PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Helen Mirren and Harrison Ford will star in the next installment of the “Yellowstone” origin story, previously announced as “1932” (working title). From Taylor Sheridan, the new series follows “1883,” the most-watched title ever on Paramount+ globally. Produced by MTV Entertainment Studios, 101 Studios and Bosque Ranch Productions, the series will debut on the service in December.
Filmmakers Alex Fumero and Kareem Tabsch have launched new production company “Trojan Horse.” The filmmakers behind documentary “Mucho Mucho Amor” (Netflix) will produce both scripted and unscripted content, including feature films, podcasts and docuseries.
HBO Max has ordered Spanish-language teen road trip drama “How to Screw It All Up.” Boomerang is producing.
Ron Howard’s “Thirteen Lives” has pivoted to a hybrid release, delayed until August. The film will have a theatrical release before being launched globally on Amazon Prime Video. This follows Amazon’s $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM Studios, the film’s previous production company.
Glass Entertainment Group is adapting their podcast “Betrayal,” produced by Glass Podcasts, a division of GEG, into a television series. “Betrayal” launched April 28,, telling the story of TV producer Jenifer Faison, whose picture-perfect marriage shatters when she suddenly discovers that her college sweetheart-turned-doting husband is not the person she thought he was.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Apple TV+ picked up home design docuseries “Home” for a second season that will premiere on Friday, June 17. Each episode unveils the work of visionaries around the world.
Season two of HBO Max’s “That Damn Michael Che” premieres Thursday, May 26, will all six episodes.
“We Hunt Together” will return for season 2 on Showtime on June 24. All six episodes of the cat-and-mouse drama will be available on Showtime’s streaming platform before the on-air debut on June 26. The series stars Hermione Corfield (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”), Eve Myles (“Broadchurch”) and Babou Ceesay (“Guerilla”).
AMC+ is celebrating Pride Month with “Stream with Pride,” a curated collection of original series, specials, and films from across the company’s portfolio highlighting the voices of the LGBTQ+ community.
UPFRONT UPDATES & CALENDAR
TelevisaUnivision delivered Upfront presentation at NYC’s Javits Center, with Donna Speciale, President of U.S. Advertising Sales and Marketing, taking the stage to tell the audience, “We’re putting more investment, more momentum and more growth behind our ability to better inform, empower and entertain the Hispanic community – and deliver opportunities for all of you to grow with us.”
Speciale announced the launch of the industry’s first Hispanic data graph, to help solve for the inequities causing US Hispanics to be vastly underrepresented in current data sets. “Last year we promised to build the world’s first-ever Hispanic data graph, and today we are up and running,” said Speciale. “Our graph provides the biggest and most accurate picture of this vital audience you will find. Most importantly, it solves the representation problem, already covering 85% of U.S. Hispanic households with best-in-class accuracy – and we are still growing.”
Among programming announcements were spinoff “Enamorándonos, La Isla” (Enamorándonos, The Island – working title), hosted by Carlos Ponce and the Karina Banda, and “Koai, The Series,” an animated series created by and starring Sofia Vergara (“Modern Family”), for streamer ViX. Univision has new dramas on tap, and also confirmed continued investment in content like two-hour music special “Por Siempre: Selena”; late night show “De Noche Pero Sein Sueno”; a new entertainment live show on UniMas; and a new scripted format, “seriala,” that will air daily on Univision at 10p.
“When you look at the entertainment landscape, I believe Disney stands alone,” said CEO Bob Chapek at the company’s Basketball City event. “And in case you can’t tell, I’m incredibly optimistic about Disney’s future.” Next to speak was Kareem Daniel, Chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, who noted, “This year is a different presentation. We do so at a time of dramatic evolution, and boundless opportunity, with more options available for entertainment than ever before.”
In a presentation generously peppered with celebrities came programming notes. About 35 films are in active production for Disney+; Dwayne Johnson and Dany Garcia announced that football league XFL will return in 2023, in a deal that will see games broadcast at ESPN, ABC and FX; and Samuel Jackson will return as Nick Fury in spy thriller “Secret Invasion”; and MCU series “Echo” has begun production.
Telemundo’s after-party at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in NYC featured a concert with Latin American music star, Ozuna. NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises’ 2022-2023 lineup features a slate anchored by FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, and driven by a blend of returning franchises and new original productions including its Tplus brand for Peacock. Of note: powered by Telemundo, every month NBCUniversal reaches 9 out of 10 Latinos, more than any other media company across all platforms.
