PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
MTV Studios is developing a reimaginging of MTV claymation satire Celebrity Deathmatch (1998-2002). Ice Cube is attached to star as well as exec-produce alongside his partner Jeff Kwatinetz via Cube Vision. The show will be available as a weekly series for an SVOD or broadcast partner next year.
Drug war drama Narcos: Mexico was renewed for season two by Netflix. Series from Gaumont Television debuted last month.
AT&T Audience picked up Loudermilk for a third season. Production will begin this spring in Vancouver, with Big Branch Productions continuing as co-producer.
BBC America is expanding its broadcast of professional darts, adding the 2018/2019 World Darts Championship, from London’s Alexandra Palace, from December 13 to January 1. The best matches of the week will air Sunday mornings from 9a-12p, with the final airing Tuesday, January 1, at 9:30p following the Doctor Who New Year’s Day special.
Entertainment One entered into a two-year, first-look deal for scripted and unscripted television programming with two-time investigative documentary filmmaking duo Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick’s Chain Camera (The Bleeding Edge). eOne will serve as the studio on all of the projects coming out of the partnership and will control worldwide rights.
Netflix inked a multi-year first-look deal with Chris Columbus (Home Alone) and 1492 Pictures’ Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe. “Being able to create original content on a major motion picture scale is a rarity in Hollywood these days. But not at Netflix,” said Columbus. “They encourage original ideas and visionary filmmaking. And the icing on the cake? The executives at Netflix are great people who support some of the world’s greatest filmmakers.”
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
TBS’s Miracle Workers premieres Tuesday, February 12, at 10:30p. Workplace comedy stars Daniel Radcliffe as a low-level angel and Steve Buscemi as God.
Season two of Starz drama American Gods launches Sunday, March 10, at 8p. An eight-episode Holy Day binge of season one starts at 12p on Saturday, December 29.
Live with Kelly and Ryan will get into the spirit of the season with theme weeks, starting with “Holiday Hits Week” December 10-14. On December 24, Seth MacFarlane joins the daytime duo, along with singer Martina McBride…and Santa Claus.
Turner and Fathom Events revealed the 14 movies returning to theaters for the 2019 TCM Big Screen Classics series. First up are The Wizard of Oz (January 27, 29 and 30), My Fair Lady (February 17 and 20) and To Kill a Mockingbird (March 24 and 27).
Also teaming with Fathom Events is anime company Crunchyroll. The first Crunchyroll Movie Night of the new year offers a look at Mob Psycho II on Saturday, January 5, before the episode debuts in Japan.
Syfy’s New Year’s Eve marathon of The Twilight Zone returns for the 23rd year beginning Saturday, December 30, at 11p and running through Wednesday, January 2, at 6a.
The Simpsons’ 1989 Christmas special, the animated comedy’s first full-length episode, will air Sunday, December 23, on Fox. This year’s holiday episode, “’Tis the 30th Season” – featuring Jane Lynch – airs December 9.
Steve Harvey will once again ring in the new year for Fox. In Fox’s New Year’s Eve With Steve Harvey: Live From Times Square, Harvey will be joined by co-host Maria Menounos, beginning at 8p, Monday, December 31.
Smithsonian Channel investigates how tiny reptiles can reveal secrets about life on earth in Laws of the Lizard, premiering Wednesday, December 26, at 8p. The film includes the first footage ever taken of a bizarre new species.
LGE and Audioburst are collaborating on in-car infotainment systems for automakers. The goal is to give consumers new ways to access and explore voice search and content and brands deeper analysis around that usage in-car. The experience will be unveiled in January at CES 2019 in Las Vegas.
Amazon’s Prime Video service will launch over the next week on Comcast’s Xfinity X1. Customers will be able to search and navigate Prime originals via Xfinity on Demand and watch them in the Prime Video app.
Emails released by the UK Parliament reveal Facebook moved to restrict video app Vine when it launched in 2013, a decision in line with the social media giant’s policy at the time regarding apps that replicated Facebook’s “core functionality.” The emails were among the 250 pages of documents unearthed as part of a lawsuit brought against Facebook by app company Six4Three. Facebook said it changed “out of date policy” on Monday, and called the lawsuit “baseless.”
