09/12/22: “The Handmaid’s Tale” renewed for sixth and final season

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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Monday September 12, 2022

Today’s Premieres
Epix: War of the Worlds
Food Network: Halloween Baking Championship at 9p
HGTV: Love It or List It at 9p
NBC: NBC News Daily at 1p
Netflix: Ada Twist, Scientist
PBS: Independent Lens at 10p
TLC: 90 Day: The Single Life at 8p

Today’s Finale
Fox: Don’t Forget the Lyrics! at 8p

IN THE NEWS

Hulu renewed “The Handmaid’s Tale” for a sixth and final season, ahead of its season five premiere on September 14. “Five years ago, almost to the day, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ made history when it became the first show to win an Emmy for a streaming service,” said Craig Erwich, President, ABC Entertainment, Hulu & Disney Branded Television Streaming Originals. “In the time since, it has been a privilege and pleasure to work with some of the finest creative talent in our industry on this show.” Not that the dystopian drama is over – Bruce Miller (creator, showrunner and executive producer) is developing “The Testaments,” a follow-up to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which picks up years later.

On the flip side, Hulu canceled “Maggie” after one season. The comedy – originally picked up by ABC then moved to the streaming service – followed a psychic, played by Rebecca Rittenhouse, navigating the dating world.

Also axed after one season is Prime Video’s “Paper Girls.” The sci-fi series followed four girls on a time-traveling adventure to save the world.

While only 12% of football fans described themselves as being happy about the sports’ move to streaming-only games, 53% plan to watch games on streaming platforms anyway, according to data from DISQO. Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X fans were more likely to watch football via streaming services than Boomers and the Silent generation. When it comes to ads, most fans said they find at least some of the commercials they see enjoyable, with only 17% saying they don’t like commercials during games at all.

It is 43% more expensive to acquire a new AVOD subscriber than regain a lapsed subscriber, according to a study from VIZIO Ads that looks into the effectiveness of promoting AVOD services on the smart TV home screen. Other findings include:
· It is 82% more expensive to acquire a new subscriber than retain an existing subscriber.
· The higher up and bigger the promotion appears on the Home Screen, the more traffic it drives to the AVOD service. However, the incremental traffic smaller-sized promotions located elsewhere on the Screen attracts do so at a cost-per-acquisition on par with the larger ads (making them highly cost-effective).
· The size of the promotional budget was directly correlated to the increase in results, without increasing the cost-per-acquisition.

The Paramount+ revival of “Criminal Minds” has a name: “Criminal Minds: Evolution.” Like the 2005-20 original on CBS, the procedural from ABC Signature and CBS Studios will follow an elite FBI team of criminal profilers, with Joe Mantegna, A.J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, Adam Rodriguez and Paget Brewster reprising their roles. Zach Gilford (“Friday Nights”) will guest star.

Here’s a novel way for Angelenos to pay less at the pump. NBC is holding Quantum Leap Day on Thursday, September 15, ahead of the series premiere of its “Quantum Leap” reboot. The stunt will transport Los Angeles consumers back to 1985, the backdrop for the pilot episode of the series premiere, with a drive-through experience followed by the opportunity to get gas for .91 cents a gallon – the average price of gasoline in 1985, while supplies last. The show is also teaming with Fandango to offer moviegoers nationwide the chance to purchase a movie ticket online for the 1985-style price of $3.55 while supplies last.

Call for judges! With an impressive list of candidates competing for the 2022 Model D + IT List Awards, we’re enlisting experts in the Cynopsis community to help determine the best of the best. The Model D awards honors online video content and advertising, while the IT List celebrates those 35 and younger in the digital media industry. Judges should have experience in the business, a passion for excellence, and be available to review applications by September 30. If interested, please email Carley Ashley at cashley@accessintel.com and include a brief 2-3 sentence description regarding your qualifications for judging.

2022 Model D + It List Awards

Join the elite!

It’s not too late to enter for Model D + It List Awards, which brings together and celebrates individuals and companies driving the industry in online video content, advertising, ad tech, and more. The deadline has been extended to Friday, September 16th, so enter now while you still can!

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Filming on Netflix drama “The Crown” was suspended for a day “as a mark of respect” for the death of Queen Elizabeth. Filming will also be suspended on the day of Her Majesty’s funeral. Among other adjustments, ITV and Indigo Television rescheduled the UK’s National Television Awards from September 15 to October 13, and Premier League EFL soccer were canceled over the weekend.

