PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Kenny Smith, named black-ish season five co-showrunner/EP alongside Jonathan Groff after the departure of series creator Kenya Barris to Netflix, inked a three-year overall deal with ABC Studios. The pact calls for Smith to develop new projects for ABC Studios and ABC Signature Studios. Smith, who was black-ish co-exec producer for season three, most recently served that role on NBC’s Marlon.
Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson signed a two-year overall deal with Fox 21 Television Studios that calls for them to serve as showrunners on Nat Geo’s upcoming The Hot Zone. “Kelly and Brian are part of the family and fantastic writers who have done great work for us on shows like Salem and Genius,” said Fox 21 TV Studios president Bert Salke.
Also signing a deal with Fox 21 TV Studios is Joseph C. Wilson, who will serve as co-executive producer on season two of Showtime’s The Chi.
A comedy set in a video game development studio, from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia team Rob McElhenney and Charlie Day, scored a straight-to-series order from Apple. McElhenney and Day will write and exec produce; McElhenney is also attached to star. Video game publisher Ubisoft will also produce, with 3Arts Entertainment.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
A family living on an Alabama sheep farm with three older boys and a surprise set of sextuplets are the focus of TLC’s new Sweet Home Sextuplets. In a first for the network, the show launches before the births of the babies.
Cousins Undercover makes its network premiere on Discovery Family Tuesday, September 4 at 7p. The renovation series, first seen on HGTV, centers on cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri as they surprise neighborhood heroes with home overhauls.
The sixth and final season of Aussie period drama A Place to Call Home: The Final Chapter premieres on Acorn TV Labor Day Weekend, August 31-September 3, less than two weeks after its launch Down Under.
CBS Television Distribution’s Face the Truth, produced by Stage 29 Productions, launches Monday, September 10. Vivica A. Fox stars in the daytime strip, which will air on CBS owned stations in 10 major markets, and as well as stations owned by Cox, Graham Media, Hearst Television, Meredith and Weigel Broadcasting. In the show, people present their problems to a “Truth Team,” and the audience votes on who is right and who is wrong.
Netflix weekly comedy show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj makes its debut Sunday, October 28. Series will explore the cultural and political landscape “with depth and sincerity,” according to the streaming service.
CBS announced season premiere dates for its daytime lineup: Monday, September 3 for The Young and the Restless; Monday, September 10 for The Talk; and Monday, September 17 for The Bold and the Beautiful, Let’s Make a Deal and The Price Is Right.
Nico Tortorella (Younger) and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzie (Jersey Shore) will host MTV’s Just Tattoo of Us, based on the MTV International format that asks pairs of friends, family members and couples to design tattoos for each other that won’t be revealed until they’re permanently inked. It’s the second MTV International format to move to the U.S., following Ex on the Beach.
Crime doc Inside the Manson Cult: The Lost Tapes has a premiere date on Fox: Monday, September 17 at 8p. Special narrated by Liev Schreiber includes new and archival footage of former Manson cult members.
Nicki Minaj will return to the MTV’s VMAs in a special performance, presented by Pepsi, from an iconic location in New York during the live show Monday, August 20 at 9p. MTV says it will be the first time a major awards show will televise a performance from the surprise location.
Location intelligence company Cuebiq and advanced TV pioneer Brightline are teaming to provide media owners and advertisers with footfall attribution capabilities for targeted and/or enhanced OTT buys.The addition of Cuebiq’s footfall attribution insights to the current offerings at BrightLine increases the depth of information available to advertisers, enabling them to attribute in-person visitation back to their enhanced OTT ads. “Increased competition and consumer awareness are driving heightened pressure for media owners to reduce annoying ad loads, and the only way to do this is to deliver more value via better targeted ads, richer and more effective ad formats, and attribution,” said Jacqueline Corbelli, CEO of BrightLine. “Location intelligence is therefore a great new addition to our platform.”
Kai Lennox (The Unusuals), Dale Dickey (Leave No Trace), Austin Hebert (Jack Reacher: Never Go Back) and Omar Maskati (Better Call Saul) will recur in Netflix limited series Unbelievable….Kiana Madiera (Sacred Lies) is set to recur on season five of CW’s The Flash as Spencer Young (a male character in the original DC comic)….Joivan Wade (The First Purge) landed the series regular role of Cyborg in DC Universe’s Doom Patrol. Streaming service debuts later this year.
ComScore is partnering with Inscape, single source provider of opt-in automatic content recognition TV viewing data, to add insights to its measurement footprint for custom marketing solutions. The partnership is aimed at bolstering ad effectiveness studies designed to help clients understand the extent to which their campaigns met ROI objectives, including purchase behavior and tune-in.
Google launched a new Q&A video app, Cameos, that allows public figures to record brief videos in response to searches about them; the responses are included in Google’s search results. The feature, reported by Techcrunch, is part of Google’s “Posts on Google” platform and is currently only for iPhones.
At its Unpacked event in NYC, Samsung introduced its new smart speaker, Galaxy Home, powered by smart assistant Bixby and capable of controlling devices with Smartthings technology. Among the music services available on the speaker will be Spotify, which struck a partnership with Samsung that Spotify CEO Daniel Ek called, “a true cross-platform listening experience.”
Genius Brands International is partnering with YouTube content creator WatchMojo, sharing their unique content for young viewers across Genius Brands Network’s Kid Genius Channel and WatchMojo’s Jr. Mojo channel.
Epix announced that DISH and T-Mobile’s Layer3 TV are its first partners to roll out Epix’s 4K Ultra HD offering. Epix subscribers on Dish and Layer3 TV will have access to a VOD package of 4K Ultra HD content directly on their set-top boxes. All Epix subscribers from all affiliates can access 4K HD content through the authenticated Epix Apple TV app.
Kids content company DHX Media and its co-production partner, BBC Children’s Productions, landed a 10-episode order from CBBC in the UK and Family Channel in Canada for season two of the kids’ live action series Creeped Out. Production begins this summer.