PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
AMC Networks is developing two horror-themed projects under its “script-to-series” model, with writers’ rooms’ for “Seconds,” a reimagining of the 1966 film starring Rock Hudson, with a female lead, and “The Devil In Silver,” potentially the first season of an anthology series that will feature people caught up in horrific stories. “As we continue to establish AMC+ as the home of premium marquee content for adults, these projects are both right in the sweet spot of that brand and value proposition – great stories with unforgettable characters that break through and say something about our broader world,” said Dan McDermott, President of Entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks.
Limited series “Under the Bridge,” based on the book about the true story of a 14-year-old girl who went missing at a party and the teens accused of her murder, landed an order from Hulu. The ABC Signature project will be executive produced by Samir Mehta and Liz Tigelaar, who will also serve as showrunners.
Disney Branded Television has ordered Disney Original Movie “The Slumber Party,” based on teen novel The Sleepover by Jen Malone, from Imagine Kids+Family. Brian Grazer and Ron Howard serve as executive producers of the movie, along with Stephanie Sperber and Jennilee Cummings for Imagine Kids+Family and production partner Jax Media’s Jake Fuller, Tony Hernandez and John Hodges. “The Slumber Party” is directed by Veronica Rodriguez (“Let’s Get Married”) and Eydie Faye (“Fuller House”) is the writer.
Jesse Collins will serve as showrunner and executive producer for the Golden Globe Awards, airing Tuesday, January 10 at 8p on NBC. Jesse Collins Entertainment President Dionne Harmon will also EP. Collins and Harmon are Emmy winners for the 2022 Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Matt Lappin has been upped from senior supervising producer to co-executive producer of CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
Jen Lilley (“Days of Our Lives,” “Royally Wrapped for Christmas”) and Jesse Hutch (“Batwoman,” “Dream Wedding”) are set to star in Great American Family original movie “Stay for Christmas.” The film is part of Great American Christmas, the network’s holiday programming franchise which returns on October 21.
Casting notes: Jennifer Ehle (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) will play an Irish nun in Paramount+ series “1923.”…K.C. Collins (“Lost Girl”) has joined season two of Fox’s “The Cleaning Lady” in a recurring role.
FMC (Family Movie Classics) has launched in select Comcast/Xfinity markets, adding over 5 million subscribers to the family-friendly network. “This launch with Comcast is an important step forward for FMC,” said Drew Sumrall, President and CEO of FETV and FMC. “The future is very bright for this network.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Season seven of HLN’s “Vengeance” franchise kicks off Sunday, October 9 at 9p and 10p, with “Vengeance: Killer Coworkers.” First up: the story of a young accountant whose death leads police to “a world of drugs and drag.”
Italian series “Supersex” will start streaming on Netflix in 2023. Inspired by the story of European porn star Rocco Siffredi, the seven-parter will explore a man’s path to a career in pornography.
The tenth and final season of British series “Doc Martin” starts streaming Monday, October 17 on Acorn TV. Special “Doc Martin – A Celebration” premieres on December 26, with the series finale, a Christmas special, set to premiere December 31.
Also headed for a tenth season is VH1 reality show “Black Ink Crew New York.” This go-round, the group “faces a reckoning they never saw coming.”
Actor, comedian, producer and real estate investor Mike Epps (“Next Friday”) is on a mission to revitalize his childhood street in the newly greenlighted HGTV series “Buying Back the Block” (wt). Epps and his wife, television producer and design enthusiast Kyra Epps, will oversee project in the three-episode series, slated to air in summer 2023.
“YOLO: Silver Destiny” debuts Sunday, January 15 at midnight on Adult Swim. The follow-up to “YOLO: Crystal Fantasy” sees the return of Australian party girls, Sarah (Sarah Bishop) and Rachel (Todor Manojlovic), who are still looking for fun times, new experiences, positive vibes, and hot guys in the bizarre town of Wollongong.
“Spector,” a four-part docuseries about music producer Phil Spector and what happened on the night in 2003 when actress Lana Clarkson was shot dead in his mansion, will be released on demand and on streaming platforms for Showtime subscribers on Friday, November 4, ahead of its linear premiere on Sunday, November 6 at 9p.
Family sports comedy “Fantasy Football” will exclusively premiere on Paramount+ on Friday, November 25. Starring and produced by Marsai Martin (“Little”), the film also stars Omari Hardwick (“Army of the Dead,” “Pieces of Her”), Kelly Rowland (“American Soul”) and Rome Flynn (“How to Get Away with Murder”).
Prime Video and ONE Championship are set to present their second primetime event, “ONE on Prime Video 2: Xiong vs. Lee III,” on Friday, September 30, featuring three World Championship fights in three different martial arts disciplines. The event, broadcast live from Singapore, kicks off at 8p.
