Monday, November 28, 2016

Thursday Night Football Questions

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

DirecTV Now Details

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

Ad Week's Hot List

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

Tough Fall Landscape

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

MTV Originals' Head Out

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

Amazing Race's Future

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

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Good TVeets





Sunday, November 27, 2016

Muslim News Anchor

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

DirecTV Now Event

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

Trump & the News

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

TV's Importance

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

Reboot Ratings

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

ABC Owns Comedy

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

Michigan-OSU Ratings

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

RIP Ron Glass

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

RIP Florence Henderson

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

Saturday, November 26, 2016

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

More on Trump & News

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

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

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

Walking Dead Ratings

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

European Ad Privacy Rules

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

Continue the Diversity Fight

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

Macy's Day Dream

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

Call the Midwife Renewed

The BBC wants three more seasons of Call the Midwife.

Netflix Nostalgia

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

Live + 7 Ratings

Rick Porter has Week 8 Live + 7 ratings.

Tuesday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

AT&T News

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

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

Top Talent on TV

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

Univision Layoffs

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

Million Dollar Extreme Controversy

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

Getting Rid of Commercials

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

Amazon's Ambitions

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

One More Halt & Catch Fire

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

Duck Dynasty Ending

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

Sunday & Monday Ratings

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


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

Trump Coverage

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

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

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

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

Monday, November 21, 2016

Good TVeets





Saturday, November 19, 2016

HBO's Challenges

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

The NYT & TV

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

Biggest Twists

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

Synonyms for Cancellation

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

Doc McStuffins Renewed

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

MTV's Attention Strategies

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

Black Women & Fanfiction

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

AMC Buys Into Funny or Die

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

Fall Ratings Trends

Josef Adalian analyzes the fall ratings thus far.

Monday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Monday, November 14, 2016

IMDb Sues Over Age Law

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

Midseason Hiatus Reconsidered

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

The Walking Dead Criticism

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

Brand Mentions

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

Second Season Renewals

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

C3 Ratings

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

Gelman Exits Adult Swim

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

SNL News

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

RIP Gwen Ifill

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

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Nat Geo & Premium Nonfiction

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

Live & DVR Viewership

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

Formula-Free Comedy

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

Viacom Off PlayStation Vue

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

Thriving Empires

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

YouTube Red's Struggles

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

Stop AT&T-Time Warner

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

Scripps Exits Netflix

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

VOD Interface Problems

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

European Prime-Time

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

Sundance Day & Night

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

TV Show Growth

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

Ad Break Problems

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

Shari Redstone at Viacom

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

Post-Election Coverage

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Good TVeets





Monday, November 7, 2016

Election Stuff

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

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

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

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

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

DirecTV Now Details

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

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and Michael O'Connell.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Good TVeets





Saturday, November 5, 2016

Conglomerate Ownership Chart

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

Dick Clark Productions Sold

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

NFL Ratings

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

Fuller No Longer Star Trek Showrunner

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

The Daily Show Past & Present

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

Ratings Struggles

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

Diversity News

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

Netflix News

Netflix has announced it will skip the winter TCA press tour, as will Starz. In other Netflix news, the Comcast X1 set-top box launch is coming next week, Netflix is finding British TV very attractive, and its marketing department has found a clever way to reach ad blocker users.

Fox News Issues

While we wait to see what happens with Megyn Kelly's Fox News contract situation, word comes that her upcoming memoir includes allegations that Roger Ailes sexually harassed her, which he has denied. Meanwhile, the post-Ailes prime-time lineup is undergoing change, while Bret Baier has had to apologize for mistaken reporting on the Clinton Foundation.

Nielsen Estimates Controversy

Nielsen and ESPN are feuding after the ratings service announced major subscriber losses at many cable channels in November, including a worst-ever month for ESPN, but ESPN disputes the figures. Oriana Schwindt explains the contention.

Renewal & Cancellation

The Simpsons will get a 29th and 30th season, while Bill Simmons' HBO show is done after only four months.

TV Violence

After a particularly graphic premiere episode of The Walking Dead, Matt Zoller Seitz criticized the emptiness of its violence, Oriana Schwindt put it in the context of a trend in violent head-bashings, and Phelim O'Neill wonders if we've reached a peak in TV gore.

The Golden '80s

Matt Zoller Seitz highlights the great shows of the 1980s that started what many now consider a Golden Age today.

Upheaval at MTV

MTV's president stepped down last week, and the outlet now on its third president in only 18 months.

Pop Culture & Policing

Alyssa Rosenberg last week published a five-part series on the representation of police over the last century of popular culture.

Women Directors

The next seasons of Jessica Jones and of Call the Midwife will have every episode directed by women.

Baseball Boost for Fox

Now that I am no longer completely consumed with Chicago Cubs baseball, things should return back to normal here soon, and I'll do some catchup this weekend.

Speaking of the Cubs (who really did win the World Series!), the Game 7 World Series ratings were huge, and the whole series did so well that Fox leapt from fourth to first in the fall season network ratings. That plus the upcoming Super Bowl offer great news for the Fox Sports ad sales team.

Good TVeets