Sunday, March 25, 2018


It's become untenable to keep up with the blog regularly, so I've instead turned to retweeting stories at the @N4TVM twitter feed rather than posting here. I may get back to it some day, but for now, this site has become an archive rather than an active blog.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Doctor Who Activism

Rachel Talalay describes her experience of a powerful #MeToo panel moment at the Doctor Who Gallifrey One convention. Meanwhile, a sector of the Doctor Who fandom is raising money to combat gun violence.

Standout TV Cinematography

Jake Nevins talked with cinematographers from Atlanta, Transparent, Altered Carbon, Insecure, and Glow about how they make their shows look so good.

The Bachelor's Ratings

Kate Aurthur criticizes The Bachelor for an exploitative finale, which did bring ratings results.

Life on YouTube

Joe Zadeh profiles a professional YouTuber and his daily life of online labor. And Todd C. Frankel explains why it's so hard to make a living as a YouTuber.

Epix OTT

Epix is planning to launch a standalone streaming service for its premium cable content.

Fighting For TV in the Net Neutrality Debate

Aymar Jean Christian explains why the repeal of net neutrality rules could be a death blow to independent TV creators.

Black Mirror Renewed

There will be a fifth season of Black Mirror on Netflix.

Fox News Victorious Over TVEyes

Fox News won a court ruling over a TV clip-sharing service and copyright, but there's probably more legal wrangling to come.

Talent Agency Conflicts of Interest

Following a Variety story on conflicts of interest as talent agencies move into production, the WGA West wants to drum up more information from its members.

TV & Digital Advertising

Alan Wolk calls for TV advertising to get more digitally-minded.

Roseanne's Marketing Campaign

Jason Lynch introduces us to Roseanne's nostalgia-themed marketing campaign, which includes a decked-out NYC subway train.

Univision's Upfronts

Univision is planning an immersive, experiential gathering for advertisers this year, rather than a traditional upfronts presentation.

Ad Reductions

NBCU announced a goal to cut prime-time ad loads by 20% across all of its channels. As Brian Steinberg writes: "NBCU’s commercial cutback shows the far-reaching effects the viewing habits of a rising generation of new-tech couch potatoes are having on the business of television." Will Richmond offers analysis of this move on his blog and in his podcast. Meanwhile, Fox Networks Group has also announced an ad reduction strategy, setting a target of two minutes per hour by 2020.

Sinclair's Shenanigans

Sinclair continues to amaze and astound with its latest plan to sell two stations but continue to operate them in order to get around FCC ownership rules. Sinclair is getting some pushback in Washington over its Tribune deal. Meanwhile, the company continues to scare viewers with "Terrorism Alert Desk" segments across its local stations.

de Havilland’s Lawsuit

Paul Brownfield details Hollywood legend Olivia de Havilland's lawsuit against FX and Ryan Murphy Productions and considers its larger symbolism: "Few expect her to win, but the action is nonetheless reverberating as a kind of last stand against the current bricolage approach to facts."

Escobar's Fame

Jon Lee Anderson explores how Narcos and other pop culture depictions have helped lead to problematic posthumous celebrity for Pablo Escobar.

Jane the Virgin is a No-Guilt Pleasure

Emily Nussbaum revels in the joys of Jane the Virgin and decries the "guilty pleasure" characterization.

ESPN's New President

James Pitaro is will move from heading up Disney's consumer products and interactive media divisions to being president of ESPN. One thing he'll have on his plate is a sexual harassment and discrimination suit involving anchor John Buccigross.

Oscar Ratings

Ratings for the Oscars hit an all-time low, and Josef Adalian wonders how much that really matters.

Meanwhile, Ryan Seacrest's ratings on E! plunged substantially compared to last year.

Net Neutrality in Washington State

Washington has become the first state to institute its own net neutrality rules. In the article, Cecilia Kang notes that lawsuits over the issue are certainly also on their way.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Good TVeets

Merger Scale

Bruce Tuchman explains the logic of scale behind recent merger deals like Disney-Fox, AT&T-Time Warner, and Discovery-Scripps, the latter of which just received Department of Justice clearance.

Casting Diversity in 2018 Pilots

Joe Otterson says casting for this season's pilots could be as diverse as ever before.

ACR Data & Measurement's Future

Alan Wolk explains why ACR (Automatic Content Recognition) data offers a potentially revolutionary future direction for TV measurement.

New Flow Issues

Posts from the last two issues of Flow: A Critical Forum on Media and Culture:

Issue 24.5:

Issue 24.4

Szechuan Sauce is Back

McDoanld's is back with more Szechuan sauce for Rick & Morty fans, plus a podcast as a creative way to address the previous release gone awry.

Auditioning for MasterChef

Offering revealing reality TV details, Jessie Glenn details his experience of auditioning for MasterChef.

Starz's Strategy

Curt Wagner covers the executive and programming strategies Starz has used to accrue the second-highest number of premium channel subscribers: "Starz is securing its insurgency by putting even more women and people of color in charge, with new lanes of programming aimed at Latino, millennial and LGBTQ viewers."

