|PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Scott Foley (Scandal) will co-host and serve as lead judge on HBO Max’s Ellen’s Next Great Designer, starring and executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres. The competition series is produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted and A. Smith & Co. Productions in association with Telepictures and A Very Good Production.
Spectrum Originals gave a straight-to-series order to pandemic-themed drama The Second Wave, from Robert and Michelle King (The Good Fight). Audra McDonald (The Good Fight), Taylor Schilling (Orange Is the New Black) and Steven Pasquale (The Comey Rule) will star in the six-parter, coproduced by Spectrum Originals and CBS Studios.
Also going straight-to-series is an untitled variety series starring and exec produced by Ziwe (Our Cartoon President) at Showtime. The series will feature interviews, sketches, and unscripted real-world rendezvous between everyday people and the writer/comedian/performer.
Food Network picked up daytime series Delicious Miss Brown for a 13-episode fourth season. Currently in its third season, the series is driving Food Network to the #1 rank among cable for W25-54 (#2 among P25-54) during its Saturday 12-12:30p timeslot.
The Cynopsis team has been working hard behind the scenes on a benchmarking report for our community, and we’re excited to finally present it! The 29-page report is for members only, but you can glean some insights from our complimentary webinar next month on 11/5, “New Research: The Cynopsis Media Industry Report” led by Michael Hughes (Managing Director of Research) and Robbie Caploe (Publisher). Sign up here!
CBS is in talks with Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Simon Cowell to produce a music competition series, 50 States to Stardom. The show will profile all 50 states and find one musician from each to compete, then follow every contestant’s journey. Imagine Entertainment and SyCo will produce.
An adaptation of Smokey and the Bandit, the 1977 film starring Burt Reynolds, is being developed as a TV series by the Halloween team of David Gordon Green (The Righteous Gemstones) and Brian Sides (Alaska: The Last Frontier), with UCP and Seth MacFarlane’s Fuzzy Door. “Growing up in the south, Smokey and the Bandit was an iconic franchise for me,” said Green. “The legacy of these characters is a playground of swagger and sass that I’m excited to dig into.”
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
TLC’s Dr. Pimple Popper is back for a new season on Monday, December 21 at 9p, with a holiday special episode called – wait for it – Dr. Pimple Popper: Season’s Squeezings. This season will feature cases that were introduced in Before the Pop, which aired earlier this year and focused on telemedicine appointments due to the pandemic.
Fourth seasons of Fox dramas 9-1-1 and The Resident, and sophomore runs of 9-1-1: Lone Star and Prodigal Son, will launch in January (dates TBA). 9-1-1 and The Resident will hold their 8p spots on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, while spin-off 9-1-1: Lone Star will now follow mama 9-1-1, and Prodigal Son moves to Tuesdays at 9p, filling the spot left vacant by Empire.
Over at CBS, premiere dates were set for five scripted series: season five of Bull on Monday, November 16 at 10p; season three of FBI and season two of FBI: Most Wanted on Tuesday, November 17 at 9p and 10p; season four of SEAL Team on Wednesday, November 25 at 9p; and season two of The Unicorn on Thursday, November 12 at 9:30p.
First Person, the first Snap Original to be filmed with Snapchat Spectacles, premieres Saturday, October 24. Twelve episodes focus on young innovators coming up with unexpected solutions to environmental problems.
Season two of Virgin River premieres on Netflix on Friday, November 27. The small-town romance drama is based on the Harlequin book series by Robyn Carr.
Also coming back for a sophomore season is HLN’s Real Life Nightmares, including never-before-seen evidence in the unsolved cases of deaths and missing persons. The first of six episodes premieres Sunday, November 8 at 10p.
Pájaro Soñador (Daydreamer), the first Turkish romantic comedy to come to the US, makes its debut Tuesday, October 27 at 7p on UniMás. The story of unexpected love will broadcast Monday through Friday.
Bravo is raising a glass to franchise expander The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, debuting Wednesday, November 11 at 10p, with the launch of The Real Housewives Wines. In partnership with Nocking Point Wines, selections include The Real HouseRed, The Real HouseWhite and The Real HouseRose.
Nielsen announced that NPR is now a subscriber to Nielsen’s Podcast Buying Power service, giving NPR access to podcast insights spanning 18 genres that can be cross-referenced against a category of consumer purchase behavior patterns and services usage. “NPR is one of the most highly respected media organizations on the planet, and a true pioneer in the use of podcasting to deliver world-class journalism and storytelling,” said Brad Kelly, Managing Director, Nielsen Audio. “Nielsen is incredibly proud to expand our long-standing relationship with NPR to include them in our Podcast Buying Power service.”
The second annual MACRO X HBCU Entertainment Summit, virtual this year, is set to kick off Saturday, October 24. Presented by Amazon Studios, the event will include Kenya Barris; John David Washington, a Morehouse College alumnus; MACRO Founder & CEO Charles D. King; Steve Pamon, Morehouse alum; Chris Paul, and more industry executives, experts and influencers.
