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.
‘Lord of the Rings’ Amazon Series Sets Premiere Date, Drops First-Look Image
“The Lord of the Rings” series at Amazon officially has a premiere date. The highly-anticipated epic fantasy series will debut on the streamer on Sept. 2, 2022, with new episodes droppi…

TeeVee Snacks

  • 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 first James Bond board game of this generation turns players into supervillains
SPECTRE: The Board Game arrives in 2022 from Modiphius Entertainment

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:

Alex Kurtzman Inks Mega New Overall Deal With CBS Studios
Alex Kurtzman, the top producer on CBS Studios’ roster and architect of the studio’s Star Trek universe, has closed a massive new nine-figure overall deal there for his Secret Hideout b…

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.”

Read: NYT

The reviews are in...

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.
‘Cooking With Paris’ Shows Us a Familiar, Tiresome Hilton Persona: TV Review
Last year, Paris Hilton appeared in the documentary “This Is Paris,” in which she made the argument that she isn’t the person we see on TV. Her somewhat vapid persona, she said, purpose…

Trailer Park

Small Town News debuts on HBO Max today. I love the look of this show so much - it's a really great trailer.

This new HBO documentary series follows the hilarious, heartwarming people who run a local independent news station in Nevada. Based in the desert town of Pahrump (population 37,000), the privately-owned KPVM now plans to expand to Las Vegas with aims to be accessible to 2.6 million more people.

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.

Explore the world through the hilarious and unpredictable seven-year-old Ellen DeGeneres!

What's next? Tomorrow.