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Welcome to the 189th 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 latest TV news with context from the business and critical sides, welcome showrunners, executives and other guests, and provide a critical guide of what to watch (or skip, as the case may be).
During this week’s episode, we are joined by multihyphenate Clea DuVall to discuss adapting Tegan and Sara Quinn’s memoir into Freevee’s well-reviewed series High School as other segments feature discussions on the latest round of layoffs at Warner Bros. Discovery, Ryan Murphy’s future at Netflix and much more.
Here’s how the episode plays out:
Netflix’s ad tier, Kurt Sutter, Devil in the White City, Trevor Noah and Chris Albrecht are among the week’s top TV stories.
2. Oops, WBD did it again
The latest round of cutbacks and layoffs at Warner Bros. Discovery hit Warner Bros. Television and impacted the studio’s key diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, including Stage 13 and the WBTV writers and directors workshops. This segment explores what happened, how the company severely underestimated the response to axing programs that open the door for underrepresented communities and what’s next.
Dan and I respond to listener questions about Ryan Murphy’s future at Netflix now that he’s delivered an, ahem, Monster hit for the streamer; if Grey’s Anatomy could continue on without star Ellen Pompeo as well as the state of comedy on the broadcast networks (beyond Abbott Elementary). If you have a question or topic you’d like to hear us discuss on the podcast, email us at TVsTop5@thr.com.
4. Showrunner Spotlight
Our guest this week is Clea DuVall, who carved out an extremely successful acting career as a sardonic big-screen scene-stealer in everything from The Faculty to She’s All That to But I’m a Cheerleader, and then on TV in shows ranging from a lead role in Carnivale to strong supporting work in Better Call Saul, Veep and The Handmaid’s Tale. She made her feature writing and directing debut with 2016’s The Intervention and rewrote the rules for the holiday rom-com with 2020’s Happiest Season. She’s wearing all of the hats on the new Freevee half-hour drama High School, based on the memoir by Tegan and Sara, serving as co-writer, director and co-showrunner. In the interview, DuVall opens up about the state of LGBTQ representation on TV and in film, how her own adolescence impacted High School and its influences, as well as if there will ever be a sequel to Happiest Season.
5. Critic’s Corner
As usual, every episode ends with Dan’s thoughts on what to watch (or skip) this weekend. This week, he weighs in on Apple’s Shantaram, Freevee’s High School, Netflix’s Midnight Club and Somebody Feed Phil, as well as IFC’s Documentary Now. Plus check out Dan’s thoughts on the final season of Derry Girls in the Mailbag segment.
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 us with any topics or Mailbag questions you’d like addressed in future episodes at TVsTop5@THR.com.
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Warner Bros. Discovery