It is legitimately strange how polarising Brian Stelter is. Right-wing viewers would howl and gnash their teeth at Stelter, which was always a bit odd as he was only the host of a Sunday morning media show. Not to dismiss him entirely, but it is weird that much scorn wasn't instead directed at a primetime host with a much larger viewership.

Meanwhile left-wing viewers would cite frustration at how Stelter would routinely give a platform to Trump's spokespeople like KellyAnne Conway and not challenge them in a meaningful way.

It has been announced that Stelter is now leaving CNN, with his show Reliable Sources cancelled. Undoubtedly part of an effort by new CNN chief Chris Licht as he tries to take the heat out of the conversation surrounding CNN. It makes sense to jettison such a polarising figure.  

Of course, media commentators have noted critical comments by Stelter of influential Warner Bros Discovery investor John Malone on the air, which may have played some role in his ousting.

The very good Reliable Sources newsletter will continue on with Oliver Darcy now taking it over. Presumably Darcy will take more of an on-air presence to cover media news stories as they break.

Brian Stelter Leaving CNN After Cancellation of ‘Reliable Sources’
Chris Licht, the new chairman of CNN, has told employees that he is retooling the network’s programming.

Warner Bros Discovery exits GB News

Despite being one of the first investors into right-wing talk TV channel GB News in the UK, WBD has sold its stake.

The reason cited: It owns too many news channels.

“Following the merger between Discovery and WarnerMedia earlier this year our portfolio now includes several wholly owned news brands including CNN Worldwide, TVN Group in Poland and Newshub in New Zealand,” a spokesperson for WBD said. “In light of this, and our continued evaluation of our global and local investment portfolio, we have exited our investment in GB News and are no longer shareholders.”
Discovery sells GB News stake as directors resign in shake-up
Loss-making TV channel loses major investor as it faces competition from Rupert Murdoch’s TalkTV

What Do You Say to a Naked Lady?

Look, Always Be Watching doesn't have all the answers. But thanks to an interesting feature by Keith Phipps, we can tell you that Candid Camera producer/host Alan Funt in 1970 released a Candid Camera-style film, the X-rated What Do You Say to a Naked Lady?

Funt decided to see how unsuspecting ordinary people would respond when unexpectedly confronted with sexual situations. He opens the film with the bluntest version of this idea, the one promised by the title: a series of clips in which office workers, mostly men, react to encountering a fully naked woman (not counting a sun hat) exiting an elevator. They are, predictably, unnerved and confused, as are the objects of gags offering slight variations on the same theme (a nude hitchhiker, a nude professor, etc.). But as much as Funt seems to enjoy seeing what happens when nude women show up in places nude women don’t normally appear, he also recognizes he can’t keep repeating that gag for the length of the film. And that’s when What Do You Say to a Naked Lady? gets both more compelling and uncomfortable in ways even Funt couldn’t have foreseen.
When the Creator of ‘Candid Camera’ Pushed Cringe to X-Rated Extremes
1970’s ‘What Do You Say to a Naked Lady?’ is a time capsule and a precursor to masters like Nathan Fielder and Sacha Baron Cohen—but it also proves that even cringe comedy has boundaries
  • The Chi has been renewed for season 6 by Showtime. Read: Variety
  • This England, a Sky drama about Boris Johnson and his management of the first wave of COVID-19 in the UK, has sold to 88 international territories. In Australia, it'll be on BBC First. Read: TBI Vision [NOTE: The trailer is in the below trailer section of the newsletter]
  • Saul Zaentz Company has sold its ownership of the film rights to the Lord of The Rings IP to Embracer Group. Strange that it wasn't Amazon swooping in to buy those up. Read: TheStreamable
  • TerrorTome is the latest book by master of horror-suspence Garth Marenghi. It promises “three spine-shattering tales of fright.” Read: The AV Club
  • Alexis Bledel and Vincent Kartheiser are set to divorce. ABW doesn't usually mention personal stories like this, but considering Bledel's recent abrupt exit from the cast of The Handmaid's Tale and Kartheiser reportedly creating some issues on the HBO Max Titans show, the dissolution of the marriage is kind-of noteworthy. Read: THR
  • Again, I emphasise that people should not overlook just how widely-watched Virgin River is on Netflix. This week it sits atop the Netflix top 10 with 2.64 billion minutes viewed. Read: THR
  • Neve Campbell will star in the new David E Kelley series Avalon. Read: Deadline
  • HBO Max has announced a further 36 titles will leave the platform, including 20 originals. There's not a lot there that is especially alarming, with the exception of the very good The Not Too Late Show with Elmo, in which the Sesame Street character hosts a late night chat show for kids. It was really smart TV. Read: Variety

House of The Dragon is a new HBO drama debuting this coming Sunday in the US (Monday here in Australia). It is actually a spin-off from another TV show from HBO called Game of Thrones. Yeah, beats me too - there's too many TV shows to have heard of all of these. Ignore the low-key launch, I think viewers will find it somehow.

Jon Bernthal stars in the sequel series to American Gigalo, coming Sept 9 to Showtime.

How can we be human without a body? That's the question asked by new AMC+ series Pantheon, which debuts Sept 1.

The latest Nick Antosca series A Friend In The Family debuts Oct 6 on Peacock.

Heartbreak High debuts on Netflix 14 Sept.

Kenneth Branagh stars as Boris Johnson in new Sky drama This England. Ophelia Lovibond from Minx also stars. It debuts Sept 21.

A lot of people think that The Wizard of Oz had a happy ending, but not me because Dorothy missed out on the opportunity to take a hot air balloon ride. Willy Wonka is a better film because they end up in the sky. That’s how good fantasies go. Up to the sky. In all the best dreams, we’re able to leave the ground.
- Joe Pera Talks With You