The death of a TV legend, The sale of a TV icon, and 2x more Paul Rudd than usual.

Always Be Watching is written by Dan Barrett

I haven’t yet watched El Camino, but instead spent my weekend blitzing through 2 seasons of Mr Robot to catch up to the new season. It was one of those shows that I loved, but lost my way with. It’s also a show that plays so much better as a binge-watch than as a week-to-week show. The show is more gripping, tightly plotted, and visually audacious than almost any other show on the air right now.

If the show was on Netflix instead of a US broadcast cable channel, would Mr Robot be one of the biggest shows in the world today? I feel like the answer to it might be yes.

Oh, I also finished watching all of Modern Love - which debuts this coming weekend on Amazon (I rather like it), the first few episodes of Shudder original series Creepshow (I rather didn’t like it), and the first few episodes of the second season of an embargoed action adventure show that I really liked from last year (yeah - it’s the one you’re thinking of). For unnamed show, the series very cleverly got rid of the one big problem that I had with season one. More on that next week…

Daniel DÁddario at Variety has a positive review for the new Netflix Paul Rudd show Living With Yourself. This is giving me just the boost I will need to get through the week.

The new light drama series “Living with Yourself” makes this device literal: It forces us to compare the Rudd we think we know with Rudd as he might be, were he one of us. The pilot presents us with Rudd’s Miles in pieces, barely able to muster the energy to submit even lazy pitches at his advertising job and endlessly forestalling doing his part in his wife’s (Aisling Bea) fertility treatments. Little wonder that Miles takes advantage of an opportunity suggested by a coworker (Desmin Borges) to undergo an experimental treatment; that treatment, meant to kill Miles and replace him with a rejuvenated clone who hasn’t been subject to years’ worth of living in an inhospitable world, fails only in that it does not kill him. Now, Miles and Miles must coexist — concealing the fact of their doubleness from the world around them and providing a vision of a performer as we’ve previously known him and one in a new sort of pain.

Source: Variety


The New York townhouse that served as the exterior for Elaine’s apartment in Seinfeld is on sale for a very reasonable US$8.65 million. The property is quite a bit bigger than Elaine’s abode.

Related image


The townhouse from the outside. Recognize it?


Peep the gardens in the back, and one of the (many) fireplaces.

Source: CNN

MIPCOM is on this week in France. It is the international trade event for producers and buyers of TV to buy and sell shows/formats. While everyone is conscious of the fact that over the coming years large US streaming services will be expanding their footprint globally, while producing a lot of TV content in-house. But, this year sales are expected to be high while so many large companies are getting their ducks in a row.

An interesting company to look at is HBO:

HBO is the centerpiece of WarnerMedia’s plans to build out the proprietary HBO Max streaming platform, which also aspires to be a global service for maximum amortization of its content expenditures, a la Netflix. That means HBO and Warner Bros. will likely keep more of its high-end content off the open market outside the U.S. But in this interim period, there is still high demand for high-end content and HBO isn’t going to leave money on the table. “Game of Thrones” can’t be bought but HBO Latin America is eagerlys hopping three premium projects this week at MIPCOM, including the buzzy period drama “Santos Dumont,” a biopic of the famed Brazilian aviator and inventor Alberto Santos Dumont. That series and others on HBO Latin America’s slate reflects the bigger budgets and wider scope of HBO’s original series productions outside the U.S.

Source: Variety

And finally…

TV legend Reg Watson, creator of Neighbours, Crossroads, and The Young Doctors, passed away at age 93.

Source: The Guardian

ABW TV Guide: All the new & returning TV to watch this weekend (11-13 Oct 2019)

Weekly guide compiled by Dan Barrett

The roll-out of the new US TV season continues. There’s a whole lot of returning shows with a handful of new series launching.

Batwoman is probably the biggest, most high-profile new series launching. And probably its most disappointing. The visually striking comic brought to life on the screen with a generic CW style.

All eyes this week though are on El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, the Netflix original movie that follows Breaking Bad’s Jesse Pinkman.


Supergirl (s5), The Walking Dead (s10), The Talking Dead (s9), Madam Secretary (s6), Mr Robot (s4), Motherland (s2), All American (s2), Black Lightning (s3), The Flash (s6), Riverdale (s4), Supernatural (s15), Legacies (s2), The Rookie (s2), Insatiable (s2), The Hook-up Plan (s2), Dunasty (s3), Charmed (s2)


El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie - Netflix (US)

Director: Vince Gilligan
Writer: Vince Gilligan
Stars: Aaron PaulMatt JonesJonathan Banks

After escaping Jack and his gang, Jesse Pinkman goes on the run from the police and tries to escape his own inner turmoil.

Batwoman - The CW (US)

Stars: Ruby RoseCamrus JohnsonElizabeth Anweis

Kate Kane seeks justice for Gotham City as Batwoman.

Zomboat - ITV (UK)

Stars: Leah BrotherheadHamza JeetooaRyan McKen

A Zombie apocalypse is unleashed in Birmingham and sisters Kat and Jo, together with unlikely travel companions Sunny and Amar must flee for their canal boat.

[Note: No trailer available]

Nancy Drew - The CW (US)

Stars: Sinead CurryTony AliAlvina August

Young Nancy Drew makes plans to leave her hometown for college after high school graduation, but finds herself drawn into a supernatural murder mystery.

The Birch - Facebook Watch (US)

Stars: Dempsey BrykXaria DotsonTommy Hestmark

A teenager seeks out the help of a monster who lives in the woods.

Drew Barrymore's new show. ALSO: Sesame Street deals with opioids

Always Be Watching is written by Dan Barrett under the influence of Sesame Street.

