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Keeping true to its word, Disney+ has updated The Simpsons fans on how soon to expect episodes of the classic animated series be made available in its original aspect ratio. The fledgling streaming service had promised a fix by 2020, and according to a latest tweet, fans should be good to go by the end of May.
We appreciate our fans’ patience and are working to make the first 19 Seasons and part of 20 of #TheSimpsons available in 4:3 versions on #DisneyPlus. We expect to accomplish this by the end of May.
— Disney+ @disneyplus April 2, 2020When Disney+ launched in November, Simpsons fans were quick to notice that older episodes looked noticeably off. Like most television series before the advent of flatscreen TVs, the show originally aired in a 4:3 ratio. To avoid showing black bars on each side of the picture, Disney+ used versions of the show that were cropped into 16:9 format, which cut off visual gags and led to characters looking stretched and distorted in certain scenes as shown below:
Not only are the classic Simpsons episodes on Disney+ awkwardly cropped, but they're stretched in a lot of places too. Bart's head looks 4 inches wider here: pic.twitter.com/fCpmTPasGj
— Tristan Cooper @TristanACooper November 12, 2019In Disney+’s defense, the cropping issue also occurred when FXX started airing The Simpsons marathons, and it’s believed the streaming service simply imported those versions after acquiring Fox. However, Disney was quick to respond to fan reactions, and within days of launch, it promised to offer viewers a choice of aspect ratios in a statement to The LA Times:
“We presented ‘The Simpsons’ in 16:9 aspect ratio at launch in order to guarantee visual quality and consistency across all 30 seasons. … Over time, Disney+ will roll out new features and additional viewing options. As part of this, in early 2020, Disney+ will make the first 19 seasons and some episodes from Season 20 of ‘The Simpsons’ available in their original 4:3 aspect ratio, giving subscribers a choice of how they prefer to view the popular series.”
While May pushes the limit of “early 2020,” it’s understandable that Disney has had its hands full, as the pandemic has forced the company to scuttle release dates for major blockbusters like Black Widow and Mulan while halting production on a variety of upcoming projects headed for theaters and Disney+.
Via Disney+ on Twitter
In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Vice TV has ordered Shelter in Place with Shane Smith, a new half-hour weekly interview show hosted by the Vice Media Group founder. It’s set to premiere Thursday, April 9 at 10 PM with two back-to-back episodes.
In the series, produced through remote video interviews from Smith’s home in Santa Monica, Smith will tackle the biggest questions of the moment with experts from the fields of science, journalism, entertainment, food and economics.Vice Media
“I'm at home, you're at home and our news cycle is changing by the minute,” said Smith. “So, I decided to dial up some of the world's foremost thinkers to offer us some much needed perspective and get to some truth on what we should be doing in this time like none other.” You can watch a preview clip below.
Smith’s first guest will be whistleblower Edward Snowden, who delves into the world of surveillance, privacy and our future civil liberties as international governments and autocratic regimes enact bold, new policies to curb the virus.
“When any of us look at where this is heading, we need to think about where we’ve been,” said Snowden. “And sadly, these kind of emergency powers that are born out of crises, have a perfect history of abuse”.
The second episode will feature California Governor Gavin Newsom who speaks to Smith about how his state has braced for the pandemic, where the federal government has stumbled, and what is coming next. Dr. Anne Rimoin, a world-leading epidemiologist, is also featured and will speak to how the virus has spread and what we can do about it.
Produced by Vice TV, Shane Smith, Alex Chitty, Maral Usefi are the Executive Producers for Shelter in Place. Jonah Kaplan is Supervising Producer.
Shelter in Place will be available on Vice TV via all major satellite and cable providers; ViceTV.com; and the Vice TV app via iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, and Chromecast. The first two episodes will be available for free on Vice & Munchies YouTube page.
Shelter in Place with Shane Smith is the latest programming from Vice TV produced in response to COVID-19. Vice Quarantine Hour is a limited variety series airing weekdays at 8 AM ET/PT. Vice TV's Emmy-winning nightly newscast is airing dedicated COVID-19 episodes with Vice News Tonight: Remote.
Editor's note: The list is constantly updated. Dates refer to when announcements were made, or when an event is scheduled to happen.
