PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
NBC greenlit All Fancy, a half-hour drama starring comedian Anjelah Johnson and executive produced by Kevin Hart and America Ferrera. The project, written by Emilia Serrano, is inspired by Johnson’s life and stand-up.
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) upped his relationship with Amazon Studios, inking a first-look deal via his Pastel banner to develop TV series for Amazon Prime Video. Jenkins is set to direct all 11 episodes of limited series The Underground Railroad, which nabbed a script-to-series commitment from the studio in June.
Amazon Prime Video also landed documentary Make Us Dream, produced by James Gay-Rees. Film explores the life and times of about Steven Gerrard, considered one of the greatest footballers of his generation, who almost singlehandedly won Liverpool the Champions League in 2005.
Penny Dreadful is getting a sequel. Showtime has committed to Penny Dreadful: City of Angels from the original series’ creator, writer and EP John Logan, who’ll return in the same roles. Michael Aguilar (Kidding) also joins as EP. A spiritual descendant of the story set in Victorian-era London, the next chapter focuses on a new vision, characters and storylines and opens in 1938 Los Angeles.
BET Networks acquired eight-part crime drama Carl Weber’s The Family Business based on Weber’s best-selling novel. The project stars and is executive produced by Ernie Hudson and is set to premiere on Tuesday, November 13 at 9p
Cuba Pictures (McMafia) optioned and is developing a TV adaptation of Lesley Kara’s upcoming novel The Rumour. Project is based loosely on the real-life case of British child killer Mary Kill.
Travis Braun inked an overall deal to develop and produce animated and live-action content across Disney Channels Worldwide, as well as Disney’s upcoming direct-to-consumer service. Braun currently serves as creator and co-EP on upcoming Disney Channel series Fast Layne and Disney Junior’s upcoming T.O.T.S.
Angels take the runway for the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Holiday Special, airing Sunday, December 2 at 10p on ABC. The event is returning to then Big Apple after recent productions in London, Paris and Shanghai, and will showcase a lineup of musical guests including Bebe Rexha, The Chainsmokers, Halsey, Kelsea Ballerini, Rita Ora, Shawn Mendes and The Struts.
THIRTEEN’s Theater Close-Up returns this month with Ernest Shackleton Loves Me, a love story combining time travel, adventure, music and romance starting Monday, November 26 at 9p on THIRTEEN.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs Thursday, November 22 at 9a on NBC. Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb and Al Roker of Today are set to host the broadcast.
Wild Boar Fever presented by Aimpoint begins Saturday, November 3 at 5p on Sportsman Channel, then airs again Saturday, December 1 at 6p on Outdoor Channel and Saturday, December 29 at 5p on Sportsman Channel.
Antenna TV brings back the Seaver family with an “All of Growing Pains Thanksgiving Weekend Marathon” debuting Wednesday, November 21 and running through Sunday, November 25 at 8p.
HDNET Movies gives thanks for great films during a two-day Thanksgiving Movie Feast hosted by Marc Summers. Stunt kicks off Thursday, November 22 with Moonstruck at 6a and runs through Friday, November 23.
BYUtv released its 2018 holiday roster, “Home for Christmas – Movies, Music and Memories.” Among the highlights of this year’s programming: Made-for-TV film Shoelaces for Christmas on Sunday, December 2 at 9p, and concerts featuring Train and The Band Perry.
Netflix film The Christmas Chronicles launches globally Thursday, November 22, telling the story of siblings whose Christmas Eve plan to catch Santa Claus (Kurt Russell) on camera turns into an unexpected journey.
Wondery series Imagined Life debuts a new guessing game, described as “What’s Your Line” in podcast form. Each episode puts viewers in the shoes of a celebrity before they became famous; audiences will be actively trying to guess the celebrity subject of each episode.
Julianne Hough (Grease: Live!, Footloose), Kimberly Williams-Paisley (Nashville) and Dallas Roberts (Insatiable) were tapped to star in Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings: Jolene, an episode of Netflix’s upcoming anthology series showcasing the stories behind Parton’s songs… Draya Michele (Perfect Match) booked a recurring role on FOX’s Star… Candice Coke (La La Land) will recur on FOX’s new legal drama Proven Innocent.
