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.
Palm Springs gets international release. Finally.
ALSO: Tenet gets home video release. AND: Who watched what on election night?
Palm Springs gets an international release. Stay at home.
The Andy Samberg / Cristin Milioti film Palm Springs is finally getting a release outside the US. FilmNation has struck a deal with Amazon, which will see the film go straight to streaming in several territories:
Australia and New Zealand (November 20)
Canada (December 18)
Netherlands, France and the UK (all early 2021)
I really enjoyed the film, but it is maybe 20% less goofy than it should have been. There’s one especially inspired sequence in the middle of the film (keyword: pirate) that will make you wish there was simply more of that level of comedy to it.
Sony are being responsible when it comes to the launch of its Playstation 5 console. It will only be for sale online at launch as a measure to keep enthusiastic gamers from crowding stores and spending time lining up waiting for stores to open.
Tenet finally gets a wide release in US. Stay at home.
Christopher Nolan’s huge budget mind-bending Tenet will bypass US cinemas and go straight to home video. 4K, Blu-ray, DVD, and digital will be available on Dec. 15.
Home video is a great way to watch Tenet on account of being able to rewatch it a few times to try and figure out what the hell is going on in the film. The movie’s logic makes sense, but it does not make it easy on the audience - especially that final act. Oh boy.
No Christopher Nolan movie is best watched at home (unless you have a very impressive home video setup with an exceptionally large screen). Quite simply, his movies don’t play very well on the small screen. They’re mildly brainy spectacle.
NOTE: I don’t know if Tenet officially has an Australian home video release yet. Some stores are advertising pre-sales with conflicting dates of Dec 11 and Dec 16. It is, however, still playing in cinemas. Find the biggest screen you can and give it a look while you can. I can’t imagine there are many people still buying tickets to it after this many months.
Jack Irish will be back for one final season. Source: TV Tonight
David Cronenberg makes a cameo in next week’s Star Trek: Discovery. Source: Screencrush
There’s a lengthy Q&A with Paul Reiser that is fun for the few remaining Reiser fans out there. (I am one of the few). Read: The AV Club
Reef Live will be a two-night special on Australia’s ABC examining the annual mass coral spawn at the Great Barrier Reef. Read: TBI Vision
UK series Birds of a Feather is back with a Christmas special. Read: TV Tonight
CBS All Access drama Interrogation has been cancelled. Read: THR
Discovery will unveil its streaming service in December. Read: THR
How many people watched the election? Polling data shows…
What were the ratings like in the US for the election night coverage? Record numbers of Americans voted, but fewer watched the coverage on television.
Cable TV viewership was higher, with a combined CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC average of 31.13 million viewers in primetime. Meanwhile broadcast networks ABC, CBS, Fox Broadcasting and NBC had a combined 19.57 million average.
The right-skewed Fox News led the night, with the centrist and left-leaning networks dividing the rest of the viewership:
Fox News - 14.09 million
CNN - 9.41 million
MSNBC - 7.63 million
ABC - 6.29 million
NBC - 5.79 million
CBS - 4.49 million
Fox Broadcasting - 3 million
Univision - 1.95 million
Telemundo - 1.53 million
Fox Business - 662,000
CNBC - 127,000
Back in 2016 for the last election there was more people watching. Cable figures were similar (31.3 million), but broadcast viewership was a third higher with 29.8 million.
Where have those viewers gone? One might assume that they were siphoned off by niche channels offering election coverage, but even once you add in PBS, Estrella, NBCLX, BET, BET Her, CNNe, Newsmax, Newsy, Vice and WGN America, it is still only 56.92 million. Back in 2016 viewership was at 71.43 million viewers across 13 networks.
One place that viewers are clearly going is streaming coverage online. Akamai report 5 times the regular amount of streaming traffic and double the peak that they saw during the 2016 election night. Traffic increased throughout the evening before peaking at just after midnight Eastern Time (which I think is when Biden spoke).