Drew Barrymore is coming (back) to television. It’s surprising that it is only happening now, but she will star in a new daytime TV show. This seems like a perfect fit for the bubbly star.

This is happening at an interesting time. There’s talk that Ellen will probably call it quits after the current run of her contract, so there are a number of high profile daytime shows launching now with the hope of building up enough viewer goodwill that they become the successor to the Ellen show.

Barrymore immediately feels like a force in daytime to be reckoned with.

Source: Broadcasting and Cable

Image result for drew barrymore

Truth Be Told is a new 10-episode Apple TV+ series debuting on 6 Dec. It stars Octavia Spencer alongside Aaron Paul and Lizzy Caplan. Paul plays a convicted murderer who may have been falsely imprisoned, in part, due to the reporting of an investigative reporter. What happens when new evidence comes to light?

Today, we have a new trailer for it:

The new Always Be Watching podcast has us talking about new Netflix drama Unbelievable, new CBS drama Evil, and the Netflix comedy feature film Between Two Ferns: The Movie.

It is available now in your podcast apps of choice, but you can get more info from the Always Be Watching site.

I’m not big on competition reality shows, but I was captivated in recent months by US show Holey Moley. Developed by an Australian production team at Eureka Productions, it is a fun, tongue-firmly-in-cheek show built around mini golf. The show has been given the green light for a second season.

Source: TV By The Numbers

Back in the late 80s readers of DC Comics killed Robin.

There was a 4-part storyline which had the then-Robin Jason Todd travelling the world to find his mother. The Joker got involved and part 3 of the storyline had Robin being beaten to death by Joker with a crowbar. A phone number was set up allowing fans to call up and vote whether Robin would live or die. DC readers voted for death. And the Boy Wonder was no more*.

(*Of course, these are comics, so there was a new Robin a few years later and even Jason Todd was brought back to life a good 20 years later).

Image result for joker crowbar

The TV show Titans, which features Robin as a main character has ended this week’s episode with a cliffhanger that has Robin in peril. DC is asking viewers to vote on whether he should live.

It’s a fun nod to the comic stunt, but it’s worth noting that the episode is well and truly already in the can and that the vote is meaningless. It would be fun for a TV show to end with a vote like that though and let the blood run free.

Source: Polygon

Jason Todd (Curran Walters) hangs by his hands from the edifice of a building, in Titans.

Yesterday in the newsletter I made mention of Treadstone, the Bourne spin-off series. Word came just after I hit send that the series will be made available via Amazon Prime Video.

Yesterday the 10 Network in Australia held its Upfronts. Worth noting from the event was the announcement of new talent on Masterchef. Replacing the previous hosts are Jock Zonfrillo, Melissa Leong, and Andy Allen. I’ll be honest and say I’m not that familiar with them, but I did briefly meet Melissa Leong once while doing a tour of The Chef’s Line (back when I was working at SBS) and I liked her.

Source: TV Tonight

Just briefly on the subject of 10, the most recent episode of the Mediaweek podcast (which has been publishing a bunch of media interviews produced by Mi3 - I’m not sure what the deal is with that) has an interview with 10 CEO Paul Anderson and Chief Content Officer Beverley McGarvey. It’s worth a listen if you’re really into Aus broadcast TV business.

It got me thinking very broadly about 10 and its future. Of any of the Aus FTA broadcasters, it has the potential to be the most interesting due to its CBS ownership. CBS is in huge flux right now, particularly in regards to its digital assets, as it merges its business with Viacom. Once the parent company settles into a cohesive digital strategy, the ramifications on 10 will be huge (I can see huge potential in not only 10 leveraging the CBS/Viacom library of content, but also for 10 content to flow back to the US and internationally via its Pluto TV platform)

Until then, it feels like 10 is just treading water - taking wins where it can.

Viewers of Sesame Street are going to find out what happened to the mother of its Muppet character Karli. She’s in treatment for addiction.

Source: Deadline

And finally…

As a teen of the 90s and as a massive nerd, I was very fond of the early 90s X-Men cartoon. The producers of the cartoon are being sued over the striking similarities between the theme song and a theme song from a Hungarian TV show called Linda.

Listening to both, they do sound VERY similar…

X-Men: The Animated Series:


Read more: Dark Horizons

ABW Podcast: Unbelievable | Evil | Between Two Ferns: The Movie

This week: Dan Barrett & Chris Yates are joined by film critic Blake Howard

Always Be Watching asks the big questions. Actually, it's the same damn question every week: What have you been watching?

Dan and Chris are at ABW HQ this week as always, but joining them for a second week in a row is film critic and podcaster Blake Howard. That's the same Blake from the popular One Heat Minute podcast in which he analysed the 1995 film Heat one minute at a time. He also hosts podcast The Take and is involved with upcoming podcasts about Inherent Vice and Josie & The Pussycats.

On the ABW podcast the three discuss:

01:56 Unbelievable [Netflix]
13:07 Evil [US: CBS | AUS: Ten All Access]
22:30 Between Two Ferns: The Movie [Netflix]

You can listen to the podcast on your favourite podcast apps, or listen to it via the web HERE.

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.”

Source: The Guardian

The cast of Seinfeld

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.

Source: The New York Times

Rudd with Evangeline Lilly in the Marvel movie “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” which Rudd helped write.

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.

Source: TV Tonight

Former NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer has been accused of raping a colleague. The allegations, raised in Ronan Farrow’s book Catch and Kill, have been denied by Lauer.

Read more: Deadline

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. 

Source: Variety

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.

Source: Indiewire

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock (1574737a)Elf, Will FerrellFilm and Television

And finally…

There’s more trouble with tribbles as Archer and Benjamin Katz voice H Jon Benjamin stars opposite Rosa Salazar in a new Star Trek Short Trek’.

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