HBO Max will rebrand to Max and has announced new Harry Potter TV series, a Game of Thrones prequel, among other high profile projects. Netflix has ordered a Stranger Things animated series. David Harbour and Alan Tudyk are among the voice cast announced for DC’s Creature Commandos. Dick Wolf extends his stay at Universal TV. The 2023 Peabody Award nominees are revealed. Plus, trailers for Succession, The Continental: From the World of John Wick, and more of the biggest news in TV and streaming.
During the Warner Bros. Discovery presentation on Wednesday, CEO David Zaslav, HBO CEO and Chairman Casey Bloys, and WBD streaming chief JB Perrette hit the stage to officially announced a rebrand for streaming platform HBO Max and tease the content slate, updated features, and new price tiers viewers should expect. Simply titled Max, the streamer, which will combine HBO and Discovery+ programming into one streamlined service, will launch May 23.
“The Max service is a wide-ranging mosaic of content that will be unmatched in the breadth, reach, and excellence of its offerings,” said Bloys. “We are unique because we have the best-in-all-categories across the board by any measure – be they ratings, awards, fandom. We know we can satisfy any craving because we have the brands that people love. At Max, they will find what they want, when they want it.”
This announcement comes a whole slew of noteworthy projects, including the confirmation that a Harry Potter reboot series is absolutely happening and another Game of Thrones spinoff is in the works.
From Hogwarts to Westeros, here’s are the biggest reveals and trailers dropped during the Max original programming announcement:
Better playback, an expanded library with 4K UHD content, a more prominent kids experience, and a streamlined navigation experience are just three of the new features to expect once the streamer launches in May.
Current HBO Max subscribers will pay the same amount for Max, once the streamer goes live. Three new pricing tiers for the service will be as follows:
Visit http://help.hbomax.com/introducingMax to find out more.
(Photo by Netflix)
Stranger Things may be ending after its planned five season run on Netflix, but the world the Duffer Brothers created just keeps growing. A new animated series inspired by the ground-breaking series has been greenlit by the streamer, according to Deadline. Flying Bark Productions and executive producer Eric Robles are developing the project.
Neither the plot of the program, nor its voice cast, has yet to be revealed. But it’s probably safe to assume the series will continue the paranormal exploration of the troubled town of Hawkins, Indiana, and the otherworldly creatures who live in the alternate dimension better known as, “The Upside Down.”
According to a statement released by the Duffers, the style of the show will be akin to the Saturday morning cartoons of the ’80s and ’90s.
“We’ve always dreamed of an animated Stranger Things in the vein of the Saturday morning cartoons that we grew up loving, and to see this dream realized has been absolutely thrilling,” the duo said. “We couldn’t be more blown away by what Eric Robles and his team have come up with — the scripts and artwork are incredible, and we can’t wait to share more with you! The adventure continues.”
Succession sent shockwaves in its most recent episode, delivering an unexpected death that will change the trajectory of the Emmy-winning series’ remaining episodes. Some may be in shock, others may be wallowing in grief. But Shiv Roy (Sarah Snook) may have put it best, describing the pending events following the death of patriarch, and Waystar Royco’s curmudgeonly power-house leader, Logan Roy: It will be a “coronation demolition derby.”
Since the program’s premiere, each of the Roy children – Kendall (Jeremy Strong), Shiv, and Roman (Kieran Culkin) – have sidestepped, pivoted, back-stabbed, and hustled to gain their father’s approval and maneuver to maintain their status within the family business. Now, with a presidential election in full swing, the polarizing far-right candidate Jeryd Mencken (Justin Kirk) going head-to-head with Connor Roy (Alan Ruck), and the interest of billionaire tech mogul Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgard) waning, it’s hard to predict how this power vacuum will be sealed. One thing’s for certain, though: whichever way things go, it’ll be great television.
Succession season 4 airs Sundays on HBO.