May 18: Warner Bros. Discovery at 10a (Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, NYC); Paramount at 4p (Carnegie Hall, NYC)
May 19: The CW at 11a (New York City Center Theater, NYC)
The Association of National Advertisers and the American Association of Advertising Agencies released a new set of media-buying guidelines to bolster the DEI of brand marketers. They include:
* Accept Alternative Media Metrics that may be more representative of diverse media suppliers and their audiences.
* Avoid extended payment terms that can create hardships for diverse media suppliers.
* Certify diverse media suppliers via third-party authentication to remove the burden of confirming their legitimacy.
* Hike investment in the diverse media supply chain in order to increase the supply of inventory.
* Identify diverse media suppliers, including utilizing resources developed by the 4A’s, the ANA and AIMM.
Consumers associate OOH with a similar share of action compared to competitive media, according to a survey from the Out of Home Advertising Association of America in partnership with Comscore. Forty-one percent of consumers said they initiated an online search after seeing an out-of-home ad, versus 45% who reported doing so after seeing a TV spot. “OOH is one of the most impactful ways to reach consumers – and this survey proves that it is a tremendous value as well,” said Anna Bager, President and COO, OAAA. “Couple that with our recent OAAA-Harris Poll findings that people are annoyed by sponsored digital media content and feeling digital device fatigue, and the results of this research with Comscore should send a clear signal to advertisers: OOH is a vital part of the media mix.”
Great American Community announced a direct-to-consumer app which will feature short form content from GAC Family talent. GAC has commissioned more than 200 hours of original content for the app, including lifestyle, seasonal and holiday content. The app is slated to launch this fall.
Ava Duvernay’s “Wings of Fire” adaptation will not move forward at Netflix. The project is one of several which the streamer has axed due to budget cuts in animation. This follows Netflix’s decision not to move forward with Meghan Markle’s animated series, “Pearl”, which has also been in development.
In related news, Netflix laid off about 150 employees, out of a workforce of 11,000. The move comes after the streamer reported its first subscriber losses in the first quarter. “Our slowing growth means we are also having to slow our cost growth as a company,” said a Netflix spokesperson.
Disney+ is launching a new ad-supported tier, but it will be careful about which commercials make it to the service. In the interest of maintaining a family friendly environment, Disney+ will not take ads for alcohol or political campaigns, reports Variety. Additionally, the streamer will be cautious about advertisements played during shows aimed at young children and will omit ads when the user indicates that a small child is watching.
Visual Effects firm DNEG extended its deal with Netflix until 2025. Shows created under the partnership include “Stranger Things” and “The Adam Project.”
Cognitiv announces launch of Performance CTV, a new deep learning algorithm to deliver improved campaign results. The algorithm measures ad effectiveness by documenting the amount of time a consumer is exposed to a CTV ad, and whether or not they took an action online.
Vistar Media is partnering with GSTV to reach audiences at the pump. Vistar will power GSTV’s digital displays with ad-serving software in over 28,000 gas stations across the country.
TVScientific has enlisted Adjust for CTV integration. TVScientific’s solution for ad optimization will allows advertisers to spread their audiences to CTV and develop strategies based on campaign results from across various platforms.
Finnish animation studio Ferly announced that Superights will act as global distributor for preschool show, “Momolu and Friends,” a co-production with Canada-based Yellow Animation and Belgium’s Digital Graphics.
Disney+’s debut slate in Australia and New Zealand includes scripted drama “The Clearing,” adapted from In the Clearing, the novel by JP Pomare; period drama “The Artful Dodger,” set 15 years after the events of Oliver Twist; and 1979-set dramedy “Last Days of the Space Age.”
Content distributor GoQuest Media has licensed a drama package deal to Disney+ Hotstar that gives the streamer Indian rights to three European dramas, “Civil Servant” and “Debt to the Sea,” produced by Serbian telecommunications and cable TV operator Telekom Srbija and “Traitor” produced by multi-service provider Elisa Estonia and Estonian public broadcaster ERR.
UK’s Channel 4 has doubled its previous order for “Britain’s Most Expensive Houses,” which averaged at over 1.5 million viewers, and commissioned a new season from Waddell Media.
Tomorrow Studios has struck a first-look deal with Big Light Productions. The deal will tap into Big Light’s network of established and emerging writers, and pursuit of IP to continue expansion of Tomorrow Studios’ development slate.