Here's everything you need to know about the world of television for Friday, July 31st, 2020. I'm writing this from the Twin Cities suburbs, where AllYourScreens HQ is powered by coffee and a mid-morning breakfast sandwich. My apologies for not sending out a newsletter yesterday. I took a day off/mental health day. It's amazing how energizing it can be just to get outside for a bit.
NETFLIX WILL WRAP 'MONEY HEIST' AFTER FIVE SEASONS
Streaming giant Netflix has announced it will be wrapping the original drama "Money Heist" after it's fifth season. And predictably, my Twitter timeline was filled with snarky comments this morning bemoaning the fact that while some broadcast network shows can run a decade or two, the longest-running original Netflix series so far has been "Orange Is The New Black," which ran 7 seasons.
I know it's frustrating to have a series you enjoy wrap after 3 or 4 seasons. But it's business. There's no financial incentive to do 12 seasons of "Money Heist," even though the show is wildly popular globally. Broadcast television shows don't last 10 or 12 years because those network executives just love television more. It's because while the syndication market isn't what it used to be, once you get past 5-7 seasons on a broadcast TV series, you're just printing money. Sure, you might have to pay more for the cast when their contracts expire, but it's still a healthy revenue stream. "Coach" didn't air for nine seasons because it was a powerhouse comedy at its creative peak. It ran that long because there was an economic incentive to do so. And there's an argument to be made that a lot of mid-tier shows would be better off wrapping up a couple of seasons earlier than they did.
The other odd thing about this criticism is that it often comes from the same people who argue Netflix is spending too much money on original content. So if that's the case, wouldn't be smart to limit spending when possible, especially when there is no economic incentive to do so?
One takeaway I always get from these discussions is how many TV critics and media types have no idea how the revenue side of streaming really works.
NBC TO INVESTIGATE ENTERTAINMENT HEAD ACCUSED OF TOXIC WORKPLACE
NBC is investigating claims that reality-TV chief turned NBC Entertainment chairman Paul Telegdy has over the years fostered a toxic workplace through his allegedly homophobic, misogynistic and racist behavior:
The accounts cited by The Hollywood Reporter include Sharon Osbourne saying that in 2012, Telegdy as reality-TV chief told her, “Go f–k yourself” when she protested NBC’s decision to drop her son Jack from Stars Earn Stripes after he disclosed an MS diagnosis; numerous sources claiming Telegdy has openly mocked, and used homophobic slurs against, gay executives; Telegdy making sexualized comments about talent’s appearance; his detailing of sexual encounters in front of staff; and his participation in a prank (perpetrated by current reality-TV chief Meredith Ahr, who is also named in THR’s reporting) that involved a photo of an "unattractive" Black actress.
PR AND THE NICHE STREAMER
One of the topics I keep going back to in this newsletter on a regular basis is PR efforts - especially when it's a bad PR effort. Part of the reason is self interest. The editorial sweet spot for AllYourScreens is surfacing shows that don't get a great deal of mainstream industry coverage. Even better if it's a show on a streamer that is under-appreciated. So while you'll see plenty of articles, reviews and interviews on shows from Netflix & Hulu, you'll also see things like this review of a new movie from Shudder. If you're a small streamers, I'm someone you want to talk to.
A couple of days ago, I received a PR pitch from someone representing "One Life To Live" actress Crystal Hunt. She has a new series out called "Mood Swings," that the pitch described as a "modern-day Golden Girls." While I'm not convinced that's the case, it does have a cast that includes Donna Mills, Sean Lambert, Dyan Cannon and Robin Riker. And given that this is the first I'm hearing of the show, I want to learn more. Not to brag, but if I haven't even heard of a project, it's keeping an extremely low profile.
And visiting the PureFlix web site is no help at all, since there aren't any press contacts. Or any contacts, for that matter. The customer service section is a bunch of text FAQ's and there isn't even a general contact phone number. And you certainly can't tell anything about their programming from the website, because even the program listings are behind the paywall. I realize that Christian-oriented streaming services typically aren't concerned with getting coverage from the mainstream entertainment press. But if you're making the commitment to create original programming, it would make financial sense to at least make it possible for the press to contact you if they want more information.
ODDS AND SODS
Charter Q2 earnings are just in: The company added 102,000 pay TV customers. Revenue of $11.7 billion grew by 3.1% year-over-year.
Alan Parker, director of "Bugsy Malone," "Fame," "The Committments," "Pink FLoyd: The Wall" and "Midnight Express" has died at age 76.
Here is a rundown of the new television programs premiering today:
1) Get Even (Netflix)
Four teen enemies band together to exact revenge on their bullies until they get blamed for a crime they didn’t commit. Will they get mad — or get even?
2) Latte And The Magic Waterstone (Netflix)
In this animated adventure, brave hedgehog Latte sets out to retrieve a magic stone from a greedy bear king and restore water flow to the forest.
3) Locked Up: El Oasis (Netflix)
After years of stealing jewelry, Zulema and Macarena recruit four other women for a final heist worth millions, to take place at a narco family wedding.
4) Martha Knows Best Series Premiere (HGTV)
"Martha Knows Best gives fans a behind the scenes look at her latest gardening projects on her New York farm. From planting a vegetable garden and trees, to building a stone path, to grooming her pets, Martha does it all. She surprises fans, giving advice on their home projects, and helps her celebrity friends with theirs. Is there anything Martha can’t do?"
5) Muppets Now Series Premiere (Disney+)
This is The Muppets Studio's first unscripted series and first original series for Disney+. In the six-episode season, Scooter rushes to make his delivery deadlines and upload the brand-new Muppet series for streaming. They are due now, and he’ll need to navigate whatever obstacles, distractions, and complications the rest of the Muppet gang throws at him.
6) Seriously Single (Netflix)
Two besties with polar opposite views of men, sex and love navigate the complicated singles scene together in this romantic comedy.
7) Sugar Rush Season Premiere (Netflix)
Four teams of brilliant bakers battle it out for sugary success as they race against each other and the clock over three rounds of competition. This season the challenges are harder, the creations are more spectacular and the rewards are even sweeter. Hosted by Hunter March, judges Candace Nelson & Adriano Zumbo return for the Extra Sweet season.
8) The Go-Gos (Showtime)
The band granted full access for this textured biography featuring candid interviews and archival footage to tell the real story of their meteoric rise to fame and the journeys, triumphs, laughter and struggles along the way.
9) The Speed Cubers (Netflix)
Discover the special bond — and uncommon competitive spirit — shared by the world's Rubik's Cube-solving record breakers in this documentary.
10) The Umbrella Academy Season Two Premiere (Netflix)
The super-powered Hargreeves siblings return for another season. Which is ironic, because they destroyed the Earth in the last one.
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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