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Credit: Justina Mintz for TNT

WIRE Buzz: Snowpiercer tops ratings; Mythic Quest goes remote; Apple TV+ expanding library

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May 19, 2020

Snowpiercer has been a long time coming, which means that as the sci-fi show finally pulled into the station during its TNT premiere on Sunday, fans were watching. And, despite reviews that were mixed and warned watchers that it takes a while for the trainbound series to gather steam, they were watching in superlative droves. Looks like the Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs show is a hit.

The Hollywood Reporter notes the premiere logged 3.3M viewers from its three total plays (the original airing, and repeats on both TNT and TBS). That’s a lot, considering that cable hasn’t really had any home runs this year. In fact, it makes Snowpiercer the most-viewed piece of new cable entertainment of 2020 (so far) — and the biggest debut TNT’s had since alt-history The Alienist dropped at the beginning of 2018.

The embattled show changed hands multiple times over its half-decade production, seeing the property that Bong Joon Ho turned into a film go from writer Josh Friedman and director Scott Derrickson to showrunner Graeme Manson and director James Hawes. It even wobbled between airing originally on TBS and TNT. 

Now, however, as the post-apocalyptic snow has settled, the show looks to be wooing a new audience — which is good considering that TNT has already renewed the show for a second season.


Next, the world of mobile-produced quarantine episodes has logged a new genre entry: the video game production-focused Apple TV+ comedy Mythic Quest: Raven’s Banquet. The folks behind the fictional MMO are working from home like the rest of us.

According to a release, the episode of the show — from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creator/star Rob McElhenney — was filmed entirely on iPhones and written, filmed, and edited in quarantine.

"Mythic Quest: Quarantine” will see the entire ensemble — including F. Murray Abraham, Charlotte Nicdao, Danny Pudi, Imani Hakim, Ashly Burch, David Hornsby, and many more — return for a special episode released later this week. “It was the hardest production I’ve ever been a part of,” McElhenney wrote in a statement, “But it’s also the one of which I’m most proud.”

"Mythic Quest: Quarantine” hits Apple TV+ on May 22.


Speaking of Apple TV+, the streaming service from the tech giant is moving closer to being in direct competition with major players like Amazon and Netflix. How? Well, right now the streamer — which is a bit cheaper than these juggernauts — only has original programming. Movies and shows made and/or acquired specifically for Apple TV+. But playing with the big boys means boasting a bigger back catalog of TV and movies from throughout history — that's one thing services like NBCUniversal's Peacock and WarnerMedia's HBO Max are banking on as they hop into such a crowded market. Now, it looks like Apple is eyeing an investment that could level the playing field.

According to Bloomberg, Apple is looking to license older TV and movies to expand its catalog. While it's taking pitches from studios, it's also already bought some legacy TV and film to host on its service. Nothing has been made public yet about the strategy shift, or the specific titles involved, but the very act of courting the major studios is an interesting change for a service that only boasts about three dozen original offerings — including shows like Fraggle Rock: Rock On!For All Mankind, and Servant.

The focus will reportedly still be on these originals, even after any deals take place. Apple TV+ also hasn't splurged on any major franchises, which may mean that it's looking for budget options to pad out its library without paying the big bucks.

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