01/28/21: Freeform orders fifth and final season of “The Bold Type”

 

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read

 

Thursday January 28, 2021

Today’s Premieres
HBO Max: “Possessions”
HGTV: “Rehab Addict Rescue” at 9p

Today’s Finales
History: “Swamp People: Serpent Invasion” at 9p, “Mountain Men” at 10p
Vice: “QAnon: The Search for Q” at 10p

IN THE NEWS

“We are still fighting through getting the pipeline, dropping the content at the right rate and pace that we want to,” said AT&T CEO John Stankey during the company’s 4Q20 earning call, talking about the continuing production challenges posed by the pandemic. It’s “a battle, literally show by show, to get this stuff done and get it into the funnel,” he added, but noted, “we’ve got the worst behind us.” Earnings per share for the quarter were 75 cents and revenue was $45.7 billion, versus analyst expectations of 73 cents and $44.6 billion. The number of subscriptions for HBO and HBO Max hit 41.5 million, up from 34.6 million in 4Q19.

Super Bowl LV advertising inventory is virtually sold out, said ViacomCBS, with 30-second spots selling for about $5.5 million, in line with last year. While major brands Budweiser and Coke are benching themselves this year, ViacomCBS said consumer products, automotive, financial services and telecom have been strong.

Actress Cloris Leachman died January 27 at age 94. While Leachman was arguably best known for her role as Phyllis Lindstrom on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and spin-off “Phyllis,” she won an Academy Award for her role in “The Last Picture Show” and had memorable roles in Mel Brooks films “Young Frankenstein,” “High Anxiety” and “History of the World, Part I.” Leachman also won Emmys in 2002 and 2006 for playing a scary grandma on “Malcolm in the Middle,” and at age 82 competed on “Dancing With the Stars.”

AspireTV, focused on Black culture and urban lifestyle, has been made available on 12 additional markets on Comcast’s Xfinity TV. “We are passionate about creating the world’s best and most diverse collection of multicultural programming and entertainment available anywhere,” said Keesha Boyd, Executive Director, Multicultural Video & Entertainment, Xfinity Consumer Services. “Through our partnership with AspireTV, we are proud to continue to play a role in expanding access to high quality programming that celebrates the stories and achievements of the Black community.”

Sinclair Broadcast Group and Bally’s Corp. unveiled a new Bally Sports logo for Sinclair’s owned and operated regional sports networks. The Bally Sports regional logos will replace Fox Sports regional logos when the networks rebrand. The new logo “signifies a new, transformative chapter in the regional sports business and is representative of our cohesive partnership with Bally’s,” said Steve Rosenberg, President of Local Sports, Sinclair Broadcast Group. “The upcoming rebrand across our RSN footprint is incredibly exciting, not only for our entire portfolio, but for loyal sports fans across the country.”

Sinclair’s Sunday morning talk show, “America This Week,” is ending ahead of the February 2 launch of host Eric Bolling’s podcast with Brett Favre, “Bolling with Favre.” “America This Week will come to an end on January 31st as Eric has decided to pursue other professional opportunities,” said a Sinclair rep.

Locked On Podcast Network, which produces daily shows for professional and college sports teams, has been acquired by Tegna. “Local communities are at the heart of what we do, and nothing brings communities together like local sports,” said Dave Lougee, president and CEO, TEGNA. “We look forward to growing the Locked On network through collaboration with our local stations, including the potential for video simulcasts of shows, and further increasing distribution, engagement and monetization of these fan favorite podcasts.”

The CW picked up Canadian baking competition “Great Chocolate Showdown,” which premiered on Food Network Canada as a top ten series. The show will make its US debut later this year.

SundanceTV renewed “State of the Union” for a second season. The short-form drama series written by Nick Hornby (“Brooklyn”) and directed by Stephen Frears (“The Queen”) “explores relationships and the human experience” in 10-minute episodes.

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Our Best of the Best Awards are coming up…

Join us on Thursday, February 25 for our virtual celebration of the industry’s Best of the Best.

