'TV's Top 5' Podcast: Inside Robin Thede's 'Sketch Show' Journey; Comic-Con and TCA Highlights

The Walking Dead-Robin Thede-Designated Survivor-Publicity still-Getty-Publicity still-Split-H 2019
AMC/Photofest; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; Netflix

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's five topics are:

1. San Diego Comic-Con takeaways. AMC went to great lengths to illustrate that while The Walking Dead comic ended, the franchise is here to stay. Agents of SHIELD was left out of Marvel's big Saturday night presentation. Game of Thrones was there, too, though without any fanfare (and with an actor who blamed the media for the backlash). Who cut through? What are the big industry highlights? The breakdown begins at the 3:27 mark.

2. Early highlights from TCA. The Television Critics Association's summer press tour is officially underway and there's a lot to talk about — and that's just from HBO, as programming president Casey Bloys addressed the director controversy on season two of Big Little Lies and the divisive Game of Thrones final season. The discussion begins at the 15:24 mark.  

3. Understanding Netflix's latest cancellations. Join us as we pour one out for Designated Survivor, which has the distinction of having been canceled twice on two different platforms, wrapping its three-season run with a mere five different showrunners. Plus what happened with Tuca and Bertie? The critically adored animated comedy boasts a rare 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and was canceled after one season. The segment begins at the 26:32 mark.

4. Spotlight Interview: Robin Thede. The creator, writer, showrunner and star of HBO's A Black Lady Sketch Show joins us for an interview during which she discusses the lessons she learned from a challenging past few years that included cancellations of BET's The Rundown and Comedy Central's The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore. Thede also reveals how her audition for Saturday Night Live helped inform her history-making HBO series, which serves as the first sketch comedy that boasts an all-black cast and creative team. The interview begins at the 35:23 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 Epix's Batman prequel Pennyworth and the final season of Netflix's Orange Is the New Black. Tune in starting at the 56:39 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.