PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
ITV America’s recently launched true-crime label, Good Caper Content, entered into an exclusive development deal with the women who lead the criminal justice system in South Fulton, GA. Good Caper will develop and produce an unscripted docu-series that centers on the women and their families as well as the citizens going through the South Fulton Municipal Court. Kathryn Vaughan will executive-produce the series, tentatively titled Women in Black.
Another trip to the Shore: MTV dating series Double Shot at Love with DJ Pauly D & Vinny has two Jersey Shore Vacation stars looking for love, starting later this year. The reality show “like no other” comes from MTV, SallyAnn Salsano and 495 Productions.
Rachael Ray and Food Network inked a multi-platform deal that includes new episodes of a reimagined 30 Minute Meals series along with plans for a new and exclusive digital companion series. 30 Minute Meals is slated to begin production later this month and will premiere on Food Network Monday, April 1, at 12p with a simulcast across linear, TVE and Facebook.
A church choir comedy from Lesley Wake Webster (Speechless), Jason Winer (Single Parents) and 20th Century Fox Television landed a pilot order from NBC. Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) stars in the project.
CBS ordered two pilots: medical drama Under the Bridge, from Rina Mimoun (Mistresses) and Jerry Bruckheimer TV, and police procedural Nancy, from Paul Attanasio (Bull) and Amblin TV.
India’s Essel Group, which is behind 41 global networks producing more than 60 hours of programming daily, has formed new LA-based production company Z Productions. Essel’s first mainstream production company to be based in the U.S. will be helmed by veteran entertainment executive and producer Tim Krubsack, who has been named EVP and Head of Programming.
Freeform is developing The Girlfriend, centered on a woman who falls for the prime suspect in the disappearance of a man’s wife, reports Deadline. Subversive comedy comes from Jamie Lee (Teachers), James Griffiths (A Million Little Things) and ABC Signature Studios.
Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: January 25-27
Glass (Universal) $19.0 million (week 2), cume revenue $73.6 million
The Upside (STX) $12.2 million (week 3), cume revenue $63.1 million
Aquaman (Warner Bros.) $7.4 million (week 6), cume revenue $316.6 million
The Kid Who Would Be King (Fox) $7.3 million, opening weekend
Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony) $6.2 million (week 7), cume revenue $169.0 million
Green Book (Universal) $5.4 million (week 11), cume revenue $49.0 million
A Dog’s Way Home (Sony) $5.2 million (week 3), cume revenue $30.8 million
Serenity (Aviron) $4.8 million, opening weekend
Escape Room (Sony) $4.3 million (week 4), cume revenue $47.9 million
Dragon Ball Super: Broly (FUN) $3.6 million (week 2), cume revenue $30.0 million
NEW AND RETURNING SERIES
New true-crime series Heart of Darkness debuts Saturday, February 9, at 9p on ID. Six-parter “shows the transfixing power of emotion and how it can beckon the most reasonable people into criminal madness.”
Disney Channel picked up a second season of live-action comedy series Coop & Cami Ask the World. Series debuted in October. In more Disney news, the net’s first IGTV series, Ruby’s Gems, will air Saturdays beginning February 23.
Nickelodeon has two season premieres set for next month. Crashletes returns Sunday, February 3, at 12:45p, followed Friday, February 8, at 7:30p by The Dude Perfect Show.
Flack, delving into the cut-throat world of celebrity PR, arrives on Pop TV Thursday, February 21, at 10p. Anna Paquin (True Blood) stars.
For the 18th edition of Super Bowl Greatest Commercials, “We decided to showcase the funny,” Robert Horowitz, executive producer and show creator, tells Cynopsis. “We’ll again use a Top 10 Countdown to arrive at our top two funniest commercials. From there, viewers will vote live Tuesday night to determine the funniest all-time Super Bowl commercial.” Boomer Esiason and Daniella Ruah (NCIS) return as hosts for Super Bowl Greatest Commercials: All-Time Funniest, airing January 29 at 8p on CBS.
FilmRise has acquired the exclusive U.S. rights to coming-of-age drama Sprinter, “a testament to the powerful, personal and universal stories that can be told when underrepresented voices are given access, inclusion and opportunity,” said executive producer Jada Pinkett Smith. Film will be released nationwide in spring 2019.
Halsey will host as well as be the musical guest on NBC’s Saturday Night Live on February 9. The last person to do double duty was Donald Glover/Childish Gambino, last May.
YouTube is continuing to clean up its act. In a blog post, the company said it is taking a closer look at how it can reduce the spread of content that “comes close to – but doesn’t quite cross the line” – of violating its Community Guidelines. Using a combination of machine learning and user reviews, YouTube will reduce recommendations of borderline content and content that could misinform users in harmful ways. Such as? “Videos promoting a phony miracle cure for a serious illness, claiming the earth is flat or making blatantly false claims about historic events like 9/11.” About 1% of videos will be affected by the move.
The top five media properties in social engagement in 2018 were Worldstar Hiphop, Turner Digital, ESPN, TBS and National Geographic, according to the ListenFirst Social Year in Review. Also of note: Between Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, Instagram accounted for 75% of responses (likes, comments) on brand content in 2018, a jump from 65% in 2017; overall, social engagement grew 13% in 2018 compared to 2017.
Discovery and World Wildlife Fund US are partnering on a matching donation campaign to help preserve Russia’s Bikin National Park. It’s the second fundraising phase of Project C.A.T., a campaign launched in 2016. “With the globe in our logo, protecting the planet is part of our DNA at Discovery,” said Discovery CEO David Zaslav. “With our partners at WWF, we have already made progress in our goal to double the world’s wild tiger population by 2022.”
All in the family: Marika Dominczyk (Grey’s Anatomy) will appear in a story arc, and Christa Miller (Cougar Town) will guest-star on ABC dramedy Whiskey Cavalier. Dominczyk is the wife of series star Scott Foley, and Miller is married to exec producer Bill Lawrence… Sherri Saum (The Fosters) landed a role in Netflix’s Locke & Key adaptation, reports TVLine… Mare Winningham (George Wallace), Julianne Nicholson (Law & Order), Jeremy Bobb (The Knick) and Marc Menchaca (Ozark) have joined the cast of HBO drama The Outsider as series regulars.
Ad-verification company CHEQ and RiskIQ, specializing in attack-surface management, struck a partnership providing both companies’ clients access to an end-to-end suite of digital advertising-security solutions combining CHEQ’s autonomous brand safety, viewability, and ad-fraud prevention, and RiskIQ’s ad-scanning for malware, hijacking and ad injection. “Together, we’re providing a 360-degree proposition to keep brands, publishers and other online entities safe against unacceptable environments and malicious actors,” said Guy Tytunovich, Founder and CEO of CHEQ.
Bristow Global Media’s Haunted Hospitals and Paranormal have been acquired by Travel Channel in the U.S. and the Crime + Investigation channel in Australia. In addition, Haunted Hospitals has been picked up by TLC Channel in Germany, Planète+ France and Pan Asia subscription service Celestial Tiger Entertainment.