Sunday, July 30, 2017

Couric Exiting Yahoo

Katie Couric is done with Yahoo News.

Deal News

Scripps is reportedly down to one eligible suitor, Discovery. Meanwhile, Sprint wants to marry Charter, but the latter isn't too excited over the prospect.

The State of Amazon

Michael Schneider says Amazon has the shows to succeed but not yet a clear brand, while Steven Perlstein wonders if Amazon as a company is getting too big.

TCA Catchup

If you've been away from the internet for a few days like me, catch up on news from TCA about Comedy Central, Starz, HBO execs admitting they erred on the Confederate announcement while the African-American executive producers try to defend the series, HBO deciding not to go forward with Jon Stewart's animated showAMC's development slate, IFC's comedy development, Kevin Reilly predicting cable contraction, late-night writers getting bored with Trump, and Hulu getting a big block of TGIF comedies.

Also check out Daniel Fienberg's summaries of Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Good TVeets

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

HBO Fights Coal Baron

Eriq Gardner reports on HBO's fight against a lawsuit from a coal baron over a Last Week Tonight segment.

Net Neutrality Hearing

House Republicans have scheduled a net neutrality hearing for Sept. 7 and invited CEOs from Facebook, Google, and other tech companies.


Alan Wolk explains why a deal between the National Cable Television Cooperative and Playstation Vue and FuboTV could be a game changer for virtual MVPDs and pay TV.

Broad City Censoring Trump's Name

Kate Stanhope talked to Broad City's stars about why the show will bleep out Donald Trump's name this season.

Tracking Emotional Reactions

Kerry Flynn reports on a tech company's efforts to track emotional reactions of TV viewers via social media.

Star Trek & Socialism

A.M. Gittlitz discusses the original Star Trek's debt to revolutionary socialism.

Viacom Eyeing Scripps

Joe Flint reports on Viacom's consideration of buying Scripps Networks.

Top-Rated Broadcasts So Far

Anthony Crupi presents a chart of the top-50 most watched broadcasts of the year so far: "top-tier sports, award shows and political spectacles accounted for all but one of the top 30 most-watched programs on the tube since the year began."

South Park & Trolls

Sean O'Neal blames South Park for helping to feed the hostile apathy that runs through troll culture today.

Nielsen Adds Hulu & Youtube Live

Brian Steinberg reports on Nielsen adding Hulu's and YouTube's live TV services to its traditional ratings. Jeanine Poggi expects the early impact will be minimal, though.

AT&T-Time Warner Talks

The Justice Department is now talking with AT&T and Time Warner about merger conditions.

New Sony TV Presidents

Sony has named three replacements for the TV execs it lost to Amazon.

Cord Cutting Projections

Jon Lafayette relays an analyst's projection of big cord-cutting to come in the next decade.

ABC's Fall Premieres

ABC announced its fall premiere dates.

Trump & TV

Emily Nussbaum rewatched The Apprentice to better understand the path laid to Trump's presidency. Eric Alterman says Trump allies are creating an alternate reality via their own media outlets, though Sinclair's CEO told Cynthia Littleton he's not planning to start a conservative network. Olivia Nuzzi looks at the relationship between Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski, and TrumpFox & Friends and the New York Times are fighting over a report that the former got wrong.

MSNBC Ratings

There's more good ratings news for MSNBC, as it finished #1 in weekday primetime viewers for the first time in its history.

Summer TCA Begins

The summer version of the TCA press tour begins today and will run through August 9.  Jason Lynch identifies six outlets with the most at stake.

Monday, July 24, 2017

FCC Criticism

Dell Cameron is highly critical of the FCC and Ajit Pai for a public records request response.

Emmy Snubs Explained

Ben Travers explains why a new Emmys voting process could have shut out certain shows.

CNN Talk on Facebook

Lucinda Southern introduces us to CNN Talk, a CNN International news show that streams on Facebook Live every Friday.

Oxygen Rebranding

Kate Stanhope covers Oxygen's shift to crime-focused programming, as does Michael Malone (who quotes me!).

