PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
A+E Networks is expanding its relationship with Leah Remini (Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath) with an overall, exclusive first-look development deal for new unscripted projects for the A+E portfolio. It’s the first overall deal for A+E’s newly launched in-house nonfiction division, A+E Originals.
NBC’s TV spin-off of the Bad Boys films now has a name: L.A.’s Finest. Pilot stars Gabrielle Union (Being Mary Jane) and Jessica Alba (Fantastic Four).
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Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: April 13-15, 2018
Rampage (Warner Bros.) $34.5 million, opening weekend
A Quiet Place (Paramount) $32.6 million (week 2), cume revenue $99.6 million
Truth or Dare (Universal) $19.1 million, opening weekend
Ready Player One (Warner Bros.) $25.06 (week 3) $11.2 million, cume revenue $114.6 million
Blockers (Universal) $10.3 million (week 2), cume revenue $36.9 million
Black Panther (Buena Vista) $5.3 million (week 9), cume revenue $673.8 million
Isle of Dogs (Fox Searchlight) $5.0 million (week 4), cume revenue $18.5 million
I Can Only Imagine $3.8 million (week 5), cume revenue $75.0 million
Tyler Perry’s Acrimony (Lionsgate) $3.7 million (week 3), cume revenue $37.9 million
Chappaquiddick (Entertainment Studios) $3.0 million (week 2), cume revenue $11.0 million
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
ID is finishing April with a killer list of premieres. A new season of Murder Calls launches Thursday, April 19 at 9p; new series The Killer Beside Me debuts Saturday, April 21 at 10p; and Dead of Night arrives Monday, April 23 at 10p.
New Starz series Vida is set to launch Sunday, May 6. The half hour original focuses on two Mexican-American sisters forced to return to their old neighborhood, who find a surprising truth about their mother’s identity.
True crime series Abuse of Power examines stories of people who took advantage of their authority to commit heinous crimes, starting Saturday, May 12 at 7p on Oxygen.
The U.S. premiere of 5-part Mutiny, recreating the voyage of Captain Bligh and his sailors on Bounty in 1789, airs tonight at 10p (check local listings) on Outdoor Channel.
Exclusive: Nat Geo is announcing its first-ever custom content special, featuring the city of New Orleans, in partnership with the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. Hour-long New Orleans: City of Stories, pegged to the city’s 300th anniversary, will be the first of many in the net’s new custom travel block done in partnership with tourism organizations and travel industry insiders. Big Easy special debuts Monday, April 23 at 6p.
ABC is planning a proper sendoff for Scandal. In the series finale episode on Thursday, April 19 at 10p, written by series creator Shonda Rhimes, “the Gladiators will make the ultimate sacrifices in order to take down Cyrus and Jake.” Good Morning America will offer a sneak peek in the morning, and Jimmy Kimmel Live will mark the event with cast and Rhimes in an 11:36p after-show.
Hamilton creator – and DuckTales fan – Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his debut as Gizmoduck on the Disney Channel series Friday, May 11 at 8p. Episodes start airing daily beginning Tuesday, May 1, with premieres every Friday in May.
Christina Aguilera will duet with James Corden in The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2018, airing Monday, April 23 at 10p. It’s Corden’s third primetime special.
Emmy and Grammy winner Donald Glover (Atlanta) will double up as host of NBC’s Saturday Night Live on May 5, while his hip hop alter ego, Childish Gambino, performs as musical guest.
Content marketing has grown into a $16 billion industry, according to PQ Media’s Global Branded Entertainment Forecast, with U.S. consumer content marking hitting $7+ billion. PQ Media defines consumer content marketing as “paid marketing messages developed to simulate a news story or entertainment program that is cohesive with the media’s content structure.” Overall, the report found branded entertainment, which also encompasses product placement and experiential marketing, is growing at about twice the pace of general advertising and marketing spending.
Comcast and Netflix announced an expansion of their partnership that will provide Comcast the ability to include a Netflix subscription in new and existing Xfinity packages. Comcast launched Netflix on the X1 platform in 2016.
Hulu is luring Westworld fans with a limited time offer of HBO for $5 a month, versus the usual $15 charge. Dark drama returns for season 2 on Sunday, April 22.
Hulu also announced it’s sponsoring NBA playoff games on TNT, a month after inking a deal to be a presenting sponsor on the NBA Finals. “With each new sporting event from the Super Bowl to the Winter Olympics, we are seeing live sports shatter our TV tune-in records game after game, so we know sports are at the top of the list for our subscribers,” said Patrizio Spagnoletto, Hulu’s head of media and subscriber growth. “Our goal with both the NHL and NBA on TNT sponsorships is to ensure we are tapping into that passion shown by our current viewers, but also letting other fans know that Hulu is the best way to watch your favorite sports.”
Following the pattern for TV viewership, basketball scored this season in digital. Digital subscriptions to NBA League Pass rose 63% from last season, and social media video views were up 43%, to 11 billion.
What data breach? Facebook’s ad revenue rose 62% year-over-year in 1Q18, according to 4C’s The State of Media report. The travel and legal/financial verticals saw the greatest quarter-over-quarter increases with 129% and 32%, respectively. Facebook also delivered a 18% quarterly decrease in CPM for advertisers, 21% decrease in cost per click and 4% increase in click through rate. “Brands will continue to focus budgets where they see performance,” says the report.
Hour-long special Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife lands on Netflix Sunday, May 13, Mother’s Day. Among Wong’s observations: all women deserve three years’ paid maternity leave.
Movie ticket subscription service MoviePass and iHeartRadio announced a new, limited time three-month subscription offer that gives new subscribers to both platforms a limited MoviePass membership allowing four 2-D movies a month, with an extended three-month free trial of iHeartRadio’s All Access on demand feature.
Kyle Chandler is taking on the lead role of Colonel Cathart, which George Clooney was originally going to play, in Hulu limited series Catch-22. Clooney, who will also be producing and directing, is taking on a less demanding supporting role.
Michael McGrady (Ray Donovan) landed a recurring role NBC’s Chicago P.D. for the rest of season 5, as an Assistant State’s Attorney.