Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers. Final ratings.

Analysis from Spotted.

Good TVeets

Monday, January 30, 2017

Unscripted Optimism

Michael Schneider says unscripted TV producers are confident their programming is on the upswing, with recent docuseries successes like O.J.: Made in America and Chef's Table as examples. And John Koblin looks at how Netflix and CBS are pushing new reality TV experiments.

Univision vs. Charter

Univision is warning that it could go dark on Charter lineups over a retrans agreement battle in the wake of the Time Warner Cable merger.

Trump News

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings offered a strong statement against Donald Trump's executive order on immigration, as did the WGA. Oscar-nominated Iranian director Asghar Farhadi says he won't attend the Academy Awards even if an exception were to be made for him under Trump's order. A pair of Syrians involved in an Oscar-nominated documentary short will be unable to attend due to the order. Josh Rottenberg and Glenn Whipp wonder if A-list stars will use the Oscars as a platform to talk about Trump.

Derek Thompson outlines how Trump is applying rules of popular entertainment in trying to create a monopoly on the facts of his own political narrative. And Noam Galai tries to find an upside in Trump's disdain for the news media.

Freeform's Future

Jason Lynch talked to Freeform's president about what lies ahead for the channel as its signature show Pretty Little Liars ends this spring.

Pilots at Sundance

Anne Wilson takes note of the numerous independent TV and web pilots that have appeared at Sundance this year.

Sesame Street's Tough Topics

Elizabeth Segran looks at how Sesame Street tackles challenging topics like AIDS, autism, and incarceration.

Marketing Riverdale

Jason Lynch looked at how The CW's marketing department is working to make Millennials care about Riverdale.

The Future of Black TV

Angelica Jade BastiƩn wonders if the success that Black TV creators had in 2016 can be sustained in the coming years. Brentin Mock also looks ahead to a coming Living Single reboot and its possible representations of urban dwellers compared to the whiteness of Friends.

ESPN vs. Fox Sports

ESPN and Fox Sports have a PR battle going on, and now Fox Sports has ESPN's old creative ad agency working for it.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Male Fandom of The O.C.

Marianne Eloise analyzes male fandom of The O.C. and issues of cultural shame and taste.

TV Exec Comments

THR collected comments from top TV executives on a wide range of topics.

The Internet Without Net Neutrality

Kevin Collier considers what the internet could be like if the Trump regime tosses out the FCC's net neutrality rules.

Pilot Trends

Lesley Goldberg identifies trends she's seeing in pilots that have been ordered thus far.

Friday & Saturday Ratings

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

Saturday network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

SAG Awards

SAG Awards were handed out tonight, and so were political comments.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Reviving A&E

Keach Hagey covers CEO Nancy Dubuc's attempts to revive A&E Networks' fortunes. (Note: Article is behind the WSJ paywall.)

Verizon Eyeing Charter

The WSJ reports that Verizon is considering trying to a merge with Charter Communications.

Saving CNN

Jessica Yellin suggests CNN should be spun off as an independent entity in order to produce better journalism.

Total Content Ratings Delay

Nielsen has delayed full release of its Total Content Ratings system to continue to assess it. Jason Lynch specifies some of the modifications being made.

Kelly Replacing Today Hour

Page Six reports NBC will cancel an hour of the Today Show and put Megyn Kelly there, starting in the fall.

Thursday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and Variety.

Trump News

Claire Atkinson highlights how Donald Trump is helping cable news prosper. Brian Stelter notes Trump has been explicitly cheerleading for Fox News, while Gabriel Sherman explores his war with CNN. John Herrman discusses the issue of access.

Brian Stelter calls Trump a photo-op president. Daniel Holloway notes he's operating from a TV publicity playbook, and Mark Harris observes that he believes journalists should be more like publicists. James Poniewozik explains how Trump is now spinning facts like he always did TV ratings.

Harper Neidig says Republicans are eager to see major changes at the FCC under Trump, and Meg James and Jim Puzzanghera foresee a media merger surge coming. Jonah Engel Bromwich notes there are fears about the future of press freedom as journalists face felony charges stemming from inauguration riots.

Eric Levitz reports on that Steve Bannon appears to be the author of most of Trump's executive orders. Kate Knibbs analyzes Bannon's documentary films to pinpoint his worldview.

Dave Itzkoff looks at how Seth Meyers is defining his show via its focus on Trump.

Actors in Pilot Season

Ken Levine highlights the challenge of pilot season for actors.

Queer Eye Reboot

Netflix has a reboot of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy in development, featuring a new cast that will specifically visit conservative communities.

Liguori Resigning

CEO Peter Liguori will leave Tribune Media in March.