Hawaii Five-0 Casting

Hawaii Five-0 has added non-white cast members, but Eric Deggans says it's too little, too late.

Talking During Game of Thrones

Daniel Victor wondered if viewers of Game of Thrones talk during the show and got a variety of responses.

Accent Coaching

Ryan Bradley profiles a dialect coach kept busy with work these days helping global acting talent adopt American accents.

Bewkes Planning Exit

Emily Steel reports that if the AT&T-Time Warner merger goes through, Jeff Bewkes will depart as Time Warner CEO.

TV & Film

John Russell covers the encroachment of TV into film festivals, while director Jane Campion explains why she now prefers to make TV over movies.

Queen For a Day

History looks back on one of television's original "misery shows," Queen for a Day: "For decades, it tantalized audiences with the possibility that consumer goods had the power to heal broken hearts."

Streaming's Impact

Kate Bulkley looks at how Amazon's new UK streaming initiative could challenge established pay TV players, and Colin Dixon considers how Hulu Live could threaten traditional pay TV operators and broadcasters. Jason Lynch analyzes how Adult Swim is winning audiences and advertisers with live-streaming video on its website.

TV News at Comic-Con

Coverage of panels at Comic-Con on Stranger Things, The Walking Dead, DC TV, Doctor Who, Westworld, Star Trek: Discovery, The Originals (which announced its final season), Riverdale, Outlander, Gotham, Twin PeaksGame of Thrones, American Horror Story, Psych, Once Upon a Time. Watch all the TV trailers that debuted. THR names winners and losers from the weekend.

Vice Layoffs

Vice Media is the latest company to lay off employees while planning to expand video operations.

Conservative Media News

Dylan Byers profiles Fox News a year after Ailes' departure, writing that it "remains the most-watched network on cable news and one of the most powerful forces in American politics" and under Murdoch has "consistently served as a booster for the President of the United States." Oliver Darcy notes the channel has also relied heavily on Hillary Clinton-bashing lately. Jeremy Barr reports that Tucker Carlson is getting the highest ad rates on all of cable news. At Comic-Con, Matt Groening said 21st Century Fox asked him to go easier on Fox News after the show made a joke about its racism.

In coverage of other conservative outlets, Alex Kaplan offers a history of Sinclair Broadcasting's right-wing politics, while Armstrong Williams argues recent criticisms of Sinclair's conservatism are alarmist. There are rumors that Bill O'Reilly could join with Sinclair on a news venture, possibly with Sean Hannity too. Steven Rosenfeld traces out how Breibart misinformation helped pave the way for Trump.


Wynonna Earp is getting a third season at Syfy, while Iron Fist is getting a second at Netflix, though it will have a new showrunner.

White House Communications People

Sean Spicer is quitting; Margaret Sullivan says not to mourn because he was a disaster from the start. Anthony Scaramucci is now in as White House communications director, and Damian Paletta and Renae Merle offer a profile of him. The AP has a profile of Spicer's replacement, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Annie Karni tells us more about the low-profile but central White House Director of Strategic Communications, Hope Hicks.

More on Confederate

The backlash against the announcement of Confederate, the Benioff and Weiss HBO show in early development, was strong enough that they offered a response to Josef Adalian. They also talked with Time, Variety, and Vanity Fair. Additional criticism of the show's premise comes from Damon Young, Lincoln Anthony Blades, and Vivian Kane, while Jesse Washington says let's wait and see. Lisa Woolfork sees a rocky road ahead. Roxane Gay shares her concerns.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Good TVeets

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sinclair's Production Values

Felix Gillette questions Sinclair's low production values rather than its political bias.

Trump's FCC

Alex SIlverman says Senate Democrats gave Donald Trump's Republican FCC nominees a grilling today. In related news, the White House position on the FCC's net neutrality rules is that they should be eliminated.

Banning Gender Stereotypes in Ads

Iliana Magra reports on an initiative by Britain's ad regulator to ban advertising containing gender stereotypes. Kristina Monllos says that would never happen in the U.S.

