PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Daniel Dae Kim (Hawaii Five-0, Lost) inked a deal with Amazon Studios giving Amazon first-look rights to projects developed and adapted by Kim and his 3AD production company.
Endemol Shine Boomdog is teaming with Upright Citizens Brigade to co-create the first-ever Spanish language boot camp to cultivate comedy writers and performers to participate in an untitled sketch comedy show. UCB will canvas their existing bilingual talent to serve as instructors for the boot camp, while Endemol Shine Boomdog will recruit talent to populate the program, which will be housed at its studios in Mexico City.
ITV commissioned a six-part submarine drama from His Dark Materials producer Bad Wolf and Entertainment One and written by Peter A. Dowling (Flightplan). Tenacity, inspired by the J.S. Law novel, follows disgraced military detective Danielle “Dan” Lewis, who is sent to investigate a case when a dead submariner is discovered aboard the British nuclear submarine Tenacity.
The Cynopsis Top Women in Sports honorees have been announced. See the list here. The remaining Top Women in Media honorees will be announced in the upcoming weeks. Reserve your table today for the Top Women in Media Awards Gala Dinner September 9 at Tribeca Rooftop in NYC.
OWN’s Queen Sugar has added five female directors to the season line-up: Lacey Duke, C. Fitz, Pratibha Parmar, Deborah Kampmeier and Stacy Muhammad.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Deal or No Deal with Howie Mandel, which returns to CNBC on Wednesday, June 12 at 9p and 10p, first airs with a new NBC special on Sunday, June 9 at 10p. “We’re so proud of this new iteration of Deal or No Deal, and it’s been extremely rewarding to see viewers return to the show with so much enthusiasm,” Steven Weinstock, Truly Original Co-CEO/Co-President and Deal or No Deal Executive Producer, tells Cynopsis. “That’s largely due to Howie, who’s an incredible host, our inspired producers Scott St. John and Mashawn Nix, and a fantastic team at CNBC – together, we’ve pulled out all the stops to craft a spectacular summer show that we hope will also draft off some of the game show ‘mania’ captivating television right now.”
Car Issues premieres Saturday, June 8 at 10p on FYI. “It was crucial to have a noisy show in the drive block space that offers a fresh perspective; to create one that works for FYI and A +E Networks meant it had to be a fast-moving format with riveting docu-series elements and an authentic, buzzy talent,” said Brandon Killion, Bright Bay Creative President and Executive Producer of the series. “Car expert Tyler Hoover is the real deal and an auto lover’s dream –his rabid obsession with buying and flipping cars makes him the perfect driving force for car Issues.”
Lights Out with David Spade premieres Monday, July 29 at 11:30p on Comedy Central. The new late-night series features the comedian’s take on the pop culture news of the day and includes a rotating group of Spade’s celebrity friends, while incorporating sketches and field segments.
Holey Moleybows Thursday, June 20 at 8p on ABC. Each week, the competition series, with Rob Riggle, Joe Tessitore, Jeannie Mai and resident golf pro Stephen Curry, features 12 mini-golfers facing off in a series of head-to-head, sudden-death matchups.
Viceland airs two premieres on Tuesday, June 11. Season 3 of Most Expensivest bows at 10p, followed by Jasper & Errol’s First Time at 10:30p.
Brad Miller travels the country to introduce viewers to the greatest bites on wheels, when Food Truck Nation returns to Cooking Channel on Tuesday, July 16 at 6p.
Family Pictures, the three-part PBS series that explores American cities through the lens of the family photo album, debuts Monday, August 12 at 9p and Tuesday, August 13 at 8p (check local listings).
There’s more Good Trouble ahead. Season 2 of the Freeform series is back Tuesday, June 18 at 8p.
Season 7 of Hulu original series Letterkenny premieres Monday, October 14. Created and starring Jared Keeso, the comedy revolves around the dustups Wayne (Keeso) and his pals get into with their small-town rivals.
As the nation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the successful Apollo II mission, BBC America launches Space Week on Monday, July 15, featuring classic films and TV series that brought the final frontier down to earth. On Friday, July 19 at 10p, the net airs Wonders of the Moon, a documentary that reveals the monthly lifecycle of the moon to find out how it shapes life on Earth. On Saturday, July 20 at 9p, Moon Landing Live re-tells the achievement that captured the world’s imagination five decades ago.
The Paley Center for Media will host the New York premiere of the Disney Channel original movie Descendants 3 on Tuesday, July 30 at 5:30p. A discussion with members of the film’s cast and creative team will follow.
Animated film Pachamama debuts on Netflix on Friday, June 7. Writer-director Juan Antin worked on the project, which tells the story of a young boy growing up in the Andes in the time of the Incas and the Spanish explorers.
BIG TV Q&A
Big breakthroughs in media will be a hot topic at Cynopsis’ That Big TV Conference in September, and David Kulczar, Senior Product Manager of IBM Watson Media Analytics, will be key to the conversation. Kulczar shares his vision (“today’s viewers are the real showrunners”) of what promises to be a robust discussion. (To register for the event, go here.)
