PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
CBS ordered two more seasons of Chuck Lorre comedy Mom. The news comes after Warner Bros. TV secured new deals with series stars Anna Faris and Allison Janney.
ABC doled out early renewals to The Good Doctor, A Million Little Things and Shark Tank. The net also greenlit reality competition series Bachelor in Paradise for a sixth season.
After garnering over 17 million viewers during its highest rated season ever, HGTV renewed Love It or List it for an additional 26 episodes to premiere in late 2019. Series centers on designer Hilary Farr and real estate expert David Visentin as they help homeowners decide to remodel or purchase a new house.
Freeform’s grown-ish was picked up for a third season. The net also renewed Good Trouble for a second season. The Fosters spinoff, starring Maia Mitchell and Cierra Ramirez, follows Callie and Mariana as they embark on the next phase of their adult lives in Los Angeles.
Jordin Sparks (Sparkle), Matt Shively (The Real O’Neals) and newcomer Brooks Brantly have been cast in upcoming Freeform series Besties (wt). Set in Los Angeles, comedy follows two half-sisters who are thrown into each other’s lives by an online genetics test. Besties is produced by ABC Signature Studios. Ranada Shepard, Casey Johnson and David Windsor serve as creators and executive producers, while Kenya Berris also serves as executive producer.
AGC Television secured the rights to author Christopher Golden’s Ben Walker supernatural thriller book franchise with plans to develop it into a TV series.
Nickelodeon struck a deal with Netflix for its Nickelodeon Studios division to produce two original, animated feature films based on its hits The Loud House and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The partnership is part of Nickelodeon and Viacom’s broader efforts to tap into Nickelodeon’s library and produce new content for third-party digital and linear platforms.
TCB Media Rights sold Borderforce USA: The Bridges to National Geographic Television for the US and Latin America. Produced by Stampede Productions for UKTV’s Dave, series marks the first time TV cameras have been granted access to Customs and Border Protection’s operations on all 28 bridges connecting Mexico to the United States.
Kyle Gallner (The Outsiders) is set to lead CBS All Access’ straight-to-series true-crime drama Interrogation. The project, co-created by Swedish writer-producer Anders Weidemann and John Mankiewicz, is an original concept based on a true story that spanned over 30 years in which a young man was convicted of brutally murdering his mother and sentenced to life in prison.
Hulu renewed Light as a Feather, ordering a 16-episode second season of the series from AwesomenessTV, Wattpad and Kelsey Grammer’s Gramnet. Supernatural thriller is based on a story by Zoe Aarsen that has over 3.8 million reads on Wattpad.
Netflix greenlit Pieces of Her, based on the 2018 book by Karin Slaughter. Series hails from an all-female creative team of executive producers Lesli Linka Glatter (Homeland, Madmen), Charlotte Stoudt (Homeland, House of Cards) and Bruna Papandrea (Big Little Lies) and is being written by Stoudt, who also serves as showrunner.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Freeform’s Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger debuts its second season with a special two-hour premiere on Thursday, April 4 at 8p, while The Bold Type returns for its third season on Tuesday, April 9 at 8p.
Epic Yellowstone, a Smithsonian Channel series three years in the making, debuts Sunday, March 10 at 9p. Hosted by Bill Pullman, it gives audiences a front row seat to the spectacle of wildlife and seasonal extremes in the American national park.
Unsung and Uncensored return to TV One with new seasons exploring the intimate lives of celebrities on Sunday March 3. Unsung bows at 9p, followed by Uncensored at 10p.
Archaeologists and explorers Blue Nelson and Mike Arbuthnot go on a journey to find out how deep the Vikings may dived into America on Science Channel’s America’s Lost Vikings. Six-episode series premieres Sunday, February 10 at 10p.
People’s Republic of Desire bows on PBS’s Independent Lens on Monday, February 25 at 10p (check local listings). Series explores China’s stranger-than-fiction online world, where young people gather to worship live-streaming internet stars.
Slutever is back for a second season on Sunday, February 10 at 10p on Viceland. Created, hosted and executive produced by Karley Sciortino, series explores sex, relationships and intimacy in the modern world.
Acorn TV’s straight-to-series crime drama London Kills debuts Monday, February 25, while mystery series Queens of Mystery bows Monday, April 8.
ABC airs a special first-look episode of Videos After Dark on March 12 at 10p. Hourlong comedy reality series, hosted by Bob Saget, is produced by the team behind America’s Funniest Videos.
The premiere of NBC drama The Village was moved by a week to Tuesday, March 19 at 10p, due to rescheduling demands for Tuesday’s State of the Union address.
Lifetime tackles the foster care system in new movie I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story. Based on author Regina Louise’s personal experience navigating the broken system, it stars Ginnifer Goodwin (Once Upon A Time) and newcomer Angela Fairley (GodComplx), a foster child herself, and is set to debut Saturday, April 20 at 8p.
