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SpoilerTV's Weekly Round Table: 20th Edition

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It is that time of the week again! Another Weekly Round Table prepped only for you guys. This week you can enjoy thoughts from Milo (MI), Samantha (SB), Laura B (DL), Donna (DR), Jennise (JH), Lisa (LM) and myself (MK).

1. Kid actors. This year we witnessed some impressive performances by kid actors. What are your thoughts? Burden or Treasure or both?

MI: It really depends on how good they can be. Stranger Things, Gotham and even the big screen IT adaption have utilized child actors really well with Gotham showing how they can progress and improve over the season to the point where Mazouz and Bicondova put in among the best performances on the show. (Even going back, That 70's Show had a young Mila Kunis who lied about her age to get on the show and she ended up being one of the show's best characters) But it is at the same time a huge risk as you never know whether someone's going to get better with age or worse as the show progresses. So they can be very much a burden and a treasure at the same time depending of course on how they develop.

SB: I don't really like paying attention to how well child actors perform because they are children. I myself was a stage school kid when I was young and was approached to audition for a number of roles, however, my mum refused to let me as she wanted me to enjoy the experience of stage school whilst also having a normal childhood. It's something I thank her for because the media can be absolutely brutal to child actors. Put in one bad performance and you're tarnished for life, finding it extremely difficult to get another job which can lead to other issues, and if you're the breakout star? Well, you're all over every newspaper & magazine that can be printed, every move is followed by the cameras, every interaction scrutinized, you get more screen time than everyone else & people eventually gets tired of seeing your face, which can again lead to issues. I get that there will always be roles that child actors need to fill, but they need to be managed correctly by parents who are actually interested in their child's wealth-fare & not just along for the ride, and Networks who don't overwork them.

DL: I think child actors/actresses can be very impressive and sometimes I think they are a vital part of arts and entertainment industry, since they reflect a real part of the population and a population that often represents the future, but as these allegations against Harvey Weinstine have come to light, it's clear from listening to stories from both America Ferrera and Reese Witherspoon, that we still need to make places, especially places of work, not just safer for women, but children and teenagers too! I just read the child actor Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things pulled out of his former agency because two other older male actors once affiliated with the agency have also now come forward on sexual harassment allegations. Hopefully, more and more people will be on the lookout now that a door has begun to open.

JH: My thoughts about kid actors, in terms of the final product are pretty simple. Does the character add to the final product and is the kid up to the job.

On the practical side, a LOT of that is up to the parents. Their job is to protect their kids and make sure they grow up happy and healthy (mentally and physically) Not every kid is the same, some may thrive working while young but if they’re not, their parents should pull them out. Hollywood is filled with examples of what can happen when it goes wrong. Not all of the problems can be alleviated by policing the industry, though. For those kids who are cursed with crappy parents hope the people around the care enough to do something. Hopefully, the people working in the industry, (producers, directors etc.) if they see a problem, care enough to put the kid's welfare above the show.

MK: This year had some exceptional performances by kid actors, for example, the This Is US kids, Summer Fontana in The Originals, Dylan Kingwell and Graham Verchere in The Good Doctor and most recently I was impressed with Jack Moore on Arrow. It is really all about if the writers have space and time to handle a kid on their cast and in their story. A prime example was kid Henry in OUAT. And while they were somehow successful in keeping his character part of the show in the first 4 seasons, all his later appearances felt a bit redundant and the story involving his character felt forced.

I was cheering for Arrow to introduce William right after the revelation of his existence but now I realize that he would be mostly in the way in the early seasons and that they now just run out of plot and have enough space for the character to blossom and contribute to the story.

2. Nielsen announced it will start releasing numbers for streaming devices. Can those numbers have real value considering streaming services worldwide range and different way of watching shows?

MI: The releasing of Nielsen numbers for streaming shows could really work and improve the survival chances of several shows. The worldwide audience has generally not mattered much to US audiences anyway with a few exceptions here and there but this should hopefully be a huge boost in survival prospects for some shows, particularly those with a younger audience where the fanbase is more likely to watch stuff online.

DL: It's hard to say until we know exactly how Nielson is going to present these statistics and what these statistics mean in terms of their own rating system, but at any rate, I still think having any statistics benefits the newer way of viewing and could help change the current way a show may or may not survive.

JH: Nielsen has long been criticized for their way of collecting data. My first thought when reading this question was…how do they plan to collect that data? In our online communities, we tend to think the vocal online fans represent a huge number of the populace and that’s not always accurate.I think any numbers that give an indication that people are watching the show are used to the people making the shows.

LM: I just attended the USC Entertainment Law and Business Symposium in Los Angeles attended by 800 Entertainment lawyers and executives. The luncheon guest was Ben Sherwood, CEO of Disney and ABC Television as an example of those speaking. Globalization, streaming, and Social Media were all big topics. The Nielsen numbers are going to carry real clout - it will do more than simply help to identify truly popular shows, it's also going to influence how actors are paid. Online data is playing an increasingly large role in executive decision making.

