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.
Frasier is coming back for a new series. With Niles?
ALSO: Wakanda Forever: The Series. AND: RIP Screech.
Frasier to return in another series. With Niles.
Kelsey Grammer has been working on a new Frasier Craneseries for several years now, reprising the character he’s played through two of TV’s biggest long-running hits - Cheers and Frasier.
*I* had assumed that the plan was dead, with Grammer signing on to star in a new sitcom opposite Alec Baldwin. But apparently not. Instead there’s word today that the new series is being set up for new streaming service Paramount+. And what more - David Hyde-Pierce is in talks to come with him.
Grammer met with a number of writers for the Frasier followup. The series, now in consideration at Paramount+, hailing from Joe Cristalli and Chris Harris, sources said.
Surely the inclusion of David Hyde-Pierce also means Jane Leeves returning as Daphne Moon? Not having her in the show would mean she either died or got divorced from Niles. Both options are incredibly sad and disappointing.
Unlikely TV star Dustin Diamond has died, aged 44. Diamond followed the trajectory of many child stars - after breaking out on the kids comedy series Saved By The Bell and starring in that show, along with several spin-offs (The College Years and The New Class), Diamond struggled to find work as an adult. As a child actor, he was also a bit unique in that he wasn’t famous for being adorable - he was a weird kid. And we all loved him for flying his freak flag.
After the series ended, Mr. Diamond became known for post-stardom troubles, and spoke openly about his struggles finding work.
“The hardest thing about being a child star is giving up your childhood,” Mr. Diamond said in 2013 on “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” While he was working on “Saved by the Bell,” he said, he feared being replaced, saying, “You don’t get a childhood, really.”
After the series ended, he said: “I didn’t really know what I was going to do. It was hard to get work that wasn’t Screech-cloned stuff.”
He added: “I had been working for the last 10 years, every single week and I felt lost. As I mature I realize, wow, I was kind of going through my rebellious teens in my 20s.”
TV legend Allan Burns has died, aged 85. He was one of those great talents that seems to have been there for every iconic TV show at some stage, but please take a moment to consider how instrumental he was in evolving and maturing TV as an artform. He was best known as the co-creator of The Mary Tyler Moore Show alongside James L. Brooks.
Burns started out working for animator Jay Ward onRocky and his Friendsand The Bullwinkle Show, but later went on to write on shows like Get Smart and co-created Rhoda, Lou Grant, The Munsters, and My Mother The Car.
"It's nice to know that some people think The Mary Tyler Moore Show is one of the better shows of all time and that I also did one show that everyone is sure of is the worst," he said in a 2004 chat for The Interviews: An Oral History of Television.
He was also responsible for creating Cap'n Crunch (the cereal mascot, not the cereal itself).
Sitcom writer Ken Levine, whose blog I adore, has written a remembrance of Burns. Levine . Read: By Ken Levine
Allan Burns inspired me to become a TV comedy writer. I owe so much to him. And he wouldn’t even let me pay for lunch. But that’s Allan. He will be forever missed. From now on when you see Mary throw her hat in the air and it freezes, don't watch the hat, read the names on the screen.
RIP Jamie Tarses
Unless you’re deep in the weeds of US network television, you likely don’t know Jamie Tarses by name. But know that she was a hugely influential TV executive who played a role in bringing to the screen many of your favorite shows.
As a comedy programmer at NBC she developed for the network iconic 90s series including Friends, Mad About You, Frasier, NewsRadio, and Caroline in the City.
She became the first woman to serve as head of a network entertainment division when at age 32 she became president of ABC Entertainment (from 1996-99). There she brought to the screen shows including Dharma & Greg,Sports Night, and The Practice.
The gig at ABC didn’t go as well as desired, but she then moved on to a successful career as a TV producer, credited with shows including My Boys, Mad Love, Hawthorne, Mr. Sunshine, Happy Endings, Men at Work, Franklin & Bash, The Wilds, and the upcoming Netflix show The Mysterious Benedict Society.
Neve Campbell will be part of the cast of Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer adaptation. Read: Variety
Netflix has ordered Sonic Prime - an animated series based on Sonic The Hedgehog. Read: Deadline
UK comic Bill Bailey will moderate a comedy debate panel show called Patriot Brains. Filmed in New Zealand, it’ll star NZ and Australian comedians battling it out. It’ll air in TVNZ and SBS VICELAND. Source: TV Tonight
GameStop movies underway
Netflix has a yet-to-be-titled Game Stop film in the works with Mark Boal writing. Read: Deadline
Ben Mezrich is already shopping a book around based on GameStop. Because he’s Ben Mezrich. Mezrich wrote the books that were written to make the screenplay adaptations that became The Social Network and 21. MGM has acquired the book proposal The Antisocial Network. Source: Deadline
Feature film Crazy About Her debuts on Netflix Feb 26.
After spending together the best night of their lives, Adri (Álvaro Cervantes) and Carla (Susana Abaitua) promise not to see each other again. But he can't let go of the girl of his dreams, and finds her at the mental health facility where she lives. Crazy in love, he decides to check in as a patient, hoping to conquer Carla. But, once inside, he finds out that this love story is far from what he expected, and that it won't be that easy to check out.
WandaVision continues on Disney+.
Pacific Rim: The Black debuts on Netflix on March 4.
What’s next? Tomorrow.
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