Josh Groban will play the Beast in ABC’s “Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration,” opposite H.E.R.; Broadway star Joshua Henry will play Gaston; and Rita Moreno will serve as narrator. The special will be a blend of live-action and animation.

More casting notes: Christian Slater (“Mr. Robot”) has been enlisted for Disney+ series “Willow,” based on the 1988 film…. Will Forte will lead the voice cast of Disney+ Pixar series “Win or Lose”….Stephen Fry (“The Dropout”) has joined the season three cast of Apple TV+ drama “The Morning Show.” He’ll play a ruthless UBA board member….Eman Esfandi (“Red 11”) will voice Ezra Bridger in Disney+ “Star Wars” series “Ahsoka.”

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

One year since the death of patriarch, Billy Brown, the Wolfpack must figure out how to keep their father’s dream and legacy alive in the new season of “Alaskan Bush People” premiering Sunday, October 2 at 8p on Discovery Channel.

Chef Andrew Zimmern will host and executive produce “Andrew Zimmern’s Wild Game Kitchen,” a new series premiering on Outdoor Channel on Monday, September 19 at 9p. “My goal for this show is to encourage cooks to stretch beyond cooking foods that typically define outdoor grilling and embrace dishes that are just as easy, but far more satisfying to make,” says Zimmern.

The premiere date for season two of Disney+’s “Star Wars: The Bad Batch” has been moved to January 4. The animated series was originally set to launch September 28.

“Big Shot,” starring John Stamos (“Full House”), kicks off on Disney + on October 12. The comedy/drama created by David E. Kelley, Dean Lorey and Brad Garrett centers on a fired NCAA basketball coach who takes a job at a high school.

Soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” on NBC since 1965, moves to streamer Peacock today, September 12. That’s good news for fans upset when the soap’s final episode on NBC was cut short for East Coast viewers by coverage of King Charles’ speech – they’ll presumably no longer have to deal with network preemptions. “NBC News Daily” takes the soap’s place on the broadcast lineup.

COMING UP

Disney+ will livestream the Elton John Live: Farewell From Dodger Stadium concert on November 20, announced Disney Branded Television president Ayo Davis at Disney’s D23 Expo. The event will be part of Disney+ documentary package “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: The Final Elton John Performances And the Years That Made His Legend.”

Also announced at the D23 event were three upcoming holiday specials, and a premiere date for “The Santat Clauses” on Disney+. Specials include competition “Best in Snow, hosted by Tituss Burgess (“The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”); “Pentatonix: Around the World for the Holidays,” featuring the a capella group; and Rev Run’s “Hip Hop Nutcracker. Tim Allen reprises his role as Kris Kringle in “The Santa Clauses” starting November 16. Marvel Studios Halloween special “Werewolf by Night” debuts October 7 on Disney+.

The top 11 finalists from NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” perform in the show’s two-night finale, starting Tuesday, September 13 at 8p. The winner, announced the following night, takes home a $1 million grand prize.

Stand-up special “Yvonne Orji: A Whole Me” debuts Saturday, October 1 at 10p on HBO. In her second HBO stand-up special, Orji uses therapy as a thruline to discuss her evolving thoughts on friendship, dating, adulting, and why guys need better friends.

“Minions The Rise of Gru” starts streaming on Peacock on September 23. The fifth film in the “Despicable Me” franchise stars Steve Carell.

SPORTS

Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group announced a range of brand sponsors for the launch of Historically Black Colleges and Universities sports for HBCU GO and theGrio Television Network’s upcoming season. Advertisers include Procter & Gamble, Honda, AT&T, Stellantis, Walmart, Toyota, Bank of America, Verizon, Lexus, Meta, Allstate, Boost Mobile, Lowes, Kia, SC Johnson, UnitedHealthcare, Safelite, Macy’s, Taco Bell, T.J. Maxx, Dairy Queen, Capital One, Geico, Pizza Hut, Mastercard, Target and more.

With the Bills dominating the Rams on NFL Kickoff on Thursday, NBC Sports saw audiences decline from last year’s game pitting Tom Brady and the Bucs against the Cowboys. The company reports that this year’s matchup averaged “21-plus” million viewers across the various platforms, despite the score as well as news about Queen Elizabeth’s death, based on preliminary data, down 19% from the 2021 matchup. However, that still marks the fourth consecutive year that opening game would have topped 21+ million.

