Actor Willie Garson, best known to audiences for playing a best friend role in Sex & The City and its upcoming spin-off And Just Like That, has died. A cause of death has not been revealed.

Garson was a journeyman actor, having appeared in 300 episodes of TV throughout his career and a further 70 movies. He was a regular in White Collar and John From Cincinnati. You may also have seen him in memorable roles, such as playing Lee Harvey Oswald in a 2-part Quantum Leap, or in series like NYPD Blue, Cheers, The X-Files, Melrose Place, and Hawaii Five-0.

Colleagues have been active on Twitter all day talking up the loss of Garson. He was clearly loved. In his NYT obit was a spotlight on his charity work and becoming a father later in life:

Mr. Garson also served on the advisory board for You Gotta Believe, an organization that helps find permanent families for young people. Mr. Garson became a parent in 2010 when he adopted his son, Nathen, who was 7 at the time.

“As a narcissist actor, and I was the definition, I immediately became responsible for taking care of someone else,” Mr. Garson said in an interview shared on Medium last year. “It is a really special feeling to say that. It is such an important job and makes you grow in so many different ways.”

Read more: NYT

What you see/don't see at the Emmy Awards

The real winner of the Emmy Awards on the weekend: shameless capitalism.

Netflix confirm purchase of Roald Dahl (again, the IP, not the corpse)

Following up from yesterday's hotly-tipped rumor that Netflix were to buy the Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC), Netflix has since confirmed that the sale is going ahead. No dollar figure has been announced.

All 26 employees of RDSC will retain their positions. RDSC will function as an autonomous unity within Netflix and expand on the plans currently in place for 19 TV shows, films, stage shows and live experiences.

A significant part of the proceeds from the sale will be used to set up a charitable trust, which will focus on supporting existing and new charity partners in the areas of children’s health, anti-hate and anti-racism.

That charitable trust might seen slightly incongruous, but keep in mind that the Dahl family very recently made a public apology for anti-semitic comments made by the late author.

As per Time:

In 2018, The Guardian reported that the British Royal Mint had rejected a proposal to mark the 100th anniversary of Dahl’s birth with a commemorative coin due to the fact that he was “associated with anti-Semitism and not regarded as an author of the highest reputation.” In response to the Royal Mint’s decision, Amanda Bowman, vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, also spoke out against Dahl. “The Royal Mint was absolutely correct to reject the idea of a commemorative coin for Roald Dahl,” she said. “Many of his utterances were unambiguously anti-Semitic. He may have been a great children’s writer but he was also a racist and this should be remembered.”

In December 2020, it came to light that the Dahl family and Roald Dahl Story Company, in what some saw as a preemptive move to deflect criticism of forthcoming projects, had issued an apology for Dahl’s history of anti-Semitism on the official Dahl website. It’s unclear exactly when the statement first appeared on the site.

Separating the art from the artist, it is a net positive that the Roald Dahl stories live on. They have brought generations of readers considerable joy and this is another way that the legacy of his stories can live on.

The purchase of the Roald Dahl catalogue isn't a surprise at all - it  provides Netflix with a rich tapestry of rich stories upon which to build extensive universes of movies and TV shows. The big surprise is that Netflix haven't made acquisitions like this sooner. It dawns on me that King Features Syndicate (Popeye, The Phantom, Hagar The Horrible, Mandrake the Magician, Flash Gordon, Dennis the Menace, and more) with its very global-friendly set of comic strip characters are ripely sitting there waiting for a media juggernaut to swoop in. Oh, and then there is also Archie...

Netflix Acquires Roald Dahl Story Company, Plans Extensive Universe
Netflix has acquired the Roald Dahl Story Company (RDSC) and will expand their existing deal to create a universe spanning several formats. A current deal between the companies, struck in 2018, cov…

TeeVee Snacks

  • ViacomCBS are launching Pluto TV in Italy with 40 channels. Read: Variety
  • Baratunde Thurston's memoir How To Be Black is being developed as an animated series for the US ABC network. Read: Deadline
  • Seth Rogen's bit on stage about how unsafe the Emmy Awards were (re: COVID protocols) - that wasn't an approved bit. It was 100% him going rogue and the producers were pissed. Read: The AV Club
  • Let The Right One In is being turned into a TV series for Showtime. Read: thefutoncritic
  • CBS' 24/7 streaming news channel will be rebranded from CBSN to CBS News. The service will soon be headquartered out of the studios recently vacated by the CBS This Morning breakfast show. Read: Variety
  • A Disney+ app is coming to Windows. Read: The Streamable
  • RIP Melvin van Peebles, the icon of Black cinema responsible for the seminal Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song. Read: Deadline
  • There is an 8-season plan for Apple TV+ show Foundation. Read: /Film
  • A few weeks ago ABW reported that Freaks and Geeks supporting player Jerry Messing had gone into the ICU as he battled COVID. He's been lucky and has gotten out, but he has now been left partially paralyzed. Messing can't use his arms and legs properly, but he is working with therapists to regain mobility. A reminder: please get the vaccine. Read: TMZ

Star Wars: Visions - an interesting project you shouldn't overlook

Star Wars took many of its story, thematic, and visual cues from Japanese cinema - especially the Akira Kurosawa film The Hidden Fortress. So, it feels like a natural idea to open up the Star Wars universe to Japanese animators for the new project Star Wars: Visions.

