NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Fox and National Geographic announced the return of Cosmos, with Neil deGrasse Tyson back as host. Cosmos: Possible Worlds, once again from executive producer, writer, director and creator Ann Druyan with exec producers Seth MacFarlane, Brannon Braga and Jason Clark, is set to premiere globally in spring 2019.
IFC picked up horror-comedy series Stan Against Evil for a third season, slated to begin in fall 2018. The net’s Brockmire is back for season 2 on Wednesday, April 25 at 10p.
Hallmark Channel’s Chesapeake Shores returns for season 3 with a 10-episode run this summer. Also coming back, for season 4, is Good Witch, on April 29.
AMC announced the renewal of The Walking Dead for a ninth season, to premiere in late 2018. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple is being elevated to Chief Content Officer, overseeing the entire Dead television universe including TWD, Fear the Walking Dead and potential brand extensions on a variety of platforms. Angela Kang, a writer on the show since 2011 and co-exec producer since 2013, is being promoted by to executive producer and showrunner of The Walking Dead, starting with season nine.
AMC is also launching 8-part international thriller McMafia on Monday, February 26 at 10p. Based on the book by the same name, the series charts the English-raised son of Russian exiles’ journey into the world of organized crime. Returning to the net are season 4 of Fear the Walking Dead on Sunday, April 15 at 10p; season 3 of Into the Badlands on Sunday, April 22 at 10p; and AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction on Monday, April 30 at 10p.
In advance of the premiere of TLC home design series Trading Spaces is part 1 of a one hour special on Saturday, April 7 at 8p, reuniting the cast for the first time since the show went off the air in 2008. Part 2 airs April 14. Makeover series Nate & Jeremiah By Design moves back to Saturday nights to follow Trading Spaces, starting April 7.
Animal Planet and digital animal brand The Dodo are in production for new series Dodo Heroes, produced in association with Nomadica Films, featuring stories of animals in dire need and those who go to unimaginable lengths to help them. Show premieres in 2018.
El Rey Network greenlit unscripted series Man at Arms: Art of War for season 2, with Danny Trejo returning as host.
Tarde Lo Conoci, based on the life of Colombian Vallenato superstar Patricia Teheran, premieres on EstrellaTV Monday, January 22 at 7p.
MSNBC and Vox Media’s Recode are teaming for a town hall event series (name TK) that brings together leading thinkers across technology, business and politics. Series premieres on MSNBC Friday, January 19 at 10p. NBCUniversal invested in Vox Media in 2015 and together launched Concert, a strategic sales and marketing partnership, in 2016.
Arts net Ovation acquired the first season of The Wine Show from Sky Vision, starring Matthew Goode (The Crown) and Matthew Rhys (The Americans).
Marcia Clark, who gained fame during the 1995 O.J. Simpson murder trial, will lead 7-part A&E docu-series Marcia Clark Investigates the First 48, focused on shocking crimes that were unsolved or had controversial outcomes. “This series feels like a continuation of a mission I’ve been on my whole life,” said Clark. “To discover the truth, bring that truth to light and seek justice has always been a driving force for me.” Series premieres Thursday, March 29 at 8p.
Also coming to A&E on March 29 is another true crime show, Grace vs. Abrams, at 10p. Shot before a live audience, Nancy Grace and Dan Abrams, accustomed to duking it out on Good Morning America segments, will break down infamous crimes and trials.
SundanceTV renewed Liar for a second season. Psychological thriller returns in 2019.
Upcoming Paramount Network series Waco and Yellowstone won’t suffer the stain of Weinstein Co. credits or logo. What’s more, “I want to say definitively that Harvey Weinstein has never been part of the creative process,” said Kevin Kay, president of Paramount Network, TV Land and CMT at TCA, of the pariah producer. Kay also said he doesn’t want other people to be penalized for Weinstein’s heinous acts. “I’m hopeful they’ll find new management with a new point of view and direction,” said the exec. “There’s a lot of good people working at the Weinstein Company. They should keep their jobs.”