Shudder has acquired the rights to “Satan’s Slaves: Communion,” sequel to the Shudder Original “Satan’s Slaves,” following a family living in a rundown apartment after escaping terror from their mother. The film, which was the first Indonesian film shot with IMAX technology, will be available on Shudder on Friday, November 4.
Advanced advertising company OpenAP has struck deals for its identity graph, OpenID, with programmatic supply side platforms FreeWheel, Magnite and Xandr’s Monetize SSP. The agreement enables advertisers to see unified campaign cross-platform results, including deduplicated reach and cross-platform frequency of their media buys, across the sell-side platforms. “The growth of cross-screen viewing will only continue to accelerate, and agency buying teams need to be able to view the performance of a campaign in totality – regardless of how they bought or where the video was consumed,” said Chris LoRusso, Chief Business Officer of OpenAP. “Our sellside partners have invested heavily in automating buying channels, and by extending the reach of OpenID to programmatic, we’re breaking down the silos that exist between linear and digital and buying teams and are making it easy and simple for an advertiser to maximize their spend across the entire premium video footprint.” GroupM is the first agency that will build deals on OpenID audiences.
Walmart is launching two new immersive experiences in the metaverse platform, Roblox. Called Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play, the spaces offer interactive content and entertainment for customers. Walmart Land will bring fashion, style, beauty and entertainment items to the global Roblox community, while Walmart’s Universe of Play offers a virtual toy destination. ”We’re showing up in a big way – creating community, content, entertainment and games through the launch of Walmart Land and Walmart’s Universe of Play,” said William White, CMO, Walmart US. “Roblox is one of the fastest growing and largest platforms in the metaverse, and we know our customers are spending loads of time there. So, we’re focusing on creating new and innovative experiences that excite them.”
Three percent of all traffic purporting to be from Roku devices is spoofed, according to a new study from Pixalate. Other findings from “Mobile-to-CTV Spoofing include”:
* Of that apparently-spoofed Roku traffic, 30% originates from mobile devices.
* Over 90% of apparent mobile-to-Roku spoofed traffic comes from iOS devices.
* iOS to Roku spoofing almost doubled month over month from July to August from 22% to 40%.
Video API and infrastructure platform Zype and TripleLift announced an integration that allows joint customers using Zype’s Playout 2.0 to leverage TripleLift’s In-Show solutions to provide unique, non-disruptive, integrated ad experiences within the CTV environment. Ad placements allow content owners to reduce the number of ad breaks without decreasing revenue per stream, while also ensuring a brand-safe environment for advertisers alongside contextually relevant content.
Although the growth of smart TVs as a proportion of all homes is slowing down as the device reaches mainstream adoption, smart TVs as a proportion of all TV continues to grow, according to data from Hub Intel. Three in four TV homes report having a smart TV, and 57% of all TV sets are smart TVs – which Hub says is setting up a battle among the major platforms. Among smart TV owner who are using their sets to stream, Samsung’s Tizen is the leading OS/platform (56%), followed by sets with Roku’s OS/platform built in. “The competition between smart TV/connected TV (CTV) platforms will be fought over the ‘4 D’s of CTV’: Discovery, Decision, Delivery, and Data,” notes David C. Tice, Hub Senior Consultant. “Who will best address the needs of the consumer, the content provider, and marketers? It will be a real battle royale.”
Hyper-local OOH ad company PMD Media has rebranded as WNDW. “We are re-branding to WNDW to acknowledge that storefront advertising offers a higher degree of engagement and authenticity than most any other form of advertising,” said Dean Stallone, Founder and CEO, WNDW. “Much like storefront windows themselves, these street-level ads are an expression of the small business owner, who plays a critical role in defining the character of a neighborhood.”
Over the last year, Spotify surpassed Apple as the top podcast listening platform. YouTube and Apple tie for second, according to the Cumulus Media | Westwood One Audio Active Group blog. Other insights include:
· Podcast listeners spend six hours a day with audio, +43% more time than the average American.
· The median age of the podcast audience holds at 34 despite massive audience growth. The podcast audience is twelve years younger than the median age of AM/FM radio listeners and 26 years younger than linear television where audiences have a median age of 60.
· The majority of listening (67%) still occurs at home.
· Podcasts have opportunities for growth in markets 51+ where they are underrepresented. Nielsen Scarborough’s Podcast Recontact Study finds podcast listeners are overrepresented in the top ten markets (+18%) and underrepresented in DMAs 51+ (-23%).
