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.

Will Netflix End Piracy In Australia? No, But It’s A Start.

Can Netflix end piracy? No, but it will put a serious dent in the practice.

The launch of Netflix in Australia isn’t the end-all be all of streaming media, but it does establish a beachhead for streaming video services in the Australian market. It’s a strong, viable player that sets the yardstick on what consumers expect from streaming video services. Other media companies are set to compete against the US streamer, which presents a significant shift in the way we consume video in Australia. Netflix represents the shift towards legitimising the television we download, evolving our consumption away from the pirate behaviour we’ve exhibited.

First, let it be said, piracy will never go away completely. For younger people (teens and those in their twenties), even a $10 SVOD subscription service is outside of their budgets, so piracy will remain a crucial source of access for content. There are movies and TV shows that simply won’t get a local release which can only be seen via piratical means. Regardless of what one subscribes to, there will always be *that one show* that exists outside of your subscription access that one wants. And then there’s piracy for honourable needs – the acquisition of lost/forgotten TV shows and movies that offer distributors no financial incentive to make available on new platforms.

Screen Australia recently released their Online and On Demand: Trends in Australian online video use report. This is their first report into Australian video on demand viewing habits and is based off focus groups run by Nielsen. The report tells us little we didn’t already assume, but it does give offer a quantifiable report to support assumptions we’ve held for some time. Key findings in the report are:

  • Online viewing is not restricted to specific demographics, rather online viewing is consumed by 50% of all Internet connected Australians.
  • Australians are drawn to convenience, free content, and new viewing options.
  • Australians are highly demanding, wanting their content immediately, inexpensive/free, and they want it all.
  • Most consumption is via legitimate services, with some of us using both legitimate and illegitimate platforms together.
  • More content is being watched alone than has been historically the case.
  • While online viewing is growing, it still represents a small part of our ‘screen diet’. More time is spent watching broadcast TV, going to the cinema, watching DVD’s, etc.
  • Bandwidth cost, and a lack of technical know-how is holding back many Australians.

Australian ISP iiNet have been vocal supporters of services like Netflix launching in Australia. Throughout their High Court case against AFACT, iiNet established themselves as an advocate for the rights of Australian Internet users and repeatedly expressed the view that piracy in Australia is caused by a lack of access to content in a timely and appropriately priced manner.

In speaking with Televised Revolution, an iiNet spokesperson has said that iiNet is very supportive of both the Netflix and Stan announcements, going on to say“Our customers have repeatedly expressed the view that they are more than willing to pay for content if it is available in a timely manner and at a reasonable price”.

While iiNet stressed to Televised Revolution that they don’t know how many of their customers access Netflix as they don’t monitor customers activities online, iiNet have expressed support for the launch of a local Netflix service as it will reduce international traffic volume, which is great for Australian ISP’s.

Where Netflix and other similar SVOD streamers will make an impact is with casual viewing. In any given TV viewing week, most viewers will have a small number of shows they are passionate about and eager to watch every week, combined with other shows that they just simply like or are shows watched out of habit. There’s also shows that one watches casually just to pass the time. Over the past 15 years in Australia, online savvy TV consumers have been developing torrent-related habits outside of broadcast TV schedules. It always begins with the desire to watch a specific show, but grows into being the source of their TV content for their core and casual viewing. The sheer ease and convenience of turning on the TV and streaming a show that is presented to you on screen immediately (with it in your own watchlist or is recommended by the service based on your other viewing habits) shifts behaviour. The desire to source your casual and less important viewing from torrents is lessened by a process that takes fewer steps.

Netflix will not end piracy. But it does significantly lessen the need for it. With the launch of Netflix, Stan, the mooted revamp of Presto, and existing services like YouTube, Australia will finally have a number of high profile, well-resourced streaming services that can have a serious impact on how we watch online video. The way we watch TV is about to become a whole lot more legit.

Netflix By The Regions Report: France

Purpose Of The Report
When Netflix launch into new territories, they must sign content deals with the rights holders of content in that region. As such, different content appears in different Netflix regions. Furthermore, Netflix don’t just roll out US content into every territory, but rather mix it up with local content that suits the cultural temperament of the territory. The Netflix By The Regions Report is a mere snapshot of the sorts of content on offer in each region (in October 2014) and how they differ to other Netflix offerings.

