PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Nickelodeon greenlit Kamp Koral (working title), an original spinoff series of its iconic hit SpongeBob SquarePants. The 13-ep CG-animated series introduces 10-year-old SpongeBob SquarePants during his summer at sleepaway camp, where he and his pals spend the summer building underwater campfires, catching wild jellyfish, and swimming in Lake Yuckymuck at the craziest camp in the kelp forest. The series is slated to begin production in June at Nickelodeon in Burbank. Marc Ceccarelli and Vincent Waller (SpongeBob SquarePants) are co-exec producers on the series.
In other Nick news, the network renewed preschool series PAW Patrol, Bubble Guppies, Abby Hatcher and Butterbean’s Cafe for new seasons.
Showtime picked up a feature doc exec-produced by Drake that looks at US military veterans and Mexican drug cartels. Ready for War hails from eOne and Cedar Park, and examines the cause and effect of deporting US military veterans and their forced recruitment by Mexican drug cartels. It’s produced by Cedar Park, Kerstin Emhoff and Candice Dragonas’ Prettybird and Drake, and Adel Nur’s Dreamcrew.
UCP is developing Punky Brewster, a sequel to the 1984 NBC sitcom, with original topliner Soleil Moon Frye slated to step back into her role as the titular character. The reboot features a grown-up Punky as a single mother of three trying to get her life back on track, who meets a young girl who reminds her a lot of her younger self. Series is written and exec produced by Steve and Jim Armogida (School of Rock, Grounded For Life). Frye will also serve as exec producer with David W. Duclon, who helmed the original series, and Jimmy Fox (The Arrangement) of Main Event Media, an All3Media America company.
Travel Channel renewed Paranormal Caught on Camera for a second, 26-episode season. The show, which launched on February 13, posted a 50 percent increase year-over-year for its time slot and ranks in the top 3 of all Travel Channel original series.
WE tv renewed its spinoff Marriage Boot Camp: Hip Hop Edition for a 10-episode second season, slated to return in early 2020. Series debuted earlier this year, averaging 1.3 million viewers throughout its run, making it the highest-rated season in franchise history.
Global producer and distributor Fremantle and producer Richard Brown are partnering on an exclusive multiyear deal with Brown’s newly formed production company Passenger. Based in NY and London, Passenger will develop and produce scripted drama series with Fremantle co-producing and distributing the projects worldwide. Brown was the driving force behind HBO’s anthology series True Detective and has served as exec producer on all three seasons. He also developed and exec produced the Hulu/Sky Italia/Channel 4 limited series Catch-22.
Exec producer Lori Rothschild Ansaldi is teaming with Asylum Entertainment Group’s founder/CEO Steve Michaels to launch production company Big City TV in a joint venture with The Content Group, Asylum’s flagship content collective. Big City already has set up projects with TLC, History and Oxygen, and has partnered with Kim Kardashian West and racing legend Tony Kanaan.
Executive producer Mike Amoia (Dirty Money, Being Liverpool) is departing Switchblade Productions to focus on Mibe Music, a music publishing house he founded in 2015 to service unscripted television. Mibe composes and services music for unscripted companies including Jupiter and Glass Entertainment. Amoia will serve as head of strategic development at Mibe Music, targeting strategic partnerships, new platform technology and investment opportunities.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Starz dropped the official trailer for original series The Rook. In addition to previously released key art featuring Emma Greenwell in the title role of Myfanwy Thomas, Starz also shared the character art for the balance of the cast. New season premieres Sunday, June 30 at 8p.
NBC is bringing some funny business this summer with the launch of competition show Bring the Funny on Tuesday, July 9 at 10p. The net announced the 40 comedic acts vying for the $250,000 prize package and the opportunity to perform at the 2020 Just for Laughs Festival. Hosted by comedian Amanda Seales along with its panel of judges comprising Kenan Thompson, Chrissy Teigen and Jeff Foxworthy, series will feature stand-ups, sketch troupes and comedic variety acts, including solo comics, musicians, magicians, puppeteers, YouTubers and more performing in front of a live audience.
