'TV's Top 5' Podcast: Writers vs. Agents Update and 'Y: The Last Man' Shocker Explained

This week, hosts Daniel Fienberg and Lesley Goldberg also discuss that how the New Fox is coming together after its first cancellations and how Netflix is also disrupting the YA and kids programming space.
Courtesy of FX
'Y: The Last Man'

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. The Writers Guild of America has filed a lawsuit in feud with agencies over packaging fees. Last week's deadline came and went and both sides failed to come to an agreement in the fight over packaging fees. Since then, the WGA says thousands of writers have filed their agents. This week, the WGA filed suit against WME, CAA, ICM and UTA over the conflict that THR labor reporter Jonathan Handel said was becoming an "outright war in which neither side is likely to compromise." THR editorial director Matthew Belloni — a former entertainment attorney — joins TV's Top 5 to break down how TV viewers may be impacted. The analysis starts at the 2:07 mark.

2. The surprising showrunner departure on FX's Y: The Last Man. Showrunners Michael Green and Aida Croal announced in a lengthy and shocking statement that they were leaving the highly anticipated take on Brian K. Vaughan's beloved comic series about the literal last man in a world filled with women. The now-former showrunners said that "FX has decided not to move forward with our series in its current form" and that they hoped to deliver a show that "had something to say in a time when things must be said." The network is now looking for a new showrunner to take over. This segment examines why a showrunner change at FX is so rare and why this is such a surprise. The discussion begins at the 14:08 mark.

3. The New Fox is beginning to take shape. With cancellations of The Gifted and Rel — as well as the Last Man Standing renewal, the shape of the newly independent broadcast network is beginning to come into focus. The cancellations were new Fox Entertainment boss Charlie Collier's first since joining the network from AMC. Here's what we know so far about what he's doing with the network. The segment begins at the 23:18 mark.  

4. From the Mailbag: A look at how Netflix is also disrupting the YA and children's programming space. One of the more under-the-radar stories that's been happening but not getting a lot of attention is the battle over children's programming talent between Disney and Netflix. Last week, Netflix signed Kenny Ortega to a big overall deal. Ortega is the director on two huge Disney Channel franchises: High School Musical and, more recently, Descendants. There have been three TV movies in each franchise, with both also becoming incredibly lucrative for Disney's consumer products division. The deep dive begins at the 29:05 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 Hulu's Ramy, HBO's Gentleman Jack and season two of YouTube's Cobra Kai. Tune in starting at the 35:47 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 Chatter, Scott 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 will cover Game of Thrones weekly to start); 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.