PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
A+E Studios inked a two-year first look development and production deal with production company The Cut. Under the pact, A+E Studios and The Cut, co-founded by producers William Green and Aaron Ginsburg, will develop and produce scripted projects together for the A+E portfolio of networks, as well as for broadcast, premium cable, streamers and other outside buyers.
The NYC suburb of Yonkers, NY will be home to a new $100 million TV and film production facility, from Lionsgate and Great Point Capital Management. Construction on the complex starts in November, with plans to open by fall 2020. “We look forward to being the center of film and television production growth in the region,” said Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer.
Wife Swap was renewed for 20 episodes on Paramount Network. Season one of the social experiment was up +77% among P18-49 (0.35 rating) and up +96% among W18-49 (0.44) versus the same time the prior year.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
National Geographic’s Life Below Zero, following the extreme lifestyles of Alaskans living off the grid, returns for a new season Tuesday, September 24 at 9p.
Season two of Amazon’s Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan arrives Friday, November 1. John Krasinski will be back as the CIA officer.
A Wedding and a Murder is revived on Oxygen for a new season premiering Monday, September 9 at 9p. Series moves to the 8p timeslot the following week.
Comedy Central’s The Jim Jefferies Show returns Tuesday, September 17 at 10:30p, continuing season three with visits to Hong Kong, Australia, Japan and South Africa.
A cutting-edge scientific technique called environmental DNA is used to unravel the mystery of the Loch Ness monster in two-hour special, Loch Ness Monster: New Evidence, premiering in the U.S. on Travel Channel on Sunday, September 15 at 8p and in the UK on Discovery Channel on Sunday, September 15 at 7p.
The NHL struck a deal with Yandex to stream hockey games in Russia. Broadcasts will also include an interactive element. “We are delighted to work with the NHL to offer viewers in Russia a more accessible and innovative way to watch games for free,” said Leonid Savkov, Chief Commercial Officer of Yandex. “We are also excited to provide new opportunities for advertisers to reach millions of hockey fans viewing the games.”
Studio71 acquired over 50 streaming apps from Unreel Entertainment. Categories include auto, lifestyle, comedy, gaming, kids and family, in both long-form and short-form. “With this acquisition, Studio71 is definitively expanding distribution of social video platforms like YouTube and becoming a leader in OTT with an expansive network of meaningful brands,” said Studio71 VP of Global Distribution Nick Jacklin.
WarnerMedia is considering pricing its upcoming HBO Max at $14.99/month – the same as an HBO subscription, reports NBC News’ Dylan Byers. Earlier reports suggested a price that could hit $18.
FOX Nation is now available to Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers on Xfinity On Demand and to Internet-only customers on Xfinity Flex nationwide. The on demand subscription-based service targets superfans of Fox News Channel.
Kantar is partnering with Pulse Labs to get a better handle on consumer usage of voice assistants. The initiative aims to improve conversational AI functionality, such as enhancing the utility of voice skills and apps, while making it possible for brands to see where they should play on the new platforms.
Google rolled out the open-source version of the differential privacy library that helps power some of its core products, announced the company in a blog post. “To make the library easy for developers to use, we’re focusing on features that can be particularly difficult to execute from scratch, like automatically calculating bounds on user contributions. It is now freely available to any organization or developer that wants to use it,” posted Miguel Guevara, Product Manager, Privacy and Data Protection Office. Differentially-private data analysis enables organizations to learn from the majority of their data while ensuring that results do not allow any individual’s data to be distinguished or re-identified.
A new setting in Google’s Gmail app makes it easier for IOS users to stop email tracking, “by disabling an email sender’s ability to precisely locate a recipient via an IP address,” reports The Verge. The setting prevents Gmail from automatically loading attached images and email trackers within messages.
Amazon announced a lineup of more than 15 new Fire TV Edition products, including the first Fire TV Edition smart TV with built-in far-field voice control, the first OLED Fire TV Edition smart TV, and the first Fire TV Edition soundbar. “Customers have told us how much they use and love Fire TV Edition smart TVs in the United States and Canada,” said Marc Whitten, Vice President of Amazon Fire TV. “We can’t wait for customers to experience these new devices with the Fire TV experience built-in.” And not just customers in the U.S. – the company also announced collaborations with Dixons Carphone, MediaMarktSaturn, and Grundig to bring the next generation of Fire TV Edition smart TVs to customers in the United Kingdom, Germany, and Austria.
Oracle is adding advanced video capabilities across all of its Oracle Cloud products. A partnership with cloud video provider Kaltura will give Oracle’s customers access to a suite of native video tools (like interactive video creation and editing, cross-platform video playback and video analytics) without having to leave the platform. As part of the partnership, Kaltura’s video APIs will become available within the Oracle Content and Experience Cloud Platform.
Comcast and LG Electronics USA announced the launch of the Xfinity Stream beta app for 2019, 2018, and 2017 LG Smart TVs. Xfinity Stream gives customers the ability to access the live, on demand, and cloud DVR programming included with their Xfinity TV subscription on LG 4K Ultra HD Smart TVs and HD Smart TVs, without a traditional set-top box.
