PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Comedy Central issued 2 series orders with late night roots. The Other Two, from former Saturday Night Live writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider and Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video, stars Drew Tarver (Bajillion Dollar Propertie$) as an aspiring actor and Helene Yorke (Masters of Sex) as his sister. Ensemble workplace comedy South Side (wt), from former Late Night with Jimmy Fallon writers Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahuddin, along with Sultan Sulhuddin, centers on a rent-to-own store in Chicago.
Boring, OR, from Jack Black’s Electric Entertainment and ABC Studios, is in development at ABC. Comedy follows a police officer out to stop a small town’s serial killer – as the rest of the townspeople are determined to not let the murders affect their lives.
The CW is developing Dead Inside, about a cop who solves crimes with the ghost of her dead brother. Drama comes from writer Katie Lovejoy, Warner Bros. Television and Doozer Productions.
Also in development at the CW: School for Psychics, a drama based on the upcoming book series from K.C. Archer, from CBS Television Studios.
Entertainment One has entered into a producing partnership with executive producer Vanessa Piazza (Lost Girl) through her production company Piazza Entertainment. eOne will serve as the studio and control worldwide rights for Piazza’s TV projects.
CBS ordered the pilot for a reboot of Name That Tune, reports Deadline. The updated game show comes from Ralph Rubenstein and Noah Rubenstein of Prestige Entertainment Group, owner of the rights to the title.
CBS also picked up Big Men, a comedy from Aline Brosh Mckenna and Rene Gube (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), focused on an Asian-American rookie pro basketball player. CBS Television Studios is the studio.
Freeform ordered 7 episodes of Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings, from executive producers Ann Lewis Roberts, Simon Lythgoe and Jenny Daly, in partnership with Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. The unscripted behind-the-scenes show, which is exactly what it sounds like and follows May’s breakout special by the same name (close to 3 million views across linear and digital), will premiere in spring 2018.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Season 3 of Lifetime’s UnREAL bows Monday, February 26 at 10p, after more than a year off. On the dating reality show satire, Caitlin FitzGerald (Rectify) will have her pick of male suitors as Serena, and producers Rachel and Quinn have a problem: she’s smart.
Killer Women with Piers Morgan returns to ID for season 2 on Saturday, November 4 with back-to-back episodes at 9p. First up: a wife who appears to have gunned down her husband as he was getting ready to watch the Super Bowl.
HLN continues its turn to true crime/investigations with Inside with Chris Cuomo, starting a 5-episode run on Friday, October 20 at 9p. The CNN New Day anchor will explore stories “affecting real people, in real towns and cities across America.”
More true crime: Oxygen 2-night special Dahmer on Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks premieres Saturday, November 11 at 7p. Investigative journalist Nancy Glass, who became a kind of confidant to Dahmer during his time behind bars, offers look at the murderer through her eyes.
True crime is taking over TV. Are you a fan? Let us know in the new Cynopsis poll.
Disney XD’s Big Hero 6: The Series takes off Monday, November 20 at 8p with a one hour movie, Baymax Returns, on Disney XD and Disney Channel. After the TV movie, 2 preview episodes of the animated series will debut on the DisneyNOW app and Disney XD VOD. Series makes its official bow in early 2018.
Movie Night with Karlie Kloss premieres on Freeform Thursday, December 28 at 6:30p. In the 6-part series, the supermodel/tech guru will host friends (think Serena Williams, Rachel Bilson and Lilly Singh) for evenings of movies, games and baking.
Mexican actress and singer Aracely Arámbula will host the first season of MasterChef Latino, the culinary competition show slated to premiere Sundays on Telemundo in 2018.
Two tribute specials honoring Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke premiere on Cozi TV Saturday, October 28 at 10p (check local listings). The hour-long specials, 10 Secret Stories: “A Tribute to Mary Tyler Moore” and 10 Secret Stories: “A Tribute to The Dick Van Dyke Show” feature commentary from Carl Reiner, creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show, as well as cast members and other insiders. The shows are the latest episodes in CoziI TV’s original 10 Secrets series that look at iconic shows.
