Studio Ghibli Film ‘Earwig and the Witch’ Hitting Netflix Nov. 18

The latest Studio Ghibli animated film, Earwig and the Witch, will be available on Netflix starting Nov. 18.

The release expands the existing Studio Ghibli film catalog available on Netflix globally (excluding the U.S. and Japan). Since 2020, 21 films from Studio Ghibli have been available to viewers across the world on Netflix.

Earwig and the Witch tells the story of a headstrong young girl who grew up in an orphanage. Her life changes dramatically when a strange couple takes her in, and she is forced to live with a selfish witch. Directed by Goro Miyazaki with planning by Hayao Miyazaki and screenplay by Keiko Niwa and Emi Gunji, the story of Earwig is based on a novel of the same name by English writer Diana Wynne Jones.

“We’re thrilled that our film Earwig and the Witch will reach many countries and territories through Netflix,” said director Goro Miyazaki in a statement.”The film is Studio Ghibli’s first fully 3D CGI film which prompted us with an exciting challenge to reflect the spirit and pride of our studio using this new art form. Through that experience we met Earwig, our rebellious protagonist who grows to overcome difficulties with her wits and relentless energy. We hope you will come to love our Earwig, just like you enjoyed spending time with the main characters in our last 21 films. Today, the world is forced to continue its journey into a chaotic era. We hope this film will inspire our children who live long into the future.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We’re incredibly fortunate to continue expanding the Studio Ghibli film lineup on Netflix by streaming Earwig and the Witch,” said Aram Yacoubian, director of animation film at Netflix, in a statement. “The highly anticipated new film of Goro Miyazaki will bring a fresh perspective to the wildly popular Studio Ghibli films. In countries and territories where we stream Studio Ghibli films (excluding the U.S. and Japan), 55 million households have chosen to watch a Studio Ghibli film on Netflix since 2020, and that number will only continue to grow. We’ve been blown away by the positive reactions from viewers everywhere, proving that stories can come from anywhere, and can be loved everywhere.”

The adventures of Earwig will soon be available to fans across the world and in more than 30 languages, including Japanese, English, Mandarin, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Thai in addition to many more languages available in subtitles.

The full lineup of Studio Ghibli films available on Netflix includes:

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984)
Castle in the Sky (1986)
My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)
Only Yesterday (1991)
Porco Rosso (1992)
Ocean Waves (1993)
Pom Poko (1994)
Whisper of the Heart (1995)
Princess Mononoke (1997)
My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
Spirited Away (2001)
The Cat Returns (2002)
Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)
Tales from Earthsea (2006)
Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008)
Arrietty (2010)
From Up on Poppy Hill (2011)
The Wind Rises (2013)
The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (2013)
When Marnie Was There (2014)
Earwig and the Witch (2020)

Apple TV+ Orders Comedy Series Starring Jason Segel

Apple TV+ has announced a series order for “Shrinking,” a 10-episode comedy series that will star Jason Segel, who also serves as writer and executive producer alongside Emmy Award winners Bill Lawrence and Brett Goldstein.

“Shrinking” follows a grieving therapist (Segel) who starts to break the rules and tell his clients exactly what he thinks. Ignoring his training and ethics, he finds himself making huge, tumultuous changes to people’s lives, including his own.

The new series will be produced by Warner Bros. Television, where Lawrence is under an overall deal, and Lawrence’s Doozer Productions. Segel, Lawrence and Goldstein all serve as writers and executive producers, Jeff Ingold is an executive producer, and Liza Katzer is a co-executive producer.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“Shrinking” marks the second Apple Original starring Segel, who is next set to star in Apple Original Films’ The Sky is Everywhere, based on the best-selling young adult novel of the same name. It also marks the third partnership for Apple, Lawrence and Warner Bros. Television, alongside “Ted Lasso” and the recently announced series order for “Bad Monkey.” Goldstein currently stars and serves as writer and co-executive producer on the Emmy-winning “Ted Lasso.”

