PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Heather Graham is set to topline The Hypnotist’s Love Story, a drama picked up by ABC that’s based on the book by Big Little Lies author Liane Moriarty. Project centers on successful hypnotherapist Ellen who, after a string of failed romances, is optimistic about her current boyfriend, until he reveals a disturbing truth: a stalker ex-girlfriend.
Lionsgate is developing adaptations of its Kim Kardashian West prank show You Kiddin’ Me?! in the UK and Australia. Plus, it’s looking to line up international linear deals for the Facebook Watch format, which features celebrities and their families pulling pranks on the public. British producer Primal Media and Australia’s Eureka are developing local versions of the show.
Shades of Blue creator Adi Hasak teamed with Red Arrow Studios International and Universal Television on a U.S. version of the popular German series The Last Cop, under his Adi TV Studios banner. Project tells the story of an alpha male detective, who wakes up from a 25-year coma and struggles to identify as a man, husband and father.
ABC gave a put pilot commitment to The Baker and the Beauty, a one-hour romantic comedy based on the successful Israeli series that follows the love story between a simple baker and an international superstar. Adaptation hails from The Brave creator Dean Georgaris, David Frankel (Manifest), Keshet Studios and Universal TV.
Kevin Dunn (Veep) was tapped to co-star opposite Elisabeth Shue in TNT drama pilot Constance. Show from Team Downey, Sonar Entertainment and Studio T is written by KC Perry, and directed by Jesse Peretz, and centers on Constance Young (Shue), a former beauty queen turned small town bureaucrat.
INSP renewed The Cowboy Way for a fifth season to bow Sunday, January 6 at 8p. Series explores the adventures of three modern day cowboys.
Love Nature, a joint venture with Blue Ant Media and Smithsonian Networks, greenlit Gangs of Lemur Island. Series centers on the lemurs of the Berenty, a troop of ring-tailed, intelligent and highly social creatures that share a common ancestry with humans, set to air on Love Nature’s linear and streaming platforms internationally and Smithsonian Earth in the US.
Smithsonian Channel announced a new lineup of nature and wildlife programming. Laws of the Lizard, exploring the secrets of six-inch lizard called an anole, debuts in December; Incredible Animal Moments, captured on high speed cameras, and My Journey with a Polar Bear, following a mother polar bear’s struggles to raise her cubs against the climate change in the Arctic, premiere in 1Q19; and A Life Among Monkeys, centered on scientist Wolfgang Dittus’ longest continuous monkey study in the world, bows in 2Q19.
Sabrina Jalees (Netflix’s The Comedy Lineup) is set to write and possibly star in multi-camera family comedy Hanging Out that FOX has put in development. The project from Jalees, Diablo Cody (Juno) and her Vita Vera Films, and Warner Bros. focuses on couple in a strained relationship who move into a house across the street from their lesbian daughter and her fiancé.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Season 3 of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath debuts Tuesday, November 27 at 9p on A&E Network, spanning eight episodes and four specials.
ID’s People Magazine Investigates returns on Monday, November 5 at 10p. The 15-episode third season takes viewers to the epicenter of compelling crimes.
VH1’s T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle premieres Monday, October 22 at 9p. New series showcases complicated marriages, young love, health scares and T.I. and Tiny working to keep their family together.
Topics like guns, sleep, technology, cops and more are explored in Adam Ruins Everything’s new season debuting Tuesday, November 27 at 10p on truTV.
Smithsonian Channel’s America in Color returns on Sunday, November 18 at 8p. Season 2 dives deeper into historical archives, private collections and home movies, digitizing over 23 miles of footage, in search of people, places and moments that helped define the 20th century.
House Hunters: Home for the Holidays premieres on HGTV on Tuesday, November 27 at 9p and 9:30p. The spinoff features stories of families searching for a new place to celebrate the holidays.
Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) narrates Bloomberg Philanthropies’ climate change documentary, Paris to Pittsburgh. The film, which explores the efforts of individuals battling severe threats of climate change in their own backyards, bows on National Geographic on Wednesday, December 12 at 9p.
AXS TV introduces The Day the Rock Star Died on Tuesday, November 6 at 8:30p. The special takes an in-depth look at the life, legacy and death of Whitney Houston.
BBC America monkeys around on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 22. Chimp Sanctuary bows at 9p, followed by Chimps of the Lost Gorge at 10p.
Two-hour special Leah Remini: The Jehovah’s Witnesses premieres on A&E on Tuesday, November 13 at 9p. Remini and Miki Rinder meet with four members of the organization and explore how other groups besides Scientology can subvert and exploit belief.
