Thursday, October 27, 2016

Hiatus This Week

Work and personal obligations have put me behind on everything in life this week, including this blog, so I don't foresee any posts coming here until next week. Sorry! Hopefully you're still working your way through all the AT&T/Time Warner analysis.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Good TVeets

Sunday, October 23, 2016

AT&T + Time Warner

AT&T has confirmed that it will acquire Time Warner in an $85 million deal. Brian Fung and Drew Harwell explain why this is such a historic deal. Amol Sharma says the deal is a hedge against a changing media landscape, Brian Steinberg sees it as about mobile video and multiplatform content, Brian Stelter looks at the possible synergies, Richard Greenfield says Time Warner is lucky to get out now, Jason Lynch has three questions, and Ted Johnson reminds us of the regulatory scrutiny to come before the deal actually closes. AT&T's CEO says CNN will stay journalistically independent under its ownership. Donald Trump is against the deal and broader media conglomeration. Peter Kafka says the ghost of the 2000 AOL-Time Warner deal lingers. Janko Roettgers thinks the deal could fatten skinny bundles back up.

More analysis: Andrew Ross Sorkin makes sense of the deal. Opposition to the deal has been immediate, and William McConnell says problems with tracking Comcast's compliance with NBCU conditions will have an impact on regulatory decisions here. Reinhardt Krause says with this aggressive move, AT&T has moved ahead of Verizon and Comcast. Todd Spangler reports Time Warner will pay a breakup fee if the deal falls through. Phillip Swann envisions AT&T's possible programming plans with Time Warner on board. Jeanine Poggi considers what the deal means for advertising. Jon Lafayette says Wall Street has doubts about the deal. Will Richmond analyzes the corporate-speak behind the deal.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Classic Movies & TV Reruns

Todd VanDerWerff laments the lack of availability of classic films on streaming services and hopes TCM's FilmStruck service can help. And Gerry Smith notes that the TV syndication rerun model is taking a hit in the era of original series saturation. For its part, SundanceTV will air classic 1970s reruns in daytime slots.

Vimeo's Global TV Store

Vimeo has launched a digital TV store in partnership with Lionsgate and Starz.

Buying From Lifetime

Jason Lynch reports on an ambitious branded content push from A&E Networks which will include a buy-what-you-see lifestyle series on Lifetime co-produced by Wayfair.

International TV Market

Scott Roxborough reports from MIPCOM's international TV market that drama is booming while reality TV seeks a comeback.

NBCU Ups BuzzFeed Investment

NBCU is making a second large investment in BuzzFeed.

Insecure & Racial Politics

Kristen Warner analyzes HBO's Insecure in the context of racial politics and HBO programming.

Election Coverage

Wednesday night's presidential debate out-rated the second one. James Poniewozik watched and wondered if it was a Trump TV pitch. Chris Wallace drew praise for his moderating, but Carlos Maza said he perpetuated conservative dishonesty. Last night brought the odd Al Smith dinner/roast tradition, and Chris Cillizza says the ugliness there was very Trump. Frank Pollatta notes that late night hosts are united against Trump, while David Uberti sees pro-Trump forces on CNN that are clouding CNN's journalistic orientation, and Gavin Polone says the news media is implicitly helping Trump. Trump isn't spending nearly as much on TV ads as Clinton, which makes this a good test of if political ads matter. The local media is missing the ad revenue, though they're able to charge a lot more for ads specifically targeting Millennials.

AT&T + Time Warner

AT&T has reportedly reached a deal to purchase Time Warner. Cynthia Littleton has analysis of the potential deal, and Peter Kafka tries to make sense of it. Ted Johnson notes that regulatory scrutiny would follow. Todd Spangler looks at why the deal would make sense but also face hurdles. If the deal goes through, Peter Chernin would likely oversee Time Warner.

Wednesday & Thursday Ratings

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

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

Good TVeets

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Most Powerful Global Distributors

Elsa Keslassy reports on a new study naming the world's most powerful global TV distributors.

Cord Cutting Difficulties

John Ewoldt outlines the challenges that prevent more people from cutting the pay TV cord.

Branded Content Rises

Jason Lynch says advertisers are increasingly preferring branded content to product integration in shows.

Netflix News

Netflix announced new subscriber growth yesterday, which boosted its stock. Robert Briel reports that both Netflix and Amazon are ramping up programming investment, and Lucas Shaw says some in Hollywood are getting frustrated with Netflix's aggressiveness. Relativity Media has brought suit against Netflix over an output deal that went south. In the international scope, Netflix has given up on expanding to China for now, while it is aggressively battling against geoblocking circumvention services. Ken Fang speculates on the possibility of an ESPN/Netflix package combination.

