PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Amazon ordered a pilot for Modern Love, a comedy anthology series based on the New York Times column, from John Carney (Sing Street), Storied Media Group and the NYTimes.
The formation of Curiosity Ink Media, an emerging family-friendly showcase offering original animation, live-action programming, reboots of iconic characters and shows and VR content, was announced yesterday. Russell Hicks, former Nickelodeon president of production and development, will serve as president & chief creative officer, while Struck agency creative executive Brent Watts will assume the role of chief design & strategy officer. Publishing and live theatrical entertainment is slated to start rolling out across multiple platforms beginning in early 2019.
FremantleMedia North America is partnering with Brandon Sanderson on Dark One, the fantasy author’s first original concept for television. In addition to the TV series there will be a graphic novel and podcast.
HBO Documentary Films and the Independent Filmmaker Project are seeking new non-fiction storytellers with the New True Stories Funding Initiative. HBO will sponsor grants aimed at identifying a wide range of talent across genres; submissions are considered on a rolling basis.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Kandi Koated Nights, a new half-hour talk show hosted by Real Housewife of Atanta Kandi Burress, premieres Sunday, July 1 at 9p on Bravo.
Also on Bravo: Season twelve of The Real Housewives of Orange County debuts Monday, July 16 at 9p, with “two feisty new housewives” set to stir things up on the series that started the franchise.
From triggering avalanches to traveling the Mohave Desert, Green Beret, Special Forces Sniper and MMA fighter Tim Kennedy tackles some of the toughest jobs in the workforce in Hard to Kill, premiering Friday, July 31 on Discovery.
The eight-episode back half of season four of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead launches Sunday, August 12 at 9p. Look for new adversaries – of the human, walker and nature variety – this time around.
Cool Pools makes its network debut on Discovery Family on Sunday, July 1 at 7p, followed by Yard Crashers at 8p.
FX cocaine drama Snowfall returns for season two Thursday, July 19 at 10p, showing the perils of drug dealing success circa1984.
A new season of Food Network’s Ridiculous Cakes launches with back-to-back episodes Monday, July 9 at 10p (spoiler alert: There’s a “Shark Week” confection).
Reality star Maci Bookout (Teen Mom) takes Discovery’s Naked and Afraid super fan challenge Sunday, June 24 at 9p – 14 days with scarce food and water, and no shelter or clothing.
Fly fishing film Finding Joe Brooks airs Father’s day weekend on Sportsman Channel (Friday, June 15 at 8p), World Fishing Network (Friday at 10p) and Outdoor Channel (Saturday, June 16 at 7:30p).
TeleXitos multicast network scared up a Prehistoric Fridays movie showcase this month. Next up: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (June 15), and Jurassic Park III (June 22). The event leads up to the premiere of the Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, in theaters on June 22.
Travel Channel is extending its Anthony Bourdain: No Reservation encores – started after the trailblazing traveler’s death on June 8 at age 61 – to Tuesday nights, through July 3 at 10p and 11p.
A new study published in the Journal of Advertising Research, “Corporate Social Responsibility and Marketing Performance: The Moderating Role of Advertising Intensity,” provides evidence of a positive link between CSR activities and marketing performance, as measured by market share. The study also found that even simple product or brand ads can help lead to greater CSR awareness by creating a general awareness of a company and encouraging consumers to seek out more information about its activities – as consumers learn about a company’s CSR initiatives, they tend to buy more of that company’s products.
Nielsen has a patented new offering it is testing that lets advertisers compress ads via a method that makes them as or more effective tan their original length, according to research from Nielsen chief neuroscientist, Dr. Carl Marci. MediaPost reports Marci will unveil that and more neuromarketing findings at the Advertising Research Foundation conference this week.
Warner Bros. Animation has launched a Looney Tunes content initiative, Looney Tunes Cartoons, a series of new short form cartoons starring iconic Looney Tunes characters. Each cartoon will run from one to six minutes and, from the premise on through to the jokes, will be “written” and drawn by the cartoonists, allowing their own personality and style to come through.
