Briefs: CW’s 2016 Atlanta show ‘Containment’ top 10 on Netflix; ‘The Resident’ seeks donations for hospitals; new CBS46 news director

Originally posted Monday, March 23, 2020 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

People are morbid.

According to Netflix, a CW show called “Containment” that received modest ratings and disappeared without a trace in 2016 after one season is now suddenly in the top 10 of most watched shows on the streaming service.

Why?

It’s about an epidemic that breaks out in Atlanta and was shot here, too. Authorities try to contain it by physically quarantining off a section of Midtown Atlanta. 

Thousands of people are caught inside the containment zone. While the Powers That Be (including the CDC) try to keep everyone calm, suspicion and distrust proliferate and chaos quickly becomes the norm inside the zone.

This particular virus is far more deadly than COVID-19 and features lots of coughing and blood. 

>>RELATED: My 2016 preview of “Containment”

Critics gave “Containment” mixed reviews (48 out of 100 on Metacritic) and ratings were mediocre, even by CW standards at the time. After 13 episodes, the CW quietly cancelled the show in May, 2016.

Producer Julie Plec ( “Vampire Diaries”) and her writers “skillfully weave the various story threads together, hitting all the right notes to build interest in the personal stories and in whether the budding pandemic can be thwarted,” writes the San Francisco Chronicle critic David Weigand.

Daniel Fienberg, a critic for the Hollywood Reporter, was not as enamored, noting: “Shooting Atlanta for Atlanta is an almost revolutionary decision in this industry of runaway productions, but ‘Containment’ then went and cast an assortment of Brits, Aussies and Canadians who are uniformly unsure if they're struggling to do Southern accents, struggling to do American accents or just struggling to cover up their native accents in any way possible.”

***

Keeping with the medical TV theme, the cast members of Fox’s “The Resident” - which is shot in metro Atlanta - posted a video Monday asking for anyone to donate needed protective medical gear to hospitals.

The producers last week donated existing usable prop medical supplies to Grady Memorial Hospital. 

Most of the key cast members are included: Matt Czuchry, Manish Dayal, Emily VanCamp, Bruce Greenwood, Jane Leeves and Shaunette Renee Wilson

The show - shot primary in Atlanta and Conyers - finished up its 20th episode of season 3 earlier this month. The three remaining episodes scheduled to shoot are unlikely to happen - or may be added on later next year assuming the show gets renewed for 2020-21. 

***

And in a bit of news I received that slipped through the cracks amid the COVID-19 news flood:  CBS46 earlier this month named a new news director to replace Steve Doerr: Matt King.

King comes to CBS46 (WGCL-TV) and Peachtree TV (WPCH-TV) from WCNC-TV in Charlotte where he has was executive new director for the past five years.

Before Charlotte, King spent three years in Atlanta as the assistant news director at 11Alive (WXIA-TV).

"My family and I are excited to be returning to Atlanta and I'm looking forward to working with the great team at CBS46 and Peachtree TV,” said King in a press release.

King will be the station’s eighth news director since 2008. 

Here are the previous seven, their average tenure just a smidgen above two years: 

-Steve Doerr (two years, six months, July, 2017 - January, 2020) 

-Frank Volpicella (11 months, July, 2016-June 2017)

-Larry Perret (20 months, September 2014- May, 2016)

-Lane Michaelson (15 months, April, 2013- July, 2014)

-Eric Ludgood (22 months, March, 2011-January 2013

-Steve Schwaid (two years, 10 months, May, 2008-March, 2011)

-Rick Erbach (three years, four months, January 2005-May 2008).

Turnover at the other three Atlanta stations has been far slower with most news directors lasting five years or longer. 

Doerr actually got promoted within the Meredith Corp. and and is now a vice president and general manager for a group of TV stations for Meredith in western Massachusetts. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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