TV fan merchandise you can still get in time for the holidays include The Child items in the Disney Store and a Game of Thrones premium box set.
(Photo by Disney+)
Never underestimate the power of a tiny green alien to give TV viewers and humans on social media something they can agree on.
Thanks, we’re certain, in no small part to obsessive love for The Child (aka “Baby Yoda”) the adorable little green dude who made his debut at the end of the series premiere, the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian has been named the most in-demand TV show in the world by Parrot Analytics. Less than a month has passed since the show’s debut on Nov. 12, but Parrot says the Jon Favreau–produced drama was 31.9 times more in demand than the average TV series, on a global basis, for the week ending Dec. 1. For comparison, in-demand stats for other series: The Crown achieved 15.0 times the average, Stranger Things scored at 18.9 times, The Flash 21.6 times, and Game of Thrones was at 28.3 times more in demand.
The Mandalorian is now in the running for the Most In-Demand Series Debut in the World at the upcoming Global TV Demand Awards at the NATPE: Miami conference in January. Other contenders in the category include Amazon Prime Video’s The Boys, HBO’s Chernobyl, Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy, and Apple TV+’s See.
And all, OK, largely, thanks to Baby Yoda, who we know isn’t actually an infant version of the iconic Star Wars character, because Yoda died in Return of the Jedi, which is set before the events of The Mandalorian.
Still, that hasn’t prevented any of us from lovin’ on Baby Yoda, so perfectly described by Vanity Fair writer Anthony Breznican: “The inside of his sideways bunny ears is the color of a sunset on your happiest day. His supple green skin is the texture of pistachio pudding, and his bottomless black eyes are so massively dilated they can only see the goodness in us.”
And that’s why we can’t freakin’ believe we can’t get our hands on official Baby Yoda toys until 2020! There will be Funkos, there will be plush versions, we’re guessing there will even be Baby Yoda breakfast cereal eventually, but for now, if you want to put something Baby Yoda (officially known as “The Child”) under the Christmas tree, Shop Disney now offers official The Child customizable T-shirts and mugs, tumblers, a bag, an iPhone case, and more; otherwise, get yourself to Etsy, where you’ll find unofficial blankets, ornaments, crocheted toys, stickers, shoes, desk toys, clothing, keychains, and necklaces, all bearing that sweet little alien mug.
(Photo by HBO Home Entertainment)
Go ahead, budget for the Blu-rays, because now that HBO fantasy series Game of Thrones has ended, a home video investment can nab you all eight seasons of the adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s book series, complete with some killer packaging and a wealth of exclusive bonus materials.
First, Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection, an ultra-premium, limited-edition Blu-ray set exclusively features the Game of Thrones: Reunion Special, a two-part reunion show with final season cast members including Kit Harington, Emilia Clarke, Sophie Turner, and more, as well as previous season fan-favorites like Sean Bean, Jason Momoa, Mark Addy, and others.
Both Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection and
Game of Thrones: The Complete Series – available now on DVD and Blu-ray – include:
And that packaging: the Complete Collection limited edition is housed in a wooden shadow box, with beautiful, multi-layered panel designs that summarize the Game of Thrones story. Each season is represented on a different layer, showcasing iconic characters and memorable moments from the show, and the set also contains a features a Hand of the King pin clasp, which holds all nine custom-plated disc sleeves.
(Photo by Getty Images)
Woody Harrelson, who’s been a scene stealer playing Joe Biden on Saturday Night Live this season, is getting political again as E. Howard Hunt in HBO’s upcoming Watergate drama The White House Plumbers. The five-part limited series will also star Justin Theroux as G. Gordon Liddy; Liddy and Hunt were the main men behind Richard Nixon’s “White House Plumbers” project, a covert operation designed to ferret out the source of information leaks to the press after the publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971. The group was behind the Watergate burglary that eventually led to Nixon’s resignation.
Cult comedy series RENO 911! has been greenlit for a new, seventh season by Quibi. The ensemble comedy was created by and stars Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney-Silver and Thomas Lennon, all of whom are attached to write and star in the new season.
