Dan Barrett

Dan Barrett is the Content Director of Televised Revolution. His musings on television have been heard across ABC Radio, on websites like The Guardian and Crikey, and drunkenly in pubs across the country. At night he spends too many hours watching repeats of Cheers.

[REVIEW] Marvel’s Daredevil – Episode 1

Prepare for the worst, but hope for mediocre. Following the weak Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the better, but barely watched, Agent Carter series, fans have every right to be nervous about any new live-action Marvel shows. Where Marvel failed in trying too hard to adapt their storytelling to the conventions of broadcast television, Marvel succeed in adapting to the conventions of on-demand television. Marvel’s new series Daredevil is not only the best superhero TV series they’ve produced, it is to-date the best series produced for an on-demand streaming service.

Marvel have partnered with Netflix to deliver 60 episodes of superhero television. This is to be comprised of full seasons of:

1 x Daredevil
1 x Luke Cage
1 x Jessica Jones
1 x Iron Fist
1 x The Defenders (a superhero team-up series featuring Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist)

Most superhero TV series are largely awful, but Daredevil succeeds by working completely to the strength of what the format allows – niche, targeted story-telling that layers its characterisation and plotting over several episodes and rewards those who make an effort to consume it in a concentrated timespan. Daredevil takes its time in revealing all the key players in the series, their motivations, and even their names. It’s masterful.

Daredevil is built with the shape and form of a comic book. For years, comic fans have been reading stories that are written for ‘trade’ collections. These are collections of individual comic book issues (usually 5-8 of them) published in the one volume. As such, most story arcs are written to last for 5-8 issues, with each issue being its own individual instalment to provide a satisfactory story to the person reading month to month. It’s very similar to the way TV seasons now are written for full-season mass consumption, but with individual episodes offering its own multi-act structure.

We are still in the infancy of storytelling via streaming TV services. In-built to the structure is the ability to encourage the viewer to watch as much of the story as they want at any given time. This enables viewers to absorb a story at their own pace, with a structure unencumbered by the logistics of telling a story week-to-week. This is a structure that has been perfected within comic book publishing. The storytellers can be as nuanced as they want as the viewing is being undertaken by an audience who are fully invested in the experience presented by that shows world.

The only misstep that the debut episode makes is by opening with the origin of Daredevil’s abilities – a scene depicting a child injured by a chemical spill on the city streets that has rendered him blind. Most viewers will recall a similar take on the scene from the weak 2003 Ben Affleck movie. Opening with this scene builds a false expectation with the viewer that the show will re-tread the familiar. Had they repositioned the ‘origin’ scene later in the episode or season, it would have done wonders to tweak viewer expectation. What is special about Daredevil as a series is that the series feels like a new approach on bringing superheroes to television, eschewing many of the tropes one comes to expect from the first instalment of a superhero story.

Watching the Daredevil series, it is difficult not to draw comparisons with the recent Christopher Nolan Dark Knight films. Daredevil, as conceptualised in this series, is based heavily off the 1980’s Daredevil comics penned by writer Frank Miller, who later went on to redefine Batman through Batman: Year One and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. These books were a significant influence on Nolan’s Batman films.

More than just sharing the Frank Miller DNA, it’s interesting to note how many cues Daredevil takes from The Dark Knight, specifically. This is a grounded, real world hero who operates in a tangible space. Every punch thrown in the film is felt and a punch is often not quite enough to take out an enemy in the world of Daredevil. Unlike most depictions of violence on TV, when facing an enemy, if Daredevil punches them he needs to keep on punching them until they stay down. This is a brutal, cold, and violent superhero series. And it’s absolutely captivating to watch.

Just as Daredevil owes a debt of gratitude to The Dark Knight, it also takes many cues from The Raid and The Raid 2. While the action scenes are rarely as visceral as either Raid films, the scenes feel just as real.

Matt-Murdoch

While it may be addressed in later episodes this season, this first episode never touches on why Matt Murdock (the titular Daredevil) dresses in a costume to fight crime. As a viewer, it is interesting (yet rarely ever adequately shown) how the hero takes that step from seeing that there’s a problem in the world to acknowledging that the best way for them as an individual to combat the problem is to dress up in a costume and punch bad guys. How does Matt Murdock take the step to see that as a legitimate choice? Often such a decision is legitimised by the character’s situation, but outside of perhaps Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man film, it is very rare to see the steps needed actually rationalised. With the Daredevil character so heavily grounded as a street-level hero, this is a fascinating area of exploration. Furthermore, in a city that has recently seen significant action/devastation with The Avengers, what makes him believe that he can safely operate in a world of that scale?

