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.
New Game of Thrones does it differently
ALSO: Cultist actor Allison Mack gets prison time. AND: Cosby gets released. BUT: History's greatest monster is still Jeremy Piven who gets a podcast.
When the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series House of The Dragon films in the UK, it'll be using a virtual stage. This will enable the production to film in multiple locations from the one soundstage. Translation: No more having to film scenes in multiple countries like they had to with the original series.
V Stage becomes one of the largest virtual production stages in Europe, offering 24,000 sq. ft. of total space. The inside will feature a 7,100-sq.-ft. wraparound virtual production environment, using a matrix of more than 2,600 LED panels integrated with a state-of-the-art processing system. Bespoke to the facility is an additional 5,544 sq. ft. of LED panels with eight sections that work independently of one another.
Cover your ears
I love podcasts. But this new podcast might be where the line is drawn. Shut the medium down. We've had enough.
He will interview stars such as Jamie Foxx, Tiffany Haddish, Common, Mark Cuban and UFC stars Rashad Evans and Jorge Masvidal.
Stop it - it's already dead
Steven Zeitchik at The Washington Post asks if we have already seen the death of the television hit show. Zeitgeist successes like Mare of Easttown only attracted about four million viewers. We have moved into a world of niche programming.
And that is a feature, not a bug:
“If you’re Netflix, it makes a lot more sense to have five small shows that are liked by five different family members than one show that all five family members can watch together,” said a Hollywood agent who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak to the news media. “You’re much less likely to unsubscribe from the service in the first option. There’s always going to be something someone wants.”
The ramifications of this, led largely by streaming and cable, is being felt on broadcast TV where they are producing TV still with a desire to drive large audiences to their 'big tent' TV shows.
The networks still try to sometimes succeed at this, say experts, particularly CBS, which has sitcoms such as “Young Sheldon” and action dramas such as “NCIS.” But by now, broadcast has generally bled too many viewers to pull off viewing events of truly broad scope.
“Sheldon,” for instance, closed its season just two years ago with an average of nearly 15 million viewers but fell to under 10 million viewers this year.Some of broadcast television’s biggest recent phenomena, such as Fox’s “The Masked Singer,” have seen their numbers basically cut in half in 2020-2021.
Nick Offerman will star as the coach in the Amazon series based on A League of Their Own. Read: EW
German cinemas will re-open for the first time in 8 months from July 1. Read: Screendaily
Look for Grand Theft Auto VI in about 2025. Read: Gamespot
Bart Simpson takes on Loki, god of mischief, in a new animated short debuting on Disney+ on July 7. Read: thefutoncritic
It has always bothered me that, as far as I am aware, Phylicia Rashad had never spoken publicly about Bill Cosby. This is a woman who not only appeared alongside him playing his wife through the entire run of The Cosby Show, but she also joined him as his on-screen wife again for a few seasons on follow-up series Cosby.
I appreciate that personal relationships are complicated. Human behaviour is complicated. Legacies are complicated. But... justice was not served here today.
Allison Mack sentenced to three years jail
Smallville actor Allison Mack will spend three years in jail for her part in running sex cult NXIVM.
The 38-year-old actor originally pleaded not guilty to the charges. She changed course in April 2019 when she pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of racketeering. In a tearful speech, Mack revealed to a court that she had kept a “slave” and ordered women to either “perform services for [her]” or face damaging consequences.
"I have come to the conclusion that I must take full responsibility for my conduct and that’s why I am pleading guilty today," Mack said at the time, Complex reported. "I am very sorry for my role in this case. I am very sorry to my family and to the good people I hurt through my misguided adherence to Keith Raniere’s teachings."
The King returns 24/7
An Elvis Presley TV channel streaming nothing but Elvis content 24/7? 2022, you're gonna be alright.
The channel will be available in the US and Canada, with the channel and content distributed across Samsung, Pluto, Roku, Hulu, Amazon, and Tubi.
Cinedigm plans to feature continual Elvis programming with exclusive footage from the Graceland archives, specials and documentaries including Singer Presents…Elvis (the ’68 Comeback Special), Elvis Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite and Elvis by the Presleys. The channel will also tap into the archives of Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and others and highlight iconic locations like Memphis that helped shape rock ‘n’ roll, as well as general music documentaries.
Don't expect to see Star Wars: Detours anytime soon
Before Disney purchased Star Wars from George Lucas, he commissioned a 39-episode animated comedy called Star Wars: Detours. It has never been released. An episode leaked last year and served as a reminder that not everything needs to see the light of day. The Detours in your mind is most likely better than the Detours of reality.
Here's producer Seth Green on the current state of Detours:
Well, there are 39 episodes that were finished for broadcast," notes Green. "But we finished them almost 10 years ago, and so there would have to be a bit of reconfiguring of the existing stuff to make it something that Disney+ would release as a Lucasfilm offering. And the way it's been explained to me is that there hasn't been enough interest high enough up to go through what it would take to put it out, and that there isn't an interest in releasing this content on Disney+ from Lucasfilm.
Sandra Oh series The Chair debuts August 20 on Netflix. The show was written by Amanda Peet.
The L Word: Generation Q debuts its second season August 6 on Showtime.
What's next? Tomorrow.
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