Territory Overview
Netflix launched in France in September 2014 at a monthly price of €7.99 (US$10.02). France already has a well developed SVOD market compared with many regions. Netflix faces competition from services like Canal+ and Numericable. Cultural protectionism is a significant issue in France, with Netflix attacked for subverting efforts. By establishing its European headquarters in Amsterdam, Netflix are not required to meet the requirement that 40% of its content be French in origin. Its Amsterdam HQ also means it can avoid paying taxes in France.

When Netflix launch into a new territory, it’s often very barebones at launch. With France having been operational for just a month as this report is written, the only content available is the launch content. Even with a lower volume of available content, the library is still rich with a whole lot of great titles. There’s certainly enough good content that subscribers are getting value out of a subscription.

The Netflix France library offers 1394 titles (as of 06 January 2015).

While TV series seem to fill out the Popular On Netflix section more heavily than most markets, the range of arthouse film titles seems more fulsome than most Netflix regions offer.


Titles included in the Popular On Netflix section are:
Breaking Bad (TV), The Walking Dead (TV), The Big Bang Theory (TV), How I Met Your Mother (TV), American Horror Story (TV), Modern Family (TV), Suits (TV), Under The Dome (TV), Fargo (TV), Sons of Anarchy (TV), New Girl (TV), Sherlock, Les Lapins Cretins: Invasion (TV), St Vincent, Orphan Black (TV), Dexter (TV), You Again, I Am Number Four, Jackass 3, Video Games: The Movie, Misfits (TV), Prison Break (TV), Walking Tall (TV), The Killing (TV), Homeland (TV), Hannibal (TV), Liar Liar, The Dark Knight, Sherlock Holmes, Star Trek, Jobs – Gates, Zombieland, Salt, Top Gear (TV), Hemlock Grove (TV), Outlander, Heroes (TV), The Mentalist (TV), Finding Nemo, The Sum of All Fears, Watchmen, Pretty Little Liars (TV), Due Date, ApocolypseHitler, Case 39, Four Brothers, Collateral, Inception, Hercules, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, Snatch, Terminator Salvation, Life As We Know It, The Tourist, Fargo, Apocolypse World War 2, Toy Story, Metronome (TV), The Social Network, Hot Fuzz, Fringe, Confessions of A Shopaholic, The Other Woman, Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy, Mission Impossible 3, Real Steel, Superbad, The Terminal, Catch Me If You Can, Shaun of The Dead, Full Metal Alchemist, 2012, Prince of Persia, Goodfellas, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

An interesting curiosity in the library are a number of arthouse films that have only had relatively recent releases in the US and are yet to find release in a number of foreign territories, including Australia. The most noteworthy of these titles are the Melissa McCarthy / Bill Murray comedy St Vincent, along with The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her.


It is still early days for Netflix France. While some new subscribers familiar with the US offering may be disappointed at the volume of titles on offer at its launch, the reality is that the library has launched with a strong selection. Those interested in more complex, artier films will be well-served (after all, it is France), however there are still quite a number of Hollywood films that would keep many happy. The TV shows on offer seemed largely to resemble most of the same titles one finds on Netflix in almost every territory (New Girl, Pretty Little Liars, Top Gear, How I Met Your Mother, etc), with very little beyond that. For a ‘day one’ service, it’s pretty good.

Netflix Australia / NZ – Launching March 2015

With the media release issued, it’s now game on. Netflix are coming to Australia.

The market is getting crowded, with Nine Ent Co/Fairfax streaming service ‘Stan’ announced earlier this month and Presto expected to get a revamp to include TV shows in 2015. Australian viewers may actually now have enough options that it won’t be necessary to establish grey subscriptions to overseas services like Netflix US, Hulu, and Amazon Prime among others.

Anyone who regularly reads Televised Revolution knows what to expect from Netflix. The only real surprise being that House of Cards wasn’t mentioned in their media release, despite Foxtel admitting last week to the Daily telegraph that they won’t retain the rights to the show when the series returns for its third season in February.

Right now, let us bask in the glory of the media release that makes the announcement official. The interesting coverage to follow will be how Foxtel react, what Quickflix CEO Stephen Langsford will say now that Netflix have made their presence in Australia official, and whether we’ll receive mode details on an actual launch date for ‘Stan’ in the coming days. Nine and Fairfax have a great opportunity to tie up a substantial number of subscribers prior to the Netflix launch with Stan – it’ll be fascinating to see how they leverage off the Netflix announcement to draw in heat for their own service.

