Posts Tagged TV

What’s The Verdict: Will the success of Entourage mean an end to female driven storylines?

What’s The Verdict: Will the success of Entourage mean an end to female driven storylines?

Entourage may prove to be one of the biggest films of the summer, and even the year. Fandango reported that more than 50% of its online sales today have been for tickets to the anticipated film debut of the popular HBO series. The film, which aired special previews across the country this past Tuesday was already able to hit a $2 million in ticket sales record.

With these starting numbers Entourage is sure to break a couple of records. But what effect will this have on female driven films in the industry? Over the past coupe of years female driven casts have become more and more prominent. Even films that would have traditionally thought of as male driven have begun to feature strong female leads.

Mad Max, a film that was originally male driven featured several female protagonists in the remake released last month. For a while it seemed as though the trend of large ensemble cast type films was to integrate both female and male characters.

Entourage presents audiences with a change to this trend. The film is entirely male driven. While it does feature female characters and cameos the storyline, like the HBO show, will revolve around its male actors.

With the film projected to break a series of records for both summer films, and the industry in general, will its all male cast send a message to content creators? Will the industry revert back to featuring all male casts?


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Whats the Verdict: Is Binge Watching the New Normal? NBC takes the plunge!

Once reserved strictly for online content streaming platforms like Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix, binge watching seems to have gone mainstream, with big networks beginning to release whole seasons online. The adoption of the binge model by big networks comes precisely at the same time that platforms like Netflix are moving away from it.

Tomorrow NBC will release the the first season of David Duchovny’s new period drama, Aquarius in its entirety online, while at the same time airing one episode a week on TV. In a Hollywood reporter article, NBC Entertainment Chairman, Bob Greenblatt proclaimed this decisions would push new boundaries, while also giving the consumer what they want.

NBC’s jump into the binge party comes at the same time as other’s are begining to question its merit. On May 21, Netflix began airing its new show, Between on a week to week basis. Hulu is also questioning the model and is looking at non binge options for its lineup, and Yahoo’s sixth season of Community is also being released over several weeks.

At the root of this shift is the need to create buzz. Content creators want to be able to build buzz around their shows, that continue over a period of time. The binge model allows for much of this build up. However, once the show is released the hype plummets. Serial releasing of content, on a week by week basis allows for hype to be built throughout a season.

As big networks like NBC move to catch up to online content providers like Netflix, more and more shows will be released on the binge model. The implications of this for the industry could be huge. Networks will have to create more and more content. This means that season story lines will become much longer. This also means that Networks will have to green light more shows. If they no longer have to worry about the physical confines of airtime, networks will be able to produce more shows for online viewers.

The real question is wether or not this is what the consumer wants. Will weekly entertainment transition into becoming fourteen hour obligations to watch an entire season in one weekend? What implications will this have on hiring patterns? What does this trend mean for payouts in the industry?

What do you think the verdict will be?

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What are Aziz Ansari and Netflix Cooking Up?

What are Aziz Ansari and Netflix Cooking Up?

The Ansari-Netflix duo. Comedian Aziz Ansari and Netflix are cooking up a new sitcom to be featured on the streaming service. It will be a 10-episode comedy series starring Aziz Ansari and other notorious comedians including Eric Wareheim (Time and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!), Noel Wells (SNL), Kelvin Yu (Popular) amongst others as co-stars. The show has not yet been titled and details have been kept under wraps, but word on the street is that it deals with…dating and relationships. I wonder if there is a connection to Ansari’s book Modern Romance, which will be coming out in June.

The show is being co-created with Alan Yang, executive producer of Parks & Rec.  Both Ansari and Yang will serve as executive producers along with a few others including Michael Schur and David Miner, both of whom are from Parks & Rec. The connection? Aziz Ansari is widely recognized as the star for all seven seasons of the popular TV series. In fact, it was Ansari’s ‘big break’ so to speak.  Supposedly, filming has started in New York but no word on its release.  Anyone whose a comedy fan or a fan of Parks & Rec should definitely keep their eye out for updates. This announcement comes after deals to feature Ansari’s stand-up specials as well as other talks of new sitcoms including a Full House reunion type series. Netflix just keeps on hitting the green light!

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Will bad blood hinder potential deal between Apple and Comcast?

Will bad blood hinder potential deal between Apple and Comcast?

This September, technology giant, Apple, is launching a TV streaming service that includes 20-30 channels at $40 dollars a month. Apple has not yet acquired licensing from media conglomerate, Comcast, for NBCUniversal content. It’s unclear whether Apple is snubbing Comcast because of bad blood or if Comcast is blocking access to licensing its content.

If Comcast is refusing to license the content because of past issues, they could be in some trouble for violating FCC conditions it agreed to four years ago. One of those conditions includes licensing content to any Internet service that also has content for NBCU’s competitors. Those competitors, such as, ABC, CBS, and FOX are supposedly on board with Apple’s service. If true, it is NBCU’s turn.

Others say Apple is giving NBCU the cold shoulder because of past feuds. Let’s say NBCU is not included in the service. This could have serious implications on both ad revenue and number of subscribers. Sought after NBCU channels including Bravo, NBC, and USA won’t be available. Without this access, viewers and fans will find the service to be too limited and complicated. What value will the service have if it doesn’t have your favorite channel? It’s hard to believe that Apple would even consider taking such a huge risk; I doubt the service will launch without NBCU included.

The two companies are expected to start the bargaining process soon. Stay tuned for updates on the potential deal.

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Comcast Enters The Digital Media Realm

Comcast has officially entered the world of digital media by opening a digital movie and TV show store. Less then a week after rumors surfaced that the cable experts were considering a digital store, Comcast has already begun selling movies ahead of their DVD release dates on TV as well as online. The price point for standard definition range between $10.99 and $12.99 while high definition goes up to $16.99.  

Do you think this will have any quantifiable effect on the evolving distribution landscape?

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Vertical Integration?

ABC and CBS have been experimenting with vertical integration, as more network-affiliated studios have been selling to other broadcast networks.

ABC just committed to a CBS comedy, as CBS is trying to sell shows to other broadcast networks. For example, it has set up an untitled comedy at ABC , which revolves around a two sisters. In fact, many of the successful shows at large networks hail from other studios, like Warner Bros TV, 20th TV, and Sony TV. 

With these changes, it seems that vertical integration is not temporary, but in fact here to stay. Do you think its influence on networks’ decisions  is beneficial or harmful?

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Update in Time Warner and CBS negotiations

Three LA-area customers have hit Time Warner Cable with a class action suit over the CBS blackout. The plaintiffs seek subscription fees and reimbursements on behalf of fellow Time Warner subscribers affected by the blackout. In the complaint filed yesterday, they claim unjust enrichment, breach of contract and more. Plaintiffs are also arguing that they received no notice of the blackout and that Time Warner has not offered credits in light of what has happened.

No word from Time Warner on the case.


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