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.
Amazon's $11b spending spree
Amazon spend big - $11 billion big
In an annual report released last week, Amazon revealed that it spent $11 billion on TV series, movies and music for its Prime services last year. This is up from 2019 where it spent just $7.8 billion. A 41% increase.
This is what happens when you spend $1.32 billion on the US Thursday Night Football, spend approx $450 million on a single season of Lord of The Rings, and buy feature films like Coming 2 America for $120 million and the Chris Pratt-led The Tomorrow War for $200 million. It starts to add up.
RIP Felix Silla - TV’s Cousin Itt
Felix Silla has died at the age of 84. The actor is best known playing Cousin Itt on the original The Addams Family. Silla worked a lot as an actor, appearing largely in costumed roles and as a stunt performer. You’ll have seen his work as the hang-gliding Ewok in Return of The Jedi, and as Twiki in the 70s series Buck Rogers.
He also appeared in the pilot episode of Star Trek, a recurring performer in HR Pufnstuff, and in the movies Planet of the Apes, Demon Seed, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. His stunt work included the filmsE.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Poltergeist, The Golden Child and Batman Returns.
Occasionally, Silla would have the chance to show his face on camera, such as his role as the villain in the 1975 The Maltese Falconsequel The Black Birdopposite the just-departed George Segal.
What works on Netflix?
Netflix may be guarded about their metrics, revealing limited information. But if you want to know what does and doesn’t work for them - follow where they’re spending money. One area that they’re spending HUGE on is in series from South Korea and Japan.
"For sure, these are the two planks — Korean drama and anime — that have been driving a lot of Netflix consumption and subscribership throughout Asia," says Vivek Couto, executive director of consultancy Media Partners Asia. The two categories have "been vital for them in South Korea and Japan, obviously, but also powerful in Southeast Asia — and even the U.S. and other global territories to an extent," Couto says.
RIP Alma Wahlberg - mother of acting superstar Donnie Wahlberg and his younger brother Mark. She was also a regular presence in popular hamburger restaurant reality show Wahlburgers. Read: Variety
Over 13 million people watched the funeral of Queen Elizabeth’s cousin Philip in the UK. Read: Deadline
The US news network that is still flagging doubts about the validity of the recent US Presidential election (yeah- it’s OAN). Read: NYT
ViacomCBS has its eyes on international markets as it rolls out Paramount+ globally. Read: Deadline
John Corbett says he’ll be reprising his Sex & The City character in a recurring role on new HBO Max spin-off/sequel series And Just Like That. Read: Indiewire
Climate Emergency specials
Throughout the week on Aussie current affairs show 730, the show will focus on stories regarding the climate emergency. More shows should be encouraged to do the same.
The Netflix anime series based on Castlevania will end with its fourth season, debuting on the service in May.
Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness debuts on Netflix in July.
Haunted season 3 debuts on Netflix on May 14.
A menacing mansion. A haunting melody. A demonic cat. More real people share scary stories from their past - and the truth is terrifying.
The Naked Director season 2 debuts on Netflix June 24.
What’s next? Tomorrow.
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