'TV's Top 5' Podcast: The Curious Case of Jussie Smollett Plus a Look Back at 'True Detective'

Jussie Smollett visits Build Series 2018- Getty-H 2019
Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

Welcome back to TV's Top 5, The Hollywood Reporter's TV podcast.

In every episode, the weekly podcast — hosted by THR's West Coast TV editor, Lesley Goldberg (that's me!), and chief TV critic, Daniel Fienberg — will feature five topics that are top of mind in the TV industry and go inside the latest headlines, as well as provide a critical guide of what to watch (or skip, as the case may be).

This week's five topics are:

1. The Oscars are finally in the books. No host, no problem! Critics — including Fienberg — enjoyed the telecast despite the Academy's best picture selection. Lady Gaga won an Oscar and made the country wonder about the nature of her relationship with Bradley Cooper. Glenn Close didn't win but went viral for her spot-on assessment of Billy Porter's incredible tuxedo gown on the red carpet. Kevin Hart also escaped unscathed — and had a scripted comedy he exec produces picked up to series at FX the same week. Whiskey Cavalier, meanwhile, didn't have the same luck and despite a massive marketing campaign couldn't really mount much business. The conversation starts at the 1:17-mark.

2. True Detective wraps its third season. Fienberg breaks down the third season of Nic Pizzolatto's HBO anthology and explains which part of the season he truly thought was "essentially garbage." Hint: It wasn't newly minted Oscar winner Mahershala Ali. Plus: What are Ali's chances of taking home Emmy gold to go with his pair of Oscars? The breakdown begins at the 11:06-mark.

3. The curious case of Jussie Smollett. The embattled Empire star was written out of the last two episodes of the Fox hip-hop drama amid allegations he set up his own attack. THR senior TV writer Michael O'Connell joins the podcast this week to go inside this week's cover story in which he and co-writer Scott Johnson attempt to make sense of the Smollett case by looking at his career trajectory. The discussion begins at the 19:20-mark.

4. Fox is returning to 90210. Goldberg and Fienberg have a spirited debate about the pseudo-revival that will see original stars Jason Priestley (Brandon), Jennie Garth (Kelly), Ian Ziering (Steve), Gabrielle Carteris (Andrea), Brian Austin Green (David) and Tori Spelling (Donna) return to play heightened versions of themselves teaming to shop a reboot of Beverly Hills, 90210. (Note: This podcast was being recorded on Thursday as news of Luke Perry's stroke was still developing.) The banter begins at the 27:07-mark.

5. Critic's Corner. As always, every episode ends with Fienberg offering his critical thoughts about what to watch (or skip). This week, he weighs in on HBO's controversial Leaving Neverland, National Geographic's Oscar-winner Free Solo and a handful of other broadcast shows. Tune in starting at the 36:45-mark.

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; crafts expert Carolyn Giardina's weekly series, Behind the Screen, which explores the top artists and technologies creating film and TV magic; and Seth Abramovitch's monthly series, It Happened in Hollywood, which revisits indelible moments from 90 years of THR's entertainment history. Other podcasts are in the works.

Hear it all now on TV's Top 5 — and be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. (Reviews welcome!)