A daily newsletter guide to what is happening on your screens - TV, streaming, movies, games, VR, AR
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.
A big day of news from the house of mouse
Disappointing Disney+ numbers, a cinema release for Shang Chi and Free Guy, and more lead today's Always Be Watching.
Disney just finished a quarterly report to investors, which came with a considerable amount of news.
Upcoming feature films Free Guy (a Ryan Reynolds comedy) and Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings will be exclusive to theatres without a simultaneous Disney+ release. They launch on August 13th and September 3rd, respectively. BUT... the release window will only be a 45-day exclusive to theatres with the window shrinking from 90 days. Source: The Verge
Disney+ fell short of its expected subscriber targets. Read: CNN
The Disney-owned ESPN has renewed its deal with Major League Baseball until 2028. It also now has the option to simulcast games on its streamer ESPN+. Read: The Streamable
Hulu is up 2.2 million subscribers, but down 200,000 subscribers for its linear service Hulu Live TV. Read: The Streamable
Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, will debut in cinemas and via Premium Access on Disney+ on July 30. Read: Screencrush
That Friends special
When HBO Max launched a year ago, it was supposed to do so with a Friends reunion special. Only then COVID hit and they couldn't film it. But now they have. And the special has not only a release date, May 27, but also a trailer.
Guests on the special include names the kids will know, but also guest stars from the original run of the series: David Beckham, Justin Bieber, BTS, James Corden, Cindy Crawford, Cara Delevingne, Lady Gaga, Elliott Gould, Kit Harington, Larry Hankin, Mindy Kaling, Thomas Lennon, Christina Pickles, Tom Selleck, James Michael Tyler, Maggie Wheeler, Reese Witherspoon, and Malala Yousafzai.
It hasn't arrived in my inbox yet, but one presumes there will be a media release from Aussie streamer Binge to say it too will have the special timed to release with the US.
New Darren Star comedy - Uncoupled
A new Darren Star comedy series has been greenlit by Netflix. Star has had a very good success rate to date, creating iconic shows including BH 90210, Sex & The City, Younger, and, uh, Emily in Paris.
The new show is Uncoupled:
Uncoupled centers on Michael, who thought his life was perfect until his husband blindsided him by walking out the door after 17 years. Overnight, Michael has to confront two nightmares — losing what he thought was his soulmate and suddenly finding himself a single gay man in his mid-40s in New York City.
How will he cope?
A third Psych TV movie has been given the greenlight. Read: Deadline
Natalie Edgar will join the open office environs of SBS as she takes over as Channel Manager of SBS and SBS VICELAND. Read: Mediaweek
Netflix is investing in a big budget, standalone Ultraman animated film that it expects to introduce the iconic Japanese character to a new audience. Smart move - this is a franchise it can adopt as one of its own. Read: Variety
Could Tiffany Haddish fill the Ellen-sized hole in US daytime TV? Read: Page Six
US election analyst and khaki chinos enthusiast Steve Kornacki has signed a multi-million dollar four-year deal to stick with NBC Universal where he'll be deployed throughout the company offering statistical analysis on politics, sports, and he'll have a game show. No, really. Read: The Hill
NBC's Joe Exotic TV show will now go straight to streaming on Peacock. Really, who still gives a hoot? Read: The AV Club
Masters of The Universe return
The new Netflix animated series Masters of The Universe: Revelation debuts on the streamer July 23. Written/produced by Kevin Smith (who has committed many crimes in cinema and real life, such as blocking me on Twitter, the cad), the show features voices by Chris Wood, Mark Hamill, Lena Headey, Stephen Root, Justin Long, Diedrich Bader, Griffin Newman, and Sarah Michelle Gellar.
While the original series was pitched to children, Smith’s take is aimed squarely at the adults who remember the show fondly, including using Mattel’s original Masters of the Universe toy line as inspiration for the look of the series.
Home Before Dark returns June 11 for its second season on Apple TV+
Bosch returns for its 7th and final season this June. It'll be back next year though for a spin-off.
Nail Bomber debuts on Netflix May 26.
What's next? Tomorrow.
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