Morning Consult Entertainment: Job Listings Suggest Amazon Is Seeking to Add More Live TV to Its Prime Video Offerings


Top Stories

  • Amazon.com Inc. appears to be looking into adding live programming to its Prime Video service, according to publicly available job listings posted over the past several weeks that call for building up the platform’s linear TV capabilities, such as one that says the company is “building next gen linear catalog systems to provide best-in-class Linear TV experience to Prime Video customers.” Live programming would differentiate Amazon from on-demand competitors like Netflix and Disney+, and the platform has already experimented with live programming in the past few years, including licensing NFL Thursday Night Football and English Premier League games. (Protocol)
  • Comcast Corp.’s Peacock will stream free for 90 days for users of Google platforms, with Chromecast users also having free access to Peacock Premium’s ad-supported tier for the same time period when the streaming service launches nationwide on July 15. (The Wrap)
  • Kendrick Sampson, Tessa Thompson and Black Lives Matter co-founders Patrisse Cullors and Melina Abdullahare have written a letter, signed by more than 300 Black artists and executives, demanding that Hollywood “break ties with the police.” The letter, which states that the media’s portrayals have “contributed to the criminalization of Black people, the misrepresentation of the legal system, and the glorification of police corruption and violence,” calls for the industry to invest in anti-racist content and the careers of Black artists. (Variety)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

06/24/2020
Collision from Home
Cannes XR
Cannes Marché du Film Online: Meet the Streamers
SeriesFest
Variety’s Virtual TV Festival
SportsPro Insider: Women of Sport
2020 Women in Animation Virtual Summit
How AVODs Can Get a Competitive Edge 1:00 pm
06/25/2020
Collision from Home
Cannes XR
Cannes Marché du Film Online: Meet the Streamers
Variety’s Virtual TV Festival
SportsPro Insider: Women of Sport
FT-GEF Digital Dialogues: The Economics of Pandemics
2020 Women in Animation Virtual Summit
SXSW Sessions: Matthew McConaughey with Jeff Nichols 11:00 am
06/26/2020
Cannes XR
Cannes Marché du Film Online: Meet the Streamers
2020 Women in Animation Virtual Summit
SXSW Sessions: Judd Apatow and Stephen Colbert 11:00 am
Newfronts After Party 2:00 pm
Variety Streaming Room: An Exclusive Q&A With The Cast & Creators Of Miracle Workers: Dark Ages 8:00 pm
06/27/2020
2020 Women in Animation Virtual Summit
06/28/2020
2020 Women in Animation Virtual Summit
06/29/2020
2020 Women in Animation Virtual Summit
Unfinished Work: Music, Identity and Activism 4:00 pm
Variety Streaming Room: An Exclusive Composer Roundtable 8:00 pm
View full calendar

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General

How Hollywood Is Continuing to Pivot Strategy Amid a Pandemic and Protests
Danielle Turchiano, Variety 

In September 2001, Nkechi Okoro Carroll was working at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Her offices were right down the street from the World Trade Center, and after the towers fell, she had to figure out how to “keep one of the world’s strongest economies going,” all while dealing with concerns about “how do we keep our employees safe, and how do we deal with things from the mental health perspective and how do we resume?” she recalls.

Testing Emerges As A Main Hurdle To Production Restart Amid Pandemic
Nellie Andreeva, Deadline Hollywood 

In the nascent stages of discussions about a production restart just weeks into the Hollywood shutdown, one of the first things about which there was virtually unanimous consensus was that testing would be a cornerstone of any plan to safely resume shooting.

Jimmy Kimmel apologizes for performing in blackface
Lisa Respers France, CNN 

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel issued an apology Tuesday for his “embarrassing” portrayals of Black celebrities. In his statement, obtained by CNN, Kimmel wrote “I have long been reluctant to address this, as I knew doing so would be celebrated as a victory by those who equate apologies with weakness and cheer for leaders who use prejudice to divide us.”

