PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Lots of action at ABC, which gave a put pilot commitment to an untitled comedy starring, co-written and exec-produced by Hannah Simone (New Girl). Inspired by Simone’s nontraditional Indian family, series was developed at ABC Studios, which is producing. Former New Girl co-exec producer Matt Fusfeld and Alex Cuthbertson are writing and exec producing… Additionally, Leslie Odom Jr. is set to star and exec-produce an untitled family comedy that received a put pilot commitment at ABC. The project is from Kerry Washington, writer Saladin K. Patterson (The Last O.G., The Big Bang Theory) and ABC Studios… ABC also gave a put pilot commitment to comedy Work Wife, a “work spouse” treatment inspired by Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest’s real-life friendship, from writer Michael Ian Black, Ryan Seacrest Productions, Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ Milojo Productions and ABC Studios… And there’s more. ABC gave a script commitment with penalty to Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, based on writer/therapist Lori Gottlieb’s upcoming memoir. Project is from Maggie Friedman (No Tomorrow), Eva Longoria and 20th Century Fox TV.
Dramedy Let’s Spend the Night Together, inspired by the French series Quadras, got a put pilot commitment from Fox. Series is from Californication creator Tom Kapinos, Empire director/exec producer Sanaa Hamri, Endemol Shine North America and 20th Century Fox TV. The entire first season takes place over the course of single night at a wedding. Kapinos exec-produces with Hamri, who also directs. Sharon Levy and Nicolas Coppermann exec produce for Endemol Shine North America. Francois-Xavier Demaison, who starred in the French series, also exec produces.
Freeform put into development Joyland, a series based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. Joyland tells the story of a college student who takes a summer job at an amusement park in a North Carolina tourist town, confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child and the way both will change his life forever. Bill Haber’s Ostar Productions (Valor) will serve as executive producer, with Chris Pena (Jane the Virgin) and Cyrus Nowrasteh (The Stoning of Soraya M.) set to write the pilot script and attached to produce.
Nat Geo WILD gave the green light to Dead by Dawn, a new six-part series that brings horror to nature. From Skybound Entertainment (creators of The Walking Dead) and Love Productions, genre-bending series intermingles horror and nature to showcases the horror that is reality in the wild when the sun goes down. Each ep offers its own unique twist of classic, modern and cult classic horror films.
It’s a thumbs up from BBC America for new original scripted series The Watch, based on Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, which have sold more than 90 million books worldwide. Series, a punk rock thriller, is produced and distributed by BBC Studios.
Netflix ordered a 10-ep third season of animated medieval fantasy Castlevania, based on the Konami video game. Season 2 of the toon series started streaming last week. Series is written by Warren Ellis.
Pilgrim Media Group CEO Craig Piligian and Clark Bunting, former president and GM of Discovery Channel, and founder of Digital Circus, have secured an all-media and live programming rights deal for the Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) open road motorcycle race staged on the British Isle of Man. Pilgrim and Digital Circus will collaborate to develop for TV, film, streaming and gaming/esports platforms for a range of original content, including the first-ever live broadcast of the event.
Production house Peacock Alley Entertainment and sports media company King Network are co-producing Disorganized Sport, a feature doc that dives into the hotly debated addition of skateboarding as an official demonstrations sport in the 2020 Olympic Games.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
The new season of Outlander debuts on Starz on Sunday, November 4 at 8p with the episode “America the Beautiful.”
Bravo Media delivers double the drama with the season 7 premiere of Vanderpump Rules, immediately followed by the series premiere of the new docuseries Unanchored, on Monday, December 3 at 9p and10p, respectively. Following nine best friends aboard a 56-foot catamaran for three weeks in the Bahamas, Unanchored will air new eps on back-to-back nights every Monday and Tuesday at 10p.
Just ahead of the midterm elections, Showtime will air an Our Cartoon President special on Sunday, November 4 at 10:30p. Special focuses on Cartoon Trump’s deepening concerns about what he fears is a coming Democratic “Blue Wave” and his possible impeachment.
Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries have tee’d up two new holiday movies for Sunday, November 11. Hallmark Channel original movie Christmas in Love, from the network’s Countdown to Christmas slate, premieres at 8p. Then at 9p, A Veteran’s Christmas, about a decorated US veteran who must rediscover the magic of Christmas after returning home after two tours, debuts on sister net Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
The countdown is on. Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2019 will air Monday, December 31 at 8p on ABC.
CBS launched free, ad-supported 24/7 direct-to-consumer streaming network ET Live. Developed in collaboration with CBS Interactive and CBS Television Distribution’s entertainment newsmagazine Entertainment Tonight, the digital network taps into the ET legacy to offer continuous, original programming. At launch, ET Live is available at ETLive.com, via Android and iOS devices through the ET Live app, on Apple TV and on Amazon Fire TV. It also will be integrated into the CBS All Access subscription service’s live feed, and will be available as a feed within CBSN.
