08/10/20: HBO Max gets boost at WarnerMedia

 

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Monday August 10, 2020

Today’s Premieres
AccuWeather: AccuWeather Explores: Weather Wonders at 8p
Acorn TV: The Other One
E!: 10 Things You Don’t Know at 10p
HGTV: Love It or List It at 9p
NBC: The Titan Games at 8p
Outdoor Channel: Blood Run: Fly Fishing with Amazon Warriors at 7p
Quibi: About Face, Mapleworth Murders

Today’s Finale
Lifetime: Surviving Jeffrey Epstein at 9p

IN THE NEWS

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar on Friday announced a major reorganization that elevates the importance of streaming at the company. “Because of the gift that is the internet, we have what I believe is one of the greatest opportunities in the history of media, which is to deliver our beloved stories and experiences directly to hundreds of millions of consumers across the globe,” said Kilar in an email to employees. “Earning this ambitious future won’t come easy. To do so, I believe it is vital that we change how we are organized, that we simplify, and that we act boldly and with urgency. The pandemic’s economic pressures and acceleration of direct-to-consumer streaming adoption places an even higher premium on these points.”

As part of the WarnerMedia reorg, Andy Forssell has been promoted to lead a new HBO Max operating unit. Warner Bros. Chair and CEO Ann Sarnoff will head a new studios and networks group that will streamline production for Warner Bros., HBO, HBO Max, TNT, TBS and TruTV, and HBO Programming President Casey Bloys will add original content responsibilities for HBO Max, TNT, TBS and TruTV. Kilar also said the company will be “reducing the size of our teams, our layers, and our overall workforce,” a move that includes three major players – departing the company will be WarnerMedia Entertainment and direct-to-consumer Chairman Bob Greenblatt, content chief and TBS, TNT and TruTV President Kevin Reilly, and Keith Cocozza, EVP of corporate marketing and communications.

Twitter has reportedly had preliminary talks with TikTok about a deal, according to the Wall Street Journal. The news comes after President Trump signed an executive order prohibiting TikTok from operating in the US after September 15 if US operations in the companies are not sold. The order says data from video app TikTok “threatens to allow the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”

TikTok, owned by Chinese company ByteDance, reportedly plans to sue the Trump administration, claiming Trump’s action is unconstitutional because it failed to give the company a chance to respond. “We are shocked by the recent Executive Order, which was issued without any due process,” said TikTok. “The text of the decision makes it plain that there has been a reliance on unnamed ‘reports’ with no citations, fears that the app ‘may be’ used for misinformation campaigns with no substantiation of such fears, and concerns about the collection of data that is industry standard for thousands of mobile apps around the world.” Microsoft had already been in discussions with ByteDance about a deal for its operations in the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand and is considered the front-runner.

Trump’s Executive Order poses a risk to US digital advertising, said GroupM’s Global President, Business Intelligence, Brian Wieser. “Facebook likely sees billions of dollars in ad revenue from Chinese companies within the United States, while for Snap and Twitter the figure is likely a significant share of their revenue as well,” said Wieser in his Global Marketing Monitor. “Many Chinese-based game developers beyond Tencent are likely to significant advertisers across the U.S. digital advertising industry as well. Restrictions on their operations would have a negative impact on U.S. digital advertising.”

MTV canceled plans to hold the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, opting instead for outdoor performances across the city. “In close consultation with state and local health officials?, it became clear at this time that outdoor performances with limited or no audience would be more feasible and safer than an indoor event,” said MTV. “The VMAs will highlight the boroughs in an exciting show and return to Barclays Center in 2021.” The event’s date remains August 30.

In addition to an investigation into specific allegations of inappropriate behavior by NBC Entertainment Chairman Paul Telegdy, who exited as party of a company overhaul, NBCUniversal will undergo “a broader culture assessment,” Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, told employees on Friday. The assessment will be facilitated by NBCU’s corporate Fair Employment team, “and will give me the chance to learn more about your experiences,” said Lazarus. “I want to hear from you, and I encourage all of you to participate. Once it’s complete, you have my commitment to develop and communicate an action plan based on your feedback.”

