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The latest news on TV from Business Insider

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    Ofglen trial Handmaid's Tale episode three

    "Showrunners" is a new podcast from INSIDER, a series where we interview the people responsible for bringing TV shows to life. The following is a highlight from our interview with Bruce Miller - the showrunner of Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale."

    Subscribe to "Showrunners" on iTunes here!

    Warning: Ahead are spoilers for episode three of "The Handmaid's Tale" and discussion of graphic sexual violence.

    The third episode of "The Handmaid's Tale" ended with Ofglen (played by Alexis Bledel) in an eerie hospital recovery room scene. During our interview for INSIDER's new podcast "Showrunners," Bruce Miller explained the decision-making process behind this sequence of events.

    "In the book, Offred is told that Ofglen kills herself," Miller told INSIDER. "We don't know if she did, but [that's what Offred is] told. I was very interested in seeing what the criminal justice system looked like for women, which turned out to be amazing. I was really interested to see what punishment was like. What is it like to be convicted of a biblical crime?"

    Throughout episode three, the audience comes to realize that Ofglen has been arrested by the Sons of Jacob for engaging in a sexual relationship with a Martha. They are brought to court and "charged with gender treachery in violation of Romans 1:26, by His word."

    In the King James Bible, Romans 1:26 says:

    Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    Ofglen and martha Handmaid's Tale

    The two women are not allowed to speak for the duration of the trial.

    "I don't know if you noticed, but Alexis doesn't speak in that episode," Miller told INSIDER. "She's got a huge story, and she doesn't say anything."

    Instead, the judge asks the prosecutor if he swears this is the truth. When the prosecutor says yes, the judge declares both women guilty. "Martha 6715301 you are hereby sentenced to the common mercy of the state," the judge says.

    We later see that "the common mercy of the state" means being hung by a crane — but the noose is placed around the woman's neck while she is standing and is then slowly pulled upward.

    "Handmaid 8967, your existence is an abomination," the judge says. "True justice would see you sent to an eternity of suffering. But God has seen fit to make you fruitful, and by that we are bound. Handmaid 8967 you are sentenced to redemption."

    Ogflen trial hearing Handmaid's Tale

    The punishment of "redemption" is female genital mutilation (FGM). Though nothing is explicitly stated or shown, the audience is meant to understand that Emily has unwillingly had her clitoris surgically removed. She is told that she can still bear children, but she "won't want what she can't have" (pleasurable sex).

    For Miller, the choice to expand on Ofglen's story and show more of the brutalities committed against women was partially rooted in keeping Alexis Bledel in the show.

    "I didn't want Alexis to go away," Miller said. "I was a huge proponent of Alexis from the beginning. She was the first person I thought of for that role, and I loved her for it. It was once again because you want that role to go to someone who really has the America's sweetheart feeling about them, because then it's even more kind of gut-wrenching, not that I need to make it more gut-wrenching."

    Practices of FGM (also sometimes referred to as female circumcision or clitoridectomy) vary around the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 200 million women have undergone FGM procedures, most frequently at the age of 10 or younger.

    Miller said both he and the team at Hulu were nervous about portraying FGM in a TV show.

    "When I said we were going to do it, they were like, 'On camera?,' and I was like, 'Okay, no,'" Miller said. "But it happens all over the world every day. It just doesn't happen to white girls who look like Rory Gilmore."

    Ofglen and Aunt Lydia Emily Ann Dowd Handmaid's Tale Hulu

    In the episode, Aunt Lydia comes into the hospital room after Oflgen wakes up from the surgery. At that point, we learn that Ofglen's real name is Emily. 

    (By the way, personal accounts of real-world FGM experiences indicate that the procedure is sometimes done while the girls are awake and without proper medical tools or professionals at hand. Mariya Karimjee, a woman from a Muslim sect called Dawoodi Bohra, wrote about her experience with FGM at The Big Roundtable.)

    "The way that they talk about it to [Emily], even in the episode is, 'We're saving you. You have an uncontrollable urge, and we're going to take that away. We're going to make your life so much easier,'" Miller said. "Which is a lot of the underpinning of why it's done traditionally to young girls. It's to take away an unbridled sexual desire, to keep them from being lascivious. Here she's a gay woman, they don't want her to be attracted to women, so they just kind of think, 'Oh, we're going to do her this favor. We're not going execute her. We're going to be nice.'"

    But there's more to it than that — as the judge said, Emily is "fruitful." Bearing children for Commanders and their Wives is more important than being killed for "gender treachery."

    "As Moira says in the pilot, 'We're breeding stock,'" Miller said. "You don't need eyes for that [...] You're a walking womb, or as one of our brilliant writers said, 'vagina furniture,' which made it into a couple of episodes that got cut out, but it was such a great expression." 

    For more from Bruce Miller, listen to the full episode of "Showrunners" below. Subscribe to "Showrunners" on iTunes here so you can hear new episodes (featuring the showrunners from "Silicon Valley,""American Gods,""Insecure" and more) first.

    SEE ALSO: Hillary Clinton uses 'The Handmaid's Tale' to point out what's happening to women's rights

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This man spent 6 weeks working undercover in an iPhone factory in China — here's what it was like

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    AP Jon Patsy Ramsey hb 161027_12x5_1600

    The new Netflix documentary "Casting JonBenét" just came out, and it's likely to glue viewers to their screens as they try to solve this very mysterious murder by themselves. 

    To save you from that internet digging, we put together a list of some of the most popular (and most out-there) theories about her death, and the many questions that still loom over it.

    In case you weren't alive in 1996 or able to read headlines, six-year-old pageant contestant JonBenét Ramsey was found dead in her home in Boulder, Colorado, by her parents Patsy and John Ramsey the morning after Christmas Day. She had been strangled and had suffered a blow to the back of her head. A homemade garrote was tied around her neck. 

    Here are the most popular and the craziest JonBenét theories out there:

    SEE ALSO: 33 documentaries on Netflix right now that will make you smarter

    Patsy Ramsey — the mother

    A popular theory is that JonBenét 's parents are responsible for her death.

    Patsy Ramsey said that she first knew JonBenét was missing when she found a two-and-a-half-page, handwritten ransom note at the bottom of the staircase. The note is filled with quotes from movies including "Dirty Harry" (1971), "Ransom" (1996), and "Speed" (1994).

    Analysis of the note says that it was probably written by a woman, which many believe to be Patsy. Patsy was believed to be a strict mother, and some claim she physically punished JonBenét for peeing the bed and accidentally killed her, so she staged a kidnapping in order to cover it up. 

    Patsy Ramsey passed away in 2006 from ovarian cancer.

