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.
Drew Barrymore's new show. ALSO: Sesame Street deals with opioids
Always Be Watching is written by Dan Barrett under the influence of Sesame Street.
Drew Barrymore is coming (back) to television. It’s surprising that it is only happening now, but she will star in a new daytime TV show. This seems like a perfect fit for the bubbly star.
This is happening at an interesting time. There’s talk that Ellen will probably call it quits after the current run of her contract, so there are a number of high profile daytime shows launching now with the hope of building up enough viewer goodwill that they become the successor to the Ellen show.
Barrymore immediately feels like a force in daytime to be reckoned with.
Truth Be Told is a new 10-episode Apple TV+ series debuting on 6 Dec. It stars Octavia Spencer alongside Aaron Paul and Lizzy Caplan. Paul plays a convicted murderer who may have been falsely imprisoned, in part, due to the reporting of an investigative reporter. What happens when new evidence comes to light?
Today, we have a new trailer for it:
The new Always Be Watching podcast has us talking about new Netflix drama Unbelievable, new CBS drama Evil, and the Netflix comedy feature film Between Two Ferns: The Movie.
I’m not big on competition reality shows, but I was captivated in recent months by US show Holey Moley. Developed by an Australian production team at Eureka Productions, it is a fun, tongue-firmly-in-cheek show built around mini golf. The show has been given the green light for a second season.
Back in the late 80s readers of DC Comics killed Robin.
There was a 4-part storyline which had the then-Robin Jason Todd travelling the world to find his mother. The Joker got involved and part 3 of the storyline had Robin being beaten to death by Joker with a crowbar. A phone number was set up allowing fans to call up and vote whether Robin would live or die. DC readers voted for death. And the Boy Wonder was no more*.
(*Of course, these are comics, so there was a new Robin a few years later and even Jason Todd was brought back to life a good 20 years later).
The TV show Titans, which features Robin as a main character has ended this week’s episode with a cliffhanger that has Robin in peril. DC is asking viewers to vote on whether he should live.
It’s a fun nod to the comic stunt, but it’s worth noting that the episode is well and truly already in the can and that the vote is meaningless. It would be fun for a TV show to end with a vote like that though and let the blood run free.
Yesterday in the newsletter I made mention of Treadstone, the Bourne spin-off series. Word came just after I hit send that the series will be made available via Amazon Prime Video.
Yesterday the 10 Network in Australia held its Upfronts. Worth noting from the event was the announcement of new talent on Masterchef. Replacing the previous hosts are Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong, and Andy Allen. I’ll be honest and say I’m not that familiar with them, but I did briefly meet Melissa Leong once while doing a tour of The Chef’s Line (back when I was working at SBS) and I liked her.
Just briefly on the subject of 10, the most recent episode of the Mediaweek podcast (which has been publishing a bunch of media interviews produced by Mi3 - I’m not sure what the deal is with that) has an interview with 10 CEO Paul Anderson and Chief Content Officer Beverley McGarvey. It’s worth a listen if you’re really into Aus broadcast TV business.
It got me thinking very broadly about 10 and its future. Of any of the Aus FTA broadcasters, it has the potential to be the most interesting due to its CBS ownership. CBS is in huge flux right now, particularly in regards to its digital assets, as it merges its business with Viacom. Once the parent company settles into a cohesive digital strategy, the ramifications on 10 will be huge (I can see huge potential in not only 10 leveraging the CBS/Viacom library of content, but also for 10 content to flow back to the US and internationally via its Pluto TV platform)
Until then, it feels like 10 is just treading water - taking wins where it can.
Viewers of Sesame Street are going to find out what happened to the mother of its Muppet character Karli. She’s in treatment for addiction.
As a teen of the 90s and as a massive nerd, I was very fond of the early 90s X-Men cartoon. The producers of the cartoon are being sued over the striking similarities between the theme song and a theme song from a Hungarian TV show called Linda.