PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
CBS All Access ordered a sophomore season of The Twilight Zone. “Jordan Peele and Simon Kinberg’s reimagining of The Twilight Zone is off to an amazing start on CBS All Access, driving the most viewers on its premiere day for an original series to date,” said Julie McNamara, Executive Vice President Original Content at CBS All Access.
Showtime picked up a second season of Black Monday. The comedy, starring Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells and Regina Hill, centers on a motley crew of underdogs causing the worst stock market crash in the history of Wall Street. The series will resume production on 10 episodes later this year for a 2020 debut.
FOX greenlit an aftershow with a twist. What Just Happened??! with Fred Savage is an aftershow, but to a fake TV show — sci-fi thriller drama The Flare. The project, co-created and hosted by Savage, is set to premiere Sunday, June 30 at 9:30p.
Octavia Spencer’s newly launched production company, Orit Entertainment, with partner Brian Clisham, signed an exclusive three-year pod deal with 20th Century Fox TV. The duo will develop television and film projects across all genres “that inspire, uplift and most importantly, entertain,” according to 20th TV.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller inked a five-year overall deal with Sony Pictures Television. Under the pact’s terms, the Oscar-winning writing/directing/producing duo will develop live-action comedy and drama series as well as animated shows via their Lord Miller Productions company, including a set of TV series based on Sony’s Universe of Marvel characters.
Charles Roven’s Atlas Entertainment acquired the rights to Joseph Finder’s New York Times bestselling thriller Judgment with plans to develop it into a series. Atlas’ President Richard Suckle and Roven will serve as Executive Producers, with Atlas’ Robert Amidon, who brought the project to the company, serving as Producer. The novel centers on Juliana Brody, a judge in the Superior Court of Massachusetts, who’s blackmailed after a one-night affair with a man she meets at a conference.
UK production company Moonage Pictures is adapting Lionel Davidson’s Russian spy thriller Kolymsky Heights. The BBC Studios-backed firm has optioned the novel, set right after the fall of the Iron Curtain.
Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury partnered with Night School and Girls Trip producer Will Packer on Central Ave. The half-hour, multicultural entertainment news magazine show will air live from Atlanta and is set to launch November 4 on select Fox Television Stations for a five-week preview. Julissa Bermudez (106 & Park) and former Olympic track star Sanya Richards-Ross will co-host the series, marking the first time two women of color have been named to such positions in an entertainment magazine news show.
Stolen Picture, the production company set up by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, is adapting Ben Aaronovitch’s fantasy drama Rivers of London, reports Deadline. The series follows Peter Grant, an ordinary police constable turned magician’s apprentice as he solves crimes across the British capital.
During its second annual NewFront event in NYC, Viacom announced that flagship networks BET, Comedy Central, MTV and Nickelodeon will be introduced to Pluto TV’s channel lineup and its new slate of original digital programming “Our remarkable growth continues to be driven by an investment in premium original programming and experiences that engage our young, diverse audiences on the platforms they love most, presenting an unprecedented opportunity for our advertising partners to join the conversation,” said Kelly Day, President of Viacom Digital Studios.
The company’s channels will launch on Pluto on Wednesday, May 1 with content from Viacom’s library on three categories of branded channels: Co-branded Flagship Channels, with curated versions of Viacom’s leading networks; Signature Channels, with celebrated and diversified programming from each brand; and Pop-Up
Channels, delivering marathon-style airings, starting with MTV’s The Hills, which will re-air ahead of the revival series The Hills: New Beginnings premiering Thursday, June 24.
The new content slate includes: How to Survive: A Break-Up, AwesomenessTV’s scripted romantic comedy starring Eva Gutowksi; Black Coffee, BET’s daily morning talk show starring Marc Lamont Hill; Comedy Central’s untitled late-night show from David Spade; MTV No Filter: Tana Turns 21, following Tana Mongeau and her crazy crew as they navigate vlog life; and Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob Smarty Pants Game Show.
MTV will bring the 2019 Video Music Awards to the Garden State for the first time ever, live on Monday, August 26 at 9p from Prudential Center. The news came as part of Twitter’s 2019 NewFronts presentation and unveiled the MTV VMA Stan Cam, which will let fans take control of their VMA viewing experience in new ways. Using a series of short-form streams on Twitter, MTV will ask fans to decide which stars they’d like to watch, follow backstage, go behind the scenes and poll on a live reaction cam during the show’s biggest moments.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Fox Television’s RuPaul is set to debut Monday, June 10 in New York (WNYW FOX 5 at 7p, WWOR My9 at 5p), Los Angeles (KTTV FOX 11 at 6p, KCOP My13 at 8p), San Francisco (KTVU FOX 2 at 2p, KTVU Plus 13 at 3p), Houston (KRIV FOX 26 at 3p), Phoenix (KSAZ FOX 10 at 2p), Minneapolis (WFTC My9 Plus at 8p) and Charlotte (WJZY FOX 46 at 10a). The weekday talk show will be broadcast for a limited three-week run.
HBO’s True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality premieres Wednesday, June 26 at 8p. The documentary follows the Alabama lawyer and author of Just Mercy, who has been working for over 30 years to bring justice to the incarcerated, wrongfully convicted and disadvantaged.