More trailers and teasers released this week:
• Silo is based on Hugh Howey’s groundbreaking set of books and explores a toxic future where thousands live in a giant silo deep underground. After multiple high profile civilians break the society’s cardinal rule and residents suffer mysterious deaths, engineer Juliette (Rebecca Ferguson) seeks thes truth about their shared reality and what the silo really is. Premieres May 5. (Apple TV+)
• The Black Knight takes place in a dystopian future devastated by air pollution where the survival of humanity depends on the live-supporting services supplied by extraordinary deliverymen known as “Black Knights.” Premieres May 12. (Netflix)
• The Muppets Mayhem follows The Electric Mayhem Band on an epic, music-filled journey to record their first-ever studio album. Premieres May 10. (Disney+)
• The Lazarus Project is a riveting eight-hour drama that follows George, the latest recruit to The Lazarus Project – a secret organization that has harnessed the ability to turn back time whenever the world is at the threat of extinction. Premieres June 4. (TNT)
• STILL: A Michael J. Fox Movie tells the improbable tale of an undersized kid from a Canadian army base who rose to the heights of stardom in 1980s Hollywood and his private journey, including the years that followed his diagnosis, at 29, with Parkinson’s disease. Premieres May 12. (AppleTV+)
• The Continental: From the World of John Wick explores the origin behind the hotel-for-assassins centerpiece of the John Wick universe. The three-part event series will follow a young Winston Scott as he’s dragged into the maw of 1970’s New York City to face a past he thought he’d left behind to eventually take the throne as manager of the iconic establishment. Premieres September 2023. (Peacock)
• In Joe Pickett season 2, Wyoming Game Warden Joe Pickett (Michael Dorman) discovers a hunter murdered in the mountains and realizes his is just one of a series of gruesome murders. Premieres June 4. (Paramount+)
• The Great season 3 finds Catherine (Elle Fanning) and Peter (Nicholas Hoult) doing all they can to keep things in order and preserve the crown. Something tells us, that won’t be an easy task. Premieres May 12. (Hulu)
• Class of ’09 follows a class of FBI agents set in three distinct points in time who grapple with immense changes as the U.S. criminal justice system is altered by artificial intelligence. Spanning multiple decades and told across interweaving timelines, the series examines the nature of justice, humanity, and the choices we make that ultimately define our lives and legacy. Premieres May 10. (Hulu)
• The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning is a transformational series based on Margareta Magnusson’s bestselling book in which eight people at different stages of their lives are given the chance to sort out their home, life, and relationships before it’s too late. Premieres April 27. (Peacock)
• Saint X is based on the book of the same name and told via multiple timelines, exploring how a young woman’s mysterious death during an idyllic Caribbean vacation creates a traumatic ripple effect that eventually pulls her surviving sister into a dangerous pursuit of the truth. Premieres April 26. (Hulu)
For all the latest TV and streaming trailers subscribe to the Rotten Tomatoes TV YouTube channel.
(Photo by Heidi Gutman/Peacock)
Pete Davidson’s highly-anticipated semi-autobiographical Peacock series Bupkis, in which he stars opposite Edie Falco and Joe Pesci, has announced an impressive list of guest stars set to appear in the inaugural season. La La Anthony, Charlamagne Tha God, Colson Baker (Machine Gun Kelly), Steve Buscemi, Bobby Cannavale, Philip Ettinger, Al Gore, Paul Walter Hauser, Sunita Mani, John Mulaney, Oona Roche, Cliff “Method Man” Smith, Jon Stewart, and Marissa Jaret Winokur will join previously announced guest stars Charlie Day, Brad Garrett, Simon Rex, Ray Romano, Kenan Thompson, and Chase Sui Wonders in the program.
Stop looking up at the sky to find stars. They're all right here on Bupkis, streaming only on Peacock May 4. pic.twitter.com/5qTZqNuEkX
— Peacock (@peacock) April 10, 2023
The voice cast for Creature Commandos, the animated adaptation of the DC comic that follows the misadventures of a military unit comprised of supernatural monsters, has been revealed. Sean Gunn will reprise Weasel, who he first portrayed in live-action film The Suicide Squad. Joining him is Frank Grillo as Rick Flag Sr., David Harbour as Eric Frankenstein, Alan Tudyk as Dr. Phosphorus, Maria Bakalava as Princess Ilana Rastovic, Indira Varma as The Bride, Zoe Chao as Nina Mazursky, with Gunn also voicing G.I. Robot and Steve Agee reprising his Peacemaker role of John Economous (aka “Dye Beard”). (Collider)
Star Wars: Ahsoka has added The Expanse alum Wes Chatham to the cast as Admiral Thrawn’s (Lars Mikkelsen) right-hand man. He’ll join Rosario Dawson, who stars as Ahsoka Tano in the series, along with David Tennant, Ray Stevenson, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. (Deadline)
Academy Award nominee Harvey Keitel will star in The Tattooist of Auschwitz at Peacock. He will play the modern-day Lale Sokolov in the Holocaust-themed series, which explores the heart-breaking true-life love story of young Lale (played by Jonah Hauer-King) and Gita Sokolov (Anna Próchniak) as they strive to keep each other alive in the notorious WWII prison camp.
Two-time Emmy winner Julie Bowen will star in the Satanic Panic–themed drama HYSTERIA! at Peacock. She will play Linda Campbell, the mother of a teenage outcast, who experiences a series of supernatural events that make her question everything she knows about her son, as well as the growing threat of Satanism in their small Midwestern town.
