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 Quibi. You were too beautiful for this world.
ALSO: New Coronavirus drama from the Kings. AND: Maura. Tierney.
Quibi to get shut down faster than it takes to watch a Quibi
Heartbreaking news. Quibi is going to be shut down. All it wanted to do was entertain us in a way we never wanted and charge us too much money to do it.
There’s no official announcement yet, but the breaking news is that:
Deadline has learned that Katzenberg and CEO Whitman are about to have a call with investors this afternoon to explain their decision to wind down the short-form video service after little more than six months. They are exploring options including selling content or the entire service in the hopes that a buyer emerges.
It launched on April 6, 2020.
The streaming service, available for mobile phones, raised $2 billion in funding, brought in high-profile celebrities to make content in front of and behind the camera, and gave a lot of people play money to renovate their kitchens. What was missing from the service was anything that actually connected with audiences.
The Quibi app, which allowed people to watch short-form videos (up to about 10 minutes), was mildly innovative with its ability to rotate the phone landscape or portrait and seamlessly switch between the two formats. While that was a nice function, it was never integrated into any programming in a meaningful way and was mere gimmick.
I’ve had mixed experiences with it. I actually think the form factor is appealing and when you spend some time with it, it’s easy to see how you *could* find yourself watching content regularly. But a lot of the content was silly and unengaging, its news/magazine shows were rarely delivering anything that wasn’t already available in abundance elsewhere, and its scripted originals were pretty substandard. No filmmakers dream projects were being realised by Quibi, let’s put it that way.
If you do want to check out Quibi before its gone, I’d recommend the Anna Kendrick comedy Dummy, Mapleworth Murders, and #FreeRayshawn. None are amazing, but there’s pleasures to be had. I’m pretty keen to check out Wireless, which was EP’d by Steven Soderberg.
If there is Robert & Michelle King news, by jove, Always Be Watching will report it.
The Good Wife/Fight creators/showrunners have a new 6-part limited series set up at Spectrum Originals, which almost guarantees I will never be able to see this. The Second Wave follows an unexpected and deadly second wave of the coronavirus outbreak in New York City.
Starring in the show will be The Good Fight star Audra McDonald, Orange is The New Black’s Taylor Schilling, and one of the great ‘that guy’ TV actors Steven Pasquale. (Fans of The Good Wife will remember Pasquale had a multi-episode arc in that show as a political campaign operative).
The series follows the lives of two neighbors, Rachel (McDonald) and Lily (Schilling), as they navigate life in quarantine in New York City. While Rachel juggles her many telemedicine clients as well as a shaky, passionless marriage, Lily is upstairs just trying to convince her Wall Street clientele that her very specific skillset is still just as valuable over video as it was in person. When an unexpected, deadly second wave of the virus arrives, we follow these two women as they face unprecedented times while still juggling their careers, their loved ones, and possibly, the end of the world.
Meanwhile, Mr & Mrs King also have a series coming to Showtime called Your Honor, which is written by The Night Of’s Peter Moffat. News today that joining Bryan Cranston in the cast is my beloved Maura Tierney.
Unsolved Mysteries is extending the brand into podcasting. Source: Deadline
Jared Leto’s Joker character will appear in the Zack Snyder’s Justice League film. Many fans view this as the truest interpretation of the character and in no way have spent the past few years trashing Leto. Source: Variety
Virgin River returns to Netflix on November 27 for its 2nd season. Source: TV Line
There’s a massive spoiler for the new Borat movie debuting this weekend on Amazon Prime Video. If you want to know the details of THE scene with a certain former Mayor of New York turned weasel, here’s a breakdown. Read: The AV Club
Archer has been renewed for a 12th season. Source: Variety
RIP the Apple TV remote control app. The functionality is now in-built into iOS 12. Source: The Streamable
The first full-length trailer for Mank, which debuts on Netflix in December.
Aussie sketch comedy troupe Aunty Donna have a show. Aunty Donna’s Big Ol’ House of Fun debuts on Netflix November 11.
Animaniacs debuts on Hulu Nov 20. This trailer has the return of Pinky & The Brain.
The Life Ahead debuts on Netflix on November 30.
Raya and The Last Dragon opens in Australian cinemas on March 25.
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