Tim Spengler, President of Dentsu Aegis Network will be the keynote speaker of the Cynopsis Measurement and Data Conference June 11 in NYC. Reserve your seat for a look at viewers, content and the future of data. Spengler will dive into how consumer behavior is transforming and creating new branding and affinity interactions, changing how we interpret and use data in 2020 and beyond. Register today.
American Masters explores the six-decade career of playwright and LBGTQ activist Terrence McNally in Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life. The new doc bows Friday, June 14 at 9p on PBS (check local listings).
Bravo’s Vanderpump Rules three-part reunion kicks off on Monday, May 6 at 9p. Host Andy Cohen sits down with Lisa Vanderpump and current and former SURvers.
Chris Zylka (The Leftovers) and Taveeta Syzmanowicz (Operation Faction) will recur in USA drama Dare Me…. Hulu’s upcoming limited series, Little Fires Everywhere, added Jade Pettyjohn, Jordan Elsass, Gavin Lewis, Megan Stott and Lexi Underwood as series regulars.
Male or Female on air fashion expert or TV host/performer to represent fashion stylist apparel brand on QVC. Must be comfortable with overnight and early morning shifts. Should be located w/in 2hrs of suburban Philadelphia. Photo, resumes and links to Casting Director Sean De Simone: [email protected].
In honor of the 35th anniversary of the Transformers franchise, Hasbro, Inc. introduced a new brand campaign celebrating how much we’re all More Than Meets the Eye. It kicked it off with a video featuring Angela Bassett, who starred in 2018’s Bumblebee film, mentioning that in addition to being a Golden Globe Award recipient, she is also a graduate of Yale College and Yale University. More Than Meets the Eye will be promoted throughout 2019 with new videos dropping every month.
Netflix partnered with South Korean broadcaster TVN and its CJ E&M-backed production company Studio Dragon on Arthdal Chronicles. The 18-episode epic fantasy drama, starring Song Joong-ki, Jang Dong-gun, Kim Ji-won and Kim Ok-bin, explores the birth of civilization and nations in ancient times. Series is
slated to launch globally on Saturday, June 1.
BBC Global News is set to produce automated audio versions of all BBC News’ online articles via Project Songbird, its initiative to build a text-to-audio commercial business across digital online platforms. The service promises to let audiences listen to their favorite news and sports editorial content hands-free, without the need to actually click and browse. Songbird will be built with the ability to download audio in the background and will offer a “dynamic” advertiser experience. There is no set launch date at this time.
Samsung unveiled its newest slate of lifestyle TVs at a press event in Seoul, this week. Among them: the Sero TV, a flat screen with a rotating display that’s meant to show off Instagram and Snapchat stories or TikTok videos – vertically. The new TV can be synced with a phone via NFC and then simply mirrors the phone’s display. Samsung also pitched the TV as a solution for big-screen mobile gaming, browsing photos form social networks or visiting shopping sites together with multiple people. If rotated back horizontally, the Sero TV can be used as a regular 43-inch TV screen.
Spotify reported that it now has over 100 million subscribers for its premium plan, marking a milestone for the 13-year-old streaming music service. The company attributes the growth in premium to several factors, including its new deal to offer a bundle of Spotify premium and Hulu for $9.99 per month, a deal with Samsung to have the app preinstalled on certain phones, and plan promotions. Spotify said it now has 217 million monthly active users, up 26% from the same quarter a year ago. Meanwhile, the company told investors that “ad-supported revenue growth underperformed our expectations in Q1” due to pricing issues, particularly regarding its “Sponsored Sessions” ad product.
iOS podcast app Overcast introduced an update that allows users to share audio or video clips, up to a minute each, from any public podcast, by tapping a share button. An audio clip, portrait, landscape or square video can be generated using the current Overcast theme setting. “One of the most common shortcomings we hear is that podcasts are hard to share,” said Overcast founder Marco Arment. “Hopefully, Overcast’s new clip-sharing feature changes that, and other apps build similar features soon.”
Robotics company Anki is shutting down, reports Recode. CEO Boris Sofman informed his staff Monday that they were out of their jobs. “Despite our past successes, we pursued every financial avenue to fund our future product development and expand on our platforms,” a company spokesperson said. “A significant financial deal at a late stage fell through with a strategic investor and we were not able to reach an agreement.” Anki had raised over $200 million in venture capital.
AT&T launched the NarrowBand Internet of Things, a wireless network created to link to IoT devices for $5/year. “The upgrades at our 4G LTE cell sites across the country are now complete and our NB-IoT network is open for business,” said Chris Penrose, AT&T Business’s President, IoT Solutions, in a blog post. “This new network will help unlock the next wave of IoT connections. And it’s a big step toward massive IoT and 5G.”
Which came first, The Beverly Hillbillies or Green Acres? Test your TV smarts in the Cynopsis quiz at http://www.cynopsis.com/.
Microsoft officially changed the name of its advertising business form Bing Ads to Microsoft Advertising. Rik van der Kooi, Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Advertising, wrote in a post that Microsoft Advertising will become the umbrella for all the company’s ad products as it continues to brank out from search into other digital and media products, like those offered through the Microsoft Audience Network. The changes began on Monday, as BingAds.com became MicrosoftAdvertising.com. Microsoft’s partner program will also be renamed to Microsoft Advertising Partner Program. The company said it made sense to rebrand the business with a name advertisers and consumers already trust.
All3media International struck a format deal in Brazil for a local version of entertainment show Catch Me Out to be commissioned by TV Globo for primetime broadcast.