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.
Jason Biggs finished with the pie. Fox viewers are next.
ALSO: Probably an apology from me for that headline.
Cherries gone wild
Starting Feb 14 on the US Fox network, Jason Biggs will host a weekly half-hour game show which delivers two of America’s most beloved past-times: slot machines and corporate branding synergies.
The new show, Cherries Wild, is not-so-covertly sponsored content that will sell the Pepsi Wild Cherry fizzy beverage. Viewers will also be encouraged to use the Pepsi app to play games at home where prizes are also up for grabs.
There will be nods to Pepsi within the program. Each show will have a “Pepsi Wild Moment,” during which the slot machine appears to “go haywire,” says Kaplan, and will serve as a prod for viewers to play at home.
Welcome to the future of broadcast TV entertainment.
For the first time in 37 years, US beer company Budweiser aren’t running an ad during the Super Bowl. Instead, the company will spend that money on a digital campaign… ah… ahem…. what I mean to say is that the company are spending that money on digital awareness of their socially responsible endeavors.
In the week leading up to Super Bowl LV, Budweiser plans to run its Super Bowl ad digitally. The spot focuses on resilient Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, including a group of health-care workers who were the first to receive the vaccine. Actress Rashida Jones, known for her roles in “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” will narrate the spot.
The beer brand also plans to donate a percentage of its advertising airtime for 2021 to the Ad Council and Covid Collaborative’s Vaccine Education Initiative. Budweiser will support its efforts with additional campaigns throughout the year.
While the Super Bowl advertisements get eyeballs, for legacy brands the only real benefit of a Super Bowl ad is more as a calling card for the creatives making the spot and less for the purpose of increasing sales of Doritos. It is not a coincidence this year that Budweiser aren’t advertising in the Super Bowl, along with both Pepsi and Coca-Cola.
Instead they will all run digital campaigns during the time of the Super Bowl. It’s almost as though not running the spot is the Super Bowl ad itself… And that’s a heck of a lot cheaper.
This recent Budweiser Super Bowl ad hit me right in the feels:
NBC has renewed The Blacklist for a ninth season. Source: thefutoncritic
Apple series Tehran has been greenlit for a second season. Read: THR
All 250 episodes of Modern Family will debut on Hulu and Peacock on Feb 3. Read: TV Insider
2/3 of customers who got a free Disney+ subscription through Verizon have stuck with the service. Read: The Streamable
Netflix has purchased the global rights to German Oscar contender And Tomorrow the Entire World. Source: Deadline
No Richard Lewis in Curb season 11
Don’t expect to see Richard Lewis making any appearances in the next season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. No, this isn’t a Mocha Joe-related allegiance declaration - Richard Lewis has been undergoing multiple surgeries this past year.
The rise in factual
With more streaming services around and a lot of viewers stuck at home thanks to the stupid virus, there has been a rise in the volume of factual TV series produced. Mark Layton at TBI has interviewed factual producers about the increase in demand:
Seguin also notes the different content requirements of streamers played a big role in landing wider sales: “Overall, traditional broadcasters seem to play it safe and acquire the same genre as they always do, in any given territories, while platforms are generally more open and often consider history and science. It’s really the niche VOD services focusing on documentary and factual only which drove the demand, regardless of genre or type of programs. We had it all, from history, arts and culture to science, military crime, discovery, sports.”
Missing Lorelai and Rory? Plug that empty Gilmore Girls-sized hole in your heart with Ginny and Georgia, debuting on Netflix on Feb 24.
Hoping for a fresh start, teenager Ginny and her mother, Georgia, settle in a new town. But the secrets in Georgia's past may jeopardize their future.
Raya and The Last Dragon debuts on Disney+ Premium Access (ie. Disney want you to pay extra for it, like with Mulan) on March 5.
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel debuts on Feb 10.
From housing serial killers to untimely deaths, the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles is known to many as LA's deadliest hotel. The latest chapter in the Cecil's dark history involves the mysterious disappearance of college student Elisa Lam.
There is no ‘I‘ in Threesome debuts on HBO Max on Feb 11.
There is No “I” In Threesome follows Ollie and Zoe, a newly engaged couple who agree to try out an open relationship.
Black Lightning returns to The CW for season 4 on Feb 8.
What’s next? Tomorrow.
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