Monthly News Highlights: Documentaries in the Streaming Era. TIGER KING takes Wildlife genre to dark side

Monthly News Highlights is a co-publication with Sunny Side of the Doc. Netflix takes Wildlife genre to the the dark side TIGER KING: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is a True Crime docuseries that pulls its punches on animal cruelty as it dives into the outsize characters and high stakes of Big Cat world. It is emerging …

GREAT INVENTIONS: The development, production & distribution of a 35-episode Science series. A Podcast with ZDF Enterprises’ Nikolas Hülbusch & WMR’s Alan Griffiths

About the Series: A special quality that attracted me to cover GREAT INVENTIONS in my  newsletter and podcast is that this 35-episode series was developed and funded by the distributor, ZDF ENTERPRISES without the typical building block of a financial commitment from a key buyer, usually a major network. ZDF Enterprises invested heavily in the …


The Woman Who Loves Giraffes. Case Study of an inspiring theatrical documentary that blends Wildlife & the Archive

It was standing-room-only at the East Village premiere that I attended for The Woman Who Loves Giraffes. The Q&A that followed resembled a celebrity speaking tour: the star in the spotlight was the sparkling 87-year old, Anne Innis Dagg. This Canadian feature combines several of my favorite genres: Archive-based History Wildlife Science Plus a bit …

Responding to the Coronavirus: Programming & Production Snapshot. A pod-versation with Ed Hersh

In these hectic early weeks of the crisis, I thought that it would be helpful to take some time out to reflect on the seismic changes that our industry is experiencing. Veteran consultant Ed Hersh joins me in a pod-versation to provide a cautious snapshot for our colleagues. We focus on three questions: Is there …

COVID-19 Recovery: Picking the ‘Pawn Stars’ of the Coronavirus Recession? A Case Study

What program or genre will be a blazing success when we make the inevitable economic recovery from these dark weeks? Well, History can teach us a lesson. I’m talking about two meanings of ‘History’: ‘The study of the past’ And A+E Networks’ History Channel. Pawn Stars While the 2008 Recession tore through consumers’ wallets and …

Polio Virus Documentary: A Case Study in the Defeat of a Raging Epidemic

A SHOT TO SAVE THE WORLD is a special about Jonas Salk’s race to defeat the dreaded polio virus. It captures how strong, unifying leadership and Science-based government can overcome a terrible global epidemic. I became committed as an Executive Producer. Bill Gates kindly agreed to serve as the narrator of our film, and his foundation supported …

Coronavirus: Consumers Watch More Television. Networks can’t exploit the opportunity due to their lost capacity

Nielsen published a fascinating report yesterday concerning the increased media consumption of U.S. consumers during our Coronavirus shutdown. The analysis is based on a study of Total Usage of Television (TUT) during two severe weather crises: Hurricane Harvey in Houston (2017) New York’s ‘Snow-pocalypse‘ (2016) HOUSTON TUT usage in Houston was up 56% versus the …

Factual Production in the Age of the Coronavirus

As New York City moved into Coronavirus shutdown this weekend, I wondered about the effects of the increasingly restrictive response to the epidemic on program production and delivery schedules. NBA Started It When the NBA cancelled its season, most of the world’s leading Sports franchises followed. Next came Late Night Talk shows with their live …