The Last of Us star Bella Ramsey has been added to the second season of BBC prison drama Time. She will play Kelsey opposite Jodie Whittaker’s Orla and Tamara Lawrance’s Abi. (Deadline)
Apple TV+’s Slow Horses has added Hugo Weaving, Joanna Scanlan, Ruth Bradley, Tom Brooke, and James Callis to the fourth season of the streamer’s hit spy series which stars Oscar winner Gary Oldman. (Deadline)
Netflix’s animated comedy series Mulligan has revealed its full voice cast. Nat Faxon, Chrissy Teigen, Tina Fey, Sam Richardson, Phil Lamarr, and Dana Carvey will star. Kevin Michael Richardson, Ayo Edebiri, Daniel Radcliffe, and Ronny Chieng have been cast in recurring guest star roles. (Variety)
Here's your first look at Mulligan, a new adult comedy from Robert Carlock and Sam Means.
Starring Nat Faxon, Chrissy Teigen, Tina Fey, Sam Richardson, Dana Carvey, Phil LaMarr, Kevin Michael Richardson, Ayo Edebiri, Daniel Radcliffe, and Ronny Chieng. Premieres May 12. pic.twitter.com/T9vr4VTBaP
— Netflix (@netflix) April 11, 2023
Kelli Giddish will return to the Law & Order franchise as Amanda Rollins. She will appear in the season 24 finale of Law & Order: SVU and the penultimate episode of Law & Order: Organized Crime season 3. (Deadline)
Nicki Minaj will executive produce and star in Freevee’s animated adaptation of the Dark Horse comic Lady Danger. The project, which will also be executive produced by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson under his G-Unit Film & TV banner, is set in the near future and follows a government agent who, after being betrayed by her team and left for dead, is resurrected as Lady Danger, an afrofuturistic butt-kicking Agent of B.O.O.T.I (Bureau of Organized Terrorism Intervention). (Deadline)
(Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)
Dick Wolf isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. The man behind the highly successful Chicago and Law & Order franchises at NBC, and the FBI franchise at CBS (all of which have been renewed for the 2023-2024 season) has extended his overall deal at Universal Television, guaranteeing he’ll remain with the studio until 2027. The Hollywood Reporter says that Wolf’s previous five-year deal, which was signed in 2020, was described by an insider as the “largest deal in TV history.”
“Universal Television has been my home for almost 40 years,” Wolf said in a statement. “It has been, and continues to be, one of the most successful partnerships in television, and I am thrilled that we are keeping the trains running another four years.”
James Wan and Amazon Studios are developing thriller 56 Days. The series, which will find Lisa Zwerling and Karyn Usher adapting Catherine Ryan Howard’s 2021 novel, is a psychological thriller that tells the story of an intense, erotic romance that turns deadly. (Hollywood Reporter).
Sylvester Stallone has signed a multi-year first-look deal with Amazon Studios. The actor, writer, and filmmaker, along with his production company Balboa Productions, will write, direct, produce, and star in projects (scripted and unscripted), to be streamed exclusively on Prime Video – with movies released theatrically, exclusively hitting the platform after. Stallone starred in 2022’s superhero film Samaritan, which was released on Prime Video. Currently, Balboa and Amazon are working on genre film Scavenger Hunt from writer/director Elle Callahan. (Deadline)
A big budget hybrid docudrama about Alexander the Great is in the works at Netflix. The series will feature both documentary and scripted elements. (Deadline)
Mindy Kaling and Oprah Winfrey will develop Jesse Q. Sutanto’s novel Very Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers for Warner Bros. Television. The novel follows lonely widow Vera Wong who, one day, finds a dead body on the floor of her Chinatown tea shop. To get to the bottom of this, Vera decides to investigate the crime herself. (Deadline)
Hollywood Black, a four-part docuseries from Dear White People‘s Justin Simien, who will executive produce with Forest Whitaker, is in the works at MGM+. The series, which is based on the book by historian Donald Bogle, will explore the history of Black actors, writers, directors, and producers who did whatever they could to claim their place in the entertainment industry. (Variety)
Stars on Mars, an out-of-this-world new unscripted series, is in the works at Fox. The competition series will find celebrities trading in their prized possessions, status, and privileged lifestyles on Earth for an “insane and hilarious” summer on an authentic replica of Mars. Their mission will be to colonize, compete, and conquer their new galaxy surroundings and legendary Star Trek icon William Shatner will serve as Mission Control, assigning tasks throughout their red planet adventure. The series will premiere on June 5 on Fox.
Josh Duhamel’s 20-year-long real-life tradition with his friends is coming to life as Buddy Games, a competition series at CBS. According to the official press release, “Ride or dies” get the chance to play ‘buddy games’ where they will relive their glory days and compete in an assortment of absurd physical and mental challenges in the outdoors while bunking together in the same lake house. Friendships will be rekindled, and rivalries reignited when these friends are challenged to prove which bonds are strong enough to withstand the competition. The last buddy team standing will be crowned champion and take home a cash prize plus the coveted Buddy Games trophy, and of course bragging rights.”
