zoo

Brian Grubb introduces us to the amazingness of Zoo, and it's all true.

Corporate Synergy

Angela Watercutter charts out the corporate synergy across a number of pop culture partnerships.

Viacom News

Philippe Dauman is expected to exit Viacom with a boatload of money, though a Redstone granddaughter is challenging the settlement. Going forward, some analysts are calling for CBS and Viacom to recombine. Brian Steinberg also considers the possible CBS-Viacom future.

HBO Europe Dramas

Vladmir Kozlov reports on original drama expansion for HBO Europe.

BBC Youth Viewing Drop

BBC channels have reportedly seen a nearly 20% drop in youth viewership following the move of BBC Three online.

E! Promotional Boost

Brian Steinberg reports on an E!'s promotional attempts to tout the digital availability of its news offerings.

Aiding Trump

Brian Stelter tries to pinpoint what role Roger Ailes is playing in Donald Trump's campaign, while Jim Rutenberg reports that Sean Hannity has become a Trump advisor.

Thursday Night Football Ad Prices

Brian Steinberg reports that NBC is asking for higher ad rates for Thursday Night Football than CBS.

Streaming Growth

Lisa Richwine reports on the expansion of on-demand offerings as TV networks try to battle cord cutting. But Matt Pressberg proposes that we're getting too many streaming services to keep up with and bundling and consolidation seem inevitable. Quentin Hardy looks at how streaming is affecting sports viewership.

Gaffigan Show Cancelled

The Jim Gaffigan Show has ended and won't be back on TV Land for a third season.

More on FNC Harassment

A former Fox News host has filed a lawsuit against the outlet claiming retaliation for a harassment complaints. Brian Stelter reports that there are some inaccuracies in the lawsuit. James B. Stewart says previous lawsuit settlements kept a lid on the toxic environment at Fox News.

Olympics Wrapup

Josef Adalian offers thoughts on why NBC's ratings for the Rio Olympics were so low, and Oriana Schwindt says you can't blame Millennials. Cynthia Littleton reports on NBCU's ratings tallies for the fortnight, and A.J. Katz insists NBC did at least earn a medal, even if results fell short of expectations. Richard Sandomir says NBC must eye the next set of Olympics with some concern, Andrew Wallenstein offers suggestions for changes. Sonia Saraiya reflects on the athletic competition and says at least NBC eventually realized that women were the stars. Phil Mushnik is critical of NBC forcing anchors to shill, while Jenée Desmond-Harris laments the sexism, racism, and homophobia that were on display across the coverage. James Dator is highly impressed with a BBC Olympics overview video. The Rio Olympics were the most-watched Summer Games ever in Canada.

Good TVeets

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Gay Culture on TV

June Thomas and Daniel Hubbard have posted a video exploring how television represents gay culture.

Spectrum Economics

Ben Christopher delves into how economists helped shape the spectrum auction.

Amazon's Pilot Placement

Will Richmond assesses the value of Amazon placing its pilots on YouTube and Facebook.

Penny Dreadful Production Design

Maureen Ryan talked with Penny Dreadful's Emmy-nominated production designer.

Anchors Suspended For Weight

Eight female television presenters in Egypt have been suspended for being overweight and ordered to go on diets.

Ad Countdown Clock

Turner channels are testing out countdown clocks on ad breaks to keep viewers tuned in and highlight their shorter ad loads.

North Korea's Netflix-Roku

Janko Roettgers covers North Korea's introduction of a Roku-like device that offers a Netflix-like service, albeit via a highly restricted network.

MTV Classic's Chances

Amanda Hess wonders if Millennials will turn on the TV to see what MTV Classic is offering them.

Pivot Ending

The Millennial-targeted cable channel Pivot will close up shop by the end of the year. Phillip Swann sees this as part of the larger decline of niche channels, as does Alan Wolk.

An Illustration of "Cinematic TV"

Matt Zoller Seitz and Chris Wade have posted a video essay that defines what they mean by the phrase "cinematic television."