* * * *

LOS GATOS, Calif. Nov. 18 – Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), the leading Internet movie and TV subscription service, is heading down under, announcing today it will expand into Australia and New Zealand in March 2015.

Internet-connected users in Australia and New Zealand will be able to subscribe to Netflix and instantly watch a curated selection of popular movies and TV shows in high-definition or even 4K where available. At launch, the premium and unique Netflix offering will include such original series as Marco Polo, BoJack Horseman and, among many kids titles, DreamWorks Animation’s All Hail King Julien.

Netflix, available on hundreds of Internet-connected devices, will also be home to the critically acclaimed documentaries Virunga and Mission Blue, and stand-up comedy specials Uganda Be Kidding Me, Live, from Chelsea Handler and Jim Jefferies’s BARE, among many others. The Netflix ANZ selection will expand in 2015 to include highly anticipated original series family thriller Bloodline starring Ben Mendelsohn, Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek, Linda Cardellini and Sam Shepard; the gripping Super Hero tale Marvel’s Daredevil featuring Charlie Cox, Rosario Dawson, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson and Vincent D’Onofrio; Sense8, a new globe-spanning thriller series from the creators of The Matrix trilogy and Babylon 5, and, from the creator of Friends, Grace and Frankie with Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda.

Since launching its online service in 2007, Netflix has been connecting people to the stories they love. With a constantly improving user experience, advanced personalisation technology and a curated selection of films and TV shows, members are able to create their own viewing experience and can easily discover new favourites, while reconnecting with popular characters and stories.

Netflix members with a broadband connection can watch whenever, wherever they like, and on any Netflix-ready device they choose. Members can start watching on one device, pause, and then pick up where they left off on another, at home or on the go. It’s easy to sign up for a one-month free trial and cancel anytime.

Netflix will be available at launch on smart TVs, tablets and smartphones, computers and a range of Internet-capable game consoles and set-top boxes. Additional details on pricing, programming and supported devices will be available at a later date. Consumers can sign up to be alerted when Netflix is available on www.netflix.com.

About Netflix
With more than 53 million members, Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is the world’s leading Internet TV network. Its three-tiered pricing plans offer a range of streaming-quality options, including standard definition video, high-definition and 4K ultra-HD, to one or more screens at a time. New Zealand and Australia would bring the number of countries and territories enjoying Netflix service to more than 50. Netflix is available to members in the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the U.K. and Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland.


Televised Revolution – The Late Great Glen A. Larson (Ep 370)

Prolific television writer and producer Glen A Larson passed away over the weekend, leaving behind a body of work that dramatically impacted on US broadcast television. On this weeks podcast we discuss the work of Larson and how it has shaped the medium.

The panel also discuss the major TV news of the week:

  • Even more evidence Netflix are coming to Australia very soon.
  • The Ten 2015 Upfronts announcements.
  • The SBS 2015 Upfronts announcements.
  • Magnum PI / Battlestar Galactica creator Glen A Larson passes away.
  • Stan signs MGM.

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).


Click the Soundcloud player at the top of the page.


The Newsroom – The Most Broadcast-y Show of Cable Television

With this, the fifth to last episode of The Newsroom, the show has found a comfortable voice and has evolved into the show that many had expected from The Newsroom when they sat down to watch the first episode. The voice it has settled on strongly echoes Aaron Sorkin’s work on The West Wing and Sports Night, making The Newsroom the most broadcast television-like TV show that HBO have yet put to air. It’s TV, it’s HBO.

Echoing the Edward Snowden story, this week deals with the legal ramifications of Neal (Dev Patel) inducing an informant into committing an act of espionage to deliver him confidential government documents. The show takes an interesting tact in that the debate that ensures is not as much about Neal potentially giving up a source to protect himself, but rather becomes a debate between whether to investigate the story revealed through the document leak or whether to ignore that it ever happened, saving Neal from potential jail time.

The position taken by Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) is interesting both within the show as well as how it reflects on the show itself. Within the story, McAvoy is determined to stop Neal from investigating the story. He doesn’t want Neal imprisoned, understanding how serious the crime was and the length of the jail term Neal may possibly face. While this sets up the debate between what a journalist with integrity would do as opposed to what a lawyer would suggest as the safe option (McAvoy being a former lawyer turned TV presenter), it also goes to show how much McAvoy has come over the previous 20 episodes/2 seasons from being an arrogant and rude jerk to now demonstrating considerable affection for the journalists in his newsroom.