Netflix Launches Book Club to Feature Adaptations

Netflix has announced the Netflix Book Club, inspired by the service’s many book-based series such as “Bridgerton” and “The Queen’s Gambit.”

Through the Netflix Book Club, readers will hear about books, films and series adaptations first — and get exclusive access to the process behind bringing these books from page to screen.

Three-time Emmy Award winner and star of the series adaptation “Orange Is the New Black” Uzo Aduba will be the inaugural host, with Netflix and Starbucks partnering on the Club.

Uzo will announce monthly book selections that will be making their way to Netflix and host conversations about the adaptation process with cast, creators and authors over a cup of coffee at Starbucks in a new social series, “But Have You Read the Book?” The social series will kick off on Nov. 16 and live on the Still Watching Netflix YouTube Channel and the Netflix U.S. Facebook channel.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Netflix Book Club’s first pick of the month will kick off with Nella Larsen’s Harlem Renaissance-era novel Passing to coincide with Netflix’s Nov. 10 release of the movie adaptation, which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival and was recently seen at the New York Film Festival. Directed and written by Rebecca Hall and starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, Passing follows the story of two Black women who can pass as white and choose to live on opposite sides of the color line in 1929 New York.

“From ‘Bridgerton,’ ‘To All the Boys’ and ‘Sweet Magnolias’ to ‘Queen’s Gambit,’ ‘Unorthodox,’ ‘Virgin River’ and of course ‘Orange Is the New Black,’ Netflix loves bringing books to life on screen and creating conversation with passionate readers and fans,” said Netflix CMO Bozoma Saint John in a statement. “We’re thrilled to partner with Starbucks and excited that the incredible Uzo Aduba will be our host to discuss favorite books and what goes into the writing, developing, casting and creating of our beloved series and films.”

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked friends, ‘But have you read the book?’ So I’m excited to host Netflix Book Club and bring together loyal book fans, TV and movie obsessives and the creators behind their favorite stories,” Aduba said in a statement.I can’t wait to dive deep into the creative process and what it takes to bring a book to life.”

“Over the years coffee and coffeehouses have been bringing communities together for a shared experience and conversation about what we are reading and watching,” said Starbucks CMO Brady Brewer in a statement. “The new relationship we’ve formed with Netflix for ‘But Have You Read the Book?’ is an exciting way to bring these conversations from the third place to our customers wherever they are.”

‘Squid Game’ Top Streaming Original, ‘Black Widow’ Top Streaming Movie on Whip Media Charts

Netflix’s “Squid Game” led the Whip Media chart of top streaming originals and Black Widow the chart of top streaming movies among U.S. consumers for the week ended Oct. 10.

“Squid Game” is a South Korean series that follows a group of desperate and cash-strapped people competing in a blood-thirsty survival game. It started streaming Sept. 17.

The Marvel feature Black Widow, starring Scarlett Johansson, became available at no additional cost to Disney+ subscribers Oct. 6.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with 18 million global users. The streaming originals chart rankings are determined by streaming original TV series with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app. The movie rankings are determined by theatrical or streaming movies with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app.

Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso,” which garnered four Emmys Sept. 19 including Outstanding Comedy Series, took the No. 2 spot on the streaming originals chart. Jason Sudeikis won an Emmy for Lead Actor, Hannah Waddingham for Supporting Actress, and Brett Goldstein for Outstanding Supporting Actor in the series, season two of which began streaming July 23.

At No. 3 on the streaming originals chart was Disney+’s “What If…,” a Marvel Universe animated anthology series that debuted Aug. 11. It explores major Marvel moments had they gone differently.

Coming in at No. 2 on the streaming movies chart was The Guilty, which started streaming on Netflix Oct. 1. It follows a troubled police detective demoted to 911 operator duty who scrambles to save a distressed caller.

Taking the bronze on the streaming movies chart was Netflix’s stand-up comedy special Dave Chappelle: The Closer, which started streaming Oct. 5. The show has created controversy over Chappelle’s comments about trans people.

