Eleven new DisneyPlus shows - including one starring Jeremy Renner. Also: what's missing from GoT?

Always Be Watching is curated by Dan Barrett who is ready to launch ABW+

You want your Disney+ news? Always Be Watching has your Disney+ news!

Jeremy Renner will reprise the role of Hawkeye in a series for Disney+ - expect to see the series work as a way to pass the torch to a new Hawkeye - Kate Bishop (as also happened in the comics).

Source: Variety

Disney+ will announce this week a slate of 10 documentary series. Among them will be:

  • Marvel's 616 — an anthological docuseries set at the intersection of the comic giant's stories, characters and creators and everyday people.

  • Earthkeepers— which puts the spotlight on conservationists.

  • Be Our Chef;

  • Anthology Cinema Relics: Iconic Art of the Movies.

  • Kristen Bell-produced musical theater/reunion effort Encore!

  • A kid-focused feel-good series Marvel's Hero Project

  • Family therapy show (Re)Connect

  • Travel guide Rogue Trip

  • Competition foray Shop Class

  • An untitled docuseries focused on Walt Disney Imagineering, which chronicles the people behind the attractions at Disney's parks worldwide with never-before-seen footage. 

Source: The Hollywood Reporter


Are you slightly confused as to why Disney is spending to much money to launch a streaming service that will undercut its TV business model?

Cynthia Littleton’s Variety article examining the slow death of cable TV in the US is a must-read to understand how dire the future is for traditional distribution modes.

DirecTV and Dish lost a whopping 2.4 million subscribers, or 7.5% of total subscribers, in 2018, up from a loss of 1.6 million in 2017, according to Leichtman Research Group. The six largest cable operators shed a total of 910,000 subscribers last year, or 1.9% of total subs, up from a loss of 680,000 last year, per Leichtman.

The exodus from traditional MVPDs is a red flag for Hollywood, because cable and satellite providers shelled out some $41 billion plus in carriage and retransmission consent fees for programming in 2018. Those affiliate fees have been the single biggest drivers of corporate earnings for the major media conglomerates for two decades.

Source: Variety

If you’re looking to unlock what Game of Thrones is about as we’re heading into the final season, Zach Kram at The Ringer has you covered. The show is all about consequence.

Game of Thrones succeeds in large part because of its ever-present consequences, which allow its vast and meticulous plot to follow a cause-and-effect structure that feels seamless rather than forced. The Lannisters try to kill Bran, so Catelyn arrests Tyrion, so Jaime attacks Ned and his men, so Robb calls Northern arms for battle, and so on. Part of the fun of the tale is examining how each action and reaction will in turn produce more actions and reactions, which helps the story flow as smoothly as the Rhoyne in summer.

As Kram notes, recent seasons have moved away from consequence, but I ask: Could it just be that it was setting all the pieces in place for the final run of episodes to offer a whole lot of comeuppance?

Source: The Ringer


New streaming service The Criterion Channel has launched in the US. Keith Phipps has taken a look at it and asks whether it is a solid replacement for Warners recently shuttered streaming service Filmstruck:

An obvious love for movies, and an encouragement of cinephilia, pervades the Criterion Channel, from the care put into the programming to series like Adventures in Moviegoing (continued from the FilmStruck era), in which guests like Bill Hader and Julie Taymor discuss their evolving relationships with film. It’s easy to watch these short features one after the other while taking notes for suggested future viewings. Despite its sometimes less-than-intuitive interface, the service has clearly been designed to encourage those who love movies to watch more, and to expand their horizons.

Source: Polygon


Famed quiz show cheat Charles Van Doren has died, aged 93. He’s remembered for the scandal surrounding trivia show Twenty-One, which was featured in the Robert Redford movie Quiz Show.

Source: Rolling Stone


Jeopardy has a new champion. James Holzhauer, a 34-year-old professional sports gambler, won $110,914 in a single episode. It was Holzhauer's fourth win in a row - in total, he's collected $244,365 so far.

The previous record holder was Roger Craig with $77,000 in 2010.

Source: CNN


David Simon has a new 6-part series at HBO on the way. Plot Against America will star Winona Ryder, John Turturro, Zoe Kazan, and more.

Source: The AV Club


And finally…

If you haven’t been watching Derry Girls, boy have you been missing out. The very funny comedy has just been renewed for season 3.

Source: Radio Times