Renewal & Cancellation

American Crime Story will get a third season on FX, and it will focus on the murder of Gianni Versace. Meanwhile, CBS has cancelled both Brain Dead and American Gothic.

Ratings Trouble

Drew Harwell says lower TV ratings for the NFL could signal problems for all of traditional TV.

Trump & TV

Financial Times reports that Donald Trump's son-in-law has set up talks to start a Trump TV outlet after the election. Alan Wolk explains how Trump could start his own channel. And Jason Mittell says the concept of cable narrowcasting helps to explain Trump's rise.

Monday & Tuesday Ratings

Monday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted.

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

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Scripted Series on Instagram

Instagram Stories will host a weekly scripted series from The CW intended as a promotional push for CW Seed.

Worldwide Production White Paper

MIP has posted a downloadable report titled Worldwide TV Production: Plugging Into a Multiscreen Marketplace.

A '90s Lesson for Streaming TV

Todd VanDerWerff's review of the new David E. Kelley Amazon series Goliath says the series uses 1990s storytelling knowhow to overcome a typical streaming series problem.

Netflix Models

Richard Greenfield notes that Netflix is shortening the usual one-year wait between seasons of shows like Fuller House. And Sam Thielman says Netflix's high spending model could burst peak TV soon and lead to shorter and cheaper shows.

Opening Credits Excess

Kyle Stock takes note of the growth of elaborate opening credits sequences as shows strive to stand out.

Allen Regrets Amazon Series

Woody Allen now says he regrets having down a series for Amazon.

The Simpsons is the Best

As The Simpsons airs its 600th episode tonight, Todd VanDerWerff explains why it's the best show ever made, even if it's not what it once was.

Bush & Trump & the Media

Billy Bush is reportedly near an NBC exit deal, but Brian Steinberg still has many questions for NBCU. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is stepping up his claims that the election will be rigged with the media's help, including SNL's help, and Paul Farhi says Trump rally crowds are getting more aggressive with the press. CNN chief Jeff Zucker gave a public talk in which he said it was a mistake for CNN to air numerous Trump rallies early on. Victor Pickard offers analysis of media and politics in the Trump era and how the drive for ratings and profit have undermined public service. A Law & Order: SVU episode has been delayed until after the election.

Friday & Saturday Ratings

Friday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted.

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

Saturday Night Live had another good night.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Thursday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Good TVeets

Taste Cultures & Gender

Marianne Eloise uses the Twilight franchise as an example of how judgements of good and bad taste are gendered.

Today + American Express

Jason Lynch explains how an NBC-American Express partnership will result in longer Today segments all next week.

UK Viewing By Race

Tara Conlan reports on a study finding considerable divergence in viewing preferences among Black, Asian, and White audiences in the UK.

Golden Age of Black Television?

Dave Schilling and Lisa Respers France both take up the question of if we're in a Golden Age of Black-cast television shows.

The Value of Longer Seasons

Kayti Burt laments what we'll be losing if the 22-episode season continues to shrink.

Fox Tuesday

Jason Lynch looked at Fox's Tuesday night struggles and a Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl crossover event that aired this week intended to boost ratings, but the ratings for both shows actually declined.

Bee's Anger

Megan Garber questions the anger Samantha Bee is using to drive her Full Frontal segments about politics.

BET Now on Roku, Apple, Chromecast

BET has now launched the BET Now video service on a number of connected-TV platforms with authentication.

American Titles

Lesley Goldberg notes the proliferation of show titles that start with "American."

Twitter's Pushing Periscope

Twitter is making a push for people to livestream using Periscope via a new feature called Periscope Producer.

The CW's Women

Maureen Ryan praises The CW for the rich array of women characters is has brought to TV.

CBS Diversity Casting Initiative

CBS Entertainment has launched a nationwide effort to expand its casting pool and open up opportunities for a greater diversity of actors.

CNN's Digital Future

David Uberti looks at how CNN is preparing for the digital and mobile future.

Spielberg + Alibaba

Abid Rahman explains why it's a big deal that China's Alibaba Group has picked up a minority stake in Steven Spielberg's Amblin Partners.

The BBC's Struggles

Stu Woo delves into the tough year the BBC has had and its challenges going forward with programming and politics.

