'TV's Top 5': Sam Esmail on 'Homecoming' Changes, 'Battlestar' Vision and What's Next

Homecoming Season 2 - Janelle Monae and inset of Sam Esmail -Amazon Prime Video-Getty-H 2020
Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video; Tommaso Boddi/FilmMagic

Welcome to another episode of TV's Top 5, The Hollywood Reporter's TV podcast.

Every week, hosts Lesley Goldberg (West Coast TV editor) and Daniel Fienberg (chief TV critic) break down the week in TV news with context from the business and critical sides, welcome showrunners, executive and other guests and provide a critical guide of what to watch (or skip, as the case may be).

This week's five topics are:

1. ABC's big moves.
The Disney-owned network renewed the bulk of its scripted and unscripted schedule and added a David E. Kelley drama and Kyra Sedgwick-led comedy to its 2020-21 schedule. But with four shows ending and four more canceled (we'll miss you the most, Single Parents and Schooled), ABC's total scripted volume sits at roughly half of what it had coming into the recently concluded 2019-20 season. Segment starts at 02:59.

2. CBS (sorta) sets its schedule.
The Kelly Kahl-led broadcaster is plotting a business-as-usual approach for its "fall" schedule, which the network president confessed is unlikely to return to make its traditional late September Premiere Week. So what is their schedule then? Why is this so different from what Fox and The CW are doing? Segment begins at 12:29.

3. HBO Max's arrival is here.
There's no Friends reunion, but there is the full library of that beloved comedy, The Big Bang Theory, all things HBO and a smattering of titles from across the WarnerMedia portfolio and a few (lackluster) originals, with Elmo — yes, really — possibly the breakout star of the platform's debut. This segment looks at what to expect from the service at launch. Segment starts at 20:53.

4. Showrunner Spotlight: Sam Esmail.
The Homecoming executive producer joins the show this week to discuss season two of Amazon's Homecoming, how he plans to make Peacock's Battlestar Galactica relevant for today and his growing portfolio of programming. Segment starts at 28:18.

5. Critic's Corner.
As usual, every episode ends with Fienberg offering his thoughts on what to watch (or skip). This week, he weighs in on Homecoming season two and a couple new docuseries. Segment starts at 01:00:18.

Coming next week: Bob's Burgers creator Loren Bouchard joins the show to discuss Apple's brilliantly funny animated comedy Central Park.

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.