The Challenges of Making TV

Debra Birnbaum talked with Emmy-nominated UnREAL writer Marti Noxon and Homeland director Lesli Linka Glatter about the challenge of making TV in a time of increased viewer expectations.

Mr. Robot Renewed

Mr. Robot will get a third season.

Twist Limitations

Matt Zoller Seitz laments that shows like Mr. Robot have overloaded on twists that detract from the story. And Todd VanDerWerff pinpoints problems with the kind of "can you top this?!" season that 24 once became known for.

Emotional Attachments Measured

New Magid research into emotional engagement with TV shows finds dramas like Game of Thrones most valued while docusoap reality TV programs are much less valued.

Projected C3 Figures

Variety surveyed top media-buying agencies to come up with C3 ratings predictions for fall.

Schumer Controversy

Amy Schumer is dealing with criticism over offensive comments made by a comedian who has written for her show. Maureen Ryan offers analysis of the situation.

Diversity Problems

A new study finds women and ethnic minority TV director hiring mostly staying flat, and Todd VanDerWerff points out that network execs talk a lot about diversity but don't do much to foster change.

Brian Williams Gets 11pm Show

Brian Williams will host a nightly election campaign coverage show at 11pm on MSNBC starting on Labor Day.

News Criticism

News outlets have come under criticism for ignoring the flooding tragedy taking place in Louisiana. Ken Wheaton calls it an epic fail. And Matt Taibbi says the summer's presidential election campaign coverage has obliterated the news media.

Trump TV

Donald Trump is finally purchasing TV ad time for his election campaign. There's speculation that he's also planning to start his own media outlet after the election is over.

I Am Cait Cancelled

I Am Cait has been cancelled, but Caitlyn Jenner will appear on Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

Summer Winners & Losers

Lesley Goldberg and Lacey Rose name winners and losers of this summer's TV.

Olympics' Struggles

Ratings for the Olympics have continued to fall with the biggest declines coming from younger viewers, which Clio Chang blames on the IOC and its media partners. Ben Thompson says this circumstance raises larger concerns about the value of live sports going forward. John Consoli says NBC is keeping advertisers content with makegoods, though. Richard Sandomir is critical of NBC largely ignoring non-US athletes and the network's coverage of Ryan Lochte's situation, and NBC garnered criticism for telling an athlete live on air that he had been disqualified. Will Richmond and Colin Dixon's podcast covers the online delivery of the Olympics. Jason Lynch covers NBC's logic for promoting certain shows over others during the Olympics.

Fox News Developments

Two more execs have left Fox News, while the new co-president Bill Shine has stepped into place. Michael Wolff says the future direction of Fox News will be fought over by the Murdoch family.

Univision Buys Gawker

Univision bought Gawker Media and will shut down the main site. It sees value in the company's other sites, though, especially due to their youth appeal.

Nightly Show Reactions

The final Nightly Show aired on Thursday. Wilmore talked to John Koblin about the show's unexpected end. Wilmore has been critical of Comedy Central's lack of promotional support. Daniel Fienberg says the Nightly Show will be missed, and Angela Bonavoglia says women in particular should be dismayed. Alison Herman points to Comedy Central's larger problems, but the channel's execs insist it's doing fine with advertisers despite its ratings struggles.

Dauman Out

Philipe Dauman is officially out at Viacom. Emily Steel and Georg Szalai & Paul Bond consider what could come next for the company, as the interim CEO strives to reassure employees.

Back in Business

Sorry for the lack of posts this past week, but I got swamped, figuratively and literally (basement flooding). We shall now commence with some catch-up!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Good TVeets

Monday, August 15, 2016

Nightly Show Cancelled

Comedy Central has cancelled Larry Wilmore's The Nightly Show. Wilmore said he's "saddened and surprised." Comedy Central's president insists Daily Show host Trevor Noah is safe.

Good TVeets

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Strong Female Friendships

Beth Elderkin appreciates Jessica Jones for joining the trend of strong female friendships in TV shows.

