PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
CBS is developing a medical drama from Safehouse Pictures, Dr. Mehmet Oz and his wife, Lisa Oz, Sony Pictures Television Studios and CBS Television Studios. The untitled project is based on the book, Miracles We Have Seen: America’s Leading Physicians Share Stories They Can’t Forget.
History ordered a 20-episode season 6 of Vikings, ahead of the season 5 launch on Wednesday, November 29 at 9p. Series regular Katheryn Winnick will direct one episode. Production is slated to begin this fall in Ireland.
Also stepping on the renewal gas is AMC, hitching a third season with Ride with Norman Reedus ahead of the series’ season 2 launch on Sunday, November 5 at 11p. Ride follows The Walking Dead star Reedus on biker adventures.
If you want to know who to credit (or blame) for Sunday’s Emmys show, CBS released the production team. White Cherry founders Glenn Weiss (executive producer/director) and Ricky Kirshner (executive producer) will be joined by Steve Bass, Dave Boone, Bob Dickinson, Sarah Levine Hall, Danette Herman, Rickey Minor and Rob Paine to produce the telecast. Chris Licht, executive producer of The Late Show, is a producer. And of course, all eyes will be on the host, Late Show’s Stephen Colbert, on Sunday, September 17.
Medical drama The Family Gene has been put in development at Fox. Inspired by nonfiction book The Family Gene: A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance Into a Hopeful Future, the project comes from Jim Parsons and Todd Spiewak’s That’s Wonderful Productions and Warner Bros. Television.
Comedy Central is developing Weird Uncles, following a U of Texas college student who moves in with her 2 uncles to qualify for in-state tuition. Series is co-written by Brian Jarvis, Jim Freeman and stars Brendon Walsh and Randy Liedtke.
Those Real Housewives really are full of drama. ABC is developing a family drama, Glass Houses, based on the life of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Kyle Richards, from Leonard Dick (The Good Wife), Working Title, Universal Television and NBCUniversal International Studios. Another show based on Richards’ life, American Woman, stars Alicia Silverstone and will air on Paramount Network.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
You’ll have to stay up a little later to catch the premieres of Hit the Road and Loudermilk on AT&T Audience Network. The comedies, launching Tuesday, October 17, move back 2 hours to 10p and 10:30p, respectively.
The new season of Lifetime’s Dance Moms, featuring rotating choreographers as original star Abby Lee Miller serves time in the slammer for bankruptcy fraud, premieres Tuesday, October 17 at 9p. Special Abby’s Last Dance airs Tuesday, November 7 at 10p, following Chloe & Christi’s Encore at 9p.
Also coming up on Lifetime is a new season of Little Women: Dallas, bowing Wednesday, October 4 at 9p.
Chef Jordan Andino takes a road trip to find the tastiest dishes after dark in Late Nite Eats. Cooking Channel starts serving up the series Thursday, September 28 at 10p.
Four-part Travel Channel special Expedition Unknown: Hunt for Extraterrestrials follows adventurer Josh Gates on a 50,000 mile quest for evidence of life beyond earth, starting Wednesday, October 4 at 9p. After-show specials Expedition Unknown: After the Hunt follows at 10p.
Also on the way from Travel Channel is new series Xtreme Screams, launching Sunday, October 8 at 9p and 9:30p promising ear-piercing shrieks from heart-pumping adventures.
PBS Kids dives into a week of new episodes of Splash and Bubbles starting Monday, September 25. Animated children’s show exploring life under the sea is available on PBS stations (check local listings) and the PBS Kids channel and live stream.
The glitz and glam of New York’s drag community is explored in Fusion TV docu-series Shade: Queens of NYC, debuting Thursday, October 5 at 10:30p.
Oxygen’s The Disappearance of Maura Murray, originally scheduled to make its debut on September 30, will arrive one week early. True crime drama premieres Saturday, September 23 at 8:30p, airing next on September 30 at 7p and 9p.
Bruno Mars’ first primetime TV special, Bruno Mars: 24K Magic Live at the Apollo, premieres on CBS Wednesday, November 29 at 10p. The Grammy winner’s show was taped at NYC’s Apollo Theater; more content will be taped over the coming weeks.
Ahead of O.J. Simpson’s release from prison, A&E is airing O.J.: Guilty in Vegas on Thursday, September 21 at 9p. The 2-hour special offers new details on Simpson’s conviction for armed robbery.
TV One original film Downsized, written by the 2016 TV One American Black Film Festival Screenplay Competition finalist Michelle McKissic, premieres Saturday, September 16 at 9p. Husband and wife Boris Kodjoe (Code Black) and Nicole Ari Parker (Almost Christmas) star.
Travel Channel has Halloween covered with themed special episodes in October. “Haunted Hospitality” takes over Extreme Hotels on Monday, October 2 at 9p, and “Scary Good” airs on Food Paradise on Sunday, October 8 at 8p. That’s in addition to 4-part Ghost Adventures special “Hauntings of Vicksburg” starting Saturday, October 7 at 9p and 10p, and Ghost Adventures Halloween specials on Saturday, October 28 at 9p and 10p, plus a quartet of one-hour Haunted USA specials debuting Sunday, October 8 at 10p. Vampires: Mysteries at the Museum airs Thursday, October 5 at 9p.