Sony Pictures Television’s getTV showcases African-American entertainers every Sunday this month, from 10p to 12a. Tribute features variety show appearances by Sammy Davis Jr., Diahann Carroll, Patti LaBelle, Richard Pryor and more. Action kick off with Flip Wilson…Of Course on Sunday February 2 at 10p.
Lost Beasts of the Ice Age bows on Science Channel on Sunday, February 24 at 8p. Two-hour special follows top scientists as they look to uncover evidence of the lives of Ice Age animals.
Antenna TV presents a wedding party marathon on Valentine’s Day. The net begins airing nuptial-themed episodes of TV classics like Coach, I Dream of Jeannie, Alice, Head of the Class, Three’s Company and more on Thursday, February 14 beginning at 5a through Friday, February 15 at 4a.
Children of the Snow bows on Investigation Discovery on Monday, February 18 at 9p. Two-night special delves into the deaths of four children abducted and murdered by the Oakland County Child Killer in the 1970s.
The Bachelor will conclude its current season with a live, two-night finale on Monday, March 11 and Tuesday, March 12. Colton Underwood will join host Chris Harrison and a studio audience on both two-hours shows, airing from 8p to 10p on ABC. Meanwhile, The Bachelor: The Women Tell All airs Tuesday, March 5 at 8p, a day after the season’s final regular episode.
Jimmy Kimmel made a surprise appearance at ABC and Freeform‘s day at the 2019 TCA winter press tour on Tuesday to introduce ABC President Karey Burke. Kimmel said that Burke, who replaced Channing Dungey last November, won the post “by the largest margin in ABC history – 40 million. John Langraf says it’s less, but we know the truth.” Kimmel was taking a jab at the FX chief’s remark about Netflix ratings the previous day.
Freeform announced the premiere date of spinoff series Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists as Wednesday, March 20 at 8p. As the session came to a close, the net lined up a group of women in red trench coats to pay homage to the groundbreaking series.
American Housewife will air two music-themed episodes during its third season. The first, airing on Tuesday, March 19, will revolve around American Idol and include guest appearances by judges Luke Bryan, Katy Perry and Lionel Richie, as well as host Ryan Seacrest. The second, airing on Tuesday, May 21, will be the season finale, “A Mom’s Parade.”
Executive Producer Eva Longoria told TV critics that her ABC project Grand Hotel is a contemporary adaptation of a “period piece” format from Spain. It has an Upstairs/Downstairs feel; however, the upstairs family is Hispanic and owns a luxury Miami hotel. Longoria proudly announced that nine of the show’s 11 cast members are people of color, half of the writing staff and 7 out of 12 directors are women, and the show’s DP is female, noting that that “is like a unicorn” in the TV industry.
While Roseanne spinoff The Conners was not announced among ABC’s early series renewals, it was revealed that it’s because the network is still finalizing deals with core cast members. “We are close,” said Karey Burke. Season 2 is expected to be 13 episodes, up from this season’s 11.
Freeform had executive producers and cast from the just-picked-up Party of Five in attendance to give a first look at the new series. The reboot, from Sony Pictures Television, follows the five Acosta children navigating daily struggles as a family unit after their parents are deported back to Mexico. “We don’t want to go in with a strong political agenda,” said EP Amy Lippman. Nevertheless, “If it makes it political – that’s what’s going on in the country.”
Barry Watson (7th Heaven) will recur as Lachlan Murdoch in Showtime’s The Loudest Voice, the upcoming limited series about FOX News founder Roger Ailes… Levy Tran (The Haunting of Hill House, Shameless) nabbed a major recurring role on CBS’ MacGyver, reports Deadline.
Facebook now allows everyone to unsend messages for up to 10 minutes. On Tuesday, Facebook Messenger globally rolled out “Remove for everyone” to help users pull back typos, poor choices or any other messages. After sending a Facebook Message, the sender will have up to 10 minutes to tap on it. The delete button has been replaced by “Remove for you.” Plus, there’s now a “Remove for everyone” option that pulls the message from recipients’ inboxes.
Cinedigm acquired global VOD service Viewster Anime, in a move that bolsters its OTT content portfolio, while adding an established property with a homegrown consumer base. Cinedigm will immediately take over ownership of all Viewster and Viewster Anime content, moving its platforms roster of fandom and Anime offerings into its library of channel and content. Select programming will debut on the company’s fandom lifestyle network CONtv.
Viacom addressed the revenue possibilities of Pluto TV, the ad-supported streaming service it’s buying for $340 million. During its fiscal first-quarter earnings call, CFO Wade Davis expanded on CEO Bob Bakish’s comments that the Pluto TV deal could create value for the company at multiples of the purchase price. Wade noted that in ad space alone, Pluto TV is a $1 billion opportunity.
