PBS Snapshot: Public Television Viewing in the Age of Netflix

The American PBS system completed its annual general meeting last week in Nashville, Tennessee. The theme was “Our Country: Our Stories.” The state of the PBS viewing audience was a key focus. I’m particularly interested in two stories: Is the PBS audience holding up in the age of Netflix? And, particularly, how are the Science …


Royal Wedding & Better Baking: Best British Factual, 2018. The Top 200

The “Best of British” is one of my more popular posts. I list the year’s highest-rated unscripted programs, usually to honor UK producers in time for their PACT party at Realscreen. For a different look at 2018, I combined the Documentary, Factual, Lifestyle & Current Affairs categories, showing the best single episode for series. It’s …

Lifetime’s Hit Docuseries Surviving R. Kelly Busts Through Our Netflix Fixation

Surviving R. Kelly is a timely reminder that a well-told docuseries can ignite a popular conversation, even if its not on Netflix. The three-night, six-hour Lifetime series features multiple women who say they were sexually abused by the singer.  Many of them were minors when they met the “Pied Piper of R&B”. Trailer: Audience Surviving R. …

Happy Holidays!

Dear Friends & Colleagues, It’s been a fascinating year to report on the online video tsunami that is restructuring our industry. As the New Year approaches, we often feel that Netflix and Amazon Prime in particular are changing everything, and at an accelerating rate… I hope that my analysis of the emerging ecosystem for documentary and unscripted programs helps you …

Netflix, Prime & Hulu Audience Data: Comparing “The Grand Tour” with Their Hit, Binge-watched Scripted Series

Netflix and Amazon Prime famously don’t disclose their viewing data. We don’t know how many subscribers are watching documentary and unscripted programs. Or how their audience breaks down, for example by gender, age, education and income. And how do the hit, binge-watched scripted series compare with the unscripted audience on the OTT/Netflix platforms? The lack of …