Category Archives: Network Series

Annual Reviews of each network’s current and upcoming slates, as well as ratings analysis and comparisons.

As ESPN Flounders, Lifetime and History Channel Keep Disney’s Cable Division Afloat (Network Series)

Disney Network SeriesIf Freeform’s upcoming Marvel series Cloak & Dagger hews closer to the superhero shows on Netflix and the CW, rather than sister network ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or The Inhumans, then it should be a winner when it debuts in 2018.

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“Mr. Robot,” “The Sinner,” “The Magicians” Are Bright Spots for NBCUniversal (Network Series)

NBC U Trio
Despite being in fewer homes than the year before, MSNBC has seen its fortunes rise at least partially due to the election of Donald Trump. Seen by many as the network of the opposition, MSNBC has enjoyed record ratings thanks to shows led by Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes and Lawrence O’Donnell.

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Viacom Still Sorting Out Its TV Issues, But the Paramount Network Brings Hope (Network Series)

Paramount NetworkSpike will soon relaunch as the Paramount Network, which will introduce a plethora of new shows, including Taylor Sheridan’s ranching drama Yellowstone, adaptations of the movies Heathers and The First Wives Club, the comedy American Woman from legendary creator John Wells, and the star-studded limited series Waco.

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The Stars Are Beginning to Align for Starz Thanks to “Outlander” (Network Series)

Starz LogoThe thriving network has several interesting projects on the horizon, including an adaptation of Howard’s End from Oscar winner Kenneth Lonergan and starring Hayley Atwell, and the sci-fi series Counterpart starring Oscar winner J.K. Simmons.

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Showtime Needs a “Homeland”-Level Hit, and It Needs One Soon (Network Series)

Showtime LogoIt’s unclear how much money the network spent on its Twin Peaks sequel, but whatever the figure was, it doesn’t appear to have been a great investment. The 18-part series was hardly watched at all, averaging less than 300,000 viewers per episode.

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As Competition Grows, HBO’s Throne Is Vulnerable, But It’s Still the Model for Success on the Small Screen (Network Series)

HBO logoWith both Veep and Game of Thrones, coming to a close, there are a few projects that could potentially fill the void — chief among them, the third season of True Detective starring Oscar winner Mahershala Ali.

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Hulu Is On Top Thanks to “Handmaid’s Tale,” But for How Long? (Network Series)

“What to say about Hulu? Seriously, I’m asking, because it’s not entirely clear that the streaming service itself knows what it wants to be,” writes Neil Turitz.

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Amazon Television is Still Playing Catch Up (Network Series)

When it comes to Amazon Studios, it really is a tale of two cities. On the film side, things are pretty good, but with TV, Amazon has been trying like hell to establish itself and somehow seems to keep slipping.

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Netflix is Raising Prices, But Will It Cover the Cost of Business? (Network Series)

Netflix has over 100 million subscribers now and, in spite of the billions of dollars it brings in through subscriptions, it continues to borrow billions more to keep churning out that content. How long can the business model hold?

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The CW Redefines What It Means to Be a Success (Network Series)

The CW has created a business model unlike any of the major networks with a combination of actioners from Greg Berlanti, genre YA series, and a few light-hearted dramas for its long-time viewers.

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Fox Appears to Have a Dark Year Ahead of Them (Network Series)

empire excerptFox may be drawing younger demographics but the network is still struggling to find a new hit.

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It’s the Best of Times and the Worst of Times at ABC (Network Series)

abc excerptWhile ABC came in a close second to NBC last season in the prime demo rankings, without any sports programming to speak of, they also finished a distant third place in total viewers, with 6.2 million per show, losing nine percent of their audience from the year before.

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NBC Is the Reigning Network, But Can “This is Us” and “Will & Grace” Keep Them There? (Network Series)

nbc excerptThe Peacock Network, which used to be known for its Must See TV Thursday night lineup of sitcoms, has mostly eschewed them of late to focus on hour long dramas, and found great success in the process. But can This is Us and the NFL keep the network on top?

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CBS Is Still Your Number One Broadcast Network, But Not by Much (Network Series)

cbs-excerptWith Labor Day now in our rearview mirror and the new TV season about to knock on our door, it’s time once again to turn from the big screen to the small. Considering that CBS has won the crown for most viewers for nine straight seasons, and 14 of the last 15, it’s hard to imagine that it was ever a punchline, but it was. A big one.

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Disney’s Cable Networks May Be Bigger Than Most, but They Have a Lot of the Same Problems (Network Series)

neil excerpt With the final entry in our Network Series, Neil Turitz is here to talk about the Walt Disney Company owned network and how they fall into the everchanging landscape of television.

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Different Companies, Different Networks, but Similar Problems (Network Series)

neil excerpt

Even small victories for cable networks come amidst turmoil, frustration, and shedding of viewership. Today let’s take a deep dive into FX and FXX, Time Warner’s TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network/Adult Swim and TruTV, and AMC Networks’ AMC, IFC, BBC-America, WeTV and SundanceTV.

