Before we get started: Today Disney will upend a lot of conversation about TV by revealing some concrete details about Disney+, it’s upcoming streaming service. By the end of today, we should know when it will launch, possible pricing, and actual confirmation on launch titles. It is part of a presentation to investors that the company will hold in the US, with the Disney+ information expected at 5pm PT. For Australians, that’s about 10am AEST and 9am for me here in Japan.

Because this newsletter will have gone out by the time the event starts, I won’t have coverage today for you. But tomorrow I hope to run some articles of analysis of the announcement(s).

If you want to see a Gyllenhaal sibling on TV, HBO is the place to do it. Jake joins sister Maggie on HBO, with the actor signing on to star in Lake Success.

Based on Gary Shteyngart's book Lake Success, the drama revolves around Barry Cohen (Gyllenhaal), a narcissistic, self-deluded and hilariously divorced from the real-world hedge fund manager who flees his family, his past and the SEC on a cross-country bus ride in search of his college girlfriend and a last chance at romantic redemption. Meanwhile, back in Manhattan, his brilliant wife Seema struggles to raise their autistic son and begins a tragicomic love affair of her own.  

Shteyngart will adapt his book and co-write the script alongside Tom Spezialy (The Leftovers, Watchmen, Castle Rock). Both will serve as showrunners and will exec produce alongside Gyllenhaal and his Nine Stories banner topper Riva Marker. The series, which is currently in development, will be produced by Endeavor Content and Nine Stories.

Source: Variety

NCIS has been renewed for season 17, with Mark Harmon returning to lead the series. He’s just signed a new contract, with the previous one worth $525,000 per episode. One would assume that the negotiation saw a pay bump.

Source: TV Guide

Amazon series Hanna will return for a second season, while HBO drama Barry has been renewed for its third.

Source: Deadline | Vulture

Game of Thrones star Iain Glenn will be a recurring guest in Titans as Bruce Wayne. One would presume that he won’t be wearing the pointy Batman ears on the show, but who knows - that show makes some bold choices.

Source: Deadline

HBO teen drama Euphoria will debut on June 16.

The story focuses on a group of high school students as they navigate drugs, sex, identity, trauma, social media, love and friendship. The show is an adaptation of an Israeli series of the same name.

Source: Dark Horizons

Hey now - Jeffrey Tambor’s character on Transparent will be killed off in the show’s final episode - the long mooted musical episode.

“We were all in mourning in many ways, and we all had to process together,” Soloway said. “It was important [for the show] to go through all those stages. The show has always been a reflection of who we were, and we were mourning our own narrative.”

Source: Variety

Was this week’s episode the final for The Good Fight’s Rose Leslie? There is spoiler-y speculation in this article, so explore this at your own peril.

Source: TV Line

Why is Netflix launching a magazine? It’s not really for Netflix subscribers or potential subscribers as much as it is a way to get a physical promotional tool into the hands of potential Emmy voters.

It’s also a way to communicate various messages that Netflix want to communicate to the industry, such as why they rely more on the algorithm than expensive promotional campaigns.

Netflix has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in pursuit of Hollywood awards, which help burnish the image of the streaming service’s still-young studio in the eyes of consumers and the entertainment industry. Last year, the company tapped veteran publicist Lisa Taback to oversee its awards operation, and recently hired Krista Smith, an editor from the magazine Vanity Fair, to assist.

“In preparation for a groundbreaking year in film and television, Netflix has gathered some of the most talented and sought after writers and photographers, thinkers and creatives, to make the inaugural issue of Wide, the Netflix print journal,” Netflix wrote in one email.

Source: Bloomberg

The Always Be Watching Podcast

It’s Friday, which means there is a brand new Always Be Watching podcast waiting for you.

Ahead of my Japan trip, I decided to check out Netflix’s Japanese ‘observational documentary’ show Terrace House. During the podcast I also try to explain the mechanics of Jeopardy: World Tour – a game for the Apple TV that lets home viewers play along with classic episodes of the US trivia show.

Meanwhile Chris continues his sick fascination with the offshoot programs of Ricky Gervais by looking at the Karl Pilkington-led Sick of It. And he revels in his music obsessions with the doco The Defiant Ones, about the rise of Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine.

01:58 – Terrace House: Opening New Doors
09:04 – The Defiant Ones
16:39 – Jeopardy: World Tour
22:20 – Sick of It

You can listen to it HERE.

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