PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
E! greenlit Very Cavallari, a docu-series starring Kristin Cavallari (The Hills), following her life as a businesswoman and wife to her husband, former professional football player Jay Cutler.
Actress/writer Kathleen Robertson inked a first-look development deal with Universal Cable Productions to develop scripted programming for the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s portfolio, as well as other networks and streaming services.
Netflix ordered adult animated comedy series Paradise, P.D., from Waco O’Guin and Roger Black (Brickleberry), centered on cops who are not good at their jobs. Voice cast includes Sarah Chalke (Roseanne) and Cedric Yarbrough (Speechless).
The Cynopsis Upfronts and NewFronts 2018 portal does more than tell you where the parties are. The guide is updated with the latest news and announcements for media buyers and planners, along with press releases, network descriptions and more, right here. For submission info, contact Lynn@Cynopsis.com.
An attorney for Matt and Ross Duffer, who are accused by filmmaker Charles Kessler of plagiarizing Stranger Things, said Kessler’s claim was “completely meritless….This is just an attempt to profit from other people’s creativity and hard work.” While Kessler claims in a lawsuit that he pitched a Stranger Things-like concept to the Duffers in 2014, the brothers’ attorney said they have never discussed any project with him.
Days after the announcement that the new season of USA Network’s Talk Stoop would be hosted by Nessa Diab, series creator and former host Cat Greenleaf filed a discrimination and breach-of-contract lawsuit claiming she was fired because she suffers from clinical depression. Said a spokeperson for LX TV Productions, “Cat’s employment was terminated for legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons. The lawsuit is without merit.” Talk Stoop launched in 2009.
Charter Communications altered a study that claims consumer prices will go higher if AT&T buys Time Warner, according AT&T attorneys in the antitrust trial to stop the merger. AT&T claims that while research by Berkeley economics professor Carl Shapiro indicated Charter would lose 9% of its subscribers if it couldn’t carry Time Warner’s Turner networks, that figure was 5% when the study was first submitted. In any case, the result is minimal, wrote AT&T: “After fiddling with some input dials, the expert managed to almost double that insubstantial [27 cents/month per subscriber] result to a still-insubstantial 45-cent monthly increase, all of 0.4% per bill, which is where the government currently stakes its case.”
In a bankruptcy court filing, A+E Networks said it had cancelled its contract to air Project Runway on January 10, following sexual harassment allegations against The Weinstein Co. co-founder Harvey Weinstein. “Many of Mr. Weinstein’s victims implicated The Weinstein Co. and TWC Board, alleging that TWC knew of Mr. Weinstein’s misconduct, yet knowingly or negligently allowed it to continue,” said A+E in the filing. A+E network Lifetime had renewed the show in 2016 for 3 more seasons.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Litton Entertainment and Jack Hanna have extended their Saturday morning series, Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown, for two additional seasons.
My House, an insider’s guide to NYC’s underground queer ballroom scene, premieres on Viceland Wednesday, April 25 at 10:30p.
American Heroes Channel series Nazi Treasure Hunters launches Tuesday, May 1 at 10p. The 8-part season delves into cold cases of famed artwork stolen during the Nazi era.
America Divided returns to Epix Friday, May 4. In episode one, “Washington’s War on Women,” former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson will uncover a pervasive culture of sexual harassment.
Cookbook author, pastry chef and baking instructor Gesine Prado returns to Food Network in a new season of Baked in Vermont, premiering Saturday, May 5 at 10:30a.
A discovery that challenges theories about the first humans to inhabit North America is the focus of Smithsonian Channel special Ice Bridge: The Impossible Journey, airing Wednesday, April 18 at 8p. One-hour doc follows the expedition and search to uncover new evidence of a trans-Atlantic crossing 6000 years earlier than previously believed.
The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills announced the latest selection for its PaleyLive Spring 2018 season: “An Evening with Bob Newhart: A Newhart Celebration.” The program will take place in partnership with Hulu on Thursday, April 26 at 7p; Newhart will be joined by castmates from the 1982-1990 series, Julia Duffy and William Sanderson.
Comcast Corporation and Cox Communications, owners of NCC Media, announced they’re creating a new division within NCC to design, deploy and sell unified advertising solutions across NCC participants’ national footprint. The group, launching later this year, will use non-personally identifiable data and targeting capabilities to create advanced video advertising products.