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NBCUniversal Has a Lot Going For It, but Is That Enough To Save Its Cable Business? (Network Series)

nbcuniversal

Only one of NBCUniversal’s 15 cable properties gained viewership from 2014-2015. The networks saw a boost in ratings from NBCUniversal’s monopolistic coverage of the Rio Olympics, but now that the games are gone the question remains: will people stay to watch?

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Viacom Sees Firsthand Now Is Not Really a Great Time to Be In the Cable TV Business (Network Series)

Shari Redstone ExcerptIt’s tough to target just how Viacom can turn things around, but even if there was a concrete method to do so, it’s not going to be easy, simply because of the nature of the cable business. It has to hope that Shari Redstone and her new board of directors can make changes that will help matters, and that both MTV and Nickelodeon can once again draw the viewership numbers it used to.

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Hulu Is the Third Biggest Streaming Service, and That Probably Won’t Change Soon (Network Series)

hulu excerptAs we discussed last week, it’s tough for anyone to compete with Netflix at the moment, but it becomes even tougher when the operation interested in doing so, Hulu, can’t really decide what it wants to be or how it wants to become it. However, Hulu’s upcoming fare sounds like it’s all smarter, more upscale forms of entertainment, which could be a good thing.

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Amazon Isn’t Yet a Competitor to Netflix, but Stand By (Network Series)

Amazon Studios ExcerptSo far, Netflix remains the dominating streaming service for original content in the television sphere, but Amazon isn’t far behind them. With Amazon’s endless well of resources and how many projects they’re developing, they could soon be a much bigger player.

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Netflix Has Become Enormous, But Is It Too Big To Fail? (Network Series)

netflix excerptWith hundreds and hundreds of hours of original content produced each year, Netlix has grown into a giant of the television industry and it isn’t even on television. Is the bubble going to burst on Netflix or will their unprecedented growth continue?

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For One Pay Cable Network, It’s Good That People Are Seeing STARZ (Network Series)

Starz Excerpt

Starz is now the second most subscribed pay cable network but still has yet to find it’s buzzy award winning show. With interesting new projects, current sleeper hits, and a partnership with Lionsgate can the network make the jump into the pantheon of prestige television?

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For This Popular Pay Cable Network, Iiiiiiit’s Showtime (Network Series)

David Nivens excerpt

The 40 year old Showtime is one of the oldest pay cable network there is, but a lack of buzz worthy shows has caused the formerly second most popular network to decline in viewership. Can an interesting array of new projects help bolster viewership and bring Showtime back into the upper echelon of cable television?

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It’s HBO, Which Means It’s Definitely TV (Network Series)

casey hbo excerptYou all know the slogan, as it’s one of the best known of any in the world of television. “It’s not TV, it’s HBO.” Home Box Office started out as a second-run movie network, and slowly became the most respected broadcaster of original content on television. While it has some challenges, it’s hard to argue that it doesn’t continue to hold that spot.

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The CW Shows That Being a Fifth Place Network Isn’t Always a Bad Thing (Network Series)

supergirl excerptThe main job a television network has is to draw viewers and achieve good ratings. It has always been this way, as long as there has been television and the networks that appear on it. Except, of course, when it’s not. Take, for instance, The CW.

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Things Are Flat at Fox, but Their Innovation Keeps Them Going (Network Series)

Dana Walden Gary Newman ExcerptThere’s no real easy way to climb the ladder, other than to keep trying to innovate. Yes, there is plenty of the familiar on the horizon, but one of the things that Fox has always been willing to do more than its competitors is take the big swing.

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It’s Been a While Since the Alphabet Network Came First, and It’ll Be a While Still (Network Series)

Channing Dungey ExcerptSince the start of the century, ABC has been the top-rated network only once (all the way back in the 2000-01 season) and since then, they’ve been losing millions of viewers as their shows and ratings have stagnated or dropped. Channing Dungey and her team have their work cut out for them, and a fairly difficult road to maneuver to get back on top.

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It Might Not Be Number One, But NBC Can Still Strut Like a Peacock (Network Series)

Robert Greenblatt ExcerptAll in all, things are pretty good at NBC. They could certainly be worse, and in fact were, quite recently. Under Greenblatt’s guidance, the network has steadily climbed the ladder over the past few years, the question is, can it overcome the strength of CBS? For that to happen, a lot has to go right, and that’s sort of a risky place to be.

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For CBS and Les Moonves, It’s Good To Be the King (Network Series)

moonves 2 excerptNot so long ago, CBS was a last place network. A bad joke that was hemorrhaging viewers, and giving the impression that those it kept were all senior citizens. But two things occurred that changed things. The first was the rise of Les Moonves, and the second was achieving an understanding of what its viewers really wanted.

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