Entertainment journalism on the ropes? Netflix organizes its own Junket “Bridgerton”

Not too long ago, the occasion of a $100 million showrunner, debuting the second season of what is his “network’s” most successful series of all time, called for a grueling press conference involving dozens of one-on-one interviews for celebrity and entertainment news outlets around the world.

And of course, Shonda Rhimes spoke to the the wall street journalit’s WSJ Magazine ahead of season 2 of his hit period drama Bridgerton, which falls on Friday. Earlier in the week, the CEO of Shondaland also attended a first party with the Bridgerton cast and crew at London’s Tate Modern, who appeared to be generating quotes for a number of other outlets, including a long-running syndicated TV show entertainment tonight.

In particular, many points of sale, including ours Broadcasting and cablequoted Netflix itself, which conducted its own Q&A session with Rimes.

It’s not new.

Also: Netflix cuts out the middleman and bolsters digital editorial team to ‘tell its own stories’

As Next TV detailed in November, Netflix continues to hire entertainment and celebrity writers, creating its own editorial content that not only controls the message, but keeps users on its global platform.

It’s a win for Netflix all around, which can cut out the middleman and promote its “products” with a language of its own, turning anyone who wants to know more about the very channel the show is airing on.

So-called EPKs (entertainment press kits) — bland assemblages of talent, director, and producer interviews — have been assembled by studios and television networks for decades. But with the emergence of powerful Internet brands in the entertainment market, this type of content seems to have a resurgence.

Certainly, the emergence of the next generation of EPKs comes at a time when the entertainment journalism industry is less equipped to combat it with a superior product. From gossip rags to entertainment trades, the forum is even more on the ropes now than it was when we first learned about it in early November, with Dotdash Meredith closing the venerable print iteration of Weekly entertainment.

People and American weeklythe most powerful brands in celebrity news, have also experienced steady decline in print for more than a decade (although People reported a recent numerical upsurge under new parent Dotdash Meredith).

Most of Hollywood’s major trade publications are all under the control of a single owner, Penske Media. This distinction covers not only holders Variety and the Hollywood journalistcorn Deadlinewhich greatly disrupted the industry thanks to founder Nikki Finke’s provocative storytelling just a decade ago.

Meanwhile, Hollywood’s only independent “commercial” pub, packagingseems to be forever challenged and cut short by the bad management widely denounced of its owner/owner, Sharon Waxman. (Full disclosure: I previously worked for Variety and packaging.)

There are green shoots. Longtime entertainment media reporter Richard Rushfield saw his daily newsletter, the pinner, so much so that it has now received funding through Y Combinator. and old Hollywood journalist editor Matt Belloni quickly established a newsletter presence with the Substack offering Puck.

Both startups, using leading talent agencies, law firms, studios and streaming services, provide real insider information on the development, production and distribution of entertainment videos. But for now, they remain largely one-man startups.

So if you’re a die-hard fan of Regency period dramas and want to know how Rhimes approached the encore season of one of his biggest hits to date, you have to trust the provider himself, Netflix. Let’s just say that calling these questions “soft” is an affront to chicks, stuffed toys, and two-ply toilet paper.

Some samples:

> “When did you realize that the first season of Bridgerton had become a global phenomenon? »

> “Given the success of season 1, how did the creative team approach season 2?”

> “Bridgerton does a fantastic job of creating a world that’s much more like our own with its inclusive cast. Can you talk a bit about the conscious effort to make the cast multicultural and why that’s so important to the show’s identity?”

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