The Middle Renewed

ABC has given an early renewal to The Middle, which will return in the fall for its ninth season.

More on Moore

In the wake of Mary Tyler Moore's death, many are reflecting on her great legacy, including Mary Jo Murphy, Virginia Heffernan, Ellen Gray, Bill Carter, and Matt Roush. Evette Dionne offers six reasons ways The Mary Tyler Moore Show set a standard for TV feminism.

Wednesday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Good TVeets

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Skins' Legacy

Ten years after its premiere, Hannah Ewens looks back on how Skins changed British culture.

Liguori Leaving Tribune

Peter Liguori is leaving his post as CEO of Tribune Media.

RIP Mary Tyler Moore

TV legend Mary Tyler Moore has died. Bill Harris looks back on her representational impact, and Willa Paskin notes her incalculable impact on the characters who followed in the wake of Mary Richards. Matt Zoller Seitz highlights her status as a TV auteur.

Tuesday Ratings

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

Analysis from Spotted and Schwindt.

Remembering the Glowing Puck

Sports Business Daily remembers hockey's failed "glowing puck" experiment via interviews with those involved.

Trump News

Donald Trump is clearly watching cable news and then tweeting about it, from a tweet about violence in Chicago to another about Fox News and CNN inauguration ratings. Aides are reportedly worried Trump watches too much TV.

Trump has sent aides over to Voice of America, raising concerns about what might come of that. There are also growing concern about the Trump administration's distortion of facts and figures, with economists fearing skewed unemployment figures to come.

Charlie Warzel outlines how the right built an "alternative fact" media universe to help grease Trump's rise to power. Alexis Sobel Fitts notes that conservative news purveyors are increasingly turning to Facebook Live to report directly to audiences.

A number of journalists have been hit with felony charges after being arrested among rioters at the inauguration.

Monday Ratings

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

*The Masked Scheduler is now offering ratings analysis at TVBTN, as you can see in a box prefacing today's network numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and Oriana Schwindt.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Good TVeets

Telemundo Unionization Vote Ordered

The National Labor Relations Board has affirmed an order for Telemundo to have a unionization election for its Spanish-speaking performers.

VPN Crackdown in China

Jessica Conditt reports on a new crackdown on VPN use in China.

Sheridan's Lawsuit Tossed

A judge has tossed out Nicollette Sheridan's lawsuit over allegedly unsafe work conditions at Desperate Housewives.

Trump News

Brian Stelter recaps Sean Spicer's second attempt at a press briefing following Saturday's dubious start, which left the media alarmed. Josef Adalian fact-checked  Spicer's inauguration ratings claims from today's briefing and says his spin is still off. Jim Rutenberg covers the "alternative facts" scenario in Trump's reality. The new @POTUS account will be manned by Dan Scavino, noted for spreading fake news on his personal account.

Wheeler & Net Neutrality

Brian Fung looks back on Tom Wheeler's stewardship of the FCC and ahead to the likely troubled future of his signature initiative, net neutrality.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Cord Cutting and Nevering

Bill Cromwell tried to pin down definitive numbers on cord cutting, while Toni Fitzgerald considers how many Millennials are cord nevers.

Fox News Goodbyes

Fox News declined to renew the contracts of Stacey Dash, George Will, Ed Rollins, Cal Thomas, and Marvin Kalb.

Walking Dead Violence

Cynthia Littleton reports on The Walking Dead's reduction in violence following a backlash against the season premiere's graphic depictions.

NFL Ratings

John Ourand says NFL Network is bucking the NFL's ratings decline trend. Ian Crouch explores political arguments about the NFL's ratings.

Gun TV

A home shopping channel called Gun TV, which sold exactly what the title indicates, has ceased broadcasting before reaching its first birthday. Allie Conti says a unique portrait of America, including super paranoid infomercials, will disappear with it.

Sony Turmoil

Claire Atkinson reports that Sony is considering options to sell off film and TV assets.

Cable's Esquire Network To End

NBCU will shutter its Esquire Network cable channel and relaunch it online as a digital brand. Andy Dehnart notes this means TV will lose a set of high-quality reality shows. Toni Fitzgerald points to the uncertain future for niche cable channels.

The HGTV Opiate

Richard Lawson explores why HGTV offers such addictive viewing in our current political moment.

Amazon & Branded SVOD Services

Will Richmond explains why Amazon's new Anime Strike SVOD service is one of many such branded services to come.

