View Finder: Netflix’s next stage of original content is going to be huge

Nick Broughall 19 May 2017 NEWS

Netflix Tidelands

Aussie shows, gaming shows and puppet shows, oh my!

What a week it's been for Netflix content announcements. It's not enough that this month we're swimming in the exciting return of Sense8, House of Cards and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but the global streaming giant has finally confirmed its first Australian produced programming.

Tidelands is described as a supernatural crime drama, and production isn't set to kick off until 2018, so it will probably be another two years before we actually get to see all 10 episodes.

Penned by Stephen M. Irwin, the scribe behind Channel 10's 2014 TV series Secrets & Lies, the show marks the first time Netflix has thrown its full weight behind Australian content. Up until now, the company has co-produced shows, like Glitch with the ABC, and distributed them to a larger, global audience.

Obviously it is way too early to depict whether or not Tidelands will kickstart a new generation of global television hits from Down Under, but given Stan's commitment to local productions through titles like No Activity and Wolf Creek, this news is sure to have creative teams lathering at the prospect of a Netflix deal.

And while we were still recovering from the news that Netflix was getting into local shows, we were hit with the news that the streaming giant is turning the tale of Geralt of Rivia into a new Witcher TV show.

Given the Witcher 3 is pretty much the best damn video game ever made (sorry Red Dead Redemption), this news is laced with trepidation. Can even the tremendous minds behind The Expanse take the tales of Geralt and build on it in a way that complements (or even improves) on the majesty of CD Projekt's masterpiece?

Will the casting remain the same? (It better.)

We know the show will run a bit tighter to the source material fantasy novels of Andrzej Sapkowski, but given the way the game trilogy wrapped up, will we see a different interpretation of the same content, or a prequel of sorts.

There are still too many questions, which were nicely put to the side thanks to the news that Netflix is diving head first into the classic history books to produce a show based on Jim Henson's classic film, The Dark Crystal.

Again, details are fairly scarce at this stage, but there's an entire generation of people who will lap this up for the nostalgia alone.

Oh, and the Bluths are coming back for a fifth season of Arrested Development next year.

Foxtel Play going on a content diet

As Netflix ramps up its original content and the library gets larger and larger, Foxtel Play seems to be heading the opposite direction.

From 5 June, the channel lineup for the streaming Pay TV service is getting a bit thinner. According to a statement from Foxtel:

From 5 June 2017, BoxSets, 13th Street, Binge, Syfy, Discovery Science, Animal Planet, Lifestyle You, Style, World Movies, CNN, Smooth, BBC World News, CNBC, Max, CMC, Eurosport News, Foxtel Arts, MTV Music and MTV Dance will no longer be available on Foxtel Play.

There's plenty of speculation around the channel lineup change, but little in the way of confirmed details. The leading conspiracy theory is that it's a part of the rebranding process to Foxtel Now, while others believe it's the first stage to introduce high definition streams to the service.

Either way, here's hoping there is some justification for the channel reduction.

Stan's got a cherry pie there that'll kill ya

Stan's going to be the exclusive place to watch the return of Twin Peaks in Australia, and to celebrate the streaming service is morphing Gelato Messina in Newtown in Sydney and Gelato Messina in Richmond in Melbourne into the iconic RR Diner from the show next week.

If you want to see where pies go when they die, you can head to the Sydney store on Monday 22 May and Melbourne on Thursday 25 May to experience the RR Diner all for yourselves.

Trailer of the week: All about Discovery

Despite the imminent release of Twin Peaks (Monday, people!), this week's trailer of choice is pointed squarely at the stars. The first trailer for the next Star Trek TV show is pretty spectacular, though it echoes the newer cinematic incarnation of Star Trek rather than the older TV series.

A little bit closer to release, the women's wrestling drama/comedy GLOW has an official trailer, and I'm all in.

Each week, View Finder rounds up the latest news in TV and movie streaming in Australia.

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