PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
The CW is moving forward Dr. Mirage, again, with Reign co-creator Laurie McCarthy, DMG Entertainment and CBS Television Studios. The project, based on the graphic novel about a female paranormal investigator who can communicate with dead souls except for the love of her life, was previously in development with the network back in 2016-2017 with Gary Dauberman (Annabelle) writing and DMG Entertainment and CBS Studios producing. This time, McCarthy is writing the adaptation based on Dauberman’s initial script.
HBO and RAI ordered a sophomore season of My Brilliant Friend. Season 1 was based on Elena Ferrante’s bestselling book of the same name. Season 2 will be based on her second book in the series, The Story of a New Name.
Hulu struck a multi-year partnership and output deal with Funimation, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Television, for anime programming. It marks Hulu’s largest agreement for anime programming and will greatly expand its anime collection with both new subtitled and dubbed titles from Funimation each year.
De Niro? Clooney? Who should play Robert Mueller in the inevitable limited series? Let us know in the Cynopsis poll: www.cynopsis.com/poll/. (In our last poll, we asked which season two premiere you were most looking forward to. Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was the big winner with 87% of the vote.)
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
CNBC’s Deal or No Deal reboot with Howie Mandel bows Wednesday, December 5, at 8p. Steven Weinstock and Glenda Hersh, Co-Presidents/CEOs of Truly Original and Deal or No Deal EPs, tell Cynopsis, “Together with CNBC, we’re bringing viewers everything they loved about the original show – including Howie, some nail-biting gameplay and a fun, diverse relatable group of contestants. We’ve also introduced new elements like the ‘counteroffer,’ which contestants can use once each game, and a female banker. It was critical for all of us that the scale of the production be even bigger than before, while still delivering the same Deal or No Deal that captivated audiences 10 years ago. We’ve gone to great lengths to make that happen and are all truly excited to watch Howie in his element, rooting for people from all walks of life as they get a chance to win life-altering prize money.”
Smithsonian Channel revisits the defining moments that made an empire in Eight Days That Made Rome. New series debuts Monday, January 7, at 8p with a special sneak peek preview episode on Sunday, January 6, at 9p.
No Country No More premieres on Independent Lens on Monday, January 7, at 10p on PBS (check local listings). The documentary follows the rise and fall of the oil boom in North Dakota and paints a portrait of a rural American community in crisis.
Pop original series Flack bows Thursday, February 21, at 10p. The Anna Pacquin-starrer explores the cutthroat world of celebrity PR.
Ovation set its winter programming slate with the U.S. premieres of Travel Man on Thursday, January 3, at 10p and The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill on Thursday, February 14, at 10p.
Four dating couples will put their relationships to the test on the upcoming season of Temptation Island, bowing Tuesday, January 15, at 10p on USA Network.
Season 2 of Comedy’s Central’s Corporate debuts Tuesday, January 15, at 10:30p.
History is honoring late President George H. W. Bush with a tribute to his life and legacy. Via archival footage, interviews and speeches, History Remembers George H. W. Bush explores the lifetime of service and legacy of the war hero. Special bows tonight at 10p.
Showtime debuts American Dream/American Knightmare on Friday, December 21, at 8:30p, on-air, streaming and on demand. The documentary film offers an uncensored look into the life of notorious rap mogul Marion “Suge” Knight.”
Lifetime unveiled its winter 2019 movie schedule. Included in the mix are biopics Escaping the Madhouse: The Nellie Bly Story on Saturday, January 19, Victoria Gotti: My Father’s Daughter on Saturday, February 9, and Olivia Newton-John: Hopelessly Devoted to You on Saturday, February 16, as well as thrillers Love You To Death on Saturday, January 26, and Death of a Cheerleader on Saturday, February 2.
To honor the Day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Cinelatino debuts of faith-based immigration-themed drama Relatos Guadlupanos on Sunday, December 9, at 9p and again on Wednesday, December 12, at 11p.
Syfy Wire celebrates the 15th anniversary of re-imagined Battlestar Galactica with a new weekly podcast, Battlestar Galacticast, hosted by original cast member Tricia Helfer and journalist Marc Bernardin. Premiering on Tuesday, December 11, the intergalactic podcast gives fans an insider’s look into the world of the celebrated series.
The Paragon Collective launched the first two episodes of new holiday musical comedy podcast, The First Mrs. Claus on Tuesday. The four half-hour installments, starring Lewis Black, Kristin Chenoweth, RuPaul, Michelle Visage, Nancy Grace and Josh Peck, follow the courtroom trial of Hot Coco, Old St. Nick’s first wife, who is on trial for murdering him.