Speaking of the short-form streaming service, Tina Fey, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, J.B. Smoove, Tim Meadows, Jack McBrayer, Patton Oswalt, D’Arcy Carden, and Hayley Magnus join stars Paula Pell and John Lutz in the cast of The Mapleworth Murders, Quibi’s murder-mystery comedy produced by Lorne Michaels and Seth Meyers.
The cast of The Wheel of Time, Amazon’s adaptation of Robert Jordan’s novel series, has added four: Hammed Animashaun as Loial, Alvaro Morte as Logain Ablar, Alexandre Willaume as Thom Merrilin, and Johann Myers as Padan Fain.
Michael Beach, Anne-Marie Johnson, and Kellee Stewart have joined the cast of OWN’s upcoming Ava DuVernay–created romantic drama anthology series Cherish the Day, set to premiere in winter 2020. Emmy-winning star Cicely Tyson headlines the cast.
Awkward and Glee alum Nolan Gerard Funk has joined the cast of Kaley Cuoco’s HBO Max thriller The Flight Attendant, playing a hotheaded FBI agent who’s got his eye on Cuoco’s titular character, a woman who wakes up in a hotel bed next to a dead guy, with no idea how she got there or what happened.
Adriana Paz, Kristyan Ferrer, Octavio Pisano, Cynthia Kaye McWilliams, and Julio Cedillo join previously announced Michael Chiklis and Juan Pablo Raba in the cast of Paramount Network’s new drama series Coyote. The series revolves around Ben Clemens (Chiklis), a border patrol agent who gets a view from the other side when he’s forced to start working for the people he was trying to keep out of the United States. Emmy-winner Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad) will serve as executive producer and direct the series pilot, while Chiklis is also an EP.
Zoe Kazan, Adrian Grenier, Betty Gabriel, and Phoenix Raei will star in the Netflix’s series Clickbait, which, according to the official description, is “a character-based thriller which explores the ways in which our most dangerous and uncontrolled impulses are fueled in the age of social media and reveals the ever-widening fractures we find between our virtual and real-life personas.”
Jason Alexander will guest star on Spectrum’s Mad About You, playing a “version of himself,” while Jean Smart will guest star as a bestselling author and lifestyle diva in the season’s second half, which debuts on Dec. 18.
Saturday Night Live alum Finesse Mitchell has joined the cast of the Fox sitcom Outmatched, playing the best friend of star Jason Biggs’ lead. Maggie Lawson and Tisha Campbell also star.
Iwan Rheon, a.k.a. Ramsay Bolton on Game of Thrones, will play Liam Doyle, a “charming” leprechaun on the new season of Starz’s American Gods. (EW.com) reports that Danny Trejo, Julia Sweeney, and rapper Wale will also guest star in the show’s third season.
Andie MacDowell, who starred in Sex, Lies, and Videotape for director Steven Soderbergh in 1989, will reunite with him for his Quibi survival thriller series Wireless. Deadline reports MacDowell will play a “key supporting role” opposite star Tye Sheridan, while Lukas Gage, Francesca Reale, and Mace Coronel have also signed on for the Soderbergh-produced series. (Deadline)
Mira Sorvino, Rory Culkin, Michael Gaston, and Hannah Murray will join star AnnaSophia Robb in the Quibi horror series Emma. (Deadline)
(Photo by Getty Images)
In what would mark his first-ever starring role in a TV series, Variety reports that Oscar nominee Harrison Ford is set to star in a scripted series adaptation of The Staircase, the docuseries that detailed the case of novelist Michael Peterson, who was accused of murdering his wife – who he insisted had fallen down a staircase at their home – in 2001. Ford is attached to star as Peterson and to act as an executive producer on the project, which is currently being shopped to various networks and steaming services. Doesn’t this seem like a natural fit for Netflix, which hosts the original 2004 docuseries, as well as new episodes/updates of the story? (Variety)
Producer Jesse Collins, who produced BET’s fantastic The New Edition Story miniseries, is now producing Uptown, another scripted miniseries that, this time will unfold the story of Andre Harell’s influential record label Uptown Records. Uptown played a major role in launching some of modern R&B’s biggest names, including Mary J. Blige, Notorious B.I.G., Jodeci, Teddy Riley, and Sean Combs. Harell is also a producer on the 2020 project, while Charles Murray (Sons of Anarchy), Carlito Rodriguez (Empire), and Barry Michael Cooper (New Jack City) will write the scripts, which will include the breakdown of the relationship between Harell and his one-time intern Combs.
