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 Saved By The Bell remake looks... good?
ALSO: A Three Men and a Babry remake with Zac Efron. AND: A Blazing Saddles remake with cats?
Maybe the biggest surprise of this trailer for the upcoming Saved By The Bell reboot is that it looks kind-of okay. Maybe even… good?
The show is being showrun by 30 Rock’s Tracey Wigfield.
Needs more Tom Selleck
Zac Efron will star in a remake of Three Men and a Baby for Disney+. Before you suggest that Hollywood doesn’t have any new ideas anymore, know that Three Men and a Baby was a remake of the French movie Trois hommes et un couffin.
Interest in this remake will depend heavily on who Efron’s co-stars are. Efron has proven in past movies that he can be quite good when he has funny people to play off.
Are you ready for the animated remake of Blazing Saddles?
Blazing Samurai is in production and will feature the voice talent of Mel Brooks, Michael Cera, Samuel L. Jackson, Ricky Gervais, George Takei, Michelle Yeoh, and Djimon Hounsou.
The story, directed by Mark Koetsier, follows Hank, a loveable mutt with big dreams of becoming a Samurai. When he finds himself with a new job as sheriff of Kakamucho, he also finds he may have bitten off more than he can chew given the town is inhabited solely by cats.
A full-length trailer for the upcoming Hilary Swank series Away has been released. The space drama debuts on Netflix September 4.
I think this show looks really great.
Banned Black-ish episode resurfaces
In 2017 the US ABC network opted not to run an episode of Black-ish due to its themes about (justifiable) Trump concern. That episode is now available to stream on Hulu. Here’s show creator Kenya Barris:
Larry Wilmore back on TV-ish
Black-ish executive producer Larry Wilmore is returning to TV. The former Daily Show correspondent and host of The Nightly Show (which I miss) will host a new weekly chat show on streamer Peacock.
Wilmore will have discussions with high profile people from all different backgrounds including sports, politics and entertainment. Each episode will cover the election and important conversations of the week.
You’ve likely heard the phrase ‘Brilliant, but cancelled’. The truth is that most cancelled shows are just cancelled. Every year, particularly from the time where broadcast networks were responsible for the bulk of what we watched, there were a vast number of pilots and shows quickly cancelled that effectively just vanish from the world. They don’t get released on streaming services or DVD/Bluray. They just… disappear.
Might I recommend spending some time on the Panama Mike YouTube channel? This agent of heaven has devoted considerable time to uploading the first episode of years worth of long forgotten TV shows.
Last night I discovered through this channel that Lauren Graham, who spent much of the mid to late 90s bouncing from sitcom to sitcom until she struck gold with Gilmore Girls, appeared in two different sitcoms set in advertising agencies where she was the female co-star. These shows were 1996’s Conrad Bloomand Good Company.
WarnerMedia’s Jason Kilar has been doing the media rounds. Here he is talking with Bloomberg and playing it down the middle on pretty much every question he’s asked. He’s not talking up streaming too much in the same way that he is positive about the future of theatrical exhibition and linear cable TV. Get Kilar in a private chat and I suspect the answers would be far less measured.
The most interesting part of the interview is where he’s being more candid about his past running Hulu. Here he is talking about the decision to launch Hulu in Japan as the first (and really, only) international expansion the company ever made:
A lot of media companies, including those in the capitalization table of Hulu, had existing businesses in most countries around the world. There was a desire among those executives not to disrupt themselves. The decision each had to make was: Do I disrupt myself by having Hulu enter Germany, or the U.K. or Italy? Or do I go someplace I don’t have a large business?
They decided to go in the latter. If you talked to any of them today, they’d say it was a mistake. I’d say it was a mistake, and one of my biggest regrets was not being able to persuade the board of Hulu to go international.
[For some historical context and to save you looking it up on Wikipedia, Hulu, under Jason Kilar, launched into Japan in 2011. Just three years later they backed out, licensing the Hulu brand to Nippon TV.]