(Photo by ABC)
The nominations for the 83rd annual Peabody Awards have been revealed, including a varied list of TV series that includes ABC’s hit comedy Abbott Elementary, AMC’s Better Call Saul, FX’s Reservation Dogs, Disney+’s Andor, and many more. Entertainment, news, documentary, arts, children’s/youth, public service, and interactive programming are the categories featured here, with 69 TV shows, podcast/radio shows, and web/digital programs earning nominations.
“From hilarious and heartfelt comedies to interactive and immersive stories that leverage technology to create gripping narratives, Peabody is dedicated to recognizing compelling stories across the media landscape,” Peabody executive director Jeffrey Jones said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to nominate each of these remarkable pieces of media and to honor the forward-thinking Shari Frilot with our inaugural Visionary Award.”
Among the nominees, PBS leads with 13 nominations, with HBO Max following with six, and Apple TV+ with four. All winners will be announced on May 9, with a star-studded ceremony scheduled for June 11 in Los Angeles.
Here is the full list of nominees:
A group of passionate Philadelphia public school teachers battle budget restrictions, a rival charter school, and their own (mostly) incompetent principal, forging friendships and an occasional love match in this sweet mockumentary sitcom from creator and star Quinta Brunson.
Delicious Non-Sequitur Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and 20th Television, a part of Disney Television Studios (ABC)
The Star Wars franchise gets a new perspective, focusing on thief-turned-Rebel spy Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. Taking place during a time before the first Star Wars film when a Rebel Alliance is forming in opposition to the fascist Galactic Empire, the series explores themes of Fascism and how resistance movements emerge from the strangling weight of authoritarian repression.
Lucasfilm Ltd. (Disney+)
Creator-star Donald Glover finishes his four-season masterpiece about a group of friends that includes rapper Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles and his manager cousin, “Earn” Marks, along with their friends Darius and Van. The final two seasons are particularly inventive as the characters find themselves in new situations and consider their relationships to each other and their hometown.
FX Productions (FX)
A delicious blend of dark comedy and thriller from creators Sharon Horgan, Brett Baer, and Dave Finkel, Bad Sisters follows the lives of the Garvey sisters, who are bound together by the premature death of their parents and a promise to always protect each other.
Merman / ABC Signature in association with Apple (Apple TV+)
Better Call Saul
This Breaking Bad prequel is much more than the sum of its parts, and that’s evident in its capstone season, which concludes the complicated journey and transformation of its compromised hero, Jimmy McGill, played perfectly by Bob Odenkirk, into criminal lawyer Saul Goodman.
High Bridge, Crystal Diner, Gran Via Productions and Sony Pictures Television (AMC)
This long-running, witty animated series is gentle and full of heart. Over its thirteen years on the air, Bob’s Burgers has quietly depicted a truly progressive vision of a working class family, giving us both realistic and aspirational portraits of parenting life, teenage life, and queer life, as well as lessons of acceptance and resiliency.
20th Television (Fox)
Created by Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, and Rhys Thomas, Documentary Now! offers some comic relief in our documentary-saturated times, parodying the form with insightful sendups of Grizzly Man, The September Issue, My Octopus Teacher, and more, with every episode hosted by none other than Helen Mirren.
Broadway Video (IFC)
Eccentric friends turn their passion for horror into a peculiar business—scaring people for a fee— in this bilingual series that weaves together elements of magical realism and the absurd to create a comedy like no other.
HBO in association with Broadway Video, Antigravico and Mas Mejor (HBO Max)
The title character toggles among two cultures, three languages, and a pending asylum request while hustling to support his Palestinian family in Houston, Texas, in this dramedy co-created by star Mo Amer, based on his own life, and Ramy Youssef.
Our Flag Means Death
This is, indeed, a historical queer pirate rom-com. The series follows Stede Bonnet, a Barbadian aristocrat played by Rhys Darby, as he leaves his life behind to become a pirate, leads a crew, and falls in love with the notorious Blackbeard (Taika Waititi).
HBO Max in association with Waititi, Human Animals and DIVE (HBO Max)
A sweeping American drama series based on Min Jin Lee’s 2017 novel, Pachinko starts with an intimate story about forbidden love but widens out to include epic journeys among America, Japan, and Korea, encompassing no less than war and peace, love and loss, and triumph and reckoning.
Media Res / Blue Marble Pictures in association with Apple (Apple TV+)
The Reservation Dogs teens continue to pursue their California dreams while struggling to mend their relationships with each other and facing down more grown-up problems, from dying loved ones to making a living, in the masterful second season of TV’s first all-Indigenous series.