TBS announced the lineup of programming at the New York Comedy Festival’s TBS Comedy Hub. During the November 7-12 festival, TBS highlights include a fan experience for Search Party’s season 2 premiere; Full Frontal’s Samantha Bee in a no-topic-is-off-limits-this-should-be-good Q&A, and standup event TBS Presents: A Toast to the O.G.s of Comedy.
Have you heard of the latest phishing trick, “whale phishing”? If not, you’ll want to check out our interview with McAfee’s chief consumer security evangelist, Gary Davis, who’s giving an opening keynote at NAB Show New York this morning (“DraftKings, McAfee and the Future of Cybersecurity”). In the Cynopsis Q&A, Davis explains why cybercriminals are targeting media companies, and suggests 3 things our readers should do to protect themselves. Like, now.
CMT’s The Road Less Traveled, a romantic comedy film from singer/songwriter Lauren Alaina named after her song, makes its TV debut Friday, November 10 at 9p. Alaina stars as a songwriter struggling to balance her career and her dream of a perfect wedding.
Call for Submissions: Cynopsis is producing its annual Holiday Programming Guide, which comes out on November 15 and will be sent to all Cynopsis subscribers. If your network has holiday-themed programming airing from November 15 through December 31, please send your listings to Lynn@Cynopsis.com and JanetDiLauro@gmail.com no later than Monday, November 6 with the subject line: Holiday Guide. To be included, programs must be listed by date, title of program, and the time each program will air on that date. A confirmation email will be sent following each submission (if you don’t receive a confirmation email, please resubmit).
VIDEOS IN SHORT
NBCUniversal is partnering with Snap on a new digital content studio, aimed at adding scripted programming to Snapchat’s Shows platform. Lauren Anderson, formerly SVP of primetime programming at NBC, will head the effort as chief content officer. Snap also has a deal with Mark and Jay Duplas’ creative shop Donut. “We’ve seen consistent audience growth and engagement on the platform,” said Maggie Suniewick, president of NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises. “This digital content studio is an extension of our already strong partnership and an opportunity to develop new IP and franchises for a mobile-first audience.” NBCUni invested $500 million in Snap Inc.’s IPO in March.
When it comes to short form, there’s never been a better time to be a creator, says Christine Lubrano, SVP, original programming at IFC. “With television and content quality being at an all-time high, there is a huge demand for good content, especially in the short form where people can get high quality content fast and on the go. As a result, the bar has really gone up for writers, directors, and talent,” says Lubrano, a juror for the Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival. “Everyone is on their A-game and ready to create smart, elevated, and funny content because while there is more opportunity than ever, there is more competition than ever. Specifically, IFC’s Comedy Crib really gives upcoming talent the chance to put their projects forward to show the world that even in the short form, the quality of their show far exceeds that of some linear shows on air now.” To submit videos or find out more about panels and networking opportunities at the Cynopsis short form event, go here.
Chris Roach (Kevin Can Wait) stars in a new web series, The Hacks of Life (ha!). New episodes of the show, hosted by former Today correspondent Janice Lieberman and featuring Roach finding “creative solutions to everyday problems without quite following the rules,” will appear monthly on Lieberman’s fan page.
Netflix doesn’t need Disney content as a driver for growth said the streaming service in a financial report this week, 2 months after Disney’s decision to yank its content starting in 2019. “Our future largely lies in exclusive original content that drives both excitement around Netflix and enormous viewing satisfaction for our global membership and its wide variety of tastes,” said Netflix. “Our investment in Netflix originals is over a quarter of our total P&L content budget in 2017 and will continue to grow.”