    John Bennett Ramsey — the father

    The theories that JonBenét 's parents committed the murder often stem from their strange behavior after the fact, and the lack of footsteps of any kind in the snow surrounding their home.

    John Bennett Ramsey found his daughter's dead body in the basement wine cellar, and carried her upstairs. He removed the tape from her mouth, and covered her in a blanket, which could have destroyed important evidence. 

    In 2008, Patsy and John Ramsey were officially cleared of any involvement in the murder due to DNA evidence.

    Source: Rolling Stone

    Burke Ramsey — the brother

    Burke Ramsey is JonBenét's older brother. He was nine years old when she was murdered in 1996. Some theorists believe that he killed JonBenét when he angrily threw a flashlight at her head. There was a blow to JonBenét's head and a flashlight in the kitchen, where the two kids had allegedly eaten pineapple before bed. It was discovered that JonBenét had eaten pineapple shortly before being killed. 

    This popular theory also posits that the parents are to blame for covering it all up as a kidnapping. On the CBS special "The Case of: JonBenét Ramsey" that aired in fall of 2016, professional investigators looked into the case and interviewed friends of the Ramseys and concluded that Burke likely did it. In December 2016, Burke filed a lawsuit against CBS for a massive $750 million, alleging defamation.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    stephen colbert donald trump fire colbert late show cbs

    Stephen Colbert addressed the controversial comments that led to a campaign calling for his firing from CBS's "Late Show." While he said he would have changed some wording, he said he wouldn't back down from what he said.

    The host wasted no time in touching on the social-media campaign using the hashtag "#FireColbert."

    "Welcome to 'The Late Show.' I’m your host, Stephen Colbert. Still? I am still the host? I’m still the host!" he began Wednesday's episode.

    The uproar was the result of comments he made during Monday's passionate "Late Show" monologue, which went viral online. In it, he stood up for CBS reporter and friend John Dickerson, whose interview with Trump was cut short by the president after he was repeatedly questioned about his allegations that President Barack Obama had ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower during the campaign.

    Among the insults Colbert directed at Trump, he said, "The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin's c--k holster," which raised the eyebrows of many viewers.

    "Now, if you saw my monologue Monday, you know that I was a little upset at Donald Trump for insulting a friend of mine," Colbert said on Wednesday night. "So at the end of that monologue I had a few choice insults for the president in return. I don’t regret that. He, I believe, can take care of himself. I have jokes; he has the launch codes. So it’s a fair fight."

    What may have started as outrage from LGBTQ rights supporters in response to the "c--k holster" comment that they considered homophobic was then adopted by Trump supporters who jumped on the #FireColbert campaign in response to the entire monologue and the host's ongoing sharp criticism of the president.

    Colbert has faced a campaign for his termination before, during his Comedy Central days, over a joke some viewed as racist. And in light of the new Trump joke, he did want to make sure his viewers knew exactly where he stood on LGBTQ rights.

    "So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be," Colbert said. "I’m not going to repeat the phrase, but I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me, an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else, but that."

    Watch Colbert address the controversial comments below:

    SEE ALSO: People have started a 'fire Colbert' movement because of his 'homophobic' Trump insult

    DON'T MISS: Stephen Colbert praises Jimmy Kimmel's 'beautiful, heartfelt' comments about health care

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Comey reveals why he announced a new Clinton investigation 11 days before the election

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    Seth meyeres Trumpcare

    "Late Night" host Seth Meyers dedicated his "A Closer Look" segment on Wednesday night to the new Republican healthcare bill making its way toward a vote in the United States House of Representatives. He called the latest bill, supported by President Donald Trump and commonly referred to as "Trumpcare,""disastrous.”"

    Republicans have been trying to repeal and replace Obamacare for seven years now, and a previous Trump-backed bill on health care failed before a vote in the House.

    "The whole thing is like the suitcase of a kid who says he’s running away from home: It looks like he has a plan, but if you open that suitcase up, all you’re going to find are some loose Legos and a sleeve of Ritz crackers," Meyers said.

    Meyers also criticized the Republicans for allowing people with preexisting conditions to pay more for their health insurance.

    "This new bill would allow states to waive out of Obamacare’s ban on preexisting conditions," he said.

    "Part of the problem for Republicans is that they’re trying to hide a core truth about their bill — as well as a core truth about Republican ideology — which is that they simply don’t think it’s the government’s job to ensure that people get affordable health care," Meyers continued. "Normally they don’t admit that openly, but on Monday, Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks, a hardline conservative, admitted in a moment of honesty that he has no problem with people with preexisting conditions paying more for their health insurance."

    Meyers then showed a clip of Brooks saying that "people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now, those are the people who have done things the right way that are seeing their costs skyrocketing."

    "People who 'lead good lives'? So what does that mean?" Meyers asked. "People who are sick lead 'bad' lives? If that were really how it worked, Donald Trump would have died three years before he was born."

    SEE ALSO: People have started a 'fire Colbert' movement because of his 'homophobic' Trump insult

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 7 details you might have missed in episode 1 of 'American Gods'

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    There's a new candidate for the king of late night. His name is Donald Trump.

    Well, not really. "The President Show" follows in the Comedy Central tradition of fake talk shows, one it basically created with "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report." The new iteration is hosted by our very own United States president in the form of Trump impersonator Anthony Atamanuik.

    Airing for a half-hour on Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., "The President Show" imagines a scenario in which Trumpbypasses the media, with whom he has had a contentious relationship (to say the least), and does his own late-night show from the White House Oval Office. Like other late-night shows, this one includes desk segments, field pieces, and guest interviews, as well as its own Vice President Mike Pence (played by Peter Grosz, who's also an executive producer) as Trump's sidekick.

    The show's premiere episode on April 27 did gangbusters for Comedy Central. It was watched by about 1 million viewers in its first three days after its debut, the network's highest series premiere debut viewership since its acclaimed comedy "Broad City."

    The show's high ratings are well-deserved. It's a fresh take on both late-night shows and Trump satire, which is all the more remarkable given how familiar both of those formats have become. It's honestly one of the most exciting late-night shows in a long time.

    Here's why you should watch "The President Show":

    SEE ALSO: A Trump impersonator with a new show thinks he unlocked the secret to the president

    DON'T MISS: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert nearly left Comedy Central in 2012

    Anthony Atamanuik's version of Trump has an ease to it that Alec Baldwin's lacks.

    Viewers may have first heard of Atamanuik from his very public feud with Baldwin while both were lobbying to play the president at the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

    Baldwin is certainly good at impersonating Trump, but Atamanuik takes the impersonation to places the star regularly popping up on "Saturday Night Live" doesn't.

