PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey) is developing a royal drama with Simon Cowell’s Syco (The X Factor), reports Deadline. Syco’s first scripted drama effort in the UK will based on portraits in the collection of the British royal family.
Fox ordered trampoline obstacle course competition Big Bounce Battle, based on a format created by Endemol Shine Netherlands and co-developed with Endemol Shine Germany for RTL. Endemol Shine North America will produce.
Netflix continues snatching new series from DreamWorks Animated Television. Set to debut in 2019 and 2020: Archibald’s Next Big Thing, inspired by the children’s book; preschool show Gabby’s Dollhouse; and Rhyme Time Town, also aimed at young children.
Ranger, inspired by James Patterson bestseller Texas Ranger, has been put in development at CBS. Project comes from Jason Hall (American Sniper), TJ Brady and Rasheed Newson (Shooter), 101stStreet Entertainment, James Patterson Entertainment and CBS TV Studios.
Smithsonian Channel has four new series in development set for the first half of 2019: America’s Hidden Stories, following researchers digging through historical crime cases; Disasters at Sea, piecing together the causes of naval catastrophes; Apollo’s Moon Shot, exploring the journey from America’s first manned orbit to the last man on the moon; and Inside Mighty Machines, delving inside giants of engineering.
Endor Productions, MR Film and Red Arrow Studios International announced scripted series Vienna Blood, consisting of three feature-length episodes based on the first three books in the Liebermann Papers series.
CBS is developing Siblings, from David Hornsby (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Brian Keith Etheridge (The Ranch) and CBS Television Studios. Comedy focuses on two mismatched sibs who move in together and raise their kids after one gets divorced.
Insight TV commissioned martial arts show The Story of Masters, as part of its ongoing partnership South Korean media conglomerate CJ ENM. Series will follow Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts) as he travels around the world in search of martial arts stories and legends.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Bet the publicists had fun with this one: TLC is “dipping its toe” into a new transformation show, Dr. Foot Fixer, focused on a podiatrist and foot surgeon who treats patients with crippling “and sometimes ooey-gooey” conditions. The series, which follows on the heels of the success of Dr. Pimple Popper, is slated to launch in early 2019.
James Purfoy (Hap and Leonard) is joining Matthew Goode (The Crown) for season two of lifestyle series The Wine Show, returning to Ovation TV on Thursday, November 15 at 10p.
Sinking Cities premieres Wednesday, October 31 at 10p on PBS (check local listings). Four-part docu-seriesexplores how four global cities are coming to grips with the real-time effects of rising seas and extreme weather.
Discovery Channel has a new addition to its Motor Monday lineup. Race Night at Bowman Gray, following the 70thrace season at NASCAR’s longest-running weekly track, launches October 29 at 10p.
Discovery Family’s Renovation Realities doesn’t gloss over construction nightmares. Instead, the series shows the drama in the process – frayed tempers, budget overages and all – starting Monday, November 5 at 7p.
Hypnotist/comedian Chris Jones (you may recall him getting germaphobe Howie Mandel to shake hands with his fellow America’s Got Talent judges) has a new show, Double Take, debuting on Facebook Watch on October 24. Jones conspires with celebrities to hypnotize their superfans, so they don’t recognize their idols even as they interact with them. “There’s no smoke and mirrors,” Jones tells Cynopsis in the new Cynsiders. “Each episode will truly make you laugh and cry.” (Jones will also be on hand for the Cynopsis Model D Awards in NYC on November 9 – for details go here.)
Aracely Arambula, Becky G, Gloria Trevi, Leslie Grace and Roselyn Sanchez are set as hosts for Telemundo’s Latin American Music Awards, airing Thursday, October 25 at 8p. Trophyfest will be preceded by one-hour red carpet pre-show La Alfombra de Latin AMAs at 7p.
Feature doc The Panama Papers, charting the story of the data leak that exposed the largest global corruption scandal in history, premieres Monday, November 26 at 9p on Epix.
