News Briefs: ABC Is Now Limiting Online Streaming of its Shows

By Kaitlin Thomas

Jan 03, 2014


... ABC would like to wish you a happy new year by limiting next-day availability of their shows. The network, which used to be one of the best regarding accessible online content, has announced that beginning Monday, January 6, fans wishing to view their favorite ABC shows will have to verify their cable subscription before being granted access to the most recent episode. For some of you, this might just be an inconvenient step on the way to watching the newest episodes of Scandal and Revenge, but for others, it's going to limit the way you watch TV. 

If you don't have a cable subscription you can, A) risk being spoiled and wait a week until the episode is available without logging in, B) watch via your Hulu Plus subscription, C) find some friends that will let you "borrow" their login information, or D) call one of the following TV providers and pay up: AT&T U-Verse, Cablevision Optimum, Charter, Comcast XFINITY, Cox Communications, Google Fiber, Midcontinent, Verizon FiOS. For more information, visit the Watch ABC portal. [TVLine]


... Sherlock's long-awaited third season premiered last night in the U.K. to a record 9.2 million viewers. And if you think I read any more and risked being spoiled for the January 19 U.S. premiere, then you're a crazy person. [The Guardian]

... R.I.P. SOAPnet! The network signed off forever on New Year's Eve after 13 years of sudsy melodrama. In recent years, as the number of soaps dwindled, the network aired more and more reruns of shows like the classic Beverly Hills, 90210Gilmore GirlsOne Tree Hill, and more. I guess I'll never know if Lucas and Peyton ended up together. (J/K, obviously I already know that they do.) [The Wire]

... New Girl has released a new poster for the rest of Season 3, and this one includes Damon Wayans Jr. We knew Coach was sticking around for the rest of the season, but this poster makes us sad, as Coach is partly to blame for the less-than-stellar first half of the season. Do you like the poster? Cece's foot looks weird, right? It's not just me? [Zap2It]

... Bruce Springsteen is headed to CBS to promote his new album. No, I don't mean a concert special; The Boss is using and The Good Wife to market his new album High Hopes, which will be released January 14Beginning January 5 at 7pm, the album will be available to stream online as part of a tie-in with the January 12 episode of The Good Wife, which features Will and Alicia sparring off as "each represent one half of a couple accused of smuggling drugs." The episode, titled "We, the Juries," will feature new tracks "High Hopes" and "Hunter of Invisible Game," and a re-recorded "The Ghost of Tom Joad." I'd say this was all really weird, but more Springsteen is never, ever a bad thing. [Rolling Stone]

... Viral marketing stunt for The Mindy Project or creepy fan? Either way, someone is maintaining a Mindy Kaling Tinder profile and that's just weird. But if it does turn out to be a publicity stunt, you'd think Fox would have waited until the show's April return date, no? [The Daily Beast]

... The Doctor Who Christmas special "The Time of the Doctor" was BBC America's highest-rated program in 2013. It brought in 2.472 million viewers, up 72 percent from last year's special. When you add in the encore airings, the Live+Same Day numbers jump to 3.02 million. This isn't terribly surprising given the positive reception of November's 50th anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor," and that "The Time of the Doctor" was Matt Smith's final performance as the Doctor. It's just too bad the episode itself was kind of a let down. [BBC America via press release]

... If you've missed any of Mary's struggles on Reign, John's shirtless scenes on The Tomorrow People, or Klaus' murderous rampages on The Originals, now would be the time to stop skimming news briefs and actually start reading. The TV Guide Network will be airing marathons of each show later this month so you have no reason to be behind on any of them. Beginning Saturday January 4 at 2pm, you can catch up on that other Amell by watching every episode of The Tomorrow People. The Originals marathon will begin at 2 pm on Saturday January 11, and you can travel back in time on January 18 at 2pm to catch up on Reign. [TVGN via press release]


... Laurie Metcalf (HBO's Getting On) has been cast opposite Jack McGee and Joey McIntyre in CBS' new half-hour pilot The McCarthys, a comedy about an Irish Catholic family in Boston. Metcalf replaces Jacki Weaver, who played the role in the original pilot. The project is being retooled as a multi-camera comedy after initially filming a single-camera pilot last season. [Deadline]

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  • ritalawrencecueva Jan 15, 2014

    Hulu plus accounts do not work. ABC worked on the 8th day for the Bachelor but ABC Family is not working on the 8th day for Pretty Little Liars, anyone know why??

  • amypowers587 Jan 15, 2014

    Why change the online viewing? Not everyone can afford cable. All I have is the digital box to watch basic news channels & Netflix (&cant; really afford that). ABC family is the only station I miss not having cable, & now you have taken the ability for me to watch the couple of show I like to watch because I cannot afford a cable subscription. This is not right! I was really looking forward to the new episodes of the fosters & Melissa & Joey. Thanks to your new changes, that should not be, I can't even watch those. I Downloaded the abc family app just to be able to watch! Thanks a lot ABC family! My ratings for you just went from a 10 to 0! Guess I'll become a psych and bones fan with my son! Thanks again!
    no longer a fan & very upset,

  • amypowers587 Jan 15, 2014

    On, & by the way I don't mind even waiting a week or 2, but now I can't even see them then!

  • roiecarp Jan 09, 2014

    BOOOOO to ABC! I only watch TV via the computer. I have no TV and NO CABLE! yikes! You have lost a customer!!!

  • totomomo182 Jan 05, 2014

    F U A B C

  • Sw33tEscape Jan 04, 2014

    E) Watch it online for free website that stream tv shows for free.

  • daniellecio Jan 04, 2014

    I don't care about that new show and came to say that I loooved Getting On US and was very sad it only had 6 episodes :(

  • codakatz Jan 04, 2014

    Boo to ABC!! I live in a rural area and the ONLY cable company allowed by the township I live in is Time Warner. I've been watching several shows on live streaming. Guess I'll have to get a Hulu Plus membership.

  • shootingstar609 Jan 03, 2014

    I am very upset at ABC for limiting online access to their shows! I was quickly catching up on OUAT before the clamp is put on and noticed that one of the "commercials" during this program was advertising ABC's limiting of shows as though it is a good thing and people have been clamoring for this to happen for years or something. It's not good, it's obnoxious and somewhat childish. I see ABC has taken a page out of FOX's book with this method of limiting online access to their shows, since FOX has been doing this for a while. ABC, please do not become more like FOX it's not a place you want to sink to because you may not be able to climb out.

    Also, very excited for Sherlock to come back. It's one of the best shows on non-American TV!

  • Writerpatrick Jan 03, 2014

    The ABC move is going to block those outside the US from accessing their online shows. And all stations tend to limit their online broadcasts anyways. They only bother to post recent episodes so if someone wants to catch up they can't. Frankly, it's a step backwards and will only encourage people to turn to illegal sources to get the shows. But right now I can't think of any ABC shows I want to watch.

  • saxyroro Jan 03, 2014

    LOL at ABC and Sherlock. Love the comedy in that article.

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