Inside Streaming - December 13th, 2019

Inside Streaming (Dec 13th, 2019)

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1. Amazon renewed "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" for a fourth season. Season 3 of the comedy-drama series, starring Rachel Brosnahan as a housewife in the '50s (and now '60s) who becomes a touring stand-up comedian, hit Amazon Prime on December 6. According to Amazon, Season 3 had the show's most-watched opening weekend to date. (The company does not release specific viewership numbers.) Thus far, "Maisel" has taken home 16 Emmys and 3 Golden Globe awards; it's up for 2 additional Globes in 2020, for Best Comedy Series and for Brosnahan's lead performance. – EW

2. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amazon will pay $25 million for a documentary feature profiling pop star and fashion designer Rihanna, from director Peter Berg. The film project has apparently been in the works for some time; Berg previously discussed it in a 2017 interview promoting his film "Patriots Day." It will provide what's being called "an unfiltered look" into Rihanna's personal and professional life. The director and artist first collaborated on the 2012 sci-fi action film "Battleship." The film was apparently shopped around to multiple distributors before going to Amazon. Apple recently signed a reported $25 million deal to bring a Billie Eilish documentary to its TV+ platform. – THR

3. WHAT'S NEW ON STREAMING TODAY?

6 UNDERGROUND: Michael Bay directed this big-budget action thriller about an elite international team of covert operatives, funded by a tech billionaire and recruited to right wrongs against impossible odds. Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Adria Arjona, Corey Hawkins, Ben Hardy, and Dave Franco co-star. [Netflix]

THE EXPANSE: Sci-fi series, based on the novels by James S.A. Corey, set in a future where humans have colonized the solar system and maintain a delicate balance of power between worlds. The show originally aired on Syfy but, starting with today's new fourth season, it's now an Amazon Prime original. [Amazon Prime]

MARVEL'S RUNAWAYS: The Hulu superhero drama will wrap up after a third and final season, premiering today. It's based on the Marvel Comics team of the same name, a group of teens who discover that their parents are part of an evil crime syndicate known as "Pride." This season features a crossover with another canceled Marvel TV series, "Cloak and Dagger." [Hulu]

THE GREAT AMERICAN BAKING SHOW: This spin-off of the reality cooking competition "The Great British Bake-Off" is back for a fifth season. Spice Girl Emma Bunton and Chicago Bears tackle Anthony Adams serve as hosts, with UK vet Paul Hollywood and pastry chef Sherry Yard doing the judging. New episodes will debut on ABC and then come to Hulu the following day. [Hulu]

BUMBLEBEE: 2018 "Transformers" spin-off starring Hailee Steinfeld as a teen in 1987 who befriends the Autobot alien soldier. [Amazon Prime and Hulu]

DEPRAVED: 2019 horror film from writer/director Larry Fessenden that's loosely inspired by Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein." David Call stars as a former army medic who creates new life from cobbled-together body parts. [Hulu]

THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE: Peter Sarsgaard stars in this independent drama, based on a short story by Ben Nabors, as a "house tuner," who calibrates the sounds in people's homes to help improve their moods. [Hulu]

MEL BROOKS UNWRAPPED: Hour-long documentary special profiling the iconic filmmaker, actor, writer, and comedian, which grew out of a project originally shot for the BBC back in 1981. Brooks' long-time collaborator and friend Carl Reiner also appears. [HBO]

ENTRE NOS: ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Comedy special featuring performances from Marlena Rodriguez and Kim Congdon. [HBO]

7:20 ONCE A WEEK (EN TU PIEL): 2018 romantic drama from the Dominican Republic about a one-night stand between two married people that develops into an intense affair. [HBO]

HELLBOY: David Harbour took over the role of the comic book hero -- a demon summoned to Earth by Nazi scientists who decides to protect humanity from supernatural menaces -- for this poorly-reviewed 2019 reboot. In this update, Hellboy faces off against the seemingly immortal Blood Queen Vivienne Nimue (Milla Jovovich). [HBO, Saturday]

4. Starting on January 3, Billboard will factor YouTube viewership numbers into its flagship weekly Billboard 200 album chart. The album chart will also begin factoring in metrics from Apple Music, Tidal and Vevo. Billboard first integrated YouTube numbers into the Hot 100 singles chart back in 2013. The album chart will only consider views on official videos released by the artist; covers or songs that have been integrated into user-generated content will not count. YouTube ranks among the most popular online destinations for listening to music; a report from Midia Research indicates that 55% of all individuals streaming music online use YouTube, as opposed to 37% for all of the major streaming services (such as Spotify and Pandora) combined. YouTube has also become a launching pad for up-and-coming artists; the New York Times cites YoungBoy Never Broke Again as an example, who was pulling in huge YouTube numbers before his recordings reached the Billboard charts. (That's him in the photo.) – NYT

5. NEW TRAILERS

Several new trailers landed in the past few days, so I've gathered them all here for maximum convenience.

