SHANG CHI director doing DISNEY+ action-comedy series

GOT prequel teaser, SATC reboot date drops / SOPRANOS pic doubles audience on HBOMAX / APPLE Gaming profits top major Gaming companies

Mornin! This is Sean McNulty and here’s the Hollywood + Media news to know on TUESDAY October 5, 2021.

Where FB & INSTA poured it on a little thick with the whole “It’s a Wonderful Life” treatment yesterday, with Zuck issuing a statement on the matter which… definitely couldn’t be read to sound ominous 😳:

“Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about.”

Why can’t I stop hearing a Dr Evil laugh in my head after reading that? But - it was definitely TWITTER for the win 👏:

BUT: Somehow the social media mobs still found ways to express their outrage that NETFLIX is streaming “Seinfeld” 16x9 instead of the original OG TV ratio of 4x3Except for the people who would complain if the show had black bars on each side that come with a 4x3 ratio on an HDTV.

ALSO: Yes, KACEY MUSGRAVES really performed naked on SNL for her first song on Saturday night if there was any question. Well excluding the boots 👢of course - as we all know, studio 8H is notoriously drafty.

AND: A rest in peace goes out to famed LETTERMAN announcer Alan Kalter, who died at age 78 yesterday. He was the voice of “The Late Show” for 2 decades, and of course occasional Celebrity Interviewer as fans of the show will remember.


Hollywood IATSE union members authorize a strike in negotiations with the AMPTP

For non-industry folks: IATSE = pretty much every crew member on a TV or Movie set and then some. AMPTP = Studios & streaming services.

The strike vote got over 98% “yes” from IATSE members so… expect this to come to a head soon. The two are now back at the collective bargaining table after a 2 month stand-off.

IATSE is seeking things like better rules for minimum time between shoot-day shifts, as well as better pay rates for Streaming projects. IATSE agreed to a lower pay-rate back in 2009 for shows/movies on streaming services with less than 20 Million subscribers to help the streaming business grow.

AMPTP is willing to increase that rate 18%, but still not match the typical Movie & TV production rate.

But consider here in 2021… where APPLE reveals it has less than 20 Million paying APPLE TV+ subs so it can still get the low rates - despite literally having $200 Billion dollars of cash on hand… yeah may be time for a change.

If a strike happens: HOLLYWOOD scripted production will come to an immediate stop. Well except for writers. The only productions an IATSE strike would not affect are:

  • TV Commercials

  • Shows for PayTV networks HBO, SHOWTIME, and STARZ, which both have separate IATSE agreements. #ItsNotTVItsHBO

1 Million people watched “The Many Saints of Newark” on HBOMAX this weekend according to SAMBA TV tracking

For a movie that grossed just $5 Million, this is a pretty huge number. Or roughly 2x the number of people who saw it in the theater.

While naturally not everyone who watched it at home would have gone to the movies if it was Theatrical-only… it seems the opening weekend had a very real shot at hitting $15+ Million if wasn’t on HBOMAX.

For some comps - “In the Heights” opened with 700k HBOMAX views, “Malignant” had 750k. /Deadline

Indie SOLSTICE STUDIOS likely to fold

The company laid off most of their top execs including CEO Mark Gill, and hasn’t released a film this year. They sold “Joe Bell” off to ROADSIDE earlier this year, and had the Russell Crowe road rage movie “Unhinged” last year.

The company was privately funded, mostly by a wealthy family that is… not known.

They’re currently in production on a Ben Affleck action pic “Hypnotic”, directed by Robert Rodriguez. Production will continue, 10 employees are staying on to handle… although one has to think it’ll be sold off to NETFL-err I mean a streaming company, all with an equal shot at it. But to note: the company is maintaining that it will keep its doors open to release “Hypnotic” itself about a year from now. /Deadline



DISNEY+ sets “Shang-Chi” director Destin Daniel Cretton to direct adaptation of graphic novel “American Born Chinese”

The action-comedy series will be about a teenager balancing his social life and immigrant home life when he meets a new foreign student on the first day of the school year, and gets entangled in a battle of Chinese mythological gods… as ya do. /Deadline

HULU sets Sterling K Brown to lead 1800’s series “Washington Black”

Sterilng is playing the de facto Mayor of Black HALIFAX in Nova Scotia, who takes on a pre-teen protege named George Washington “Wash” Black, who flees his home of BARBADOS after a family tragedy. Has a 9 episode order. /Variety

NETFLIX adds Taylor Kitsch to opioid epidemic series “Painkiller”

Reunites Kitsch with Pete Berg (“Friday Night Lights”, “Lone Survivor”) who is directing here.