Apple TV+ is nearing a deal to pay $25 million for a documentary on 17-year-old breakout singer Billie Eilish. The movie, which was filmed throughout the year as Eilish released her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, was directed by R.J. Cutler (The War Room, The September Issue), and will premiere on Apple TV+ in 2020.
Netflix, meanwhile, will release the documentary Taylor Swift: Miss Americana, in 2020. Directed by Emmy winner Lana Wilson (After Tiller) and produced by Oscar winner Morgan Neville (Won’t You Be My Neighbor?), the film will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January before streaming on Netflix.
Many Marvel movie and TV series stars will appear on ABC’s Celebrating Marvel’s Stan Lee, the Dec. 20 tribute to the late comic book hero. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. star Clark Gregg hosts the special.
Disney+ is launching a new kids game show, Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge, that will test junior Jedis’s abilities with lightsabers, hyperspace, the Force and the dark side. Hosted by Ahmed Best, the actor behind infamous Star Wars prequels character Jar Jar Binks, the show is like a real-life video game that will see contestants mentored by Best – playing a Jedi Master – and then put into challenges in locations like a forest planet, a Jedi star cruiser, and inside a Jedi Temple. The game show will premiere in 2020.
HBO Max has greenlit four new comedy specials, including hour-long shows with Tracy Morgan, Search Party breakout John Early, Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Rose Matafeo (Horndog), and Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Ahir Shah.
HBO Max will also be the U.S. home of the upcoming British series Boys, the five-part, Russell Davies–produced drama about a group of friends in London in the 1980s, which included the rise of AIDS. The series stars Neil Patrick Harris, Stephen Fry, Olly Alexander, and Lydia West, and will premiere in 2020.
Oprah Winfrey is producing an Apple TV+ documentary about sexual assault in the music industry that focuses on a former music industry exec who “grapples with whether to go public with her story of assault and abuse by a notable figure in the industry.” (THR)
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are executive producers for Showtime’s upcoming docuseries Gossip Starring Cindy Adams, which will chronicle the four decade-plus career of legendary New York Post gossip columnist Adams and the many celebrities, New York public figures (including Donald Trump), and fellow media types who’ve played roles in her dirt-gathering adventures.
HBO Max has greenlit the “dark yet playful” half-hour series – its first pilot to get a full series order. Generation, created by 18-year-old Zelda Barnz and her dad, Daniel Barnz, follows “a group of high school students whose exploration of modern sexuality (devices and all) tests deeply entrenched beliefs about life, love and the nature of family in their conservative community.” Lena Dunham is an executive producer on the series, which stars Martha Plimpton, Sam Trammell, Nathanya Alexander, Chloe East, Nava Mau, Lukita Maxwell, Haley Sanchez, Uly Schlesinger, Chase Sui Wonders, and Justice Smith.
Rob Corddry, Dax Shepard, and British journalist Jethro Bovingdon will host a new version of Top Gear America, for Discovery’s MotorTrend streaming service, premiering in spring 2020.
Bravo and Investigation Discovery have their own fan conventions, and now History is giving its fans a chance to gather together with HISTORYCon, a three-day event in April that will include panels, exhibits, and the chance to interact with historians and the network’s series talent. Rick and Corey Harrison from Pawn Stars, as well as cast from American Pickers, Forged in Fire, Counting Cars, Ancient Aliens, Swamp People, and Alone will join Pulitzer Prize winner and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin for the event at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California.
Paul Feig is developing a remake of the British comedy This Country, a mockumentary about a documentary crew that sets up shop in a small town, to study young adults and their concerns about the world and their futures. Sex and the City writer Jenny Bicks will also be an executive producer on the Fox comedy. Also in the works at the network: a remake of the British drama Silent Witness. Melissa Leo will star in and executive produce the crime series, about a pair of investigators who work for the medical examiner’s office, unraveling clues about mysterious deaths.
Zac Efron will star in a Quibi reality series called Killing Zac Efron. The adventure series will find the actor living in the jungle of a remote island for 21 days, with nothing but a guide and basic gear to help him survive. Quibi launches on April 6.