HBO Max Picks Up Exclusive Streaming Rights to ‘Prodigal Son’

HBO Max has acquired the exclusive U.S. subscription-video-on-demand streaming rights to the drama “Prodigal Son” in a deal with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution.

The first season of the show is available to stream now on HBO Max. Season two is currently airing on Fox.

The series follows Malcolm Bright (Tom Payne), who has a gift. He knows how killers think and how their minds work. Why? His father (Michael Sheen) is “The Surgeon,” a notorious serial killer who has taken the lives of more than 20 people. “Prodigal Son” follows criminal psychologist Bright as he uses his twisted genius to get inside the minds of murderers to help the NYPD solve cases. He works alongside NYPD Detective Gil Arroyo (Lou Diamond Phillips), a seasoned lawman who has become Bright’s surrogate father; Detective Dani Powell (Aurora Perrineau), a headstrong no-nonsense cop who is quickly impressed with Bright’s work; Dr. Edrisa Tanaka (Keiko Agena), a slightly off-center medical examiner; and Detective J.T. Tarmel (Frank Harts), a born-and-bred New Yorker who questions whether Bright is a psychopath himself. But Bright’s best resource for solving crimes is his dear old dad, the homicidal-yet-oddly-loving Martin Whitly, whose expertise he must reluctantly call upon. As Bright helps track down the city’s most dangerous criminals, he also battles his own demons — and it doesn’t help that his mother, former leading socialite Jessica Whitly (Bellamy Young), can’t seem to accept her fallen status and has an opinion on every aspect of Bright’s life. But he has the support of his sister Ainsley (Halston Sage), a news reporter with a soft spot for her brother and all his eccentricities.

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Academy Award winner Catherine Zeta-Jones will joining the cast in the March 2 episode of season two airing on Fox.

‘Dolittle’ Coming to Digital March 24, Disc — Including 4K — April 7

Dolittle will arrive on digital March 24 and 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and on demand April 7 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.

Robert Downey Jr. plays Dr. Dolittle, a man who can talk to animals. The cast also includes the voice talents of Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, Selena Gomez, John Cena and Tom Holland, among others.

After losing his wife, Dolittle he locks himself away behind the high wall of his manor but is forced to set sail on an epic adventure when the queen falls gravely ill. Helping Dolittle in search of a rare cure are his animal friends — including Chee-Chee (Malek), an anxious, self-conscious gorilla; Dab-Dab (Octavia Spencer), an enthusiastic but bird-brained duck; the bickering duo of cynical, neurotic ostrich Plimpton (Kumail Nanjiani) and the polar bear Yoshi (Cena); and a headstrong parrot named Polynesia (Thompson).

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The film earned $161.7 million at the global box office.

The 4K disc includes HDR+.

Bonus features include:

  • “Talk to the Animals,” a peek at the fun the cast had giving each of the animals their unique voice;
  • “Robert Downey Jr. & Harry: Mentor and Mentee,” about the unique bond the two actors formed on-set, and how Downey took the film’s young co-star under his wing;
  • “Becoming the Good Doctor,” about how Downey transformed into the iconic Dolittle;
  • “Antonio Banderas: Pirate King,” in which Banderas discusses what attracted him to the project, his experiences working with Downey and what he brought to the role of King Rassouli;
  • “The Wicked Dr. Mudfly,” about the nefarious villain Dr. Blair Müdfly with Michael Sheen diving into his character’s motivations for being Dolittle’s foil; and
  • “A Most Unusual House,” about the unique rooms and modifications that allow Dolittle to house anyone or anything, big or small.


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‘Slaughterhouse Rulez’ to Matriculate to Digital May 17, DVD June 18 From Sony

The dark comedy Slaughterhouse Rulez will graduate to digital May 17 and DVD June 18 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

The film takes place at an elite boarding school where boys and girls are groomed for power and greatness. Pupils and teachers become embroiled in a battle with a hoard of subterranean monsters, unleashed from a gaping frack site sinkhole, wreaking havoc on the school grounds.

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Asa Butterfield (TV’s “Sex Education,” Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children), Finn Cole (TV’s“Peaky Blinders”) and Hermione Corfield (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies) star alongside Michael Sheen (TV’s “Good Omens,” “The Twilight Saga”). Simon Pegg (the “Mission Impossible” and “Star Trek” franchises) and Nick Frost (Fighting With My Family, Shaun of the Dead) appear in the film and serve as executive producers.