Spike TV rebrands to Paramount Network on January 18, and “We want to be in the hour-long drama business,” said Kay. “Half hours, it’s very hard to tell a compelling story in that short a period of time.”
Comedy Central renewed The Jim Jefferies Show for a 20-episode season 2. On the show, Jefferies travels the globe to look at hypocrisy around the world. “We have great things planned for this season including field pieces in Europe and Israel that I’m recording right now,” said Jefferies. “I have missed being on-air during the hiatus but luckily the President hasn’t said or done anything stupid worth talking about.”
Terry Kopp told a TCA audience she sold new legal drama In Contempt to BET a few years, and “it just happened to bubble back up.” The series, set in a NYC legal aid office, is “like a younger, witty, fresh, sexy Law & Order,” said actor Christian Keyes. Who also joked, “To this day if I’m leaving the house and Law & Order is on, I might be a little late!”
All of its scripted series are created and are showrun by women, announced Lifetime before a panel at TCA. What’s the difference between a show run by women versus one dominated by men? “I don’t have to over-explain myelf,” said UnREAL co-creator Sarah Gertrude Shapiro. “We just walk in and are taken incredibly seriously.”
The accusations of sexual misconduct against former Supergirl exec producer Andrew Kreisberg were “a major disappointment,” said series star Melissa Benoist at TCA. But the cast and crew have recovered from the blow, and “we have an atmosphere on set now that I’m extremely proud of,” she continued. “There are a lot of amazing men that work on our show and we have a lot of amazing women in powerful positions on our show as well.”
She dug deep to play a sociopathic drug lord on Lifetime movie Cocaine Godmother: The Griselda Blanco Story, said Catherine Zeta-Jones. “I didn’t want to play a caricature of her, and do like a Mrs. Doubtfire’s fat suit,” said the actress. “I wanted to play her from the inside out. Her attitude was much more than whether I didn’t wear mascara or lipstick.”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s (Fleabag) hiring as writer, showrunner and exec producer of BBC America’s Killing Eve demonstrates change is in the wind. “Here’s a young person with a creative voice, who writes her own play,” said series star Sandra Oh. “Someone gives her a big chance and says, ‘I’m going to give you a whole show,’ and then BBC America takes that up.” Killing Eve will debut Sunday, April 8 at 8p.
Starz and Lionsgate TV are teaming to develop The Continental, a TV adaptation of the Lionsgate John Wick film franchise. As for John Wick star Keanu Reeves, “You can expect to see him at some point,” said Starz president of original programming Carmi Zlotnik. Starz also announced premiere dates for Howards End (Sunday, April 8) and half-hour dramas Vida and Sweetbitter (Sunday, May 6).
Starz CEO Chris Albrecht addressed the stand-off between Starz and Altice USA that led to Starz going dark on Altice USA systems January 1. “This thing is far from over,” said Albrecht. “These negotiations are always difficult. Both sides are financially incentivized to make thing work. It’s becoming increasingly a case of MVPDs wanting to pay less but still be able to charge their customers more. Obviously that doesn’t work for us.”
During a panel for Pop’s Schitt’s Creek, co-creator Daniel Levy said the comedy, about a family that lost their fortune, was inspired by the Kardashians and Real Housewives shows. “I remember feeling so inundated with extreme wealth, that my curiosity went to this place of, ‘What would these families do if it went away?’” said Levy. “Because so much of what we see is reliant on gifts that are given and parties that are thrown. If that was stripped away, would there be love there?”
Discovery’s Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow, from filmmaker Rory Kennedy, looks at NASA and its goals for the future as the agency celebrates its 60th anniversary. Event special will air in 2018.
Hallmark Channel is taking Kitten Bowl V on the road with a major activation in Minneapolis for 10 days leading up to Super Bowl LII. January 26-February 4, fans who visit can see kittens compete on the field at Hallmark Channel Stadium, tour the Paws of Fame trophy room, take a photo of the Hissman trophy and more. The big (kitten version) game premieres Sunday, February 4 at 12p.
