PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Syfy gave a series order to Resident Alien, based on the Dark Horse comics series. Fish-out-of-water story comes from Universal Content Productions, Dark Horse Entertainment and Amblin TV.
MGM Television has inked a deal with creator/showrunners Will Scheffer and Mark Olsen (Big Love) to adapt T.C. Boyle’s immigration-themed novel The Tortilla Curtain as a series. Published in 1995, the darkly comic story follows a white couple living in an upscale housing development and the Mexican couple living in the ravine below, after the white man hits the Mexican man with his car and flees the scene.
INSP ordered a season six of The Cowboy Way, documenting the adventures of three modern-day cowboys building a cattle business in Alabama.
Hanelle Culpepper will direct the first two episodes of CBS All Access’ upcoming Star Trek series starring Patrick Stewart. She will be the first woman in the franchise’s history to direct a pilot or first episode. “Hanelle is a gifted and dynamic filmmaker whose directorial choices are always deeply rooted in character,” said showrunner Alex Kurtzman. “I’ve been a huge fan of her work since she started with us on Discovery, and she’s the perfect person to re-introduce the beloved character of Picard to longtime fans and new viewers alike.”
Truly Original (Deal or No Deal) is developing a docu-series focused powerful African-American Republican women. Project is currently casting.
Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: March 1-3
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World $30.0 million (week 2), cume revenue $97.7 million
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Reunion $27.1 million, opening weekend
Alita: Battle Angel (Fox) $7.0 million (week 3), cume revenue $72.2 million
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (Warner Bros.) $6.6 million (week 3), cume revenue $91.7 million
Green Book (Universal) $4.7 million (week 16), cume revenue $75.9 million
Fighting With My Family (MGM) $4.6 million (week 3), cume revenue $14.9 million
Isn’t It Romantic (Warner Bros.) $4.6 million (week 3), cume revenue $40.3 million
Greta (Focus) $4.6 million (week 3), cume revenue $4.6 million
What Men Want (Paramount) $2.7 million (week 4), cume revenue $49.6 million
Happy Death Day 2U (Universal) $2.5 million (week 3), cume revenue $25.3 million
NEW AND RETURNING SERIES
New series Deadly Recall launches on ID tomorrow, March 5 at 10p. The debut follows tonight’s season three of Betrayed at 10p, with an episode following a divorced mom whose carefree ways catch up with her.
Netflix limited series When They See Us, about the false accusations in 1989 against five teen boys in New York City for the brutal rape of a jogger, launches globally on May 31. The four-parter from Ava DuVernay was originally titled Central Park Five; DuVernay said the new name better reflects the humanity of young people of color unjustly ensnared in the criminal justice system, “and not their politicized moniker.”
TBS’s The Last O.G. returns for season two on Tuesday, April 2 at 10:30p. Among the new guest stars are hip hop artists Method Man, Rev Run, Talib Kweli and Rakim, as well as Bresha Webb (Maron), Diarra Kirkpatrick (American Koko), Anna Maria Horsford (The Bold and the Beautiful), Joshua Rivera (Escape at Dannemora), Dan Hedaya (The Usual Suspects), Brian Sacca (Wrecked), and Jack McBrayer (30 Rock).
Josh Gates (Expedition Unknown) showcases surprising stories behind places around the globe in Legendary Locations, returning to Travel Channel with 13 new episodes on Tuesday, April 2 at 10p. Season two has an expanded hour-long format.
ESPN sports betting show Daily Wager launches Monday, March 11 at 6p on ESPNews and the ESPN app. News and information (but not handicapping) series will air weekdays, hosted by Doug Kezirian. “The sports betting environment has changed and interest is increasing at unprecedented levels,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN EVP and Executive Editor, Studio Production. “ESPN is going to have a strong and vibrant presence across our platforms, and the launch of Daily Wager is the next step in what has already been underway for some time.”
Season five of competition series Relative Race launches on BYUtv on Sunday, March 10 at 9p. Genealogy-based show follows four teams on a 10-day journey throughout the United States as they complete challenges, discover unknown relatives identified through DNA testing and compete for a $50,000 grand prize.
The Voice coach and first American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson will be back to host the Billboard Music Awards, airing Wednesday, May 1 on NBC. “We’re turning it up a notch this year,” said Clarkson.
E! will transform into “SHE!” across all platforms to celebrate International Women’s Day, on Friday, March 8. Beginning today, March 4, E! News will air a week-long series telling the stories of impactful women making great strides in their communities.