Engaging With The Bachelor

Hannah Jewell explores the question of if watching The Bachelor makes you dumb, both from the perspective of science (an MRI!) and in terms of cultural judgments. And Kate Aurthur considers reasons why ratings are down for the current season.

M*A*S*H* Finale Oral History

Marc Freeman offers an oral history of the legendary M*A*S*H* series finale.

Facebook Problems

Mathew Ingram delves into Facebook's threat to journalism, while Wired's Antonio García Martínez uncovers how Trump's election campaign was able to take advantage of Facebook's ad system to buy many more ads at cheaper prices than Clinton's campaign.


The New York Times is reportedly developing a TV news program.

CBS Sports News Streamer

CBS has launched a streaming service for sports news called CBS Sports HQ. Peter Kafka has analysis.

Net Neutrality Update

The FCC officially published the repeal of net neutrality rules last week, opening the way for legal challenges. Senate Democrats insist they have a viable plan to rescue net neutrality.

 Meanwhile, a federal appeals court has ruled that the FTC can regulate ISPs, a win for Ajit Pai, who  was in Barcelona yesterday defending net neutrality repeal.

Comcast Bids for Sky

Comcast has thrown a monkey wrench into Rupert Murdoch's full takeover bid of Sky by making a bigger offer for the satellite service. Mark Sweney considers what this offer might mean for Murdoch and for Disney, and Bloomberg has analysis. Fox, Disney, and Comcast shares dropped on the news, while Sky's soared. Brian Stelter analyzes the CEO thinking behind Comcast's bid.

Monday, February 26, 2018

American Idol Sponsors

Brian Steinberg reports on Macy's and Johnson & Johnson getting on board as the major sponsors of ABC's American Idol.

Sexual Misconduct Allegations

A personal stylist that Ryan Seacrest employed at E! is speaking out with sexual abuse allegations against him, while the assistant whose claims of harassment and abuse helped to usher Jeffrey Tambor out of Transparent is also talking publicly. E! and ABC are standing by Seacrest.

Also this past week, USA Today released results of a survey of women in the entertainment industry and found an overwhelming volume of experiences of assault and harassment. Late Night writer Nell Scovell discusses her experiences of sexual discrimination in the workplace. The Television Academy has announced a new code of conduct pledging zero tolerance for discrimination and harassment.

Olympics Ratings

Guess the Olympics ratings for NBC are all in how you look at it, per these headlines:

Olympic Ratings, Boosted by Streaming, Barely Stumbled in Pyeongchang

Winter Olympics Ratings Were Down From 2014, but NBC Still Dominated Its Network Competition

2018 Winter Olympics Close Out as Least-Watched on Record, Down 7% From Sochi Games

NBC's $12 billion investment in the Olympics is looking riskier

Oliver Wins

John Oliver has emerged victorious from a defamation suit brought by a coal baron, though an appeal is coming.

Reboot Economics & Pressures

Michael O'Connell outlines the economic incentives driving TV's reboot craze, while creators try to focus on making good shows. Robert Lloyd also assesses the trend.

Deals Updates

AT&T has had a setback in the legal case over its Time Warner merger review, while Wall Street apparently isn't high on the idea of CBS-Viacom getting back together.

Over in the Disney-Fox deal world, 21st Century Fox's TV outlets say they'll carry on as usual through upfronts, given how far away closure of any deal will be. But we're free to carry forth with speculation, and Jason Lynch considers how edgy FX and its CEO John Landgraf could operate under the Disney umbrella. Meanwhile, over in the UK, Rupert Murdoch is trying to shore up his Sky takeover bid by promising guaranteed support for Sky News. And then back over here in US broadcasting land, 21st plans to buy six Sinclair stations, as Sinclair tries to complete its Tribune deal. Sinclair is also looking to unload WGN.

Finally, two new deals: Imagine Entertainment has made a controlling investment in Jax Media, the company behind such shows as Broad City, Full Frontal, and Roseanne. And AMC Networks is acquiring majority control of Robert Johnson's RLJ Entertainment, which owns Acorn TV.

Fox Nation Going OTT

Fox News has announced plans for an ad-free OTT subscription streaming service called Fox Nation. Will Richmond has analysis.

Streaming Battles

Tim Goodman assesses the streaming wars between Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. John Koblin looks at Hulu's efforts to challenge the others. Scott Porch considers what Apple could bring to the table when it launches a TV slate. And Koblin covers NBC's argument that it should be part of conversations about success in the streaming universe too.

Netflix News

Netflix has announced three new Indian originals, part of big hopes for subscriber growth in that country, but Colin Dixon is skeptical of Netflix's prediction of 100 million new subscribers in India. Netflix has also signed a Middle East pay TV partnership.

Daniel Holloway considers how Netflix's Ryan Murphy deal challenges traditional TV to keep up.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Drag Race's Race Problem

Garrett Schlichte is critical of RuPaul's Drag Race and its favoring of whiteness.


Hadas Gold reports on the Justice Department's insistence that its lawsuit against AT&T-Time Warner merger is not related to Donald Trump's CNN animus.

What is John Oliver?

Brian Steinberg contends with the question: Is John Oliver a journalist?

Tambor Fired

Jeffrey Tambor is officially out of Transparent, and he's not happy about it. Indiewire critics talked about what could happen to the show without Tambor.