Hallmark Channel isn’t leaving the dogs out. The net’s inaugural 2018 American Rescue Dog Show premieres Monday, February 12 at 8p, hosted by Rebecca Romijn and Rich Eisen with celebrity judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Linda Blair, Rick Springfield, Brandon McMillan, and Ross Matthews and Larissa Wohl. The mission of the show isn’t to put rescue dogs through formal dog show paces, but celebrate them in a personality-driven competition.
Also going to the dogs is Animal Planet, with its annual Puppy Bowl Sunday, February 4 at 3p. The competition (think sloppy kisses and tail tugs) between adoptable puppies will be played in the new bone-shaped Geico stadium featuring over a dozen cameras. Pre-show starts at 2p.
A new Hallmark Movies & Mysteries offering, Morning Show Mystery from exec producer Al Roker (Today), starring Holly Robinson Peete (Meet the Peetes) and Rick Fox (Greenleaf) is on tap, as well as new movies for franchises Fixer Upper Mysteries, Emma Fielding Mysteries, Signed, Sealed, Delivered and Hailey Dean Mysteries. The net has also started running 3 episodes every weekday of USA’s Psych, from 6p-9p.
I Am MLK Jr., a documentary about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., premieres Monday, April 2 at 8p on Paramount Network. Film features interviews with key figures in the civil rights movement, from activists to entertainers.
So how is Teresa Giudice’s marriage doing these days? Bravo’s 2-part The Real Housewives of New Jersey reunion starts Wednesday, January 17 at 9p, filled with tension, drama and a surprise guest.
Auto auction event Barrett-Jackson Live returns to Velocity and Discovery beginning Tuesday, January 16 through Sunday, January 21. Auction action starts on Velocity, from 6-11p.
For the person who got dumped right before Valentine’s Day: ID tells the story of a love affair with a twist in 2-part documentary special He Lied About Everything, bowing Wednesday, February 14 at 8p. ID’s 3-part docu-series Love & Hate Crime, exploring cases of violence driven by prejudice, debuts Sunday, February 25 at 8p.
Facebook is getting more family friendly, with its News Feed giving preferential treatment to items from users’ friends and family. “Over the next few months, we’ll be making updates to ranking so people have more opportunities to interact with the people they care about,” said Adam Mosseir, head of News Feed, in a blog post. “Showing more posts from friends and family and updates that spark conversation means we’ll show less public content, including videos and other posts from publishers or businesses.” Sounds good for users, but stock closed Friday down 4.5%.
Over its 11 NFL games, Amazon reached 18.4 million total viewers in 224 countries and territories, the company reported, with an average-minute-audience for at least 30 seconds was over 310,000. According to Amazon, that’s 17% higher than Twitter’s AMA for the 2016 season.
FX Networks announced FX Skill for Alexa, allowing consumers to connect with FX Networks across an array of devices and providing information and content form FX, FXX and FXM. Golf fan Danny Kaye, EVP and managing director, described the opportunity of watching Jordan Spieth making a tough shot. “You could get a 360 view of that, playing alongside of him,” said Kaye.
The Fox Innovation Lab, which collaborates with technology companies to create, test and incubate video-related experiences, demonstrated the High Dynamic Range +10 platform at CES, for 4KTVs.
Smithsonian Channel has launched on “Hulu with Live TV” and “YouTube TV.” Live linear and on-demand content from the channel, as well as TV Everywhere authentication, is now included within Hulu’s live TV plan. Smithsonian Channel is also now available on “YouTube TV” with live linear, VOD and TVE.
IMDb has launched a weeky show, The IMDb Show, debuting each Thursday on IMDb.com, as well IMDb mobile apps and social channels. The series will offer commentary and news of the week, as well as proprietary trending data, interviews and on-the-scenes reporting.
