PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
The CW is welcoming back the Walton family. TV-movie “The Waltons’ Thanksgiving” will premiere on The CW in 4Q22, with Teddy Sears (“American Horror Story”) replacing Ben Lawson as John Sr. “The Waltons’ Homecoming” was the network’s second most-watched special of the 2021-22 season.
“Julia” will be back on HBO Max for a second season. The series, inspired by the life of Julia Child, debuted March 31 and wraps season one tonight, May 5.
GAC Family announced the start of production of “The Christmas Farm” (wt), starring former Hallmark movie mainstays Jill Wagner (“A Christmas Miracle for Daisy,” “Teen Wolf”) and Cameron Mathison (“Home & Family,” “All My Children”). The film will premiere as part of GAC Family’s annual “Great American Christmas” celebration.
Another Hallmark movie regular, Luke Macfarlane (“A Valentine’s Match”), is keeping it in the Family, with an exclusive multi-picture deal with Crown Media Family Networks. “Luke is an actor whose ability to bring to life characters with heart makes him a fan favorite and we are lucky to work with him,” said Lisa Hamilton Daly, Crown Media’s EVP, Programming.
Jeremy Strong (“Billions”) will star in and executive produce an untitled limited series about Boeing’s controversial 737 Max planes. The untitled project is in early development at Amazon Studios, reports Deadline.
Disney+ is adapting novel Out of My Mind, about a talented 12-year-old girl with cerebral palsy, as a movie. The project comes from Big Beach, Participant, EveryWhere Studios LLC and Disney Branded Television.
Magic Machine and animation production company Titmouse have tapped Derek Kolstad (“John Wick”) to create and develop an eight-episode series, “Forgotten Runes Wizard’s Cult,” based on the NFT fantasy property.
Warren Leight is exiting his role as executive producer and showrunner of NBC’s Law & Order: SVU. With production wrapped on season 23, Leight tweeted, “The last two years of show running during a pandemic have been arduous, and I’ve decided to take a break.”
OUTtv is expanding its slate of OUTtv Originals with four new series and seven renewed series. New to the LGBTQ+ net will be reality series “Sew Fierce” and “Behind The Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Award Contest Competition,” and comedies “Dr. Jackie” and “Sugar Highs.” Returning series include “The Sherry Vine Variety Show,” “The Villbergs Chronicles,” “Translation,” “Iconic Justice” and “Avocado Toast” for second seasons; “Pride” for season three; and “Camp Wannakiki” for a fourth run.
Casting notes: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) will play the male lead opposite Jennifer Garner in “The Last Thing He Told Me,” an Apple TV+ limited series based on the novel by Laura Dave…Gia Sandhu (“The Mysterious Benedict Society”) will take on the original “Star Trek” role of Spock’s fiancée, T’Pring, in “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds,” premiering today, May 5 on Paramount+.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Netflix comedy “Uncoupled,” starring Neil Patrick Harris (“How I Met Your Mother”) as a man blindsided by a breakup, debuts Friday, July 29.
Also on the way from Netflix is docuseries “The Future Of…”, offering predictions on what life will be like in the future. The first six episodes will be released Tuesday, June 21, and the remaining six on Tuesday, June 28.
Amazon has three unscripted series set for summer launches. Dating show “The One That Got Away,” from Amazon Studios and Fulwell 73, premieres Friday, June 24; docu-soap “Forever Summer: Hamptons,” from Amazon Studios and Haymaker East, arrives in July; and social experiment “Cosmic Love,” from Amazon Studios and Hudsun Media, drops in August.
“Light & Magic,” a docuseries about visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic, launched by George Lucas, debuts on Disney+ on Wednesday, July 27.
Season two of “90 Day Fiance: Love in Paradise” kicks off Friday, June 10 on discovery+. The season includes a first for the franchise: two LGBTQ+ couples.
