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.
Details emerge on new Alien TV series
It's hardly "Game over man" for the Alien franchise.
Fargo creator Noah Hawley has offered a few details on the new Alien series he is working on for FX. The new series will take place on Earth. He's written the first two scripts for it and says that the show will deal with the issue of equality:
He said that his take on the franchise will look to go deep, as well, examining “inequality” as it juxtaposes the people “you send to do the dirty work” with “the people who are sending them.”
“You will see what happens when the inequality we’re struggling with now isn’t resolved,” Alien‘s creator and EP added. “If we as a society can’t figure out how to prop each other up and spread the wealth, then what’s going to happen to us?”
Also, don't be expecting to see Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in the show. Hawley again:
“it’s not a Ripley story.”
Apple TV+, given away as a freebie to buyers of new Apple hardware, will turn off the tap on the free promo from July onwards. Read: Variety
The Old Guard 2 will enter production for Netflix in Q1 next year. Read: Variety
RIP **Humphrey Bougart **impersonator Robert Sacchi. Read: NYT
Jonathan Wolff's Seinfeld soundtrack will be released later today. Would you believe it will have 33 tracks? I'm also shocked. Read: Variety
Dreamworks and PBS Kids are the two new Foxtel kids channels filling the void of Disney withdrawing its linear kids channels globally. Read: Mediaweek
All 10 episodes of The Underground Railroad will play in a New York cinema for reasons. Read: The AV Club
What exactly happened to Dan Schneider?
One of the more interesting #metoo fall-from-grace stories was that of Dan Schneider. He was the former teen actor from 80s sitcom Head of The Class who found success as an adult writing and producing teen sitcoms for Nickelodeon.
Most of their biggest hits came from Schneider. But then stories emerged about creepiness. Photos of teen stars and feet. Suddenly, Schneider was out the door.
But was that necessarily reflective of what really happened behind the scenes? The New York Times has a feature today about the ouster of Schneider. It's a career rehab piece where he denies the foot thing.
Schneider said he was well aware of the postings, which he described as “ridiculous.” He said it was sad that social media companies can freely push forward “any lie.” Kids find feet goofy and funny, he said, and there was no effort to sexualize his young stars.
"The comedy,” he said, “was totally innocent.”
As a career rehab piece, it's a compelling read. Is it sweeping under the carpet issues relating to a powerful producer who was abusive to staff? Maybe a little.
New Oscars rules
The Academy Awards have announced some changes to their awards:
Shortlists for short films will expand from 10 to 15 titles, original music scores must comprise of 35% new music (down from the prior 60% benchmark), there will now be a fixed 10-title Best Picture category (previously the number floated up to ten), and Oscar voters are now no longer allowed to be sent physical media to entice voters.
What are Aussies watching?
ACMA has released a report that shows what Australians are watching. Not the shows specifically, but the channels... the services...
The report, Communications and Media in Australia: How we Watch and Listen to Content, found that there was a drop in watching of free-to-air. Not a surprise. It fell from 75% in 2017 to 56% in 2020. That viewership was supplanted by more online viewing, with 55% of adults watching streamed content - up from 32% in 2017.
Viewing of the free-to-air "catch-up" services is up. But which ones are we watching the most of?
67% iview 40% SBS on Demand 34% 7plus 28% 9Now 22% 10 Play
Of the commercial providers, what are we watching?
Netflix was king with 63% of adults (up from 54% in 2019) then Foxtel (including Foxtel Now) at 23%, Stan (20%), Disney+ (15%), Amazon Prime Video (10%). Apple TV+ was 7% then Fetch TV (6%) and Kayo (3%).
Read more at TV Tonight. The full report can be read here:
Beckett debuts on Netflix August 13.
What's next? Tomorrow.
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