Masters of Sex: The Complete Series


Mill Creek;
$54.98 DVD, $69.98 Blu-ray;
Not rated.
Stars Michael Sheen, Lizzy Caplan, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Teddy Sears, Nicholas D’Agosto, Annaleigh Ashford, Beau Bridges, Allison Janney, Rose McIver, Julianne Nicholson.

Several shows attempted to emulate the “Mad Men” formula of exploring modern themes through the lens of the mid-20th Century, and “Masters of Sex” was one of the better ones.

The key difference between the two shows, of course, is that the primary characters on “Masters of Sex” are inspired by actual people. Based on Thomas Maier’s 2009 book, the show explores the collaboration of William Masters and Virginia Johnson and how they came together to produce their landmark sex study in the 1950s and 1960s.

The series ran for four seasons from 2013 to 2016 on Showtime.

The first season takes place in 1956 and 1957, with famed obstetrician Masters (Michael Sheen, turning in Emmy-worth work that earned nary a hint of recognition at the time) undertaking the first steps of his sexual research, conducting his observations in brothels because the university won’t sanction his methods at first. He finds a partner in Virginia (the fetching Lizzy Caplan, also worthy of awards recognition), who starts out as his secretary but takes on a much more important role in the study, especially as Masters realizes he has developed lustful feelings toward her.

Sheen manages to play Masters as if Don Draper were Sheldon Cooper, using his sex study as an excuse to pursue titillation while sidestepping the typical judgments of society. Meanwhile, Caplan’s Virginia Johnson is a modern woman trapped in the 1950s, struggling to burst free of the traditional gender roles that are constraining her.

The sex and nudity is plentiful but hardly gratuitous, often tamped down by the clinical setting, with participants in the study hooked up to wires and surrounded by medical equipment.

The central conceit, of course, is that the sexual repression being unlocked by the study is a metaphor for the time period, with subplots that tease out other aspects of constrained American life of the 1950s. Most notable among these is Beau Bridges as Masters’ closeted gay boss, struggling with his sexuality while maintaining the façade of a family life, leading to a heartbreaking performance by Allison Janney as his long-suffering wife.

Subsequent seasons find Masters and Johnson linked both romantically and professionally, as they both publish their studies and open a clinic to further their research. After the early episodes set in the 1950s, the show jumps forward in time, sometimes months and years at a time, which allows it to use the Vietnam War as a backdrop for some of the stories (Virginia’s son enlists in the Army, much to her chagrin). The show also explores the sexual revolution in general, with Masters and Johnson’s work gaining the interest of Hugh Hefner.

The further the season goes, the more it deviates from the reality of its characters as well. According to the disclaimers prominently displayed with the episodes, the show is a highly fictionalized account of Masters and Johnson’s lives, focused more on the general idea of what they represented than who they actually were. As such, their family lives are almost entirely works of fiction, no more so than a pregnancy subplot in which Virginia has another baby with her ex-husband — a subplot supposedly mandated by the production’s legal team as a way to divert the show’s storylines from the reality of the duo’s actual children.

Still, the show is mindful about the better-known touchstones of Masters and Johnson’s lives, including their eventual marriage. The show was canceled after its fourth season, ending with an episode that, while not intended as a series finale, serves as a fitting conclusion to the various arcs. Not that the show couldn’t have continued, but the prevailing feeling at the time was that there wasn’t much more it needed to say.

During the show’s initial run on Showtime, production house Sony Pictures released just the first two seasons on DVD and Blu-ray in America (seasons three and four were released on disc overseas). So this Mill Creek collection is the first chance most of the show’s stateside fans will have to complete their collections of it.

Mill Creek has ported over the extras from the Sony releases, including deleted scenes that are grouped with their respective episodes in seasons one and two. There’s also a commentary on the pilot episode that really takes advantage of the winning chemistry between the cast (especially as they tease each other during sex scenes).

On the Blu-ray, the previously released featurettes have been clustered together as the bonus material for the two discs of the fourth season. (Season one’s featurettes on are season four disc one, season two’s are on season four disc two.)

One notable difference is that the episodes include the recaps of the previous episodes, where the Sony discs made viewing these optional.

The fact that the previous bonus materials are included is great news for those who already own the first two seasons and might otherwise be hesitant on fully replacing them with this new set. Since so many third-party re-releases don’t bother to carry over the older extras (for whatever reason, be it licensing, disc space or a general lack of interest), it’s to Mill Creek’s credit that they’re all included here, making this collection a no-brainer for collector’s in the modern golden age of television.