3.TV on Facebook is getting slowly underway, what are your thoughts on the attempt and the announced projects( Loosely Exactly Nicole & SKAM)?

MI: None of the Facebook shows look interesting to me and there isn't much point in Facebook launching their own streaming service as I fear they'll quickly become another Yahoo and fail. Their streaming system needs a lot of work if they want to go into the TV show business, and I just don't see it working at all. Plus I the more streaming services that are introduced, the harder it'll be able to keep track of them all and if Facebook charges for streaming subscriptions, I seriously doubt at launch they'll have enough content to lure people away from the 'big three' of Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.

SB: I'm an extremely bitter person who doesn't understand why a dud like Loosely Exactly Nicole was picked up by Facebook, but Sweet/Vicious is completely dead in the water. SKAM reminds me too much of Skins, and whilst it might have been a breakout hit, not everything translates so well when it's remade as the American version of Skins knows all too well. I know that everyone wants to get into the Streaming business because it's a highly lucrative market, but that doesn't mean that everyone is going to do it well. It took Netflix over a decade (I think) to become the success that it is now, and even then it still has a mountain of debt to accompany the acclaim, Amazon doesn't really know what it's doing with itself & Hulu is a minor success but not available worldwide. If there's nothing about Facebook in general that makes me want to use it (I only recently created a profile cause of Uni) then I seriously doubt it branching out into TV will make me rethink that, and I think the likes of Facebook, Youtube & Apple need to just focus on what they're good at, and leave the rest to the big guns.

DL: None of the Facebook shows look good to me. Personally, I feel like we're at a point where we may hit a huge saturation, if we have too much media to choose from at a time and I'm not sure if having more and more streaming services is either going to stick and/or how it will affect other streaming services, cable providers, and/or network television. As for Facebook, I kind of wish they would stick their more immediate platform and/or maybe team-up with a known streaming service.

LM: TV on Facebook was another topic of the USC E & B Symposium - along with the other integrations of SM and media. Companies with SO much data, like Amazon, can do an excellent job of targeting consumers. Another topic of conversation was WeChat which everyone in China uses. The most attractive thing about WeChat is people can do all their online things in WeChat, messaging, photos, banking, entertainment. People go in... and stay there. Facebook would like to have the same influence, and this is one step in that direction. I'm not their target demo, so I think it's unlikely I'll watch any of these though...

MK: I honestly can't see myself watch anything on Facebook, with the exception of cute baby or animal vids or people falling down in ridiculous ways. Also, I feel that they are a bit scared with the choice of programmes they are putting in production. A way to safe play seems like they are very uncertain about how it will work as well.

4.Development season started heating up even more as the race for developments and pilot pickups is heating up. Any project that you're excited about?

MI: The EP of Stranger Things, Shawn Levy is developing a Haunted House type horror show called Epiphany on the CW which I'm keeping an eye on especially as it looks like this is the CW's attempt to lure in the Stranger Things audience. And the adaption of Ed Brubaker's fantastic graphic novel Velvet for Paramount could shine as well especially as it's the first Paramount developed show since it announced that it rebranded itself from SpikeTV. And depending on the cast and the era it's set in (I hope it's set in the 70s), the all-female reboot of The Nice Guys on Fox could end up surprising us all. But we'll see, as I'm somewhat cautious about this one especially as Shane Black is not likely to be involved, and the movie came out so soon.

DL: There haven't been too many ideas that I have gravitated towards, as I find myself moving further and further away from Network tv, but the CW surprising pitched a show just this past week called, Epiphany that is set to be an Agatha Christie-like psychological thriller with gifted characters living in a Gilded Age Mansion. As many of us were discussing, it's unclear if a network like the CW can pull this off, given both its pension for teen melodrama and lower budgets, but I'm hopeful that they can because it's a great idea and something outside the box for them!

DR: What development season? All I'm seeing are announcements about unnecessary reboots of old series. Do we seriously need a Magnum, P.I. reboot? Aren't there any original ideas out there anymore or are the networks afraid of taking a chance on them?

JH: The only development projects that have caught my eye recently have been those that include the word “reboot”. I’m almost at a point where I refuse to give a show a chance if it’s a reboot.

MK: I don't remember there were this many put pilot commitments and development announcements this early. The occasional standout yes but not this many. I think the broadcast networks are a bit too desperate for new hits. It seems unwise to order so many pilots while the fall season barely has started and you don't know what you'll need for next season. There are always a couple of projects that get my attention but I'm mostly disappointed by the lack of fresh blood. The same old writers developing the same old stuff. Still, I'm really eager to see the CW version of Sabrina, really praying I'll love it.

That's it from us, hope you've enjoyed the read and are ready to share your thoughts with us in the comment section down below. Till next week. . .

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