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HBO's drama problem, Louis C.K.'s debt, and the Hanna-Barbera cinematic universe.

Thursday April 14th 2016

People Talking About TV

“Fact is, HBO hasn’t come up with an undeniable drama hit since Game Of Thrones bowed in 2011. And while the network has faced creative dry spells in the past, it’s never done so while operating in a competitive landscape where so many rivals (Netflix, Amazon, AMC, FX, Showtime) were churning out prestige programming on a par with the pay-cable pioneer.” Josef Adalian at Vulture talks about how HBO has a drama problem. Even if you didn’t love it, it felt like more people at least watched, and therefore had an opinion on Boardwalk Empire. Nobody is even talking about Vinyl.

“In the case of Horace and Pete, the studio making the show is, essentially, Louis C.K. And the network? That would be anyone who’s paid for one or more episodes of the show. C.K. self-financed his show, and by offering it directly to consumers, he basically allowed us all to play Leslie Moonves: We decide whether or not H&P deserves a weekly time slot on our own personal viewing schedules.” Louis C.K. is reportedly in debt for self-financing his newest show, but this article argues that that’s kind of how this usually works. And like a regular studio, he's going to sell it to another outlet and eventually make that money back. So basically this story wasn’t really much of a story. (Lots of press for Horace and Pete though.) I would be willing to buy the show if it wasn’t such a bummer. (I’d gladly pay $31 for the next season of Louie.)


The Business

This is good news for high school sophomores, HBO is making a movie of Fahrenheit 451.

The Star Trek TV series will reportedly be an anthology series (of course) and will take place after the end of the movies featuring the original cast.

Spike gave a series order to The Mist. Stephen King has written something like 60 books, so I’m honestly not sure why there aren’t several dozen shows based on them currently on the air.

The Scooby-Doo reboot is now going to be a series in interconnected movies featuring Hanna-Barbera characters, because everyone wants to be like Marvel now.

Casting: Crispin Glover and Jonathan Tucker have joined the cast of American GodsLesley Nicol, AKA Mrs. Patmore, has booked a “substantial recurring role” on The Catch. Caitlin FitzGerald will guest star as a doctor on New Girl. Ioan Gruffudd will play a new love interest for Quinn on the second season of UnREALBattlestar Galactica’s Callum Keith Rennie has joined The Man In the High Castle.

Renewals: Bravo has renewed Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, which is a show I enjoy despite it being generally ridiculous, for three more seasonsFOX has renewed New Girl for a sixth season.

Ian Somerhalder got hauled into the principal’s office, and is now backtracking on what he said about The Vampire Diaries ending after next season.

I am concerned about the person who will inevitably beat the current person’s world record for binge watching TV. 94 hours is already about 90 hours too long, in my opinion. Portlandia would be happy that Battlestar Galactica was among the episodes that helped set the record.

It sounds like Television Without Pity might return. The new owners promise a re-launch sometime soon.


What To Watch

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt returns to Netflix tomorrow, and if you were worried that the episodes made for Netflix (and not it’s original intended home at NBC) would be any different, this review should get rid of those fears. It sounds like season two is just as great and weird as the first.

Orphan Black returns tonight with promises that the main plot will be more streamlined, but don’t worry, there’s still lots of trouble for Sarah. 

OK, so this is the week Julia Louis-Dreyfus hosts SNL. Here’s this week’s promos.

The Night Manager, Tom Hiddleston’s sneaky audition to take over as James Bond, starts on AMC on Tuesday, and you should watch it. Here’s yet another good review, and the trailer.

12 Monkeys returns for a second season on Syfy on Monday. Everyone was pleasantly surprised at how good this adaptation of the movie was when it aired last year. I keep meaning to watch the first season. Maybe on my next flight?

Oh by the way, a new season of Archer is on. You should be watching it. Here's a compilation of all of Archer's elaborate voicemail pranks.

FX is also airing new episodes of The Americans. This is this week’s reminder that everyone should be watching The Americans.

iZombie’s second season ended this week, and Slate wrote a nice piece about how zombies are more interesting when they have personalities. I am a huge fan of this show, so I am just going to keep mentioning it.

The new 200% more uncanny valley version of Thunderbirds starts on Netflix tomorrow. As I mentioned on Tuesday, you can watch the original, charming, and less terrifying version over on Shout Factory.

Kerry Washington stars as Anita Hill in HBO’s Conformation, which starts on Saturday. If you’ve finished The People v. O.J. Simpson and you need something new that’s based on true events, then this might be just the thing. Both these reviews from Variety and Slate are complimentary.

This article on Freaks and Geeks finding its humanist heart makes me want to watch the show all over again. You should too.

Since I am taking next week off, here are some other shows that are starting while I am on vacation. Atlanta based epidemic drama Containment arrives on The CW on Tuesday. 
Ilana Glazer’s The Time Traveling Bong, which is just what the title suggests, arrives on 4/20, because obviously. The new season of Inside Amy Schumer starts on Comedy Central on Thursday. The third season of Turn: Washington’s Spies arrives on AMC on the 25th. And OH MY GOD you guys! Game Of Thrones arrives on HBO on the 24th. Somewhere Kit Harington is relieved that people are no longer making up conspiracy theories based on the length of his hair.


Odds and Ends

Amy Schumer found a new way to sit while doing an interview on The Tonight Show.

Vox made a video about all of the steps that go into getting an episode of your favorite show onto whatever screen you watch it on.

Antsy about the new season of Game Of Thrones? Decider has a post with all of the footage that’s been released so far. Or you can watch this video on the visual effects teamThe only way to get screeners for the upcoming season is to be the President of the United States.

This should be good. Tom and Lorenzo are doing a separate post on what the costumes on Outlander mean to the story, like they did with Mad Men. I miss those posts more than I miss Mad Men.


I am off next week, but I will return on the 26th with a Game Of Thrones Watercooler! I'm sure there will be a lot to talk about. Thanks for reading!

-Alana Cloutier

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