Netflix News

Travis Winkler explains how shrewdly Netflix has negotiated its way to prominent placement on set-top boxes and remotes and is thereby dominating living rooms. Bill Cromwell reports on a new study on who doesn't subscribe to Netflix and why. Netflix's stock recently soared on news of strong global subscriber growth, while the AP noted that Netflix's DVD business is fading, with a terminal date prediction of five to eight years from now.

SNL News

A Saturday Night Live writer has been suspended for her Twitter joke about Barron Trump. SNL also announced that noted Trump impersonator Alec Baldwin will host the February 11th episode. Meanwhile, SNL has added a fourth head writer.

Pilot Season

Lesley Goldberg has launched her annual guide to the year's network pilots, and she notes that this season's lack of cancellations has created a logjam that will influence pilot pickup volume.

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

Headline takeaway: CBS's Hunted started strong.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Trump News

President Trump's press secretary boldly lied and criticized the press during a press briefing yesterday, and today Trump senior advisor Kellyanne Conway wrote off Spicer's lies "alternative facts." CNN opted to not air Spicer's briefing live, choosing to assess it first.

Michael O'Connell reported on the ratings for Trump's inauguration. James Poniewozik covered the televised inaugural spectacle.

The big news yesterday was huge women's marches across the country to protest Trump, but Frank Scheck observed that Fox News barely covered the events.

A Pew Research Center report on where people got their election news found Trump and Clinton voters significantly divided on that, with Trump voters especially turning to Fox News.

Gene Maddaus sees a conservative media battle coming over how to cover Trump. Eric Deggans says Hollywood will also grapple with how scripted entertainment should deal with political issues in the Trump era. John Koblin also covers this issue.

Seinfeld Goes to Netflix

Jerry Seinfeld has left Crackle and signed an exclusive deal with Netflix, which Andrew Wallenstein notes has ramped up its stand-up comedy star lineup. Crackle's general manager tells Jason Lynch the service will survive this loss just fine.

New FCC Chair

The new head of the FCC is Ajit Pai, who is noted as a foe of net neutrality and consumer protection rules, which is in accordance with the Trump administration's ideologies.

This Is Us Renewed

NBC has given This Is Us a two-season renewal order.

Will & Grace Revival

Will & Grace will get a 10-episode revival at NBC next season. Josef Adalian predicts it will succeed.

Good TVeets

Monday, January 16, 2017

Netflix in Brazil

Lucas Shaw details Netflix's successful expansion into Brazil, which the company hopes to replicate around the globe.

Dish Disputes

Twelve network affiliates on Dish Network could go dark soon due to a retrans dispute, and a separate dispute could see as many as 100 channels pulled from Dish tomorrow.

BitTorrent's Collapse

Jessi Hempel delves into what has gone wrong at BitTorrent.

Auction Status

John Eggerton reports on the latest stage of the spectrum auction. Walter Piecyk also has coverage.


Portlandia will get one final season on IFC, and TNT wants another round of Good Behavior.

Trump News

Anne Kingston puts Donald Trump in the distorted context of reality television, and Josh Dawsey points out Trump's love for WrestleMania's fake drama.

With word of possible big changes coming to the White House press corps under Trump, Margaret Sullivan sees a hellscape for journalists coming, while Jack Shafer sees it as a new mission for journalism.

Monica Crowley has dropped out of a possible White House role following discovery of her plagiarism.

Ali Breland says we can expect more mega-mergers in the Trump era, as well as looser regulations, but outgoing FCC chief Tom Wheeler says it won't be easy to rollback his commission's accomplishments. Trump is reportedly planning an FCC overhaul, though. Phillip Swann wonders if Trump's anger at CNN might affect the AT&T-Time Warner merger.

Emily Nussbaum analyzes the role of jokes during the election campaign.

Sunday Ratings

Network numbers from TV By the Numbers.

Analysis from Spotted and O'Connell.

The NFL had a big night.

Good TVeets

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Good TVeets

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Hamilton's America

Peter Hamilton gathered TV, digital, and social media ratings info on the PBS documentary Hamilton's America.

Online Video Popularity

A new report finds online video more popular with advertisers than viewers, who prefer text content.

The Americans' Relevance

The executive producers of The Americans spoke at TCA about the unnerving political relevance of the show now.

TV in Cinemas & Festivals

Joseph Aberl considers the potential for television shows to screen in movie theaters. There's also word that the city of Cannes wants to develop a television festival.


Michael O'Connell covers news from the FX exec session at TCA.

CNN Adds Conservative Journalists

CNN Politics has added a pair of journalists behind a right-leaning viral news site to its team.

Today Invents Morning TV

On this 65th anniversary of Today, Brian Stelter explains how NBC invented the morning show.

Wheeler's Final Speech

Tom Wheeler focused his final speech as FCC chief on the importance of maintaining net neutrality.