Finalists will be announced later next week!

PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

HBO Max will co-produce and be the US streaming home for limited series “The Tourist,”

from Two Brothers Pictures (“Fleabag”). The six-part thriller is headed up by writers Harry and Jack Williams, alongside commissioning partners BBC One, Stan and ZDF. Jamie Dornan (“A Private War”) will star as a man searching for his identity. Danielle Macdonald (“Unbelievable”), Shalom Brune-Franklin (“Roadkill”) and Hugo Weaving (“Patrick Melrose”) are also confirmed to join the cast ahead of filming in Australia.

Keke Palmer (“Hustlers”) will host and executive produce “Foodtastic,” a Disney+ competition series. Teams of contestants will be asked to create Disney-inspired works of art made out of all types of food, including everything from cheese and butter to fruits and vegetables.

TBS greenlit “Rat in the Kitchen,” a food format where competition cooking meets whodunit. Hosted by Natasha Leggero (“Another Period”) and judged by celebrity chef Ludo Lefebvre, each episode includes one undercover chef who sabotages fellow contestants’ chances. The series is produced for TBS by ITV America’s Thinkfactory Media.

Seth MacFarlane and Amy Pascal are developing a series adaptation of Elan Mastai’s novel All Our Wrongs Today for Peacock. The time travel tale is being written by Mastai, with MacFarlane and Erica Huggins executive producing for Fuzzy Door and Pascal and Rachel O’Connor exec producing for Pascal Pictures.

Entrepreneur Jeff Hoffman is joining Crush Capital’s new show, “Going Public,” as a mentor. In the 10-episode series hosted by Lauren Simmons, the youngest-ever female trader and the second Black female to have held that position at the New York Stock Exchange, Hoffman will join fellow business leaders in guiding a group of entrepreneurs as they navigate the challenges of taking a company public.

Three new series regular roles, plus directors Ayoka Chenzira and Crystle C. Roberson, have been announced for new OWN drama “Delilah,” from “Greenleaf” creator Craig Wright, who serves as executive producer along with Charles Randolph-Wright and Oprah Winfrey. Added to the cast are Kelly Jacobs, Khalil Johnson and Braelin Rankins (“Genius”).

Charmaine Bingwa (“Black Box”) has joined the season five cast of CBS All Access/Paramount+ drama “The Good Fight” as a series regular.

Take this survey on the skills you need the most to hit your career benchmarks in 2021. It should only take a minute, we promise.

SERIES RENEWALS

Freeform picked up “The Bold Type” for a fifth and final season. The final episodes will air later this year, with Nikohl Boosheri returning as popular character Ardena El-Amin during the course of the show’s final run.

“I Can See Your Voice was renewed for a second season on Fox, with Ken Jeong back as host and executive producer. The game show averaged a 1.3 rating among A18-49 and 6.0 million viewers in Live+7 Nielsens.

Set for season three is CBS’s “Love Island,” a dating series featuring young singles looking for love in a tropical location – this time around, Hawaii.

Facebook Watch ordered 12 more episodes of “Red Table Talk: The Estefans,” hosted by singer Gloria Estafan, her daughter Emily Esefan, and Lili Estefan. The interview series is a spin-off of “Red Table Talk,” from Jada Pinkett-Smith.

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

New CBS comedy “United States of Al” premieres Thursday, April 1 at 9:30, taking over the time slot of “The Unicorn” at the end of that show’s 13-episode season. The move puts “Al” in the company of three other Chuck Lorre comedies – “Young Sheldon,” “B Positive” and “Mom” – on Thursdays.

Sixteen of the best chefs from the East and West coasts go head-to-head in sudden-death cooking battles on Food Network’s “Tournament of Champions II,” launching Sunday, March 7 at 8p. Extended episodes of the tournament and an after show will air on discovery+, featuring backstage conversations with host Guy Fieri and the competitors.

