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2019 State of the Couch

Hey, everyone, Tim here. I know, I know. It’s already January 3rd. Everyone else has done their year in review/look back stuff days ago. Listen, I’ve been late a lot lately when it comes to Watchers on the Couch stuff, so why should this be any different?

First, no, we aren’t dead. Our December was just insane out in the real world. Before we go any further, our finale recap of Doctor Who is coming. We just had to push recording the episode so many times that we decided to cover the finale and the New Years special in the same episode. Sarah and I will be recording that episode this weekend.

I didn’t think of how difficult getting everyone together over the holidays to sit down and record the “Aquaman” episode of Watchers at the Movies. That episode should be coming soon.

So, again, sorry for the delays, and sorry for the lack of updates. Now that I’ve apologized, and you’ve accepted the apology, let’s get talk a little about 2018, and what we’ve got coming up so far in 2019.

Branching Out!

This past year brought a significant change to the podcast. The lack of a new season of Game of Thrones in 2018 led us to do a bonus season where Mike, Sarah and I covered season 2 of Westworld. That was a lot of fun and inspired us to keep the momentum going on the podcast that normal only does about ten episodes a year.

We turned Watchers into a multi-show podcast and increased our number of hosts. Mike went on to cover Better Call Saul with new co-host Jimmy Lopez. Recurring guest contributor Chris Naes covered the Stephen King-based HULU series, Castle Rock with Debby Hodges. Sarah and I dived into a freshly regenerated Doctor Who, and we’ve started a recurring monthly (except December, apparently) series called Watchers at the Movies. We also incorporated our American Gods discussion podcast These American Gods as part of the Watchers on the Couch rebranding.

So a lot of changes in a relatively short time and the changes aren’t over yet. There’s a couple more just around the corner.

A Re-Rebranding

When we rebranded Watchers to cover multiple shows, I wanted to keep all the shows under the same Watchers on the Couch name, but I also knew that not everyone would be a view of every show we may cover. Alternatively, there would be subscribers that only followed us for Game of Thrones. I split each show into its own podcast feed so people could subscribe to the content they wanted and titled them “Watchers on the Couch: (Show Name Here).” It seemed like a good, user-friendly idea at the time.

Then along came Apple.

There’s no question that when it comes to podcast distribution, Apple is the king of the mountain. A couple of months ago they passed down their rules for listing on Apple Podcasts. Failure to adhere to their regulations can lead to being de-listed from Apple’s podcast directory. It’s an entirely arbitrary decision, and as I understand it, podcasters may not be notified if they are removed.

Long story short, the rebranded show titles from this summer are now in violation of the new Apple rules. Everything that follows the colon in “Watchers on the Couch: Blah blah blah” is technically a subtitle or a keyword, and they want to crack down on people that stuff a bunch of keywords along with their show title to manipulate their placement in the search engine.

That leaves us with two choices:

  1. Remove the show specific podcasts from Apple, leaving only the main feed.
  2. Come up with a unique show title for each separate Watchers on the Couch feed.

I’m still not entirely sure which option I’m going to take, but I’m strongly leaning towards the latter rather than the former. I should have a decision before the end of January after I have more time to discuss with the rest of the team.

Returning shows in 2019

American Gods

STARZ original series, American Gods next season begins in March, and we plan to cover it again. If we decided to change show titles for some of the Watchers shows to be Apple-friendly, you can expect this to return as “These American Gods.”

Game of Thrones

The final season of Game of Thrones is finally near, with an April premiere. The original crew of Mike, Sarah and myself will be there to dive into it.
One issue that we’re going to need to figure out is the release schedule. It looks like when Game of Thrones starts, season two of American Gods will still be going. That’s going to put a lot of pressure on us to get together to record two episodes a week, and on me to do the editing and release. We’ll get it sorted, but the release schedule might be weird.

Tentative Shows for 2019

Castle Rock

No release date for the next season of Castle Rock. I haven’t heard anything about them being in production yet. If it does come out in 2019, it’ll likely be late in the year at this point.

Better Call Saul

There’s no planned release date for the next season of Better Call Saul, but it seems almost certain that it will be in 2019.

Shows Not Returning in 2019

Westworld

I’m only speculating, but it doesn’t seem likely that there will be a season 3 of Westworld in 2019. The recent word was that they go into production in June which makes it more likely for a Spring 2020 release.

Doctor Who

Rumors around Doctor Who are always all over the place, there’s a change for a Fall 2019 release, but it seems more likely that we are looking at Spring 2020 for a return for the long-lived BBC sci-fi series.

Regardless of when it comes out though, I don’t think we’ll cover the next season on Watchers. This recent addition was an experiment for us as we usually deep dive into shows that have long-running story arcs, as opposed to the creature of the week type shows. Also, although we are huge Doctor Who fans we weren’t all that impressed by this past season, and it wasn’t as much fun to talk about as we thought it would be.

That may change, or there might be a format to Watchers that we can devise that can fit some Doctor Who discussion into, but we just found it difficult to fill an entire episode of Watchers with a single weekly episode of Doctor Who.

New Series Under Consideration

There’s a few shows on the horizon that some of us have an eye on here. We’ll have updates if we decided to cover them, and which hosts will be involved.

  1. The Watchmen (HBO)
  2. Good Omens (Amazon)

At the Movies

Watchers at the Movies will continue through 2019 and is already looking like it’s going to be very comic book universe centric, and wrapping up the year with the final installment of the new Star Wars trilogy. It is still a trilogy, right?

We’re in for a big year here at the Watchers on the Couch, and we hope you’ll continue to join us for the ride.

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