PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
IMDb is in the game with its first-ever scripted series You’re Not a Monster, whose voice cast includes Kelsey Grammer, Ellie Kemper, Aparna Nancherla, Patton Oswalt and Eric Stonestreet. Slated for a fall debut, the animated series will get a sneak peek at Comic-Con. Series shows that even movie monsters have emotional issues, and Grammer will return to the therapist chair as a former psychiatrist-turned-vampire who mentors his great-great grandson Max (Stonestreet), who’s inherited his practice. Created and written by Frank Lesser (The Colbert Report), with Lily Stuart Streiff as animation director, You’re Not a Monster is produced for IMDb by Bold Soul Studios, Grammnet and Ranker. It will debut at http://www.imdb.com/monster as well as IMDb’s streaming video channel and apps.
The Now, a new scripted series from Peter Farrelly (Green Book) and Anonymous Content, is headed for short-form video platform Quibi. Co-written by Farrelly, Steve Leff (The Ranch) and Pete Jones (Hall Pass), series follows a guy who’s about to commit suicide when his plans are thwarted when his nagging mom tells him his brother just committed suicide. This after his dad’s previous suicide, so the protagonist has to learn to cope with his life. The late Steve Golin and Jeff Okin exec produce, with Anonymous Content producing.
Classic series Supermarket Sweep is heading back to UK. ITV2 ordered a 20-ep primetime run of the format reboot, based on the Al Howard-created show that aired on ABC from 1965-67. Fremantle-owned Thames is producing the new show.
Divine Rights Media’s Mike Landry and Derek S. Jancisin teamed to option the rights to Andy McDermott’s Wilde/Chase book series with a plan to launch a format franchise beginning with the first title, The Hunt for Atlantis. Aaron Berg is on board to write and produce along with Landry, with Jancisin exec producing.
YA drama series The Society is getting a second season on Netflix. Slated to premiere in 2020, series follows a cohort of teens who are mysteriously transported to a facsimile of their wealthy New England town without any trace of their parents, where they must establish order and form alliances in order to survive. The Society was created by Chris Keyser and stars Kathryn Newton.
Event producer Andy King, who stole the show in Netflix’s Dyre Fest doc, inked a talent deal with Spoke Studios, a Wheelhouse Entertainment company. King—who catapulted in the pop-culture-sphere following his candid account of the Fyre Fest debacle in Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened—is the centerpiece of a TV project the studio is shopping. Original talk shows, podcasts and unscripted series that leverage King’s frankness and expertise in talent/brand relations are also being considered.
Britain’s Renowned Films and The Story Lab formed a partnership to develop entertainment and factual projects during the next two years. First project from IRenowned, which is backed by Critical Content and the studio behind Bravo’s Backyard Envy, and Ninja Warrior backer Story Lab set their first joint project, is You Are Not A Loan, which follows a small town that pools its residents’ collective debt for the greater good.
A recent study says that Netflix could make $1B in advertising if they introduce an ad supported version. And when? Competitors saying it’s inevitable. On September 10, join players from Hulu, NCC Media and Viacom who’ll be having this discussion at the Cynopsis That Big TV Conference during the panel, “OTT: IT’s an AVOD World.”
Oxygen Media today (July 10) is wooing superfans with the launch of its loyalty club Detective’s Den, through which members will receive exclusive content, access to Oxygen personalities and the opportunity to join a community of armchair experts on everything related to true crime. Fans can sign up by email for free at www.oxygen.com/detectives-den.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
The Great Pyramid of Giza, the Colosseum, the Great Wall of China and the Notre Dame Cathedral are all in the spotlight in new Science Channel engineering series If We Built it Today. Premiering Sunday, July 14 at 10p, series examines what it would take to build these structures today in terms of materials, cost, labor and more.
Hulu dropped the season 2 trailer for horror series Light As A Feather, from AwesomenessTV, Wattpad and Kelsey Grammer’s Grammnet. The eight-ep new season, which premieres Friday, July 26, features McKenna (Liana Liberato), having inherited the curse brought on by the lethal game of Light As A Feather, plagued by a ticking clock compelling her to play a new round of the game.
VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood returns Monday, August 5 at 8p. Season highlights will include a behind-the-scenes look at The Millennium Tour with B2K band members Fizz and J Boog; and the return of Omarion’s ex and the mother of his children, Apryl Jones.
Indie filmmaker Christopher Garetano begins a boots-on-the-ground investigation into the legends, mysteries and first-person accounts that fuel creepy conspiracy theories and unexplained occurrences in new Travel Channel series Strange World. Premiering Sunday, August 11 at 10p, eight hour-long eps will immerse viewers in everything from the alleged curse of James Dean’s death car to the legend of Polybius, an ‘80s arcade game supposedly created as a mind-control experiment gone amuck.
Clear the aisles… new Food Network series Supermarket Stakeout, premiering Tuesday, August 13 at 10p, engages chefs in a competition where blind luck, negotiation and cooking skills are the key ingredients to success. Hosted by Iron Chef and Chopped judge Alex Guarnaschelli, each ep kicks off with a culinary ambush outside a local supermarket, where four competitors approach unsuspecting shoppers leaving the store to negotiate the bags right out of their hands—without knowing what’s inside—and then take to pop-up kitchens outside local supermarkets to create culinary feats.
Um, Actually (@UmActuallyShow), the game show for nerds, by nerds starring creator, host and super-nerd, Mike Trapp, returns for a second season on CollegeHumor’s subscription-based streaming service Dropout on Saturday, July 20. A new episode of the 10-ep season will be released each following Saturday through September 21. Series features Trapp asking a panel of guest contestants to correct statements on a variety of nerdy pop culture topics.
The second part of HBO Documentary Films’ two-part crime series I Love You, Now Die airs tonight (July 10) on HBO. Doc, from director Erin Lee Carr and producer Andrew Rossi, dives into the 2014 texting suicide case that made national headlines after 18-year-old Conrad Roy killed himself in his car in Fairhaven, Mass.
Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills three-part reunion premieres on Tuesday, July 16 at 9p and will run on consecutive Tuesdays with host Andy Cohen joining Erika Girardi, Dorit Kemsley, Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave, Kyle Richards, Denise Richards, Lisa Rinna and Camille Grammer as they revisit a wildly unpredictable season. Lisa Vanderpump did not attend the reunion.
NY public television Thirteen’s exclusive broadcast premiere of documentary Sid Caesar: On the Language of Comedy, will bow on the channel Friday, July 19 at 10:30p and also be available Monday, July 22 to viewers around the country via PBS Passport.
CMA Fest will bring country music acts together for three hours of collaborations and performances in a special airing Sunday, Aug. 4 at 8p on ABC. Hosted by Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini with guest host Bobby Bones, CMA Fest brings the annual fan experience to TV for the 16th straight year. Performances include Lil Nas X joined by Billy Ray Cyrus and Keith Urban, Ballerini and the Chainsmokers, and Brothers Osborne with Brooks & Dunn and Ashley McBryde.
The life and legacy of Patrick Swayze will be commemorated in I Am Patrick Swayze, a new doc from Paramount Network and Network Entertainment that bows Sunday, August 18 at 9p on Swayze’s birthday. The latest installment in Paramount Net’s “I Am” franchise, project includes interviews with the late Ghost and Dirty Dancing star’s friends and family including his widow Lisa Niemi, and co-stars Sam Elliott, Jennifer Grey, C. Thomas Howell, Rob Lowe, Kelly Lynch, Demi Moore and more. Doc, which will premiere at the San Antonio Film Festival Friday, August 2, is directed by Adrian Buitenhuis; exec producers include Paul Gertz, Kent Wingerak, Derik Murray and Chaz Gray.
President Trump cannot block Twitter users. This according to a ruling yesterday by a federal appeals court, which found the action would violate the First Amendment rights of users. In a 3-0 decision, the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan determined the Constitution does not permit Trump to limit access to his account. In response, the Department of Justice Department called the ruling “fundamentally misconceived.” Seven Twitter users filed the original lawsuit via the The Knight First Amendment Institute after Trump blocked them from his account in 2017.