McAvoy has been rebuilt as a Jeb Bartlett-type, commanding authority while battling a natural instinct for compassion and idealism. This positions McAvoy as the lead character that many viewers familiar with Aaron Sorkins prior work had expected when The Newsroom launched. The Newsroom has always felt like a broadcast TV show that has landed on a cable TV network. It has certainly never felt like a HBO production. In providing The Newsroom with a cable-appropriate voice, Sorkin and the production team over-loaded the series with news fact, quietened the sound of the characters surrounds, and peppered the language with some casual swear words. Also, at the heart of the show we had the cantankerous Will McAvoy, a man far removed from the cuddly President Jeb Bartlett.

With this episode, McAvoy has softened, the environment of the newsroom feels a lot more peppy, and any news reportage is now lead by storylines that further the characters rather than the other way around. While the show is served all the better for the changes made, it does feel far more comfortable and old-school broadcast TV. The Newsroom has essentially evolved into a modern day version of the 1977 Lou Grant TV series.

Lou Grant

Aaron Sorkin is a writer who is well known for repeating himself and, much like we saw with the second and final season of his first series Sports Night, much of the narrative drive this season seems built on a takeover of the cable TV network that they work for. Continuing on from last week, we see Reese Lansing (Chris Messina) facing off against his half siblings who are mounting an attempted takeover of the media company that owns the network. It’s confusing watching the storyline as the show is asking the viewer to be side with both Reese and his mother (played by Jane Fonda) who face losing the company, despite the two being established as antagonists repeatedly through the series run. Particularly in the case of Reese.

Added to the A and B storylines was a tacked on C plot for Maggie Jordan (Allison Pill) who overhears an EPA bureaucrat give an off-the-record phone interview to another journalist. Facing her own ethical dilemma, Jordan finally opts not to report on anything she’s heard based on how she obtained the information. While it provides an interesting counterpoint to the episodes key story involving Neal, it doesn’t really do much of interest. The only thing saving the episode is watching a guest appearance of Paul Lieberstein (Toby from The Office) as the EPA bureaucrat. It’s not that the storyline is particularly memorable, but it’s always enjoyable seeing Lieberstein on the screen.

It should be noted that Paul Lieberstein is doing double duty on The Newsroom, Far beyond his small role on screen, he’s an executive producer on this final season of the show.

Watching this episode, it is genuinely disappointing that The Newsroom will be coming to an end at the conclusion of this season. The show is far less coarse and brittle than it was through the first two seasons and has come out far better for it.

State of Affairs – The Watchlist 17 November 2014

Welcome to the television schedule equivalent of tumbleweeds. We have certainly reached the end of the year with a handful of shows dropped onto schedules purely to burn them off. This weeks sole new TV series may be worth watching if only for snark and to be in on the mockery that will no doubt take Twitter by storm in the coming weeks.

Don’t forget that there is some legitimately good and great TV still floating about. The Newsroom’s third and final series has that show finding its feet finally (the first three episodes are rather entertaining), The Good Wife’s current season is not quite as strong as previous years, but it still represents one of US TV’s best series, and then there’s Jane The Virgin. Don’t let the title put you off.

State of Affairs
Airs: 17 November 2014 (NBC – US)
Romantic comedy specialty actress Katherine Heigl plays top CIA analyst Charleston Tucker who is charged with delivering the US President with her daily CIA briefing. Between dealing with CIA affairs, determining which issues of global importance need to be given to the President, and the pressure of having the most ridiculous character name in television, Charleston Tucker is also attempting to solve the mystery surrounding the murder of her fiance who…wait for it…was the son of the President.

This television series is an absolute must for anyone who finds Homeland too taxing.

Turn On Ten. Don’t Mind If I Do.

Last night in Sydney Channel Ten held it’s underwhelming 2015 Upfronts presentation announcing new series and variations on the same ratings turkeys that drove much of their programming slate for 2014. It’s said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. Well, one has truly flown over the cuckoo’s nest and has taken up residence at Tens Pyrmont offices.

It’s just difficult to understand what Ten’s ambitions are at this point. They’ve had a rough couple of years, yet don’t seem willing to take any risks to lift themselves out of the doldrums. A slow and steady ship with an intent to slowly build its audience just doesn’t seem to have happened and with the TV landscape changing as rapidly as it is, can Ten afford to play the long game? With Ten bringing aboard Citi Australia to handle a possible acquisition of the network from interested bidders, now isn’t the time to make drastic changes to the network. But that doesn’t mean the lineup needs to feel as uninspired and lacklustre as it does.


