'TV's Top 5' Podcast: When Hits End Early and the Evolution of LGBTQ Storytelling

The Good Place, Russian Doll and Corporate-Publicity Stills-Split-H 2019
Colleen Hayes/NBC; Courtesy of Netflix; Comedy Central

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

In every episode, the weekly podcast — hosted by The Hollywood Reporter'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, Goldberg and Fienberg return to the Hollywood studio after THR's first-ever live TV podcast — recorded last week at the ATX Television Festival in Austin — for the following five topics:

1. Surprising final season announcements, explained. NBC's The Good Place and Comedy Central's Corporate — two critically praised series — will both wrap their runs with far fewer seasons than many anticipated. Meanwhile, Netflix renewed Russian Doll for a second season, despite the Natasha Lyonne-led comedy ending with a bow after its first run. Goldberg and Fienberg explain the variety of reasons in play behind all three decisions. The analysis begins at the 3:54 mark.

2. Pride month and the evolution of LGBTQ storytelling. June is LGBTQ Pride month, and TV's Top 5 welcomes Vida creator/showrunner Tanya Saracho to the podcast to discuss how LGBTQ storytelling — and love scenes — have evolved since Ellen's famous "Puppy Episode" broke ground (and lost advertisers) in 1997. The discussion begins at the 13:29 mark.

3. Network Check-In: BET. This week, news broke that the Viacom-owned cable network will launch a streaming service in the fall. The platform will feature originals like First Wives Club and content from Tyler Perry as well as content from other Viacom brands like MTV and Comedy Central. So how will the service impact the linear network and how has the network been faring under new president Scott Mills? The deep dive begins at the 27:35 mark.

4. Quibi's busy week. Fienberg and Goldberg explain what Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman's shortform service is and why news of Steven Spielberg's new horror show — Spielberg After Dark — has turned into a meme. The segment begins at the 35:53 mark.

5. Critic's Corner. As always, every episode ends with Fienberg offering his thoughts about what to watch (or skip). This week, he weighs in on Cinemax's Jett, HBO's Los Espookys and Euphoria and Showtime's City on a Hill. Tune in at the 45:22 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 ChatterScott 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; 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.