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 new Star Wars show this week? Also, Ava scores $100 million.
ABW is by Dan Barrett who wrote this a long time ago in a galaxy far away.
A new Star Wars cartoon launches this week, aimed explicitly at kids. The first six episodes will launch this Friday, with more to come in December. Each episode promises “fun and educational add-ons designed to help older fans, parents, and other mentors to welcome the kids in their lives to explore the galaxy far, far away.”
The new series is said to be the opening salvo in a number of different initiatives under the Galaxy of Adventures brand, with Lucasfilm describing it as “the beginning of a year-long celebration of Star Wars storytelling,” leading up to the release of Star Wars Episode IX in December 2019.
Or, as we used to call it when I was a kid, a year-long marketing campaign.
I don’t really understand the hype surrounding Ava DuVernay.
She’s obviously well-known and liked in the industry. And I admire that she has moved from working in publicity to pursuing a career as a filmmaker where she’s making movies and TV shows that have some genuine substance to them. I also understand that working on publicity campaigns at the scale she has worked on means she has transferable skills as a Producer.
But, how exactly is she worth a $100 million dollar deal with Warner Bros? She’ll be producing, directing, and writing for Warners (who are soon beefing up their content output for a yet-to-be-formally announced streaming service). But looking at her track record, it’s indie films, shows that have had minor success on cable TV, and one big Hollywood film that flopped. I get wanting to be in business with her, but I just don’t get the price tag.
What am I missing?
Netflix has announced a handful of new foreign language originals. They include a new French series set during the French Revolution about Joseph Guillotin, the future inventor of the guillotine, who investigates a series of mysterious murders and discovers an unknown virus. Of course.
Also, there’s a Wallender series coming to Netflix. Young Wallender features the titular Wallander in his 20s.
CBS sitcoms Happy Together and Murphy Brown will both be capped at 13 episodes for their first seasons. Based on name recognition (but certainly not ratings performance), Murphy Brown is considered likely to return for a second season. For Happy Together, the timing is actually quite good if Warner Bros want to pounce on Damon Wayans Jr to replace his father in Lethal Weapon.
Rest easy, the new season of The Ranch is coming. Now with less Danny Masterson.
Paul Feig, Sofia Coppola, Ryan Coogler and Guillermo del Toro will be among the subjects of a new series hosted by Elvis Mitchell, who will travel with A-list filmmakers and actors to places of inspiration around the world, exploring how each location shaped their work and identity.