What are the three most important recent breakthroughs in the media business?
The proliferation of esports as a driver of technology innovation, specifically as it pertains to full engagement of viewers and players; AR/VR for immersive entertainment, as it continues gaining wider acceptance and is starting to be used in ways that are not just novel, but truly useful and interesting; and AI for personalization, where we are rapidly approaching the ability for media consumers to attain a truly tailored entertainment experience.
How big a part will AI play in the future of media?
We will see publishers of all sizes, from national broadcasters to local news stations, unlocking AI’s full potential and leveraging data-driven insights to enhance monetization opportunities and consumer experiences. As AI grows smarter and more sophisticated, however, its implementation requires larger amounts of training. This process is costly and time-intensive, yet necessary to ensure the technology analyzes and structures data to the best of its ability. The commitment to training AI will transform both production for media companies and consumer experiences. Ultimately, the future of AI is similar to the future of most every new technology, which in short is improvement, commoditization, and democratization: How do we make it better, cheaper and get it into the hands of more people?
What’s your forecast for the media world 10 years from now?
In the next decade, we’ll enter an era of hyper-personalization and new ways to engage with media. The media and entertainment industry is going to look different for every single viewer. We know that today’s viewers are the real showrunners when it comes to setting expectations for media trends.
For the entire interview with Kulczar, go to Cynsiders.
CBS Corporation and TEGNA Inc. announced a multi-year deal that renews station affiliation agreements for 11 TEGNA markets nationwide, including two top 10 markets – Washington, D.C. and Houston. The 11 markets renewed cover 10% of the U.S. audience and nearly 11 million households.
Riki Lindhome (Another Period) nabbed a series regular role in FOX animated family comedy Duncanville… Cree Summer and Bryan Terrell Clark will appear as guest stars on the upcoming fourth season of Queen Sugar on OWN, returning Wednesday, June 12 at 9p… Kim Dickens (Deadwood, Fear the Walking Dead) was cast as a regular in USA Network’s Briarpatch… Gavin Leatherwood and Lachlan Watson were upped to series regulars for Parts 3 and 4 of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
TEGNA’s VAULT Studios is launching two new podcast projects. True Crime Chronicles premieres Monday, June 24, followed by the summer 2019 release of Bardstown. VAULT projects pull from real-life cases investigated by TEGNA’s stable of reporters across 41 markets.
Comedy podcast producer Forever Dog is launching 11 new shows. Sloppy Seconds, hosted by Big Dipper and Meatball, debuts Friday, June 14. It’s a Mess, starring Broadway actress and drag superstar Miss Peppermint, bows Thursday, June 27. In addition, Iconography debuts Wednesday, July 3; The Goodie Goodie bows, Wednesday, July 17; and Scary Stories to Tell on the Pod premieres Monday, July 22.
Xbox partnered with Fuse as the exclusive broadcaster for its Xbox E3 Briefing. Streaming live on Fuse on Sunday, June 9 at 4p, The Xbox E3 Briefing will offer Fuse’s young Latino, multicultural millennials and GenZ audiences in-depth first looks at new game announcements, as well as world premieres of the game content coming this year.
On Thursday, Google announced its plan to acquire business intelligence platform Looker for $2.6 billion. The deal, expected to close later this year, will see the company’s technology integrate as a service into the Google Cloud platform and potentially attract new customers such as Amazon, FOX, Cisco and Venmo.
In other Google news, the company’s upcoming cloud gaming service, Stadia, will launch in November and be priced at $9.99 per month. It works on TVs connected to a Chromecast streaming device, as well as via laptops, desktops, Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a, and does not require a video game console. Dubbed Stadia Pro, the service will provide free access to games such as Destiny 2, along with discounts on game purchases.
Altice USA closed its acquisition of news company Cheddar. The move broadens Altice’s portfolio of news businesses by adding Cheddar’s digital-first, general news and college network focused on young professional millennial audiences.
PBS Distribution launched the Spanish-language versions of a variety of PBS KIDS programs on their PBS KIDS Amazon Prime Video Channel. Series include Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train, Scigirls, Cyberhase and Caillou.
Sex-Ed School, an 8-part, 8-minute children’s web series, launches on Shaftesbury Kids’ YouTube channel Thursday, June 20. The educational non-scripted series explores sexuality and healthy relationships for youth, ages 9 to 12.
The new Clifford The Big Red Dog, produced by Scholastic Entertainment, debuts Friday, December 6 on Amazon Prime Video and PBS KIDS on Saturday, December 7. The rebooted series includes 39 22-minute episodes and will be supported by an expansive licensing and consumer products program and a global publishing program with new titles launching in 2019. Scholastic is seeking licensing partners in all product categories, with the first wave of licensees to be announced soon.
Rakuten Viki acquired seven titles from Croton Media to premiere on the streaming platform worldwide starting in May. Programs include Love 020, one of the most watched Chines dramas of all time, as well as period dramas Eternal Love and Princess Weiyoung.