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 value of Seinfeld, Friends, & The Office. ALSO: Paul Rudd
Always Be Watching is written by Dan Barrett who is told by his mother that he is worth more than those three shows combined.
Why are Friends, Seinfeld, and The Office worth so much to streaming services? It’s pretty simple:
“Classic television shows that still resonate in 2019 and beyond with viewers, have global appeal and tons of episodes – that is a relatively short list,” said Rich Greenfield, an a media analyst with LightShed Partners. “It makes sense that there’s a handful of shows with this massive appeal. And you have more bidders than ever before, so the result is sky-high pricing.”
Paul Rudd is doing press for his new Netflix show in which he stars opposite himself in Living With Yourself. This means we get this charming profile piece from the NYT…
His wheelhouse, as Rudd understands it, is a certain sort of Everyman who, despite the good looks and charisma, is an avatar of averageness. In his most successful performances, he is besieged by quotidian problems; he is blessed with impeccable comic timing but at his funniest when he’s flailing and frustrated. Sometimes he can seem like two people at once.
It’s a dichotomy Rudd uses to full advantage in “Living With Yourself,” a comedy-drama with a science-fiction twist. In the series, he plays Miles, a dejected brand executive who has lost his passion for his work and his marriage. On a tip from a co-worker, he tries a mysterious spa treatment that he hopes will make him a new and better man — and which instead results in the creation of a clone (also played by Rudd) who is seemingly superior to Miles in every way.
Network 10’s upfronts announcement today includes more of The Bachelor, I’m a Celebrity, Dancing With The Stars, Gogglebox, and The Masked Singer. More interesting than that (and that’s hard to believe, I know), is some of the international titles it has acquired.
Amid the titles are Netflix’s Bojack Horseman for 10 Peach, and for 10 All Access: The Unicorn, Evil, and The Good Fight.
I believe the official event is to be held tonight, so there may be some additional announcements tomorrow.
New series Treadstone is a spin-off from the Bourne movies starring Matt Damon, following up on the organisation that developed supersoldier spies. From the review, it sounds like this has less of the appeal of Damon’s Bourne movies and is more akin to Jeremy Renner’s Bourne Legacy spin-off film.
Regardless, I’m keen to give it a look when it debuts on 15 Oct.
It’s worth noting that said battle sequences, violent fights carried out by unlikely-seeming fighters, are vervy fun; though this show isn’t trying to measure up to the quality of Paul Greengrass’s “Bourne” movies, it brings with it some of the funky energy. (The actress Han Hyo-joo’s action work here, interspersed between quiet scenes of domestic life, deserves special mention.) And, at a more sprawling length than any individual “Bourne” movie, the series has room to do the sort of who-am-I, what-was-I-made-for contemplation that Damon’s Jason Bourne didn’t allow himself; perhaps the show’s most promising plotline is that of Patrick Fugit, a perpetually rewarding actor who, as a math teacher with hidden rage, confronts that which is haunting him, or programmed within him.
Ryan Reynolds and Will Farrell will star opposite each other in a remake of A Christmas Carol. Indiewire has thought it through and when you consider the budget associated with these two stars in it and general production & publicity costs, the film would need to make $400 million worldwide to make a profit.
Thankfully, box office isn’t a concern here as, after a major bidding war, Apple has bought the rights to this. Presumably it will launch for Christmas in 2020 - a pretty good incentive to put an Apple TV under a few Christmas trees.