    The difference is mostly in tone and physicality — and we're not talking about sporting a red tie, orange tan, and a gravity-defying blond wig. Baldwin's impression centers on the strained lip pout and an uptight feeling in Trump's body. It was timely for him when he began the impression in 2016, as it reflected a very anxious, sometimes angry country.

    Atamanuik offers a much more relaxed physical presence in his impression. That probably comes from his improv background and his different read on Trump's personality.

    "He fancies himself as a Rat Packer, but he’s really this insecure, almost dowager living in a mansion," Atamanuik told reporters last week of the real Trump. "He has this weird feminine quality to him that he tries to overcome with this sort of swagger-y masculinity."

    And while Baldwin has starred in short sketches on "SNL" over the past several months, Atamanuik has been able to hone and relax into his Trump creation during a 41-city tour for the comedy show "Trump vs. Bernie."

    All of the above makes for a more relaxed viewing experience compared to Baldwin's tightly wound take.

    The show's Mike Pence is sidekick-comedy gold.

    Peter Grosz as Vice President Mike Pence is always either sitting on the couch or lurking nearby Atamanuik's Trump.

    Also an executive producer on "The President Show," Grosz plays Pence as quietly subservient and absolutely afraid of Trump. But there's also a great play on Pence's Christian right leanings, with strict avoidance of temptation or a penchant for acting out strange impulses.

    Grosz walks the line of stealing scenes from Atamanuik and providing great interest to viewers who notice the details.

    The set is awesome.

    Comedy Central's Oval Office looks like the real thing, but it's got some hidden tricks.

    First off, it was designed by Ellen Waggett, a former set designer for Seth Meyers and Jimmy Fallon, as well as the designer hired by Michelle Obama for the annual Broadway at the White House event.

    Her take on the Oval Office reflects her own personal visits to the actual one, but she throws in some interesting comedic details. For example, there's a row of Russian nesting dolls on the bookshelf and touches of gold, something she gleaned while scoping out the over-the-top interior design of the D.C. Trump hotel during a visit.

    There's also a trap door in the front panel of Trump's desk and one of the bookcases opens up to a yet-to-be-seen recurring sketch on the show that allows Trump to escape to magical worlds.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    the leftovers hbo theroux final

    It's that time of year when the networks are each bringing down the ax on several of their series.

    To make room for new shows, executives have been crunching the ratings numbers, reviewing pilots for new series, and making easy and difficult decisions about which shows have to go.

    The easy cancellation decisions this year included Katherine Heigl's low-rated legal drama, "Doubt," by CBS. Then there was NBC and DC's critically panned and low-rated comedy experiment, "Powerless."

    Among the tougher cuts this year was Fox's decision to cancel the low-rated but critically acclaimed "Pitch," the story of a young woman who breaks into Major League Baseball as a pitcher. In the same vein, Amazon canceled its show "Good Girls Revolt," about the women who paved the way for today's female journalists. HBO also couldn't hang on to "The Leftovers," which was beloved by critics and fans but couldn't pull in the necessary ratings.

    And then you have the shows that had run their natural course, such as "Girls,""The Vampire Diaries,""Bloodline," and "Masters of Sex."

    Here are all the broadcast shows that were canceled and a selection of canceled shows on the streaming and cable networks:

    SEE ALSO: Here are all your favorite TV shows that are coming back for another season

    DON'T MISS: 10 TV shows people think are about to be canceled

    "Bates Motel" (A&E)

    "Black Sails" (Starz)

    "Bloodline" (Netflix)

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    stephen colbert gop health care plan late show cbs

    Stephen Colbert bashed President Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans for prematurely celebrating the victory of their controversial healthcare bill after it passed in the United States House of Representatives on Thursday.

    "They did it! Obamacare is finally, officially dead!" the host said sarcastically during his opening monologue on Thursday's "Late Show."

    He then detailed the complicated process before the plan, titled the American Health Care Act, can go into effect.

    Republicans can really celebrate, the host said, "once the bill goes to the Senate then gets out of committee, is debated on the floor where amendments can be added, then the Senate votes on their bill, which is sent to the conference committee where the differences between the two bills are ironed out, then voted on in the House and Senate again, the sent to the White House for the president to sign."

    He also joked, "Which is why Republicans were chanting, 'We’re number one… third of the way through a very complex process!'"

    The new healthcare bill, a revised version of the one Republicans previously pulled from consideration when it was clear they didn't have the votes to pass it, is intended to repeal and replace Obamacare. Among the differences from President Barack Obama's plan, the new bill greatly strips coverage for maternity care, emergency services, and opens the door to denying coverage or raising rates on those with preexisting conditions.

    Colbert also referenced a comment one reporter said White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus told her of Trump's determination to pass the bill: "The president stepped up and helped punt the ball into the end zone."

    “Accurate, because it gets you zero points and gives your opponent good field position,” Colbert said of the incorrect metaphor. To be fair to Priebus, the reporter later clarified that she believes he actually said "punch," not "punt."

    Colbert, who apparently hadn't received the change memo, did offer up a new metaphor: "The GOP just kicked America in the balls."

    Watch the video below:

    SEE ALSO: Why Comedy Central's new 'The President Show' is the Trump parody you need to watch

    DON'T MISS: Stephen Colbert fires back at #FireColbert campaign over his Trump insult: 'I would do it again'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch Hasan Minhaj roast Trump at the White House correspondents' dinner

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    Ellen DeGeneres

    Ellen DeGeneres won't have President Donald Trump as a guest on her hit daytime talk show.

    "I'm not going to change his mind," she told Matt Lauer during a pretaped interview on Friday's "Today" show of her reasoning for not having Trump on her talk show. "He's against everything that I stand for."

    DeGeneres acknowledged that she does know the president. In the past, he had appeared on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," also known as "Ellen," to promote his NBC reality show "The Apprentice" in its early seasons. But things have become icy between the two since the election.

    "I knew him then," DeGeneres said. "I have not spoken to him since he's run for president or become president."

    A big supporter of LGBTQ rights and an out lesbian for more than two decades, DeGeneres likely disagrees with Trump's recent executive order that revokes federal guidelines giving bathroom rights to transgender Americans.

    She further explained what she believes Trump lacks as a leader.

    "We need to look at someone else who looks different than us, and believes in something that we don't believe in, and still accept them and still let them have their rights," she said.

