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Can Netflix build a factory for appointment TV?

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Jon Stewart and John Mulaney.

Ryan West/Netflix

Ryan West/Netflix

A week’s work of live programming on Netflix wraps up this evening with the final episode of comic John Mulaney’s twisted talk show re-invention, Everybody’s in L.A. So it’s worth a moment to consider the double-edged results in the streamer’s attempt to create an avalanche of appointment television in just seven days. On one hand, you’ve got the juggernauts of Katt Williams’ Woke Foke live standup comedy special last Saturday, plus the roast last Sunday of champion quarterback Tom Brady – humbly billed as the Greatest Roast of All Time. Both specials dominated Netflix’s viewership charts this week, as Williams’ viral trash talking and a procession of boldfaced names cracking tasteless jokes on Brady’s wealth, good looks and failed marriages kept the country buzzing. (See below how Nikki Glaser stole the show with her barbed cracks on host Kevin Hart.)


And then there’s John Mulaney. Building an anti-talk show In truth, my heart is completely with Mulaney’s defiantly oddball project, which turns its back on many of the reasons you would do a show like this live in the first place. He kicks off every episode reminding viewers it is live with no delay, citing the time and temperature. […]