PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Lifetime is diving deeper into true crime content with orders for two new movies, “Desperate Hours” (wt) and “A Rose For Her Grave” (wt). The films are inspired by books by true crime author Ann Rule.
Jessica Lowndes (“Harmony From the Heart”), Paul Greene (“When Calls the Heart”), and Grammy Award winner Gladys Knight are set to star in Great American Family movie “Someday at Christmas,” premiering on the network this November. The film, which reunites Knight with former Motown chief and writer-producer, Suzanne de Passe (“Lonesome Dove”), begins production today, September 9 and will be part of Great American Christmas, the network’s holiday programming franchise which returns on October 21.
A docu-series inspired by Kristin Chenoweth’s Broadway Bootcamp, a program aimed at giving talented kids in her Oklahoma hometown a taste of Broadway, is in the works from Chenoweth, Kenny Ortega (“Julie and the Phantoms”) and producers Alan Powell, Steve Barnett and Vicky Patel of Monarch Media. Ortega will direct “1300 Miles to Broadway.”
Justine Juel Gillmer has inked an overall deal with Sony Pictures Television calling for her to develop and produce series. Gillmer was executive story editor on AMC’s “Into the Badlands,” a supervising producer on The CW’s “The 100” and a co-EP on season one of Paramount+’s “Halo.”
On Friday, September 30, aspiring content creators and journalists from Texas will gather in Houston for a day dedicated to increasing Spanish-language representation in the entertainment and journalism industries. Launched by TelevisaUnivision and the National Hispanic Foundation, the program, PitchTX, aims to cultivate relationships with Spanish-speaking Texans who are pursuing careers as filmmakers, producers, directors, journalists, podcasters, documentarians, and writers.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
The third and final season of “Star Trek: Picard” launches Thursday, February 16 on Paramount+. New episodes of the 10-part final season will be available to stream weekly on Thursdays.
The “Dancing with the Stars” season 31 lineup of celebrity contestants includes Joseph Baena, Selma Blair, Wayne Brady, Sam Champion, Jessie James Decker, Trevor Donovan, Daniel Durant, Teresa Giudice, Vinny Guadagnino, Cheryl Ladd, Jason Lewis, Shangela, Jordin Sparks and Gabby Windey, who join previously announced Charli D’Amelio and Heidi D’Amelio. The live show begins Monday, September 19, at 8p on its new home, Disney+.
HBO Max starts serving up cooking competition “The Big Brunch” starting Thursday, November 10. From Boardwalk Pictures and Dan Levy’s Not A Real Production Company, the eight-episode series will be hosted by “Schitt’s Creek” star Levy.
AXS TV offers a trip memory lane in new pop culture series “The Very VERY Best Of The 80s.” Hosted by Kelly Osbourne, the show makes its debut Tuesday, October 4 at 8:30p.
Season two of MTV’s “Messyness” premieres Thursday, September 15 at 9p. The comedic clips series, hosted by Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (“Jersey Shore”) showcases people living in a mess.
“The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal” kicks off its 10th season this weekend with a Fall 2022 Broadway Season preview. They syndicated series, which began as a quarterly special in 2013 airing only on WPIX in New York, now airs weekly across the US in 118 markets.
OWN Spotlight event “Oprah and Viola The Woman King” premieres Tuesday, September 13 at 9p, with an encore replay immediately following, three days prior to the September 16 wide release of Viola Davis’ film “The Woman King.” During a sit-down with Oprah Winfrey, Davis reveals her grueling transformation into Nanisca, a general of an all-female army in 19th Century Africa.
Laura Poitras’ film “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” is being acquired by HBO Documentary Films. The documentary, nominated for an Oscar, will premiere at the Venice Film Festival.
To mark the 30th anniversary of News NY1, the network will air vignettes covering memorable moments from the show each day this month, including from journalists Cheryl Willis and Lewis Dodley, who have been with NY1 since its launch.
Global rights to documentary feature “Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me” have been snapped up by Apple. The film is directed and produced by Alek Keshishian (“Madonna: Truth or Dare”).
A report from Go Addressable and Advertiser Perceptions found that 67% of advertisers are incorporating addressable advertising in their media campaigns. What does that mean for the industry? “As the study notes, advertisers are using addressable advertising across both streaming and linear platforms more frequently, and are continually seeking new ways to ensure relevant and impactful ads are reaching their desired audiences,” Matt Van Houten, SVP, Product, Operations & Business Development, DIRECTV Advertising, tells Cynopsis. “As an industry, we need to facilitate a seamless approach to deliver addressable ads across distributors and to build upon the momentum we’re seeing today.”