Also set for this weekend is virtual REVOLT Summit x AT&T, October 23-25, including rappers and culture curators DaBaby, Killer Mike, Saweetie, and Tyga. The event will feature panel conversations and workshops exploring topics relevant to young Black artists and leaders.
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah Presents: Remembering RBG A Nation Ugly Cries with Desi Lydic is set to premiere Friday, October 30 at 11p on Comedy Central. In the special, Lydic goes through the five stages of grief as she comes to terms with the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Clouds: A Musical Celebration, a virtual musical tribute to the Disney+ Original movie and Zach Sobiech’s legacy, will stream live on Facebook.com/DisneyPlus on Saturday, October 24 at 2p. The concert will feature performances from OneRepublic, renforshort, Fin Argus, Sabrina Carpenter, and Sammy Brown (Zach Sobiech’s best friend and musical partner), all of whom are featured on the movie soundtrack. Additional performances and appearances will include Jason Mraz, DCapella, Neve Campbell, Justin Baldoni, Tom Everett Scott, Madison Iseman, Lil Rel Howery and more. Sobiech was a 17-year-old with a rare bone cancer, whose “Clouds” was a hit record.
Circle Network and GEICO have teamed to create a virtual Green Room to bring fans behind-the-scenes content, allowing them to participate in videos alongside country artists as they chat and answer questions during special livestream segments. The virtual experience will have new content added regularly.
HOBO Films is releasing the new documentary Crawford: The Man the South Forgot, an exposé on the tragic fate of a prosperous and successful African American farmer in South Carolina in the early 20th Century. The program will be available for streaming on kweli.tv starting Tuesday, November 3.
NBCLX, an OTT and linear network designed for adults 18-45, announced a series of video stories about the issues that are motivating millennials and Gen Z-ers to exercise their right to vote in this year’s election. The news series also includes “What Could Happen?” special reports that ask what may occur if President Trump wins a second term or if Vice President Joe Biden succeeds him. The stories will air on LX News, the network’s newscast that airs live on OTT, linear TV, cable and digital Monday to Fridays at 8-10a, 1:30p, 6p, 8-10p.
Comedians and actors have been taking their clothes off to encourage voting, in spots that are running across Comedy Central digital platforms. The net has also partnered with RepresentUs to get the word out about voting naked, and via mail-in ballots, with help from Chris Rock, Amy Schumer, Mark Ruffalo, Tiffany Haddish, Chelsea Handler, Naomi Campbell, Josh Gad, Borat, and Ryan Bathe.
Spectrum News has launched Decision 2020: The Election Hub, a digital destination for voters to find local resources and reliable information to prepare for the election. Additionally, in partnership with market research firm Ipsos, Spectrum Networks conducted its first-ever Spectrum News Poll in each of the nine states it has news operations, including battleground states Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin and Texas. The state-specific poll results and the election hub are featured on Spectrum News’ digital platforms.
ATTN: and Crooked Media are teaming on a new video campaign targeting voters on social media to engage them on key Senate races across the country. For Crooked Media’s “Vote Save America” campaign, it has created new video series with ATTN: focused on explaining the key issues at stake in the North Carolina, Michigan and Arizona US Senate races.
VENN, the Video Game Entertainment and News Network, announced “Fall-o’-Ween” on Friday, October 23 at 4p PDT, a partnership with Gamers.Vote and MTV’s “Vote For Your Life,” aimed at getting out the vote in the gaming community ahead of the inaugural “Vote Early Day” on Saturday, October 24. The live, five-hour event will feature celebrity cameos.
America Votes Together airs Tuesday, October 27 at 2p on Fox Business Network. Making Money host Charles Payne leads the virtual town hall, focused on how the candidates’ economic policies could impact the finances of everyday Americans, as well as the top business issues that matter to voters.
TikTok is expanding its enforcement against hate speech and hate ideologies to include “neighboring ideologies” like white nationalism, and statements that have their origins in those ideologies. “We know there’s always more we can do which is why we are taking further action to remove misinformation and hurtful stereotypes about Jewish, Muslim and other communities,” said TikTok in a blog post. “This includes misinformation about notable Jewish individuals and families who are used as proxies to spread antisemitism. We’re also removing content that is hurtful to the LGBTQ+ community by removing hateful ideas, including content that promotes conversion therapy and the idea that no one is born LGBTQ+.”
Technicolor is partnering with Google to accelerate the development and deployment of the Google Broadcast Stack software platform onto customer premises equipment (CPE) and consumer electronics devices used to access video services. “Households in every region are often frustrated by the need to change inputs when switching from traditional cable and pay TV platforms to the growing number of streaming services that are delivered over the internet,” said Shalini Govil-Pai, Head of Android TV at Google. The Google Broadcast Stack offers the option to address this challenge by making it possible to scale up production and distribution of Android TV devices that can simultaneously support the delivery of traditional broadcast streams, CAS and OTT services without having to leave HDMI 1.
