Deciphering Warner Bros. Discovery’s Recent Moves; Plus Peak TV Talk With FX’s John Landgraf

Welcome to the 180th episode of TV’s Top 5, The Hollywood Reporter’s TV podcast.

Every week, hosts Lesley Goldberg (West Coast TV editor) and Daniel Fienberg (chief TV critic) break down the latest TV news with context from the business and critical sides, welcome showrunners, executives and other guests, and provide a critical guide of what to watch (or skip, as the case may be).

This week, we’re joined by FX CEO John Landgraf to discuss the latest Peak TV projections. Plus Dan and I go long on the latest at Warner Bros. Discovery. We also shake up the order of things and close out with my tribute to the late and great Vin Scully.  

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Here’s how this week’s episode plays out:

1. Headlines

Ellen Pompeo, Keanu Reeves, Days of Our Lives, The Flash and Jason Katims lead the week’s biggest headlines.

2. WTF is going on with… Warner Bros. Discovery

It’s the talk of the town: anxiety over the future merging of Discovery+ and HBO Max. This week has been filled with insane rumors as film and TV creators grapple with the uncertainty of just how both platforms will be combined. After listening to a two-hour earnings presentation, WBD CEO David Zaslav put many of the rumors to rest with a simple announcement that the combined platform will launch next summer in the U.S. As for the name of that platform or if one eats the other, well, that’s all going to come into focus at year’s end during an investor presentation. In the meantime, Dan and I attempt to make sense of the decision to scrap DC’s $90 million feature Batgirl and cancel the sweet and low-budget kids and family show The Gordita Chronicles as we decipher and debate Zas’ larger plans.

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3. Peak TV update

FX CEO John Landgraf provided a rare mid-year update on the volume of U.S. originals, with the tally clocking in with 357 shows from January through June — a 16 percent surge — as he predicted 2022 would break last year’s record volume of 559. He also predicted that this year would truly be the peak of “Peak TV,” which admittedly came with a disclaimer that his previous prediction of the bubble bursting would come in 2018 or 2019 was “way, way off.” Landgraf joins the show this week to discuss the state of scripted, Hulu’s impact on FX content and the evolution of the larger FX brand.

4. Critic’s Corner

Dan offers his weekly look at what to watch (or skip) this weekend. In this episode, he weighs in on FX’s Reservation Dogs, Paramount+’s return of Beavis and Butt-head andNetflix’s The Sandman.

5. RIP, Vin Scully

The Hall of Fame broadcaster died this week at the age of 94. In this segment, I pay tribute to my childhood hero, discuss his impact on baseball, the Dodgers, Angelenos and sports fans across the globe.

Hear it all now on TV’s Top 5. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. (Reviews welcome!) You can also email us with any topics or Mailbag questions you’d like addressed in future episodes at [email protected]

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