PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
The Weather Channel ordered eight episodes of new original true crime series Storm of Suspicion from Jupiter Entertainment. Show explores crimes where weather played a central role in the narrative and investigation.
Temple Street Productions secured rights to bestselling Canadian author Kelley Armstrong’s Rockton series of books, set in the far north. Series will be adapted by showrunner Julie Puckrin (Killjoys).
Ample Entertainment struck an overall deal with Ed Gorsuch (Ice Road Truckers, Bionic Builders), who will showrun, develop and produce unscripted programming with a focus on mystery-adventure.
Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe) will star in and produce a six-part drama based on best-seller Woman on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, by Lorna Martin, for UKTV and Ireland’s RTE.
OWN announced the remaining directors for Queen Sugar’s season three all-female directorial lineup. Set to say “cut!” are first time television directors Nijla Mu’min, Christina Choe, Ayoka Chenzira and Rachel Raimist.
Apple gave a straight-to-series order to Little Voice, a dramedy from Lost’s J.J. Abrams and Waitress’ Sara Bareille and Jessie Nelson. Nelson and Bareilles exec produce with Bad Robot’s Abrams and Ben Stephenson.
MACRO CEO Charles D. King, Lena Waithe (The Chi), actress/producer Eva Longoria and Franklin Leonard, founds of The Black List, have launched The MACRO Episodic Lab Powered by The Black List, to discover and empower storytellers of color. Up to three winners will receive development support and up to $30,000 each or a pilot presentation or sizzle.
Cooking Channel starts serving up new series Seaside Snacks & Shacks on Thursday, July 19 at 10p. Seafood entrepreneur Sabin Lomac dives into dishes along the shore.
Chicken Soup for the Soul and APlus.com, in which it has a majority stake, are co-producing a documentary digital series. Running through June, Immigrant Heritage Month, The New Americans follows the stories of people who have immigrated to the U.S.
A&E Biography documentary David Cassidy: The Last Session premieres Monday, June 11 at 9p. Special includes never-before-heard audiotapes from 1976, as well film of his final recording session.
Stand Up to Cancer returns Friday, September 7 at 8p for its sixth roadblock telecast raising money to support research and new treatments. ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC, along with AT&T AUDIENCE Network, Bloomberg TV, Bravo, Discovery Life, E! Entertainment, EPIX, Escape, Freeform, HBO, ION Television, Logo, MLB Network, Nat Geo WILD, Showtime, Smithsonian Channel, STARZ, TNT, and WGN America, among others, are donating one hour of simultaneous commercial-free primetime for the telecast. The entire telecast will also be available to stream live and on-demand on Hulu.
The Jim Henson Company, Herschend Studios and PBS KIDS are celebrating World Oceans Day (June 8) with three new episodes, social media events, and the release of “Splash and Bubbles: Rhythm of the Reef (Songs from Season One).” Splash and Bubbles, which encourages children to explore ocean science and marine biology, airs daily on PBS Kids and Netflix.
HDNet Movies marks Fourth of July with films profiling The Beach Boys, starting at 7p with 2015’s Love & Mercy.
Nielsen’s new CMO Report 2018 reveals that 82% of marketers expect to increase their digital spend as a percentage of their total ad budget, and almost 80% expect to increase their investment in analytics or attribution solutions in the next 12 months. Only a quarter of advertisers said they were “highly confident” in their current marketing technology. “Despite the prevalence of new advertising and promotional channels and significant investments in data technology,” said Eric Solomon, SVP of product marketing and strategy, “marketers are still struggling to generate and prove sales results in an increasingly omnichannel world.” You’ll find more on the report in the Cynopsis Upfronts/NewFronts portal.
ABC, Fox and NBC have joined CBS in selling advance advertising commitments, reports Variety. Sources say NBCUniversal is looking for CPM increases of 12-13% or more, while ABC is looking or 10-11% and Fox is focused on its sports properties.
New ad sales company Crossover Media Group Sales, an extension of Crossover Media Group, has launched with the goal of capitalizing on OTT and podcast revenue opportunities. “We believe we have developed the first truly cross-platform ad-sales structure to best serve the needs of content partners whose origins are in the audio and digital-video sectors,” said managing member Scott Calka. “The future of ‘TV’ revolves around non-linear video consumption. To monetize the millennials audience, personalities, content providers and brands need to have a strategy for this platform.”
