Homeland. The Good Wife. The Affair. The Walking Dead. Mad Men. Masters of Sex. Veep. Game of Thrones. When you think of the best (and most Emmy-nominated) shows on TV, almost all of them air on Sunday nights. As I wrote at Quartz,
It seems counterintuitive to pit all of TV’s best series against one another, as anyone who’s tried to program a DVR on Sundays can attest. But there is in fact a method to the networks’ madness, and five reasons why Sunday night’s quality TV overload exists—and won’t be going away anytime soon.
Through Nielsen numbers crunching (charts!), research and a great chat with Showtime Network President David Nevins, I came up with five very strong reasons — some of which surprised even me. Here’s one: airing on Sunday night is more important than being watched on Sunday night.
While many of the Sunday shows have drawn record audiences as mentioned above, it’s also true that premium cable networks like HBO and Showtime aren’t beholden to advertisers. So those executives don’t have the expectation or urgency that viewers need to tune in “live” during their shows’ initial Sunday night airing. “I always say, it doesn’t matter to me whether you watch it on Sunday; I’m fine if you want to want until Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday,” said Nevins. “You wait much past then, you’re going to miss the conversation.”
There’s nothing like earning 99 Emmy nominations to put a bounce in your step, and HBO was indeed in high spirits at TCA summer press tour. As I wrote at Quartz,
But the network is more concerned about keeping its subscribers happy, not Emmy voters. Speaking to reporters today at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, chairman and CEO Richard Plepler and HBO programming president Michael Lombardo unveiled their strategy to keep the premium network’s most popular shows rolling along—and their subscribers (114 million worldwide, which generated $4.9 billion in revenue last year, plus countless others who watch HBO Go via shared passwords)—eagerly coming back for more.
At the top of their list: making a plan for Game of Thrones, plotting Season 2 of True Detective, hoping out hope for more Curb Your Enthusiasm and giving closure to True Blood, Boardwalk Empire and The Newsroom.
I’ve been saying for years that there’s too many great shows on TV, but I can’t remember one night that has been packed with so many can’t-miss programs before: there’s the series finale of Breaking Bad, the season premieres of Homeland and The Good Wife, the series premiere of fall’s best new drama and much more. It’s DVRmageddon, and at The Daily Beast, I explain the best way to make it through the night and watch everything you need to see:
Did you have angst last Sunday night deciding whether to watch the Emmys, Breaking Bad or the Dexter series finale? Well, that was just a warm-up for the main event, this Sunday at 9 p.m.: DVR-maggedon, when many of fall’s most ravenously anticipated episodes—including the Breaking Bad series finale, the Homeland and Good Wife season premieres, and the debut of fall’s best new drama—air simultaneously. How can anyone possibly navigate that murderer’s row of programs? We’ve crunched the numbers, seen (almost all) of the episodes in question, and devised this handy guide to ensure you catch every show worth seeing on Sept. 29—in time to deconstruct them with your friends and coworkers on Monday.