3:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'TV's Top 5': 'Friends' Reunion, Hallmark's Holiday Push, Inside 'Harley Quinn's' Dark Debut
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. Friends reunion! The six original stars and creators of NBC's beloved comedy are in talks to reunite for an unscripted reunion that could air on HBO Max as the service prepares its launch — complete with Friends library — in May 2020. This segment explains why such a reunion would be a huge get for the service. Starts at the 3:12 mark.
2. Hallmark goes big for the holidays. Joining the show this week is the CEO of Hallmark parent Crown Media Family Networks, Bill Abbott, who opens up about the cable network's secret recipe for churning out holiday programming and how competition in the space from Netflix and Freeform, among others, impacts them. Abbott also responds to questions about Hallmark's heteronormative programming and why Hallmark doesn't have any holiday movies with Hanukkah in the title. The interview begins at the 6:11 mark.
3. Major executive suite changes. HBO's former CEO goes to Apple, Apple loses a key member of its originals team and Viacom continues to play musical chairs with longtime employees. In this segment, Goldberg breaks down what to make of a busy week of executive news. The explanation begins at the 25:57 mark.
4. Showrunner Spotlight: Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker. The duo joins the show this week to offer a preview of what to expect from DC Universe's Harley Quinn animated comedy starring Kaley Cuoco. (Batman f—s bats?!) The longtime writing and producing partners also open up about navigating notes from DC and how they adapted from the live-action comedy space to animation. The interview begins at the 32:24 mark.
5.Critic's Corner. As always, every episode ends with Fienberg offering his thoughts about what to watch (or skip). This week, he sounds off on The Mandalorian on Disney+, the return of Netflix favorite The Crown and Hulu's Kat Dennings comedy Dollface. Tune in starting at the 1:08:06 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 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.