As the new management of the newly-merged Warner Bros Discovery set out to cut costs and reduce debt, one of the targets, apparently, has been to scale back efforts in Europe. The plan was to produce local language series internationally, as is the plan for all of the large streaming services as they seek to grow out their international subscriber base. The company is ceasing original production in the Nordics, the Netherlands, Central Europe, and Turkey.
A bold move considering the need to grow these streaming services to scale. I guess management don't believe it doesn't need expensive shows like this when it can just export Dr Pimple Popper across the globe.
Previous owners AT&T ain't quite looking so bad right now...
The new Star Wars series Andor for Disney+ sounds ambitious in terms of the scope of its storytelling. Here's what we know:
- The series will be 24 episodes long.
- Andor will run for two seasons, each 12 episodes in length.
- Season one will span one full year. Season two then covers the next four years with each year broken into a 3-episode run.
- For the first season, four directors are on board, each directing a 3-episode block.
- Andor debuts August 31.
With Avatar: The Way of Water set to thrill audiences when it hits cinemas (finally) in December, news about the film is starting to ramp up as the publicity machine does what it does. Today there are comments from James Cameron who is talking about stepping back from directing the fourth and fifth Avatar films. Maybe. He's not sure what he wants to do.
What I found especially interesting was his comments about how the market has shifted since the previous film and the new one. He's very aware that audiences for a huge budget release are not the same anymore (there is a lot of talk about the difficulty in getting families and older viewers to the cinema).
Avatar’ played eight to 80, does the audience still even exist at that scale?… If we did 20 or 30% less because the market simply doesn’t exist anymore, that would be bad.
We knew that the original Avatar was getting a re-release ahead of the film (Sept 23), but AFAIK, there was no official word on the release outside of the US. Yesterday I saw that the film has an Australian release date - Sept 22. I'll see y'all there.
Australian TV viewership reaches tipping point
It has happened. As per a new report from Australian regulatory body ACMA, more Australians now watch their TV streamed online than via broadcast TV. Online subscription content accounted for 58% of viewership vs traditional broadcast free-to-air television at 54%.
- Kelsey Grammer moots October for the filming of the new upcoming Frasier show. Read: TV Line
- Ingmar Bergman’s Faithless will be adapted into a 6-episode series by Swedish pubcaster SVT. Read: Deadline
- Every English-language Super Nintendo game manual is now available to download. Read: The Verge
- RIP Duncanville. Read: Deadline
- RIP the Field of Dreams TV series by Parks & Recreation co-creator Mike Schur. Peacock reversed its greenlight on the project. There is a chance Universal Television may shop it around. If you screen it... Read: Variety
- Netflix app downloads were down in June. But Paramount+ app downloads were up a huge 19%. Read: Broadcasting & Cable
Twilight Zone VR releases on Quest 2 July 14.
That's it. There'll be another newsletter tomorrow. Don't blame me... it's court ordered.