Doc ’16 Bars’ Due on DVD Feb. 7 From MVD

The documentary 16 Bars will come out on DVD Feb. 7 from MVD Entertainment Group and Lightyear Entertainment.

It offers a rare glimpse at the human stories and songs locked away in our nation’s jails and prisons and follows a unique rehabilitation effort in a Virginia jail that encourages inmates to write and record original music. In the jail’s makeshift recording studio, four men collaborate to produce an album with Grammy-winner Todd “Speech” Thomas of Arrested Development. As the creative process unfolds, the incarcerated artists must confront the traumas of their past, and music becomes the key to unlocking a new chapter in their lives.

Two-time Grammy-winner Thomas is widely considered one of the godfathers of conscious hip-hop. Starting in 2017, he set out on a journey to the Richmond City Jail, where he conducted music workshops with inmates. His goal was to shed light on the complex issues in our criminal justice system by bringing the voices and stories of incarcerated people to a larger audience.

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Special features include music videos for “Inspire,” “Lost One” and “Freedom Wind.”

The film was nominated for Best Independent Documentary at the Black Reel Awards, won the Audience Choice Award at Doclands, won Best Documentary at the Downtown LA Film Festival, and won Best Music Film at the Macon Film Fest.

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An original soundtrack album will be released through Caroline/UMG.

’13 Reasons Why’ Flying High Among Digital Originals, Parrot Analytics Says

With a 58% spike in demand, Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” remained in the No. 1 spot on the digital originals chart for the week ended May 26, according to Parrot Analytics Demand Expressions data.

Season two of the teen drama – centered on the aftermath of a teenage girl’s suicide – debuted May 18, making this the first full week in which episodes are available.

The series’ number of Demand Expressions soared to nearly 68 million, more than any other TV show – digital original or regular broadcast – during the week.

In the week leading up to Memorial Day, there were few changes to the digital series demand chart. However, Netflix is releasing more than 80 new titles in June, and Parrot Analytics says it expects demand chart fluctuations in the weeks to come.

The popularity of season two of “13 Reasons Why,” like the popularity of season one, is fuelled by controversy.

The finale of season one, showing a teenage girl taking her own life, prompted schools to issue warnings to parents to monitor their children’s viewing.

For season two, Netflix aired a “cold open” before the first episode featuring cast members read the following disclaimer: “‘13 Reasons Why’ is a fictional series that tackles tough, real-world issues, taking a look at sexual assault, substance abuse, suicide, and more. By shedding a light on these difficult topics, we hope our show can help viewers start a conversation. But if you are struggling with these issues yourself, this series may not be right for you or you may want to watch it with a trusted adult. And if you ever feel you need someone to talk with, reach out to a parent, a friend, a school counselor, or an adult you trust, call a local helpline, or go to 13ReasonsWhy.info. Because the minute you start talking about it, it gets easier.”

Elsewhere in the top 5, demand for “Cobra Kai” slipped 15%, but the series – a sequel the 1984 movie “The Karate Kid” – remains at No. 2 on the digital originals chart.

Following Martin Kove’s appearance in the season one finale, the “Karate Kid” alum is joining the cast in season two.

Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Netflix’s “Arrested Development” remain at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively, while “Orange is the New Black” shot up to No. 5 from No. 10, bumping “Lost in Space” out of the top 10.

“Orange is the New Black” experienced a nearly 32% uptick in demand, as Digital Spy revealed details about the upcoming sixth season of the women prison drama.

Looking at the bottom half of the top 10 digital originals chart, Netflix’s “The Crown” experienced a significant (54%) rise in demand during the week, lifting it to No. 9 from No. 28 the prior week.

The historical drama picked up a supporting actress award at the BAFTA television awards on May 13.

Rounding out the top 10, Netflix’s “Stranger Things” has reappeared in the top 10, at No. 10, after an absence of several weeks.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States. Parrot Analytics uses a proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

 

#MeToo Stain Follows Netflix

NEWS ANALYSIS — When allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct resulted in Jeffrey Tambor (who has denied the allegations) being fired from Amazon’s original series “Transplant,” Netflix hoped the backlash against the award-winning actor wouldn’t affect one of its prized shows, “Arrested Development.”

They were wrong.

In what was supposed to be a star-studded media campaign promoting the fifth season of the quirky comedy launching May 29 on Netflix, a May 22 cast interview with The New York Times — featuring Jason Bateman, Jessica Walter, Tambor, Tony Hale, Will Arnett and David Cross — exploded into allegations of harassment against Tambor by Walter — and some cast members defending Tambor.

“In like almost 60 years of working, I’ve never had anybody yell at me like that on a set,” Walter told The Times through tears.

Walter, who played Clint Eastwood’s femme fatale in his 1971 directorial debut, Play Misty for Me, said it was hard to deal with, but that she was “over it now.”

Bateman, whose own wife was allegedly groped by Hotelier André Balazs, made the decision to defend Tambor’s boorish behavior as a byproduct of on-set creativity.

“Not to belittle it or excuse it or anything, but in the entertainment industry it is incredibly common to have people who are, in quotes, ‘difficult,’” Bateman told The Times.

Hales then added fuel to the fire, saying, “I will say, to Jason’s point, we can be honest about the fact that — and not to build a thing — we’ve all had moments.”

To which Walters interjected, “Not like [Tambor’s harassment].”

The backlash on social media was swift and piercing.

“I had to stop reading after the ninth time Jason Bateman interrupted a crying 77-year-old woman (Walter) to say that she was over-reacting to what an entire room of people agreed was abuse,” tweeted Katlin Menza.

