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!