PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Freeform announced a pilot order for Breckman Rodeo (wt) from creator/writer Steve Lerner and Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields (The Americans). The ensemble drama centers on a group of young rodeo riders. Fields and Weisberg are executive producers, and Lerner is co-executive producer of the pilot, which is produced by FX Productions.
Amazon ordered a limited series based on the Taylor Jenkins Reid novel, Daisy Jones & The Six. Show centered on a fictional rock band will be a co-production between Amazon Studios and Hello Sunshine.
NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is teaming with The Content Group’s Asylum Entertainment for Big Chicken Shaq, a Facebook Watch series premiering this fall that will chronicle the opening of O’Neal’s Las Vegas restaurant. “We’re proud to help create a forum where a larger-than-life superstar can connect with his fans on a unique, personal level, essentially serving as teammates in his newest enterprise,” said Content Group CEO Steve Michaels.
Dystopian drama States of America, written by CIA officer-turned-author Tom King, is being developed as a series by Topic Studios and Playground.
Honorees for the 2018 Kennedy Center Honors will include Cher, composer and pianist Philip Glass, country music entertainer Reba McEntire and jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter. Additionally, the co-creators of the Hamilton – writer and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Thomas Kail, choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler and music director Alex Lacamoire – will be celebrated as trailblazing creators of a transformative work that defies category. Tributes will air during a broadcast Wednesday, December 26 at 8p on CBS.
The mystery behind the controversial 2014 death of a young man shot in the back seat of a police car is explored in ID doc, Sugar Town, premiering Monday, August 6 at 8p.
BET documentary Killer Curves: Bodies to Die For investigates the sometimes fatal trend of black market cosmetic surgery. Exec produced and narrated by Alani “La La” Anthony, show premieres Wednesday, August 8 at 10p.
With Sony Pictures TV now the exclusive ad sales representative for getTV across the U.S., getTV has added two new series, set to debut this fall: Married…with Children and The Steve Harvey Show.
MEASUREMENT & DATA
The Brand Safety Institute has been launched to educate and accredit execs in the digital ad industry, advancing brand protection through research, education, and professional certification. A new white paper with the Trustworthy Accountability Group highlighting the confusion around brand safety issues offered recommendations, including adoption of best practices around supply chain issues, and creating a new position of Brand Safety Officer.
Brand safety is just one of the hot topics addressed at the Cynopsis Measurement & Data Conference on August 2 in New York City – grab your seats now!
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
HBO’s Camping, starring Jennifer Garner and David Tennant, launches Sunday, October 14, it was revealed at TCA. Eight-parter is exec produced by Girls creators Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner. As for why Dunham and Konner have split, opting for individual production deals with HBO, “There’s no drama to be found there,” said Konner. “It’s just about the creative process.”
Nat Geo and Jeff Goldblum are partnering on global docu-series The Curiosity of Jeff Goldblum (wt), a 12-parter following Goldblum as he uncovers extraordinary stories behind ordinary things. That news broke at TCA, as did greenlights for Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, starring the celebrity chef drawing connections between exploration, adventure and food, and season two of One Strange Rock, returning in February 2019. And Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) will headline scripted series The Hot Zone, recounting the true story of the origins of the Ebola virus.
Nat Geo’s Life Below Zero returns Tuesday, September 25 at 9p, and the series’ 100th episode is commemorated Tuesday, January 1, 2019 with a full-day marathon of episodes….Bear Grylls (Running Wild with Bear Grylls) has been tapped to host six-part nature doc Hostile Planet, set to debut in spring 2019….StarTalk with Neil DeGrasse Tyson is back for season four Monday, November 12 at 11p.
Ridiculousness returns to MTV for a new season on Sunday, August 5 at 8p. Special guests this season include Olympic athletes Adam Rippon, Chloe Kim and Laurie Hernandez, pop-rap duo Jack & Jack, Wild ‘N Out star Justina Valentina and more. The net’s new stunt series, Too Stupid to Die, lands Tuesday, August 21 with back-to-back eps beginning t 10p.
Season three of INSP culinary/travel series State Plate launches Monday, September 24 in a new timeslot: 12p. American Idol champ Taylor Hicks returns as host.
Coming up on Acorn TV: Season two of No Offence on Monday, August 6; Australia’s Mystery Road, on Monday, August 20; and season six of Aussie period drama A Place to Call Home on Monday, September 3.
