TV news and opinion from across the web,
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Peak TV

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  • Posted Tuesday 10/09/18 at 12:15PM EDT The first case of "Netflix addiction" surfaces in India
    Source: Indiewire

    An unidentified man reportedly checked into India’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences after consuming seven hours of Netflix a day, resulting in eye strain, fatigue and disturbed sleep.

    # TOPICS: Netflix, Binge Watching, Peak TV

  • Posted Thursday 10/04/18 at 5:24PM EDT Megan Mullally: "We’re really lucky to get to do Will & Grace right now on network television"
    Source: The Daily Beast

    The actress says Will & Grace, which returns tonight to kick off its second revival season, is doing something difficult as a network sitcom by making noise amid more than 500 scripted TV show. “So many of them are really good,” she says. “But all those other shows i’m thinking about, they’re all on some cable channel or streaming service. They’re not on network. They can say anything and can do anything and can address any subject matter and can really like hunker down and go deep. I feel like we’re really lucky to get to do Will & Grace right now on network television. Because there’s a giant swath of the audience that are not watching all that groovy stuff. They’re not watching the very profound, great, pushing-the-envelope shows that we’re watching. So to have this show plunk right down in the middle of a Thursday night on network is so great. I feel really lucky about that.” Debra Messing adds that she wouldn't have done the revival if it wasn't allowed to tackle pop-culture and the current state of politics. “There were many reasons to believe that perhaps the network might have concern with us doing what we always had done," she says. "So I articulated that and said I need confirmation that you will fully support the creative team here to do what we always did. Once I got that confirmation, I was always in.” As for her own social media political activism, she says: "No one in my professional world has asked me to stop being outspoken. Which is great.”

    # TOPICS: Will & Grace, NBC, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally, Peak TV

  • Posted Wednesday 10/03/18 at 3:22PM EDT "It's an arms race": Showtime boss expects TV spending to reach $100 billion
    Source: TheWrap

    “There’s a lot of people paying top dollar and it’s definitely gotten more expensive, no question about that,” said Showtime CEO David Nevins said at The Wrap conference on Tuesday. “There’s no question – it’s an arms race.” Nevins said about $85 billion is currently being spent on TV content, with $19 billion of that coming from streamers Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Apple. He predicted that in two years, spending will reach $100 billion, with the streaming companies paying $30 billion for content.

    # TOPICS: Peak TV, Showtime, David Nevins

  • Posted Wednesday 9/26/18 at 3:43AM EDT AT&T thinks it can make commercials appealing in the Peak TV era
    Source: Variety

    AT&T says it is finding new ways to monetize TV content. According to Variety, "AT&T intends to launch new kinds of TV ads....One concept the company is showcasing at an exhibit here would place a full-motion video commercial on a screen whenever a viewer decides to pause a show. AT&T is also working on 'shoppable commercials' that would allow viewers to buy what they see during an ad break – or even products they spot in a show itself."

    # TOPICS: Advertising, AT&T, Peak TV

  • Posted Monday 9/24/18 at 3:53PM EDT Twitter is welcoming the fall TV season with event pages for individual episodes
    Source: Ad Week

    With the 2018-19 season kicking off today, Twitter is making it easier to see tweets about episodes while they are airing. “For example," says a Twitter spokesperson, "instead of just following along with the hashtag #TheBachelor, this page will pull in tweets relating to things like #TheBachelor, #Bachelor, Chris Harrison, #GroceryStoreJoe, etc. For Game of Thrones, you no longer have to worry about refreshing #GameofThrones or #GoT—these pages will pull tweets around both.”

