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 TV from the GLOW team
ALSO: BBC3 returns to TV. AND: The Emmys set a date.
The GLOW creators have a new Apple TV+ show
Fresh from their show being cancelled by Netflix, the team behind GLOW (Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch) have a new project set up for Apple TV+ - Roar. It’s based on Cecilia Ahern’s book of the same name. It’ll be an anthology series telling feminist fables.
The cast of the show is impressive with episodes starring Nicole Kidman, Cynthia Erivo, Merrit Wever, and Alison Brie.
BBC’s on again / off again relationship with TV channel BBC3 is back on again. The UK channel transitioned to running as a digital-only channel on the BBCiPlayer streaming service, stripped of its linear broadcast. Now, it’ll rejoin kids channel CBBC with BBC3 content airing from 7pm through to 4am each day.
BBC3 content has yielded some of the biggest BBC hits in recent years, such as Normal People and Fleabag. With the return to the airwaves, the BBC will double its content spend to £80 million (which is still down on what it was spending when the channel moved digital-only).
Roger Mosey, a former head of television news and editorial director at the BBC, said on Twitter that the decision was “probably (just about) right. But there’s an argument that it was scrapped at the wrong time and revived at the wrong time. The drift away from linear channels is becoming a surge now.”
He added in an interview: “It was too early to kill the channel when they did it – there was still a lot of life in linear. But for all the illogicalities, a channel gives you a focus for commissioning and allows you to serve that demographic better.” He suggested that crossover hits like Killing Eve should have been commissioned by BBC One in the first place.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek appeared at a virtual investment conference hosted by Morgan Stanley where he offered a state of the union on all things Disney.
On movie theatrical releases, he indicated that Disney was open to a reduced theatrical exclusivity window:
“I think the consumer is probably more impatient than they’ve ever been before. Particularly since now, they’ve had the luxury of an entire year of getting titles at home, pretty much when they want them. And so I’m not sure there’s going back,”
On this, I note as I often do, that reducing the theatrical window is a smart move in terms of the long-term business of movies. There’s a technology shift underway which is going to lead to the big screen cinema experience being made largely redundant - home TV screens continue to get much bigger and we’re on the cusp of AR/VR home viewing going mainstream. It’s time to start breaking the cinema owners stranglehold on that exclusivity period.
On the just-launched streaming service Star:
In terms of their recently released Star brand, “overall strategy is to make sure that content for Star is rooted in properties and content that we own, as opposed to third party properties.” This is why Chapek says the plan is for Star to have 50 original series on the service by 2024.
And on future sports negotiations, the streaming service ESPN+ will play a key role:
“We won’t contemplate rights deals going forward, that don’t envision ESPN+ being a major player in the use of those rights. And whenever we get into any kind of rights negotiations with ESPN+, we are making sure that yes, with our rights holders, we’re making sure that+ Plus is going to be a really big part of that, in terms of our flexibility, because as the consumer flexes once again, we want to be able to flex with him.”
Superman and Lois has been renewed for a second season ahead of the broadcast of its second episode. Read: TVLine
Tenet will finally debut in New York cinemas this week. Read: Deadline
Bill Nye (the science guy) will host The End is Nye for Peacock - the show is about earth ending events and will be directed by Brannon Braga. Read: Deadline
Degrassi: The Next Generation actor Jahmil French has died at the age of 29. Read: TVLine
Lip sync artist Sarah Cooper will front a single camera comedy for CBS. If it’s anything like her pre-existing body of work, I’m sure that it’ll be hilarious. Read: THR
It’s time to start thinking about the Emmys
With the Golden Globes done and dusted for another year, Hollywood’s awards machinery will make its next stop over at the Oscars before barreling towards the Emmy Awards. Today it was announced that this year’s event, The 73rd Emmy Awards, will screen on September 23 on CBS in the US and stream via Paramount+.
What is not known is whether this means that the event will be streamed everywhere that Paramount+ will be available by then, or if ViacomCBS will only stream it for the US. In fact, there’s a lot we don’t know about how much investment ViacomCBS is putting into the international arm of its streaming service as it takes the platform global. Always Be Watching notes that one isn’t really taking on Netflix and Disney+ if they’re not actually getting in the race.
From one of the guys that brought you Jackass and Bad Grandpa, this hidden camera comedy follows two best friends as they go on a cross-country road trip full of hilarious, inventive pranks, pulling its real-life audience into the mayhem.
DOTA: Dragon’s Blood debuts on Netflix March 25.
What’s next? Tomorrow.
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