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Welcome to Episode 149 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).
This week’s episode, our first of the new year, features an interview with Abbott Elementary creator and star Quinta Brunson and explores the future of The CW as well as how Omicron is impacting Hollywood. (If you missed our supersized 2022 preview, click here.)
Here’s how the episode plays out:
1. The CW’s Future.
The network that’s home to All American, Riverdale and a slew of DC Comics dramas is up for sale by parent companies WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS. How would a sale impact the network as we know it? Could a play for the younger-skewing network by a conservative-leaning station group impact creative? This is a deep-dive analysis segment.
2. Here We Go Again.
It’s 2020++ in Hollywood again as the Omicron variant cancels red carpets, delays awards shows and shuts down productions across the country.
3. Peacock Finally Gets It.
After a confusing streaming strategy around last year’s Summer Games, Peacock announced this week that every single event in the Winter Olympics would be streamed live. It’s a big move and an important one as the NBCUniversal-backed streamer looks to recruit new paying subscribers. That is, if the Winter Games aren’t delayed.
4. Showrunner Spotlight.
Joining the show this week is Quinta Brunson, the creator and star of ABC’s rookie comedy Abbott Elementary. The alum of HBO’s A Black Lady Sketch Show opens up about the long road to the school-set comedy and how her work on a busted CW pilot led to the mockumentary that was originally designed to be an animated series. Brunson also reveals that she initially was not going to star in the series, which is partially inspired by her mother, a retired teacher, and how The Office and Parks and Recreation helped set the tone for the series.
5. Critic’s Corner.
As usual, every episode ends with Dan offering his reviews of what to watch in the week ahead. In this episode, he reviews The CW’s Naomi, the final season of HBO Max’s Search Party and Fox’s freshman half-hour, Pivoting, among others.
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.
Coming next week: James Gunn joins us to discuss HBO Max’s Peacemaker.
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