05/06/20: The Right Stuff jumps from Nat Geo to Disney+

 

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday May 6, 2020

Today’s Premieres
BET: Tyler Perry’s Ruthless at 10p
Science Channel: Building Giants at 9p

Tonight’s Finales
Bravo: Summer House at 9p
CW: Riverdale at 8p
History: Eating History at 10p
IFC: Brockmire at 10p
PBS: H2O: The Molecule That Made Us at 9p

IN THE NEWS

Nat Geo drama The Right Stuff has moved to corporate cousin Disney+, where it will premiere this fall. Produced for National Geographic by Appian Way and Warner Horizon Scripted Television, the series is adapted from Tom Wolfe’s nonfiction account of the early days of the US space program. “The wonderful team of storytellers at National Geographic, Warner Horizon Scripted Television and Appian Way have crafted a compelling and entertaining tale and we are honored to give it a global home as the first scripted Disney+ original series from National Geographic,” said Ricky Strauss, President, Content & Marketing, Disney+.

Season seven of NBC’s The Blacklist will end with a twist – an episode that’s a hybrid of live-action and graphic novel-style animation. The season’s 19th episode was midway into filming in New York when production was halted due to COVID-19, so producers decided to add graphic novel-style animation that would incorporate with the already filmed live-action scenes. Cast members recorded dialogue from their homes for the animated scenes, as editors and animators complete their work remotely. The finale airs Friday, May 15 at 8p.

ViacomCBS will hold a virtual upfront for advertisers on May 18-19. “I planned to be – and frankly, I’d rather be – writing to you this time of year to invite you to one of our intimate upfront dinners or our annual celebration at Carnegie Hall,” wrote ViacomCBS sales chief Jo Ann Ross in a note to advertisers. “Clearly, the current climate is different, but as they say at Carnegie, the show must go on!” A series of short virtual presentations will cover the company’s Entertainment & Youth and Kids & Family divisions, as well as Pluto TV, on May 18. CBS and CBS All Access will take the (virtual) state on May 19.

NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell and other top NBCU execs will take a 20% salary cut, while 2020 salary increases for those making over $100,000 are being rolled back as part of a cost saving effort launched as a result of the coronavirus epidemic. “At NBCU, there is no question that the current environment is having a significant impact on our company’s performance,” wrote Shell in a memo to employees. “While many parts of our television operation are enjoying increased ratings, most segments of the company are operating in a very difficult environment. Our theme parks are closed, most of our scripted film and television productions have ceased, sports programming (including the 2020 Olympics) has been delayed, and advertising revenue is starting to fall….Getting through times like this remind me of what a great company we have and, with your help, I know we can emerge from this even stronger.”

ABC Owned Television Stations has launched a call-to-action campaign, #BeLocalish, to help support local businesses struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. ABC’s owned stations are telling the stories of small businesses on the frontlines, showcasing resilience, ingenuity and compassion as well as offering practical ways that local businesses can continue to thrive. “Now more than ever, our role as a news organization is expanding beyond delivering critical information to also serve as a resource to the communities in which we live and work,” said Jennifer Mitchell, SVP of content development for ABC Owned Television Stations. “The #BeLocalish campaign is a way for the entire station group to make a positive impact and rally support around struggling businesses at the heart of their communities.”

Viewership was significantly up for AMC Networks brands as stay-at-home orders took effect, but ad revenue was down 11% in 1Q20 versus the same period last year. Distribution revenue fell 6% during the quarter impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Streaming offered a bright spot: between Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and UMC, the company expects to generate 3.5-4 million paid subscribers by the end of 2020, two years ahead of the original target. “Our continued investment in key areas – creating strong content and valuable IP; growing our targeted SVOD services; and maximizing the value of our linear channels – is enabling us to navigate this challenging time and will continue to serve us well when this environment stabilizes,” said CEO Josh Sapan.

