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.
Luke Perry has a stroke! Brooklyn Nine Nine renewed! And Idris Elba's new show!
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett who now has a new podcast.
Before we kick-off today’s newsletter, there are a couple of Always Be Watching-related announcements.
First of all, the newsletter has a new URL. You can now sign-up to it and process any patron subscriptions at abw.substack.com - of course, everything ABW-related will all be at its home www.alwaysbewatching.com
But… much more interesting is this:
ALWAYS BE WATCHING NOW HAS A PODCAST!
For the past 15+ years, Chris Yates and myself (Dan Barrett) have been talking about television. We both love TV and have always watched a lot of it. Our conversations have always started with asking: “What have you been watching?”
Through these conversations over the years, we’ve both tipped each other off to a whole lot of TV that we may have otherwise missed. So, now we’re bringing these conversations to a podcast. Once a week Chris and I are going to share our TV chats with the hope that you may discover some new shows yourself.
Yes, the sound quality on this episode isn’t quite what we were hoping for. It seemed better when we did our tests, but afterwards there was some noticeable room echo. The next time we record, that shouldn’t be a problem. The audio is *fine*, but obviously not what either of us are particularly happy with.
We recorded this and episode 2 back-to-back, so you will hear a similar quality for episode 2. But, from ep 3, it’ll be glorious. We assume.
But now… let us get on with some regular news:
Remember how you felt yesterday about the 90210 revival, which is really a mockumentary with the cast returning to film a revival series? Well, having a worse day than you was former 90210 star Sideshow Luke Perry who suffered a serious stroke.
It’s terrible news to hear about anyone, but I’ve always really liked Luke Perry. He’s always been pretty smart about picking interesting roles post 90210. He’s currently in Riverdale, but I have very fond memories of his time on prison drama Oz.
So far, representatives are not confirming the reason for his hospitalisation.
The Babysitters Club is coming back to TV with a new 10-episode Netflix series. The most incredible aspect of the news is that I learned that series author Ann M Martin is actually a real person. She wrote the first 35 books in the series, with the rest written by ghostwriters.
Storylines of the episodic half-hour will focus on the entrepreneurial girls’ ventures and friendships, maneuvering the launch and success of their business while staving off competition and overcoming various growing pains along the way. Episodes will broach topics from the books such as racism, divorce and belonging while continuing to push the bar and explore relevant issues facing modern day teens.
ER wrapped after 15 years and 331 episodes back in 2009. Today Grey’s Anatomy is set to overtake that as TV’s longest running medical drama with its 332nd episode. Joe Adalian at Vulture explains how the show has gotten as far as it has.
Never mind that ratings for The Walking Dead have dipped dramatically, but AMC are looking to mine the franchise for yet another spin-off series. One would imagine that there is considerable pressure placed on this one to keep the cash cow alive.
The company has “hired creative people that have pitched story outlines. We feel very good about the development of that series,;’ said Ed Carroll, AMC Networks’ chief operating officer, during a conference call with investors Thursday. Executives declined to offer specific details about the new show, which would represent a third series under the “Walking Dead” banner, but Carroll suggested “there’s a healthy appetite for it and we’ve had a number of conversations with a lot of players in the space.”
Each morning Always Be Watching takes a good hour to put the newsletter together (longer today as there was a lot of news to sift through). If you find value in it, please consider a paid subscription to the newsletter. Or in the very least convince some friends to sign-up for the free daily newsletter.
One of the best TV shows you are not watching is a great Irish show called Derry Girls that is now streaming on Netflix. The New Yorker has a great short piece that will hopefully convince you to watch it.
There’s a specific obliviousness that comes from being sixteen, when you’re swept up in anxiety but just lucky enough not to know how unkind the world can be. Derry is a town beset by soldiers, stowaway rebels, and even bombings, but these five teen-agers are busy scheming to get out of a history exam, or trying to get jobs to pay for a school trip to Paris that their families can’t afford. The hilarity lies in their righteous outrage and in the wholesomeness of their shenanigans—devoid of malice, but still spanning the spectrum of adolescent lunacy.
The new Idris Elba show for Netflix about a DJ looking to get his life together now has a trailer ahead of it’s March 15 launch.
LA’s Finest is an upcoming action show spun-off from the Bad Boys films starring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba. Yesterday a stunt went very wrong causing a car to hit the video village (the area set up for people to watch the footage being recorded). Co-showrunner Brandon Sonnier was struck by the car and had to have one of his legs amputated below the knee. Obviously, an investigation is currently underway.
The rise of ad-supported streaming services continues on. Tubi has just signed a deal with NBC Universal to access almost 400 TV show episodes and movies including: Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, The A-Team, Punky Brewster, The Incredible Hulk, Quantum Leap and the original versions of Magnum, P.I., Battlestar Galactica, The Bionic Woman and She-Ra: Princess of Power.
TV vet Bob Greenblatt may soon be running all of WarnerMedia’s TV operations. This would include HBO, it’s upcoming streaming service, and Turner — which includes the cable channels TBS and TNT, as well as Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and TruTV.
Hey - it’s season 5 of the very good show Bosch. It returns on April 19 on Amazon.
If you’re a casual viewer of You’re The Worst, or possibly fell off the show on account of the show not quite delivering what it was for its first two seasons, might I recommend popping back to check out this week’s episode: The Pillars of Creation.
The episode is built as a farewell to three of its supporting characters in the lead-up to the series finale: MRA bro Paul, and married couple Veronon & Becca. The way the characters are finally sent off is pretty incredible and something I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen on television. Even if The Handmaid’s Tale skirted very close.
This is probably the last time you’ll see a trailer for new Arrested Development episodes. The final batch are on Netflix from 15 March. Except, probably in Australia where they seem to be buried on cable TV service Foxtel somewhere.
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.