Daredevil is compelling, wonderful TV that will hopefully find an audience beyond fans of the Marvel superhero films. This is a dark, nuanced TV series that is worthy of a wide audience. Daredevil is utterly fantastic and demands that you use all of your senses while watching.

Daredevil launches on Netflix worldwide from 10 April 2015.

[PODCAST] Televised Revolution: Here’s Some Reality For You! – Ep 390

We’re through the looking glass. Netflix has launched in Australia officially, which means that we can now start looking at the Australian TV market as it is without what it might be should a large scale US media provider enter the market. So, just how many people have signed up to Netflix and what has the impact been on free to air broadcast TV?

This week on Televised Revolution, Dan, Simon, and Dennis discuss:

  • iiNet claims Netflix now account for 15% of their traffic.
  • FTA TV viewership is down a whopping 10% on this time last year.
  • Is the government considering slashing broadcast licenses again?
  • A US TV remake is in store for These Final Hours.

At Televised Revolution, we look forward to receiving your mail and check us out on the Twitter. You can also find the podcast on iTunes (please leave us a review, it helps people find the show).

Televised Revolution is available on:

iTunes | PocketCasts | Soundcloud | StitcherRSS

What To Watch? Younger, Olympus, The Ark, and Weird Loners [29 March 2015]

This weeks column may as well be titled What Not To Watch. It’s such a shitty week for TV, but please read through below for a primer on what you’ll likely not bother with this week Read a book?

Returning shows: Finding Carter, My Little Pony, Brickleberry, and The Red Road.

The Ark
Airs: 30 March 2015 (BBC1 – UK)
What You Need To Know: A re-telling of the story of Noah’s ark. Yawn.

Weird Loners
Airs: 30 March 2015 (Fox – US)
What You Need To Know: Consider this sitcom DOA. It’s being buried at the end of the TV season by Fox. The writing was on the wall when they cast Nate Torrence and Becki Newton in the show – neither of whom have been able to carry a successful show to date. Michael J Weithorn (Ned & Stacey, King of Queens) is the shows creator.

Younger
Airs: 2 April 2015 (TV Land – US)
What You Need To Know: Bunheads star Sutton Foster stars as a 40 year-old woman returning to the workforce after time off to be a mother. Being TV, she finds employment by pretending to be a 26 year-old. Based off the first episode, this is an easy to watch, but largely hollow show with little to drive viewers back for a second look.

Olympus
Airs: 2 April 2015 (Syfy – US)
What You Need To Know: The official plot synopsis reads “The adventures story of how several brave men and women banished the Gods from Olympus, to the unconscious realm, a place dubbed as the Kingdom of Hades, or the underworld. A young man, Hero, attempts to find the truths of his past, which will inevitably link back to the Gods themselves”.

This is by the same ‘creative’ minds that brought us Syfy classics like Tinman, Alice, and Neverland. Over the past year Syfy have been trying to reclaim the premium brand they lost after jettisoning Battlestar Galactica in favour of low-rent productions like the Asylum direct to TV films (Sharknado and the like). Their big event shows Ascension and 12 Monkeys, combined with this just show how lacking in taste the network is. Echoes of premium television simply isn’t enough.

The ‘What To Watch’ list is a primer for shows that are debuting or have an episode of note. If you want more complete TV listing site, be sure to check out the Pogdesign Calendar. Please note that all dates cited below are in accordance with their local broadcast times.

Special thanks goes to Jen Knight for assisting in compiling the list.

[PODCAST] Televised Revolution – Netflix Has Landed [Episode 389]

On Tuesday this week Netflix launched and with it came the true establishment of streaming video in Australia as a viable alternative to Foxtel. With all the major players (Stan, Presto, and now Netflix) in place, Australians are now set to engage with TV wholly in a different manner than they had traditionally.

On Televised Revolution this week we discuss why the launch of Netflix has captivated Australia, what it represents to the local market, and initial thoughts on the local service.

In addition, the Televised Revolution panel discuss:

  • Foxtel unveil the IQ3
  • The X-Files are set to return. But should it?
  • And much more.

