PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
ABC gave a pilot production commitment to a reboot of the ‘60s comedy Bewitched, featuring an interracial blended family. The new take, from Kenya Barris—who recently departed ABC Studios for Netflix—and Black-ish writer/co-producer Yamara Taylor, features Samantha as a hardworking black single mom (and witch) who marries Darren, a white mortal slacker dude. Project hails from ABC Studios.
In more ABC news, the net gave a 13-ep straight-to-series order to new Poppy Montgomery-starring crime drama Reef Break. Series, produced by ABC Studios and ABC Studios International in partnership with M6, will be exec-produced by Montgomery with Ken Sanzel as showrunner.
Showtime put in development hour-long drama Kill Creek, based on Scott Thomas’ like-named award-winning novel. Underground co-creator Misha Green and Doctor Strange helmer Scott Derrickson will exec-produce the series, produced by Showtime and Platform One Media… Additionally, the network announced Kari Skogland (The Handmaid’s Tale) will direct the first two eps of Showtime’s eight-episode limited series about Fox News founder Roger Ailes.
Apple gave a 10-ep straight-to-series order to the TV series based on Foundation, the Isaac Asimov scifi trilogy for which Apple snagged a development deal three months ago. Series is from Skydance Television, David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman.
Writer Amanda Green signed an exclusive multiyear overall deal with Warner Bros. TV, through which she’ll work as a co-exec producer on upcoming NBC/WBTV drama series Manifest, among other projects.
HBO Documentary Films snapped up worldwide TV and streaming rights to Participant Media and Emerson Collective’s myth-busting foster care documentary feature Foster. The Sabine Films project, from Deborah Oppenheimer and Mark Jonathan Harris (HBO’s Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport), will debut on HBO in 2019.
The Jackal Group optioned rights to upcoming Ricardo Nuila book The Poor Unfortunates and plans to develop the medical procedural inspired by the patients and doctors at Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, for TV.
Cinedigm’s first original scripted series is based on the life of Emily “Mickey” Hahn, the feminist and adventurer who helped introduce Shanghai and greater China to US readers in the ‘30s through her New Yorker articles. It’s the first major project Cinedigm has greenlit since it was recapitalized by Hong Kong investment firm Bison Capital Holdings in 2017.
E! greenlit a 10-episode second season of Very Cavallari, starring celeb entrepreneur Kristin Cavallari. Season 2 will debut in 2019.
Production is under way on season 2 of Lifetime’s beauty competition series American Beauty Star, which will feature a new trio of judges: Supermodel, Christie Brinkley, Hearst Magazine’s chief beauty director Leah Wyar and celebrity fashion and beauty photographer Yu Tsai. Debuting in 2019, the new season will include an exclusive partnership with Hearst Magazines.
IFC picked up the upcoming fourth season of all-female sketch series Baroness von Sketch Show, which will air on the network in 2019. Season 3 is set to debut Thursday, November 8 at 9p.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
BBC America will debut Mission Galapagos this Saturday, August 25, featuring Irish science, wildlife and natural history presenter Liz Bonnin and a team aboard the research vessel the Alucia on an expedition across the Galapagos Islands.
British drama Save Me, starring Fear The Walking Dead top-liner Lennie James, is headed to Starz beginning September 6. The network acquired the show, which was commissioned by Sky and sold by Sky Vision, which follows a father searching South London for his missing daughter, whom he hasn’t seen in more than a decade.
TNT dropped a trailer for the fifth and final season of The Last Ship, debuting Sunday, September 9 at 9p.
Smithsonian Channel series Air Disasters returns for an 11th season Sunday, September 30 at 8p with more intel about what went wrong in fatal crashes—including a 747 that explodes above NY and an Indonesian airliner that crashes in the jungle—with a new season to uncover the truth behind what went wrong and how to prevent these kinds of fatal crashes.
Amazon teased a trailer to season 3 of its drama series The Man in the High Castle, debuting October 5. The new season carries the tagline “Fight For The World You Want”; the trailer is set to Lxandra’s cover of U2’s “In the Name Of Love,” marking the first time the hit has been covered commercially.
