Quibi: Collapse was in its DNA!

Quibi was destined to fail. I was sure of that when I first read the presser announcing the business plan. There must be deep psychological reasons why retirement-age industry titans can even begin to fantasize about succeeding in mobile video — a medium that targets 10-20 yo’s with goofy dance videos shot in their Covid …

BBC STORYVILLE: Mandy Chang guides her legendary documentary strand through COVID turbulence. Our panel at virtual CCDF-CNEX

Mandy Chang, commissioning editor BBC-STORYVILLE recently joined my panel at Taiwan’s virtual CCDF-CNEX Documentary Conference. In this post, we recap Mandy’s valuable insights into the legendary STORYVILLE stand, and the impact of COVID on the BBC’s documentary commissioning process. Our fellow expert panelists were: Hong Kong-based, Phoenix TV exec Haibo Huang And from Washington DC, veteran …


News Roundup: BBC’s new vision meets hardcore opposition, and more…

Story of the Month BBC VISION MEETS FIERCE OPPOSITION BBC VISION: new director Tim Davie shares strategy // Worldscreen BBC BESIEGED: Under relentless fire from rightwing // London Review of Books GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS: Key to BBC’s future // TBI Vision BBC CHAIR: Ultra-conservative candidate is knocked // Deadline DISCOURS INAUGURAL choc pour le boss de la BBC …

The Making of Netflix’s Hit Wildlife Documentary: MY OCTOPUS TEACHER

I’m pleased to write that My Octopus Teacher, just released by Netflix, went immediately on to my All-time Favorite Wildlife Documentaries list. Trailer https://youtu.be/3s0LTDhqe5A (copy/paste link). My Octopus Teacher is built on the foundations of any successful doc: Huge Characters, human and cephalopod. Unique Access. Risk… to life and limbs. Then there’s more: The original …

Latest U.S. Cable Network Universes and Population Trends. Annual Nielsen Household/Persons. Update from Dr John Morse

My valued colleague Dr John Morse shared his latest Annual Nielsen Household/Persons Update for September 2020. These widely used Nielsen universe numbers provide an important context for advertising targets, and thus for programming strategies. Nielsen updates all its universe national base counts once per year that go into effect each September. Total Universe This year …

Distributing Discovery’s APOCALYPSE ’45 in the COVID Era. A podcast with Abramorama’s Karol Martesko-Fenster

Abramorama COO Karol Martesko-Fenster reveals how COVID forced a rapid turnaround in the theatrical distribution strategy for Discovery’s Apocalypse ’45. He describes the ‘virtual theatrical’ release for Oscar nominee Erik Nelson’s gripping archive-based documentary about the Pacific campaign that brought WW2 to an end. Karol shares his pre-COVID strategy and its radical switch into a …

Making Discovery’s APOCALYPSE ’45: A podcast with director Erik Nelson

Director Erik Nelson describes Apocalypse ’45 as the “first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan meets Apollo 11.” He shares his original concept; how his almost casual pitch to Discovery‘s Howard Swartz led to a full commission; the archive research and transfer process; his veteran interviews; the pre-edit planning, editing and final delivery. Our informative …