Big SPOTIFY podcast deals not yielding many podcasts in 2021
New STAR WARS DISNEY+ series sets lead / Chris O'Dowd doing APPLE TV+ show / ENDEAVOR buys Minor League baseball teams
Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on THURSDAY December 9, 2021.
Where it’s Harry, Hermoine and Ron looking classy AF 🍸🍸. This is the first image of the 3 leads from the New Years Day “Harry Potter” 20 year reunion special on HBOMAX.
ALSO: Tiger Woods will be playing golf on TV next weekend - he’s going to play 2 rounds with his 12 year-old son Charlie in the PNC Championship Father/Son tournament in Orlando (coverage will start on the GOLF CHANNEL next Sat & Sun, and then swap over to NBC).
AND: Here are the AFI’s selections for the best of 2021 (in no ranking order):
MOVIES: “Don’t Look Up”, “Dune”, “King Richard”, “Licorice Pizza”, “Nightmare Alley”, “The Power of the Dog”, “tick, tick … Boom!”, “The Tragedy of Macbeth” and “West Side Story”.
TV SHOWS: ”Hacks”, “Maid”, “Mare of Easttown”, “Reservation Dogs”, “Schmigadoon!”, Succession”, “Ted Lasso”, “The Underground Railroad”, “Wandavision” and ”The White Lotus”
PLUS: Here are your top 2021 Films from the NY TIMES critics. I’ve heard of 3 movies on AO Scott’s Top 10 list so… apparently some gems to uncover if inclined!
📽 THE SILVER SCREEN
Called ”For the Culture” - a raucous comedy in the cut-throat world of collegiate Bollywood dance competitions. So kind of a… “Dance Perfect”?
Hasan also producing via his new shingle, 186K Films. /Deadline
ALSO IN MOVIES
SXSW sets Michelle Yeoh’s A24 sci-fi action film “Everything, Everywhere All at Once” as the opener on March 11. She plays an exhausted woman who can’t seem to finish her taxes. Yeah that’s… all there is on that one. Directed by the guys who did “Swiss Army Man” with Daniel Radcliffe if that does anything for ya. /THR
UK re-instates a mask rule for Cinemagoers, and gov’t encourages everyone to go back to working from home. /THR
As new daily cases in LA County have now apparently doubled in a week. /Deadline
📺 THE TV SET
About what happens in a small town when a mysterious machine appears in the grocery store, that promises to reveal the true life potential of every townperson.
Based on a M.O. Walsh book, David West Read ("Schitt’s Creek”) is adapting. /Variety
It’s called the FREE LARRY HOOVER Concert, meant to raise awareness for Larry whom YE has been a proponent of freeing for some time (even asking Trump to pardon him in 2018 which… apparently didn’t fly). /Variety
BACKSTORY: Hoover was a Chicago gang leader in jail since 1973 for murder, who continued to run and grow a Chicago gang for the next 20 years from prison.
That is until an apparent change of heart in 1993 that caused him to reverse the gang’s MO to charity work and peaceful protests, and prioritizing education for members - thus making him an “urban political celebrity” in Chicago since the mid 90’s.
But he was given life sentences in 1997 after additional convictions for extortion and money laundering while running the gang… in the negative way from jail over that initial 20 year period.
Now 70, he’s been petitioning for a release for time-served and for his service to the community.
The concert will be free to stream on PRIME tonight starting at 8p LA time.
Down about 15% from the last live event in 2019, although most broadcast TV ratings are down about that much from 2 years ago.
The “Abbott Elementary” preview got about 3 Million viewers right after.
“People’s Choice Awards” got 3.7 Million viewers on NBC (lead-in “The Voice” had 6.9 Million). /THR
About a sinister relationship between a boss (Waltz) and his employee, pressing the boundaries of how far one will go to get ahead.
Brittany O’Grady (Paula from “The White Lotus”) will play his cut-throat assistant, and Nat Wolff (“The Fault in our Stars”) will play a mobile app developer.
