Taylor Swift! Disney on Stan! YouTube sucks! And more TV than ever before!

ABW is by Dan Barrett with strong support by exclamation marks!

Cancel your new years eve plans. Netflix has you sorted with the Taylor Swift Reputation Stadium Tour. It will feature selections from the U.S. leg of her 2018 tour with special guest appearances by Charli XCX and Camila Cabello.


YouTube may have a brand problem. Its 2018 Rewind video, showcasing the trends of 2018, has become the most disliked video in YouTube history.

To put that into perspective:


Your favourite Facebook Watch TV shows have just been commissioned for second seasons - Five Points, Huda Boss, Sacred Lies, and Sorry for Your Loss.


If you think there is a whole lot of TV around right now, you’re not wrong. In fact, there’s been a 385% increase in the number of shows since 2014. And that’s just US television - there’s a significant increase of high quality TV drama being produced around the world right now.

It hasn’t quite topped 500 shows yet, but is instead hovering near at 495.

It’s becoming more important to look for trusted voices to help filter out some of the shows you might want to check out - Always Be Watching tries to help with that and will be making a more concerted effort in 2019. It helps that so much TV is now rolling out globally at (roughly) the same time.


If you are holding out hope for the Netflix Marvel shows to be moved over to the upcoming Disney+ service, don’t invest too much time or emotion in the idea of it - contractually Disney cannot use the characters in a non-Netflix film or TV show for two years after cancellation.


CBS have grand plans for its streaming news service CBSN by launching local TV news services. It has just launched CBSN New York, with Los Angeles to follow in 2019. Other markets with a local CBS-owned station will eventually receive its own localised streaming news service.

As an Australian with a now CBS-owned national broadcaster, Channel 10, I’m wondering if CBS will extend this here. CBSN is integrated into the local All Access app - it makes sense that CBS is looking to make an effort to own local news in as many territories as possible.


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Cybill Shepherd is blaming Les Moonves for the cancellation of her self-titled 90s sitcom, saying the cancellation came after she turned him down. Shepherd has said in the past that CBS lost support in the show due to the sitcoms feminist messaging. The fourth and final season was down around 4 million viewers from its first season, but it was still performing respectably.


JJ Abrams will produce a new mini for Apple, My Glory Was I Had Such Friends, reuniting him with his Alias star Jennifer Garner.


Aussie streaming service Stan has signed a content deal with Disney. This comes ahead of the launch of Disney’s globally-focused Disney+ service, which has been announced for the US in 2019. While no dates have been announced internationally, it would be safe to assume based on the scale and intent of Disney’s ambitions, that an international roll-out will happen either on day one, or fairly soon after its US release. Ultimately, it has to or else the whole endeavour just won’t be financially feasible.

The Stan deal brings a good volume of Disney content to the Australian market - titles that would otherwise mostly be relegated to home video otherwise. It’s a great deal for Stan, but likewise for Disney who now have a way to keep marquee titles in the limelight ahead of a Disney+ launch.

Content will include:

Programming from Disney and Pixar
Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3, Finding Nemo, Frozen, The Lion King, Cars and Cars 2, Monsters Inc. and Monsters University, Big Hero 6, The Incredibles, Up, Wall-E, the animated Beauty and The Beast, Maleficent, The Little Mermaid and the live-action Cinderella. These titles will feature alongside films from the past year including Coco and A Wrinkle in Time.

Marvel
Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as Iron Man, Iron Man 2and Iron Man 3, The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor and Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Ant-Man.

Star Wars
Star Wars: The Last JediSolo: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars Rebels

Disney Channel / Disney Jr
Disney Junior’s Sofia the First and The Lion Guard, and Disney Channel’s Tangled: The Series, Andi Mack and DuckTales.


Remember how astonishing Walking With Dinosaurs was back in 1999? We hadn’t seen that level of computer effects work in TV. But in the 20 years since, special effects have come a very long way, enabling movie-quality effects to be created on a TV budget (both financially and in terms of the time constraints put on a TV production).

Vulture has this great article that looks at how TV effects work has gotten so good.


Star Trek Discovery returns on 17 January. Here’s a trailer to build up a bit of enthusiasm:


And finally…

Sesame Street is introducing its first homeless muppet, Lily. I guess you could call Oscar The Grouch’s trashcan a home, but it’s a pretty thin line.


That’s it for today - Always Be Watching will have a weekend edition tomorrow with some TV viewing suggestions for your weekend.