The Big Four TV networks were graded on their inclusion of Asian Pacific Americans in the annual Asian Pacific American Media Coalition report card – and unlike last year, all of the passed. For the 2018-19 season, ABC scored a B, CBS rated a B-, and NBC drew a C, all on par with their marks for the prior season. Fox was at the bottom of the class with a C-, but that’s up from an F last year. “While we continue to advocate for the networks to feature more APAs in leading roles, the Coalition applauds the increased inclusion of APAs in other venues,” said APAMC chair Daniel Mayeda. “We recognize that many of these programs and films would not have been possible without the training and opportunities created by the networks’ diversity efforts. But the networks themselves need to redouble their efforts to avoid slipping behind their streaming and cable counterparts in representing APAs.”

Starz is suing MGM for breach of contract, alleging MGM unlawfully licensed shows for which Starz held exclusive rights. The situation “has caused at least one major distributor to question Starz’ value and significantly damaged Starz’ relationship with that distributor,” said the Lionsgate-owned company. Responded an attorney for MGM, “Starz is pretending that a routine licensing dispute with MGM, that had no meaningful financial impact, is the cause of Starz’s failure to win in the marketplace. We will vigorously defend against these claims.”

Charter Communications announced the creation of Spectrum Scholars, a two-year educational program for eligible rising juniors with financial need. Charter and national non-profit organizations focused on supporting the needs and aspirations of underrepresented students will select 20 students who will each be awarded a $20,000 college scholarship to be used over the course of their junior and senior years. Students will also receive a Charter mentor and the opportunity to explore an internship at the company.

Nominations Due Tomorrow!
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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

HBO Max gave a straight-to-series order for a cooking series starring and exec produced by Selena Gomez for July Moon Productions, along with EPs Eli Holzman and Aaron Saidman on behalf of Intellectual Property. The ten-parter, slated for a summer debut, features the “Come & Get It” singer working to improve her cooking skills while stuck at home in quarantine.

HBO Max also gave a series order for a comedy starring Jean Smart (Designing Women) from Paul W. Downs, Lucia Aniello and Jen Statsky (Broad City). Michael Schur (The Good Place) is exec producing the Universal Television project, about the mentorship between a Las Vegas diva and an entitled 25-year-old outcast.

Authentic Brands Group and 101 Studios have launched Sports Illustrated Studios, with plans for several scripted or unscripted films, TV series and podcasts per year adapted from the magazine’s content. “Sports Illustrated has covered every major story in sports since the 1950s and, before the Internet, they were often the only publication covering the most famous and memorable stories in depth,” said 101’s David Glasser. “Through this new partnership, we have the chance to bring these archival and current stories to life in ways people have never seen before.” First up: Covers, a look at SI’s top cover stories of all time.

Former President of Worldwide TV Distribution & Co-Production at Gaumont, Vanessa Shapiro, has launched a new LA-based distribution and production company, Nicely Entertainment, serving as its CEO. In addition to a 2020 movie slate featuring romance and holiday movies and a young adult drama series, the company is also in development on three new television series, which will be announced later this year.

AMC’s The Walking Dead: World Beyond is “set to go” as planned, launching in the fourth quarter despite the health crisis, said AMC Networks COO Ed Carroll during the company’s earnings call. The spin-off had originally been slated to launch April 16, but the debut date was moved in March.

Skydance Television has entered into an exclusive multi-year overall agreement with writer-producer Nick Santora (Scorpion, Prison Break). Under the deal, Santora, who currently serves as showrunner and executive producer on the studio’s series Jack Reacher for Amazon Prime, will create, develop and produce original scripted series for the studio.

Robert Rodriguez (Sin City) and Peyton Reed (Ant-Man) were confirmed as two of the directors for season two of Disney+ Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian. “I am truly humbled to say I have now had the very rare privilege of directing the biggest star in the universe,” tweeted Rodriguez on May 4 (Star Wars Day), posing with Baby Yoda. Production for the season has wrapped, and season three is in the works.

SaberSpark is launching his own animated content. Drunk ReCap, with a drunk Saber trying to recall the plots of animated movies, is being produced with an assist from Channel Frederator Network’s $1 million creative fund. The pilot episode debuts today, May 6.

