Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, May 9th, 2022
To paraphrase James Carville, "it's the marketing, stupid"
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, May 9th, 2022.
CONTENT DISCOVERY IS CHALLENGING. BUT IT'S ALSO NOT ROCKET SCIENCE
One of the arguments you hear in nearly every piece written about streaming is that there is too much new stuff. And it's too hard to find the good stuff. So the only possible solution is to make fewer shows.
But as I continue to argue, another solution is to actually effectively market the programs you're making. And yes, making content discovery easier for viewers isn't an easy task. But it isn't rocket science, either. There are plenty of ways that content can be pushed within the marketing and PR means that are currently available. Someone just needs to take ownership of the process and make sure that it gets done.
As an example, let's use tonight's season finale of NBC's musical competition series American Song Contest. It supposed to be NBC's equivalent to Eurovision and in fact, Peacock has recently picked up the U.S. rights to Eurovision. So in theory, cross-promotion between NBC and Peacock should haver been a slam dunk.
And yet, I've never seen one bit of promotion on Peacock for American Song Contest at any point during the season. Yes, the show has not done well in the ratings, but one way of perhaps turning that around would have been some targeted marketing. Especially after Comcast executives continue to tout their supposed ability to treat streaming and linear television as one big pot that can be cross-pollinated and marketed easier than is the case with stand-alone streamers.
If you visited Peacock's home page today, the first thing you see is a promo for Bravo's The Real Housewives Of Atlanta, which has new episodes each Monday. And I don't have a problem with that, it makes sense to highlight that series up top. But none of the other six windows in that top promo slideshow mention any NBC series.
But about Peacock's "TV Shows" vertical?
That section is promoting Peacock originals Girls5Eva (which has new episodes on Thursdays), So Dumb It's Criminal (ironically starring American Song Contest co-host Snoop Dogg), The Real Housewives Of Atlanta, The Amber Ruffin Show, Murder She Wrote and the upcoming Peacock series Firestarter. Nothing about American Song Contest. Or New Amsterdam, which is returning tonight with new episodes.
The sad thing about this is that in the case of most of the NBC lineup, even the smallest increase in new viewers would have a noticeable impact on the show's ratings. And yet, NBC shows tend not to get highlighted on Peacock, other than Saturday Night Live and the occasional mention of Young Rock.
And that lack of promotion even extends to Peacock's promotional email blasts. This is an email I received today. See if you can notice what is missing:
If I had a show at NBC, this would drive me nuts. Sure, American Song Contest and New Amsterdam are being promoted on NBC.com and in the NBC app. But that is the marketing equivalent of preaching to the choir. The audiences for NBC programming and Peacock does have overlap. But there are a lot of Peacock users who aren't regularly watching NBC for whatever reason. And those are the people that might be tempted by a Peacock promo effort.
I don't know the specific reasoning for the decisions on what shows are or aren't receiving promotional juice at Peacock. I do know that there are a number of conflicting teams at NBCU and each of them has its own metrics to hit. And from what I can tell, the NBC priorities have less influence than some of the other ones in consideration.
SPEAKING OF CONTENT DISCOVERY
vMVPD Philo has just added a new feature which I think is super helpful. When you sign onto Philo, you see a pop-up window that lets you know the new season of a show you have previously added to your list is available for streaming.
It's not a complicated idea, but since it only focuses on shows that you were previously interested in, the value of the reminder to subscribers should be relatively high.
INSIDE THE COLLAPSE OF THE BLACK NEWS CHANNEL
Mediaite has a really fascinating look at the collapse of the Black News Channel, a company that pitched itself as the "Black CNN," even though it reportedly averaged just 4,000 viewers in 2021:
Behind the scenes, the network had bigger issues arising. One woman who appeared on-air got so fed up with her treatment that she threatened to resign – and ultimately did – if she had to keep working with one male programming staffer, Mediaite has learned. More allegations of harassment, hostile work environment, and inappropriate remarks would be reported to network management, including several that resulted in lawsuits.
“It felt like we went to work everyday with boxing gloves on,” said one contributor.
After multiple meetings between executives and female staff about the prevalence of harassment were held, Hair planned a virtual “town hall” meeting. But the town hall — which ended up being pre-recorded, with only anchor Sharon Reed asking him questions — didn’t satisfy staff concerns.
Granted, I was not the target audience for the network. But my take after watching it a few times was there wasn't anything especially compelling about the programming. Which is a problem if you are trying to build an audience from scratch.
NETFLIX ANNOUNCES A NUMBER OF COMEDY SPECIALS
The "Netflix Is A Joke" festival just wrapped up and earlier today the streamer announced a number of premiere dates for specials filmed during the festival. Two notable exceptions: a premiere date hasn't been announced for Gabriel "Fluffy" Iglesias playing a sold out show at Dodger Stadium and Dave Chappelle's set which included him being attacked onstage. Chappelle's set was never planned to be released by Netflix. The comedian did have a camera crew film the set, but it's not clear what the plans are for the footage. Here is a rundown of the upcoming Netflix comedy specials:
May 19 - The Hall: Honoring the Greats of Stand-Up, an evening to celebrate some of the greatest stand-ups of all time who are no longer with us. John Mulaney honors Robin Williams, Dave Chappelle honors Richard Pryor, Chelsea Handler honors Joan Rivers and Jon Stewart honors George Carlin.
June 6 - Bill Burr Presents: Friends Who Kill, a showcase featuring stand-ups curated by Burr.
June 7 and 12 - That’s My Time with David Letterman, each of the six episodes spotlights one comedian, including a 5-minute stand-up set and conversation with Letterman.
June 9 - Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration, the largest-ever gathering of LGBTQ+ comics.
June 10 - A Tribute to Bob Saget, a celebration of Bob’s life in comedy with his friends and family.
June 11 - Amy Schumer's Parental Advisory, a showcase featuring stand-ups curated by Schumer.
June 13 - Pete Davidson Presents: The Best Friends, a multi-comic special hosted and curated by Davidson.
June 14 - Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin: Ladies Night Live, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda introduce an all-female lineup of comedians.
June 16 - Snoop Dogg’s F*cn Around Comedy Special, original comedy from Snoop, along with sets from legendary black comedians performing at the festival.
June 23 - Best of the Festival, highlights from throughout the 11-day event.
TWEET OF THE DAY
ODDS AND SODS
* CBS has renewed all three hit FBI dramas—FBI, FBI: International and FBI: Most Wanted—for two additional seasons, beginning with the 2022-23 broadcast season.
* The CW has licensed the rights to six series from Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution to stream under the CW Seed banner on the new, CW App. Bunheads, Emergence and Sleepy Hollow are available now, with Salem, Scream Queens and Wayward Pines becoming available on June 1st.
* Amazon is not picking up Jack Ryan for a fifth season. Which is not a huge shocker, given that series star John Krasinski had only signed onto the show for four seasons. Season three of the series premieres in November and season four is currently in production.
* For the first time since 2019, Fox News will host the Fox & Friends All-American Summer Concert Series. The 14th installment of the series starts on Friday, May 27th, and will feature Flo Rida, Kool & The Gang and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
WHAT'S NEW FOR MONDAY
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
BBQ Brawl Season Premiere (Food)
Breeders Series Premiere (FX)
Candy Series Premiere (Hulu)
Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045 Sustainable War (Netflix)
Independent Lens: When Claude Got Shot (PBS)
Sesame Street: Mecha Builders Series Premiere (Cartoonito/Cartoon Network)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU TUESDAY!
If you have any feedback, send it along to Rick@AllYourScreens.com and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.