PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Jimmy Kimmel and entrepreneur/producer Brent Montgomery, with Wheelhouse Entertainment, are launching media shingle Kimmelot to develop and produce unscripted and scripted projects for linear TV and digital, an app/mobile-based content. Kimmel also will become a partner in Wheelhouse Entertainment, the company Montgomery started in January 2018 after he departed his post as CEO of ITV America. The late-night host will produce all of his projects through Kimmelot. He’ll also remain a partner in Jackhole Productions, the company he created with Daniel Kellison and Adam Carolla two decades ago, which produces Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
ABC is developing East WillyB, a comedy based on the web series created by Julia Ahumada Grob and Yamin Segal from Korin Williams and Monique Nash’s Kronicle Media and ABC Studios. Written by Grob and Segal, the ensemble comedy centers on the dysfunctional neighbors who populate the last hold-out dive bar in gentrified Brooklyn.
The singing competition universe is getting another voice. Netflix is under way with the 10-ep, hip-hop-themed Rhythm & Flow, from John Legend, Jesse Collins and Jeff Gaspin. Cardi B, Chance the Rapper and T.I. are onboard to exec-produce and serve as the primary judges on the show, aimed at finding the next breakout hip-hop star. Series, set to premiere next fall, had been in development at Netflix for more than a year.
Legendary Entertainment is developing content based on Black Hammer, Jeff Lemire’s comic book series, for both film and TV. Lemire will serve as an exec producer with Dean Ormston, the co-creator and illustrator of the comic series, which probes the surreal struggles between heroes and villains in Spiral City.
Food Network ordered Family Food Showdown, a family-centric culinary competition with Valerie Bertinelli as host. Production is slated to begin in December with the series set to launch in 2019. Along with the new series order, the network announced an agreement with Bertinelli that spans multiple projects in daytime and primetime, including new eps of Kids Baking Championship.
Amazon gave the green light to a bilingual romantic comedy pilot written and directed by Catalina Aguilar Mastretta (Everybody Loves Somebody), about the family you’re born into and the family you choose. Lorenza Izzo (Life Itself) is in as the lead in the untitled project for Amazon Prime Video. Georgie Flores (Famous in Love), Giancarlo Vidrio (El Vato), Ben O’Toole (Hacksaw Ridge), Sarah Ramos (Midnight Texas) and Patricia Bernal (Everybody Loves Somebody) also were cast. Amazon Studios is producing with Jax Media.
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network started production in Atlanta on multigenerational family saga Ambitions, produced by Will Packer Media in association with Lionsgate and Lionsgate-owned distributor Debmar-Mercury. Robin Givens (Riverdale, The Fix) leads the ensemble cast, which includes Essence Atkins (Marlon, Half and Half) and Brian White (Ray Donovan, Scandal), among others, and centers around a woman who, having recently relocated, finds herself going head to head with some of the most powerful and deceitful players in Atlanta.
Revolt is extending talk show State of the Culture for 10 additional episodes. Hosted by Joe Budden, who’s also an executive producer, Remy Ma, Scottie Beam, and Brandon “Jinx” Jenkins, series will premiere an additional ep on Monday, November 19, followed by a year-end ep recapping 2018’s hottest topics on December 3. The remaining episodes will premiere in 2019.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
The final season is coming. HBO yesterday announced the eighth and final chapter of Game of Thrones will launch in April. The network released a promotional video that didn’t include a specific date but affirmed April is debut month.
A&E Network released a first look at The Clinton Affair, a six-part limited doc series premiering Sunday, November 18, at 9p and unfolding over three consecutive nights. From Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions and director Blair Foster, series examines the political scandal and coincides with the 20th anniversary of the impeachment proceedings of President Bill Clinton.
December 14 is the premiere date for season 3 of Travelers, the Netflix sci-fi series that was renewed for a third season in May, with Netflix taking over as the exclusive first-run network in all global territories.
Season 3 of Oxygen’s Homicide for the Holidays premieres Sunday, December 9, at 8p and shifts to a new timeslot of 7p starting Sunday, December 16. The limited series once again delves into three horrific cases of holidays turned upside down.
High-risk investments, messy renos and big payoffs are all in the mix for designer and real estate developer Alison Victoria in new series Windy City Rehab, premiering on HGTV at 9p on Tuesday, January 1.