Team Coco and TBS are bringing back the comedy pop-up launched last July at San Diego Comic-Con. TeamCocoHouse will open its doors as part of the 15th annual New York Comedy Festival from November 7-November 10, showcasing stand-ups, podcasts, musical acts and magicians hand-picked by Conan O’Brien, as well as appearances by O’Brien and friends.
Call for Submissions: Cynopsis is producing its annual Holiday Programming Guide, which comes out on November 15 and will be sent to all Cynopsis subscribers. If your network has * holiday-themed * programming airing from November 15 through January 1, please send your listing to Lynn@Cynopsis.com and JanetDiLauro@gmail.com no later than Monday, November 6 with the subject line: Holiday Guide. To be included programs must be listed by date, title of program, and the start and end times each program will air on that date. A confirmation email will be sent following each submission (if you don’t receive a confirmation email, please resubmit).
CBS News’ CBSN has expanded its live coverage with CBSN AM, its first live daily programming from 7a-8a. Anne-Marie Green and Vladimir Duthiers are anchors.“CBSN viewers have made it clear to us that they want more live coverage in the morning,” said Christy Tanner, EVP and GM of CBS News Digital. “CBSN AM will give our audience more depth and insight on the day’s biggest stories and feature more international coverage from our global team.”
UK public service broadcaster ITV is launching an SVOD service in 2019, said ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall at MIPCOM. While McCall said while the service will feature British-originated content, “This is about testing and making sure we are listening to viewers and consumers. It has to be differentiated.”
Who was the funniest TV boss ever? Let us know what you think in the Cynopsis poll: www.cynopsis.com/poll/. (In our last poll, we asked if readers were shocked by the season finale of Better Call Saul. 71% said no, 9% said yes, and 21% said they hadn’t seen the episode yet.)
Independent live TV streaming service fubo TV boasts it topped all-time highs in key performance metrics heading into the fourth quarter, including exceeding an annual run rate of $100 million in September 2018 (up +259% year-over-year), as well as surpassing company records for average revenue per user (up +80%), paid subscribers (up +100%) and time spent per subscriber (up +364%).
8K is on the way. Shipments of 8K TVs will top 430,000 in 2019, projects IHS Markit, up from 20,000 this year. By 2020, the number will reach two million. “Growth in the TV market typically is the result of more attractive retail prices for large-screen sizes and the continued commoditization of 4K resolution, driving TV replacements and upgrades,” said Paul Gagnon, research and analysis executive director at IHS Markit. “However, this growth through price compression has a negative effect on profits, so TV brands are actively looking for more growth from advanced TV models to improve earnings.”
VODstreaming network Alecia has entered into an arrangement with Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution for the exclusive U.S. video-on-demand streaming rights to the first three seasons of ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise.
Streaming service Philo TV is fattening up its skinny bundle offerings with the additions of aspireTV, Revolt and UPtv. Subscribers can add 12 more channels to the $16 base package for $4/month.
Sutikki, the kids and family division of Bento Box, inked a deal with digital kids network and studio WildBrain. The agreement calls forWildBrain to manage the Kuroba! YouTube channel globally (excluding China), launching over 70 minutes of animated content to help develop a wider global audience for the franchise timed to the release of “rock-paper-scissors” inspired toys at Walmart this month.
Looks like the smart money’s on Artificial Intelligence. M.I.T. is investing $1 billion to address to “help position the United States to lead the world in preparing for the rapid evolution of computing and AI,” said the school. With a $350 million boost from Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, the new MIT Stephan A. Scwharzman College of Computing is scheduled to open next year. “As computing reshapes our world, MIT intends to help make sure it does so for the good of all,” stated MIT president L. Rafael Reif.
78% of the U.S.’s biggest advertisers handle at least some media buying and planning in-house, according to a new study of its members from the Association of National Advertisers, “The Continued Rise of the In-House Agency.” That number is up from 58% in 2013. ANA members handling at least some of their social media planning rose to 40%, from 28% five years ago.
