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Welcome to episode 106 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. Awards season insanity.
This week, nominations were unveiled for the Golden Globes, SAG Awards and WGA Awards, with the HFPA decision to include two shows (Ratched, Emily in Paris) in place of others (I May Destroy You, to name one) enough to force the return of Angry Dan. This segment explores the misses (and OK, a few hits too) of the first big wave of noms to come from shows that launched during the pandemic. And speaking of the pandemic, how did that impact things? Lots to unpack here.
2. Super Bowl preview.
No, we’re not talking about who will win between the Chiefs and Bucs and the battle of the star quarterbacks. Instead, we’re joined by former NBC and Fox scheduler-turned-analyst Preston Beckman to discuss how networks select which show gets the best time slot on television. Beckman also recounts how Friends landed the prime spot 25 years ago, though it wasn’t NBC’s first choice. This year, CBS will slot its Queen Latifah-led reboot of The Equalizer after the big game. Is that a good strategy?
3. Tribute to a trailblazer.
This week, the TV industry lost Jamie Tarses, the first woman to ever serve as entertainment chair of a broadcast network. This segment explores the sexism — and ageism — that Tarses, who died Feb. 1 at age 56 — encountered when she made the leap from No. 2 at NBC to running ABC. Entertainment Weekly editor-at-large Lynette Rice, who covered Tarses during her time with The Hollywood Reporter, joins the podcast this week to recount the wild days of her regime and how she broke through a glass ceiling that paved the way for executives like Karey Burke, Dana Walden and Channing Dungey, to name a few.
4. Peak TV update.
For the first time in more than a decade, the total number of scripted originals dropped in 2020. According to new research from FX, total volume clocked in at 493 last year — a 7 percent drop that likely was fueled by the months-long production shutdown as a result of the pandemic. This segment explores what we can glean from the numbers and how the impact of the ongoing pandemic could impact total volume for the year ahead.
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 weighs in on CBS’ Clarice and The Equalizer. And speaking of Clarice, tune in next week when we’ll be joined by executive producer Jenny Lumet as the Showrunner Spotlight segment returns.
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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