|PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Quibi is partnering with Cynthia Erivo (Harriet) for docu-series What We Keep, which asks people, “Of all that you own, what object means the most to you and why?”. Erivo will executive produce alongside Bill Shapiro and Naomi Wax, upon whose book the show is based, as well as Dan Cogan (Icarus) and Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?). Story Syndicate will produce. Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Erivo is also starring in Nat Geo’s upcoming Genius: Aretha.
Home Town landed a season five order of 16 new episodes from HGTV. The current season of the series has attracted more than 30.4 million total viewers since its premiere on January 20.
Hedy Lamarr’s on the move. The limited series from Sarah Treem (The Affair), Warren Littlefield (The Handmaid’s Tale) and Endeavor Content, starring Gal Gadot as the memorable movie star, had been in development at Showtime but landed a straight-to-series order from Apple.
Production on docu-series Un Sueño Real (A Real Dream) by Exile Content and Newtral, halted due to COVID-19 lockdown in Spain, has resumed nearly 8 weeks later, with a new safety process. The narrative of the documentary has also been impacted, as the league has canceled the rest of the women’s 2020 season; the men’s season in Spain is set to resume in mid-June. The show now highlights real-time, real-life disparities between the male and female leagues.
Producer Robin Cass announced the launch of Cass & Co, a Vancouver-based production company. “Today’s audiences are devouring series like never before and they are hungry for excellent storytelling,” said Cass. “The projects I am working with each reflect wonderfully diverse and layered characters and stories.”
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
CBS All Access’ The Thomas John Experience premieres Thursday, June 4. The unscripted series follows psychic medium John as he travels the country doing readings.
Giada De Laurentiis is rebooting her series for current times with Giada at Home 2.0, a self-shot series premiering Sunday, June 28 at 12:30p on Food Network. In the six-parter, the chef whips up recipes for easy, casual summer entertaining, and uses technology to incorporate friends and extended family into the action.
A new season of TLC’s Counting on begins Tuesday, June 30 at 9p, with a special episode exploring how the supersized family is managing during quarantine.
After its highest-rated season ever, Uptv family reality series Bringing Up Bates returns with 13 new episodes Thursday, July 23 at 9p.
MTV is adding Revenge Prank with DJ Pauly and Vinny to its Thursday night lineup, starting June 25 at 9p. The duo are already appearing in the net’s Jersey Shore Family Vacation on Thursdays.
Feeling inspired? Cynopsis’ Workplace Satisfaction Survey found that only 31% of respondents somewhat agree that they feel inspired on an ongoing basis. Yikes! Read the report to find out what other soft benefits matter most to employees, the top four factors that contribute to employee happiness, and more.
Discovery and Science Channel are going to give it another shot with Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space, live Saturday, May 30 at 2p. NASA’s first attempt at launching SpaceX’s Crew Drago capsule on Wednesday, May 27 was scrubbed due to weather.
Animal Planet special Crikey! It’s the Irwins: Life in Lockdown premieres Saturday, June 27 at 10p, following the Irwin family as they care for animals at the Australia Zoo during the facility’s temporary closure. The net also greenlit season three of the Irwins’ series, to return later this year.
A two-hour American Chopper special brings motorcycle craftsmen Paul Teutul Sr. and Paul Teutul Jr. back for unfinished business on Tuesday, June 9 at 9p on Discovery.
On June 3, 2017, rock climber Alex Honnold became the first person to reach the top of Yosemite’s 3,200-foot El Capitan Peak without a rope or safety gear. To celebrate the three-year anniversary of Honnold’s three-hour and 56-minute ascent, National Geographic is hosting a virtual viewing party of the Free Solo on Wednesday, June 3, at noon.
Romantic comedy Palm Springs, starring Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti, will premiere on Hulu and drive-in theaters via Neon on Friday, July 10. The comedy was co-acquired after being introduced at the Sundance Film Festival.
Charter Communications will celebrate Pride Month with a pack of Spectrum On Demand movies highlighting LGBTQ issues and characters. Throughout June, Spectrum TV customers can choose classic favorites, documentaries and award winners, often based on real-life stories from the LGBTQ community. Movies will be listed in the On Demand portal, under the category “Pride Month LGBTQ.”
Law&Crime will broadcast live the appeal of convicted murderer Scott Peterson at the Supreme Court of California. Coverage begins Tuesday, June 2 at 1p. Peterson is appealing his 2005 death sentence after being convicted of murdering his eight-month pregnant wife Laci Peterson on Christmas Eve 2002.
Digital Media Rights reached a new agreement with Tezuka Productions for all North American rights for the US and Canada to anime titles including Astroboy and Black Jack, among others. The programs , which will initially air on RetroCrush beginning June 5, reflect the creative legacy of Osamu Tezuka who is widely revered as The Godfather of manga and anime.
Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, Olivia Munn, Reba McEntire, Scarlett Johansson, Sean Penn and Zac Brown are among the stars added to the lineup for CMT Celebrates Our Heroes: An Artist of the Year Special, airing Wednesday, June 3 at 8p across Paramount, Pop TV and TV Land.
Local TV viewing is starting to return to pre-pandemic levels in areas where stay-at-home restrictions are being lifted, according to data from Comscore. Comparing sets in use (SIU) for markets with Orders in Place, Orders Lifted and markets that never had stay-at-home orders, Comscore’s StationView Essentials solution found that while viewing levels in all categories remain higher than during the week of February 10, Order Never markets are almost back to SIU levels seen in February 2020, with the Orders Lifted markets not too far behind. Orders in Place markets continue to have the highest relative viewing levels compared to February 10.
