Hulu Take On Casual New Series

While Netflix’s recent surge of content acquisition has been comparatively frantic when put against past industry developments, one of their closest rivals, Hulu have been decidedly more relaxed over the idea of original content, stopping off only the odd few times to pick up something new that they like, such as Casual.

jason_reitmanFollowing on from a pick-up of an adaptation to Stephen King time-travel novel 11/23/63, the planned new single-camera comedy is to begin production this year with their new full season order commissioned this week.

The series comes from the mind of Jason Reitman (Juno, Men Women & Children), who has laid out a story that looks to delve into ‘the complications of the family dynamic’. The premise will see a bachelor and his divorced sister living under the same roof whilst raising the latter’s teenage child, with the pair offering each other support and guidance in re-entering the dating game after their respective troubles.

Viewers in 2015 will be able to see 10 episodes of the show when it is launched, with Reitman confirmed as the director of the pilot. He will be teaming up with Zander Lehmann as a co-writer for the format. Lionsgate TV will produce the series, following on from their work on Hulu breakout series Deadbeat.

Reitman summarised the project, stating, “I’ve long looked for the right first step into episodic storytelling. In Zander Lehmann, I have found the perfect collaborator. His writing is hilarious and provocative.”

Head of content for Hulu who have just renewed a content deal with Viacom, Craig Erwich said, “Jason Reitman uniquely blends comedy and drama in a way that touches the human spirit. We are honored to work with him to bring the next distinctive voice, Zander Lehmann, to television.”

Well not quite television, but definitions don’t really matter all that much when the show itself has a name like, well…

Most Gruesome Movie Deaths Released In Time For Halloween

In the places around the world where Hallowe’en is celebrated, the USA is arguably the place where the whole ‘horror’ theme gets toned down a little, with many children going trick-or-treating as cowboys and princesses rather than ghosts and vampires.

greatest_worst_movie_deathHopefully looking to address that trend on the big day this year will be movie vignette sequel ABCs of Death 2, a feature release for 31 October that will include a numerically-appropriate 26 short stories detailing some of the most unusual and gruesome ways to die.

And as original as the idea for the comedy horror franchise is, all ideas come from something, and the inspiration for the 26 directors of the Ant Timpson and Tim League-created anthology will lie with the entire history of ‘death in movies’.

To celebrate that particular niche of interest, and to promote ABCs of Death 2, the directors have compiled a supercut complication of their favourite moments of death ever to appear in a cinema, ranging from the horrific to the tragic to the unintentionally hilarious.

The compilation in full can be seen below:


Along with the trailer for the movie being promoted, ABCs of Death 2:


The main themed movie (albeit a slightly more conventional one) it will be competing with this Hallowe’en, Horns:


And finally, a little something to calm any distressed children down, should they have seen any of this before going to bed:

Hulu to Stream Classic Nickelodeon Cartoons In Renewed Viacom Agreement

Hulu have teamed up with Viacom to bring thousands of classic cartoons from the 1990’s. Hulu Kids can now enjoy watching shows such as The Ren & Stimpy Show, Drake & Josh, Invader Zim, Hey Arnold!, amongst others.

ren-stimpy-huluThe ongoing deal which started back in 2012 will also offer programming from other Viacom networks such as Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, TVLand, Spike, BET, and Logo bringing shows such as Catfish, Key & Peele, Drunk History, Inside Amy Schumer, 16 & Pregnant, Snooki & JWoww, Workaholics, Hot in Cleavland, and Faking It amongst others.

Speaking for Hulu, senior vice president and head of content, Craig Erwich said, “Today, I am excited to share the news that we are extending our partnership with Viacom—to continue bringing thousands of episodes from some of Viacom’s most popular series and a selection of kids content to Hulu.”

Hulu will also be offering a number of Latino kid’s content available in the Spanish language such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.




Better Call Saul Will Be Mainly Dramatic

With plenty of the comedic elements offsetting the dramatic black comedy coming from the character of “Saul Goodman” in AMC series Breaking Bad, it should have stood to reason that its upcoming spin-off show Better Call Saul would be a slightly dramatic comedy rather than a slightly comedic drama, but recent comments from its lead actor have laid that widespread opinion to rest.

better_call_saul_billboardBob Odenkirk, who played recurring character “Saul” over Breaking Bad‘s 5 seasons, has stated that his upcoming role is in fact one of “total drama”, or at least 85%.

