'TV's Top 5': Gillian Flynn Opens Up About Amazon's Pandemic Drama 'Utopia'

John Cusack with an inset of showrunner Gillian Flynn
Courtesy of Amazon Studios; Steve Granitz/WireImage

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 latest TV news with context from the business and critical sides, welcome showrunners, executive and other guests and provide a critical guide of what to watch (or skip, as the case may be).

This week's five topics are:

1. That debate.
More than 73 million people watched Trump vs. Biden. In this segment, Fienberg takes a look at the lows and even lower lows and examines its TV value (if there was any to be found).

2. October TV preview.
The calendar says it's a new month and with it comes an onslaught of new TV to watch — and yes, that means returning shows that were filmed during the pandemic and some that weren't. This segment offers a quick look at what to watch in October and explores if the pandemic has slowed the TV pipeline.

3. Mailbag!
In this recurring segment, we respond to listener questions. This installment more closely examines the TV pipeline, Netflix's business model and fallout from the Dark Crystal cancellation, the status of The Orville and ends with some very random but very fun and amusing questions. If you have a topic you'd like to hear Dan and I discuss, email us at TVsTop5@THR.com.

4. Showrunner Spotlight.
Utopia's Gillian Flynn joins the show this week to discuss her Amazon drama's long road to the screen, work with David Fincher and the lessons she learned as a first-time showrunner. She also opens up about launching a show about a pandemic during a pandemic and if global events will seep into subsequent seasons of the series, should it return for more.

5. Critic's Corner.
As usual, every episode ends with Dan's look at what to watch (or skip). This week, he weighs in on Hulu's Monsterland, Netflix's Emily in Paris, Showtime's The Good Lord Bird and The Comedy Store and AMC's latest Walking Dead spinoff.

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 us with any topics or questions you'd like to be addressed in future episodes at TVsTop5@THR.com.