|PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
HBO renewed comedy series Betty for season two. Starring Dede Lovelace, Moonbear, Nina Moran, Ajani Russell, and Rachelle Vinberg, who all starred in the original film, Betty follows a diverse group of young women navigating their lives through the predominantly male-oriented world of skateboarding, set against the backdrop of New York City.
Spotify, Warner Bros. and DC announced multiyear partnership to distribute and produce a slate of new podcasts, providing Spotify with the first look at original, scripted shows that will live exclusively on the platform. In addition to producing all-new series based on existing characters and established franchises from across Warner Bros. and DC, the companies will collaborate on new programming from original intellectual property.
AMC and IFC picked up variety series Sherman’s Showcase for a second season. Created by and starring Bashir Salahuddin (Top Gun: Maverick, South Side) and Diallo Riddle (Marlon, South Side), the series features sketches, cultural nostalgia and original songs. Six new episodes are slated to air in 2021.
Jupiter Entertainment (Snapped, Atlanta Child Murders) struck a partnership with All Def, the a multi-platform media company that features hip-hop, comedy, and social justice programming. Jupiter will work with All Def to adapt the company’s ancillary library of content, intellectual property and social media channels into long-form entertainment.
John Landis (Trading Places, Animal House) has joined Arnold Schwarzenegger and the production team behind Genius Brands’ new children’s animated series, Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten. Landis will direct Schwarzenegger, who lends his voice to the action-adventure comedy series, co-created by Stan Lee as one of his final projects. He also serves as co-producer, along with China’s Alibaba Group, Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment, and Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions.
Tomorrow Studios, a partnership between Marty Adelstein and ITV Studios, has finalized a joint venture with Nick Weidenfeld (The Boondocks) to launch Work Friends, the first primetime TV animation label in ITV Studios’ current US scripted television studio operation. “Launching an animation company is a natural progression following our success in global sales of Japanese anime,” said Adelstein. “I see TV animation as a unique opportunity to grow Tomorrow Studios’ business exponentially worldwide… with an eye for series that resonate globally.”
Nickelodeon landed global rights to The Smurfs, for a new series. ViacomCBS Consumer Products will get in on the animated action with new merch, from toys to home to CPG.
Debmar-Mercury has named producers Katy Murphy Davis (The Oprah Winfrey Show, Red Table Talk) and Matt Strauss (The View, The Dr. Oz Show, Katie) as executive producers and showrunners of the new, nationally syndicated daytime talk show Nick Cannon. Debmar-Mercury also announced the premiere date of the show has moved from September 21 to October 5.
HBO Max inked a two year first-look deal with actress/executive producer Salma Hayek, founder, and CEO of Ventanarosa. As part of the collaboration, Hayek will first bring projects to HBO Max for potential development. Jose Tamez, President of Ventanarosa, serves as her producing partner and Siobhan Flynn is their Head of Production & Development. The streamer also reached a two-year first-look overall agreement with showrunner and executive producer Sam Dean (Love is Blind).
Visual effects company Weta Digital has named Prem Akkaraju as CEO and will for the first time begin producing original content. The company will leverage its VFX business to produce original animation under the banner Weta Animated, and develop original animated content for both cinema and streaming platforms. Majority owners Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh will write, produce and direct several animated projects for Weta.
NEW & RETURNING SHOWS
TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress kicks off a new season with a special quarantine episode on Saturday, July 11 at 8p, as the bridal team deals with virtual appointments, dresses on lockdown and rescheduled weddings. Celebs during the season include The Bachelor’s Caila Quinn and Big Brother’s Bayleigh Dayton.
ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff and his son, Mack, globetrot in Disney+ series Rogue Trip, launching Friday, July 24. Throughout the six episodes, Team Woodruff will venture on off-the-guidebook tours to Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Lebanon and Ukraine.
HBO Sports, NFL Films and the two Los Angeles-based NFL franchises are teaming up for Hard Knocks: Los Angeles, kicking off Tuesday, August 11 at 10p. The 15th edition of the reality series will have encore plays Wednesday nights and will be available to stream on HBO via HBO Max and other partners’ platforms.
