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.
Lorena Bobbit! Jay Sherman! Zack Snyder! It's an all-star newsletter!
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett, but may as well also have been worked on by Gary Busey with this calibre of star.
As a TV watching community, we simply do not talk often enough about 90s animated show The Critic. It was not properly appreciated when it launched in January 1994 (25 years ago) and as such we now only remember it for its weird crossover episode in The Simpsons. Vulture today has a retrospective on the series, with co-creator Al Jean citing his 5 favourite episodes.
The Critic is also responsible for what is one of the classiest dirty jokes I’ve seen on US TV.
With a mix of subscription and ad-supported models, three tiers of content…. it sounds like the WarnerMedia streaming service will be a mess. I cannot help but think of the difficulty consumers had with Australian SVOD product Presto, which had a confusing two-tier service with a movie and a TV offer. It was overly-expensive, confusing for customers, and died a very quiet death.
Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss have finished writing their BBC-Netflix Dracula adaptation. There will likely be rewrites too. But, this does suggest production is not far away now.
Zack Snyder is getting back into the movie game again with a new film for Netflix. I always quite liked his Dawn of The Dead remake.
New CBS procedural The FBI is one of the few success stories on US broadcast TV this past year. So, very quickly the network has given the greenlight to a backdoor pilot for a spin-off series - The FBI: Most Wanted.
It would follow the division of the FBI tasked with tracking and capturing the notorious criminals on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. It will air as a planted spinoff episode, or backdoor pilot, of “FBI” that will be broadcast in spring 2019. The project has received a series commitment from the network.
When I first bought a Nintendo Wii, I remember watching the intro video on my screen, combined with looking at the Wii store and thinking that there was no reason why television couldn’t be streamed to connected devices like the Wii in the future. It was a profound realisation for me that was realised a few years later when Netflix started streaming.
So, it’s a bit sad today to mark the closure of Nintendo’s Wii Shop, which was apparently still trading until now. Polygon has taken a look back at the service.
RIP Nintendo Shop Channel Dec 10 2006 - Jan 30 2019
Extreme cold weather conditions in Chicago has forced Fox to halt production on two of its shows that film there - Empire and the upcoming Proven Innocent.
You’re going to be hearing a whole lot about Lorena Bobbit in the coming weeks with the new Amazon documentary series about Bobbit ready to launch. Episodes of the series have just been screened at Sundance and the advance word is that it is quite good. NYT has this profile piece about Bobbit, which is rather good. It looks like Bobbit is about to experience a radical public narrative shift. She never really deserved to be the target of so many d-ck jokes back in the day.
I missed this clip, with it dropping on 1 January. But here’s a look at the upcoming War of The Worlds TV series.
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