AMC released a series of nine images from the upcoming ninth season of The Walking Dead, premiering Sunday, October 7 at 9p.
AXS TV is showing “A Whole Lotta Love” for rock pioneers Led Zeppelin this September, when the net will present a roster of classic concerts, interviews and documentaries every Tuesday at 10p.
Film The Eugenics Crusade, which premieres on PBS’ American Experience on Tuesday, October 16 at 9p, tells the story of the unlikely and largely unknown project to breed a better American race using the scientific theory of heredity into a powerful instrument of social control. Project is written and directed by Michelle Ferrari, produced by Ferrari, Rafael de la Uz and Connie Honeycutt, and exec-produced by Mark Samels,
Google terminated dozens of YouTube channels and other accounts the platform says are spreading misinformation on behalf of the Iran’s state-owned broadcaster. The move follows an announcement earlier this week from Facebook that it had disabled 652 pages and accounts that had been flagged for “inauthentic behavior,” and Twitter’s suspension of 284 accounts for “engaging in coordinated manipulation” which also appeared to have originated from Iran.
The Garry Shandling estate, along with his friends Bruce Grayson and Suli McCullough, launched a new website site: GarryShandling.com, providing access to some of the late actor’s letters and writings. Shandling’s Twitter feed was reactivated in March to reveal some of the comedian’s thoughts from his personal journals—the basis of Judd Apatow’s recent HBO doc.
Kobe Bryant’s Granity Studios, in partnership with Cadence13, will debut its first scripted family-friendly podcast series, The Punies, on August 25 on Apple’s Podcast app, Google Play, Spotify and other streaming platforms. The youth sports-focused podcast will air every Saturday morning for a 10-week run.
Ennis Esmer, who’s recurred as billionaire and dark web mastermind Rich Dotcom on NBC’s Blindspot for the past three seasons, is in as a series regular for the upcoming fourth season… Melanie Liburd, who guest-starred as Zoe in the season 2 finale of NBC’s This Is Us, will return as a series regular for season 2… Ajay Friese is staying in space. Friese, who recurred on season 1 of Netflix’s Lost in Space, will be a series regular for season 2…
Chill: Timothy V. Murphy (Sons of Anarchy), Happy Anderson (Bright) and Jonathan Lloyd Walker (Van Helsing) scored recurring roles in TNT’s upcoming Snowpiercer… Andrew Scott (Sherlock) is joining the season 2 cast of BBC and Amazon comedy Fleabag… Josh Hopkins (Quantico) heads back to ABC as a midseason series regular on dramedy Whiskey Cavalier… American Horror Story alums Connie Britton and Dylan McDermott will head back to the FX series for its next iteration, Apocalypse… Matt Borlenghi scored a recurring role in TV pilot Eye For an Eye from Relentless Films.
Finn and Jake are taking one last trip through the Land of Ooo on Monday, September 3 at 6p, as Cartoon Network brings to a close its long-running series Adventure Time with the finale, titled “Come Along With Me.”
ADVERTISING & PARTNERSHIPS
Nielsen and Meredith Corp. reached a multiyear renewal agreement for Nielsen TV ratings across all Meredith Local Media Group TV stations and markets. Pact includes audience measurement and analytical services including local buying behavior data from Nielsen Scarborough and Nielsen Rhiza, a sales tool that enables Meredith to offer clients granular insights about its customers, media consumption, and the competitive landscape.
Cross-channel advertising measurement and accountability firm C3 Metric is launching an online professional certification program designed to help agencies and marketers become proficient in the administration and application of attribution techniques.
Viacom’s Channel 5 agreed to a terms of trade deal with PACT (Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television), which represents indie producers in the UK. It’s the first deal in eight years for the British broadcaster, and establishes a rights framework for producers once they secure a commission… In related news, Channel 5 commissioned four-part psychological thriller Cold Call, marking the first original drama order for the broadcaster in four years. Project is from Chalkboard TV.