Too Much TV: Your TV Talking Points For Friday, April 8th, 2022
This is a classic Friday news dump kind of day...
A QUICK APOLOGY
Some of you may have not received a newsletter at some point over the past couple of days. Or even more annoyingly, received multiple copies or newsletters that were delayed. I thought it was something I was doing wrong, but based on this note from Substack, the problem was on their end:
Due to a technical incident, some publishers may see delayed or duplicate email or app notifications for a small number of posts over the last two days. We apologize for the disruption and have addressed the underlying issue.
Once again, my apologies for any inconvenience. Now back to our regular programming schedule…
Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, April 8th, 2022.
MAYBE HE CAN JUST ACCEPT FUTURE OSCARS LIVE FROM THE VANITY FAIR PARTY
The Academy Awards Board of Governors announced this afternoon that they have banned Will Smith from attending the Oscar ceremonies for ten years. Here's a copy of the statement announcing the decision:
The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage.
During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry. This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short — unprepared for the unprecedented.
Today, the Board of Governors convened a meeting to discuss how best to respond to Will Smith's actions at the Oscars, in addition to accepting his resignation. The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards.
We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast.
This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith's behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.
The Academy most notably did not decide to prevent Smith from being nominated over the next ten years, although I suspect his actions will probably keep that from happening anyway. At least for a year or two. But if the history of Hollywood had shown us anything, it's that the industry has a unique ability to forget even the worst events if it happened more than five years ago.
'DANCING WITH THE STARS' HEADED TO DISNEY+ THIS FALL
The long-running dance competition series Dancing With The Stars has been picked up for seasons 31 and 32. The show will also shift from ABC to the sister streaming service Disney+ this fall.
"After over 30 seasons of the program on ABC, including two spin-offs, Dancing with the Stars will move off of ABC this fall in order for the Network to showcase several Monday Night Football games as well as develop and invest in new and future programming,” said the network in a statement announcing the move.
The show is the first live series to air on Disney+ and the move also gives the streamer a chance to work out any bugs in the process.
The DWTS timeslot on ABC will be at least partially filled by Monday Night Football, according to the network.
Honestly, this feels like a best-case scenario for the show. Ratings have slumped in recent years and bringing in Tyra Banks to host was a lateral move at best. The case for renewing the show was tougher if it stayed on ABC and moving it to Disney+ will bring it a lot of added press coverage and attention from the public.
But I hope the network also sees this move as a chance to play around with the show's presentation. Having a streaming platform for a home means there is more space for non-broadcast coverage of the show and I'd like to see Disney+ build out a separate tab for the show.
I'm going to write a longer piece on this for tomorrow, but I'd like to see plenty of previous seasons available for streaming. As well as special weekly features, ranging from interviews to expanded rehearsal footage. And then there are options for playing around with the presentation of the show itself. While the +3 or +5 viewing numbers are important, it would be fun to re-edit each weekly show into a shorter "highlights" version of the episode that could be dropped a day or two before the next episode premieres. Or even a "dances only" version that cuts out everything but the performances. Or what about doing the DWTS equivalent of Monday Night Football's "Manning Cast" as an alternative feed?
This is the type of moment that can be really exciting and while I understand the temptation is to not play around with a familiar presentation, that familiarity is also why the audience for the show seems to be getting a bit weary of the format.
DISCOVERY CLOSES ITS ACQUISITION OF WARNER MEDIA
As expected, Discovery completed its $43 billion acquisition of WarnerMedia from AT&T on Friday to form new company Warner Bros. Discovery.
I'm not going to run down the massive number of executive exits, promotions and side moves, but Variety has a nice overview of the highlights here.
The big question moving forward is how deeply cuts are going to reach in the two-year post-merger period. Discovery raised $30 billion in senior unsecured notes in a debt offering to build up cash for the merger and executives have promised to cut the company's leverage debt ratio from about 4.5 times earnings immediately after the deal closes to 2.5 to 3 times earnings within two years. That's a massive amount of money and the only real reliable way to come up with the funds to pay down that debt is by cutting costs. Both on content spend side as well as head count. Warner Bros. has been through a number of brutal layoffs over the past twenty years. But I suspect these cuts are going to be memorable.
WARNER BROS DISCOVERY JUST LAUNCHED THE NEW CORPORATE WEB SITE
Granted, this is one of those things that only people in the industry likely care about, but the new corporate web site for Warner Bros. Discovery has just gone live.
Located at www.wbd.com. it's pretty much what you would expect, although I think it's interesting to see which shows are highlighted in the horizontal scrolling "Spotlight" section of the web site:
A reminder of how massive this combined company is can be found in the "Our Brands" section, which lists *44* brands, ranging from HBO Max to Boing.
If nothing else, it reinforces my suspicion that the primary audience for Bill Maher in 2022 is overpaid corporate weasels.
TWEET OF THE DAY
WHAT'S NEW FOR FRIDAY
Here's a quick rundown of all the new stuff premiering today on TV and streaming:
A Black Lady Sketch Show Season Three Premiere (HBO)
All The Old Knives Series Premiere (Amazon)
Barbie: It Takes Two (Netflix)
Dancing On Glass (Netflix)
Dirty Lines Series Premiere (Netflix)
Do, Re & Mi: Birdie Bowl Sing-Along (Prime Video)
Elite Season Five Premiere (Netflix)
Green Eggs & Ham: The Second Serving (Netflix)
iCarly Season Premiere (Paramount+)
Metal Lords (Netflix)
Mysteries From The Grave: The Titanic (Tubi)
Nightmare Neighborhood Moms (LMN)
Pinecone & Bunny Series Premiere (Apple TV+)
Tiger & Bunny 2 (Netflix)
Woke Season Two Premiere (Hulu)
Yaksha: Ruthless Operations (Netflix)
Click Here to see the list of all of the upcoming premiere dates for the next few months.
SEE YOU MONDAY!
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