'TV's Top 5' Podcast: Special Upfronts Wrap-Up Edition

Hosts Daniel Fienberg and Lesley Goldberg discuss Hulu's new ownership details and the big takeaways from a week of presentations by the broadcast networks and their massive parent companies.
Michael Yarish/CBS
CBS' 'The Unicorn' is among the broadcast shows with early buzz.

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, we wrap up the broadcast networks' upfront presentations with an examination of the major takeaways from a week filled with news, trailers and landscape-shifting presentations. (For complete upfronts coverage, bookmark THR.com/upfronts.)

1. Hulu's new ownership structure. In a complicated deal with Comcast, Disney is now the controlling owner of Hulu. The five-year pact will see all the NBCU programming remain in place — for now — as Disney also gains a second platform to go alongside the upcoming family-friendly Disney+. The segment starts at the 1:21 mark.

2. WarnerMedia's blurring brand lines. Yes, this is the broadcast upfront wrap-up edition but one of the more compelling takeaways from four jam-packed days of presentations was WarnerMedia's decision to move its long-gestating drama Snowpiercer — now renewed for season two to air in 2020 — from drama-focused TNT to comedy-focused TBS, which exec Kevin Reilly worked so hard to rebrand. The analysis begins at the 7:27 mark.

3. Fall schedules. Now that ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW have released their schedules, do lead-ins matter in the streaming and on-demand world? In this segment, we explore the big match-ups of the fall as NBC and CBS prepare to each launch new comedies against one another. The discussion begins at the 16:45 mark. 

4. Final thoughts on upfronts. The buzzword of upfronts was stability for a reason as volume was flat, the number of new comedies and dramas ordered was also flat and the number of series renewals was also, you guessed it, flat. One thing did experience a major change though: the number of cancellations plummeted. Plus Fienberg shares his thoughts on which trailers impressed (Evil, The Unicorn) and which ones didn't (sorry, Jason Biggs and Maggie Lawson). Listen starting at the 25:05 mark. And be sure to check out the special upfronts edition of TV's Top 5 from earlier this week, which outlines all the renewals, cancellations and new show orders at the Big 4 networks.

5. Critic's Corner. As always, every episode ends with Fienberg offering his thoughts about what to watch (or skip). This week, Fienberg weighs in on season two of Amazon's Fleabag. Tune in at the 32:15 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 newly launched Series Regular (which continues its focus on Game of Thrones); 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.