How culpable is the production team in the recent suicide of Terrace House star Hana Kimura? Questions are now being asked about the Netflix show…

It’s common knowledge that reality shows are heavily produced and edited to create narratives and drama, but many fans believed that the artfully banal “Terrace House” was realer than most. The interactions between the roommates could be endearingly halting and clumsy, and long stretches of time might pass in which hardly anything happened. Both Fuji TV and the show’s “gossip panel” of celebrities, who provided running commentary on the action in the house from a separate studio, repeatedly claimed that there was “no script at all.”

While some former cast members stand behind “Terrace House” as an honest, transparent look into their time and experience in the house, others say that the show was just as manipulated as its crasser reality TV cousins. In interviews, they said Fuji TV staff extensively consulted with participants about their feelings, and told them to have certain conversations or take certain action. They said staff interventions resulted in dates, arguments and some of the show’s most iconic scenes.

Read more: New York Times

The death of Hana Kimura, a cast member in “Terrace House: Tokyo,” brought an end to the hit reality show and provoked a national reckoning with online hatred in Japan.

Black Is King is the new visual album from Beyonce debuting on Disney+ (and thematically tied to the live-action The Lion King). It debuts July 31.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t be as enthused as I am about a TV show based on the VHS classic Chucky series of films. But… Channel Zero showrunner Nick Antosca is involved in producing this, which gives it huge cred. If you haven’t seen Channel Zero, it’s an artful and genuinely scary horror TV series. Antosca also produced the very good drama last year The Act.

Chucky returns in 2021.

USA Network drama Briarpatch has been cancelled by the network after just one season. The show was a bit interesting in that it was exec-produced by Mr Robot’s Sam Esmail and created/showrun by former TV critic Andy Greenwald.

The show starred Rosario Dawson investigating the death of her sister in a town overrun by animals who escaped a local zoo.

Explosive news story from ABC News 24 over the weekend.

Right now Hollywood is trying to find a way to resume production. This is especially an issue for TV productions with the pipeline already starting to dry up. Some productions have already started moving out of the US and a likely destination is going to be Australia. This is being helped along with financial incentives by the Australian government.

The Location Incentive adds to the already existing Location Offset grant.

Government modelling suggests the $400 million would attract about $3 billion in foreign expenditure in Australia and would create 8000 new jobs over the seven years of the new program.

Australia has been an attractive overseas destination for some time (we have talented professionals working locally and the production facilities in place to handle major Hollywood films & TV shows).

Source: SMH

Always Be Watching paid subscribers over the weekend were emailed my first look at the new US-only streaming service Peacock. I’ve removed it from the archives.

It’s an interesting platform as it is free, ad-supported, and has a significant linear streaming component. Peacock may be US-only, but there’s a lot of lessons international TV networks can learn from it as they beef up their own streaming products.

What’s next?