In the final season of Project Runway All Stars, 14 designers, all winners from the Project Runway franchise from across the globe, will compete to be named world champion of the catwalk. The glam starts on a new night, Wednesdays, at 9p beginning January 2 on Lifetime.
USA Network is rebooting 2001 reality series Temptation Island with a 10-ep revival produced by Banijay Studios North America slated to debut January 15. Mark L. Walberg, who hosted the original, will return as host.
Comedy Central set January 15 as the premiere dates for returning series. Season 6 of Drunk History will debut a 10p; season 2 of Corporate will drop at 10:30p.
Oscar-winning director Barbara Kopple explores the legacy of the notorious 1989 murder of Noreen Boyle in Mansfield, Ohio, in the new ID doc A Murder in Mansfield. In 1990, the testimony of 12-year-old Collier resulted in the conviction of his father, a prominent doctor. Twenty-six years later, Collier returns as a grown man seeking to heal lingering trauma associated with the crime and confront his imprisoned father. “Families and friends of the victims of violence become secondary victims, often suffering a lifetime of post-traumatic stress,” Henry Schleiff, Group President, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, Destination America and American Heroes Channel, tells Cynopsis. “As a storyteller, there is no one better than Barbara Kopple to capture Collier’s life journey, and we are excited to bring ID viewers on his awe-inspiring journey of resilience and reconciliation.” Special airs Saturday, November 17, at 9p.
Eric Church is a last-minute addition to perform on tonight’s 52nd Annual CMA Awards, broadcasting live from in Nashville at 8p.
TV One is spreading the holiday cheer. A Special Night of Rickey Smiley for Real airs Tuesday, November 20, at 8p, followed by new original movie Merry Wishmas on Sunday, December 2, at 7p, Living by Design Holiday Special on Sunday, December 9, at 7p and movie Coins for Christmas, premiering Sunday, December 16, at 7p.
Jim Gaffigan returns to Comedy Central on Friday, November 23, at 11p in the network debut of the 90-minute Jim Gaffigan: Noble Ape, recorded live at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston.
Acorn TV is gearing up for one of its biggest months yet with a December slate featuring six exclusive US premieres comprising three Acorn TV originals –Blood, Finding Joy and Agatha Raisin and the Fairies of Fryfam – plus three returning favorites and a new foreign-language drama.
Four more Hallmark movies are headed to the small screen. Mingle All the Way and A Majestic Christmas are part of Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas and will air at 8p on December 1 and December 2, respectively. Christmas Wonderland and Once Upon a Christmas Miracle will air on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries on those same dates at 9p.
CBS will air The Dick Van Dyke Show – Now in Living Color!, a new one-hour special with two newly colorized back-to-back classic episodes of the ’60s series, on Friday, December 14, at 9p. Series creator and co-star Carl Reiner personally selected the two eps.
Chef, author and food ambassador Lidia Bastianich travels to rural communities across the US to explore the patchwork of traditions that make up the country’s diverse cuisine, in Lidia Celebrates America: A Heartland Holiday Feast, premiering Tuesday, December 18, at 9p on PBS.
Digital ad spending hit a record-breaking $49.5 billion in the first half of 2018, marking a 23 percent year-over-year increase, according to the new Advertising Revenue Report from the IAB. The report also found digital video advertising revenue reached $7 billion, up 35 percent from a year ago, with 60 percent of that revenue attributed to mobile video. Among other report highlights:
* Digital audio advertising grew 31 percent to reach $935 million in revenue, on track to exceed last year’s full-year revenue of $1.8 billion.
* Mobile, which now accounts for nearly two-thirds of all digital ad revenue, continues to be the internet’s leading ad platform, up from 54 percent of total revenues in half-year 2017.
* Advertisers spent $30.9 billion on mobile media in the first half of 2018, up 42 percent from $21.8 billion over the same period last year.
* Mobile search advertising grew to $13.5 billion, with an increase of 37 percent, while desktop search was flat at $9.3 billion.
Welcome to the neighborhood: Confirming reports, Amazon made it official yesterday with the announcement it will open two new HQs, in NY and Northern Virginia. Jeff Bezos’s tech goliath said it would invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new locations, with more than 25,000 employees each.
