PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Starz greenlit a second season of Vida, centered on two Mexican-American sisters from the Eastside of LA. The series’ household viewing has nearly tripled since its premiere on May 6, growing by 171% to earn the series the largest Hispanic audience composition for premium series in 2018.
Pop TV ordered scripted comedy Florida Girls, centered on four friends who see one of their group move away to follow her dreams. Lionsgate will produce alongside 3 Arts and JAX Media.
WGN America picked up two detective dramas, lighthearted Carter, starring Jerry O’Connell (Billions), Sydney Poitier Heartsong (Chicago PD) and Kristian Bruun (Orphan Black), and dark drama Gone, with Chris Noth (Sex and the City), Leven Ramblin (The Hunger Games) and Danny Pinto (CSI: Miami).
Netflix put in the order for three new unscripted series: comedy show The Fix, with Jimmy Carr attempting to solve the world’s biggest problems with laughs; Westside, following a group of young musicians; and baking series Sugar Rush. Netflix also renewed anime series B: The Beginning for a second season.
Talent manager Scooter Braun and reality producer JD Roth have formed unscripted content studio GoodStory Entertainment. The company, backed by Braun’s Ithaca investment fund, will target growth through strategic acquisitions of unscripted production companies.
Amy Seimetz (The Girlfriend Experience) inked an overall deal with FX Productions to develop new television projects. “Her passion for storytelling is evident in all of her work, and we look forward to developing new series that showcase her talent,” said Eric Schrier, president of original programming for FX Networks and FX Productions with Nick Grad.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Friends and food lovers Mark Anderson and Ryan Fey go for the ooey gooey (Lasagna! Tiramisu! Apple butter!) on the premiere of Comfort Food Tour, Saturday, July 21 at 8p on Food Network.
The Ronnie Wood Show, hosted by the Rolling Stones guitarist, makes its Stateside debut on AXS TV Wednesday, July 11 at 8p. First guest: Sir Paul McCartney.
History’s In Search Of, inspired by the 1977-82 franchise hosted by Rod Serling and then Leonard Nimoy, kicks off its first season Friday, July 20 at 10p. Zachary Quinto (Star Trek) exec produces and hosts.
Fox News’ OBJECTified will be back for season two on Sunday, June 24, with NBA superstar Magic Johnson set for the debut episode.
Reelz special Janis Joplin: It Happened Here takes viewers to the spots where the singer/songwriter found her voice, on Wednesday, June 20 at 9p.
Velocity and Discovery Channel’s 18 hours of live coverage of Barrett-Jackson Live Northeast Auction runs from Thursday, June 21 through Saturday, June 23, showcasing hundreds of collector vehicles. Action starts on Velocity, from 2p-8p.
Fox Business Network will air special live programming from the U.S. Open golf tournament on Thursday, June 14 and Friday, June 15. Maria Bartiromo will anchor Mornings with Maria, interviewing Douglas Elliman Real Estate CEO Dottie Herman and CA Technologies CEO Mike Gregoire.
Kelly Clarkson, Ricky Martin, Blake Shelton and Keith Urban will help light up NBC’s annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, airing 8-10p with an encore presentation at 10p.
Nat Geo WILD’s SharkFest event dives in Sunday, July 15 at 8p with When Sharks Attack: Mayhem in Mexico. The stunt lasts two weeks this summer, and net EVP and GM Geoff Daniels says, “We’re gonna need a bigger network!”
Racecar driver Danica Patrick will be honored with the Legend Award at Nickelodeon’s Kids Choice Sports 2018, airing Saturday, July 21 at 8p. Chris Paul hosts.
Nearly 40% of U.S. broadband households have at least two OTT video service subs, reported Parks Associates, representing a “new stage in connected entertainment” where OTT video is standard. “With services evolving to keep up with a fast-moving market….understanding the lifecycle of OTT video services allows market participants to better position their offerings and market strategy both for today and for the future,” said Brett Sappington, senior director of research. Parks said households that subscribe to three or more internet video services are one of the fastest growing OTT groups.
With concerns about brand safety and ad fraud top of mind, Tremor Video DSP announced the launch of its three-point brand protection plan, provided free to brands and agencies partnering with the programmatic video platform. The plan includes brand-safe delivery powered by contextual intelligence tools; real-time fraud verification; and a commitment to a transparent supply chain. In conjunction with launching its three-point plan, Tremor hired Kristin Marchesiello as the associate general counsel and privacy officer who will oversee all privacy related initiatives to further support compliance.