    Watch the "Today" interview below:

    SEE ALSO: Stephen Colbert slams the new healthcare bill: 'The GOP just kicked America in the balls'

    DON'T MISS: Caitlyn Jenner challenges Trump on transgender bathroom rights 'disaster': 'Call me'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch Hasan Minhaj roast Trump at the White House correspondents' dinner

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    Sense8 tina desai

    As a model turned Bollywood star, Tina Desai has built a huge fan base. But her current role on Netflix's "Sense8"  with its sensual scenes, challenging love predicament, and complicated science-fiction plot — had the Indian actress worried if her fans would take the ride with her.

    "It was something that took me time to adjust to, as well. I think I'm still adjusting," Desai recently told Business Insider when asked about how her fans reacted to the Netflix show's racier elements. "It's hugely different from what I grew up with and what I've grown up exposed to."

    Cocreated by Lana Wachowski and Lilly Wachowski ("The Matrix") and J. Michael Straczynski ("Thor"), "Sense8" returns for its second season on Friday. Desai plays Kala, one of a small cluster of individuals from all over the world who share a mental connection that allows them to tap into one another's thoughts and skills, and basically experience life together as well as survive being hunted down by a mysterious organization.

    Beyond the sex scenes on the show, Desai wondered if her Indian fans would watch a show that's so entrenched in the sci-fi genre.

    "I did not expect people to watch it in India," she said, "simply because it's the kind of genre that I thought people would not like because we like fantastical cinema in India, we like escapist cinema. And so while this show is fantastical, it just seems too out there.

    "I feel very proud," Desai continued. "I think each time I step out of the house, there's at least one person who comes up to me and talks to me about the show. And I actually sometimes go on to question them about it, because I wonder if they just say that to me or if they really mean it."

    Sense8 christmas special trailer netflixAs "out there" as "Sense8" may be, Desai believes that Kala's conflict between her choice to marry Rajan (Purab Kohli), who seems perfect for her, and her ongoing love affair with fellow cluster member Wolfgang (Max Riemelt) is something her fans can relate to.

    "I think it's a very common phenomenon," she said. "A lot of people just go the arranged-marriage way because a lot of our family, our parents have married that way and they're happy, so why not we do the same thing? It's surprising that it's still in existence. But I will say that an equal number of marriages by choice also happen — and that's exactly what Kala's dilemma is."

    As nothing is simple in "Sense8," Kala's marriage isn't arranged, but it is one that looked good on paper and she went ahead with it. But Wolfgang certainly makes Kala wonder if she should have held out for love.

    "I think it would've even been much easier if she didn't have that problem in her mind," Desai said.

    Originally, Desai said the show did have Kala falling in love with her fiance, in addition to him being a good match for her. But Desai said they scrapped the love part in the end. After all, what would be the fun in that? Fans of the couple can expect the situation for Kala and Wolfgang to get very complicated on the second season — and Rajan shouldn't be counted out quite yet.

    "There's more trouble this time," Desai said, laughing. "I'm actually rooting for the other guy. I was quite surprised if I might say. And I'm actually quite taken in by the impact, so I'm hoping that the friction continues because my God is it impactful."

    Watch a trailer for the second season of "Sense8" below:

    SEE ALSO: RANKED: The 13 most popular Netflix original shows

    DON'T MISS: 24 TV shows that were just canceled

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: The trailer for the Wachowskis' mind-bending new Netflix series 'Sense8' has a lot of 'Matrix' in it

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    Mark Zuckerberg

    Facebook has kicked its push for TV-like shows into high gear and is aiming to premiere its first slate of programming in mid-June, multiple people familiar with the plans told Business Insider.

    Facebook plans to have roughly two-dozen shows for this initial push and has greenlit multiple shows for production, according to people familiar with the discussions. They said that the social network has been looking for shows in two distinct tiers: a marquee tier for a few longer, big-budget shows that would feel at home on TV, and a lower tier for shorter, less expensive shows of around 5-10 minutes in length that refreshes every 24 hours.

    The new video initiative means that Facebook will play a much more hands-on role in controlling the content that appears on its nearly 2-billion-member social network. And it comes as companies like Amazon, YouTube, and Snapchat are locked in an arms race to secure their own premium video programming. 

    Facebook sees high-quality, scripted video as an important feature to retain users, particularly the young demographic that is increasingly flocking to rival Snapchat, as well as a means to rake in brand advertising dollars traditionally reserved for traditional television.

    Whether Facebook's users will embrace such programming remains to be seen. The short video clips that autoplay in Facebook's News Feed have been a success for most publishers, but there's no guarantee that consumers will begin to think of Facebook as a destination for watching longer-form shows.

    Facebook declined to comment for this story.

    VR dating and A-list celebs

    Ricky Van Veen

    The effort to snag exclusive shows is being led by CollegeHumor cofounder Ricky Van Veen, who Facebook hired in December to be its global creative strategy chief. His small team has been meeting with production companies and hearing pitches for episodic shows 5-30 minutes in length, which will live in a revamped version of Facebook’s video tab.

    Multiple people mentioned Netflix’s “House of Cards” as a representation of the caliber of shows that have been pitched to Facebook for its higher tier, while another cited “Scandal” as an example. As to the lower tier, Facebook is looking for production budgets that fall somewhere between TV and digital shows, similar to the shows on Verizon's go90 service, one person said. 

    One show Facebook has greenlit is a virtual reality dating show from Condé Nast Entertainment in which people go on first dates in VR before they meet in real life, according to one person who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. Condé Nast didn't return a request for comment.

    Facebook has tapped A-list celebrities to star in some of the shows, according to multiple people briefed on the plans. One agency has already attached an A-list Hollywood star to a show, according to a person familiar with the talks.

    While Facebook is interested in a range of content, one genre Facebook is targeting intensely is teen-centric shows.

    “They are obsessed with Snapchat,” one person said. “Facebook is targeting [younger users] to expand the audience demo,” another said. Snapchat has been actively pursuing show deals with many of the same of the same companies as Facebook for its Discover section. “They are definitely in a race right now,” a third person said.

    Another area Facebook is looking closely at is sports and has reportedly held talks with the MLB. “Sports is probably something that we'll want to try at some point,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a recent earnings call.

    One person cautioned that the mid-June launch date could be pushed back. Another said Facebook had initially planned to unveil its shows around its developer conference in mid-April, but decided to instead make the debut in time for the Cannes Lions advertising festival, which starts on June 17.

    The ad play

    The new video strategy pits Facebook directly against YouTube, which announced on Thursday that it would fund a slate of original shows starring big names like Ellen DeGeneres, Kevin Hart, and Katy Perry. The new shows will be supported by ads and available for anyone to watch, instead of living in YouTube’s $9.99-a-month subscription service.

    kevin hart what the fit"Five years ago, 85 percent of all original series were ad-supported," Robert Kyncl, YouTube's business chief, said at an event on Thursday when explaining the company's strategy. "This year, that number has fallen to just over two-thirds. And with significantly more content coming to subscription services, that shift is accelerating. So we see these shows as a way for us to partner with [advertisers] to buck this trend."