Meanwhile, with the WNBA Finals underway, ESPN announced that this year’s playoffs have ranked as the most-watched in 20 years, averaging 439,000 viewers through 19 games, while the semifinals averaged 488,000, tops since 2010.

Multiple reports state that Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Greece will announce a joint bid to host the 2030 World Cup, which would likely mark a second winter World Cup for fans. Saudi Arabia would serve as the leading entity in the group, contributing to the infrastructure costs of its partner nations and would be the first time a World Cup has been held across three different continents (Asia, Africa and Europe).

Major League Baseball passed a set of rules changes in a move to speed up and overhaul the game, voting Friday to implement a pitch clock and ban defensive shifts in 2023. The league’s competition committee approved a pitch clock of 15 seconds with empty bases and 20 seconds with runners on, while a defensive alignment that must include two fielders on each side of the second-base bag with both feet on the dirt as well as rules limiting pickoff moves while expanding the size of bases. Player representatives voted no on the shift and pitch-clock portions of changes.

DraftKings is tapping DJ Steve Aoki to serve as a brand ambassador of its DraftKings Marketplace. Aoki will promote DraftKings’ Web3 content with a focus on the operator’s daily fantasy NFT mix, Reignmakers.

Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. announced that Andrew Lustgarten, MSG Sports’ President and Chief Executive Officer, will step down from his position at the end of the calendar year. He willjoin MSG Sports’ Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2023. David Hopkinson, who joined MSG Sports in 2020 as Executive Vice President MSG Sports, President of Team Business Operations, has been named President and Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately.

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RATINGS

Thirty-three million people watched UK news channels on September 8, amid speculation over the health of Queen Elizabeth, whose death was confirmed at 6:30p. Approximately 85% of all TV viewers were tuned in immediately after the announcement.

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Three promotions at Scripps Networks: Larry Morris has been named vice president of the newly created Scripps Networks Marketing Creative Studio; Sherry Pitkofsky has been elevated to vice president, brand strategy and marketing; and Eric Svenson has been promoted to vice president, audience development. All three report to Keisha Taylor Starr, Chief Marketing Officer, Scripps Networks.

OpenDrives announced new hires: Sergio Soto (formerly Quantum) as director of Latin America sales and solution engineering; Rodney Williams (formerly DreamWorks Studios) as technical account manager; Vernon Leung (formerly Velasea) as director of product integrations and partnerships; Christopher Burgau (formerly Kyndryl) as regional territory manager; Jacqueline Gerhardt (formerly Unisys) as senior product manager; Colin Auxier (formerly SCCS, Inc.) as senior professional services engineer and Christopher Imes (formerly BeyondTrust) as senior systems engineer.

This Day in History
1953 – Jacqueline Bouvier married John F. Kennedy in Newport, RI.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
What was the second-longest drama broadcast by The WB? “Charmed” (1998-2006). “Seventh Heaven” was first. Kudos to: Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC; Louis Lewow-FITE/Atlanta; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank; Lorrie Shilling/El Segundo, CA

Today’s Trivia Question
Which short-lived TV drama was written by Academy Award winners John Ridley and Sofia Coppola? (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 answers per time zone.)

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COX MEDIA GROUP
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Operates a market strategy that achieves EBITDA, revenue, expense, & ratings budgets. Leads the execution of a growth-driven sales strategy. Oversees all station departments including sales, content, promotions, engineering, production, and community affairs. 8+ yrs of progressive radio or related media management exp. and/or general management. Full info HERE (9/23)

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MONDAY SEPTEMBER 12
ABC: NFL Football
CBS: The Neighborhood, Bob Hearts Abishola, NCIS, NCIS: Hawai’i
CW: Mysteries Decoded, Penn & Teller: Fool Us
FOX: Don’t Forget the Lyrics! [f], Beat Shazam
NBC: 74th Emmy Awards
PBS: Antiques Roadhouse, Antiques Roadshow, Independent Lens [p]
Telemundo: Top Chef VIP, El Fuego del Destino, Infiel: Historia de un engaño
Univision: La Herencia, Los Ricos Tambien Lloran

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