Disneyland unions push back against reopening amid pandemic
Alexandra Steigrad, New York Post 

Unions representing Disneyland workers are pushing back on plans to reopen the theme park next month as cases of coronavirus surge across the country.

Why Trump’s New Visa Restrictions Won’t Have Much Impact on Hollywood
J. Clara Chan, The Wrap Pro 

The Trump administration’s new visa restrictions announced on Monday won’t have much effect on Hollywood — but the tech industry and academia will be harder hit, according to at least one immigration attorney.

How Coronavirus Is Causing Hollywood to Rethink Intimate Scenes
Will Thorne, Variety 

Tan France is a self-described hugger. One might assume that, being British, he would greet people with a firm handshake and a “how do you do,” but France prefers a big bear hug, particularly when meeting the latest hero he’s making over on Netflix’s “Queer Eye.”

As coronavirus restrictions lift, show makers prepare a gradual return to production
Tim Peterson, Digiday

Not a light switch, but a dimmer. That’s how California governor Gavin Newsom has described the state’s plan to reopen the home of Hollywood following the easing of the state’s coronavirus restrictions. It also befits producers’ strategies for returning from a three-month physical production shutdown.

Film

Some Alamo Drafthouse Cinema employees in Texas say they face a hard choice as movie theaters reopen: return to work in fear or lose their paychecks
Travis Clark, Business Insider 

On June 16, some furloughed employees at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema franchise of Dallas/Fort Worth received an email from owner Bill DiGaetano with an update on reopening plans. The letter, provided to Business Insider, said that Dallas/Forth Worth (DFW) venues would reopen in July, four months after the specialty theater chain Alamo Drafthouse Cinema closed all of its locations, along with most other theaters in the US, amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

‘Jurassic Park’ Roars To No. 1 Again At Weekend Box Office, 27 Years After Original Release
Anthony D’Alessandro, Deadline

Steven Spielberg’s 1993 movie Jurassic Park was No. 1 for the fourth time in its release history this past weekend as movie theaters tried to have a semblance during the COVID-19 pandemic over what is typically a big moviegoing weekend, Father’s Day.

Fully Formed Producing Team Parting Ways as Andrew Form Eyes John Krasinski’s Company
Justin Kroll, Variety 

After a partnership that has spanned two decades, Fully Formed Entertainment founders Andrew Form and Brad Fuller are parting ways as Form is in talks to board John Krasinski’s production banner Sunday Night.

CAA’s Benjamin Kramer and Roeg Sutherland on Launching the Virtual Cannes Market: “We Are All Thinking Outside the Box”
Pamela McClintock, The Hollywood Reporter

The industry vets discuss teaming up with rival agencies to keep the business going, what they’ll miss about Cannes and the resilience of the indie film sector in a time of crisis.

Television

Terry Crews Says ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ Had To Scrap Four New Episodes After George Floyd’s Death
Tom Tapp, Deadline

In the months since the death of George Floyd at the hands of police, there has been extra spotlight on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, as the comedy follows a blundering police force.

Director of Trump-Comey TV Series Criticizes Postelection Release Date
Rachel Abrams, The New York Times

Last week, ViacomCBS announced that its mini-series based on “A Higher Loyalty,” the best-selling book by the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey that angered President Trump, would be broadcast after the election.

Technology and New Media

Snapchat Announces First Shoppable Show, ‘The Drop,’ to Sell Limited-Edition Streetwear
Todd Spangler, Variety

Snap will try to turn Snapchat viewers into buyers with its first-ever “shoppable” original show: “The Drop,” focused on “exclusive streetwear collabs” from celebrities and designers.

Fandango Launches Guide to Help Fans Return to Movie Theaters
Ian Zelaya, Adweek

Program includes venue cleaning policies and social distance seating maps.

