Ask Matt: ‘Good Fight’ on CBS, a ‘Good Omen’ for Emmy Nods?, Plus ‘Deadwood,’ ‘Sneaky Pete,’ an Arquette Two-Fer
Welcome to the Q&A with TV critic (also known to some TV fans as their “TV therapist”) Matt Roush, who’ll try to address whatever you love, loathe, are confused or frustrated or thrilled by in today’s vast TV landscape. One caution: This is a spoiler-free zone, so we won’t be addressing upcoming storylines here unless it’s already common knowledge. Please send your questions and comments to [email protected] (or use the form at the end of the column) and follow me on Twitter. Look for Ask Matt columns on most Tuesdays and Fridays.
More Good Fight on CBS, Please!
Question: Now that CBS has debuted The Good Fight‘s first season on the mothership, do you think they’ll re-air all the seasons on CBS, since CBS All Access is at least 3 seasons or years ahead? My family and I loved The Good Wife but were disappointed TGF would be relegated to All Access. We have enough streaming options and adding another for just one show is not in the cards. We’re hoping CBS continues to air encores of this! — Ryan
Matt Roush: You’re far from the only one who’s aggravated by CBS putting its best and most promotable properties (The Good Fight, Star Trek: Discovery, the Twilight Zone reboot) behind a paywall while delivering weak reboots or worse to its loyal broadcast audience. But that’s the direction things are going throughout the industry, and while I’d like to promise that CBS will treat its viewers to future seasons of The Good Fight, which is terrific (especially in its unedited form), this seems to me more like a stunt to get the show some added exposure this year during the time when TV Academy members are making their Emmy nomination picks. (The Good Wife used to fare rather well, but outside of its sensational main titles, The Good Fight has been invisible at the Emmys.) It’s also possible the network is dangling the first season of The Good Fight to its mainstream viewers as an enticement and advertisement for the streaming service, but its exclusivity to CBS All Access is why the series exists at all. So while it’s always possible CBS could roll out the other seasons in future summers, their real goal with the series is to get more people inside the All Access tent.
Omens at the Emmys, and a Challenge for Public TV
Question: I’ve just finished watching the wickedly funny Good Omens on Amazon Prime Video. I thought it was great, and especially enjoyed David Tennant and Michael Sheen in the lead roles. With the show being released at the end of May, will it be eligible for this year’s Emmys, as I think it deserves a nomination or three?
It also occurred to me that in a past era this was the type of program that would show up on PBS. We have already seen the effect of streaming on broadcast and cable, but what might this mean for public TV’s future? I have to believe that if the option had been there just a few years ago, programs such as Downton Abbey and Sherlock would have turned up on one of the streaming services. And while the Internet is fairly broadly available, I wonder about the loss of public in television for future viewers. — Claudia
Matt Roush: The entire season of Good Omens dropped on May 31, which was the cutoff date for Emmy eligibility — which may be why it was a such a busy day for premieres. So while the series and its stars are eligible in the limited-series categories, that very same day it was seriously upstaged by the premieres of Deadwood: the Movie on HBO and When They See Us on Netflix, which is still making headlines. I felt Omens was a bit precious and campy, and much as I admire the actors, it’s going to be tough for them to get recognition against the likes of Ian McShane (Deadwood), Mahershala Ali (True Detective), Sam Rockwell (Fosse/Verdon) and Hugh Grant (A Very English Scandal), to name a few.
Your other point, regarding PBS, is a very good one. I’m not sure Good Omens would have been a great fit, but with so many platforms now thirsting and bidding for content, including Anglophile-centric Acorn TV and BritBox, it’s obviously going to be more of a challenge for PBS’s iconic Masterpiece franchise to compete for the best of British drama imports. Just look at Julian Fellowes, whose profile rose immeasurably thanks to Downton Abbey, and whose next TV projects are headed to premium cable: HBO (The Gilded Age) and Epix (Belgravia). In another time, the home of Prime Suspect might have been the place to see a show as riveting as Bodyguard, not Netflix. Times have changed, but not always for the better when it comes to public and free access to great drama.
Dying for Deadwood
Question: How does someone get to see Deadwood: The Movie if they don’t have HBO? Will it be on pay-per-view or released as a DVD? — Judy
Matt Roush: If you don’t have access to HBO, most likely you’ll have to wait for a DVD release (no idea when) or when it’s available for download. Past seasons of Deadwood were released on DVD, and HBO still seems to find that to be a profitable ancillary market for its higher-profile shows. So I’d expect the Deadwood movie will eventually be made available for collectors and fans.
Pete, We Hardly Knew Ya
Question: I am sometimes surprised by cancellations, like Netflix dropping Santa Clarita Diet. Amazon’s cancellation of Sneaky Pete completely blindsided me! It is one of my favorite shows and I thought it was doing well. Do you have any thoughts on it? — Laurie
Matt Roush: Even streaming services have to make tough and unpopular calls, but I’ll be honest, I missed the news about this and am as shocked as you are. Because of the late spring glut and the amount of end-of-season activity in May, I haven’t even had a chance to check out the third and now final season of Sneaky Pete, which I always found a clever caper — so I have no idea if they left the story hanging. If they did, shame on Amazon. The least that platforms like this can do for their ongoing originals is to plan a decent and satisfying endgame. This is a shame. Sneaky Pete deserved better than an abrupt cancellation.
Question: I love Gentleman Jack on HBO. How is it during and was it picked up for the next season? Suranne Jones is perfect in the part of Ms. Ann Lister. — V
Matt Roush: I love this show, and am rooting for Suranne Jones (against the odds) to get a lead actress Emmy nomination for her terrific performance as an ahead-of-her-time landowner in 19th-century West Yorkshire. Happily, HBO has confirmed Jack will be back for a second season.
Question: Will The Gong Show be back this summer? — Roundeye
Matt Roush: Doesn’t appear so. ABC has expanded its summer lineup of game shows to Wednesdays (with Card Sharks and Press Your Luck) and Thursdays (with Holey Moley and Family Food Fight), but The Gong Show is nowhere to be seen. Whether the show will ever return remains to be seen, as it apparently hasn’t been officially canceled — sometimes shows like this simply just don’t return — but for now, the gong is silent.
Matt Roush: The Oscar and Emmy winner could very well get two nominations this year for these very different and memorably disturbing performances, but they’ll be in separate categories. She is submitted as a lead actress for Showtime’s Escape and as supporting for Hulu’s The Act (with Joey King submitting as lead actress for the latter true-crime drama).
That’s all for now. Thanks as always for reading, and remember that I can’t do this without your participation, so please keep sending questions and comments about TV to [email protected] or shoot me a line on Twitter (@TVGMMattRoush), and you can also submit questions via the handy form below. Please include a first name with your question.