Ellen's Successful Shows

Michael Schneider covers Ellen Degeneres' big success as reality TV producer with Ellen's Game of Games and Little Big Shots.

Fox's Thursday Night Football Deal

John Ourand explores why Fox was willing to pay so much to snag Thursday Night Football rights.

Carpool Karaoke Renewed

Apple wants a second season of Carpool Karaoke.

Olympics Coverage

Olympics ratings started strong for NBC, indicating makegoods won't be necessary, but viewership has declined in the last few nights. Streaming is going strong, though, especially among youth audiences.

Choe Sang-hun points out that most North Koreans aren't able to watch the Olympics on TV.

Adam Rippon has become a breakout start of the Games, and Richard Lawson shares what Rippon's outspokenness as an openly gay figure skater has meant to him personally.  Chris Schleicher sees in the skating of Rippon and Canadian Eric Radford a fierce rebuttal to homophobia. Spencer Kornhaber also sees in this Olympics the power of gay visibility. Daniel Fienberg sees challenges for NBC's preferred coverage in figures like Rippon and Shaun White.

CBS Earnings Call

Les Moonves relayed good news for CBS in its latest quarterly earnings report, as well as positive OTT streaming subscription figures for both CBS All Access and Showtime.

In other CBS news, the CBS All Access comedy No Activity has been renewed for a second season.

NBC Scripted Heads

NBC has replaced Jennifer Salke, who recently departed for Amazon Studios, with Lisa Katz and Tracey Pakosta as co-presidents of scripted programming.

ER's Lesson

Oriana Schwindt has rediscovered the greatness of ER and explains what new shows could learn from it: "The real reason we don't see broadcast shows like ER anymore is that creative teams think the word 'gritty' applies to 'edgy' characters and plotlines, rather than describing the depth of the world they've built."

Hulu's Success & Losses

Jill Disis covers Hulu's success but also its concurrent financial losses.

Questions About the FCC & Sinclair

An FCC watchdog group is investigating Ajit Pai's moves to grease the wheels for Sinclair Broadcasting's expansion.

Netflix News

In the wake of the Ryan Murphy deal, Lesley Goldberg wonders who could be the next mega-producer to move over to Netflix, and James Ponewozik hopes Netflix strives for creativity, not just money.

Wayne Friedman reports on estimates of what Netflix viewership has cost networks in lost ad revenue: $3-6 billion. That is also a topic on the weekly Richmond-Dixon podcast. Lacey Rose talked with Netflix's VP of content Bela Bajaria about developing unscripted content for the service. And Netflix has actually launched a dating app featured in Black Mirror's "Hang the DJ."

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Good TVeets

Making This Close

Todd VanDerWerff talked with Josh Feldman and Shoshannah Stern, showrunners and stars of This Close, a show about deafness.

Tallying Olympics Ratings

Kevin Draper and Sapna Maheshwari detail how NBC is determining Olympics viewership given streaming options.

Guiding Amazon

Tatiana Siegel and Lesley Goldberg speculate upon Amazon Studios' future strategies now that Jennifer Salke is in charge.

YouTube TV Changes

YouTube TV is now offering Turner channels like TNT, TBS, CNN and Cartoon Network, but the subscription fee is going up too.

Talent Agencies & Conflicts of Interest

Cynthia Littleton delves into the complexities of talent agency involvement in television production, where conflicts of interest potentially lurk.

Creating Meaningful Change

Maureen Ryan talked with showrunner Glen Mazzara about creating change in Hollywood in terms of gender and racial equality and inclusion.

CW Adds Sunday

The CW will program Sunday nights starting in the fall.

Netflix News

Cynthia Littleton has new details on and industry reaction to Ryan Murphy's big Netflix deal, and Lesley Goldberg shares FX's reaction

Even as Netflix is luring away traditional TV resources, Jason Lynch reports that Netflix runs are helping to boost linear ratings of shows like Riverdale and Shameless.

In other Netflix news, Disjointed is done, while Grace and Frankie will get a fifth season.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Ryan Murphy Signs With Netflix

John Koblin reports that Ryan Murphy has signed a five-year, $300 million deal with Netflix.

ESPN's Reach Campaign

Brian Steinberg covers ESPN's launch of an ad campaign touting its reach as a platform that reaches consumers across media and not just a TV outlet.

Fallon's Fall

Alison Herman watched a week of Jimmy Fallon's show and describes it as "an exercise in watching an entertainer stick to what they do best, even as 'what they do best' no longer aligns with what the broadest possible audience wants."

Gay For Pay

Julia Himberg talked to The Advocate about her new book, The New Gay for Pay: The Sexual Politics of American Television Production, which looks at how TV both supports and exploits LGBT audiences.

Watching Old TV

Alan Sepinwall endorses rewatching older shows like ER.

Network Chiefs on This Season

Jason Lynch queried the five broadcast network chiefs about this season.

NBC Ratings & Olympics

Like a short-track speedskater in the final lap, NBC has narrowly overtaken the season lead in total viewer over CBS. Speaking of speedskaters and that lead, NBC is enjoying strong Olympics ratings early on, while This is Us benefited from delayed viewing of its post-Super Bowl episode. Meredith Blake covers the political angle of NBC's Olympics coverage.