FX Productions (FX)
This bold, topical sci-fi thriller series stars Adam Scott as Mark Scout, an employee at Lumon Industries, where employees have undergone a “severance” procedure that surgically divides their memories between their work and personal lives. But he soon discovers a darker conspiracy behind this cutting-edge experiment.
Fifth Season / Red Hour Productions in association with Apple (Apple TV+)
Bridget Everett created and stars in this quiet gem of a dramedy, which follows her character Sam through small-town Kansas life as she grieves her sister’s death and works a soul-deadening job, but also finds salvation in a new friendship with a fellow outcast, in the music they make together and in the community they find.
HBO in association with Duplass Brothers Productions and Mighty Mint (HBO Max)
This poignant comedy about nonbinary millennial Sabi, created by and starring Bilal Baig, turns in a second season that deepens relationships, widens Sabi’s world, and continues to deftly balance humor and pathos.
HBO Max in association with Sphere Media and CBC (HBO Max)
From The Americans producer Joel Fields and creator Joe Weisberg comes this psychological thriller about a therapist (Steve Carell) held prisoner by his patient (Domhnall Gleeson), who reveals himself as a serial killer with a sincere desire to get better. Taut writing highlights the tense relationship between the two as themes of mental illness, personal responsibility, and religious morality are explored.
FX Productions (FX)
In this uplifting and timely reality series, three drag queens spread love and connection across small-town America through the art of drag, putting on shows with local drag enthusiasts, queer people, and allies, and changing lives along the way.
HBO in association with House of Opus 20 and IPC (HBO Max)
Fire of Love
Miranda July narrates this dramatic documentary about the doomed relationship between obsessive French scientists Katia and Maurice Krafft and their shared passion for capturing spectacular imagery of stunning—and deadly—volcanoes.
National Geographic Documentary Films presents A Sandbox Films Production / An Intuitive Pictures & Cottage M Production (Disney+)
After the deaths of two young women from childbirth complications, their families galvanize activists, birth workers, and physicians to face America’s grave maternal health crisis in this eye-opening film.
A Malka Films and Madstone Company Inc Production In Association with Good Gravy Films and JustFilms Ford Foundation Impact Partners Presents (Hulu)
This unprecedented film spans ten years in the life of Syrian migrant worker Maria, a Muslim woman, and her journey from days of farming potatoes to life in a refugee camp in Lebanon, demonstrating the spirit of a woman who puts family above all else.
Saaren Films Inc., Six Island Productions Inc., Musa Dagh Productions (Streaming platforms)
Children of the Taliban
In this affecting documentary, viewers meet four children—two boys and two girls—living in Kabul, Afghanistan, and learn how dramatically their lives have changed since U.S. troops withdrew from the country and the Taliban came to power. While the girls face the obvious serious difficulties under the patriarchal regime, some of the most chilling footage shows how young boys are radicalized.
Moondogs Films production (Channel 4)
The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone
This short documentary spans most of the 22-year life of Georgie Stone, a young Australian trans activist, revealing her memories as she grows up, affirms her gender, finds her voice, fights to change laws and public perception, and becomes a role model for other trans kids throughout the world.
A Netflix Documentary in association with Screen Australia / A Closer Production (Netflix)
George Carlin’s American Dream
This two-part documentary from Judd Apatow and Michael Bonfiglio illustrates how legendary comedian George Carlin evolved from late-night-standup hack to a wordsmith, a countercultural hero, and, ultimately, a truth-teller who used dark humor to illuminate key issues of our time like sexual assault and climate change. Archival footage of Carlin himself, as well as extraordinary access to his diaries and letters, helps to paint a complete portrait of a man who wouldn’t settle for anything less than expressing his authentic voice.
Apatow/Rise Films Production in association with Pulse Films (HBO Max)
Independent Lens: Missing in Brooks County
Migrants go missing in the rural area of Brooks County, Texas, more than anywhere else in the United States, and activist Eddie Canales is the one who helps their families find them. PBS’ documentary profiles Canales in this subtle, specific, and alarming take on U.S. immigration.
ITVS, Fork Films, Engel Entertainment (PBS)
Independent Lens: Writing with Fire
Fearless journalists staff India’s only all-female newspaper in an intensely patriarchal landscape, painting a portrait of courage and hope. Filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh spent four years in India’s Uttar Pradesh state capturing the women’s daily work lives as well as the larger context in which they operate: India’s caste system and its far-right religious movement.
Black Ticket Films (PBS)
Lucy and Desi
Director Amy Poehler explores the surprising story of how Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, a woman and a Cuban man, became TV’s most powerful couple in the 1950s, transformed numerous aspects of television production, and pioneered the American sitcom as we know it.
