As you go about your business today, know that you now live in a world where William Shatner, AKA Captain Kirk - pop culture's most-travelled space voyager, has now actually been to space.
You can see video of it on the CNN Twitter feed, but I'd rather spend a few minutes with this:
Foxtel launches streaming news platform Flash
Boy, is this one underwhelming.
It's a new Australian streaming news service that aggregates TV news channels into the one service. Perfect for news junkies. But is it worth the $8 a month to subscribe? That's a really big question to which I'm mostly inclined to say "no" at launch (which is today).
Subscribe to Flash and you get the news channels you'd expect - CNN, Fox News, Sky News Australia, Sky News UK, BBC News, Blooomberg, etc.
The thing to keep in mind is that most news consumers tend to settle on the same 1-2 news sources. So, you're not really paying for 20 news providers - you're paying for the 1-2 that you're likely to access. Is that $8 per month getting you value? That depends heavily on which news services you're interested in.
And you're probably going to be more inclined if you're after news from the conservative-leaning Murdoch news stable.
One of the biggest problems with Flash is that so many of the news channels on offer are already streaming for free. The only value Flash delivers is collating them together in one place. Is that worth eight bucks to you? As I said, most people only watch a few channels anyway and they probably already have the dedicated apps on their devices already. Flash is a product in search of a solution.
Below are all of the launch news services on Flash. I have hyperlinked all the services that are already offering free live streams to viewers. As you can see, there's not a whole lot that isn't already available.
- Al Jazeera
- BBC World News
- Bloomberg TV
- Bloomberg Quicktake
- Channel News Asia
- CNN International
- ET Now
- FOX News Channel
- FOX SPORTS News
- GB News
- NHK World
- Russia Today
- Sky News Australia (Not streaming, but it is free as a broadcast channel in regional Australia)
- Sky News UK
- Sky News Extra
- Sky News Weather
- Times Now
- USA Today
- USA Today SportsWire
- The Wall Street Journal
Users will also be given some fairly simple functionality, such as creating a playlist of favoured news services and choosing news based on categories (ie just showing the entertainment or sports news stories).
A function not available at launch will be FlashPoint, which provides: "every angle of every story and FlashNav, getting straight to the big moments of stories faster".
Missing from the channel offer is much in the way of Australian news. There's news.com.au and Sky News, but nothing beyond those Murdoch-owned news services. There's not even an Australian ABC News 24 to be found.
Also missing is the US CNN and left-opinion service MSNBC (available in Australia on the Fetch TV platform). CNN International simply doesn't have the same appeal as the US version. Sorry, Richard Quest.
If this floats your boat, you can sign up at https://www.flashnews.com.au/
Forbrydelsen, or as it is known to western audiences, The Killing, completely changed television. Its success opened the door to the proliferation of Nordic Noir shows on television, it influenced crime TV shows, and opened the door for foreign language TV shows to be more broadly consumed.
Yet, somehow, the series has never been broadcast on US TV. That changes now with boutique streamer Topic gaining the rights to it.
- Netflix has given the green light to You for a fourth season (ahead of the season 3 launch). Read: Variety
- Ongoing heart issues have forced Robert Webb to bow out of UK reality celebrity dance show Strictly Come Dancing. Read: Radio Times
- Apple TV+ has given the green light to Shrinking, a new 10-part comedy from Jason Segel who will write and star in the show. Read: thefutoncritic
- Hollywood union IATSE will be on strike from Monday if an agreement cannot be struck with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). IATSE represents 60,000 tradespeople. If they go on strike, Hollywood is shut down. Read: LA Times
- Tom Fussell has been announced as the CEO of BBC Studios. Read: Deadline
Surprise David Fincher doco series
It was a bigger surprise than finding the goop head in the Seven box. Yesterday Netflix announced that director David Fincher had a project that would be announced today.
And then today they announced a new David Fincher project. It's not the desired third season of Mindhunter. Instead it is a series of video essays on cinema.
To call it a Fincher project, however, seems like a slight misnomer. Drew McWeeny is working on the project and the way he is talking about it, it sounds like the project originated with director David Prior, but Fincher came on board to work on it and was the one responsible for bringing it to Netflix. Here's McWeeny:
That teaser trailer really only gives you a hint of the tone of what we’re doing, but I can tell you that this is a series of stand-alone video essays about movies. We’re not trying to sell you anything, and we’re not interviewing anyone about what Marvel movies they’re doing. We’re each tackling a totally different idea, something that intrigues us or upsets us or that has to do with our connection to the movies. Each one runs between 10 and 30 minutes, and they were produced with the full support and involvement of Fincher and David Prior, who you may know as the director of The Empty Man.
Season 11 of Curb Your Enthusiasm debuts Oct 24.
November 24 delivers the second season of the Saved By The Bell reboot.
Dickinson returns for its third and final season Nov 5.
The Beatles Get Back debuts Nov 25 on Disney+.
Harriet The Spy debuts Nov 19 on Apple TV+.
The final batch of Money Heist episodes debuts Dec 3 on Netflix.
Ahead of the live-action Cowboy Bebop series, Netflix is releasing the original anime series on Oct 21.
Here's the first four minutes of HBO Max comedy Aquaman: King of Atlantis. It debuts Oct 14.
What's next? Tomorrow.