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.
First look: Amazon's Lord of The Rings series
In just over a year, nerds will again have Rings fever!
September 2, 2022. That is when you'll be able to press play on the brand new Lord of The Rings TV series on Amazon Prime Video.
The streamer today revealed the launch date for the hugely expensive new series, which finished filming its first season in New Zealand yesterday.
Little is known about the plot of the series to date, including its official title, but it is known that it will take place during the so-called Second Age, thousands of years prior to the events of both “The Lord of the Rings” books and “The Hobbit.” The series follows an ensemble cast of characters, both familiar and new, as they confront the long-feared re-emergence of evil to Middle-earth.
Reese Witherspoon sold her production company Hello Sunshine for $900 million. Read: Variety
The Mighty Ducks: Game Changers has been renewed for a second season on Disney+. Read: Deadline
Facebook users with hacked accounts are buying $299 Occulus devices as a work-around to being able to again access their accounts. Read: NPR
Amazon Prime Video will soon be available on Foxtel set-top boxes. Read: World Screen
Foxtel has also announced the launch of new channel Fox Docos on Sept 1. ABW understands that the new documentary focused channel will replace Foxtel Arts. Read: Mediaweek
It's a James Bond board game
Maybe something to put aside as a Christmas gift idea. SPECTRE: The Board Game switches perspectives and allows you to play as the bad guy. So, I guess, if you win James Bond and the world at large loses?
The value of running Star Trek is $150 million
TV producer Alex Kurtzman has been in charge of the Star Trek TV shows for the past couple of years. A recent re-negotiation will keep his company, Secret Hideout, at ViacomCBS for another five years at a pricey $150 million. The deal stretches beyond Star Trek productions, but currently Kurtzman and his team oversee five different Star Trek series with more on the horizon. It is ViacomCBS building it's own Marvel-level franchise machine.
For details on the deal:
Timed with the announcement of the deal is a quasi-feature about Kurtzman at the New York Times. The article is half feature about Kurtzman and half geared around the future of streamer Paramount+ (where Star Trek already factors heavily into its ongoing success and will continue to do so).
“If it were up to me only, I would be pushing the boundaries much further than I think most people would want,” he said. “I think we might get there. Marvel has actually proven that you can. But you have to build a certain foundation in order to get there and we’re still building our foundation.”
This week Netflix launches Cooking With Paris, a cooking show starring the great talent Paris Hilton.
Here's Variety's Daniel D'Addario:
The problem, for Hilton, is that “Cooking With Paris” is a disaster — an utterly unappealing sit that many viewers will tune out before the first episode has ended. I have no reason to disbelieve Hilton that when she is on-camera, exhibiting an incuriosity that’s breathtaking in its extremity, she’s putting on a performance. But does it matter? Paris Hilton may not actually float in a sea of assured entitlement, the way “Paris” does on Netflix. But she is, if nothing else, the one who thinks this act is funny, rather than bone-tired.
Small Town News debuts on HBO Max today. I love the look of this show so much - it's a really great trailer.
Making It Australia (the local adaptation of the very charming Making It) debuts on 10 later this year.
Season 2 of Short Circuit Experimental Films debuts August 4 on Disney+.
Little Ellen debuts on HBO Max later this year.
What's next? Tomorrow.
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