Steven Universe Harassment

A Steven Universe artist has been driven off of Twitter due to harassment by fans upset over shipping issues.

Multi-Cam Parodies

Sam Adams tries to understand why creepy parodies of multi-cam sitcoms have proliferated lately.

The USSR's First Ad

David Pescovitz highlights what purports to be the Soviet Union's first television commercial from 1964.

Social Media Live-Streaming

Shalini Ramachandran and Steven Perlberg explain why content owners are reluctant to make deals with Facebook Live, while Mike Isaac looks at how Twitter is furthering its live-streaming ambitions with an NFL deal.

Old Media Making New Media Deals

Sahil Patel notes the proliferation of legacy media companies making new media investments.

Africa's Sex & the City

Jada F. Smith discusses a web series from Ghana that patterns itself on Sex and the City.

Studying the Kardashians

A UK professor defends hosting a symposium on the Kardashians and studying popular culture.

Trump vs. the Media

Donald Trump has stepped up his attacks against the media, insisting that the media is out to get him

Making a Murderer News

Making a Murderer fans will be intrigued to hear that Brendan Dassey has had his conviction overturned.

Gibson Update

THR reports that fired Criminal Minds actor Thomas Gibson is considering filing a lawsuit. His co-star Shemar Moore doesn't seem to be on his side.

Network Scheduling in the Digital Age

Brandon Shaw talked with broadcast network schedulers about how they do their jobs in the challenging era of digital platforms and time shifting.

Upcoming Docs

Peter Hamilton offers takeaways about the state of "post-scheduling documentaries" by looking at the list of upcoming doc releases from Amazon, Netflix, and National Geographic.

Stranger Things Coverage

Symphony claims that about 8 million people have watched Netflix's Stranger Things. Daniel Fienberg is one of them and says the show is one of the few highlights in a summer TV season of gloom, and Will Nicol says the show makes him optimistic about the future of TV. Genevieve Valentine is only disappointed in the show's view of women, and Shannon Keating has concerns about the show's portrayal of unfeminine women as part of a wider Hollywood problem. Tufayel Ahmed focuses on the rise of the show's creators.


Will Richmond & Colin Dixon's podcast covers Disney's online video investments and Hulu's dropping of free TV. KCRW's The Business talks to Robert Smigel about his Triumph Hulu special. And the most recent Media Business Matters podcast from media studies scholars Amanda Lotz and Alex Intner covers the business of sports television.

Amazon & Sports

Jessie Karangu points to signs that Amazon wants to bring live sports to its platform.

Good TVeets

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Good TVeets

Friday, August 12, 2016

Showtime at TCA

Showtime CEO David Nevins took at stage at TCA yesterday. There was news of Homeland's two-season renewal and a season 5 renewal for Ray Donovan, Roadies' cancellation and a Twin Peaks update, the decision to end Penny Dreadful, and a possible election night Stephen Colbert special. And we learned that Taran Killam and Jay Pharaoh both have post-SNL Showtime jobs.

Lethal Weapon Marketing Stunt

Fox is launching an eye-catching marketing stunt for Lethal Weapon, a 3D video installation in Times Square that will make it appear as if a car is crashing out of a high-rise building.

Dauman-Redstone Negotiations

Claire Atkinson reports that Philipe Dauman has restarted negotiations with Sumner and Shari Redstone over control of Viacom.

New SNL Head Writers

Saturday Night Live will have two new head writers next season.

UTA Wants More

New courtroom action reveals that UTA wants to poach more CAA clients.

Netflix Needs Subscriber Boost

Jan Dawson says Netflix must push subscriber growth if it hopes to cover the billions it's spending on content.

Movie Directors Making TV

Alison Herman uses Baz Luhrman and The Get Down as an entry point to assess other movie directors' moves to TV.

Talking TCA

Tim Goodman and Daniel Fienberg debate the TCA Summer 2016 experience.

Cross-Ownership Rules Stay

The FCC has voted to retain its rules limiting cross-ownership, a major disappoint to newspaper owners.