SHORT FORM VIDEO
National Geographic has teamed with YouTube to launch three projects over the next year. The first, The Okavango Experience, takes viewers to the Okavango Delta in Botswana, in 5-minute episodes. The four-part VR series is set to premiere Tuesday, December 11, timed to the Friday, December 14, TV premiere of Nat Geo documentary Into the Okavango.
Jeffrey Katzenberg, Quibi (short for quick bite) founder, and Meg Whitman, CEO of the entertainment platform, announced a new docu-series, Benedict Men, developed and produced by Whistle. Focused on a high school basketball team in Newark, Benedict Men will be executive produced by Stephen Curry‘s Unanimous Media.
The cast of 1994’s Four Weddings and a Funeral – including Hugh Grant, Andie McDowell, Kristin Scott Thomas and Rowan Atkinson, among others – will reunite for a charity short film, One Red Nose Day And A Wedding. The film, which premieres on BBC One on Friday, March 15, and will be part of NBC’s Red Nose Day programming in May, picks up 25 years after the original. Four Weddings writer Richard Curtis, who also wrote the short, is a co-founder of the Red Nose Day charity telethon.
Marketers will spend upwards of $19.2 billion on audience data and solutions in 2018, up 17.5% from last year, according to a report, “The State of Data 2018,” from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Data Center of Excellence. “Programmatic advertising has taken a central role in the marketing landscape and this study shows how increasingly vital third-party data has become as a result,” said Orchid Richardson, VP and Managing Director at the IAB Data Center of Excellence. “Third-party data provides insights – from geolocation to interests and more – that can help brands deliver highly personalized messages to consumers and expand audience.”
The IAB also released its first Opt-In Value Exchange Advertising Playbook for Brands. In a blog post, Susan Borst, VP of Mobile for IAB, says that “while many may know about this ad format from the social game space, Opt-in Value Exchange ads are now truly mainstream across many different types of websites, apps, and, increasingly, in connected TV/OTT environments. Most importantly, numerous studies show consumer preference for this type of adverting more than any other, especially for video.” The playbook is designed to help brands and agencies identify, create, buy and measure Opt-in Value Exchange advertising options for what Alberto Aceves, Sr. Director, Programmatic Strategy at OMD, calls “a highly misunderstood, and sometimes overlooked, ad format.”
Jessica Lange (American Horror Story) will rejoin exec producer/writer/showrunner Ryan Murphy in Netflix’s upcoming satirical comedy, The Politician…James Norton (McMafia) and Ben Miles (The Crown) are set to star in BBC One drama The Trial of Christine Keeler…Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders) and Sope Dirisu (Humans) landed lead roles in Cinemax drama Gangs of London.
Studiocanal signed a drama deal with Hong Kong’s PCCW that includes four-part character-led thriller Trust Me, produced for BBC One and starring Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who).
The BBC ordered a local version of RuPaul’s Drag Race from World of Wonder. Eight-parter will air on BBC Three in 2019.
Fremantle completed a deal with broadcaster ABS-CBN for the Fremantle and 19 Entertainment co-owned format Idols.ABS-CBN will Search for the Idol Philippines in 2019.
Gusto Worldwide Media confirmed the sale of its flagship baking series, Flour Power, to UMAX in South Korea.
Three-hour Saturday morning block “CBS Dream Team…It’s Epic!” is adding new series Tails of Valor to the lineup. Live-action half-hour program focused on service animals launches January 5.
ZooMoo Networks’ latest commission is kids craft series Kooki’s Crafty Show, produced by Beach House Kids, a division of Singapore-based Beach House Pictures. The series will air on ZooMoo’s linear channels across Asia, LATAM, EMEA, U.S. Hispanic, Brazil and Australia.
The LEGO Foundation is awarding a $100 million grant to Sesame Workshop to give young children affected by the Rohingya and Syrian crises opportunities to learn through play and develop skills. Working in partnership with BRAC, the International Rescue Committee and New York University’s Global TIES for Children, Sesame Workshop will reach children affected by crises in Bangladesh and the Syrian response region with early childhood and play-based learning opportunities.