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Event Programming & Streaming
On one of streaming’s biggest missed opportunities…a huge “what are we doing here!?” moment.
Note: This essay was originally part of a longer post on my favorite television shows of 2022 published in late December. For this essay, I’ve just copied this essay over—nothing else has been changed/updated.
I wanted to share a recent observation I had in regards to television consumption in today’s streaming world. If you follow me, you’ll know I LOVE TV! I love texting friends about shows old and new, jumping into group threads about what we just watched and getting everyone’s thoughts/POVs and hypothesizing what’s going to happen next. It’s what makes a show like The White Lotus so fun and exciting. It’s interactive! Communal viewing experiences matter!
Sadly, outside of HBO Sunday nights (+ sometimes Monday), it seems like every streaming service wants us to consume their biggest programming on our own time and engage in post-episode discourse via listening to podcasts on our own schedule without even trying to capture some of HBO’s Sunday night magic. For more than 96% of new shows, that’s fine but given the budgets attached to some of these shows, wouldn’t it make sense to TRY?
One of my favorite shows this year, Andor is essentially a Star Wars show for adults created by screenwriting god Tony Gilroy and its excellent. It’s obvious that Disney supported Gilroy’s vision for a Star Wars series both creatively and financially and I applaud them. Still, it kills me to see that a show with multiple pantheon level episodes in the Star Wars canon (E6 + E10) air at 3am EST/12am PST for no reason other than that’s how Disney releases new shows on Disney+. What are we doing here!?
Shows on Disney+ like Andor and all of their Marvel shows are huge investments—easily in the eight figures that take years to develop and produce, most of which come with huge marketing budgets. So it’s strange to see that they’re just thrown on the service on Wednesday mornings at 3am. Why?
You’d think they’d want to create a moment, increase ~nonexistent~ real-time discourse around their shows, which increases interest in the service. If you want to highlight the absolute best shows your company has to offer, why not select a night and drop it at 9pm? For instance, I’d suggest Disney make it Wednesday at 9pm EST. Immediately, they’ll create a way to signal “this show matters!” while not competing with their NFL programming and barely impacting linear broadcast.
It’s a small thing that really only applies to 1-2 shows per streaming service each quarter, but if streamers really want to signal to audiences that a show they’ve invested tens of millions of dollars matters, perhaps it’s best not to drop it at a time where there’s zero chance for collective consumption and conversation. We’re missing out on the fun of White Lotus elsewhere, we’re missing a collective gasp in episode 10 of Andor with ONE WAY OUT…and more than anything, it’s a bummer!
As always, if you’d like to discuss anything I’ve mentioned or anything at all, feel free to shoot me an email to email@example.com.