Mark Burnett’s troubled reign at MGM, and Netflix’s sketchy metrics

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Reality TV legend Mark Burnett was supposed to bring hits to MGM. Instead he’s brought chaos. Photo by jdlasica (CC BY 2.0).

MGM Studios has long been seen as an acquisition target in Hollywood, but a new investigation by Kim Masters suggests worldwide television chairman Mark Burnett is making any possible takeover attempts difficult. 

When the famed reality TV hitmaker came to MGM five years ago, the hope was that he’d bring new, successful shows to the studio, but the hits have yet to appear. Instead, he’s made it his business to get in everyone else’s business. His aggressive management style has led to at least one formal HR complaint. 

MGM has been without a CEO since March 2018 after the ouster of Gary Barber. The irony is that Barber, the person who seemed to be able to make the studio ready for a sale, and thus make Burnett the most amount of money, was likely pushed out by Burnett himself. 

In other TV news, Netflix is losing “The Office” and “The West Wing” to other streamers at the end of this year. Netflix isn’t actually promoting that news, but they’re touting viewership numbers for the new series “The Queen’s Gambit.” The giant streamer says more than 60 million viewers watched the show, but by their metrics, even watching just two minutes of an episode  counts as a view.  So the number of people who watched the entire series is likely much less.

Credits

Guest:
Matthew Belloni - Editor - @MattBelloni

Host:
Kim Masters

Producer:
Kaitlin Parker