Breaking Bad's Influence

Todd VanDerWerff credits Breaking Bad for the proliferation of distinctive cold opens in shows.

Epix's Strategies

Jason Lynch talks to the CEO of the premium channel Epix about why it is launching scripted original series (on Sunday night, no less) at a time of great competition in that area.

Discovery's Millennial Investment

Sami Main says Discovery Communications is eyeing Millennial audiences with new investments in digital media.

Retrans Payments Up

Retrans payments from cable operators to broadcasters rose by 43% from 2013 to 2014, according to the FCC.

HBO Wants New Deals

Gerry Smith reports that HBO wants to renegotiate carriage fee deals with pay TV operators due to recent and predicted growth.

Podcasts to TV

Now it's podcasts making the move to TV, as ABC and Amazon have picked up Start Up and Lore, respectively.

Union Sues BET

Being Mary Jane star Gabrielle Union has sued BET for breach of contract over episode commitments and salary.

Unscripted Department at CBS Studios

CBS Television Studios has started up a department to develop unscripted series.

Cable vs. Streamers

Todd VanDerWerff explains why the streaming wars will be won by cable companies, not Netflix, Amazon, or Hulu. And Kenneth Ziffren offers advice to TV executives on how to handle OTT and skinny bundle trends.

New UnREAL Showrunner

Bryn Elise Sandberg talks to the new showrunner for UnREAL about plans to progress the show, and Sandberg speculates on the possibilities for success therein.

Fall Surprises

Louisa Ada Seltzer identifies the biggest network ratings surprises so far this season, led by Bull.

Comcast Fined

The FCC has hit Comcast with a $2.3 million fine for over-billing practices, which Comcast insists were unintentional.

NFL Ratings

Derek Thompson explores why NFL ratings have dropped significantly this season. Will Richmond and Colin Dixon's podcast takes up this topic this week.

C3 Ratings

Oriana Schwindt reports on the C3 ratings figures from the fall season's premiere week. Anthony Crupi also reports.

Most Powerful Showrunners

THR identifies the 50 most powerful TV showrunners, with 13 new entries over last year's list, and gathers insights from them on their jobs.

Renewal & Cancellation

AMC renewed Halt and Catch Fire for a fourth and final season, while Murder in the First won't get a fourth season, as TNT has cancelled the series.

Trump Coverage

Mark Burnett has distanced himself from Donald Trump, as interest grows in digging up old Apprentice tapes. People who used to work on the show have spoken up about racism and harassment they witnessed. Meanwhile, Billy Bush is in PR crisis mode and is on his way out from Today, but he's not leaving quietly. Margaret Sullivan says NBC's handling of the Access Hollywood tape doesn't add up, and Andrew Tyndall says NBC's infotainment agenda helped set the stage for this situation. A.J. Catoline points to the editing of The Apprentice for helping to create Trump's star image. At Trump rallies, crowds are getting harder on the press.

The Week's Ratings

Sunday final network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted.

Monday final network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted.

Tuesday final network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted.

Wendesday final network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Cable ratings.
Analysis from Spotted.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Good TVeets

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Trump Tapes

Brian Stelter reveals how The Washington Post ended up with the Access Hollywood tape with Donald Trump. Stelter also poses some questions he's left with. NBC initially said it wouldn't reprimand Billy Bush for his part in the recorded conversation, but Marisa Guthrie reports concern is growing among people who work there. And NBC has now announced a suspension for Bush. Margaret Sullivan wonders why NBC didn't uncover this themselves, and Paul Farhi reports NBC delayed reporting on the Access Hollywood tapes out of fear Trump would sue.

Many assume there are similar versions of The Apprentice recordings, which Rick Ellis has confirmed with unnamed sources attesting to sexualized and racist comments from Trump behind the scenes of the show, but Ellis says they're not likely to be released for both legal and logistical reasons. Mark Burnett is reportedly threatening legal action against any staffers who lean anything. Josef Adalian assesses what this all means for Billy Bush, NBC News, and Mark Burnett. John Koblin and Michael M. Grynbaum have analysis of the NBC situation.

Now NBC is reportedly thinking of sidelining Billy Bush from Today on Monday morning. Maureen Ryan calls out NBC for its role in Trump's narrative and lists numerous lingering questions.

Good TVeets

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Measuring TV and Online Views

Sahil Patel explains the differences in how viewing is counted on TV compared to online video.

Young Transgender Actors

Katie Rogers highlights young transgender actors on Transparent and Modern Family.

