UK Ratings Snapshot, 1H 2017: The Sizzling 60 Documentaries & Lifestyle Hits. A Note on the Ageing UK Audience

It’s always a pleasure to share my semi-annual report card on the top-rated UK documentary and lifestyle programs. I enjoy the compelling diversity and quality of the UK industry. SIZZLING SIXTY Here are the Top 60 Documentaries, Lifestyle & Current Affairs programs for UK through June 30, 2017 (in thousands). Channel Programme ‘000 1 BBC 1 Countryfile 7,670 …

U.S. Factual Networks: Ten Year Viewing Trends. Sunny Side Takeaway #1

A 10-year ratings snapshot shows that U.S. factual networks are far from falling off a cliff. And Europe has increased potential as a co-production partner. That’s the message that I shared over and over in my panels and meetings at last week’s productive and enjoyable Sunny Side of the Doc. Chart Nielsen kindly shared a …

How Did Rupert Become ‘Murdoch the Kingmaker’? An ANZAC Day Reflection on the ‘Aussie Prince’ Who Powered Brexit and Trump Populism

Last week’s sacking of Fox News super-star Bill O’Reilly provoked widespread speculation about a shift in power in 21st Century Fox from Rupert Murdoch to his sons Lachlan and James. Despite a decade of corporate scandals, Rupert Murdoch cemented his power as a king-maker in 2016 by shaping the Brexit and pro-Trump / anti-Hilary populist …

“Who The F*@% Is Frank Zappa?” $1.1 Mn Pledged. Kickstarter Documentary Record Smashed

Kickstarter smashed its record for the documentary category when 8,688 backers pledged $1,126,036. The campaign? “Frank Zappa is one of the strangest, most amazing and influential figures of our era, but his definitive story has never been told. Now, for the first time ever, the Zappas have given us complete, unrestricted access to the contents …

Realscreen Takeaways: Documentary Budgets, Facebook Strategy, China’s New Buyers, and More

Realscreen Summit 2017 came at a moment that felt weighted with history. It kicked off in Washington the day after the massive Women’s March in which many delegates participated, and ended as my new president set of alarm bells by slamming down the phone on my prime minister. In between was the hard realization that …

“Hamilton’s America”: A Snapshot of the Television, Digital & Social Media Audiences for a PBS Hit

Hamilton’s America is a recent PBS documentary hit that sets helpful benchmarks for the U.S. public television audience. The data also captures how PBS measures – and values – social media engagement. Presented by WNET’s GREAT PERFORMANCES strand, Hamilton’s America features Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator of the Broadway super-hit Hamilton. The feature-length documentary chronicles the life …

Sundance Film Festival 2017: What Are The Odds for Documentaries?

The Sundance Film Festival will screen 45 feature-length documentaries. A total of 1,701 feature documentaries were submitted. 823 were from the U.S. 878 were international. The success rate for feature docs in 2017 was 2.6%! Sundance Funding: Of the 45 selections, 12 had received prior funding from the Sundance Institute. Takeaway: If your documentary is not on …