'TV's Top 5': 'Pen15' Duo on Season 2 and Navigating Pandemic Problems

Pen15 - Season 2
Lara Solanki/Hulu

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. Emmys preview.
Sunday's 72nd Primetime Emmys will be a virtual affair that will air live on ABC. What could go wrong?! THR senior writer Michael O'Connell joins the show this week to offer an inside look at how the network and host Jimmy Kimmel are prepping for a truly historic night. Dan also offers his picks for the top categories.

2. Another major executive departure.
The TV executive ranks continue to change. This week, the head of USA Network and Syfy opted to exit NBCUniversal following a 20-year run. The change was the latest result of a massive executive reorganization. This segment explores what USA Network could look like without Chris McCumber at its helm.

3. Stumptown heads to Unrenewed Town.
ABC delivered a big surprise to second-year drama Stumptown: that it was rescinding its renewal. While issues stemming from the pandemic were partially to blame for the move, this topic explores what else led to the decision — and if there's any future for the series elsewhere. (And, by extension, why broadcast networks need to truly lean harder into year-round scripted originals.)

4. Showrunner Spotlight.
Anna Konkle and Maya Erskine join the show this week to preview what to expect from season two of Hulu's Pen15 (or as Dan likes to call it, "Hulu's Penis"). The sophomore season was always planned to be split in half, but the remainder of the season is in question as production was derailed by the pandemic. The co-creators, co-showrunners and co-stars also open up about the newfound issues stemming from the pandemic that could limit the critical favorite's future.

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 HBO's Agents of Chaos, Fox's Filthy Rich, Hulu's Pen15 and Ryan Murphy's latest Netflix original, Ratched.

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.