Turner's FilmStruck

Turner's FilmStruck, a streaming movie service for "the passionate film lover" will launch later this month.

Fandom & Women of Color

Angelica Jade Bastién covers the challenges women of color face within geek TV fandoms.

Fox News Racism

A Fox News segment that aired on Bill O'Reilly's show has been denounced for anti-Asian racism. Scaachi Koul says the segment's host doesn't understand what's funny and why this isn't comedy. Alex Wagner says there could be election consequences.

AT&T's Video Ambitions

Scott Moritz explains the role acquisitions are playing in AT&T's video ambitions.

Netflix & Streaming

Janko Roettgers covers Netflix's use of technology testing, including the posting of a 12-minute test footage short for algorithm and encoding testing. A new study tried to pinpoint just how long we typically spend searching for content on streaming services. And Colin Dixon looks at regional SVOD services around the globe that have struggled against Netflix's competition.

Gilmore Girls Ballyhoo

Netflix rolled out a bunch of promotions to mark the 16th anniversary of Gilmore Girls and plug its upcoming revival.

Diversity & Inclusion

Soraya Nadia McDonald is troubled by how overwhelmingly white TV critics are. Daniel D'Addario discusses Pitch's diversity on-screen and behind the camera. Tufayel Ahmed takes note of salary gaps between white and minority TV stars. And Daniel Fienberg offers praise to the casting directors of a number of shows for their success with inclusivity.

DirecTV Now's Lineup

Philip Swann lists the 67 channels that DirecTV Now has lined up for its fall launch.

Channel Losses

Nathan McAlone reports on a chart of which channels have seen the biggest subscriber drops since 2011 as cord-shaving and -cutting have increased.

Amazon Half-Hours

Josef Adalian talked to the Amazon exec in charge of half-hour programs about that category of its shows, the comedy-drama line, diversity, and possible evolutions.

Greenblatt's NBC Success

Daniel Roth talks to Robert Greenblatt about the work he's done to revive NBC and the state of TV today.

Social Media Star Marketing

NBC is using social media stars to market Superstore to younger audiences.

Reality TV Coverage

Andy Dehnart explains why there's less reality TV than usual on the networks this fall and adds more info on his blog. Jarett Wieselman looks back on 18 years of The Challenge and how it helped shape reality TV that followed. And Georg Szalai reports on three MTV reality formats that will get local versions in Russia, France, and Canada.

Streaming Libraries

Todd VanDerWerff explains why studios are probably to blame if you can't find your favorite show on a streaming service. Also Netflix's library of movies and TV shows appears to have declined by half over the last four years.

Fox News Anniversary

Brian Stelter covers how Fox News marked its 20th anniversary on the air Friday. But more people were talking about the apparent Sean Hannity-Megyn Kelly feud, though they now appear to be playing nice.

Friday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Good TVeets

Friday, October 7, 2016

Disney Not Buying Twitter

Peter Kafka says Disney won't be buying Twitter after all.

TV in Q2

MarketingCharts highlights data from Nielsen's Q2 report on traditional TV viewing habits, which found young people watching less and less TV.

Most & Least Watched Live

Jason Lynch shares the results of a study into the shows and networks most and least likely to be viewed live and time-shifted.

NFL Ratings

NFL ratings are surprisingly down this year, and networks are having to offer make-goods to advertisers. Andrew Brandt says the NFL shouldn't be too worried yet. Meanwhile, the NFL is cracking down on the use of footage on social media.

Ratings This Week

Tuesday network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings. Cable ratings. The Vice-Presidential debate 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.

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

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The Need for Black Superheroes

Stephon Robert says Luke Cage illustrates the need for Black superheroes.

Sports Viewership Declines

TV executives are insisting they're not overly concerned about apparent viewership declines for sports this year.

Jost & Che Criticism

Dustin Rowles argues that Colin Jost and Michael Che are the wrong anchors for SNL's Weekend Update this election season.

Disney + Netflix

Trey Williams explores why Disney might want to buy Netflix, and Mathew Ingram says the acquisition would make sense. But Rick Munarriz offers three reasons why it doesn't make sense.

Counting Views

John Herrman and Mike Isaac discuss the challenges of counting online video views.

HBO's Data Use

Nadine Krefetz reports on HBO's proliferating use of data for marketing efforts.

Shooting Westworld

Nate Jones talked to Westworld's cinematographer about shooting the pilot.

Niche SVOD's Future

Bruce Tuchman sees a bright future ahead for OTT SVOD services that target specialized audiences.