Tying Megyn Kelly to Today

Brian Steinberg identifies NBC's ad strategy for Megyn Kelly's morning show: package her as part of the Today show franchise.

Interest in Univision & Consolidation

The WSJ reports on acquisition interest in Univision, with John Malone as a leading suitor, and the NYT highlights Malone's interest in riding the industry's wave of consolidation.

BBC Pay & Doctor Who

Steven Barnett argues that the government's move to force the BBC to unveil talent salaries was a strategy to undermine the corporation, and Jake Kanter says the figures show all BBC presenters are being paid well below than their market values. The BBC's director general says the corporation needs to do more.

Given gender gap concerns, the BBC made sure to note Doctor Who's new cast member would be paid the same as her predecessor.  About the Doctor Who casting, Lindy West offers her thoughts.

MTV's Struggle

Scaachi Koul looks at MTV's identity crisis and its attempts to recapture its relevance to youth audiences.

Confederate Reaction

Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have a post-Game of Thrones project picked up HBO, an alternate history tale of the South having won the Civil War. Controversy already abounds based on just the premise. Ira Madison III says the project sounds "stupid as hell," and Ryan McGee offers five reasons it sounds like a terrible idea.

Seacrest In

Ryan Seacrest will be back with American Idol when it returns on ABC.

Katzenberg's Entertainment Plans

Andrew Wallenstein tells us about Jeffrey Katzenberg's new short-form video series initiative. Brandon Katz says Katzenberg's mobile entertainment ideas could be revolutionary.

More Arrested Development

Marlow Stern reports on plans for the fifth season of Arrested Development, which will take on Trump.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Game of Thrones & HBO Streaming

Josef Adalian explains how Game of Thrones helped HBO to establish its streaming platform.

Moss Profile

Lacey Rose profiles Elisabeth Moss and her post-Handmaid's Tale activism.

Evolution of Adult Animation

John Hugar explores how Rick & Morty and BoJack Horseman proved to be groundbreaking for adult animation.

Al Jazeera Demand Dropped

A set Arab nations is no longer demanding that Al Jazeera be shuttered.

Walking Dead Stuntman Death Details

Jonathan Handel reports new details about the death of a Walking Dead stuntman.

PTC Goes After The Mick

The PTC has filed FCC indecency complaints over Fox's The Mick.

Kermit Kerfuffle

The voice of Kermit the Frog for the past 27 years has been fired, and Laura Bradley says the story is getting nastier with each new development.

Netflix Spending

Paul Bond covers the debate over Netflix's spending and its valuation, and Ben Weiss defends Netflix's big picture strategies. Hamza Saban looks at Netflix's challenge to movie theaters, which director Christopher Nolan has lashed out against. Nicole LaPorte has analysis of Netflix's global orientation.

Hulu Exclusives

Hulu made a deal with 20th Century Fox Television Distribution to exclusively stream a slew of classic series, including M*A*S*H and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Trump & Cable News

James Poniewozik analyzes the Trump-Fox & Friends feedback loop dynamic. Sarah Ellison covers the heat Trump has put on CNN. And Jay Rosen discusses Trump's ongoing campaign to discredit the press. In other news, Michael Wolff checks in on Fox News one year after Roger Ailes' firing.

NBC News on Snapchat

NBC News has launched a daily show on Snapchat.

Doctor Who Complaints Response

The BBC has issued an official response to those who have complained about the Doctor Who casting news.

More Mad Men at 10

Alan Sepinwall points to Mad Men as the start of the Peak TV trend ten years ago, while Todd VanDerWerff laments that Mad Men didn't change TV storytelling more. Caroline Framke highlights the show's women, and Brian Grubb looks back on Mad Men's premiere.

Scripps Merger

Scripps Networks and Discovery Communications are in merger talks, a combination which Jason Lynch says both makes sense and doesn't. Viacom is also reportedly in play for Scripps, and Brian Steinberg observes that the trend right now is to consolidate.