Free Guy, No. 4 on the streaming movies chart, and The Suicide Squad, No. 10 on that chart, are both available transactionally on Amazon Prime Video, among other digital outlets.

Follow us on Instagram

Top Streaming Originals Among U.S. Consumers for the Week Ended Oct. 10:

  1. “Squid Game” — Netflix
  2. “Ted Lasso” — Apple TV+
  3. “What If …” — Disney+
  4. “On My Block” — Netflix (season premiere)
  5. “Only Murders in the Building” — Hulu
  6. “Titans” (2018) — HBO Max
  7. “Lucifer” — Netflix
  8. “Midnight Mass” (2021) — Netflix
  9. “The Morning Show” — Apple TV+
  10. “Maid” — Netflix

 

Top Streaming Movies Among U.S. Consumers for the Week Ended Oct. 10:

  1. Black Widow — Disney+
  2. The Guilty — Netflix
  3. Dave Chappelle: The Closer — Netflix
  4. Free Guy — Prime Video
  5. There’s Someone Inside Your House — Netflix
  6. Muppets Haunted Mansion — Disney+
  7. Malignant — HBO Max
  8. The Many Saints of Newark — HBO Max
  9. Cruella — Disney+
  10. The Suicide Squad — Prime Video

Apple TV+ Animated Series ‘Harriet the Spy’ to Debut Nov. 19

The Apple TV+ animated series “Harriet the Spy” will premiere Nov. 19 with five episodes.

More episodes will debut in spring 2022.

The animated adaptation of the iconic children’s novel is produced by The Jim Henson Company and features Beanie Feldstein as the voice of 11-year-old Harriet alongside Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch as the voice of Ole Golly, Harriet’s nanny.

Set in 1960s New York when the original book was published, “Harriet the Spy” follows the outspoken and perpetually curious 11-year-old Harriet M. Welsch. More than anything, Harriet wants to be a writer, and in order to be a good writer, she think she needs to know everything. And to know everything she decides to become a spy.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Joining Feldstein and Lynch are Lacey Chabert as Marion Hawthorne, the ringleader of a group of popular girls at Harriet’s school; Kimberly Brooks; Crispin Freeman; Grey Griffin; Bumper Robinson; and Charlie Schlatter.

Australian singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett wrote and performs the original theme song for the series, which she released as a single Oct. 13 under her Mom + Pop record label and is now available on Apple Music.

The Apple Original series is  written and executive produced by Will McRobb (“The Adventures of Pete & Pete”) with Sidney Clifton (“Black Panther” animated series, “Me, Eloise”) as producer.

Amazon Prime Video to Stream Fourth ‘Hotel Transylvania’ Film

Amazon Prime Video has licensed worldwide streaming rights (excluding China) to Hotel Transylvania: Transformania from Sony Pictures Animation. The fourth installment of the family film franchise will premiere worldwide in more than 240 countries and territories on Prime Video on Jan. 14, 2022.

In the film, Drac (Brian Hull) and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny (Andy Samberg) becomes a monster. In their new mismatched bodies, Drac, stripped of his powers, and an exuberant Johnny, loving life as a monster, must team up and race across the globe to find a cure. With help from Mavis (Selena Gomez) and the now human Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent. The film also features the voices of Kathryn Hahn (Ericka), Steve Buscemi (Wayne), Molly Shannon (Wanda), David Spade (Griffin the Invisible Man), Keegan-Michael Key (Murray), Fran Drescher (Eunice), Brad Abrell (Frank) and Asher Blinkoff (Wesley the Wolf Pup).

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“The success of the ‘Hotel Transylvania’ franchise over the years speaks for itself,” Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, said in a statement. “Audiences around the world have fallen in love with the films created by the brilliant Genndy Tartakovsky, and the latest installment is the perfect ending to an incredible journey. We could not be more excited to work with Sony, Genndy, Jennifer Kluska, Derek Drymon, Selena Gomez and the talented producing team to bring this funny, heartwarming film to our customers early next year.”