STREAMING SCOOP

Free streaming sports network CBS Sports HQ is now available on corporate sib Pluto TV. “Pluto TV viewers have shown us how much they value news and sports offerings on the platform,” said Jeff Shultz, Chief Business Officer, Pluto TV. “In partnership with our colleagues at CBS, we are excited to bring CBS Sports HQ to our growing audience of sports fans.”

Add former President Obama and Michelle Obama to the A-Listers delivering virtual commencement speeches for the Class of 2020. They join Lady Gaga, Condoleeza Rice, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and more on YouTube on June 6. Facebook has another senior send-off, led by Oprah Winfrey, on May 15.

In more Pluto TV news, the streamer has partnered with TiVo to expand the TiVo+ content network, rolling out in the coming weeks.

Rescue dog training show Lucky Dog, produced by Litton Entertainment, joins CBS Television Distribution’s multiplatform lifestyle network Dabl on June 7. Lucky Dog will be part of Dabl’s lineup of project-based, feel-good content.

True crime live event CrimeCon is debuting free streaming event CrimeCon@Home, presented by Oxygen, on Saturday, May 9 from 4-6p on Facebook, YouTube and CrimeCon.com. With the main CrimeCon convention in Orlando postponed until the fall, the streaming event will offer content from Dateline’s Josh Mankiewicz, Nancy Grace, Kelly Siegler from Cold Justice, experts from Oxygen’s Mark of a Killer, and the gang from Last Podcast on the Left, along with catch-ups with key players from Netflix documentaries and more.

CJC Television Network announces the launch of its 24/7 Network on SelectTV, reaching an additional 1.7 million households. CJC, owned and operated by Carl Jackson Entertainment, offers family-friendly general entertainment including movies, original series, dramas and inspirational content.

Tonight, May 6 at 8p, Uforia, the Home of Latin Music is launching Uforia Hangout Sessions presented by Verizon. The digital livestream series of at-home experiences with Latin music stars kicks off with Manuel Turizo and host Jackie Guerrido. The sessions support Verizon’s Pay It Forward Live, the weekly streaming entertainment series in support of small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Fox News Media has partnered with Spotify in a deal that distributes Fox News Podcasts on the audio streaming platform. FNR’s catalogue of more than 20 original series will be made available globally on Spotify.

TECH TALK

Endemol Shine Group is collaborating with the game development studio 9th Impact for the first globally interactive Big Brother mobile game. Big Brother: The Game will be available worldwide for Apple and Android devices, and a prize will be up for grabs. Big Brother The Game has 2 modes – Housemate and Spectator. The game is free to download and the Spectator mode is free with optional purchases.

Cloud infrastructure platform MTonomy has rebranded to MOLTEN, a move aimed at underscoring the company’s growing capabilities as a solution to digitize and streamline core operations of media and entertainment organizations, including rights, content, distribution and financial operations. “The current state of operations is incapable of supporting the skyrocketing demand and complexity of the global digital media economy today,” said Arjun Mendhi, MOLTEN founder and CEO. “The underlying operations across the media industry are rapidly evolving now – looking for scalable, automated and cost-effective solutions in the cloud.”

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

MTV’s Siesta Key is back for season three on Tuesday, June 16 at 8p. This go-round, the crew believes that keeping secrets and telling lies will maintain peace – but the truth comes out, of course, and “nothing will ever be the same.”

Kingdom of the Mummies starts a four-episode run on Tuesday, May 12 at 10p, following a team of archaeologists as they open four sealed, 2600-year-old sarcophagi from the age of the Pharaohs.

Limited series Isolation Stories debuts exclusively on streaming service BritBox on June 23. Produced by Jeff Pope (Philomena, A Confession) and his Factual Drama label, the four-parter was filmed under the rules of lockdown, by members of actors’ families.

Digital Media Rights reached a new agreement with Fuji Creative Corporation to acquire the rights to a variety of original series, encompassing more than 6,000 hours of programming. Titles including Daughter of Lupin, Absolute Boyfriend, A Girl & Three Sweethearts and Nodame Cantabile will be making their US premiere when they debut on DMR’s portfolio of streaming and linear free advertising-supported television channels.

