PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
The Dodo has partnered with Instagram to develop a new IGTV-first series for teens. Six-part You Know Me … Now Meet My Pet, launching July 17, features six young Instagram influencers introducing the world to their pets.
In a timely move, More/Medavoy optioned TrafficKing, Conchita Sarnoff’s book chronicling the Jeffrey Epstein child trafficking case, along with Sarnoff’s life rights, to create a limited series or TV movie. The case involving the billionaire financier is back in headlines following his recent arrest and charges of federal sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy of minors.
Director/producer Sarah Adina Smith and her Everything Is Everything production banner signed a first-look deal with Amazon Studios under which she’ll develop TV series to premiere on Amazon Prime Video. Smith directed the first two eps of Amazon’s action thriller Hanna and served as co-exec producer. She also directed the pilot for the upcoming Hulu series Looking for Alaska and is writing a pilot for FX.
WTG Enterprises green-lit eight episodes of adult animated series The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, slated to debut early next year. Based on the classic counterculture comic, series is exec-produced by Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon, with King of the Hill alumni Alan Cohen and Alan Freedland in as showrunners. Silicon Valley creators John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky will write and produce, with Workaholics’ Adam Devine and Blake Anderson providing voice talent and exec-producing.
Short-form steam engine Quibi lined up its first U.K. scripted development project, an adaptation of Harriet Tyce’s thriller novel Blood Orange. ITV-owned World Productions, producer behind The Bodyguard and Line of Duty, is on board for what’s being envisioned as a 12-part series … In more news from Quibi, which has been on a programming roll this month, superhero series “with a twist” Crazy Talented is in the works, directed by Doug Liman and produced by his company 30 Ninjas. Michael Karnow (Alphas) pens the series, based on a short story by Jumper creator Steve Gould.
PBS announced that South By Somewhere, a new six-part culinary series featuring TV host and chef Vivian Howard, is slated to air in the winter/spring 2020 season. Series will delve into the people and dishes defining the New American South.
Indie documentary shingle Transform Films inked a deal with NY production company Kaufman Films to co-develop and produce an untitled crime series rooted in the streets and straightforward portrayals of candid stories of people across the country.
Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: July 12-14
Spiderman: Far From Home (Sony) $45.3 million (week 2), cume revenue $274.5 million
Toy Story 4 (Buena Vista) $20.7 million (week 4), cume revenue $346.4 million
Crawl (Paramount) $12.0 million, opening weekend
Stuber (Fox) $8.0 million, opening weekend
Yesterday (Universal) $6.8 million (week 3), cume revenue $48.3 million
Aladdin (Buena Vista) $5.9 million (week 8), cume revenue $331.5 million
Annabelle Comes Home (Warner Bros.) $5.6 million (week 3), cume revenue $60.8 million
Midsommar (A24) $3.6 million (week 2), cume revenue $18.4 million
The Secret Life of Pets 2 (Universal) $3.1 million (week 6), cume revenue $147.1 million
Men In Black International (Sony) $2.2 million (week 5), cume revenue $76.4 million
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Bounce will premiere the fifth season of comedy In The Cut tonight (July 15) at 9p with back-to-back episodes. New eps will launch every Monday night throughout the summer and early fall.
Netflix dropped the season two trailer for baking competition series Sugar Rush, which returns to the streaming service with six new episodes Friday, July 26, with Hunter March back as host.
August 16 is the long-awaited return date for Netflix’s Mindhunter, which the streaming service debuted nearly two years ago. Second season reportedly picks up in 1979, a few years after season 1, and will focus on Atlanta, where at least 28 people, mostly children, were thought to have been murdered in a short time period.
HBO set September 9 as the premiere date for the third and final season of porn industry drama The Deuce. The network tweeted out the return date, along with an image of a VHS tape that signals the series’ leap in time from the previous ’70s setting to the ’80s.
The Federal Trade Commission on Friday voted to fine Facebook close to $5 billion for violations of its consumer-privacy rules, which amounts to the biggest privacy-related fine in the agency’s history. That figure represents less than what Facebook reported in net profit ($5.43 billion) for Q1 2019 alone, and Facebook brass in reporting Q1 results had told investors it expected it would have to pay as much as $5 billion as a result of the FTC probe.
YouTube at last week’s VidCon conference trotted out enhancements to the ways content creators can generate revenue on the platform. Among them: enhanced channel memberships, through which creators can set up to five different price points for memberships, each level carrying different incentives; expanded Merch Shelf partners, including Crowdmade, DFTBA, Fanjoy and Rooster Teeth; Super Stickers, which enable fans to purchase animated stickers during live streams and premieres; new feature Learning Playlists, which enable educational video creators to divide videos into chapters; and fundraising tool YouTube Giving.
Tastemade inked a nonexclusive licensing deal with Hulu to deliver 24 shows including hundreds of eps of original food, travel and lifestyle programs. Shows, including Broken Bread, hosted by chef/food activist Roy Choi, who explores social-justice issues in the food system; how-to series Make This Tonight and Heritage, which profiles chefs defying traditional culinary rules, will debut on Hulu throughout the year.
Sundance Now, AMC’s streaming service, acquired season three of drama series The Restaurant from Banijay Rights. Series begins on Peace Day 1945 and centers on a family that runs a prestigious restaurant in Stockholm.
Digital marketing startup SuperAwesome is launching video platform Rukkaz, for kids and family content creators, led by Paul Nunn, previously managing director of games publisher Outfit7. The AVOD platform will not own or produce the kids-targeted content it supports but instead allows creators to share video content and safely engage with its target K7-12-year-old fans. Currently testing with almost 100 content creators, Rukkaz claims almost $10 million of ad revenue committed by major brands. It will be available on iOS and Android devices with a global rollout planned.
Tom Brady, Simone Biles, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Alex Morgan and Serena Williams were among the winners at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards, which taped earlier this week and will air Saturday, August 10, at 8p as a simulcast on Nickelodeon, TeenNick and Nicktoons. Event, hosted by Michael Strahan, included a performance by Grammy winner Ciara.
U.K. broadcaster Channel 5 is in the works on Britain’s Master Crafters (working title), a four-part entertainment series from the creator of Masterchef. The Viacom-owned network commissioned Pi Productions to produce.
Former British television host John Leslie has been charged with a sexual offense involving “a woman aged 16 or over.” Leslie, who hosted kids show Blue Peter and ITV’s Wheel of Fortune reboot, is set to appear at Westminster magistrates’ court July 25.
In a recasting move, Nat Geo switched out one of the leads in upcoming scripted series The Right Stuff, based on Tom Wolfe’s best-selling nonfiction book. Colin O’Donoghue (Once Upon a Time) will now portray Lt. Gordon Cooper, taking over for Joe Dempsie, who had to exit … Katherine Waterston (Fantastic Beasts franchise) is in for a major role opposite Jude Law in HBO drama The Third Day … Kyle Bornheimer (Casual) and Jessica St. Clair (Playing House) scored recurring roles opposite Hugh Laurie in HBO space comedy Avenue 5.