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.
Schwarzenegger finds a home at Netflix.
ALSO: Trump TV? AND: Doctor Who news!
Netflix soon home to Schwarzenegger
A new TV series starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as an international spy working with his spy daughter has been shopped around with Netflix landing the rights to the show. The deal is still coming together, but the trade press is reporting this as a done-deal.
I know that this show will not be especially good. And yet… man am I excited to see this show.
Children’s show Doctor Who starts shooting series 13
Doctor Who, a TV show that is made for children, has begun filming its latest season.
Showrunner Chris Chibnall:
In this strangest of years, the Doctor Who production team have worked wonders to get the show back into production. We’re thrilled to be back making the show. Given the complexity of making Doctor Who, and with new and rigorous Covid working protocols, it’s going to take us a little longer to film each episode, meaning we expect to end up with eight episodes, rather than the usual eleven. But rest assured, the ambition, humour, fun and scares you expect from Doctor Who will all still be firmly in place. For everyone around the world, this is a challenging period - but the Doctor never shirks from a challenge!
The hotly anticipated new Disney+ show won’t debut in 2020, but the wait won’t be too much longer - Jan 15, 2021.
This is a show for adults, btw.
Does President Crybaby have TV aspirations?
Lots of talk around today about the possibility of Trump TV.
Axios says Trump is talking about it with a plan to damage Fox and then launch a streaming video news service.
Trump's digital offering would likely charge a monthly fee to MAGA fans. Many are Fox News viewers, and he'd aim to replace the network — and the $5.99-a-month Fox Nation streaming service, which has an 85% conversion rate from free trials to paid subscribers — as their top destination.
Indiewire says that Trump is looking for the public limelight that this would bring, but he’s especially keen on a revenue source:
By the time Trump announced his presidential candidacy in 2015, the losses from his floundering businesses had outweighed his financial gains from “The Apprentice.” He needed more money and though the publicity from his presidency has helped, according to the Times Trump is once again low on money and will have to pay hundreds of millions in loans within the next four years. It’s possible that Trump could try to replicate his success with “The Apprentice” via a post-presidency media business.
There’s lots of talk of Trump moving over to Newsmax or OAN. In fact, Newsmax had a big ratings increase this past week with a lot of Trump fans displeased with Fox News’ coverage of the election result tabulation/projections.
The network’s lineup of pundits is mostly made up of minor conservative talk radio hosts. Carr, for instance, hosts a right-wing radio show in the Boston area, and his one-hour Newsmax show is a sort of distilled version of that.
Aesthetically, The Howie Carr Show may speak to Newsmax’s biggest challenge in catching up to Fox News, which is that it’s ugly as hell. Carr sits in front of an American flag background, staring not at the camera in front of him but just off to its side, while Curley says things to him off-camera and he reacts. It’s one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen on TV, only a couple of steps above public-access television but with just high enough production values to make you wonder why it’s not better than it is.
American life, since Mr. Trump’s escalator ride on June 16, 2015, had been like a Willy Wonka ironic punishment: You like TV, do you? Then you shall live inside TV — forever!
And then, one day, the show was canceled.
Trump needs TV. Both for ego reasons and for any future effort to run for President again. The strongest likelihood is that instead of launching his own show, Trump will strike a deal with Rupert Murdoch and get his own Fox News show. That is probably the smoothest outcome for all involved (that’s if the Murdoch family want to be in business with Trump - strategically, Murdoch might be better cutting Trump loose and roll the dice on whether Trump can maintain relevance for four years. Smart bet is he can’t).
Without Fox News, it makes sense that he’d launch his own digital platform rather than buy into OAN or get a Newsmax show. Trump will need a big payday and I’m not convinced either of those outlets can get him there financially. Whether he can hire anyone with the skills to build the infrastructure required or not is the big question. Team Trump’s event planning hasn’t exactly gone the smoothest, despite all the positive coverage received at the Four Seasons (Total Landscaping).
Watch out Anderson Cooper
Hasan Piker may be one of the most-viewed identities in US political punditry. He spent 80 hours in front of the camera during the US election week. He had 4.5 million people watching. This wasn’t on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, or even OAN or Newsmax. This was just one guy sitting at home streaming via gamer site Twitch.
Netflix says it doesn’t cancel more shows than other networks
Remember how this year Netflix cancelled some of your favourite shows. And space drama Away? Well, according to the streamer’s Global Head of TV Bela Bajaria, it has a program renewal rate of approx 67% –in line with industry standards. There is a minor caveat with that figure:
“If you look at season twos and more, we actually have a renewal rate of 67%, which is industry standard,” Bajaria said. “We also do make a large amount of first season shows, which sometimes feels that we have more first season cancellations but if you look at the renewal rate it’s really strong. I also think you have to look at The Crown, with season four launching now, Grace & Frankie and The Ranch, we’ve had long running shows and we’re always going to have a mix that are great to be told in a limited series form and shows that go on for multiple seasons.
Writer Zack Stentz is working on a modern-day TV series version of The Island of Dr Moreau. Read: Collider
YouTube is resting its annual YouTube Rewind video. Eh - it hasn’t been relevant post Tay Zonday. Read: Variety
David Cronenberg will star in anthology series Slasher: Flesh & Blood, streaming exclusively on Shudder. Read: Deadline
David Fincher has apparently signed a four-year exclusive with Netflix. Source: Variety
A live-action series based on Beano is in development in the UK. Read: Deadline
50th anniversary of an infamous TV news event
On November 12, 1970, the people of Florence, Oregon resolved a problem on their hands. A beached grey whale had beached itself and died. The people of Florence determined that it was too big to be removed and chose the most logical Steve Zissou-style method - dynamite.
The remastered news story showing this is available for you to watch. Keep in mind: there’s a reason why blowing up whales hasn’t really been the practice to deal with similar situations in the years since.
Dance Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker debuts on Netflix Nov 27. I didn’t realise you were allowed to use the phrase “hot chocolate nutcracker” on TV, but there you go.
The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse is a series of 28 short animated films. They roll out with two a week from Nov 18 on Disney+.
El Cid debuts on Amazon Prime Video Dec 18.
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