That said, series like Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale and Netflix’s House of Cards get the awards and the buzz, but they’re not necessarily what’s luring streaming subscribers. According to a survey by SurveyMonkey, 57% of respondents watch streaming video services for shows and movies that have already been released, while 43% are in it for the originals.
Indigenous Media and Kerry Washington’s Simpson Street are producing Five Points, an original dramatic series created and written by Adam Giaudrone (Being Mary Jane) for Facebook’s new platform for shows, Watch. Exec producers include Jon Avnet (Black Swan), Rodrigo Garcia (In Treatment), Jake Avnet (Sickhouse) and Washington with Simpson Street’s Pilar Savone.
Mitú has partnered with Sony Pictures Animation to launch the mitú / Sony Pictures Animation Accelerator program, aimed at giving promising Latino animators the opportunity to learn directly from Sony Pictures Animation’s experts, mitú’s development team, and newly appointed mitú CEO Herb Scannell, formerly of Nickelodeon. “mitú’s mission is to champion Latino talent in all that we do. We’re disproportionately underrepresented in all areas of entertainment both in creative roles and as business leaders…. Animation is close to my heart given my time at Nickelodeon, and I’m proud that we are mentoring young Latino talent to bring their creativity and characters to life,” said Scannell.
BabyCenter is launching its own channel on the Roku platform, with over 200 videos covering topics from fetal development to toddler advice. The digital parenting resource is used by 8 in 10 new parents in the U.S.
On Thanksgiving Day, emerging digital net Comet TV foregoes turkey to offer a Freaky Feast Movie Marathon that’s sure to make you lose your appetite. On the menu: Superbeast, The Incredible Melting Man, Howling II: Your Sister Is a Werewolf, The Video Dead, The Beast Within and Creature. Comet is a partnership between Sinclair Television Group and MGM.
AMC Networks-backed horror streaming platform Shudder has added Universal Monsters to its curated catalog. Films include Dracula (1931), Frankenstein (1931), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Mummy (1932), The Invisible Man (1933) and The Wolf Man (1941).
Twenty-six percent of U.S. consumers use ad-blocking software, according to a study from OnAudience, up from 22% last year. Estimated loss of publisher revenue: $15.8 billion, up from nealy $11 billion 2016.
Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana and Discovery Communications have formed (but not yet named) a venture to produce a new pipeline of content for the kids’ market in Canada, Latin America, and around the world. Based in Canada, the venture is dedicated to the production of premium children’s content across linear and digital platforms, combining the strength of the Discovery Kids business in Latin America, and Corus’ suite of kids’ channels in Canada.
Australian production company Creative Media Productions has partnered with Paris-based Alchimie to broadcast content on Alchimie’s premium OTT service, Watch it!. And DRG struck a deal with the digital distribution specialist for some of its “Slow TV” programming, produced by Norway’s NRK.
Catherine Zeta-Jones was at Cannes to promote her Lifetime original movie, Cocaine Godmother, in which she plays drug lord Griselda Blanco. And she won’t be playing it nice. The actress says she did not “homogenize her or find a sympathetic quality, because I don’t think she had one.”
Armoza Formats closed its first deal for new docu-reality show, Back to Life. The local rights to the format, created by Israel’s Channel 10 in partnership with Armoza Formats, was taken by Polish production company Rochstar…. Sky Vision will become the first distribution business to go live with its entire catalogue on TRX, the online deal making tool for TV rights licensing….Revolution Studios announced it has extended its exclusive global television and digital distribution deal with Miramax.
South Pacific Picture’ scripted format Step Dave, which landed at NBC in the U.S., was sold to Hungary’s TV2….IM Global Television acquired North and South American production rights to Kite Entertainment’s Fittest Family….Arts net Ovation inked a licensing deal with Sky Vision for 40 hours of programming, including international drama series Riviera….Globo telenovela Time After Time was licensed to Dori Media Group for Israeli audiences….Pure Flix screenings include soap opera Hilton Head Island and family comedy Malibu Dan: The Family Man.