03/04/21: A&E and Lifetime greenlight Janet Jackson docu-series

 

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The Food That Built America: The Hit Franchise Expands in 2021

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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read

 

Thursday March 4, 2021

Today’s Premieres
AllBlk: “My Mane Problem”
discovery+: “The Deadly Type with Candice DeLong”
Paramount+: “Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years,” “The Real World Homecoming: New York,” “60 Minutes+”, “For Heaven’s Sake”
Netflix: “Pacific Rim: The Black”
TNT: “The Inside Story” at 11p
WE tv: “The TS Madison Experience”at 10p

Today’s Finales
ABC: “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” at 8p, “The Chase” at 10p
Science Channel: “Conspiracies Decoded” at 10p

IN THE NEWS

It’s launch day for ViacomCBS streamer Paramount+, with live sports, breaking news, and “a mountain of entertainment.” The fact that the service is a rebrand of CBS All Access is a distinct advantage, notes Tal Chalozin, CTO & Co-Founder of Innovid.They’re not starting with a blank slate, and already have technology for streaming, ad tech, login and user management,” said Chalozin. “They also have their app deployed across devices, which will eliminate the growing pains on an app. So before they even launch, they’re already off to an easier start than others.”

Paramount+ is getting positive buzz, according to audience conversation company Spiketrap. What are people most excited about? Sentiment around the revival of classic MTV and VH1 properties, is high, and people have been extremely pleased to learn that the “Rugrats” reboot will feature its original voice cast, noted Spiketrap. Diesel Labs also noted high hopes. “Audience anticipation for Paramount+ is in line with what we observed for other recent launches such as HBO Max, which immediately puts them on the same playing field as other successful top tier platforms,” Anjali Midha Co-founder & CEO of Diesel Labs, tells Cynopsis.

It’s looking good for the Tokyo Summer Games, said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts during a Morgan Stanley media conference. “I am very hopeful. In my conversations with leadership, there is an excitement,” said Roberts. “This is a perfect moment for the world to come together.”

Kevin Mayer has landed at sports streaming company DAZN as Chairman. Mayer left Disney, where he ran the company’s streaming businesses, in February 2020, and became CEO of TikTok, but resigned after three months amid opposition to the company by the Trump administration. “I’ve been impressed with DAZN’s ambitions and ability to quickly grow from a new entrant to an important player in key markets throughout the world,” said Mayer. “I look forward to guiding DAZN’s strategic development into its next chapter.” Mayer replaces John Skipper, who remains on the board and will continue as an advisor.

Fox is making it harder for any series to surpass the longevity of “The Simpsons,” with an order for seasons 33 and 34 of the animated series. “Woo Hoo! With any luck the show will soon be older than I am,” said Homer Simpson.

Facebook said it is lifting its ban on political, electoral and social issue ads, instituted to “avoid confusion or abuse” around the 2020 election. “We plan to use the coming months to take a closer look at how these ads work on our service to see where further changes may be merited,” said the company in a blog post.

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Kristen Bell (“The Good Place”) and husband Dax Shepard (“Bless This Mess”) will host and compete in “Family Game Fight,”

inspired by their appearances on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” NBC ordered ten episodes of the game show, from DeGeneres’ A Very Good Production and Warner Horizon in association with Telepictures. “NBC is thrilled to be the network bringing Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard together to host a game show for the first time,” said Jenny Groom, EVP, Unscripted Content for NBCUniversal Television and Streaming. “We’ve been wanting to work with them as a duo for years. Their energy is infectious, their comedic sensibility comes so naturally, and their transparency about their relationship is what makes them so relatable and lovable.”

Netflix has teamed with Hachettes’s Les Editions Albert Rene and playwright Alain Chabat for an animated series based on French comic book The Adventures of Asterix. The series will be made in France and streamed globally in 2023.

Jenny Lumet (“Star Trek: Discovery”) has inked a new overall production deal with CBS Studios. “I feel genuine support and creative partnership at CBS Studios,” said Lumet. “It means the world to me that I can continue to work in so many different genres and know they’re behind me all the way. I’m so excited for this next step with such a forward-thinking team.”