“One small but very striking thing from that nyt arrested development interview: Jason Bateman essentially explaining ‘how the industry works’ to Jessica Walter, as if she isn’t an accomplished veteran of the same industry,” wrote David Bynch.

“I feel like Jason Bateman is talking a little too much and [Arrested Development cast member] Alia Shawkat not enough here. You can see a marked difference between men and women and between generations in this interview and how they’re dealing with the allegations against Jeffrey Tambor,” added April Wolfe.

Bateman, who also stars in Netflix original series, “Ozark,”  later apologized on social media, saying, “I’m incredibly embarrassed and deeply sorry to have done that to Jessica. This is a big learning moment for me.”

But Netflix had seen enough. The SVOD behemoth, which this week was briefly valued more on Wall Street than The Walt Disney Co., canceled a planned PR blitz for “Arrested Development” in the United Kingdom.

“At this time, we have decided not to move ahead with promotional activity in the U.K., but hope to bring the cast back at another time,” Netflix said in a statement.

’13 Reasons Why’ Retakes No. 1 Spot on Digital Originals Chart

Buoyed by the May 18 launch of season two, Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” returned to the No. 1 spot on the digital originals chart for the week ended May 19, according to Parrot Analytics Demand Expressions data.

The teen drama, centered around the suicide of a teenage girl, had ceded the top spot on the prior week’s chart to YouTube Red’s “Cobra Kai,” a sequel series to the classic The Karate Kid movie, despite a 43.4% spike in demand.

Demand in the current week rose nearly 7%, which combined with a nearly 12% drop in demand for “Cobra Kai” put “13 Reasons Why” back on top.

“13 Reasons Why,” with its difficult topic of teen suicide, is a controversial show. In the weeks leading up to its debut high schools around the country sent notices to parents, asking them to monitor their children as they watched the program.

In season two, showrunner Brian Yorkey has extended the narrative beyond the story of teenager Hannah Baker’s death and the “13 reasons” why she killed herself, according to a cassette recording she made and distributed to those she felt responsible.

Season two digs into the aftermath of Hannah’s suicide, and its impact on the community and her fellow students.

Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” rose up a notch to No. 3, with modest 5% increase in demand, bumping “Arrested Development” down a spot to No. 4.

“Arrested Development” generated 20 million Demand Expressions in the week ended May 19, down from 26.8 million the prior week, but still managed to stay ahead of “Lost in Space,” which remained at No. 5 with an 11% drop in demand.

“Sense8” rose up to No. 6 on the digital originals chart (from No. 10 the prior week) after the debut of its final-seasaon trailer on May 17.

The modern science-fiction series had 13% more Demand Expressions than “Orange is the New Black,” which slipped to No. 10 from No. 9 the prior week.

Both series are currently on hiatus

For linear network broadcasters, May Sweeps is an annual pre-summer event filled with dramatic character exits, special guest stars, and unexpected plot twists.

Parrot Analytics’ overall TV series chart reflects this.

For the first time, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” is ranked at No. 1 in the domestic chart, followed by Nickelodeon’s “Spongebob Squarepants,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” and The CW’s “The Flash.”

NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” (No. 5) had 7% more Demand Expressions than ABC’s “American Idol.”

The celebrated sketch recently finished its 43rd season.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States. Parrot Analytics uses a proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

YouTube Red Hits Top of Digital Originals Chart with ‘Cobra Kai’

YouTube Red took the top spot on the digital originals chart the week ended May 12 with “Cobra Kai,” according to Parrot Analytics Demand Expressions data.

“Cobra Kai,” a sequel series to the classic The Karate Kid movie, shot up to No. 1 with a whopping 154% increase in demand from the prior week, when it debuted in the top 10 at No. 6.

Demand for “Cobra Kai” was so great that it also popped up at No. 5 on the overall TV shows chart – ahead of even “The Game of Thrones.”

The comedy-drama series was produced by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg – the duo best known for the Harold & Kumar films. In the week ending May 12, “Cobra Kai” had 46.9 million Demand Expressions, up from 18.4 million Demand Expressions the prior week.

YouTube Red’s 10-episode first season of “Cobra Kai” debuted on May 2. On May 10, YouTube revealed that it was renewing the show for a second season.

The series relies heavily on nostalgia, blending in new characters with William Zabka and Ralph Macchio, holdovers from the original 1984 The Karate Kid movie. The series picks up 30 years after the events of the original film. Like the first, the second season will contain 10 30-minute episodes, and will debut on YouTube Red sometime in 2019. The first episode of “Cobra Kai” had 11 million views, three days after it premiered – and by May 14, it had racked up over 26 million views.

Elsewhere on the chart, Netflix titles also performed well. “13 Reasons Why,” No. 1 the previous week, continued to gain in demand, with a 43.4% spike to 40.2 million Demand Expressions on the back of the May 8 release of season two’s full-length trailer. But given the over-the-top performance of “Cobra Kai,” “13 Reasons” slipped to No. 2 on the digital originals chart.

Both “Arrested Development” (No. 3) and “Dear White People” (No. 6) posted impressive gains in demand as well, jumping up the chart by seven and 19 spots, respectively, over the last week. In both cases, new episodes are coming in May.

Demand for “The Handmaid’s Tale” has been remarkably steady been steady, with the dystopian series slipping to No. 4 from No. 3 the prior week despite a modest 5.7% gain in demand, week over week.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States. Parrot Analytics uses a proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.