    Facebook's thinking seems in line with YouTube's, as Facebook’s primary means of monetizing its original shows will be through mid-roll ads, multiple people said. The social network has been testing the ads for months with a handful of publishers in live and recorded videos, but hasn’t made the format widely available.

    In discussions with partners, Facebook executives have repeatedly said that they eventually want to move toward a revenue-sharing model for scripted shows through mid-roll ads. To start, Facebook is purchasing the rights to some shows upfront with plans to recoup its costs through mid-roll later.

    Living room screens

    A concern among partners is that Facebook executives have yet to explain why people will seek out longer shows in the Facebook app’s video tab. “Facebook hasn’t figured it out,” one partner said. “That’s a needle they have to thread,” another person said.

    facebook apple tv appFacebook released a standalone video app for the Apple TV and other set-top boxes in March that could presumably also be used to feature its original shows, the people said.

    “The goal is going to be creating some anchor content initially that helps people learn that going to the video tab that that's a great destination where they can explore and come to Facebook with the intent to watch the videos that they want,” Zuckerberg said during Facebook’s last earnings call with investors. “And then the long-term goal is actually not to be paying for specific content like that, but doing a revenue share model once the whole economy around video on Facebook is built up.”

    SEE ALSO: Twitter is adding a slew of new shows in its quest to be a hub for live video

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell on Snapchat becoming the 'third force' to Google and Facebook

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    colbert trump flag

    FCC chairman Ajit Pai said that his agency will be looking into complaints made against Stephen Colbert for what some labeled a homophobic joke about President Donald Trump.

    “I have had a chance to see the clip now and so, as we get complaints — and we’ve gotten a number of them — we are going to take the facts that we find and we are going to apply the law as it’s been set out by the Supreme Court and other courts and we’ll take the appropriate action,” Pai told Philadelphia’s Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.

    “Traditionally, the agency has to decide, if it does find a violation, what the appropriate remedy should be,” he continued. “A fine, of some sort, is typically what we do.” Pai was appointed to the FCC in 2012 by President Barack Obama. He was elevated to the chairmanship of the commission by Trump in January.

    Pai’s comments on Colbert are surprising as “The Late Show” airs outside the FCC’s long-established “safe harbor” time frame of 6 am to 10 pm in which the commission has the authority to police allegations of indecent and obscene material on the airwaves. They would also seem to clash with Pai’s vow to maintain a lighter regulatory environment for media overall.

    Colbert faced backlash following the Monday night airing of “The Late Show,” during which he made numerous jokes about Trump during his opening monologue. Among them, he said, “The only thing [Trump’s] mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c–k holster.” Colbert’s mouth was blurred and the term was bleeped out for the broadcast, however.

    Viewers took to social media to declare Colbert’s joke homophobic.The hashtag #FireColbert began spreading around Twitter, along with calls for people to boycott sponsors of the late-night show.

    Colbert responded to the controversy during his opening monologue on Wednesday, saying he regretted his choice of words but stopped short of an apology.

    “So while I would do it again, I would change a few words that were cruder than they needed to be,” he said. “I’m not going to repeat the phrase, but I just want to say for the record, life is short, and anyone who expresses their love for another person, in their own way, is to me, an American hero. I think we can all agree on that. I hope even the president and I can agree on that. Nothing else. But, that.”

    Also during Wednesday’s show, “Big Bang Theory” star Jim Parsons, who is himself gay, joked with Colbert about the controversy. “You taught me new terms,” Parsons said. “As a gay man, I didn’t know certain things — that’s titillating. I wouldn’t call it homophobic. That’s just my take on your good form.”

    SEE ALSO: Stephen Colbert fires back at #FireColbert campaign over his Trump insult: 'I would do it again'

    DON'T MISS: Ellen DeGeneres won't allow Trump on her show: 'He's against everything that I stand for'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: ‘How can you be this bad at it?’: Colbert joked about Clinton’s trusthworthiness — here’s how she responded

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    pablo schreiber american gods starz

    When you're as talented and in-demand an actor as Pablo Schreiber, you can afford to be picky about the roles you choose to take.

    The Emmy winner for "Orange Is the New Black" stars in at least five upcoming films, so taking on the role of Mad Sweeney on Starz's "American Gods" really had to make sense for him. In fact, he turned down an audition for the role originally.

    "During pilot season, they were given a straight-to-series order, so I got sent the pilot script and they asked if I would audition for it," Schreiber told Business Insider when we met him in New York City recently. "I think my agent said, 'No, he's not going to audition, but you can offer it to him.' But they wanted to see the actors, because it's such a wild character they wanted to see it on tape."

    The role of Mad Sweeney then went to Sean Harris, a British actor who stars in the "Mission Impossible" movie franchise and previously, the Showtime series, "The Borgias." But after a week of filming on "American Gods,"Harris left the production last year for "personal reasons."

    "Whatever happened happened and they came back and said we'd like you to do it and then they offered," Schreiber said. "[Executive producers Bryan Fuller and Michael Green] sent me six of the first scripts and I got a sense of the arc and where the character was going. They talked to me a lot about their plans for using Mad Sweeney in the story and how he was gonna be used to drive the plot, which was important for me. And I'm 6-5, so I don't know if I'll get asked to play a leprechaun again, so I said yeah."

    American Gods starz"American Gods," which is alreadyrenewed for a second season and airs Sundays, is adapted from Neil Gaiman's popular 2001 novel of the same name.

    The show tells the story of Shadow Moon (Ricky Whittle), an ex-convict who meets Mr. Wednesday (Ian McShane), who hires Shadow as his bodyguard. Shadow accompanies McShane's mysterious character on a cross-country journey to recruit the multicultural gods of history who were brought to the US by immigrants for a war with the new gods created out of our modern worship of technology, media, drugs, and celebrity, among other things.

    Mad Sweeney, a leprechaun brought over to America with Irish immigrants, has since become a grifter who yearns for the times in which his lucky charm was sought after.

    With the offer in hand for Mad Sweeney and without having to do an audition, Schreiber had one more request of the show's producers before taking the role. He wanted to make sure he would look right in the role.

    "My character is described as being a massive man who also calls himself a leprechaun and as having bright red, fire engine red hair. So those are things we just weren't gonna turn our back on," he said. "So the wig and the beard were very important to nail. Part of saying yes I would do it was first I had them fly me out to Toronto to do a hair and makeup test to make sure that we could come up with something that looked good and that we were all happy with."