Creators of the series Vince Gilligan & Peter Gould are noted as having strongly considered making Better Call Saul as a half-hour comedy show, but it will now be an hour-long drama show in the manner of its parent.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Odenkirk said of the content in the series, to be set primarily in 2002 but jumping between various pre-Breaking Bad periods: “It’s total drama, man. It’s 85% drama, 15% comedy. One of the cool things about playing Saul now is that I get to have those moments [of depth]. I’ve certainly gotten a chance to dig deep in Better Call Saul.”

Already commissioned for two seasons in spite of not premiering until February 2015, will Better Call Saul be a success in its choice of format, or will those involve wish that they just called it all comedy instead?

LG Set To End The Era Of Plasma TV

The era of the plasma TV is set to come to a close, with the last major new unit of the flat-but-not-completely-flat screen viewing platform set to roll off the production line on 30 November.

lg_plasma_tvThe company responsible will be South Korean technology giants LG, who are the last big-name company to be involved in this market, but not for much longer, as they look to cease operations on plasma screens, ending a 15-year stay in that subsector.

LG are now reportedly planning to focus their TV-producing operations on LED and higher-quality OLED TV machines in a bid to better compete with local rival Samsung, and whilst they have been doing that for years, it now appears to be an official concentrated focus, with the staff tasked with plasma production presumably now freed up to help build and sell the newer methods.

The company had put their plasma TV operations into suspension in August in order to come up with an ‘exit strategy’, and they now have one that they are putting into practice, leaving Chinese company Changhong Electric Co. as the sole remaining plasma TV makers in the world, though industry experts explain that people wanting to buy will not have good luck in doing so outside of China, and that Changhong too are likely to move on completely from the plasma age by 2017.

Having existed in plasma TV production since 1999, after Japanese company Fujitsu’s first commercial effort in the industry in 1995, LG’s tenure in the once-premium industry will now be consigned to the history books like the product type, so an old high mark for TV quality disappears, how long will it be before a new technology pushes LED to a similar fate?

Netflix Release First Marco Polo Trailer

Netflix‘s newest original TV series coming to ‘air’ is one that will be at the top end of its expenses list, with $90m reportedly invested in making the first season of historical drama Marco Polo, and ahead of a full season release in mid-December, the streaming service have released the first little display of how that production budget was spent.

marco_polo_bannerYesterday (29 October) saw Netflix reveal an official first trailer for their newest show, which has already been compared to HBO hit Game of Thrones purely on its vast medieval landscapes and themes introduced in the clip, though Netflix’s show will have firm origins within a true story.

The Marco Polo series is based around the famed 13th-century explorer of the same name, who will be played by Italian actor Lorenzo Richelmy, as he makes his well-known expedition down the ‘Silk Road’ to travel between what is modern-day Italy and China. Whilst on the path, he ends up in the court of Kublai Khan (played by Benedict Wong), adding to the adventure and intrigue of his trip.

The series was a creation of John Fusco (who will be a writer on the upcoming Netflix-exclusive movie sequel Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend), supported by directors Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg (both Kon-Tiki) directing over the first two episodes and being executive producers for the season as a whole. Further behind-the-scenes support comes from executive producers Dan Minahan (Game of Thrones) and Harvey Weinstein of The Weinstein Co., whilst the cast is completed with Joan Chen, Olivia Cheng, Remy Hii, Claudia Kim, Uli Latukefu, Tom Wu, and Zhu Zhu (Cloud Atlas).

The official blurb of the show notes: “Intrigue. Deception. Bloodshed. These are just some of the obstacles awaiting legendary explorer Marco Polo as he navigates the inner court of 13th century ruler, Kublai Khan. From the back alleys of Venice to the perilous Silk Road, from the opulence of the Imperial City to the battlefields of China, Marco Polo is an epic action-adventure, where cultures clash, blood is spilled, and lies are told…”

Set to be premiered on Netflix at one minute past midnight (PT) on Friday 12 December, will Marco Polo travel quickly to the top of the list of most talked-about current TV shows? Critics have called the trailer a promising sign: