Two different takes on advertising in 2019 and beyond.

The first is US network NBC which announced that it will drop 20% of its ad load in an effort to make its broadcast offer more attractive to both viewers and ad buyers.

The second is the everything store Amazon which is taking the insights that it has on its customers through purchases AND media use, such as its Amazon Prime Video service, by sending sample products to customers that it believes will then start buying the product. Hyper-targeted advertising with an outcome that seems far more certain than just broadcasting a TV advertisement and hoping it is persuasive.

Just before Disney purchased LucasFilm, a Star Wars animated comedy show Star Wars: Detours was in production from the team that made Robot Chicken. In a vault, there are no less than 39 already-produced episodes of a Star Wars TV series that will never see the light of day. A further 59 scripts for episodes also exist.

TV fans will know of Cousin Oliver - he was The Brady Bunch’s cousin who came to live with the family in the last few episodes of the show before it was cancelled. The thinking was that a cute young kid may revitalise the ageing show.

What I hadn’t really considered is how frequent this plot device was used particularly in US African-American sitcoms.

With Quvenzhané Wallis joining Black-ish for an extended arc, Shadow And Act has taken a look back at 7 times Cousin Oliver-types have been added to shows.

Mark it on your calendars - Care Bears: Unlock The Magic will start streaming via Boomerang from February 1.

Hulu saw a 48% increase in subscribers in 2018. That brings it up to about 25 million subs.

Grace & Frankie returns February 18.

Better Things star/creator Pamela Adlon has spoken to Vanity Fair about rebuilding the show without co-creative Louis CK involved:

“I’ve never been in a writers’ room, let alone run a writers’ room,” she says. “Sitting down, meeting writers, reading their stuff—how do you do this? Is this person going to get along with this person? It’s like making a table at a fucking Bar Mitzvah.” She hired four writers—two women, two men. Bouncing ideas off of one another was a joy, she says. Phones were turned off. A “sacred space” was created, and story lines emerged. “My mind was being cracked open every day in a new way.”

And finally…

Sony’s chief has declared an intention to make the company’s entertainment assets a priority. What does that mean? Well, you might see some Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse TV spin-offs and a much greater emphasis on its gaming assets via the Playstation.

As long as it delivers me a weekly Spider-Ham series, I am there for it.