Lies, Crimes & Video, an eight-part series that gives viewers a look into the 911 calls, police interrogations, jail house recordings, body camera and surveillance video captured as part of a criminal investigation, premieres Saturday, June 8 at 8p on HLN.
CBS All Access set Thursday, August 15 for the premiere of Marc Cherry’s dark comedy Why Women Kill, starring Lucy Liu, Ginnifer Goodwin and Kirby Howell-Baptiste. Series details the lives of three women living in three different decades—the ‘60s, ‘80s and 2019—who are all coping with infidelity in their marriages.
The fifth and final season of Syfy’s Killjoys will bow on Friday, July 19, and a new promo from the network shows the bounty hunters will now find it even harder to remain among the living.
Cooking Channel heats up July with new series and seasons, including the season premiere of Man v. Food on Tuesday, July 2 at 10p, featuring Casey Webb traveling the country in search of the most delicious dishes and ultimate eating challenges. Crazy Cakes takes viewers behind the scenes to see the mind-blowing cakes being made in a new season premiering Friday, July 5 at 11p. Beginning Saturday, July 6, double eps of BBQ Pitmasters at 8p and 9p will be followed by episodes of Fire Masters at 10p. Next, Brad Miller travels the country to find latest and greatest bites on wheels in the new season of Food Truck Nation starting on Tuesday, July 16 at 9p. On Wednesday, July 17 at 9p, Roger Mooking goes on a culinary adventure to hunt down extravagant food in the new season of Man’s Greatest Food. And Eddie Jackson tracks down the most satisfying foods around the world in the new series Yum and Yummer premiering Monday, July 22 at 9p.
The fifth and final season of Showtime drama series The Affair will premiere on Sunday, August 25 at 9p. Season 5 will chronicle the aftermath of last season’s events and find the characters coming to terms with the consequences of their choices.
AXS TV will return music historian Eddie Trunk‘s music festival series TrunkFest for its second season on Sunday, July 7 at 9:30p. New season will explore Sammy Hagar’s High Tide Beach Party with rock icons Eddie Money, Vince Neil, REO Speedwagon and more.
AT&T Audience Network’s series Mr. Mercedes will return on Tuesday, September 10 at 10p for season 3 with 10 one-hour episodes. Series is based on the Bill Hodges trilogy from prolific author Stephen King, and season 3 will closely follow the story contained in “Finders Keepers,” the second book.
History will premiere two new two-hour documentaries, Secrets In The Sky: The Untold Story of Skunk Works and Game Changers: Inside the Video Game Wars, on Sunday, June 9 at 9p and Sunday, June 16 at 9p, respectively, as part of its premium documentary strand History Films. Narrated by Dennis Quaid and directed by Rory Karpf, Secrets In The Sky: The Untold Story of Skunk Works examines the top-secret organization that for decades, starting in the ‘40s, clandestinely churned out the world’s most advanced technology and designed highly classified aircraft. Game Changers: Inside the Video Game Wars looks at the multibillion-dollar gaming industry, its successes and failures, and the battle for control from all of the players including Atari, Nintendo, Sega and Sony.
National Geographic kicks off its Space Week programming event with two-hour feature documentary Apollo: Missions to the Moon on Sunday, July 7 at 9p. Airing globally in 172 countries and 43 languages, the film weaves together more than 500 hours of footage spanning the full sweep of NASA’s Apollo Space Program, from the ill-fated Apollo 1 mission, which claimed the lives of three astronauts, to the final flight that brought the program to a close.
Free streaming television platform Pluto TV is launching on Cox Communications’ Cox Contour. The Pluto TV app will be available to Contour and Contour Stream Player customers, providing access to more than 100 channels and thousands of hours of on-demand content spanning movies, television series, sports, news, general entertainment, lifestyle, comedy, cartoons, gaming and more.
Corus Entertainment’s new multichannel television package StackTV is now available to Prime members in Canada as part of Amazon’s Prime Video Channels. StackTV includes entertainment, drama, lifestyle and kids television channels, delivering audiences the latest episodes of hit series live and on-demand.
