Your Take On 2019: A. Smith & Co.’s Caroline Baumgard

Caroline Baumgard It’s that time of year again, to look back at the past 12 months, assess the highs and the lows, and maybe make a quip or two while doing so. Look for more from our annual year-end survey here at and in our upcoming January/February issue. We continue our look at the year that was with Caroline Baumgard, CEO of A. Smith & Co. Productions.

My favorite factual program/series (or feature documentary) of 2019 was:
I love the variety of docs offered on Netflix. One in particular this past year, Abducted in Plain Sight had me gasping throughout. The story just kept getting crazier and crazier.

I never thought they’d make a program about:
In this time of needing to be loud and outrageous to poke through all the clutter, nothing surprises me anymore.

The program/series/doc people will be talking about in five years is:
Who knows? With all the current shows, new shows that will be coming out, and old shows finding a new audience on streaming devices there will be a lot to talk about in five years!

In 18 months, no one will be talking about:
iPhone 11.

The best factual content I’ve seen online this year was:
As a massive Beatles fan, I thought the Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney was incredible.

The most positive development in the non-fiction/unscripted content industry this past year was:
More places to sell content of all kinds.

The most troubling development in the non-fiction/unscripted content industry this past year was:
Because there are so many more places to find content, it’s harder for shows to find an immediate audience. I find myself in addition to binge-watching new shows, spending a lot of time watching older scripted series like ERParenthoodFriday Night Lights, and Parks and Recreation. So, the competition for viewers is not just new shows but old shows as well.

The idea I’m happiest to have had this year was:
Don’t. It’s a comedic physical game show where a family of four is asked to work together to perform various physical and mental challenges. There’s just one rule: “DON’T” do something i.e. DON’T Blink, DON’T Laugh, DON’T Wet Your Pants, etc. Ryan Reynolds is an executive producer and Adam Scott is the host. It will be premiering on ABC in 2020. It was inspired by my two young kids who apparently get told “DON’T” a lot.

 If 2019 taught me one thing it was:
With all the programming choices out there, it can take up to 30 minutes to decide what I want to watch each night!

My New Year’s resolution for 2020 is:
To continue being grateful that I have the job I dreamed of having as a TV-obsessed kid.