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Steve Sternberg
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As an avid movie fan and reasonably heavy moviegoer (pre-pandemic), I look forward to watching the Academy Awards every year. And every year I find myself asking the same question: “Is it always this boring?” I invariably find myself answering, “yes” (“the slap” notwithstanding). And every year I forget the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2022 at The Sternberg Report
Until the early 2000s, changes to the media landscape – what was available to view and how it could be viewed – were gradual. The slow pace of change made predicting consumer television viewing habits relatively simple, and slow-to-change research companies didn’t have to pivot too quickly, nor innovate too... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2022 at The Sternberg Report
Netflix claims this South Korean survival drama is its most watched new series ever – the latest worldwide phenomenon in a string of major global hits, which include, Money Heist (Spain), Lupin (France), Elite (Spain), Dark (Germany), Fauda (Israel), Ragnarok (Norway), Barbarians (Germany), Bordertown (Finland), and Kingdom (South Korea), among... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2022 at The Sternberg Report
When it comes to national television audience measurement used for the buying and selling of commercial time, Nielsen has long been an industry-mandated monopoly. While potential competitors have periodically emerged over the years, they have failed to sustain enough support to survive – not because Nielsen did anything to impede... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2022 at The Sternberg Report
The advertising and media industries have traditionally relied on Nielsen for national and local television audience measurement as currency for the buying and selling of commercial time (and for evaluating the video landscape). Now it seems that several forces are at work conspiring to have this tradition come to an... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2022 at The Sternberg Report
Superheroes and sci-fi are more popular than ever, as anyone who attends the giant annual comic-cons in San Diego (July) and New York (October) can attest. They both consistently draw 150,000 attendees or more. There are also numerous smaller comic-con events throughout the country, ranging anywhere from a few thousand... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2022 at The Sternberg Report
There are so many sub-genres of science fiction, and so many excellent vastly different sci-fi movies and television series, that singling out any as “the best” seems silly. How can you compare stories featuring aliens (e.g., Falling Skies, Colony, Raised by Wolves) to fantasy (e.g., Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Game... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2022 at The Sternberg Report
Despite irrefutable video evidence, there was real and justifiable concern among many observers that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin would be acquitted of murdering George Floyd and escape justice. Juries have traditionally given police officers the benefit of the doubt. Convictions, even with seemingly obvious wrongdoing, have been few... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2022 at The Sternberg Report
The broadcast networks recently announced their respective fall schedules in a series of virtual upfront presentations to the advertising industry. Because of the pandemic, last year was the first time since I’ve been in this business that I didn’t see any pilots before the fall season began. This year, as... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2022 at The Sternberg Report
Twenty years ago, with very few exceptions, four broadcast networks were the only places you could find new original scripted series programming – and basically only six or seven months out of the year (since they aired large repeat loads during non-sweeps months and throughout the summer). This started to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2021 at The Sternberg Report
As the pandemic continues to wreaks havoc with life in general, television programming is no exception. Here are a few things worth pondering (or, at least some things I’ve been thinking about) as the new primetime television season gets underway. Another issue with TV audience measurement Network promotional follies Why... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
The pandemic-delayed new TV fall season is slowly getting underway. While you wait for your favorite series to return, here is a reminder of some of the best original scripted series available to stream. There are many hidden gems are just waiting to be found. Netflix still has by far... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
I’ve been analyzing television programming for more than 30 years. There was a time, not too long ago, when I could list every show on TV on any given night off the top of my head. Not today. This is the era of Peak TV+. In addition to broadcast television... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
My mother-in-law hasn’t watched the Emmy Awards in five or six years. The main reason, as she puts it, “none of the shows I watch get nominated anymore.” Now, I’m sure the networks aren’t particularly concerned about the 75+ crowd, but they do seem intent on driving away generations of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
Nielsen recently announced that it was delaying plans to incorporate out-of-home viewing into its regular ratings reports, which had been scheduled to start with the upcoming fall TV season. There was an immediate backlash from the broadcast networks, and Nielsen quickly reversed itself. It is now going to include this... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
The concept of “the big lie” is essentially that if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it people will eventually believe it. Since most people tell small lies themselves in their everyday lives, while they would never tell colossal lies (so have trouble believing someone else would),... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
In 2011, I wrote my first report on streaming, titled, Netflix is the Best Thing Ever. This was a year before its first original scripted series, Lilyhammer, and two years before the streaming service debuted its first major hit, House of Cards. We had just subscribed to Netflix, and I... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic tossed any idea of a normal fall TV season to the backburner, the value of the upfront marketplace, where upward of $20 billion in annual national TV advertising is placed over a few frenzied weeks in June, was being questioned. Under normal circumstances, we would... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
Former Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neil was famously quoted as saying, “All politics is local.” While all news is not local, it is certainly true that all catastrophes are local. Whenever there is a major event or tragedy that strikes a local community, whether it be a mass shooting,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
As many of us are working from home, and stuck at home, with no bars or restaurants to go to, no clubs or concerts to attend, and no live sports to watch, it’s somewhat comforting to know we live in the era of Peak TV+. OK, not really, but there... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
In 2020, the era of Peak TV+ gets underway in earnest. By mid-year, there will be no less than seven major streaming services (and several smaller ones) producing original scripted series and spending upward of $40 billion per year on video content. More than two-thirds of TV homes already subscribe... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2020 at The Sternberg Report
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