AMC Networks filed a complaint with the FCC accusing AT&T of “discriminatory and anticompetitive use of the disproportionate bargaining power that it now has as a result of the AT&T-Time Warner Merger to unlawfully disadvantage a programming competitor.” AMCN claims AT&T insisted on discriminatory terms to renew its affiliation agreement, terms that it did not impose on its own networks. AT&T responded, “We treat all programmers fairly and will continue to work with AMC Networks to provide its content at a price that is reasonable to our customers.”

Did you know that brand favorability lift doubles when combining linear TV + OTT, vs. OTT only? This data from the VAB plus more is included in our Media Buying For Today’s Market report we compiled with New York Interconnect. If you haven’t read it yet, go check it out!

To help broaden and diversify the pool of available talent for nonfiction production positions, NPACT, the trade association for non-fiction production companies, is teaming with Staff Me Up, the platform for production jobs, and BIPOC advancement and mentorship organization Hue You Know. Staff Me Up will share job listings with diversity advocacy organizations, Hue You Know will assist companies in creating diversity-friendly work environments, and NPACT will measure success by collecting data pertinent to diversity hiring.

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

HBO Max has greenlit a new docu-series celebrating iconic movie moments. One Perfect Shot, executive produced and narrated by Ava DuVernay and inspired by a Twitter account of the same name, is produced by Warner Horizon Unscripted Television with DuVernay’s production company, ARRAY Filmworks.

AMC renewed anthology series Soulmates for season two, ahead of the show’s season one premiere on Sunday, October 5 at 10p. “We were immediately drawn to the unique premise of Soulmates as it explores love and relationships from several touchpoints in a way that naturally feeds the zeitgeist, prompting conversations around human connection, relationships and happiness,” said Dan McDermott, President of Original Programming for AMC Networks’ Entertainment Group and Co-President of AMC Studios. “These are stories and themes that resonate and feel almost timely given today’s climate in which so many of us feel disconnected or are coping with shifting relationship dynamics.”

AMC also announced the cast for its upcoming animated drama series Pantheon. Onboard are Daniel Dae Kim (Lost, Hawaii Five-O), Katie Chang (The Bling Ring), Paul Dano (Escape at Dannemora), Rosemarie DeWitt (Little Fires Everywhere,), Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight), Taylor Schilling (Orange Is The New Black), Ron Livingston (Loudermilk), Chris Diamantopoulos (Silicon Valley), Raza Jaffrey (Homeland) and Scoot McNairy (Narcos: Mexico, Argo).

AMC Networks is taking a bigger bite out of true crime, signing talent deals with Mona Chalabi (The Fix, Vagina Dispatches), Naomi Ekperigin (Broad City, Couples Therapy), Cameron Esposito (Queery, Take My Wife) and Jena Friedman (The Daily Show, Soft Focus) to develop original true crime series for its linear networks and streaming services. “AMC Networks has a rich history of elevating the true crime format, presenting critically acclaimed programming made by award-winning storytellers – most notably with SundanceTV’s The Preppy Murder: Death in Central Park, Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle and The Staircase, among others,” said Dan McDermott. “Mona, Naomi, Cameron and Jena each bring a unique perspective to the true crime conversation while delivering thought-provoking cultural observations and we are thrilled to collaborate with them as we continue to build upon our recent, critically acclaimed successes in this space.”

Elle Fanning (How to Talk to Girls at Parties) will star in Hulu’s straight-to-series drama The Girl From Plainville, produced by UCP and based on the true story of a young woman whose texts and calls to her boyfriend led to her standing trial for homicide after he committed suicide.

Keke Palmer (True Jackson) has joined the cast of Disney+ animated series The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder. It was announced last week that Palmer will host MTV’s aforementioned VMA Awards later this month.

