Morning Consult Entertainment: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

Week in Review


  • Ronan Farrow’s new book, “Catch and Kill,” reveals the identity of the former NBC News employee whose sexual harassment complaint led to the firing of “Today” show anchor Matt Lauer and details of her allegation that Lauer raped her in a Sochi hotel room during the 2014 Olympics. In an open letter, Lauer called the allegations of rape “categorically false” and said that all relations he engaged in were consensual.
  • NBC News Chairman Andy Lack told staff in a memo that Farrow’s characterization of NBC News’ handling of the Harvey Weinstein investigation was “fundamentally untrue” and denied covering up allegations against Lauer. A representative for Farrow said NBC’s claims about his reporting were “not true.” 
  • A New York judge tossed out an allegation that Charlie Rose verbally retaliated against three female employees who accused him of sexual harassment, saying that his comments, including calling one woman a “f-ing idiot,” did not count as retaliation under the New York City Human Rights Law. The women, who allege that Rose made sexually suggestive comments and touched them inappropriately, will be allowed to continue with their claim of discrimination and retaliation. 

Streaming services 

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg’s streaming service Quibi, set to debut in April, has partnered with ESPN for a daily sports highlights show that is expected to be available when the service launches. ESPN will have ownership of the show, which will consist of five- to seven-minute episodes, while Quibi will pay for production and licensing. 
  • According to Piper Jaffray’s fall 2019 survey, YouTube has passed Netflix Inc. as the preferred platform for video content among teenagers for the first time, with 37 percent saying they use YouTube most often, compared to the 35 percent that said the same of Netflix, which analysts attributed to YouTube’s “wide array of teen-oriented content.” Netflix was still the preferred streaming service among the age group, beating Hulu (7 percent) and Amazon Prime Video (3 percent). 
  • Director Alfonso Cuarón has signed a multiyear deal to create television shows for Apple’s upcoming Apple TV+ streaming service. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but in addition to his work with Apple, Cuarón will continue to work on projects with Anonymous Content and other collaborators. 

Personnel matters 

  • Comcast Corp. announced that NBCUniversal’s Bonnie Hammer, who was in charge of the upcoming streaming service Peacock, will now serve as chairman of NBCUniversal Content Studios, supervising all of NBCUniversal’s TV content. Matt Strauss, who previously worked as executive vice president of Xfinity Services, will now serve as chairman of Peacock. 


  • Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. is considering a number of ways, including a sale, spinoff or special-purpose acquisition vehicle, to turn its Starz premium-cable channel into a separate company, according to people familiar with the matter. Sources say that no decisions have been made but that the move has the potential to reduce debt and make the Lions Gate film studio more attractive, as well as allow shareholders to invest in either business. 

Super Bowl halftime show 

  • In an interview, Rihanna confirmed that she “absolutely” declined to perform during the 2019 Super Bowl halftime show to support former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, adding that there are “things within” the NFL that she doesn’t agree with and that she would not “be of service to them in any way.” 

Mindy Kaling 

  • Mindy Kaling has alleged that the Television Academy made efforts to remove her from the producers list of “The Office” – and Emmy eligibility – by saying there were too many names listed, forcing her to fill out a form, write an essay and provide letters from her colleagues to vouch for her work on the series. The Television Academy said in a statement that “no one person was singled out” and that at one point all performer producers and writer producers had to “justify their producer credits,” but Kaling maintains she was singled out as “the most junior person, and woman of color.”

What’s Ahead

  • AdExchanger’s Programmatic I/O event will be held in New York on Tuesday and Wednesday. The event will feature discussions on topics including the growth of data driven TV advertising and the next wave of TV measurement. 
  • Netflix is scheduled to report third-quarter 2019 financial results on Wednesday at 1 p.m. PST.
  • Author and producer John Green, along with executive producers Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, will discuss the process of adapting Green’s novel “Looking for Alaska” for Hulu during a Los Angeles Times’ Ideas Exchange session on Wednesday at 7 p.m. 
  • Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit will run from Oct. 21-23. Speakers include Netflix’s chief content officer, Ted Sarandos, and Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger. 

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

57th New York Film Festival
The New Yorker Festival
AdExchanger Programmatic I/O New York
Video Everywhere Summit
Meet the Decision Makers at CNN 7:00 pm
AdExchanger Programmatic I/O New York
Digiday Media Buying Summit
NAB Show New York Streaming Summit
Los Angeles Times Idea Exchange: John Green 7:30 pm
View full calendar

How Brands Can Navigate the New Era of Politics

Download Now

Morning Consult Entertainment Top Reads

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!