02/24/20: Friends unscripted special confirmed at HBO Max

 

 

Cynopsis Long Story Short
Monday February 24, 2020

Tonight’s Premieres
Golf: Feherty at 9p
NBC: The Voice at 8p

Tonight’s Finale
Food Network: Girl Scout Cookie Championship at 8p
For streaming TV premieres, go here.

IN THE NEWS

Comcast is in “advanced talks” to acquire ad-supported streaming service Vudu from Walmart, according to the Wall Street Journal, while Fox Corp. has its eye on Tubi. Vudu, acquired in 2010 by Walmart for over $100 million, could serve as a companion to NBCU’s upcoming streaming service, Peacock, if a deal goes through, noted the WSJ, while in Tubi, Fox would get a platform that hit 25 million active users in December. Last year, Viacom bought streaming service Pluto TV for $340 million.

Daredevil “Mad Mike” Hughes died on Saturday while attempting to launch a homemade rocket, a feat that was scheduled to be captured on a new Science Channel series, Homemade Astronauts. The steam-powered rocked was intended to launch Hughes 5000 feet in the air; he was pronounced dead after the rocket crashed in the California desert. Hughes, who was 64, shot himself 1875 feet in the air in 2018 as part of an effort to prove the Earth is flat. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mike Hughes’ family and friends during this difficult time,” said a statement from Science Channel. “It was always his dream to do this launch, and Science Channel was there to chronicle his journey.”

It’s official: The cast of Friends will reunite for an unscripted special for HBO Max. The special, along with all 236 episodes of the 1994-2004 hit sitcom, will be available when the direct-to-consumer offering debuts in May. Ben Winston will direct the special and will executive produce along with Friends executive producers Kevin Bright, Marta Kauffman, and David Crane. The special comes from Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television and Fulwell 73 Productions. “Guess you could call this the one where they all got back together,” said Kevin Reilly, chief content officer, HBO Max and president, TBS, TNT, and truTV.

“Take rumors and unsubstantiated claims with a grain of salt,” the WGA told members as the industry braces for negotiations between the writers’ guild and film and TV producers. “Make sure to consider the source and motivations of comments about WGA goals, strategies, tactics and priorities….Be aware of information gathering that could take the form of friendly, seemingly well-intentioned conversations,” the warning continued. The guild also outlined what will happen if there is a strike after its current agreement expires on May 1, reminding members there is an $18 million strike fund for those facing hardship. The last writers’ strike, in 2007-2008, lasted 100 days.

Among the TV winners at the 51st NAACP Awards, simulcast Saturday on VaicomCBS channels BET, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, CMT, Logo, TV Land, Pop and Smithsonian Channel, were ABC’s black-ish, as well as the show’s Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Marsai Martin; OWN’s Greenleaf, and the drama’s Lynn Whitfield; Power’s Omari Hardwick; 9-1-1’s Angela Bassett; Claws’ Harold Perrinau; Netflix’s When They See Us, and the series’ Jharrel Jerome and Niecy Nash; and TV One’s Unsung. For a complete list of winners, go here.

The National Association for Broadcasters released a toolkit for stations, offering stations guidance on increasing voter registration, education and turnout. “By making election issues and candidates a cornerstone of your on-air and online programming, you give your listeners and viewers the political knowledge they need to cast an informed vote,” said the NAB. The toolkit was introduced ahead of today’s 2020 State of Leadership Conference.

Chris Harrison, host of The Bachelor franchise, will host ABC’s Volcano Live! with Nik Wallenda, featuring Wallenda’s high-wire walk across the Masaya Volcano in Nicaragua. ESPN anchor Sage Steele will co-host the two-hour event, airing Wednesday, March 4 at 8p.

HBO is reclassifying Watchmen from drama series to limited series ahead of the 2020 Emmys race. “We discussed with the producers and felt limited series was the most accurate representation of the show and any possible future installments,” said HBO in a statement on Friday. While the limited series Emmy field has less competition, what fueled buzz about the statement was the mention of possible future episodes, since creator Damon Lindelof has not yet committed to a second run.

Estrella Media and the Los Angeles Football Club announced that Estrella Media will be the club’s official Spanish broadcast TV partner for the 2020 season in the Greater LA market. The agreement provides EstrellaTV 62 with exclusive rights to all locally broadcast LAFC regular season matches.

The 9th Annual Cynopsis Sports Awards | 4/23 | NYAC, NYC

The Navigator award is given to the individual who has presented new opportunities and challenges to keep audiences engaged and entertained in this constantly involving industry. This year, we’re thrilled to present the award to FOX Sports’ President of National Networks, Mark Silverman. Join us on April 23rd as we celebrate Mark and announce award winners in these categories.

