Dame Diana Rigg has passed away at age 82.

Best known as Emma Peel in the great Brit drama The Avengers, Rigg was a beloved star of stage and screen appearing in iconic movies and shows like On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Game of Thrones.

Diana Rigg, 1938–2020 / Boing Boing

The BBC obit has two great quotes that I think spoke to the breadth of Rigg as a performer:

Director Jonathan Kent:
Her "combination of force of personality, beauty, courage and sheer emotional power, made her a great classical actress - one of an astonishing generation of British stage performers.

“Her dazzling wit and that inimitable voice made her an unforgettable leading figure in British theatre.”

And then there’s this:

The Emmy-award winning actor will be seen in her final film role in the upcoming Edgar Wright film Last Night in Soho.

Source: BBC

Staged gets an international release

A couple of weeks ago on the Always Be Watching podcast you may have heard guest Melanie Tait rave about BBC series Staged. The good news is that the show has now been picked up internationally.

Netflix has second-run rights in the UK, Hulu has it in the US, ABC has it in Australia, Shout! Studios will screen it in North Africa, and Huanxi Media Group in China have also picked up the show.

Staged stars Michael Sheen (Good Omens, Masters of Sex) and David Tennant (Good Omens, Doctor Who) as fictionalised versions of themselves trying to rehearse for a performance of Luigi Pirandello’s play Six Characters in Search of an Author via video conference during lockdown.

Source: C21

Giri/Haji cancelled

One of the best shows currently sitting unwatched in your Netflix queue is the Brit drama Giri/Haji about a detective from Tokyo working a case in the UK. That show is now a one and done with the show now cancelled by Netflix and the BBC.

That’s what happens when you don’t watch great shows sitting in your Netflix queue.

Source: Radio Times

This is what an under-resourced ABC TV looks like

Feel your Netflix

Netflix has debuted a new branding campaign in 27 countries with the tagline  - “One Story Away”.

I first heard the phrase “we’re only one story away” a couple years ago from a colleague in the hallway, and it’s stuck in my head ever since. I knew it would resurface one day, and when we started working on this campaign almost a year ago, it felt like we had finally found the right moment. These words perfectly encapsulate the passion for storytelling that lies at the heart of what Netflix - and the creators we work with all over the world - are trying to bring to our members.  
-Eric Pallotta, Netflix

Source: Netflix

Holey Moley goes Down Under

This is a production plot twist I didn’t see coming. Australian production company Eureka sold the novelty mini-golf game show format Holey Moley to the US and has produced two well-rated seasons for ABC. With the success of the show, the time came to sell the format internationally. One of the first to sell was to, as you’d expect, an Australian TV network.

There was only one catch: plans to film the Australian version of the show had to be scrapped due to torrential rain and, of course, the stupid virus. The 60 contestants flown over returned home to Australia without anyone getting the chance to win the Golden Putter trophy, the Holey Moley plaid jacket, and the $25,000 grand prize.

But here’s where the production plot twist has come into play: Eureka Productions will build a version of the costly, elaborate set in the suburb of Cleveland in South-East Queensland (it’s about 40 minutes out of the Brisbane CBD). The benefit of building a second set - it gives the production company a second location to film international versions of the show. Queensland has done a great job in locking down and preventing the spread of COVID, which makes it an attractive destination for filming. Also, the QLD weather makes for comfortable filming for at least 10 months of the year (just avoid the storm season in Dec/Jan).

Source: TV Blackbox

TeeVee Snacks

  • I don’t know how to break this to you, but… Denise Richards is leaving The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Source: Variety
  • Carole Baskin will appear on Dancing With The Stars. And yes, she will dance to Eye of The Tiger. Source: TV Guide
  • Real Time with Bill Maher will be the first US talk show to return with a live audience. It’ll be a small group of 25. The show’s weekly panel chat will also take place in-person. Great news for fans of hearing Maher ask his guests what happens if Trump refuses to leave… every damn week on the show. Source: Deadline
  • SNL will return Oct 3 from the studio at 30 Rockefeller. Source: Deadline
  • Gwyneth Paltrow’s The Goop Lab is coming back for a season 2 at Netflix. Source: Variety
  • The plan for the moment is that the Old Ben Kenobi TV show will be just one season. Source: Entertainment Tonight Online
  • Jessica Chastain will star as Tammy Wynette in a new limited series based on the book The Three of Us: Growing Up with Tammy and George. Source: Deadline
  • Disney+ has ordered 10 episodes of Doogie Howser M.D. reboot(?) Doogie Kameāloha, M.D. Source: The AV Club
Disney+ is rebooting the Neil Patrick Harris show Doogie Howser

Trailer Park

I Am Greta debuts on Hulu Nov 13.

Sneakerheads debuts on Netflix Sept 25.

The new work from modern master of cinema Adam Sandler, Hubie Halloween, debuts on Netflix Oct 7.

Tiny World debuts on Apple TV+ Oct 2

The Spanish Princess returns to Starz on Oct 11. It streams in Australia on Stan.

Clouds debuts on Disney+ on Oct 16.

Code 404 debuts on Peacock Oct 1.

And one you can skip is this doco series narrated by Josh Gad (ugh) - Magic of Disney’s Animal Kingdom debuts on Disney+ Sept 25.

What’s next?