Comcast issued an official statement refuting a report from BestAppleTV that said Comcast had passed on using Apple TV hardware for any cable TV steaming service and building a streaming app for tvOS. “BestAppleTV ran a story last week that contains numerous inaccuracies and wrongly conflates individual business dealings and relationships from Sky, NBCUniversal and Comcast Cable,” the company said in a statement. “To be clear, Comcast Cable is deeply invested in development and innovation of its flagship whole-home platform, Xfinity X1, that is changing the way millions of people watch TV and manage the connected home.”
WildBrain, a popular network of children’s videos on YouTube, expanded its footprint with the launch of four new channels on Apple TV, Amazon Fire and Roku. The new channels include a WildBrain hub channel, as well as three curated channels dedicated to preschool content, kids’ action and Degrassi.
Data-driven creativity is a big trend in marketing, but the focus should be on human connections, Cheryl Maher, President of local Atlanta advertising agency SCOUT, tells Cynopsis. Maher explains SCOUT measures a company’s human brand index, then builds a campaign that allows brands to connect with consumers on an emotional level. “Agencies need to embrace and understand the impact of automation and AI technology to create relevance through personalization in 2019. It’s about enhanced understanding of consumers and increased ability to personalize the message in a way that wasn’t possible until now,” says Maher. “Consumers are more selective and more mindful in the media they consume, and new technology will allow advertisers to efficiently bring the right and relevant message to the desired consumer.”
To that end, SCOUT developed a proprietary brand strategy and activation process called The Human Brand Method that leverages truth through insights to find opportunities for brands to connect with a target on an emotional, human level. “This helps us tell a brand’s story with an integrated communications plan that delivers sustainable, meaningful connection,” says Maher. “To guide this work and provide a way to accurately measure a brand’s human connection, SCOUT pioneered a new metric: The Human Connection Score. This score is a based on the strength of the 5 Characteristics we found to drive a successful human connection: Trust, Personality, Warmth, Social Impact, Fit.” For more on SCOUT’s strategy, go to Cynsiders.
Deluxe Entertainment launched its High Efficiency Localization package for broadcasters. The new offering expands Deluxe’s suite of subtitling and dubbing services to provide streamlined and automated localization services for broadcasters to localize content in over 65 languages and reach audiences around the world faster. The service falls under the umbrella of Deluxe’s cloud-based platform, Deluxe One. Deluxe’s High Efficiency Localization package leverages the largest network of over 9000 content translators to support broadcasters and other content creators in translating content into various languages worldwide.
One of the best places to view the Super Bowl game is in a bar, but until recently, this large OOH audience could not be adequately measured. Tunity has been measuring out of home for a couple of years and released their Super Bowl data results. And? Paul Lindstrom, Head of Research and Analytics, noted that Super Bowl viewing both this year and last had its greatest usage, not surprisingly, in bars and restaurants. While they do not have commercial log information at this time, Tunity found that program versus commercials performed similarly. The reason is logical in many ways, according to Lindstrom. “In a curated environment you can’t change channels in the same way that you do at home. This means that the commercials are more likely to be on the screen and the screen continuing to remain on the show in question. Also, OOH is fundamentally all live therefore there is no dealing with DVR playback, etc. The differences in audience minute to minute are going to be with audience migration to or away from the set/location.” Lindstrom says that last year, Tunity saw an average 21,026,860 OOH viewers to the NBC telecast of the Super Bowl. This year, the average was 23,672,607 OOH viewers to the CBS telecast – an increase of +12.5%.
NBCUniversal International Networks acquired Kelsey Grammer legal drama Proven Innocent, licensed from Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution, to premiere on Universal TV, NBCUIN’s general entertainment channel, in the UK and Africa. The series, also starring Rachelle Lefevre (Under the Dome, A Gifted Man) and Riley Smith (Frequency), tells the story an underdog criminal defense firm led by Madeline Scott (Lefevre) who fight for the innocence of others and their own.
FirstLook TV announced the co-production of a third season of true crime docudrama Nurses Who Kill in association with Really, UKTV. UK distributor DCD Rights has also pre-sold the series to Justice Network in the US.
BBC One commissioned A Very Northern Hotel (wt) from SpunGold TV. Series centers on one The Shankly, a unique hotel that caters to large groups of visitors out to have fun.
Global Screen acquired international distribution rights to The Masters Butchers Singing Club. Family saga is based on the best-selling novel of the same title by US author Louise Erdich and was adapted for the screen by filmmaker Doris Dorrie and her co-writer Ruth Stadler.
Michelle Visage is joining the UK version of Drag Race. The BBC confirmed that Visage, who judged eight seasons of the show’s U.S. format and four of its All-Stars spin-off, will appear as a judge on the BBC Three show.