PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Netflix ordered an 8-episode first season of the unscripted Marie Kondo Project from The Jackal Group, starring organizing consultant and author Kondo. Exec producers include Gail Berman, Joe Earley, Kondo, Takumi Kawahara, and Bianca Barnes-Williams.
TBS picked up Lena Waithe (Master of None) project Twenties to pilot. Comedy follows the adventures of a queer black girl and her 2 straight best friends. Twenties was created, written and exec produced by Waithe through her production company, Hillman Grad Productions, and exec produced by Andrew Coles for The Mission Entertainment.
NBC renewed summer supernatural drama Midnight, Texas for a second season. Eric Charmelo and Nicole Snyder, who served as consulting producers the first time around and have an overall deal with Universal Television, will be showrunners for season two and will executive produce along with David Janollari. Series is produced by Universal Television and David Janollari Entertainment.
The peacock net also ordered a pilot for Bright Futures, a comedy from Kenya Barrish (black-ish) and grown-ishwriters Hale Rothstein, Danny Segal and Isaac Schemes, and ABC Studios. Project started out at ABC but didn’t make it to pilot.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Animal Planet’s The Zoo is back for season 2 on Saturday, March 10 at 9p. New animals featured at the Bronx Zoo include Dave, a red kangaroo who bounces back from arthritic symptoms.
The first half of season 4 of Netflix’s The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt launches Wednesday, May 30 – just in time to make the Emmy cut-off date of May 31. Second half premieres later in 2018.
Season 10 of WE tv’s Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars Family Edition features anger, drama and dysfunction starting Friday, March 9 at 9p.
Grace and Frankie was renewed for a fifth season on Netflix, with RuPaul onboard as a new character. Season 4 dropped last month.
Documentary Jane, telling the story of conservation icon Jane Goodall, premieres on National Geographic and Nat Geo WILD Monday, March 12 at 8p, followed by a rollout across 171 countries. The simulcast is timed to Women’s History Month.
Agents of Change, a documentary marking the 50th anniversary of the 1968 student-led strike at SF State, has its national broadcast TV premiere on American Reframed Tuesday, February 20 at 8p on World Channel (check local listings).
Science Channel docu-series Silicon Valley: The Untold Story premieres Sunday, March 18 at 8p, 9p and 10p. The look at the tech industry includes interviews with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, former Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and WhatsApp founder and CEO Jan Koum, among others.
El Rey celebrates President’s Day weekend with a Resident’s Day marathon, starting Saturday, February 17 at 6a with Resident Evil.
Raycom Media will air Trail of Hope – The Journey to Equality, a documentary tracing the path of the civil rights struggle, this month. The one-hour special will air on all Raycom Media stations and in other select markets.
YouTube TV is adding Turner’s Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, CNN, TBS, TNT, truTV and Turner Classic Movies, as well as sports channels including NBA TV and MLB Network to its programming – and, not surprisingly, boosting its price from $35 to $40 monthly. YouTubeTV users now have access to stream nationally televised NBA games, the PGA championship and UEFA soccer. Both NBA League Pass and MLB.TV will also be available to add to a user’s monthly package for an extra fee in the coming months.
Verizon’s Go90, launched in fall 2015, is being folded into Oath Brands, announced Oath CEO Tim Armstrong at the Code Media conference. “Go90 was a super ambitious project, which was essentially trying to start an internet mobile video service from scratch,” said Armstrong. “It was highly likely we were going to stub our toe a huge number of times.” Oath was formed last year with Verizon’s newly-acquired AOL and Yahoo.
Netflix canceled Disjointed, starring Kathy Bates as the owner of a cannabis dispensary, after one season. The second half of the series’ 20 episodes were released last month.
Amazon Prime Video is teaming up with Newen, Bavaria Fiction and Deutsche Telekom for new comedy drama Germanized (French title Deutsch-Les-Landes), its first original series for its video streaming service in France.
Snap Inc. is adding new demographic analytics for Snapchat creators that could help secure sponsored content and product placement deals, including Total Story Views and Time Spent Viewing in the past week, month and year to date; gender breakdown; top age bracket; geographic regions; audience interests and more. The move is presumably intended to lure back influencers who moved to Instagram because of its tracking tools.
Gamer brand Machinima, fully acquired by Warner Bros. in 2016, announced a rebranding that reflects its move from a traditional multi-channel network to content provider. “We have gone through an incredible transformation from a YouTube network to a cross-platform gamer entertainment service with substantial scale,” said Machinima head Russell Arons. “Now, we want to truly define what that means and what we are. With our new brand identity, we are looking to evolve our brand presence to further excite our talent, fans and partners.”
Today Google Chrome begins removing ads from sites that don’t measure up to the Better Ads Standards. Depending on how many violations are found, sites will be evaluated as having a status of Passing, Warning or Failing, said Chris Bentzel, engineering manager at Google, in post. Chrome will block ads on sites that fail if they don’t comply within 30 days of notification of violations.
News & Guts, the start-up web site founded by Dan Rather, passed 1 million unique visitors in January, its second month publishing. “Engaging with a new audience on social media has been one of the most rewarding times of my career,” said Rather, who has 4.5 million followers on Facebook and Twitter. “Now with the new website, it’s an opportunity for me to cut through all the bull shine and bring you what’s important.”
Season 2 of Facebook Watch’s Make Up or Break Up premieres today at 8p, and the finale of Do or Dare is available tomorrow, February 16.
Mobile marketing platform Adikteev has secured $12 million in its Series B round from Ring Capital and BNP Development. Funding will be used to further international growth, as well as R&D efforts.
The live premiere of The BET Social Awards on Sunday garnered over 16 million impressions on Facebook Twitter and Instagram, and 2.2 million video views across BET’s social platforms.
Hamilton’s Renee Elise Goldsberry will perform the theme song for Disney Junior’s Muppet Babies reboot, launching next month. Walt Disney Records is releasing the ditty on Friday, February 23.
Don Johnson (Miami Vice) landed the male lead in Fox comedy pilot Daddy Issues….George Wendt (Cheers), Gia Sandhu (The Indian Detective) and Zenobia Shroff (The Big Sick) have joined the cast of ABC reboot pilot, The Greatest American Hero….Alana De La Garza (Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders) landed a lead role in CBS drama pilot Chiefs.
Jamie McShane (Bloodline) and Caroline Chikezie (The Shannara Chronicles) are onboard Fox vampire drama pilot The Passage as series regulars…. Ser’Darius Blain (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) landed a lead in the CW’s Charmed reboot pilot….Ray Fisher (Justice League) joins HBO‘s True Detective as a series regular.
CBS Studios International is putting up The Good Fight. Amazon Prime Video inked a multi-season licensing agreement for the CBS All Access drama across Europe, Asia and Latin America. Also included in the deal are SVOD rights for seasons of series including Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Hawaii Five-0 and NCIS, among others.
FremantleMedia International nabbed distribution rights to a collection of new high-end non-scripted titles including Wild Pictures’ Miriam’s’ Big American Adventure, Naked Entertainment’s Indian Summer School (w/t), Boundless Productions’ Love in the Countryside and Arrow Media’s Inside Balmoral.
“Musically inspired” comedy Bartlett will be available on new streaming site IndieVue, starting February 27 with a live interactive screening event at 9p. Satire based on the life of ad exec turned director Martin Edwards (All the Wrong Places) currently streams on Amazon Prime and Vimeo on Demand.
Sports-first streamer fuboTV added another 6 local stations, for a total of 193 (including those owned and operated by or affiliated with CBS, Fox or NBC), plus access to Fox programming in 45 additional markets.