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.
Late Night hosts broadcast from their homes. Kinda.
ALSO: The BBC step up efforts to provide value to Brits in a time of crisis.
The US late night shows have all gone dark with production shuttered on their shows. Stephen Colbert kicked off a trend of producing short 10 minute monologues/skits that are airing before repeats of episodes (replacing the topical monologues at the top of the show). Now the two Jimmys are doing something similar.
And frankly, I really hate these segments. I fucking hate them.
I don’t know about you, but I’m honestly a bit freaked out right now. COVID-19 is a concern, yes. But I’m thinking about the fall-out from this. It’s entirely likely that we’re going to be tidying up the financial and social consequence of this for years and that’s deeply upsetting to me as a person who had plans for the next few years. Watching these late night show hosts producing crappy versions of their monologues just amplifies my worry.
The message needs to be that we’re making adjustments to our lives, but that there is a sense of normalcy that can continue. Consistency is actually the point of late night shows. Late night talk show hosts producing segments with worse production quality than the worst YouTube videos isn’t a sign that there’s any normalcy left in the world.
In Australia Palace Cinemas have shut down. So far the other cinema chains haven’t made any similar announcements.
Oh, and TV show Neighbours has also shut down until, at least, next Monday. That seems… optimistic.
The BBC is really delivering with a service that I think a lot of people will find value in. There are a lot of church goers who can’t attend their weekly service, so the BBC will be broadcasting a ‘virtual church service’ on BBC Radio channels and, it is hoped, on TV channel BBC One. There are efforts being made to expand the scope of this with other religions and denominations.
BBC Director-General Tony Hall:
“We all know these are challenging times for each and every one of us. As the national broadcaster, the BBC has a special role to play at this time of national need.
We need to pull together to get through this. That’s why the BBC will be using all of its resources – channels, stations and output – to help keep the nation informed, educated and entertained. We are making a series of changes to our output to achieve that.
We will continue to deliver all the essential news and information – with special programming and content.”
Quibi, which is a new mobile-only streaming service that serves quick bite videos (quick bites…. qu bi… Quibi…. ugh), launches in the US on April 6. Today it has debuted the trailer for a new reality show that actually has my attention.
It’s called Murder House Flip. It’s a legitimate reality show that has people renovating the homes of houses involved with grizzly murders.
Fox News is making a return to Twitter after leaving the platform a couple of years ago. Source: Variety
But why? Part of the decision is likely for promotional considerations. Tied in with the need for news/info about the coronavirus (despite many of its top name presenters actively denying the size/scope of the corona threat), Fox News in the US is now being offered to cable companies to offer customers regardless of what plans they have. Fox News will also stream for free via the various Fox News apps and website. Source: Deadline
The third and now final season of Vida debuts on April 26. It screens on Starz in the US and in Australia on Stan.
The Eurovision Song Contest has been cancelled in 2020. It is news that will surprise no one at this stage and it seems redundant to even explain why this is happening.
With two staffers testing positive ViacomCBS is temporarily is moving New York operations out of its Broadcast Center facility. In an interesting move, this means the CBS breakfast show This Morning will move production into the Ed Sullivan Theatre which is usually home to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Staff from The Late Show will continue on working in the building to provide technical operations.