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.
RIP 13 Reasons Why. ALSO: More US Love Island. PLUS: Shin Ultraman
Always Be Watching is written by Dan Barrett who has 13 reasons why he didn't vacuum the house this week.
13 Reasons Why has been picked up for a fourth and final season on Netflix. Season 3 is coming on 23 August.
The US Love Island has been renewed for a second season, even if the ratings haven’t been stellar.
While linear ratings for Love Island have not set CBS ablaze, the show has — like the original version out of the U.K. — become a social-media event, and Deadline reports that it’s been drawing a lot of welcome younger viewers in. So if Twitter and the youth want more Love Island, that’s what CBS is going to give them.
Another day, another news story about a series picked up for the yet-to-launch platform Quibi. Today it is news that they’ve commissioned a series based on How To Lose a Guy in Ten Days. Why must they tamper with all the classics?
In the same way that I regularly publish stories about Quibi that I know no one really cares much about, I also publish stories about Pluto TV. Why?
It’s simple: Quibi and Pluto TV are both incredibly interesting platforms that represent a big part of the future of TV. Viewers will want alternative viewing options to services like Netflix/Disney+/HBO Max/Amazon/Apple TV. While Quibi will capture the short attention span of mobile consumption (or has the potential to, at least), Pluto TV is interesting as updates the old-school consumption of linear channels and delivers them in a way that is cheap to produce, but also offers a whole lot of variety for consumers who just want background TV, or don’t want to pay money for TV content. Basically, it looks and feels like flipping channels on cable TV.
Viacom, which owns Pluto TV, is now moving the service out of the US and has just launched a couple of channels in the UK via the My5 streaming service. My5 is the catch-up TV service for Channel 5. And, crucially, is owned by Viacom.
Put simply: Currently Viacom are using Pluto TV as a way in to the lucrative AVOD market - focused on advertising-supported linear programming. In the 6 months or so since buying Pluto TV, Viacom has beefed its content up considerably and are turning it into an interesting viewing alternative for viewers. And viewers are starting to embrace it. Now they’re doing it in a softer way via My5.
But… also consider this: Viacom is owned by National Amusements, which is looking to merge Viacom with another of its assets, CBS. How long is it until CBS assets start being incorporated into Pluto TV? Obviously, there’s the CBS linear channel, but also its news channel CBSN, and cable channel brands CBS Action, CBS Drama, CBS Europa, CBS Reality, Showtime, and Pop. In the same way that WarnerMedia is vertically integrating all of its channels into WarnerMedia, one could easily see National Amusements doing the same with all of this content. It can have a slice of SVOD with CBS All Access, while also generating significant value from its library of content with an AVOD push with Pluto TV.
And something for Australians to note: In the same way that Viacom own Channel 5/My5 in the UK, CBS owns Channel 10 in Australia. Don’t be surprised if Pluto TV content makes its way onto 10play.
Adam Scott has signed to host a new game show for the US ABC network. The network has had huge success in launching a whole bunch of event game shows in the past few years. This one will be called Don’t.
“I’m very excited to be the host of ABC’s new game show Don’t,” said Ghosted alum Scott, who recurs on NBC’s The Good Place. “As a fan of both ‘games’ and ‘shows,’ I feel we may be onto something here.”
An Ultraman movie is being made in the best way possible: Hideaki Anno and Shinji Higuchi, co-directors of the 2016 smash hit Shin Godzilla, are teaming up again to make the film Shin Ultraman. I loved Shin Godzilla and got a kick out of the recent Ultraman animated show on Netflix, so I am ready for this.