“The ‘Hotel Transylvania’ franchise has been exceptional for Sony Pictures Animation, spanning nearly a decade and introducing the world to Genndy Tartakovsky’s singular vision, and we’re so proud of what our extraordinary directors Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon have brought to this special property,” Kristine Belson, president of Sony Pictures Animation, said in a statement. “These films have thrilled audiences and paved the way for so many artists working in CG animation, and now the family saga of Dracula and his daughter Mavis, son-in-law Johnny, and monster BFFs is coming to a close. We are thrilled to work with Amazon to bring this film to families everywhere.”

For the final chapter of the “Hotel Transylvania” film series, franchise creator Genndy Tartakovsky returns as one of the screenwriters and executive producers. Gomez will also serve as an executive producer. Directed by Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska, the film is produced by Alice Dewey Goldstone and executive produced by Tartakovsky, Michelle Murdocca, and Gomez. The story is by Genndy Tartakovsky with a screenplay by Amos Vernon, Nunzio Randazzo and Genndy Tartakovsky.

‘Squid Game’ Top Streaming Original on Weekly Whip Watch Chart

Netflix’s “Squid Game” led the Whip Watch chart of top streaming originals among U.S. consumers the week ended Oct. 3.

The South Korean series follows a group of desperate and cash-strapped people competing in a blood-thirsty survival game. It started streaming Sept. 17.

Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso,” which garnered four Emmys Sept. 19 including Outstanding Comedy Series, jumped to No. 2 from No. 3 on the streaming originals chart. Jason Sudeikis won an Emmy for Lead Actor, Hannah Waddingham for Supporting Actress, and Brett Goldstein for Outstanding Supporting Actor in the series about a U.S. football coach leading a soccer team in the United Kingdom. Season two of the series began streaming July 23.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Taking the bronze on the chart was Disney+’s “What If…?,”  a Marvel Universe animated anthology series that debuted Aug. 11. It explores major Marvel moments had they gone differently.

Follow us on Instagram

TV Time, a Whip Media company, is a free TV and movie viewership tracking app with 18 million global users.  The Whip Watch streaming originals chart rankings are determined by streaming original TV series with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app. The movie rankings are determined by theatrical or streaming movies with the greatest share of views in the given week, among a balanced panel of U.S. users of the TV Time app.

Top Streaming Originals Among U.S. Consumers for the Week Ended Oct. 3:

  1. “Squid Game” — Netflix
  2. “Ted Lasso” — Apple TV+
  3. “What If…?” — Disney+
  4. “Only Murders in the Building” — Hulu
  5. “Midnight Mass” (2021) — Netflix
  6. “Lucifer” — Netflix
  7. “Sex Education” — Netflix
  8. “Titans” (2018) — HBO Max
  9. “Doom Patrol” — HBO Max
  10. “The Circle” (U.S.) — Netflix

Netflix Establishes Chadwick Boseman Scholarship at Howard

Howard University and Netflix have announced a $5.4 million endowed scholarship to honor the late actor, director, writer, producer and Howard alumnus Chadwick A. Boseman.

The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship will provide incoming students in the College of Fine Arts with a four-year scholarship to cover the full cost of university tuition.

“It is with immense pleasure and deep gratitude that we announce the creation of an endowed scholarship in honor of alumnus, Chadwick Boseman, whose life and contributions to the arts continues to inspire,” said Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick, M.D. “This scholarship embodies Chadwick’s love for Howard, his passion for storytelling, and his willingness to support future generations of Howard students. I am thankful for the continuous support and partnership of Chadwick’s wife, Mrs. Simone Ledward Boseman, and to Netflix for this important gift.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship was established with the support of Boseman’s wife, Simone Ledward-Boseman, and sponsorship from Netflix, the inaugural donor. It will focus on students who exemplify exceptional skills in the arts reminiscent of Boseman, and who demonstrate financial need. Four students representing one member of each class are being awarded the scholarship in the first year. The inaugural class of awardees are Sarah Long, a freshman in musical theater; Shawn Smith, a sophomore studying acting; Janee’ Ferguson, a junior in theater arts administration; and senior Deirdre Dunkin who studies dance. The award will in subsequent years be distributed to an incoming freshman each year on an annual basis.

