facebook_pixel Press "Enter" to skip to content

Looking to start your TV writing journey?

Posts tagged as “Week Roundup”

The Netflix of it All (Week Roundup)

Well here we go again…

If last Friday was all about HBO’s victory lap, on this week’s roundup we take a look at one of the biggest OTT (over-the-top) competitors: Netflix.

Netflix Is Betting Its Future on Exclusive Programming

The NY Times once again posted a great in-depth television piece, shining a light on Netflix. The article offers a behind-the-scenes look at the cryptic online network. Although there isn’t that much revealed people don’t already know, it still is an interesting side of the OTT network, full of confidence. The focus of the piece is on what Netflix has been trying to accomplish for a while now: lots of great original content.
It has been over four years since I announced Netflix’s original programming strategy was going to be a game-changer. Looks like I’m only getting proven more correct as days go by. The new era has been ushered. As Reed Hastings, CEO’s Netflix, explains:

We’ve had 80 years of linear TV, and it’s been amazing, and in its day the fax machine was amazing. The next 20 years will be this transformation from linear TV to Internet TV.

Better play catch-up now.

Is Netflix Friend or Foe to the TV Industry? It’s More Confusing Than Ever

Continuing on Netflix, VideoNuze offers two perspectives on the OTT’s wide content expansion, both as a friend to the television industry, and as a foe. Time will tell as to which of the two the network really is, but for now, the article offers some interesting points:

While licensing deals have been fattening studios’ and TV networks’ bottom lines, they’ve also been improving the quality of Netflix and other OTT providers’ content, in turn creating better subscriber experiences. With time being finite, eventually Netflix viewing had to come out of the hide of TV viewing.

There has been a staggering 19.2% drop from year-to-year in TV viewership from the 18-24 year-olds. It’s not surprising that a lot of those who are cutting the cable cord (or never had it in the first place) are also switching off whatever TV set they may have in favor of Internet-based content. This will be even more interesting when it comes to kids or youth-based networks. Will parents still have their TVs on, or will they pit other screens in front of their children?

And this brings us to our next article…

The World’s Love Affair with the TV May Be Coming to an End

Perhaps a big over-dramatic with its title, the Daily Dog doesn’t just use Nielsen’s own findings but rather discusses the results of “Digital Video and the Connected Consumer”, a report from Accenture. In it, Accenture notes that video consumption has skyrocketed while traditional TV viewership has plummeted.

Nearly all age brackets reported double-digit declines in TV viewing globally, with 14- to 17-year-olds abandoning the TV screen at the rate of 33 percent for movies and television shows and 26 percent for sporting events. This decline continues for 18- to 34-year-olds at 14 percent for movies and television shows and 12 percent for sporting events, and for 35- to 54-year-olds, at 11 and nine percent, respectively. It does, however, flatten among the 55 and older crowd, at six percent and one percent respectively.

Now here is the most interesting part of the report, as described by Accenture’s Gavin Mann:

TV shows and movies are now a viewing staple on mobile devices of all shapes and sizes, thanks to improved streaming and longer battery life. The second screen viewing experience is where the content creators, broadcasters and programmers will succeed or fail.

A pretty ballsy claim. I do have to agree with one thing: it is clear that it’s not just OTT, but also mobile screens that will shape the near-future of video content. Note that new entrants will still have to prove themselves over traditional medium. Content discovery in this brand new world is still more than a step away from becoming a solved issue.

HBO’s victory lap and a garbage can (Week Roundup)

On this week’s TV news link roundup: pilot season mad-dash, the Sopranos final sequence by its director, a cable victory lap, some YouTube garbage and ABC Family targets a new buzz word.

Tight Production Schedules Put Pressure On Pilot Quality

An interesting look at the mad-dash of pilot season, especially since pilots are being ordered later and later.

All networks, particularly ABC and CBS, were again way behind in their pickups, compressing the time for staffing, casting and producing the pilots.

Let’s be honest here. Network pilots have never had that much lead-time to begin with. It’s always been an insane game of last-minute reshoots and deliveries. There’s a reason pilots have often (if not always) been considered a show’s weakest episode. That is, until “they” run the concept into the ground by season five.
The crazy news of the article however comes from the opening date of Upfront Week: May 11. Yes, that’s hell-a early and “the earliest in at least a decade”. Good luck to post-production.

Eight years after it aired, David Chase explains how he created the excruciating tension of the last Sopranos scene

It was my decision to direct the episode such that whenever Tony arrives someplace, he would see himself. He would get to the place and he would look and see where he was going.

Spoiler alert: he doesn’t say what happens after.
Although not directly related to the show’s writing per se, it is still worth the gander. Definitely a must-read if if you care even just a bit about the visual component of this historical HBO show.

And speaking of HBO…

At the Head of the Pack, HBO Shows the Way Forward

The NY Times rocked it with an in-depth look at the inside of HBO’s current programming direction. Watch and read as Richard Plepler, HBO’s CEO, makes a victory lap.

Interesting, isn’t it, that at a time that’s been called the most competitive moment in our industry’s history, we have, in my opinion, the best array of content in our history.

Best array of content in your history? While HBO’s 2015 series are certainly more popular while airing than the ones from the 2000s, I’m not sure the quality and endurance compares. The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Rome, Deadwood, Carnivàle and The Wire just called. And it was a weird conference call.
The piece also states that back in 2007/2008 “[HBO’s] content cupboard was bare, and rival TV executives openly referred to the cable network as HB-Over.”
Was “HB-Over” an actual thing? Well, yes. In fact, it came from this previous NY Times piece where Showtime’s chairman and CEO Matthew C. Blank was quoted:

HB-Over. I’ve heard that term used for HBO both outside and inside our network.

Tough pill to swallow now that Starz has taken Showtime’s second place in the premium cable world. Woops.
It’ll be interesting to see how CBS competes with HBO Now’s (nearly) independent streaming service.

Seinfeld calls YouTube a ‘giant garbage can’

Although Seinfeld was joking, he was in fact touting his Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee arriving at Crackle.

When you get to a certain point in the business, what a man is looking for in a network is the same thing he’s looking for in his underwear. He’s looking for a little bit of support and a little bit of freedom. And that’s exactly what Crackle offered.

You can tell how much he respects online content. I think he’s reached that rare apex of making people giving him money laugh as he openly mocks them.

ABC Family Doubles Down on Original Programming to Reach Young Women

Or as they call them, the “becomers”. Shudder.
In non-buzzy marketing words, they’re referring to young women between 14 and 29 “entering new life phases”. This is good news for the content side of things: the cable network is on the verge of announcing at the upfronts it will “double its original programming slate over the next four years”. ABC Family president Tom Ascheim also added:

The phone is the first smart TV. It’s an incredible source of video. We’re also embedding the social tools they love so much into the ABC Watch experience.

ABC Wat–Oh. For a second there I thought you were referring to Android Wear and apps for your wrist. You’re just talking about your VOD service. Gotcha. Actually, that makes me want to develop some kind of app for smartwatches. Maybe a crappy asymmetric viewing experience?
ABC Family is actually revamping its online viewing service this summer to increase mobile viewing. No surprise there considering that phones are now the way most 25-and-under watch video content.
And the AdWeek article is already talking about Generation Z. God help us.