PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
CBS gave a pilot production commitment to The United States of Al, from Big Bang Theory co-creator Chuck Lorre, Big Bang exec producers David Goetsch and Maria Ferrari, religious studies scholar Reza Aslan and Warner Bros. Television, reports Deadline. Comedy focuses on the friendship between a Marine combat veteran and the Afghan interpreter who served with his unit.
Wheelhouse Entertainment made a majority investment in live-event, scripted and non-scripted prodco Den of Thieves. The companies aim to bolster and broaden their collective programming slate, as well as pursue a range of content and media deals with talent across entertainment, sports and culture.
Endeavor Content is jumping into unscripted TV with the acquisition of Glassman Media (The Wall), reports Deadline. Glassman will continue to operate on its own, with President Andrew Glassman in place.
Filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron (Roma) struck a multi-year overall deal with Apple. Through his Esperanto Filmoj, Cuaro will develop TV projects for Apple TV+.
BRON Studios and Headline Pictures have acquired the English language remake rights to France’s Dix Pour Cent (Call My Agent!), set in a talent agency. BRON Studios and Headline will coproduce, with John Morton (Twenty Twelve) onboard to write, direct and executive produce the remake.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
WE tv’s Marriage Boot Camp has its season premiere tonight – and also its 100th episode. What does it mean to hit that milestone? “Of course, a lot’s changed for our industry in recent years, in terms of the general landscape and viewing habits of consumers, so to produce a show that continues to deliver through this shift – evolving and adapting with it – is immensely gratifying,” Adam Reed, Thinkfactory CEO, tells Cynopsis. “I couldn’t be more proud of our production team, who have shepherded the series through 100 episodes, encompassing a range of seasons and spinoffs, as well as the couples and families that come on the show and are always our North Star when it comes to the creative direction.”
Bravo’s Blind Date reboot launches Monday, November 18 at 11:30p – with the format tweaked to reflect social media trends. The original debuted in 1999 and ran for ten seasons in syndication.
In more Bravo news, the net’s Project Runway is back on Thursday, December 5 at 9:30p. Competition begins at the TWA Hotel at JFK airport, where designers are tasked with creating an innovative look inspired by humanity’s continued push into space exploration; fans will get a chance to own a piece of the designer creations when they vote on the outfits they like best.
Travel Channel’s new series Lost Secrets circles the globe using state-of-the-art scientific testing to unlock the mystery of recently discovered objects. Six-parter launches Sunday, November 10 at 11p.
New animated adventure series The Rocketeer gets a double premiere Friday, November 8, on Disney Channel at 11a and Disney Junior at 5p.
Season three of Discovery spin-off Gold Rush: White Water debuts Friday, November 8 at 10p. This time around, the father and son team of Fred and Dustin Hart split up, to double their chances of striking it rich.
Mood Swings debuts on streaming service Pure Flix on Thursday, October 24. Comedy centers on four generations of women forced to live under one roof.
Showtime’s Desus & Mero returns from summer hiatus on Monday, October 14. Episodes of the late night talker air Mondays and Thursdays at 11p.
Actress/comedian/writer Wanda Sykes (Curb Your Enthusiasm) will host the 28th Annual Bounce Trumpet Awards, airing on Bounce Sunday, February 23 at 9p. Event celebrates African-American achievements.
Oprah Winfrey sits down with actresses Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) and Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), who discuss their fast rise to fame and how their leading roles have shaped them personally and professionally, in OWN Spotlight: Oprah At Home with Lupita Nyong’o and Cynthia Erivo. Special premieres Saturday, October 26 at 8p.
Fox News Channel will air Town Hall America with Harris Faulkner: Police Emergency on Sunday, October 27 at 8p. Moderated by Outnumbered Overtime anchor Faulkner, the town hall will focus on the growing dangers law enforcement officials are facing across the country.
Animal advocate and pet rescue hero Kristin Chenoweth was honored with Hallmark Channel’s 2019 Adoption Ever After Award at the 2019 American Humane Hero Dog Awards on Saturday night in Beverly Hills. Awards ceremony premieres as part of Hallmark Channel’s Adoption Ever After initiative on Monday, October 21 at 8p.
Amber Riley (Glee) will emcee ABC’s The Little Mermaid Live!, airing Tuesday, November 5 at 8p.
