After the coffee. Before finishing my March Madness bracket.
The Skinny: I don’t know if it was my lunch at Gulfstream in Century City or a bug going around, but I got knocked on my rear Wednesday afternoon so if I’m a little off my game that’s why. I was even too out of it to watch “The Americans.” And no, this isn’t March Madness flu. Today’s roundup includes a report on China’s box office and Sony’s plans to make original shows for its PlayStation platform.
Daily Dose: Discovery Communications’ international expansion continues with a deal to provide content for China’s WASU Digital TV Media Group’s pay channel Qiu Suo, which means “quest for knowledge.” The network is getting content from Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet, which means that quest for knowledge may be served by episodes of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.”
Cruising. “Need for Speed” may be stuck in the slow lane here, but the racing movie is taking off in China. In its debut weekend there, the Aaron Paul thriller took in almost $20 million and finished first at the box office. Here, “Need for Speed” failed to crack the $20-million mark (even though some industry projections had it taking in $25 million) and it ended up in a disappointing third place. More on China’s box office from the Los Angeles Times.
New outlet. Sony already makes TV shows for broadcast and cable networks. Now it is going to create original content for its PlayStation. The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony is making a supernatural drama called “Powers” that would be available solely to PlayStation users. The question will be whether PlayStation gamers will embrace original content as well.
Sticking around. NBC said it is renewing “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.” and “Grimm” for next season. For NBC, the renewals are a sign that some of the network’s new programming is starting to stick with viewers after years of struggling to develop shows with staying power. The network already said “The Blacklist” is coming back. While NBC’s drama track record is improving, it is still struggling with comedies. More on the renewals from the Hollywood Reporter.
Getting ready for takeoff. We’re in the midst of pilot season, which is when the networks develop new shows for the next television season. With so many projects in the works, determining trends is no easy task. USA Today offers up an overview and some specifics about what is on the drawing board for this fall.
To cut the cord or not to cut. Every week, there is a story about more consumers cutting the cord to their pay-TV provider. And every week there is usually a counter story saying cord-cutting is overblown, and as for those young kids who aren’t buying pay-TV, that will change as soon as they hit 30. The truth is out there somewhere. Here’s Bloomberg on cord-cutting being on the rise and Forbes saying it’s overblown. I aggregate, you decide.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara on how the TV networks are managing to keep the buzz going on their shows all season long.
Follow me on Twitter. A fever won’t slow me down. @JBFlint.