Public Broadcasting Under Threat Again

Donald Trump would like to eliminate federal funding for public broadcasting and arts funding, but Congress likely won't move it forward. PBS's CEO has released a statement of protest.


Amol Sharma and Shalini Ramachandran report on the possibility that Comcast could resurrect its attempt to acquire 21st Century Fox assets and outbid Disney. Comcast has no comment for now. Fox Networks Group chief Peter Rice is talking.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Politics & Reality TV

An episode of a Netflix documentary series details the creation of myth of Trump as a successful businessman via The Apprentice. Former Apprentice contestant and White House employee Omarosa Manigault is now on Celebrity Big Brother and talking about Trump, which James Poniewozik says is the reality-TV politics we deserve. Meanwhile, Oliver Darcy took note of Fox News spreading a false story in Trump's favor without correction after it was debunked.

Altered Carbon, Global Hit

Tim Goodman proposes that Altered Carbon could be Netflix's first international blockbuster.

Olympics Strategies

Angela Watercutter covers NBC's social media strategy for the Winter Olympics. Tim Goodman wonders how anyone will have time to watch the Olympics with so much other content vying for our attention. The Opening Ceremony ratings were down compared to 2014 but up compared to 2016.

ESPN Streaming Service

Disney's Bob Iger shared info about the upcoming ESPN standalone streaming service. Peter Kafka thinks it will be a tough sell, while Will Richmond believes sports super-fans will be attracted.

New Amazon Chief

Amazon Studios has hired NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke to replace Roy Price. Last week, Michael Schneider detailed the questions a potential hire should be asking about the job. In other Amazon news, the company is launching a delivery service that will compete with UPS and FedEx.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Good TVeets

Friday, February 2, 2018

Merger News

CBS and Viacom are officially talking about a merger again, while Lionsgate is once again looking like a takeover target. In regard to a merger already underway, Cynthia Littleton explores questions facing Bob Iger at Disney as Fox assets come into the fold.

Pilot Trends

Lesley Goldberg is tracking pilot season trends, and with the recent announcement of Cagney and Lacey and Magnum PI returns, reboots are certainly a major trend. Josef Adalian says this isn't necessarily a bad thing, and Brian Lowry pinpoints peak TV marketing challenges as the logic behind this.

Fox Buys Thursday Night Football Rights

Fox has purchased the rights for five years of Thursday Night Football. The $3.3 billion price tag shocked analyst Michael Nathanson. Will Richmond has analysis in text form and in podcast form. As far as NFL ratings declines, Derek Thompson says the two culprits are broader TV viewership declines and the football itself.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

RuPaul's Radicalism

Jenna Wortham writes about the radicalism of RuPaul's Drag Race, "a staple of modern television for the way it skewers expectations and attitudes about gender."

Hulu's Future

Tim Goodman speculates on the future of Hulu in the wake of the Disney-Fox deal.

XFL Resurrection

Add the XFL to the list of dead properties returning, though it won't be the same as the old league, as founder Vince McMahon says it will be more family-friendly. A.J. Katz wonders what media outlets will get on board.

FCC & Net Neutrality News

AT&T's CEO has called for Congress to implement a limited net neutrality law, but Karl Bode says this is a scheme to preempt tougher rules later. Meanwhile, the state of Montana has implemented net neutrality rules, as has New York. Even Burger King is pro-net neutrality. Meanwhile, the mayor of San Jose has quit an FCC advisory council on high-speed internet access due to the heavy involvement of the telecom industry in pushing their interests. In other FCC-related news, commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel is concerned about the FCC's reduction of local ownership regulations.

Bakish & Moonves Talking

Reuters reports that Bob Bakish and Les Moonves have had exploratory talks about marrying CBS with Viacom again.

Walking Dead Lawsuits

AMC has been hit with a lawsuit from the mother of a stuntman who died on the Walking Dead set. Meanwhile, former Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont and CAA have launched a second lawsuit against AMC over withheld profits. AMC has requested a pause in the proceedings, which CAA and Darabont have fired back against.

Murphy Brown Returning

CBS will bring back the sitcom Murphy Brown for 13 episodes next season. Jeanine Poggi laments TV's revival mania.

Trump, Conservatives, and News

Fox News' Howard Kurtz argues in a new book that the news media is inadvertently boosting Donald Trump by attacking him. Conservative pundit Bill Kristol is critical of Fox News and Tucker Carlson for increasing recklessness. Media Matters' Simon Maloy covers Lou Dobb's pro-Trump propaganda.

Meanwhile, Economist survey results point to alarming Republican attitudes against the news media. And a Michigan man has been arrested for threatening to kill CNN employees.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Google Docs Detail Pay

Anonymous Google Docs have been posted detailing TV writer, assistant, and actor pay in a bid to make salaries more transparent for parity.

Fighting Against Netflix

Following TCA, Jason Lynch detailed ways in which networks and studios are trying to fight back against Netflix.

Pilots Guide

THR's pilots guide for this development year is now up. There's also Variety's Pilots/Development Scorecard.

