PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Jason Bateman isn’t just a deal maker on Ozark. He’s partnered with producer Michael Costigan, and the duo’s new Aggregate Films netted a first-look, multiyear deal with Netflix to generate film and TV projects.
Dear White People creator Justin Simien snapped up a deal with the Lionsgate Television Group to develop original series.
Hourlong series How the Other Half Hamptons is in development at Freeform. From Kapital Entertainment and Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos‘ Milojo Productions and based on the book by Jasmin Rosemberg, series explores the annual summer cultural experience of the Hamptons share house that scores of young Manhattan-ites embrace every summer.
Showtime ordered new pilot Now What With Amanda De Cadenet (working title), for a half-hour weekly news-magazine format created and hosted by Amanda de Cadenet that explores America’s current social, sexual, cultural and political issues as seen through de Cadenet’s feminist lens. Inuka Bacote (Eastsiders), and Danielle Oexmann (Vice Does America) will serve as co-showrunners.
Netflix will bring together 47 comedians from 13 regions in a stand-up comedy event series premiering in 2019. Each comedian – including the US’ Chris D’Elia, Nicole Byer, Neal Brennan and Nick Swardson – will perform a half-hour stand-up special, some of which will be recorded at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal, with sets also being taped in Brazil, Mexico, India, Germany and The Netherlands. All eps will be released at once.
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network gave the greenlight to unscripted series Mind Your Business with Mahisha, featuring Curls CEO and creator Mahisha Dellinger and set to premiere Saturday, August 11 at 10p. Dellinger focuses on helping female entrepreneurs take their businesses up a notch.
RuPaul, Emmy-winning host of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is at work on a talk show pilot for Telepictures, the syndication production arm of Warner Bros., for daytime TV. Series will feature celeb guests, games and of course glam tips; its earmarked for launch in 2019.
Freeform announced the pilot is under way for Motherland (working title) pilot, a one-hour drama from exec producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick. The pilot was created by Eliot Laurence (Claws) and is set in an alternate America where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the US government to fight for their country. Taylor Hickson (Deadpool), Kelcey Mawema (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before), Jessica Sutton (The Kissing Booth) and Amalia Holm (Alena) star.
Tongal, Syfy and Wattpad are developing Story to Screen–A Digital Pilot Project to adapt Wattpad’s sci-fi thriller Expiration Date for the screen. The joint venture kicks off this week on the Tongal platform with a call for filmmakers to pitch how they would bring Expiration Date to life as a digital series for Syfy.com. Three finalists will then receive funding to produce a series trailer, with one grand prize winner additional funding to create a digital pilot episode with the potential to go on to develop the entire series. Expiration Date was one of the most popular sci-fi stories on Wattpad in 2016 and 2017, with more than 16 million reads.
An adaptation of the Valiant comic Quantum And Woody is reportedly in development at TBS, with Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (Avengers: Infinity Wars) and Mike Larocca (Spy) on board as exec produce via their shingle AGBO.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Enhanced, the docuseries from Oscar winner Alex Gibney about how athletes use technology and science to achieve greatness, will premiere on ESPN Films’ streaming service. All six eps are set to roll July 16 on ESPN+.
Beginning Monday, July 16 at 4p, Sherri Shepherd, Marissa Jaret Winokur, Kate Flannery and more stop by to celebrate the launch week of Game Show Network‘s Caroline & Friends, the new series hosted by Caroline Rhea (Sabrina the Teenage Witch) in which Rhea guides the audience through animal, kid and funny videos while providing lighthearted conversation and commentary.
Castle Rock, the Hulu psychological-horror anthology series from JJ Abrams and Stephen King, premieres Wednesday, July 25.
iHeartMedia and Fuse Media announced iHeartRadio’s Real 92.3 nationally syndicated radio show Big Boy’s Neighborhood will be televised weekdays beginning Monday, July 30 on FM (Fuse Music) with eps premiering the same day as the radio broadcast and begin airing Monday, July 30. TV series will feature iHeartMedia personality Big Boy entertaining audiences daily on-air with his mix of hip hop, heart and humor.
Freeform buddy comedy Alone Together will return for its 10-episode second season on Wednesday, August 1 with back-to-back eps at 8 and 8:30p. Joining the cast as guests this season two are Fran Drescher (The Nanny), Carmen Electra (Baywatch), Natasha Leggero (He’s Just Not That Into You) and others.
Oxygen Media kicks off a new season of true crime investigative series Cold Justice on Saturday, August 4 at 6p. Series follows veteran prosecutor Kelly Siegler and her rotating team of seasoned detectives as they dig into lingering small town murder cases.
