Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, July 24th, 2020. I'm writing this from outside diner in the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by biscuits and gravy and many cups of coffee. As I work on this, I'm waiting to get the brakes fixed.
A GUIDE TO BUILDING THE PERFECT DISCOUNT CABLE TV BUNDLE
We live in a time where a lot of people are unemployed or have had their hours cut at work. They might love their TV shows, but they are also dealing with budget constraints. I have put together a guide to building the bundle that works best for you, with ideas ranging from $20 a month and up. You might not be able to get 100 percent of your favorite TV channels live, but these choices nicely balance viewing needs and financial constraints.
YOU CAN NOW DO SCREENSHOTS ON QUIBI....SORT OF
One of the many complaints about the mobile-only service Quibi has been that subscribers couldn't take screenshots of the videos and share them. Which is a big issue when one of the best ways to build buzz about a show is having subscribers share screenshots on social media. Apparently, Quibi's DRM (digital rights management) software won't allow screenshots, but engineers at the company has put together a workaround which allows screenshots while not altering the DRM. I wrote up some details about this late yesterday, which you can read here.
ARE BANDWIDTH LIMITS A GOOD IDEA DURING A PANDEMIC?
I get my Internet service through Comcast and like most broadband providers, Comcast suspended their monthly bandwidth limits for several months. But they are back in July, with a new restriction. Previously, Comcast had given broadband subscribers two complimentary months per year in which they wouldn't be charged extra if they exceed their monthly limit. Comcast has cut that in half and now only allows subscribers one complimentary month per year of free overages. Although they do remind customers that if they use more than limit of just over a terrabyte per month, the most they can be charged is $200 (they charge per extra gigabyte used).
Aside from the general weaselly behavior of cutting back on the number of free months during a pandemic, the bigger question is whether Comcast and other broadband providers should instead be raising their broadband limits to reflect the number of people working from home. As well as the number of students who will likely be working from home this Fall?
It's worth noting that these overage charges are primarily just a way for broadband providers to print free money. The cost of providing extra broadband each month is negligible. In fact, broadband prices in general are as close to a guaranteed moneymaker as you'll find in the media business. When Comcast set up their $19.99 a month Internet Essentials broadband offering a few years ago, company officials admitted that even at that price point, the company was still making a bit of money.
Corporations aren't people, so it's foolish to describe any decision with a moral judgement. Still, charging customers for overages during a pandemic seems like an immoral decision to me.
SPEAKING OF COMCAST
The company just sent out a press release announcing that Comcast and Sinclair Broadcast Group have reached a multi-year renewal on their content carriage agreement. It covers 78 Sinclair TV stations in 51 markets plus Tennis Channel, 18 Fox-branded regional sports networks and YES Network. This is one of the reasons why Sinclair invested in those regional Fox Sports networks - it gave them more leverage during carriage agreement negotiations for their local stations.
WHEN IS A DISCOVERY NOT A DISCOVERY?
Coyote Peterson is a YouTube personality, wildlife educator, and host of Animal Planet's series "Coyote Peterson: Brave the Wild." Peterson recently posted to his Instagram account this picture, which he claimed was the first picture ever taken of a rare "Crocodile Gar," which is a cross between a crocodile and a long-nosed Gar:
But within hours, scientists such as Aquatic Ecologist Dr. Solomon David were noting that this photo wasn't the first of its kind. In fact, various scientific journals have been publishing papers (with photos!) of the species for more than a decade. So maybe Coyote meant it was the first photo of the species shared by a cable TV host?
ODDS & SODS
Darth Maul will appear in multiple Star Wars Disney+ shows, according to an exclusive piece in TheDirect.com. It's worth noting that the piece quotes unnamed "insiders" and prefaces the news with the disclaimer that "nothing is certain." Which means the news is as likely to be wrong as it is exclusive and correct. But it's worth noting.
This is a bit niche, but it's interesting that the new streaming service Peacock doesn’t support HDMI connection to external monitor. So you can't just get around the lack of Roku or Amazon Fire TV support for Peacock by simply plugging your laptop or tablet directly into your TV.
HBO Go has signed new deals in the Philippines and Taiwan.
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:
1) Animal Crackers (Netflix)
A family must use a magical box of Animal Crackers to save a run-down circus from being taken over by their evil uncle Horatio P. Huntington.
