PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Game’s not over. HBO gave a pilot order to a prequel series for Game of Thrones, set thousands of years before the original. The project – one of five spinoff possibilities – comes from writer Jane Goldman and George R. R. Martin. Goldman will also serve as showrunner.
Magical Elves, which produced the first five seasons of Project Runway, will return for Bravo’s 2019 reboot. The show ran on Bravo from 2004-2008, before moving to Lifetime, where Bunim-Murray produced.
Time Travelin’ Jerk is in development at FX. The animated comedy is co-written and exec produced by Billy Eichner, who will also voice a character. Series, described as “Back to the Future meets Groundhog Day,” was created by Billy on the Street’s Doug Brady.
A swinger comedy from Alanna Thompson and Dynamic Television (Van Helsing) made it to the development stage at Showtime. Project focuses on a monogamous couple, an open couple and two swingers who meet and fall in love at a swingers party.
A scripted series based on the life of Jamal Edwards, founder of online video channel SBTV, is in development at UK’s Clerkenwell Films (Misfits). Edwards shared the news at nonfiction festival Sheffield Doc/Fest.
Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: June 8-10, 2018
Ocean’s 8 (Warner Bros.) $41.5 million, opening weekend
Solo: A Star Wars Story $15.2 million (week 3), cume revenue $176.1 million
Deadpool 2 (Fox) $13.7 million (week 4), cume revenue $278.7 million
Hereditary (A24) $13.0 million, opening weekend
Avengers: Infinity War (Buena Vista) $6.8 million (week 6), cume revenue $654.7 million
Adrift (STX) $5.0 million (week 2), cume revenue $21.7 million
Book Club (Par.) $4.2 million (week 4), cume revenue $56.9 million
Hotel Artemis (Global Road) $3.2 million, opening weekend
Upgrade (BH Tilt) $2.2 million (week 2), cume revenue $9.2 million
Life of the Party (WB) $2.1 million (week 5), cume revenue $50.3 million
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
ID’s new Broken Trust tells stories of trust betrayed with deadly consequences starting Wednesday, June 13 at 9p.
Series premiere of Carnival Kings, featuring artist and Michelin chef Richie Farina in carnival cook-offs, airs Thursday, July 12 at 9p on Cooking Channel.
It’s a wrap, Upfront-wise, for The CW, with sales for the 2018-19 season reportedly seeing CPM increases of 10%-11%, and a lift in volume of about 15%. Deadline reports advertisers are responding to the extra night of programming on Sundays, as well as Black Lightning, Riverdale, and the upcoming All American and reboot Charmed. You’ll find more Upfront updates, as well as network data for buyers and planners, at the Cynopsis Upfronts/NewFronts portal.
The FIFA World Cup is expected to rake in close to $600 million in ad dollars in the U.S., analysts predict, and $2.4 billion worldwide. The month-long tournament is airing on Fox and Telemundo.
WPP is restructuring its business model to better cater to digital advertisers, according to the Wall Street Journal. With Martin Sorrell gone, the holding company’s chairman, Roberto Quarta, also plans to merge under-performing agencies, per the WSJ, in a bid to increase profits.
Omnicom reorganized its experiential marketing agencies, including Auditoire, Doit!, GMR Marketing, Luxury Makers and Tro, to aid customization opportunities for clients and enable better deployment of resources. “Omnicom Experiential Group provides us with an opportunity to combine the strengths of our individual agencies to create an unmatched global offering for today’s leading brands,” said GMR CEO Cameron Parsons, who will be on the group’s board.
Speaking at the Gabelli Annual Movie and Entertainment Conference on Friday, Viacom CFO Wade Davis said that while he’s optimistic that Viacom channels will land on Hulu with Live TV or YouTube TV, the company is “extremely well-represented in the traditional distributor lead virtual MVPDs, that’s Sling TV and DirecTV Now. And those are really the only virtual MVPDs that matter.”
Activist investors at Netflix were frustrated by a vote at the company’s annual stockholder’s meeting that saw 71.1% of voters in favor of a change in bylaws that allowed directors to be elected by a simple majority, that failed because it did not meet the supermajority voting requirement. Complaints about the board include a lack of racial diversity.
Yahoo Messenger is shutting down July 17, announced Yahoo in a message. “We know we have many loyal fans who have used Yahoo Messenger since its beginning as one of the first chat apps of its kind,” said Yahoo. “As the communications landscape continues to change over, we’re focusing on building and introducing new, exciting communications tools that better fit consumer needs.” Users have six months to download their chat history; there is currently no replacement for Messenger.
Viacom International Media Networks UK is launching Paramount Network, on July 4. The channel will be scheduled and programmed by the Channel 5 editorial team under the direction of Ben Frow, Channel 5 Director of Programmes.
FremantleMedia China, in partnership with Syco Entertainment, on June 8 launched Kid’s Got Talent on streaming service Tencent Video in China. Sponsored by Wyeth, the series will be known locally as Extraordinary Kid’s Got Talent.
Sky Vision and Endemol Shine international announced a new distribution deal with Altice Studio that will see the French broadcaster acquire exclusive rights for drama series Tin Star.
It was revealed at ATX Television Festival that Allison Tolman (Fargo) will recur on Hulu’s Castle Rock, from J.J. Abrams and Stephen King. First three episodes arrive July 25….Also announced at ATX TV: Travis Tope (Independence Day: Resurgence) and Melvin Gregg (Freakish) will be starring in season two of Netflix’s American Vandal.