    # TOPICS: Twitter, Peak TV, Social Media

  • Posted Monday 9/17/18 at 7:37AM EDT Emmys don't get modern TV: The best new shows are almost genreless
    Source: The Atlantic

    In July, Emmys co-host Michael Che complained about the “anti-comedy comedy" of Hannah Gadsby's Nanette -- which he didn't watch -- calling it "standup tragedy." “I dont (sic) wanna have to ‘survive’ a comedy special,” Che wrote. “I wanna laugh. lets not make this what its (sic) not.” To which Sophie Gilbert responds that Che's definition of comedy wouldn't fit many shows that are considered comedies these days. "Has Che watched television recently?" she writes. "Putting aside live performance for a moment, does he consider Random Acts of Flyness to be comedy? Atlanta? Insecure? The End of the F***ing World? Succession? Or Barry, starring his former Saturday Night Live co-star, the comedian Bill Hader? Looking ahead to the 2018 Emmy Awards this Monday—which are presented by Che and his 'Update' co-host Colin Jost—the one quality that seems to define the best new shows on TV is an encroaching genrelessness. It’s an approach to television that prioritizes creative vision and voice over formulaic convention. If the 'sadcom' trend that flourished with Transparent and Louie and Girls saw half-hour shows fuse comedy and drama, hour-long shows are increasingly doing the same thing. The bleak satire of Succession and the tonal zaniness of Killing Eve, two recent longer shows that often feel impossible to categorize, prove how rich the results can be."


    # TOPICS: 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, NBC, Saturday Night Live, Colin Jost, Michael Che, Award Shows, Emmys, Peak TV

  • Posted Thursday 9/13/18 at 11:07PM EDT Vetran showrunners are in hot demand to help guide untested TV show creators
    Source: The Hollywood Reporter

    "As a crush of fresh (and green) voices turns to television, execs are scrambling to find proven writer-producers to keep big-ticket investments on track," according to The Hollywood Reporter. These veteran showrunners don't get the glory of the big-name creators. They are the "guy behind the guy," but they're earning a lot of making making sure shows are kept on track. They include NewsRadio creator Paul Simms, who has helped Donald Glover run Atlanta after helping guide Girls and The Flight of the Conchords. "Showrunners don't just fall out of the sky, they're grown," says CBS TV Studios president David Stapf. "There are so many shows now that the talent pool is thinner and people are getting opportunities maybe before they should be."

    # TOPICS: Peak TV, Atlanta, David Stapf, Paul Simms

  • Posted Saturday 8/04/18 at 2:51AM EDT Succession somehow succeeds by featuring aggressively unlikable characters
    Source: Elle

    It's unusual to have a show where every character is unlikable, but the HBO drama about a dysfunctional media dynasty somehow succeeds. "Succession occupies a grey space between comedy and prestige drama, and its cast of horror-show characters are intent on inflicting maximum pain on each other," says EJ Dickson. "This often makes for extremely uncomfortable viewing." Shows like Curb Your Enthusiasm and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia are other examples of shows packed with unlikable characters, but they bill themselves as comedies. Even anti-hero shows like The Sopranos, Breaking Bad and Mad Men each had a peripheral character "whose innocence or spunkiness humanizes the antihero and throws their bad behavior into relief," says Dickson. Succession's unlikable characters are why some critics initially didn't like the show. As Dickson points out, "Succession has no such moral center. In fact, it cleverly subverts the trope of the moral straight-man...Succession takes a cool, dispassionate, almost clinical interest in the foibles of the rich. Were it not for the snappy, profane one-liners, it would come off as almost documentarian in its approach towards the .001 percent." ALSO: How Succession became a Twitter sensation.

    # TOPICS: Succession, HBO, Peak TV

  • Posted Saturday 8/04/18 at 2:51AM EDT Why Peak TV shows tend to follow their great first seasons with a sophomore slump
    Source: Vox

    Westworld, UnReal and The Handmaid's Tale are fairly recent examples of Peak TV shows that followed great first seasons with a disappointing Season 2. But it's not just a recent trend. The Sopranos, Lost, Homeland and even Game of Thrones had second seasons that a lot of people found subpar. "A hopefully obvious answer to the disappointing second season problem is a basic tenet of human nature: It’s hard to replicate the experience of first watching something and falling in love with it," says Todd VanDerWerff. "The sheer thrill that accompanied the slow word-of-mouth excitement that boosted Stranger Things in season one was never going to happen again when the show returned for season two. But another obvious answer to this problem is that once a first season tells a mostly complete story, it can be incredibly hard to open up that story again to tell more stories." VanDerWerff adds: "But here’s the Catch-22 about second seasons: A good way to ensure you have a great second season is to air a somewhat disappointing first season. Yet in the age of Peak TV, airing a disappointing first season is a good way to ensure you don’t get a second season at all."

