PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Peacock handed a straight-to-series order to an untitled project from director and executive producer Jason Woliner (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”). The series, described as “a groundbreaking project that mixes fact and fiction to tell a bizarre and incredible tale,” also comes from executive producers Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Loreli Alanis (Point Grey Pictures); Megan Ellison (Annapurna); Michael Sagol, Bert Hamelinck (Caviar) The series will be produced by Caviar and by Rogen and Goldberg through their overall deal with Lionsgate.
HBO Max and Cartoon Network greenlit two live-action specials aimed at girls, based on the Mattel American Girl franchise. “American Girl: Corinne Tan” (wt), inspired by the doll brand’s 2022 Girl of the Year and the first of Chinese descent, is produced by Mattel Television and MarVista Entertainment and is scheduled to premiere this December. A second American Girl special, still to be announced, will follow next year. The streamer is also teaming with Cartoon Network for “Home Sweet Rome,” centered on a 13-year-old who moves from California to start in a new life in Rome with her father and stepmother.
HBO Max is further expanding its Kids & Family slate with a new season of teen dance series “The Next Step,” along with “Hank Zipzer,” co-written by Henry Winkler, and paranormal adventure series “My Babysitter’s Vampire.”
Also catching a greenlight from HBO Max is two-part special event, “B-Loved” (wt), from Endeavor Content and Wonder Worldwide, starring Peyton List (“Cobra Kai”) as Bea, a free-spirited teenage ghost. The story, written by Black List Nicholl Fellowship winner, Cesar Vitale, will be directed by Emily Ting (“Tall Girl 2”) and is scheduled to premiere in time for Valentine’s Day 2023.
The Chrisleys are feeling the love from NBCUinversal. Reality show “Chrisley Knows Best” has been renewed for season 10 on USA Network, while “Growing Up Chrisley” was picked up for a fourth season to premiere this summer on E!, and dating series “Love Limo,” hosted and executive produced by Todd Chrisley, was greenlit at E!.
A limited series based on Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” is being developed as a limited series by Jennifer Lopez’s Nuyorican Productions, Skydance Television, and Concord Originals. The musical will be written by Rachel Shukert (“GLOW”).
Casting notes: Ken Jeong (“The Masked Singer”) has joined the season two cast of Apple TV+’s “The Afterparty.” This season will center on a murder at a wedding…Garrett Hedlund (“Mudbound”) has boarded the cast of Paramount+ mob drama “Tulsa King.”
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Season four of “Virgin River” drops Wednesday, July 20. Preview: Mel is optimistic despite not knowing who the father of her baby is, a handsome new doctor comes to town, and Preacher forges a new romantic connection.
CNN docuseries “Watergate: Blueprint for a Scandal” debuts Sunday, June 5 at 9p, with former White House counsel and a series executive producer John Dean weighing in on the 50-year-old botched burglary. “After passage of a half century, we have the complete record of what happened during Watergate and this series is more than a cautionary tale about these events,” said Dean. “The criminal conduct of Richard Nixon and his top aides was found to be totally unacceptable to the American people and became the blueprint for what no President of the United States should do.” Hint, hint.
The third and final season of Freeform’s “Motherland: Fort Salem” premieres Thursday, June 21 at 10p. With witch hunters working against them from inside the White House, Abigail, Tally, Raelle and Scylla must call upon ancient forces in the final battle for their right to exist.
“The Great Giveback with Melissa McCarthy and Jenna Perusich” premieres Monday, June 13 at 9p on HGTV. In the six-parter, the “Bridesmaids” star and her cousin help renovate homes to surprise deserving people.
Moonbug Entertainment has launched the first spin-off channel for pre-school smash “CoComelon.” New episodes of musical series “It’s Cody Time” will premiere on YouTube on Wednesdays.
Season three of Apple TV+ kids’ series “Helpsters” premieres Friday, May 27. Among the guests this time around is Bradley Cooper.
“The Dreamers,” following three young Palestinian students who travel to Tel Aviv in 2008 and try to establish a new and liberated Palestinian community for themselves, premieres Thursday, May 26 on Sundance Now and AMC+.
Paramount+ movie event “South Park: The Streaming Wars” premieres Wednesday, June 1. The special is the third of 14 TV movie events expected from Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s deal with ViacomCBS.