NBC’s Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Grand Ole Opry airs Tuesday, November 26 at 9p. Special kicks off the net’s “Oh What Fun” holiday slate. Also part of the fun: How to Train Your Dragon Homecoming, an animated special based on the film trilogy, set to premiere Tuesday, December 3 at 8:30p.
TNT gets in the Halloween spirit with a nine-hour marathon of Supernatural, starting at 10a on October 31.
Among the performers and presenters lined up for the 2019 CMT Artists of the Year special, airing Wednesday, October 16 at 8p, are Bobby Bones, Chrissy Metz, Jackie Galecki, Lady Antebellum, Lauren Akins, Lonnie Chavis, Maddie & Tae, Sam Hunt, and Vince Gill.
The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills is offering an exhibit celebrating the fashion from The Goldbergs and Schooled. Exhibit is free and is open to the public from October 16-November 17, and will kick off with a launch event with the cast and creative team of The Goldbergs on October 15.
Computer vision and AI-powered platform company Mirriad inked a two-year exclusive agreement with China’s online video platform Tencent that will allow advertisers to reach targeted audiences by integrating branded content directly into entertainment programming. The innovation allows only the new program segments containing advertising to be delivered to Tencent and integrated at the point Tencent releases content to its digital video platforms.
Apple withdrew an app that helped Hong Kong protesters track police, while Google yanked a mobile game that allowed players to assume the role of a protester. “Letting poisonous software have its way is a betrayal of the Chinese people’s feelings,” said an article in China’s People’s Daily about Apple’s app, HKmap.live “The app displays police locations and we have verified with the Hong Kong Cybersecurity and Technology Crime Bureau that the app has been used to target and ambush police, threaten public safety, and criminals have used it to victimize residents in areas where they know there is no law enforcement,” said Apple in a statement. “This app violates our guidelines and local laws.
Audience intelligence and data-management platform Tru Optik announced plans to power a free privacy compliance solution for CTV and Advanced Media. Privacy.TV will roll out in 4Q19 in beta and become commercially available in 2020, offering OTT consumer opt-out and data transparency capabilities for publishers, adtech platforms, data providers and device manufacturers. “Privacy compliance across CTV is broken,” said Andre Swanston, CEO of Tru Optik. “Most publishers, data providers, adtech platforms and device manufacturers are ill equipped to honor consumers’ growing demand for transparency let alone the ability to opt-out or correct how data is used to target them with advertising across CTV.”
Cox Communications said customers with its lower cost internet product, Connect2Compete, are now getting a boost in speeds of more than 65%, with download speeds of 25 Mbs, and upload speeds increased to 3 Mbs from the previous 1 Mbs. Connect2Compete is available to families with school-aged children who are enrolled in low-income assistance programs. Cox has 500,000 Connect2Compete customers.
Telemundo and upcoming short-form service Quibi are teaming for daily news programs produced in English, targeting LatinX viewers A18-34. One show taps into the audience’s passion for headline news, while the other is a roundup of entertainment news. “Our viewers are young, bilingual, and ambicultural – 50,000 Hispanics in the U.S. are turning 18 every month,” noted Cesar Conde, Chairman NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. “We’re thrilled to be working with…an innovative company that understands and recognizes the power of our audience.”
U.S. consumers will pony up $21.9 billion on subscription streaming video services in 2020, up 24% over 2019, according to a Consumer Technology Association analysis. New SVODs like Disney+, HBO Max and Peacock help account for the jump.
The new version of OpenAP, the advanced audience targeting platform owned by Fox Corporation, NBCUniversal and Viacom, is now open to all advertisers. OpenAP Market is an open marketplace with premium video advertising inventory and audience-based buying across linear and digital TV programming. “Two years ago, OpenAP was founded on the thesis that the only way for advanced advertising to truly scale was for TV networks to come together and collaborate to create new standards that would push our industry forward,” said OpenAP CEO David Levy. “This launch marks a significant milestone that we believe will fundamentally change the way TV advertising is bought and sold.” WarnerMedia pulled out of the consortium due to its acquisition of Xandr home AT&T.
Hulu has told advertisers it is moving to a first-price auction for its programmatic private marketplace, starting next week. “Hulu’s invite-only auction gives advertisers more control over their automated buys, and with this change, advertisers will now pay the actual price they bid,” said Hulu. “By moving to a first-price auction, we’re cutting down on complicated rules, increasing transparency in the value exchange and giving advertisers even more control over their buys.”