    That wasn't the easiest of jobs. Since the production was already in full swing, they tried to use the previous actor's wig on Schreiber, but that wasn't going to pass muster.

    "Wigs are really specific to people. It's important," said Schreiber. "So they tried it on me and it wasn't working very well, so they changed it to fit my head. But really it kind of took off and really started to look like something after I said, 'Hey, let's cut the sides out and make it a mohawk.' So we did that and I think, for them, the character started to come to life. So, I went to Toronto and did the hair and make-up test, then the offer was accepted."

    Fans of the novel may be wondering why there was so much fuss to make sure all the elements were right for Mad Sweeney, a character that only appears in the novel just twice. But Schreiber has news for you.

    "If you're an avid reader of the book, you know the character really well and you know those two scenes," the Canadian-born actor, whose half-brother is "Ray Donovan" star Liev Schreiber, tells us. "But as a tv series, now we get to fill in everything that happened to Mad Sweeney in between the time when you first met him and when you see him at the end. So, you're essentially taking a character that's beloved that everybody knows and you're filling in the time that's not written in between the two things. And they did that specifically with Sweeney."

    SEE ALSO: 'American Gods' star explains her character's insane sex scene: 'She absolutely owns it'

    DON'T MISS: 'American Gods' star Ricky Whittle describes his 'crazy' 16 auditions for the coveted role

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 7 details you might have missed in episode 1 of 'American Gods'

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    13 Reasons WhyIt's about that time when television networks decide which shows have to go and which get another round. The pilot shows are being reviewed, and announcements will trickle in over the next few weeks.

    And while the people behind the shows are awaiting the networks' decisions, viewers are also feeling the tension. Will your favorite show head to the TV graveyard or get another year of life?

    Exhale. That question has been answered for many of your favorite shows. Business Insider has compiled an exhaustive list of the shows that have already been renewed for another season and will air during the 2017-2018 TV seasons.

    The following list includes all the scripted shows that the broadcast networks have ordered for another year and a selection of the most popular scripted offerings on the cable and streaming networks.

    Here are your favorite shows getting another season:

    SEE ALSO: 24 TV shows that were just canceled

    DON'T MISS: 18 TV shows you're watching that are probably going to be canceled

    "13 Reasons Why" (Netflix)

    "The 100" season five (The CW)

    "A Series of Unfortunate Events" season two (Netflix)

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    13 Reasons Why

    The Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" follows high-school student Clay Jensen and his late classmate Hannah Baker, who killed herself. She left behind cassette tapes laying out 13 reasons she said she took her own life. Each tape is made for someone who she said was responsible for her suicide in some way. Each episode focuses on one of the tapes.

    Netflix released all the episodes of the show on March 31, and this past weekend, Netflix announced that the show would return for season two in 2018.

    The show has gotten a lot of attention — not all of it positive. It's now facing major controversy.

    Many mental-health experts, concerned parents, and teachers are saying it glorifies suicide and could be a dangerous lesson for teens who could be going through the same things as Hannah.

    Here's how the Netflix show "13 Reasons Why" became a hit among teens and why experts are calling it "harmful":

    SEE ALSO: 100 movies on Netflix that everyone needs to watch in their lifetime

    The show is based on the 2007 novel "Thirteen Reasons Why" by Jay Asher.

    It got so popular so fast that it's getting a second season.

    The show is about a teenager, Hannah Baker, who kills herself.

    Before taking her own life, she leaves audiotapes for people she holds responsible. The tapes are an act of revenge and a partial justification of her fatal act. 


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Broadcaster and Naturalist David Attenborough makes friends with 'Timber' a Red & Blue Macaw, owned by D.S.Redman, 1958.Sir David Attenborough has long been a national treasure, best known for his awe-inspiring BBC documentaries such as Life, Planet Earth, and The Blue Planet.

    To celebrate the esteemed broadcaster’s 91st birthday, we’ve compiled some of his best quotes, ranging from impassioned speeches on conservation to being a humanist.

    1. "I just wish the world was twice as big and half of it was still unexplored."

    2. "Ever since we arrived on this planet as a species, we’ve cut them down, dug them up, burnt them and poisoned them. Today we’re doing so on a greater scale than ever."

    David Attenborough appearing in T.V. programme 'Perspective'.

    3. "There are some four million different kinds of animals and plants in the world. Four million different solutions to the problems of staying alive."

    4. "I can't pretend that I got involved with filming the natural world fifty years ago because I had some great banner to carry about conservation - not at all, I always had a huge pleasure in just watching the natural world and seeing what happens."

    5. "An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfilment."

    6. "I don’t run a car, have never run a car. I could say that this is because I have this extremely tender environmentalist conscience, but the fact is I hate driving."

    David Attenborough holds out his hand to Suka, an orangutan at London Zoo.

    7. "A hundred years ago, there were one-and-a-half billion people on Earth. Now, over six billion crowd our fragile planet. But even so, there are still places barely touched by humanity."

    8. "People must feel that the natural world is important and valuable and beautiful and wonderful and an amazement and a pleasure."

    9. "It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty, the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living."

    10. "If we [humans] disappeared overnight, the world would probably be better off."

    David Attenborough Croc

    11. "You know, it’s a terrible thing to appear on television, because people think you actually know what you’re talking about."

    12. "No, not a feminist. I’m a humanist. I’m neither one side nor the other. It’s about the human being. And wanting human beings to be better off so they don’t view children as an insurance for the future."

    13. "The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?"

    15. "About 70 or 80 men jumped onto the track, brandishing knives and spears. To say I was alarmed is to put it mildly… I walked towards this screaming horde of men, I stuck out my hand, and I heard myself say 'good afternoon.' "

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: These are the small, agile new aircraft carriers meant to take F-35s into battle

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    John Oliver Net Neutrality HBO final

    Three years ago, "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" dedicated an episode to net neutrality. At the time, the Federal Communications Commission was looking to regulate a free and open internet.

    The FCC's site crashed thanks to the flood of comments it got after that episode aired.

    Oliver was back at it again on Sunday night, raising awareness about the FCC's latest attempt at messing with web access.

    President Donald Trump's White House has announced plans to roll back net-neutrality rules.

    It's currently illegal for internet service providers to manipulate the choices we make online — like slowing access to Google but speeding up Bing for web searches, or making Netflix streaming slower so your viewing experience is intolerable. The rules level the playing field.

    But Oliver points out that the new, Trump-appointed head of the FCC, Ajit Pai, may change all of that.

    Oliver says that despite Pai's public persona as a lovable nerd who drinks out of a gigantic Reese's mug, his background should concern you.

    "He's a former lawyer for Verizon," Oliver said.