Food Network daytime series Let’s Eat explores culinary crazes starting Sunday, August 12 at 11a.
Esme & Roy, Sesame Workshop’s first new animated program in over a decade, premieres on HBO in the U.S. and Treehouse in Canada on Saturday, August 18.
Crime thriller Les Dames – The Ladies debuts on TV5Monde USA on Sunday, August 12 at 11p (English subtitles).
Sony Crackle’s first esports docu-series, Hook’d, premieres Friday, July 27, with three- to five-minute episodes rolling out on Monday, July 30, Wednesday, August 1 and Wednesday, August 15. Gamer series is in partnership with NRG ESports and Complex Networks.
Alfre Woodard (Luke Cage) will star opposite Jason Momoa in Apple drama series See….Grammy winner Kendrick Lamar will guest opposite 50 Cent on Starz drama Power, Sunday, July 29 at 8p….Felicity Huffman (American Crime), Jharrel Jerome (Moonlight) and Jovan Adepo (Fences) are onboard Netflix limited series Central Park Five…. Gina Rodriguez, Edward James Olmos, Rita Moreno, Prince Royce, Rosario Dawson and Javier Munoz guest star in prime time movie event Elena of Avalor: Song of the Sirenas, debuting Friday, September 21, on Disney Junior….Alicia Coppola (Shameless) landed a series regular role in CBS action series Blood & Treasure, slated to premiere in summer 2019.
MAD Magazine content, including current events commentary as well as classic MAD material, will be available to Snapchat users starting September 1, part of a partnership between WarnerMedia and Snap. John Ficarra, former MAD executive editor, and Peter Girardi, EVP of Blue Ribbon Content, will oversee the venture. “Nothing is off the table because nothing has ever been off the table with MAD,” said Ficarra.
Viacom is in discussions to acquire digital media company AwesomenessTV for less than half of its one-time $650 million valuation, reports Bloomberg. Comcast holds a 51% in the company, while Verizon and Hearst each hold a 24.5% piece. AwesomenessTV was co-founded by Brian Robbins, now president of Viacom’s Paramount Players production division.
Facebook announced earnings per share of $1.74 for 2Q18, up from $1.32 in 2017, with revenue rising 42%, to $13.2 billion, just missing analyst forecasts. Mobile advertising made up for 91% of ad sales, up from 87% in 2Q17.
At Facebook Watch’s TCA session, it was revealed that scripted teen drama SKAM Austin has been renewed for season two. The show’s first episode attained over 14 million views. “SKAM is a shining example of what social video can be when there is a seamless integration of technology and content on Facebook,” said Facebook Watch’s Ricky Van Veen. “We’re thrilled to bring back this special show and continue to break new ground with SKAM’s incomparable format.”
AT&T’s DirecTV Now added 342,00 subscribers in 2Q18, for a total of 1.8 million.
Netlix is giving its profile icons, which organize viewing, a “fun makeover,” said product innovation director Cathy Conk in a blog post. Viewers will soon be able to use photos of characters from Netflix shows – like Luke Cage and OITNB’s Crazy Eyes – as icons, instead of drawings. “We know the series and movies on Netflix are more than just things you watch to pass the time,” said Conk. “The stories – and the characters in them – are also your heroes, frenemies, soulmates and everything in between. We’re thrilled to give you a way to show your fandom and make your connection with Netflix more unique.”
VR studio Secret Location has adapted Philip K. Dick post-apocalyptic short story The Great C. “Pairing The Great C’s provocative themes with our VR development prowess is helping us redefine how we consume sci-fi movies,” said Secret Location founder Ryan Andal.
Endemol Shine Group’s Endemol Shine China will partner with local production house Croton Media, Kudos and Matador to create a local Mandarin language adaptation of drama Humans. The Mandarin series is based on Humans UK, produces by Kudos for Channel 4 and AMC.
NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations announced that Cat’s Pride, part of Oil-Dri Corporation of America, is onboard as a national sponsor of NBC and Telemundo Owned Stations’ fourth annual Clear the Shelters nationwide pet adoption campaign. Effort launches in August 2018 across more than 70 markets, culminating on Saturday, August 18.
Discovery Inc. and eco-conscious jewelry brand Alex and Ani are teaming for an accessories collaboration to benefit Project C.A.T., a global partnership to preserve the world’s wild tiger population. 20% of the purchase price of tiger pendants and necklaces will be donated to the initiative’s efforts to double the wild tiger population in protected habitats in India by 2022.