Showrunner Gillian Flynn is planning an adaptation of Amazon’s Utopia that dials down the brutality of the UK original. “I’m the person who loves that moment in Rosemary’s Baby where we’re only seeing part of the conversation, whereas the whole audience is trying to look around the corner to see what’s happening,” said Flynn during a TCA virtual session. “I want to use violence when it’s effective and appropriate.”

That Big TV [Virtual Experience] speakers & agenda have been released. Hear from Mastercard, Discovery, GroupM, PlutoTV, and more. A limited amount of complimentary tickets available – register today to grab yours!

TECH TALK

Facebook is allowing employees to continue to voluntarily work from home until July 2021, “based on guidance from health and government experts, as well as decisions drawn from our internal discussions.” Employees will get an additional $1000 to spend on “home office needs.” Last month, Google said employees can work from home until the end of June 2021.

Twitter is introducing new labels for accounts and tweets tied to state-affiliated media and government officials, “to provide people with context so they can make informed decisions about what they see.” Personal accounts of heads of state will not be labeled “at this time,” said a Twitter blog post, because “these accounts enjoy widespread name recognition, media attention, and public awareness. Institutional accounts associated with their offices that changeover depending on election results will be labeled, however.”

STREAMING

Netflix has rolled out support for the Hindi language in India, allowing subscribers to choose it from the “Manage Profiles” section on the welcome screen. “Delivering a great Netflix experience is as important to us as creating great content. We believe the new user interface will make Netflix even more accessible and better suit members who prefer Hindi,” said Monika Shergill, VP-Content at Netflix India. Amazon Prime and Disney+ Hotstar also support the Hindi language, spoken by about half a billion people in the country.

Cinedigm is partnering with Fantawild, a Chinese theme park operator and producer of children’s animation, for the launch of a new global streaming service. The Fantawild channel is set to debut in the second half of 2020 and will be available worldwide for linear and AVOD platforms on connected TVs, digital set-top boxes, media-streaming devices, as well as the web. In addition, Cinedigm will distribute select Fantawild programming in North America across the broader OTT landscape to its network of of distribution partners in the streaming space.

Trust us, you want to get to know these women. These innovators and risk-takers (view here) are putting their own stamp on the “new normal” world of digital media. Join us from 2p-3p daily (Oct 13 – 16) as we applaud the Top Women in Media honorees during the virtual awards event. It’s free to register – click here to secure your seat.

Sanctuary Studios announced today the availability of its health and wellness VOD app for VIZIO’s SmartCast televisions. The app is accessible through VIZIO SmartCast TVs and is powered by Matchpoint Blueprint, a service provided by Cinedigm.

NBA Champ Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets is the newest investor and executive of PlayersTV, the network dedicated to sports lifestyle and culture entertainment. PlayersTV also announced that Super Bowl Champion Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs, the Brooklyn Nets’ Deandre Jordan, the Sacramento Kings’ De’aaron Fox, and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Will Allen round out the newest investors and partners in the collective of more than 25 professional athletes devoted to innovative programming. “PlayersTV sets a solid foundation for future entrepreneurs in sports and entertainment to build content, generate wealth, and own their intellectual property,” said Chief Visionary Officer Kyrie Irving.

COMING UP

October will be a big month for AMC. Among premiere dates the network announced at this year’s virtual summer press tour were Gangs of London, which will drop on AMC+ starting Thursday, October 1 and debut on AMC early next year; and season two of Eli Roth’s History of Horror on AMC Saturday, October 10 at 10p.

Premiering on Hulu: Anthology drama Monsterland, based on a collection of stories from Nathan Ballingrud, on Friday, October 2; Eater’s Guide to the World, hosted by Maya Rudolph, on Wednesday, November 11; drama No Man’s Land, set in the Syrian civil war, on Wednesday, November 18; and an Animaniacs revival from Amblin Television and Warner Bros. Animation on Friday, November 20.

Nat Geo expanded its Sharkfest from three to five weeks, with the final two weeks airing now on Nat Geo WILD. “At the time we planned this summer annual stunt, we had no idea about the impending pandemic, but the increased five weeks are really giving all those at home some beautiful footage and visual escapism,” Janet Han Vissering, SVP, Program Development and Production at National Geographic, tells Cynopsis. Find out about the technology that’s making underwater filming more entertaining than ever, in Cynsiders.

