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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

  • A Brief History Of Superheroes On TV in Research Intelligencer on 09/06/2023

    From the earliest days of television, live-action series featuring superheroes have had their ups and downs. Occasionally popping up in the 1950s through early 2000s, these shows were most often used as counter-programming in an effort to appeal to a younger audience. In this week's edition, I analyze why only a few have enjoyed significant success and how the Marvel Cinematic Universe led to a rebirth of the superhero genre.

  • TV Things That Make You Go Hmmm... in Research Intelligencer on 08/07/2023

    It's fascinating to watch the Fox Weather channel report on record heat and flooding across the country while assiduously avoiding the phrase "climate change." That's just one of a couple of dozen things about TV that make you say, hmmm in this week's special dog days round-up.

  • Shows To Binge During The Summer (And Writers' & Actors' Strikes) in Research Intelligencer on 07/17/2023

    Lots of folks have been asking me for suggestions on what TV shows they should binge over the summer, and if the writers' and actor's strikes are long-lasting/ While I've written extensively about recent original scripted streaming series, there are also numerous top-notch shows that aired multiple seasons (broadcast, cable, and early streamers) available to binge on various streaming platforms. In this week's edition, I provide my recommendations for shows worth binging, if you haven't already seen them.

  • Mid-Year Report: The 12 Best TV Series Of 2023, So Far in Research Intelligencer on 07/06/2023

    Ten years ago, I struggled to come up with a list of a dozen great television series in a single season. At the end of this year, my list of best shows will have more than twice that, and I will struggle to decide which shows make the cut. During the past three to five years, as all the major media companies tried to compete with Netflix, they spent enormous sums of money on original content, drawing new subscribers to their streaming platforms was initially more important to them (and Wall Street) than making an actual profit from streaming. As a result, there are more high-quality television series on more different platforms than ever before. In this week's edition -- an in depth, 34-page report -- I provide my analysis for the best 12 TV series so far this season.

  • A Young Media Person's Guide To Evaluating TV Pilots in Research Intelligencer on 06/05/2023

    In a series of upfront presentations to advertisers, media agencies, and the press, the broadcast networks recently unveiled their respective primetime fall TV schedules. I've just started the process of reviewing the new series pilots for my annual predictions of hits and misses. The purpose here is to provide some insights into what to look for when evaluating the success potential of a new show. 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. In this week's edition I explain how to evaluate new series pilots. But first some historical perspective.

  • At The Upfronts: What They Said, What it Means in Research Intelligencer on 05/24/2023

    The official start of the fall television season is still four months away, but for insiders at media agencies, networks, and advertisers -- as well as television analysts like me -- the upfront season has placed thoughts of September squarely into May. In this week's edition, I break down what the major networks said during their upfront ad presentations, and perhaps more importantly, what they actually meant.

  • Does Anyone Really Want 'Better' Audience Measurement? in Research Intelligencer on 05/17/2023

    The short answer is no. Sellers want higher reported ratings, while buyers want stability. Neither is conducive to better, more accurate audience measurement. I give the long answer in this week's edition, but it still winds up being no. Of course, advertisers want the most accurate data possible, but with a couple of notable exceptions, they have traditionally had surprisingly little influence over the way national television audiences are measured.

  • Do The Upfronts Still Matter? in Research Intelligencer on 05/08/2023

    As they do every year, the major media companies are about to unveil their multi-platform strategies for the upcoming broadcast year, which includes their respective fall TV schedules. This marks the start of the "upfront" season, when advertisers spend upward of $20 billion buying commercial time on national television shows slated to air during the 2023-24 broadcast year. And as I do every year, I will be reporting on each company's presentation. Once I watch all the new series pilots, I will be evaluating their upcoming TV shows as well. Meanwhile, in this week's edition I raise -- and answer -- the question: Do the upfront even matter anymore?

  • Star Trek For New (And Old) Generations in Research Intelligencer on 05/02/2023

    For nearly 60 years, "Star Trek" has been part of the television landscape. During its three season run on NBC (1966-69), The Original Series (TOS) aired 79 episodes. Today, three seasons on a streaming service produces less than half that amount. The Starship Enterprise was captained by James T. Kirk (William Shatner), whose five-year mission was to "explore strange new seek out new life and new boldly go where no man has gone before." It was originally pitched to the network as a "Wagon Train to the stars. In this week's edition I analyze all generations of the Star Trek television franchise.

  • If You Haven't Seen 'Succession'... in Research Intelligencer on 04/17/2023

    In today's video landscape, there are so many series on so many platforms that numerous great shows that have already aired for multiple seasons have not been sampled by many viewers. But unlike just a few years ago, it is easy to binge episodes and catch up if you subscribe to the appropriate streaming service. If you haven't seen HBO Max's "Succession," this week's edition explains why you might want to binge it now.

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