Covering Trump

Katy Tur explains what it's been like to cover Donald Trump for NBC over the past year.

The CW at TCA

Jason Lynch covers CW chief Mark Pedowitz's session at TCA yesterday, as does Michael O'Connell.

Criminal Minds Actor Fired

Actor Thomas Gibson has been fired from Criminal Minds over abusive behavior against a writer. Cynthia Littleton reports that previous incidents also played a role in the decision.

Olympics Coverage

NBC's Olympics ratings are down compared to previous Summer Games, but NBC Sports' chairman insists advertisers are happy and even buying more time. A highlights deal between NBC and ESPN has broken down over advertising restrictions that ESPN refused to accept, while Kevin Eck checks out creative ways local TV outlets have used to get around NBC's restrictive rules. Todd VanDerWerff says the problem with NBC's Olympics coverage is that it's treating the events as entertainment rather than sports. NBC's Olympics live streams have passed the one billion minutes mark.


Todd Spangler points to recent moves by Time Warner, Hulu, and Disney to prepare for unbundling, and Howard Homonoff highlights the state of skinny bundle offerings.

BoJack the Antihero

Allyson Johnson offers an appreciation of Bojack Horseman as an anti-hero.

The Birth of Fox News & The Daily Show

Sean O'Neal jumps back to 1996, when "Fox News and The Daily Show made politics a spectator sport" in launching only months apart.

Saturday Cartoons Replaced by Reality

Andy Dehnart reports on NBC shifting its Saturday morning block of E/I programming from cartoons to unscripted fare.

Fox Sports as Fox News

Marisa Guthrie talked with Fox Sports president Josh Horowitz about remaking FS1 in Fox News' image.

Ailes Developments

21st Century Fox reportedly expects it will settle lawsuits from victims of Roger Ailes' harassment, while a pair of replacements for Ailes at Fox News have been named, and they are Ailes loyalists.

Cable Forecasts

Cord-cutting went up in Q2, and Chris Plante explains why cable's time-wasting design has driven him to cord cut. But a new SNL Kagan report finds an upbeat outlook for cable over the next decade, albeit thanks to broadband.

Emmys & Broadcast Shows

Sonia Saraiya proposes that writers and directors for broadcast network shows are being overlooked for Emmy nominations.

Good TVeets

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Getting Ready for The Get Down

Janko Roettgers reports on the content delivery technology behind Netflix's coming launch of The Get Down.

NBC's Olympics

NBC's Olympics ratings have gotten better over the last few nights, but still lag behind past games. NBCU is trying to put on a happy face by saying their concern is the big picture of combined linear and digital viewership, which its X1 platform is trying to innovate with the future in mind, and there are also high hopes for social media efforts. But Stuart Elliot believes ad loads are comprising coverage. There are a slew of different digital and TV ad buys. Katy Guest is frustrated by how the media is covering women at the Games, while Reeves Wiedeman is particularly frustrated by women's gymnastics coverage.

Serial Drama Struggles

Matt Zoller Seitz delves into why serial dramas seem to be having storytelling problems right now, while limited series are thriving.

TV Execs Roundtable

THR has a roundtable with the chiefs of HBO, Netflix, AMC Networks, NBCU, and A&E Networks.

Disney & Online Video

Disney will acquire one-third stake in Major League Baseball's streaming technology division, part of larger moves into online video's future. It plans to use this to launch a streaming sports service, which won't be ESPN OTT but can hedge bets for that in the future. Miriam Gottfried also has analysis.


CBS Entertainment president Glenn Geller had a rough time at TCA trying to explain away CBS's lack of diversity. While Geller insisted they just picked the best shows, Matt Roush is not impressed by CBS's fall offerings. There was also CBS All Access news, as well as an explanation offered for why Limitless was cancelled.

