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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.
Parks & Rec is back!
ALSO: Terrace House in the age of Coronavirus
Parks and Recreation is coming back for a one-off half-hour TV special. Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir, and Retta will all return along with some surprise returning favourites. I’d be happy enough with just a half-hour remembrance of ‘lil Sebastian, but I guess this special will be fine.
Aussie pay TV giant Foxtel will today start sending out updates to its iQ3 and iQ4 set top boxes which will add movies and TV shows from free-to-air broadcaster SBS.
Foxtel is also expected to roll out its new streaming service Binge by the end of May.
Foxtel is hoping to launch the service in May to help lift its subscriber numbers. Traditional broadcast customers have been under pressure for some time, and the suspension of the AFL and NRL seasons is believed to have hurt its sport streaming service Kayo.
Last year, it renegotiated a range of content agreements with the BBC, NBCU, Discovery and CBSViacom. The deals are believed to have been negotiated on a fixed-cost rather than a per-subscriber basis.
Foxtel is looking to launch the new service to better monetise those contracts, which have become more expensive on a per-customer basis as the number of subscribers declines, particularly amid COVID-19.
Bryan Washington has written for The New Yorker on watching Terrace House in the age of COVID-19.
Still, there are constructive parallels to be drawn between the world of “Terrace House” and the world we live in now. Characters flip through cookbooks, searching for the perfect recipe. They wash dishes. They lounge on pieces of furniture, remarking on the weather. They cook some more. They wash more dishes. They blog. Though the cast members get to venture outside more often than we do, their quiet domestic lives are similarly weighted with a sense of great, impending change. Upon arriving at the house each season, the new roommates immediately ask each other why they’ve chosen to participate in the show. Some move into the house thinking that a stint on “Terrace House” will jumpstart their careers, and others come looking for love, some swearing, convincingly, that a sojourn on “Terrace House” is their absolute last chance at it. The difference between their experiment and ours is, among other things, that they can choose when theirs ends. But they display, above all, an admirable willingness to confront the unknown.
Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton, Duplicity), who co-wrote Rogue One, has taken over as showrunner of the new prequel Star Wars series. He replaces Stephen Schiff who will remain on the writing team alongside Gilroy’s brother Dan (Nightcrawler) and Beau Willimon (House of Cards).
That’s an extremely exciting line-up of talent. I’m particularly excited by Gilroy taking over (he’ll also direct some episodes) as he specialises in telling the sort of grown-up movies that aren’t really made for cinemas anymore.