The first global talent ID registry for efficient discoverability, royalty collection and revenue tracking of Performing Arts and Sports launches today in conjunction with the annual International Broadcasting Conference, held in Amsterdam. HAND (Human and Digital) assigns a verifiable ID to talent, automating the process of talent utilization identification – including name, image and likeness – in both real world and virtual productions. The HAND ID can be used to identify legal-entity Humans, licensed Virtual Humans and Fictional Characters in Performing Arts and Sports.
Video advertising platform Unruly announced that it will protect its advertisers with tools provided by NewsGuard, a company that rates news sources for credibility and transparency, to enable brands to advertise on vetted news and information inventory. Unruly will have access to NewsGuard’s trust rating, to evaluate the credibility and transparency practices of each publisher.
Vionlabs, the AI video-audio platform with a content database to offer content characteristics based on mood, announced the launch of the Global Fingerprint Platform, a global database of high-quality audio and video metadata. The Global Fingerprint Platform is powered by the Vionlabs Fingerprint+ Taxonomy, the company’s repository of analyzed and indexed content. With an open API that allows streaming providers to create and tailor their own experiences, Vionlabs’ AI-technology uses machine learning to predict consumer sentiment and mood. By analyzing AI long-format audio and video files without any third-party data, Vionlabs helps streaming services, entertainment companies, telecoms, software companies, and advertising platforms create user experiences that are seamless, nondisruptive, and provide content that aligns with each viewer’s tastes.
NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises released a report titled The Future Is Fútbol in a move to “define and characterize the fundamental shift in the importance of soccer in mainstream American sports and the role Latinos are playing.” The study estimated 5 billion fans around the world and 85 million adult followers in the US Gallup estimates that soccer has seen a significant increase in popularity, with a gain of 52% more fans from 2012 to 2019, compared to 27% growth in basketball and 8% growth in baseball during this period. The Future Is Fútbol further highlights the power of soccer as a multibillion-dollar business with profits of $40 billion in 2019, twice the worldwide revenue for American football.
ESPN teamed with Marshmello for a season-long collaboration, which includes the artist creating a remix of the ‘Heavy Action’ theme song. Additionally, Marshmello will periodically provide the soundtrack to weekly promotional spots for “Monday Night Football” during the season, becoming the fourth music curator for the NFL on ESPN.
The Women’s National Basketball Association and FanDuel announced a multiyear partnership extension, making FanDuel an Official Sportsbook Partner and Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the WNBA. As part of the multiyear agreement, FanDuel becomes an Official Sportsbook Partner and continues to be an Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the WNBA, operating the Official Daily Fantasy Game of the WNBA.
The 2022 NTT IndyCar Series champion will be crowned at the Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in California on Sunday at 3p across NBC, Peacock and Universo. Last Sunday’s Grand Prix of Portland averaged a Total Audience Delivery (TAD) of 1.011 million viewers on NBC and Peacock, up 49% vs. last year’s race on NBC and up 6% vs. NBC’s 2021 race average, excluding the Indianapolis 500.
Twitter is reporting big spikes in sports betting conversation, noting that 7 out of 10 sports bettors are on Twitter for their betting needs, predictions, drama and memes. The company reports that sports bettors rank Twitter as the top place for staying up to speed on sports influencers’ opinions/predictions, injury reports/updates, team stats/records, lineups, Vegas odds, and other sports-related news and 72% of sports bettors check Twitter to follow the status of their live bets once they’ve been made. In addition, sports bettors on Twitter spend 15% more on bets annually, compared to sports bettors on other platforms.
Speaking of betting, ESPN is expanding its sports betting content with a variety of new shows, updated roles, and more content with in-depth analysis and coverage during the upcoming football season. Among the changes is news that Doug Kezirian has been named ESPN Sports Betting Insider. ESPN Sports Betting Analyst Tyler Fulghum is taking over the host role for Daily Wager. ESPN Sports Betting Analyst Erin Dolan will host Bet with Erin Dolan each Monday, a new sports betting show on Snapchat.
Eastern College Athletic Conference Esports, in conjunction with the Collegiate Sports Management Group, announced the ECAC Esports Women’s All-Star Showcase, where top women VALORANT players will be competing in an all-star format of 40 players consisting of 8 teams. The bracket tournament will take place on Saturday with the finals on Sunday. ECAC Esports now approaches 150 colleges and universities coast to coast, with more than 800 participating teams and 4,000 competitors.
