PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Kerry Washington (Scandal) will star in and executive produce a limited series based on Celeste Ng’s book Little Fires Everywhere. The project is from Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine, Washington’s Simpson Street and ABC Signature Studios, and is being shopped to premium and streaming networks. Witherspoon and Lauren Neustadter will exec produce for Hello Sunshine; Washington will exec produce for Simpson Street and Pilar Savone will oversee the project for the company.
Cedric the Entertainer (The Soul Man) will co-star in and exec produce Welcome to the Neighborhood, formerly known as Here Comes the Neighborhood, CBS’ comedy pilot from Kapital Entertainment and CBS TV Studios. Pilot was written by Jim Reynolds and directed by James Burrows and centers on the nicest guy in the Midwest, who moves his family into a tough neighborhood in LA.
Lionsgate and Facebook are teaming to bring nonfiction series You Kiddin’ Me, exec-produced by Kim Kardashian West, among others, to Facebook Watch. Ten-episode comedic prank series flips the dynamic and puts kids in charge of their celeb parents. Along with Kardashian West, Jennifer O’Connell, Brian Tannenbaum, Peter M. Cohen, and Melissa Stokes are onboard to exec produce.
Netflix ordered the flick Past Midnight, a feature about a new kind of vigilante superhero, and is hoping to sign Keanu Reeves to star, according to Deadline. Written by TJ Fixman and to be directed by Dope director Rick Famuyiwa and produced by Anthony and Joe Russo (directors of Captain America and Avengers: Infinity War) producing.
Travel Channel greenlit six-episode series Lost Gold, starring brothers Josh and Jesse Feldman, who are bent on finding missing treasure. In each ep they’ll track legends, stories and clues across the American Frontier in search of unfound riches dating back to the gold rush era. Series is slated to launch later this year.
Time’s Up and StoryCorps, the national oral history project, are partnering to document stories from women around discrimination, abuse and opportunity in the workplace. As a part of #TIMESUPXStoryCorps, supporters of Time’s Up including actresses, activists, thought leaders and execs have conversations with women from various backgrounds using the StoryCorps platform. Rashida Jones and Myrla Baldonado, an organizer for domestic workers; Jane Fonda; and Ashley Judd are among those who’ve already recorded for the project.
Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: March 2-4, 2018
Black Panther (BV) $67.7 million (week 3), cume revenue $501.1 million
Red Sparrow (Fox) $17.0 million, opening weekend
Death Wish 2018 (MGM) $13.0, opening weekend
Game Night (WB) $10.7 million (week 2), cume revenue $33.5 million
Peter Rabbit (Sony) $10 million (week 4), cume revenue $84.1 million
Annihilation (Paramount) $5.7 million (week 2), cume revenue $20.6 million
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Sony) $4.5 million (week 11), cume revenue $393.2 million
Fifty Shades Freed (Universal) $3.3 million (week 4), cume revenue $95.4 million
The Greatest Showman (Fox) $2.7 million (week 11), cume revenue $164.6 million
Every Day (Orion) $1.6 million (week 2), cume revenue $5.3 million
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Pasiones, the network that airs telenovelas and drama series in Spanish, acquired exclusive US premieres of Turkish dramas Tormentade Pasiones (Time Goes By), debuting tonight (March 5), at 6p and the second season of Elif, which will premiere Wednesday, March 7, at 8p.
Fox slotted Sunday, March 18 at 8:30p for the return of comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The fifth season of the cop comedy will replace Ghosted in the post-The Simpsons time period.
Naked and Afraid returns to Discovery Channel on Sunday, March 11 at 10p. Set around the world in the most punishing environments, survivalists for 21 days will have to withstand vicious predators and deadly storms sans food, water, shelter and clothing.
Real estate expert Egypt Sherrod returns to support more house-flipping newcomers in a fresh season of HGTV’s Flipping Virgins, premiering Monday, April 2, at 9p. In the premiere ep, Egypt takes on a craftsman bungalow in East Atlanta where rookie flippers need help to turn a profit.
Kathy Griffin, who was fired as co-host of CNN’s New Year’s Eve on-air festivities after she posted a photo of herself holding a mock severed Donald Trump head, will appear on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher on Friday, March 9.
Facebook canned a short-lived experiment to amp up posts from friends and family, and curb posts from business. In January, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the initiative, which he said was aimed at fostering more personal connections. Now a blog post from Adam Mosseri, head of FB news feed, says it is ending its “test” of the Explore Feed, noting, “We constantly try out new features, design changes and ranking updates to understand how we can make Facebook better for everyone. Some of these changes… work well and go on to become globally available. Others don’t and we drop them.”