It's a bit like The Animatrix, that anthology of short animated films released to promote the Matrix sequels back in the day. Japanese animators have crafted a series of short films set in the Star Wars universe using different animation styles and storytelling techniques that embrace the story and iconography of Star Wars. None of it is set in canon, but it is instead a fun exercise in artistic expression on a very commercial canvas.

It started streaming yesterday on Disney+.

The shorts include “The Duel” (Kamikaze Douga), in which a wandering Sith (patterned after the rōnin) and his droid come to the defense of a village under siege by Sith bandits; “Tatooine Rhapsody” (Studio Colorido) a rock opera about a band trying to save one of its members from Jabba the Hutt; “The Twins” (Studio Trigger), which pits a pair Sith twins against each other in an electrifying lightsaber duel; “T0-B1” (Science Saru), about a cybernetic boy who dreams of becoming a Jedi; “The Elder” (Studio Trigger), about a pacifist Jedi and restless Padawan uncovering a dark secret in a village; and “The Ninth Jedi” (Production I.G), in which a new era of Sith rule calls for the return of the Jedi.
‘Star Wars: Visions’: How the Anime Anthology Expands the Franchise by Returning to its Japanese Roots
The two standouts are “The Duel,” a Kurosawa homage about a wandering samurai, and “The Ninth Jedi,” about the return of the Jedi Knights and a very special lightsaber.

Kimmel beyond 2022?

Talk is bubbling away as to whether Jimmy Kimmel will renew his contract for his late night show Jimmy Kimmel Live! His contract is set for renewal. The network has publicly said that they want him back - ratings in the key 18-49 demo are up and he's beating alternate Jimmy, Fallon. This positions him as #2 in late night behind Colbert. Not a bad place to be in a crowded market.

Meanwhile Kimmel is on Howard Stern saying he is vacillating on whether he wants to return. It's the sort of thing you say when your contract is up for renewal and you want some bargaining power that suggests you're willing to walk away from a job that makes your employer quite a bit of money.

Deadline has some weird analysis in its article about the succession-planning aspect of needing to replace Kimmel if he does indeed choose to walk:

It’s a particularly tough trick given the name of the show doesn’t necessarily allow for a new host in the same way that The Late Show and The Tonight Show do, and ABC doesn’t have anyone who follows Kimmel in the way that Seth Meyers and James Corden do for Fallon and Colbert, respectively.

As if any viewer cares about the name of these shows. Nobody is watching the Tonight Show or The Late Show because of the brand anymore. People are watching 'Colbert', 'Kimmel', and 'Fallon'. But they're right in saying there's no clear successor. And that means it is probably time to start putting that plan into place. My suggestion if they do need to replace Kimmel: Keep calling the show 'Live' and actually do it live. These shows in a rapid news landscape feel terribly dated by the time they make it to air 4-5 hours after taping. Plus live TV is fun, obviously more immediate, and has an element of being far less safe. It'd help stand out in a crowded market.

ABC Chief Craig Erwich: “We Want To Stay In Business With Jimmy Kimmel For Many Years To Come”
Jimmy Kimmel caused the late-night gossip mill to whirl after revealing that he wasn’t sure whether he would continue hosting his nightly talk show after his current contract is up. Kimmel told How…

Trailer Park

Night Teeth debuts on Netflix Oct 22.

Benny’s entire world is turned upside down after picking up two mysterious girls who expose him to a secret world he never knew existed. He is suddenly hurled into their cryptic underworld on a mission to save his city from dripping in blood.

The enticingly-titled The Sex Lives of College Girls is a new comedy from Mindy Kaling. It debuts on HBO Max Nov 25.

THE SEX LIVES OF COLLEGE GIRLS follows four college roommates as they arrive at New England’s prestigious Essex College. A bundle of contradictions and hormones, these girls are equal parts lovable and infuriating as they live out their new, free lives on campus.

Invasion debuts on Apple TV+ Oct 22.

Set across multiple continents, "Invasion" follows an alien invasion through different perspectives around the world.

Adventure Beast debuts on Netflix Oct 22.

A brave zoologist, his spunky niece and anxious assistant explore the world while saving wild beasts in this adult animated educational-comedy series.

Stuck Together debuts on Netflix Oct 20.

When Paris goes into lockdown during the pandemic, the quirky residents of an apartment building must adjust to a new life - and one another.

Britney vs Spears debuts Sept 28.

Hightown season 2 returns to Starz on Oct 17.

What's next? Tomorrow.