PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
HBO ordered The Gray Area with Charlamagne Tha God, a series of four hourlong interview specials hosted by the TV and radio personality. The first special is scheduled to debut later this year. Charlamagne Tha God will EP the project along with Karen Kinney.
Apple is teaming with Sesame Workshop on a new slate of original children’s programming for Worldwide Video. Under the multiseries order, Sesame Workshop will produce live-action and animated series, as well as develop a puppet series for Apple.
BBC ordered The Time It Takes, featuring comedian Joe Lycett, from Hat Trick Productions. The gameshow sees members of the public race to answer as many questions as possible within a specific time limit.
Amazon Studios inked a first look deal with Game of Thrones co-EP Vince Gerardis. As per the pact’s terms, the studio will have access to Gerardis’ intellectual library from top science fiction and fantasy authors, like Robert Silverberg, Kim Stanley Robinson and Robert Heinlein, to be used as source material for original series.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
ABC released premiere dates for two summer series. Bachelor in Paradise returns for a fifth season on Tuesday, August 7 at 8p. Meanwhile, new series Castaways, which tests the human need for companionship under extreme circumstances, debuts immediately following at 10p.
High tech takes over Big Brother for its 20th anniversary, as 16 new houseguests face unexpected twists and upgraded power in a house inspired by Silicon Valley. The CBS reality show debuts with a three-hour, two-night premiere event Wednesday, June 27 at 8p and Thursday, June 28 at 9p.
Attorneys for infamous criminals tell their stories in Oxygen’s four-part documentary series In Defense of bows Monday, June 25 at 9p.
Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods returns Tuesday, July 3 at 9p, as Andrew Zimmern continues his epicurean exploration of food that celebrates cultures and connects communities around the world.
The Pacific War in Color premieres Sunday, June 24 at 8p on Smithsonian Channel. Eight-part series traces the epic struggle of the Pacific War using never-before-seen visuals from every corner of the conflict.
The Great Food Truck Race takes a culinary road battle through the Wild West this summer, with seven teams competing for the $50,000 grand price. Kicks off Thursday, July 26 at 9p on Food Network. The winning truck will be named in the season final on Thursday, August 30 at 9p.
Oxygen Media debuts Serial Killer with Piers Morgan on Monday, July 16 at 7p. With unprecedented access to maximum security prisons, the series features interviews with the most depraved serial killers for the first time.
Tyler Perry’s new comedy series The Paynes premieres Friday, July 20 at 9p on OWN. Cassi Davis and LaVan Davis reprise their roles as Ella and Curtis Payne from the House of Payne series.
Human trafficking drama La Promesa, starring international star Aislinn Derbez, debuts on EstrellaTV on Monday, June 25 at 7p.
JBFA: Stories from the 2018 James Beard Awards bows Sunday, June 24 at 4p on ABC. Special showcases the most prestigious awards in the American culinary industry.
BET Networks brings fans digital and social experiences leading up to, during and post the 2018 BET Awards and BET Experience. BET Digital is complementing the on-air tent pole event with a series of interactive activations, exclusive video and live content leading up to the show. Hosted by Jamie Foxx, the BET Awards airs live on Sunday, June 24 at 8p from LA.
A new 2018 Beta Research Cable Network Interest study presents some key findings. Among non-subscribers to cable TV/cord cutters, the top ranked major basic networks of high interest were Discovery Channel (51 percent), FX (46 percent), National Geographic Channel (45 percent), Animal Planet (43 percent), Food Network (43 percent), Comedy Central (42 percent) and History (42 percent). Discovery Channel has ranked first among this group for three years in a row. Among non-subscribers to cable TV/cord cutters, the top ranked digital basic networks on high interest were FX Movie Channel (53 percent), Discovery Life (47 percent), Science (45 percent), Cooking Channel (44 percent), DIY Network (43 percent), Sony Movie Channel (43 percent) and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (41 percent).
International women’s rights organization Equality Now is unveiling a new campaign with Hulu original series The Handmaid’s Tale, calling on people to use the power of their name and the law to achieve equality for women and girls. The campaign centers on a two-minute film, Hope Lives in Every Name, featuring members of the show’s cast and production team sharing testimonies of real women with personal experiences of issues covered in The Handmaid’s Tale, including sexual violence, trafficking and female genital mutilation.
SpotX launched live educational series “SpotX Explains It All” for advertisers. The training session highlights the current state of CTV, targeting strategies, how to reach audiences and more. The invite-only series kicks off Thursday, June 21 at OffSite Loft in NY.
Jason Ritter (Kevin (Probably) Saves The World) nabbed a key role in Netflix’s straight-to-series sci-fi family drama Raising Dion… Serinda Swan (Inhumans) landed a starring role in CBC’s upcoming drama Coroner… Ben Daniels is joining season 3 of Netflix’s The Crown, playing Princess Margaret’s husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones… Molly McCook (The Ranch) and Josh Pence (La La Land) will recur on Good Trouble, Freeform’s The Fosters spinoff… Andrew Caldwell (iZombie), Jade Pettyjohn (School of Rock) and Anthony Keyyan (Fresh Off The Boat) nabbed series regular roles in Hulu pilot Kansas City.
The PGA Tour partnered with Facebook to stream 60-plus hours of exclusive live coverage, on a free basis, leading up to the FedExCup Playoffs, beginning with the Travelers Championship on Saturday, June 23. Facebook Watch will stream coverage of the Quicken Loans National, A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, John Deere Classic, RBC Canadian Open, World Golf Championships-Bridgestone International, Wyndham Championship and The Northern Trust.
In other Facebook news, in a bid to boost engagement, the social platform is providing users with new tools to turn their videos into little game shows. Facebook is adding polling functionality for Live and on-demand videos and gamification for Live. It allows creators big and small to boost their video offerings with polls, quiz questions and other challenges.
YouTube announced new product YouTube Creative Suite, that will soon be available to brands buying advertising on the video platform. It combines three new tools to test variations of ads and measure their impact. At Cannes Lions festival in France, Debbie Weinstein, managing director for YouTube & Video Solutions, said the new suite was part of a big bet YouTube is making this year “on improving the reporting, insights and guidance YouTube provides on video creative.”
AT&T and Verizon vowed to stop providing phone location data from cellular phone owners to data brokers, after a leak of real-time location data. The decision came after an investigation by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), who found that law enforcement agencies could use the date to track people without their consent.
Instagram launched IGTV, a new hub for longform video. The move pushes the social network to get into the race to aggregate social video. The company’s goal is to generate pieces of content in the 10-minute range, a la YouTube and Snapchat. Offerings will include some scripted shows and music videos.
Red Arrow Studios International inked new scripted format sales in Central and Eastern Europe for comedy series Match and crime procedural Einstein.
Endemol Shine Group’s All Together Now landed deals with Endemol Shine Germany and Endemol Shine France to produce versions of the show in their respective markets. The series has now been ordered in five territories this year, following its BBC One premiere in January.
UK production company Nevision secured a third season commission for animated show Floogals, from co-production partner Universal Kids, from Channel 5’s Milkshake!