Oxygen’s Uncovered: The Cult of Yahweh Ben Yahweh airs Sunday, March 10 at 7p. Two-hour special follows the chilling tale of a spiritual leader who led his members to the dark side.
Science Channel will commemorate the one-year anniversary of the passing of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking with a two-hour special that explores his connection to Albert Einstein. Einstein and Hawking: Unlocking the Universe premieres Sunday, March 10 at 8p.
TV5Monde USA broadcasts documentary On Va Continuer!, highlighting Louisiana’s sound and culture, on Saturday, March 23 at 9:30p
Taboola is acquiring the Start Division of Celltick, a platform pre-installed by mobile carriers on Android devices to distribute premium content and engage their users. The Start team and technology will integrate into the Taboola News division to expand its offering from Android manufacturers to mobile carriers, for personalized news feeds across Android devices around the world. Taboola News was created last year as an alternative to Apple News.
VR content aggregator LIttlstar, backed by A+E Networks, launched a premium tier for $2.99/month that includes a new sideloading feature for Sony’s PSVR headset. Users will be able to access any video stored on a USB drive.
Calling tech bloggers: If you’d like to share your insights and expertise on the Cynopsis web site, contact Lynn@Cynopsis.com for possible submission.
Animal brand The Dodo is expanding into children’s programming with the launch of a new division, “Dodo Kids,” aimed at children 11-years-old and younger. “The Dodo has always been about positivity and this is a logical extension of our brand,” said The Dodo’s Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Izzie Lerer. “Every month, we reach 75 million parents – who we think will be very excited to share The Dodo’s sensibility with their kids.”
It won’t be long before hours of SVOD viewing per day matches broadcast TV globally. According to a report from Rethink TV, the 478 million SVOD subscribers today will swell to 743 million by 2023. The U.S. will have 236.6 million subscriptions by the end of 2013, from 146.5 million today.
Legendary Digital Networks streaming service Alpha is shutting down, effective March 31. The subscription bundle for sci-fi, gaming and fantasy fans launched in 2016. “All of us at Nerdist and Geek & Sundry are so thankful to you for being a part of this amazing community,” said the Alpha team in the subscriber notice. “We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve GIFed. And we’ve cherished the friendships we’ve made.”
UK-based Magnify Media reported license deals for series commissioned by broadcasters including CNN Vision, Plimsoll Productions, Rare TV and Seventh Art Productions. Shows include Our Everest Challenge, Inside Oxford Street, and Great Art.
Endemol Shine Group traveling entertainment format All Together Now has been signed by Russia’s Rossiya 1, with Weit Media, an Endemol Shine Group company, creating the singing contest for TX later in 2019.
Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) will star opposite Al Pacino in Amazon drama The Hunt… Seth Rogen is set to star in an episode of CBS All Access’ The Twilight Zone. Revival premieres April 1…Olivia Thrilby (Goliath) landed the lead in ABC’s romantic drama pilot Until the Wedding, based on the Israeli series…Michael Emerson (Person of Interest) has joined the cast of CBS drama pilot Evil…Lorenzo Caccialanza (Days of Our Lives) will continue on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy in the recurring role of Vincenzo DeLuca…Sohvi Rodriquez was promoted to series regular for season four of TNT’s Animal Kingdom…Justin Bartha (The Hangover) and Geoffrey Owens (The Cosby Show) are onboard Syfy dark comedy pilot (Future) Cult Classic.
Team Coco’s podcast network expanded Friday with Inside Conan: An Important Hollywood Podcast. Conan writers Mike Sweeney and Jessie Gaskell spill the dirt on all things Conan, including uncensored clips. Podcast Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend has been in the Top 10 Comedy podcast since its launch in November.
In new podcast Obsession, host Alison Becker delves into the history, culture and consequences of unrequited love, pathological relationships and inappropriate attachments. Released in conjunction with director Neil Jordan’s suspense thriller Greta, five-part podcast explores real-life stories of individuals whose actions and thoughts went from socially acceptable to over the edge, mirroring the film’s narrative.
Oxygen Media is aiming to engage with Millennial audiences by featuring its podcast, Martinis & Murder, on subscription mobile storytelling app Yarn. Told across four episodes, fans of will be observers of fictionalized chat conversations between hosts John Thrasher and Daryn Carp and their producer, Matt-the-Bartender.