Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, November 4th, 2022
If my teenager is the future of television, we're all in trouble.
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, November 4th, 2022.
IF THE FUTURE OF TV IS IN THE HANDS OF PEOPLE LIKE MY TEENAGE SON. WE'RE SCREWED
You probably read a lot of pieces explaining how differently people under 18 view television. But you have no idea just how little they care about traditional linear television until you spend some time living with a teenager.
My 17-year-old Sam lives in a house with an abnormal amount of viewing options. Between subscriptions I pay for and others provided for press purposes, our household has access to 20+ SVODS, plus Hulu Live TV and Philo.
Despite all of those options, he probably spends 80% of his time on YouTube. He watches endless game show fail videos, gaming cheats and all of the other expected teenage stuff. He's a sports fan and watches a lot of the 7-10 minute authorized highlight videos posted by the various major leagues. He even falls asleep to multiple-hour long YouTube videos of instrumental music inspired by his favorite Anime shows.
He does watch some Netflix - he and I have been watching Earthstorm and he just binged the most recent season of Pokemon in record time. We'll watch some action movies and he and my wife will watch ABC game shows on demand through Hulu. But more often than not, his choice is YouTube. He watches it on TV, on his phone, even sometimes on his computer.
So if you're a streamer, this is your future. And what are you doing to attract these viewers that you will soon depend on to grow and thrive?
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TOUGH DAYS AHEAD AT CNN
Puck's Dylan Byers has a piece about CNN's upcoming budget cuts and its likely to be brutal, based on what he's hearing:
During the course of the review, however, Zaslav and his C.F.O. Gunnar Wiedenfelds asked Licht to engage in a hypothetical financial engineering exercise, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told me. If he were to cut costs at the company, how would he manage to achieve savings? Over time, the target number that Zaz and Gunnar were asking for became larger, and the exercise became less hypothetical. Then, last month, staring down the barrel of a recession and another disappointing earnings report, Zaz and Gunnar gave Licht a direct order: he needed to cut $100 million from CNN’s budget. Zaz’s team might argue that such an edict is financially responsible amid the current economic environment, but it is nevertheless significant. The figure, which CNN representatives declined to comment on, likely translates to almost 10 percent of CNN’s overall budget, sources familiar with the financials told me.
Aside from whether cutting $100 million plus from CNN's budget is a wise move, can I just mention how annoying it is that these moves continued to blamed entirely on the economy. Warner Bros Discovery is being forced to make draconian budget cuts because John Malone, David Zaslav and their Scooby Gang of bankers loaded up the company with debt in order to make the merger work. They've promised Wall Street they'll cut at least $3 billion in expenses from the company (a figure Zaslav just upped to $3.5 billion) in hopes of boosting the stock price.
The result? The company's stick price has dropped more than 40 percent and that tough economic news is making things even more difficult.
But the cost-cutting will continue. Aside from the very public decision to stop ordering documentaries from outside production companies, a number of other cuts are on the way:
Meanwhile, Gunnar this week sent a memo to WBD’s top financial officers to “absolutely” stop all non-discretionary spending for the rest of the year. In accordance, Licht has suspended all anchor and correspondent travel that is not related to breaking news. Michael Bass, CNN’s executive vice president of newsgathering, wrote in a memo this week there would be “no more travel for any enterprise pieces and no anchor travel,” and no booking of outside studios. “All remote interviews should be done on Webex,” he wrote, referring to the videoconferencing service, and the network should not pay for travel for guests and contributors, a drastic departure that reminded some media insiders of the days when Condé Nast replaced town car vouchers with MetroCard flex accounts.
Things are expected to get even more challenging next year, with even deeper cuts likely to come at CNN. And at what point do these decisions begin to impact the big plan to make the network competitive by "getting rid of the partisanship." Unless non-partisans turn out to work for budget rates.