Amazon Studios, Imagine Documentaries, White Horse Pictures in association with Paper Kite Productions and Diamond Docs (Prime Video)
Mariupol: The People’s Story
This terrifyingly crucial feature-length documentary tells the story of the essential coastal Ukrainian city of Mariupol through those who lived there as it was destroyed by Russia.
Top Hat Productions / Hayloft Productions (BBC Select)
POV: Let the Little Light Shine
This captivating documentary tells the story of a South Side Chicago neighborhood where a high-performing, largely Black elementary school is threatened by the forces of gentrification—a story that reflects larger struggles with the historical impacts of institutional racism and the ways demographic shifts affect education.
A co-production of School Film Llc, American Documentary | POV, ITVS and Black Public Media (PBS)
The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks
Rosa Parks was more than an “old” lady who was too tired to go to the back of the bus, as this documentary demonstrates, delving deep into the Civil Rights icon’s historic role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott beyond her traditionally assigned role in school textbooks.
SO’B Productions (Peacock)
This immersive, awe-inspiring documentary looks at the tireless fight of the Amazon’s Indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people against the encroaching deforestation brought by farmers and illegal settlers.
National Geographic Documentary Films Presents A Documist And Associação Jupaú Film in association with Time Studios, Xtr, Doc Society Climate Story Fund / A Production of Protozoa Pictures, Passion Pictures, Real Lava (Disney+)
We Need To Talk About Cosby
Writer/director W. Kamau Bell weighs the life and legacy of Bill Cosby as a peerless groundbreaker and dominant cultural force against his crimes as a convicted sexual predator through difficult and candid conversations with comedians, journalists, and survivors in a potent examination of problematic artist versus art.
SHOWTIME Documentary Films Presents, A Boardwalk Pictures Production, In Association With WKB Industries (Showtime Networks)
60 Minutes: The Declining Mental Health of America’s Kids
This 60 Minutes report delves into the mental health crisis striking kids across America and explores its root causes: the isolation and fear of the pandemic and the addiction and toxicity of social media.
CBS News 60 Minutes (CBS)
ABC News Digital: Buffalo: Healing From Hate
Through four in-depth video profiles, ABC News Digital tells the personal stories of those killed in the mass shooting at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo, spending time with their families to paint tender and detailed portraits of those lost and making sure their lives and legacies are not forgotten after the onslaught of news coverage.
ABC News Digital (ABC)
Frontline: Crime Scene Bucha
FRONTLINE, The Associated Press, and SITU Research teamed up on an exclusive visual investigation into Russian war crimes in the Ukrainian town of Bucha during a month-long occupation, drawing on hundreds of hours of closed-circuit television footage, intercepted phone calls, and a 3-D model of the town to map the deaths of 450 people in the soldiers’ “cleansing” operations.
FRONTLINE (PBS) with The Associated Press and SITU Research (PBS)
Frontline: Michael Flynn’s Holy War
Truly terrifying in its implications, this FRONTLINE episode asks how Michael Flynn went from being an elite soldier overseas to waging a “spiritual war” in America, emerging as a leader in a far-right movement that puts its brand of Christianity at the center of U.S. civic life and institutions, attracting election deniers, conspiracists, and extremists around the country.
FRONTLINE (PBS) with The Associated Press (PBS)
Frontline: Putin’s War at Home
This report takes a deep, documentary approach to profiling the defiant Russians risking imprisonment as they push back against President Vladimir Putin’s crackdown on criticism of his war on Ukraine, with extraordinary footage from inside the country.
Frontline: Ukraine: Life Under Russia’s Attack
FRONTLINE provides a dramatic and intimate look inside the Russian assault on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city, following the displaced families trying to survive underground, civilians caught in the war, and first responders risking their lives.
The Gap: Failure to Treat, Failure to Protect
A year-long investigation by local Minneapolis-St. Paul’s KARE 11, revealed systemic failures to treat people with mental illness who were declared incompetent in court and resulted in state-wide reforms that were deemed lifesaving by the mental health community and lawmakers.
Guns in America
Faced with repeatedly reporting on the endless cycle of mass shootings across America, PBS NewsHour raised the bar, providing context while also telling empathetic stories across different segments throughout the year dealing with victims, survivors, and their communities in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas.
PBS NewsHour (PBS NewsHour)
Inside An Armed Bank Raid in Lebanon
In a gripping piece that illuminates complex issues, VICE News reports from inside an armed bank raid for 16 hours in Lebanon as desperate bank customers demand their own savings despite the country’s limits on how much people can withdraw from their accounts amidst a crushing economic crisis.
VICE News (VICE TV)
Myanmar: The Forgotten Revolution
A team of courageous filmmakers spent more than a year inside the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar, bringing viewers inside a largely ignored and forgotten civil war in which more than 20,000 people have been reported dead and thousands are fighting a military coup that removed their elected government.