Finalists will be announced along with registration details in two weeks!

PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

NBC ordered True Story, a hybrid alternative-scripted series co-hosted by Ed Helms (The Office) and Randall Park (Fresh Off the Boat). Helms will also executive produce. Based on the Australian hit True Story with Hamish & Andy, the six-parter features everyday Americans sharing their most extraordinary true stories for the first time. As the stories unfold, events are brought to life by a cast of comedians and actors in heightened, dramatized re-enactments, giving real people their own biopic. Each hourlong episode will feature two real-life stories; premiere date will be announced in the future.

UCP, a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios, is adapting season one of Slate podcast Slow Burn for television, as Gaslit. Julia Roberts, Sean Penn, Armie Hammer and Joel Edgerton are attached to star. Robbie Pickering (Mr. Robot) will serve as showrunner and executive produce along with Mr. Robot’s Sam Esmail and Chad Hamilton under their production banner Esmail Corp, via their overall deals with UCP. Roberts will executive produce under her banner Red Om Films along with co-executive producers Lisa Gillan and Marisa Yeres Gill. Anonymous Content and Slate’s Gabriel Roth and Josh Levin will also executive produce. Leon Nayfakh, who created the podcast, will consult on the project. Project will be shopped to premium and streaming platforms.

ViacomCBS inked an overall deal with Taylor Sheridan, co-creator of Yellowstone. The deal covers multiple projects across the portfolio, including projects for the newly created Entertainment & Youth Studios, among them season one of scripted drama Mayor of Kingstown. David Glasser and 101 Studios will executive produce all projects under the deal. Keith Cox, President of ViacomCBS Entertainment and Youth Studios, will oversee the projects. Paramount also ordered a fourth season of Yellowstone, ahead of its season three premiere this summer.

Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: February 21-23
Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount) $26.3 million (week 2), cume revenue $106.6 million
The Call of the Wild (Twentieth Century Fox) $24.8 million, opening weekend
Birds of Prey (Warner Bros.) $7.0 million (week 3), cume revenue $72.5 million
Brahms: The Boy II (Warner Bros.) $5.9 million, opening weekend
Bad Boys for Life (Sony) $5.9 million (week 6) cume revenue $191.2 million
1917 (Universal) $4.4 million (week 9), cume revenue $160.0 million
Fantasy Island (Sony Pictures) $4.2 million (week 2), cume revenue $20.2 million
Parasite (Neon) $3.1 million (week 20), cume revenue $48.9 million
Jumanji: The Next Level (Sony Pictures) $3.0 million (week 11), cume revenue $311.0 million
The Photograph (Universal) $2.8 million (week 2), cume revenue $17.6 million
Source: Comscore

POLITICS POSTS

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg is set to appear on CNN’s town hall tonight at 8p. It’s the former NYC mayor’s first televised town hall. He’ll be followed by Bernie Sanders, fresh off a win in Nevda.

President Trump’s re-election campaign has purchased the YouTube masthead nationwide in the days running up to the election, according to Bloomberg. Trump is not the first candidate to purchase the prominent spot in the run-up to Election Day, and, “all advertisers follow the same process and are welcome to purchase the masthead space as long as their ads comply with our policies,” a YouTube rep told the news outlet.

STREAMING SNIPPET

Netflix is in the market for a wide array of shows, like arthouse films and non-English content, said the streamer’s International Film VP David Kosse at the Berlin Film Festival. “We’re looking for a really diverse array of shows and series because the behavior of our members is diverse,” explained Kosse. “The number of people who like arthouse movies on a global level is significant.”

COMING UP

Dax Shepard-hosted podcast Armchair Expert, celebrating “the messiness of being human,” will record a live session of its show on-site at HISTORYCon, a three-day event April 3-5 that includes interactive exhibits, and conversations with historians, authors and experts. “History is full of human stories; milestone moments fueled by innately human traits of bravery, bias, hubris or hope,” said Shepard. “As a big history fan, being at HISTORYCon is not only personally exciting for me but presents Armchair Experts a natural opportunity to introduce our respective audiences to each other.”

Poker Central and ESPN will be covering the 2020 World Series of Poker, including everyday live footage of the WSOP Main Event running July 1-14. As part of the ongoing partnership between the brands, ESPN and Poker Central will telecast at least 40 hours of live WSOP coverage with an additional 90 hours of originally produced episodes.

ABC News Live is offering commercial-free streaming coverage of Kobe Bryant’s memorial, anchored by Tom Llamas live from LA beginning at 12:30p today on Roku, Hulu, Xumo, Sling TV, Facebook Watch, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and the ABC News mobile app.