Peaker TV

FX's John Landgraf made his annual data-laden presentation at TCA and said that there are even more shows this year and coming next year than there were last year.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Good TVeets

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

TV Diversity

Maureen Ryan talked with John Landgraf about the steps FX has taken to expand the diversity of directors on its shows. Meanwhile, Greg Braxton points out that CBS's six new series all feature white male leads.

Streaming Battles in Europe

Alex Rittman and Scott Roxborough delve into how European broadcasters are battling streaming services.

Comcast's Innovations

Bob Fernandez covers engineering and technological innovations happening at Comcast.

Strong Public Service, Less Extremism

Tara Conlan reports on a study finding that countries with strong public service media have less right-wing extremism and corruption.

Complicated TV Sets

Walt Mossberg argues new TV sets have gotten too complicated.

TV's Resurrections

Todd VanDerWerff explains why TV keeps resurrecting dead shows.

Stranger Things Interview

Melissa Leon talked with the creators of Stranger Things about their Netflix series.

Hulu Analysis

Todd Spangler considers why Hulu is kicking out its free-TV offerings. Colin Dixon offers five reasons why Hulu shouldn't do this.

UnREAL Interviews

Sonia Saraiya talked with UnREAL's exec producers about how Season 2 went and what's next. Angelica Jade Bastién also has an interview with them.

SNL Exits

Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah are out at Saturday Night Live, as is Jon Rudnitsky. An interview with Killam makes it appear he was fired. Sonia Saraiya doesn't see the logic here.

Good TVeets

Monday, August 8, 2016

NBC Shows on Snapchat

NBCU signed a deal to bring content and advertising to Snapchat.

Olympics Coverage

Josef Adalian reports on the unimpressive ratings for the Olympics thus far. Anthony Crupi also has ratings figures. Richard Sandomir notes that NBC's focus is on prime time and hours upon hours of streaming offerings and Andrew Wallenstein wonders if streaming might be cannibalizing the TV audience. Edmund Lee believes the online content is too much. Todd Spangler says Netflix viewership is down since the Olympics started. Michael J. Socolow insists NBC should broadcast everything live. Some viewers are complaining about excessive ads, but Cassandra Jaramillo reports that the Rio ad load is less than London 2012.

Hulu Ending Free Service

Hulu will no longer host free TV; its no-cost content will shift over to a new Yahoo hub. Peter Kafka has analysis.

More on Ailes & Fox News

Sarah Ellison reports on the tense and uncertain atmosphere at Fox News as Roger Ailes' actions are investigated. Dylan Byers reports that Fox News staffers have long feared being monitored by Ailes. And Gabriel Sherman reports on new harassment claims from a demoted Fox host who claims she complained to senior executives about Ailes' behavior in 2015. Media reporter Brian Stelter says Fox News once had a staffer spy on him under the guise of dating him.

Amazon at TCA

Amazon Studios chief Roy Price took the TCA stage yesterday. We learned that September will bring a big comedy push for Amazon, including the return of Transparent, the Woody Allen series (now titled Crisis in Six Scenes), a Tig Notaro series, and a British import called Fleabag. Daniel Fienberg has highlight quotes from the day. Tim Goodman finds Amazon's strategy baffling.

Good TVeets

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Revisiting Brass Eye

David Sims looks back on one of British TV's most controversial entries, the "Paedogeddon" episode of Chris Morris's Brass Eye from 2001.

Making Documentary Now!

Gwen Ihnat talked with Bill Hader and Fred Armisen about making Documentary Now!.

UnREAL & Mr. Robot Problems

Allison Keane argues that the sophomore season problems for UnREAL and Mr. Robot are due to TV auteurism.

Simmons' New Show

Anthony Crupi reports on Bill Simmons' new HBO show Any Given Wednesday, which has low same-day TV ratings but solid time-shifted/digital ratings.

Seinfeld Spec Script

A Seinfeld spec script set right after 9/11 has gone viral.


Will Richmond and Colin Dixon's podcast covers the Hulu-Time Warner deal and Hulu's upcoming TV service and its skinny bundles. This week's KCRW's The Business talks with Mike Birbiglia about comedy improv and directing. And KCRW's The Spinoff covers TV at Comic-Con and year-round marketing.

