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.
Parks & Recreation reunion raises $3 million for charity.
Also: RIP Sam Lloyd
Last week NBC screened a one-off Parks & Recreation reunion. It was a glorified Zoom call with all of the characters given some screen-time, along with a few well-chosen cameos. It was okay, but really just amplified how distancing watching other people having a Zoom call is. It’s really only marginally more engaging to watch than watching your friend hogging the controller playing video games.
The production used the opportunity to raise some money for charity and ended up with $3 million for Feeding America.
Beloved Scrubs actor Sam Lloyd died over the weekend following a year-long bout with lung cancer.
Mr. Lloyd’s sister said the actor had had an innate sense of humor that he honed over time. His deadpan comedy and pratfalls were Mr. Lloyd’s craft, his wife, Vanessa Villalovos, said, but the man she knew “was just a tender, genuine soul.”
On Saturday, she praised her husband’s looks: “If he had hair,” she said, he would rival some of the most handsome actors in Hollywood.
Mr. Lloyd was also a musician. He sang in the Blanks, an a cappella group that made several appearances on “Scrubs” as the Worthless Peons. He also played bass guitar in the Butties, a Beatles tribute band.
If you’ve discovered the joy of obstacle course golfing show Holey Moley, you’ll be excited to know that season 2 of the US version of the show debuts on May 21 (an Australian version is coming later this year, though I’m not sure if it has actually been filmed yet or if the stupid virus interrupted production).
The good news is that the second season is bringing with it a whole bunch of new obstacles. This is the one that excites me most:
Golfers will be dressed as knights concealing their fireproof suits” while they are pummeled with real fire.
Greenleaf will end with its fifth and final season in June.
HBO Max is offering US subscribers 20% off if they sign up to the new service in advance of its launch on May 27.
The continued saga of which Australian network will land the HBO deal, which will be signed in the coming weeks, continues. Foxtel are looking to renew the deal, which will be important to the success of its new streaming platform Binge. Meanwhile Stan want to sign the HBO deal with WarnerMedia to use content across Stan, 9Now, and for broadcast on Nine. According to SMH:
WarnerMedia want HBO branding on all of the shows appearing on a service
Warners want to include clause that would allow it to exit a commercial arrangement early and launch its direct-to-consumer platform.
Basically, if WarnerMedia sign a deal with Foxtel or Stan, they’ll be using it mostly as a promotional tool to keep up excitement over the HBO brand locally to capitalise on it ahead of a launch.
Remember back in the mid 90s when Seven aired the sitcom Friends - they did it reluctantly because Seven only had the rights to the first season, with Nine having the rights to subsequent seasons. Seven eventually aired it, made it a hit locally, then said goodbye to it as it stayed a ratings smash on Nine for the next decade. This is the same deal effectively, only the shift of content will effectively cripple the winning bidder once they lose the deal. Coincidentally, Friends will also be on HBO Max when it launches in the US.
New HBO series Lovecraft Country has a trailer ahead of its August launch. The series follows the journey of three African Americans on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America in search of one of the character’s missing father. The gimmick with the show is that not only will they be encountering the horrors of racism, but also actual Lovecraft-style monsters.
The trailer looks great.
Director Brad Bird is making a minor career pivot and is now scheduling movies for TCM’s The Essentials series. He is appearing on screen alongside Ben Mankiewicz to introduce the movies. Source: Indiewire
RELATED: Mankiewicz, the grandson of Citizen Kane screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz and the cousin of James Bond/Superman/Hart To Hart screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz, is now hosting a really good podcast for TCM called The Plot Thickens. It promises a series of audio documentary series following the lives and movies of Hollywood greats. The first series is midway through now and follows director Peter Bogdanovich.
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