Spectrum Networks has launched its Spectrum News connected TV app for Roku and Apple TV streaming devices, complementing the Spectrum News mobile app launched in 2020. The new connected TV app provides Spectrum customers access to Spectrum News’ local news from its 30-plus local TV news networks, as well as original news content created exclusively for the app. The connected TV news app, like the mobile app, is free to anyone for a 30-day trial, after which it will be available to all authenticated Spectrum customers at no additional charge.
HSN has debuted on YouTube TV, joining QVC as one of only two retailers currently on YouTube TV. The launch continues strategic expansion of 45-year-old HSN’s vCommerce experiences through partnerships and collaborations with new media and digital platforms.
Verizon and Apple will debut exclusive previews of entertainment coming to Apple TV+, Apple Music, and Apple Arcade during “First Look,” streaming on Verizon YouTube beginning today, September 9 at 8a. Hosted by Manon Brouillette, CEO of Verizon Consumer Group, Diego Scotti, CMO, Verizon; and Peter Stern, Apple’s VP of Services, previews include Apple TV+ content, a first listen from Apple Music, a first look at an Apple Arcade game, and more.
Allen Media Group and Quickplay have struck an agreement that paves the way for Allen Media Group’s DTC products to use Quickplay’s cloud-native OTT platform. “Allen Media Group’s direct-to-consumer strategy is to create exceptional product experiences powered by world class content for users worldwide,” said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group. “Global audiences, along with our streaming platforms and partners, demand excellent product and content experiences. Partnering with Quickplay’s platform powered by Google Cloud will accelerate our mission of achieving the highest level of product excellence.”
Claire Danes (“Homeland”) has joined the cast of HBO Max’s “Full Circle.” The upcoming limited series is being directed by Stephen Soderbergh and Ed Solomun and will feature six episodes.
Lee Jung-jai (“Squid Game”) is onboard Disney+’s “The Acolyte.” The project is being headed by Leslye Headland, who will write, direct and produce.
Anna Konkle (“PEN15”) is slated to star in Freevee pilot “Western.” The period comedy will be produced by Sony Pictures, Amazon Freevee and Lord Miller.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (“Lost”), Mustafa Shakir (“Luke Cage”) will star and Terry Pheto (“Tsotsi”) and Lerato Mvelase (“Justice Served)” will guest star in Showtime’s upcoming “Shaka,” centered around one man’s personal journey from stigmatized childhood to legendary king.
Cindy Williams (“Laverne and Shirley”) and Kerry O’Malley “(Snowpiercer”) are set t star in “Sami,” a 10-episode short form comedy series headed to Prime Video in March 2023. Newcomer Sami Staitman plays Sami, an aspiring Broadway actress/singer. “Sami” will be produced by Kritzerland Productions.
Maxi Iglesias (“Dueños del Paraíso”) and Ximena Romo (“María Félix: la Doña” will play the leads with Francesc Garrido (“Waiting for May”) in ViX+’s upcoming drama “Los Artistas” (wt).
Additions to the cast of Paramount+’s “Yellowstone” spinoff “1923 include James Badge (“24”), Darren Mann (“Animal Kingdom”), and Marly Shelton (“Never Been Kissed”).
Z2 Comics’ “Death for Hire” will feature a lineup of hip-hop artists including Ice-T, Snoop Dogg, Tracy Morgan, Busta Rhymes and Mike Epps. The animated series project is centered on street life and growing up in the inner city.
Rainmaker Content is set to distribute the 74th Emmy Awards. Among the 155+ territories to have acquired the show are Cosmote TV (Greece), Lionsgate (India, Philippines and Malaysia), AMC Networks International (Central Europe), Turner (Latin America and German-speaking Europe), Sky UK, Sky Italia, U-NEXT Co., Ltd (Japan), Extension TV – Series Club (French speaking Europe), DBS (Israel), Telefonica (Spain), M-Net (Africa), OSN (Middle East), TV2 (Denmark), Telenet (Belgium), OUTTV (Netherlands), HRT (Croatia), Catchplay (Singapore and Indonesia) and SIC (Portugal).
Yale Entertainment’s “The Last Girl” landed a worldwide deal from Saban Films. The project starring Antonio Banderas, Alice Eve and Shelley Henning recently finished production in Ireland. The film is slated to release in early 2023.