Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Tuesday, August 23rd, 2022
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Monday, August 22nd, 2022.
My apology for the lateness of today’s newsletter. Substack was down for several hours, which was unfortunate.
BAD NEWS FOR THOSE 'WHEN IS SEASON TWO OF HOUSE OF THE DRAGON COMING OUT?' ARTICLES
As someone who runs his own news web site, I spend entirely too much time worrying about things like SEO issues. I've never mentioned those topics in this newsletter. But the latest edition of the very helpful "A Media Operator" newsletter included a piece on upcoming changes in the way Google Search prioritizes search results and penalizes content that isn't useful. And guess what, there's a television connection:
I'll give a few examples. Last night, I finished watching the new League of Their Own show on Amazon Prime. I thought it was pretty good, so I googled "League of Their Own Season Two." There are many stories about "what we know about season two so far." Spoiler alert: they know nothing. But there is page after page of this stuff. So, Google asks, "Does your content promise to answer a question that actually has no answer, such as suggesting there's a release date for a product, movie, or TV show when one isn't confirmed?"
Quick aside: you know your content is dangerously awful when Google creates an entire call out to a specific type of content.
It also seems clear that in some cases Google will just decide a specific page isn't useful and will penalize it accordingly. But it can decide that enough of the site is filled with gimmicky content and penalize it all. Google also seems intent on punishing sites that are basically just cranking out endless rewrites of other site's content:
Historically, Google has prioritized newer stories rather than older ones, which punishes the publisher that initially wrote the story. But as Google asks, "are you mainly summarizing what others have to say without adding much value?" In this case, the answer is probably yes.
I'm not going to point any fingers, but I suspect everyone who reads this is familiar with those crappy rewrite sites that make money primarily by selling ad-filled pages full of other people's reporting. Good riddance.
NETFLIX DRAMA HEAD TALKS ABOUT THE STREAMER'S UPCOMING SLATE
Deadline's Nellie Andreeva has a long interview with Netflix drama head Jinny Howe and while you should go read the entire piece, I wanted to pull out her comments about Manifest, given how much I wrote about the show before and after it was picked up by Netflix from NBC:
There has been no official information yet on the new season of Manifest but 828 Day, named after the flight from the series, is coming up this weekend. In was on 8/28 last year that Netflix announced the missing plane drama’s resurrection following its cancellation by NBC. Howe would not confirm whether a premiere date news and/trailer will drop then, but indicated “a couple of announcements” are coming “very soon.”
“I think Manifest is a really fun show that has so many different entry points and such a great ensemble of characters,” Howe said. “It might be a show that you wouldn’t have normally expected from Netflix drama, but for us, it just feels like a best-in-class, hybrid, character driven-procedural show. For me, the thing that I really love is watching how many different conversations, fans spending all the time talking about how the show’s going to end, and how people go back and re-watch for clues; all of that is really a lot of fun and I think really drives more and more people to watch the show.”
The streamer previously rescued another canceled broadcast series, Lucifer, and gave it a fifth and final season only to then order an additional sixth season, which became the last one. So, is Manifest really ending with its supersized fourth season?
“That is the plan currently, at least in terms of whether there will be a satisfying resolution going into the season. By the end of the season, we’ll deliver some answers that’s really, all the questions will be answered,” Howe said.
I'm hoping to eventually be able to arrange an interview (at least an on-the-record one) with someone at Netflix who can talk about their global production efforts. Which is the part of Netflix’s business I am most interested in hearing about in detail. Speaking of that, if you're looking for a solid spy/action/revenge series, I would recommend the German-produced original series Kleo, which follows a former East German spy who becomes with discovering who was responsible for her arrest and imprisonment.
SHANNON TINDLE ON LOST OLLIE
I recently spoke with Shannon Tindle, the creator of Netflix's wonderful Lost Ollie. Since there are a few spoilers, I'm not posting the interview until tomorrow, but here's an excerpt ahead of the premiere:
Q: I've tried to describe the show to people. And even though I've watched it three times now, I'm in a bit of a loss. The best way I can describe it to someone is to say it has a feel of a really great Pixar movie where there's a lot of levels of emotion. And there's some sweet moments, there's some dark moments too. And I'm wondering how do you describe Lost Ollie to someone who hasn't seen it? Because I've certainly been flabbergasted on quite how to tell people, you should watch this. And this is why.
