We start today’s Always Be Watching update with some unexpected lovely news…

Welcome back, Mr President

The West Wing is coming back with the original cast.

Kind of.

A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote is a one-time special being filmed to raise money for When We Vote, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to increase voter participation in the US.

Returning are cast members cast members Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, and Martin Sheen. Also returning: creator Aaron Sorkin and director and executive producer Thomas Schlamme.

The special will have the cast performing the season 3 episode Hartsfield's Landing as a stage performance, along with new material penned by Sorkin. It’ll film in early October at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles.

WarnerMedia will make a donation to When We Vote in return for the special. It’ll stream in the US on HBO Max.

Source: THR

[Note: I haven’t seen a media release for this yet in my inbox, but I would assume this West Wing special will land on Foxtel in Australia. TBA…]

'The West Wing' - Publicity - H 2020

Selling office supplies at the RNC

The Republican National Convention is underway and it has been noticed how similar a speech yesterday by Don Jr’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle was to a speech given by a Dunder Mifflin staffer.

Stan signs with the bird

Aussie streamer Stan has signed a 2-3 year content deal for exclusive content deals for NBCU content. This isn’t a broad NBCU deal, but rather will secure Peacock originals, NBCU International Studios, Dreamworks Animation TV, and Sky shows from the UK.

Ultimately, I don’t think there’s a lot here to be super excited by. Bright spots include Dreamworks Animation TV (which should bring Stan some decent kids/family titles) and I’m happy to see the deal with Sky as that should yield some interesting titles like the highly anticipated (by me) Gareth Evans show Gangs of London.

Source: AFR

Netflix strike against UK and annex broadcasters in bid for power

There has been some concerns raised in the UK about local broadcasters being able to buy new TV shows and movies. Netflix, working to keep their content pipelines full in the future with so much production shut down in territories like the US, has been on a buying spree across the UK.

John McVay from trade group Pact:

“I know a lot of people who work for streamers in acquisitions and they are buying everything,” he said. “Unless we can get new, fresh content into the British schedules that is engaging and resonates with our experience of the world we’re living through, then I fear for our broadcasters.”  

“If you’ve got good quality British content that you’ve made – finished programmes – then you can charge a premium.”

Read more: The Guardian

Save the date

The one thing everyone is clamoring for in this time of COVID is a huge big-budget re-telling of Stephen King’s The Stand. Right? What better time to release the story of a flu-like virus wiping out the good bulk of humanity...

In a surprising move, CBS All Access, which has a brand new mini-series of The Stand ready to go, has opted not to delay the release of The Stand (2020) and will release it in December. One might have assumed it’d hold it back a few more months at least and release it once it rebrand the CBS All Access service early to mid next year. But maybe The Stand (2020) is seen as too much of a gamble now to tarnish the new brand with this disease-riddled show.

The Stand will debut Dec 17 with new episodes released every Thursday.

TeeVee Snacks

  • NBCUniversal has formally ordered its already-announced Joe Exotic series which will star Kate McKinnon as Carole Baskin. Source: Dark Horizons
  • Fox is developing an anthology series based on music stars. The first season of Icons will feature Wynonna and Naomi Judd. Source: Variety
  • Derry Girls will be back for a third season. One day. Production, as you would assume, is delayed by the virus. Source: Radio Times
  • Home Improvement's Tim Allen and Richard Karn  are teaming up for a documentary series that looks at unique projects by builders. [*Comedic grunt*]. Source: TV Insider

Trailer Park

Enola Holmes is the kid sister of Sherlock Holmes. And much like Sherlock, she ain’t bad at solving a mystery which comes in handy when her mother goes missing. It stars Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, and Helena Bonham-Carter. It debuts on Netflix Sept 23 and looks like great fun.

What’s next?