The Good
It makes perfect sense for Ten to evolve the reality show The Bachelor and produce The Bachelorette. The Bachelor was a success for the network and had people talking. When it flamed out at the end, Ten wisely milked the story for what it was worth. While they let it run perhaps a week or two too long, the conversation surrounding the show benefits the network along with The Project which the network can use for promotional/propaganda needs.

V8 Supercars is a good and solid sport to drive regular viewers to the network and bring in male viewers. A problem for Ten is that once they have the male viewers on board, they lose them quickly with programming of limited appeal to male audiences.

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here is a proven success in the UK and may serve to do okay numbers here…but it’s really going to depend on the casting. If Ten can strike gold and find the perfect combination of ‘stars’ from the usual B and C list types who are usually attached to these shows, it might work.

Sarah Harris from Studio 10 is a true star. She’s funny, bright, personable, relatable, and gorgeous. Studio 10 is made considerably better by her presence on the show. Having her serve as host of an Australian version of Shark Tank is a smart move. Shark Tank is a US reformat of the UK show Dragon’s Den and has aspiring entrepreneurs appearing before a panel of established successful businesspeople in a bid for investment in their proposals. This should work better for Ten than their similar effort in 2014 with Shopping For Riches.

The Bad
Gogglebox is a huge success in the UK, with viewers tuning in to watch everyday people on the couch commenting on what they’re watching on TV. The Australian mindset isn’t quite the same as the UK, however and it is questionable how well a local version will perform. Where the UK thrive on pithy and cutting comments, Australians are more reserved and polite. Even if the show manages to find a cast of pithy commentators, will Australian audiences want to see that? A greater problem is the audience split the show is going to face. Gogglebox works as a conversation-driver. Audiences are tuning in to see conversations about TV on the TV and are in turn discussing it with friends and colleagues the next day. This is a show that feeds on itself. The conversation is integral. But with the show debuting on Foxtel and then airing on Ten the following night, that conversation is going to fragment.

Their big US imports are mid-season replacements CSI: Cyber and the Matthew Perry sitcom reboot of The Odd Couple. As much as viewers may like Matthew Perry, he hasn’t been successful with any of his shows since Friends and The Odd Couple doesn’t inspire much confidence. Meanwhile CSI: Cyber looks to be of the calibre of CSI: New York. It’s an also ran that is perhaps too close in some ways to Ten’s other cyber-orientated drama Scorpions.

The Ugly
Mary: The Making Of A Princess. While this may do okay with the Woman’s Day crowd, does Mary really have the cultural appeal she had just a few years ago when she came to prominence? Programmed against anything of note on Seven or Nine could very easily sink the Queen Mary.

No Offspring. Ten have trouble mounting drama series, but Offspring has performed well for them. Ten are obviously keen to bring the show back, but the production company seem eager to move onto new things. Asher Keddie, particularly, seems eager to do more on screen than just play Nina Proudman. Wonderland clearly wasn’t cutting it, Party Games was a non starter, Secrets & Lies was terrible, and Puberty Blues never found enough of an audience despite critical praise. Ten really should endeavour to farewell Offspring with a tele-movie or two and try to build a new franchise.

* * * *

The problem for Ten is that they don’t really seem to be talking to anyone. While all of the networks have lost their individual flavour to an extent in recent years. Targeting a youth audience stopped working for Ten, with that audience moving to embrace Internet delivered content.

And maybe that’s the trick. Determine what’s working online and deliver that experience to the screen.

The hot Internet property right now is the podcast Serial. A weekly podcast, it’s examining the incarceration of a teen from Detroit 15 years later and seeking to discover whether he was actually guilty or not through the podcast producers journalistic inquiry. To me this suggests that true crime is a genre worth pursuing, especially if told with a very human, tangible connection. Last year had Ten dipping their toe into the genre with Wanted, but what that show lacked was any investment in narrative storytelling.

If Ten are serious about chasing the 25-54 demo, why aren’t they focused on social media users? Q&A does great numbers on a Monday night. Ten, again, had a show that could tap into that, but again it failed to resonate. Where that show was smart was in not focusing on politics or news, but rather on the more personal hot button day to day issues. A panel show discussing these, that is live and has a sense of interactivity is exactly what the network should be doing.

The one true benefit of television is that it is a large tent that can deliver live internet-friendly responsive content. Broadcast TV works great as a second screen companion content delivery system. Ten should be capitalising on that instead of just trotting out more fatties for weekly weight challenges.

