PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
ABC gave a script commitment to the Designing Women sequel in the works at Sony Pictures Television. The original’s creator, Linda Bloodworth Thomason and exec producer Harry Thomason are both onboard the project, which will follow the next generation of Sugarbakers. The original ran on CBS from 1986-1993.
NBC gave a script commitment plus penalty to Hoops, from writer Jennifer Cecil (Notorious), NBA superstar LeBron James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment, Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman’s Brownstone Productions and Warner Bros. Television. Project focuses a player who returns to her alma mater to become the first female coach of a men’s college basketball team.
The CW put in development another project from James and Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment, along with writer Wendy Calhoun (Station 19), John Legend, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius’ Get Lifted and Warner Bros. TV. Lean on Me is based on the 1989 film.
Two police drama projects landed put pilot commitments from Fox: Connect, from writer Rashad Raisani, producers Howard Gordon, McG and 20th Century Fox Television; and Prodigal Son, from writers Chris Fedak and Sam Sklaver, Berlanti Prods. and Warner Bros. TV.
Netflix ordered a second season of revenge comedy Insatiable. Sophomore run of the show is slated to run in 2019.
Which politician would you most like to see compete on Dancing With the Stars? Let us know in the Cynopsis poll: www.cynopsis.com/poll/.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Season 22 of Comedy Central’s South Park arrives Wednesday, September 26 at 10p, after an eight-day marathon of 273 episodes kicking off Wednesday, September 19 at 9a. The net is also launching a South Park emoji that will be featured on Twitter whenever a user tweets #SouthPark, #SouthPark22, #Memberberries or #Cartman.
Also returning to Comedy Central, with new episodes, are Tosh.0 and The Jim Jefferies Show, on Tuesday, September 18 at 10p and 10:30p, respectively.
Unprotected Sets, offering portraits of stand-up comedians on the verge of breaking out, premieres Friday, October 5 at 11p on Epix. Series comes from Wanda Sykes and Page Hurwitz (Push It Productions) and Barry Poznick, president of MGM’s Unscripted Television and MGM Television.
Nickelodeoon’s reboot of preschool series Blue’s Clues (1996-2006) has a new host and a new name. Broadway actor Joshua Dela Cruz (Disney’s Aladdin) will be puppy Blue’s new pal on Blue’s Clues & You; production starts this month in Toronto. Said original Blues Clues host Steve Burns, who helped in the search, “I give Josh two thumbs up! He can definitely fill my shoes, and the rugby shirt.”
Washington D.C. is the first stop for Chef Jordan Andino when Cooking Channel’s Late Night Eats returns Thursday, October 4 at 10p.
Fuse’s The 212 debuts Tuesday, October 16 at 11:30p. Docu-series follows five up-and-coming NYC artists and entrepreneurs.
E! will once again be live on the red carpet for the Emmy Awards, with Giuliana Rancic and Jason Kennedy hosting multi-platform coverage beginning at 4:30p. Awards show begins at 8p on NBC.
The season seven finale of truTV’s Impractical Jokers will be taped in front of a live studio audience in the Jokers’ hometown. Hour-long special Impractical Jokers: Staten Island Holiday Spectacular airs Thursday, December 6 at 9:30, preceded by a half-hour retrospective of the season’s highlights and followed by an after party special.
Fuse documentary Time for Ilhan follows the uphill campaign battle of political newcomer Ilhan Omar, a young, female, black Muslim, mother of three, on Tuesday, September 25 at 8p. The show is part of Fuse Docs, a series spotlighting young, idealistic and diverse people.
Nitro World Games and Motor Trend Group are partnering for live, multi-platform coverage of the new competition, Nitro Rallycross. Races will air on Velocity in the U.S. and on the Motor Trend App in the U.S. and globally on Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23.
MEASUREMENT & DATA
The Advanced Target Standards Group, a consortium of network TV programmers, along with CIMM’s Advanced TV Committee, announced that the Calculation Principles for Advanced Targets, published last year, will be implemented in Nielsen’s Advance Audience Posting API. The document lays out key issues that need to be addressed with the use of first-party data, such as target size, utility, completeness and consistency, and the fidelity of the data when matched to relevant audience measurement data. “The ATSG Calculation Principles are a great first step towards bringing consensus to advanced audience measurement and we are pleased to be among the first to implement these standards,” said Kelly Abcarian, SVP of product leadership, Nielsen. ATSG member David Ernst of A+E Networks commented, “We are seeing more and more interest from advertisers and agencies wanting to incorporate their own data into their national TV advertising. The opportunities here are great, but there are also challenges with first-party data that need to be considered. This new ATSG document provides a comprehensive but readable overview of key considerations and guidelines for anyone working in this space.”
ADVERTISING AND BRANDS
Scott Kauffman is stepping down as Chairman and CEO of New York-based ad company MDC Partners. Kauffman will remain until the company finds a replacement and will retain his role on the board. “We appreciate Scott’s efforts to lead MDC during a challenging transition time for the company and the industry,” said Larry Kramer, Chairman of MDC’s HR & Compensation Committee. “He has advanced the company’s offerings in data and technology, demonstrated a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and put in place a foundation that we believe sets our agencies up for success going forward.” MDC’s stock price has declined by over 50% over the past year, with a net income drop to $1 million in 2Q18 from $8 million a year earlier.
Hulu created its first custom integrated program with Range Rover, with co-marketing extensions and off channel features for Hulu original The First. Custom elements include a futuristic, designed-for-the-show Range Rover woven into the series about the race to be the first humans on Mars. Off-channel support from Range Rover includes print media, digital buys and social promotion for tonight’s launch.