French Fries, the first short film in the Shatterbox Anthology, a series from Refinery29 and TNT dedicated to spotlighting the voices of female filmmakers, will air on TNT Sunday, June 17 at 11p.
U.S. podcasting advertising grabbed $314 million in revenue in 2017, up 86% from 2016, according to the latest IAB/PwC Podcast Advertising Revenue Study. Host-read ads were cited as the preferred format, making up over 2/3 of ads in 2017.
Research company Canvs is offering AI technology to analyze viewers’ emotional responses to shows, and NBCUniversal is onboard. “Having just wrapped up our first pilot testing using Canvs Surveys, I can say with confidence this isn’t an iterative improvement for the research community, it’s a first-ever,” said Benoit Landry, senior director of program research at NBCU. “We went from spending 16 hours trying to hand sort open-ended survey responses, down to one hour with Canvs…. It’s an extraordinary efficiency gain and cost savings for NBC for something we do dozens of times each year.”
The streaming apps for Turner sibs TBS and TNT are available on the Xbox One game console, the first gaming console to carry the apps. Expect upcoming launches on additional Smart TVs this month.
An SVOD service aimed at millennials is set to launch July 13 with scripted and unscripted series from digital influencers including its founders, Lemuel Plummer (Preachers) and social stars King Bach, Amanda Cerny and DeStorm Power. Zeus’s philosophy? “We’re greenlighting people, not shows,” said Plummer.
Seven media associations sent Facebook a letter objecting to its issue ads policy. The News Media Alliance and the heads of the American Society of News Editors, European Publishers Council, Digital Content Next, MPA, Society of Professional Journalists and WAN-IFRA says the policy, which includes a “paid for” label, blurs the line between real and fake news. “We’re concerned, as news leaders across America, about the impact that Facebook’s policy could do to the value of independent journalism,” said Alfredo Carbajal, president of ASNE and managing editor of Al Día at The Dallas Morning News. “News, by definition, is information that must incorporate all the elements of a particular issue, and will always be independent from political, partisan or ideology positions. Our intent and purpose is to shine truth and inform the society in general, without any bias. But if our news content is to be treated and classified as part of political ads, then the public at large will be largely misinformed.”
Beth Behrs (2 Broke Girls) landed the female lead in CBS comedy The Neighborhood. It’s a recast – Dreama Walker played the role in the pilot.
Joining the cast of The Fosters spin-off, Good Trouble: Tommy Martinez (Riverdale), newcomer Zuri Adele, and Sherry Cola (I Love Dick).
FilmRise acquired exclusive U.S. SVOD rights to 1977-1983 crime drama CHiPs, from Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. Series is available on Prime Video Direct.
Among the announcements at the Sheffield Doc/Fest: The BBC picked up Inside the Bank of England, a two-parter for BBC Two that aims to demystify central banking, and Gun No. 6, focused on the 11 shootings from one illegal gun.
Jeremy Vine will become the new presenter of Channel 5’s daily current affairs program, produced by ITN Productions. Presenter Matthew Wright recently announced his departure after 18 years on The Wright Stuff.
China International Television Corporation is debuting the new China Pavilion at the Annency International Film Festival, taking place now through June 16 in Annecy France.
Lightbox and Jonathan Chinn (LA 92), have been commissioned by BBC 3 to produce Finding Dad (w/t) a new documentary fronted by actor, poet and radio broadcaster Mim Shaikh.
UK’s BBC, ITV and Channel 4 are investing about $167 million over five years to enhance the on-demand and linear features for Freeview Play, in an effort to bat back U.S. SVOD encroachment in Europe. “As the U.K.’s TV landscape becomes increasingly impacted by global players, this new commitment from our shareholders is a major boost for U.K. viewers,” said Digital U.K. CEO Jonathan Thompson. “Building on this spirit of collaboration, we will not only safeguard free-to-view TV but reinvent it for a new age of viewing.”