Kelly vs. Fonda

Megyn Kelly went after Jane Fonda on her show Monday, in the wake of comments from Fonda. The View hosts are Team Fonda. This is all happening a few days after a Daily Beast report of managerial incompetence and bullying allegedly going on at Megyn Kelly Today.

Netflix Gains

Netflix touted its fourth quarter performance yesterday, with strong subscriber and revenue growth. Will Richmond calls it a grand slam powered by hit content. Netflix execs say they're not worried about Disney's upcoming streaming service, nor are they that worried about neutrality repeal given the service's large size now.

Funny or Die Layoffs

Funny or Die is the latest digital media outlet to announce job cuts.

Fox-Sky Deal Obstacle

A UK regulator has declared 21st Century Fox's plan to fully own Sky to be against the public interest. Mark Sweney details what could come next. Nils Pratley says Sky News will be central to determining the next stage. In other Murdoch news, Rupert wants Facebook to pay news retrans fees. Stephen Wilmot considers the Disney factor.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Good TVeets

The Role of Criticism

Tim Goodman reflects on the role of the critic in an era saturated with great TV, which offers an urge to not bother with bad or "ordinary" TV.

Roseanne & Trump

Roseanne executive producer Whitney Cummings explains the motivation behind exploring Trumpism in the new version of the series, while Harry Waksberg is excited about the revival but questions the logic of Roseanne and Dan being Trump voters.

Sesame Street on HBO

Troy Patterson assesses the state of Sesame Street two years into its HBO partnership.

Streaming Churn

Carol Lombardo takes note of a challenge for streaming services: keeping people subscribed once they've seen their favorite show.

New Hires

Disney has hired a former Apple exec to head up its upcoming SVOD service, while Facebook has appointed a new exec to help with its push into international sports rights,

The Good Place's Creativity

Carly Lane praises The Good Place's ability to keep reinventing itself. GQ's Karen Ho interviewed The Good Place's costume director, and Allie Tollaksen noticed significance in how Eleanor dresses.

Cable News & Median Age

A.J. Katz has 2017 figures on median age of cable news channel viewers.

The Need to Get Bigger

Recode has a great chart that helps explain why CBS and Viacom are talking merger again: they need to get bigger to compete in the current media landscape.

TCA Takeaways

Variety details ten things its reporters learned at TCA.

Amazon's Cancellations

Josef Adalian explores reasons why Amazon just canceled three comedies. Pilot Viruet laments the loss of the queer gem One Mississippi. Ann-Derrick Gaillot also believes Amazon is making a big mistake.

Freeform News

Lesley Goldberg checks out Freeform's new branding efforts. Also part of Freeform's future will be a second season of Grown-ish.

Black-ish Salaries

Tracee Ellis Ross is speaking out about the disparity between her paycheck and Anthony Anderson's for Black-ish and threatening to limit her appearances on the show.

Update: Ross has tweeted a denial of the above report.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Trump & the News

Donald Trump revealed his "fake news" awards last night, though it was really just a list of reporting errors that outlets corrected. In response to Trump's list, the Committee to Protect Journalists released a list of Press Oppressor awards, where Trump was runner-up. Susan Murray says his whole awards charade shows the danger of Trump seeing his presidency as a reality TV show.

In related news, there are new studies on the degradation of trust in the news media, like a Knight Foundation report called American Views: Trust, Media, and Democracy and a Rand Corporation report titled Truth Decay: An Initial Exploration of the Diminishing Role of Facts and Analysis in American Public Life.

The AP reports on the alternative reality Trump has created around his presidency.  Brian Stelter literally counted how much Trump has used the word "fake," almost always in terms of the news media.

As news has emerged of an alleged sexual relationship and payoff between Trump and an adult-film actress, there's word that Fox News had the story before the election and shelved it, and Paul Farhi question why no one went with the story when they had it last year. One story we'll apparently get more of: Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury book is being adapted for TV.

Breaking Bad Oral History

Esquire has an oral history of Breaking Bad.

Lear Interview

Matt Zoller Seitz interviewed Norman Lear about family TV shows.

Gender Pay Gap

Tatiana Siegel looks at how actresses are speaking out about their salaries to bring more attention to the gender pay gap, and Rebecca Sun offers ways women in Hollywood can negotiate better deals.

Goodbye Spike, Hello Paramount Network

Spike TV has shuffled off this mortal cable coil and is now the Paramount Network. It did not leave quietly, with stunts on Facebook and Twitter. EW's Darren Franich offers a requiem for Spike.

Lindelof Deal

Damon Lindelof is extending his stay at Warner Bros. with a new overall deal.

Press Tour Reflections

Daniel Fienberg names shows that helped themselves at TCA and those that didn't. He previously wrote about AMC's "prestige popcorn" approach that was discussed at TCA.

CBS-Viacom News

Shari Redstone is reportedly pushing for CBS merger talks, as well as new CBS board members, which is drumming up tension within Viacom.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Amazon Cancellations

Amazon has announced three cancellations: I Love Dick, One Mississppi, and Jean-Claude Van Johnson.

Wiig Show for Apple

Apple has picked up a 10-episode comedy series starring Kristen Wiig, its third series with Reese Witherspoon as producer.

