3:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'TV's Top 5': 'The Morning Show' Boss on Matt Lauer Comparisons, Pressure to Launch Apple TV+
Welcome to another episode of TV's Top 5, The Hollywood Reporter's TV podcast.
Every week, hosts Lesley Goldberg (West Coast TV editor) and Daniel Fienberg (chief TV critic) break down the week in TV news with context from the business and critical sides, welcome showrunners and executive guests and provide a critical guide of what to watch (or skip, as the case may be).
This week's five topics are:
1. Game of Thrones highs and lows (and Star Wars). Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss bailed on Star Wars. HBO passed on a pilot (written, directed by and starring a woman) and gave a series order to a different prequel (written and directed by men). Plus, how did Benioff and Weiss' Netflix deal factor into everything? And why would they reiterate comments about how unqualified they were during Game of Thrones? The segment begins at the 2:31 mark.
2. HBO Max has its day. WarnerMedia unveiled its plans for HBO Max this week during a presentation for investors (and press). This segment explores the potential brand confusion between the premium cable network and the upcoming streaming service, who gets what for $15 a month as well as all the big announcements from the week. The analysis begins at the 13:27 mark.
3. RIP, Lodge 49. AMC canceled the drama after two seasons. Why would the basic cable network ax a show so beloved by critics? And, with its creators actively trying to find a new home for the series, is that a realistic option? Plus why didn't it move to AMC corporate sibling BBC America? Or Sundance Now? The discussion begins at the 22:34 mark.
4. Showrunner Spotlight: Kerry Ehrin. The Morning Show boss joins TV's Top 5 this week to discuss Apple TV+'s marquee show starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. The interview features a discussion about how co-star Steve Carell's character compares to Matt Lauer, pressure Ehrin feels making the first TV series for the biggest company on the planet and just what Aniston and Witherspoon wanted for the series, which they also exec produce. The interview begins at the 28:07 mark.
5. Critic's Corner. As always, every episode ends with Fienberg offering his thoughts about what to watch (or skip). This week, Fienberg weighs in on HBO's His Dark Materials and all four of Apple TV+'s scripted series that are available at launch: See, Dickinson, For All Mankind and yes, The Morning Show. Tune in at the hour-mark.
Hear it all now on TV's Top 5. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. (Reviews welcome!) You can also email Goldberg and Fienberg with any topics or questions you'd like to be addressed in future episodes at TVsTop5@THR.com.
TV's Top 5 is part of THR's roster of podcasts, including Awards Chatter, Scott Feinberg's weekly in-depth (and award-winning) interview show focusing on the most interesting talents of the Oscar and Emmy seasons; genre reporter Josh Wigler's Series Regular; crafts expert Carolyn Giardina's weekly series, Behind the Screen, which explores the top artists and technologies creating film and TV magic; Seth Abramovitch's monthly series, It Happened in Hollywood, which revisits indelible moments from 90 years of THR's entertainment history; and the upcoming Hollywood Remixed, hosted by Rebecca Ford and Rebecca Sun, which focuses on underrepresented or misrepresented stories and characters in Hollywood. Other podcasts are in the works.