THE NETFLIX JUBILEE

It feels a little like we’re turning a corner in the Age of Netflix Hooplah, that the industry and the media are inching slowly forward from “THEY WON ENTERTAINMENT!!!” to “So . . . what comes next here?” I wouldn’t say dots are being connected yet, but they are becoming visible, and more and more of them are everywhere. In today’s special edition, we’ll lay them out. Maybe–probably–it’s too soon to say what they will all definitively add up to, but there’s enough cause for . . . head scratching to suggest the prevailing hoopla is overdue for an update. To recap, or for those who have joined us recently: 1. Unquestionably, Netflix won Round 1 of the War for Entertainment. 2. In doing so, it created a service beloved by many, with lots of wonderful shows. 3. Netflix did this, however, in the great tradition of 21st Century Tech Startups: with

Continue reading »

Feel the Burnett

Is there any point at which Hollywood feels the need to suspend business as usual for a bit? For all the hourly grandstanding about the occupant of the Oval Office from people in this town, a geniune–if fairly idiosyncratic–industry poohbah might be sitting on tapes that have the potential to genuinely move the story, but why should Hollywood let even that stir up the status quo? The Apprentice outtakes have been the topic of considerable interest since 2016, when another tape of Trump speaking candidly came as close as anything to derailing his campaign. But in the two years since, Mark Burnett has steadfastly refused even to discuss the possibility of what may or may not exist on those years of tapes. Reporters have amazingly agreed to a “No Trump questions” ground rule for interviews with him. In this piece, Burnett was subjected to a withering barrage from Hollywood’s once leading trade

Continue reading »

LES MISERABLES

That’s what you call an official cave-in. Let’s recap among the wreckage of the past days: In the face of charges, a stream of CBS executives have come forward to say, in terms of varying mealy-mouthedness, that they stand by Les, including the network’s head of programming who stood before the TCA to offer, “I’m not saying we’re perfect, but…a lot of us have been here a long time precisely because CBS Entertainment is such a fulfilling place to work.” If you’re notsexually harassed, CBS is a lot of fun! Off the record, many friends of Les have been pounding away at the Farrow story: claiming Ileanna Douglas left the show for creative reasons, that the story insanely inflated Christine Peters position, was ancient history.. In his much-anticipated appearance on the CBS earnings call, Moonves sounded as though he’d be at the helm of an independent CBS well into the 2020’s.

Continue reading »