The 50th annual Comic-Con gathering took place in San Diego over the weekend (four days in total) and as usual, dropped a ton of big TV news:
– At a Hall H Panel Thursday, ABC Studios announced news we already knew for months: the upcoming seventh season of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD would be its last. While the series was never the breakout ratings hit Marvel had hoped, the series grew a core and dedicated fan base, helping keep it on the air (not to mention the benefits of vertical integration) when other series would have been canceled by now.
At a time when diversity is being debated, SHIELD star Clark Gregg noted how having a diverse cast of people from different backgrounds is a plus (below Arrow tweet):
#AgentsofSHIELD’s @clarkgregg talks about how there is a lot of talk in our country right now about what it means to be an American, and how cool it is to see the diversity at #SDCC and how @AgentsofSHIELD is helping be a part of that. pic.twitter.com/PWsz7vN3Bc
— Sarah J Eagen (@sarahjeagen) July 20, 2019
-Marvel also revealed the start dates of a few of its new streaming series launching on Disney Plus: The highly anticipated The Falcon And Winter Soldier, being delivered in the fall of 2020, and Wandavision coming a few months earlier in the same year.
Another highly anticipated Disney Plus series Loki makes its debut on May 7, 2021 and an animated series set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe titled What If debuts in the summer of 2021.
– Believe it or not, all the news from Comic-Con didn’t evolve around Disney or Marvel: CBS brought Star Trek to the festivities with several new shows for CBS All Access announced at their Comic-Con panel, including a new Picard series featuring Patrick Stewart, who played the role on Paramount’s Star Trek: The Next Generation for seven seasons.
— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) July 20, 2019
It was also announced a few of Stewart’s former Next Generation co-stars are also making some appearances in the new show including Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, and Star Trek: Voyager’s Jeri Ryan.
In addition to Picard, CBS All Access has two more Star Trek series on tap: animated series Lower Decks and the next season of Star Trek: Discovery.
-After two seasons on Fox, sci-fi series The Orville is blasting off into a new dimension: Hulu. Series creator and star Seth MacFarlane tweeted the news on Saturday:
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) July 20, 2019
Obviously, a shortage of space on Fox’s shelf and MacFarlane other projects led to the decision for the move and delay until the fall of 2020. The Orville was originally slated for midseason.
“We know our viewers are huge fans of “The Orville”, along with many of Seth MacFarlane’s groundbreaking hit shows, and we can’t wait to bring Season 3 to them exclusively on the platform,” said Hulu SVP of Content Development Craig Erwich. “Hulu is a home for the world’s most sought-after creative talent, and we’re incredibly excited to welcome Seth and the entire cast and creative team of The Orville to our Hulu Originals slate.”
Debuting with a lot of fanfare two seasons ago, The Orville hasn’t been a solid ratings performer, but has become a cult favorite among its fanbase, pushing back against negative reviewers (such as this one.) Hulu is now wholly owned by Disney, who bought the remaining stakes of NBC Universal and Warner Media earlier this year.
You know the old saying, “If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound?” That exactly describes the absence of outrage (outside of a few on Twitter) – or notice locally when CBS pulled its signals from AT&T’s DirecTV, DirecTV Now, and U-Verse systems early Saturday morning over a retransmission consent dispute, leaving viewers with a notice card on the channel where CBS used to be.
The blackout includes WBBM-TV in Chicago and several CBS-owned stations in numerous large markets and the CBS Sports Network and the Smithsonian Channel nationwide. Certainly, if this were WLS-TV or WGN-TV, there would be more outrage given they have far more viewers than WBBM outside of prime-time; the station ranks fifth locally overall.
Over the weekend, local print media for the most part ignored the shutdown: The dispute was mentioned in a Chicago Tribune sports media article amid the Cubs’ plans to launch a new regional sports network while the Sun-Times didn’t mention it at all.
Already AT&T is in dispute with Nexstar, with their signals off DirecTV in nearly 100 markets, and rival Dish lost Meredith-owned stations in a similar dispute, affecting CBS affiliates WGCL Atlanta, KMOV St. Louis, and KCTV Kansas city, among others.
In one market, three local channels are off DirecTV: Nexstar independent KRON and CBS-owned KPIX and CW affiliate KBCW, all in the San Francisco area.
And if that weren’t enough, Disney’s FX, FXX, and National Geographic Channels, and Fox Sports’ regional sports networks are also being targeted by removal on Dish due to the same issues.
DirecTV and AT&T claim they are “fighting for you” in this BS website they put up, but either way, you the consumer will pay more before once football and the new fall TV season starts in September, they would have no choice to come to a deal as they would risk losing customers to rival services.
Either way, the consumer loses as the cost of cable and satellite continues to rise in a broken system Big Media and their paid-off politicians refuses to fix.