True crime docu-series “The Widower” will go behind the scenes of a murder investigation, with exclusive access to the alleged killer. The first episode of the show from Dateline NBC producers premieres on Thursday, February 18 at 10p, with two-hour parts 2 and 3 airing February 19 and 21 at 9p.

The pandemic has a dramatic effect on Bravo’s “Married to Medicine,” back for season eight on Sunday, March 7 at 9p as the cast deals with a health crisis the likes of which they’ve never seen before.

The second half of AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead” season six launches Sunday, April 11 at 9p. Joining the cast for the back nine epsodes are John Glover (“The Good Wife”), Nick Stahl (“Terminator”), and Keith Carradine (“Fargo”).

All ten episodes of sychological drama “Tell Me Your Secrets” drop on Amazon Prime Video on Friday, February 19. Lily Rabe (“American Horror Story”), Amy Brenneman (“The Leftovers”), Hamish Linklater (“Legion”) and Enrique Murciano (“The Blacklist”) star in the series about people pushed to the edge by their troubling pasts.

“Donkey Hodie,” a new PBS Kids puppet series, premieres Monday, May 3. The multi-platform preschool show follows the adventures of the granddaughter of the original Donkey Hodie character from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

Digital reality series “MTV’s Following: Bretman Rock,” looking at the content creator’s life in Hawaii, premieres on MTV YouTube on Monday, February 8 at 4p. New episodes of the six-parter drop Mondays at 4p.

“Shadow and Bone,” focused on an orphan training as part of an elite army of magical soldiers, premieres on Netflix on Friday, April 23. The series was inspired by Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels.

COMING UP

Two-hour special “Unraveled: The Real Story of the Long Island Serial Killer,” a companion to the podcast “Unraveled: Long Island Serial Killer,” premieres on discovery+ on Tuesday, March 9. The podcast looks for answers regarding a case that started in 2010 when a young sex worker went missing.

Amanda Gorman, the 22-year-old poet who came to national attention for her recitation at the Biden-Harrid inauguration, will read a new poem during the Super Bowl pre-game show. Her performance at the Tampa stadium on February 7 on CBS will honor heroes during the pandemic.

Two upcoming Warner Bros. movies will premiere in theaters and HBO Max on the same day. “Judas and the Black Messiah,” which tells the story of a man who infiltrated the Black Panthers, debuts Friday, February 12. Live action/computer animated “Tom & Jerry” premieres Friday, February 26. Both films will be available on HBO Max for 31 days from their theatrical releases.

“Sew the Winter to My Skin,” a film depicting the hunt, capture and trial of Black rebel folk hero John Klepe, premieres Monday, February 1 on Crackle.

The 9th Annual Cynopsis Sports Media Awards program is looking for qualified industry professionals to help hand-select the winners. Ready to be the judge? Apply today.

Starz acquired documentary filmRuth: Justice Ginsburg In Her Own Words,” chronicling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s ascent to the Supreme Court. The film’s premiere kicks off Women’s History on Monday, March 1 at 9p, and air again on Monday, March 15 at 8p on what would have been Justice Ginsburg’s 88th birthday.

STREAMING

The average viewer in North America uses about seven different video services, according to TiVo’s Video Trends Report. Other findings include:
* 79% of survey respondents said that they would rather use free, ad-supported streaming than subscribe to another paid service.
* 25% of respondents added at least one new video subscription as a result of COVID-19, while 15% of respondents canceled at least one video subscription as a result of the pandemic.
* 83% of survey respondents said viewing local content was important (a 10% increase since 2019); 74% of broadband-only subscribers indicated viewing local content was important to them (a 12% YOY increase)
* TV commercials/ads remain the most popular medium by which people learn about new shows and movies.
* 98% of respondents said they feel recommendations from their subscription streaming services are “sometimes” or “always” relevant.

Season one of Netflix’s “Bridgerton” was watched by 82 million households globally during its first four weeks, 19 million more than the streamer projected 10 days after the Shondaland drama’s launch. That makes “Bridgerton” Netflix’s biggest new series ever, easily surpassing the 76 million households “The Witcher” drew during its first 28 days.

