PRODUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT
In development at Netflix is an Enligsh-language drama based on The Witcher, the fantasy saga from Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. Sean Daniel Company’s Sean Daniel (The Mummy) and Jason Brown (The Expanse) are exec producers with Platige Image’s Tomek Baginski and Jarek Sawko.
Having finished the season as the most-watched network among viewers for the ninth straight year, CBS didn’t do a lot of tinkering with the schedule. At its Upfront event yesterday at Carnegie Hall, the net touted its new comedies (Big Bang Theory spin-off Young Sheldon, 9JKL, Me Myself & I) and upcoming dramas (SEAL Team, S.W.A.T., Wisdom of the Crowd) and 23 returning series. Arriving later in the season are comedy By the Book and drama Instinct. “Great content is always king,” said CBS chief Les Moonves, noting that CBS shows are “clean, advertiser friendly and the highest quality.”
Young Sheldon will have a special Monday launch behind mother ship Big Bang, then move to Thursdays. 9JKL and Me, Myself & I will join the Monday comedy block, while SEAL Team will air Wednesdays at 9p, S.W.A.T. takes the Thursday 10p slot and Wisdom of the Crowd follows 60 Minutes on Sundays at 8p.
60 Minutes will celebrate its 50th anniversary, and NFL Football will return with 5 early season games on consecutive weeks starting September 28. Upcoming CBS All Access series Star Trek Discovery had its order bumped from 13 episodes to 15, and got a companion show, Talking Trek. Late Late Show host James Corden, one of many network stars on hand, noted CBS was “boldly going where only 6 television shows and 13 movies have gone before. What’s next? Reboot McGyver? Hawaii Five-0?” But Corden wasn’t just on hand to Trek tease – it was announced he’d return as host for the Grammys, back in NYC for the first tie since 2003.
On the advertising front, the network introduced Customized Data Solutions, to help marketers target audiences across networks and platforms. Network sales president Jo Ann Ross promised a blend of broadcast and digital offering “real people watching your commercials in hit shows, with zero fraud.”
As Young Sheldon heads to CBS, we wonder: What was the best spin-off ever? Let us know what you think in the Cynopsis poll: http://cynopsis.com/poll/
At a star-studded 90-minute presentation at Madison Square Garden, Turner drove home its omni-channel approach to premium content, pointing to transparent and trusted environments across its brands, and its ability to deliver for advertisers at massive scale. Across its portfolio, Turner noted it continues to invest in high quality, distinctive video content. “I’ve been with Turner for 30 years and what’s clear to me, now more than ever, is that having a deep, diverse set of premium content is vital not only to reaching consumers, but turning them into devoted fans of your brand,” said David Levy, president of Turner. Among the highlights…
TBS announced a new 4-year deal with Conan O’Brien, and gave the greenlight to three new series: Miracle Workers, a workplace comedy starring Daniel Radcliffe and Owen Wilson and executive-produced by Lorne Michaels; animated series Close Enough; and a new untitled series from the comedy trio The Dress Up Gang, (My Roommate, My Friend). The network is also teaming with Snoop Dogg for a Joker’s Wild reboot. TBS and TNT head Kevin Reilly apologized for giving “alternative facts” last year when he talked of a TBS refresh, saying instead the network will have a total rebuild, with 15 original series next year.
TNT is counting on big names for its slate, including a sci-fi programming block being developed by Ridley Scott; docu-series Live From the Apocalypse, hosted and directed by Michael Moore; docu-series Who Runs the World from producers Sarah Jessica Parker and Morgan Spurlock; a pilot for a Margaret Cho and Liz Sarnoff series based on Cho’s autobiographical novel, and pilot Snowpiercer, starring Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs.
CNN will add five new original series in 2018, including 4-part Detroit 1963: Once a Great City (wt), American Heiress: The Patty Hearst Story, 1968: The Year That Changed America (wt), Kennedys: An American Dynasty (wt) and 6-parter Pope. Turner news sib HLN will add new original series Unmasking a Killer.
truTV‘s slate of 5 upcoming series includes Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks; At Home with Amy Sedaris; comedic anthology series Bobcat Goldthwait’s Misfits & Monsters; scripted comedy I’m Sorry; and the live call-in talk show The Chris Gethard Show, while Adult Swim is taking the plunge with a pilot order for stop-motion anthology comedy The Shivering Truth, from Vernon Chatman. Adult Swim also greenlit 2 new series, animated The Jellies and live-action Mostly 4 MIllennials.
At its sixth annual Upfront, held at NYC’s AMC Lincoln Square movie theater, National CineMedia announced plans to re-imagine its cinema pre-show and launch new digital channels for movie audiences. CEO Andy England offered a vision for NCM’s new pre-show, called Noovie, replacing FirstLook in 4Q17. “Noovie is a new premium video platform developed by NCM to connect your brands with movie audiences,” England explained to ad execs. “At its core, Noovie is NCM’s new pre-show that audiences will experience before the movie. But Noovie stretches beyond the theater – it’s also an integrated digital ecosystem delivering entertaining content, purposeful commerce, and interactive gaming opportunities.” Most importantly, Noovie gives movie audiences a reason to arrive early to discover what’s next, said England.
New partnerships and acquisitions for Noovie include a special early content segment, and Noovie Soundcheck, in partnership with Sony Music Entertainent’s Rumble Yard, giving fans a glimpse at bands’ unrehearsed moments. Noovie will feature commerce plays, providing purchasing data that will help advertisers better understand and reach the connected moviegoer, and incorporate move-related gaming, like trivia. And NCM has entered into an agreement to acquire box office predictions game Fantasy Movie League.
