Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, May 21st, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee and 100-calorie packs of fruit snacks.
THE 'DEAL THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING' THAT DOESN'T CHANGE MUCH
There is a new Hollywood Reporter/Morning Consult poll on streaming out today and predictably, THR focuses its headline on the results this way: 'Friends' Not HBO Max's Main Draw Ahead of Launch, Poll Finds.'
That headline is *technically* true, although when you read the story, it turns out the facts aren't quite so cut-and-dried. Keep in mind that the margin of error in the poll is two percent:
In a survey of 2,200 nationally representative adults conducted May 14-17, 34 percent of respondents said they were more likely to subscribe to HBO Max because it includes TV shows and movies from HBO.
The Warner Bros. TV and movie library — which encompasses all 10 seasons of Friends — is also a lure, with 32 percent of respondents saying that they’re more likely to subscribe to HBO Max because of that programming. But among specific IP, the DC Extended Universe (26 percent) and Game of Thrones (23 percent) had more pull than Friends (21 percent). It’s no wonder WarnerMedia is paying $20 million to $30 million to bring Zack Snyder’s vision for Justice League to HBO Max in 2021.
There are a lot of great takeaways when you look at the complete poll results, which you can find here. It's 520 pages, so it's not a quick read.
For instance, here is the percentage of respondents who say they subscribe to a specific service:
Amazon Prime Video: 39%
YouTube TV: 13%
Hulu Live TV: 10%
HBO Now: 9%
Apple TV+: 7%
CBS All-Access: 6%
DirecTV Now: 5%
Sling Blue TV, With Live TV: 3%
Sling Orange TV, With Live TV: 2%
Philo, With Live TV: 2%
AT&T WatchTV: 2%
These answers are the ones for adults in general, but each service is also broken down by demographics, percentage of people who've heard of the service, percentage of people who share passwords, political leanings and all sorts of other factors.
Here are a few other results I've found of interest. Although you should really dig deep into the entire poll. A journalist could spend a week parsing out these numbers. One of my favorite datapoints is that access to hard-to-find content is as important as new daily content:
Would you be more or less likely to purchase a subscription to a streaming service if it included the following features:
Discounted membership to other streaming services: 23%
Multiple membership options for different prices: 21%
Ad-free membership options: 26%
Discounted membership options that include ads: 13%
Rare or hard to find content: 22%
New content added on a daily basis: 23%
New content added on a monthly basis: 18%
SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS AND FORTNITE
One of the advantages of having a teenager in the house is that you get a real sense of how kids that age consumer media. My son loves Fortnite and in his age bracket, it's one of the most popular ways to connect with peers. It's also becoming an increasingly popular branding and marketing venue. The game recently has hosted special presentations from "Star Wars" and several Quibi shows, as well as concerts and tie-ins with movies such as "Deadpool." Besides hosting virtual cconcerts and live events, one of the more effective branding exercises are the special player skins, emojis and weapons that are offered to players for participating in events and promotions. I don't how to quantify the value of seeing Fortnite players continuing to run around in their Deadpool player skins, but it has to be substantial.
My son is also obsessed with Spongebob memes, moreso than he is with the game. Which makes me wonder why Viacom hasn't moved into this space? Assuming they could work out a deal with Fortnite's parent company, I can't help thinking that skins based on characters like Spongebob would be super popular. And throwing in some emoji moves or character-specific glider would also spark a lot of conversation.
Here is a rundown of the new shows premiering today....
1) Burden Of Truth Season Three Premiere (The CW)
In season three, Joanna Chang (Kristin Kreuk) and Billy Crawford (Peter Mooney) are working together in their new boutique law firm, Crawford Chang, but they’re discovering that living and litigating together has its challenges. On a cathartic trip back to Millwood for a class reunion, an old friend, Kodie, (Sera-Lys McArthur) turns Joanna’s life upside down when her children are removed by Millwood Family Services. Kodie believes she is the victim of a conspiracy and pleads for Joanna to help solve the case and bring her children back.
2) Celebrity Escape Room (NBC)
Ben Stiller and Jack Black serve as executive producers – bringing all their comedic skills to the project – along with a cast of A-listers that includes Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow and Adam Scott. Ben also plays the game along with Courteney, Lisa and Adam, while Jack oversees the action in his role as the all-important Game Master. Get ready for big laughs and unexpected surprises as the cast races from room to room and must solve a series of puzzles to help them engineer their great escape.
3) Heroes Of The Sky: The Mighty Eighth (NatGeo)
This two-hour special features recollections of the brave men from the Eighth Air Force Regiment who entered the cockpit for mission after mission, knowing that their call to duty was a likely death sentence. Integrating the airmen’s own words from personal diary entries, letters to loved ones and previous interviews, the special seamlessly weaves together hundreds of hours of rare and never-before-seen intimate footage to tell the incredible story of the heroic figures in the Mighty Eighth.
4) Holey Moley II: The Sequel Season Premiere (ABC)
America’s favorite mini-golf competition series featuring commentators Rob Riggle and Joe Tessitore, sideline correspondent Jeannie Mai and executive producer Stephen Curry, swings into season two.
5) Labor Of Love Series Premiere (Fox)
This new reality series focuses on Kristy Katzmann, a 41-year old, smart, successful and beautiful career woman who seems to have it all – that is, except the one thing she wants the most. Like so many women in America today, she is ready to have a child and start a family, but has yet to meet the potential father of her children. Kristy will be matched with 15 sexy, sophisticated and like-minded men, who are ready to let their paternal sides shine.
6) Penance (Sundance)
Rosalie Douglas has lost her son. Her marriage is falling apart. Her teenage daughter, Maddie, has gone off the rails, wracked with grief and an as-yet-unexplained guilt over her brother’s death. Rosalie lives in a fog of grief and denial; she refuses to accept that Rob’s death was an accident. The lives of the Douglas family are changed forever when they meet Jed, a beautiful, charismatic young man at bereavement counselling. A spark of hope for the future is rekindled within the household. But underneath, a deadly and morally corrupt triangle is taking shape.
7) Red Nose Day Special (NBC)
The sixth annual "Red Nose Day" special will showcase a night of music, comedy and Hollywood's biggest names. The two-hour special will feature the biggest names across entertainment with a packed lineup of music, comedy and short documentary films that will educate and engage viewers. The films will share stories of children and young people who have been affected by poverty and how Red Nose Day funds have helped change their story for good.
8) The Split Series Premiere (Sundance)
The drama centers around the Defoes, a family of female divorce lawyers known for dominating their field in the ruthless and fast-paced world of London's divorce law circuit.
9) To Tell The Truth Season Premiere (ABC)
Sports icons Deion Sanders and Shannon Sharpe join comedians Joel McHale and Gillian Jacobs to make up the celebrity panel. The panel is presented with a variety of participants with interesting stories, including a T-Rex of honor, Oprah’s pedicurist, a professional bee keeper, a New York Times Crossword editor and a Kung Fu master.
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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