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.
Steven Toast is the Toast of Tinseltown
ALSO: Charisma Carpenter speaks out. AND: Clone High returns.
It’s official - Steven Toast is going Hollywood
Rumored for some time now, a new season of Toast of London will see Matt Berry starring again as actor Steven Toast moving to LA to become the… wait for it… Toast of Tinseltown.
The new six-part series films later this year.
“Toast of London,” written by Arthur Mathews and Berry, played for three seasons from 2013 through 2015 on U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 and IFC in the U.S. The new, six-part season will air on BBC One and iPlayer. It will see Berry reprising the role of Steven Toast, an eccentric and arrogant actor determined to win the recognition he mistakenly believes he deserves, as he moves to Hollywood and attempts to become a movie star.
Clone High and Velma among animated series en route to HBO Max
Get out your HBO Max animated series bingo card because we have some ground to cover:
A new season of cult animated series Clone High? Check.
A new prequel series to Scooby Doo about Velma, titled Velma and starring Mindy Kaling? Check.
A two-season renewal for series Close Enough? Check.
An animated workplace comedy featuring the voice of Pete Davidson and set on the campus of a tech startup on Mars? Check.
A cartoon about a millennial cat named Hello Paul? Check.
An adaptation of the Brian Michael Bendis / David Mack comic Cover? Check.
A cartoon about three robot helpers who kill their human boss and assume his identity from Ed Helms? Check.
And a cartoon about a 30 year-old man chasing his dreams to become an artist? Check.
Clone High reunites original creators Phil Lord, Chris Miller and Bill Lawrence with former writer Erica Rivinoja (South Park, Borat 2). The series is produced by MTV Studios, which shopped the new take on its beloved comedy to buyers last summer. The updated take is described as a refresh on the original series that is set at a high school for clones of historical figures. Rivinoja will serve as showrunner on the two-season order. Clone High is the latest MTV series that has been revived and shopped as part of MTV Studios' efforts to become a content supplier to third-party buyers. Other titles revived include Beavis and Butt-head, Daria (which is getting a spinoff, Jodie).
Charisma Carpenter comes out against Joss Whedon
In a post to Instagram, Charisma Carpenter has attacked her former Buffy The Vampire Slayer / Angel showrunner Joss Whedon, accusing him of abusing his power on multiple occasions on set. This follows similar accusations levelled at the former The Nevers showrunner from actor Ray Fisher who had issues with Whedon on the set of Justice League.
Hollywood wants into China. But… does China really care?
For the past decade or so, Hollywood studios have made a concerted effort to appease Chinese censors to get their films into the highly lucrative China market.
But… what if audiences in China just aren’t that interested?
While US films are still expected to perform well when released in China, there has been a rise of interest in local films with budgets getting bigger and the scale of films starting to resemble Hollywood output more.
This past year of COVID has led to fewer notable Hollywood titles and that has distributors like David U Lee noting that it isn’t much of a consideration locally:
“Because there’s no new Western content out there, the majority of the Chinese audience has just not thought about Western content that much,” Lee said. “With locally produced content, the quality of production has really risen in recent years, and audiences have really supported it. And that process has accelerated.”
Fox News will take The Greg Gutfeld Show from a weekend show to five nights a week at 11pm to compete against the late night chat shows. Source: Deadline
Oh no - Love Island is in doubt in the UK due to the pandemic. My heart breaks for 2021’s singles who are just looking for that special someone. Read: Deadline
But in Australia singles can apply to take part in a US dating show currently casting for locals. If successful, might I recommend you remember who sent you there and name your first born Always Be Watching. But just a middle name. Be kind. Read: Castasugar
RIP Australian arts show The Mix. Read: TV Tonight
A 5th season of Search Party has the green light. Read: The AV Club
Ronald D Moore has moved his deal from Sony to Disney where he’s already producing a Swiss Family Robinson reboot. He knows Disney has Planet of The Apes, right? Just a thought… Source: THR
The Oscars will air on 25 April this year with segments broadcast from multiple locations a la the 2020 Emmy Awards. Read: Indiewire
Yes Day debuts on Netflix 12 March.
Always feeling like they have to say NO to their kids and co-workers, Allison and Carlos decide to give their three kids a YES DAY -- where for 24 hours the kids make the rules. Little did they know that they'd be going on a whirlwind adventure around Los Angeles, that would bring the family closer to each other than ever before.
Last Chance U: Basketball debuts on Netflix March 10.
The Misadventures of Cokeman & Hedi debuts on Netflix Feb 10. Which, I guess was yesterday? So its probably there now-ish.
In Paris, Cokeman & Hedi are two dysfunctional dealers who use family ties to try and boost their small drug business.
What’s next? Tomorrow.
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