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 Smurfs are coming back!
ALSO: McLeod's Daughters return. AND: Uh... Billy Mitchell is back on top
In positively smurfy news, ViacomCBS has signed a deal with The Smurfs rights olders LAFIG Belgium and IMPS to create a new animated series and maerchandise the heck out of it across U.S., Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Malaysia.
The new series will debut in 2021. Hopefully we finally start seeing some diversity in the show…
THE STORY CONTINUES. Yes - it really does. And I’m letting you know first. We’re developing a feature film. It’s called “The McLeods of Drovers Run” and I started writing the story a couple of months ago. TODAY we heard that we’ve got backing from Screen Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government to write the very first stage of the movie. This is such a vote of confidence in McLeods. And I promise, as we develop the story with the very talented screen writer Emma Jensen (“Mary Shelley” and the upcoming release, “I am Woman” - the Helen Reddy story) that I’ll keep you with us every step of the way. We’re just at the beginning, the very beginning, but we’re on our way. No promises but I have such a good feeling about this. Hope I’m right 🙏 #mcleodsmovie#backinthesaddle#happy#screentasmania#onourway#justthebeginjng#breakthrough#emmajensen#transmissionfilms#elisearcherJune 17, 2020
The world’s silliest “celebrity”, Billy Mitchell, is in the news again. Mitchell, you will remember as the break-out weirdo character from the documentary King of Kong about the world of competitive Donkey Kong playing. Yes… it’s a thing. Guinness World Records officials have once again crowned him as the king of Kong.
Sleep easy, fans.
I guess this is the first teaser for Zack Snyder’s Justice Leaguecut. The Internet is going to be unbearable for the next year, I can tell.
Spotify has signed a licensing deal with WarnerMedia for narrative storytelling podcasts that will star DC Comics characters.
Spotify can produce, market, distribute, and sell ads against podcasts built around DC Comics IP. Although the company didn’t detail the agreement, it’s likely Warner is making money not just off the licensing but also the ads that’ll show up in the shows. Spotify hasn’t yet released details on the programs and casting.
This is interesting for a few reasons:
All of Spotify’s podcast acquisitions so far have targeted adult listeners. This is likely an effort to move towards kids and family entertainment.
Spotify have video ambitions ahead. I wouldn’t expect to see full-blown animation or live action video as part of this deal, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the podcasts loaded with visual content - this makes all the sense in the world with superhero content. Possibly a podcast equivalent of Warners efforts to produce ‘motion comics’ in the past.