Streaming Subscriptions Are Up—But so Is Churn
Kelsey Sutton, Adweek 

It’s well documented that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic led to record-breaking streaming viewership as U.S. consumers spent more time watching programming at home under widespread lockdowns. The ongoing pandemic has also intensified adoption of streaming video subscriptions, according to new data from Deloitte.

Magnolia Pictures, Ben & Jerry’s, Eddie Bauer And More Brands Join Facebook Ad Boycott
Abid Rahman, The Hollywood Reporter

Magnolia became the first Hollywood company to join the growing “#StopHateforProfit” campaign.

Disney Plus hopes streaming ‘Hamilton’ over July 4 will make history
Steven Zeitchik, The Washington Post

When Lin-Manuel Miranda posted the trailer for the new “Hamilfilm” on Twitter Sunday night, it quickly blew up bigger than a Hamilton-Jefferson rap battle. By the next afternoon, more than 220,000 people had liked the tweet from the “Hamilton” creator, with the trailer generating 4.2 million views.

How video-game tech is taking Hollywood virtual during the coronavirus pandemic
Andrew Evers, CNBC 

Beginning in March, film production was suspended as shelter-in-place orders went into effect, leaving many in the industry out of work. And while California was given the go ahead for production to resume as of June 12, it is unclear when film and TV production will return to full capacity.

CBSN launches global expansion
Sara Fischer, Axios

CBSN, the 24/7 digital streaming news service for CBS News, is expanding internationally to pull in more digital TV ad dollars, while also expanding its audience.

YouTube CEO says people are discovering different kinds of videos as the pandemic rages
Brian Stelter, CNN

In between all the music performances and prank videos that are staples of YouTube’s trending video section, there are a few that would have made no sense before mid-March.

iHeartMedia & WarnerMedia To Co-Produce Companion Podcasts For HBO Max Shows
Erik Pedersen, Deadline Hollywood 

WarnerMedia Entertainment and iHeartMedia are partnering to co-produce a slate of companion podcasts for HBO Max’s upcoming original and legacy shows. The podcasts will play as standalone productions but often will center on and help promote HBO Max programming, the companies said.

Behind the Viral Facebook Post That Illustrates Hollywood’s “Growing-Pain Moment”
Arimeta Diop, Vanity Fair

Ri-Karlo Handy was just trying to help Black film professionals find each other. Instead, he watched as his effort was derailed by outraged white film editors.

The New Guard of Female Twitter Comedians
Josie Thaddeus-Johns, The Wall Street Journal

“Front-facing comedy,” popular on social media and dominated by women, has been booming during lockdown. Five of these viral stars talk about their videos and figuring out how to get paid for it

Why Digital Gaming Is Expected to Increase This Summer
Samson Amore, The Wrap Pro 

Digital sales of new video games are expected to gain steam this summer as the industry drops several blockbuster releases, and consumer spending could set a new monthly record for what is otherwise a typically slow sales season.

A Wave of Sexual Harassment Accusations Is Sweeping the Games Industry
Matthew Gault, Vice 

In the last few days, numerous people have come forward with accusations of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault allegations against people in the video game industry. The victims and the accused come from every corner of the industry, and the companies they work for or are associated with have issued statements or say they have opened investigations into abusive and inappropriate behavior.

Opinions, Editorials, Perspectives and Research

What went wrong with Quibi?
Eric Peckham, TechCrunch 

Two months after Quibi’s high-profile launch as a short-form mobile-native TV app led by Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, it is evident the startup is greatly underperforming relative to the hundreds of millions of dollars already spent on content and marketing. 

The Celebrities Are Not All Right
Alison Herman, The Ringer 

It felt like déjà vu. A procession of famous faces stared soulfully into their phones and, by extension, the eyes of some unseen plebe.

‘Tiger King’ to ‘Murder in the Bayou’: How True Crime Docuseries Shine a Light on Larger Cultural Issues
Shannon L. Bowen, The Hollywood Reporter 

Whodunit? That question has long animated true crime.

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