    That's a big red flag for people who are concerned about net neutrality — not only because he used to work for a major ISP, but because it happens to be the one that successfully took the FCC to court in 2014 to change laws and regulations around net neutrality, now known as Title II.

    "It's deeply disingenuous because he has to know that Verizon, his ex-employer, won a lawsuit that meant if the FCC wanted strong, enforceable protection, its only real option was to reclassify the ISPs," Oliver said. "Yet he cheerily insists under questioning that there was just no evidence that cable companies were engaging in rampant wrongdoing."

    But Oliver said that in 2013, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and T-Mobile blocked Google Wallet from their phones because it competed with the companies' mobile-payment app, called Isis (yes, really).

    Pai's idea for how ISPs should abide by net neutrality? He has floated the idea that ISPs could "voluntarily agree" not to obstruct or slow web access for consumers by putting that in their terms of service.

    "You know, the things that no human being has ever read and that can change whenever companies want them to," Oliver said. "That idea would basically make net neutrality as binding as a proposal on 'The Bachelor.'"

    He added: "The fact is Title II is the most solid legal foundation we have right now for strong, enforceable net-neutrality protections."

    The late-night host has once more asked his audience to flood the FCC with complaints demanding it not change net-neutrality rules.

    Watch the "Last Week Tonight" segment:

    SEE ALSO: 24 TV shows that were just canceled

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A 'Top Chef' alum explains why you should use canned tomatoes in your sauce

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    John Oliver Jar Jar

    As you’ve probably heard, the House of Representatives recently passed a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare (also known as the Affordable Care Act) with the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

    The ACHA could take away protections that Obamacare had in place for Americans with preexisting conditions, which could make health care less affordable for those who need it most. On Sunday's "Last Week Tonight," host John Oliver had strong words about the bill.

    "Yes, they took a bad thing, and managed to make it even worse," Oliver said on his HBO show. "It's like watching Mariah Carey’s ‘Glitter' and saying, 'You know what this needs? Jar Jar Binks.'"

    The host also mocked one congressman who asked a reporter to explain part of the bill, which he had not read in full.

    "Okay. I can explain that to you right now," Oliver said. "This bill could cause many of your constituents to get thrown into an individual marketplace they cannot afford, and when they realize that, they are going to be furious with you. Essentially: You f---ed up."

    Oliver closed the segment by encouraging viewers to take action.

    "It is dangerous to assume that this bill will die on its own. Your Senators are incredibly important right now and they're going to recess soon, so you need to let them know how you feel about this," he said. "Call your Senators. Call. Your. Senators."

    You can watch the segment below:


    SEE ALSO: 'SNL' mocks Kellyanne Conway for her lack of public appearances after multiple media controversies

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Judge Judy's friend of 40 years explains what she's really like

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    ryan seacrest american idol

    ABC is the official new home of “American Idol.”

    The broadcaster revealed Tuesday morning on “Good Morning America” that it has given a greenlight to a 16th season of the long-running music competition. The series order ends not only a process that saw multiple networks explore bringing the reality franchise to their air, but also a briefer-than-anticipated absence for a show that just a year ago celebrated its “farewell season.”

    “GMA” anchors Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos offered few details about the planned revival. They said details such as the show’s host and judging panel were still to be determined, and there’s no word yet about a showrunner.

    “America, get ready for the return of a bigger, bolder and better-than-ever ‘Idol,’ ” Disney/ABC TV Group president Ben Sherwood promised.

    As rumors of “Idol’s” move to ABC spread, there’s been speculation about whether Ryan Seacrest would be able to return as host. Seacrest earlier this month was named permanent co-host of the “Live with Kelly and Ryan” syndicated morning show, in addition to hosting his daily radio program. “Live” is distributed by Disney, which could make it easier for Seacrest to juggle an obligation to another ABC program.

    “ ‘American Idol’ is a pop-culture staple that left the air too soon,” said Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, in a statement. “ABC is the right home to reignite the fan base. We are thrilled viewers will once again share in these inspiring stories of people realizing their dreams.”

    The new-model “Idol” comes from FremantleMedia North America and Core Media Group’s 19 Entertainment. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin. Fox is believed to still have an ownership interest in the show.

    ”ABC’s passion and enthusiasm make them a perfect home for ‘American Idol,’ ” said Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia Group. “We are excited to be partnering with them to discover the next generation of talented artists. It’s an irresistible combination that means now is the ideal time to welcome back one of the most successful shows in the history of contemporary television.”

    ABC emerged as the leading candidate to bring back “Idol” in recent weeks, and by Friday had a deal in place with producers FremantleMedia and Core Media Group to lock up the show. That framework for an agreement withstood a last-second bid by Fox, which aggressively pursued the pricey series that it had canceled a year earlier. Fox was rebuffed, and by Friday evening ABC and FremantleMedia were in exclusive negotiations, putting the finishing touches on the deal.

    As negotiations entered their final stages Friday, ABC was already mulling scheduling options, with insiders telling Variety at the time that the show was primed for a March 2018 premiere and would likely air on Sunday nights.

    When Fremantle began shopping “Idol” earlier this year, NBC at first emerged as the most likely home for the show. But the Peacock walked away from talks, worried about the series’ costs and its potential negative effect on existing singing-competition series “The Voice.”

    “Idol” ran on Fox for 15 seasons beginning in 2002. For eight consecutive seasons, beginning in 2003-04, it was the highest-rated show on television. At its peak in 2006, “American Idol” averaged a 12.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 36.4 million total viewers.

    Ratings declined steeply in the show’s later years, to the point that Fox decided that “Idol” no longer represented a worthwhile financial or scheduling commitment. (The series aired two nights a week, typically beginning in midseason.) The final season in 2016 averaged a 2.2 and 9.1 million viewers. Those numbers were far diminished from what the show drew in its heyday, but they remain respectable by contemporary standards, with delayed viewing and increased competition applying downward pressure on live ratings across television.

    SEE ALSO: RANKED: The most successful 'American Idol' contestants of all time

    DON'T MISS: Original 'American Idol' cohost Brian Dunkleman admits he never got along with Ryan Seacrest

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: How a disturbing on-air freakout helped this ABC News anchor find happiness

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    Global Ad Spend, Digital and Traditional

    This story was delivered to BI Intelligence "Digital Media Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

    Facebook is set to debut its collection of TV-like video content in mid-June, Business Insider reports.

    The social network has set its sight on two types of shows: a marquee tier with longer, big budget shows akin to traditional TV series; and a second tier with less expensive, shorter shows of about five to 10 minutes, that would refresh every 24 hours. Around two dozen shows are currently scheduled for launch .

