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.
Grease: The TV show. ALSO: Succession talk. AND: Apple TV+ greenlight season 2's.
Always Be Watching is written by Dan Barrett who is hopelessly devoted to you...
Grease is the word for streamer HBO Max which just commissioned a spin-off TV show Rydell High.
Set in the 1950s, Grease: Rydell High will combine new and familiar characters from the franchise, and it will feature new original songs alongside big musical numbers from the era. The official description teases that the show will also touch on "the peer pressures of high school, the horrors of puberty, and the rollercoaster of life in middle America with a modern sensibility."
Reviews for HBO drama Watchmen, which debuts this coming Sunday, have largely been positive. Complex has a wrap of prominent reviews on its site. I’m still yet to see it, but following an incredible run on his HBO drama The Leftovers, I am more than willing to put blind faith in Damon Lindeloff. His output has never been anything less than interesting.
Filming is set to resume on prison drama Wentworth. Two more seasons will be filmed back-to-back, delivering 20 episodes. The final run of the show, its 9th season, will air in 2021.
Four Disney+ shows have been greenlit for second seasons already (which they need to be in order to start production to have content in year 2.
Home Before Dark
Dickinson is already in production on season 2. Worth noting is that The Morning Show (AKA Morning Wars for Aussie viewers who won’t ever call the show that) was commissioned for 2 seasons from the very start.
Viacom has quickly hosed down rumours that it was launching a conservative news network on its streaming service Pluto TV. Within hours of the news that Shari Redstone was meeting with the White House and had a plan to hire former Fox News staff like Megyn Kelly, Viacom released this statement:
“Viacom has no intention of launching a TV news channel, conservative or otherwise,” a Viacom spokesman said. A spokeswoman for Shari Redstone also denied that a channel was under consideration.
Launching a conservative news network on Pluto TV isn’t a terrible idea:
Pros - Pluto TV emulates a traditional cable TV experience really well, making it ideal to attract older viewers (a demo which tends to lean more conservative). Cons - Viacom already holds the respected CBS News which also runs digital streaming news service CBSN.
Speaking of Megyn Kelly and conservative news, the new film Bombshell, which looks at the sexual harassment and workplace harassment scandal that engulfed Fox News and its former chairman Roger Ailes, has a trailer that has dropped today. Charlize Theron stars as Megyn Kelly while Nicole Kidman is Gretchen Carlson. Margot Robbie also stars in the film as a composite character.
Succession talk isn’t quite as dominant as Game of Thrones talk was. but it’s a show that is over-indexing on people talking about it vs the number of people actually watching it. The thing to understand: the audience that latched into Succession LOVE the show. I’m also one of these people.
The season finale aired earlier this week with an episode that tied together multiple plots and character narrative journeys and wrapped an explosive bow around it. It was great TV and writer/creator Jesse Armstrong has spoken about the finale with culture writer Noel Murray.
I’ve grabbed one of the few spoiler-free quotes from the article.
We’ve also never said anything like, “Ugh, we’ve made this person so bad, we need to find a redeeming quality.” I think if there is such a balance, that’s only because, I would remind you, there’s also one in life. We have characteristics we’re born with, that are molded by the lives we live. And so to have a psychologically engaged show, our view of human nature is that it doesn’t come from nowhere, it comes from somewhere. So we naturally end up portraying that.