Evan Williams Productions (Channel 4)
No Justice for Women in the Taliban’s Afghanistan
Women’s lives drastically changed after the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in August 2021. VICE takes viewers inside a justice system tipped against women facing physical and sexual abuse and the underground shelters where women turn to escape violence at home for a devastating look at the country’s inequality.
VICE News (VICE News)
One Day in Hebron
American Al Jazeera host Dena Takuri returns to Hebron, the once-vibrant Palestinian city where her father was born and raised to see what Israel’s military occupation has done to his hometown: segregated streets, traumatized residents, shuttered businesses, and the remaining Palestinians erecting nets to catch the trash thrown at them by settlers.
AJ+ (Direct From)
The Price of Care: Taken by the State
This local news investigation from ABC10-KXTV in Sacramento uncovered how the California Department of Developmental Services gained conservatorship powers over hundreds of adults with disabilities, only to separate them from their families and neglect them in care facilities. The reporting resulted in changes to California’s conservatorship laws, adding protections and additional funding to enact them.
Shimon Prokupecz: Unraveling Uvalde
After the deadliest school shooting since Sandy Hook in 2012, the CNN team led by Shimon Prokupecz relentlessly pursued the glaring, unanswered questions about the law enforcement response to the Uvalde, Texas school shooter who killed 19 children and two teachers. A gut-wrenching interview with one surviving teacher underscores the horrific question, “Why didn’t anyone help sooner?”
CHILDREN’S & YOUTH
El Deafo uses unique sound design to take viewers inside the experience of a young girl named Cece (voiced by Lexi Finigan, who is also deaf) as she loses her hearing and finds her inner superhero in this animated series based on the graphic novel by Cece Bell.
Lighthouse Studios in association with Apple TV+ (Apple TV+)
N*Gen: Next Generation Television
Africa’s first science TV show for kids was filmed across Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa, and Uganda with the goals of promoting girls and women in STEM, increasing trust in science, boosting knowledge about climate and health, and giving people critical thinking tools to fight misinformation.
Peripheral Vision International (Discovery Education, syndicated to 40+ platforms and broadcasters around the world, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa)
Afghans themselves tell the story of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in August of 2021 in this eight-part series. Released one year after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the podcast documents the shockwaves that reverberated throughout the country as thousands of Afghans were forced to leave their lives behind for a hellish journey to survive.
Project Brazen and PRX (PRX)
Nine days in a Michigan abortion clinic, as election looms
As Michigan voters were about to decide whether to codify abortion and broad reproductive rights in the state constitution, Michigan Radio illuminated what was at stake. With a rare degree of access to the Northland Family Planning clinic, reporter Kate Wells guided listeners through every step of the abortion process and its emotional complexity.
Michigan Radio (Michigan Radio)
Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong
Host Emily Hanford investigates a widespread method of teaching kids to read that was proven ineffective by scientists decades ago, but continues to hold sway over schools across the country because of the influential authors who promote it and the company that sells their work.
American Public Media (APM/Public Radio)
A portrait of a community coming together after unspeakable tragedy, this 11-episode podcast chronicles Newtown, Connecticut, twenty years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting left 20 children and 6 adults dead. From dealing with the overwhelming outpouring of stuff sent their way—letters, stuffed animals, donated clothing—to building a permanent memorial, Still Newtown shows us what happens, in touching everyday detail, after the news trucks go home.
WSHU Public Radio (WSHU Public Radio)
Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s
Investigative journalist Connie Walker delves into her own family history and uncovers the trauma passed down through generations as part of one of Canada’s darkest chapters, the residential school system for indigenous children, showing the ways that personal secrets and national shame reinforce one another.
Spotify & Gimlet Media (Spotify)
Stories of the Stalked
Artist, filmmaker, and dancer Lily Baldwin hosts this six-part podcast in which she takes a true-crime approach to her own experience with being stalked, showing the terror of being relentlessly pursued by someone who claims to love you, the difficulty of reporting it to police, and the uncertainty of knowing when the ordeal is really over.
Audible and Ventureland (Audible)
The Divided Dial
On the Media presents this thorough five-part series about how one side of the political spectrum came to dominate talk radio, and how one company, Salem Media Group, is launching a right-wing media empire.
On the Media/New York Public Radio (New York Public Radio)
The Wealth Vortex
The second season of the podcast The Heist, “The Wealth Vortex” follows entrepreneur ReShonda Young’s efforts to address America’s longstanding racial wealth gap by opening the first Black-owned bank in the country in 20 years—and the many obstacles she faces along the way.
Center for Public Integrity and Transmitter Media (publicintegrity.org)
This American Life: The Pink House at the Center of the World
On the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, public radio’s seminal storytelling program had exclusive access inside the clinic at the center of the legal case, Mississippi’s last abortion clinic, showing what happened as patients and staff received the news.