Influencer marketing is in the tool kit of 3 out of 4 national marketers, according to a survey released by the Association for National Advertisers, with 43% of them saying they expect to increase spending on influencer marketing over the next year. Two-thirds of respondents said they paid influencers with cash, while 35% use barter.
Dove struck a 2-year global partnership with Cartoon Network’s Steven Universe to educate young people on body confidence through the cartoon’s themes of inclusivity and empowerment. The collaboration comes from the Dove Self-Esteem Project, committed to reaching 40 million young people by 2020.
Dynasty diva Joan Collins is in talks to join the season 8 cast of American Horror Story….Jes Macallan has been upped to series regular on season 4 of CW’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
Striking back against the challenge of password sharing/cheating, Synacor has introduced Forever Login, a feature that lets operators balance easy subscriber access to TV Everywhere content with control over the maximum number of concurrent devices allowed and the length of time before viewers need to login again. Consumers register trusted devices as part of an operator’s sign-in process, providing access to content anywhere without the need to reenter passwords. “Forever Login lets TV Everywhere subscribers say goodbye to passwords, while giving operators the tools they need to tackle what analysts are calling a $10 billion password abuse problem facing the Pay TV industry,” said Himesh Bhise, CEO of Synacor.
The number of Facebook users affected by the Cambridge Analytica data leak has jumped from 50 million to 87 million, said Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer in a blog post. Among the steps the social media giant is taking to restrict data access: Apps will now need Facebook approval as well as approval from administrators, apps will not be able to access the member list of a group, and Facebook is removing personal information, like names and profile photos, attached to posts or comments that approved apps can access.
Ouch, said some Tinder users who got booted off the dating app and couldn’t get back on after Facebook’s security updates. Users were getting an error message saying Tinder required additional Facebook permissions. “We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to have everyone swiping again soon,” tweeted @Tinder.
A new vertical on DramaFever focuses on unscripted programming about relationships and romance. Seasons of shows included The Bachelorette and The Bachelorette Australia are available for streaming via a licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution.
The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences announced the Nominees for the 22nd Annual Webby Awards, including Amazon Music, Oprah Winfrey, Colin Kaepernick, RuPaul, James Corden, Shonda Rhimes and Meryl Streep. Media organizations in contention for the first-ever Webby “Media Company of the Year” are VICE Media, Conde Nast, National Geographic, Turner, and Viacom, presented to the media company that performs best across all Webby Award categories.
fuboTV launched The CW in 8 new local markets, bringing the total to 9 across the live streaming TV service. The sports-first OTT provider now has a total of 252 local stations on its platforms.
IfOnly, an online marketplace for experiences, has raised $20 million in Series D funding led by MasterCard. Other strategic investors include Hyatt Hotels and Sotheby’s.
Acorn TV acquired North American digital and home video rights from DCD Rights for season 2 of mystery series Jack Irish, starring Guy Pearce.
Among the shows on Armoza Formats’ MIPTV slate is Rage Room. Produced by Mighty Productions and aired on UK’s All 4, the series’ contestants make their cases for what makes them mad (dating apps, loud eaters) and the winner gets to smash everything in a room designed to represent “the core of their rage.”
Amagi announced the launch of Tornado, a machine learning-based content preparation service that enables TV networks and content owners to scale their operations, accelerate broadcast workflows, generate new revenues and reduce operational costs. Tornado is game-changing for broadcasters and their teams today, allowing them to spend more time on creating better experiences for consumers and less time on mundane tasks,” said Deepakjit Singh, CEO at Amagi. “
Zig Zag Productions announces a format option agreement with Global Agency calling for Global Agency to acquire the format rights to Kids Cook the Funniest Things! for the world outside the UK and US, with Zig Zag retaining the rights to sell and produce the format for those territories.
Up for best drama series for the BAFTA TV Awards are Line of Duty, Peaky Blinders, The Crown and The End of the F***ing World. Making the comedy cut are Murder in Successville, Taskmaster, The Last Leg and Would I Lie to You?.
Among the sales announced by Breakthrough Entertainment was L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables to Fox Channels Asia, RAI in Italy, and RTVE in Spain.
Corus Studios scored multiple sales of its lifestyle series ahead of MIPTV, including Backyard Builds to Quebecor Media’s CASA in Canada.