04/13/23: WBD unveils streaming service Max

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM WARNER BROS. DISCOVERY

INTRODUCING MAX: THE ONE TO WATCH

IT’S ALL HERE… ICONIC SERIES, AWARD-WINNING MOVIES,
FRESH ORIGINALS, FAMILY FAVORITES –
THE BEST ENTERTAINMENT FOR EVERY MOOD.

EXPLORE THE NEW PREMIERE STREAMING DESTINATION
WITH EVERYTHING FANS AND BRANDS NEED.
* START STREAMING MAY 23 *

WARNER BROS. DISCOVERY: DREAM BOLD HERE

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Thursday April 13, 2023

Today’s Premieres
Discovery: This Is Mark Rober at 10p
HBO Max: Titans
Netflix: Florida Man; Obsession; The Boss Baby: Back in the Crib
Showtime Extreme: Headliners with Rachel Nichols at 10p
Topic: Rough Cut

IN THE NEWS

“This is our rendezvous with destiny,” said Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, introducing the company’s new streaming service Max, set to launch May 23. Max will house HBO Originals, Warner Bros. films, Max Originals, the DC universe, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, kids’ content, and programming across food, home, reality, lifestyle and documentaries. “This new brand signals an important change from two narrower products, HBO Max and discovery+, to our broader content offering and consumer proposition,” said JB Perrette, President & CEO, Global Streaming & Games, WBD. “While each product offered something for some people, Max will have a broad array of quality choices for everybody.” The Max Ad-Lite tier will cost $9.99 a month; Max Ad Free, the plan most similar to the old HBO Max subscription, will cost $15.99, and a new Max Ultimate Ad Free tier will cost $19.99.

Fox News Channel will be the first network to host a Republican presidential primary debate, this August in Milwaukee. The announcement was made by RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.

NPR is retiring its 52 official Twitter feeds, after Twitter tagged the public radio’s main account as “state affiliated” last week. “I would never have our content go anywhere that would risk our credibility,” said NPR CEO John Lansing.

“Extra” has made it to season 30. The syndicated entertainment newsmag has been renewed by Fox Television Stations, Nexstar Media Group, Sinclair Broadcast Group, TEGNA, Hearst, CBS, Scripps Broadcasting, Weigel Broadcasting, Sunbeam Television, Draper Media, Entravision, Circle City Broadcasting, McKinnon Broadcasting, News-Press & Gazette Company, Waterman Broadcasting and Marks Radio Group.

Sinclair Broadcast Group announced a distribution agreement with YouTube TV to add carriage of Tennis Channel, T2, CHARGE! and TBD to YouTube TV’s service offerings. The agreement also extends YouTube TV’s existing carriage of Sinclair’s CBS and MyNetworkTV affiliated television broadcast stations.

Digital video revenues totaled $47.1 billion in 2022, with digital audio revenues hitting $5.9 billion, and programmatic advertising revenues growing by $10.4 billion, bringing the total number to $109.4 billion (+10.5% YoY), according to IABs “Internet Advertising Revenue Report: Full Year 2022. Other highlights include:
Market share of top 10 companies decreased for first time since 2016, further emphasizing a growing democratization of ad revenue across mid-tier & long-tail publishersSocial media revenue growth slowed due to implementation of Apple’s App Tracking TransparencyPrivacy & regulation will change advertising as importance of privacy by design increases”After unprecedented growth in 2021, we expected more moderation in 2022. Economic uncertainty, geo-political unrest, a shifting regulatory environment, and addressability changes have all contributed to revenue growing at a slower pace,” said David Cohen, CEO, IAB. “Looking ahead, there is definitely still growth to be had, but it will be harder to achieve and likely less than we have become accustomed to.”

Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”) will repeat as host of this year’s Tony Awards. The 76th annual event will air live from NYC’s United Palace on Sunday, June 11 on CBS.

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Lots of news from Warner Bros. Discovery, as the company unveiled its streaming service on the Warner Bros. lot in LA. HBO Max and Chuck Lorre are developing a new comedy series derived from “The Big Bang Theory.” The project is in the works at Warner Bros. Television, where Lorre is under an overall deal. The new show would be the second collaboration between Max, Lorre, and WBTV. Lorre and Nick Bakay are currently in production on the new Max Original comedy series “How to Be a Bookie,” starring Sebastian Maniscalco.

