Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Monday, June 27th, 2022
A scientific examination of reality TV shows...well, not "scientific" exactly...
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, June 27th, 2022.
MSNBC FINDS ITS MADDOW SEMI-REPLACEMENT
It's nice to know that I can have a good idea or two.
Back in February, I noted in this newsletter that MSNBC had recently rehired Alex Wagner and I suggested she would be a great Tuesday-Friday replacement for Rachel Maddow. So I was happy today to learn that the network has done just that and she will debut her still untitled new show on August 16th:
Ms. Jones said that MSNBC would explore opportunities with Ms. Wagner to appear on NBCUniversal’s streaming platforms, such as Peacock. Other MSNBC programs, including “Morning Joe” and “All In With Chris Hayes,” already appear on Peacock hours after they air on the MSNBC cable channel.
Ms. Jones said that she did not consult with Ms. Maddow about her replacement. Ms. Jones said that Ms. Wagner has been on a short list to host MSNBC’s 9 p.m. hour for months, though she declined to detail specifics of the negotiations.
This is just a super smart move. Wagner has strong reporting chops, but she also has a personable and accessible anchor persona that is a good fit for Maddow's audience. And of all of Maddow's guest hosts, she was the one who seemed the best able to take advantage of Maddow's staff to carve out a show that isn't just the traditional tired cable news recitation of the top stories. I am really looking forward to seeing how her program develops.
A NEW 'BATTLE ROYALE' MEDIA STUDY
A new Hub Entertainment Research Media "Battle Royale" research study looks at the full range of entertainment sources consumers use--and which ones compete with which. First eye-opener: the average American uses over 12 different sources, but it's closer to 16 among young consumers and those with kids:
PR FAILS NUMBER 345
I spend a lot of time writing about marketing and PR issues because it's an under-appreciated part of the business. A streamer can be cranking out original content every day but if the public doesn't know it's there, it might as well not have been created at all.
A corollary to that example is what happens after mergers or consolidations. Lots of people lose their jobs and while it might be obvious internally who is responsible for specific projects, that doesn't help if no one outside the company knows who to contact about a specific show. In an industry where publicity and information is at least a prince (if not a king), making sure that people covering your shows have timely info is another one of those low-hanging fruits of marketing and PR.
A lot of people at Warner Bros Discovery have already lost their jobs or moved on to another company after seeing where their future was headed. That's especially the case on the PR side, where a lot of publicists from the various Discovery Networks have left in the past several months.
Even in the best of times, turnover in PR ranks can be high, but a smart company makes the transitions seem painless to outsiders. This person is gone, but now this person is handling things. How can they help you?
That easy transition experience is pretty much the exact opposite of my journey yesterday, as I attempted to determine who at Discovery is responsible for doing the PR for the upcoming Shark Week programming. That annual super-promotion is just a couple of weeks away and yet it took me an entire day of random emails to find the correct person. The old Discovery media site looks to be abandoned and it hasn't been updated in months. There isn't any information on this year's Shark Week and all five of the communications people listed on the site are no longer with the company.
I ended up searching my email for other Discovery PR contacts and I went through the list, randomly contacting them one by one. Some were gone and suggested contacting another publicist, who has also left the company. Some emails bounced back and once I found a still-employed Discovery publicist, it took a couple of times of being passed off before I ended up with the right contact.
I understand the chaos that comes with a merger. But this level of turmoil is just insanely counter-productive. I know that the Discovery Networks tend to have a passive-aggressive approach to press coverage, but this email adventure was so convoluted, I would have given up much earlier in the process if I was so stubborn.
And while I won't pretend to know the ins-and-outs of effective entertainment publicity, I'm not sure that "we're here if you are really stubborn" is a winning approach in a crowded media environment.
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'THE WIRE' CREATOR DAVID SIMON SAYS THE DRUG WAR RUINED POLICE. BUT DEFUNDING THEM IS NOT THE ANSWER
The Minnesota Reformer's Scott Winter has a really spectacular interview with David Simon, who gives his take on police departments such as the one here in Minneapolis:
Especially since George Floyd’s murder there’s been an assertion among progressives that people who have undergone generations of trauma should not face incarceration for their crimes. But you wrote specifically in “The Corner” about the responsibility of both society and the individual in crime and other bad outcomes. Where do you land on this now?
When you say progressives, are they white? Do they live in the inner city? Do they live in the area where crimes are occurring? Because let me tell you something, I still know a lot of people who live in east, west Baltimore … they do not want to be unpoliced. That’s not what they want.
If you ask them what they want out of their police department, they say they want to not be harassed. They want to get treated with dignity when they’re trying to get from the car to the curb. They want to be respected… They want to not be over-policed. They want no predatory police.
And then when you talk to them about what’s wrong with their neighborhood and why it’s unbearable to them, they say “I’m scared.” … They want the police to come and lock up the badasses who are shooting people or robbing people or breaking into the houses. That’s what they want. And I am absolutely and firmly convinced progressives aren’t talking to them.
Go read the entire interview. It's really fascinating and it makes me a bit jealous that it comes from someone in my own backyard.
BTW, if you'd like to read a bit about a really weird David Simon story involving the show Homicide: Life On The Streets and charges of plagiarism by John Wells, check this piece out that I wrote last year.
FASCINATING DATA, ALTHOUGH I'M NOT QUITE WHAT TO MAKE OF IT
A new study from Nielsen Research notes that although the U.S. leads on production of LGBTQ+ inclusive content, audiences in the U.S. are quite interested in content acquired from elsewhere in the world.
Here are the 10 most-watched acquired programs among U.S. households led by same-sex couples:
TWEET OF THE DAY
ODDS AND SODS
* FX’s The Old Man, the new drama starring Jeff Bridges, John Lithgow and Amy Brenneman, has been picked up for a second season.
* Carol Burnett will guest star in the final season of Better Call Saul.
* Fuse Media has secured additional carriage for two of its free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels -- Fuse Backstage and Fuse Beat on Amazon Freevee.
* Character actor Mary Mara, known for her work on ER, Law & Order: SVU, and Nip/Tuck, and dozens of other TV shows and films, drowned Sunday in the St. Lawrence River in Cape Vincent, NY, according to New York State Police. She was 61.
WHAT'S NEW FOR MONDAY
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
American Dynasty Series Premiere (Fox Nation)
Cafe Minamang (Netflix)
Chip & Potato: Chip's Holiday (Netflix)
College Hill: Celebrity Edition (BET+)
Hiding In Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness (PBS)
Martin Clunes: Islands Of The Pacific (Acorn TV)
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.