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.
Bear Grylls is the new Bandersnatch! Why can't competitors pick up Netflix cancellations? And Game of Thrones run-times!
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett who is the old Bandersnatch.
Why does Netflix cancel shows and what is stopping them from appearing on other services? Deadline takes a look at the business practices that prevent Netflix shows from going elsewhere.
I hear there is a standard clause in the deals for Netflix series from outside studios that prevents the shows from airing elsewhere for a significant period of time, said to be 2-3 years, making a continuation on another network/platform virtually impossible. That is probably why we haven’t seen CBS TV Studios’ comedy American Vandal — a breakout hit for Netflix when it launched but canceled in October after two seasons — move to CBS All Access.
The article does mention that the freshly cancelled One Day At a Time may only have a restriction holding them back for just a few months.
Finally! You the viewer can decide what Bear Grylls puts in his mouth next thanks to Netflix debuting its new interactive production - a follow-up to last year’s Bandersnatch.
In You vs. Wild (all eight episodes premiere Wednesday, April 10), viewers join Grylls in navigating dense jungles, towering mountains, brutal deserts and mysterious forests, “with tough decisions around every corner.”
“Whether or not Bear succeeds or fails is totally up to you,” says the synopsis, putting zero pressure on us. None.
The show debuts in April.
CNN journo Frank Pallotta is attending a Netflix open house day (these are held annually) as this newsletter goes out. It’s an all-day event and he’s been live-tweeting it. A few interesting tweets:
If you didn’t read it yesterday, perhaps start your day with this NYT article on Apple’s streaming TV launch this coming Monday. There’s not a whole lot that is new in the article, but it has a very helpful guide of its first batch of original series/movies.
We’d been promised a final season of movie-length Game of Thrones episodes. Well, it turns out that it won’t quite be that. But, episodes will trend a-little-longer to a-lot-longer than usual. Here’s what you’re getting in this final batch:
Season 8, episode 1 Estimated running time: 0.54
Season 8, episode 2 Estimated running time: 0.58
Season 8, episode 3 Estimated running time: 1.22
Season 8, episode 4 Estimated running time: 1.18
Season 8, episode 5 Estimated running time: 1.20
Season 8, episode 6 Estimated running time: 1.20
This week’s episode of Last Week Tonight w/ John Oliver was outstanding. Oliver had a lengthy segment about public shaming, which culminated in a frank and funny conversation with Monica Lewinsky. The segment also gave him the opportunity to bite back at Jay Leno who last week criticised all of the current late night shows for a lack of civility - his response was a compile of the shitty jokes he made about Monica Lewinsky on the Tonight Show.
Ahead of the launch of the revived The Twilight Zone on CBS All Access (1 April), TV Guide has a really good list of the episodes from the original series that still holds up well today. The list nicely balances strong episodes and well-remembered classics.
Meanwhile, I find it incredibly odd that the Australian arm of that service, Ten All Access, hasn’t announced whether it will have the show. Surely this is the biggest thing that Ten All Access will be able to debut this year - why not make a song and dance about it? What’s the story here?
Viacom recently bought Pluto TV for $340 million. For those unfamiliar with the service, which will be most people, this is a streaming video platform that is ad-supported that replicates watching linear TV. But, it also offers some on-demand shows too. It looks and feels like pretty much any modern cable TV service.
Now, Viacom has plans to take it international.
Northern and Eastern Europe, said that it will largely focus on advertising-backed services rather than subscription platforms.
Speaking at the Oxford Media Convention, he said, “Viacom believes the global SVOD sector is becoming too crowded and capital intensive. So, instead, we’re focused on building scale in ad-supported streaming. We’ve acquired Pluto TV and we plan to use our deep content libraries to accelerate its international roll-out, starting in Latin America.”