Is John Krasinski a Sellout?

The brief and highly-profitable history of Some Good News

All good news must come to an end. John Krasinski recently sold his charming DIY YouTube show Some Good News to ViacomCBS after just eight episodes. The show, which he hatched out of a desire to highlight the good of humanity during the coronavirus pandemic, attracted millions of fans and racked up millions of views in just a few months. Krasinski’s decision to sell the show irked some of his fans, who accused Jim from The Office of selling out.

But Krasinski says he never meant for the show to be a sustainable thing. Here’s a look at SGN’s brief history and how it went from a YouTube indie to a corporate entity.

Sometime in 2013

John Krasinski gets the “idea” for a news show that only focuses on good news.

March 17, 2020

Movie theaters start to shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. Hollywood halts production on film and TV shows.

March 19, 2020

California becomes the first state to institute a stay-at-home order to help curb the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly every other state would do so by the end of April.

March 23, 2020

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah becomes The Daily Social Distancing Show with Trevor Noah when the show airs its first episode entirely produced from home, becoming the first late-night show to do so.

March 29, 2020

The first episode of Krasinski’s self-produced-in-isolation Some Good News drops. It’s fun, it’s charming, it’s a respite from the world. Krasinski interviews his old Office pal Steve Carrell. The episode becomes a viral sensation, racking up more than 18 million views and counting.

April 5. 2020

Krasinski publishes the second episode of SGN. This time, he hosts the entire cast of Hamilton. It doesn’t get as many views as the first episode, but it comes pretty close.

Krasinski

April 12, 2020

This episode features David Ortiz as a celebrity guest, but Big Papi isn’t this episode’s biggest milestone. Ortiz is there to treat frontline healthcare workers to a day at Fenway Park before Krasinski reveals SGN’s first corporate relationship. AT&T reached out to Krasninski to ask how they could help healthcare workers, and ended up covering cellphone bills for nurses and doctors for three months.

May 10, 2020

An Office cast reunion for a Zoom wedding (there’s a statement that wouldn’t have made sense even four months ago) makes the seventh and penultimate SGN episode one of the show’s top-viewed segments.

Krasinski

May 17, 2020

Krasinski publishes the eighth and final SGN episode. It focuses on the SGN community and the way that its resourceful, at-home viewers are the backbone of the show. 

May 21, 2020

Krasinski sells SGN to ViacomCBS after a “massive bidding war,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Krasinski will not host in the future but will stay on as an executive producer.

It should also be noted that ViacomCBS owns Paramount Studios, which produces Krasinski’s Jack Ryan show, as well as Paramount Pictures, which distributed A Quiet Place and will distribute A Quiet Place Part II.

Social media backlash is immediate for the “sellout” of the show.

May 26, 2020

Krasinski appears on fellow Office alum Rainn Wilson’s Instagram Live show to talk about SGN, and says that he just couldn’t keep up with the show and knew he would only be making a temporary series that was designed to stop after eight episodes:

“I knew the two options were always going to be, I leave it off at eight in my office, which I would love to keep doing this show from my office forever, but it just wasn’t sustainable. I knew I would need a partner coming on.”

May 27, 2020

CBS News announces it will lay off 50 employees because of coronavirus, which only exacerbates backlash against Krasinski for selling his show to ViacomCBS.

Now

SGN is scheduled to return in its new CBS form sometime this summer. Oh well. At least we’ll have YouTube memories. And the Hamilton cast reunion.

Jake Harris

Jake Harris is a Texas-based journalist whose writing about pop culture and entertainment has appeared in the Austin American-Statesman, the Chattanooga Times Free Press, the Nashville Scene and more. You can find more of his writings at jakeharrisbog.com or through his pop culture newsletter, Jacob's Letter.

One thought on “Is John Krasinski a Sellout?

  • June 6, 2020 at 9:09 am
    Permalink

    At the very least krasinski should take some of his profits and share with laid off Viacom workers.

    Reply

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