PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Ron Howard announced the launch of Imagine Kids & Family, a division that will develop and produce premium animated and live-action feature films, television series and short-form content across platforms in the kids and family entertainment space. Stephanie Sperber will continue her role as CEO of White Space Entertainment while also serving as President of Imagine Kids & Family, and Imagine Entertainment will continue its ongoing client relationship with White Space. “Our emphasis will be on great storytelling that appeals to global audiences and has the potential to grow into true franchises,” said Grazer. “Sperber is a rare executive that can see the merits of a project not only in its ability to entertain, but also to resonate beyond the screen.”
Cartoon Network ordered a fourth season of animated series Ben 10, slated to debut in early 2020.
Musical dramedy Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist, from Austin Winsberg (Jake in Progress), Eric and Kim Tannenbaum, Universal Music Group and Lionsgate TV, and mystery drama Emergence, from Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters, Paul McGuigan and ABC Studios, landed pilot orders from NBC.
Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: January 11-13
The Upside (STX) $19.6 million, opening weekend
Aquaman (Warner Bros.) $17.3 million (week 4), cume revenue $287.9 million
A Dog’s Way Home (Sony) $11.3 million, opening weekend
Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony) $9.0 million (week 5), cume revenue $147.8 million
Escape Room (Sony) $8.9 million (week 2), cume revenue $32.4 million
Mary Poppins Returns (Buena Vista) $7.2 million (week 4), cume revenue $150.7 million
Bumblebee (Paramount) $6.8 million (week 4), cume revenue $108.5 million
On the Basis of Sex (Focus) $6.2 million (week 3), cume revenue $10.6 million
The Mule (Warner Bros.) $5.5 million (week 5), cume revenue $90.6 million
Vice (Annapurna) $3.3 million (week 3), cume revenue $35.9 million
NEW AND RETURNING SERIES
Entertainment Studios announced the launch of comedy compilation series The World’s Funniest Weather. Scott Satin (Most Outrageous Moments) is exec-producing the weekly half-hour.
Discovery reality show American Chopper returns for season two of its revival on Tuesday, February 12, at 10p. Series is focused on father-and-son motorcycle builders who are also working to rebuild their fractured relationship.
Fox’s MasterChef Junior starts season seven on Tuesday, February 26, at 8p, following the debut of obstacle course competition Mental Samurai at 9p. The unscripted shows slip into the time slots vacated by dramas Lethal Weapon and The Gifted, making up the first all-reality Tuesday on the net since 2009.
Shadowhunters makes its midseason premiere on Freeform Monday, February 25, at 8p. Luke Baines (The Girl in the Photographs) joins the cast as Jonathan Morgenstern, the true form of Clary’s brother.
EstrellaTV is premiering Colombian drama La Mamá del 10 (The Mother of Number 10) in the U.S. market tomorrow, Tuesday, January 15, at 7p. Series will air Monday through Friday.
CBS’s Late Show will air live the night of President Trump’s State of the Union speech, Tuesday, January 29. The Stephen Colbert-hosted talker last aired live the night of the midterm elections.
Oprah Winfrey hosts Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations from Times Square, an event at the PlayStation Theater in NYC featuring Bradley Cooper, Michael B. Jordan, Beto O’Rourke, Melinda Gates and Time’s Up CEO Lisa Borders Tuesday, February 5, at 2p. Event will air on OWN and be available on Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast at a later date.
Viewers can vote for the funniest Super Bowl commercial for CBS special Super Bowl Greatest Commercials 2019, airing Tuesday, January 29, at 8p. NFL Today host Boomer Esiason and Daniela Ruah (NCIS: Los Angeles) host.
CBS plans over 30 hours of digital video Super Bowl coverage starting Monday, January 28. Live-streaming sports net CBS Sports HQ will focus on the big game on shows including Kanell and Bell, Pick 6 Rundown and Sportline in addition to a 10-hour pregame show on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3, and a postgame show ending at midnight. The game streams for free online on CBS Sports apps and CBS All Access.
Amazon-owned database IMDb is launching ad-supported streaming video channel IMDb Freedive. In addition to IMDb’s current offerings of short-form series and trailers, viewers will have access to movies and TV shows using computers or Amazon Fire devices.
Spanish soccer games will be broadcast on YouTube with English commentary. Games from La Liga 123 will be available in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. “These broadcasts will lead to an increase in the coverage of Spanish football around the world and allow thousands of supporters of Spanish football the opportunity to be able to follow their favorite teams,” said La Liga. “The move to show La Liga 123 on YouTube will strengthen the competition, bringing it close to a new audience and in a format which we believe will be very attractive for spectators.”
Super Bowl spots are going fast, with 90% of the inventory on CBS reportedly sold. Thirty-second spots are averaging $5.2 million, and many will be packaged with digital TV inventory.
Discovery aims to avoid Brexit headaches by moving its European channels out of the UK. “Given Brexit, Discovery is now applying for new broadcast licenses in the Netherlands for its EU pay-TV channel portfolio,” said a spokesperson, who added that Discovery is retaining a large hub in the UK and its Ofcom licenses for its 16 channels in the UK.