Praise for Roc

Cord Jefferson remembers the greatness of the sitcom Roc.

Telemundo Unionization

SAG-AFTRA has stepped up its criticism of NBCU for discouraging union hiring at Telemundo.

LA Pilot Production Down

A new report finds a significant decline in pilot production in Los Angeles compared to last year.

Big Brother on CBS All Access

The previously rumored fall season of Big Brother has been confirmed for CBS All Access distribution.

Auction Myths

Jonathan Cohen addresses myths he sees circulating around the FCC's spectrum auction.

NBC's Olympics

Matt Zoller Seitz agreed with many others that NBC's coverage of the Olympics Opening Ceremony was poor. Sally Jenkins says NBC's packaging of the Olympics is insulting to viewers, and Phillip Bupp is frustrated by NBC inserting ads into Olympic soccer matches. Jason Lynch relays NBC's defense that the ad loads are the same as past Olympics, but today's viewing habits make the ad breaks more noticeable.

More Ailes Controversy

Gabriel Sherman reports on new allegations that Roger Ailes used Fox News money for PR and surveillance campaigns against journalists he perceived as enemies.

TCA Awards

The Television Critics Association handed out awards last night. Melanie McFarland has praise for the laid-back feel of the ceremony.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Dish Skinny Bundle

Dish Network is offering a $29 TV package.

Apple's New Plan

Apple has reportedly shifted away from a plan to create a TV service and is now focused on creating a digital TV guide for Apple devices. Janko Roettgers sees failure coming for this idea.

NBC's Fall Schedule

Todd VanDerWerff praises what Robert Greenblatt has put together for NBC's fall schedule.

Summer TV's Winners & Losers

Josef Adalian names winners and losers of the 2016 summer TV season.

TCA Coverage

ABC's new entertainment president Channing Dungey made her TCA debut Thursday and talked about things like increasing Bachelor diversity. Renewal of all four of ABC's summer game shows was also announced. Time Goodman's latest TCA report covers the broadcast networks' struggles. Daniel Fienberg has highlights of day 8 and day 9. YouTube's content chief spoke on Friday.

Good TVeets

Olympics Coverage

NBC's broadcast of the Olympics Opening Ceremony looks to be significantly down in the ratings compared to previous years, especially London 2012, and could be a warning sign for NBC. NBC chose not to show the ceremony live, for reasons some are questioning, and NBC's coverage was also criticized for excessive commercials. David Rooney's review of the ceremony called it sobering and stirring, Brian Lowry said it was ponderously paced, Maureen Ryan saw earnest messages combined with a party atmosphere, and Todd VanDerWerff identified winners and losers. Tim Goodman explains why he can't stop watching the Olympics.

Jason Lynch's discussion of NBCU's Olympics advertising windfall helps explain all the commercial breaks last night. Phil Kurz notes NBC is also taking digital content delivery to new heights. The IOC wants to prevent GIFs, however, and the IOC and USOC are imposing onerous social media restrictions. Jim Rutenberg puts Comcast/NBCU's efforts and spending in the context of the future of TV. Elahe Izadi covers how the Olympic athlete profile videos get produced.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Good TVeets

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Facebook Added to Social Content Ratings

Jesse Redniss and Alex Nagler comment on Nielsen's Social Content Ratings, which will cover both Twitter and Facebook.

Dish Fee Fights

Dish Network has settled a carriage fees fight with NFL Network, while one with Raycom Media looms, and the blacked-out Tribune warns of NFL game blackouts.

Update: Dish and Raycom came to a deal.

"Netflix Tax"

Pennsylvania has extended its sales tax to digital downloads and streaming services like Netflix.

Vice News Coming

Vice will launch its nightly news show on HBO in September.

Cable News Ratings

Toni Fitzgerald shares the good news for cable news channels in the July ratings. CNN is now narrowing the Fox News ratings gap.

