Always Be Watching - 13 September 2018

By Dan Barrett

This doesn’t seem like good news for The Conners. I hope nothing bad has happened to Roseanne…

The first batch of photos for The Conners has just been released.


Yesterday I posed the very important question: Is drama series The Knick better than The Wire? For those that know me, it was obviously a ridiculous question as I have long been vocal in my belief that Mad Men is the greatest TV show ever made. As such, any new project from Matthew Weiner will automatically get my attention - such as his upcoming Amazon series The Romanovs, which today dropped its first proper trailer. I share this trailer with you despite having not watched it. I’m trying to go into this series as cold as possible. But, I’m sure it looks great.

Speaking of Mad Men, last night at the movies I saw the trailer for the upcoming Bad Times At The El Royale (which looks like it might be great fun). As Jon Hamm appeared on screen, it occurred to me that Hamm has been making a bunch of interesting films over the past year or two, but in this age of big franchise movies, he doesn’t have his hand in any of them. In the past he has repeatedly said he’s too old to star in one, so it was curious that he’s now open to the idea of playing Batman if it was offered to him. And I am there for it.

“It depends on the script, what the story is. I am a huge comic book fan, always have been. I’ve read comic books since I was 9 or younger. And I’m pretty knowledgeable about a lot of them. And I like the genre, and I like when they’re done well…I saw Black Panther and I was this, ‘This movie is great.’ Friend of mine is a showrunner on Legion, which I just watched last night. It’s great. So there’s a lot of interesting things out there. But it depends on the story. It all comes down to the story.”
-Jon Hamm


The Mad Men connections keep on coming in today’s newsletter. Kiernan Shipka, who played Sally Draper, has landed the lead role in the new Netflix show Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Based on the Archie Comics series, the series brings a mature-ish Riverdale vibe to the Sabrina The Teenage Witch character. I’m not big on Riverdale, but this has captured my attention.


You thought you were rid of the Irwin family? Animal Planet will debut Crikey! It’s The Irwins in October.


I’m fascinated by the upcoming Fox News streaming service. It’s no secret that Fox News audience tends to be much older, which makes the push to launch a complimentary digital service interesting. While the high profile Fox News hosts will have a presence on the platform, interestingly the new service, branded Fox Nation, seems to be focused on its younger, newer talent. Are they seeking to expand and grow their audience by targeting a younger audience with the platform (likely), or is it more a way to develop new talent (possible). With high profile emerging ‘talent’ like Tomi Lehren set to be one of the core voices for Fox Nation, it’s time to stop ridiculing Fox News for only speaking to an older audience who are a bit out of touch.


The Murphy Brown reboot has me a bit worried. The original show was part of my young teen TV diet and remains beloved in my memories. Recently re-watching a handful of season 4 episodes had me questioning whether the show was actually good (or did I just stumble upon a few dud episodes?). The new set-up for the show, with Murphy now hosting a cable TV news show like Morning Joe seems smart, but I’m not convinced a Murphy Brown reboot needed to bring along all of the old characters. I’d much rather see Murphy Brown interacting with a whole new lot of characters. It’s also a shame that the new show didn’t take a leaf out of the Lou Grant book by switching it to a single camera drama. I’d love to watch a dramedy hour-long show each week with Murphy Brown working alongside a cable news show. Think The Newsroom, but with better jokes.


Will there ever be a second season of American Gods? The new showrunner is now off the show.


The hilarious Cunk on Britain was nominated for a Rose d’Or award. Star Diane Morgan almost missed out on attending due to a stolen passport.