"We could be in danger of everyone looking to serve global needs and huge business interests in the same way as has happened with studios," the president, AMC Networks Entertainment Group and AMC Studios warned at a London conference.
The "streaming wars" between Hollywood giants could lead to a homogenization of television content, Sarah Barnett, president, AMC Networks Entertainment Group and AMC Studios, warned at a London TV conference on Thursday.
"When conglomerates compete, something happens. I think that the streaming wars can potentially put us in danger of less risk" in "the race to fill pipelines," she said at C21's Content London. "We could be in danger of everyone looking to serve global needs and huge business interests in the same way as has happened with movies studios. I think that streaming wars could mean that risks don't get taken."
That could particularly affect "niche scripted" fare, she argued. "I hope that the outlets that have really driven so much amazing television ... continue to flourish," Barnett added. "I hope that really smart storytelling doesn't start to flatten out."
She concluded that "there needs to be a place in the landscape for the true curatorial approach," saying that this is where players like AMC have the opportunity to shine with "really distinct shows." Barnett at the London event also discussed such upcoming AMC series as Kevin Can F*** Himself, For Life, 61st Street, and Jason Segel's Dispatches From Elsewhere. She showed clips for the Segel show and the much-anticipated season 3 of Killing Eve, saying that show fits AMC's focus on "incredibly fresh" series.
With streaming dominating the industry — and more services on the way — IndieWire is taking a closer look at the news cycle and breaking down what really matters to provide a clear picture of what companies are winning the streaming wars and how they're pulling ahead. By looking at trends and curating developments down to what matters, the Streaming Wars Report will offer a clear picture of what's happening overall and day-to-day in streaming. This column will cover the major players, from Netflix to Disney+ to HBO Max, and be sure to check out our Indie Edition for thorough coverage of the boutique services.
Streaming Is Up, Subscriptions Are Up, But What Does It Mean for Quibi? ⇔⇔⇔
It’s almost here: the day some thought would never come. No, not an end to our collective social distancing — Quibi’s launch is tomorrow, April 6. With everyone staying home, staring at their screens, the new streamer’s rollout couldn’t come at a better time… right?
Optimists will argue Quibi’s launch date arrives during an unprecedented demand for new content. Not only is Nielsen reporting 85 percent growth in streaming last month, but subscriptions are on the rise, too, which wasn’t a given. Unemployment is spiking, plenty of people are still paying for cable, and just about every streaming service promises they’ve got everything viewers are looking for, so there was no guarantee a mounting demand for television would go hand-in-hand with a jump in subscriptions. But Antenna, a new streaming analytics company, reported a 64-percent rise across eight major streaming platforms in mid-March.
Nascent streamer Disney+ saw a whopping 212-percent rise in subscriptions from week to week, while HBO shot up 90 percent, Showtime 78 percent, and Starz — yes, Starz! — grew by 49 percent over the same period. Now, these numbers aren’t verified by the services or a third party, but any growth is a good sign for Quibi; it means people are open to spending a little more for new, desirable content.
But the problem facing Quibi aside from all the non-COVID 19 related problems facing Quibi is threefold:
Marketing: All of the streamers seeing big gains in subscribers are known brands. The premium cable giants transitioning to streaming have been making that transition for years. Disney+, while new, has a deep catalogue of known brands to dangle in front of potential subscribers. Even Apple TV+ launched five months ago and has the added advantage of reminding anyone with Apple TV, an iPhone, or a Mac, that the service is one more option right now. Branding is key, and Quibi has to build a brand from scratch. Not only that, but it has to build a brand from scratch at a time when everyone’s attention is focused on one thing and one thing only:...
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? drama Quiz will be revealed to AMC viewers on Sunday May 31.
The network will launch the series, which is produced by The Crown producer Left Bank Pictures and is a co-production with British network ITV, over three weeks with the second and third episodes airing June 7 and June 14 respectively. The full series will be available to binge on AMC Premiere from May 31.
This comes after ITV revealed that it will air the three-part drama on April 13.
Quiz, directed by Stephen Frears A Very English Scandal and written by James Graham Brexit: An Uncivil War, tells the story of how Charles and Diana Ingram attempted an 'audacious heist' on the quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Major Ingram Matthew Macfadyen, his wife Diana Sian Clifford and an accomplice, Tecwen Whittock Michael Jibson, who was sitting in the audience, were accused of cheating their way to a million pounds on the popular game show. The couple stood trial for conspiring by coughing during the recording to signify the correct answers to the multiple-choice questions posed to the Major by host, Chris Tarrant Michael Sheen.
Aisling Bea, star of Hulu's This Way's Up, plays ITV Entertainment boss Claudia Rosencrantz and Catastrophe star Mark Bonnar plays Paul Smith, Chairman of Celador Television and creator of Millionaire.
Creator James Graham told Deadline earlier this year, “It's quite easy to make TV people look pretentious and smug on TV, but that's the trope. They just run around in suits and they're really metropolitan and cutting and smug, and I don't think that's very interesting. So, I tried to humanize them and make them people with vulnerabilities and doubts and uncertainties and desires like everyone else.”
Graham added that one of the things that fascinated him was that he didn't think there were any bad guys in Quiz. “To this day, Paul Smith still believes that they are guilty, and he believes that very passionately. Whether it was the coughing, whether it was something else, he's convinced that people came into the thing that he created, sold around the world, and that these people are trying to destroy that. So, he feels that very keenly. And I think if you represent that honestly and sincerely, then he might be wrong, but he believes it. Similarly, the Ingrams are a normal people who go through this extraordinary story where they're thrown into the limelight. They're made an international laughing stocks, and they're on trial for their freedom. They may get sent to jail if they're found guilty. You try and create three-dimensional people,” he added.