Funny or Die Cuts

Funny or Die has announced a major workforce cut and an intention to refocus its content production.

Suits Renewed

USA wants a seventh season of Suits.

Scripted Challenges

The PlayStation Network has cancelled its original drama series Powers, which seems relevant to Tim Goodman's latest missive from TCA about the difficulties new channels are having with getting scripted content noticed in the hugely competitive original programming landscape.


NBC execs spoke at TCA yesterday; Jason Lynch has analysis. NBC's research president delivered a presentation on changing viewer habits. Daniel Fienberg pinpoints the day's highlights.

Time Warner + Hulu

Time Warner Inc. has purchased a 10% stake in Hulu, which is now valued at around $5.8 billion. Hulu won't be adding Time Warner's shows, but Turner channels will be on its planned livestreaming service. Will Richmond has analysis. Richard Greenfield wonders if the Hulu TV service can succeed without CBS. Scott Porch sees this move as Time Warner adapting to the digital media era.

Good TVeets

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

After the Upfronts

Andrew Wallenstein warns network execs not to get too happy about upfronts increases as earnings challenges loom.

Diversity Struggles

Eric Deggans covers discussions among actors at TCA of the struggle toward Hollywood diversity and inclusion.

Rejected Starz Deal

Jon Lafayette reports that John Malone rejected a possible Starz takeover by CBS due to antitrust concerns.

New Flow Issue

Check out a new issue of Flow featuring:

Old-Fashioned Sitcom Love

British comedian-actress Miranda Hart explains why she misses the "old-fashioned" mainstream sitcom.

Clinton & the DNC on Russian TV

The AP tells us how Russian TV has depicted Hillary Clinton and the Democrats recently.

Political Ad Effectiveness

Matthew Sheffield reports on research finding that political ads aren't very effective at changing hearts and minds. But maybe this Simpsons ad mocking Trump will work?

Big 12 Expansion Pushback

John Ourand and Michael Smith report that ESPN and Fox Sports are pushing against plans by the Big 12 conference to expand its number of teams.

College Football Playoff Schedule Change

The NCAA has decided to avoid scheduling its football playoffs on New Year's Eve.

Univision IPO

Claire Atkinson says we can now expect a Univision IPO launch in the fall.

Zucker's CNN Reinvention

Ramin Setoodeh talks with Jeff Zucker about reinventing CNN, competing with Fox News, and covering Trump.

Redstone Trial

The battle over Sumner Redstone's competency will continue with a trial in October.

L.A. Law Reboot

Josef Adalian reports on word that Steven Bochco is preparing an L.A. Law reboot.

Ailes & Fox News

Fresh Air's Terry Gross talked with Gabriel Sherman about the Roger Ailes story, and Jim Rutenberg speculates on what's next for Fox News.

Sesame Street Cast Members

Sesame Street announced the departures of three longtime cast members a few days ago, but a backlash might result in their return.

Trump & Reality TV

Laurie Ouellette discusses Donald Trump's political ascendency in terms of reality TV practices.

MTV's New Era

Frank Pallotta explains why MTV is returning to the past in its attempt to adjust to a new era.

CBS & Showtime OTT Figures

Les Moonves said CBS All Access and Showtime's OTT service have a combined two million subscribers.

Apple's Expansion Tactics

Shalini Ramachandran and Daisuke Wakabayashi explain how Apple's aggressive negotiating tactics for a streaming TV service have alienated media companies. Will Richmond also discussed Apple's TV wheel-spinning.

Colbert's Return

James Poniewozik discusses Stephen Colbert's revival of his Comedy Central character for the convention period. THR notes that "The Word" bit is also back.


Starz CEO Chris Albrecht took the stage at TCA yesterday. Dade Hayes covers his comments, and Jason Lynch discusses the role of the new Lionsgate connection. A Girlfriend Experience renewal was announced. Daniel Fienberg shares Sunday's TCA highlights and Monday's TCA highlights.

Good TVeets

Monday, August 1, 2016

Good TVeets