At Televised Revolution, we look forward to receiving your mail and check us out on the Twitter. You can also find the podcast on iTunes (please leave us a review, it helps people find the show).

Televised Revolution is available on:

iTunes | PocketCasts | Soundcloud | StitcherRSS

 

Netflix Launches. Provides Australians Choice.

Netflix has launched today. For many Australians, this will be the first time they’ve tried the service and after hearing so much about the service they have all sorts of questions about the Netflix experience. Televised Revolution have addressed some of the bigger questions previously, but if you have any you can’t find an answer to, be sure to leave them in the comments below and we’ll help where we can. Why Netflix has become such a magnet of attention can be attributed to the fact that this is a world-class service that’s launching in a market for which subscription video on demand (SVOD) is a relatively new thing. Prior to the launch of Stan in January, many people hadn’t tried an SVOD service. And once they had tried Stan, they naturally wanted a big service like Netflix to launch for a point of comparison.

The simple truth is that Netflix isn’t the end-all and be-all of your video entertainment needs. It is an additive service and just part of your content consumption. For a more fulsome experience, users really are better off subscribing to a couple of services at once. Each SVOD service have their own distinctive flavour and positioning within the market. Thankfully, these services are all quite cheap. One can easily subscribe to 2-3 services for approximately the same price as Foxtel’s entry level package.

As the launch of Netflix neared, it was interesting to watch competing services Stan and Presto promoting their value in the market. With this, their points of difference became blisteringly clear.

How does Netflix compare against Stan, Presto, and Quickflix and which of these services deserves your money?

Netflix
Netflix have earned a reputation for producing consistently high quality original series like House of Cards, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Orange Is The New Black. They will also have a number of new shows launching this year, including the dark and gritty Marvel superhero show Daredevil, and the Jane Fonda/Lily Tomlin comedy Grace & Frankie.

It launches into Australia with a tiered pricing structure, starting at $8.99 for standard definition and one device streaming at a time, up to $14.99 for up to four devices used at any given time with high definition available.

The big question is whether Netflix Australia be enough to convince the rumoured 200,000 Australians already subscribing to the US service to make the switch? In terms of the content offered, there’s nothing in the Australian store that is particularly compelling enough to trade away the 6000+ extra titles that are available in the US store. A deal with iiNet to provide download quota free streaming of the Australian service may be enough to convince subscribers with low download limits to make the switch.

At launch, the Australian Netflix library resembles the scale of other recent European libraries to launch, such as Germany and France. With over 1500 titles already available, Netflix will grow that library over the coming months.

Presto

The Presto service is actually two services that operate under the same brand. Presto Movies is owned wholly by Foxtel and offers a movie library that reflects the films currently available on Foxtel’s movie channels. Films recently added to the service include A Million Ways To Die In The West, Ducktales The Movie, Hunger, Legends of The Fall, and The Thin Red Line. The movies library costs $9.99 per month to access.

Presto TV is a joint venture between Foxtel and Seven West Media. The shows are a mix of Channel Seven programs like Always Greener, Packed To The Rafters, and City Homicide, along with Foxtel programs like Love My Way, Devil’s Playground, and Tangle. Added to the mix are some catalogue titles from the ABC and some older HBO shows like The Sopranos, Band of Brothers, and The Wire. Presto last week announced that Modern Family, The X-Files, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer would be added to the service. Presto TV costs $9.99 per month.

Despite having launched a year ago, Presto is only available on iPhone, iPad, and selected Android devices. The only platform it supports to watch content on your TV is Google’s Chromecast. Video content is only available in standard definition.

While the Presto movie library is actually quite good, with approximately 1500 films in the library, the TV selection is rather poor. As good as The Sopranos and The X-Files were, they’re not worth paying the $9.99 per month to access them. For $14.99, subscribers can bundle both services together, but considering the limitations on the quality of the video and the limited ability to watch it on an actual TV set, it’s difficult to make a case for subscribing to either the TV or Movie service.

A promotional email this week really highlighted Presto’s library selection of new movies and older TV shows.

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 11.01.30 amScreen Shot 2015-03-24 at 11.01.40 am

Quickflix

This embattled service launched into the streaming video market back in October 2011 and have failed to make much of an impression. Prior to launching their streaming service, Quickflix were a DVD rental by mail service – a service still in operation today. An entry price of $9.99 will provide subscribers with access to the streaming video library, with more expensive plans incorporating their DVD by mail service.