Google is rolling out a feature in Display & Video 360 that uses machine learning to help advertisers manage ad frequency in a way that respects user privacy when third-party cookies are missing, with plans to bring the capability to its display offerings in Google Ads. “Using traffic patterns where a third-party cookie is available, and analyzing them at an aggregated level across Google Ad Manager publishers, we can create models to predict traffic patterns when a third-party cookie isn’t present,” said Rahul Srinivasan, Product Manager, Ads Privacy, in a blog post. “This allows us to estimate how likely it is for users to visit different publishers who are serving the same ads through Google Ad Manager. Then, when there is no third-party cookie present, we’re able to optimize how often those ads should be shown to users.”
Wayne Brady (Let’s Make a Deal) will recur on CW’s Black Lightning starting in early 2020… Colin Woodell (The Purge) has been added to the cast of HBO Max drama The Flight Attendant, in a key role opposite Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory)… Freeform announced additions to the cast for drama pilot Close Up: Fivel Stewart (Atypical), Anthony Keyvan (Alex and Katie), Karin Konoval (Planet of the Apes), Yaani King Mondschein (The Resident), Sean Blakemore (Ad Astra), Jennifer Spence (Travelers), Megan Charpentier (It), newcomer Alexander Grant and Van Crosby (Splitting Up Together) join Millicent Simmonds in series regular roles.
CASTING CALL: (National Casting) PROGRAM HOSTS/QVC (West Chester PA) and Home Shopping Network (HSN, St Petersburg FL).
QVC and HSN, the world’s leading global shopping communities and largest multimedia retailers, are in search of Full-time Program Hosts to add to its already existing on-air team. Candidates should have exp in hosting TV, web broadcasts, news, radio or trade shows and live events or as a brand Spokesperson. Host should be passionate about product and sales and must be comfortable conveying information in a live broadcast setting. Headshot, video, resume to: Sean De Simone at: [email protected]
Blumhouse Productions struck a deal with iHeartMedia to produce fictional podcast series for potential TV and film development. The collaboration will focus on the horror genre; first project out of the gate will be supernatural horror series The Mantawauk Caves, arriving in early 2020.
Showtime acquired British factual indie Caravan’s feature length documentary film on UK band New Order, from White Light Distribution. New Order: Decades, produced and directed by Mike Christie (Hansa Studios: By The Wall 1976-90), marks 40 years since the band’s first TV appearance.
Cineflix Rights landed a new documentary from SandStone Global Productions. In Warrior Women with Lupita Nyong’o, the actress travels to West Africa to uncover the truth behind the real women who may have helped to inspire the Dora Milaje in Marvel’s Black Panther.
Shooting for We Children from Bahnhof Zoo, produced by Constantin Television and Amazon Studios, is currently taking place in Prague and Berlin. Series is a contemporary interpretation, recounting the fate of six teenagers who fight for their dream of happiness uncompromisingly.
JAM Media greenlit hybrid series Tiara Jones. Commissioned by CBBC, the series, produced in-house by JAM Media, follows a teenage intergalactic pop superstar as she travels through space.
Endemol Shine Groups’ MasterChef: All Stars, a spin-off of its global format MasterChef, has been signed up for a first season in Brazil and Sweden, with a third run recommissioned in Denmark.
Pernel Media announced that France 5, part of the France Télévisions Group, has commissioned In the Footsteps of Attila the Hun, a science-based television special that delves into the life of the barbarian leader.
Dynamic Television nabbed worldwide distribution rights for Shudder’s new Creepshow series. Horror franchise follows the 1982 horror classic film written by Stephen King and directed by George A. Romero.
UK’s Channel 5 has commissioned a feature documentary from Blink Films, 10 Mistakes That Sank the Titanic, charting the causes of the naval disaster.
Gaumont and Amsterdam-based Submarine have partnered to co-produce an animated series, Pol the Pirate Mouse, based on the children’s book of the same name.
Amazon nabbed international rights to USA Network’s CIA drama Treadstone, premiering in the US on October 15. Series goes global in January.
Banijay Rights confirmed that high-end crime drama Wisting has been acquired by UK’s BBC Four. Drama stars Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) and Richie Campbell (Anuvahood).