News from the TV press tour: Emmys’ darling Netflix offers an overwhelming volume of outstanding shows

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For more than 35 years it has been this reporter’s pleasure to attend the TCA press tours and be part of the Television Critics Association (TCA) gatherings twice a year with more than 200 professional journalists who cover television. It’s a great gig.

Now the TCA’s Summer Press Tour 2018 has just commenced, and writers from publications across the U.S. and Canada are gathering at the Beverly Hilton for the parade of stars and creative folks who hope to generate some media excitement for the fall TV schedule.

Netflix came to the press tour accentuating the fact that the game-changing streaming service offers an overwhelming volume of outstanding shows. Their presentation came on the heels of earning the most nominations of any network for the 2018 Emmy Awards. Netflix netted a total of 112 nominations, knocking HBO (with a mere 108 nods) off the top spot after a 17-year streak.

The Netflix nominations were in top categories for their best and brightest shows including The Crown and Stranger Things for best drama series, plus Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and GLOW for best comedy series. Others getting Emmy attention are Black Mirror, Queer Eye, Seven Seconds and Wild Wild Country.

A favorite of the TV critics, the offbeat GLOW series had an interview panel that offered insight to the world of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling in the 1980s. On hand were Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, Kia Stevens, Jackie Tohn, Britt Baron and Marc Maron, along with co-creators, writers and executive producers Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch.

The premise of the show is pure Hollywood with Alison Brie starring as Ruth Wilder, an out-of-work actress living in Los Angeles in the ’80s. Unexpectedly, Wilder finds a chance at stardom as she enters the spandex and glitter world of women’s wrestling, where she must work alongside a dozen other Hollywood misfits. Marc Maron plays the role of Sam Sylvia, a down on his luck “B” movie director who struggles to lead the odd group of women to fame as the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling. GLOW has two seasons under its belt and is looking for a third.

New Netflix shows were announced which reinforce the spectrum of its programming. A new animated show, Disenchantment will premiere 10 episodes on Friday, August 17. Disenchantment takes place in the mythical kingdom Dreamland, stars Abbi Jacobson as a princess, Nat Faxon as an elf and Eric Andre as a demon. The animated show has Matt Groening and Josh Weinstein (The Simpsons, Futurama) on board as executive producers so expect it to be endearing edgy and sweetly subversive.

The new Netflix drama The Innocents follows star-crossed teen lovers Harry (Percelle Ascott) and June (Sorcha Groundsell) who run away together. But in the midst of their journey, they discover June’s incredible powers of shape-shifting and meet a mysterious professor (Guy Pearce) who sets them on a new adventure and a complex future. The Innocents was created and written by executive producers Hania Elkington and Simon Duric who offer eight episodes launching on Friday, August 24.

The second season of Ozark starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney and Julia Garner will premiere Friday, August 31. Ozark will continue to follow Marty Bryde (Bateman) and his family as they get deeply involved with the drug cartel. The stakes are high as they struggle to balance their family interests along with the escalating dangers for great drama.

The Good Cop is a Netflix dramedy that debuts Friday, September 21 starring TV favorite Tony Danza and music favorite Josh Groban. Danza plays a former NYPD officer who never followed the rules, and Groban is his son who became a straight-laced NYPD detective who solves Brooklyn’s toughest cases. They are forced to live and work together for laughs and crime-solving adventures

Margie Barron is a member of the Television Critics Association and has written for a variety of top publications for more than 35 years, and was half of the husband and wife writing team of Margie and Frank Barron.

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