Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Tuesday, May 5th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee & sugar-free lemon drops.
THE CASE FOR AIRING 'STAR TREK: DISCOVERY' ON CBS
You might not have noticed, but AMC has begun airing episodes of "Creepshow," a notable move since the show was one originally created for the AMC sister streaming service Shudder. There are a couple of other examples of this streaming/linear television synergy, including NatGeo's decision to run episodes of the Disney+ series "The World According To Jeff Goldblum." But despite traditional television's current need for new programming, you so far have not seen any major made-for-streaming shows reairing on linear television.
And that decision makes a lot of business sense. The high-profile, big budget streaming originals are designed in part to be a motivation for people to subscribe to the service, since viewers can't see the shows any other way. No streaming service wants to give up that motivating factor, even if airing the show on a sister broadcast or cable network would garner huge ratings. An industry fact that has so far limited the synergy to lesser shows that aren't subscription drivers.
There is one example that I believe might break that mold and it's the CBS All-Access series "Star Trek: Discovery." This show has been a major driver for the second-tier streaming service and it's one of the service's few break-out hits. So why would it want to air episodes of the show on CBS?
Streaming executives make these decisions based on a calculation of risk/reward, i.e. is the hit we'll take on new subscriptions worth the attention we'll receive otherwise? And in this case, it is. Unlike "Picard," "Discovery" has laready released two seasons (with a third on the way). You could air just season one of the show on CBS, which would drive people who enjoyed the season to subscribe to CBS All-Access to get season two. And by running promos for "Picard" during the episodes, it's conceivable that episodes airing on CBS could be a steady subscriber driver to the service throughout the run.
The one thing that's unclear to me is whether there are any contractual reasons why this move couldn't take place. I know that CBSAA has sold off the streaming rights to Netflix outside of North America. But I don't know if there are any other contracts in place that would prohibit episodes being shown on CBS. But if not, I think this would be one of those rare win-win situations.
Here is a rundown of the new shows premiering today....
1) Arde Madrid Series Premiere (MHz Choice)
The series, set in 1961, centers around actress Ava Gardner’s time living in Francoist Spain after divorcing Frank Sinatra in 1957. It's a weirdly specific premise for a show, but all you need to know is that it stars Debi Mazar as Ava Gardner.
2) Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles Season Premiere (Bravo)
This season, these top agents must think outside the box to generate interest and navigate an ever-changing market, dominated by unrealistic sellers and softening prices. Josh Flagg is willing to travel far and wide for a shot at a record-breaking sale, even if it means teaming up and road tripping with his mortal enemy...Josh Altman. It's not all a buddy comedy as this duo end up on opposite sides of the negotiating table.
3) Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (HBO)
Gregson Wagner explores her mother’s public life and private persona through personal interviews with those closest to her, including husband Robert J. Wagner, who speaks on-camera about Wood’s death for the first time.
4) Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours To Kill (Netflix)
The special features a spectacular arrival to the Beacon Theatre in New York City, and showcases Seinfeld’s sharp angles on everyday life, uncovering comedy in the commonplace.
5) The Queen At War (PBS)
An examination of Queen Elizabeth’s childhood as she endured WWII and how her actions impacted England as a whole.
6) Tirdy Works Series Premiere (truTV)
This unscripted sitcom is a hilarious look at a moose turd entrepreneur and her unexpectedly heartfelt journey to unite a small town.
For a rundown of all the new episodes of television premiering tonight, click here.
TOO MUCH TV REALLY IS A THING
This newsletter is called "Too Much TV" because....well, it's hard to keep track of all the new television premiering everyday. To help you prioritize your viewing, click here to see our list of more than 400 upcoming television premieres, movies and finales. You'll find listings from more than 70 networks, as well as streaming services and web shows.
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