Hulu launched new Espanol and Entertainment live TV add-ons, available to subscribers for an additional $4.99 and $7.99 per month, respectively. The Espanol add-on comprises ESPN Deportes, NBC Universo, CNN En Espanol and History Channel En Espanol. Entertainment incarnation includes Lifetime Movie Network, FYI, DIY Network, Cooking Channel and CNBC World.
E! Snap original Camp Runway premieres today (November 1), starring Erin Scimeca. The docu-series follows along as 12 aspiring young models learn from agents, stylists and photographers how to hone their runway and editorial skills. Co-created by Caitlin Smith and Nathalie Kohen, Camp Runway is produced by NBCU Digital Lab and Above Average. “We are very excited to partner with E! and the NBCU Digital Lab for Camp Runway,” Smith tells Cynopsis. “It has been fantastic to observe how this camp can immediately improve the lives of young girls nearly overnight. One morning, a few of these ladies are packing their bags for after-school practice, and the next week, they are jet-setting to NYC, Paris, or Milan to make money as a model.”
PBS Distribution announced the film Dark Money is now available to stream exclusively through Amazon Prime Video. The film is a political thriller examining the influence of untraceable corporate and union money on our elections and elected officials.
Nickelodeon selected five new participants to join its 19th annual Writing Program, including the program’s first-ever preschool-specific finalist. The Nickelodeon Writing Program offers aspiring television writers with diverse backgrounds from all over the globe the opportunity to hone their skills while writing for both live-action and animated shows. Based in Burbank, participants will develop their skills with hands-on work during the year-long program. This year’s winners are: Halima Lucas, Sarah Allan, Crescent Novell, Michael Olmo and K-Ci Williams.
A new series spotted for Disney Channel UK: The animated 101 Dalmatian Street will debut on the network in 2019, in a reimagining of the classic story set in 21st century London. It stars voice talent Paloma Faith, Miriam Margoyles and Ben Bailey Smith. 101 Dalmatian Street was created by Disney Channel EMEA, in collaboration with Passion Animation Studios in London.
Munich-based Studio 100 Media has commenced production for the third movie about the world’s most beloved little bee. Maya the Bee 3 is slated to hit theaters in 2020-21, produced by Studio 100 Media in co-production with Australian production company Studio B Animation, and in association with Flying Bark Productions.
Emma Roberts exited Netflix drama Spinning Out, due to a scheduling conflict… Josh Whitehouse (Northern Soul, The Happy Worker) is in for a lead role in HBO’s Game of Thrones prequel pilot… In her first TV series role, Oscar nominee Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) joins ABC’s black-ish as in a recurring role.
Advanced TV provider Simulmedia launched a marketplace specifically designed for direct-to-consumer marketers. Called D2Cx.com, the new marketplace uses bidding, small daily minimums, fast, bottom-up reporting and distribution across more than 200 billion national TV ad impressions weekly from top cable and broadcast networks. It aims to provide a single point of access into the massive reach of television, with transparency on outcomes, fees, supplier media and data costs.
RESEARCH & DATA
Top OTT platforms spent more than $55 million on advertising this summer, according to new research from MediaRadar, an ad intelligence and sales enablement platform. MediaRadar’s new study, which analyzed spending from Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Facebook Watch, HBO Now and YouTube Premium from June 1–August 31, 2018, also found Netflix promoted 100 shows and was the top OTT spender. The top three shows advertised by Netflix this summer were new adult cartoon Disenchantment, season 2 of comedy Glow and the original film Set It Up. Netflix advertised on 279 online websites with 940 unique ads, 78 TV networks with 51 unique TV spots, as well as 25 print publications, with 52 unique print ads, the study found. As a whole, the OTT market is up 46 percent compared to last summer, when controlling for Hulu’s reduction in ad spend. Hulu reduced its ad budget by more than 10 times this summer compared to last, driven by a reduction in TV spend, according to MediaRadar.
Political TV advertising is setting records for both volume and negativity, according to research firm PQ Media, which predicts total spending will hit $6.75 billion in 2018, with about half of that going to television. A study released this week from Wesleyan Media Project finds the number of congressional and gubernatorial ads soared 59 percent over the previous midterm, in 2014. The study also found the number of negative ads spiked 61 percent this year over 2014.
Australia’s Network TEN commissioned Lineup Industries series Taboo. Lune Media will produce the new local version, slated to debut in 2019. In each episode, a famous comedian tests the boundaries of comedy and good taste.