Quickflix’s movie library is about a third of Presto’s collection, but their movies and TV shows are available in high definition. The Quickflix app is available on most internet-enabled devices connected to your TV set (smart TV’s, video game consoles, etc) and it does support Chromecast. Much of Quickflix’s TV library is available on competing platforms.

In terms of ease of access of content, Quickflix is great. It’s available on almost any device you want to watch it on. Where Quickflix stumbles is in finding something to watch once you’ve subscribed. The movie selection is fine, but limited in volume.

Stan
At $10 per month, Stan offers the best and widest library of the home grown streaming services.

When it launched in late January, Stan had 320 TV series and 770 films in its library and has consistently added new content every week since. The jewel in the Stan crown is its deal with Sony, which has delivered marquee titles like Better Call Saul, Masters of Sex, Transparent, Mozart In The Jungle, and Community. The Stan film library is populated with well-known favourites, including every James Bond film. Stan also leans heavily on a deal with SBS to provide quite a number of films from their World Movies library.

Recent titles added to the service include Adventure Time, Utopia, In The Flesh, and Dig.

Stan provides its library in high definition and the service is available on iOS and Android tablets/phones. Stan supports Chromecast and Apple Airplay, but is yet to launch any apps for devices connected to the TV. Stan have been open in saying that apps are on their way and with the service operating for just two months, it’s reasonable that they’re not at that stage just yet. Netflix’s arrival and availability on every platform under the sun, however, should be motivation for Stan to get moving.

A recent Stan promotional email featured the below graphic highlighting the movies and TV shows available on the service this week. The grid built as a week is reminiscent of a TV schedule in a way, establishing Stan a little more like a TV network like service. It creates a sense of excitement around each day of potentially new content, which provides a strong contrast to Netflix’s more ad hoc approach to content releases. Stan feels like a less-ephemeral version of the US Hulu service, which positions it nicely in the local market.

Stan EDM

Stan EDM 2

* * * *

It is difficult for local providers to compete with Netflix. The company has money to spend as it makes a play to control viewing in every country across the globe, while also evolving its already sophisticated recommendation software and streaming technologies. But Netflix won’t provide you with enough to cover all of your viewing needs.

Viewers after a local option to pair with Netflix would be well advised to consider Stan. Still in its infancy, Stan has already established itself as a provider with a strong library of content with a quickly developing platform that will very soon be available on more devices.

Unless live sports is a consideration, the need for a traditional pay television subscription has been reduced dramatically. Australian viewers now have the ability to watch what they want to watch it when they want it. The likes of services dependent on linear broadcast like Foxtel have every right to be concerned.

Netflix Australia Prices Start At $8.99 – With Orange Is The New Black!

Confirmation of the Netflix Australia prices, along with the news that they have secured the rights to the Netflix original series Orange is The New Black. OiTNB was believed to have been secured by Foxtel, with the show having been announced at their 2015 Upfronts event late last year.

The first two seasons of Orange Is The New Black will be available on Netflix, along with the day and date launch of season three when the show launches later this year.

The price of Netflix has been of great interest to Australians waiting for Netflix. The prices are confirmed to be:

1 Screen at a Time w/ Standard Definition – $8.99 per month

2 Screens at a Time w/ High Definition – $11.99 per month

4 Screens at a Time w/ High Definition + Ultra Definition $14.99 per month

The price point is not too far from the expected price point. The big surprise is that they’ve gone as low as they have with their standard definition pricing at $8.99. With services like Netflix being so price sensitive, it is interesting to see that they’ve entered into the Australian market at a price point below $10. It makes it difficult to move above $10 when the time comes to raise prices (as all services eventually must).

Competition for subscription streaming video services has intensified considerably in the past two months, with Presto, Stan, and Quickflix all competing for a stake in the Australian marketplace. With Stan, particularly, launching with a very competitive library, Netflix really have had to launch with an equally strong content offering, with an equally competitive price point.

Many Australians are already very familiar with the international Netflix service with 200,000+ subscribers believed to be accessing Netflix via VPN services. Last year Quickflix CEO Stephen Langsford publicly demanded that Netflix ‘Come through the front door’ and launch operations in Australia. When asked whether Langsford has welcomed Netflix’s launch into Australia, Netflix VP of Content Acquisition Todd Yellin explained:

“The front door is all we really care about, because it’s rude to enter someone’s home through the back or side door. It’s a real privilege and exciting to launch in Australia”. He continued, “To be good neighbours, if Stephen ever wants to borrow some sugar, he can come to the door. The front door, of course”.

