Screen Junkies News (SJNews) was a YouTube channel focused on movies and television. It was an offshoot of the Screen Junkies main channel. At its peak, it has over 1.5 million subscribers and over 650,000,000 views. Screen Junkies News also had a Facebook page with over 500,000 followers.
Screen Junkies News covered pop culture news with an informal, comedic bent. However, it also covered serious news with gravitas. Screen Junkies News' shows were strongly personality-driven. The channel's main show was Screen Junkies Universe, a daily 30 minute news show. The Editor-in-Chief of Screen Junkies News was Roth Cornet.
Screen Junkies News videos were typically hosted by a panel of hosts, usually Editor-in-chief Roth Cornet and other Screen Junkies regulars like Joe Starr, Dan Murrell and Spencer Gilbert. Other recurring hosts included: Danielle Radford, Ed Greer, Roxy Striar and Billy Business.
Screen Junkies News was rebranded as Fandom Entertainment on April 15, 2019. All existing employees remained with the channel, and all current shows continued production. This page covers the development and evolution of the channel between 2016 - 2019. For more information about the channel's direction from 2019 on, please see the Fandom Entertainment page.
Clevver Movies Edit
Screen Junkies News was original called Clevver Movies. The channel was originally created on March 5, 2009 and was a sister channel to several other Clevver Media channels such as Clevver TV, Clevver Style and Clevver News. Clevver Media was acquired by Alloy Digital in 2012, which later merged with Break Media (the owners of Screen Junkies) to become Defy Media.
2016 EditScreen Junkies News was announced in September 2016 via a YouTube video. The video introduced viewers to Editor-In-Chief Roth Cornet and announced an open casting call for a new host. Viewers were invited to upload videos of themselves delivering the news. One month later in October 2016, Screen Junkies announced that the existing Defy Media channel ClevverMovies was rebranding and becoming ScreenJunkies News. All the old ClevverMovies content remains up on the channel.
In the channel's early days (2016 to mid-2017), Screen Junkies News had a much larger staff. In addition to Editor-in-chief Roth Cornet, and existing Screen Junkies staff like Dan Murrell, Joe Starr, Spencer Gilbert and Andy Signore, the channel featured over a dozen regular contributors including: Sasha Perl-Raver, Danielle Radford, Victor Torres, Matt Key, Alicia Malone, Charley Feldman, Jay Washington, Hector Navarro, Erika Ishii, Markeia McCarty, DJ Wooldridge, Yael Tygiel, Jacqueline Coley, Marc Andreyko, Adam Hlavac, Justin Lamb and others.
At this time, Screen Junkies News focused on covering breaking news in shorter videos (ranging anywhere from 2 -20 minutes) dedicated to discussing one single subject. The channel released multiple videos (3-5) per day.
During this time, the channel also produced movie reviews, conventional trailer reaction videos, Easter egg breakdowns, filmmaker interviews, and did some TV show recaps (eg, Riverdale). During the channel's early days, one host commonly sat to the side of the desk (in front of the space door) during live streams to engage with fans on social media.
In mid-2017, most of the Screen Junkies News staff were laid off. Reportedly, parent company Defy Media was going through several rounds of layoffs - the company went from 300 employees to 100 employees in around 2 years. At the same time, Screen Junkies' paid subscription service Screen Junkies Plus ceased operation. However, several former-Plus shows moved to SJNews, including: Screen Junkies Universe (SJU), Honest Trailers Commentaries, and TV Fights.
When SJ News launched, we originally used the 'short video' format. We abandoned it for a couple of reasons: 1) there was often not enough news (or what we wanted to cover as news) for us to reasonably sustain a 3-5 video a day pace devoted to a single topic, and 2) our news department (particularly on-air) consisted of the same people tasked with writing Honest Trailers, developing new programming, and producing the other non-news content on the channel. The work load of stopping down several times a day to produce a video was unsustainable for our work flow, and our team has gone down in size since that time.In 2017, SJNews also introduced some personality-driven programming onto the channel. For example, Millennial Falcon, a show tailored around Jenny Nicholson's awkward, deadpan comedy persona, made its debut on the channel in April 2017. Likewise, Charting With Dan, a show tailored around Dan Murrell's interest in box office numbers, made its debut in August 2017. SJNews also stopped doing traditional trailer reaction videos, and began incorporating deeper trailer analyses into episodes of SJU. The channel continued publishing movie reviews as before.