    • Major tech companies are scrambling to secure premium video programming. Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Snap are devoting resources to develop their content catalogs, to make their respective platforms as compelling as possible to consumers.
    • These companies are competing for attention, and by extension, ad spend. The major opportunity on the horizon is the shift of ad spend from TV to digital media. Non subscription-based content platforms, including Facebook, Snap, and YouTube, are vying to be the most attractive solution for TV advertisers from here on out.
    • Original video programming is the new focal point for each of these players. YouTube plans to pour hundreds of millions of dollars to fund at least forty shows and films over the next year. Snap's main plan of action is to build its library of TV-like shows. Now Facebook, which has bristled at being called a content company, is set to premiere its own slate of programming.
    • Facebook is targeting teen-centric content to offset the influence of its rivals. Its big rival, of course, is Snapchat, which has a strong hold on younger age groups. People aged 18 to 24 are Snapchat's largest age group in the US, per the company's S-1 document. On a given day, 35% of these 60 million daily US users aren’t on Facebook, and 46% aren’t on Instagram.
    • The social platform has made a concerted effort to turn itself into a video site. The company’s recently unveiled video tab provides a destination design purely for video consumption, like YouTube. The company also has standalone video apps for Apple TV, Google Chromecast and other over the top set-top boxes.
    • And its mid-roll ad breaks are a like-for-like format to traditional TV commercials. In February, the company had three updates relating to video monetization: the launch of in-stream video ads, including mid-roll ads, in Audience Network, expanding ad breaks in Facebook Live, and testing ad breaks in on-demand video.

    Over the last few years, there’s been much talk about the “death of TV.” However, television is not dying so much as it's evolving: extending beyond the traditional television screen and broadening to include programming from new sources accessed in new ways.

    It's strikingly evident that more consumers are shifting their media time away from live TV, while opting for services that allow them to watch what they want, when they want. Indeed, we are seeing a migration toward original digital video such as YouTube Originals, SVOD services such as Netflix, and live streaming on social platforms.

    However, not all is lost for legacy media companies. Amid this rapidly shifting TV landscape, traditional media companies are making moves across a number of different fronts — trying out new distribution channels, creating new types of programming aimed at a mobile-first audience, and partnering with innovate digital media companies. In addition, cable providers have begun offering alternatives for consumers who may no longer be willing to pay for a full TV package.

    Dylan Mortensen, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, has compiled a detailed report on the future of TV that looks at how TV viewer, subscriber, and advertising trends are shifting, and where and what audiences are watching as they turn away from traditional TV. 

    Here are some key points from the report:

    • Increased competition from digital services like Netflix and Hulu as well as new hardware to access content are shifting consumers' attention away from live TV programming.
    • Across the board, the numbers for live TV are bad. US adults are watching traditional TV on average 18 minutes fewer per day versus two years ago, a drop of 6%. In keeping with this, cable subscriptions are down, and TV ad revenue is stagnant.
    • People are consuming more media content than ever before, but how they're doing so is changing. Half of US TV households now subscribe to SVOD services, like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, and viewing of original digital video content is on the rise.
    • Legacy TV companies are recognizing these shifts and beginning to pivot their business models to keep pace with the changes. They are launching branded apps and sites to move their programming beyond the TV glass, distributing on social platforms to reach massive, young audiences, and forming partnerships with digital media brands to create new content.
    • The TV ad industry is also taking a cue from digital. Programmatic TV ad buying represented just 4% (or $2.5 billion) of US TV ad budgets in 2015 but is expected to grow to 17% ($10 billion) by 2019. Meanwhile, networks are also developing branded TV content, similar to publishers' push into sponsored content.

    In full, the report: 

    • Outlines the shift in consumer viewing habits, specifically the younger generation.
    • Explores the rise of subscription streaming services and the importance of original digital video content.
    • Breaks down ways in which legacy media companies are shifting their content and advertising strategies.
    • And Discusses new technology that will more effectively measure audiences across screens and platforms. 

    Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

    1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you'll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. » START A MEMBERSHIP
    2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. »BUY THE REPORT

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    Antonio Sabato Jr. RNC

    Antonio Sabato Jr., best known for his roles in “General Hospital” and “Melrose Place,” is running for Congress in the 26th District of California.

    Sabato, who filed statements of candidacy and organization with the Federal Election Commission on Monday, will be running as a Republican candidate against the current Democratic representative for the district Julia Brownley, who was elected in 2012. While Sabato has not yet made any public statements, California GOP strategist and former Trump delegate Charles Moran, who will serve as Sabato’s campaign fundraiser, confirmed his bid to the Los Angeles Times.

    Moran told CNN that Sabato was inspired to run for candidacy by President Donald Trump’s successful bid. He said that with Brownley now representing the minority party in Congress, Sabato has a good chance to win the seat. Sabato also has ties to the presidency that could help him gain favor in the race — according to Moran, Sabato “knows” the president and is friends with one of his sons.

    Sabato has been a fan of Trump’s since at least April 2011, when Trump was a vocal proponent of the “birther” movement that asserted that Obama was not born in the U.S. Sabato was also one of the few celebrities to attend Trump’s inauguration.

    The Italian-born actor inserted himself into Republican politics when he spoke at the Republican National Convention last year in Cleveland, and has been politically active on Twitter for years. However, Sabato’s political reputation got off to a rocky start when he told ABC News in July 2016 that he “absolutely” believes that then-President Barack Obama was a Muslim.

    “We had a Muslim president for 7 1/2 years,” Sabato said. “I don’t believe he is” a Christian.

    Sabato also modeled for Calvin Klein in the ’90s and recently competed on “Dancing with the Stars.” He also starred in VH1’s “My Antonio,” a show involving multiple women competing for his affection — a premise Donald Trump would no doubt have enjoyed as well.

    Moran also said that Sabato’s platform will be based on issues that he is personally passionate about, including the opioid crisis — an issue close to the heart of many rural Trump voters — tough immigration reform, and veterans affairs. Strategist Jeff Corless will serve as a top advisor.

    The 26th district, which includes most of Ventura County, has historically been a Republican district, and only went to the Democrats after a redistricting changed the borders and population of the district in 2012. Brownley beat her opponent by six points in that election, but that margin narrowed to two at the following midterm. Most recently, however, she won the seat by 20 points, and Democrats now have a sizable registration advantage.

    Registration in the district is 42.6% Democratic, 30.4% Republican.

    SEE ALSO: Ellen DeGeneres won't allow Trump on her show: 'He's against everything that I stand for'

    DON'T MISS: Why Comedy Central's new 'The President Show' is the Trump parody you need to watch

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Obama urges Congress not to repeal Obamacare

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