Shannon Tindle: For me, I think the part of I always struggle with no matter what project I'm on is the tone. Pitching tone is very difficult. I think the closest thing you can do to approach tone is by showing someone or having them read a script, or having them listen to a piece of music to really get an idea of what it is. But what I've been telling people is it's this great adventure of a character who's out in the world on his own for the first time trying to find someone that he loves, and he's been separated from, and along the way, he learns what it means to have lost something, and to retain the memories of someone.
I say, there's the adventure component of it. There's the quest component of it, where he meets other friends along the way who are coping with loss in their own ways. And then there's the the emotional story of what Billy and his family are going through. Sometimes I'll reference films, like I look at something like Black Stallion, which was something that we looked at, because there's this magical quality to that film that sits outside of realism. But it also feels very truthful to a child's perspective on life. And there are moments of excitement adventure, but there's also moments of heartbreak and sadness. And I think that's what we wanted to do with it.
BTW, I reviewed the series over the weekend and spoiler, I really loved it.
RUSSELL HORNSBY ON 'MIKE'
I also recently spoke with actor Russell Hornsby, who plays famed boxing promoter Don King in the Hulu miniseries Mike. It's an unofficial look at the life of Mike Tyson and the boxer's relationship with Don King is best described as "like/hate/really hate. The interview and review of the series post in the morning on AllYourScreens.com, but here's a small piece of the conversation:
Q: From an acting standpoint, how did you approach Don King, because it's hard to think of anyone who is more distinctive and has a more recognizable style than Don King. So how did you approach the task of trying to capture the essence of him without it just being an impression?
Russell Hornsby: I appreciate the question. And I appreciate you making that distinction. My goal was never to mimic or impersonate. So what I chose and what I needed to do was find his essence.
In order to do that you have to work from the inside out. And so I had to ask myself, "what was it about?" Upbringing? What was it about his rearing? What was it about his environment that brought about his cadence, that brought about his vocal quality? That blunt sort of bombast, if you will. When I discovered some of the things about his past, growing up in Cleveland, being part of the nightlife, going to prison and running numbers. But also musically, I looked at jazz. And I realized jazz was a big part of the music scene in the 40s, in the 50s, and early 60s. And so I realized that oftentimes are cadences in the streets are based on the music. So Jazz has a very high pitch. It's a high pitched sound. And it's a lot of energy. I thought about, okay, the vocal quality, and style came from Jazz and was influenced by Jazz.
So I work that in. And then I thought about his prison life and things of that nature. So what I did was I worked from the inside out so that the cherry on top for me, for the character, is once I put the hair on...it's showtime. And that's when I added the carnival barker aspect to it. The "hurry, hurry, step right up, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages. Come on, come on, come here, the baddest and the brightest come through the swashbuckling heroes, the man, the myth, the legend…” and all that good stuff.
PHILO'S WEEKLY STREAMING ROUND-UP
Here is a rundown of the most popular titles on the entertainment-centric vMVPD for the week ending Sunday, August 21st:
Top Five TV Shows
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta (VH1)
Love & Hip Hop: Miami (VH1)
Love After Lockup (WE tv)
The First 48 (A&E Network)
90 Day Fiancé (TLC)
Top Five Movies
Dating the Delaneys (Hallmark Channel)
Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail (Lifetime)
Romance in Style (Hallmark Channel)
Diary of a Mad Black Woman (BET)
Single Black Female (Lifetime)
ODDS AND SODS
* Disney Branded Television is in very early development on King Kong (working title), a series for Disney+ tracking the original story of the famous ape. Deals have just closed for the project, from James Wan’s Atomic Monster, which would mark the first live-action series set in the Kong universe.
* From the runway to the music studio, E! reveals an inside look behind the curtain in the rise to fame in Raising a F***ing Star, premiering Wednesday, September 7th.
* HBO has renewed Curb Your Enthusiasm for a twelfth season.
WHAT'S NEW FOR TUESDAY
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
Chad & JT Go Deep Series Premiere (Netflix)
Cinderella: The Reunion (ABC)
Nightmare Of The Wolf: Bestiary (Netflix)
The Law Of... Series Premiere (MHz Choice)
The World Of The Witcher (Netflix)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU WEDNESDAY!
If you have any feedback, send it along to Rick@AllYourScreens.com and follow me on Twitter @aysrick.