Berlanti, Super Showrunner

Jason Lynch covers how Greg Berlanti is managing to run four interwoven superhero shows on The CW simultaneously.

Deadwood's the Best

Todd VanDerWerff stakes a claim for Deadwood as the best drama ever.

Twitter Streaming & Live TV

Amanda Lotz explains what Twitter's streaming of NFL games means for the future of live TV.

Univision Drama

Court Stroud outlines the turmoil at Univision.

Viacom Coverage

Emily Steel covers how Shari Redstone gained the upper hand in the battle for Viacom's future, while Cynthia Littleton ponders what a recombined CBS/Viacom would look like.

Westworld Ratings

Initial Westworld ratings look strong. Michael O'Connell compares the result to other HBO drama premieres

Netflix Tax

James F. Peltz reports some California cities could try to tax subscribers of streaming services.

Women & Adult Swim

Ariane Lang calls out Adult Swim for its poor treatment of women creators and audiences.

Update: Adult Swim's executive vice president has responded to this issue, and Julia Alexander says the response illustrates the problem.

TV Salaries

Variety has salary figures for TV's top stars, and Michael Schneider notes that soaring top salaries mean less money available for the lower-tier actor.

Monday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Good TVeets

Monday, October 3, 2016

TV's Gray Area

Alan Wolk takes note of the struggle to define the difference between television and online video.

Netflix's Marvel Superheroes

Abraham Riesman praises the distinctiveness of Netflix's Marvel heroes over their movie franchise counterparts.

Disney Rumors

Brooks Barnes relays rumors that Disney is looking to expand due to stalling stock.

MTV's Two-Year Plan

Craig Marks talked to MTV's president about his two-year plan to turn around the channel's fortunes.

Conan Joke Theft Suit

Eriq Gardner reports on new developments in a lawsuit accusing Conan O'Brien writers of joke theft.

CNN Hires BuzzFeed Reporters

A team of BuzzFeed political reporters has joined CNN. Sami Mann has analysis of this move.

Fresh Off the Boat in Taiwan

Maria Elena Fernandez traveled to Taiwan to watch the production of a special Fresh Off the Boat episode.

FNL's Dramatic Democracy

10 years after the show's premiere, Megan Garber praises Friday Night Lights for its effective ensemble character storytelling.

Netflix Speculation

Rumors of Netflix as a takeover target have boosted the company's stock.

Hulu Price Drop

Hulu is offering a lower subscription fee for new subscribers in trying to compete with other streamers.

CW's Digital Path

Jason Lynch covers The CW leaving Hulu behind in forging its own digital path.

SNL Ratings

Saturday Night Live returned to big premiere ratings.

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Rick Porter says early results look good for HBO's Westworld.

Good TVeets

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Good TVeets

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Ali Wong's Standup

Ariel Levy talks with comedian and Fresh Off the Boat writer Ali Wong about taking on taboos of female sexuality in her standup routines and upcoming Netflix special.

Time Travel Trend

Craig Tomashoff explores why time travel shows are trendy again.

NCTA Ends Trade Show

Todd Spangler reports that the National Cable & Telecommunications Association will no longer hold an annual trade show, a sign of declined relevance.

Netflix's Poaching Precedent

Eriq Gardner covers the legal precedent that could be set by Netflix's poaching of 21st Century Fox employees.

Marvel Television Universe

Jason Lynch explains how Marvel has managed to develop numerous intertwined TV shows on different outlets and keep them all on track.

Berry Committed to US Bake Off

While Mary Berry won't join Channel 4's Great British Bake Off, she will continue her role on the US version, which is also overseen by Love Productions.

Bud Light's Late Show Ads

Brian Steinberg reports on unpaid appearances for Bud Light on Stephen Colbert's Late Show.

Westworld's Expectations

Lesley Goldberg covers the pressure on Westworld to succeed for HBO, and Jeremy Enger considers its chances to become a hit. Josef Adalian also looks at expectations.

NFL Viewership Decline

Mike Florio explores the uncertainty over why NFL ratings are down to start the season.

ESPN Out-of-Home

A major ad agency has made a deal with ESPN to pay for out-of-home viewership.

Set-Top Box Proposal Delay

With a scheduled vote cancelled, the FCC's set-top box proposal is apparently under construction again.

OWN's Big Quarter

OWN experienced its highest-rated quarter in its history, thanks to Queen Sugar and Greenleaf.

Aquarius Cancelled

NBC has cancelled the summer drama Aquarius.

Friday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Good TVeets