“When we began to re-imagine the pre-show, we knew that we wanted to build Noovie into an entertainment brand that develops engagement through content that is relevant to today’s movie audiences,” said NCM president Cliff Marks. “But we also knew we needed to expand Noovie beyond the four walls of the theater by creating new digital properties including a Noovie app and social media channels that will allow us to consistently drive people from the pre-show to mobile and back again – engaging movie audiences wherever they may be.”
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Extreme prospectors risk their lives deep in the bush of British Columbia for the chance to find hundreds of million of dollars in gold on Devil’s Canyon, launching Tuesday, June 6 at 10p on Discovery.
Loudermilk debuts on AT&T Audience Network on October 17 at 8:30p. Peter Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber) and writer Bobby Mort (The Colbert Report) will serve as writer-creators and exec producers of the comedy about a recovering alcoholic with a bad attitude.
Skateboarding show Now Boarding premieres on Fuse Monday, May 22 at 8p. Eight-part docu-series follows YouTube sensation Chris Chann and pro skaters Micky Papa and Jason Park on their first European jaunt.
Upcoming OWN season premieres include For Better or Worse on Saturday, June 10 at 9p, and The Haves and the Have Nots on Tuesday, June 20 at 9p, followed by Queen Sugar at 10p. Queen Sugar moves to its regular Wednesday slot the following night.
SundanceTV acquired the U.S. rights for season one of Australian comedy series Rosehaven, and will co-produce season 2 with The Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Screen Tasmania and Screen Australia.
Disney Channel ‘s Andi Mack is primed to rank as the week’s #1 TV telecast for the second consecutive week across Kids 6-11 and 6-14 in Live+3. The episode was a series ratings high in Total Viewers (1.9 million), Kids 6-11 (861,000/3.6 rating), Tweens 9-14 (822,000/3.3 rating) and Kids 6-14 (1.115 million/3.0 rating).
Music group L2M play 5 friends in new scripted series Hyperlinked, following a group of girls as they come together to create their own website. 10-parter will be available Wednesday, May 31 on YouTube and the YouTube Kids app for YouTube Red subscribers.
Genius Brands International is teaming with Fathom Events to bring animated digital series Spacepop: Not Your Average Princess to U.S. movie theaters for a one-night showing. Event takes place September 16.
Half-hour special JoJo Siwa: My World will follow the 13-year-old Dance Moms star’s journey to the stage at the Mall of America. Currently in production, the special airs Saturday, August 12 at 8p.
Arts net Ovation is offering a month-long celebration of classic rock, with 7 documentaries. First up: The Beatles: Parting Ways on Saturday, June 3 at 12p.
Outdoor Channel ’s Outdoor Tracks, taking viewers behind the scenes in the studio with country artists, premieres Monday, May 22 at 9p.
Urban Movie Channel is premiering The Man Who Mends Women on Friday, May 19. The doc, telling the story of Doctor Mukwege, who has risked his life to help women who have been raped, will be available to stream after its debut on UMC.
Food Network is taking advantage of a menu of new added visual and interactive options on Google Assistant to take make the cooking process a little less messy. Home chefs can ask to talk to Food Network, and request recipes by keyword or ingredient; the answer will appear on their mobile device. Options to see more recipes will pop up beneath recipe carousels, making recipes easier to find and share.
NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises announced an exclusive content partnership with VICE Media. The deal includes the co-production of original documentary segments on subjects ranging from music, sports, food, culture and more for Telemundo News, and the acquisition of an exclusive 1-hour hosted weekly show for Universo, Telemundo Enterprises’ entertainment cable channel. Both programs are aiming for a fall launch.
Epix is now available to authenticated subscribers on Amazon Fire TV. Starting next week, Fire TV users can gain access to a limited free trial of Epix programming.
The Interactive Ad Bureau released a report that calls for clarity and a consistent vocabulary and structure for programmatic advertising, including shifting discussions about “programmatic” to “automation.” “As marketing and advertising technology continue to improve and impact our industry, it’s appropriate to adopt clear language on how automated processes, tools, and transactions lead to greater marketing effectiveness for brands,” said Christopher Murphy, chief strategy officer, Omnicom Media Group Programmatic.
Research agency Kantar Millward Brown announced a partnership with Cuebiq, to help marketers measure the offline ROI of their advertising. The partnership integrates geolocation and campaign effectiveness capabilities in a new tool that evaluates a campaign’s ability to drive audiences to key physical locations, insights particularly relevant for verticals such as Auto, Retail, Travel, Hospitality, Restaurants and Entertainment.
At Turner’s Upfront, ad sales president Donna Speciale noted that the company’s Native Plus, which helps advertisers insert their commercial messages in brief stories, is being used across the portfolio to replace nearly 9 hours of traditional commercials, and Launchpad, creator of online content for advertisers, will expand internationally after providing sponsors with over 375 million views last year. “This true marriage between content and data is critical today,” said Speciale. “Our significant investments in data, analytics and insights are paying off.”
Mexican actor and singer Diego Boneta landed the role of Luis Miguel in the Telemundo and Gato Grande series based on the life of superstar recording artist, Luis Miguel, premiering in 2018.
Antonio Fargas (Everybody Hates Chris) will guest on the season finale of Bounce’s Mann & Wife, airing Tuesday, May 23 at 9p.
William Forsythe (Boardwalk Empire) will tackle the role of J. Edgar Hoover on season 3 of Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle.