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 Simpsons returns as it was meant to be seen: In 4:3.
ALSO: TV has gotten super weird today.
This is The Simpsons. It’s a popular animated sitcom. This image is in 16:9-ish.
That isn’t the 4:3 image that the almighty intended. But that grave injustice will soon be corrected. Expect to see the show in its original format available from the end of May. It’ll only be the first seven seasons at first, which means there’s just two more seasons to fix.
Weird news. Netflix, being a good customer-focused company, has announced that they will notify and cancel customers subscriptions if users haven’t logged in to the platform for over a year.
"You know that sinking feeling when you realize you signed up for something but haven't used it in ages?" Eddy Wu, Netflix's director of product innovation, said in a statement. "At Netflix, the last thing we want is people paying for something they're not using."
Weirder news. John Krasinski launched a YouTube series during the shutdown called Some Good News. It was a joyous, heartwarming low-fi TV experiment where he tried to highlight the good news happening in the world.
He’s now sold it as a format for CBS All Access where it’ll become a proper TV show, but hosted by someone else.
Weirdest news. CBS will broadcast a TV special on May 29 called Haircut Night in America. It’s a COVID-19 shutdown special that shows Americans how best to cut and style their hair at home.
CBS announced today a new one-hour special, HAIRCUT NIGHT IN AMERICA, hosted by married actors Jerry O'Connell and Rebecca Romijn, to be broadcast Friday, May 29 (8:00-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. The special features America's top hair stylists who will guide celebrities, including Kelly Osbourne, Olympian Lindsey Vonn and hockey superstar P.K. Subban, and frontline healthcare workers, through the perfect DIY haircut, color and style from their homes.
With the majority of salons and barbershops still closed while America shelters in place, many increasingly hirsute people are missing their regularly scheduled salon appointments, and now more than ever need expert advice on how to rein in their unruly manes. After nearly three months of social distancing, the time has come for people to take haircare into their own hands. In HAIRCUT NIGHT IN AMERICA, top stylists will expertly guide celebrities in a "cut-a-long" from their homes and reveal the final looks, no matter the outcome. They'll also weave in tips and tricks for viewers to achieve the best at-home coifs, turning DIY hairDON'Ts into hairDOs! Also, O'Connell and Romijn will highlight some of the best self-haircare moments that have hit social media while sheltering in place.
Obviously this special is kind of stupid. But… there’s also something kind of nice and wholesome about it all.
The US ABC network has made its announcement of which shows will be renewed or cancelled for the 2020/21 TV season.
A Million Little Things
Dancing with the Stars
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
The Good Doctor
America’s Funniest Home Videos
Fresh from the TV womb:
Big Sky (from David E. Kelley)
Call Your Mother
That’s right… Supermarket Sweep is officially coming back!!!!
Bless This Mess
Kids Say The Darndest Things
Still waiting on a coin flip:
The Baker and the Beauty
It’s good to see Stumptown is being given a go. The show has a lot of promise, but the first season was all over the place and kept forgetting that the show is supposed to be a fun PI show. I’m obviously excited to see the Supermarket Sweep format is being dusted off. How long until we see it revived in Australia? And is it embarrassing to admit that I watched the first episode of The Baker and The Beauty and kinda enjoyed it? That never happened, of course. *cough* *cough*
Based on Greg Rucka’s comic book series, new Netflix film The Old Guard will debut July 10. Charlize Theron and Chiwetel Ejiofor star.
The Verge considers Apple TV+ six months after its launch. There’s been a popular show: The Morning Show. There’s been some very good, but under-watched shows: Mythic Quest, For All Mankind, Servant. And then there have been others.
What does the future hold for the service?
“What’s really hard about Apple TV Plus is that virtually 100 percent of the subscribers are [on] annual free trials,” Rameez Tase, CEO of data firm Antenna, told The Verge. “It’s very hard to gauge what that subscriber actually means. Because when you place it next to any other service, which has predominantly paid subscribers, the numbers don’t look that bad. But no one’s paying for Apple TV Plus.”
The biggest problem I would suggest is that the platform is a confusing hodge-podge of releases. Viewers aren’t properly informed of what the new shows are, when they’ll be available, and will they be released as a full season or weekly? It’s a mess.