US broadcasting legend Regis Philbin has died over the weekend at age 88. Philbin was best remembered for hosting a long-running morning show. Over its 28 year run the show went by a number of titles: The Morning Show (1983-88), Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee (1988-2000), Live! With Regis (2000-1), and Live! With Regis and Kelly (2001-11). He also hosted the wildly popular Who Wants To Be a Millionaire.

Philbin has a Guinness World Records for the number of hours he had been on air for - calculated to be over 17,000 hours of airtime — equivalent to two full years, night and day.

Source: NYT

Mr. Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford interviewed Hillary Clinton in 1996, when she was the first lady. “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” was a fixture of morning television from 1988 to 2000.

We never got Philbin’s shows here in Australia, but still knew of him through countless appearances on other shows over the years. He was a regular on The Late Show with David Letterman:

Also passing over the weekend was Gone With The Wind star Olivia de Havilland. The two-time Academy Award winner died at the age of 104 in Paris.

Source: Variety

Olivia de Havilland, 'Gone With the Wind' Actress, Dead at 104 ...

Plex gets linear

The trend in digital streaming continues to be the launch of low-cost linear streaming channels. Initially services like Pluto TV and Xumo were stand-alone apps, but as media companies with large libraries of content that is well-served by linear consumption are getting serious about competing online, they’re integrating these linear channels into their on-demand products.

Peacock has 30 linear channels included and the upcoming reboot of CBS’ All Access app is expected to integrate the Pluto TV channels into it (Pluto is now owned by ViacomCBS).

But linear channels are now being added to unlikely platforms. Plex, an app built to manage users personal digital media collections and layer a Netflix-style interface over the top of it, has now added its own collection of 80 linear channels.

Not all of the channels are available globally, but many are. Interestingly, some of the third-party owned channels available on Pluto TV and Peacock can be found here too. Pet Collective, Game Show Central, and The Bob Ross Channel for example.

Source: TechCrunch

More Media Watch?

TV Tonight asks: Should Media Watch be longer? Show EP Tim Latham says:

“We’re often running 16-17 mins now and as things stand, a longer Media Watch is evolving.

“When I started in 2014 the show was running around 12 mins and that was far too brief.”

“The key issue for us is to maintain pace and entertainment without the program dragging,” he said.

“This is more important than a set duration.”

The Australian media show also runs a Facebook show called Media Bytes which is published directly to Media Watch’s Facebook and Twitter social channels. You can watch an episode here:

You can tell that this is made for social media because Paul Barry talks much faster with the entire show produced for zany quickfire effect. Oh, and he doesn’t host it at the regular desk which allows for a more relaxed shooting style. It’s all very 1994 hip - a mix of Barry’s own The Times, mixed in with a solid dose of Recovery, and Beakman’s World.

Should the show be longer? I’m not sure that the ever-contracting Australian media market demands it. But maybe a better idea would be regular (quarterly?) long-form specials that can bring context to bigger media shifts currently underway. There are some viewers who would benefit from a look at why so many long-running magazines in Australia have just been shut down, or why broadcasters like 10 are launching new over the air channels into a market where linear pay providers like Foxtel are struggling, etc

Source: TV Tonight

Quicker Bites (QuErBi?)

  • You may not have to wait long for a third The Kissing Booth movie as it appears a third film in the Netflix series may have been produced along with the second. Source: The AV Club
  • A leak has revealed a bunch of designs and media related to old-school Nintendo games. Source: Uproxx
  • Over the weekend Netflix released the long-shelved animated family film Animal Crackers. Indiewire has a piece on the history of the film. Source: Indiewire
  • Warners TV has plans to get a number of its shows back into production by the end of August. Source: Dark Horizons

Trailer Park

Helstrom is an upcoming Hulu series from Marvel - it’s the last live-action Marvel show we’ll see from the old way of doing things. Post-Helstrom, all the live-action Marvel shows will be much more tightly connected with the Marvel movies.

The TV series based on The Right Stuff debuts on Disney+ later this year.

One of the great gems of 2020 was the zero-buzz Apple TV+ drama For All Mankind. It starts with a pretty simple what-if premise: What if the Russians beat the US to landing on the moon. It then builds on that premise and explores how a space-focused cold war between Russia and America would change not-only space exploration, but also the cultural fabric of the US. Season 2 is coming to Apple TV+ at some stage - production needs to reboot post pandemic shut-down. But until then… we have a trailer.

Archer returns for season 11 on Sept 16.

And more glimpses at Lovecraft Country ahead of its August 16 HBO Max debut.

The new Walking Dead spin-off, The Walking Dead: World Beyond, debuts in October.

What’s next?