Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, May 25th, 2022
What a week.....
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, May 25th, 2022.
I'll be honest, it's been tough for me to focus on television today and the newsletter is running a bit late. Yesterday's shooting, on top of the Buffalo shooting, on top of....well, just everything that has happened over the past several years has just left everyone a bit shattered. There are days when it is difficult to be optimistic or to anticipate that tomorrow will be even a little bit better.
But as I am writing this, I realize that this is also the reason I love this medium. Television can transport you anywhere and sometimes where you need to be is a place that is kinder and less complicated. I wrote this piece just before the 2020 elections that highlighted some TV shows that can soothe your nerves. And if I was programming a streamer, I think that is what I would be highlighting today. Shows and movies that highlight the best of us, that are gentle and remind us of the people we all want to be.
On a related note. I try not to hawk the the paid subscription option for this newsletter more than once every few weeks. I appreciate the support from readers, but I also don't want to be one of those newsletters that constantly chimes in and asks for money.
That being said, I'm breaking that guideline today to let you know that if you are interested in shifting to a paid version of the newsletter, I will be donating 100% of the proceeds from every new subscription bought today and tomorrow to Everytown for Gun Safety. Click here to subscribe. It's something that a few of the Substack newsletters are doing and I think that every dollar we can raise will be helpful on some level.
WHEN YOU'RE A HAMMER...
While it's a cliche, I'm fond of the axiom "When you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail" because it's an attitude that is very prevalent in the entertainment media. We all have these preconceived notions or supposed facts that "everyone knows." And it's human nature to then cherry-pick facts to fit your beliefs. Or even worse, take data that isn't all that applicable and force it to support your point of view.
That is part of the reason why I am always amused when I see another "Netflix needs to drop its binge release model" or "Hulu can only survive if it's combined with Disney+" hot take. It's not that the premise is wrong. It's that the premise is being used to prove some preconceived point of the journalist.
Those of us in the media journalism commentariat tend to conflate our personal beliefs and the way we use streaming services with the behavior of the average subscriber. And as much as we like to think of ourselves as "average consumers," we are most certainly do not fit into that category.
Take, for instance, the slumping subscriber numbers that hit Netflix in its last quarter. The temptation is to look at some ideal monthly subscription fee charged by a streaming service or how much content you would personally watch & use that as a benchmark for a service's "value." But in reality, what a service is worth in the real world isn't nearly as clearly defined. The true value of subscription isn't precisely the cost, its a concept called "perceived value." This is how it's described in a business dictionary:
A customer's opinion of a product's value to him or her. It may have little or nothing to do with the product's market price, and depends on the product's ability to satisfy his or her needs or requirements.
Media industry analysts and reporters often parrot the argument that "content is king." And while content is important, a bigger factor in the success of a media business is perceived value to the customer. How valuable is the content to the customers you're targeting? Is your user interface friendly enough that it doesn't lessen the value of your content in the eyes of frustrated users? How well are your shows being promoted and how effectively are your surfacing catalog content? There are a lot of factors that go into how customers perceive the value of a streaming service. And because it's all a bit squishy & difficult to quantify on a spreadsheet, it's often overlooked by industry analysts.
For instance, subscribers numbers are important. But to a certain extent, subscriber numbers are also a lagging indicator of perceived value. The customers subscribe or cancel in large BECAUSE the price matches or is lower than their perceived value of the service. It's why the cost of Amazon Prime Video is rolled into a package that includes everything from free music to free shipping. That's the customer's perceived value of the Amazon content.
As analysts, we tend to focus a lot on the number of subscribers without parsing those figures. And because it's an easy metric, we can lose sight of a shift in perceived value in a streamer. And to be honest, attempting to make those kind of mushy determinations can be difficult from the outside. But as much as we can, I think it's important to focus less on total subscribers and more on various other metrics - churn, marketing costs, etc - that provide a more complete look at the health of a streamer.
ON THE SCENE IN ULVADE
As is generally the case after a mass shooting, the various national news organizations have dispatched substantial reporting assets to Ulvade, Texas to cover the horrific school shooting at an elementary school in Ulvade, Texas that took the lives of at least 19 students and two adults.
Here's a rundown of who is on scene:
ABC: Anchor David Muir will be anchoring ABC World News Tonight from Uvalde. Good Morning America 3 co-anchor Amy Robach, ABC News Live Prime anchor Linsey Davis, Nightline co-anchor Byron Pitts and chief national correspondent Matt Gutman will join him. And correspondent Mireya Villarreal will continue reporting from the scene.
CBS: CBS anchor Tony Dokoupil will anchor CBS Mornings and the CBS Evening News Wednesday from Uvalde. Norah O'Donnell is still out while recovering from COVID-19.
CNBC: The News With Shepard Smith will be live in Uvalde on Wednesday, with anchor Shepard Smith doing an expanded two-hour broadcast. He'll be joined by correspondents Valerie Castro and Perry Russom.
CNN: It's almost easier to mention who isn't reporting from Uvalde. The cable news network has dispatched John Berman, Alisyn Camerota, Adrienne Broaddus, Shimon Prokupecz, Jason Carroll, Ed Lavandera, Lucy Kafanov, Boris Sanchez, and Gary Tuchman. Nicole Chavez and Alaa Elassar are covering the scene for CNN Digital. Gus Valdes and Ana Maria Mejia are on the ground for CNN en Español. Mike Valerio and Chris Nguyen are there for CNN Newsource.
FOX NEWS: No anchors are scheduled to be in Uvalde, but correspondents Bill Melugin and Jeff Paul are reporting from the scene.
MSNBC: José Díaz-Balart will anchor MSNBC Reports live coverage from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. from Uvalde, and Ali Velshi will anchor the 9 p.m. ET MSNBC Prime hour from Uvalde.
NBC: Savannah Guthrie is anchoring The Today Show from Uvalde, and Lester Holt will anchor a special hour-long edition of NBC Nightly News on Wednesday from the South Texas town. They have been joined by NBC News correspondent Morgan Chesky, NBC News correspondent Gabe Gutierrez, NBC News correspondent Garrett Haake and NBC News correspondent Kerry Sanders.Tom Llamas will anchor the network’s streaming newscast, Top Story, Wednesday evening from Uvalde.
NBC NEWS NOW: I know the streaming service will have a presence there, but I was unable to get any specific info from the streamer.
ODDS AND SODS
* A Speed Racer series is in the works at Apple TV+, executive produced by J.J. Abrams.
* Speaking of J.J. Abrams, his series Demimonde is in trouble at HBO Max, apparently because the new Warner Bros Discovery overlords object to his plan to spend $200 million on the show's first season.
* The former 19 Kids & Counting star Josh Duggar has been sentenced to more than 12 years in prison over for receiving child sexual abuse material, including a video that one investigator described as among the worst he had ever seen.
* Today's 70s Song of the Day: "I Don't Like Mondays" by The Boomtown Rats
PHILO'S MOST WATCHED LIST
I love interesting data points, even when it's challenging to put them in context with other facts. vMVPD Philo has sent along a list of the TV shows and movies that were most watched on their service last week (Monday through Sunday night) and it's heavy on unscripted stuff:
Philo's Top Ten TV Shows
Basketball Wives (VH1)
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars (WE tv)
The First 48 (A&E)
Tyler Perry’s House of Payne (BET)
VH1 Couples Retreat (VH1)
Married at First Sight (Lifetime)
Teen Mom 2 (MTV)
90 Day Fiance (TLC)
SpongeBob Squarepants (Nickelodeon)
Philo's Top 5 Movies
Love & Basketball (BET Her)
Road Trip Romance (Hallmark Channel)
Romance to the Rescue (Hallmark Channel)
Stolen in Her Sleep (LMN)
WHAT'S NEW FOR WEDNESDAY
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
Expedition Unknown Season Premiere (Discovery)
Expedition X Season Premiere (Discovery)
Josh Gates Tonight Season Premiere (Discovery)
Larva Pendant (Netflix)
Marvel Studios: Assembled - The Making of Moon Knight (Disney+)
Masterchef Season Premiere (Fox)
Somebody Feed Phil Season Premiere (Netflix)
The American Rescue Dog Show (ABC)
The Great American Tag Sale With Martha Stewart (ABC)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU THURSDAY!
If you have any feedback, send it along to Rick@AllYourScreens.com and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.