Ken Burns’ ‘The Vietnam War’ Triples PBS’s Primetime Average

‘The Vietnam War’ from Ken Burns & Lynn Novick earned a hit-level PBS audience. This post on the 18-hour, $30 million ‘Vietnam’ series wraps up my coverage of PBS’s impressive factual ratings. I added a comment on ‘Vietnam’ that is based on my eyewitness experience in wartime Laos as a 22 year old researcher / reporter. The …

Sundance Film Festival Selections 2018: What are the Odds for Documentaries?

The most coveted road to a Netflix deal lies through acceptance at Sundance. But what are the odds that U.S. and international documentaries will earn a slot on the program? Submissions: 1,635 Documentary Features were submitted to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival: 740 were from the U.S. 895 were international. Selections: Sundance selected 47 for screening. …


The Demand for Documentaries Across Online & Social Media Platforms: Recent Highlights

In this post, we share highlights of Parrot Analytics‘ analysis of cross-platform demand for unscripted programs. Online Measurement? How do you measure the performance of a documentary online and in social media? It’s a big question because Amazon, Netflix and other platforms don’t share performance data. Social Media data is both widely dispersed and hard …

Facebook Commission: Tom Brady Gives Intimate Access to His Private Life. “It’s Like Therapy”

Facebook’s rising power comes partly from its unique access to the hardest-to-get documentary stories. That’s a key message of a fascinating article by Mark Leibovich in the Sports section of today’s The New York Times. Brady and his wife, Gisele Bündchen, after losing to the Giants in the Super Bowl in 2012. Credit Rob Carr/Getty Images “Tom vs Time” “Tom vs Time” …

Best of British Documentaries, Factual & Lifestyle, 2017. UK Ratings #101-200

This post continues the UK Best for 2017. The list combines BARB’s Documentary, Hobbies / Lifestyle and Current Affairs categories. Read my brief Takeaways for 2017 in the previous post, covering #1-100. Your feedback is welcome. PBS Don’t miss my series of Posts on the PBS Audience for Science + History: PBS Series Ranker: The Audience For …

PBS History Programming: Audience & Pipeline. Top 5

This post continues my coverage of the PBS audience for History and Science for delegates attending WCSFP Congress in San Francisco. The focus here is on the strands American Experience, American Masters and Secrets of the Dead. Also profiled are the highest-rated PBS History specials and limited series outside the strands. Next post: The Vietnam War. …

PBS Science Audience: Top 5 Non-NOVA Series & Specials, 2015-17

PBS commissions Science specials and series in addition to the NOVA pipeline. Top 5 Non-NOVA Science: Update “Farthest – Voyager In Space” is a standalone special produced by HHMI Tangled Bank Studios for PBS, and not a Secrets Of The Dead episode. Context: PBS’s average primetime rating is 1.41. That translates as an audience of 2,116,000 …