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.
AP Bio defies expectations - lives again! ALSO: Deep Space Snoopy! AND: Chimps love TV
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett
Cancelled NBC sitcom AP Bio has been renewed for another season. The recently terminated comedy will find new life on the in-the-works NBC Universal streaming service. This is the first time that a network has cancelled a show, only to revive it for its own streaming platform.
I can’t help but feel that former NBC comedy Community would very much have followed this trajectory if NBCU had a streaming platform to take advantage of. So, AP Bio - 6 seasons and a movie?
Peanuts gets all deep space Snoopy with its new Apple TV+ series Snoopy In Space. Seeing this new trailer for it leaves me with two thoughts:
It is nice seeing all the Peanuts characters animated like this.
How much mileage can they really get out of Snoopy in space? It feels so much like the strips featuring Snoopy’s cousin Spike which I would always flip past in any Peanuts compilation books. Maybe I’m just getting old.
Every night Mrs ABW and I sit in front of the TV and watch a few episodes of 30 Rock (we’re down to our last 8 episodes, so I’m going to need to find another show to blitz through lest we actually start talking to one another).
But, this communal watching is deep in our DNA. In all of our DNA.
A study of chimpanzees has found that they experienced greater closeness as a community when they watched videos together. The shared experience was bonding. This raises interesting questions about families now who all watch different shows thanks to personal screen experiences.
Something I found super interesting about this study:
"Experiencing and sharing something between two people creates common ground," he says.
"If you go to the movies together, you're sitting side by side, it's a really social phenomenon."
But he says "you get really annoyed if the other person starts to play with their phone. It's annoying because you're no longer watching together".
Maybe the dumbest TV format of all time is the reality competition show Cannonball in which competitors do crazy dive bombs from a large platform into a pool. This is an actual show. Australia aired the first version of it on Channel 7, but ITV in the UK also gave it a crack.
USA Network in the US just commissioned a 10 episode run of it.
Just how important is Friends and The Office to Netflix in the US? Vanity Fair has a great article this morning that goes deep into the value of both programs to the service, but this is the tidbit that stuck out at me:
What’s more interesting is that fans of these two shows might behave differently once their favorite programs leave Netflix. Williams told V.F. that Parrot Analytics also tracks viewer affinity—a correlation that predicts how likely viewers are to follow one Netflix show with another. Fans of The Office have higher affinity to other Netflix content than Netflix users who watch Friends. Fans of Friends, by contrast, “have a lower affinity to the rest of the titles, and certainly the Netflix originals,” Williams said. “So they're more likely to be watching something else [on another platform]” once Friends makes its Netflix exit.
This weekend Always Be Watching is publishing an article examining one of the biggest problems that exists on the Netflix platform. In 2019, it is just a bit irksome for both viewers and Netflix, but in the next 12-18 months as competitors come online, it is going to be a big issue for the streamer.
This will be an exclusive article for paid Always Be Watching subscribers. It’ll be made available in mid-August for non-subscribers. This is me giving a little bit of additional value for those who have given some financial support to the daily newsletter.