Netflix in India

Abhishek Madhavan explains how Netflix is failing in India while Amazon is succeeding.

Apple Show Rumors

Alan Wolk has many questions about a WSJ report that Apple plans to develop original TV and movie content.

From Sony to Snapchat

Sony's Head of Entertainment is stepping down to head over to Snapchat.

Football Ratings

Chad Finn insists that the NFL does have a ratings problem, which didn't just start this year. But Fox Sports' CEO believes at least the Super Bowl's ratings are bulletproof.

Fiennes' Jackson Episode Pulled

Sky Arts won't air an episode of a series in which Joseph Fiennes portrays Michael Jackson after Jackson's family objected.

Andy Cohen Profile

Taffy Brodesser-Akner profiles Andy Cohen and how his reality TV empire represents this cultural era.

TBS's Turnaround

Lesley Goldberg looks at how Kevin Reilly has reinvented TBS for the better.

Masked Scheduler Joins TVBTN

The Masked Scheduler talks to Rick Porter about joining TV By the Numbers to offer commentary and insights.

Mad Men Archives

Mad Men production materials will be archived at the University of Texas's Harry Ransom Center.

CBS Drama on Saturday

Jason Lynch explains why CBS has decided to air an original drama on Saturday nights for the first time in 13 years.

Reality TV & Celebrity

Andy Dehnart sees reality TV's current insistence on celebrity presence as problematic for the genre.

Trump & Reality TV Tropes

Kathryn VanArendonk explains how reality TV's narrative tropes can help us understand Donald Trump.

DirecTV Now's Outages

After a fourth major outage at DIRECTV Now, Phillip Swann notes that the press seems to have turned on the service, which could do long-term damage to the DIRECTV brand.

Hollywood Fraud

Cynthia Littleton has an in-depth report on cases of fraud and embezzlement in Hollywood.

Fox's Hit on NBC

Jason Lynch explains why This is Us-producer Fox is fine with the only freshman hit of the season airing on NBC rather than its in-house network. Lynch notes that the Fox studio now has "the No. 1 show on six different networks: Fox (Empire), ABC (Modern Family), FX (American Horror Story), Showtime (Homeland), TBS (American Dad) and NBC (This Is Us)."

New In Media Res

This past week at In Media Res was focused on Star Trek:

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's Renewal

Todd VanDerWerff explains how Crazy Ex-Girlfriend's renewal illustrates the changing rules of TV, as he notes that it appears to be "the lowest-rated show ever to be renewed by a major broadcast network. Yes, ever."

Albrecht on Starz + Lionsgate

Starz CEO Chris Albrecht sees big things ahead courtesy of the Lionsgate merger.

Coen Brothers Show

Joel and Ethan Coen are reportedly at work on a television project, which may have a theatrical component.

O'Reilly Harassment Suit

News emerged of a sexual harassment suit against Bill O'Reilly that Fox News settled after Roger Ailes's departure.

Cultural Echo Chambers

Farhad Manjoo puts Netflix viewing in the context of our growing cultural echo chambers.

Black-ish's Election Episode

Black-ish aired a standout episode this week on the election. Bruce Fretts talked to creator Kenya Barris and star Anthony Anderson about the politically charged episode. Read reviews of the episode from Aisha Harris, Megan Garber, Ashley Ray-HarrisIsha Aran, Bethonie Butle, and Todd VanDerWerff.

David Lynch at TCA

David Lynch offered a Lynchian appearance at TCA.

Good Girls Revolt is Over

Good Girls Revolt's creator says the cancelled Amazon series failed to find a new home.

The Middle's Rare Representation

Meredith Blake highlights The Middle's representation of working-class family anxieties.

Commercial Viewing on Days 8-35

Nielsen has shared research on commercial viewing past the 7-day window.

Streaming Figures

Andrew Wallenstein reports on 2016 figures showing subscription streaming sales having surpassed disc sales. And Sami Main covers separate reports on live and streaming TV viewership.

Star Trek Fan Film Ruling

Paramount and CBS won a pair of key claims in a copyright lawsuit brought against a Star Trek fan film, which now moves to trial.

Hulu's Live Service

CES attendees got a look at Hulu's upcoming live TV service; Nathan Ingraham describes its design. Natalie Jarvey reports that analysts are uncertain of its prospects.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Good TVeets

Due to heavy travel followed by illness along with Twitter being a place of near non-stop misery now, I haven't managed to post Good TVeets in 2017, but I have been favoriting some tweets along the way. So I've posted all that here. We'll see how often I post going forward; things are just weird now. At least I got a whole lot of Young Pope tweets preserved for future generations, so there's that.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Football Viewing

NFL viewership ended up down 8% for the season. Ross Benes sees that as part of the larger viewing declines TV is grappling with, and Sunday Night Football is still the most viewed series of the 2016-17 season thus far, while 27 of the top 50 most-watched broadcasts of 2016 were NFL games. None of the remaining 23 entries on the list are scripted shows.