HBO Max is also developing a drama series based on the films in New Line Cinema’s “The Conjuring Universe.” “The Conjuring” producer Peter Safran will serve as an executive producer on the project, which is in development at Warner Bros. Television. Filmmaker James Wan is in talks to executive produce. The series will continue the story established in the feature films. Wan’s Atomic Monster Productions and Safran’s The Safran Company will produce in association with Warner Bros. Television, where The Safran Company is under an overall deal.

And an HBO Max “Harry Potter” series was announced, with author J.K. Rowling executive producing. “We are delighted to give audiences the opportunity to discover Hogwarts in a whole new way,” said Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO, HBO & Max Content. “Harry Potter is a cultural phenomenon and it is clear there is such an enduring love and thirst for the Wizarding World.”

HBO gave a series order for “Game of Thrones” prequel “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight,” written and executive produced by George R.R. Martin and Ira Parker. Ryan Condal and Vince Gerardis will also executive produce. HBO also shared a teaser for “The Regime,” formerly known as “The Palace,” starring Kate Winslet.

Discovery Channel has greenlit “Survive the Raft, a nine-episode social experiment inspired by Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés’ 1973 behavioral study that observed whether humans from diverse cultures and backgrounds could set aside their differences and work together during a 101-day voyage. Fifty years later, Discovery Channel revisits his groundbreaking work with a new raft hosted by United States Army Green Beret, NFL football player and actor, Nate Boyer; the series is slated to premiere in July.

Max and Cartoon Network have greenlit an animated rendition of “Peter and the Wolf” featuring music and narration by Gavin Friday, and artwork based on original illustrations by Bono. The special transforms Sergei Prokofiev’s symphony into an animated short that touches on themes of growing up, loss, courage, transformation, and nature. The film is scheduled to premiere later this year and is part of an ongoing relationship with Irish Hospice Foundation.

“Barbie’s Dreamhouse Challenge,” hosted by supermodel, designer, author and entrepreneur Ashley Graham, will feature eight teams of HGTV stars as they transform a Southern California home into a real-life Barbie Dreamhouse. In the end, one Barbie fan will get the chance to stay in the home. The show will premiere on HGTV this summer.

Disney+ released a lengthy list of guest stars joining the fun for “The Muppets Mayhem,” including Paula Abdul, Sofia Carson, Tommy Chong, Morgan Freeman, Ziggy Marley, Jack McBrayer, Ryan Seacrest, Kevin Smith, “Weird Al” Yankovich, and more. The musical comedy series premieres with all episodes on May 10.

FilmRise is expanding its relationship with Woodcut Media with two true crime co-productions, including a second season order for “Murdered at First Sight,” and the eighth season of “World’s Most Evil Killers.” “We have seen tremendous interest and a continual increase in viewership with each new season of ‘World’s Most Evil Killers,’ our initial true crime collaboration with Woodcut Media,” said Max Einhorn, SVP of Acquisitions and Co-Productions, FilmRise. “Growing a fruitful partnership with Woodcut is a perfect example of how FilmRise likes to work with other independents. We build value for each other’s businesses.”

Falcon’s Beyond announced its first animated series is now in development. The preschool show features Boro the Yeti, one of the breakout characters first introduced at the original Katmandu theme park in Mallorca, Spain, and a group of young yetis. In this mission-oriented show, the young yetis go on adventures across Katmandu.

Frank Grillo, David Harbour, Maria Bakalova, Indira Varma, Zoe Chao, Alan Tudyk, Sean Gunn and Steve Agee have joined the voice cast of DC’s animated series “Creature Commandos.” The seven-parter focuses on the creation of a black ops team out of prisoners.

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

Magnolia Network’s “Fixer Upper: The Hotel” opens its doors in November, following Chip and Joanna Gaines as they renovate a hotel in downtown Waco. The news was revealed during Warner Bros. Discovery’s unveiling of the Max streaming service.

“Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” premieres Tuesday, May 23 on HBO Max. The voice cast for the animated family adventure includes Ming-Na Wen, James Hong, BD Wong, Matthew Rhys, Izaac Wang, AJ LoCascio, Gabrielle Nevaeh Green.

Female-driven comedy “The Drop starts streaming Friday, May 5 on Narcity’s YouTube channel. The social satire follows a pair of top line waiters in Toronto.

“Cyberchase” returns to PBS for a new season beginning Friday, April 21 during PBS KIDS Family Night at 7p. Season 14 will feature four new environment-themed adventures.

COMING UP

Cindy Williams’ final TV project, “Sami,” is set to premiere on Prime Video on April 23. Kerry O’Malley (“Why Women Kill”, “Snowpiercer”) and newcomer Sami Staitman also star in the 10-episode short form comedy/musical series. “Sami” was created by producer Bruce Kimmel, whose friendship with the late actress lasted close to 60 years. Williams died January 25 at age 75.

In partnership with Liberty Global, SeriesFest will celebrate with an International Spotlight featuring eight original works making their US or world debut. Several of the titles’ stars and showrunners will be in attendance, including “Elle’s Kitchen” (France) showrunner Lucie Moreau and star Annabelle Lengronne and Grace Dove from “Bones of Crows” (Canada). SeriesFest takes place May 5-10 in Denver.

“County Line: No Fear” will debut on INSP on Saturday, May 27 at 8p. This will be the exclusive television premiere for the third installment in the “County Line” film series.

HITN and EDYE have extended the celebration of Earth Day throughout April with their Festival de la Tierra to emphasize the importance of caring for the planet and its inhabitants.

STREAMING

Music video network Vevo has launched “Vevo In-Show Trivia,” a question-and-answer feature for its FAST channels. Appearing within the programming of Vevo’s linear channels, including Vevo Pop and Vevo Hip-Hop, the feature gives advertisers a new way to connect with music fans. “Music videos are drivers of culture and social change. As custodians of this highly influential art form, Vevo is giving its TV audience a fun way to test their knowledge and learn more about their favorite artists and music videos,” said JP Evangelista, SVP, Content, Programming & Marketing, Vevo. “Participating advertisers can work directly with the Vevo team in the creation and selection process of the trivia questions for more strategic alignment between the surrounding music videos and brand.”

All3Media International is launching its latest “single-talent” FAST channel Gardening with Monty Don across a number of FAST providers. The channel is dedicated to content featuring the horticulturalist, writer and broadcaster, which includes the creation of exclusive new compilation episodes of content hosted by Don, created for the channel.

Google TV is integrating access to FAST channels including Tubi, Plex and Haystack News, into its Live tab. Google TV now enables browsing and accessing more than 800 channels, without subscription fees, including NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox news channels.

SPORTS ROUNDUP

Dan Dakich has inked a new, multi-year contract with OutKick. The radio host and ESPN college basketball analyst has hosted “Don’t @ Me!” on OutKick since 2021, and will continue with that. “Don’t @ Me!” is broadcast from Monday through Friday from 9a-11a on OutKick platforms.

Infront has struck a new five-year agreement with Handbollsligan and SHE, the Swedish Handball Leagues for men and women, which will see it provide a new, fully digital ecosystem solution to grow the game of handball in Sweden.

Pixellot, provider of AI-automated sports production, and Torneo Dell REgioni, the annual Italian football tournament for youth teams, have signed an agreement by which Pixellot will provide the systems to enable the broadcast of all the upcoming tournament games that are not televised. After a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions, the tournament will feature under-19, under-17, under-15, and female categories and will be held in Piedmont for the 59th time.