ADVERTISING

Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement is welcoming new members Ampersand, Charter, Data ImpacX, Dativa, IRI, Janus Strategy & Insights, LiveRamp, New York Interconnect, Sequent Partners, Tru Optik, TVSquared and VideoAmp. “Now more than ever, it is important to bring new granular TV data and cross-media products to market as they will provide more visibility into TV/video viewing behavior in today’s rapidly-changing environment,” said Jane Clarke, CEO and managing director of CIMM. “I am thrilled to welcome forward-thinking companies in media measurement as CIMM’s newest members to help us adapt to the accelerating change in how quickly we need cross-platform measurement tools as a result of the dramatic shifts we are seeing in viewing behavior.”

Kinesso, the media and marketing technology unit of Interpublic Group, announced the creation of addressable activation partner Matterkind, which will subsume the Cadreon brand. “The combination of data, insights and seamless activation allows brands to smash silos and increase efficiencies, engaging the right audiences and driving better business outcomes,” said Arun Kumar, Chief Data and Marketing Technology Officer, IPG and CEO, Kinesso. “By bringing together known and unknown personal data in an accountable and ethical manner, we significantly enhance the customer experience and create a more purposeful value exchange between brands and people.”

Ampersand and Verizon Media announced a new strategic advanced TV relationship that has Ampersand serving as the exclusive seller of Verizon Fios’ addressable TV inventory and has also selected Verizon Media’s DSP as their primary buying platform for CTV and OTT inventory. “Addressable TV and OTT advertising offer a unique and unparalleled opportunity to reach consumers in a targeted and meaningful way,” said Iván Markman, Chief Business Officer, Verizon Media. “Together with Ampersand, we are extending advertiser reach and strengthening demand for publisher content. This relationship is another important milestone for Verizon Media’s roadmap to develop leading omnichannel capabilities for premium sources of demand.”

People-based ad tech company Viant is partnering with WideOrbit, a media platform connecting ads and audiences everywhere. As part of the integration, Viant clients can plan, execute and measure linear TV alongside their CTV, mobile, desktop, DOOH and audio executions, while minimizing manual steps. “As TV and video budgets continue to shift to programmatic and TV emerges as a key part of the digital ecosystem, automation is critical,” said Jon Schulz, CMO at Viant. “This strategic partnership with WideOrbit further supports Viant’s strategy of delivering customers a leading omnichannel platform for their campaigns.”

COMING UP

HGTV fans voted on Brother vs. Brother for the next “Fan Favorite Friday” marathon, running May 8 from 12-6p.

Outdoor Sportsman Group is introducing Backyard Ready presented by Exmark, focusing on the backyard – from grilling, deck improvement, lawns and gardens to swimming pools. “With spring in full bloom and the anticipation for better days ahead, Backyard Ready will soon be on all outdoor lovers’ minds,” said Outdoor Sportsman Group EVP Advertising Sales, Jason Brist.

Discovery has set a lineup of special programming that spotlights the global pandemic and illustrates why connections between people and the natural world are so important. “We took this unprecedented time in the world as an opportunity to re-think how we bring our talent and their stories and voices to audiences around the world,” says Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer, Discovery & Factual. In addition to repeats of relevant episodes will be the debuts of Gold Rush – The Dirt From Home, premiering Friday, May 8 at 9p; Moonshiners: “Quaranshine,” date TBD; and Diesel Brothers: Hunkered and Bunkered on Monday, June 1 at 9p, among others.

Daytime TV actors will come together – virtually – on Saturday, May 9 at 8p for Daytime Cares: A Live Event, a variety show aimed at honoring soap opera fans during the COVID-19 crisis. Hosted by Daytime Emmy Award winner Laura Wright and The Locher Room host Alan Locher, the show is presented in partnership with Daytime Cares, spotlighting non-profit organizations offering COVID-19 support and resources. StreamYard.com is sponsoring the event, which will be live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook.