Celebrity Apprentice Ratings

Todd VanDerWerff analyzes the Schwarzenegger-led Celebrity Apprentice ratings that Donald Trump mocked.

TV Salaries

Variety has posted lists of top TV salary estimates for performers in drama, comedy, and reality TV.

Univision's Challenges

Meg James covers Univision's problems with attracting young Latino/a viewers, and Adrian Carrasquillo reports on the challenges Univision has ahead in the Trump era.

Election Night Oral History

Brian Stelter compiled an oral history of how newsrooms covered Donald Trump's election night victory.

The CW at TCA

The CW announced renewals for most of its shows at TCA today, with only No Tomorrow and Frequency left out. CW president Mark Pedowitz had an executive session.

TCA Press Tour

Alan Sepinwall discusses the changing nature of the TCA press tour, whose winter version has just begun.

Girl Meets World Cancelled

Disney Channel has decided to end Girl Meets World at three seasons.

Cable News Starts

Greta Van Susteren started her new job at MSNBC tonight and says her show will be "fair and balanced." Over at Fox News, Tucker Carlson has stepped into Megyn Kelly's time slot, and Gabriel Sherman says it's a sign Rupert Murdoch is looking to make Fox News pro-Trump.

One Day at a Time

The Netflix multi-cam sitcom One Day at a Time is getting a lot of critical love, including from Sonia Saraiya, Myles McNutt, Kathryn VanArendonk, and Noel Murray. Todd VanDerWerff interviewed the showrunners, and legendary producer Norman Lear talked about the series with Alan Sepinwall, Daniel Holloway, and Maria Elena Fernandez.

Golden Globes

Golden Globes awards were handed out last night. HBO was shut out, and programming president Casey Bloys responded "It happens." Jason Lynch notes Netflix did well with two wins and a clever ad. Ratings for the broadcast were up, and so was conversation about Meryl Streep's speech and Donald Trump's reaction, which Brooks Barnes points to as part of a new culture war. Brian Lowry analyzes the role of celebrity here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Best Title Sequences

James Charisma lists the 75 best TV title sequences of all time.

Mark Burnett Profile

Kelsey McKinney profiles Mark Burnett and explores his substantial impact on pop culture and politics.

Carriage Negotiation Updates

DirecTV & Cox Media reached a carriage deal, but DirecTV is still negotiating with Hearst. NBCU and Charter extended their deadline and are also still negotiating. Comcast came to a deal with 21st Century Fox over Fox News and some regional channels, including the YES network in New York City.

Megyn Kelly Going to NBC

Megyn Kelly is leaving Fox News for NBC News, despite a big offer to stay, and will reportedly take over the third hour of Today plus getting a Sunday night news magazine show on NBC. David Zurawik says this is a good move by NBC, and Mathew Ingram sees it as a move to target conservative audiences. Brian Steinberg points out the big risks, and Jack Shafer thinks Kelly will regret it. Kelly addressed her pending departure on her show last night. Sonia Saraiya analyzes the position Kelly is in. Jim Rutenberg sees this as a revealing test of Kelly and of television news. Sarah Ellison covers the Kelly-Fox News divorce.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Best Good TVeets of 2016

After the jump, you'll find the epic collection of our favorite TVeets from 2016. It's in chronological order, so you can relive the TV year as we descended into misery. And I included links back to the entries for big event days, so if you want, you can delve deeper into our Good Wife finale reactions (not good!) or re-experience the presidential debates (not good!). If you're short on time, you check out the much short version of the year, the Top 50 Best TVeets.

Thanks a bunch to Storify for making this all work so smoothly across the year, and thanks to the volunteers who helped me pick these. I encourage you to follow them to reward them for their efforts: @tmvogel, @arrabin56, @digifreak642, @aseroff, @realchriswilson, @AdmiraltyPirate, @allisonamy.

Top 50 Good TVeets of 2016

Once again, a crew of volunteers and I have culled through all of the Good TVeets from the past year, and we selected our absolute favorite fifty tweets. Click below to see them all from the start of the year to the end. It was certainly a year, that 2016!

If you're up for the whole thing (I recommend having a strong drink by your side!), you'll find the unabridged selection of Best of Good TVeets 2016, probably about 500 of them, in the next post. Enjoy!