All ten episodes of season three of Amazon’s Absentia drop Friday, July 17. This time around, an international criminal case hits too close to home for Emily (Stana Katic).
TNT is moving up the season premiere of The Alienist: Angel of Darkness to Sunday, July 19 with two episodes airing back to back starting at 9p, one week after Snowpiercer airs a two-hour finale. The series will roll out as a four week event with two episodes airing every Sunday.
Maria, a new political talk show hosted by CNN contributor and public policy advocate Maria Cardona, will debut today, Monday, June 22. The program, airing Monday-Wednesday at 7p and 10p on El Rey Network, will explore issues facing US Latinos as the November presidential election approaches.
Season five of Bravo’s Real Housewives of the Potomac debuts Sunday, August 2 at 9p. Nigerian-American Dr. Wendy Osefo – professor, political analyst, and entrepreneur – jumps into the fray as the newest Housewife.
Showtime’s Desus & Mero returns from hiatus on Sunday, July 5 at 11p. The show, which previously aired Monday and Thursday nights, will now air Sundays and Thursdays.
Comedy United We Fall premieres with back-to-back episodes on Wednesday, July 15 at 8p on ABC. The realistic family sitcom follows the trials and tribulations of Jo and Bill, parents of two young kids, as they try to make it day to day as a functioning family.
From sensational sandwiches to tasty burgers, Food Network stars offer a guide the dishes they love, and recipes for making them at home in All-Star Best Thing I Ever Ate, debuting Monday, July 20 at 9p.
Stone Cold and The Jackal, the business venture from General Hospital stars Steve Burton and Bradford Anderson, are teaming with streaming platform Popstar! TV to turn their podcast show, That’s Awesome, into a weekly TV series. The show premieres today, June 22 at 10:30p, with reruns occurring throughout the week.
Court TV’s Black and Blue – A Court TV Special, which looks at the current justice system and how it has seemingly empowered civilians to weaponize the police against African Americans, will air today, Monday, June 22 at 8p on Court TV as well as parent company Katz’s networks Bounce, Court TV Mystery, Laff and Grit.
Feature-length animated Scooby-Doo film Scoob! will have its US SVOD premiere on HBO Max, starting Friday, June 26. Scoob! tells the backstory or how those meddling kids and their dog started Mystery Inc.
As a part of Pride month, Disney Television Studios and FX today will present “Pose-A-Thon,” a commercial-free, one-hour virtual event showcasing the cast and producers of Pose to raise awareness for three organizations that work to support LGBTQ+ education, social change for sexual and gender minority people of color, and transgender equality through legal services and policy efforts. The special, emceed by actor and activist Billy Porter along with co-star Mj Rodriguez, will air Friday, June 26 at 10p on FX and Freeform.
Three-night movie event Obsession “Thrillogy” tells the story of roommates who become lovers, until obsession leads to danger and deceit. First of three intertwined films: Obsession: Stalked by My Lover, bows Friday, July 10 at 8p on Lifetime.
Kevin Hart will host and executive produce E! special Celebrity Game Face, premiering Monday, July 6 at 10p. Hart and his wife, Eniko, will lead teams in a series of ridiculous physical challenges.
Disney Channel original movie Upside-Down Magic, based on the bestseller about friendship, self-discovery and magic class, premieres Friday, July 31 at 8p. The film will be available on DisneyNOW beginning August 1.
all3media international has signed a new deal in Australia with reality SVOD hayu, which now exclusively offers all eight series of USA Network’s Chrisley Knows Best. They have also taken rights to The Only Way is Essex.
Banijay Rights announced that crime thriller We Got This has been picked up by AMC Networks in the US, Canada and UK, for its streaming service Sundance Now.
Tubi has launched its free movie and television service in Mexico. Available on VIDAA smart OS on Hisense TVs and mobile devices, the AVOD offers a collection of titles, all localized in Spanish-language, from Latin America and the US.