Also set for a sophomore run is Peacock’s “Rutherford Falls,” starting Thursday, June 16. “Ed Helms, Mike Schur, and I had an absolute blast making a show that’s heartfelt, laugh-out-loud funny, and depicts Native Americans in ways you never see on television,” said showrunner/co-creator/writer/EP Sierra Teller Ornelas. “Also, a lot of people get punched/kicked in the face. We hope you enjoy Season 2!”.
And now it’s a trend: Season two of crime drama “The Truth Will Out” premieres on Acorn TV Monday, May 16.
Freeform’s summer schedule includes new comedy series “Everything’s Trash,” from Phoebe Robinson, premiering Wednesday, July 13 with double episodes at 10p and 10:30p, then weekly at 10:30p, as well as the final season launch of “Motherland: Fort Salem” (premiering Tuesday, June 21 at 10p); season 4B of “Good Trouble” (Thursday, July 7 at 10p); and season five of “grown-ish” (Wednesday, July 20 at 10p).
In celebration of “Star Wars” Day, Lucasfilm yesterday launched “Star Wars Mindful Matters,” a new series of shorts on Star Wars Kids hosted by Ashley Eckstein, the voice of Ahsoka Tano in “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars Rebels.” The series focuses on the lessons that “Star Wars” characters and stories have taught over the years.
HBO Documentary Films’ “The Janes,” telling the story of women in the 1970s who formed a clandestine network to support women seeking safe, illegal abortions, debuts Wednesday, June 8 at 9p. The film had its world premiere at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.
Oscar winner Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”) will host CBS’s Tony Awards, airing live from NYC’s Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, June 12. DeBose is no stranger to Broadway – she was in the original cast of “Hamilton,” and was nominated for a Tony for “Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.”
Fourteen-year-old activist Mari Copeny, also known as Little Miss Flint, will be honored as the third annual Billboard Music Awards Changemaker at NBC’s “2022 Billboard Music Awards” on Sunday, May 15 at 8p.
The Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement is launching a new International Knowledge Exchange event for their members. The Exchange, starting as a twice-yearly event, will create opportunities for members of CIMM and egta to share insights on the US and European TV and premium video markets. The inaugural Exchange will take place June 2.
Spectrum will spotlight Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with an On Demand collection of action films and comedies. Beginning Tuesday, May 10, movies will be available in the Spectrum On Demand portal under the category Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage.
UPFRONTS UPDATES & CALENDAR
At its NewFront presentation, TikTok introduced TikTok Pulse, a new contextual advertising solution that lets advertisers place their brand next to the top content in the For You Feed. With TikTok Pulse, the company will begin exploring its first advertising revenue share program with creators, public figures and media publishers. Creators and publishers with at least 100,000 followers will be eligible in the initial stage of the program.
Snap is forming a partnership with celebrity video creation platform Cameo. The Snap x Cameo Advertiser Program will enable Snap advertisers to pay Cameo members to create short video ads on Snapchat. Snap is also launching a new “Snap Promote” ad format, inviting content partners to sponsor shows or advertise within the Discover news feed directly.
At its first-ever NewFronts presentation, REVOLT shared its goal to create a global media platform rooted in the unapologetically Black experience. The senior leadership team – CEO Detavio Samuels, EVP of Sales & Partnerships Mike Roche, President of REVOLT Studios Monique Chenault and Head of #000000 Andre Woolery – shared their digital roadmap and upcoming initiatives. Last year, REVOLT added 100 new advertisers, shared Samuels, adding the brand is on track to triple that number with new distribution including Roku and Amazon. REVOLT also announced a partnership with fandom brand Overtime to create a “sports franchise with a hip-hop lens.”