    # TOPICS: Peak TV, The Handmaid's Tale, UnREAL, Westworld

  • Posted Friday 8/03/18 at 3:50PM EDT FX boss says TV's golden age has turned into "the gilded age of television," thanks to "narrative exhaustion
    Source: Variety

    FX CEO John Landgraf, who's built a reputation for counting the number of scripted series each year, says there have been 319 scripted series that have premiered so far in 2018, up 5% over last year. At the TV press tour, Landgraf said he worried about "narrative exhaustion," where everything "feels vaguely familiar." “Profusion of stories is very good if you want to talk about innovation and diversity," he said, adding that thanks to that same profusion, “it’s very hard if you’re talking about trying to surprise the audience and delight the audience.” ALSO: Landgraf accuses Netflix of overspending, likening their strategy to "fishing" with "hand grenades."

    # TOPICS: Peak TV, FX, Netflix, John Landgraf

  • Posted Wednesday 8/01/18 at 12:04AM EDT Can the TV recap survive in the Peak TV era?
    Source: The Ringer

    TV recaps changed the way we view television, immortalizing classic episodes of shows such as Lost, Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Sopranos. But as Alison Herman points out, "the streaming model, with its seasons designed to be binged on one’s own schedule rather than watched live as a collective, has made the recap less essential as a place to process a show’s events until the next installment airs. Social media has supplanted comments sections as a meeting site for like-minded enthusiasts. The sheer volume of Peak TV has winnowed the number of shows with a following large and dedicated enough to merit a recap down to a handful of blockbusters and prestige stalwarts."

    # TOPICS: TV Criticism, Binge Watching, Peak TV

  • Posted Wednesday 8/01/18 at 12:04AM EDT Can the Deadwood movie provide the perfect ending?
    Source: The Atlantic

    The HBO drama is the third big TV series from the 2000s to be revisted, after Gilmore Girls and Arrested Development. But those two were revived to mixed reviews. "Even without an ending, Deadwood is arguably the apex of the television medium," says David Sims. "Bringing it back feels both alluring and dangerous, a chance to improve on greatness, but with the potential to end on an even more bitter note. That challenge is Peak TV epitomized—risky, somewhat superfluous, but creatively thrilling nonetheless."

    # TOPICS: Deadwood, HBO, Peak TV, Revivals

  • Posted Tuesday 7/31/18 at 4:36AM EDT Presenting The Top 100 TV episodes so far this century
    Source: The Ringer

    The Ringer's list of 100 episodes include everything from The Price is Right to The Sopranos to Laguna Beach.

    # TOPICS: Peak TV, Binge Watching

  • Posted Monday 7/30/18 at 12:49AM EDT The Shield cast reunites
    Source: Entertainment Weekly

    Michael Chiklis posted pictures of his entire cast and creator Shawn Ryan to Instagram. "Old friends together like time has stood still. Such incredible chemistry. #goodtimes #shieldreunion," Chiklis tweeted. This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Shield's acclaimed series finale.

    # TOPICS: The Shield, FX, Michael Chiklis, Shawn Ryan, Peak TV, Retro TV

  • Posted Friday 7/13/18 at 11:36PM EDT Sharp Objects is probably the biggest offender in "TV dramas are too quiet" trend
    Source: Vulture

    "The dialogue on Sharp Objects is occasionally so inaudible that it’s a very real distraction from an otherwise gorgeous show. It’s time to talk about this problem!" says Kathryn VanArendonk, adding: "It happens in important expositional moments...It happens in vital character-development scenes...It happens in big revelatory moments." Sharp Objects isn't the only too-quiet show. Fargo, Mr. Robot, Dietland, Ozark, Mindhunters, The Americans and The Handmaid's Tale are also offenders. "If quiet dialogue were just a problem for Sharp Objects, this would be a small-scale grievance," she says. "But in its general disregard for audibility — in its commitment to a range of volumes that prioritize slammed car doors and vodka glugs above spoken words — Sharp Objects feels like one of an increasingly noticeable cohort."

    # TOPICS: Sharp Objects, HBO, The Americans, Peak TV

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