We take a look at one number that gives us a snapshot of the current state of the TV industry. This month's number? $14.99.
Fourteen dollars and 99 cents is what it will cost you every month for HBO's new standalone streaming service, HBO Now, which will launch in April, ahead of the Game of Thrones season premiere. At least for now, the service will be exclusive to Apple devices.
Then, we'll soon be saying hello -- or maybe more appropriately welcome back -- to an NBC executive who has some experience getting the Peacock's news division back on track when things have gone awry. We talk about what Andy Lack's return to NBC could mean...or not mean...to Brian Williams' career.
We also say hello to another spin-off on AMC. The network announced a two-season order for a Walking Dead prequel. Add this to Better Call Saul, a Breaking Bad spin-off, and AMC will soon have two prequels on the air.
Then we look at two new comedies that feel more like cable shows, but got their starts at Fox and NBC. The Last Man on Earth was a Kevin Reilly passion project, and even though Reilly is no longer at Fox, the network embraced the show, poured a lot of money into marketing, and for the series premiere, viewers showed up -- much to the network's surprise! In other new comedies, NBC ultimately decided to pass on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which landed at Netflix instead, where it's gotten rave reviews.
And we take a somber moment to say a very sad goodbye to Simpson's co-creator Sam Simon, who was also an Emmy-winning writer and philanthropist. Simon was loved and respected throughout the industry. He died at age 59 from colorectal cancer.
Finally, we go around the horn for our Download segment and share the stories or shows that are top of mind this month.
End of show Downloads:
Joe: If you're looking for a smart take on reality TV, check out the Twitter feed of Andy Dehnart. He writes insightfully from the perspective of both a fan and a critic.
Cynthia: Word is that Comedy Central would like to name a Daily Show replacement for Jon Stewart sooner rather than later, but at the moment, no one seems to know who it will or should be. Cynthia thinks Comedy Central should not go for a big name, but rather find an up and coming writer who also has a good grasp on politics.
Mike: Community no longer has a home on NBC, but it will be making its Season 6 premiere on Yahoo Screen on March 17. Yahoo is spending a lot of money to market the show and has said they'll be transparent with numbers. What exactly will those numbers be? We'll know soon.