TECH TALK

Over two-thirds (67%) of DTC marketers leverage CTV/OTT insights to influence their linear strategies, according to Digital Remedy’s “CTV/OTT: The Next Frontier of DTC Marketing” report. Additional findings include:
· Of DTC marketers planning to spend on CTV/OTT in 1H 2023, 57% plan to spend more this year, versus 43% in 1H 2022. Access to higher quality OTT inventory (40%) and brand lift measurement capabilities (38%) would have the most impact on convincing DTC marketers to increase their CTV/OTT budget.
· 65% of DTC marketers who plan to spend more on CTV/OTT in 1H 2023 say it will be their first time investing in this media channel altogether. Among those who plan to spend more in CTV/OTT, 61% say the budget will be reallocated from another media channel (i.e. search and social, mobile apps, and digital display), while 39% say they will increase their total media budget to allow for increased investment on CTV/OTT.
· Nearly a quarter of DTC marketers say that their advertising campaigns (targeting or measurement abilities) have been affected by recent data privacy regulations.
· When asked about their satisfaction level, less than half say they’re satisfied with their current media partner’s incremental measurement (48%), survey-based brand lift measurement (47%), and low-funnel attribution (44%).
“CTV/OTT provides an all-encompassing performance channel that presents a wide reach, accountability and precise targeting through data analysis,” said Matt Sotebeer, Chief Strategy Officer at Digital Remedy. “Additionally, it offers a secure and captivating advertisement environment for brands. DTC marketers who aren’t investing and leveraging in CTV/OTT are missing a prime opportunity to engage with customers who are predominantly consuming media through these channels.”

Does Your Measurement Solution Stand Out? From targeting, to attribution, to privacy and brand safety, an array of companies are addressing today’s pressing measurement issues. The best will be spotlighted at the Cynopsis Measure Up! awards, for a room full of media industry decision makers – have you submitted your team’s work yet? You can find out more and enter here.

Pepsico Mexican Foods campaigns surpassed previous benchmarks and performed better across the board than third-party cookies by leveraging Lotame’s Panorama ID™ universal cookieless identifier and media agency Anagram, reports Lotame. To help accomplish Pepsico’s mission to “drive game-changing innovation,” Anagram in collaboration with Lotame developed a data-driven cookieless video strategy to preserve and extend Pepsico Mexican Foods’ addressability across devices and the open web. Leveraging the enrichment capabilities for Lotame Panorama ID, the cookieless audiences:
· Exceeded the brand’s 75% Video Completion Rate (VCR) benchmark and cookie performance across all browsers and devices.
· 42% more unique individuals were reached with Panorama ID than cookies.
· Cookies proved 2X more expensive and 2X less efficient at reaching unique individuals compared to Panorama ID.
“Strengthening addressability strategies for a household name like Pepsico through our collaboration with Anagram reflects Lotame’s commitment and ability to uplift brands and advertisers in a cookieless world,” said Sebastian Yoffe, Managing Director, Latin America and US Hispanics, at Lotame.

GOING GLOBAL

Three FAST channels dedicated to documentary content, fueled by streaming service MagellanTV, are now available on Samsung TV Plus in territories across Europe. MagellanTV Now, True Crime Now and History & Warfare Now have launched today on Samsung TV Plus in Sweden, Finland, Norway, The Netherlands and Denmark.

Cignal TV, a pay-TV provider in the Philippines, is expanding its use of Quickplay’s cloud-native OTT platform to provide more content and access options for Filipino viewers in the Philippines and overseas.

OneGate Media has secured world distribution rights for the progressive drama series “Generation Now: Today for Tomorrow” from VIAFILM GmbH & Co. KG. The cast includes Franziska Weisz (“The Swarm”).

CAKE, King Banana TV and Paper Owl Films are teaming for 2D animated family comedy “Nikhil & Jay” for CBeebies. The sitcom follows two brothers whose mother is Indian and father is English.

Globo has closed a licensing deal with the free TV channel, Telefuturo, from Paraguay, bringing telenovela “Pantanal” to a new territory in the region. The show tells the story of the Leôncio and Marruá family and is scheduled to premiere on Telefuturo in 2023.

European distributor Global Screen will launch spy drama “Davos” at MIP-TV. The series is inspired by real events that occurred in the early days of the European Secret Services.

