An interesting story over at the New York Times today references a phone call that then-Disney CEO Bob Iger made:
In October 2016, shortly before Time Warner and AT&T announced their deal, Bob Iger, the head of Disney at the time, placed a call to Jeff Bewkes, the chief of Time Warner, according to two people intimately familiar with those details. The Disney leader asked Bewkes if he’d be interested in a possible merger. It was too late, Bewkes said. There was already something in the works. Iger wished him well and hung up the phone. Later, Iger called another media chief in the hopes of forging a deal. It was Rupert Murdoch.
If he had called just a few weeks prior, the world of media would be in a very different place. A unification of Disney/Warners would have dramatically shifted pretty much everything. Just imagine how supercharged a combined streaming service of those two companies would have been with the depth of that library? The combined power of it's IP holdings? All the DC and Marvel characters under one roof? The impact of all that IP on Disney theme parks? It would have changed everything.
10,000 Ships, a Game of Thrones spin-off, names its Captain
Amanda Segel has been tapped by HBO to write the spin-off series 10,000 Ships. What's it about?
The drama is expected to follow the journey made by warrior queen Princess Nymeria and the surviving members of the Rhoynars, who traveled from Essos to Dorne following their defeat by the Valyrian Freehold in the Second Spice War.
This migration took place around 1,000 years before the events depicted in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels. Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams, named her direwolf after Nymeria.
Fox News serious about digital
There's a story of two cable networks. This year MSNBC hired a new President - 40 year-old Rashida Jones. One of her core tasks is to bring a younger viewership to MSNBC where the median age of viewers is 68 years-old. MSNBC's push into digital has so far involved getting some of its stars to blog on the MSNBC website (how very 2007) and the launch of an interview show on Peacock hosted by Mehdi Hasan.
Meanwhile Fox News has it's dedicated streaming service Fox Nation. It has struggled to develop an audience and much brand recognition. But it is growing - especially as they tie the new streamer to its existing opinion news linear channel. Starting in June, Fox Nation will have next-day streaming of the Fox News primetime shows hosted by Tucker Carlson (ugh), Sean Hannity (ick), and Laura Ingraham (blergh). A linear feed of the channel is also available to Fox Nation subscribers internationally.
Also this week Fox Nation began offering free one-year subs to military veterans and active-duty military personnel.
Of the two, you can see which is actually serious about digital.
The current trend is for big media companies to host their own fan conventions. Think Disney's D23 and the online-only DC Fandome. Now Netflix is getting in on the act with a event they have branded Geekend Week.
Expect “a wide array of exclusive news, new trailers, live art, drop-ins from your favorite stars and much more.”
It's a smart move from Netflix as the company tries to tie its brand closer with genre IP to compete against huge IP-driven platforms like Disney+ and HBO Max.
Is 'The Big Screen Is Back'?
Following on from yesterday's query as to whether Hollywood studios really believed that the big screen was back, here's Disney CEO Bob Chapek with some level headed thoughts:
We’ve already delayed Black Widow a couple of times, we didn’t want to delay it again. Yet, at the same time, we always knew there was a risk that exhibition wasn’t going to be fully developed or consumers wouldn’t want to go back and sit in theaters. So, we realized we had to sort of prime the pump and give theatrical exhibition a chance. We couldn’t put all of our eggs in the theatrical exhibition basket because we knew that in the weeks leading up to the decision that the domestic market was not coming back. And it’s still fairly weak. So, we’re very confident that we made the right call there.
- Wondering whatever happened to The CW's reboot of Powerpuff Girls? They're taking it back to pilot deeming the one made this year as "too campy". Read: TV Line
- Amazon is making a version of The Masked Singer for Japan. Hopefully we get to see it internationally, because I can't help but suspect a Japanese version of this show with all of the extreme costuming would be pretty wild. Read: Deadline
- Here's today's reminder of how important China is to Hollywood theatrical output these days: Check out F9's John Cena's apology after he called Taiwan a country.
- RIP Mark York, an actor who made a very memorable appearance on an early episode of The Office. Read: NYT
- A very popular channel on Twitch's Pools, Hut Tubs, And Beaches category is this live stream of Otters doing stuff. Read: The AV Club
- Disney has picked up season 3 of Bluey internationally. Read: C21
Actual TeeVee Snack news
Found in the supermarket over the weekend:
I haven't tried the original glazed yet, but can confirm that the choc iced taste remarkably like the Krispy Kreme choc iced donuts. But in biscuit form.
Gunpowder Milkshake is a movie coming to Netflix in the US on July 14 (and to cinemas internationally) starring Karen Gillan and Lena Headey and Michelle Yeoh and Carla Gugino and Angela Basset. And it looks glorious.
Also coming to cinemas is Edgar Wright's Last Night in Soho starring Thomasin McKenzie and Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen's Gambit). It debuts October 22.
Luxe Listings Sydney debuts July 9 on Amazon Prime Video.
Record of Ragnarok debuts June 17 on Netflix.
What's next? Tomorrow.