New Food Network series Reality Cupcakes takes viewers behind-the-scenes as NY baker Ashley Foxen and her family create cupcakes that look like anything but cupcakes. The eight-episode series premieres Monday, August 6 with back-to-back eps at 10p and 10:30pm.
Netflix set August 10 as the premiere date for Insatiable, tagged as a “coming of rage story.” Series is a dark revenge comedy starring Debby Ryan, Dallas Roberts and Alyssa Milano, about the payback mission launched by a woman who for years was bullied, ignored, and underestimated because of her weight and who now finds herself suddenly thin.
Sony Crackle comedy series Rob Riggle’s Ski Master Academy will debut Thursday, August 23, with an advance debut on Amazon Fire TV through the Sony Crackle app starting Monday, August 13. Additional guests joining the series include Dermot Mulroney (My Best Friend’s Wedding), Christopher McDonald (Happy Gilmore), Noel Wells (Master of None), David Arquette (Amanda & Jack Go Glamping) and Jamie-Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos).
Acorn TV’s August slate features three exclusive US/Canada premieres, including new ABC Australia and Acorn TV original drama series Mystery Road on August 20 and new Italian-language drama series Tangled Lies on August 27, and the season 2 of British police procedural No Offence on August 6.
E! will premiere Ashlee+Evan on Sunday, September 9 at 10p. The six-ep series begins with an hourlong episode, followed by five half-hour episodes in the subsequent weeks following the life Ashlee Simpson-Ross and Evan Ross as they juggle their lives as soul mates, parents, musicians and artists.
With the world riveted by the miraculous cave rescue of 12 young Thai soccer players and their coach, Discovery and ITN Productions are at work on a documentary about the event for Science Channel. Operation Cave Rescue will air Friday, July 13 at 10p on Discovery and the following night at 10p on Science.
Nat Geo Wild’s two-week-long SharkFest premieres Sunday, July 15 at 8p.
ABC, People and Four M Studios will present The Story of the Royals, a two-night, four-hour primetime television event documenting the modern royal family as a two-night special airing Wednesday, August 22 from 9-11p and Thursday, August 23, from 9-11p on ABC.
Telemundo Deportes announced the addition of new audio offerings for Amazon Alexa and Google to enhance the final stages of the FIFA World Cup Russia. Fans can tune in to Telemundo Deportes’ Dia de Gallos podcast daily throughout the tournament.
Live streaming service Philo launched on Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV, giving consumers broader access to 40 top channels for $16/month. Philo also announced it has raised more than $40 million from existing investors, with AMC Networks, Discovery and Viacom leading the company’s Series C round of funding.
New research from Parks Associates shows the rise of esports, with10 percent of US broadband households watching esports content. Two reports, Digital Natives: The Rise of Esports and the 360 Deep Dive Sports vs. Esports: Audience, Spending, and Consumption, note esports viewers spend more than twice as much money per month on non-pay-TV video entertainment content than non-viewers, with a monthly average expenditure of $47.23 compared to $22.97.
Nickelodeon International’s Together For Good and African Wildlife Foundation launched the Together for Good Wildlife Special, an educational miniseries created to raise awareness about endangered wildlife and empower kids to become change-makers. The miniseries, which features Breanna Yde (School of Rock) guiding viewers on a journey through Uganda, launched yesterday across Nick’s network of channels spanning more than 170 territories. Nick yesterday also launched a Tanzania environment within its Dora’s Worldwide Adventure app.
New animated preschool comedy Pikwik, from Toronto-based studio Guru, is set to air on Disney Junior in the US, Australia/New Zealand, Korea and India. In the town of Pikwik, every day is a new surprise as thoughtful Suki the Hedgehog leads her team, Trevor the Racoon, Hazel the cat, and Tibor the hippo to help deliver surprise-filled parcels to the colorful residents. Series was created by Frank Falcone, Rachel Reade Marcus and Mary Bredin.
Jason Momoa (Aquaman, Frontier) will star in Apple original futuristic drama series See, from Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, director Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire) and Chernin Entertainment and Endeavor Content….Davi Santos scored a lead in CBS All Access‘ straight-to-series Tell Me a Story… Rosario Dawson (Rent, Seven Pounds) is in as the lead of USA Network pilot Briarpatch.
UK indie content distributor Cineflix Rights acquired two new factual series from British producer Brown Bob Productions. Inside the Vets follows the daily challenges veterinary surgeon and exotic animal specialist Clive Munns, while
Great Rail Restorations restores four iconic rail carriages to their former glory.