Troy DeVolld: Pay Your Dues, But Get a Receipt

Okay, okay… this was just a sad little residual from an archived lecture. I don’t exactly have a huge stock library of me holding checks.
Okay, okay… this was just a sad little residual from an archived lecture. I don’t exactly have a huge stock library of me holding checks.

by Troy DeVolld

Let me tell you about an eight-year lesson I learned in reality television: Don’t chase checks.

The first three years of my career, I worked for Cris Abrego and Rick Telles nonstop. I started as a logger/transcriber, spent time as a story producer, logged a few weeks with the locations gang looking for spots to film episodes of FEAR, and they kept me working. Three straight years of employment, those guys gave me.

Then, after The Surreal Life, I moved on to Next Entertainment and did two seasons of The Bachelor and one of The Bachelorette. I wasn’t part of the in-crowd there, and I had to prove myself to a new bunch of people all over again. read article

What Pilots for the Upcoming 2016 Season are Still Breathing? What aren’t?

For those of us who eagerly – oh, all right, compulsively is probably the better word – track new series ideas throughout the seasons so we can enjoy as viewers and grow as creators, TV’s ins and outs can be especially heart-rending. And  when they aren’t giving us heart attacks, it’s usually because we just plain got lost and can’t follow the ins and outs.

Here, thanks to The Hollywood Reporter, is a scoresheet so we can see who and what are, and aren’t, still in the game:

pilot_gridby Lesley Goldberg

Following yet another development season that started late and featured a new round of reboots, the broadcast networks are again gearing up for a busy pilot season as they compete with not only one another, but with basic and premium cable as well as streaming services including Netflix, Amazon and Hulu — all of whom are making major scripted pushes. read article

Post Your Pro Video Creations on Amazon & Get Paid

A round of applause, please, for ;another new video/TV/whatev paradigm:

Amazon Video ConnectCaptureby Ron Amadeo

Amazon is launching a new video service called “Amazon Video Direct.” The new service entices professional video creators to upload their videos to Amazon, where they will be displayed on the Amazon Video site alongside studio-created TV shows and movies. The videos will be viewable by “all Amazon customers” via an ad-supported model, shown to Amazon Prime Video subscribers (presumably without ads) or available as a one-time rental or purchase. The service is launching in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, and Japan.

It’s easy to see “Ad-supported video” and label Amazon Video Direct as “a YouTube competitor,” but Amazon is clearly only aiming for the “professional” end of the YouTube spectrum. Uploading a video requires that users first create an account (a regular Amazon account won’t work) with a “company” name. It’s also mandatory to connect a bank account and submit tax information so Amazon can distribute all the money you’ll be making. The paperwork required just to upload a video takes the service out of the running for the viral cat videos that pop up on YouTube—this service would be more for the Machinimas or Finebros of the world. read article

YouTube is Kicking TV’s Financial Butt

…This couldn’t be happening to a more worthy group of people…on both sides of the kick:


by Ben Popper

For the last three years, YouTube has put on a series of increasingly extravagant parties meant to convince advertisers that the video platform is the best place to spend their marketing dollars. The fourth annual Brandcast took place last night at the Javits Center, and compared with previous versions, it was decidedly more self-assured. In the past, YouTube spent a lot of time assuring the brands in attendance that its content was safe, high-quality, and watched by more than just bored teenagers. This time YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki cut to the chase.

“Today, I’m happy to announce that on mobile alone YouTube now reaches more 18–49-year-olds than any network — broadcast or cable. In fact, we reach more 18–49-year-olds during primetime than the top 10 TV shows combined,” she said, citing data from a Nielsen study  of US viewers commissioned by Google. “At a time when TV networks are losing audiences, YouTube is growing in every region and across every screen.” read article

Why aren’t streaming services bringing us more great black shows?

Reruns! Once upon a time they were the bane of TV viewers. Now, we spend vast numbers of online hours looking for the great TV shows of yore. Many times we find them…others, well, not so much:

by Alyssa Rosenberg

Living_single_dvd_coverWhen I graduated from college and got cable for the first time, I discovered the wonderful world of reruns. And so, long before binging TV shows became an actual sociological phenomenon, I regularly fell into happy fugue states with the “Law & Order” franchise, and with “Living Single,” Yvette Lee Bowser’s brilliant sitcom about a group of friends living in New York, starring Queen Latifah as magazine editor Khadijah James.

But when I got a “Living Single” craving last week, I discovered something frustrating: The series isn’t streaming anywhere, and only the first of the show’s five seasons is available on a DVD release. “Living Single” is every bit as sprawling and funny as “Friends” or “How I Met Your Mother,” and its female characters beat “Sex and the City” to the spiky, complicated punch by five years. But if you wanted to watch the whole thing, start to finish, and to watch it in order, you’d have to DVR the TV One reruns and assemble the episodes in order yourself. read article