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Welcome to Episode 145 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. Netflix’s new “ratings”
The streaming giant is making good on its October pledge to more regularly release viewership data. But is its new weekly “hours watched” reports on its fancy new website actual transparency on how many viewers are watching and how soon or is it just a performative “flex”? Vulture West Coast editor and Buffering author Joe Adalian joins the show this week for a deep dive into what it all means.
2. OWN and USA: a case study in basic cable survival
Queen Sugar is ending next year on OWN, while The Sinner is hanging it up next month. Both shows leave their respective networks in two very different positions. This segment explores the two vastly different approaches at each network.
3. Crisis averted: IATSE edition.
There will be no production stoppage this year as IATSE members have ratified a new three-year contract with the AMPTP. But not all members are happy with the new deal.
4. Showrunner Spotlight.
Married creators Ashley Lyle and Bart Nickerson join us this week for an interview about their haunting Showtime thriller Yellowjackets. The duo, who count Narcos and The Originals among their credits, open up about how the drama about a high school girls soccer team whose plane crashes in the wilderness compares to Lord of the Flies. “Lord of the Flies is about how socialization falls away and how society is a facade. We thought, who is more socialized than women? As girls, you learn early on how to make people like you and what the social hierarchies are,” Lyle says. “It’s a more interesting way of having things fall away. The mask is even thicker. It’s a more layered amount of preconceived notions of how to behave and act.” Plus the duo weigh in on similarities to ABC’s Lost and their long-term plan for the show and discuss the drama’s excellent 1990s soundtrack.
5. Critic’s Corner.
As usual, every episode ends with Dan’s thoughts on what to watch (or skip). This week, in a supersized segment ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, he weighs in on HBO Max’s The Sex Lives of College Girls; Hulu’s The Great; Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop, True Story and F Is for Family; Amazon’s Wheel of Time; and AMC+’s Anna.
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.
Programming note: Sadly, our annual Hallmark holiday special episode imploded so we’ll be taking the week of Thanksgiving off. Our next episode will be Dec. 3, when we’ll be joined by Girls Trip writer Tracy Oliver to promote her Amazon comedy, Harlem, from exec producer Amy Poehler.
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