HF Productions is launching a new streaming platform on February 17. FILMPIXS, now in soft launch, features short films, in addition to international feature documentaries. The platform will be available worldwide via a monthly/annual subscription model.

Free streaming network DistroTV, launched in 2019, announced it is now home to over 150 live streaming channels. “As an emerging FAST network and one of the few remaining independent streaming services, our mission remains to cultivate content that covers a broad range of diverse topics,” said Navdeep Saini, founder and CEO of DistroTV parent, DistroScale.

Spanish and Portuguese dubs and subtitles will be available on Funimation beginning Wednesday, February 3. “As the popularity of anime continues to grow across the planet, we hope these new language offerings will enable more fans to enjoy their favorite content,” said Asa Suehira, Chief Content Officer at Funimation Global Group.

TECH TALK

Facebook reported 4Q20 revenue of $28.1 billion with net profit of $11.2 billion, beating analyst forecasts. A move from consumer demand towards products and away from services “provided a tailwind to our advertising business in the second half of 2020 given our strength in product verticals sold via online commerce and our lower exposure to service verticals like travel,” said the company, which nevertheless warned, “Looking forward, a moderation or reversal in one or both of these trends could serve as a headwind to our advertising revenue growth.”

Apple also beat analyst estimates for 4Q20, with total revenue of $111.4 billion, up 21% from 4Q19. Sales of the iPhone in what CEO Tim Cook called a “historic” holiday season totaled $65.6 billion, versus a projected $59.8 billion.

Video ad platform Unruly has launched a suite of self-service tools that enable publishers to package, price and sell their programmatic inventory. Via a new self-service platform, UnrulyX CTRL, media owners and app developers can set up programmatic deals across their connected TV, video and banner inventory via deal IDs. An user interface gives publishers access to online packaging tools, real-time insights to help maximize inventory value and enhanced reporting for transparency. “Publishers are increasingly looking for greater control and transparency – a trend that has become more prevalent in these uncertain times and the heightened anxiety caused by the global pandemic,” said Chief Strategy Officer Kenneth Suh.

GOING GLOBAL

UK’s ITV has commissioned a documentary from True Vision and London-based independent producer Nevision, in association with Topic, on the Irish mother and baby home scandal.

Quintus Studios acquired documentary titles for its on-demand channels Free Documentary and FD Real, including the rights to “Extreme Trades” from France TV Distribution, “Masters of Engineering” from Lucky You, and “Exceptional Transportation” from Ampersand.

Dynamic Television nabbed format and worldwide distribution rights for Icelandic dark comedy “My Funeral,” produced by Glassriver and created by Jon Gunnar Geirdal.

French animation studio Xilam Animation has secured broadcast deals across its “Oggy and the Cockroaches” franchise with Netflix, France Televisions, Discovery Italy, Super RTL in Germany, Gulli and M6.

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RATINGS

 

In its first week without host Alex Trebek, “Jeopardy!” was down 6% (6.2 Live+SD national Nielsen rating) the week of January 11 versus the week before, but still led all syndicated shows. Wheel of Fortune (5.8, down 3%), which is paired with “Jeopardy!” in most major markets, and “Family Feud” (5.4, up 6%) were next in line among game shows.

“A Teacher” has become the most-watched show on FX on Hulu, while also attracting the most new subscribers to Hulu of any FX on Hulu exclusive series. The limited series ranked as the #1 show on Hulu for five of the eight weeks during its run. The audience delivery for “A Teacher” was +42% higher than FX’s freshman comedy series “Dave,” which was FX’s most-watched show on Hulu and the highest rated comedy series in FX history.