“Bosch” is getting a spin-off, and the orignal’s stars Titus Welliver, Mimi Rogers and Madison Lintz are along for the ride. While the crime drama starts its seventh and final season on Amazon this summer, Amazon streamer IMDb TV will continue the story of Harry Bosch, with Michael Connelly, author of the novel series, and Eric Overmyer, who developed the original, executive producing alongside Tom Bernardo, Henrik Bastin, Pieter Jan Brugge, Titus Welliver and Zetna Fuentes.

Amazon picked up thriller series “The Devil’s Hour,” about a woman who wakes up every night at exactly 3:33a. The UK original comes from Hartswood Films (“Sherlock”).

“Steve on Watch” has been renewed at Facebook Watch – and the show will go back to taping in front of a live audience, as health guidelines allow, instead of host Steve Harvey’s home. “I’m looking forward to the next season,” said Harvey. “Connection has played an important role in our lives over the past year and Facebook Watch is a great place to share stories and connect with fans on a global level.” Last year, over 55 million people watched the show, according to Facebook.

Playwright Charly Evon Simpson (“Behind the Street”) has signed an overall deal with HBO calling for her to serve as a consulting producer on season two of “Industry.” Simpson is also a writer for “Perry Mason.”

Eva Longoria will direct and executive produce HBO Max pilot “The Gordita Chronicles.” The family comedy, about a chubby 12-year-old Dominican struggling to fit into 1980s Miami, comes from Osprey Productions, Cinestar Pictures and Sony Pictures TV.

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UPFRONTS

At its virtual upfront yesterday, A+E Networks announced upcoming programming, including an A&E and Lifetime cross-network limited series event exploring the life and career of Janet Jackson; A&E series “Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution” (wt) and “Secret Origins of Hip Hop.” Coming up on History Channel is “That Built” titles including “Titans That Built America,” Toys That Built,” “Machines That Built” and “Engineering that Built.” Lifetime has a two picture deal with Reba McEntire, for “Christmas in Tune” and a non-holiday title for 2022.

A+E is also working with NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on a documentary for History Channel about protests, “Fight the Power: The Protests That Changed America.” “The history of protest in America is also the history of social progress,” said Abdul-Jabbar.

“Our brands have clear identities with a strong foundation of hit series. Across our entire portfolio and in a variety of genres, we continue to have an incredible roster of A-list, diverse talent in-front of and behind the camera,” said A+E Networks Group President Paul Buccieri. “Our ongoing efforts to launch and invest in best-in-class original programming for our linear properties, as well as further expanding our 360-experiences, demonstrates a deep commitment to being available wherever and however viewers want to be entertained, whether through high-performing podcasts, virtual experiences or digital multiplatform content.”

On the ad front, A+E notes its Ad Sales group was the first to guarantee against business outcomes, and its Precision & Performance unit continues to help brands eliminate waste and achieve KPIs for clients. “We continue to reach and engage ALL audiences in new ways that deliver results for our clients, even if that’s casting Colonel Sanders in a Lifetime Movie,” said Peter Olsen, Ad Sales President. “We’re adjusting the conversation and the currency for today’s television landscape, guaranteeing against Adults 18+ to tap into the value and buying power of all audiences, including the underserved 55+ audience.”

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

Apple TV+ thriller “Calls” will premiere with all nine episodes of the first season on Friday, March 19. The immersive television experience uses audio and minimal abstract visuals to tell nine short-form stories. Cast includes Nicholas Braun (“Succession”), Clancy Brown (“The Shawshank Redemption”), Lily Collins (“Emily in Paris”), Rosario Dawson (“Jane the Virgin”), Mark Duplass (“The Morning Show”), Karen Gillan (“Avengers: Endgame”), Judy Greer (“Halloween”), Paul Walter Hauser (“Cobra Kai”), Danny Huston (“Children of Men”), Nick Jonas (“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”), Riley Keough (“The Girlfriend Experience”), Joey King (“The Act”), Stephen Lang (“Avatar”), Jaeden Martell (“Defending Jacob”), Paola Nuñez (“Bad Boys for Life”), Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian”), Edi Patterson (“The Righteous Gemstones”), Aubrey Plaza (“Parks and Recreation”), Danny Pudi (“Mythic Quest”), Ben Schwartz (“House of Lies”), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (“Tenet”) and Jennifer Tilly (“Family Guy”).

