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.
It's time to buy your Disney-branded face masks
ALSO: Behind the scenes of The Simpsons lawsuit
The Simpsons episode The Great Phatsby was apparently the tipping point for fired composer Alf Clausen. Show EP James L Brooks heard the music on the episode, which was a nod to the Fox show Empire and featured a lot of rap music, and was less than impressed.
In a declaration, Simpsons producer Richard Sakai (the president of Brooks' Gracie Films) states, "Brooks questioned whether Clausen was the right person to prepare rap music and questioned his work more generally."
"Around that time, I learned that Clausen had been delegating some of the work of composing music for The Simpsons to others, including his son Scott Clausen," adds Sakai. "I believed his unauthorized delegation was unacceptable. I called showrunner [Al] Jean and told him that Clausen had been delegating his composing work; he conveyed to me that he was surprised and disturbed as well."
Clausen is currently suing the show for firing him, blaming discrimination.
Speaking of dystopia’s, the new reality game show Don’t, hosted by Adam Scott and produced by Ryan Reynolds, looks like it’s actually going to be pretty fun. It debuts June 11 and a trailer has been released:
One of the winners in the TV industry during this time of COVID-19 has been Discovery. None of its channels have been impacted by the lack of available sports or any other real-world issues. Instead, it has channels that are focused on the exact things viewers are interested in right now: cooking and home renovations.
During moments of national or global crisis, “there tends to be a concentration of viewership around things that people are familiar with, comforted by and trusted,” said Jon Steinlauf, chief U.S. advertising sales officer at Discovery. “HGTV, DIY, Food Network, Cooking Channel and Motor Trend are in this cluster of channels that provide a lot of comfort, optimism, inspiration and useful ideas during these times.”
With Americans sheltering in place, “they’re also looking for things to do with this time that they now have on their hands,” said Steinlauf. Those topics include home projects (both in the house and the yard), cooking and automotive work.
Ramy is one of TV’s smartest, mature, and funny shows and it flies so far under the radar. There’s a reason so many TV critics had season one on their Best of 2019 lists. Season 2 launches on May 29.
It’s a TV series spin-off from Bad Boys - one of the biggest movie franchises of all time. And yet season one of LA’s Finest came and went with barely a whimper. It screens on Spectrum in the US, which is likely why it is so under the radar. Unless a show is on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon, it seems impossible to get any substantial buzz.
Season 2 of the show debuts June 8 with Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba back.
Pluto TV continues to be beefed up. This is the ViacomCBS-owned digital streaming service that replicates linear TV channels with an additional tab that has shows/movies on demand.
I think Pluto TV is great - it’s fantastic for low stakes background TV where there is always something interesting streaming, but nothing so interesting that you need to tune in daily for it. It’s lean back TV in a world where every other service is desperately vying to be a lean-forward solution.
Today it announces the addition of four AMC channels:
Stories By AMC: Stories By AMC will include past seasons of The Walking Dead. In addition, Stories By AMC includes full series of award-winning shows including, Halt and Catch Fire, Hap and Leonard, and Into the Badlands, as well as select seasons of Ride with Norman Reedus and Making of the Mob and also the gritty police drama Low Winter Sun. More series joining the channel in the upcoming months include, Fear the Walking Dead, Preacher, TURN: Washington’s Spies, Comic Book Men, and more.
Slightly Off By IFC: With an acclaimed slate of award-winning comedies, Slightly Off By IFC includes Documentary Now!, brilliant cult favorite Portlandia, Sherman’s Showcase, Brockmire, Comedy Bang! Bang!, and more. More IFC favorites joining the channel in the coming months include Baroness Von Sketch Show, Stan Against Evil and more.
All Reality WE tv: All Reality WE tv boasts a deep library of additive, relationship-focused content. Series at launch include: Kendra On Top, L.A. Hair, Mary Mary, and John Edward Cross Country. Other WE tv series available on the channel includes WE tv classics such as My Fair Wedding, Hustle & Soul, Tamar & Vince and more. Additional WE tv series joining the channel include in the coming months include, Bridezillas, Million Dollar Matchmaker, Cutting It In The ATL, Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual, and more.
The Walking Dead en Español: TV’s biggest series and #1 cable drama for 10 consecutive years has a new, go-to destination for The Walking Dead in Spanish, where fans will be able to watch their favorite series 24/7. The channel includes The Walking Dead and hit series Fear the Walking Dead.
Quibi are posting select free episodes of some of its shows to YouTube. Today is also the last day to download the app to get its free 90 day trial. So if you’re remotely Quibi-curious, today is the day.
It’s interesting - they have uploaded episodes in both landscape and portrait mode.