Uzo Aduba and Matthew Broderick are the 2 main leads in the ensemble cast for the series, which looks at PURDUE PHARMA and… well you’re probably up to speed here. /THR

28.5 Million people watched Tom Brady’s return to New England on SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL

NBC’s 2nd biggest audience ever for the SNF franchise, and had a 34 share. The biggest SNF audience ever was an end-of-season 2012 DALLAS vs WASHINGTON game that decided the Division title.

28.5 Million is about 10 million more than the SNF average. /Deadline

ALSO: About 10 Million watched the “60 Minutes” FACEBOOK exposé episode, thanks to a large NFL lead-in.




APPLE made more profit from gaming than most major gaming players combined in 2019

APPLE reportedly made $8.5 Billion in 2019 from their 30% cuts of revenues from game producers in the App Store. That profit was larger than the combined profits of SONY, ACTIVISION BLIZZARD , NINTENDO and MICROSOFT in 2019.

This was reported as part of the FORTNITE / EPIC GAMES trial, and to note - APPLE says that $8.5 Billion number is too high… but did not seem to offer another one. /WSJ

  • #FunFact: In 2017, the top 1% of spenders on Games in the APPLE APP Store made up 64% of the revenue, spending an average of almost $2700 annually.


  • Rogers & Hammerstein musical “Pal Joey” revival coming to BROADWAY with Tony Goldwyn & Savion Glover (“Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk”) co-directing. Richard LaGravenese (“The Fischer King”) writing the book for the show. /Deadline

  • OZY MEDIA co-founder Carlos Watson went on “The Today Show” yesterday to say the company will now remain open and “rebuild”. Which was news to all the employees he laid off on Friday whose email, paychecks, and electronic accounts were all shut off.

    • Carlos also clarified that Sharon Osbourne received OZY shares as part of a settlement when she sued them for calling their festival OZY FEST… which was a bit too close to OZZFEST. So yeah, legal settlement payment… an investor in the company - same thing. /Axios

    • If employees… I dunno, for some reason don’t want to return 🤷‍♂️ - Carlos said they’ll be “paid whatever is owed to them” which totally doesn’t sound like something Mr Burns would say on “The Simpsons”.

    • This is starting to become a tie with the new “Jeopardy!” host saga for Most Tedious media story of 2021.


Bad day for tech… #Thanks60Minutes Most stocks (SNAP, FB, ROKU, TWITTER, PINTEREST) were down about 5-6%

ENDEAVOR somehow caught up in this, down over 6.5%.


NETFLIX “Dave Chappelle: The Closer” comedy special - Looks like his 6th and last one as part of his current NETFLIX deal. Click Here to Watch or Add to Your List

ESPN - YANKEES vs RED SOX MLB Wildcard game at 8p. Winner goes on to play Tampa Bay.

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HBOMAX “House of the Dragon” - teaser trailer for the GOT prequel. Premieres TBD 2022.

HBO “Succession” - Opening scene from Sunday night’s Season 3 premiere, picking up right where Season 2 left off.

HBOMAX “And Just Like That”/new SATC season - Teaser date announcement with BTS footage, show will Premiere in December.

HBOMAX “Peacekeeper” clip - from the new “Suicide Squad” spinoff series coming in January.

NETFLIX “tick tick… BOOM!” trailer. The Lin-Manuel Miranda movie about “Rent” creator Jonathan Larson hits select Theaters on Fri Nov 12, and NETFLIX on Fri Nov 19.

HBOMAX “We’re Here” Season 2 trailer. Premieres Mon Oct 11


BRANDI CARLILE“Broken Horses” - Really was digging this song off the new album this weekend.

Listen to the song here on SPOTIFY

If you need new tunes:

THE WAKEUP Spotify playlist

Email me anytime to tell me whose name I’ve misspelled today - just reply to this email, or connect here on LINKED IN.

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