Created by Tony Basgallop (”Servant”). /Deadline
ALSO IN TV
DISNEY+ sets Amandla Sternberg (“The Hate U Give”) as the lead in the “Star Wars” series “The Acolyte”. Series will take place about 50 years before “The Phantom Menace.” Leslye Headland (“Russian Doll”) is writing & showrunning. /Variety
“Jeopardy!” wisely keeping the two-hander host approach of Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings through the end of July / this season of the show. /THR
Steve Zahn is playing Tammy Wynette’s husband / manager in that “George & Tammy” limited series at SPECTRUM / PAR+ with Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon. /Deadline
VIACOM promotes Kelly Bradshaw to lead International Cable Networks business as SVP. Current head Kerry Taylor has chosen to leave the company after 14 years. /THR
IN OTHER WORDS…
I was like, “Fuck. What now?” (Laughs.)
-JENNIFER ANISTON on hearing the news that she was the fastest person to hit 1 Million INSTA followers, from her THR profile this week by Lacey Rose. #GoodRead - some astute takes on celebrity in 2021 in the social media age.
💻 THE MEDIA BIZ
Great job by PODNEWS following up on numerous big podcast deal announcements made several months - if not a year+ ago… Harry & Meghan, DC Comics, Chernin Ent, Kim Kardashian, and more that have yet to yield many if any actual podcasts as 2021 ends, with no real updates or explanations from SPOTIFY’s PR agencies who were eager to make the initial announcements.
4 teams with the ATLANTA BRAVES, 2 with the YANKEES, and 1 each from the CUBS, CARDINALS and SF GIANTS. ENDEAVOR also indicates it’s in advanced negotiations to add more, but no price indicated for these deals.
They’ve created a division called Diamond Baseball Holdings (DBH) to house all of this. The MLB cut the amount of Minor League clubs by 25% this year.
ALSO IN MEDIA
ROKU and GOOGLE strike a deal returning the YOUTUBE TV app / service to the ROKU platform after an 8 month stand-off.
YOUTUBE (OG) was in danger of being removed today as well if a deal was not struck. Revenue sharing and user data were at the heart of the dispute… but no word how it all got resolved. /THR
ROKU has the largest connected TV device user base - of note: GOOGLE declined to give any YOUTUBE TV subscriber updates on their Q3 Earnings call in October… perhaps not wanting to shed any light on subscriber losses due to the ROKU removal this Summer.
🏦 STOCK NOTES:
ROKU +18%… guys - the YOUTUBE TV deal wasn’t that big ($256.08)
SNAP +6% as the stock starts to build a little run to recover from their late October cliff dive ($53.42)
ROBLOX +7.5% ($124.78)
BUZZFEED was only down 2% on day three ($7.68)
👩💻 NEW TO WATCH:
HBOMAX “And Just Like That” - The SATC.. continuation? Although most reviews today (it was not sent out for early review) seem to indicate it really feels like a different show, with THR going so far as to call it “a meditative grief drama”, at least for the first episode -- no more iconic theme music either.
2 episodes drop today, then weekly every Thurs. Stream or Add to Your List here
If you were sent this newsletter or… just kinda found it:
🎧 PLAYING ME OFF
KIM PETRAS “Coconuts” - Ok Yes I’m moving this up above the TRAILERS today - and Yes, this song is totally and unabashedly about what you think it’s about (“My coconuts… watch em bounce up and down”), but I’ll refund your money 💸 if you don’t agree this is one extremely catchy tune… This is like DUA LIPA catchy.
Wait what? I’m still not making any $$ from doing this newsletter?? 🤦♂️
🎥 TRAILER HOUSE
NETFLIX “The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window” Series teaser - Kristen Bell as an heartbroken woman numbing the pain with booze who thinks she sees a murder in the house across the street… but literally no one else seems to think so. The drinking doesn’t help matters. Premieres Fri Jan 28
PARAMOUNT+“South Park: Post Covid: The Return of Covid” promo - The 2nd “movie” from “South Park” for 2021 (continuation of the one in November). Drops Thu Dec 16
AMAZON PRIME “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania” trailer - Premieres Fri Jan 14
If you need new tunes:
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