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 Peaky Blinders
ALSO: RIP High Maintenance. AND: Behind the scenes of 90210/Melrose Place
RIP Peaky Blinders
The UK drama is set to end with a sixth and final season. But fans, don’t despair - it sounds like the world of Peaky Blinders is likely to continue on in the form of a movie, or some sort of spin-off show.
Here’s creator Steven DeKnight:
“’Peaky’ is back and with a bang. After the enforced production delay due to the Covid pandemic, we find the family in extreme jeopardy and the stakes have never been higher. We believe this will be the best series of all and are sure that our amazing fans will love it. While the TV series will be coming to an end, the story will continue in another form.”
One of television’s absolute best series, High Maintenance, will end after its fourth season on HBO. It started out as a web-series distributed through Vimeo before being picked up by HBO. It ends after a total of 34 episodes.
If you haven’t seen the show before, it’s an anthology show about a weed dealer who delivers his product around New York City. He’s mostly a plot device, with his character quite literally opening the door to what are effectively short films about all sorts of people living in New York City. It’s mature, grown-up television with stories that are warm, heartbreaking, funny, insightful, and just wonderfully human.
It’s nice to watch a TV show and actually feel something.
“Co-creators Katja Blichfeld and Ben Sinclair have decided to take a break from producing High Maintenance to pursue other projects,” an HBO rep says in a statement to TVLine. “We look forward to hearing what they come up with next.”
Fox News had one stipulation when it settled a lawsuit with the family of Seth Rich…
There’s nothing about this story that isn’t jaw-dropping. For years Fox News ran stories linking the murder of former DNC staffer Seth Rich with the leaking of Democrat emails in the lead-up to the 2016 election. The network ran stories promoting a large conspiracy to silence the young man, which created considerable hurt for the family of Rich (as I’m sure you can appreciate).
Fox News settled the case before its on-air ‘talent’ could be questioned under oath. But the network demanded just one thing - the settlement had to remain undisclosed until after the recent Presidential election. Fox News couldn’t have the story regarding the conspiracy unravel before the election.
Ben Smith at the NYT asks some questions:
Why did Fox care about keeping the Rich settlement secret for the final month of the Trump re-election campaign? Why was it important to the company, which calls itself a news organization, that one of the biggest lies of the Trump era remain unresolved for that period? Was Fox afraid that admitting it was wrong would incite the president’s wrath? Did network executives fear backlash from their increasingly radicalized audience, which has been gravitating to other conservative outlets?
Going behind the scenes of 90210 and Melrose Place
A quick heads-up on something you *might* want to check out…
Yesterday, I stumbled upon a series of TV movies made by the US Lifetime network showing the behind the scenes making of Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place. They’re from 2015/16, so they’re certainly not new by any means. But I just hadn’t seen them.
The Unauthorized Beverly Hills, 90210 Story and The Unauthorized Melrose Place Story.
There’s nothing artistically valid about either film - they’re lightweight, dumb, and absolute trash.
I found them thoroughly entertaining. Filled with terrible jokes that are knowing winks to their lives following the cancellation of the shows (watching the Iain Zeiring character make a Sharknado reference was an impressive act in linguistics), they’re really great fun.
Oh, and Homer Simpson himself Dan Castellaneta is great fun in both films as Aaron Spelling.
If you have a quiet evening (as I did yesterday), both will fill the gap nicely.
I found them both on Foxtel/Binge here in Australia. I’m told that they have popped up on Pluto TV in the States. Also, quietly, you can do a search on Vimeo and find the 90210 one easily enough.
Two thumbs up from me.
Netflix will release its fourth quarter earnings on (US) Tuesday afternoon. It’s going to be an interesting report - it comes as the share price is starting to come down, subscriptions are expected to be flatter following their massive rise during the start of the pandemic, and price rises in several key markets. Read: Deadline
Matt Damon is in Australia to film a role in the new Thor movie. It’s not known whether it’s a substantial role, or just a cameo. He’ll undergo a mandatory quarantine in a private facility. I bet it has a pool. Read: News.com.au
Pay TV revenues for the 20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) have fallen over the past five years and will continue to decline for the next five. Read: C21
Lee Jae-Yong is the head of Samsung. He’s also off to prison on charges related to bribery. Read: Variety
Australian 00s family drama Packed To The Rafters returns to television as an Amazon Prime Video series later this year. The first photos have been revealed. Publicists really need to do a better job of these ‘first photos from the set’ types of photos. Source: TV Tonight
The Equalizer is coming back to TV with Queen Latifah in the lead role doing a spot of equalizing. It debuts on CBS on Feb 7.
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