PBS’s Beyond A Year in Space premieres Wednesday, November 15, at 9p, chronicling astronaut Scott Kelley’s return after the longest space mission – 12 months – in American history.
Decades TV marks the 45th anniversary of The Bob Newhart Show with a weekend binge starting Saturday, September 16, at 1p and ending Monday, September 18at 7a. “Like all of you, I’ll be binging on The Bob Newhart Show,” said Newhart, adding, “at 88, I’m not sure I’ll be able to stay awake through all 84 episodes.”
Do we hear jingle bells? Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ annual holiday programming event, “The Most Wonderful Movies of Christmas,” launches Friday, October 27. 12 new originals will be added to the slate of familiar faves.
Comedy special Anjelah Johnson: Mahalo & Goodnight premieres on Epix Friday, September 29 at 10p. The comedian is best-known for her role on MAD tv, where she played internet sensation Bon Qui Qui.
Women have 42% of all speaking roles on television, up 3 percent from last year, according to the Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film at San Diego State’s annual “Boxed In” study. But who’s the boss makes a big difference. On TV shows with at least one female creator or executive producer, 51 % of major roles went to women. When only men are in charge, the number dips to 38%.
Approximately 20% of Americans have a disability, versus the mere 1.7% of characters that did on TV last season. But The Ruderman Family Foundation’s TV Challenge is seeing improvement, with CBS and 20th Century Fox doing better than their peers at auditioning and casting more actors with disabilities. The study found that CBS leads in the employment with 11 series and pilots having hired performers with disabilities across the network, while 20th Century Fox is excelling in the auditioning of performers with disabilities.
Also getting short shrift on TV are Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, found a new multi-university study, “Tokens on the Small Screen.” While there are more opportunities for AAPI actors than there were 10 years ago, the study noted, characters are still marginalized and tokenized. Nearly 70% of TV series regulars are white, and 155 out of the 242 shows studied have no AAPI series regulars.
fuboTV has launched its first national advertising campaign, introducing viewers to Fubo Chavez: World’s Greatest Fan. 15-second commercials will air during the NFL season on CBS, Fox and NBC, as well as cable networks and regional sports networks in key markets. The campaign coincides with fuboTV’s new promotional offer of a package of 65+ channels for $19.99/month for the first 2 months. “The Fubo Chavez campaign embodies that premise by balancing edgy, yet comedic, scenarios that will capture the attention of viewers and help them discover a better way to watch their favorite sports and entertainment,” said Alberto Horihuela, fuboTV founder and CMO.
Advertising week is fast approaching, packed with events and sessions of interest to the media community. We’ve compiled a calendar of events that might be of particular interest to Cynopsis readers here.
Comcast and Google launched YouTube on Xfinity X1, with an integrated app that adds billions of YouTube videos to existing web programming. YouTube content will be accessible via the X1 voice remote, and YouTube videos will be featured throughout Xfinity on Demand. “The living room is YouTube’s fastest growing platform,” said Robert Kyncl, chief business officer, YouTube.
Amazon ordered a docu-series that will follow the 11-time national champion University of Michigan football team over the course of the 2017 season. BTN Originals, the Montag Group and Jim Jorden Productions are producing.
21st Century Fox is part of a court challenge against CBS Corp.’s proposed purchase of Australia’s struggling Ten Network Holdings; Fox is among those contending the terms of the offer were unfair. 21st Century Fox and CBS Corp. are Ten’s biggest creditors.
21st Century Fox was hit with its own legal hurdle, over its bid to buy UK’s Sky, when UK’s Secretary of State for Digital Culture Karen Bradley said she still had concerns about the deal due to past broadcasting compliance procedures and corporate governance failures. Fox will have to sit through a 6-month regulatory investigation. Responded Fox, “We are surprised that after independent regulatory scrutiny and advice, and over four months to examine the case, the Secretary of State is still unable to form an opinion.”
UK’s DCD Rights notched deals for James Martin’s French Adventure in Belgium (VRT), Norway (Matkanalen) and Netherlands (24Kitchen), and Nadiya’s Food Adventure in New Zealand (Choice TV).
The new season of CW’s Whose Line Is it Anyway? has been acquired by M-Net Africa, Comedy Central Australia, Viacom 18 India and MTG Norway, thanks to UK’s Hat Trick International.
Brittany Allen (Jigsaw) will recur on season 2 of USA’s Falling Water as Sabine, a role played on season 1 by Brooke Bloom, who’s out due to a scheduling conflict…Grey’s Anatomy series regular Jason George will co-star in ABC’s Grey’s midseason spin-off, following firefighters….Nate Corddry (Mom) will co-star opposite Frances O’Connor in Hulu pilot Locke & Key.