This American Life (This American Life)
INTERACTIVE & IMMERSIVE
Through her YouTube channel, ContraPoints, Natalie Wynn defies the reductive quality that rules most of the internet, developing a following of more than 1 million subscribers by producing long, beautifully produced video essays that dissect trending topics and social phenomena. From “Canceling” to “Cringe,” “Incels” to J.K. Rowling, Wynn explores all sides of an argument, treating different perspectives with equal parts seriousness and shade.
Natalie Wynn (YouTube)
Coronavirus in the Classroom
As schools weighed how to reopen safely during the pandemic, The New York Times worked with engineering experts to visualize the flow of air inside a New York City classroom, designing an augmented reality experience to show how improved ventilation could help reduce exposure to coronavirus.
The New York Times (The New York Times)
Life is Strange: True Colors
“Life Is Strange: True Colors” is a game that follows a 21-year-old, bisexual Asian-American woman, Alex Chen, who has spent the last eight years in foster care and is investigating her brother’s death. Largely about grief and trauma, the game is also joyful, affirming the true importance of empathy through Alex’s supernatural ability to sense and manipulate others’ emotions.
Deck Nine Games & Square Enix External Studios (PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Stadia)
Lucy and the Wolves in the Walls
Through the endearing and earnest narrative of Lucy and her quest to find the source of mysterious happenings in her house, this wonderful interactive VR fable based on the book by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, which continues in Lucy’s extended life across platforms, invites us along to explore the fine line between imagination and reality and reminds us of that liminal space of possibility that we occupy as children.
Fable Studio, Third Rail Projects, Sound+Design, Story Studio & Experiences (Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest)
This interactive novella designed for mobile uses thousands of tiny videos to tell the thousand-year tale of a kindhearted spirit named September, resulting in an experience that’s part ghost story, part scavenger hunt.
National Film Board of Canada, AATOAA (For Mobile devices, www.motto.io)
China’s systemic detention of Uyghurs and other minorities is well-documented, but there exists no photographic evidence from inside the camps, which limits journalistic coverage. This New Yorker VR project combines the testimony of three brave survivors, hand-drawn illustration, and immersive video technology, showing the conditions inside prison cells, classrooms, torture rooms, and a makeshift operating room, and illuminating the atrocities of harrowing life.
The New Yorker (Oculus, Mobile, Desktop)
The Uncensored Library
Meticulous and artistically-rendered, this Minecraft build serves as a monument to press freedom and an innovative back door for censored content. Because Minecraft is often freely accessible in countries where other media is blocked, more than 20 million gamers in 165 countries have been able to access information about threats to press freedom in their own countries as well as censored articles from independent journalists from oppressive countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Mexico, Egypt, and Vietnam.
Media.Monks, Reporters without Borders, DDB Germany (Minecraft)
Drawing on more than two years of reporting, thousands of documents, and dozens of first-hand interviews, this FRONTLINE multiplatform investigation of lives cut short examines a federal effort to grapple with America’s legacy of racist killings through the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.
Frontline (PBS) with Ado Ato Pictures and StoryCorps
This zen puzzle game transforms the mundane experience of unpacking items out of boxes after a move into an extraordinary storytelling device, allowing the player to get to know the main character at an intensely intimate and personal level without ever seeing her over 21 years of her life and eight different moves.
Witch Beam Games & Humble Games (For Desktop devices, Steam)
Frontline: American Reckoning
A powerful and compelling examination of America’s ongoing struggle with systemic racism and social injustice through the lens of an unsolved 1960s murder reveals an untold chapter in the Civil Rights Movement. With rarely seen footage from more than 50 years ago, the program illuminates the urgent need for meaningful change and reckoning with our nation’s past while highlighting one family’s search for justice.
Frontline (PBS) with Retro Report (PBS)
Frontline: Putin’s Attack on Ukraine: Documenting War Crimes
Exclusive and harrowing evidence of war crimes committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine’s Kyiv suburbs, unearthed by FRONTLINE and The Associated Press, can be traced up the chain of command to one of Russia’s top generals—and might help build a case against Russian President Vladimir Putin in court.
Frontline (PBS) with The Associated Press (PBS)
“FRONTLINE: The Power of Big Oil”
The fossil fuel industry has sowed doubt about climate change in America and stalled climate policy, even as scientific evidence grows more certain, all as part of a concerted effort, as documented by this three-part series.
FRONTLINE (PBS) (PBS)
“Rising Against Asian Hate: One Day in March”
This hour-long documentary reveals how, in the aftermath of the 2021 spa killings of 6 women of Asian descent, the Asian American community in Atlanta came together to fight back and to contend with a racial reckoning in the courts, in the voting booth, and in the streets.
Repartee Films, LLC, PBS, CAAM (PBS/ WNET)