In October 2017, SJNews didn't release any videos for three weeks after Screen Junkies boss Andy Signore was fired following allegations of sexual misconduct during the #MeToo movement. Upon their return, the hosts released a special video titled "A Candid Discussion About Sexual Harassment" and slowly eased back into regular programming. From late-2017 on, SJNews regularly covered allegations of sexual misconduct made against prominent actors, directors and executives in Hollywood.
In 2018, SJNews continued to develop more personality-driven programming, for example Joe Starr's quirky show Could Have Been Worse. 2018 also saw the channel release several video essays including Danielle Radford's "Black Panther is Blacker Than You Thought." Additionally, in 2018 the channel experimented with more industry-focused videos hosted by Billy Business such as "The State of Star Wars at Disney." SJNews continued to review wide release movies as normal, but also began regularly reviewing indie and prestige films in "indie roundup" videos.
In July 2018, SJNews (along with Screen Junkies main) was bought by fan encyclopedia company FANDOM. FANDOM's long term business plan involves a pivot to video content. There were no major changes to SJNew's shows immediately following the acquisition, though some SJNews videos (such as junket interviews) were rebranded with FANDOM logos and embedded on fan wikis.
In November 2018, Dan Murrell said that the current incarnation of Screen Junkies News is "the channel we always wanted to make. As far as how we wanted to leverage our personalities, the kind of programming we want to make, but we weren’t given the license to do that necessarily when it first started.” Murrell also said that the Screen Junkies News channel enables Screen Junkies to grow its fanbase, writing:
We’re at a point now where every video we release that isn’t an Honest Trailer brings us a net loss of subscribers on the main SJ channel. When we tried the first SJ Central at Comic Con a few years ago and released a few videos a day, we lost thousands of subscribers. News gives us a home for additional content (since Plus is no longer around) and allows us to build an audience with our programming there and actually grow the fan base more instead of alienating an increasing number of subscribers on the SJ channel that are just there for the trailers.
In early 2019, Screen Junkies News lost its set. Their space and some of their equipment was subleased from their former parent company Defy Media, which shuttered in November 2018. Screen Junkies News continued streaming its shows using the Screen Junkies' Movie Fights studio. There was no break in programming.
2019 is when Screen Junkies News content began to expand and grow as a result of the 2018 acquisition by FANDOM. In March 2019, Joe Starr explained the evolution of the channel: "Our new sort of relationship with FANDOM has sort of given us some opportunity to push a little bit, try some bigger stuff, try some different stuff which has been really cool for us. ... We want to continue being able to sort of push that envelope and grow with you guys." Screen Junkies News continued to produce their existing shows, and simultaneously experimented with several new formats, including:
- Panel to Screen, which breaks down the comic book panels that inspired key shots from a movie. The first episode examined the comic book origins of key moments from Avengers: Infinity War.
- The Evolution of [Character], which recaps the various incarnations of a popular character over the decades. The first episodes examined the development and changes to the Hulk character.
- Fandom Uncovered, which documents fans festivals and their impact on towns and businesses. The first episodes examined how the Twilight fandom has affected individuals, wider fan culture, and the livelihoods of the residents of the small town of Forks, Washington.
The introduction of these new shows in April 2019 foreshadowed the official rebranding of the channel. On April 15, 2019, the channel was officially renamed Fandom Entertainment and a new logo was introduced. All existing staff continued with the channel, and all current shows continued as normal. Information about the future direction of the channel will be added to a separate Fandom Entertainment page on this wiki.
The original Screen Junkies News set included:
- A dark city skyline. (Far stage right). In early SJNews videos, the main host would stand and read the day's entertainment news from a teleprompter in a more formal newsreader-style. This part of the set was originally designed to appear behind the host and create a backdrop for news-related graphics to appear over.
- A mural of Predator and Alien waltzing together as Beauty and the Beast. (Stage right). The mural was designed to appear like street art and included false brickwork, and a collage of newspapers.
