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.
Asterix is coming to Netflix.
ALSO: Bosch is coming back to TV. AND: The Simpsons isn't going anywhere.
Asterix is coming to Netflix
A new animated limited series based on the Asterix and Obelix series is coming to Netflix. It will be directed by Alain Chabat, who was the director of the 2002 live-action film Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra.
The new show will be based on the graphic novel Asterix and the Big Fight.
I stopped watching The Simpsons, like all rational tastemakers, back with season 11. But I also never want the show to end. There’s something deeply comforting about it as a cultural constant.
So… good news today with the news that The Simpsons has received a 2-season pick-up, taking the show to 34 seasons. The show will continue to be broadcast on Fox where the show had been a loss leader. In other words, the cost of a new episode to the broadcast network was more than it was bringing in from advertising. One assumes that Disney, the new owners of The Simpsons, reduced the license fees to make it appealing for Fox to keep airing it.
Once Amazon prime Video series Bosch concludes its seventh and final season, Titus Welliver will reprise the role in a new series co-starring Bosch recurring guest star Mimi Rogers.
The new show will be made for Amazon’s IMDb TV service (a free tier operating within the Amazon Prime Video service - yeah, I think that’s confusing too).
The untitled spin-off will follow Harry Bosch, played by Welliver, as he embarks on the next chapter of his career and finds himself working with his one-time enemy and top-notch attorney Honey “Money” Chandler, played by Rogers. With a deep and complicated history between this unlikely pair, they must work together to do what they can agree on – finding justice.
Sneesby takes on role as Nine Entertainment Co CEO
The head of Aussie streaming service Stan, Mike Sneesby, has been appointed CEO of Stan’s parent company Nine Entertainment Co.
Arguably the biggest media company in Australia, Nine runs the number one rated TV channel, major print mastheads across Australia’s metro cities, a leading commercial talkback radio network, a large Australian digital footprint with several key brands, and there’s also the (pre-pandemic) thriving events business.
It’s a big company.
It’s also a company not without its challenges. Nine posted a healthy profit last week, but as an Australian media company Nine is facing pressure on a number of fronts for all of the reasons you’re already thinking of. The next five years are going to be rough for every major Australian media company as they undergo dramatic transformation.
The hire of Sneesby speaks to the recognition of these struggles. Stan is interesting in the way that service has pivoted seemingly almost every 18 months as it adapted to an ever-changing streaming landscape with new competitors like Netflix, Disney+, and Binge and greater competition for content deals.
The big question I have in my mind for Nine Entertainment Co is what is the future of Stan. It’s going to be an increasingly rough trot for local streaming companies as the content squeeze gets tighter as more international content providers move straight to consumer (Stan already lost the Showtime deal from ViacomCBS who will use it for its Paramount+ service launching in Australia mid-year, WarnerMedia will launch HBO Max locally once deals expire with Foxtel, NBCUniversal have global expansion plans for its Peacock service). Stan has been smart with a pivot to sports and that will no doubt become a focal point for the service. I can see Stan and the broadcast channel Nine being very complimentary to one another as sports and possibly news become a joint content offer. Where does that leave Nine’s free ad-supported 9Now? Could we even see a point where Stan moves from a competitive subscription market to an ad-supported streaming product?
Stan will be integral to the future of Nine as it continues its transformation from traditional linear broadcaster to multi-platform digital content provider.
The US Alamo Drafthouse cinema chain has filed for bankruptcy, has announced a sale to Altamont Capital Partners as well as affiliates of Fortress Investment Group. Chain founder Tim League will remain involved. Underperforming locations will be closed. Read: Variety
WandaVision director Matt Shakman is warning fans that they’ll likely be disappointed if they’re holding to their fan theories too closely for the series finale this week. Read: TVLine
WarnerMedia’s Hannes Heyelmann has shed some light on HBO Max’s plans for its inevitable European roll-out. The streaming service plans to be in 190 countries. Read: Variety
Facebook Watch has ordered 20 more weeks of Steve Harvey’s talk show. Who knew this was even a thing? Read: Deadline
In a cost-saving move, the Australian Seven Network will move its news and morning television operation out of its current Martin Place facility and will move it all to the Eveleigh studios. Read: TV Tonight
Men’s dating app Grindr is now in the original content game with a scripted TV series coming (Editor note: double-check spelling before hitting send) to the platform. Read: Indiewire
Michael B Jordan stars in the Tom Clancy adaptation Without Remorse on Amazon Prime Video April 30.
Thunder Force debuts on Netflix April 9.
Calls debuts on Apple TV+ on March 19.
Calls is a groundbreaking immersive television experience that masterfully uses only audio and minimal abstract visuals to tell bone-chilling snackable stories. Launching in a binge model worldwide, all nine 12-minute episodes are told through a series of phone calls that use sharp writing, compelling voice talent and graphics to aid in transcribing the darkly dramatic conversations onto the screen.
What’s next? Tomorrow.
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