NAACP Image Awards

The NAACP handed out its annual Image Awards Monday night; TV winners included black-ish, Power, and Insecure.

Actress Salaries

In a compelling statement to THR, Ellen Pompeo discusses how she persevered against the industry's power dynamics to become prime-time drama's highest paid actress. And Lesley Goldberg covers how Big Little Lies' lead actresses negotiated big paydays for season two. Meanwhile, Rebecca Sun details how black women in Hollywood experience an even wider pay gap than their white counterparts.

Today News

Today is getting a new executive producer, the first woman to hold that top job for the show's opening hours. And former Today host Ann Curry told CBS This Morning she wasn't surprised by the Matt Lauer allegations.

9-1-1 Renewed

Fox has renewed 9-1-1 for a second season following a strong debut.

Lionsgate's a Takeover Target

Deadline reports that Amazon, Verizon and CBS and/or Viacom are eyeing Lionsgate as an acquisition.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Major Crimes Questions

Maureen Ryan has questions about how Major Crimes wrapped up, particularly in regard to the main star's treatment.

TiVo Sues Comcast

TiVo has sued Comcast over DVR patents.

Vietnam War Doc & History

Colleen Flaherty presents academic historian concerns about the critical perspective of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's Vietnam War documentary.

Call the Midwife & Social Issues

Erica Wagner delves into how Call the Midwife has covered radical social issues, and Hannah Hamad discusses recent representations of intersectionality on the series.

Black-ish Ad Deal

Brian Steinberg reports on what's behind a scene in Tuesday's Black-ish episode in which characters discuss a Proctor & Gamble short film.

NFL Ratings

Alex Putterman reports on low ratings for the NFL's playoff games this weekend.

Trump's Fox News Safe Space

Gabriel Sherman discusses the affinity between Donald Trump and Fox News.

Altice Changes Course

Altice announced a major reorganization last week, splitting the company into separate US and European divisions. Nick Kostov has analysis of the move.

#MeToo and the Writers Room

Michael O'Connell relays concerns about how a cautious climate in the wake of the #MeToo movement could affect TV show writers rooms.

Fake News Field Guide

The Public Data Lab has posted A Field Guide to Fake News and Other Information Disorders, which Poynter describes as like a cookbook for fake news, containing "a number of 'recipes' for tracing things like trolling practices, the circulation of viral memes and the financial incentives that hold it all together."

Models & Stratgies

Will Richmond questions what Apple's original programming model will be given that it doesn't already have an SVOD, membership, or advertising service like the dominant streaming services.

Joe Flint reports on HBO touting the value of its limited development model over Netflix's content stockpiling approach.

Coverage of execs talking about their channel models at TCA: Turner, Paramount Network, AMC/SundanceTV, E!, Sony Crackle (which is the new name for Crackle), and TLC.

Walking Dead Renewed With New Showrunner

Lesley Goldberg reports on new creative oversight at The Walking Dead with the series renewed for a ninth season.

Daytime Flux

Cynthia Littleton discusses the challenging state of the local daytime first-run syndication marketplace right now.

Curse Words on TV

It's been a big week for curse words on TV, as Donald Trump made news outlets debate whether or not to say "shithole" on the air. The FCC actually received complaints over use of the word on NBC and CNN (which the FCC has no jurisdiction over as far as content). Cable news also chatted about Trump's racism, and late-night hosts went to town on his remarks. Margaret Sullivan discusses the media reaction.

Meanwhile, on Saturday Night Live, Sam Rockwell said the F-word, and Brian Steinberg has analysis of recent instances of profanity on SNL and whether they're worth concern.

Harmon Apology

After being confronted by Megan Ganz on Twitter, Dan Harmon apologized on his podcast for sexually harassing her when they worked on Community. Ganz has accepted the apology and says she feels vindicated. Caroline Framke praises the apology as a self-reckoning. SorryWatch also has analysis.

ER on Hulu

Hulu made a big splash at TCA with the announcement that the streaming service now offers all 15 seasons of ER. Colin Dixon and Will Richmond talked Hulu on their weekly podcast.

Lady Dynamite Canceled

Netflix has decided it's done with Lady Dynamite, which got two seasons.

Fox Wants Sinclair Stations

Rupert Murdoch is reportedly trying to buy ten Sinclair stations, which happen to be located in big football markets. Meanwhile, the FCC has paused its review of Sinclair's Tribune purchase to give Sinclair more time to get in compliance with ownership rules.

Viacom + CBS

Viacom and CBS are reportedly eyeing a merger deal again, a rumor which shot their stocks up.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Disney/ABC News

Lacey Rose covers ABC entertainment chief Channing Dungey's session at TCA. Todd VanDerWerff considers the role FX could play at Disney.

What To Watch For in 2018

Richard Greenfield lists eighteen media events and predictions to watch for in 2018, and Amanda Lotz explains the likely results of deregulation in the coming year. Ben Travers looks ahead to Netflix's 2018 strategies.

This is Us Ad Deal

NBC and State Farm have partnered on commercials for the insurance company made in the style of This is Us.