Cadillac released a video titled Now That’s a Cardiac featuring comedic duo John Mulaney and Nick Kroll reprising their characters from their Broadway show Oh, Hello. With the help of “Val the Vlogger,” played by Awkwafina, the longtime NY residents embark on a misguided tour of the city in the first-ever Cadillac XT4. The short also features a cameo by 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition cover model Danielle Herrington.
See you there: Save the date for the second annual Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival, Wednesday, March 6, 2019 in NY. We’ll screen winning entries and present two thought-provoking panels: “Finding the Right Platform for Premium Short Form Video” and “What Advertisers Want from Short Form Video.” Speakers include Brad Haugen, president of ATTN:, and Adam Winer, SVP, strategy and data analytics, Conde Nast Entertainment. Email [email protected] to get in on event updates.
Cine Sony and the National Association of Latino Independent Producers are launching a short film competition as part of the studio’s diversity and inclusion program at the studio. Called Voces Nuevas, the competition is open to aspiring filmmakers residing in the US age 18 and over.
SNL’s Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell (Game Shakers) reunite to compete against one another in a one-hour special ep of Nickelodeon’s rebooted Double Dare, premiering Wednesday, November 21, at 8p. Hosted by Liza Koshy with original Double Dare host Marc Summers providing color commentary, the special will also guest-star All That’s Lori Beth Denberg.
Disney Channel series Andi Mack will present a story arc on gun safety in two new episodes airing Friday, November 16, and Friday, November 30, at 8p. Developed under the consultancy of The Brady Center and Hollywood, Health & Society, a program of the USC Annenberg Norman Lear Center, the eps also include a PSA about gun safety. Show creator Terri Minsky, a Luminary Award recipient at this year’s Cynopsis Imagination Awards, said, “Our show is meant to entertain kids, yet we also want to help them make sense of a very complicated world, to make them feel safe and confident to talk to parents and trusted adults about gun safety.”
Time flies. Cartoon Network is honoring the 20th anniversary of The Powerpuff Girls brand on Sunday, November 18, with an original music video created by female animators from around the world, a new internship program, the exclusive Lingua Franca Empowerpuff sweater, and a look back at the series featuring Blossom, Bubbles & Buttercup with 72 straight hours of both the remastered and original series streaming on CN.com.
Lena Headey (Game of Thrones) will guest in a new episode of Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, premiering Saturday, November 17, at 9:30a on Nickelodeon. In the half-hour special, “Bug Busters,” Headey lends her voice as Big Mama, a gigantic spider yokai who can shoot webs and disguise herself to look like a human.
The Boomerang streaming app is serving up new titles and content including the digitally remastered Garfield, complete series of Jonny Quest, eight new movies for Boom Movie Fest and more. More than 3,200 eps are now available on the app, featuring a holiday-themed roundup.
Kilburn Live and Hasbro are in a new licensing agreement to create, build and operate Hasbro-themed family entertainment centers across the US and Canada.
Cake announced the premiere on Disney XD EMEA of its new animated co-production Space Chickens in Space. Series tells the story of a trio of chickens, Finley, Chuck and Starley, who are mistakenly taken from their homes and enrolled in an elite intergalactic former military academy.
Guru Studio appointed Hengxin Shambala Kids Cultural Industry Development Co. to represent its flagship preschool property True and the Rainbow Kingdom in China.
RESEARCH & DATA
Accelerating losses from satellite providers and weakening net adds from Sling TV, DirecTV Now and other virtual multichannel alternatives drove an overall decline for US multichannel video subscriptions in Q3, according to Kagan. Combined, the cable, direct broadcast satellite and telco multichannel sectors lost 1.2 million video subscribers in the three-month period ended September 30, 2018, ending the quarter at 91.0 million, including 88.2 million residential customers, according to the firm. Among other takeaways:
* The residential penetration rate stood at 76.2 percent as of September 30 when including traditional multichannel and the estimated virtual multichannel universe.
* Satellite had its worst quarter on record, with a loss of 726,000 subscribers.
* Cable operators lost nearly 1.1 million subscribers year-to-date, their worst performance at the three-quarter mark since 2014.
* Traditional telco subs fell by 94,000. By itself, Verizon shed a net 63,000 subs.
Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Narcos) will portray the title character in The Mandalorian, the live-action Star Wars series set as a flagship program for the Disney+ service launching in 2019… RJ Cyler (Sierra Burgess is a Loser, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) snagged a recurring role in the current second season of the CW’s Black Lightning.