@midnight Ending in August

Chris Hardwick's @midnight will end on Comedy Central in August.

BBC Top Salaries

The BBC has released star salary figures, including the top 20 highest-paid stars. The figures revealed a gender gap in pay, as well as a dearth of ethnic diversity. Scott Bryan pinpoints more problematic facts from the figures. The Guardian addresses the transparency issue.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Mad Men at 10

Sonia Saraiya looks back on Mad Men ten years after its premiere: "what’s surprising is not its quality or the widespread nature of its phenomenon, but how the firmament of television around it has changed so much."

Doctor Who Casting

Una McCormack explains her delight with the new Doctor Who casting news. Lindy West also reacts.

Fandom Conference Keynote

Audio of the keynote address for the recent Fan Studies Network conference is available: Louisa Stein, "Fandom/Resistance."

Stuart Hall Revisited

Hua Hsu looks back on Stuart Hall's legacy in cultural studies.

Netflix News

Netflix is touting its subscriber growth, as international subscribers have edged out U.S. ones. Meanwhile, Netflix executives are defending recent series cancellations on the basis of risk-taking. Wall Street seems happy, as Netflix's stock soared.

TV at Comic-Con

Lesley Goldberg and Kate Stanhope preview the major TV panels at Comic-Con, which starts on Thursday.

Conservative Media News

Carlos Mazas analyzes how Fox News has tried to normalize the idea of collusion to provide support for the Trump administration, and Mark Sumner sees this going back to at least May. Meanwhile, Brian Stelter observes a rise in criticism of Trump in Rupert Murdoch's publications. And Hadas Gold reports on an internal memo in which a Sinclair executive defends his company from accusations of biased content on its station.

Ratings News

Game of Thrones came back to huge record ratings on HBO. Going the opposite direction, Megyn Kelly hit a new ratings low, which is partly because America's Funniest Home Videos just keeps trucking along on Sunday nights for ABC. The Bachelorette hit a season high last night.

Monday, July 17, 2017

New Flow Issue

Check out a new Flow featuring:

Microsoft's TV White Spaces Plan

Cecilia Kang reports on Microsoft's plan to utilize unused TV airwaves to supply broadband to rural areas. Adam Clark Estes says it's an ingenious plan but faces challenges.

CNN-Hulu Deal

Brian Steinberg reports on a new deal for CNN to bring nonfiction series and documentaries to Hulu.

Court Ruling on Cable Prices

Jon Brodkin reports on a court ruling from last week that could result in higher cable rates.

Actor Contract Negotiations

Vulture critics debate whether actor salary negotiations should be public knowledge as with athletes.

Carmichael Show Lament

John Hugar argues that NBC never gave The Carmichael Show a proper chance to succeed.

The Children's War

Ashley Rodriguez points to kids as being at the center of the streaming wars. Colin Dixon notes that Disney and the BBC are struggling there as children migrate online, and Frances Wilson looks at the BBC's attempts to reclaim them.

Summer of Reality

Michael O'Connell highlights the prevalence of reality TV programming on the networks this summer.

Sinclair Criticism

David Zurawik is critical of Sinclair for requiring stations to air pro-Trump editorial segments, some of which, he writes, "come as close to classic propaganda as anything I have seen in broadcast television in the last 30 years." Zurawik also talked about this on CNN's Reliable Sources.

The New Doctor

The BBC announced yesterday that the next regeneration of the Doctor in Doctor Who will be played by a woman, Jodie Whittaker. Fan reaction is divided, but Liz Shannon Miller is excited, and Whittaker tells fans not to fear the change.

Good TVeets

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Password Sharing

Lisa Richwine and Jessica Toonkel cover how streaming apps feel about password sharing.

Roku News

Roku is up to 15 million active subscribers and is eyeing an IPO.

Netflix Content Assets

Todd Spangler reports on Netflix's huge content assets.

MGM Under Burnett

Cynthia Littleton takes note of MGM TV's growth under Mark Burnett.