BET Networks is also paying tribute to Kobe Bryant, with content specials across their platforms today, including live uninterrupted coverage of the NBA champ’s service, anchored by author and activist, Marc Lamont Hill and sports journalist Jemele Hill.

Smithsonian Channel’s Black History Month special, Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier, airs tonight at 8p, shedding new light on the sacrifices of several African-American space pioneers. “Smithsonian Channel is always striving to uncover little known and unexplored chapters of American history,” said Charles Poe, SVP Global Production and Emerging Technology, Smithsonian Channel. “With Black in Space: Breaking the Color Barrier, three iconic events of the 20th century – the civil rights movement, the Cold War and the Space Race – intersect to frame the story of getting the first black astronaut into space.”

CASTING

Annie Murpy (Schitt’s Creek) landed the lead role in AMC’s upcoming dark comedy Kevin Can F*** Himself….Added to Netflix’s The Witcher for season two: Yasen Atour (Young Wallender); Paul Bullion (Peaky Blinders); Thue Ersted Rasmussen (Fast and Furious 9); Aisha Fabienne Ross (The Danish Girl); and Kristofer Hivju (Game of Thrones)…Priah Ferguson was upped to season regular for season four of Stranger Things.

GOING GLOBAL

Distribution agency Quintus Studios has acquired documentaries including Galileo from Red Arrows Studios International; Blue World, Blue Realm and Shark Divers from Canamedia; and To The Moon – From Dream to Reality from Australia’s Broken Arrow Media.

Endemol Shine Group announced the formation of Endemol Shine Germany’s new scripted label, MadeFor Film. Based in Berlin, the company will be led by producer Nanni Erben along with Gunnar Juncken, who have been appointed as Joint CEOs, responsible for creating and producing premium scripted series and films for the local and international market. They will also pursue opportunities for co-productions within Endemol Shine and with other platforms and partners.

Breaking down barriers and enlivening our industry
These are the women getting things done…

The 2020 Cynopsis Top Women in Media Awards
Categories: Ad Tech Innovators, Corporate Visionaries, Directors Who Do It All, Game, Changing On Air Talent, Industry Leaders, Innovators & Disruptors, Local & National News Ambassadors, Marketing Trailblazers, Operations Front Runners, Production Pacesetters, Public Relations Gurus, Data & Research Trendsetters, Social Media Groundbreakers and Tech Leaders.

Nominate by 4/16
Sponsored by: Turnkey Search

RATINGS

The series premiere of HGTV’s reboot of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition delivered a 1.09 P25-54 Live+3 rating on Sunday, February 16, a 142 percent increase over the prior six weeks and a 70 percent lift over year-ago levels. Drawing over 4.2 million total viewers, the episode ranked as a top 5 cable program for the 9-10p timeslot among P25-54 and W25-54.

Univision’s three-hour telecast of Premio Lo Nuestro on Thursday reached over 7 million total viewers 2+ who tuned in to or part of the awards show, and averaged 3.0 million Total Viewers 2+, 1.4 million A18-49 and 586,000 A18-34, ranking Univision as the #1 network for the entire night in the demos.

truTV’s Hot Ones: The Game Show on Tuesday delivered 400,000 total viewers with 255,000 A18-49, the strongest Tuesday premiere among A18-49 for truTV since Adam Ruins Everything in 2015 and the net’s most-watched new series premiere on any night in A18-34. Yielding a 36 median age and a 56% male skew, the second quarter hour kept 100% of the first quarter hour’s A18-49 audience.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Thursday, February 20
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Station 19 6.27 (1.0), Grey’s Anatomy 6.0 (1.1), Million Little Things 3.55 (0.6)
CBS: Young Sheldon 9.02 (1.0), The Unicorn 6.00 (0.7), Mom 6.29 (0.7), Carol’s Second Act 4.74 (0.6), Tommy 4.69 (0.4)
CW: Katy Keene 0.54 (0.1), Dogs of the Year 0.54 (0.1)
FOX: Last Man Standing 3.61 (0.7), Outmatched 2.06 (0.5), Deputy 3.30 (0.5)
NBC: Superstore 2.68 (0.7), Brooklyn Nine-Nine 1.91 (0.6), Will & Grace 2.03 (0.4), Indebted 1.56 (0.4), Law and Order: SVU 3.42 (0.7)
TELEMUNDO: Exation Estas Unidos 1.35 (0.4), La Dona 1.02 (0.3), Operacion Pacifico 0.91 (0.3)
UNIVISION: Premio Lo Neustra 3.0
Source: Nielsen, live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVES

WarnerMedia Entertainment is integrating the content acquisitions team across the company’s portfolio of entertainment networks and direct-to-consumer business under Michael Quigley, EVP, Content Acquisitions. As part of the Content Acquisitions organizational structure, Jonathan Melber will serve as SVP, Content Acquisition for HBO Max, and Royce Battleman will serve as SVP, Content Acquisition primarily responsible for HBO, Cinemax, TNT, TBS and truTV.