The series premiere of “Mud Mountain Haulers,” focused on family loggers in British Columbia, airs Sunday, March 7 at 10p on The Weather Channel. “World’s Deadliest Weather” returns for a new season Saturday, March 13 at 8p.

HGTV’s “Unsellable Houses” returns for season two on Tuesday, March 30 at 9p. The series, which attracted more than 27 million viewers during its first season, follows twin sisters who transform stagnant listings into hot properties.

Fox’s “The Moodys” returns Thursday, April 1 with back-to-back episodes. While the dysfunctional family comedy started as a holiday event series based on Australia’s “A Moody Christmas,” this go-round is different, said executive producer Bob Fisher during a TCA presentation. “We wanted to be able to do episodes throughout the year and we didn’t want to have to be creatively tied to Christmas every time,” said Fisher. “We’re not saying we’ll never tie stuff to holidays, but we wanted to be able to just do different kinds of stories throughout the year.”

A new season of “Naked and Afraidkicks off Sunday, March 7 at 8p on Discovery and discovery+, with stripped survivalists enduring hostile climates, from the rainforests of Ecuador to the frigid peaks of the Colorado Rockies.

TECH TALK

With individualized tracking coming under increased scrutiny, Google said next year, it plans to stop ad sales based on users’ browsing history, and will not build or use new tools to track users across the web. “We’re making explicit that once third-party cookies are phased out, we will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web, nor will we use them in our products,” said David Temkin, Google’s Director of Product Management, Ads, Privacy and Trust, in a blog post on Wednesday. Which is a rejection of alternative solutions to third-party cookies, like Unified ID 2.0. “This is a strong statement from Google, and shines the light on the need for the industry to come together and balance concepts of privacy and optionality,” Michael Zacharski, CEO, Engine Media Exchange, tells Cynopsis. “We need to consider both the short and long term impacts of changes to the open web and walls being built on previously open gardens.”

More comments on Google’s move include:
· “This will further separate the ‘Google Internet’ from the rest of the internet for advertisers. This will likely drive more advertisers to centralize spend within Google’s walls where logged-in identity is common and not nearly as reliant on cookies for measurement. Expect more new products to be built to easily enable publishers and advertisers to use first-party consumer data to measure and attribute the impact of Google owned media.” – Max Knight, VP of Analytics Services, Amobee
· “It’s great to see Google come around on this. Personalization doesn’t have to mean surveillance and the ‘big guys’ in Mountain View coming to this conclusion shows promise for a ‘middle ground’ between Apple’s scorched earth approach to user information, and something that keeps users from seeing entirely irrelevant (and therefore annoying) ads over and over.” – Jonathan Harrop, Senior Director of Global Marketing & Communications, AdColony
· “The NAI values Google’s engagement with the broader digital media industry on the future of tailored advertising. We are working together to build a privacy-first internet. This is imperative, because consumers want promotions and ads that are relevant, and they demand rich digital content supported by ad revenue.” – Leigh Freund, President and CEO, Network Advertising Initiative
· “Households and IP address-based targeting will still be workable solutions and there’s already a degree of ‘noise’ in there. Household-level is not user-level, which abides by the spirit of what Google is indicating here. I foresee household-based attribution becoming quite standard.” – Tim Sleath, Vice President, Product Management & Data Protection Officer, VDX.tv
· “The Google announcement is somewhat of a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ approach by the largest digital advertising vendor on the planet.Their claim to eliminate individual tracking IDs may seem like a win for privacy advocates, but is actually more of a land grab. Google can build their cohorts because, when a user logs into chrome, they give Google permission to track. The real losers are competitors to the Google Ad products, advertisers and even consumers. Consumers will receive less targeted ads, and advertisers will have more ad waste.” – Brian Handrigan, CEO, Advocado

Gracenote, a Nielsen company has launched Personalized Imagery to help video services increase engagement by presenting the most appealing program images to viewers in their user interfaces, content carousels and program guides. Linear and streaming TV providers and connected device makers can dynamically display program images capturing different aspects of a TV show or movie based on viewer preferences and previous consumption. “Viewers looking for new shows to watch today rely on program guides and UIs to browse available content choices,” said Kamran Lotfi, VP, Product at Gracenote. “But a huge opportunity exists to deliver highly personalized user experiences that highlight content in ways that resonate more with viewers. With Gracenote Personalized Imagery, we are offering TV providers a proven way to increase engagement with their content and maximize viewership on their platforms.”

