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What is 'Lupin' and why is everyone watching it
And it's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights
What to know
There used to be a time when Netflix refused to share any viewing numbers. Now it’s dropping eye-popping press releases like they’re going out of style. The streamer’s latest surprise hit? Twisty French crime thriller Lupin, which is projected to reach 70 million households in its first 28 days. That’s bigger than Bridgerton (63M) and The Queen’s Gambit (62M). Lupin is a self-aware, modern adaptation of the early 20th century novels by Maurice LeBlanc, starring Omar Sy as a master thief. It’s got 93% on RottenTomatoes and looks like it will satisfy fans of Sherlock, Luther, and Killing Eve. I’ll be adding it to my list, how about you?
Disney+ is finally playing the music and lighting the lights! The original Muppet Show’s streaming premiere is in sight. The Mouse House will put up all 5 seasons of Jim Henson’s 1976-81 series on Feb. 19. With so many big IPs to play with, it’s comforting to see Disney continue to use and reinvent the Muppets. While some new incarnations have been good (Jason Segel’s 2011 The Muppets, the Muppets Now shorts on Disney+) and others not so good (Muppets Most Wanted, ABC’s 2015 The Muppets series), at least Disney is devoted to keeping the characters and brand alive.
Remember when I told you Americans streamed 57 billion minutes of The Office on Netflix last year? Well, according data from ReelGood, The Office’s weekly streaming share went up by 9% after it made the switch to Peacock Jan. 1. If I had to guess, it’s because of the news surrounding the show’s move and that Peacock is offering the first 2 seasons for free. Its streaming share evened out last week as it’s now just a notch above what it was on Netflix, but this might indicate that Peacock’s balance of some free and some paid is a winning model.
Warner Bros is making a Willy Wonka prequel | Collider
Back when his chocolate bars were just cocoa beans, sugar, and milk, there was WONKA. If this sounds like an appealing concept to you, congrats? As you’ll recall, Tim Burton gave us a Willy Wonka backstory in his 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory remake — and it felt forced and unnecessary. Why do we need the history of a character who by his very nature is supposed to be mysterious? Also, because there are apparently no other actors in Hollywood, WB is rumored to be eyeing Timothee Chalamet or Tom Holland for the role. All that said, Wonka will be written by Simon Rich (An American Pickle) and directed by Paul King (Paddington), so it is in good hands. We’ll have to wait till 2023 to see if it works.
CBS All Access becomes Paramount+ March 4 … because is your streaming service really a streaming service if it doesn’t have a plus at the end? ✚
What to watch
Stage and screen actor Laura Benanti is a national treasure. In what might be her last appearance as Melania Trump on The Late Show, Benanti gives Beauty and the Beast a hilarious and oddly beautiful 2021 update.
New notables this week:
Alone — Jan 18 — Amazon movie | RT 94%
The White Tiger — Jan 22 — Netflix movie | RT 89%
Derek Delgaudio's In & of Itself — Jan 22 — Hulu special | No RT yet
Flack — Jan 22 — Amazon series | RT 68%
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About the author: Alex Rabinowitz has led the way on social media and story packaging at media outlets big and small. With his acclaimed Tumblr site PopCultureBrain.com, Alex became a leading figure in emerging social networks and entertainment news. Sourced by many top destinations, including New York Magazine, BuzzFeed, and Videogum, Pop Culture Brain was featured by BuzzFeed and TIME as the best pop culture blog on Tumblr. Alex's writing has appeared on The Huffington Post, GQ.com, Mic, and Time Warner Cable.