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.
Hellraiser is coming for your TV screen!
ALSO: Kimmy Schmidt gets interactive. AND: Tyler Perry is planning to start making ALL of the television.
Here’s a bonkers story to kick off today’s newsletter. Producer Tyler Perry has been pumping out movies and TV shows at a steady pace over recent years and doesn’t plan to let COVID-19 stop him. He plans to re-open Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta to film multiple shows and movies concurrently with a cast and crew that will be quarantined on the lot for several weeks at a time.
Rapid testing is part of his plan to keep the machine of production moving, but the real secret is the time it takes him to produce his shows. As per Perry, it takes just 2.5 weeks to film an entire 22 episode season.
2.5 weeks… 22 episodes!
That is effectively working at a clip of two episodes filmed a day. Admittedly, the production quality of his TV dramas aren’t particularly high (they film more like a daytime soap opera) and he also shoots a lot of studio-based sitcoms. Regardless, that’s still an incredible amount of TV being produced in an even more incredible short period of time.
WORK ETHIC!! Come on. Let’s go get 2020!!!January 6, 2020
And this is an interesting video I found of Tyler Perry giving a tour of the Tyler Perry Studios compound. It’s kind-of incredible.
David Gordon Green is bringing Hellraiser to television by way of HBO Max. The director, known for shifting frequently between horror and comedies, will produce and direct a few episodes of the new series with writers Mark Verheiden and Michael Dougherty. It won’t reboot the Hellraiser movie franchise, but will embrace the mythology of the films while charting its own course.
The idea is to create an elevated continuation and expansion of the well-established Hellraiser mythology. It is by no means a remake, but rather assumes the past mythology to be a given. The centerpiece remains Pinhead, the pin cushion-headed merciless leader of the Cenobites, the formerly humans-turned-demons that live in an extra-dimensional realm and are activated through a puzzle box called the Lament Configuration. The Cenobites come from hell to harvest human souls and keep balance between good and evil.
Did you know Dolly Parton was an uncredited producer on Buffy: The Vampire Slayer? Legit.
Parton was a co-founder of Sandollar Productions which produced the 1992 movie the TV series rebooted. While I’d be very surprised if Parton ever took a meeting in relation to the show, she certainly would have been a profit participant.
Remember how Black Mirror came along and blew our collective minds with Bandersnatch, the interactive Netflix production. It has taken this long, but we’re seeing more high profile branched storytelling productions coming from Netflix.
Here’s the trailer for May 12’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt choose your own adventure special:
With everyone spending a lot more time at home thanks to the stupid virus, we’re all looking for more and more things to watch. And not all of it is watched through legitimate means.
Piracy is on the rise!
Digital piracy research firm Muso reports of increases over 40%:
Comparing the last seven days of March to the last seven days of February, Muso’s data shows film piracy website visits increased by 41% in the U.S., 43% in the U.K. and 45% in Canada.
Italy and Spain, two of the European countries worst affected by coronavirus and which went into lockdown earlier than most, saw some of the highest increases in digital piracy, with rises of 66% and 50%, respectively.
There are a whole bunch of movies that will bypass cinemas and go straight to digital.
The Judd Apatow/Pete Davison film The King of Staten Island will go to VOD on June 12. Source: Deadline
An American Pickle is a Seth Rogen film that is about a laborer in 1920 who falls into a vat of pickles and is perfectly brined, enabling him to walk out at the same age in 2020. He then meets his great grandson, a computer coder also played by Rogen. It’s based on a true story.
The film will be distributed worldwide via HBO Max later this year. Source: Variety
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (maybe the worst Star Wars film of the bunch) will debut on Disney+ two months earlier than expected. When will it be? May the 4th be with you. Source: Deadline
June 19. That is when the show Love, Victor will debut on Hulu. The show was originally made for Disney+, but was moved to Hulu when it was deemed to be too adult for the family streaming service.
This isn’t exactly unexpected, but HBO Max has announced it will be available via Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV) when it launches. It will also be included as part of Apple Channels, enabling viewers to subscribe directly through Apple and have HBO Max content appear via Apple’s TV app.
The Michelle Obama doco Becoming will debut on Netflix May 6.
“Becoming is an intimate look into the life of former First Lady Michelle Obama during a moment of profound change, not only for her personally but for the country she and her husband served over eight impactful years in the White House. The film offers a rare and up-close look at her life, taking viewers behind the scenes as she embarks on a 34-city tour that highlights the power of community to bridge our divides and the spirit of connection that comes when we openly and honestly share our stories.”
BritBox will add several classic kids television series from ITV’s archives to its service from May 7. Among the titles is the beloved series Press Gang.