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Dan Barrett is an industry commentator & TV critic. He does radio - 4BC & ABC GC and co-hosts the Screen Watching podcast. He's a former Mediaweek deputy editor and content creator for SBS.
2020 Emmy Awards Preview
ALSO: RIP DCU. AND: NBCU A-OK on Roku
It’s almost hard to believe, but the 2020 Emmy Awards are on in just a few hours.
There will be no in-person ceremony. Instead host Jimmy Kimmel will host the show from a near-empty Staples Center. Nominees will broadcast themselves from their homes, with producers encouraging them to dress however they want and to have their family and pets with them on the couch when the winners are announced.
There’ll undoubtedly be a couple of celebrity guests in the theatre with Kimmel. Assume Matt Damon, along with others.
An extra-sad In Memoriam with stars like Carl Reiner and Chadwick Boseman farewelled.
If the Emmys seem like they have been going all week, that’s kind-of because they have been. The earlier awards are the technical and less-popular awards categories, which are always handed out at a ceremony before the primetime awards. You can find an extensive list of nominees and winners HERE.
What I like about the technical awards is that the hardworking and rarely celebrated craftspeople involved with bringing our news and entertainment to life are given a spotlight among their peers. I rather liked this quote from Dave Chappelle who won for his very funny Netflix special Sticks & Stones:
"Stan Lathan has been directing television since 1968," Chappelle continued in regards to the director of Sticks & Stones. "Any show I watched growing up, he directed it ... And finally—you motherfuckers finally—gave him an Emmy tonight. He deserves so much more, but I'm glad you came around."
A good infographic reminding us how much of a non-event The Emmy’s have become:
Why such a non-event? Fewer people are watching broadcast TV generally, but that in turn (because these awards are ABOUT TV) means that those who are watching are less likely to have seen nominated shows and are thus less invested. The Oscars have a similar problem with viewers broadly not having seen the movies. As cinema moves towards commercial blockbusters and away from mid-budget dramas, there’s fewer mainstream films nominated.
Always Be Predicting
A full list of nominations are available HERE. My thoughts and predictions:
Best Comedy series is hard to pick. Schitt’s Creek seems like a likely front-runner for its final season. But this category seems so niche-interest this year that it might spread the vote and lead to a surprise like The Marvelous Mrs Maisel sneaking back in for a win.
Succession seems like a lock for best drama.
Watchmen seems likely for Best Limited. But, this is a category where I can’t help but wonder… In any ordinary year where there are parties and For Your Consideration events and stunts happening across LA where voters are courted by TV networks Watchmen would seem like the obvious winner. Propelled by the fact it was a great show and it is buzzy. But in a year where that doesn’t happen, could we instead just see shows win based on the simple fact people watched them? Could that lead to a win for Unorthodox or Unbelievable on Netflix?
For Directing of a Drama Series, I’m very keen to see The Crown’s Benjamin Caron win for the episode Aberfan. It was an incredible episode of TV.
DC Universe pivots from video
It was billed as the ultimate DC fan site when it launched. DC Universe offered thousands of DC Comics and a library of on-demand movies and TV shows featuring its roster of superheroes.
That is no more.
DC Universe will be rebranded as DC Universe Infinite (terrible name) and will be dedicated to a much larger library of DC Comics. Printed DC Comics will be available digitally as part of the subscription service 6 months after initial publication, with the platform also offering exclusive new digital books.
And what happens to all of the original series that was being produced for the platform? Any new DC series (and returning shows like Harley Quinn and Doom Patrol) will go to HBO Max.
Why did it all go wrong? It was a digital platform launched just prior to telco AT&T buying what we now know to be WarnerMedia. It didn’t meet the existing digital vision of the company, plus its foundation was built on the wrong-headed focus DC Comics had on the direct market (ie selling comics in comic shops and not trying to get them into book stores).
DC Universe Infinite launches in the US Jan 2021 and internationally mid-year.
V8 Supercars is expected to to sign a five-year deal with Foxtel and Seven West Media this week. Source: TV Tonight
Missed out on a PS5 pre-order? Sony are working on making sure more are available in the coming weeks. Source: Uproxx
NBCU played branded-app chess with Roku and now its streaming service Peacock will be available on the US streaming hardware. Source: Deadline
Small Axe is Brit director Steve McQueen’s anthology of movies that debut on Amazon Prime Video on 27 November.
Small Axe is an anthology comprised of five original films set from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s that tell personal stories from London’s West Indian community, whose lives have been shaped by their own force of will despite rampant racism and discrimination. The title is derived from the African proverb, “If you are the big tree, we are the small axe.”
Benedict Men is streaming now on Quibi:
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