Last month Quickflix reported a half-year loss of $8.6 million.

In a partnership with ISP iiNet, Netflix will be made available to their subscribers download quota free, enabling iiNet customers to watch as much Netflix as they want without facing large bills or having their download speed diminished after watching too much content. Foxtel, who offer the competing streaming video on demand service Presto, offer a similar deal on their-own broadband service.

Neither Quickflix nor Stan, the two remaining SVOD services, has an arrangement with an ISP to offer quota deals.

Televised Revolution will have analysis of the library content and how it compares against international regions on Tuesday morning when the service launches locally.

What To Watch [22 March 2015]

The biggest TV event happening this week is James Corden starting his tenure as host of The Late Late Show. Try to contain your enthusiasm as we ready ourselves for hilarity like this:

With such an epically quiet TV week, it is the professional opinion of those of us at Televised Revolution that you spend this week catching up on some of the interesting shows that launched in recent weeks like:
iZombie - From the creators of Veronica Mars, iZombie is very loosely based on the wonderful comic book series of the same name. The show can easily be described as Veronica Mars if Veronica had been turned into a zombie. And based on the first episode, that actually works very well in the shows favour.
Bloodline - This new Netflix series is a murder mystery by the makers of Damages. Opinions on the show are mixed, with many put off by the shows unlikeable characters and dialogue that is worn overtly on its sleeve.
Strange Empire - This Canadian women-led western drama has already been cancelled, but built up a very strong fan following. Quoting a commenter on the After Ellen site: “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, only a whole lot gayer”.

Why Apple TV’s 25 Channel Bundle Must Be A True Digital Experience

Yesterday’s WSJ report that Apple are set to launch a bundled cable TV service for the US market was met with considerable enthusiasm from the cord-cutting technology enthusiasts yesterday, but is this enthusiasm somewhat misplaced? Are Apple launching an analogue product onto a digital world?

The Apple service, as per the WSJ, is expected to cost between $30-40 and will offer 25 channels of content that includes nothing but the more widely watched channels. CBS, ESPN, and FX are said to be expected channels on the service.

The WSJ has become the unofficial channel of legitimate Apple news and leaks in recent years. It is assumed that any detailed feature running in the WSJ can be considered legitimate. So while this is all unofficial and still forming as a story, we can consider this bona fide.

As Americans become more digitally savvy, traditional cable television looks more and more archaic. The Internet has been about delivering choice and ease of access to content, so a service that offers nothing but linear streams of content that requires users to be watching at a specific time of day offers very little value anymore. Add to this the problem that cable TV subscribers are feeling like they’re being ripped off by being forced to pay for a lot of channels worth of content that they don’t watch. Bruce Springstein once sang about the experience of there being 57 channels and nothings on. Well, imagine paying for hundreds of channels and experiencing the same problem.

This SVOD 25 channel service cuts the cost of TV down considerably for cable TV subscribers. But is the pricing the only benefit? Beyond the price drop and the availability of TV without needing a cable TV or satellite installation, this appears to simply be replicating the delivery of traditional linear services onto the Apple TV platform.

Apple TV

An Apple TV streaming service needs to feel like a true digital experience – it needs to be able to provide access to the TV content one wants to watch, when they want to watch it. This means providing access to not just the linear channels, but also all the programs that people want to watch on those channels on demand. Furthermore, users need to be able to find that content with considerable ease.

Current Apple TV hardware/software isn’t built to do that.

There are rumours of a new Apple TV hardware product being rolled out later this year in Q3. This news of a 25 channel service is the biggest indication that the outdated Apple TV product is set to get the refresh that it needs.

Amazons ‘Fire TV’ product is a good yardstick to which Apple need to meet if it is to offer the robust content delivery system required. The Fire TV interface is always in flux, pushing regularly accessed (Amazon) content and apps to the front of the user interface. If you are midway through marathoning a season of Bosch or Transparent, those shows are the first option presented to you on their quite easy to navigate rows of content. Finding content is also very easy with their very good voice search functionality. With a click of the microphone button on the remote, users need to just say aloud the search term and the title is easily found. It’s very accurate.