Ellen DeGeneres’ The Ellen Fund, which supports global conservation efforts for endangered species and Krikey, an augmented reality gaming app, partnered to launch an immersive gaming experience in support of The Ellen Fund’s efforts to raise awareness for mountain gorillas in Rwanda.
A special 10th anniversary interactive map of the Minecraft, created by Blockworks, is available for players free of charge, and provides a brief history pf the hit game and its various incarnations through the years.
There’s a new way to keep up to date on the news, solutions and deals that are disrupting the media industry. Check out Cynopsis’ online TechFronts guide: http://www.cynopsis.com/techfronts.
Yext Inc., a platform for brand verified answers in search, launched the next generation of the its platform including new enhancements that businesses to answer questions consumers ask about them in search, using voice assistants and chatbots, and on their own websites. Yext enables businesses to create and connect all the facts about themselves in an answers-ready format, so they can power their own sites and services and sync with search, voice assistants, and chatbots. New custom entities and fields make the platform adaptable to any business.
ADVERTISING & BRANDS
Tech company Connekt is rebranding to Connekt Technologies. The name change reflects the company’s AI-driven technologies that power smart TV ads, content and commerce experiences for its partners, which include LG, Audi, Eli Lilly, Papa John’s and ABC. The company’s “Overlay” technology enhances TV ads, and equips viewers with more information, local options and offers. Connekt Technologies also powers first-of-its-kind proprietary data to advertisers, agencies and networks. Steve DeMain was named SVP, national sales and TV partnerships; ee previously was VP, video revenue, at Conde Nast.
IAB compiled data-driven case studies to bring to life how data can be used to inform the video creative. The case studies showcase a variety of tactics and span across multiple brand verticals – click here to view the video assets and learn about the campaign goals, data sets that were utilized, and results.
A new report from Centro aggregates digital ad spending data from the 2018 midterm election cycle, and reveals the significant use of programmatic advertising. “Political advertisers are making a shift to more audience-first buying tactics. We expect that trend to continue with more campaigns utilizing programmatic buying tactics such as in connected TV advertising, as the lines between linear TV and digital continue to blur,” Grace Briscoe, VP of candidates and causes, tells Cynopsis. “Voter viewership continues to fragment – including across cord-cutters, cord-shavers, and cord-nevers, each with their own distinct consumption patterns. Campaigns need to understand these trends, and the targeting efficiencies and opportunities they will present in 2020.” For highlights from Centro’s report, and more on media tech news, go here.
Discovery Kids and Cirque du Soleil Images on Monday, June 10 will premiere of the new season of kids series Big Top Academy on Canada’s Discovery Kids network and TVOkids. Set in a fictitious circus arts boarding school, series tells the story of a group of students from different walks of life and have a variety of skills.
Pocket.watch is launching a licensing program based on Ryan’s Mystery Playdate, which airs on Nickelodeon. This will be the second franchise that pocket.watch and Ryan ToysReview have launched since the Ryan’s World launch in August 2018. Products, ranging from toys to apparel, will hit shelves in time for the holidays.
Hasbro entered an agreement to appoint Wicked Cool Toys as global master toy licensee for its Micro Machines line featuring collectable component style playsets and miniature vehicles.
CNN Films is launching Apollo 11: Beyond the Moon, a five-part companion podcast to its broadcast of Apollo 11 documentary feature, beginning Monday, June 3. Podcast series is hosted by CNN chief media correspondent and anchor of Reliable Sources, Brian Stelter.
Elizabeth Banks will co-star opposite Cate Blanchett in Mrs. America, FX’s nine-ep limited series… Hulu’s upcoming adaptation of Celeste Ng’s book Little Fires Everywhere booked Paul Yen (Magnum P.I., Young Sheldon) in a recurring role… Josie Totah is in as a series regular opposite Whitney Cummings in Good People, Amazon’s half-hour comedy pilot.