A review of research examining the “context effect” in advertising led the ARF (Advertising Research Foundation) to offer some strategies for marketers for utilizing the context effect to increase ad effectiveness. Insights include: Conducting research on which contexts their target consumer likes and pays attention to, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach; placing advertising where the target consumer is more engaged to increase the likelihood that the ads will be seen or heard; aligning advertising with the context and content on multiple emotional dimensions to benefit from a halo effect, but only if it also aligns with the target consumer’s perception of the product and overall brand; and considering the final ad context during the initial stages of the ad creation process.
Nine of ten top brands in the 22nd annual Brand Keys 2018 Loyalty Leaders List were digital: Amazon (online retail), Google, Apple, Netflix, Amazon (video streaming), Samsung, Apple, Facebook and Amazon (tablets) topped number ten Trader Joes. Making the biggest gain was T.J. Maxx (#35).
Havas introduced a new service practice, “Climate Solidarity Initiative,” aimed at helping marketers manage their carbon footprint. The plan calls for agencies to include in their overall production budget a financial contribution to offset their carbon footprint; funds generated would be invested in Verified Carbon Standard accredited projects managed by Pur Project.
Noah Emmerich (The Americans), Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones), Topher Grace (Blackkklansman), Paul James (The Path), Nick Searcy (The Shape of Water), Robert Wisdom(The Wire) and Robert Sean Leonard (House) join Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) in National Geographic’s The Hot Zone, a miniseries inspired by the true story of the origins of the Ebola virus.
Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) has joined the season three cast of HBO’s Westworld, reports Deadline….Zachary Quinto (Stark Trek) and Ashleigh Cummings (The Goldfinch) will star in AMC’s upcoming supernatural horror series NOS4A2 (wt)….Elaine Hendrix (Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll) is onboard Fox midseason drama Proven Innocent….Shaun Toub (Homeland) landed a recurring role in TNT’s Snowpiercer….Clementine Nicholson (Underworld: Blood Wars) will recur on season two of History’s Knightfall….Adan Rocha (Brockmire) will play a Mexican Dreamer on CBS’s Murphy Brown revival….Tommy Dorfman (13 Reasons Why) has joined the season five cast of CW’s Jane the Virgin for a story arc, reports TheWrap.
Fox News streaming service Fox Nation will debut in late fall, ahead of the midterm elections, offering “a different lineup entirely” than Fox News, said John P. Nallen, CFO of 21st Century Fox, at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia on Thursday, adding, “We know there is a market for this product.” Fox News on Wednesday announced that network stars like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson would provide exclusive content for the service.
Snapchat announced a new revenue stream with Our Stories, letting media companies curate collections of user posts, viewable in Snapchat’s Discover section, that until now were handled by Snapchat employees. Snapchat will split revenue from ads sold for Our Stories with the publishers.
A video of a meeting of Google execs upset right after the 2016 presidential election was leaked to right-wing site Breigbart. “Myself, as an immigrant and refugee, I certainly find this election deeply offensive,” says Google co-founder Sergey Brin during the session. Google, which has been under attack by President Trump for partisan bias, issued a statement saying, “Our products are built for everyone, and we design them with extraordinary care to be a trustworthy source of information for everyone, without regard to political viewpoint.”
The premium OTT market in the U.S. will hit $21 billion by 2020, projects MTM report, “The Prospects for Premium OTT,” up from $16.4 billion in 2017. While Netflix, Amazon and Hulu will remain the biggest players, according to MTM, OTT TV services like YouTube TV and DirecTV Now will account for much of the growth.
U.S. subscription video service BritBox has over 400,000 subscribers, shared Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Studios, at the IBC Show. BritBox, a partnership between ITV and BBC Worldwide, launched in March 2017.
Entertainment and sports company Endeavor unveiled a new division, Endeavor Audio, to develop, finance, produce, distribute and market podcasts. Partners at launch include Dick Wolf (Law & Order) and Magical Elves (Top Chef). Why turn to podcasts? “I don’t know if I would call the appetite for crime storytelling insatiable, but there is definitely a large segment of the population that is addicted, and there is only so much beachfront real estate on network television,” Wolf told the NY Times.
Gunpowder & Sky’s sci-fi label, Dust, premiered its new series, Glimpse, on Facebook Watch yesterday. Eight-part series will subsequently be available on Dust and Futurism channels.
Still wild about Harry and Meghan? SVOD service True Royalty is offering its first original documentary, Meghan and Harry: The First 100 Days, as well as docs Harry & Meghan: A Windsor Wedding and Harry & Meghan: The Royal Wedding, in advance Prince Harry’s 35th birthday tomorrow.
Sky and Skybound Entertainment are launching Skybound Stories, a mobile gaming venture aimed at producing “comic books for the iPhone generation,” said Gary Davey, managing director of content at Sky. Skybound Stories will create new IP as well as IP from Sky original productions.
CBS All Access is streaming a selection of classic Murphy Brown episodes, ahead of the premiere of the CBS revival on Thursday, September 27 at 9:30p.
Discovery Inc. struck a new deal with Dish that will put Discovery nets on streaming service Sling TV. Discovery also reached a multi-year agreement for live linear channels as well as on-demand content with Hulu.
Live and on-demand sports streaming platform DAZN announced a multiyear rights agreement with Mixed Martial Arts sports franchise Combate Americas, for a minimum of 13 fight nights per year to DAZN.