True-crime buff Steve Martin made one key demand of ‘Only Murders in the


Welcome to Screen Gab, the newsletter for everyone readying themselves to reread Edgar Allan Poe before he comes to Netflix.

On Wednesday, the streamer announced an eight-episode limited series, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” based on the work by the master of the macabre — including, one presumes, the 1839 short story of the title, about a brother and sister living in an isolated country mansion. That shouldn’t be much of a stretch for creator Mike Flanagan, whose 2018 adaptation of another haunted-house classic, Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House,” made him one of Netflix’s go-to purveyors of horror. (As the man behind the film versions of “Gerald’s Game” and “The Shining” sequel, “Doctor Sleep,” he’s a Stephen King connoisseur too.)

Nothing he’s made since has generated a full-blown cultural moment quite like “Hill House,” but with “The Haunting of Bly Manor” and, recently, “Midnight Mass” — starring Hamish Linklater as a priest who moves to a remote island and convinces the residents to believe in miracles — Flanagan and his famed monologues have established something of a Halloween tradition at Netflix. And his fans won’t have to endure much of a drought while waiting for “Usher”: Flanagan’s next project, young-adult adaptation “The Midnight Club,” has reportedly already finished filming.

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The minor indignities of life in Starfleet are the subject of “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” on Paramount+.


“Bergerac” (BritBox). This loose-limbed 1980s crime drama features a young, lithe, leather-jacketed John Nettles — familiar to many from “Midsomer Murders,” where his detective chief inspector Tom Barnaby busted crime from 1997 to 2011 — as detective sergeant Jim Bergerac, back on the job after a bad patch. Set on the island of Jersey, a self-governing “dependency” of the British crown, but with a Norman-French influence (it’s nearer to France than Catalina is to the L.A. mainland), a mild climate and a relatively laid-back air, it’s like a U.K. version of an American procedural set in Hawaii. The plots and dialogue and location shooting and whatever secret sauce the BBC applied back then give it an air of actuality present in relatively few American shows of the time — “The Rockford Files” and … maybe nothing else. And, yes, that’s Annette Badland, who plays cheeky publican Mae on “Ted Lasso,” as Charlotte, making things run at le Bureau des Étrangers, out of which Bergerac works. —Robert Lloyd

In its second season, “Star Trek: Lower Decks” (Paramount+) has moved beyond being just a fun and funny homage to the franchise. With the show’s Season 2 finale dropping next week, now is the perfect time to catch up on the adventures of Ensigns Mariner, Boimler, Tendi and Rutherford and the rest of the USS Cerritos, especially if you’re seeking out a more lighthearted watch. An animated workplace comedy following a group of low-ranking crew members aboard a fairly unremarkable Starfleet ship, the show manages to capture the essence of what fans love about “Star Trek” — the excitement of intergalactic exploration, the aspirational ideals of a unified interplanetary organization, the close-knit camaraderie of those serving together — while also poking good-natured fun at the generally unmentioned tedium and absurdities that could be involved in such a life. Not every mission can be exciting, and not every job can be glamorous, even in Starfleet. There are plenty of deep-cut “Star Trek” references and jokes riffing on established tropes, but the core “Lower Decks” quartet and their dynamics are what drives the show’s comedy and heart. —Tracy Brown

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Three soccer coaches on the sidelines

Nate (Nick Mohammed, center) is at the center of “Ted Lasso’s” Season 2 finale, butting heads with fellow coaches Ted Lasso (Jason Sudeikis) and Roy Kent (Brett Goldstein).

(Colin Hutton / Apple TV+)

Anyone who’s made the claim that Season 2 of Ted Lasso has been too kind or free of conflict should tune into Friday’s season finale, now streaming on Apple TV+. It cements how the story has been brimming with tension all along, thanks to the show’s perennially underestimated character Nathan Shelley, played by Nick Mohammed.

After winning audiences over with his slow-building confidence in Season 1, the newfound assistant coach enjoyed his first taste of fame with the whole “Wunderkid” debacle, when he made bold calls to secure the team’s victory but fumbled the press conference afterward. Despite all the public praise, Nate stayed laser-focused on the naysayers — his hard-to-please father, teasing teammates and anonymous social media commenters — and tried to make himself feel better by verbally abusing the new kit man and planting an unwanted kiss on Keeley. It all leads up to the final episode’s intense chat between Nate and Ted, which Mohammed calls “an absolute corker” of a scene. After watching the episode, read Mohammed’s interview with The Times about pulling off that heated chat and how the finale’s last frames — which lay out the stakes for Season 3 — came to be. —Ashley Lee

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Charles (Steve Martin), from left, Oliver (Martin Short) and Mabel (Selena Gomez) in “Only Murders in the Building.”

( Craig Blankenhorn / Hulu)

If you’ve been watching Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building,” you likely now consider yourself a proud member of the Arconiac fan club. Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez star in the 10-episode comedy about a trio of neighbors who share an obsession with a true-crime podcast and team up to launch their own after a murder rocks their Manhattan apartment complex. I spoke with showrunner John Hoffman about the addictively enjoyable series. Love, Yvonne Villarreal. (Extra credit for those who get the reference.)

This series sort of began with Steve Martin, who is a true-crime junkie. But you were brought on board by executive producers Dan Fogelman and Jess Rosenthal largely because of a personal experience that mirrors some of what we see on the series.

It was basically something that I could not stop myself from investigating within my own life regarding a dear friend of mine, from childhood, who I had lost touch with — I hadn’t seen him for years, didn’t know what his life was like or anything like that. I found out that my friend had been in a sort of murder-suicide situation in Wisconsin. The injuries were such that it seemed that my friend had shot someone and then shot himself. I ended up spending the better part of the year going to Wisconsin, meeting his ex-wife — I never even knew they were married — and meeting his kids. It’s a crazy story. But I found myself compelled to know the truth. And by the end of the story, after a year the police report came out and…


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