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.
Hallmark dump Aunt Becky! The Romancing The Stone reunion we've been waiting for! And understanding Apple deals!
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett who is working for the weekend.... so he can watch The Good Fight.
Start off your Friday by downloading the latest Always Be Watching podcast. This week Chris and I are joined by film critic and Program Director of Australia’s SciFi Film Festival Simon Foster to discuss the new Captain Marvel movie. Listen HERE!
WHAT WE WERE WATCHING THIS WEEK: 03:25 Captain Marvel 21:29 Counterpart 30:24 Hollow Man 37:37 Fleabag (Season 2)
On this, the 35th anniversary of Romancing The Stone, Kathleen Turner is joining Michael Douglas’ new show for a guest spot. On The Kominsky Method, she will play his ex-wife and mother of his daughter.
My question: How has Romancing The Stone not been announced for a TV series remake yet?
Hallmark has terminated its relationship with its TV movie star and now-super criminal Lori Loughlin.
“We are saddened by the recent news surrounding the college admissions allegations. We are no longer working with Lori Loughlin and have stopped development of all productions that air on the Crown Media Family Network channels involving Lori Loughlin including ‘Garage Sale Mysteries,’ an independent third party production,” the Hallmark parent company said in a statement.
There’s a new report from Bloomberg about the launch of Apple’s upcoming streaming service (set to be announced in just over a week’s time on March 25). The report is a little bit confusing in talking about the deals Apple are trying to strike and exactly what the services will be offering.
To provide some clarity, I believe the key points to take away from the report is this:
The company is racing to secure movies and TV shows to offer alongside its own original videos and is offering concessions to get deals done by a Friday deadline
I didn’t actually think that Apple would be offering third party shows as part of a library offer. My assumption was always that they were going to offer original series as an enticement for users to regularly use the TV app, which would then (as it does now) aggregate third party app content into the app.
Apparently they are talking to HBO, Showtime and Starz about adding content, which makes it seem to me like the content won’t be all that different from a lot of the content streaming via the Amazon Prime Video platform.
Netflix and Hulu, two major streaming companies, aren’t slated to be part of Apple’s new service because they don’t want to hand over control of their users’ experience or viewing data.
This is different to the above deal - you’re not going to see Netflix or Hulu originals in among other shows. This is about those platforms plugging into the TV app to drive viewership. Without Netflix, especially, the TV app really is going to struggle to get viewers interest.
In the olden days, it used to be the ‘fight for HDMI 1’ - it’s the setting on the TV that viewers click through to the most for content beyond over the air signals. So, it might be your Playstation, or Apple TV, or Roku, etc - viewers would use the same device to stream all of their content. Once you control HDMI 1, you own the platform viewers were using.
The fight now is to control that first-click app that viewers go into to find some TV to watch. Right now, if Apple TV continues to rely on its current interface and the TV app, they’re going to lose the battle. People will still continue to click through to Netflix as their first destination ahead of the TV app.
Remember earlier this week the comments around international TV fans voting in the Australian Logie Awards? Well, an Always Be Watching reader in Thailand gave it a go. With success:
The reader also noted the date given when he received his voting confirmation. One presumes it is a default date in the system.
Netflix has cancelled One Day At a Time. Knowing it had a big PR issue in doing this, it made the unprecedented move of explaining its justification in a 4-tweet post this morning.
Should we take Netflix at its word? How hard did they really try? There are two core considerations here:
Viewership was low
The show was produced by Sony at a time when Netflix is moving all production in-house to cut down on costs.
Its only Emmy nomination was for Pat Barnett in the category Outstanding Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series.
It’ll be an unpopular decision, but I don’t know how hard they really needed to fight for the show. I’ve seen a lot of people online complaining that Netflix didn’t market the show enough, but how much marketing should Netflix really need to do? Sometimes the audience just isn’t there for a show. Sony have plans to shop it around to other networks. Hopefully it finds a home somewhere.
Save the date - HBO will debut its prequel to The Sopranos, ‘Newark’ on Sept 25 2020. The film will debut in cinemas.