Disney Junior’s “Mickey Mouse Funhouse” will introduce a new charactertomorrow, May 13. Fig, a gnome, is deaf, and helps Minnie and Daisy understand how he communicates.
CMT and Sandbox Live are teaming for live event “Naomi Judd: A River of Time Celebration,” in partnership with the Judd family, to honor country music icon Naomi Judd, who died April 30 at age 76. CMT will televise the public memorial service as a commercial-free special on Sunday, May 15 at 6p.
MeTV’s annual “Summer of Me” stunt launches Sunday, May 29 when “The A-Team” joins the network with a marathon of episodes, before landing in its regular weeknight spot starting May 30 at 6p. On June 5, MeTV will debut a weekly Sunday afternoon rotating block of comedy, “The Summer of Me Sunday Block Party,” and weekday morning show “Toon In With Me” presents a birthday celebration for Bugs Bunny the week of July 25-29 at 7a.
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: Warner Bros. Discovery at 10a (Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, NYC); Paramount (Carnegie Hall, NYC)
May 19: The CW (New York City Center Theater, NYC)
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment has struck a deal to acquire Redbox, creating a direct-to-consumer media platform for value conscious consumers. The combined company will have increased scale across content production and distribution, with more than 38,000 kiosks nationwide, extensive digital capabilities in AVOD, TVOD, PVOD, and FAST, and access to targeted customers, including nearly 40 million Redbox Perks members. “Today marks a transformative moment for Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and an inflection point for the ad-supported streaming industry,” said William J. Rouhana Jr., Chairman and CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. “Our acquisition of Redbox will accelerate the scaling of our business as it combines complementary teams and services to create the streaming industry’s premier independent AVOD.”
Cinedigm Corp. announced that the company’s connected television advertising business grew more than 192% in 2021. Cinedigm began launching hybrid advertising and subscription services in 2017 and launched the company’s FAST digital linear business in 2018. “We had the best year in terms of revenue growth in the history of the company,” said Erick Opeka, President of Cinedigm Networks and Chief Strategy Officer of Cinedigm. “While many companies talk about adding advertising to their subscription offerings, we were prescient to move in that direction years ago, and the foresight is really paying off.”
FilmRise has acquired the exclusive SVOD, AVOD and FAST rights to over 400 episodes across three properties of digital native content from Rooster Teeth, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Discovery. Shows include “Camp Camp,” “Red vs. Blue” and “Nomad of Nowhere.”
While different generations of consumers engage with each social platform for different reasons, more than half say they seek out funny or entertaining content to share with friends and family, including ads, and about a quarter of them actively engage in short form creator content to learn more about products or services they are shopping for, according to a survey from Channel Factory. “Consumers are turning to short form creator content to chill out and be entertained,” said Sara Luckow Callanan, Sr. Director, Global Strategic Marketing & Research at Channel Factory. “The strong majority of adults having positive or neutral experiences on the platforms is an opportunity for advertisers to further contribute to elevating the consumer social video experience. Having joyful creative assets, consciously investing in positive content across a mix of verticals and ensuring streamlined journeys from ad to purchase point can lead to consumers being your biggest brand advocates as they shop and share with friends and family.”
In April, CTV ad to mobile app installs tracked grew by 184% globally compared to December 2021, while CTV app installs grew 150% last month over February, according to Adjust’s CTV AdVision measurement solution. “Marketers have struggled to turn CTV into a performance channel because, until now, they didn’t have the data to do so,” said Gijsbert Pols, Ph.D., Director of Connected TV & New Channels at Adjust. “What sets CTV AdVision apart is that it offers brands of all sizes the ability to analyze the assisting power of CTV on performance and reveals the extent to which CTV is helping other channels to convert and improve ROI.”
Silvergate Media is joining forces with Tencent Video to bring “The Creature Cases” to China. The animated series follows the adventures of a unique detective duo. Season one launched on Netflix on April 12th.
London based Blackbox Multimedia and LatAm based EO Media have optioned the book La Historia de Dinamic through Madrid based agency Scenic Rights, and are developing it into a drama series.
Abacus Media Rights has picked up worldwide distribution rights for Sky Arts’ commissioned factual series “Wonderland,” a four-part series based on children’s authors and the pain behind their own stories.