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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.
Joss Whedon jumps/pushed from HBO's The Nevers
ALSO: Godzilla v Kong dumped to streaming? AND: A radical Mickey Mouse.
Joss Whedon no longer on HBO’s The Nevers
Showrunner Joss Whedon has left his upcoming HBO show The Nevers. Telling are the statements issued by the parties involved:
Joss Whedon: "This year of unprecedented challenges has impacted my life and perspective in ways I could never have imagined, and while developing and producing The Nevers has been a joyful experience, I realize that the level of commitment required moving forward, combined with the physical challenges of making such a huge show during a... wank wank wank wank wank"
HBO: "We have parted ways with Joss Whedon. We remain excited about the future of The Nevers and look forward to its premiere in the summer of 2021."
Pretty blunt. No thanks for his work?
HBO parent company WarnerMedia have spent time recently investigating accusations of Whedon creating a hostile working environment on the set of Justice League. Either the accusations against Whedon have been confirmed - or this is the fallout of back room politicking involving a studio that wants to stay in the Zack Snyder business beyond the upcoming Justice League re-edit/TV series.
Either way - expect more on this story to be revealed.
If you think that the interest lately on Newsmax and OANN are a little bit over-blown, consider this:
Greg Kelly hosts the 7pm show on Newsmax. His show was the biggest beneficiary of the audience migration from Fox News to Newsmax. In the lead-up to election day his show was averaging about 80k viewers each night. His first night back after Biden was projected by news channels as the President-Elect? 800k.
But it’s not quite as simple as saying that viewers are abandoning Fox News:
There’s the usual bout of post-election fatigue - this is especially felt when ‘your guy’ has lost.
Viewers aren’t just jumping ship to Newsmax - they’re also going to CNN. For the past three weeks CNN has beat Fox News in the desired 25-54 demographic.
Ultimately, expect most viewers to eventually return to Fox News - but that doesn’t mean staff at Fox News aren’t a bit freaked out about this period of viewer unrest.
Fox hosts and producers are on edge about the ratings race, a number of staffers told CNN Business. The staffers also said that the competitive dynamic is having an impact on some of Fox's programming choices.
Godzilla vs Kong may be the next big release movie to be dumped out onto streaming. The fourth film in a franchise that has almost zero cultural recognition… outside of HBO Max which already has a financial stake in the film (via parent company WarnerMedia) I cannot see what streamer would be willing to pay the price for this. [Note: Netflix has already turned this down]. Read: THR
After 36 years, Aussie magazine TV Soap is ending this December. Read: TV Tonight
Two years after Bandersnatch was released, Netflix has settled with Chooseco, the company that accused the streamer of violating its copyright. Read: TBI
Polygon takes an exceptionally deep dive into the production of the poker scene from Casino Royale. Read: Polygon
Getting radical with Mickey
Paul Rudish is the creative responsible for the animated shorts you can find streaming now at Disney+ - The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse. He’s interviewed over at Collider and, I’ll admit, I’m now a bit more interested in these shorts than I was previously.
I originally was brought into Disney Television to just do some development and to look into the heritage characters, look into the library and the Disney characters and see if there was something I can put a spin on or develop a show out of some of their properties. And I was actually very interested in Mickey Mouse. My love is the 1930s Mickey Mouse cartoons and it's like, well, if they want to make cartoons, what if we use their most famous cartoon character and make cartoons again?
UK broadcaster Channel 4 is now embracing a streaming-first mentality when it comes to commissioning new productions. That means fewer one-off documentaries and more series to binge.
The plan is to drive more subscriptions to its ad-free subscription streamer All 4.
Director of programmes, Ian Katz, said the approach was likely to result in fewer one-off films and more investment in longer series that younger viewers like to binge on. “In terms of value of your spend, it’s better to commission series … and where we do singles, they’ll have to be higher impact,” he said.
He highlighted specialist factual shows – for example, documentaries that cover topics such as history, science or religion – as programmes that tended to attract older viewers and would be less likely to be commissioned under the new approach.