PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Travel Channel’s Expedition Unknown was renewed midseason for 14 new episodes. Production is slated to begin this spring. The current season has drawn over 6.2 million total viewers since its season debut in December, delivering double digit ratings increases among M25-54 and a 7% rise in ratings among P25-54 in its timeslot.
Travel Channel also greenlit Mysterious Islands, following journalist and explorer Kellee Edwards as she explores you-can-guess-what. Production begins in April for a late 2018 premiere.
Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: February 16-18, 2018
Black Panther (Buena Vista) $192.0 million, opening weekend
Peter Rabbit (Sony) $17.3 million (week 2), cume revenue $48.2 million
Fifty Shades Freed (Universal) $16.9 million (week 2), cume revenue $76.1 million
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Sony) $7.9 million (week 9), cume revenue $377.6 million
The 15:17 to Paris (Warner Bros.) $7.7 million (week 2), cume revenue $25.4 million
The Greatest Showman (Fox) $5.1 million (week 9), cume revenue $154.5 million
Early Man (Lionsgate) $3.2 million, opening weekend
Maze Runner: The Death Cure (Fox) $2.5 million (week 4), cume revenue $54.0 million
Winchester (Lionsgate) $2.2 million (week 3), cume revenue $21.9 million
Samson (Pure Flix) $2.0 million, opening weekend
CNN is holding a town hall event tomorrow, February 21 at 9p with students, parents, elected officials and community members from the Florida town devastated by the high school shooting. Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action will be hosted by Jake Tapper.
ID special Love & Hate Crime, exploring how some murders are fueled by passion and fear of the unknown, airs Sunday, February 25 at 8p.
HDNET winds up its second annual “And The Oscar Goes To…Presented by Richard Roeper” event with 24 hours a day of Oscar winning films from Thursday, March 1 to Oscar Sunday, March 4.
Showtime’s SMILF, The Chi and Shameless will get the SXSW treatment in Austin from Thursday, March 15-Saturday, March 17, with a lineup that includes indie rocker Snail Mail, Princess Nokia, food from Harold’s Chicken Shack and a custom sneaker gallery.
Nat Geo WILD is celebrating the Oscars with Nat Geo WILD from the Red Carpet on Oscar Sunday, March 4 at 7p. The net promises “a wild night of lights, cameras, catty comments and fashion faux-paws.”
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Shore thing: HGTV is adding to its Sunday night fantasy lifestyle lineup with How Close Can I Beach? on March 11 at 8:30p. The 13-episode series follows house hunters scouring coastal towns for beachside homes, who find drastic differences depending on proximity to the water.
Science Channel’s Secrets of the Lost, launching Sunday, February 25 at 10p, offers new clues to how Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza was built.
Season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race is unleashed on VH1 Thursday, March 22, followed by aftershow RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked.
CBS Corp. streamers CBS All Access and Showtime OTT have nearly 5 million combined subscribers, up from 4 million last year. As for the breakdown, “They’re sort of neck and neck, it’s pretty 50-50 right now,” said CEO Leslie Moonves during last week’s earnings call. “They’ve gone their own ways and they offer different things. That fact that they’re both doing exceptionally well is a big boon for us.”
Google released the results of header bidder solution “Exchange Bidding,” an attempt at a more transparent way of auctioning digital audience impressions. In beta testing, over 200 publishers working with OpenX improved the yield on their programmatic ad sales by an average 48%. While Google said Exchange Bidding will stay in test mode for the time being, Sam Cox, group product manager at DoubleClick, suggested “general availability” in the near future.
In response to Getty Images’ copyright infringement issues, Google recently removed the “View Image” and “Search by Image” features from Google image search, making it more difficult to view and download copyrighted images found via its search engine. But not impossible – a quick Google search reveals how to get around the problem.
Facebook plans to verify the identities and locations of people who want to buy U.S. election-related ads mentioning a candidate by mailing them postcards that contain a specific code, reports Reuters. The move follows the indictment accusing 13 Russians of conducting a criminal and espionage conspiracy to interfere in the 2018 presidential election using social media.