“Many exemplary artists are not afforded the opportunity to pursue higher learning, we hope to support as many students as possible by removing the financial barrier to education. This endowment represents Chad’s devotion to the craft, his compassion for others, and his desire to support future storytellers,” said Ledward-Boseman. “My deepest thanks to Ted Sarandos, Scott Stuber and our family at Netflix for their generous investment into the education of all present and future Boseman Scholars, and to President Wayne Frederick, Dean Phylicia Rashad and Mr. David Bennett for their partnership and continued commitment to Chad’s legacy at Howard. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and amazed at the love and dedication shown by so many continuing to honor my husband’s work. I know he’d be proud.”

“It is with enormous pride that we announce our endowment of the Chadwick A. Boseman Memorial Scholarship,” said Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer. “While he was taken from us too soon, his spirit is with us always in his work and the good that he has inspired. He always spoke of his time at Howard and the positive way it shaped his life and career. Now, we will have the opportunity to give many future superheroes a chance to experience the same. We are grateful to Simone and Chadwick’s whole family and our partners at Howard University for making this possible.”

In continuing the actor’s legacy, preference for the scholarship will be given to students in the dramatic arts who exemplify Boseman’s values.

For more information about the scholarship, contact finearts@howard.edu.

Doc ‘Fauci’ Streaming on Disney+ Oct. 6

Fauci, a feature documentary about the U.S. government’s infectious disease advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, M.D., will premiere on Disney+ Oct. 6.

The film debuted in select theaters in the United States Sept. 10.

The documentary delivers a glimpse into the long-standing professional career and personal life of the public servant, who after a lifetime of service faced his biggest test: a pandemic whose ferocity is unmatched in modern history. Dr. Anthony Fauci became a cultural icon during the COVID-19 pandemic. But that has come at a cost as he has also faced attacks from adversaries in a nation increasingly divided by political party lines.

A world-renowned infectious disease specialist and the longest-serving public health leader in Washington, D.C., who has served under seven presidents, Dr. Fauci has overseen the U.S. response to 40 years’ worth of outbreaks, including HIV/AIDS, SARS and Ebola. Crafted around unprecedented access to Dr. Fauci, National Geographic Documentary Films’ Fauci is a revealing and intimate portrait of the man mostly known only from appearances on the news.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The film features insights from former President George W. Bush, Bill Gates, Bono, former national security advisor Susan Rice, National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins, former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Tom Frieden, journalists Laurie Garrett and The New York Times’ Apoorva Mandavilli, and key AIDS activists, among others. Dr. Fauci’s family, friends and former patients also provide more personal commentary about the man, his personality, and what makes him who he is.

“As an activist, I think I’ll be tangling with Tony Fauci for the rest of my life, but I’ll never doubt his commitment to public health, nor his profound decency and humanity,” Peter Staley, film subject and founding member of ACT UP, said in a statement.

National Geographic Documentary Films previously released the Academy Award, BAFTA and seven-time Emmy Award-winning film Free Solo and the Academy Award-nominated film The Cave.

Disney+ to Debut ‘Book of Boba Fett’ Dec. 29

“The Book of Boba Fett” — the new Lucasfilm series teased in an end-credit sequence following the season two finale of “The Mandalorian” — will premiere Dec. 29 exclusively on Disney+.

Disney+ also debuted the key art for the series.

The “Star Wars” adventure “The Book of Boba Fett” finds legendary bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigating the Galaxy’s underworld when they return to the sands of Tatooine to stake their claim on the territory once ruled by Jabba the Hutt and his crime syndicate.

“The Book of Boba Fett” stars Temuera Morrison and Ming-Na Wen. Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Robert Rodriguez, Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson are the executive producers. Karen Gilchrist and Carrie Beck serve as co-executive producers, with John Bartnicki producing and John Hampian as co-producer.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!