In addition Crackle’s name change to Sony Crackle, the streaming service had some news stored up for its TCA appearance. Sony Pictures Television GM and CDO Eric Berger announced development on 2 new series, comedy Rob Riggle’s Jet Ski Academy, starring and written by you-know-who, and supernatural drama The Butcher, produced by Douglas Urbanski and Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour). Crackle also announced the acquisition of the comedy-horror Office Uprising, slated to debut this summer.
Hulu’s TCA news included confirmation of a Catch-22 limited series from George Clooney, Paramount Television and Anonymous Content; its streaming deal for now-available 1994-2009 drama ER; the April 25 season 2 premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale, and the pick-up of March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step to the Hulu Documentary slate. A second installment of National Treasure, titled Kiri, was added to Hulu Originals, with all 4 parts premiering on April 4, and the fourth and final season of Casual will launch July 31.
Highlights from Sundance Now’s winter programming slate: Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders premieres Thursday, January 18; IFC series Baroness Von Sketch Show arrives Thursday, January 25; 8-part criminal justice docu-series The System with Joe Berlinger debuts Thursday, February 8; and straight-to-series This Close premieres Thursday, February 14.
Acorn TV commissioned its first series, bringing back popular mystery drama Agatha Raisin, created for TV by Free@Last TV. Barry Ryan and David Walton will continue to produce the series with Michele Buck remaining as exec producer and Guy Hescott as producer.
fuboTV launched on 5 more CBS and 7 more NBC affiliates. The OTT service now carries 138 local stations, plus access to Fox network programming in 45 additional local markets.
Just for Laughs will be back for third and fourth seasons. In 4Q17, the syndicated comedy series gained over 20% in HH ratings and over 25% in M25-54 versus 4Q16 results.
DailyMailTV has been renewed for season 2. The Dr. Phil McGraw produced newsmagazine, which had the highest-rated debut of any syndicated newsmag since 2007, has been cleared by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Broadcasting, Gray Television, Inc., Nexstar Media Group, Meredith, Raycom, London Broadcasting, Graham, Heartland Media, News Press & Gazette, Northwest Broadcasting, Citadel, Scripps and Quincy.
ID is bringing some of its shows to broadcast syndication. True Crime Files, comprised of content from ID’s library, will premiere in fall 2018 on the Tribune Broadcasting stations and the Sinclair Broadcast stations, among others, covering 60% of the country.
Andy Allo (Pitch Perfect 3) landed the female lead in Amazon comedy pilot Upload, set in a future where people can make their own choice of an afterlife….Mira Sorvino will guest on season 3 of Sony Crackle thriller StartUp….Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale landed Marisa Tomei as a guest on episode 2 of its sophomore season.
Pop announced the cast for supernatural comedy pilot The Demons of Dorian Gunn, executive produced by Krysten Ritter and JAX Media. Jeffery Self (Search Party), Chrissie Fit (Pitch Perfect 2 and Pitch Perfect 3), H. Jon Benjamin (Archer), Lateefah Holder (Disjointed, Transparent) and Kyle Harris (Stitchers, High Maintenance) are onboard.
Hallmark Movies & Mysteries tapped Alexa PenaVega and Carlos PenaVega (Enchanted Christmas) to star in a new movie from Garage Sale Mystery franchise writer Walter Klenhard, about a photographer who sells footage of breaking stories to local news stations, and a detective on the police force.
CASTING CALL: Parents, do your kids age 7-13 share a room? Do they really need their own rooms? An awesome new renovation series wants to treat your kids to the room transformations of their dreams. If you own your home, live in the NY Metro area and are a family with two kids sharing a bedroom, with potential space to expand, we want to hear from YOU! Email firstname.lastname@example.org explaining the crowded bedroom situation.
oneclick AG entered a strategic partnership with Insight Austria to drive sales of the Workspace Provisioning and Streaming Platform in German speaking markets. “First joint sales activities have already started and feedback has been very positive,” said Florian Bodner, founder and CIO of oneclick AG.
All3Media inked 2 deals in Latin America for Two Brother Pictures’ 6-part thriller Liar, with OnDirecTV and GNT.