GOING GLOBAL

APC Kids,has secured a deals in Italy for CTC Media’s preschool animation show Kid-E-Cats. Cartoonito has signed a new free-to-air deal for Kid-E-Cats season three, while Koch Films GmbH has taken home video rights to seasons one and two.

The ninth-annual Asian Animation Summit is moving forward as a live event, scheduled to take place in Bali, Indonesia from November 18 to 20, announced Kidscreen. Over the course of three days, up to 30 projects from Indonesia, Korea, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and elsewhere in Asia-Pacific that are new to the market and looking for financing and partners will be presented.

WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks & Sales has secured four new partners in Taiwan for the distribution of HBO GO. Its regional streaming service is now available to subscribers of Kbro, TWM Broadband, CABLE GIANT CATV and Pingnan CATV.

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Preparing For Success In A Post-COVID World
JUNE 9 | 1 – 5PM ET

The sports industry is eager to get back to business but the challenges brought on by the Cov-19 pandemic are already leaving their imprint on audiences, sponsors, and budgets. Join us on June 9th as A-list speakers break down the new ways of doing business and how they will shape the risks and rewards that lie ahead for the sports sector.

Registration will open soon. Questions? Contact cathyp@cynopsis.com.

RATINGS

ABC’s World News Tonight with David Muir had the four the most-watched program in all of broadcast and cable the week of April 27, topped by 11.228 million viewers on Wednesday, based on Live+SD Nielsens. For the first time in 24 years, the show was also the country’s #1 newscast in total viewers, A25-54 and A18-49 season to date.

BET’s Tyler Perry’s Sistas delivered 1.6 million total viewers P2+ during last Wednesday’s premiere (simulcast across BET and BET Her on 4/29/20), and was the #1 program in its timeslot for African Americans P18-49, 25-54, and P2+.

Major League Fishing reeled in viewers as the top program on Outdoor Channel during 1Q20 with households, total viewers, and M25-54. It was MLF’s fifth consecutive year as the #1 series on Outdoor Channel.

For the week of April 27, Univision ranked as the #2 broadcast network in primetime among A18-34, with 253,000 in the demo, and finished as the fifth most-watched broadcast network with 613,000 viewers A18-49 and 1.6 million Total Viewers 2+.

In syndication, Live with Kelly and Ryan (2.2 Live+SD Nielsen, steady with the week before) topped talk shows for the fifth week in a row the week of April 20. Preemptions for news reports on COVID-19 and the NFL draft hurt other shows, like season-to-date talk leader Dr. Phil (1.8, down 10%) and Ellen DeGeneres (1.7, down 11%). Family Feud (7.1, down 1%) broke a tie with Jeopardy (6.3, down 13%) to claim sole possession of first place among the game shows.

TV Time’s Binge Report for the Week of April 27
Never Have I Ever (Netflix) – 4.58%
Friends (NBC) – 1.71%
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC) – 1.62%
Summertime (Netflix) – 1.49%
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC) – 1.45%
The Office (NBC) – 1.44%
Money Heist (Netflix) – 1.42%
The Last Kingdom (Netflix) – 1.41%
Outer Banks (Netflix) – 1.21%
Community (NBC) – 1.18%
The weekly Binge Report ranks shows with the most binge sessions. A binge session is when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the TV Time app within a given day.

Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of April 20 ranked in order by HH Rtg
Family Feud (CTD) 7.1 AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 6.32 AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 6.2 AA
Judge Judy (CTD) 6.1 AA
The Big Bang Theory (WB) 3.3 AA
Inside Edition (CTD) 2.8 AA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD) 2.6 AA
Live With Kelly and Ryan (DAD) 2.2 AA
Last Man Standing (DAD) 2.1 AA
Hot Bench (CTD) 2.1 AA

Basic Cable Top 5 Week of April 27
Primetime (P2+)

