Mercado on TV: Jono deserves a TV tribute, watch my new favourite production

Plus Wentworth is spinning off a standalone story podcast with Audible

Jonathon Coleman was given a beaut send-off on Studio 10 last Monday, but given the overwhelming response to his passing, how about a bigger special? Network 10 has hundreds of hours of footage of him starting from his Wonder World days. If 10 can devote three hours of prime time to specials about the Royals, Mercado on TV says surely the great Jono deserves his own tribute.

What happens when you cross Men In Black with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Saturday Night Live? You get Schmigadoon (Apple TV+), a send-up of old Hollywood musicals directed by Barry Sonnenfeld, written by Mormon screenwriters Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, and produced by Lorne Michaels.

Mercado on TV

Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key play a couple trapped inside a musical where all the townsfolk burst into hilarious song and dance routines. Listen closely because you will recognise some of the riffs in those songs, but never guess where go next.

It helps to have a basic knowledge of Broadway show tunes, particularly Rodgers and Hammerstein, but the material is so much fun, it works well as a standalone event. With pitch-perfect performances from Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth and Jane Krakowski, this is my new favourite show of the year (and one to be watched again and again).

Dr Death (Stan) is a new crime drama about a dangerous doctor played by Joshua Jackson. Alec Baldwin and Christian Slater are the two surgeons trying to shut him down, but with eight slow episodes, it is too long. It’s also based on a successful true crime podcast, but here in Australia, we do things differently.

Ahead of its final season, Wentworth is spinning off a standalone story podcast. “The Fall Girl” (Tuesday on Audible) brings back psychologist Bridget Westfall (Libby Tanner) to investigate the death of a new inmate. What a great idea, and a great cast that also includes Kate Jenkinson, Bernard Curry, Miah Madden and Shari Sebbens.

Midsomer Murders

More crime can be found in the new series of Midsomer Murders (Friday on ABC). For its 22nd season, there are urban myths, twisted scarecrows, and Japanese swords. It’s no surprise they are getting nuttier in search of new ideas, but some old standbys are good to rehash with episodes also due about amateur dramatic societies and murder mystery weekends.

Are those with 4K TVs disappointed that the Olympics will no longer be broadcast in that format? Reminds me of when Nine broadcast the London Olympics in 3D, and a TV in their foyer revealed why that format was never going to catch on. As always, it’s all about selling new TVs, and figuring out the content later.

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