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.
The Dark Crystal set to impress! PLUS: The Aussie Amazing Race, and more!
Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett who loves puppets.
All it takes is one company to speak out before every other major company gets on board. Yesterday in ABW it was mentioned that Netflix had questioned the viability of continuing production in Georgia following the introduction of anti-abortion laws (which are yet to take effect). Now CBS has also questioned their willingness to produce TV there, as has AMC Networks, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia, and Sony. WarnerMedia is an interesting case as it has CNN headquartered there - I’d be surprised if they would move an entire organisations headquarters because of this law.
The trailer for the new Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance looks INCREDIBLE. My interest in this, which launches on August 30, just increased 1000%.
A new series of The Amazing Race will soon start production in Australia by way of the CBS-owned Channel 10. Eureka Productions will handle the Aussie series.
The big news story of the week is the launch of the new Star Wars section of Disneyland - Galaxy’s Edge. It is important because the park signals the future direction of Disney’s work with its existing IP properties. Philosophically, the approach to Galaxy’s Edge is not to play on existing nostalgia for specific characters, but rather to create familiar-feeling, but newer environments for theme park visitors to explore. In other words: it’s not just mining the same characters over and over again - it’s world-building. Expect to see this same philosophy play out through upcoming Star Wars TV shows and movies.
Peloton is a company that produces high-end exercise bikes and treadmills that function best if you also subscribe to the US$19.49 streaming service with live exercise classes. They’re now expanding their programming strategy.
In the next 12 months, Peloton is eyeing boosting its output to over 300 fitness shows per week on average for members in the U.S., U.K., and Canada and, starting later this year, Germany. In 2020, it plans to open a new 35,000-square-foot broadcast production facility and multi-studio space on Manhattan’s West Side (consolidating its three current NYC studios) as well as a London-based studio to broadcast live classes across European time zones.
I’m a big fan of comic writer Greg Rucka. His comic Stumptown is being turned into a TV series starring Cobie Smulders, who I am also a big fan of. The male lead in the show was dumped from the show after the pilot and US network ABC has just announced his replacement: New Girl and Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse star Jake Johnson. A guy that I’m a big fan of.
I’m now concerned that at night time I am going to sleep and moonlighting as an ABC executive.
US network Bravo has announced a new observational reality show which has a group of women undergo a physical transformation to live as men for several days.
Each episode of "In A Man's World" will feature a different woman where cameras follow their every move. Leading up to the reveal of their ultimate disguise, each individual is coached by experts for months learning how to move and talk like their male counterparts. From a professional pool player to a pastor, the women will be tasked with venturing out into the real world, testing their training by going about their normal routines in both professional settings and facing their closest friends and family members. Documenting their inspiring journeys, the women learn a lot about themselves but at the end of the day, will their experiences match expectations? Or, will they be shocked to discover what it's really like to live in a man's world?
I don’t really understand exactly what lessons can be learned from this - it’s all surface-deep without the ability to also understand the internal life of a person. But it’ll make for fun TV, I’m sure.
Australian iView Manager Sally O’Donoghue has left the ABC. She announced this on Twitter.
US magician/comedian The Amazing Johnathanis well-known in Australia for frequent tours and appearances on the long-running Hey Hey It’s Saturday variety show. He was given one year to live back in 2014 due to a terminal heart condition. He subsequently cancelled his long-running Vegas show. He is still alive and is now the focus of a Hulu documentary which debuts in August.
Which is fine. The cartoon is a kids show and it’s not bad.
It surprises me that with all of the success had with theatrical superhero movies and some of the live action superhero shows that there hasn’t been an effort to do a prime-time adult-orientated cartoon featuring a character like Spider-Man, Batman, or Superman?
Surely it is only a matter of time, but there’s a lot of potential with it. I was really impressed with the world built for the Death of Superman animated film from last year - the first 10 minutes are pretty dull, but once it gets started in with the relationship issues between a now-dating Clark and Lois, that film is actually pretty darn good. It proved that adult-drama can work for the animated world’s of these characters.
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