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Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, July 29th, 2022
Some 'American Horror Story' fan accounts are going on strike. And HBO Max is bailing on live action family programming.
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday July 29th, 2022.
WHAT IS THE PROPER ROLE FOR 'UPDATE ACCOUNTS' IN THE WORLD OF MARKETING AND PROMOTION?
For better or worse, we're all familiar with the sometimes toxic role hard-care fans play on social media. For every fan who writes about a show or movie with insight and excitement, there seems to be another fan who rants about perceived creative "mistakes," personally attacks actors and crew, and basically makes everyone associated with the project fear logging on.
But then there are also the so-called "update accounts" and these fall into a weird semi-official category. They are unofficial social media accounts run by volunteers and fans. They post updates and news items gleaned from other sources. They discuss the actor's other projects, charity events and anything that might be of interest to fans of the show.
These accounts can be widely read and very influential when it comes to mobilizing a fanbase. That has been especially been the case in the music industry, where artists such as Taylor Swift and Beyonce have given exclusive nuggets to update accounts and used their followers to hype upcoming projects.
Update accounts are also increasingly important in the TV world. CBS made some efforts to reach out to social media accounts covering Ghosts and last week at San Diego Comic Con, Amazon invited a bunch of Lord of the Rings superfans to a brunch with the stars of the new Rings of Power show.
Given the natural synergy between update accounts and the shows they cover, it's been somewhat surprising to see a group of accounts devoted to the FX anthology series American Horror Story announce this week that they were going on strike. They complain that FX and Ryan Murphy have essentially gone dark about the upcoming season, much less any of the previous seasons. And given that lack off effort - the accounts argue - why should they struggle to scrape together content to keep the fanbase interested? And it's even more frustrating to try and cover a franchise with a diminishing fanbase when the people creating the series don't seem to care about.
I don't usually repost an entire thread, but I think this brings up a lot of interesting points:
I've reached out to FX to get a comment about this, but my general impression is that Ryan Murphy is kind of weary of the franchise and doesn't seem to be emotionally invested in it as much in recent years. And the show is no doubt a lesser priority for FX. Although in both cases, it just seems to me that if you have something to promote, you should do so. Even if it's not as high priority any longer. Any show that has a dedicated fanbase should put forth at least a minimal effort to keep them engaged.
HBO MAX DECIDES ITS NOT IN THE LIVE-ACTION KIDS AND FAMILY PROGRAMMING BUSINESS
Slightly more than a month after it premiered, HBO Max announced on Friday that it canceling The Gordita Chronicles, which centers on a 12-year-old Dominican girl (Oliva Goncalves) in 1980s Miami. The quick cancelation is a bit surprising, but the biggest stunner was the statement given to The Hollywood Reporter by the streamer:
“Live-action kids and family programming will not be part of our programming focus in the immediate future, and as a result, we’ve had to make the very difficult decision to end Gordita Chronicles at HBO Max,” the statement reads. “The series earned critical acclaim and a loyal following, and we are proud to have worked with creator Claudia Forestieri and our two powerhouse executive producers, Eva Longoria (who also masterfully directed the pilot) and Zoe Saldaña, to bring Cucu’s journey to the screen. We thank them and the talented cast and crew for creating such a heartfelt, groundbreaking show that connected deeply with a very important demographic.”
A very important demographic that apparently isn't very important to HBO Max. From a PR standpoint, this statement is a bad idea. Yes, Zaslav and the Scooby Gang are making a point of very publicly highlighting all of the strategic moves they ar making to focus on the genres and topics they believe are important. But even if you don't care about live action kids and family programming, why highlight that for subscribers? Why not just send out one of those mealy-mouthed "We've decided not to move forward with another season" boilerplate press releases that are typically sent out in these cases?
It seems to have been done in a way that highlights the change in programming strategy. A change I believe is a mistake, btw. I don't think any major streamer can afford to step away from this type of programming. It's fine not to make it a priority. But given the success Netflix (and to a lesser extent, Disney) are having with the genre, there certainly seems to be an eager audience for it.
I'VE HAD A BOSS OR TWO LIKE THIS
The Hollywood Reporter posted an interview yesterday with former Warner Bros. President and Chairman of Walt Disney Studios Alan Horn.