May 5: A+E Networks at 9a; Nielsen at 9:20a; fuboTV at 9:30; Dotdash Meredith at 9:50a; Comscore at 10:10a; LG Ads at 10:20; Innovid at 10:55a; GSTV at 11:05a; Crackle Plus at 11:25a; Estrella Media at 12:45p; Vevo at 4:30p (Hammerstein Ballroom), Canela Media at 1p (virtual) and CincoDeFront at 5:30p (NYC)
May 10: Screenvision at 6p (Hammerstein Ballroom, NYC)
May 16: NBCUniversal (Radio City Music Hall, NYC); Telemundo (Ziegfeld Theater, NYC); Fox (Skylight, NYC)
May 17: Univision at 11:30a (Javits Center in NYC); Disney (Basketball City at Pier 36, NYC); YouTube Brandcast at 8p
May 18: Paramount (Carnegie Hall, NYC); Warner Bros. Discovery (Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, NYC)
May 19: The CW (New York City Center Theater, NYC)
Trade association Out of Home Advertising Association of America has formed the OAAA Brand Council, a collaborative platform for media leaders. The network includes brand leaders from Pepsi, IBM Watson, Allstate and more. “As we enter a post pandemic world there is a big moment occurring for OOH to play an even more important role for marketers, reaching consumers at the critical moments of their journey,” said Anna Bager, President and CEO, OAAA. “Advertisers are in search of opportunities that can guarantee brand safety, meaningful connections, and business outcomes and OOH can be this solution.”
As he proceeds with plans for a $44 billion acquisition of Twitter, Elon Musk has told potential investors he could take the company public again in as little as three years after buying it, according to The Wall Street Journal. Musk’s current deal is expected to close later this year, subject to conditions including the approval of Twitter shareholders and regulators
Musk has been called on by a coalition of 26 organizations to pledge to uphold “three nonnegotiable standards of community trust and safety,” or risk losing advertising. The demands include keeping accounts off the platform that were removed for egregious violations and continue to enforce hateful conduct policy; ensure algorithmic accountability, preserve people’s privacy, and commit to depolarizing the algorithm; and continue Twitter’s commitment to transparency and researcher access. “Under Musk’s management, Twitter risks becoming a cesspool of misinformation, with your brand attached, polluting our information ecosystem in a time when trust in institutions and news media is already at an all-time low,” said a letter to advertisers. “Your ad dollars can either fund Musk’s vanity project or hold him to account.”
Musk has also been asked to appear in front of the UK’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee to discuss how he will balance his commitment to free speech with his obligation to protect the platform’s users from “online harms.” “I know you have expressed your wish that critics remain on Twitter and this may present an opportunity to address any critiques in public,” wrote DCMSC chair Julian Knight in a letter to Musk. “I am honored and thank the Parliament for their invitation, but it would be premature at this time to accept, given that there has not yet been a shareholder vote,” Musk said in a statement to ABC News.
Analytics platform for brand advertising Upwave unveiled its new Brand Effects module, created to help marketers measure the long-term, lasting effect of a brand in the marketplace by using longitudinal metrics. Upwave accounts for brand media in its longitudinal brand health metrics, enabling brands to diagnose flat or declining metrics over time as issues with reach or media effectiveness. “Upwave is unapologetically supportive of brand advertising, and we work hard every day to prove its value,” said Chris Kelly, CEO of Upwave. “The addition of Brand Effects to the Upwave platform further enables our brand partners to prove the long-term business outcomes of their brand investment.”
Banijay Rights announced the first international adaptation of UK format “Starstruck” with a deal confirmed in South America. Canal 13 in Chile will produce and broadcast a local version of the show.
Beyond Rights has placed factual and kids’ programming packages totaling 1000 hours with major broadcasters in Australia and New Zealand. Among the takers are Foxtel, Fox Docos, SBS, Free Australia, ABC, TVNZ, Discovery ANZ and Bravo TV.
Video Solutions AG, the media company that owns and operates wedotv AVOD services in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the UK, has launched its specialty channel, wedo movies HD, on one of Germany’s linear TV platform, Deutsche Telekom’s Magenta TV.