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.
Borgen is back! Wipeout is back! The Logies... not so much.
ALSO: Reno911 is back too! Everything is back! Just not the Logies.
Almost a decade after the third and final season of Borgen aired, a fourth season will go to air.
That’s right - Borgen is back, baby!
The 8-episode fourth season will debut in 2022, by way of a deal between Danish broadcaster DR and Netflix. It’ll debut on DR first before being made available globally by the streamer. The first three seasons of Borgen will also start streaming on Netflix later this year.
Adam Price will return to write the series. Price most recently wrote the Netflix drama Ragnarok.
The new series will again follow Nyborg, her staff and the media that cover her, this time in her role as Denmark’s foreign minister. Meanwhile, Fønsmark heads back into journalism, having been Nyborg’s head of press, where she is a news director for a nationwide television station.
Borgen isn’t the only TV classic to be revived today…
US network TBS has ordered 20 new episodes of 00s obstacle game show Wipeout.
“The re-imagined series will feature new format twists and elements that will push contestants’ athleticism and willpower to even greater extremes, all while delivering some pretty epic fails,” according to a TBS press release. “Each game has been designed into three rounds and now features a jaw-dropping, three-stage, obstacle course consisting of multiple strategy and decision points designed to further challenge, and wear out, the stamina of the competitors.”
It’s worth noting that streaming service Pluto TV for a few months was running a dedicated Wipeout channel screening episodes from the various international Wipeout series. Could the elimination of that channel be related to this deal?
Yesterday ABW referenced the digital success Universal has had with Trolls World Tour, an animated film that the company sent straight to digital with cinemas closed (as with other titles, Universal could have held the title back). Universal was trumpeting how well the film had sold digital rentals, which made as much money for them as it would have if it went to cinemas.
But not everyone was happy about this success story…
AMC Cinemas and Cineworld Group (owner of the Regal Cinemas chain) have announced they will not screen any Universal films in its cinemas going forward as a result of this.
That could have a huge impact on Universal. But, a few things to keep in mind:
AMC is in danger of not actually re-opening post COVID-19 due to financial issues.
This may just be a negotiating tactic in order to get a better cut of theatrical revenue and protect windows moving forward.
Bauer Media, the German magazine publisher which owns a number of Australian titles, has announced the redundancy of 70 staff with a further 70 ‘stood down’. This comes just a few hours after The TV Week Logie Awards, tied to Bauer’s TV Week magazine, was cancelled for 2020. It is reported that a number of Bauer magazines will cease publishing with some of those titles not expected to return. Will TV Week be among them?
The cancellation of the Logie Awards is, obviously, a great cultural loss…
In the same way that HBO Max has announced a deal with Apple to put its new app/service on Apple devices, it has signed a deal with Google to also make the app available. There’s no word yet on a deal with Amazon to make HBO Max available through its Fire TV hardware and Amazon Channels service, but that’s likely just days away.
Subscribers to HBO Now will apparently be able to use their login credentials to log in to the new HBO Max. Will this include HBO Now subscribers who subscribe via other platforms like Amazon? Asking for a friend…
Speaking of HBO Max, WarnerMedia has just purchased The Widget Co., a Dutch technology provider. According to Warners, the acquired company will help it focus on: “international technology operations, bringing their expertise in creative digital and OTT solutions to current and future WarnerMedia projects for the international marketplace.”
The international rollout will be fairly gradual for HBO Max but is expected to contribute significantly to the company’s internal target of 75 million to 90 million subscribers by 2025. The service is set to be the last of four major new challenges to Netflix, with Disney and Apple having introduced theirs last November, and NBCUniversal starting to roll out Peacock on April 15.
That’s interesting to keep in mind if you’re one of the two streaming companies in Australia (Stan and Foxtel) currently vying for the contract for HBO Max in Australia. Any successful bid may really just be for the short-term…
Season 32 of The Amazing Race, which has been in the can since late 2018 was set to air this coming May. It has now been pushed back to later in 2020. In its place are new reality shows Game On! and Tough As Nails. Disappointing, but it may be smart to think that maybe viewers aren’t looking for reality shows about global travel right now.
Zach Edwards from digital strategy firm Victory Medium has posted a report claiming that Quibi, JetBlue, Wish and other companies have made customers email addresses available to tech companies interested in tracking shoppers behaviour.
“In 2020, no new technology organizations should be launching that leaks all new user-confirmed emails to advertising and analytics companies,” Mr. Edwards wrote. “Yet that’s what Quibi apparently decided to do.”
People who downloaded the Quibi app were asked to submit their email addresses. Then they received a confirmation link. Clicking on the link made their email addresses available to Google, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, according to the report.