Gaming is the next technology paradigm, with video gaming growing from a projected $145 billion this year to $198 billion in 2024, according to Activate’s 2021 Technology & Media Outlook. Other takeaways include:
* VR/AR are on the verge of widespread adoption and revenues will grow eightfold by 2024.
* By 2024, nearly all US households will have a connected TV and the average paid video streaming subscriber will own 5.7 subscriptions.
* Sports betting will result in $23.7 billion to tech and media companies by 2024, up from $3.4 billion.
Fox News Media election technology on Tuesday, November 3 will include real-time 3D graphics and a digitally-constructed White House to serve as an immersive backdrop showcasing. The Presidential Race Scoreboard, National Popular Vote and Electoral Vote counts will be highlighted through virtual set and special effects technology in Studio F. And Fox News Predictability Meters will be expanded beyond the national level to also analyze possible outcomes of state-by-state races.
The Weather Channel has updated its Immersive Mixed Reality technology with the launch of Virtual Views, an IMR capability that showcases hyper-realistic visualizations of weather. Virtual Views IMR segments will be integrated into The Weather Channel’s daily live programming and forecasts, and will feature landscapes/backdrops from around 50 US cities to better demonstrate weather scenarios without on-camera meteorologists having to physically be in those cities.
Snap Inc. stock soared to $37.10 in early trading on Wednesday (closing at $36.50), a day after Snapchat reported adding 11 million new users in 3Q20 and a 52% increase in revenue, to $679 million (versus analysts’ estimates of $556 million). The stock’s previous all-time high closing price was $28.66.
As the holiday season approaches, Facebook has introduced commerce-driven ads and features on Facebook and Instagram aimed at optimizing mobile commerce. “Ads With Product Tags On Instagram” will make it easier for small businesses to tag products so consumers can discover and shop for products by driving traffic to product detail pages embedded on Instagram. “Shopping Engagement Custom Audiences” allows advertisers to create custom audience profiles targeting users who have already shown an interest in their product. And “Discount Feature for Facebook Shops” will create traffic among users looking for deals and discounts.
Maura Tierney (The Affair) will recur on Showtime limited drama Your Honor, starring Bryan Cranston. The series is slated for a December debut…James Cusati-Moyer (Slave Play) will recur on Netflix’s upcoming limited series Inventing Anna, reports TheWrap…Molly Burnett has been upped to series regular for season 5 of USA’s Queen of the South, while Reggie Lee was promoted to series regular for season two of CBS’s All Rise…Scott Speedman (Animal Kingdom) will recur on season three of Netflix’s You… Chosen Jacobs (It) and Lexi Underwood (Little Fires Everywhere) will star alongside NBA Champion John Salley in Disney+ original movie, Sneakerella.
Endemol Shine Poland has been commissioned by TVN Discovery to produce a local version of entertainment format, LEGO Masters. Poland’s TVN is the ninth broadcaster to commission the show.
A+E Networks International’s Miss Scarlet and the Duke, co-produced by A+E International and Element 8 Entertainment, premiered in the UK as the #1 program on Alibi over the last 12 months, and debuted on 7TWO in Australia ranked #1 in its timeslot and as the #1 program over the last 12 months among key demos. The series will make it US debut on January 17 at 8p on PBS’ Masterpiece.
Beach House Pictures and Motion Content Group have begun production on season two of Banijay culinary competition format, MasterChef Singapore. The second installment is set to air on Singapore’s Mediacorp Channel 5, meWATCH and YouTube in February 2021.
all3media international is partnering with factual producer Nutopia on its TV experience A World of Calm. The agreement will see all3media international handling global distribution rights (excluding US and Latin America) to A World of Calm. Based on the popular Calm app, the ten-part series was produced for HBO Max in the US, where it premiered earlier this month.
India and Singapore-based animation studio Cosmos-Maya has partnered with Irish animation studios Dear Will and Piranha Bar to co-produce a new 3D animated series, The Incredible Monsta Trucks. Piranha Bar is developing the series using the Unreal Engine technology by Epic Games.
Brighton-based back2back Productions has announced a new action adventure series set to air on UKTV’s entertainment channel Dave, and BBC Earth next year. Exploration Volcano explores the most active lava volcanoes on earth. Additionally, back2back’s Scrap Kings and Unexplained: Caught on Camera have been renewed for Quest and Really.
Sinking Ship Entertainment announced worldwide sales including Nickelodeon’s acquisition of Odd Squad for Belgium and Netherlands. The educational pay television channel Da Vinci Kids has also come onboard for several of their regional feeds across CEEMA, as well as SVOD platform Azoomee, and South Africa’s SABC.