Shonda Rhimes at TCA

Lesley Goldberg covers Shonda Rhimes' session at TCA. Jim Halterman shares into on the upcoming Grey's Anatomy spinoff.

Roseanne on Trump

Roseanne Barr spoke at TCA about her support for Donald Trump and justified how it will be incorporated into the new Roseanne. Todd VanDerWerff has analysis.

Hulu News

Hulu now has 17 million subscribers and claims it can offer over 75,000 episodes of TV to them. But episodes of Chance will stop at 20, as Hulu has canceled the Hugh Laurie series. Hulu's ad revenue for 2017 topped $1 billion.

Senate Net Neutrality Bill

Enough senators have signed on to a bill blocking the FCC's net neutrality repeal for it to move forward to a vote, though it likely won't muster enough Republican support to pass.

BoJack Being Shopped

Netflix is seeking a cable syndication home for BoJack Horseman.

TBS Drops C.K. Show

TBS won't move forward with an animated comedy created by Louis C.K. following his sexual harassment allegations.

Trump & TV Viewing

Andrew Marantz covers the relationship between Fox & Friends and Donald Trump. And Jonathan Swan details Trump's schedule, which appears to have lengthy chunks blocked off for TV viewing and doesn't start until he's watch cable news in the morning.

Oprah's Speech

The biggest takeaway from the Golden Globes wasn't the winners but Oprah WInfrey's speech. James Poniewozik outlines what politicians could learn from her whether she runs for president or not. Dahlia Lithwick says we should understand her speech as telling us we need to act, not wait for her to save us.

About the rest of the ceremony, Poniewozik highlights the "woke" elements, and Mark Harris assesses the night of activism. Jenna Wortham laments empty red carpet gestures.

Ratings Bits

Some ratings headlines: Golden Globes ratings were down a bit from last year, while College Football Playoff games on ESPN were up. The Chi can tout a solid start on Showtime, while The X-Files is crashing.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Good TVeets

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Talent Agencies & Harassment

Susan Cheng covers actor anger at talent agencies over sexual harassment.

CBS Defamation Suit Going Forward

A judge declined to dismiss a defamation lawsuit against CBS from JonBenet Ramsey's brother.

Showtime at TCA

Michael O'Connell covers what we learned from Showtime boss David Nevins at TCA yesterday.

Net Neutrality Legal Fight

Cecilia Kang says a group of big tech companies including Netflix are planning a legal fight against the FCC"s net neutrality repeal.

Facebook's Problem

John Battelle says Facebook can't fix its fundamental problems, because they stem from its core business model, data-driven advertising funding.

BBC Salary Controversy

A senior journalist has quit the BBC and addressed license fee payers, saying she's leaving because of a "secretive and illegal pay culture" in regard to gender.

Covering Red Carpet Fashion

Constance Grady talked with the Fug Girls about red carpet fashion and political activism. Tonight's Golden Globes will bring #MeToo activism.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Good TVeets

New Conservative News Network

Ryan Mac and Steven Perlberg report Peter Thiel is talking with the Mercer family about starting a conservative cable news outlet to compete with Fox News.

Walking Dead Fine

OSHA has levied the maximum possible fine (which is only $12,675) against the Walking Dead's production company over the death of a stunt man.

Good Girls Revolt Dead

Nellie Andreeva reports that the effort to sell Good Girls Revolt to another outlet after its Amazon cancellation has fizzled out.

Reduced-Ad CBS All Access on Amazon Channels

CBS All Access will be available in a reduced-ad version for a higher monthly fee on the Amazon Channels platform.

Game of Thrones Back in 2019

You'll have to wait awhile to get your next Game of Thrones fix, as the series won't return until 2019. Also announced were the final episodes' writers and directors, and on Twitter, Maureen Ryan highlighted the dearth of women in those positions through the show's run.

The Mayor Canceled

ABC is pulling The Mayor from the schedule and won't pick up additional episodes.

Cable News Out at Life Time Fitness

The Life Time Fitness chain is dropping all cable news from its TV sets based on member requests and its philosophy of healthy living.

Trump's Fox News Viewing

Matthew Gertz has the most detailed account yet of how Donald Trump's tweeting is fueled by his heavy Fox News viewing.

Net Neutrality News

The FCC has released the full text of its final order on repealing net neutrality, which took 539 pages to do. Meanwhile, some states are gearing up to institute their own net neutrality rules.

Letterman's Lineup

David Letterman's guests on his upcoming interview show for Netflix will be Barack Obama, George Clooney, Malala Yousafzai, JAY-Z, Tina Fey, and Howard Stern.

Animaniacs Revival

Hulu has ordered two seasons of a new Animaniacs series.

Charter Original Content

Cable operator Charter is moving forward on producing original content with the hire of Katherine Pope to oversee all original programming.

More Harassment Fallout

Due to harassment and/or assault allegations, Ed Westwick's role in a BBC Agatha Christie drama will be reshot, UTA has dropped Danny Masterson, and Donovan McNabb and Eric Davis have been let go by ESPN.

TCA News

Fox network execs talked at TCA yesterday about forging ahead without 21st Century Fox in the wake of the Disney deal, and Daniel Fienberg says they revealed no nervousness. But Todd VanDerWerff sees a murky future. Ryan Murphy also shared his thoughts on the Disney acquisition.