The January 18 season premieres of Fox’s 9-1-1 and 9-1-1: Lone Star delivered 10.7 million and 9.7 million viewers, respectively, powering Fox to deliver its most-watched Monday night in nearly five years.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of January 11 ranked in order by HH Rtg
“Jeopardy!” (CMV) 6.2 AA
“Wheel of Fortune” (CMV) 5.8 AA
“Family Feud” (CMV) 5.4 AA
“Judge Judy” (CMV) 5.4 AA
“The Big Bang Theory” (WB) 2.6 AA
“Inside Edition” (CMV) 2.4 AA
“Entertainment Tonight” (CMV) 2.2 AA
“Last Man Standing” (DAD) 1.9 AA
“Live With Kelly and Ryan” (DAD) 1.8 AA
“Dr. Phil” (CMV) 1.8 AA

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, January 26
Show, P2+ (millions), (A18-49)
ABC: “To Tell the Truth” 4.48 (0.7), “black-ish” 3.10 (0.6), “mixed-ish” 2.67 (0.6), “Big Sky” 3.84 (0.6)
CBS: “NCIS” 10.0 (1.0), “FBI” 8.27 (9.8), “FBI: Most Wanted” 6.23 (0.7)
CW: “Two Second Horror Stories” 0.52 (0.1), “Two Second Horror Stories” 0.35 (0.1), “Trickster” 0.40 (0.1)
FOX: “The Resident” 3.58 (0.6), “Prodigal Son” 2.18 (0.4)
NBC: “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” 2.31 (0.5), “This Is Us” 1.94 (0.3), “Nurses” 1.74 (0.2)
Univision: “Vencer al Desamor” 1.76 (0.5), “Imperio de Mentiras” 1.57 (0.5), “Dulce Ambicion” 1.22 (0.4)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Michael Tennant has been named Entrepreneur in Residence at Arnold and Havas Media, charged with leveraging his expertise in empathy to help the agencies create more effective and inclusive work for clients. Tennant founded Curiosity Lab, a Black-owned, integrated entertainment and marketing company.

TikTok tapped LeToya Bacon to serve as Global Business Marketing/B2B Internal Communications Lead. Most recently, Bacon was the Director of Communications and Public Relations for BET Network.

Paul Hastings has been elevated to SVP of Global Sales for Whip Media. Most recently, Hastings served as SVP of Sales, EMEA.

Canada’s marblemedia has expanded its unscripted development team with the appointment of Mike Armitage as its new Development Producer, Factual & Factual Entertainment. Armitage joins from Proper Television, where he was Director of Development.

Disney Branded Television named Reena Singh as SVP of Development and Current Series. Singh was most recently SVP of Current Programming for 20th Television.

Kenneth Christmas has been named General Counsel at MRC. Christmas most recently served as Of Counsel at entertainment law firm Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano.

Alibi Entertainment promoted Aaron Champion to VP Development, Scripted and Heidi Schorn to VP, Development, Unscripted.

44 Blue Productions elevated David Hale to EVP Programming, and Pat Lambert to VP Development.

This Day in History
1887 – Work began on the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
On which game show did Steve Martin, Suzanne Somers, Tom Selleck, Andy Kaufman and The Carpenters all make appearances? “The Dating Game” (1965-73). Kudos to: John Ferlazzo/London, Eric Dunefsky-Crossmedia/NYC, Jim Bono-NBCUniversal/NYC, Dan Woo-JPL Productions/NYC, Joni Zlotowitz-WABC/NYC, John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas, Kyle Krebs-Intersection/Dallas, Eric Litt-Nextstar-Chicago, Charlie Conner-KOKI/Tulsa, OK, Gary Moglovkin-CBS Television Studios/Studio City, CA, Dave Sikula-San Francisco State University/San Francisco, KevinMoran-Blarney Productions/Pasadena, CA, Dave Braxton-DaveBVO/Las Vegas

Today’s Trivia Question
An episode of which sitcom featured movie parodies, including a musical version of “Apocalype Now”? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four answers per time zone.)