Fox News (3,693,000)
MSNBC (1,832,000)
CNN (1,568,000)
HGTV (1,305,000)
TLC (1,268,000)
Total Day (P2+)
Fox News (1,957,000)
MSNBC (1,152,000)
CNN (1,069,000)
HGTV (755,000)
Food Network (565,000)
Source: Nielsen

Evening Broadcast News Weekly Average Ratings week of April 27
ABC World News Tonight 10.5 million total viewers; 2.14 million A25-54
NBC Nightly News 9. 5 million total viewers; 2.08 million A25-54
CSB Evening News 6.6 million total viewers; 1.14 million A25-54
Source: Nielsen

Late Night Shows Weekly Average Ratings week of April 27
CBS: The Late Show 2.78 million total viewers; 0.31/2 A18-49
ABC: Jimmy Kimmel Live 2.09million total viewers; 0.36/3 A18-49
NBC: The Tonight Show 1.76million total viewers; 0.32/3 A18-49
Source: Nielsen

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Monday, May 4
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart 2.74 (0.6), The Baker and the Beauty 2.28 (0.5)
CBS: The Neighborhood 6.74 (0.9), The Neighborhood 6.55 (0.9), All Rise 5.09 (06), Bull 6.87 (0.6)
CW: Whose Line Is It Anyway? 0.89 (0.2), Whose Line Is It Anyway? 0.77 (0.2), Roswell, New Mexico 0.64 (0.1)
FOX: 9-1-1 6.99 (1.3), 9-1-1: Lone Star 3.08 (0.5)
NBC: The Voice 7.37 (1.0), Songland 3.65 (0.6)
TELEMUNDO: Cennet 1.22 (0.4)), 1000 Dias Enamorarnos 0.94 (0.4), La Reina del Sur 0.73 (0.2)
Source: Nielsen, live + same day time period averages

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Jason Bergsman has been appointed CEO of entertainment company AGBO. Previously, Bergsman was a founding member of The Chernin Group, where he served as Partner and EVP.

Raina Falcon has been promoted to Vice President, HBO Max Publicity. Falcon joined Turner Networks in 2017 as Senior Director of Publicity.

Mark Schoofs, currently a visiting professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, has been named Editor-in-Chief of BuzzFeed News. Schoofs created BuzzFeed News’ investigation team in 2014.

This Day in History
2004 – Friends aired its series finale, to 52.5 million viewers.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Which 1960s cop drama focused on a Native American police lieutenant and his African American partner? Hawk (1966). Kudos to: Dave Sikula-San Francisco State University/San Francisco, Kevin Moran-Blarney Productions/Pasadena, CA, John Kukla-KDFW/Dallas, Paul Blutter-Walk and Talk Production Rentals/Burbank, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA, Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC, Steve Daniloff-WBRE-TV/Wilkes-Barre, PA, Rev. Mark Wajda/Lakeland, FL

Today’s Trivia Question
What was the profession of Joey’s imaginary childhood friend on Friends (1994-2004)? (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 per time zone.)

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SITUATION WANTED >>
I just completed a program in data science
and I am looking for a position of data scientist or data analyst. I am located in New York, NY. I am skilled in Python, pandas, SQL, AWS, and sci-kit learn. Contact: andrewtriola@gmail.com (5/12)

SITUATION WANTED >>
Head of Creative Production/Operations:
13+ yrs exp producing animated & live-action content & PRM. Expert budget management. International team leadership. Drive production efficiencies & foster collaborative environment where creatives can do best work. ATL/reloc LA www.linkedin.com/in/aaronweiler (5/12)

WEDNESDAY MAY 6
ABC: The Goldbergs, Single Parents, American Housewife, Single Parents, Shark Tank
CBS: Survivor, SEAL Team
CW: Riverdale [f], Bullet Proof
FOX: The Masked Singer
NBC: Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D.
PBS: Spy in the Wild: A Nature Miniseries, H2O: The Molecule That Made Us [f], Expedition with Steve Blackshall
Telemundo: Cennet, La Dona, 100 Dias Para Enamorarnos, La Reina del Sur
Univision: Te Doy la Vida, Amor Eterno, Como Tú No Hay 2

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