2) Dreamworks Dragons Rescue Riders: Secrets Of The Songwing (Netflix)
This is a preschool animated comedy adventure series about twins, Dak and Leyla, who befriend 5 young dragons, and spend their days rescuing other dragons, and helping the people in their adopted town of Huttsgalor.
3) 50 Shades Of Sharks (NatGeo)
This one-hour special reveals facets of sharks that are rarely chronicled; they’re fragile, delicate, ingenious, collaborative and even clumsy. This full immersion into their private lives shows them hunting, resting, cleaning and reproducing; these revelations might forever change the way we look at sharks.
4) French Biryani (Amazon)
In this film from India, Simon, representative of a pharmaceutical company from France and Asgar, local auto driver from Shivajinagar, share a two-day long journey in Bengaluru. That twisted journey with comedy of errors changes the way they look at life. What results of this goofed up journey is the heartstring of ‘French Biriyani’. With every possible wrong ingredient added by fate, it inevitably becomes a recipe for disaster.
5) Jim Gaffigan: The Pale Tourist (Amazon)
This veteran comedian is back with his second stand-up special for Amazon. This time, he's talking about the many things he has experienced in his travels as a comedian. Which given the current pandemic, might seem more bittersweet than funny.
6) Ofrenda A La Tormenta (Offering To The Storm) (Netflix)
In Pamplona, capital of Navarra, Amaia Salazar is called in to investigate the death of a still-born baby girl and the arrest of the child’s father. According to the grandmother of the family, the father tried to run away with the body of the baby while uttering some strange sayings about an offering. The baby has some red marks on her face that indicate that she has been murdered. The grandmother also talks about a magical creature: an nightmarish evil being that immobilizes people and prevents them from waking up after their sleep. It is the Inguma, the one who takes your life away while you are asleep.
7) Radioactive (Amazon)
Rosamund Pike stars in this film that takes a look at the incredible life of Marie Curie.
8) Raven About Bunk'd (Disney)
This special apparently is a crossover event that mashes together the casts of "Raven's Home" and "Bunk'd." I say apparently, because there is not the slightest bit of information about the series on the Disney Channel media web site.
9) Rogue Trip Series Premiere (Disney+)
Rogue Trip is a travel guide to all the places the average tourist is least likely to venture - the roguish nations, territories and regions often misunderstood and frequently overlooked, but each possessing a unique power to surprise, amaze and inspire. Led by ABC correspondent Bob Woodruff and his 28-year-old son, Mack Woodruff, the two will take viewers on a journey full of riveting insight through a collection of adventures that expose the grit and glamour of travel. This is a deeply personal adventure for both Bob and Mack: Bob was severely injured from a roadside bomb while reporting in Iraq in 2006. But instead of teaching his children to fear the outside world, Bob shares this trip with his son, firm in the belief that even in the world’s troubled places, most people are hopeful and kind. Bob and Mack share inside jokes, dirty laundry, and cramped hotel rooms in this father-son guide to the beautiful, breathtaking and often hopeful experiences to be had on the edges of conflict and chaos.
10) Room 104 Season Four Premiere (HBO)
Exploring a variety of genres, from dark comedy to sci-fi, to the series’ first ever animated episode and original songs, this season will continue to surprise viewers week to week. The premiere episode will be the first time in the series that Mark Duplass stars, writes, directs and performs original music. Stories and characters featured in season four include: an estranged performer giving a one-night-only performance; a woman battling her dark past with addiction; a dollhouse; transporting back in time; and more.
11) Sing On! Spain Series Premiere (Netflix)
A fun karaoke gameshow where 6 contestants sing big hits for a jackpot of up to EUR 30,000. The more they sing in tune, the more cash they bank … and one singer is guaranteed to win it all!
12) The Kissing Booth 2 (Netflix)
Elle Evans (Joey King) just had the most romantic summer of her life with her reformed bad-boy boyfriend Noah Flynn (Jacob Elordi). But now Noah is off to Harvard, and Elle heads back to high school for her senior year. She'll have to juggle a long-distance relationship, getting into her dream college with her best friend Lee (Joel Courtney), and the complications brought on by a close friendship with a handsome, charismatic new classmate named Marco (Taylor Zakhar Perez). When Noah grows close to a seemingly-perfect college girl (Maisie Richardson-Sellers), Elle will have to decide how much she trusts him and to whom her heart truly belongs. Director and screenwriter Vince Marcello returns for The Kissing Booth sequel, based on the "The Kissing Booth" books by Beth Reekles.
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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