The Black Eyed Peas and Pearl Jam will co-host the ABCinemaNOW national live streaming premiere screening of the feature documentary Parkland Rising, scheduled for Tuesday, June 2 at 8p to coincide with National Gun Violence Awareness Day.
It’s party time at Hulu. As co-viewing grows during the pandemic, Hulu is testing Hulu Watch Party, enabling subscribers of its ad-free tier to watch in groups of up to eight people, with a chat window for conversing during the show. Viewers will be able to control their individual playback without affecting the group. The Hulu Watch Party feature is available on Hulu.com and will run on PC and Mac computers that have Hulu-compatible browsers.
Disney+ has a debut date in Japan: Thursday, June 11. The streamer will launch in an alliance with mobile operator NTT Docomo.
Streaming service Tastemade is teaming with auto partner Hyundai for four-part long-form series The Un-Adventures, debuting Wednesday, June 3. Each episode celebrates the stories of real people who leave their home state for the first time ever to embark on journeys they’ve always dreamed of.
OTT publishing platform Future Today struck a distribution deal that launches Fawesome, HappKids.tv and FilmRise on Cox Contour TV and Contour Stream Player. “In these trying times with families sheltering at home, the family and entertainment channels will be particularly compelling to viewers,” said Vikrant Mathur, COO and Co-Founder of Future Today.
TheGrid Network announced the launch of its 24/7 Network on SelectTV. The move means an additional 1.7 million households for the network.
Sixty-six percent of local businesses have been connecting with consumers on social media and 37% have been through online advertising as consumers shelter at home during the health crisis, according to data from ZypMedia. The survey also found:
* In addition to digital advertising, local businesses have been using traditional media such as radio (27%), TV advertising (26%) and Out-Of-Home/newspaper (25%) as an avenue to engage with consumers.
* Consumers said supporting their local community (84%) and local economy (54%) was why they are more likely to shop at local businesses.
* More than half (53%) of consumers indicated that they are more likely to buy from a local business instead of a national retailer during the COVID-19 crisis. Of those consumers, 68% stated they will continue to make purchases at local businesses post-pandemic.
Cutting advertising could mean an extended recovery period for the media market. Brands that go totally dark for the rest of 2020 could be facing revenue declines of up to 11% in 2021, according Nielsen’s “Pandemic Dilemma: Go Dark on Consumers of Maintain Brand Equity Through a Cause.” Taking into account that it takes up to three to five years of solid and consistent brand building effort to recover from extended “dark periods” of media, Nielsen notes that marketers who maintain brand equity by adjusting their creatives, even if that means just adding COVID-19-related brand awareness messages to existing campaigns, will be better positioned following any recovery. From the end of March through the middle of April, Nielsen found COVID-themed ads nearly doubled in just a few weeks. COVID creative units in the national and local markets jumped from 251,000 units during the week of March 30 to 492,000 units the week of April 13 – a 96% increase Nielsen said signals that brands understood going silent entirely was not an option for long-term health.
People-based ad tech company Viant is releasing its first TV ad on June 1, highlighting its Adelphic self-service platform as the future of the market. Through partnerships with Bloomberg, Ampersand, and WideOrbit, the flighted ads will stress Adelphic’s 95% customer satisfaction rate, flexibility and platform ease of use, as well as customer testimonials.
In a second study of advertising sellers, an IAB report reveals that the impact of COVID-19 has led to significant pricing pressure. Highlights of the report, compiled by PwC, include:
* Two-thirds of publishers are experiencing a decrease in CPMs.
* Publishers are hardest hit, with 6 in 10 experiencing a decrease in CPMs, a 14% greater impact on CPMs vs programmatic specialists.
* Display advertising is most impacted, with both mobile and desktop experiencing over 30% decrease in ad rates.
* When it comes to advertising by device, connected devices (such as streaming sticks, gaming consoles and smart TVs) are showing the most resilience, with an expected decrease in CPMs of just 6%, while desktop, smartphones and tablets are down 27%, 28%, and 29% respectively.
Verizon Media commissioned studies polling consumers, marketers and advertisers to gauge expectations for 5G. Highlights include:
* Among consumers surveyed, the top expected benefits for 5G were faster data transfer speeds (67%), higher definition video content (56%), consistent and better-quality video streaming (55%).
* Three in four consumers say 5G technologies will have a significant impact on AR experiences (74%, up from 28% in 2018). Similarly, consumers increasingly believe 5G will benefit AI (71%, up from 39% in 2018).
* Three in five advertisers are already using or planning for 5G. Of those already using it, 63% are prototyping new hardware to leverage 5G technology, 56% are building apps for real-time image processing, 49% are partnering with companies that can provide 5G technical support.
* For advertisers who are planning to use 5G, 65% cite better consumer experiences as a major benefit of the new technology.
Abacus Media Rights has acquired international distribution rights for The Dakota Entrapment Tapes, a Fine Point Films production, available to stream until June 24.
Red Arrow Studios International has secured a commissions in Europe for Block Out, which will see local versions of the game show format produced for RTV Spain and Avrotros in the Netherlands.
Media Ranch acquired two unscripted formats, 12 Star Hotel and The Day I Was Born On, from Ireland, and optioned two factual formats, Big Love and Comedy on the Edge, to the US, Canada and France.
Nova signed an exclusive first run agreement with Studiocanal for a number of television series on an exclusive basis for Greece and Cyprus.
Blue Ant International has signed new licensing deals in multiple territories including over 320 hours of programming across factual entertainment, specialist factual, high-impact documentaries and kids and family programming.