Founder of Nikki Finke has died, aged 68. Through 2022 eyes, the founder of Deadline doesn't seem all that notable - with Deadline just one of the entertainment news sites owned/operated by Penske Media (which also owns The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Indiewire, Rolling Stone, Billboard, and more). But Deadline when it first launched in 2006 was a radical shift in the industry.

Finke’s take-no-prisoners style angered many of showbiz’s top players and delighted others. She often scored huge exclusives, and when they were confirmed by comms teams or publicists, Finke would update her story using her signature “TOLDJA!”

In the comments for Deadline, Finke insisted that commenters should never be boring. She didn't want back-patting or other wet blanket commenters sanding down the edges of her reporting, which was often both scathing and revelatory. It made entertainment news lively, dangerous, and *GASP* entertaining.

It forced The Hollywood Reporter and Variety to embrace a more mainstream audience. Once Finke sold Deadline, it too slid towards the same tenor of mediocrity that plagues all of these publishers. But for those Nikki Finke years, Deadline was a must-read website.

Jay Penske, in his comments about the death of Finke said it well:

“It was never easy with Nikki, but she will always remain one of the most memorable people in my life”
Nikki Finke Dies: Deadline Founder & Longtime Entertainment Journalist Was 68
Nikki Finke, the veteran entertainment journalist who founded Deadline in 2006 and helped grow it into a major player among Hollywood trades, died Sunday morning in Boca Raton, FL after a prolonged…

RIP US late night talk shows

The New York Times has a good piece on the decline of the US late night talk show. Back in the day it was really just The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the occasional competitor on a different network, by the late 80s/early 90s it exploded with big shows on the major networks, syndicated shows, and eventually cable networks entering the fray.

But in 2022, they are in decline. With Trevor Noah stepping away from The Daily Show, the New York Times has added its 2 cents to the large volume of articles discussing this decline. But it flags a few tidbits of note:

  • Through the first six months of 2021, the four late-night shows on network television took in a total of $301 million in advertising revenue. For the first 6 months of 2022: $253.6 million, a 16 percent drop. Still lucrative, but not what it was. And those drops are going to be bigger and faster.
  • When rumors arose that NBC were considering dropping their 10-11pm block that they sell to their affiliates, the conversation moved quickly to The Tonight Show moving forward an hour to 10:30pm. But what happens then to Late Night with Seth Meyers? "Executives have discussed a wide range of possibilities for Mr. Meyers’s show, including moving it to another time slot, reducing the number of people on its staff and shifting it to the Peacock streaming service or to MSNBC, two of the people said."

Bizarrely, considering the current state of play for all the networks, that MSNBC idea has some merit. It would actually fit that news channel well and would be seen as counter programming to Fox News' Gutfeld!.

Is There a Future for Late-Night Talk Shows?
Big changes are coming to the longtime staple of television programming, as the genre struggles to make the leap to the streaming world.
  • As per Dan Harmon, you should expect to see Donald Glover back for the Community film. Read: TV Insider
  • The crash detection function in Apple's new iOS keeps on being triggered by rollercoasters, calling police to theme parks. Read: The Verge
  • 5.74 million people tuned in to watch the new CBS drama Fire Country, making it the most watched new US drama of the broadcast season. Read: Deadline
  • Smallville star Tom Welling will recur on new Supernatural prequel series The Winchesters. Read: TV Line
  • Writer Amanda Wicks slams SNL for not being very good when it comes to parodies of Internet culture. Read: The Atlantic
  • Expect a time jump in the first season of Andor, which is supposed to cover a year in the titular character's life. Read: TV Line
  • Digital DC Comics subscription service DC Comics Infinite now has a new subscription tier that has new comics on your screens within a month of paper publication. Read: Poygon

Wednesday debuts Nov 23 on Netflix. The first trailer reveals the big secret of the show: Fred Armisen is playing Uncle Fester. Good casting.

Oct 21 is when you will see The Peripheral debut on Amazon Prime Video.

Blockbuster debuts Nov 3 on Netflix.

Anne Rice's Mayfair of Witches debuts Jan 5 on AMC+.

Doom Patrol returns Dec 8 for season 4 on HBO Max.

The third and final season of Picard debuts on Amazon Prime Video Feb 16.

Video game Gotham Knights debuts Oct 21.

Elvis MItchell, who I love dearly, hosts Is That Black Enough For You? on Netflix, starting Nov 11.

In the movie event of 2022, Lindsay Lohan stars in Falling For Christmas on Netflix Nov 10.