PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Euphoria, the HBO pilot based on an Israeli teen drama series that was announced in March, is casting up. Zendaya will lead the cast of the pilot, to be penned by Sam Levinson and also feature Storm Reid (A Wrinkle in Time), Maude Apatow and Eric Dane (The Last Ship, Grey’s Anatomy).
Steve Michaels has his Asylum back. Michaels’ production company Asylum Entertainment was sold to Legendary in early 2014, and yesterday the exec bought back the company and launched new company The Content Group, using the Asylum slate, staff and infrastructure as a backbone in the scripted and unscripted arenas. Michaels will serve as CEO; former Asylum executive Ryann Lauckner is president. Another of Michaels’ longtime partners in Asylum, Jonathan Koch, will serve as chief strategic adviser. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Get out! No really… Amazon Studios signed an exclusive first-look TV deal with Oscar and Emmy winner Jordan Peele (Get Out) and his Monkeypaw Productions. Monkeypaw most recently had a similar deal with Sonar Entertainment.
Military fantasy series Motherland got a pilot order at Freeform. The hourlong drama, from Claws creator Eliot Laurence and Gary Sanchez Productions is one of two project announcements yesterday from the net, which also put in development dark comedy Pippa Smith: Grown-Up Detective (working title), exec-produced by Joss Whedon.
Sundance Now, AMC Networks’ premium streaming service, is in production on season 2 of crime thriller Riviera. The new season will be available to stream on Sundance Now in 2019. Joining the cast for the sophomore set is Alex Lanipekun (Homeland, The Borgias, 24), as well as the previously announced Will Arnett, Juliet Stevenson, Poppy Delevingne and others.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Oxygen Media continues its “Cruel Summer” programming stunt with the premieres of two original series on Mondays. Beginning June 11 at 8p, The Price of Duty debuts, following homicide detectives as they recount the most haunting case of their careers. Then on June 25 at 9p, In Defense Of premieres to explore the complex relationships between notorious defendants and the attorneys who represented them, from Ted Bundy and Jodi Arias to Timothy McVeigh.
Entrepreneur and investor Marcus Lemonis returns to put his own money on the line to help save and grow struggling businesses when season 5 of The Profit drops on CNBC on Tuesday, June 12 at 10p… Also on CNBC, home renovation series The Deed returns for a second season on Wednesday, June 13 at 10p.
AMC’s Talking with Chris Hardwick returns with new eps on Sunday, June 17 at 11p. The initial guest lineup includes Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, Bill Hader, Donald Glover, Ethan Hawke, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
Andrew Zimmern continues his epicurean exploration of food that celebrates cultures and connects communities around the world in the new season of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, premiering on Tuesday, July 3 at 9p.
Michelin-starred chef Richie Farina is known for making food fun by incorporating science to push the limits of creativity with every meal he serves. On Thursday, July 12 at 9p he’ll bring his creative chops to carnival fairgrounds in Cooking Channel’s new series Carnival Kings.
Netflix set Friday, July 27 as the premiere date for the sixth season of Orange Is the New Black. The new season carries the tagline “Bye bye, Litchfield – it’s a whole new world!”
ABC News will provide coverage of the North Korea summit from Singapore beginning Sunday, June 10, with on-air led by chief anchor George Stephanopoulos leading broadcast coverage from Singapore with World News Tonight anchor David Muir, chief global affairs correspondent and This Week co-anchor Martha Raddatz and others.
Actress Pam Grier (Bucktown) returns to Bounce beginning Monday June 11 to host a weeklong series of classic blaxploitation films pulled from Brown Sugar, Bounce’s SVOD service.
Reelz has a duo of specials coming up: John Lennon: It Happened Here will debut on Wednesday, June 11 at 9p, and Grease: Behind Closed Doors premieres Saturday, June 16 at 9p.
BIG3, the basketball league founded by Ice Cube, returns to Fox Sports on Friday, June 22 at 7:30p. The league’s eight teams travel to 10 cities including new stops at Houston, Oakland, Detroit, Miami, Toronto, Boston and Atlanta; each stop features four back-to-back games on Friday evenings.
Country crooners Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini will return for a second year as hosts of three-hour special CMA Fest, airing Wednesday, August 8 at 8p.
Hulu acquired rights to Minding the Gap, the Sundance Jury Award-winning doc from director Bing Liu about three young men who bond across racial lines to escape volatile families in their Rust Belt hometown. It will be released theatrically across key markets in the US and on Hulu on August 17.
