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Welcome to Episode 138 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, 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. Spinoffs and more spinoffs (and did we mention spinoffs?)
NBC is reviving the Law & Order mothership series. Netflix is doing a spinoff of On My Block. Amazon is going to college with an offshoot of The Boys. Netflix is bewitching The Witcher lovers with multiple offshoots. Even MTV’s Teen Wolf is coming back. And there will likely be much more in the world of Stranger Things. This segment looks at the various strategies in play that bring back more familiar IP and how the bar to become a hit is pretty much invisible.
2. United States of Al gets serious.
Writer-producers Reza Aslan and Mahyad Tousi stop by to discuss how their CBS comedy changed its season premiere to address real-world events in Afghanistan, the challenges of building a sitcom episode without punchlines and how the comedy marks an important step for small-screen representation.
3. Saturday Night Live season preview.
Dan and I run down who’s coming back, who isn’t and the new faces and hosts ahead of the 47th season of the NBC sketch comedy. Plus how Lorne Michaels has adapted to keep his superstars from leaving the building.
4. Showrunner Spotlight.
Fresh off of a fourth-season renewal, Sex Education creator Laurie Nunn joins us to discuss the third season of her Netflix comedy, how filming intimate scenes during COVID posed a challenge, how much longer her series will continue and if there would ever be a spinoff. Nunn also opens up about her approach to representation and working with a consultant to craft the storyline of a nonbinary student. Plus are Otis and Maeve endgame?
5. Critic’s Corner.
As usual, every episode ends with Dan’s guide to what to watch (or skip) in the week ahead. This week, he offers reviews of Netflix’s Maid, HBO Max’s Ten-Year-Old Tom and CBS’ Ghosts.
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 to be addressed in future episodes at TVsTop5@THR.com.
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