- The Screen Junkies News logo in a panel of false brickwork. (Center). Small toys and actions figures were occasionally placed in the brickwork
- Shelves filled with various pop culture objects, including a flux capacitor and Baby Groot. (Stage left). The original set configuration had the desk placed further to stage left, meaning that the objects on the shelf were more prominent in the shot.
- Red computer console. (Far stage left).
- Orange space door. The space door was originally designed as the backdrop for a host on socials. This host wouldn't participate in the main discussion, but would weigh in periodically with comments from the live chat and Twitter. In 2017, SJNews eliminated the host on socials, and rearranged the layout of their set. After this, the space door was never seen on camera again and it became a sort of urban legend.
- The "Billy Cam" toy shelves, featuring several Funko Pops and VHS tapes. A producer always sat off-camera and occasionally weighed in with comments, however they didn't get a microphone and camera until 2018.
List of Screen Junkies News shows EditScreen Junkies Universe (SJU) is a daily entertainment news and talk show streamed on the Fandom Entertainment YouTube channel. SJU typically features four panellists who discuss three news stories per episode. Though the hosts cover serious news stories with gravitas, SJU generally has an informal vibe. The panelists frequently goes off on tangents, and joke around with one another.
SJU is hosted by Roth Cornet, Dan Murrell, Joe Starr and Spencer Gilbert with producer Billy Business weighing in via the "Billy Cam". Panelists Danielle Radford, Roxy Striar and Ed Greer appear on SJU weekly. SJU airs live at 11am PST, Monday - Friday. Episodes are typically 30 minutes in length. Over 400 episodes have been produced.
See the main Screen Junkies Universe page for more information.
Honest Trailers Commentaries is a weekly web series in which a panel of Honest Trailers writers watch and riff on an episode of Honest Trailers. It is prerecorded and uploaded at 10am PST on Tuesdays, simultaneous with Honest Trailers. Episodes are typically 20-30 minutes long and get 50-80k views. Honest Trailers Commentaries is hosted by Spencer Gilbert, Joe Starr, Dan Murrell and Lon Harris.
See the Honest Trailers Commentaries page for more information.
Charting With Dan Edit
Charting with Dan is a weekly box office analysis show hosted by Dan Murrell and Roth Cornet. It is prerecorded and uploaded on Monday afternoons. It is around 30 minutes in length. It gets around 40k - 50k views.
Charting With Dan is essentially a year-round version of the former Screen Junkies Plus show Summer Box Office Report. Charting with Dan made its debut on Screen Junkies News on August 7, 2017 with the episode "The Dark Tower Crumbles." In its earliest days, it had several working titles including "Box Office Report," "Dan's Movie Report" and ultimately "Charting with Dan."
In Charting with Dan, Dan shows a fanatical enthusiasm for a film's "legs," that is, a film's staying power beyond opening weekend. Dan talks about legs so much, it has become a running joke on the show. Roth Cornet frequently jokes that viewers have to take a shot* (*of apple juice) every time Dan mentions legs. It has been noted that Dan's so-called charts are more like lists, but the hosts don't care because "Listing with Dan" is a terrible title for a show.
Movie Reviews Edit
Movie Reviews by film critics Roth Cornet and Dan Murrell. Occasionally, movies are reviewed in both spoiler and non-spoiler formats. Some reviews predicted to have wide appeal are uploaded to the Screen Junkies main channel. Since late 2017, SJNews has also regularly published "Oscar movie roundups" and "indie roundups" in which the hosts review multiple films in one video. These videos focus on indie and prestige films.
Other Screen Junkies staff occasionally contribute to movie reviews, for example Danielle Radford reviewed Venom with Dan Murrell, and Black Panther with Roth Cornet.
Could Have Been Worse Edit
Could Have Been Worse is a show about weird, obscure or forgotten details from a franchise's merchandising and expanded universe spinoffs. Five episodes of Could Have Been Worse have been published. The first was published on April Fool's Day 2018.
Could Have Been Worse is hosted by Joe Starr and has a strongly comedic bent to it. Joe frequently flubs his lines, makes references to his awkward teenage years, makes waffles, has been presented with large novelty checks for endorsing Marvel films mid-show, and even attempted to run off the set when things turned sour (the producers physically escorted him back onto set to force him to complete the show).
Joe Starr hasn't ruled out the possibility of Could Have Been Worse returning at some stage, though it is not currently in production.
