PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
TNT greenlit Snowpiercer, based on the 2013 film. Futuristic thriller, set 7 years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, stars Jennifer Connolly (A Beautiful Mind) and Daveed Diggs (Hamilton) and is a co-production of Tomorrow Studios and Turner’s Studio T, with CJ Entertainment.
Paramount Network is teaming with Sony Pictures Television to develop original scripted anthology series Accused with producer David Shore (The Good Doctor). Production partners for the show, based on a UK format, will include Shore Z Productions and All3Media America.
Warner Bros. Television Group digital studio Blue Ribbon Content got 2 new series orders from Verizon, it was announced at TCA. Live-action comedies are Golden Revenge, from Conan O’Brien’s Conaco, and Critters: A New Binge, adapted from the cult classic films. “With a cast list as diverse as puppies, cats and rampaging critters, these two new shows are perfect examples of the unexpected and dynamic programming we aim to produce at Blue Ribbon Content,” said Peter Girardi, EVP, Blue Ribbon Content, and EVP alternative programming, Warner Bros. Animation.
ABC gave a put pilot commitment to a family drama from Campanario Entertainment, ABC Studios and Scooter Braun’s SB Projects that has the support of the family of Selena Quintanilla. But it’s not biographical. The project, being written by Miguel Nolla (Scandal), “is inspired by the musical legacy of Selena Quintanilla,” Jaime Davila, president of Campanario, tells Cynopsis. “Working with ABC to honor her legacy and showcase a successful, aspirational Latino family on television is an incredible opportunity.”
NBC ordered a 13-episode season 2 of Ellen’s Game of Games. “I hope this can continue to be a show that families can come together and enjoy watching as much as I enjoy hosting,” said Ellen DeGeneres. “I don’t wanna say this next season is gonna be even messier, but I have invested heavily into a whipped cream company.”
Jillian O’Brien landed the executive producer job at syndicated weekend political show Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien. O’Brien (no relation to host and produce Soledad) spent much of her career at CNN.
A+E Studios signed a two-year, first look development deal with management and production company Thruline Entertainment, calling for them to develop and produce scripted content together for the A+E portfolio of networks, as well as outside buyers.
Jean-Marc Vallee and partner Nathan Ross (Big Little Lies) have formed a production company. Crazyrose will develop, finance and produce film, TV and documentaries, and partner with Alex Walton and Ken Kao’s Bloom.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Season 5 of Silicon Valley launches on HBO Sunday, March 25 at 10p. Missing from the action will be T.J. Miller, who left the comedy in May.
Michael Douglas-narrated Grand Prix Driver premieres Friday, February 9 on Amazon. Series promises “unprecedented access” to the legendary Formula 1 race team McLaren.
New comedy series La Casa de Veraneo (The Summer Home) launches on Television Dominicana Saturday, January 13 at 8p.
Consolidation could mean confusion in 2018, says Lotame director of innovation Ryan Reed. For his predictions on what’s to come in the months ahead, check out the new Cynsiders.
Trumpland: Kill All Normies examines the social and political forces that have emboldened white nationalists during the age of Trump. Documentary airs Tuesday, January 16 at 8p on Fusion.
Another round of performers was announced for the 60th Grammy Awards, airing Sunday, January 28 at 7:30p on CBS: Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee, Kesha, Bruno Mars, Cardi B and SZA. Alessia Cara, Khalid and Logic will take the stage with a group of suicide attempt and loss survivors selected by the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, in a special performance.
Julie Walters (Billy Elliot) will narrate My Wonderful Life for UK’s Sky 1. The 4-part doc has people with terminal illnesses record messages and arrange surprises for loved ones, to be delivered after they pass.
Super Bowl Greatest Commercials 2018, hosted by CBS Sports’ Boomer Esiason and Daniela Ruah (NCIS: LA) airs Tuesday, January 30 at 8p. This go-round, 5 spots featuring celebs and athletes (“Men”) face off against scene-stealing animals (“Beast”).
RFD-TV will air an encore presentation of President Trump’s speech from Monday’s address at the American Farm Journal Annual Convention tonight at 10p. The one-hour program includes the full Trump speech, as well as feedback from ag and commodity experts, rural Americans, farmers, and ranchers.
Trevor Noah selected Loyiso Madinga to helm topical segments for the African broadcast of Comedy Central‘s The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. The South African-based correspondent’s segments will air intermittently on Comedy Central across the continent, starting with a field report from the African National Congress Elective Conference tonight. “As wild as Donald Trump is for America, many countries around the world have Trumps ….we thought ‘why not give each country a chance to show off their stable geniuses?,’” said Noah.
STRAIGHT FROM CES
Of all places…the Consumer Electronics Show experienced a power outage in 2 of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s halls yesterday, causing evacuations and major use of phone-as-flashlight. “While we work through this isolated power outage feel free to visit our exhibitors in South Hall and North Hall,” tweeted CES. “Also get outside on this beautiful Las Vegas day and check out Central and South Plaza.”
The talk was supposed to be about the future of video, but the topic turned to the future of the country when LionTree CEO Aryeh B. Bourkoff asked Discovery Communications’ panelist David Zaslav, president of the company in business with OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, if he’d let her out of her contract to run for president. “Oprah is in charge of her own destiny,” replied Zaslav.