Allen Media Group’s Local Now is partnering with Hearst Television’s Very Local digital service, expanding Local Now’s footprint with 27 premium news channels. The 27 FAST channels are a part of Hearst Television’s locally-focused digital brand, serving 26 US media markets spanning 39 states.
Weekend ratings saw FOX Sports’ America’s Game of the Week drum up 26.4 million viewers on Sunday, a 14% rise over year-ago numbers and marking FOX’s most-watch telecast since the NFC Championship Game in January. The NFL Regional Window, meanwhile, averaged 13.8 million viewers, up 7%.
Around the dial, the NFL on CBS is reporting its best September viewership in seven years, averaging more than 18 million viewers during the period. The network’s coverage of the Week 3 singleheader averaged 14.679 million viewers.
NBC Sports’ Sunday Night Football saw Sunday’s 49ers/Broncos average 18.9 million to rank as TV’s top primetime show for the third time in three weeks. Sunday Night Football is averaging 1.4 million live streaming viewers across Peacock, NBC Sports and NFL Digital Properties.
On the college front, ABC/ESPN landed three of the top five games in week four of the season. Viewership was led by Wisconsin and Ohio State, which averaged 4.6 million viewers. The Arkansas and Texas A&M battle delivered an average of 3.5 million viewers, as did the contest between Notre Dame and North Carolina.
CBS Sports scored its most watched Florida/Tennessee game in 13 years, with this year’s contest averaging 5.571 million viewers, up 34% over last year’s comparable window.
ESPN Sunday Night Baseball on September 25, led by the Yankees topping the Red Sox, delivered its second-largest audience of the season, according to Nielsen. The game across the ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts averaged 2,203,000 viewers prior to the rain delay, peaking with 2,770,000 viewers in the 7:45-8p quarter hour during Aaron Judge’s at bat.
NBC Sports rolled out coverage plans for the 2023 NTT Indycar Series, which will see the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28. The slate also features 13 races on the NBC broadcast network and the streaming of every race on Peacock, including one exclusive presentation for the second consecutive year. NBC will air seven consecutive races to open the season, beginning with the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, on March 5, and concluding that run with the first-ever Streets of Detroit on June 4.
DAZN acquired Eleven Sports and Team Whistle, in a move that will expand DAZN’s capabilities in the live sports streaming sector. The transaction, when completed, will propel DAZN to become the broadcaster of top football leagues in Portugal and Belgium. The acquisition of Team Whistle will enable DAZN to reach younger audiences, diversify and expand its fan engagement capabilities.
The NBA announced the launch of the reimagined global NBA App, offering new personalization features, the NBA App will feature social-style vertical video, behind-the-scenes access to players and teams, new and existing shows and series, and access to the NBA vault for free. Additionally, the NBA has launched NBA ID, the league’s new global membership program offering fans benefits and rewards from the league, teams and its partners.
Raycom Sport, a wholly owned division of Gray Television, has purchased the Jim Moskovitz Sports Archives of unedited and previously broadcast interviews on US and Canadian radio and television. The archives include broadcast TV, cable and radio programming.
GoQuest Media has finalized a deal with Telemundo for the spy thriller “Civil Servant,” the first Serbian series to air on TV in Puerto Rico. Season Three is currently on air on Serbia’s Superstar TV.
Toyota Motor Asia Pacific has extended its partnership with dentsu Singapore and ONE Esports to present the “Toyota Gazoo Racing GT Cup Asia 2022.” The third edition of the competition, scheduled to take place on October 9, will span across seven markets in Asia and feature enhanced race formats before the Global Finals of the TGR GT Cup in November.
DCD Rights has sold “Vanishing Act,” a crime drama based on the bizarre disappearance of Australian high-roller Melissa Caddick, to Hulu – US, in addition to ITVX and ITV – UK, RTE – Ireland, C-More – Scandinavia and Warner Bros Discovery – New Zealand.
WildBrain has signed new sales including “Da Vinci“(US) for seasons one and two; Vudu (US), RTP (Portugal), and Wiz (Hop! Media Group) (Israel) for season one; and PCCW – Now TV (Hong Kong), and Knowledge Kids and TVOkids (Canada) for season two.
Beach House Pictures has partnered with Raghav Khanna, former head of Netflix’s documentary productions in Asia-Pacific, to launch Riverland Entertainment in Mumbai. The newly formed production company will partner with local Indian talent to create content for global and Indian audiences.
Media Ranch announced historical reenactment format, “The Story of…”, from Media Ranch’s DR Collection, is currently in production in Belgium for VRT; Critical Content optioned the format for the US. Other territories the format has been optioned are France, Poland, Spain, and Italy. Media Ranch also announced it acquired its first Catalonian format, “Up in the Air,” from Boxcom.