Millennial Falcon Edit
Millennial Falcon was a Star Wars-themed talk show hosted by Jenny Nicholson. Millennial Falcon had a strongly comedic bent to it. Over 25 episodes of Millennial Falcon were published between April - September 2017. The Millennial Falcon set was designed to resemble a bedroom. The hosts often sat on blow-up chairs or cushions on the floor. In addition, Jenny frequently attended cons and interviewed attendees.
At the time of the show's production, Jenny Nicholson was already an established solo YouTuber with a distinctive style. The Millennial Falcon set and style were designed to capture Jenny's characteristic deadpan, awkward comedy persona. Jenny stated that she joined Screen Junkies to get experience working with a larger digital media company. She continued releasing her own videos while at Screen Junkies. Jenny also appeared on a few other Screen Junkies shows during this time, including Movie Fights. Millennial Falcon is no longer in production. Jenny hasn't appeared on any Screen Junkies programming since January 2018.
Smash Hit / Make It Or Break It Edit
Smash Hit / Make it or Break It were shows in which multiple hosts weigh in with their opinions on a single genre or type of movie, such as video game movies, 90's comic book movies, Michael Bay movies, Will Smith movies, etc. A running tally counted the total number of positive and negative comments. If, at the end of the video, the hosts made more positive comments, the topic was celebrated by reverently placing a novelty commemorative plate in "The Hutch of Good Movies." If the hosts make more negative comments, the novelty plate was smashed with a rubber mallet (in a safe and controlled manner).
9 videos using this format were produced between 2017 and 2018. The show's title changed from "Make It Or Break It" to "Smash Hit" because of legal reasons. The show is no longer in production. The producers have stated that although they like the show, it didn't get enough views relative to the time it took to produce. Unlike other Screen Junkies News panel shows that can be streamed live, Smash Hit required substantial post-production work to edit the footage together.
Other shows Edit
- Breaking news videos - in which a panel of hosts discuss a single news story. Individual news videos were more common on the channel from 2016 to mid-2017. However, from July 2017 on, they became much more infrequent because longer SJU videos began airing on SJNews. In 2019, Danielle Radford said this about the channel's early days covering breaking news: "As someone who wrote/hosted 3-5 15 minute “breaking news” videos a day in the early days of the channel... it was a lot of work for little return. We never got enough views, and since we would have to tear folks away from other work to make the discussion a discussion and not just me reading bullet points, it would rarely be more than two of us. The pace wasn’t worth the views, IMO. It burned everyone out, including us freelancers."
- Background Extras That Ruined Movies - in which a panel of hosts share humorous movie clips and riff on them.
- Cast Away - in which a panel of hosts propose fantasy casting suggestions for an upcoming movie. As a group, the hosts discuss each option and agree on which suggestion is the best.
- Watching Thrones - a Game of Thrones recap and discussion show. Hosts include Spencer Gilbert, Roth Cornet and Michelle Boyd.
- TV Fights - a weekly debating competition hosted by Roxy Striar. TV Fights ceased production in 2017. See the TV Fights section on the main Movie Fights page for more information.
- Flick Bait - a short-lived weekly comedy/variety/sketch show. Flick Bait was also aired briefly on the Screen Junkies main channel. It ceased production in 2017. See the main Flick Bait page for more information, including a complete list of episodes.
- Other special features - including filmmaker interviews, video essays (including some by Lon Harris, Billy Business and Danielle Radford), Anime Prep School hosted by Emma Fyffe, Over-Analyzed, Double Take, Side-By-Side, Number Crunch, and many more.
List of references Edit
- ↑ In September 2018, Screen Junkies News had 1.7 billion views. 2 days later, this had dropped to 650 million views. The explanation for this sudden drop in views is the deletion of several highly-viewed videos. The reason for the videos' deletion is unknown, though many of the most highly-viewed videos on the channels were from its earliest days - they were movie trailers, not original content.
- ↑ Dan Murrell Interview - 1 on 1 with Kristian Harloff [Podcast] YouTube, November 22, 2018
- ↑ Murrell, D., January 22, 2019, Reddit
See also Edit
- Fandom Entertainment
- Screen Junkies Universe
- The Screen Junkies Show
- Screen Junkies Plus
- Honest Trailers Commentaries