Game of Thrones Coverage

Amanda Lotz explains how Game of Thrones developed into TV's first global blockbuster. Madeline Berg traces the annual growth of Game of Thrones' audience. Sarah Hughes sees the show's influence reverberating for years to come. Frank Pallotta sees a parallel with live sports. Peter Kafka covers the big business of GoT for critics.

Good TVeets

Viewing Decisions

Alan Sepinwall questions the prevailing logic today of sticking around until a show "gets good," and James Poniewozik greenlights starting a show in the middle. The Masked Scheduler chimes in with his thoughts.

Comcast vs. iTunes

Will Richmond says Comcast's robust VOD options are liking eating into Apple's iTunes market share.

Perry + Paramount

Tyler Perry has signed a big new deal with Paramount, which will take him away from Oprah Winfrey's OWN.

Remembering Oz

Danette Chavez looks back on HBO's Oz pioneering the prestige drama formula 20 years ago, and Ethan Alter brings us an oral history of the series.

Biggest Loser (Maybe) Cancelled

Rumor has it that NBC has canceled The Biggest Loser, which Whitney Kimball sees as a very good thing.

The Walking Dead News

A stuntman died on the set of The Walking Dead after a fall. Meanwhile, Eriq Gardner reports on Frank Darabont's Walking Dead lawsuit, which is making nasty details public. Gardner also says makeup effects guru Greg Nicotero is getting a valuable new deal, which could have implications for the lawsuit.

Disney & ESPN

Noah Kiedrowski notes Disney has lessened its dependence on ESPN as its struggles, but Jonathan Berr says Disney's struggles go well beyond ESPN. Jason Damata observes that ESPN can still make brands happy by gaining viewer engagement. Alex Putterman points to Caitlyn Jenner at the ESPYs as the start of the impression ESPN has gotten too liberal.

Upfronts Analysis

Brian Steinberg explains how the networks eked out upfronts volume gains in a time of great flux, while Suzanne Vranica notes that long-term gains are in question. Meg James analyzes NBC's upfronts surge after some rough years, and Chris Ariens covers Univision's results. Jason Lynch has Turner's results. Marisa Guthrie has analysis of surprisingly good upfronts results.

Football Ads

Lucas Shaw reports that ESPN and broadcasters are confronting the football ad revenue slump, which won't be helped by Viagra and Cialis dropping out of the upcoming NFL season. Brian Steinberg reports on NBC's effort to wring big money out of Super Bowl advertisers.

Fox News Coverage

Brian Steinberg notes that Fox News has weathered the storms and is maintaining its ratings supremacy. Colby Hall says recent fractures within Fox News over Trump deserve note, as Shepard Smith called out the administration for repeated lies. Marisa Guthrie profiles the one place that will never call out Trump for lying, Fox & Friends, and Peter Beinart checks out what Tucker Carlson is doing. Marisa Guthrie and Ashley Cullins note Fox's recent swifter action on harassment claims.

AT&T-Time Warner News

Cecilia Kang and Michael J. de la Merced report on where the AT&T-Time Warner merger stands as of last week. Consumer groups are voicing their opposition to the merger. Scott Moritz reports on the organizational changes AT&T plans to make if it goes through.

Sinclair News

Sinclair is requiring its affiliates to run more segments from a conservative political analyst, while a Sinclair station in Idaho claims it mistakenly used a photo of civil rights activist Deray Mckesson on a story about a bank robbery. Meanwhile, some Sinclair shareholders hope to halt the deal.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Emmy Nominations

Emmy Nominations were announced yesterday. Lesley Goldberg breaks down the nomination numbers by series, network, and studio, while Chris Barton notes that the TV Academy's own tabulations had errors. Margaret Lyons and James Poniewozik debate the results. Michael Schneider has analysis. Brian Lowry passes judgment, as do Tim Goodman and Daniel Fienberg. Scott Feinberg says the nominations illustrate that TV is at a crossroads. Jason Lynch shares seven takeaways. Streamers garnered a lot of noms, but Lesley Goldberg notes that Netflix is leaving Amazon in the nomination dust. Steve Greene is disappointed in the tired comedy nominations. Anne Thompson highlights the diversity of nominees. Lorraine Ali says Peak TV has given Emmys voters a big challenge. Ben Travers takes note of the snubbing of The Leftovers. Emma Fraser assesses the costuming nominations.