Abacus Media Rights has confirmed sales of factual series “The Frontier,” financed by Amcomri Productions and created and produced by Daniel Sharp, Founder and Executive Producer, Dash Pictures. The series has been sold to Channel 5 (UK and Northern Ireland), RTE (Ireland), SBS (Australia), Viasat World (Baltics, CEE, Scandinavia and CIS), YLE (Finland), SVT (Sweden), NRK (Norway) and VRT (Belgium).

Rainmaker Content is launching two true-crime series at MIPDOC. Headlining the slate are “Killer Evidence,” produced by Emporium Productions for CBS Reality, and co-funded and distributed internationally by Rainmaker, and “Nightmare On My Street with Robert Englund,” a collaboration between Rainmaker and Michael Yudin’s New York-based factual specialist MY Entertainment, produced in conjunction with Frantic Films.

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RATINGS

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, April 11
Show, P2+ 000s, (A18-49)
ABC: The Rookie 1.89 (0.22), Will Trent 1.52 (0.16), Will Trent 1.52 (0.16)
CBS: FBI 6.84 (0.46), FBI: International 5.79 (0.40), FBI: Most Wanted 5.03 (0.38)
CW: Superman & Lois 0.65 (0.10), Gotham Knights 0.38 (0.05)
ION: Chicago Fire 0.96 (0.1), Chicago Fire 1.07 (0.2), Chicago Fire 0.98 (0.2)
FOX: 9-1-1: Lone Star 3.48 (0.39), Accused 1.80 (0.21)
NBC: Night Court 2.77 (0.29), American Auto 1.52 (0.21), The Wall 2.17 (0.28), Weakest Link 2.08 (0.30)
Telemundo: La Casa de los Famosos 1.20 (0.30), El Señor de los Cielos 0.99 (0.36), Juego de Mentiras 0.65 (0.20)
Univision: Perdona Nuestros Pecados 1.42 (0.38), El Amor Invencible 1.42 (0.40), Cabo 1.35 (0.38)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Kim Granito has been promoted to Head of Marketing at AMC Networks. Granito had been EVP of Integrated Marketing and AMNC Content Room. Granito joined AMC Networks in 2011.

This Day in History
1997 – 21-year-old Tiger Woods became the youngest golfer to win the Masters Tournament.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Who played Nancy Reagan in the 2016 TV movie “Killing Reagan”? Cynthia Nixon. Kudos to: Amy Levy-Amy Levy Public Relations/LA; Randall Bosley-Studio Talent Group/Santa Monica, CA; Louis Lewow-FITE/Atlanta; Rosemary Cunningham- Me TV/Chicago; Maggie Takei-DirectDonor TV/Paducah, KY (extra credit for pointing out, “funny that Nixon played a Reagan!”); Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC

Today’s Trivia Question
Who captained the ship in “Love Boat: The Next Wave” (1998-99)? (Email [email protected] 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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WHYY/Hybrid, PHILADELPHIA:
Create monthly programming grids for 12.1 and 12.3. Update programming grids when schedule changes are made. Prepare daily logs & submit to Centralcast Joint Master Control. Work w/WHYY Traffic Specialist who creates programming grids for 12.2 and logs for 12.2 and 12.3. 3-5 yrs of management exp. & working with data or traffic systems. Full info HERE

IN-HOUSE COUNSEL
NORTHSOUTH PRODUCTIONS
Remote, must be licensed in NY or CA

Negotiating and drafting development deals, shopping agreements, amendments, talent deals, above-the-line contracts, PSAs, production release templates, trade-out agreements, specialty releases and other necessary documents. Shaping corporate and production legal policies. 5-10 yrs of entertainment legal exp. working with a law firm or production. Full info HERE

THURSDAY APRIL 13
ABC: Station 19, Grey’s Anatomy
CBS: Young Sheldon, Ghosts, So Help Me Todd, CSI: Vegas
CW: Walker, Superman & Lois
FOX: Next Level Chef, Animal Control, Welcome to Flatch
NBC: Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Organized Crime
PBS: This Old House, Ask This Old House, Call the Midwife, Marie-Antoinette
Telemundo: La Casa de los Famosos, El Señor de los Cielos, Juego de Mentiras
Univision: Perdona Nuestros Pecados, El Amor Invencible, Cabo

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