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#‘TV’s Top 5’: Paramount Woes, USA Grows and … the Hot Dog Wars (Yes, Really)

Welcome to the 263rd episode of TV’s Top 5, The Hollywood Reporter’s TV podcast.

Every week, hosts Lesley Goldberg (West Coast TV editor) and Daniel Fienberg (chief TV critic) break down the latest TV news with context from the business and critical sides, welcome showrunners, executives and other guests, and provide a critical guide of what to watch (or skip, as the case may be).

Here’s how this week’s episode plays out:

1. Headlines

Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, news in Game of Thrones universe, The Boys, Hunter Schafer, Paul Giamatti, After Midnight, the Anne Rice Immortal Universe and Tokyo Vice, among others, lead the week’s top TV headlines.

2. Paramount sale is no more

Shari Redstone put the kibosh on a sale of Paramount Global to a consortium led by Skydance Media and RedBird Capital, ending months of talks between the two sides. Instead, Paramount Global — which dismissed its CEO Bob Bakish as part of the sale talks — plans to focus on a “shared vision” outlined by co-CEOs George Cheeks, Brian Robbins and Chris McCarthy that includes additional cost-cutting, divesting non-core assets — with BET considered a possibility — as well as seeking potential partners in streaming. This segment takes a look at what’s next for the conglomerate.

3. What’s Up With … USA Network

In our recurring network check-in segment, we put USA Network and its recent order for The Rainmaker drama series, under the microscope. Yes, USA is going back to “Blue Skies,” but can they do it in a way that’s cost effective amid declining linear ratings?

4. The Hot Dog Wars (yes, really!)

With the Fourth of July around the corner, there’s a hot dog eating feud going on between ESPN and Netflix. Hot dog eating champ Joey Chestnut has been barred from ESPN’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest and will instead face off with rival Takeru Kobayashi in a Labor Day special fittingly called Unfinished Beef for Netflix. We can’t make this stuff up.

5. Critic’s Corner

As usual, we end with Dan’s thoughts on this week’s new and returning series. In this episode, he weighs in on Apple’s Presumed Innocent, Amazon’s The Boys, HBO’s House of the Dragon and more.

Hear it all now on TV’s Top 5. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast to never miss an episode. (Reviews welcome!) You can also email us with any topics or Mailbag questions you’d like addressed in future episodes at [email protected].

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