Android TV is reportedly very similar, but Televised Revolution is yet to get hands on with an Android TV device just yet.

For Apple’s TV strategy to work, it almost certainly needs an Apple TV upgrade for it to maintain any level of functionality. 25 streaming channels on top of the existing service is just too unfriendly to users. It leads to either too many apps on the main screen (some would argue that’s already the case), and forcing users into an individual app for the TV service just leads to far too many sub-channels.

What does an Apple TV subscription TV service actually look and feel like? In all likelihood, it probably isn’t all that different in look and feel to a HbbTV (1.5) service in that users will select the linear channel service that they want to watch and from there enter sub-menus to watch on demand content from that service.

That all feels like a logical way to approach an Apple TV service, but how do other video streaming services sit alongside that? Especially video services that also maintain a pre-existing linear feed? In other words, HBO with their newly announced HBO Now service.

There is absolutely no possibility that HBO Now are launching on Apple TV with its three month exclusivity deal without HBO being made aware of the Apple subscription TV plans. So, how does HBO Now sit alongside it? Will HBO be a channel that can be purchased as part of a bundle on streaming services? Surely if ESPN is going down that route, HBO will be there alongside them. So does HBO Now exist as a service alongside a streaming service that also has HBO available as a subscription service add-on? Most likely.

Apple likely won’t revolutionise TV all that much beyond what Android TV and Fire TV have, should they release a revamped Apple TV. But, the one thing they’re likely to actually be able to deliver upon is the area in which Apple really do excel: Full integration. And with that comes full search capabilities. With streaming TV services working within a unified app design, it means content will be much easier to search. So, while Fire TV has that awesome speech search function, it is restricted only to content in the Amazon store. Apple will be able to search across multiple providers.

If Apple are to succeed in replacing traditional cable TV services in the US, the battle needs to be fought on more than just price. Apple need to provide a true digital experience which means on demand, searchable content.

And, while they’re at it, if they can develop a new remote control that users don’t lose every 15-20 minutes, that would be fantastic!

Presto TV Signs A Deal With 20th Century Fox

With all of the deals announced by Australian SVOD providers in recent weeks to deliver content to services like Presto and Stan, absent have been deals with two of the dominant content providers, Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox. While Warner Bros (and their sister Dot) remains elusive, it’s great to have Presto announce that they have secured the rights to 20th Century Fox content.

Modern Family will be exclusive to Presto TV, but also available on Presto are beloved shows like Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, Homeland, Sons of Anarchy, Glee, American Horror Story, My Name Is Earl, Roswell, The Americans, Angel, and Louie.

This provides a much-needed content boost to Presto TV and it’s fantastic to now have access to all of these shows with the click of a button. Albeit in standard definition.

20th Century Fox have an extensive archive of great shows and it would be wonderful to see other relatively recent 20th Century Fox shows make their way onto the service. Shows like Doogie Howser MD, The Practice, Ally McBeal, Millennium, Space: Above & Beyond, Boston Public, 24, Firefly, and Better Off Ted.

But, baby steps.

Presto TV signs content agreement with 20th Century Fox

Includes Modern Family, Homeland and X-Files

Presto TV will be the “exclusive” subscription video on demand home to the hit sitcom Modern Family as part of a content agreement with 20th Century Fox that will deliver a raft of popular and evergreen programming to the streaming service.

Under the deal announced today Presto TV will offer its subscribers full seasons of Modern Family, the show critically lauded for revitalising the television sitcom, which focuses on three different, but related families who face trials and tribulation in their own uniquely comedic ways.

Presto TV subscribers will be able to watch all episodes of the first four seasons of Modern Family, which stars Ed O’Neill as Jay, Julie Bowen as Claire, Ty Burrell as Phil, Sofia Vergara as Gloria, Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Mitchell and Eric Stonestreet as Cameron.

The fifth series of Modern Family, which includes an episode shot in Australia last year, will premiere on Presto TV in the second half of 2015.

The 20th Century Fox deal will also deliver Presto TV subscribers access to full seasons of the hit psychological dramaHomeland, starring Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin; Sons of Anarchy about a sheltered community watched over by a renegade motorcycle club intent on protecting the town; as well as other hit shows such as American Horror Story, The Americans, Glee and the comedy series Louie.

Presto TV has also acquired from 20th Century Fox all seasons (every episode) of the award-winning science fiction seriesX-Files and Roswell; the fan favourite series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and the quirky hit comedy My Name is Earl.

The X-Files, which covered the exploits of FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) was seen as a defining series of the 1990s and coined pop culture slogans as “the truth is out there” and “trust no one”. Presto TV will make all 203 episodes of the X-Files, which ran for nine years, available to its subscribers to watch on demand when and where they want.

Starring Sarah Michelle Gellar as a young girl destined to slay vampires, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was another popular series of the 1990s with seven seasons (144 episodes) produced, while Jason Lee starred for five years as Earl Hickey inMy Name is Earl, the comedy series about a man who has a karmic epiphany after he wins the lottery and vows to change his ways.

“20th Century Fox is a prolific producer of great television programming and we are delighted to have access to some of their most successful shows including series which are currently in production such as Modern Family and Homeland for Presto TV,” Shaun James, Director of Presto and On Demand, said.

“Our deal with 20th Century Fox has also bolstered our great library of television with some of the most iconic television shows ever produced including the X-Files and Buffy The Vampire Slayer which have amassed massive fan bases around the world and which will now be available to Presto TV subscribers to watch every episode when and where they want on demand.”

“We are continuing to add programming to our Presto TV service and have more exciting announcements to come.”

“We’re delighted to partner with Presto TV, one of Australia’s premiere streaming platforms,” said Gina Brogi, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Pay Television and SVOD, Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution.  She added, “Presto TV is the perfect new home for the first four seasons of Modern Family on SVOD.  This program, along with the other great Fox programs, will give Australian viewers more choices and better programming than ever.”

Presto TV delivers an unbelievable selection of 1000s of hours ad-free television shows to Australian TV lovers to stream on demand for $9.99 per month. Presto subscribers also have the choice of subscribing to Presto Movies for $9.99 per month or both services for $14.99 per month with no ongoing commitment.

Presto TV has previously announced programming deals with quality production houses including HBO, SHOWTIME®, CBS Studios International, Viacom International Media Networks and Hasbro Studios as well as a range of some of the best local content from Foxtel, the Seven Network and ABC Commercial.

Presto TV joins Presto Movies, which features blockbusters and all-time favourite films from a constantly updated collection of great movies.

Presto is currently offering customers a free 30 day trial of Presto Entertainment, Presto’s TV & movies subscription. To experience Presto for free for 30 days, new customers can visit www.presto.com.au and sign up today.

At the end of the 30 day free trial period, customers keen to stay on as Presto subscribers can choose between Presto TV or Presto Movies for $9.99 a month, or continue with a Presto Entertainment TV and movies subscription for $14.99 a month, with no ongoing commitment*.

Presto TV, Presto Movies and the Presto Entertainment subscription are currently available across Windows PCs, Mac, iPads, select iPhones and Android devices and via Google Chromecast. Subscribers can visit www.presto.com.au/devicesto see the full range of supported devices. Subscribers can register up to four compatible devices and watch two devices simultaneously.

Presto is unmetered for customers connecting to the service via Foxtel Broadband and Telstra fixed broadband. ISP and data charges will otherwise apply when viewing Presto over mobile networks and via non-Foxtel Broadband or non-Telstra broadband services*.

Specially curated selections of the TV and movie titles available on Presto are easily accessed through the ‘Collections’ feature, with the remaining wealth of constantly updated content on Presto easily discovered through the ‘Search’ feature.  Presto encourages subscribers to check back regularly to discover new content via the Presto Community (community.presto.com.au), or to follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/presto) and Twitter (@presto).

Presto TV is a 50-50 joint venture between Foxtel and Seven West Media.

[PODCAST] Apple TV, Home & Away, and THAT Penis Dress

This week on Televised Revolution we discuss the newsreader penis dress that is taking the world by storm. Oh yeah, and rumours of a huge new streaming TV service set to be announced by Apple.

The panel of Dan, Simon, and Dennis also discuss:

  • Home & Away is now streaming in the US on Hulu
  • Foxtel don’t want to pay FTA retransmission fees
  • Is Stan really Channel Nine’s “Afghanistan”?
  • Game of Thrones simulcasts live

At Televised Revolution, we look forward to receiving your mail and check us out on the Twitter. You can also find the podcast on iTunes (please leave us a review, it helps people find the show).

Televised Revolution is available on:

iTunes | PocketCasts | Soundcloud | StitcherRSS