4K UHD channel Insight TV announced the launch of its brand solutions and media sales department, aimed at providing brands with fully integrated partnerships and the flexibility to pick and choose genres and formats. Among the offerings are long and short-form content, active and passive product integration, global influencer talent access, and on ground activations geared to a millennial audience.
Data Plus Math struck a strategic partnership LiveRamp to enhance analysis of advertising impact on outcomes. Data Plus Math will provide attribution and lift reporting on addressable television advertising campaigns for LiveRamp’s MVPD, programmer and clients; reporting will be made available through Data Plus Math’s MediaFX platform. Additionally, Data Plus Math will license LiveRamp’s IdentityLink services, enabling anonymous matching of media consumption data. The licensing of IdentityLink will allow Data Plus Math to quickly link TV, OTT, and digital ad exposures with marketer outcome data.
ListenFirst launched the Cross-Platform Social Ads Analytics Suite, a solution that allows brands to analyze the performance of their Paid Ads (Dark Posts and Boosted Posts) alongside Organic and Earned social activities across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. ListenFirst reports it is now tracking more than $1 billion in social ad spend across its clients. How’s it working? “Paid social advertising is an essential part of our campaign strategies promoting our exclusive contests and events,” said Eunice Kim, Fan Engagement Producer, LINE Webtoon. “Being able to view how these campaigns and assets compare to our organic and other paid strategies ensure that we are utilizing the most effective strategies that resonate with digital storytellers and our global readership.”
Asked how effective brands have been at using data to tailor digital advertising campaigns to them, just 18% of consumers said ads “often” seem to understand what they want to see. Janrain’s “Consumer Attitudes Towards Data Privacy and Security Survey” found 47% of consumers think ads understand their needs “sometimes,” while 26% said ads “hardly ever” understand them and 9% said they “never” do.
Direct-to-consumer OTT service PokerGo introduced short-form original series Beyond the Rail, highlighting the people involved in producing, broadcasting and participating in the 2018 World Series of Poker. First episode is available on YouTube’s Poker Central channel.
A new agreement with Nielsen is aimed at making Standard Media Index even more accurate. SMI works with 5 of the 7 major media holding groups as well as leading independents, making up 70% of the national TV market and 60% of premium digital. Its flagship national television product, AccuTV, models out the remaining 30% of spend using occurrence data. Beginning on October 23, SMI will leverage Nielsen Ad Intel’s occurrence level data as the underlying source of spots for AccuTV. The agreement means the number of networks that SMI measures will increase by nearly two-thirds to more than 130 channels, and allow SMI to provide deeper insights around new and emerging ad types.
GOING GLOBAL: MIPCOM EDITION
Comedian Hari Kondabolu (The Simpsons, The Problem with Apu) will host the International Emmy Awards Gala on Monday, November 19 in NYC, it was announced at MIPCOM. “When I told my Mother, she had a huge smile on her face,” said Kondabolu. “It’s like I told her I was quitting comedy & going to Law School.”
Fremantle has taken the global rights (ex-US, Canada and Israel) to Enslaved, a six-part documentary series hosted by Samuel L. Jackson (Captain Marvel)….Gusto Worldwide Media confirmed the sale of over 40 hours of original programming to Australia’s SBS Food. The deal includes five cooking shows, for a total of 86 episodes. All series will be available to over 4 million viewers on SBS Food….London-based Media I.M. Incorporated announced its latest deal for preschool animated show, Sunny Bunnies. HBO Europe has taken SVOD rights for the first two seasons for Portugal and Spain, launching in Spain in December 2018 and Portugal in Spring 2019.
Australia’s Looking Glass International inked sales for TVNZ’s Volcano: Creation & Destruction to AMC Networks International for Southern Europe and to Viasat World for the CEE and Scandinavian territories….Armoza Formats’ prime time singing competition, The Four, has been licensed in Greece. The local adaptation will air on ANT1 TV….Endemol Shine China will collaborate with licensee and producer Blue&White&Red Pictures, as well as partner Cloudwood, on a Mandarin language adaptation of crime drama Broadchurch.