NBC News and Universal Kids launched NBC News for Universal Kids, a daily newscast that engages 6 to 12-year-olds in current events. Savannah Sellers is hosting the 2-minute show, produced by NBC Learn, the educational arm of the NBCUniversal News Group, which airs weekdays as 6p on Universal Kids.
Who’s advertising more, Netflix or Hulu? MediaRadar analyzed the summer ad spend for both, along with Amazon, Facebook Watch, HBO Now and YouTube Premium, and here’s what the report found: Collectively, these OTT platforms spent more than $55 million on advertising across national TV, digital, and print channels, and Netflix was the undisputed top as spender, promoting 100 different shows with over 900 ads. The top three shows advertised by the streamer this summer were adult cartoon Disenchantment, season two of Glow, and 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 publication with 52 unique ads. “Although a highly competitive space, it was not surprising that Netflix was found to be the summer’s top OTT platform spender, as the platform continually releases notable marketing campaigns for its original content,” Todd Krizelman, CEO of MediaRadar, tells Cynopsis.
The 2018 MTV EMAs launched functionality in the “MTV EMA” app that lets fans use augmented reality to vote for their favorite artist in the “Biggest Fans” category. It marks the first time a global awards show has used AR in their voting process. The app will prompt fans to design gallery-style artwork of their favorite “Biggest Fans” nominee, which they can socially share and submit as votes. It’s an evolution of how the MTV EMAs has experimented with AR; in 2017, the MTV EMA app used AR to allow fans to interact with the show’s live performances.
Arcade Cloud, a multi-platform entertainment brand for gamers, launched its ad-supported VOD channel on XUMO. This is its first smart TV OTT channel launch, following the brand’s expansion beyond its own YouTube platform and recent debuts on Facebook Watch, Twitch and Roku.
United Talent Agency is the first talent agency struck a deal that gives it access to viewer insights via TV Time’s show tracking app, reports Deadline. Roughly 1 million people a day use the app to keep track of shows they watch, discover new programming, or talk about favorite shows and actors with others. “By using our data, they can go very deep to see how people are feeling about characters and programs,” said TV Time CEO and Chairman Richard Rosenblatt.
Dove Channel’s faith-based Cinedigm network released its holiday slate. Among the 25-plus festive family movies are The Heart of Christmas, starring Candace Cameron-Bure, and animated features Christmas Is Here Again and The Dog Who Saved The Holidays. Also coming is Abbott & Costello: The Christmas Show.
NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s lifestyle learning platform, Bluprint, launched new content and DIY series timed to the holiday season. The lineup includes Holiday Ready Decor and Projects, bowing today; Holiday Cooking with Gail Simmons & Dylan Dreyer on TODAY and Jump Into Cake Decorating, launching November 13; Creating Space: Writer’s Edition, debuting November 19; and Easy Entertaining with Mary Giuliani & Dylan Dreyer (wt), bowing in mid-December.
MTV UK commissioned a local version of US reality hit Teen Mom: Young & Pregnant. Set to be produced by the makers of Teen Mom UK, True North, the show will take an earlier look at parenthood than its counterpart.
Canal Plus acquired exclusive broadcasting rights to England’s Premiere League soccer matches, which will kick off in August in 2019. The pact gives subscribers access to the 380 Premiere League games during the 2020-2021 season across multiple territories in Europe and is valued the $115 million range, according to French sports newspaper L’Equipe.
Eureka! Media, operator of Canada’s English language SVOD service AeroCinema, acquired France’s aviation channel Aerostar TV. The French language channel is distributed by France’s three major telephony services Orange, Free and Bouyigues.
Armoza Formats’ primetime singing competition The Four was acquired in India, with local rights to the format being taken by Banija Asia. Meanwhile, the third season of the show is set to air in Peru, this week, with it previously receiving commissions in Brazil, Greece and Lithuania.
Led by Sky UK and BBC Children’s, media companies and children’s broadcasters from around the world have joined forces on a collaborative project with global reach. Hope Works, a collection of short films offering stories of hope and inspiration, will launch simultaneously on leading children’s networks and via a dedicated YouTube channel on World Children’s Day, November 20. Hope Works is collaborating with UNICEF on the project.
Essential Media Group commissioned a third series or science adventure Body Hack by Australia broadcast Network 10. The one-hour doc, Body Hack 3.0, features Todd Sampson investigating extraordinary people and cultures to see what can be learned from their lives, using science as his guide.