The 35th Annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards premieres on BET and BET Her on Sunday, August 23 at 6p. The virtual production will be followed by the season finale of Sunday’s Best at 8p. The award show will also run in national broadcast syndication August 25-September 30.

Landscape designer Jamie Durie (The Outdoor Room With Jamie Durie) helps clients transform their neglected spaces in HGTV’s Backyard Takeover, premiering Friday, August 21 at 10p.

Breaking down barriers and enlivening our industry
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RATINGS

Discovery’s coverage of Space Launch Live: Splashdown was #1 in its timeslot across all of television among P25-54 in Live+3 Nielsens. Coverage of Sunday’s live Splashdown event reached over 4.4 million total viewers across the Discovery and Science simulcast.

The Tuesday, July 28 episode of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing: Los Angeles was the show’s highest-rated episode in 2.5 years among all key demos, delivering 1.52 million total viewers. Last Wednesday, Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen was the highest-rated Wednesday episode in almost 3 years among total viewers, garnering 1.06 million total viewers.

For the week of July 27, HGTV claimed the #2 spot for Total Day among W25-54 and was the #1 non-news network among HHs, P2+ and P18+ in Live+3. In Prime, HGTV was the #2 non-news network among HHs, P2+ and P18+.

Food has moved up 5 slots in Total Day cable rankings 3Q-to date, to #4 among P25-54 and P18-49.

OWN drama Greenleaf delivered its most-watched episode since 2018 (2.1 million total viewers) and was the week’s #1 telecast on all of TV among African-American W25-54 and W18-49. It was also the week’s #2 scripted telecast on all of TV among all W25-54, trailing only Yellowstone.

Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Thursday, August 6
Show, P2+ 0000s, (A18-49)
ABC: Holey Moley 2.95 (0.5), Don’t 2.45 (0.5), To Tell the Truth 2.96 (0.6)
CBS: Young Sheldon 400 (0.4), The Unicorn 2.85 (0.3), Mom 3.01 (0.3), Mom 2.88 (0.3), Bull 2.46 (0.3)
CW: Killer Camp 0.47 (0.1), Penn & Teller: Fool Us 0.47(0.1)
FOX: Fox Thursday Baseball 1.88 (0.4), Fox Thursday Baseball 1.57 (0.4)
NBC: Ellen’s Game of Games 2.49 (04), Law & Order: SVU 1.88 (0.3), Law & Order: SVU 2.12 (0.3)
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos 1.07 (0.3), Cennet 1.21 (0.3), Enemigo Intimo 0.76 (0.3)
Univision: La Rosa de Guadelupe 1.30 (0.4), Medicos Linea de Vida 1.40 (0.4), Como Tu No Hay 1.57 (0.5)
Source: Nielsen live + same day time period averages

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM NEW YORK INTERCONNECT
 

This Day in History
1833 – Chicago incorporated as a village, with about 200 people.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Which 1970s series focused on a crime-solving attorney and her con man father? The Feather and Father Gang (1976-77). Kudos to: Joe Leydon-Cowboys & Indians Magazine/Houston, Dave Sikula-San Francisco State University/San Francisco, Paul Gluck-Temple University/Philadelphia, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA, David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank, Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA, Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, FL, Phyllis McQuillan-MSG Networks/NYC

Today’s Trivia Question
In addition to diverse casts, what do legal drama The Good Fight, sitcom Good Times (1974-79), soap opera Generations (1989-91) and reality show Real World: Skeletons (2014-15) have in common? (Email trivia@cynopsis.com with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four per time zone.)

