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 Mandalorian s3 very possible
ALSO: An NBCU sex scandal. AND: Welcome a second goose into your home.
A season 3 of The Mandalorian is apparently very possible in times of restrictive production practices during COVID. The show uses a lot of virtual reality environments to film in, which often keeps cast members filming at different times. And the production itself relies on technicians working in an environment that is not entirely dissimilar to LAN gamers.
“The fact that the set is much more contained is a benefit, because you can limit the number of people. A lot of the people controlling it are doing it remotely from what we call the Brain Bar, which is a bank of gaming computers, essentially. The amount of people near the camera could be much smaller than [usual]. We also shoot a lot outside, which is helpful, too. We build to a moment in filming more like an animated production, where we have a lot of storyboards, a lot of discussions and scouting in virtual reality. We use cinematic tools in VR much the same way we did for The Lion King and The Jungle Book. A lot of times the actors you are seeing on the screen aren’t actually there on set.”
NBCUniversal Vice Chairman and industry legend Ron Meyer has departed the company following a scandal that involved an extramarital affair, a payment, and attempted extortion efforts.
It is all very seedy and will get only moreso over the coming days. As Deadline states:
Rumors are now racing around town, and it will be open season on revelations and it sure seems that more will be written about his lifestyle and that it will further sully Meyer’s standing as an elder statesman in a business that is barely recognizable from when he was one of the most powerful agents in Hollywood.
Proving that video games are indeed art was the smash hit indie game Untitled Goose Game. A defining moment in screen entertainment. But, like all art, it was problematic. The interactive experience demanded users lock themselves away from their community in order to engage with the art. But… no longer.
September 23 - Untitled Goose Game delivers a free update that will allow for two players.
Mark it in your calendars. Unless a goose has stolen said calendar and thrown it in a nearby lake.
Rachel Weisz will star in a TV series adaptation for Amazon Prime Video of the David Cronenberg film Dead Ringers. Source: Variety
ViacomCBS is in talks to sell tech website CNET. Source: Deadline
Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj has been cancelled by Netflix after 6 seasons. It started in 2018. Source: TV Insider
Call The Midwife is back in production on a 2020 Christmas special and a 7-episode season 10. Source: Deadline
Late Night with Seth Meyers returns to its 30 Rock studio from next week. Source: Vulture
Glasgow-based Synchronicity Films, which made The Cry, are opening up an Australian branch in Melbourbe. Synchronicity Australia will be headed up by Ruth Underwood. Source: Deadline
Three producers are gone from The Ellen DeGeneres Show as the show attempts to clean house and save the show from itself. Source: BBC
Start licking those lips
American Barbecue Showdown is a new eight-part show coming to Netflix on Sept 18 that follows America’s best backyard smokers and competitive barbecuers in competition. AP Bio star Lyric Lewis and Floor Is Lava host Rutledge Wood will host.
Virgin may have stopped the V Festival back in 2017, but the UK music festival will be back this year across three nights with remotely filmed musical acts. A lot of the music aired, however, will be from previously recorded V Festivals from years gone by. It’ll screen on ITV2 at 7pm everyday from Friday 21st August until Sunday 23rd August.
When Colbert moved back to filming at the offices of the Ed Sullivan Theatre last week, he moved not back into the studio, but into what he referred to as an office three levels below his actual office. And that office was built to resemble his actual office.
Here’s a clip from the new set last week:
Today, ahead of a live broadcast of Colbert (live so he can comment on the Democratic Convention), the below photo was posted by show EP Chris Licht. I really thought they were filming in a cramped, refurbed office (the camera shots are *tight*). But no… this is more like a standard set.
An oral history of Steamed Hams
It began with a 2-minute sketch on a Simpsons episode and has evolved into a meme that has only gotten stronger 20 years later.
Probably the best Steamed Hams meme is this one crossing the sketch with Pulp Fiction:
Brian VanHooker at MEL Magazine has an oral history of the sketch, along with its meme aftermath. The article is actually really great and will finally explain why Sideshow Bob encountered so many rakes.
The US remake of UK series Utopia will debut on Amazon Prime Video Sept 23.
Teen comedy The Binge is a Hulu original film debuting on August 28. Taking its cues from the film series The Purge, this depicts a world where the world is now dry except for one night a year where everyone is permitted to drink as much booze and take as many drugs as they want.
Quibi’s Reno 911 returns August 24.
Enslaved is a new docu-series launching on Epix from Samuel L Jackson about the transatlantic slave trade. It debuts Sept 14.
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