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Welcome back to TV’s Top 5, The Hollywood Reporter‘s TV podcast.
In every episode, the weekly podcast — hosted by THR‘s West Coast TV editor Lesley Goldberg 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. TCA highlights. With the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour at its halfway mark, NBC, CBS, The CW, Showtime, PBS, FX, Freeform, ABC and Fox have all presented. This tour, two new broadcast entertainment chiefs made their debut: ABC’s Karey Burke and Fox’s Charlie Collier. This segment features takeaways from Burke and Collier’s sessions and a deep dive into their plans for their networks. Burke, who came over after serving as head of originals at Freeform, wants to bring women back to the network; Collier offered a less-specific look at some new business models. (Prepare for a deep dive into the development weeds!) How did each exec fare? The conversation starts at the 1:04 mark.
2. FX vs. Netflix. Speaking of TCA: FX CEO John Landgraf — the so-called Mayor of Television — used his semi-annual look at the industry to take aim at — ahem, discredit? — the viewership data Netflix released. The streaming giant says Lifetime reject You was watched by 40 million people within its first four weeks. By Netflix standards, that means 40 million people watched 70 percent of one episode in the first four weeks. (It was our understanding there was to be no math.) The analysis — which includes a look at the state of FX in 2019 — starts at the 11:42 mark.
3. Sundance Film Festival takeaways. Fienberg, who recently returned from Park City, offers his favorites from the festival’s indie episodic program. He also offers his takeaways from director Dan Reed’s controversial four-hour Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland (coming in March to HBO). The breakdown begins at the 20:20 mark.
4. Was the Super Bowl really the Snooze Bowl? Los Angeles native Goldberg and Boston transplant Fienberg see the New England Patriots’ 13-3 win over the L.A. Rams (and the 2018 World Series outcome) in very different ways. Plus: Was the game really missing a big Netflix stunt (ahem, Cloverfield)? Or epic trailer (lookin’ at you, Game of Thrones)? The smack talk starts at 24:32.
5. Critic’s Corner. As always, every episode ends with Fienberg offering his critical thoughts about what to watch (or skip). This week, it’s a look at Hulu’s PEN15 (or as the critic calls it, “Hulu’s PENIS!” And, yes, the long-awaited debate about Fox’s Rent, which, naturally, leads to a detour about why live TV musicals are suddenly not all the rage. Tune in starting at 29:45.
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; 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.
Hear it all now on TV’s Top 5 — and be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. (Reviews welcome!)
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The Fien Print
William Jackson Harper