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Check out more jobs in Cynopsis Classifieds »
Job of the day
DIRECTOR, CONTENT
Magnolia
New York, Knoxville, Austin

CD w/a strong eye to oversee dev of original programming for Magnolia partnering with Chip & Joanna Gaines. Build new talent and concepts across varying platforms. 7+ yrs network/production exp req’d. Full info HERE (8/24)

Reporter

>>
Newsmax Media/Washington D.C.: Seeking proven on-air reporter, in possession of an already-developed contact list, including many “who’s who” leaders in Congress, and related government agencies. Min 3 yrs exp with outstanding writing/production skills. Full info HERE (8/21)

SENIOR LINE PRODUCER

>>
Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production and execution of live political news programming, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs experience line producing. Full info HERE (8/19)

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PRIMETIME >>

Newsmax Media/NYC: Responsible for designing and building prime time show, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (8/19)

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER >>
Newsmax Media/NYC: Responsible for designing and building shows, managing show hosts and production team, identifying and integrating guests, overseeing and executing the production of key video & graphic elements. 3+ yrs EP exp or political news & talk programming. Full info HERE (8/19)

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER >>
Newsmax Media/NYC: Write for fast paced news and opinion show. You are an exceptional storyteller with a command of political news and cultural trends. At least 3 years of national or large market local news experience. Full info HERE (8/19)

PRODUCER >>
Newsmax Media/NYC:
Responsible for the production of live news & talk show, and recorded video segments for television, and digital platforms. 3+ yrs in TV news and/or talk production. Full info HERE (8/19)

DIRECTOR, BRAND PARTNERSHIPS >>
Omnia Media/LA or NY: Seeking individual to sell a portfolio of social and digital ad products, including custom branded content, video spons, programmatic inv and influencer mktg. With a strong grasp of video games/gaming culture, and dig platforms. 4 yrs exp in video content/dig media. Full info HERE (8/15)

VIDEO EDITOR, MARKETING >>
VICE Media/Brooklyn, NY: Seeking experienced editor for cutting trailers, TV campaigns, digital spots/campaigns, special content and in-house reels. Must have 5 yrs exp, be able to thrive in a fast-paced environment as well as prioritize on-going assignments. Full info HERE (8/15)

SENIOR MANAGER, GROWTH MARKETING >>
Kanopy/Remote, USA:
Seeking multi-disciplinary background candidate with mrktg, business strategy, and data analytics exp. Plus a passion and knowledge of the entire film ecosystem. Min 5 yrs dir-to-consumer mktg exp at a subscription-based/video streaming co with a proven record of executing growth mktg strategies. Full info HERE (8/15)

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS >>
The Hive/Knoxville, TN: Seeking highly qualified individual to oversee the orderly day-to-day function of production operations, with a particular emphasis on post prod operations for TN & NY offices and TN facilities management. Reports directly to the Pres and VP of Production. Full info HERE (8/15)

DIR, BRAND MARKETING & STRATEGY PLANNING >>
Nickelodeon/NYC: Seeking a group brand leader responsible for the development of mktg strategies in support of Nickelodeon and any of its related content and sub-brands. Min 7yrs exp in consumer strategy, digital, marketing or media. Full info HERE (8/14)

ASSOCIATE PRODUCE >>
Sesame Workshop/NYC:
Oversee the production of 2 consecutive 30-minute animated specials and 20×5-minute animated segments. 5+yrs in Series Animation Production at a Production Co. or Studio preferred. Full info HERE (8/13)

LINE PRODUCER >>
CNBC/Englewood Cliffs NJ:
Responsible for managing line production for 1 hour of a live show. 5+ exp segment producing and/or booking in a live television environment with demonstrated written communication and research skills, Full info HERE (8/13)

MONDAY AUGUST 10
ABC: The Bachelor: The Greatest Seasons – Ever!
CBS: The Neighborhood, Bob Hearts Abishola, All Rise, Bull
CW: Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Penn & Teller: Fool Us
FOX: 9-1-1, 9-1-1: Lone Star
NBC: The Titan Games [f], American Ninja Warrior
PBS: Antiques Roadshow, Antiques Roadshow, POV
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, Cennet, Enemigo Intimo
Univision: Te Doy la Vida, Amor Eterno, Como Tu No Hay

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