You’ve probably seen our other COVID-19 list, the one where we are examining every cancellation that has taken place as the pandemic takes hold in our community. This is the counterpoint to that “Houston, we have a problem” list; this is the one where we’ll talk about how the show must go on, how the Force will be with us, and, maybe most importantly, how we’ll be back.
IndieWire will continue to update this page with the latest breaking news regarding virtual events, work logistics, TV premieres, and general acts of bravery and kindness. This is the place where we’ll be documenting our return to normalcy — and make no mistake, we’ll get through this. The most recent updates will be posted at the top of the running list below.April 2
–Phoebe Waller-Bridge and the National Theatre are making the theater version of “Fleabag” available to stream, with proceeds going to COVID-19 support charities in the U.K. Soho Theatre’s On Demand streaming site will have it on April 6 for $5; Amazon Prime Video will have it for U.S. audiences on April 10.
–Premiering on Acorn TV: “Deadwater Fell”
–Premiering on Bravo: “Camp Getaway”
–Premiering on Netflix: “The Big Show Show”
–Premiering on PBS: “Broken Places”
–Premiering on ABC: “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? Secrets & Surprises”April 2
-Focus Features is launching “Movie Mondays,” free Facebook livestreams of classic films. The current schedule will feature “Gosford Park,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” “Mallrats,” and “My Summer of Love.”
–IFC Center in Manhattan, like other theaters, may be closed, but it’s moving forward with an online version of its signature short film programming with “Wish We Were Here: Shorts by IFC Center Staff.”
Documentaries, comedies, dramas, animated shorts, and experimental work from the ushers, cashiers, managers, and projectionists who staff the theater will be presented at ifccenter.com, with a different film available for free every few days.
It launched March 31 with Joe Stankus’ “Marquee,” a black-and-white visit with the now-retired longtime IFC Center usher Larry Alaimo as he changes the letters on the theater’s marquee and reminisces about his life at the cinema.
–Premiering on E: “Total Bellas”
–Premiering on Bravo: “The Real Housewives of New York City”
–Premiering on Freeform: “Siren”
The Third Floor, the industry's busiest visualization company in tackling superhero movies “Black Widow,” “Avengers: Endgame”, already had an advantage working remotely with real-time tools and virtual workflows when the coronavirus pandemic struck early this year. Turns out, though, that the COVID-19 epicenter was too close for comfort.
“When this crisis began, we initially faced the challenge of protecting our staff in Beijing, who were in the midst of launching our first permanent office in China,” said CEO and co-founder Chris Edwards. “When the virus started spreading beyond Wuhan, the first thing we did was send everyone home and connect them virtually...we learned a lot about the procedures for mitigating the risk of spreading the virus that we began to apply to our other offices in London, Atlanta, and LA [headquarters].
“Time was of the essence to put a highly secure, remote-working infrastructure in place,” he said, “and we needed to leverage the company infrastructure to bolster communication and function as a support group for all of our employees and their families.”
Back in LA, The Third Floor TTF found the resilience of its Beijing crew instructive. The company, which has become the go-to visualization specialist for the MCU performing rough previs of scenes, more elaborate techvis breakdowns of camera lenses, set construction, and stunts, and postvis enhancements during crunch time, used video conferencing and other methods of digital collaboration to significantly advance preparations and stay on schedule. Despite the physical isolation, however, everyone started relying on the video calls for more than just work-related advice.
“At our [LA] hub, we didn't want to take the risk of being unprepared, so we authorized our IT team to increase our internet band tenfold, and build an advanced remote login system that could enable our artists to work fluidly and securely from home,” said Edwards, who worked with IT chiefs at major studios such as Disney for advising and approving their comprehensive work-from-home solution.
But the two-week transition to a completely virtual studio only became possible with the help of industry colleagues and suppliers when California Governor Gavin Newsom and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti issued the stay-at-home order. And, as part of its mobilization effort, the company launched a TTFaid program as a resource for more than 100 employees and their families with supplies, aid, and emotional support.
“With this early foresight in February, we were prepared to roll out a set of guidelines, which I called the TTF Health Vigilance Plan, across our other studios in LA, Atlanta, and...