The Sicilian Tenors, international singers who blend classic opera with Rat Pack shenanigans, are recording their first television special on Sunday, November 3 at Weinberg Theater in Frederick, MD. It will air in May 2019 on Public TV stations across the country as part of Pledge Month.
IFC’s third season of Brockmire announced its lineup of guest stars for Season 3. In the mix are MLB Hall of Fame inductee George Brett, sportscaster Bob Costas, Richard Kind (Red Oaks), Linda Lavin (Alice), Tawny Newsome (The Carmichael Show), Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) and Christine Woods (Hello Ladies).
Mark Rufallo has signed on to play twin brothers in HBO miniseries I Know This Much Is True… Derek Mio nabbed the lead in season 2 of AMC anthology series The Terror… Christian Camargo (Penny Dreadful) and Hera Hilmar (DaVinci’s Demons) nabbed series regular roles in Apple drama Sec… Anthony Edwards and Julie White (Transformers) landed major recurring roles in the upcoming third season of Designated Survivor, transplanted to Netflix … Louis Anderson is joining TBS dark comedy Search Party in a recurring role… Peter Halpin is heading to the cast of Netflix series Daredevil.
FreeWheel launched DRIVE, aimed at helping marketers reach consumers across the changing TV landscape. “FreeWheel’s DRIVE is a suite of advanced advertising solutions powered by FreeWheel Markets that uniquely enables marketers to access TV-quality content from premium publishers, aggregated across all devices and platforms, transparently and at scale,” Neil Smith, GM, FreeWheel Markets, tells Cynopsis. “We are specifically excited about harnessing the power of data and measurement across the emerging forms of TV, including OTT and Set-top Box VOD, that continue to be the fastest growing platforms for premium publishers.”
Chipotle,Turner and Mediahub collaborated on industry-first TV-guaranteed sales lifts with a new campaign. Powered by Turner Ignite’s AudienceNOW, solution ads will be optimized using advanced audience attributes, and guaranteed on business outcomes tied to sales for the fast-casual brand. Chipotle’s new “For Real” campaign, facilitated through their agency Mediahub, will run across Turner’s television properties to charter a new territory in the next frontier of TV buying. “TV is no longer solely about mass market reach, now it’s solidly connecting eyeballs and sales in a way that influences our media plans and bring accountability to our TV spends,” said Chris Brandt, Chief Marketing Officer at Chipotle. “As a purpose driven brand that has history of industry disruption, we are continually looking for ways to innovate and are excited to be taking this step with Turner and Mediahub.”
Twitter suspended some 1500 accounts for engaging in “coordinated platform manipulation,” said company officials, following a meme campaign designed to troll liberals as “nonplayable characters,” a term borrowed from video games. The nonplayable meme mocks Trump critics as brainless drones who can’t think for themselves.
Lena Dunham’s newsletter website The Lenny Letter could be shutting down as early as today. Digiday reports that Lenny’s contributors have been notified of the closure. Dunham’s three-year-old site began an ad partnership with Conde Nast last year.
Mothers Matter, a four-part digital investigation into the high rate of death of American mothers from pregnancy related causes, premiered on TEGNA stations’ digital platforms on Thursday. Led by the Atticus investigative unit from WXIA in Atlanta, the series examines how the maternal mortality rating in the U.S. is more than double that of other developed nations, with African American women being three and four times more likely to die from complications of childbirth than any other race. Series is available for local on-air broadcast on Monday, October 22.
By the year 2020, mobile will make up a greater share of U.S. media ad spending – some 43% – than all traditional channels combined. The projection comes from eMarketer. “Even the strongholds of TV, such as live sports and news, are starting to move online. People are consuming them on the go through mobile devices,” noted Martin Utreras, Vice President, Forecasting, eMarketer, in a new report. “Audiences continue to abandon traditional media and ad dollars follow.” This year, mobile will account for $76.17 billion of domestic media ad spending, while $69.87 is going to TV. By 2022, the end of the eMarketer’s forecasting period, the research firm expects mobile ad spending to more than double that of TV.
Archer Gray partnered with Above Average to create digital projects championing underrepresented comedic voices. The two companies initially plan to support multiple projects within the next year, led by their first short-form comedy series AstroTypes, created by Shruti Gangul in association with NYLON media. Above Average, an independent digital-first comedy studio and production subsidiary of Lorne Michaels’ Broadway Video, will provide development and production support to the partnership with an eye toward setting up each property for series.