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MANAGER, A&E STRATEGIST, SHORT FORM MONETIZATION
A+E NETWORKS
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Digital content strategist to drive distribution and revenue for video content across key digital platforms, primarily A&E’s YouTube Channel. Strong project manager who will leverage data to drive decision making. 3-5 years’ experience working with digital video strategies at the brand/publishing level. Full info HERE (2/11)

SENIOR TALENT BOOKER
>>
THE PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA/NYC:
Procure talent – research, invite and secure the highest-level speakers/panelists and moderators; book and produce unique and influential programs. 10+ years of programming experience securing high profile talent for industry, entertainment, sports and media programs and other special events on time and within budget. Full info HERE (2/10)

NATIONAL BUYER
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ANCHOR TRADING/NY:
National Linear Buyer, negotiate and strategize to obtain maximum ROI. Collaborator with strong analytical skills, media relationships and buy management. At least 3 years relevant prior work experience in National Media. Full info HERE (2/9)

SALES PLANNER >>
FIRST MEDIA/NYC: Sales Planner, manages and executes the completion and fulfillment of RFPs, works cross-divisionally to help fulfill client requests and compiles, maintains, and distributes weekly booked business report. At least 2 years relevant prior work experience in the advertising industry and Analytical and able to take a strategic approach when creating proposals required. Full info HERE (2/5)

SENIOR DIRECTOR, DATA SCIENCE >>
NBCUNIVERSAL/NYC: Lead and manage a team of Data Scientists in the development of high-impact tools for ad hoc projects and on-going operational analytic platforms, partner with business leaders across NBCUniversal to identify, build, and implement capabilities to leverage advanced data science. Advanced Degree (PhD strongly preferred) with a specialization in Statistics, Computer Science, Data Science, Economics, Mathematics, Operations Research, or other equivalent quantitative fields. Full info HERE (2/4)

SALES PLANNER >>
UPTV/NYC: Work with advertising agency contacts and other advertising sales personnel to ensure that administration aspects of accounts are in order, build, revise and maintain all sales proposals for AEs. Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university; at least 1+ years related cable experience preferred. Full info HERE (2/4)

MANAGER, DIGITAL MARKETING >>
A+E NETWORKS/NYC: Dynamic digital marketer to drive growth in A+E’s Digital business by acquiring OTT, mobile, and website video streamers for A&E, HISTORY and Lifetime brands. Leverage owned, earned, and paid marketing tactics. 5 years’ experience with direct response digital marketing. Full info HERE (2/4)

LEARN/UPDATE/REFINE YOUR EXCEL SKILLS
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MY SOFTWARE TUTOR: MST offers three levels of real-time, online courses in Excel with a live instructor: Fundamentals, Basics, and Intermediate. These courses deliver practical, functional business skills to increase your marketability. Use promo code CYNOPSIS20 to unlock a 20% savings. Full info HERE (2/3)

MEDIA EXECUTIVE CONSULTANT
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AROUND ROBIN PRODUCTION COMPANY/WASHINGTON, DC: Looking for a Media Executive Consultant who can connect a content creator with distribution partners. Will be tasked with consulting production company on strategy of selling content. Must have experience in sales, traditional and digital media, and distribution strategy Full info HERE (2/3)

KEY ART DESIGNER/SENIOR DESIGNER >>
SJI ASSOCIATE/REMOTE:
Looking for a passionate designer, enthusiastic about working on creative and conceptual design projects. The designer will work within a team of Art Directors and Designers to create high impact key art, and streaming platform product art. Candidates should be well versed in design principles for both print and digital deliverables. 7+ years agency experience, background in entertainment design preferred. Full info HERE (2/3)

THURSDAY JANUARY 28
ABC: “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune,” “The Chase,” “The Hustler”
CBS: “Young Sheldon,” “Young Sheldon,” “Mom,” “The Unicorn,” “Star Trek: Discovery”
CW: “Walker,” “Legacies”
FOX: “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Call Me Cat,” “Last Man Standing”
NBC: “Mr. Mayor,” “Superstore,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Dateline NBC”
PBS: “This Old House,” “Ask This Old House, “ “Jazz”
Telemundo: “Exatlon Estados Unidos,” “La Suerte de Loli,” “Buscando a Frida”
Univision: “Vencer El Desamor,” “Imperio De Mentiras,” “Dulce Ambicion”

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