View Finder: HBO and Apple competing for a slice of Abrams pie

Brodie Fogg 19 January 2018 NEWS


While Amazon's original programming turns on its heel.

Disney execs love him, indie directors want to be him: J.J. Abrams is the international man of science fiction dredging up your most beloved memories like an X-Wing from Dagobah swamp. With a cracking revival of Star Trek up his sleeve, and the gargantuan task of bringing back the Star Wars universe after the prequel trilogy successfully self-sabotaged the series a long, long time ago (over 10 years), J.J. Abrams can do no wrong.

Now, the man who cut his teeth on popular TV stints like the thrilling Alias and the divisive Lost is hoping to return to the small screen with an original sci-fi romp and Apple and HBO are fighting tooth and nail to lock down the rights.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Abrams is shopping a sci-fi/drama spec script under the working title Demimonde (if TVLine's sources are to be believed). Despite Abrams' current affiliation with HBO as executive producer on Westworld, it appears Apple is looking to the prolific creator to help flesh out its own upcoming streaming service.

There's not a lot known about Apple's streaming service just yet, except that it's placing its bids on a number of shows (including a new Kristen Wiig TV series). Hey, not bad for a company that wasn't interested in creating TV shows or competing with Netflix back in 2015.

While Apple and HBO are rumoured to be duking it out for the Abrams' series' streaming rights, Warner Bros. is apparently still undecided and open to other suitors wanting to board the Abrams train.

If it is picked up, Demimonde will be an outer-space family drama where a scientist's daughter is transported to another world after digging through her comatose Mother's research.

In the meantime, we'll be eagerly awaiting Abrams' tour de force with 2019's Star Wars Episode IX.

Bezos wants more bang for his buck

Although Amazon Prime Video's launch in Australia has left a lot to be desired, there's no doubt the world's biggest online retailer has made a splash with its original content. From The Grand Tour to The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, and The Tick, Amazon Prime Video has been knocking originals out of the park, trying to keep up with Netflix. However, this week Amazon announced it would be putting an end to three of its most recent creations: Jean-Claude Van Johnson, I Love Dick and One Mississippi.

Word is, Jeff "Beefcake" Bezos ordered the former media development president Roy Price (who resigned back in October after a sexual harassment incident came to light) to drop its niche programming rollout. Niche programs just like One Mississippi and I Love Dick have been dropped by request of Bezos in pursuit of the service's own Game of Thrones. And what do you know, back in November Amazon announced it would be home to a Lord of the Rings TV show.

I'm just as excited as the next person to see what Amazon can do with Tolkien's epic classic, but I feel like someone should tell Bezos that Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones are two very different things. Sean Bean's blood isn't the secret sauce to making good television. Give the guy a break.

Who gives a F*** and F***?

In another report from The Hollywood Reporter, it seems a mob called Endeavour Content (the spawn from the IMG/WME merger) will be making Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, as if we needed any more of that half-baked damper roll in our lives.

If Endeavour Content had any smarts about 'em, they would have invested in the 24-hour Gorilla Channel.

Trailer park

Here are the most notable trailers from the week of streaming.

Everything Sucks

Look, I'm not saying this is going to be my cup of tea but I'm a sucker for 90s nostalgia and it's about time Degrassi was booted from its coming-of-age-TV-show throne.

The Handmaid's Tale Season 2

The Handmaid's Tale's first season was bloody grim. So grim, I had to put it on ice. However, the next season is offering a respite from the constant beatdown – a revolution – so maybe it's time to jump back in.

Looking for something to stream this week? Check out what's new on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Stan in January.

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