The 79-year-old has come out of retirement to be a consultant for David Zaslav at Warner Bros. Discovery. Now aside from the consideration of whether a 79-year longtime Hollywood executive is the type of person you should hire to help consult for a business trying to rework its entire business model, I thought this exchange gives a hint of his priorities in the boss/employee relationship at the office:
Will you be going into the office?
I have a continued concern about COVID and David has graciously said, “No problem, work from home for a month or two, see how it goes.” There’s no pressure. I’m being careful about being around people. I haven’t gotten COVID yet. My wife has not gotten COVID. It’s just COVID, or I would take an office there immediately. My assistant is going to take an office there right away, but he’s a much younger man.
Geez, thanks, boss. Although to be fair, when you're 79, a lot of people in the office might be considered "a much younger man." And I say that as someone who is not exactly a young person.
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AN INTERESTING LITTLE NETFLIX COMMENT
I'm a regular reader of the Garbage Day newsletter and this paragraph about Netflix caught my eye:
After I wrote that piece, I was contacted by a former script coordinator for a Netflix comedy that aired on the streamer across 2015-2016. They told me it was a moment when the company was optioning a lot of content and the general vibe from executives was to have fun and experiment and make something you really cared about. But they also told me that at no point did they ever have any idea what their viewership numbers were. They were given one metric, though. How many people stopped watching or kept watching the season after the first episode.
A couple of things about this struck me. It's presented as some somewhat surprising fact about Netflix, but I suspect it's common knowledge to people who cover the streamer on a regular basis.
Honestly, I think that the completion metric is the one that should mean the most to Netflix. A show that has 20 million viewers completing a series is much more valuable to Netflix that a show that has 70 million people watch episode one, but half of them never watch another episode. This is one reason why I take "viewer" numbers with a healthy skepticism. It's certainly interesting to know how many minutes of a movie or TV show has been consumed and compare that data to other shows and movies.
But the raw viewing number doesn't provide any of the data that really matters: how many people completed it? And how many of those people watched it in one viewing, or over a 24-72 hour period? That's the real measure of success and when you combine that with the budget, you can put together a reasonably accurate estimation of a show or movie's level of "success."
TWEET OF THE DAY
ODDS AND SODS
* A Max Headroom reboot with Matt Frewer is under development at AMC and this is one reboot I am excited to see. I've always thought the show was perfect for another go-round and rewatching the episodes recently, I was struck by how distinctive it was. Not just in subject matter but also in its visual style.
* USA Network's new NASCAR series Race For The Championship premieres Thursday, September 1st. Over 10 episodes, the season will tell the story of the 2022 NASCAR Cup season and playoffs.
* Broadway on Demand has announced that it will launch a FAST (Free Ad-Supported TV) service, which will exist alongside the existing paid streaming platform. The FAST version of Broadway on Demand will be featured on seven platforms at launch, including Local Now, with a goal of 20 million homes by the end of the summer.
* For your weekend reading pleasure: the best Emo songs from every year - 1985 to the present.
WHAT'S NEW FOR FRIDAY
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
A Balance (Film Movement+)
Amber Brown Series Premiere (Apple TV+)
Belle Collective (OWN)
Case Closed: Zero's Tea Time (Netflix)
Clash Of Killers: Great White Vs Mako (Discovery)
Do, Re & Mi (Prime Video)
Fanatico Series Premiere (Netflix)
Honor Society (Paramount+)
Jaws Vs. The Blob (Discovery)
Love After Lockup Season Premiere (WE tv)
Masaba Masaba (Netflix)
Not Okay (Netflix)
NYC Point Gods (Hulu)
Paper Girls Series Premiere (Prime Video)
Purple Hearts (Netflix)
Ready To Love Season Premiere (Discovery)
Rebel Cheer Squad: A Get Even Series (Netflix)
Shark Women: Ghosted By Great Whites (Discovery)
Super Sized Salon Series Premiere (WE tv)
Surface (Apple TV+)
The Beauty Queen Of Jerusalem Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
The Entitled (Netflix)
The Great Hammerhead Stakeout (Discovery)
The Reef: Stalked (Shudder)
The Wrong Inside Man (LMN)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU MONDAY!
If you have any feedback, send it along to Rick@AllYourScreens.com and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.