Fanatic Feed: Conan O’Brien Max Travel Series, Jo Schmo Show Reboot, and More


Here is a wrap-up of all the news you need to know from Wednesday, May 17, 2023.

Conan O’Brien has landed a TV series on HBO Max.

Conan O’Brien Must Go is described as a new international travel series.

The four-episode series is currently in production and will feature O’Brien visiting new friends he’s met through his podcast, “Conan O’Brien Needs a Fan,” where he dives deep with listeners from across the country and the world.

It’s certainly a different direction for O’Brien and we’re sure his fans will be thrilled.

“My fans around the globe never asked me to visit them, so I did,” he said in a statement.

Nina Rosenstein, Executive Vice President of HBO Programming added: “Conan is a national treasure…at least that’s what he keeps telling me. It’s been an absolute dream to work with him, Jeff, and the whole Conaco team.”

“They’re everything you’d hope for – insanely smart, ridiculously funny, and nicer than they’d probably want to admit.”

Check out the trailer below.

Meanwhile, MGM+ is adding another scripted series to its already impressive roster.

The premium linear channel and streaming service today announced a 10-episode order for The Winter King, an MGM+ original series and bold and revisionist take on well-loved Arthurian legends, based on Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles series.

Produced by Sony Pictures Television-owned Bad Wolf, filming took place in Wales and the West Country, and the global series premiere is scheduled for August 20, 2023, at 9:00 p.m. EDT/PDT on MGM+.

Otto Bathurst (Peaky Blinders, His Dark Materials) serves as lead director and executive producer, alongside Toby Leslie.

The Winter King is set in the fifth century, long before Britain was united, in a brutal land of warring factions and tribes, where lives were often fleeting.

The series follows Arthur Pendragon as he evolves from outcast to legendary warrior and leader.

“The Winter King is a cinematic and imaginative reinterpretation of the Arthurian legend,” said Michael Wright, head of MGM+.

“Kate Brooke, Ed Whitmore, and the magnificent cast take viewers on a fascinating and entertaining journey through this timeless tale told through a new lens.”

“It’s long been Bad Wolf’s ambition to bring the Arthurian legend to the screen. It’s a story of courage, sacrifice and passion that has endured for generations,” said Julie Gardner, executive producer.

“With Bernard Cornwell’s trilogy as our North Star, we are honored to be on this quest with our wonderful partners at MGM+, ITVX and Sony Pictures Television.”

The series stars Iain De Caestecker (The Control Room, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) as Arthur Pendragon, alongside Eddie Marsan (The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe, Deceit) as High King Uther, Ellie James (Giri/Haji, I May Destroy You) as Nimue, Nathaniel Martello-White (Small Axe, I Hate Suzie) as Merlin, Stuart Campbell (Rogue Heroes, Clique) as Derfel, and Daniel Ings (I Hate Suzie, The Crown) as Owain.

The cast is rounded out by Valene Kane (The Fall, Gangs of London) as Morgan, Jordan Alexandra (Mammals) as Guinevere, and Simon Merrells (Good Omens, Knightfall) as Gundleus. The ensemble cast also features Steven Elder (The King, A Spy Among Friends) as Bishop Bedwin, and Andrew Gower (Outlander, Carnival Row) as Sansum, Aneirin Hughes (Keeping Faith, Dream Horse) as Gorfydd.

Also on the cast is Emily John (My Policeman) as Ceinwyn, Tatjana Nardone (Devils, State of Consciousness) as Ladwyss, Ken Nwosu (Killing Eve, The Letter for the King) as Sagramor, and Billy Postlethwaite (The Great, Chernobyl) as Cadwys.

The cast is exceptional, so we’ll keep this show on our radar.

Meanwhile, TBS takes prank TV to a whole new level with a re-imagined version of The Joe Schmo Show.

Are you surprised? We are.

The return was announced today by Kathleen Finch, Chairman and Chief Content Officer, US Networks Group, Warner Bros. Discovery, during the company’s 2023 Upfront presentation at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

Hosted by five-time Emmy® Award nominee, Cat Deeley, this show within a show takes aim at the absurdity of reality TV by making a regular guy believe he is competing on a reality show, when he is in fact, surrounded by a cast of highly skilled improv comedians.

Reality TV has come a long way since 2003 when the original Joe Schmo Show was watched by more than 44 million viewers. This new take on the iconic format promises to be even bigger, wilder, and more mind-blowing.

“When The Joe Schmo Show launched 20 years ago, it was ahead of its time,” said Jason Sarlanis, President, Turner Networks, ID and HLN, linear & streaming.

“In rebooting this classic for a modern, savvy audience, it gives us the opportunity to comment on the often absurd and hilarious tropes of reality television in ways our viewers will love.”

MTV Entertainment Studios and Fly on the Wall produced “The Joe Schmo Show” for TBS with original creators, Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (Deadpool).

Meanwhile, TNT has confirmed the launch of a second night of professional wrestling with a new tentpole series, AEW: Collision on Saturday, June 17.

“This live, two-hour, in-ring show will air every Saturday night from 8-10 p.m. ET and feature more wrestlers, more stories and more action to super-serve fans,” the cable network teases. 

AEW: Collision will feature headliners including Thunder Rosa, Miro, Samoa Joe, Powerhouse Hobbs, and Andrade El Idolo. In only four years following the launch of AEW: Dynamite, AEW’s footprint has more than doubled across TNT and TBS.

Along with AEW: Dynamite, Friday night’s AEW: Rampage, the recent follow-doc AEW: All Access, and now AEW: Collision, TNT, and TBS deliver the best matches and most entertaining moments in professional wrestling today.

Meanwhile, another Apple TV+ series is coming to a close.

Deadline revealed today that Physical will wrap with its upcoming third season, set to premiere August 2.

“We are so grateful to Apple, Tomorrow Studios, and all our creative collaborators for the chance to bring Sheila to life in all her gritty glory,” said Rose Byrne and creator Annie Weisman in a statement to the outlet.

“With this final season, Sheila’s three act saga of rebellion, recovery, and redemption comes to the satisfying conclusion that she and her fans so richly deserve. We feel so proud to share this last chapter with everyone.”

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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