THE AGE OF A.I.: Robert Downey Jr. narrates this eight-episode YouTube Originals docuseries digging into artificial intelligence technology and its potential to reshape humankind. The first episode premieres on December 18. [YouTube]

DRACULA: New adaptation of the 1897 gothic horror novel by Bram Stoker from Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the duo behind BBC's "Sherlock." The series will debut on BBC One in the UK on New Years Day, and on Netflix in the US on January 4. [Netflix]

CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM: The trailer for the show's upcoming 10th season features a bevy of notable guest stars, including Jon Hamm, Laverne Cox, Jane Krakowski, Fred Armisen, and Kaitlin Olson. It debuts on January 19. [HBO]

THE WITCHER: This is the final trailer for the epic fantasy series, starring Henry Cavill as a supernaturally-gifted monster hunter who embarks on a dangerous quest with a princess and a sorceress. "The Witcher" debuts a week from today, on December 20. [Netflix]

6. Actor Will Poulter left Amazon's "Lord of the Rings" series due to scheduling conflicts. According to Deadline, though Poulter had been widely reported as accepting a role on the show, he had never formally signed a contract, and his casting was never confirmed by Amazon. The actor was recently seen in the "Black Mirror" interactive "Bandersnatch" episode as well as 2019's buzzy horror film "Midsommar." Amazon recently renewed "Lord of the Rings" for a second season, which will prompt the creators to take a lengthy hiatus from Season 1, to lay out the new episodes. This unexpected schedule change apparently made it impossible for Poulter to remain with the project. Ema Horvath was also added to the show's cast this week in an undisclosed role. – DEADLINE

7. Hulu introduced a new advertising format specifically geared toward people binge-watching shows. The "Binge Watch Ads" system will automatically kick in when Hulu's system detects that a binge session has started. Viewers will then see contextually relevant ads that acknowledge they are in the midst of binging a show, and after three straight episodes, they will be treated to an ad-free episode, along with a specialized message from a brand partner. Hulu first announced plans to introduce the system back at NewFronts in May. The company has reported that about half of all ad-supported viewing hours on the platform are spent in binge sessions. Launch partners for the new format include Kellogg's (which is using Hulu to promote its new Cheez-It Snap'd snack crackers), Maker's Mark and Georgia-Pacific. – TECHCRUNCH

8. "Carnival Row" star Orlando Bloom signed a first-look deal to create new shows and films for Amazon Prime Video. The fantasy drama series has been renewed for a second season, which started production last month. Bloom will also appear in two upcoming films: "Needle in a Timestack" from writer/director John Ridley and "The Outpost," from director Rod Lurie. He's best known to audiences as Legolas from Peter Jackson's Middle-earth movies and Will Turner from Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise. – DEADLINE

9. Steve Harvey will move his talk show to Facebook Watch beginning on January 6. The new series, "Steve on Watch," will feature the comedian and TV personality interviewing celebrities while giving his personal take on the major issues of the day. Harvey previously hosted the syndicated TV chat show "Steve," which aired after "Ellen" on NBC stations across the US. (The timeslot has since gone to Kelly Clarkson.) Harvey continues to host the game show "Family Feud," and recently hosted the "Miss Universe" pageant on Fox. – DEADLINE

10. Amazon plans to produce a film adaptation of the Kathy Hepinstall novel "The Book of Polly." Hepinstall will write the adaptation along with George Sledge. The story concerns a young girl's relationship with her chain-smoking, hard-living 68-year-old single mother, the titular "Polly." The film version will likely be retitled "Life of Polly." – DEADLINE

Lon Harris is the writer and editor of Inside Streaming, and was the very first person to ever write an Inside newsletter. He lives in Los Angeles, California, and also writes about TV and film for Fandom, Screen Junkies, Rotten Tomatoes, Gamma Ray and others. He competes on The Movie Trivia Schmoedown as "The Professor." You can follow him on Twitter @lons

Edited by Kim Lyons 

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