Skip a newsletter last week? “In Case You Missed It” rounds up the top stories in each of our four daily editions, so you can be up on the latest news, Cynopsis-style, in the worlds of linear, digital, sports and kids television. Enjoy!
Randy Jackson won’t be back for season 14 of American Idol. The music producer and original judge on the Fox singing competition first announced he was exiting after season 12, but returned as a mentor. This time, it appears, it’s for real. “After 13 seasons, I felt now was the perfect time to leave,” said Jackson. “I’m proud to have been a part of a series that discovered some incredible artists and will go down in history as one of the most successful television shows ever…Onto what’s next.” Jackson’s exit leaves host Ryan Seacrest the sole original survivor of Idol, returning in January.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta cleaned up for Bravo on Sunday. The reality series delivered the net’s highest-rated season premiere ever, with over 3.8 million total viewers and over 2.2 million P18-49, according to Nielsen. The season seven starter was up 23 percent in viewers and 24 percent in the demo versus last year, and made Bravo the top cable network during the 8p hour among all key demos.
The NBA is taking an equity stake in fantasy sports company FanDuel, which will serve as the one-day fantasy partner of the league. The multiyear deal will see FanDuel offer the first “Official One-Day Fantasy Basketball Game of the NBA,” that will be free to all fans on NBA.com and FanDuel.com, allowing fans in the U.S. to draft their own fantasy team and compete against others for daily NBA prizes. “Our new one-day fantasy game with FanDuel provides our fans with another way to connect with their favorite teams and players throughout the season,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum. “FanDuel has established itself as the leader in the marketplace and the new game will be a great addition to our overall fantasy offerings.”
The NHL locked in a multi-year North American partnershipt with DraftKings, one of the largest U.S.-based destinations for fantasy sports. Fans will be able to take part in free to enter daily sports fantasy games on Draftkings.com for a shot at various prizes, including trips to premier NHL events – 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, 2015 NHL All-Star Game, 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series and 2015 NHL Awards. The deal will see DraftKings serve as the Official Daily Fantasy Game for the NHL and the brand will receive prominent brand placement across the NHL’s digital platform. DraftKings will serve as the presenting sponsor of daily video previews for each regular-season matchup on NHL.com, NHL Mobile and the NHL app and “Fantasy Players to watch” segments on NHL Live.
Sony’s cloud-based TV service will soft launch this month. Called PlayStation Vue, it will offer live TV and on-demand content from 75 networks such as Viacom, CBS, Fox, and NBCUniversal. Pricing was not disclosed, but users will need a PS3 or PS4 console for access. Sony Computer Entertainment Group President and CEO Andrew House said the news “demonstrates what our company is capable of when we stay true to gamers.” Users can save favorite shows to the cloud without restrictions or scheduling conflicts, and have access to episodes of a show for 28 days to watch when they like.
Just one day after announcing a deal with rights agency Merlin, YouTube unveiled Music Key, its ad-free subscription service. Music Key is available for free on an invite-only basis for the “biggest music fans” for six months, and will then cost $7.99 per month. The price will eventually rise to $9.99, and will include a sub to Google Play Music that consists of 30 million songs, curated playlists, and artists’ profiles. YT already has pacts with major music labels such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Warner Music Group. U.S. revenue from ad-supported and subscription streaming music services, like Spotify, Amazon, Rdio, Rhapsody and Apple, will double from $2 billion in 2014 to $4 billion in 2018, according to eMarketer.
The sweetest sting: Bee & PuppyCat, the animated series from Adventure Time artist Natasha Allegri, hit 1.6 million views and counting in the first 72 hours after its Nov. 6 debut on Channel Frederator’s Cartoon Hangover YouTube channel. What’s more, the toon is attracting a strong female audience, unusual for animation’s normally male viewership. “It’s the type of series we would have never seen on traditional broadcast previously,” says Fred Seibert of Frederator Studios, which produced the series. The series, of which two episodes have aired so far, already scored the designation of most successfully funded animation project in Kickstarter history after raising nearly $900,000. Produced by Frederator Studios, Bee & Puppycat originally debuted on Cartoon Hangover in July 2013 as a two-part 10-minute short. It became an immediate hit, amassing more than 4 million views. Life’s been good at Frederator. The animation hub signed 158 new channels and expanded subscribership by 600,000 in October.
More original kids fodder is headed to Netflix. The streaming goliath and Guru Studio will debut the original spinoff series Justin Time The New Adventures, based on the hit series Justin Time, in early 2016. Netflix VP, content acquisition, Erik Barmack said, “The series has been a hit for us across several Netflix territories and we expect nothing less for the new series.”
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