A behind-the-scenes look at Wes Anderson’s upcoming “Isle of Dogs” got the virtual reality treatment at CES, courtesy of 20th Century Fox’s FoxNext and Google Spotlight Stories. Short film “Isle of Dogs Behind the Scenes (in virtual reality)” offered an immersive, behind-the-scenes look at the stop-motion animated dog film.
Nominated for Directors Guild Awards are directors for Stranger Things, The Handmaid’s Tale, and 3 episodes of Game of Thrones in the drama category, and Master of None (2 episodes), Silicon Valley, Veep and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel for comedy. Nods for TV movies/mini-series went to directors of Godless, The Wizard of Lies, Story of a Girl, Big Little Lies and The Immortal Life of Henriette Lacks.
TV nominees for The Costume Designers Guild Awards include The Crown, Feud: Bette and Joan, GLOW, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Stranger Things for excellence in period television; American Horror Story: Cult, Big Little Lies, Grace and Frankie, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Young Pope for contemporary TV; and Black Mirror: USS Calista, Game of Thrones, Once Upon a Time, Sleepy Hollow and Star Trek: Discovery for sci-fi/fantasy.
Up for Cinema Audio Society honors are Big Little Lies, Black Mirror, Fargo, Sherlock and Twin Peaks for TV movie or mini-series; Better Call Saul, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, The Crown and The Handmaid’s Tale for hourlong series; and Ballers, black-ish, Modern Family, Silicon Valley and Veep for half-hour series.
Netflix ordered supernatural drama Chambers, focused on a young heart attack survivor who starts taking on the characteristics of her heart donor. Creator and writer is Leah Rachel; Akela Cooper (Marvel’s Cage) is showrunner.
Crackle set Thursday, February 8 as the premiere date for sci-fi thriller In the Cloud. Ahead of the wide premiere, the film will be released February 6 through the Crackle app on Playstation 3 & 4 and Vita systems.
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TV social branded content gained big in 2017, with branded content published by TV pages on Facebook up 66% between November 2016 and November 2017. “One of the most exciting trends we’ve seen in 2017 is the rise of social branded content. While still very much in the early stages, we see brands partnering with TV networks on social branded content getting nine times more engagement than what brands would get on their own,” said Meghan Cahill, media strategy lead, ListenFirst. “As TV networks invest more in branded content, we not only expect to see a significant rise in social branded content in 2018, we also expect the quality of branded content to become better, driving even greater returns. ”
ListenFirst’s top 10 ranking of networks by branded content on Facebook is led by Univision, with 638 posts, followed by Freeform (256), Animal Planet (252), World Fishing Network (247), BET (245), Discovery (236), Viceland (167), CBS (139), NBC (125) and HGTV (13).
Apple gave a straight-to-series order to sci-fi drama See, set in the far future, from Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders). Knight and director Francis Lawrence will exec produce, along with Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Kristen Campo.
Critical Role premieres on Alpha, the streaming service from Nerdist and Greek & Sundry, today. Show follows Matthew Mercer leading a group of fellow voice actors on Dungeons & Dragons campaigns.
AerServ has been acquired by InMobi, in a $90 deal intended to offer advertisers insight and transparency, expand inMobi’s mobile video footprint and boost the company’s “leadership position in video advertising.” InMobi’s video and programmatic business will now make up 35% of overall revenue.
Sinclair Broadcast Group and Imagine Communications are collaborating to develop a next-gen ad management software that will give broadcasters the ability to tap the potential of the new monetization opps of ATSC 3.0. “ATSC 3.0 provides broadcasters with a rich palette of IP-based service offerings that enhance and complement our over-the-air capabilities,” said Del Parks, CTO of SBG. “Our development partnership with Imagine will ensure that we maximize the monetization opportunities these new capabilities that an IP delivery model offers by utilizing business systems that provide precise targeting and geographical positioning across all distribution and consumption models.”
The IAB Technology Lab released OpenDirect 2.0, a revised spec that is aimed at boosting the capabilities of the standard protocol by enabling cross-platform order management, and allowing publishers to make guaranteed inventory available to a wide set of agencies and advertisers. “This update to OpenDirect will allow for more fluid movement of premium inventory, while greatly reducing the overhead involved when integrating with partners,” said Dennis Buchheim, SVP/GM, IAB Tech Lab.
DPAA, the global organization for everything digital out-of-home, announced that Mereo, a Paris-based provider of booking and revenue management solutions for the advertising industry, has joined DPAA as its latest international member.
The Jim Henson Company’s Splash and Bubbles, Dot. and season 2 of Doozers will air in the UK on Sony Picture Television’s free-to-air Tiny Pop channel.
Univision Communications Inc. has created a Corporate Social Responsibility External Advisory Board to provide strategic advice, thought leadership, best practices, and insights to inform Univision’s Corporate Social Responsibility Internal Council. “The creation of a Corporate Social Responsibility External Advisory Board is an exciting step we are taking to ensure we are serving and empowering our Hispanic and multicultural communities in the most informed and inclusive way possible,” said Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, EVP of government and corporate affairs at UCI and Chair of the Board.