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.
Could Charlie Brooker be bringing a Wipe to Netflix?
ALSO: RIP Quibi. AND: NationalTheatreFlix
Is Charlie Brooker’s Wipe coming to Netflix?
Charlie Brooker has an end of year special coming to Netflix at the end of this year. Not much detail is known, except that Hugh Grant is appearing in it as a historian with a wig on. The US trade press is referring to it as a mockumentary, but everything else about this seems like a version of Screen Wipe, the BBC series he hosted that used to be about television, but evolved into end of year specials looking back at the year that was through the TV news.
Whatever it turns out to be, getting Charlie Brooker back on our screens is a rather good thing. And if it is a Wipe-like show, it will be great to see it readily available on Netflix and not something requiring hunting torrents or waiting for a cheeky YouTube upload.
Joe Rogan is #1
Spotify has revealed what the most listened to songs and podcasts are on its platform. The Joe Rogan Experience podcast is its most listened to show. Worth noting is that Rogan’s show, with most episodes running between 2-3 hours, is one of the very few podcasts available on the platform with a video feed also available. Users can either just listen to the podcast, or they can watch Joe talk to his guests in studio with the audio switching between the two formats.
Rupert Murdoch’s upcoming news channel in the UK has been given the green light by media regulator Ofcom. News UK TV will be broadcast on free-to-air television (or “over-the-air” as Americans term it), and will be broadcast only at night time with talk shows and a nightly news bulletin. While it will be broadcast, the plan is to drive most viewership online.
Talent for the channel is yet to be announced, but Piers Morgan has been seen in and around the offices.
ViacomCBS-owned cable network Showtime has launched a new channel on the ViacomCBS-owned video streaming service Pluto TV. Called Showtime Selects, it will be used as a promotional vehicle to raise awareness of Showtime shows, encouraging users of the free Pluto TV to sign up to the subscription streamer.
Sampler episodes of shows include: Your Honor, Shameless, The Affair, Ray Donovan, Billions, The L Word, and Californication. The channel will also stream the entire limited series The Loudest Voice (about Fox News’ Roger Ailes) and true-crime docuseries Murder in the Bayou.
“We can handpick content from Showtime to reach a whole new audience on Pluto TV,” said Michael Engleman, Showtime’s chief marketing officer. “Our mission and Pluto TV’s mission is to provide a pathway to upgrade to subscriptions… We’d like it to run indefinitely.”
Smart move. But I wonder how long it will be before the highly profitable Pluto TV is used as a content destination in its own right replacing linear cable channels and not just as a promotional vehicle. I appreciate paid subscriptions are the main goal - but if Pluto TV can generate profit…
In Australia we’re yet to see much in the way of FAST (Free Advertising Supported Television) services like Pluto TV, but that too is really just a matter of time. Pluto TV launches in Spain and France in early 2021.
Good news: Melissa McCarthy is returning to TV in a new Netflix series. Bad news: Her husband Ben Falcone is a creative on it. Read: Deadline
The Young and The Restless has just aired its 12,000th episode. It is the fifth US soap to do so. Read: TV Insider
Netflix has cancelled Queen Sono, a series it had previously greenlit for a second season. COVID production concerns. Read: Deadline
Netflix has commissioned a Korean version of Money Heist. For some reason. Read: Deadline
It’s the Netflix of UK National Theatre
Following the success of releasing some of its filmed stage productions via YouTube, the National Theatre is launching a new subscription streaming service - National Theatre at Home. The platform will have a mix of archive recordings and access to National Theatre Live shows.
It’ll be available worldwide and launches with some big-name productions:
Phèdre with Helen Mirren
Othello with Adrian Lester
Yerma with Billie Piper
Lucy Kirkwood’s Mosquitoes with Olivia Colman
Inua Ellams’ new version of Chekhov’s Three Sisters.
It’s priced at £9.98 per month / £99.98 per year. Shows can also be rented and watched within a 72-hour window for £5.99 for archive shows and £7.99 for NT Live. The platform will launch on Apple, Google, Roku TV, and Amazon Fire TV services.
It died the way it lived. Not with a bang, but with a whimper. The servers have been turned off. The app just returns errors. And a world is now left to dream of a TV show that had contestants guess what a food was after it was fired at them from a cannon.
Was it a real Quibi show?
You’ll never know for sure…
Song Exploder vol 2 debuts on Netflix Dec 15.
Run The World debuts soon on Starz.
New Amazon Prime Video series Escena en Blanco y Negro debuts Dec 15.
How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding is on Netflix Dec 16.
Home For Christmas (season 2) debuts on Netflix Dec 18.
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