FX's John Landgraf took the TCA stage today and shared his annual Peak TV tally: 487 original scripted series aired in 2017. Landgraf also said an FX investigation into shows Louis CK worked on turned up no harassment evidence.

The CW's Mark Pedowitz will skip TCA this time.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A&E-Verizon Deal

Todd Spangler reports on a Fios TV content deal between Verizon and A&E Networks.

Harmon Apologizes

Katie Kilkenny covers a Twitter exchange between Community showrunner Dan Harmon and staff writer Megan Ganz, in which the former apologized to the latter over mistreatment during their time together on the show.

Pedowitz Contract Extended

The CW will keep boss Mark Pedowitz around for longer.

Trump's Fox News Viewership

Matthew Yglesias reports on Donald Trump's apparent heavy reliance on Fox News as an information source.

The Fosters to End, Then Spin Off

The Fosters will end its run this summer, and then Freeform will spin off a new series from a pair of its characters.

Kotb's Salary

Brian Steinberg explains why Hoda Kotb won't be making anywhere near Matt Lauer's old salary in taking over for him on Today.

TCA Time

The TCA's Winter Press Tour begins tomorrow with Fox executives facing questions about their network's future. Michael O'Connell details the three big topics TV chiefs will have to address across the fortnight's schedule. Jason Lynch cites seven questions that will come up.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Fox News Exec Interview

Jeremy Barr sat down with Fox News' president of news programming to chat about cable news in 2017.

Netflix Was Best in 2017

Jen Chaney argues Netflix surpassed all other TV outlets in 2017 in supplying terrific scripted shows.

YouTube Star Controversy

YouTube star Logan Paul is being denounced for a video post about Japan's so-called suicide forest that included footage of him finding a dead body. Pajiba's Courtney Enlow offers thoughts. Richard Lawson says the YouTube/online culture Logan Paul represents is what should worry us.

Concerns about Consolidation & Public Interest

Matt Brennan looks ahead to 2018 with concern given the TV consolidation and deregulatory moves of 2017 and calls on American citizens to demand accountability for the public interest.

Starz vs. Altice

Starz and Altice have hit a carriage negotiation stalemate.

Apple-Netflix Prediction

Citi analysts think there's a decent chance Apple could acquire Netflix with cash it will repatriate to the US in the wake of the new tax bill.

Disney-Fox Deal

Brooks Barnes and Sydney Embers offer more reporting on the Disney-Fox deal, adding news that Verizon was initially interested in Fox and that Rupert Murdoch is partly driven by a family succession plan.

Hollywood Harassment

Cara Buckley reports on the announcement of a new initiative called Time's Up, backed by more than 300 women in Hollywood and geared toward fighting systemic sexual harassment in the industry and other workplaces. Dana Goodyear delves into the Hollywood harassment reckoning. Christina Cauterucci is skeptical about the possibility for Time's Up to make a difference.

Cancellation & Renewal

Showtime has cancelled White Famous after one season, while Netflix wants a second season of Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It.

Kotb Replacing Lauer

Hoda Kotb will replace Matt Lauer on Today. Brian Steinberg highlights the distinction of the show having all-women anchor lineup.

Monday, January 1, 2018

My 50ish Favorite Good TVeets of 2017

See the previous post for a goodbye to the Best TVeets series of posts and the full list of the year's best TVeets. Click below for my 50 or so favorites among them.

Best Good TVeets of 2017

This is very likely to be the last of these posts. TV has changed, Twitter has changed, and life has changed, such that it's no longer practical for me to collect enough funny TV tweets every day to record a snapshot of a year.

This isn't the best way to go out, as this collection of tweets doesn't really capture the year in TV. I only had entries for less than half of the year, and I was asleep during US prime time for five months of it, so the end result is that this collection of best TVeets from 2017 is mostly about Donald Trump rather than our collective TV viewing. (Consider that a trigger warning if you're deciding whether or not to proceed with reading.) But I offer it for the historical record nonetheless.

I might do the occasional Good TVeets post in 2018 if events warrant, but Storify, which I use to catalogue the tweets, is shutting down in May, so it seems like a fitting time to end this thing too. To anyone who ever read a Good TVeets post, thank you for indulging me in this strange pastime. To those who helped me with picking best TVeets in the past or who gathered together in the name of Good TVeets, you have my eternal gratitude and love. I will miss it, along with the TV, Twitter, and life era it represented. (And though Storify is eliminating all its posts when it shuts down, I do now have all the past TVeets posts archived, thanks to the computing genius of Kevin Li, so if anyone ever wants a renewed taste of how we tweeted about Scandal in 2013, let me know.)

After the jump, I have the full year's collection of my favorite TVeets from the year, hundreds of them. If you prefer a much shorter version, the next post will have my favorite 50ish TVeets.

Also, if you're really looking to kill time today, here are links to all the past Best TVeets of the year posts: 2010, 2011, 2012 Top 40 and complete list, 2013 Top 40 and complete list, 2014 Top 40 and complete list, 2015 Top 40 and complete list, 2016 Top 50 and complete list.

Read the best Good TVeets of 2017 list after the jump!