XITE’s music video experience is now available on Roku devices in the US. XITE gives viewers access to music videos available through major and indie music labels, and the option to choose from curated channels.
Centro announced an API integration with LinkedIn to automate campaign performance reporting. The company is the first cross-channel ad-buying platform for both site-direct and programmatic that automatically pulls in ad spend data from Facebook, Google Search and now LinkedIn. Advertisers using LinkedIn’s self-serve ad platform now will receive daily performance data in Centro’s Basis, which is used by agencies to consolidate digital operations across programmatic, direct, search and social campaigns.
After a dramatic switch in distributors away from Universal Pictures, Netflix landed heist thriller Red Notice, starring Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot and Ryan Reynolds. The streamer greenlit the Rawson Marshall Thurber-directed film and set a 2020 production start. When initially was sold as a pitch, Red Notice was among the biggest film packages brokered last year. Netflix lost out to Universal in the initial deal-making.
Gaia, the subscription streaming video service dedicated to media for mind, body and soul , is debuting original series Sacred Power: Mastering the Nature of Your Soul. The 12-part series features author and lecturer Caroline Myss delivering messages of transformation and renewal that are simultaneously ancient and progressive.
Netflix is teaming with King Features for its latest kids series, The Cuphead Show!, a take on the popular Cuphead videogame that enlists super-old-school ‘30s-style animation. Series will expand on the game’s characters, misadventures and universe, with an animation style inspired by the classic Fleischer cartoons.
Nielsen launched the Nielsen Podcast Listener Buying Power Service from Nielsen Scarborough, with iHeartMedia, Cadence13, Midroll, Westwood One and Cabana as charter clients. Clients will be able to profile shows using program titles collected from Nielsen subscribers in order to connect specific types of listeners with particular advertisers and specific program-level insights. Nielsen Podcast Listener Buying Power Service has an effective sample of close to 30,000 respondents, with the ability to capture results for specific programs. It also uses targeted questions on podcast listening with more than 12 podcast genres, more than 2,000 retail/plan-to-buy categories and hundreds of advertisers.
Yahoo News dropped a new podcast, Conspiracyland, which culminates a yearlong investigation into the unsolved murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. In the summer of 2016, Russian intelligence agents secretly planted a fake report claiming that Rich was gunned down by a squad of assassins working for Hillary Clinton, giving rise to a conspiracy theory that captivated conservative activists. First two episodes are now available, followed by new eps every Tuesday.
New podcast Carrier, whose voice cast is led by Cynthia Erivo (Widows, Bad Times at the El Royale), dropped a trailer featuring Erivo in the role of a long-haul truck driver who during her all-night trip across rural America discovers she’s transporting a trailer with disturbing contents. Erivo also co-produces the podcast from QCode, which is the outfit behind Rami Malek podcast Blackout. Carrier debuts July 15 on Apple Podcasts.
BBC One commissioned a four-part fashion series hosted by former Big Brother host Rylan Clark-Neal. You Are What You Wear (working title), from ITV-backed producer MultiStory Media, takes place in a veritable department store of dreams.
Drama and children’s programming are in the air at Viacom’s UK production studio. Sister broadcast net Channel 5 canceled long-running series Big Brother, and the studio is now eyeing other genres, with psychological thriller Cold Call in the works as well as a reboot of All Creatures Great and Small with Howards End producer Playground and PBS. Its kids shingle Milkshake has re-commissioned Floogals, Little Princess, Peppa Pig and 25-part original Monkey’s Amazing Adventures.
France’s Canal Plus confirmed reports it could lose close to 500 employees. In a statement yesterday the company noted it needs to “transform its French activities…This could lead to the departure of a maximum of 492 people, conducted exclusively on a voluntary basis.” The process will begin on July 15.
Felicity Jones will co-star in George Clooney’s untitled Netflix film adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 novel Good Morning, Midnight… Alana de la Garza, who co-stars in CBS’ upcoming FBI: Most Wanted midseason drama, joins flagship series FBI as a series regular, reprising her role as Isobel Castile.