AMC, BBC America, Sundance, IFC and WE tv soon will be included in the live streaming service fuboTV’s fubo Premier package as part of a new deal with AMC Networks. The agreement also gives fuboTV the right to offer fubo Premier subscribers free access to AMC Networks’ streaming services Sundance Now, and fuboTV will make AMC Premiere available for fans seeking an ad-free option for watching their favorite AMC shows.
Arabian Seas, newly streaming on Smithsonian Earth, dives into the waters bordering the Arabian Peninsula, home to a host of unique marine animals. First of five eps is titled “Carnivores of the Coral Garden.” Smithsonian Earth is available on Apple, Roku, Amazon, Android and at SmithsonianEarthTV.com.
The new Global Television Demand Report from measurement firm Parrot Analytics revealed insights regarding content on streaming platforms, social media and other digital outlets. Among findings:
* The three major on-demand platforms spent $13 billion last year, up from the $5.5 billion spent in 2013. Netflix continues to lead the market in spending on content, saying it will invest up to $8 billion this year.
* The number of new titles debuting exclusively online exceeded 100 last year. Netflix has released the majority of new digital original shows since 2014, but Amazon has significantly increased output in the past two years.
* Online discovery in large part mimics the TV world, with consumers tending to learn about new series through word of mouth. Some 45 percent say friends, family and acquaintances tell them about new shows. The same is true for online discovery.
Bunch of new casting calls at NBC: In her return to series TV in almost two decades, Jessica Alba will co-star opposite Gabrielle Union in the network’s untitled Bad Boys spinoff drama pilot… Paula Newsome (NCIS) is in as a series regular in drama pilot Suspicion… Amanda Payton (Animal Kingdom) scored a series regular role on the upcoming second season of comedy Trial & Error… Dan Bucatinsky (Scandal) booked a series regular role opposite Sasheer Zamata and Sean Kleier in comedy pilot So Close… Derek Luke (13 Reasons Why) has been tapped as the lead in drama pilot Suspicion.
Over at ABC, Oscar-nominated actor Demian Bichir is taking on his first broadcast TV role as the male lead in drama pilot Grand Hotel, exec produced by Eva Longoria… Taran Killam (SNL), Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) and Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond) booked lead roles in comedy pilot Single Parents… The network cast Ethan Peck (10 Things I Hate About You) and Jon Ecker (Narcos) as two-thirds of love triangle at the center of drama pilot For Love…. Will Patton (Shots Fired) is in as a series regular in drama pilot Salvage… Brett Tucker (Mistresses) is in for a multi-episode arc on upcoming Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Station 19… Angela Kinsey (The Office) booked the lead role opposite Kat Dennings in the untitled Justin Noble comedy pilot… Newcomer Ava Capri scored a series-regular role opposite Annie Ilonzeh and Andy Karl in drama pilot Staties.
At CBS, Jennifer Mudge (Boss) is set as a series regular opposite Michael Chiklis and Teyonah Parris in drama pilot Murder… Perdita Weeks is set as the female lead opposite Jay Hernandez in the Magnum P.I. pilot.
Priah Ferguson, who guested as Lucas’ sassy little sister in season 2 of Netflix’s Stranger Things, scored a recurring role for season 3. Additionally, Maya Hawke has been cast in a regular role in the upcoming season.
Perry Mattfeld (Shameless) scored the lead in CW pilot In the Dark, and Keston John (One Day She’ll Darken) has been cast in a co-starring role… Clara Lago landed the lead opposite Tyler Ritter in drama pilot Playing Dead; Luke Youngblood (Galavant) also scored a role in the show.
At Facebook Watch, Mamoudou Athie (Unicorn Store) is in talks for a lead, and Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and (Fences) joined the cast of Sorry For Your Loss, formerly known as Widow, starring and exec produced by Elizabeth Olsen… Elena Kampouris (Before I Fall), Kevin Carroll (The Leftovers), Kiana Madeira (Dark Matter), and Ryan Robbins (Sanctuary) all scored leads in half-hour drama Sacred Lies (working title).
Casting Notice: Sean De Simone Casting & QVC are casting F/T Host. Relocation to PA Req. Should have exp in hosting TV, digital, radio or live events. Intelligent, enthusiastic, commanding & love for products a must. Candidates should be quick on their feet w/ ability to improv & engage. Hosts should be friendly, credible, entertaining, sincere & sophisticated with an elevated sense of style & fashion contact QVChostcasting@gmail.com.
Catherine Tate (Doctor Who) will host the 2018 Olivier Awards, and the British stage honors will get an extended presence on social media platform Facebook for the first time.
A group of London protesters, under the name Legally Black, sought to highlight the lack of on-screen diversity by reimagining the posters of famous movies and TV shows such as Doctor Who by replacing white actors with black leads, printed posters and placed them in bus stop billboards overnight last Friday.