Banijay Rights secured global distribution rights to international drama co-production The Gulf, a six-parter from New Zealand’s Screentime, Lippy Pictures, Letterbox Filmproduktion and ZDF….UK-based Magnify Media closed the first format license deal for RTE Ireland’s reality-fitness competition Fittest Family. Chilean network Chilevision, owned by Turner Latin America, has commissioned a local adaptation, to be produced by Chilevision and produced in association with The Gurin Company… Japan’s Nippon TV announced that MEDYAPIM, the production company in Turkey, has acquired the format rights to drama OASIS – a love story, and will be remaking the series in Turkish.
Armoza Formats has partnered with Omnicom Media Group-owned Highway Entertainment and Canadian-based broadcaster TVA to facilitate the funding of the international rollout of Canadian dance format Dance Revolution. Armoza will offer ad-supported broadcast and digital platforms the opportunity to expand their existing relationship with Omnicom and launch the Dance Revolution format in their local markets.
all3media international secured a range of presale deals for the new season of murder mystery drama Agatha Raisin, including acquisitions by ABC in Australia, Hungary’s MTVA and Sky for UK and Eire….In GRB Studios news, Game One/Viacom (France) acquired Seasons 1 and 2 of the factual series, Man at Arms. Foxtel Australia also took Man at Arms, along with true crime series On the Case for Foxtel C+I. Untold Stories of the ER is heading to E.TV in Africa, and Beyond Boundaries – The Harvey Weinstein Scandal was picked up by M6/Teva (France), TV4 (Sweden) and Discovery (Italy).
Dynamic Television and ndF announced that Germany’s ZDF has come onboard as co-producer for the upcoming crime series The Sommerdahl Murdera. ZDF joins Dynamic Television, Sequoia and ndF on the co-production commissioned by Danish broadcaster TV 2….Endeavor Content secured international broadcast partners for thriller The Little Drummer Girl, including Canal+ (France), STARZPLAY (Germany, Italy, second window UK, Ireland and Benelux), BeTV (French Belgium), NPO (Holland), Movistar + Spain
(Spain), TV4 (Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland), Stod 2 (Iceland), Hot (Israel), Kan 11 (Israel second window), BBC First (Australia), SBS (Australia second window), and TVNZ (New Zealand).
APC Kids has sold the second season of KID-E-CATS to Nickelodeon International….Ovation grabbed the U.S. broadcast and digital rights for seven titles from Sky Vision: The Pacific: In the Wake of Captain Cook with Sam Neill; Antiques Road Trip; Celebrity Antique Road Trip; Illusions of Grandeur; Making Marvels; Tate Britain’s Great British Walks; and Flintoff’s Great British Road Trip.
Jack Bannon (Ripper Street) has been cast as in upcoming Epix Batman prequel Pennyworth, along with Ben Aldridge (Skinny Dip)….Enrico Colantoni will reprise his series regular role as Veronica’s father in Hulu’s revival of Veronica Mars, starring Kristen Bell….Actor/model Brandon Thomas Lee (Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, and son of Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee) is headed for MTV’s The Hills: New Beginnings, slated for a 2019 premiere.
Marcia Cross (Desperate Housewives), Camryn Manheim (Waco), Austin Nichols (The Walking Dead), Lisa Rinna (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills), Margaret Cho (Bright) and Millicent Simmonds (A Quiet Place) will guest star in season two of Sundance Now dramedy This Close.
The CW’s #CWOPENTOALL, an on-air, digital, social and print campaign reinforcing the network’s commitment to inclusion and representation, “really captures the spirit and mission of The CW and why our fans come to us,” said net president Mark Pedowitz. “We are committed to making sure our viewers see themselves represented on screen, and that we also have diverse voices being heard behind the camera.” The video component of the campaign features CW stars proclaiming “The CW is Open to All” in spots featured on-air during The CW’s primetime programming, as well as streaming on CW social channels, cwtv.com,The CW app and CW Seed.