Soon you can worry a little less about that Snapchat message you kinda wish you hadn’t sent. Snap is rolling out a new feature, Clear Chats, that lets users retract a message; currently the app auto-deletes messages after they’re viewed. Facebook said it was working on giving users the ability to unsend messages after reports in April that Mark Zuckerberg could do it, but looks like Snap got there first.
SAG-AFTRA struck a deal with new ad-free streaming service Zeus that will provide union coverage for content produced by Zeus and a pathway to membership for content creators. “Together we are taking the next, natural step into the future of entertainment production and distribution,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris.
Headway, a provider of mobile, programmatic, data and performance digital marketing solutions, acquired mobile-first programmatic platform Smadex, which allows advertisers to execute performance campaigns on mobile devices using its machine learning engine. “Smadex technology enhances our mobile growth solution Mobrain, following the shift towards programmatic that our clients are increasingly looking for,” said Martin Kogan, CEO of Headway. “The Smadex team will focus on product while Headway will continue to focus on distribution, servicing clients and global expansion.
Although Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown was slated to leave Netflix June 16 when its deal expired, the streamer has arranged an extension that will keep the travel show on “for months to come.” Fans petitioned Netflix to keep the series after Bourdain’s tragic death on June 8 at age 61.
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NBCUniversal chairman of ad sales Linda Yaccarino continued her call for better solutions for measurement and transparency at the ARF’s AudiencexScience conference on Tuesday. “I cannot understand why we are so afraid to change,” she said. “The agency structure is changing dramatically, the publishers’ bottom line is changing dramatically, and here we sit.” As for those in investing in tech giants like Apple and Facebook, “You have got to be going to bed wondering, what’s next? Or what don’t we know?”
For insights on, discussions about and solutions for the issues Yaccarino raises – and more – register for the August 2 Cynopsis Measurement & Data Conference .
Following a Financial Times report on former WPP CEO Martin Sorrell’s verbally abusive behavior toward company employees, co-chief operating office Mark Read informed staff via memo that those days are over. “You will no doubt have read the press coverage this week about WPP and Martin Sorrell, including allegations about his behaviour towards people at the parent company,” said Read. “Although we can’t comment on specific allegations, I feel we should remind ourselves of and reinforce the kind of values we want and need to have within every part of our business: values of fairness, tolerance, kindness and … respect.”
With video views nearly doubling in the last year, Twitter is making pre-roll spots available to all advertisers. Rolled out in April, In-Stream Video Ads were originally meant to run just in premium content from Twitter partners.
Now, soccer is for the birds. New series Angry Birds: BirLd Cup (Rovio Entertainment), a mix of live action and animation starring the Angry Birds along with top soccer players, is available on YouTube Kids through July 16.
Hopster is partnering with Dog Ears to produce new preschool series Saturday Club, designed to help kids explore empathy and emotions.
A new Bee and PuppyCat story, Bee and PuppyCat: Lazy In Space, is in production from Federator Studios and VRV, set to launch in 2019.
Nickelodeon International launched two apps for international audiences: Dora’s Worldwide Adventure, an educational geography app, and Nick Football Champions, a pop culture-driven celebration of global football season. “Both of these new games tap into what’s important to our audience,” said Kate Sils, VP, multiplatform and brand engagement. “Our research shows 89% of kids ages 6-8 are curious about the world.” The apps are available in 12 languages.
Paul Wesley (The Vampire Diaries) landed a lead role in CBS All Access thriller Tell Me a Story, from Vampire co-creator Kevin Williamson.
Joining the cast of CBC and Netflix drama Northern Rescue: Amalia Williamson (Level 16); Spencer MacPherson (DeGrassi: Next Class); Taylor Thorne (Odd Squad) Michelle Nolden (Saving Hope), Michael Xavier (Bitten) and Peter MacNeill (Call Me Fitz).
Superpod is rebranding its animation studio activities, including Vanilla Seed, which it acquired in 2016, under the Superpod Studio banner. The studio will be in charge of all 3D animation for Netflix original Go! Go! Cory Carson.
Cyprus’ Alpha TV commissioned Israeli comedy La Famiglia from Armoza Formats. The new deal consists of 80 episodes that will be adapted to a local version, premiering in September 2018.
Insight TV announced its new half hour show, Droners, produced by Zoomin Studios. Taking influencers around drones on a journey around the world, Droners shows how drone pilots are influencing a fast-growing underground scene.
Channel 5 announced a new slate of original documentary commissions exploring the lives, issues and stories from everyday people across the UK. Example: Tower Block Kids, from Crackit Productions, follows eight children who explain what it’s like to be a young person growing up in a tower block community.
Among GRB Entertainment documentary pickups, Walt: The Man Behind the Myth went to OTE in Greece, and Confessions of a Superhero landed at Docs de Cologne.