Larry King sick with COVID-19

ALSO: What were the biggest box office hits of 2020? AND: What were the most pirated TV shows?

Larry King hospitalized with COVID-19 - Gary from Muncie, you’re on the air

The iconic former CNN, Hulu, and Russia Today talk show host Larry King has been hospitalized. He’s in isolation and his family is not permitted to visit.

It has been a rough year for King with a heart attack and stroke, while also dealing with the deaths two of his children.

Read: Deadline


Justin Lim wants fans to save Warrior

Director Justin Lim has a problem: He wants to keep making the series Warrior. But the HBO-owned network it airs on, Cinemax, is no longer producing original series. With Warrior now on HBO Max, he is trying to get fans to watch and tweet about the show to try and get a third season.

In a recent enthusiastic article about Warrior, The Ringer’s Miles Surrey described the show as:

What if Peaky Blinders was racially diverse and half the characters could roundhouse kick you in the face?

Who wouldn’t want to watch THAT?


TeeVee Snacks

  • Check out the pics of the new cast of the reboot of Gossip Girl. Or don’t. I’m not your boss. See: Deadline

  • Death in Paradise is being fast-tracked to BBC First from Jan 8. Source: TV Tonight

  • The three-hour cut of the Kenneth Lonergan film Margaret is now streaming at HBO Max. Read: Indiewire

  • Good news fans of children’s television: Doctor Who is back later this year. Or so says the BBC, but what would they know? Read: Radio Times

  • Here’s 21 shows and movies debuting on HBO throughout 2021. Read: Indiewire

  • Wonder Woman’s box office has fallen 67% in week 2. While the simultaneous release on HBO Max no doubt plays into this, I’m chalking it up more to the fact that die hard fans may see it during its opening weekend, but there’s likely a drop in casual attendance from people who are iffy about risking their health during a pandemic for a film with middling word of mouth. Read: Deadline

  • There won’t be any new episodes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show next week with the show shutting down production due to LA’s COVID surge. Read: Variety


The biggest box office draws of 2020

Curious about which films performed the best at the box office globally in 2020? They’re not necessarily the titles you would assume and go a long way to showing just how important China is to global box office returns.

(Graph courtesy of Box Office Mojo)


The biggest TV piracy draws of 2020

Curious about seeing which films performed the best with viewers morally opposed at paying ten-fifteen bucks a month to stream a TV show?

(Graph courtesy of TorrentFreak.com)


Hello Discovery+

I’m nervous about Discovery+. The launch announcement about their new streaming service showed that they didn’t seem to entirely understand the difference between the way audiences consume streaming, on-demand television and linear television.

Here’s the Discovery chief David Zaslav talking about the new streaming service which launches in the US on Dec 4:

Mr. Zaslav is wagering that people are now ready to subscribe to a streaming service filled with the kind of thing you can watch with one eye while folding the laundry, paying bills or scrolling through social media. And just how much is he willing to bet that people are willing to pay for a platform that promises a more casual viewing experience?

“We are betting the company that they do,” he said.

I think that the various Discovery channels are great for traditional, linear cable TV - they’re easy to watch and viewers can drop in on an episode midway through without missing a beat. But just transposing that style of content over to on-demand doesn’t really work. Viewers subscribe for content that is more substantial. On demand is lean-forward TV - it isn’t TV that you iron to.

ViacomCBS have a great lean-back digital platform in the form of Pluto TV - hundreds of linear channels just pumping out random, easy-to-watch television. And there’s absolutely an audience hungering for that. It’s a great blend of content style and delivery method.

How many people are going to make an active choice to pay $5-7 a month for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Deadliest Catch, Naked & Afraid, and Dr. Pimple Popper?

If I were a shareholder in Discovery Communications, I’d be very nervous to hear that Zaslav is betting the company on such an obviously flawed strategy.

Read more: NYT


Trailer Park

Carmen Dandiego debuts on Netflix on Jan 15.

Skatebird is coming soon to Nintendo Switch.


What’s next?