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Steve Sternberg

Member since September 2009Contact Steve

Steve Sternberg is currently Editor-in-Chief of The Sternberg Report. He has more then 30 years of television and video analysis experience, having held top research posts at Bozell, TN Media, Magna Global, and ION Media Networks. He also authors The Sternberg Report (

Articles by Steve All articles by Steve

  • 'Evil' Is One Of The Best Shows On TV in Research Intelligencer on 07/26/2021

    In this week's edition, I make the case why "Evil," which premiered on CBS in September 2019, is one of the best shows currently on TV. While it was the network's best new show of the year, it unfortunately was not one of its most-watched. In fact, for the full 2019-20 season, it was one of CBS's lowest rated series, and a prime candidate for cancellation. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, delaying production schedules for virtually all networks and platforms, and throwing the 2020-21 season into chaos. While Netflix had more shows in the pipeline than most, it still needed fresh programming. Repeats of "Evil's" first season were licensed to the streaming service (just in the U.S.), where it started airing in October 2020. It quickly rose to be Netflix's fourth most-watched series - and drew a much wider audience than it managed to get on the older-skewing linear network. Because of its successful run on Netflix, CBS decided to renew "Evil" for a second season and shift it to its own (recently rebranded) streaming platform, Paramount+. It was recently renewed for a third season.

  • Is Amazon's 'Bosch' The Best Procedural Drama Ever? in Research Intelligencer on 07/19/2021

    As a result of so many programs on so many platforms, and the fact that everybody doesn't have access to everything anymore, television viewing has become much more splintered than even just a few years ago. So, it is possible, even likely, that any list of "best" TV shows will have several that many readers have not seen, or perhaps even heard of. If you are among those who have not yet discovered Amazon original series "Bosch," you are missing out on one of the very best series on any platform. The seventh season dropped this June, and there are now 68 episodes that you can binge at your leisure. In this week's edition, I make a strong case why, if you don't subscribe to Amazon Prime, you should, if only to view "Bosch" alone.

  • Cop Shows Face A Reckoning, Sort Of in Research Intelligencer on 07/12/2021

    Despite irrefutable video evidence, there was real and justifiable concern among many observers that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin would be acquitted of murdering George Floyd and escape justice. Juries have traditionally given police officers the benefit of the doubt. Convictions, even with seemingly obvious wrongdoing, have been few and far between. While I am certainly not claiming that television is the main culprit here, there is no question that more than 70 years of police portrayals on highly viewed scripted dramas have contributed to public perception of police as the good guys who often need to do whatever it takes to bring the bad guys to justice. In this week's issue, I explain how, for the first time, networks and producers seem willing (and financially motivated) to make changes. Whether they are simply cosmetic and temporary remains to be seen.

  • Why Disney+ Marvel Series Are So Good (Even When They're Not) in Research Intelligencer on 06/28/2021

    One reason television series based on movies seldom work is because the stars from the theatrical movie don't ordinarily reprise their roles for the TV version. So viewers are often disappointed when the new actors don't measure up to the originals. Featuring secondary characters from the movies, portrayed by the same actors, in its first three Disney+ series is a smart move by Marvel. In this week's edition, I explain why Disney+'s Marvel series are so good (even when they're not).

  • A Young Media Person's Guide To Evaluating TV Pilots in Research Intelligencer on 06/21/2021

    This year, as the world is inching back to normal, COVID production schedules are delaying several pilots until later this summer (although I have seen a few). So, while I had planned to include my predictions of new series hits and misses in this report, that will have to wait until more pilots are available. In lieu of that, this week's report will focus exclusively on how to evaluate the success potential of new series pilots. In the 40 years or so I've been analyzing the television landscape, the benchmark of success for a new broadcast series has continually shifted, with the bar gradually getting lower and lower.

  • Why Most New Broadcast Shows Will Flop in Research Intelligencer on 06/07/2021

    These are the best of times for TV viewers, but it might be the worst of times for broadcast TV - although it doesn't have to be. I haven't seen most of the new broadcast prime-time pilots yet, but I can confidently predict that most of them, at least those that aren't spin-offs of current hits, will flop. In this week's edition, I explain why and also what can be done to avoid it.

  • Do The Upfronts Still Matter? in Research Intelligencer on 05/26/2021

    For insiders at media agencies, networks, and advertisers (as well as tv analysts like me), the upfront season has placed thoughts of September squarely into May and June. In this week's edition, I raise -- and hopefully answer -- the fundamental question: Do the upfronts still matter?

  • Does Pre-Season Buzz Really Matter? in Research Intelligencer on 05/10/2021

    Prior to the 2020-21 TV season, I released an annual report examining the impact of pre-season buzz on new TV shows. Each time my conclusion has been the same: despite some notable exceptions, there is no correlation between the level of pre-season buzz a show receives and whether it becomes successful once it premieres. In this week's edition, I provide a post-pandemic update, but here's a little background: Until the early-2000s, the broadcast networks almost exclusively aired repeats during the summer and there was virtually no television-based news other than previewing new fall series - which would typically begin right after the network upfront presentations in late May, and continue unabated through the start of the new season in late September. There was ample time to create buzz for the fall TV shows. That was before cable networks aired numerous original scripted series during those months, before the broadcast networks started airing summer reality, game shows, and limited-run series, and before the advent of streaming services.

  • Pre-Upfront Thoughts On Broadcast TV, Promotions, Nielsen, And AVOD in Research Intelligencer on 04/26/2021

    In this week's edition I offer some wide-ranging thoughts to set the stage for this year's marketplace.

  • Make Mine Marvel: Reviews Of Every Marvel TV Series Available To Stream in Research Intelligencer on 04/05/2021

    Television series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) are based on characters appearing in Marvel comics who have a shared reality with the theatrical film franchises. From 2013-2020, a dozen shows were produced by Marvel Television, with ABC Studios and ABC Signature Studios, across broadcast, cable, and streaming (ABC, Netflix, Hulu, and Freeform). A couple of series set in the X-Men universe, which were not officially part of the MCU, were produced by 20th Century Fox (for Fox and FX). In this week's edition, I review -- and rate -- all of them. Nuff said!

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