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One of the most significant changes in the media marketplace is the shift away from traditional TV broadcasting. As we highlighted recently in our 2015 media marketplace predictions, we think the new streaming content services will push the shift beyond the tipping point as they draw consumers away from traditional TV viewing habits. Several media companies announced high-profile streaming services for their content last year, including HBO, CBS and Showtime. But the launch of Dish Network's Sling TV the other week has the potential to dramatically accelerate the migration of viewers away from TV and to online video content.

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Without exception the best soap operas on television these days are Fox’s “Empire” and ABC’s “Nashville,” which can be enjoyed back to back on Wednesdays. (With Taraji P. Henson and Connie Britton respectively headlining those two shows, that combo can’t help but make for a night of terrific TV.) It is significant that both series winningly incorporate a lot of musical performances in ways that move storylines along without ever being jarring (something that derailed Fox’s woeful “Glee” several seasons ago).

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The focus went back and forth from what new series Nick and its sister services (Nick Jr./Nicktoons/TeenNick) will offer to how those new series will live online and other ways beyond the TV screen. For example, Game Makers, a forthcoming series from iCarly/Victorious/Sam & Cat creator Dan Schneider about two girls who launch a new games venture, will turn whatever games get created by this scripted pair into online destinations and smartphone/tablet apps. (Suggestion: Don't forget smart TVs and devices that make TVs smart, such as Roku, Google Chromecast, etc.) Other series will be positioned for merchandising/advertiser tie-ins through a new Inside/Out Solutions unit. Meantime, Nick perennial SpongeBob SquarePants may be headed for Broadway in musical form. If the opening number showcased (directed by Tina Landau) is a barometer, parent Viacom may have just the thing to break into the family-friendly musical scene dominated by Disney. Solid pace and plenty of clips to view, supported by a wry appearance from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-star Will Arnett. Echosmith continued Nick's string of solid Upfront event musical wrap-ups.

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Which brings me to this week’s breathtakingly original episode of ABC’s “Modern Family,” a television milestone shot in its entirety on iPhones, iPads and such that explored the impact of digital communication and social media on American life. It was the best half-hour of comedy I have seen all season, and in my opinion the best episode of this series in many years. It was certainly the funniest. I’ll admit I began to tire of “Family” last season, when it started to feel hopelessly repetitious, but after this episode I’m suddenly interested in it all over again. It was actually exciting to watch and great fun to think about after the fact. Situation comedy doesn’t get better than that.

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