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 Queen's Gambit: The Musical
ALSO: Oprah's chat w/ Meghan and Harry a hit. AND: RIP Kim's Convenience
Great news for fans of The Queen’s Gambit
This is unexpected, but we should all have seen this one coming. But instead of me telling you about this Queen’s Gambit news, here’s a meme I just generated at Frinkiac:
That’s right - The Queen’s Gambit novel (recently adapted by Scott Frank into a very popular Netflix series) is now being adapted into a musical.
“It is a privilege for Level Forward to lead the charge of bringing The Queen’s Gambit to the stage through the beloved and enduring craft of musical theater,” said Level Forward CEO Adrienne Becker and Producer Julia Dunetz in a statement. “Told through a brave and fresh point of view, audiences are already sharing in the friendship and fortitude of the story’s inspiring women who energize and sustain Beth Harmon’s journey and ultimate triumph. The story is a siren call amidst our contemporary struggles for gender and racial equity, and we’re looking forward to moving the project forward.”
No creative team or casting is in place yet, but to give you an indication about the company mounting this, Level Forward have previously staged What The Constitution Means To Me, Oklahoma!, Jagged Little Pill,andSlave Play. So, this should be reasonably legit.
Ratings for the Oprah chat with the royal refugees brought network CBS 17.14 million people. That’s the biggest audience for a non-sports program this year. The first episode of The Equalizer did do better, but it was a post Super Bowl program, so let’s all consider that a sports beneficiary. Read: THR
Meanwhile, those wanting to watch the show via new ViacomCBS-owned streamer Paramount+ were disappointed to find it wasn’t made available there. The streaming rights provided by Harpo, Oprah’s production company who made the special, didn’t extend that far. Read: TV Line
RIP Kim’s Convenience
The fifth season of Canadian comedy Kim’s Convenience, starting on CBC April 13, will be its last.
The creators of the show had planned to move on, with the series set to continue. But now the show will conclude with creators Ins Choi and Kevin White still running the show.
Meanwhile the series stars are busy being sucked into the huge Hollywood industrial machinery with the titular Mr Kim, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, recurring on The Mandalorian (possibly to feature in one of the upcoming spin-offs), and Simu Liu cast in Marvel’s Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
Which isn’t to say that Simu Liu is happy about the show coming to an end. It looks like there were firm plans in place for a sixth season and beyond:
The question now: Could Netflix step in and save the show? It may be a CBC series, but Netflix has turned it into a global success with a very passionate fan base - people love this show. Netflix clearly had something they wanted to say about Kim’s Convenience… or at least, something the social media staffer wanted to say before being advised against it - here’s their response on Twitter to Liu’s post:
Pepe Le Pew will not be appearing in Space Jam 2. He should have never did what he did into that pot plant. Read: Deadline
Seven launched the Australian version of Ultimate Tag to just 447,000 people. It’s a sad indictment of UT that Married At First Sight was the more substantial show to watch that night. Read: TV Tonight
6.4 million people watched the return of ITV detective show McDonald & Dodd’s in the UK. Read: ITV
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes the new Apple VR headset will be released at the price of about $1k, with its AR headset likely released in 2025. Read: UploadVR
Apple TV has signed a multi-year deal with Malala Yousafzai. Read: World Screen
Amazon & Netflix’s content is being examined by the government of India for not meeting community standards. Read: TBI
Your HSX shares in Brandy must be surging right now with the singer set to return to TV. She’s been cast in the new ABC pilot Queens. Read: Deadline
Queen of The South will end with its fifth season. Read: Deadline
If you’re curious to know what Colin Trevorrow & Derek Connolly’s Star Wars Episode 9 filmDuel of the Fates might have looked like, some scamp online is adapting their script into a 7-part comic. Read: Andrew Winegarner
Coming 2 America
Critics may have been less than thrilled by it (along with a bunch of people I’ve seen talking about it), but it appears to have been a success for Amazon Prime Video:
The Prime Video app has jumped to the No. 1 most downloaded for entertainment and No. 2 across all free apps.
Listen First report the movie is the “most-talked” about film on Twitter to be released in 2021.
The film’s streaming page has received 9,000+ reviews and currently stands at 3.8 stars (out of 5).
The film is currently No. 1 in Nigeria and West Africa and is the highest opening for a film released in 2021 in Nigeria and West Africa.
Ultimately, actual metrics like ‘how many people watched it?’ and ‘Of those who watched it, how many people completed the film?’ are moot - the actual number of views that streaming titles get is irrelevant to whether it’s a success or not. In the world of streaming, it’s a multi-billion dollar shell game. If a streamer can generate buzz and make it seem like people are missing out if they’re not subscribed, that FOMO leads to higher subscription numbers.