Podcast media company Cadence13 partnered with Pushkin Industries, Inc. to exclusively represent the company beginning January 1. Pushkin’s premium offerings include Revisionist History, Broken Record and Against the Rules. “As Pushkin develops its ambitious lineup of programs for 2019 and beyond, we’re relying on Cadence13 and their partners at Entercom for all kinds of support,” said Jacob Weisberg, CEO, Pushkin Industries, Inc. “The Cadence13 team understands how much effort goes into making shows that engage, entertain and inspire people.”
Edward Burns (Line of Duty) will star in and executive-produce an episode of Steven Spielberg’s Apple anthology series Amazing Stories… Penny Walker (Line of Duty) landed a recurring role in upcoming Epix drama Pennyworth… OWN’s soapy family drama Ambitions added Steven Williams (Yellowstone) and Christina Kirkman (All That) to its ensemble cast.
Liberty Global/Virgin Media selected Cadent to deliver an addressable TV advertising platform. The cloud-based Cadent Advanced TV Platform enables broadcasters, content owners and advertisers to deliver household-addressable advertising to Liberty Global’s STBs and other IP devices.
The VAB, in partnership with The FreeWheel Council for Premium Video, released a joint publication on Tuesday that takes a closer look at the state of attribution and, in particular, how attribution has evolved. Among key findings of “Assigning TV Credit” were that TV attribution has now matured and can stand alongside attribution techniques that have served only digital to date.
Amazon is preparing to set up its first big production hub in Europe and is seeking a location in Spain, most likely Madrid. According to El Espanol, the company has been negotiating with several Spanish producers and a decision will be made over the coming weeks. The production will be the first outside the U.S. and will be in coordination with the European company’s headquarters in London.
Hulu continues to grow. According to comments made by CEO Randy Freer, speaking at Business Insider’s Ignition conference on Tuesday, the streamer will top 23 million subscribers by the year’s end. In January 2018, Hulu announced at CES that its subscriber count had reached 17 million but updated that number to 20 million at this year’s NewFronts presentation. “I think our numbers will be really impressive,” said Freer. “But we need to get to 30, 40, 50 million homes in a way that we can scale.” Freer also addressed the potential for Hulu’s live TV business, hinting how quickly that product was growing via a comparison with AT&T’s DirecTV Now. “We think the live TV market is robust,” added Freer. “DirecTV Now announced their number in the third quarter, and we grew 10x of where DirecTV Now was. We were growing in October and November. We had our best third quarter, our best October, our best November.”
Live sports doesn’t seem to be in the cards for Netflix, at least for the time being. Speaking at a UBS media conference on Monday, Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer, Netflix, said the company is still based around “on-demand viewing… Sports, like live sports, for on-demand adds almost no value to it. People want to watch shorts now. They want to know who won. They don’t want anybody to tell them who won.” However, Sarandos didn’t completely rule it out. “At some point, sports might be the best place for a $10 billion investment,” he said.
Ellen DeGeneres has headed back to her stand-up roots. Netflix released the official trailer of her upcoming comedy special Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable filmed at Seattle’s Benaroya Hall. It premieres Tuesday, December 18.
Ooyala is teaming with 24i to launch OoyalaREACH, an integrated and configurable OTT content preparation and delivery solution. Media owners can leverage OoyalaREACH to create, manage and deploy premium OTT experiences across multiple platforms seamlessly, expanding the audiences for their content and driving more revenue. “Time to market is key in today’s high-pressure media world,” said Jonathan Huberman, CEO, Ooyala. “OoyalaREACH, powered by 24i, is a robust yet flexible solution that will shorten the time to market for any media owner keen to launch their content across multiple platforms.”
How I Met Your Mother, Last Man Standing, This Is Us and Awake are getting international remakes as part of a global-scripted-format drive by Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution. How I Met Your Mother is being remade in China, while Last Man Standing is getting new versions in India and Vietnam. Meanwhile, Awake was sold in Russia, and This Is Us is heading to France and Holland.
Insight TV launches Travel with a Goat on Monday, January 14, featuring two international foodies from two countries who meet and travel across the country with an animal destined for the slaughterhouse. After a four-day journey, they have to decide whether the animal will be killed or (yes, please!) allowed to live.
Nippon Television Network Corporation sold the rights to Abandoned to JSL Global Media in Thailand. The deal marks the first time a Nippon TV-scripted format is being adapted in Southeast Asia, as well as the first formal deal ever for Abandoned.
Global Content Hub by Zee announced three new drama series for the Asia TV Forum market: Guddan Tumse Na Ho Payega, Tujshe Hai Raabta and Vikram Betaal.
Rakuten Viki inked deals with Japanese broadcasters Nippon TV, Asahi TV and Fuji Creative Corporation to bring a collection of premium programming to its online video streaming network. Series will begin rolling out on the platform this month.