Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Thursday, July 9th, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by unsweetened ice tea and oatmeal.
THE ONE SLIGHT BUSINESS UPSIDE OF A PANDEMIC
Let's face it, this COVID-19 pandemic sucks on so many levels. But one small business upside - at least for me - is that it weirdly opens up more promotional opportunities. As I write this, I'm cycling through a series of roundtable interviews on a virtual junket for the upcoming Netflix series "Cursed." It's all done by Zoom and six months ago it would have probably happened in person in L.A. I'm based in the Twin Cities and it can sometimes be a challenge to get access to people on sets or on press junkets. So this new Zoom culture opens up some new opportunities for me. The downside is mornings like this one, where I'm being pulled in a lot of different directions. All of those interviews are making today's newsletter a shorter one, but given the length of a few of them, that might be seen as a win by some readers.
MAYBE IT'S TIME FOR SOME 'EXTRA CONTENT' FROM YOUR FAVORITE NETFLIX SHOWS
With every network and streamer scrambling for more original content to fill the production gap, I'm surprised that no one at Netflix has decided to look into the company's vault of footage from some of its original productions. One of the few reasons why people still buy DVDs is that they enjoy the deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes footage available on physical media.
So why not put together a "Witcher: Take Two" series in which cast and crew do audio commentaries of each episode? Those can be done remotely and given that Netflix already offers multiple audio tracks, it's an easy thing to do. Or put together a 30-minute "Unseen Witcher" special that combines deleted footage with newly recorded video from the show's producers explaining why the footage wasn't used.
These types of new projects might require a few contract tweaks here and there. But it's a way to create a lot more fun content for fans and keep them engaged until the pipeline of new seasons hit the streaming service.
NFL MEDIA ASKS TALENT TO TAKE A PAY CUT
On a conference call late Wednesday afternoon, NFL Media asked its on-air talent to take temporary salary reductions of up to 15% for six months, from early August through January.
In April, ESPN and Fox Sports asked its commentators to take voluntary 15% pay cuts over the ensuing three months at least. Almost all of them agreed to the cuts. In May, all of NBC’s on-air sports talent agreed to voluntary pay cuts in the 5-10% range. Those cuts also were described as temporary; all NBC on-air personalities agreed to them.
NEW GEN-Z GAME-CENTRIC STREAMER TO LAUNCH IN AUGUST
The gaming-centered digital media network Venn is set to launch 24/7 on August 5th. At launch, the network will crank out about 20 hours of original programming per week and it plans to launch a flagship studio facility in New York City in 2021:
Upon its launch, the lineup of shows will include gaming and pop culture daily variety show VENN Arcade Live; competition series Dare Package, billed as an unboxing challenge for streamers; a choose-your-own-adventure type show called Guest House, where streamers customize their own TV show in an ultimate streaming space; as well as interactive fitness show Looking for Gains and a variety program featuring musicians, artists and creators.
ODDS & SODS
HBO Max has ordered a second season of the dance competition series "Legendary."
Martha Stewart has a new series coming to HGTV on Friday, July 31st. "Martha Knows Best" is Martha talking virtually to her celeb friends and doling out hints and advice with that trademark Martha Stewart delivery. To be honest, it's just good to see HGTV rolling out another primetime show that doesn't have "House" "Hunters" or "Life" in the title. And the five-part tournament "Chopped: Beat Bobby Flay" will premiere Sunday, August 9th.
"The ReidOut" with Joy Reid premieres Monday, July 20th, at 7 p.m. ET on MSNBC.
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:
1) Cake Season Premiere (Fxx)
This is FXX's half-hour short-form comedy block that celebrates live-action and animation that's thought-provoking, artistic and raw.
2) Cannonball Series Premiere (USA)
Each episode of the show features 16 larger-than-life personalities willing to jump into the deep end and compete in four rounds of physical challenges – from the speed slide Mega-Ramp to a thrilling Drop Tower to the explosive Air Cannon and more. Each round eliminates more hopefuls, until finally one champion remains.
3) Chrisley Knows Best Season Premiere (USA)
In Season 8, the chaos in the Chrisley family is at an all-time high. When Savannah presses pause on her plans to marry Nic, Todd struggles to let go of his dream wedding. Elsewhere in the Chrisley household, Grayson is almost a teenager and is sick of being treated like a kid. Chloe is also growing up fast, and learns the delicate art of manipulating Todd. Todd finds a new emotion this season when Julie’s hunky badminton instructor awakens a jealous streak. While Julie is not in the market for a new man, Nanny Faye is, which leads her to explore the world of senior speed dating. A wedding may no longer be in the near future for this family, but they have more than a few reasons to celebrate this season.
4) Close Enough Series Premiere (HBO Max)
"A surreal animated comedy about a married couple, their five-year-old daughter, and their two divorced best friends/roommates all living together on the east side of Los Angeles. They’re navigating that transitional time in your 30s when life is about growing up, but not growing old. It’s about juggling work, kids, and pursuing your dreams, while avoiding time-traveling snails, stripper clowns, and murderous mannequins. Their life may not be ideal but for now, it's close enough."
5) Expecting Amy (HBO Max)
From hospitalizations to going out in front of a crowd of thousands, to quiet moments at home with her family, Schumer shares it all. Beginning the day she found out she was pregnant, through the birth of her child, she showcases her incredible journey on the road, revealing the challenges of pregnancy, marriage and the execution of creating a stand-up special.
6) Japan Sinks: 2020 Series Premiere (Netflix)
After catastrophic earthquakes devastate Japan, one family's resolve is tested on a journey of survival through the sinking archipelago.
7) The Protector Season Four Premiere (Netflix)
Vizier and the Immortals rule over modern Istanbul, Hakan travels to the past to stop a war, and Zeynep undergoes a powerful transformation.
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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