Altice USA unveiled Altice Mobile, a new nationwide mobile service that includes unlimited data, text, and talk nationwide, as well as unlimited mobile hotspot, video streaming, and international text and talk. For Altice’s Optimum and Suddenlink customers, price for the service is $20 per line per month. “By building a mobile network that will ultimately support 5G combined with our state-of-the-art fiber broadband capable of more than 10 Gigabit speeds, Altice USA is creating a formidable and powerful network to deliver superior connectivity and simplified customer experiences,” said Dexter Goei, Altice USA CEO.
Xandr, AT&T’s advanced advertising and analytics company, has launched Xandr Monetize, a strategic selling platform built on the foundation of AppNexus technology. Xandr Monetize gives publishers and media owners the control to navigate the consumer journey and client relationships, and aims to offer content owners improved monetization, through better inventory management capabilities, data-driven yield optimization, and differentiated buyer demand. “With the size, scale, and resources of AT&T, we are uniquely positioned to offer the scaled, streamlined selling platform the industry needs,” said Ryan Christensen, SVP of Product, Xandr.
Programmatic video platform Tremor Video has expanded its demand-side platform’s AI and machine-learning technology. “No two campaigns are alike, and each deserves its own neural network to act on its behalf in real-time, consistently ensuring the best price per performance, and providing advertisers with the most effective platform in the market,” said Tal Mor, CTO at Tremor Video. “Our team of engineers and data scientists have worked vigorously to create a self-learning system that personalizes campaign buying behavior in order to pinpoint the most suitable audience out of billions of potential impressions.”
Amazon has expanded availability for its Amazon Attribution tool, which allows brands to track whether clicking on Facebook and Google ads led to an Amazon purchase. “Sales attribution and return on investment (ROI) measurement no longer have to come in the form of a post-campaign report. Amazon Attribution enables on-demand access to conversion reporting,” said the company in a blog post. “Brands can sign in to the console and pull reporting at their convenience or schedule reporting at their preferred cadence. The sooner marketers can access attribution metrics for live campaigns, the faster they’re able to optimize those campaigns to help maximize ROI and limit wasteful impressions.”
Diversity and inclusion in advertising matter to Hispanics – and can affect the bottom line – according to recent CivicScience study done in partnership with Univision. Sixty percent of Hispanic adults agree that diversity matters in advertisements, and they are three times more likely than non-Hispanic adults to strongly agree that advertisements featuring “people like me” capture their attention. They are also “more likely to purchase a product from brands that feature people like me in their advertisements.”
Tablets are the best-performing device when it comes to back-to-school campaigns, according to new data from people-based marketing platform LiveIntent. The study found that tablets had a 50% higher CTR compared to PCs and phones, and that afternoons are best, with the most clicks and conversions occurring between 12pm and 6pm. As for days of the week, Fridays and Sundays are the best days for clicks and conversions while mid-week and mid-weekend are the worst days.
Fanta has partnered with Snap to pair its traditional out-of-home with Snap’s AR technology to offer discoverable and interactive advertising in the soda brand’s new “It’s a Thing” platform. It’s one of the first times that Snapchat users are able to take artistic elements directly from the physical world and leverage those design elements within their own user generated Snaps.
Wendie Malick (American Housewife), Alex Hirsch (Gravity Falls) and Sarah-Nicole Robles (Boss Baby) will star in upcoming Disney Channel animated series, The Owl House… Theodore Barnes (The Prince of Peoria), Vince Swann (50 Central) and newcomer Briyana Guadalupe have been cast as series regulars in Hulu’s The Ms. Pat Show, reports Deadline…Ken Kirby (Good Trouble) will recur on season three of CW’s Dynasty reboot…Chelsea Rendon (Vida) also landed a recurring role, on season ten of Showtime’s Shameless…Goran Visnjic and Claudia Doumit will reunite with Timeless creator Eric Kripke for season two of his Amazon superhero series, The Boys, reports TheWrap.
UK’s World Media Rights will turn to two LAPD Cold Case Unit veterans for docu-series Catching the Cold Killers, currently in pre-production.
Endemol Shine Group talent format All Together Now has been signed up for a second season by RTL 4 in the Netherlands, with a special followed by seven new episodes. The first season of the supersized singing competition launched in May.
Channel 5 has commissioned its first spin-off series of Australian drama Neighbours, for its VOD service My5. Produced by Fremantle, Neighbours: Erinsborough High is set to debut on My5 across one week in November.
Facebook Watch is rolling out news shows produced in partnership with publishers in France, Germany and Sweden. “The internet has fundamentally changed how news publishers reach their audiences. We want to make sure Facebook is a good partner to the news industry, which is why we’re supporting the sector through investment and hands-on work with publishers,” said Jesper Doub, Director, News Partnerships, EMEA. “This is just the start for us in Europe, and we’re excited to see the breadth of content these new partnerships will bring to Watch.”
Netflix ordered a diverse slate of Korean original series including action drama The School Nurse Filesmand sci-fi romance My Holo Love, among others. “Asian content has found fans around the world transcending languages and borders, and we are humbled to work with some of the finest creators and talent here in Korea and all over the region,” said Rob Roy, Vice President, Content at Netflix APAC.