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Steve Sternberg
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It’s hard to imagine that just 20 years ago, the only place to watch first-run original scripted series was on one of four broadcast networks – and only for six or seven months of the year. Today, in the era of Peak TV, there are so many good TV series... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
The era of Peak TV is the best of times for television viewers (at least for those who can afford multiple streaming services). There is more original content and more high-quality programming available on more platforms geared to more demographic groups with more high-profile actors, and more diversity than ever... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
I’ve been in this business for more than 30 years, and for most of that time, various networks have been trying to get Nielsen to measure out-of-home viewing (primarily in restaurants, bars, and hotels), and integrate the data into its regular reported ratings. The leading proponents (and potentially greatest beneficiaries)... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
These are the best of times for TV viewers, but it might be the worst of times for broadcast TV. The mortality rate of new broadcast series is higher than ever. Out of 68 new primetime scripted series premiering in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 seasons, only 11 (16%) will still... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
The broadcast networks traditionally unveil their fall schedules in May and promote them to potential viewers throughout the summer. Ad-supported cable networks tend to debut much of their new original scripted series between June and August (when the broadcast networks air mostly repeats, reality, and game shows), although some new... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
The broadcast networks have been promoting their summer shows and new fall series since mid-May. Since we are deep into the traditional rerun season, I’m repeating something I’ve been calling for since the inception of The Sternberg Report – Cross-promote or die. Last summer, my wife and I started watching... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
Last year’s Emmy Awards broadcast was the least watchable I’ve ever seen (and I’ve been watching them forever). It seemed sparse, hollow, and low-budget. Most of the skits were not funny in the slightest. They seemed intent on driving away older viewers (my mother-in-law couldn’t take watching it after about... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
Once a time for little but repeats, reality, and game shows, the summer months are now filled with original scripted series – several on cable networks, but many you may never have heard of on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and CBS All Access, as well.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
For American television viewers, the official start of the new primetime television season is still three months away. But the recent network upfront presentations and the release of the fall pilots to industry insiders has placed thoughts of September squarely into June. In today’s video world, the very idea of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
Marvel’s theatrical movies focus on the more well-known world-saving superheroes, such as Thor, The Hulk, Iron Man, and The Avengers. its Netflix TV shows featured lesser-known “street-level” heroes, whose grittier, more personal, neighborhood-centered stories lend themselves to more series-long plotlines (as opposed to one- or two-part blockbuster action movies). As... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
As the youngest members of the TV Generation turn 50 this year (and the oldest approach 70), it’s ironic that the press and much of the advertising industry still think of Adults 18-49 as the key demographic segment for evaluating television viewing. Broad demographic segments, such as 18-49 and 25-54,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
Game of Thrones is over and summer is coming. The May sweeps have ended and summer repeats and reality will once again take over the broadcast airwaves. Many viewers will turn to cable, with its increasingly robust menu of original scripted series, as they do every year at this time.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
For American television viewers, the start of the new primetime television season is still four months away. For insiders at media agencies, networks, and advertisers, however, the Upfront season is placing thoughts of September squarely into May. Of course, the very idea of a fall TV season in today’s video... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
This week the broadcast networks are announcing their primetime fall schedules for next season. In the days that follow, insiders at advertisers and their agencies, as well as TV critics and media analysts like me, will get to see all the pilots for their new fall TV shows. Predictions of... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
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Throughout the history of television audience measurement, most people had access to the same viewing platforms and devices. When something new came along to either add additional channels or enhance the TV viewing experience, most people eventually bought it. This remained true through 2000, as VCRs reached about 90% of... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
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It’s the most successful series on premium cable since The Sopranos. Its eighth and final season, eagerly awaited by its legion of fans, just got underway. Of course, in today’s splintered video world, more than half the country has never seen a single episode, and is wondering what all the... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
Generations have traditionally been defined in 15-18-year increments, and given names based on some characteristic of the group’s behavior or time period. While there is some disagreement on exact start and end years, these are generally accepted time frames for the seven living generations: The G.I. Generation (1901-1926) The Silent... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
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Several months ago, I saw an interesting story on MSNBC. A new study had found that since 1994 the percentage of Democrats and Republicans who disapprove of the other party each rose from only about 15% to more than 50%. This is a staggering increase in polarization over the past... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
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There’s been a lot of discussion about who might be the host of this year’s Academy Awards broadcast after Kevin Hart was forced to step down when some old controversial tweets were discovered (although he is still apparently a possibility). While interesting, and perhaps newsworthy, whoever the host turns out... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2019 at The Sternberg Report
This is by no means a complete list of the best dramas on television – in the era of peak TV there are so many. It is simply my list of some of the highest quality series airing in 2018. I think all have something that make then rise above... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2018 at The Sternberg Report
Originally, comic cons focused primarily on comic books and the surrounding culture, where comic book fans could meet creators, artists, experts, and one another. Comic cons have come a long way since the first “official” comic book convention took place in New York in 1964 with just over 100 attendees.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2018 at The Sternberg Report
At this year’s upfront presentations to advertisers, the broadcast networks reiterated something they remind us of every year – that they, the broadcast networks, are still the best platform for reaching consumers and impacting sales. They are correct. Despite steady audience declines, viewers still spend about five times as many... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2018 at The Sternberg Report
In today’s video world, the very idea of a fall TV season seems antiquated. For years, cable networks have debuted original scripted series throughout the year, most often in spring or summer when the broadcast networks typically air repeats or reality shows. OTT streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2018 at The Sternberg Report
Once a time for little but repeats, reality, and game shows, the summer months are now filled with original scripted series – some on cable, but many you may never have heard of on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and CBS All Access. I’ve been analyzing... Continue reading
Posted Aug 2, 2018 at The Sternberg Report
Not so long ago, when Nielsen was a research organization, I had a series of conversations with top executives of the company on a variety of research issues. We touched on a number of topics, including some of the audience measurement techniques being used by other research companies. I was... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2015 at The Sternberg Report