AND THE DAYS AREN'T MUCH BETTER AT 'WESTWORLD'
Warner Bros Discovery just announced it has canceled Westworld and will not order an expected fifth season of the drama. The news apparently was not expected by the show's creators, who had expected to have a final season to wrap up the series:
Last month, co-creator Jonathan Nolan said in an interview that he hoped HBO would give the series a fifth season to wrap up the show’s ambitious story, which has chronicled a robot uprising that changed the fate of humanity. “We always planned for a fifth and final season,” Nolan said. “We are still in conversations with the network. We very much hope to make them.” Co-creator Lisa Joy likewise said the series has always been working toward a specific ending: “Jonah and I have always had an ending in mind that we hope to reach. We have not quite reached it yet.”
MSNBC HOST JOY REID DEFENDS DEPARTED ANCHOR TIFFANY CROSS
Tiffany Cross, anchor of MSNBC weekend news program The Cross Connection was unexpectedly released by the network on Friday, reportedly in response to complaints from conservatives who criticized her comments about Fox News and other conservative news outlets.
Joy Reid, host of the early evening MSNBC show The Reid Out addressed the departure at the end of her show on Friday:
"My friend, colleague...my sister Tiffany Cross. She is not just my friend, she is my sister. I love her. I support her. I was boosting for her to get the show that she created, The Cross Connection, which she put her heart and soul into every day. And I just want to say that those on the right who were attacking her on a social media app I won't name, you don't understand how sisters move. Watch this space. We will be here, her sisters will be here to support anything Tiffany Cross ever does. Know that. Believe that."
IT'S NOT TWITTER, BUT....
Like a lot of other journalists, I probably use Twitter more than I should. But aside from the fact that it's an effective method for self-promotion, I've enjoyed the conversations there and met some interesting people.
Alas, Twitter seems to be in the middle of a post-Elon meltdown and there's a real sense that it is slowly becoming unusable. The challenge is that there aren't any great alternatives right now. Substack is rolling out a new chat feature which seems to be a bit like integrated message boards tied to a newsletter. But right now, it's only available on the Substack iOS mobile stack.
I hesitate to suggest another platform to you. But if you're interested, I have been playing around a bit with Mastodon. Which is a bit like Discord, albeit less chaotic and a bit easier to use.
Mastodon is essentially a bunch of individual servers (or instances) using the same software. So while you can sign into a server and make that your home base, in theory you can follow and interact with people on different servers as well. That is a VERY simplified explanation, but at least it sets the stage.
If you're interested in joining me, here is an invitation link to the instance I am using. It's a smaller group that is well-behaved and so far I've had fun. I hope you'll try it out:
And if you already have a Mastodon account and would like to follow me from another server, my handle is @firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT'S NEW FOR FRIDAY:
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
A Magical Christmas Village (Hallmark)
Buying Beverly Hills Series Premiere (Netflix)
Causeway (Apple TV+)
Director By Night (Disney+)
Elesin Oba: The King's Horsemen (Netflix)
El Presidente (Prime Video)
Enola Holmes 2 (Netflix)
Great Performances: NY Phil Reopening of David Geffen Hall (PBS)
Inspired Interiors With Sarah Sherman Samuel Series Premiere (Discovery+/Magnolia)
Lopez Vs. Lopez Season Premiere (NBC)
Magnolia Table With Johanna Gaines Season Premiere (Discovery+/HBO Max/Magnolia)
Manifest Season Four Premiere (Netflix)
Marvel Studios Legends (Disney+)
My Policeman (Prime Video)
Satan's Slaves: Communion (Shudder)
Selena Gomez: My Mind & Me (Apple TV+)
Slumberkins Series Premiere (Apple TV+)
The Fabulous (Netflix)
The Mosquito Coast Series Premiere (Apple TV+)
Unperfect Christmas Wish (UP tv)
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (The Roku Channel)
Young Rock Season Premiere (NBC)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU FRIDAY!
If you have any feedback, send it along to Rick@AllYourScreens.com and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.