Blog Status

I've just moved to London for the rest of the year for fall teaching, so posting here may be sporadic and at odd times for Americans. But I plan to keep it going as best I can. Thanks for keeping up with me!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Good TVeets

Saturday, July 8, 2017

The Post-TV World

Tim Goodman writes about the challenges TV critics and viewers are faced with today: "Nobody is all caught up on TV, so that means everything is evergreen. Welcome to the new consumption model."

Trump & Media

The feud between Donald Trump and CNN deepened over the last few days. Michael M. Grynbaum covers Jeff Zucker's view on it.  Callum Borchers is critical of CNN's actions over the wrestling meme maker. Adam Peck reminds us of a time when Trump was feuding with Fox News, while Fox News is relishing reporting on CNN's foibles. David Showalter profiles Trump as a reality television president. South Park's creators says they won't deal with Trump on the show next season. Marc Fisher looks at the insurgent rise of the pro-Trump channel One America News.


QVC  is acquiring home shopping rival HSN.

Hawaii Five-0 Controversy

Daniel Dae Kim posted on Facebook about his exit from Hawaii Five-0, along with co-star Grace Park. CBS claims it offered generous salary increases to Kim and Park, and the program's showrunner is defending the show and the network. But members of the Asian-American community are expressing their concerns, Sonia Saraiya says CBS made the wrong move here, and Mike Hale says the show was problematic from the start.

ABC & Fox Finish Upfronts

Catching up on news from the July 4 week:

Jason Lynch covers upfronts deals completed for Fox and for ABC.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Disney's Kids Problem

Joe Flint and Ben Fritz cover Disney's struggles as kids turn away from the company's youth channels.

Net Neutrality Support

Jon Brodkin offers suggestions for writing to the FCC in support of net neutrality rules.

Sinclair News

Sinclair has received FCC approval to buy seven TV stations, while John Oliver warned of Sinclair's conservative influence on its many local stations.

Fox Sports Firing

Fox Sports has fired its programming head as a sexual harassment investigation commences. Bryan Curtis has analysis.


SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP have agreed on a new contract, avoiding a strike.

Best Shows

Naming best shows at the midway point of the season is apparently a thing now, so I'm using this post to consolidate them. Check out 2017's so-far best lists from Richard Lawson and Joanna Robinson, Matt Zoller Seitz and Jen Chaney, Rob Sheffield, Maureen Ryan, Margaret Lyons, and critics at Decider and at IndieWire, which also lists the 20 best episodes so far.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

A Mainstream FCC

Harry A. Jessell is relieved that Donald Trump has nominated mainstream people to the FCC and not "nut-job loyalists."

American Idol's Ad Shakeup

Brian Steinberg reports on ABC's ad plan for American Idol, "pitching Madison Avenue on a new way to get involved."

The State of CBS News

The president of CBS News acknowledges that morale is down there following the rocky Pelley transition.

de Havilland Suing Over Feud

Screen legend Olivia de Havilland is suing FX over her depiction in Feud.

Making Rick & Morty

Steve Greene covers the Rick & Morty Live event, which showed how the series is made.

Colbert's Russia Trip

Laura Bradley says the Emmys are reason behind Stephen Colbert's trip to Russia

Timeless Relocates

NBC's Timeless will leave Vancouver and relocate to California due to the state's new tax incentive program.

The MTV News Experiment

Jordan Sargent assesses what went right and wrong with MTV News' longform journalism experiment.

Trump & TV

Donald Trump this morning is giving you more reasons to read this article by Jim Rutenberg: "It’s a cable news-Twitter presidency."

PLL & Social Media

Laura Prudom looks back on Pretty Little Liars' legacy of fostering social media discussion.