The Netflix ad-tier is rolling out today to 9 countries that are getting the cheaper tier. Jay Peters at The Verge writes about the experience of watching Netflix with ads - what is interesting is the lack of consistency to how many ads are served and when. Sometimes you get multiple midroll ads, sometimes just one, othertimes none.
I was also curious to see how Netflix would handle the issue of titles that they can't offer on the ad-tier due to licensing issues. I had just assumed that they wouldn't be visible at all. But no - you can see that the titles are there - they just have a padlock logo showing you that it is a title you can't access. A good customer experience? I'm in two minds. It's nice to know what you are missing, but it is also frustrating to see a title you cannot access.
You can read more at The Verge. Anslo, as per The Streamable, the ad tier is not yet available on Apple TV.
Hello? Is it me you're looking for (Andor)?
So much attention was given this year to the battle for attention between the similar Lord of The Rings and Game of Thrones prequel shows. Both were huge budget and highly anticipated IP driven shows. But quietly in the background came the oddly low profile Star Wars show Andor.
Is Andor the best example of genre storytelling on TV this year? I say yes and The Ringer's Alison Herman is equally high on what I reckon is an exceptionally good series.
The strength of the show is its complete pivot from what we have seen of Star Wars in the past. There are no grand heroics here - just real people caught up in bureaucratic systems at the dawn of an outbreak of rebellion.
On both sides of the Rebellion, Andor is a show that refutes individual exceptionalism. Instead, it embraces the seeming mundanity of middle management: the corporate contractors who do the Empire’s dirty work; the bureaucrats who staff its administrative state; the bankers who handle the money it takes to fund an insurgency.
Its villains have wives, children, and nagging parents; its heroes display an occasional indifference to human suffering in pursuit of their cause. The effect isn’t to obfuscate right and wrong, but to illustrate the banality of evil and the zealotry of revolution. Everybody is trying to make it through the day. Nobody deals in absolutes, let alone uses the Force.
Oh, and speaking of Star Wars, The Mandalorian is expected back Feb 22 in 2023. Read: Dark Horizons
- WandaVision casting news is coming in thick and fast today. Some lesser-known names like Maria Dizzia and Ali Ahn cast (Read: Deadline) along with the big name Aubrey Plaza, who is believed to be playing a villain. Read: Variety
- Theo James, fresh from a revealing performance on White Lotus season 2, will star in Guy Ritchie's The Gentlemen series for Netflix. Read: TV Insider
- David Letterman visited Kyiv to interview Zolensky for an upcoming episode of My Guest Needs No Introduction. Read: THR
- The Sandman has been renewd for season 2 by Netflix. Read: TV Insider
- The Day of The Jackal is set for another adaptation, this time by way of Sky and Peacock. Read: Indiewire
- People realise what they had when it's gone - viewership of Call Me Kat spiked 28% after the death of series regular Leslie Jordan. Read: Variety
- Jake Tapper is set to return to his CNN afternoons slot after a stint hosting the primetime 9pm hour (a timeslot he apparently wasn't super keen to take on). Read: Variety Hmmm.... if only there was a host on the market that had a similar middle of the road, inoffensive newsman quality...
- Former Fox News news guy Shep Smith is now also a former CNBC news guy following the cancellation of his show on the business news channel, which wants to pivot back to just being business news. Read: Variety
- The future of Sesame Workshop isn't with HBO Max. And it may not even necessarily be with Sesame Street. The company is looking to embrace a future multi-platform world. Read: THR
- Tuca and Bertie, a show that insists it has an audience, has been cancelled for a second time by its post-Netflix home at Adult Swim. Read: LA Times
- Want to see some behind the scenes photos from Jeopardy! with a contestants POV? See: TV Insider
Emma Corrin & Jack O'Connell star in the film Lady Chatterley's Lover, debuting Dec 2 on Netflix.
Jennifer Lawrence and Brian Tyree Henry star in the film Causeway, debuting on Apple TV+ today.
Who's a Good Boy is a film that debuts on Netflix Nov 23.
Justin Hartley stars in Netflix movie The Noel Diary, which debuts Nov 24.
Troll, yet another Netflix movie... remember when they had TV shows too?... debuts Dec 1.
That's it for this Friday edition of Always Be Watching. It'll be back next with a Monday edition. But between now and then, there will be the weekly Always Be Streaming newsletter and an episode of the Screen Watching podcast.