Facebook continues to ramp up its original content with Watch, a platform introduced Wednesday for shows — a new type of shortform video on the social media juggernaut. Mark Zuckerberg’s company calls it a platform for all creators and publishers to find an audience, build a community of fans and earn money for their work.
“I want the humans to be able to hold their own against the strength of the machines.” That was perhaps the most ominous line spoken from the stage at the summer Television Critics Association press tour, and it came not from an actor or showrunner but FX Networks chief John Landgraf. He wasn’t describing the plot of a new scripted drama. He turned to the classic science fiction trope as a metaphor for the situation that he and other cable programming executives now find themselves in as Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple engage in a “titanic struggle” — Landgraf’s words — for domination in the video entertainment marketplace.
NBC’s freshman summer competition series World of Dance saw substantial lift in the Nielsen overnight ratings Tuesday for its season finale. Airing at 10 p.m., the series pulled in a 2.0 rating in adults 18-49 and 8.3 million viewers, drawing its biggest audience in the key demo since the series premiere in May (2.4, 9.7 million). The show also grew 18% week-to-week in both the key demo and total viewers.
Highlighting the steep cost of the original programming arms race currently unfolding in the SVOD market, Hulu’s losses through the first six months of 2017 have spiked 81% to $353 million. The data comes courtesy of BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield, who looked at SEC data filed by Hulu parents Fox, Walt Disney, Comcast and Time Warner.
Overall in primetime for the week, NBC averaged 5.4 million viewers. CBS was second with 4.1 million, ABC had 3.2 million, Fox had 1.6 million, just ahead of Univision with 1.5 million, while Telemundo had 1.34 million, Ion Television had 1.28 million, and the CW had 950,000.
The network has had “preliminary conversations” with series creators Mike Judge and Greg Daniels about reviving the ‘toon, Fox Chairman Dana Walden confirmed to reporters Tuesday at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour. The series originally ran on Fox from Jan. 12, 1997, to Sept. 13, 2009.
Fox has cast Maya Rudolph as the female lead of its newest live musical event, A Christmas Story, which will air Dec. 17. A Saturday Night Live alum who also showed her song-and-dance chops on a short-lived NBC variety show, Rudolph will star as the mother of nine-year old protagonist Ralphie Parker.
After shopping her Judge Judy library around the industry for as much as $200 million, Judy Sheindlin’s stable of more than 5,200 episodes has landed back at CBS. The deal also includes several more seasons of future episodes of the No. 1 syndicated series.
Summer continues to take its toll on first-run, with only Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz, Hot Bench, Judge Mathis, Divorce Court and Access Hollywood moving up in the week ending July 30.
ABC’s The Bachelorette closed out its 13th cycle on season highs Monday night. The three-hour episode averaged a 2.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 7.5 million viewers, surging from the penultimate episode. It was also the closest its been all summer to the previous season, trailing the 2016 finale by only 8% in the key demo.
David Letterman is returning to a regular TV gig, setting a deal with Netflix for a show that will combine long-form interviews with reports from the field. Netflix has ordered six episodes of the hourlong series, to be produced by New York-based RadicalMedia and Letterman’s Worldwide Pants banner. The untitled show is targeted to debut next year.
To dig into out-of-home (OOH) viewing, Nielsen analyzed data to see what content Americans are consuming beyond the comfort of their own couches. The analysis, which looked into total day out-of-home TV viewership from the beginning of 2017 to the end of May, uncovered a bevy of trends — some intuitive, and some surprising — that begin to scratch the surface of this new horizon in measured behavior.
Two decades ago ago, Barbara Walters had a groundbreaking idea. She wanted to launch a talk show where she could stop by, on top of her full-time job on 20/20, to spar with a multi-generational panel of women about the headlines of the day. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of a show that changed the rules of daytime TV, ABC is re-airing the first episode of The View this Friday.
For those existing Xfinity TV customers who pay $5.99 for a monthly upgrade, they can get FX+, a commercial-free option of FX Networks: FX and FXX. It will be available Sept. 5.
Fox’s American Grit closed out its second season Sunday with a modest showing in the overnight ratings. Big Brother (1.9, 6.6 million) on CBS was again the top-rated and most-watched show of the night. Candy Crush (0.5, 2.2 million) was even at 9.
There are rumblings at the highest executive levels that AT&T’s top executives are considering divesting some Time Warner assets — including news organization CNN and celebrity gossip site TMZ — after they merge.