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.
Toxic reality show Cops is being revived... by Fox News
A big day for Fox - today it announced a COPS revival. And it bought TMZ.
The long-running Fox reality show Cops was cancelled in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests last year. The cancellation was huge news. What was less reported was that the show went quietly back into production to film more episodes that the producers said was for contractual obligation to international TV networks.
Fox News has purchased those previously unaired (in the US) episodes along with an order for season 33. It will stream on its Fox Nation service. There is also talk of a revival of its sister series Live PD.
Justice for George Floyd... for at least one TV season.
TMZ purchased by Fox
WarnerMedia has been offloading assets to help pay down debt. One of those assets was gossip news site TMZ, which has been sold to Fox Entertainment.
One assumes that WarnerMedia was seeking a buyer that was just awful enough for TMZ to feel like a good fit.
Fox Corporation Executive Chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement, "The unique and powerful brand Harvey has created in TMZ has forever changed the entertainment industry and we're excited to welcome them to FOX."
Andrew Nell, Chairman and an on-air host of GB News, has resigned. GB News launched just three months ago and has fared poorly in the ratings. Is it the Fox News-style content that the Brits don't want, or the fact the network still hasn't worked out that a TV studio needs lighting? Read: Variety
A live-action She-Ra series is in development at Amazon. Read: Variety
Hayley Atwell will voice Lara Croft in an upcoming Tomb Raider animated series. Read: THR
RIP Ben Best, a co-creator of Eastbound and Down. Read: Variety
Hilary Swank will star as a journalist in Alaska in a new ABC pilot from Spotlight writer/director Tom McCarthy. Read: Deadline
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series will get a third season. Read: thefutoncritic
The changing racial dynamics of Hollywood writers rooms. This is a really good feature story. Take a few mins to check it out. Read: The Atlantic
La Brea: The first 5 mins
La Brea is a new NBC series about a sinkhole that appears in the Los Angeles La Brea tar pits. Because it is such an LA-focused story, the show was filmed in Melbourne, Australia. Obviously.
Ahead of its upcoming launch, NBC has released the first 5 minutes of the show so you can soak up all the character exposition you can ahead of watching the show. It looks exceptionally dumb - but also... I gotta watch this show.
HBO Max is reportedly working on a TV series based on the Batman villain The Penguin. It is described as being a Scarface-like rise of a crime kingpin.
What isn't known is whether this series is about the Batman villain The Penguin, or whether it is about The Batman villain The Penguin. That is to say: we don't know if this is just a series using the character, or whether it will be tied into the new Batman movie. The new series is set to be overseen by producers Dylan Clark and Matt Reeves - Reeves being the writer/director of The Batman film currently in production.
Colin Farrell plays The Penguin in the new film (in what is said to be a very small role), so if it is to be a spinoff from the movie, one would presume he'd star in the series? There are a few conflicting reports as this story emerges, but Variety suggests that the plan is for him to star and that a deal is being worked out.
If the series goes ahead, that would mean there are two spin-off series in the works for the film, with a prequel series set to feature Commissioner Gordon.
HBO Max isn't commenting on the story. Not yet.
Think Batman is being over-used?
I hear you asking: "Haven't we all had enough Batman?"
Allow me to change your mind with this news that there is a new animated show coming that is about the Batmobile and all the other vehicles driven by Batman and his various sidekicks.
Ethan Hawke (?!?!?!?) will voice Batman, with Jacob Bertrand (Cobra Kai) as Bam the Batmobile.
Having just been created by the Batcomputer, our heroes are essentially kids with little to no life experience. Led by Bam (The Batmobile), the Batwheels - Bibi (The Batgirl Cycle), Redbird (Robin's Sports Car), The Batwing and Buff (The Bat Truck) - must navigate the growing pains of being a newly formed super team as well as the growing pains that come with just being a kid. This relatable and aspirational series will follow the journey of this dynamic team as they thrill and entertain with their heroic adventures as well as demonstrate to kids the value of self-confidence, friendship and teamwork.
Hawkeye debuts on Disney+ Nov 24.
One of Us is Lying debuts on Peacock Oct 7.
Pretty Smart debuts Oct 8 on Netflix.
Colin in Black and White debuts on Netflix Oct 29.
Season 3 of Narcos: Mexico debuts on Netflix Nov 5.
There's Someone Inside Your House debuts on Netflix Oct 6.
The Forgotten Battle debuts on Netflix Oct 15.
The Chestnut Man debuts Sept 29 on Netflix.
Blood and Water returns for season 2 on Netflix Sept 24.
Grudge debuts on Netflix Oct 8.
What's next? Tomorrow.
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