Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Wednesday, December 15th, 2021
Today is a rare inside baseball edition of the newsletter
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Wednesday, December 15th, 2021. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities, where AllYourScreens HQ is not looking forward to today's weather. After getting 18 inches of snow over the weekend, today it's 50 degrees and we're expected to get winds of 40-50 miles per hour this evening.
INSIDER ENTERTAINMENT/MEDIA REPORTING IS NOW A GROWTH INDUSTRY
The past few weeks have brought a surge in new outlets promising "insider" reporting and lots of information about the complex machinations of Hollywood and the tech industry. On Tuesday, Richard Rushfield announced that his newsletter The Anker is transitioning into a full-blown media outlet:
Janice Min, a media executive in Los Angeles, is joining forces with Richard Rushfield, a show-business columnist, to start a new media business that will be spun off from his popular subscription newsletter, The Ankler.
Ms. Min, who transformed The Hollywood Reporter from a struggling trade publication into a successful, large-format glossy, will become the co-owner, chief executive and editor in chief of the newly formed Ankler Media. Mr. Rushfield, the founder of The Ankler, which bills itself as “the newsletter Hollywood loves to hate and hates to love,” will be the company’s editorial director and chief columnist.
"One of the things that really sold me on doing this with Richard is he gave me visibility into the subscriber list, and it’s insane,” Ms. Min said in an interview. “It’s a Who’s Who of power in the entertainment community, and from that base I feel like there is so much potential to exercise that level of influence."
Now I won't quibble about whether or not the financials of The Hollywood Reporter justify it being described as a "success," but Min certainly knows how to build a media industry news business and this is an interesting move. Especially given that there are already several other newsletter-ish companies making the same place. Including Puck and whatever Graydon Carter's "Air Mail" turns out to be. Although Air Mail just announced they have closed a $17 million series B funding round, so "money machine" might be the appropriate definition.
Pitching the publications is providing "insider" analysis is as much about revenue as it is about value to the readers. The most reliable way to make money in entertainment journalism is with a mix of events, sponsorships and an editorial product that is high-end enough to justify industry folks being allowed to write off the costs on their expense reports. Honestly, I wish them all the luck in the world and I'm curious to see how it all shakes out.
That being said, I think the success of those publications also leaves a gap in the market. Insider expertise and context is important. But I believe there's also a place for a point of view that is centered on the audience outside of the media centers. It's where most of the audience lives and the media industry conventional wisdom tends to focus on the dealmakers instead of the end users. Being headquartered in the Midwest gives me a perspective I wouldn't have if I still lived on the West Coast.
And what does a West Coast perspective sound like? Well, here's a quote from Janice Min in that NY Times profile of The Ankler:
“That push-pull tension between the people who eat McCarthy Salads at the Polo Lounge with the Silicon Valley algorithm people — that’s a real tension that’s going to drive the next 10, 20, 30 years here,” Ms. Min said.
There's nothing wrong with covering that scene and there is certainly a market for it. But I'm gambling there's also a market for other points of view.
AND SPEAKING OF THE HEARTLAND
As I mentioned last month, I have added a paid subscriber option for the Too Much TV newsletter.
All of my Monday-Friday free newsletters remain free to all. I think keeping the newsletter free makes it much easier for readers to share it and based on the numbers I've seen, that happens a great deal. And while it's a bit contrarian to keep the newsletter free in an era where just about every newsletter has moved most of their content behind a paywall (see above) - or partnered with a newsletter network - I think the positives continue to outweigh the financial hit.
But with more than 18,000 people now subscribing, I do receive a regular number of requests from people who want to support my work in some way. So here are three options:
1) Share the newsletter and encourage others to do the same.
2) Buy me a cup of coffee (which is really just a way to throw a few dollars to me in a one time payment)
3) Subscribe to the Too Much TV newsletter. I've priced it as low as I can on the Substack platform - $5 per month or $50 for the year. I'm working on some bonus stuff for subscribers, but honestly, this is mostly just an option for people who want to support the newsletter (and can afford to do so). One subscriber bonus for 2022 will include a print or digital copy (your choice) of a book I'm releasing in the first quarter of next year. It focuses on the streaming world, and will include some new interviews done specifically for the book, along with other interviews and pieces I've posted in the last few months.
I completely understand the financial limitations we all work under. I certainly can't begin to pay for all the subscriptions on my list of "must read" publications. But if you're able to subscribe, I appreciate the support.
I also want to mention that I appreciate all the support I've received so far. It makes writing this a pleasure every day.
I will post a variation of this reminder once a month around the 15th. Now let's get back to the world of television tomorrow....
ODDS AND SODS
* NBC is joining forces with international superstar Shakira on the dance challenge series Dancing with Myself.
* The Voice crowns its season 21 champion (spoilers)
* Our Linda Martindale has a recap of Tuesday's episode of Riverdale - the show's 100th episode and the last new one until March.
* The NY Post is reporting that this season is expected to be Sunday Night Football reporter Michele Tafoya’s final one on the sidelines.
* Here's a rundown of all the new original TV shows and movies coming to Netflix U.S. in January.
* Hulu’s limited series The Dropout, the story of Elizabeth Holmes (Amanda Seyfried) and Theranos. premieres on Thursday, March 3rd.
* HBO has ordered a second season of its documentary series Music Box.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
WHAT'S NEW FOR WEDNESDAY
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
A Very Chrisley Christmas (USA)
Elite Short Stories: Phillipe Caye Felipe (Netflix)
Foodtastic Series Premiere (Disney+)
iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2021 (The CW)
Kenan Christmas Episode (NBC)
Mr. Mayor Christmas Episode (NBC)
Selling Tampa Series Premiere (Netflix)
Shatner In Space (Amazon)
The Enchanted Christmas Cake (Lifetime)
The Hand Of God (Netflix)
iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2021 (The CW)
Young Rock Christmas Episode (NBC)
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.