'TV's Top 5' Podcast: Fox and Netflix's Broadway Ambitions, TCA Preview

American Son Production Still - Kerry Washington, Steven Pasquale -Publicity- H 2019
Courtesy of Peter Cunningham

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 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 Oscar nominations. On the talent side, there are a number of former — and future! — TV stars who earned acting noms: Melissa McCarthy (from Gilmore Girls and Mike & Molly to Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Lady Gaga (American Horror Story to A Star Is Born), Rami Malek (Mr. Robot to Bohemian Rhapsody), Regina King (Southland to If Beale Street Could Talk), Emma Stone (Maniac to The Favourite), Amy Adams (Sharp Objects to Vice), Mahershala Ali (Green Book to True Detective), Adam Driver (Girls to BlacKkKlansman) and Sam Rockwell (Vice to Fosse/Verdon). The conversation starts at the 33-second mark.

2. Fox's Rent Live. On Sunday, Fox will air its latest live TV musical with an adaption of Jonathan Larson's Tony-winning play. The rock musical — which features a cast led by Vanessa Hudgens on Fox — follows a group of young artists struggling to survive in New York's East Village in the '90s under the shadow of HIV/AIDS. Goldberg, a self-professed Rent-head, and Feinberg, who doesn't share the same enthusiasm, discuss the stakes at play behind the Fox offering. (Starting at the 7:03 mark.)

3. Netflix's move into streaming Broadway offerings. This week, the streaming giant announced it would bring Kerry Washington's Broadway play American Son to its service. This is the third time Netflix has made a pact to bring a Broadway production to its subscribers. Is Netflix trying to become PBS in its bid to be everything to everyone? (Starting at the 13:47 mark.)

4. A preview of the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. It's time for TV reporter camp, the semi-annual event in which broadcast and cable networks and select streamers tout their new and returning shows to some 200 members of the press. With big names like George Clooney (Hulu's Catch-22) and Meryl Streep (season two of HBO's Big Little Lies), Fienberg — who also serves as TCA president — and Goldberg preview what to expect as many new executives have the opportunity to outline new programming strategies while actors have a chance to really break out (i.e. Gina Rodriguez). (Starting at the 21:24 mark.)

5. Critic's Corner. As always, every episode ends with Fienberg offering his critical thoughts about what to watch (or skip). This week, it's a look at TNT's I Am the Night and Netflix's Russian Doll.

TV's Top 5 is part of THR's roster of podcasts, including Awards Chatter, Scott Feinberg's weekly in-depth 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.