45% of advertisers say social media platforms have done a bad job on brand safety, according to Oath’s Advertiser Perceptions poll. 58% reported they are more concerned about the issue than last year, and 45% are shifting spend to premium sites to say safe. What does that mean for TV? “For both premium digital publishers, as well as TV networks, the data is a positive,” Jay Seideman, SVP, demand platforms at Oath, tells Cynopsis. “As social media platforms and user-generated content sites have been challenged to navigate brand safety, premium content environments are poised to win advertisers and budgets.”
Avan Jogia (Ghost Wars) landed the lead in upcoming Starz comedy Now Apocalypse….Danielle Campbell (The Originals) will star in CBS All Access thriller Tell Me a Story, with Kim Cattrall and Billy Magnussen….Vivien Ngo (Shameless), Tony Aidan Vo (Alternatino) and Elyse Dinh McCrillis (Spider-Man 2) have been cast in recurring roles in season three of OWN’s Queen Sugar.
Facebook announced the first lineup up shows in a dedicated section within Watch for news programs, produced exclusively for the social site. The slate includes daily news show On Location, from ABC News; Advance Local’s Chasing Corruption; weekly explainer show Undivided ATTN:; CNN’s global daily brief Anderson Cooper Full Circle; Fox News Update; Mic’s Mic Dispatch; and Univision’s Real America with Jorge Ramons. All will debut later this summer, with additional shows announced in the coming weeks. “We will work closely with our publisher partners to experiment with these different formats to understand what works,” said Facebook. But they won’t be making decisions about what airs – publishers will have full editorial control of their shows.
Facebook and Google are facing lawsuits in Washington, accused of failing to maintain publicly available information about political ads. “Washington’s political advertising disclosure laws apply to everyone, whether you are a small-town newspaper or a large corporation,” said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Facebook director of product management Rob Leathern said the social networking giant looks forward to “resolving this matter with his office quickly.”
Rashida Jones, SVP specials for NBC News, will head NBC News’ upcoming streaming service, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Today co-executive producer Christine Cataldi will exec produce. In job postings, the service is described as “a new kind of news channel for a rising generation of news junkies.”
India’s GoQuest Media launched new content division GoQuest Digital Studios, to develop, produce and distribute unscripted programming based on original IP or formats. “The branded content advertising market in India is growing at a brisk pace, yet brands often face great difficulty in coordinating with various agencies with different priorities,” said Darshan Bhatt, Director, GoQuest Digital Studios “We will bring in some much-needed transformation through subtle integration of brands, developing relevant content in sync with current trends and designing personalized content strategies for the target audience of the brand.”
Streamlining security procedures could pay off for online retailers when it comes to younger customers. While two-thirds of respondents in an Experian survey said they appreciate security protocols during online transactions, 42% of millennials said they’d engage in more online transactions if security hurdles weren’t such a burden – that’s versus 30% of respondents 35 and older.
Banijay and Twitter announced a global content collaboration aimed at monetizing Banijay content and driving brand engagement efforts on the platform. “As the content landscape and models continue to evolve, we must look at new and innovative ways to engage both audiences and consumers alike,” said Lionel Abbo, global head of digital at Banijay. “Striking a partnership with Twitter now puts us in a perfect position to not only monetize our content but work with brands to enable them to connect.” The deal is one of a number Twitter is closing with production companies.
A special 12-week edition of Food Network’s Treat Yourself with Skyler will launch on Snapchat Wednesday, June 13. “We’ve seen a growing interest in mobile-first content so our fans can quickly and easily explore new culinary ideas and flavors,” said Vikki Neil, SVP and GM of Discovery’s Lifestyle Digital Studios. “Snapchat has been a strong partner, and its digestible platform allows us to make our brand and shows accessible to millions of food lovers. Skyler’s personality is the perfect fit for reaching younger fans.”
Turner Asia Pacific struck a licensing partnership with Indonesian real estate and hospitality investment company, The MAJ Group, to develop an entertainment park in Bali featuring a waterpark and indoor entertainment center featuring characters from shows like Ben 10 and The PowerPuff Girls.
Acorn TV is now available in twelve Latin American countries through Roku streaming devices: Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru. Programs will be in English with Spanish subtitles available.