TCL Event Panelists Discuss Future of Streaming, Interactive TV

HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. — During an Aug. 23 event to unveil its new TCLtv+ service and its IDEO interactive TV feature, TCL presented panels of streaming platform execs and content creators at the TCL Chinese Theatre.

Renowned chef Rick Bayless, who appears as an animated avatar in TCLtv+’s IDEO interactive tech feature, joked, “I wish they hadn’t made my avatar so handsome.”

The chef, who has done 176 shows for public TV, said he was “really frustrated that I couldn’t share more” and that IDEO allows him to do that through its interactive tools.

Brainstorm Media president Meyer Shwarzstein, who produced a movie for Lifetime that has three different endings, noted “IDEO is like Play-doh for creators.”

Vanessa Shaprio, CEO of Nicely Entertainment, pointed out the expansive opportunities of interactive television.

“You can buy that jacket that the main character has,” she noted, adding that consumers can even order food through the service.

Interactive TV may change the way content producers think about content, she said.

“Maybe we’re going to have to start shooting additional footage,” she said. “It will push us on the creative side to really think outside the box.”

She noted that when watching certain true-story shows, she often looks online to see how it really happened.

“We don’t need Wikipedia with this,” she said of IDEO.

Panelist Victor Elizalde, president of Viva Pictures, noted he is an alum of Disney Interactive.

“You had some absolutely brilliant creators that were limited by the space on a CD-ROM,” he said of the Disney division. IDEO expands those capabilities, he noted.

“I feel like it’s going to become an explosive educational tool,” he said.

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During a panel on FAST (free ad-supported streaming) channels, speakers mused about how FAST is and is not like traditional linear TV.

For viewers looking at FAST, “It’s just TV,” noted Tejas shah, SVP, commercial strategy and analytics, FilmRise.

“It’s clear that the world is moving quickly in a streaming direction,” said Marcien Jenckes, Xumo and Comcast advertising, Comcast. For the consumer, he said, “It’s just content.”

Still, there are some differences between FAST and linear TV, noted panelist Laura Florence, SVP, global FAST channels, Fremantle.

“The amount of data that you get with a FAST feed” is very different, allowing content owners to know when consumers start and stop content, she said.

“On broadcast side, they can’t provide those kind of elements,” she said.

‘Dishing With Julia Child’ to Stream Feb. 28 on PBS Living and PBS Passport

“Dishing With Julia Child,” a new six-part series from PBS, will be available to stream Feb. 28 on PBS Passport and PBS Living, available on Prime Video Channels and Apple TV.

“We are more than excited to be bringing original content to PBS Living for the very first-time,” said Andrea Downing, co-president of PBS Distribution, in a statement. “Julia Child pioneered what cooking shows have become today and to get a once-in-a-lifetime look at how she inspired the master chefs of today is truly a treat.”

PBS Living is available at $2.99 a month. PBS Passport is an added member benefit.

Eric Ripert in “Dishing With Julia Child”

In “Dishing With Julia Child,” nine respected chefs — José Andrés, Rick Bayless, Carla Hall, Vivian Howard, Sara Moulton, Jacques Pépin, Éric Ripert, Marcus Samuelsson and Martha Stewart — gather together to screen favorite episodes of Child’s iconic show “The French Chef,” which debuted in 1963. As they watch, they share personal reminiscences, anecdotes and a few laughs as they discuss the immeasurable impact she had on their lives, careers and the American food scene.

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Jose Andres in “Dishing With Julia Child”

The series, which will also be broadcast on Fridays April 3-17 on PBS, is part of the PBS 50th anniversary celebration of the iconic personalities that shaped both broadcast history and pop culture.

“As we celebrate PBS icons like Julia Child during our 50th anniversary, audiences will also get an exciting look at how these legacies will shape and inspire the future of PBS,” said Jerry Liwanag, VP, fundraising programming, in a statement. “This nostalgic series is just one example of the rich food and culture programming that PBS makes available to audiences across multiple platforms.”

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“’Dishing With Julia Child’ showcases how pioneering and timeless Julia Child’s television teaching is,” said Eric W. Spivey, chairman of The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. “The Foundation is thrilled PBS has connected some of Julia’s iconic episodes to the streaming age through the eyes of chefs who embody her legacy.”

Episode titles and broadcast premiere dates (ET):

No. 1 “The Whole Fish Story” (April 3, 10:00-10:30 p.m.)

No. 2 “The Good Loaf” (April 3, 10:30-11:00 p.m.)

No. 3 “Your Own French Onion Soup” (April 10, 10:00-10:30 p.m.)

No. 4 “Boeuf Bourguignon” (April 10, 10:30-11:00 p.m.)

No. 5 “The Potato Show” (April 17, 10:00-10:30 p.m.)

No.6 “To Roast a Chicken” (April 17, 10:30-11:00 p.m.)