Ten just isn’t offering any real points of contact with its audience. They’re not talking to the audience, nor are they really paying attention to what their audience is doing or saying. It’s no wonder their desired audience is choosing to turn on Ten.

In 6 Episodes Time ‘The Newsrooom’ is no more

This is a story about television.

As The Newsroom starts its third and final series, the production team of cable news show News Night have got a serious case of the yips. Spooked by getting a story on the US military wrong (as seen last season with the Genoa storyline), the shows producers and journo’s are treading carefully with every major news story as they fact check, seek multiple sources, and then go to air with the news later than their competition. This approach see’s their TV news service fall from second place in the ratings to last.

As season three commences, the show sets its focus on the coverage surrounding the Boston Marathon bombings. An event that had the entire world glued to their TV sets and internet connected devices as everyone sought to make sense of what had transpired that day.

When an event of significant note happens, viewers switch on the 24 hour TV news for rolling coverage. Viewers know that what they are receiving is not a thoughtful examination of the news, but rather is vision and coverage of an evolving news story. It’s no wonder that the viewers of the fictitious ACN news channel are changing channels – they’re obviously not receiving news or any sense of real time coverage.

This is where The Newsroom writer/creator Aaron Sorkin has gone awry in providing commentary. There is most certainly dramatic heft that can be found in the rolling news culture of reporting and then retracting. Instead this is an episode that drowned in characters seeking to stop themselves repeating the same mistake made last season on the show. It’s difficult to buy into the idea that these characters would be spooked by a mistake made on a feature news story so heavily that they no longer have the ability to produce rolling news coverage. A feature story is not rolling news. They’re two different forms of news delivery and audiences understand the difference in the same way that TV news professionals should understand the difference.

This is a story about Aaron Sorkin.

The Newsroom, however, isn’t really about ANY of that fact-checking journalism malarkey. That’s just surface material. The Newsroom is a story about television, or rather Aaron Sorkins relationship with creating television.

One of the core narratives surrounding this final season of The Newsroom is that Aaron Sorkin believes this may be the last TV show he creates. After critical success with Sports Night, followed by a critical and ratings success with The West Wing, Sorkin found himself savagely attacked by viewers and critics alike with his sketch comedy drama series Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip and has faced a similar reaction to The Newsroom. Sorkin has gone from being heavily knocked about by right-wing nuts upset by his politics on display in The West Wing to being knocked about by pretty much everyone. Sorkin feels like he is done with television, but also has something to prove.

Sorkin regularly uses his characters as mouthpieces for anything troubling him. Often it relates to his relationship with the Internet, but it can touch on other areas of personal interest like laws relating to drug use. As The Newsroom concludes its first episode of its final 6-episode run, Sorkin lays it all out on the table.

Standing on a balcony looking across New York City, series lead and primary Sorkin stand-in Will McAvoy turns to his Executive Producer and tells him:

“Let’s do sports, Charlie. We love sports!”

Sorkin yearns for the respect and clout he achieved at the beginning of his career in television. With Sports Night he was respected and celebrated. But with Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, he was torn down. It appears that Sorkin saw that as the beginning of the end for him, harbouring a resentment to that show and all that has followed. In the episodes closing moments, McAvoy sets his and Sorkins agenda for the next five episodes of the final season. McAvoy is determined to do the news properly and restore his standing.

“I quit…Because somehow in regaining our credibility we went from second to fourth place”.

Aaron Sorkin has brought to an end his attempt to civilise the masses and instead is on a drive to restore his standing. Sorkin may infuriate at times, but he is never short of something to say about the world and, particularly, himself.

The Newsroom airs in Australia on Foxtel channel Showcase on Monday nights at 7:30pm.

Televised Revolution – Space TV (Ep 369)

With everyone buzzing about the new Christopher Nolan film Interstellar, depictions of space and space exploration have been widely discussed. Television series have played a significant role in shaping the discourse around humans reaching out to the heavens and going where no man has gone before. What is it about space that captures our imaginations as viewers? And which shows have shaped our perceptions of outer space?

In addition, the panel discuss the TV news of the week:

  • Netflix sign with Australian advertising agencies.
  • Nine announce streaming service Stan.
  • Time Warner kicks Ten’s tires as it looks to make a play.
  • Former Free TV Australia Chairman Wayne Goss dead at age 63.



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).