This story is part of a Times series on the great streaming wars of 2019. Click here to read the rest of our coverage of Disney +, Apple TV +, HBOMax and more.After years of buildup, feverish media speculation and a steady drip, drip of promotion, Apple will finally make its long-awaited push into original programming with the Nov. 1 launch of its streaming service, Apple TV+.Easily its most anticipated series is “The Morning Show,” a much-hyped drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon as journalists caught in the maelstrom when the popular anchor of a morning news program, played by Steve Carrell, is fired for sexual misconduct.With its A-list cast, lavish production values, acclaimed creative team and timely, provocative subject matter, “The Morning Show” might have been created in a streaming TV lab — with one exception. Viewers eager to consume the show in a sitting or two will have to pace themselves: Apple TV+ will make three episodes … [Read more...] about Are these end times for binge culture?
Shepard Smith is stepping down from his long-held position at Fox News, where his nonpartisan voice stood out on the conservative-leaning channel.Smith reported on some of the buzziest stories of the last 23 years, from O.J. Simpson’s civil trial to the Florida recount to President Trump doubling down on his Alabama error as Hurricane Dorian loomed. There were a number of gaffes along the way too, as happens over the course of decades.Throughout his career at Fox News — he was with the network when it launched in `1996 — his straightforward approach to news granted the media outlet credibility, and his departure is likely to be a blow to its efforts to remain a reliable news operation. Smith has had media wonks buzzing. There have been reports that the relationship between Smith and Fox News management had grown increasingly tense, especially with regard to the network’s opinion hosts. Rumors — denied by the network — asserted that he was told by … [Read more...] about An eclectic timeline of notable Shepard Smith moments
There’s a lot going on in the world right now, but we shouldn’t allow the nonstop horror of the news to distract us from the smaller injustices happening all around us.Like, for instance, this week’s “The Great British Baking Show.”The beloved reality competition series has weathered its share of controversies — or at least what passes for “controversy” on a show where kindess is a virtue and the prize is an engraved platter.There was the time viewers complained about all the naughty puns. Or the time a sloppy edit made it look like one contestant had sabotaged someone’s Baked Alaska — which of course she hadn’t, because this isn’t “Survivor,” or even “Top Chef.” But nothing compares to the scandal of this week’s episode, which ended in a rare (and needless) double elimination. Judges Prue Leith and Paul Hollywood sent home the industrious Michelle Evans-Fecci, whose bakes often … [Read more...] about How could you do this, ‘Great British Baking Show’?
Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her smart, nervy comedy “Fleabag” won four Emmys Sunday night, which was precisely four more than most expected a few months ago when Emmy campaigning began.How did this happen? Did the show’s Hot Priest have some kind of connection to a higher power? The six-episode second season of “Fleabag” dropped in mid-May on Amazon Prime, roughly three weeks before Television Academy voters began casting their ballots for this year’s Emmy nominations.That didn’t leave much time to ramp up awareness for a BBC television comedy that had garnered zero Emmy nominations for its first season, despite good reviews for the show and its star-creator-writer Waller-Bridge. “Fleabag’s” awards campaign team needn’t have worried. The show’s second season went almost immediately viral, catapulting to the top of review aggregator Metacritic’s best-of-the-year list. It was a huge hit in its native England, home … [Read more...] about Why Emmy voters fell so hard for ‘Fleabag’
Television has never been so damn good, Bryan Cranston boasted in the opening moments of Sunday night’s Emmy telecast, and, wonder of wonders, voters actually made a great many choices this year that reflected that excellence.Because, let’s be real: The Emmys have a well-earned reputation as the awards show that rubber-stamps its winners long after their sell-by date has passed. You know who put it best? Alex Borstein, winning the night’s second Emmy, repeating her 2018 comedy supporting actress win for “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.”“Ibid,” Borstein said.Ibid. That’s the Emmys! But this year, Emmy voters went off script, often in shocking ways. Julia Louis-Dreyfus owns 11 Emmys, eight of them for acting. She had gone six for six for her lead turn on “Veep” and was labeled a lock (yes, by me) for the comedy’s farewell season, a season that was delayed by a year so Louis-Dreyfus could treat her breast cancer.Louis-Dreyfus … [Read more...] about Wonder of wonders, the Emmys have never been so damn good