A new team at the New York Times, nytDemo, will use the brains at the Times’ data, product and design, technology and advertising groups to help marketers develop targeted branded campaigns. “We see insights as the next frontier for The Times’ advertising business,” said Allison Murphy, VP of advertising innovation and lead on nytDemo, of the new business.
Amazon, Twitter, and YouTube are all bidding for the next NFL streaming package, offering hundreds of millions for deals of up to 5 years, reports Bloomberg. According to Recode, Verizon is also in the mix.
National CineMedia is bringing augmented reality gaming in theaters this spring with the launch of Noovie ARcade, a companion app to NCM’s Noovie pre-show and Lobby Entertainment Network. Audiences can download the app and unlock games in the theater.
FOXNews.com boasted 1.43 billion multi-platform total views in January, according to comScore, up 20% from the month prior.
People.com set a record, with monthly UVs crossing 52 million for the first time. Mobile users were 42 million, while desktop visitors hit 9.6 million. Millennials accounted for 33% of multiplatform UVs.
Disney Channel’s Andi Mack was renewed for a third season. Twelve new episodes from season 2 launch in June 2018, with season 3 slated for later this year.
Nickelodeon and Hasbro struck a strategic partnership for new preschool series Top Wing. Product line includes figures, vehicles and plush inspired by the show’s rescue birds.
All3media secured deals for its factual programming including Paradise Gardens for BBC Two, doc Julius Caesar with Mary Beard for BBC One and the latest season of the BBC’s Fake or Fortune.
Munich-based Studio 100 Film announced that Brazilian distributor PlayArte Pictures has acquired the rights to Maya the Bee – The Honey Games. The agreement includes theatrical, home video and free TV rights.
Globo has licensed Merciless to pay TV channel RTL Crime, targeting male audiences. The thriller will premiere in July in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Luxembourg.
Viacom’s UK Channel 5 ordered 3 projects from BBC Studios: Chocolate Dreams: Inside Hotel Chocolat, going behind the scenes at a chocolate company; Top of the Box, celebrating the best TV programs over 4 years; and a 3-part doc about the Bermuda Triangle.
9 Story Distribution International has licensed new animated children’s series Luo Bao Bei to ABC Australia. ABC KIDS acquired the series in English and Mandarin, with episodes premiering last week to coincide with Chinese New Year.
Vivendi Entertainment licensed new format Couple or Not? in Thailand, where Zense has started production for a July premiere on Channel 3. VE also sold the show in Hungary, where TV2 is producing 25 eps.
Alfre Woodard (Luke Cage) will guest as Cookie’s formidable mother on an upcoming episode of Fox drama Empire….Madeline Stowe (Revenge) joins Fox musical drama pilot Mixtape….Bonnie Soper (Filthy Rich) will play Princess Diana and Maggie Sullivan (Fargo) takes on Queen Elizabeth in Lifetime movie Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance.
Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoe Kravitz will all be back for season 2 of HBO’s Big Little Lies. They join Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman, along with new kid on the block Meryl Streep.
CBS All Access announced additional cast members for upcoming 1930s-set drama Strange Angel. Onboard are Peter Mark Kendall (Chicago Med), Michael Gaston (Man in the High Castle), Greg Wise (The Crown), Rade Serbedzija (Batman Begins), Zack Pearlman (Shameless) and Keye Chen (Silicon Valley).
Freddie Prinze Jr. (24) and David Flynn (Undateable) landed the male leads in CBS comedy pilot I Mom So Hard….Lucy Davis (Wonder Woman) will play Hilda Spellman in Netflix’s upcoming Sabrina the Teenage Witch….Joel McHale (Community), Maggie Lawson (Psych), Gerald McRaney (This Is Us) and Zachary Knighton (Happy Endings) will guest star on season 2 of Netflix’s Santa Clarita Diet.