The CW Network’s exclusive telecast of the iHeartradio Music Festival will air on consecutive nights, Sunday, October 7 and Monday, October 8 beginning at 8p both nights. This year’s Fest-ivities are hosted by Ryan Seacrest and features acts including Justin Timberlake, Jack White, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Imagine Dragons, Jason Aldean, Kelly Clarkson, Shawn Mendes, Kygo and Rae Sremmurd.
Face-ing the music: Facebook is making some noise around a series of licensing deals it struck earlier this year with music labels. The social platform yesterday unveiled new music feature called Lip Sync Live, which lets users share lip sync performances of popular songs. Users can opt in to Lip Sync Live when they start a Facebook Live video; they’ll be prompted to select a song from a list of options, and can embellish with different backgrounds.
U.S. OTT revenue grew 15.2% in 2017, to $20.1 billion, reports PwC, and is forecast to grow 10% this year. By 2022, revenue is expected to hit $30.1 billion, with 80% coming from SVOD.
YouTube plans to revisit its carriage fee guidelines, but until it does the platform isn’t paying digital video networks a carriage fee to be on YouTube TV. Until YouTube starts selling ads for its TV service later this year, the digital networks have the freedom to handle ad sales for their own channels.
Ready for features like smart reply and self-destructing emails? The redesigned Gmail is set for general availability in July. Users who haven’t moved to it already will have eight weeks to do so, or opt out.
History Vault, History’s direct-to-consumer SVOD service, will host the History of Soccer, a collection of 15 videos, and more than 12 hours of content that probes the impact of men’s soccer as well as sporting events that made soccer luminaries and players such as Pele, Maradona, Messi and Ronaldo. The action begins June 8.
Internet tech site Gizmodo has come down with investigative podcast fever. This week it launches six-part series The Gateway, which takes an in-depth look at controversial spiritual guru Teal Swan, who leverages social platforms to draw in followers with her self-help videos aimed at people who are struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. Gizmodo reporter Jennings Brown and senior producer Jessica Glazer traveled from rural Utah to Costa Rica to capture Swan’s story.
Beerfest: Thirst for Victory launches this week commercial-free on CW Seed, The CW Network’s digital channel; it’s the first original full-length feature film to debut on CW Seed.
Global ad agency network Ogilvy introduced a rebrand – or in the agency’s words, a “re-founding” – that is aimed at simplifying business for clients. In addition to new visuals, the change means areas of expertise that once were run a separate units will operate as one company, encouraging collaboration and cutting red tape. “This has been an 18-month journey for our brand and the largest transformation in the history of our agency,” said John Seifert, CEO, The Ogilvy Group. “To meet the changing needs of our clients, we’re taking a bold step to redefine our company and build a new model for our industry, which we helped to create over 70 years ago.”
GfK MRI and Acxiom are partnering to develop MRI Predictive Audiences Powered by AcxiomTM, an end-to-end, privacy-conscious solution for omnichannel marketing planning and execution. The move is designed to provide marketers with greater data reliability and targeting effectiveness. As part of the partnership, Acxiom and MRI will build custom and syndicated segments, enabling actionable audiences available through Acxiom’s Audience Cloud and the LiveRamp Data Store.
What was the key to success when agency The Basement was tasked with helping smart lock device maker Schlage transition its linear TV ad spend into a programmatic TV plan? Basement CEO Brian Phillips talks strategy in the new Cynsiders.
CARRIAGE & DISTRIBUTION
Indie film and TV distribution shingle FilmRise inked an exclusive deal with ITV Studios Global Entertainment for the ad-supported rights to Gordon Ramsay-led series Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares. The shows are exclusively available for free across the FilmRise streaming network, including its Roku, Xbox, Apple, Amazon Fire TV and Android platforms.
Grace VanderWaal, who won America’s Got Talent two years ago at age 12 playing the ukulele and singing original songs, soared past some 700 other girls to score the lead in Disney’s Stargirl, one of the first original films to be distributed via the company’s new streaming platform.
Country music artist Kellie Pickler (Pickler & Ben) will star in Hallmark Channel’s original holiday film Christmas At Graceland, which begins production July 9.
Comcast expanded the number of international channels available to Xfinity TV customers by including 42 networks, now available nationally on Xfinity X1 and through the Xfinity Stream TV app and portal on mobile devices, computers and Roku devices. Among the new crop are STAR India PLUS, Zee TV, TV Asia, Globo, Record TV, TV5Monde, TV JAPAN and Willow sports content.