Enterprise software platform MadHive is launching an Audience Forecaster tool to address issues like frequency control and transparency for OTT, CTV. The feature set integrates into MadHive’s full stack offering that currently powers local reach extensions efforts for broadcast networks like FOX, Scripps and TEGNA. “The concept of delivery guarantees is a longstanding tradition in the world of linear, but delivery can be difficult to predict in the programmatic landscape,” said Adam Helfgott, CEO at MadHive. “Developing an accurate forecasting methodology involves building a robust technical infrastructure capable of ingesting, organizing, and optimizing billions of signals. I’m proud of the hard problems we’ve solved under the hood.”

STREAMING

Plex has added six AMC Networks channels, including AMC Presents, Absolute Reality by WE tv, All Weddings by WE tv, Rush by AMC, Slightly Off by IFC, and IFC Film Picks. Said Evan Adlman, SVP of Advanced Advertising and Digital Partnerships for AMC Networks, “Partnering with Plex is an important continuation of our strategy to make our popular programming available to users wherever they want to enjoy it, and work with our advertising partners in an easy and efficient way through our AMCN Digital sales effort.”

A carriage dispute will cost Sling TV three NBC Spots regional sports networks. NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports California, and NBC Sports Bay Area will be removed from the lineup on April 1.

Eleven of Cinedigm’s streaming services are now live on TCL Channel, on select smart TVs in North America. Among the offerings: Horror destination Bloody Disgusting, family-focused Dove Channel and So…Real, focused on British and Australian lifestyle and reality series.

COMING UP

AXS TV will air an exclusive interview with rocker Jon Bon Jovi on Saturday, March 20 at 8p, leading into the broadcast premiere of concert film “On A Night Like This – Bon Jovi 2020” at 8:30p.

discovery+ has acquired feature documentary film “Rebel Hearts.” A co-production between Merman and Anchor Entertainment in association with Level Forward and Quiet, the film tells the story of a trailblazing group of nuns who stood up to the patriarchy of the Catholic Church.

Also coming up on discovery+: Two-hour special “Who Killed My Son?”, about a mother’s fight for justice, on Tuesday, March 23.

The Paley Center for Media is presenting a quarterly programming series in which prominent women explore topics like empowerment, gender and economic equality, inclusion, and opportunity across media. The series will kick off Monday, March 8, at 10a in honor of International Women’s Day, with the session Choosing to Challenge: How Women Are Leading the Way.

GOING GLOBAL

Disney is selling its 50% stake in Germany’s Super RTL. The transaction, subject to regulatory approval, gives RTL 100% of the family channel.

Banijay has added “Name That Tune” to its catalogue, having secured the format’s global distribution rights. The deal excludes the US, Canada, Australia, Russia and Poland.

UK AVOD service W4free is adding an independent film vertical to its platform. Viewers will have access to over 30 titles under the Independent Cinema banner. In addition, W4Free will include special acquisitions for International Woman’s Day on March 8 and Mother’s Day (UK) on March 14.

Starzplay has closed a licensing agreement with All3Media International for the five-part drama “It’s A Sin” exclusively for Germany and Italy. From RED Production Company and commissioner Channel 4 with HBO Max, USA, the limited series is written and executive produced by Russell T Davies (“Queer as Folk”) with Nicola Shindler (“Happy Valley”) also executive producing.

New broadcast partners are diving into docu-series “Titanic: Stories from the Deep.” Distribution360 announced Reelz has acquired the series for the US and will have a night of Titanic in a mini-marathon on March 7, while in Germany, Spiegel History (Geschichte) has acquired the series to air in March.

Blue Ant Media struck expanded partnership with BBC Studios to launch BBC First in Canada. BBC First, joining existing Blue Ant Media and BBC Studios channel BBC Earth as part of Blue Ant Media’s Canadian cable television portfolio, is scheduled to debut on Tuesday, March 1.

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RATINGS

The relaunch of NewsNation – rebranded from WGN America – delivered 37,000 primetime viewers on Monday, according to Nielsen. Among A25-54, then net averaged 8000 viewers.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, March 2
Show, P2+ (millions), (A18-49)
ABC: “To Tell the Truth” 3.90 (0.5), “black-ish” 2.23 (0.4), “mixed-ish” 1.74 (0.4), “Soul of a Nation” 1.90 (0.4)
CBS: “NCIS” 9.60 (0.8), “FBI” 7.36 (0.7), “FBI: Most Wanted” 5.73 (0.5)
CW: “The Flash” 1.00 (0.3), “Superman & Lois” 1.24 (0.3)
FOX: “The Resident” 1.90 (0.6), “Prodigal Son” 1.90 (0.4)
ION: “NCIS: New Orleans” .81 (0.1), “NCIS: New Orleans” 0.84 (0.2), “NCIS: New Orleans” 0.82 (0.2)
NBC: “Young Rock” 3.22 (0.7), “Kenan” 2.42 (0.5), “The Voice” 6.35 (0.93), “New Amsterdam” 3.57 (0.6)
Telemundo: “Exatlon Estados Unidos” 1.05 (0.3), “La Suerte de Loli” 1.04 (0.3), “Buscando a Frida” 0.95 (0.3)
Univision: “Vencer el Desamor” 1.69 (0.5), “Te Acuerdas de mi Ton”1.35 (0.4), “Hija del Embajador” 1.33 (0.4)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Karga Seven Pictures has promoted Jason Wolf to EVP, Production and Development. Wolf joined Karga Seven Pictures in 2015 as showrunner and Executive Producer of History’s “Hunting Hitler.”

IN MEMORIAM

Actor Geoffrey Scott died February 23 of Parkinson’s disease. He was 79. Scott was best known for roles on “Dynasty” and “Dark Shadows.”

This Day in History
1933 – Franklin D. Roosevelt was inaugurated as the 32nd US president.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Who did Carroll O’Connor play on “Party of Five” (1994-2000)? The Salinger kids’ maternal grandfather, Jake Gordon. Kudos to: An Cheng-Telepictures/Burbank, Allyson Jaron Haas-Babiekins Magazine/LA, Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC, Andy Pittman-TAMU/College Station,TX, Dan Whitford-WTTW/Chicago, Cherie Wall-Sandbox Entertainment/Nashville, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, John Kukla-KDGW/Dallas, Jennifer Smith/Seattle, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL, Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
Who played Snake in an episode of “The Partridge Family” (1970-74)? (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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CASTIFY/REMOTE:
Castify.ai, a global leader in CTV content distribution, allows video content owners to publish & monetize their content as a native app or channel, across multiple CTV and OTT platforms, is looking for a well-connected media consultant who can liaise with OTT and CTV distribution partners. The consultant will have the primary responsibility to extend the reach and lead the relationships with our OTT and CTV partners. Full info HERE (3/5)

SENIOR DIRECTOR, CONTENT ACQUISITIONS >>
FILMRISE/NYC or LA:
Develop licensing and distribution partnership opportunities; Oversee company’s existing servicing partnerships business and identify new prospective partners. Minimum 5 to 7 years of experience in an acquisitions, sales, or business development role at a film or television company. Candidate should have existing network of content relationships across the industry. Full info HERE (3/5)

THURSDAY MARCH 4
ABC: “Celebrity Wheel of Fortune” [f], “The Chase,” “The Chase” [f]
CBS: “Young Sheldon,” “B Positive,” “Mom,” “The Unicorn,” “Clarice”
CW: “Walker,” “Legacies”
FOX: “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Call Me Cat,” “Last Man Standing”
NBC: “Superstore,” ”Young Rock,” “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,” “Te Acuerdas de Mi,” “La HIja del Embajador”

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