Discovery promoted Scott Lewers to EVP of Multiplatform Programming, Factual & Head of Content, Science. Lewers has served as EVP for more than two years and has been responsible for the multiplatform programming, live production, digital and research teams across Discovery, Science Channel and Animal Planet.

Margaret Chu has been appointed Chief Financial Officer at Vox Media. Most recently, she served as EVP, Corporate Strategy and Development at Horizon Media.

Hecho Stutios named Adam Milano Head of Development. He makes the move from Live Nation, where he served as SVP of Production.

This Day in History
1868 – The US House of Representatives voted 126 to 47 to impeach President Andrew Johnson.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
In which short-lived sitcom did Aaron Spelling play a dog catcher? Willy (1954-55). Kudos to: Joe Leydon-Cowboys & Indians Magazine/Houston, Rev. Mark Wajda/Lakeland, FL, Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC, Charles Lore/NYC, Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station, TX, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA, David Garber-Loyola Marymount University/Playa Vista, CA, David Westberg-SAG*AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL

Today’s Trivia Question
What was Ted Danson’s first series regular role? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four.)

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Assistant to support two VPs in Consumer Products division. Candidate w/take charge attitude, great communication skills and ability to work fast paced envir working w/mult depts. Full info HERE (3/6)

SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIALIST >>
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New 24/7 post-cable network aimed at gaming, esports and entertainment audiences seeks candidate who is fan of gaming & pop culture to develop, plan and execute VENN socials. 3+yrs running brand socials w/exp in paid/organic and editing/photography skills pref’d. Full info HERE (3/6)

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Manage day-to-day push notifications, email acquisition, CRM experiences, Social advertising and other digital marketing efforts. 3 – 5yr exp in a CRM development/execution role or a direct marketing / customer acquisition role with a proven track record of success. Full info HERE (3/4)

SR ANALYST, RESEARCH >>
Warner Media/NYC:
Track/analyze/report advertising trends & dvlpmnts, especially as they are projected to affect ad sales. 3+ yrs relevant work exp incl linear, digital & social media mktplace knwldg. V-Lookups, Index-Match, Pivot Tables, Data Connections/Queries, etc.; VBA/Macros a +. Full info HERE (2/27)

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Responsible for training of all new SSR’s, responding to system issues & questions from users & reinforce all Policies & Procedures necessary to provide the best possible customer service to both internal and external client. Full Info HERE (2/28)

DIRECTOR, DIGITAL CONTENT
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Oversees all website & digital content initiatives. Proven successful exp mngng creative digital-first content, creating websites & digital properties a must as well as . proven track record showing strong growth. 5+yrs exp leading mngmnt of a website property. Relo pkg avail. Full info HERE (2/26)

SALES DIRECTOR >>
VENN/NYC/LA: Entrepreneurially minded self-starter to come in & help drive rev through brand partnerships. Passion for media biz & 5+ yrs track record of success as individual contributor in media sales. Familiarity w/digital & linear media landscape, technologies, platforms & brands. Full info HERE (2/26)

SALES PLANNER >>
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INTEGRATED MARKETING MGR >>
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Ideal candidate will work cross-functionally with Sales & Prod to ideate/oversee execution of breakthrough creative opps for brand partners across Media, Content and Experience. Must be creative thinker & problem solver. Track record of success in similar role at media company, working with video and experiential assets. Full info HERE (2/26)

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Play a meaningful role in Ad Sales driving revenue growth through improved yield. Partner w/SVP of Nat’l Ad Sales & other key ad sales execs within the org. 8-10yrs in a pricing, plan’g or revenue operations dept specializing ad sales @ linear ntwk or online video digital publisher. Full info HERE (2/26)

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Monday February 24
ABC: The Bachelor, The Good Doctor
CBS: The Neighborhood, Bob Hearts Abishola, All Rise, Bull
CW: All American, Black Lightning
FOX: 9-1-1: Lonestar, Prodigal Son
NBC: The Voice [p], Little Big Shots
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Roadshow, Independent Lens
Telemundo: Exatlon Estas Unidos, La Dona, Operacion Pacifico
Univision: Ringo, Amor Eterno, Rubi

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