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.
Netflix reveals some numbers! The fake YouTube/TikTok wedding! John Cusack signs for TV!
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett and is today produced out of the home office in Tokyo.
Netflix are trialing a category on UK users screens that will show them the top 10 shows trending on Netflix. Ultimately, it’s a self-fulfilling list as viewers will start to migrate towards the more popular shows. What it also does is strips away part of the appeal of Netflix, which is the idea of a vast content library that will deliver you personalised recommendations according to individual users tastes.
The streamer also announced viewing figures for recent big tier programming:
Triple Frontier - 45 million
The Umbrella Academy - 52 million
The Highwaymen - 40 million
Fyre - 20 million
For the purposes of this, a view is considered to having watched 70% of it. In the case of a TV show, that’s 70% of a single episode and not the series run.
Why is Netflix revealing this data and playing around with top 10 lists? It’s a way to show the market the cultural importance of Netflix - that it is part of all of our viewing experience now. After the Disney+ announcement last week, Netflix stock took a battering. Obviously, there’s a world that exists in which Netflix will remain being huge when up against Disney. But what happens when you start adding in Warners new service (with a supercharged HBO), Apple TV, a beefed up Amazon Prime, etc.
15 year-old Musical.ly/TikTok star Danielle Cohn married fellow YouTube star Mikey Tua and announced that she was pregnant with his child. Only, they didn’t really marry (it was a commitment ceremony) and she isn’t really pregnant - well, probably not. Anyway, fans are upset.
Here’s your first look at The Loudest Voice - the TV series based on the book about Roger Ailes.
One of my favourite comic book series Y: The Last Man is finally, after several bumpy starts, being adapted to the screen. Yesterday came news that the series had been cancelled, but not so - it’s just that pilot producers Aida Mashaka Croal and Michael Green have been moved on from running the series. A new showrunner is currently being sought. It is unknown whether the pilot will be re-shot or retooled.
The series is about the all-female society that rebuilds after every man is wiped out (instantly) from a virus of some sort. Yorrick, the last man on earth, goes on a quest to find out what happened while witnessing the various forms of societal structures that are built when an entire gender of people are wiped away.
US cable channel VICELAND did a curious thing this year. It launched a 2-hour live TV show with panelists discussing the days events, along with recurring segments and the like. Of course, because it was VICELAND, everyone on the show were very VICELAND-y: so cool and hip.
In the same way that younger people are generally not watching broadcast in the numbers that they once did, it also appears that young people aren’t actually interested in watching a show like this for two hours every night. VICELAND has cancelled the VICE LIVE.