Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good TVeets

Inclusive Fan Con Kickstarter

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

Thoughts on 2016

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

Learning From Losses

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

Ramsey Lawsuit

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

NBC's O&O Gamble

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

Homeland Premiere Available

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

New KKK Allegations

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

Fee Fights

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

Best TV of 2016

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

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

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

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Comedy Under Trump

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

Cable Vulnerability

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

Hulu Gets Disney Movies

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


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

Mr. Robot & USA

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

ESPN's Out-of-Home Lift

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

Assessing Escaping the KKK

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

Wrong Predictions

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

Household Penetration

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

Univision's Struggles

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

TV & VOD in 2017

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

Lawsuit News

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

Congressional Livestreaming Ban

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

2016 Viewing

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

Good TVeets

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Trump & Pop Culture

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

Women & the NBA

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

Online TV in 2017

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

Cable Ratings in 2016

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

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

Nielsen's Top Shows

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

Physical Media Value

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

Fox Sports & ESPN's Debate Wars

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

Netflix's Identity

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

U.S. Viewing Maps

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

Fuller House Renewed

Netflix wants a third season of Fuller House.

KKK Series Shelved

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

Monday, December 26, 2016

Good TVeets

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Good TVeets

Thursday, December 22, 2016

CBS M&A Rumors

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

Abortion in 2016

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

Herzog Interview

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

Weiner Looks Back & Ahead

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

Producing SNL's Opening

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

Generation KKK Controversy

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

Facebook Originals

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

Shonda Rhimes on TV Writing

Shonda Rhimes will teach an online class on TV writing.

Total Content Ratings Questioned

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

British VOD

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

21st Controlling Sky

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

Amazon's Global Expansion

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

Third Seasons Denied

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

Trump's Media Communication

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

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

Michael Wolff sees media battles ahead in the Trump era.

Looking Ahead to 2017

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

Looking Back on 2016

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Good TVeets

Thursday, December 15, 2016


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

Good TVeets

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Good TVeets

Thursday, December 8, 2016

TV Treatment of Rape

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

Changing Channels

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

Trump & The Apprentice

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

Tuesday & Wednesday Ratings

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

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

Hairspray Live!'s ratings weren't impressive.

Good TVeets

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Good TVeets 12/7/2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Gilmore Girls

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

Online Theorizing

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

Million Dollar Extreme Cancelled

Adult Swim has cancelled the controversial Million Dollar Extreme.

Luke Cage Renewed

Netflix wants a second season of Luke Cage.

Sunday & Monday Ratings

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

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

Monday, December 5, 2016

Good TVeets

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Fox Back In at TCA

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

Good Girls Revolt Cancelled

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

Megyn Kelly's Status

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

Thur/Fri/Sat Ratings

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

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

Saturday network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

DirecTV Now Analysis

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

Good TVeets

Friday, December 2, 2016

Good TVeets

Thursday, December 1, 2016

NFL Viewing Declines

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

Hulu Live

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

Fox News' Big November

Fox News had strong ratings throughout November.

New Flow Issue

Check out a new Flow featuring:

Lauer's New Contract

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

NFL on All Access

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

DirecTV Now Problems

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

MTV's New Strategies

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

Trump Voter TV

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

Network Execs Skipping TCA

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

Z Nation Renewed

Syfy wants a fourth season of Z Nation.

Broadcast Drama Ratings

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

TV Measurement & Upfronts

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

Netflix Downloads

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

Representing Muslims

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

Masters of Sex is Done

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

RIP Grant Tinker

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

Mon/Tues/Wed Ratings

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

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

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