PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
ABC picked up competition series Ultimate Surfer , which will gather some of the world’s greatest up-and-coming surfers to train and live together as they battle it out at the World Surf League’s Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California. Production will begin in 2020; surf star Kelly Slater will serve as on-air talent and special correspondent.
HGTV gave the greenlight to new event series Home Town Rescue (wt), starring Ben and Erin Napier as they take on their biggest project yet – an entire town in need of a renovation. “Home Town Rescue is exactly what fans of Ben and Erin have been asking for and it will change one lucky community in a powerful and significant way,” said Betsy Ayala, SVP, programming and development for HGTV.
The new season of Inside the Actors Studio on its new network, independent arts channel Ovation TV, premiered in October. David Wideroe, SVP of Marketing and On-Air Promotions at Ovation TV, talks about the new era of the series – and why Ovation TV is the perfect home for it – in Cynsiders.
BBC America announced new directors as well as both new and returning writers for the next season of Doctor Who. New writers for the upcoming season include Nina Metivier , Maxine Alderton and Charlene James. Also making their debut in 2020 are four new directors: Nida Manzoor, Emma Sullivan, Jamie Magnus Stone and Lee Haven Jones.
Endemol Shine Boomdog signed an overall development and production deal with producer Gaston Pavlovich and his Mexico City-based production company Fabrica de Cine. Pavlovich will develop and produce scripted TV drama series for both Spanish and English-language audiences.
Quibi issued an order for Slugfest , a docu-series exploring the rivalry between Marvel and DC Comics, produced by Anthony and Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame).
Limited series Sometimes I Lie, starring and exec produced by Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), landed a script commitment from Fox. Project comes from Robin Swicord (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button), A Very Good Production and Warner Bros. TV.
Judy & Liza & Robert & Freddie & David & Sue & Me, the memoir written by Judy Garland’s manager and agent Stevie Phillips , is being adapted into a TV series, reports Deadline. Athena Pictures and American Entertainment Investors are developing the project.
Netflix renewed The Witcher for season two . Freshman run of the fantasy series starts December 20.
Amazon Studios ordered The Peripheral, the sci-fi thriller drama from creator/EP/showrunner Scott B. Smith (A Simple Plan), exec producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, Kilter Films and Warner Bros. TV.
Epix gave a season two order to docu-series Sex Life , following people on sexual and intimate journeys.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
New Travel Channel original series Trending Fear premieres Friday, December 20 at 11p, following Buzzfeed author Adam Ellis and two friends who hope to help people take back their lives after encounters with the paranormal .
Airline pilot Peter Weber starts his run as ABC’s The Bachelor on Monday, January 6 at 8p. It will be the reality show’s 24th season.
Spring descends on North Star Ranch as Discovery’s Alaskan Bush People returns Wednesday, December 4 at 8p.
Oxygen’s Homicide for the Holidays is back for season four on Saturday, December 7 at 7:30p.
Dragonfish Bingo Network and Discovery Inc. are teaming to launch a real money online bingo site in the UK tied to Say Yes to the Dress. Positively Distinctive Media will advise and execute the marketing, promotional and operational strategy.
On-demand platform CuriosityStream will launch Hi$tory, looking at some of the greatest myths of American history, on Monday, November 18. Four-part series is hosted by Peter Sagal. In more CuriosityStream news, the platform is expanding its international reach with distribution partnerships in Africa, New Zealand and the Bahamas.
New animated series My Little Pony: Pony Life will premiere new content on Discovery Family and Discovery Family GO, along with short form content on the My Little Pony YouTube channel.
THIRTEEN’s children’s series Cyberchase kicks off Season 12 with Thanksgiving special Giving Thanks Day, premiering Friday, November 22 on PBS KIDS 24/7 channel (check local listings) and live stream.
First We Feast, part of Complex Networks , explores the world of Japanese comfort cooking in Gochi Gang, premiering Tuesday, November 12 at 11a on First We Feast’s YouTube channel.
We’ll drink to that: As part of the brand experiences at the first-ever BravoCon, PepsiCo, BravoCon’s presenting sponsor and official pouring partner, will unveil Pepsi Sparkling Rosé, a cnew, custom beverage designed exclusively for fans for the weekend. Brand partners Hotels.com, Lay’s Poppables, Pure Leaf, State Farm and Talenti Gelato will also have activations “designed to bring Bravo’s passionate fanbase into a unique world of Housewives and Deckhands, Cheftestants and Socialites.” Event takes place November 15-17 in NYC.
The Paley Center for Media today announced the final selection to its PaleyLive LA fall season: An Evening with Tyler Perry’s The Oval. Program will take place on Tuesday, December 10 at 7p at the Paley Center’s Beverly Hills location.
Antenna TV is offering two full days of classic TV shows celebrating the holiday season beginning December 24 at 5a with a “Classic Christmas Collection,” featuring holiday episodes from shows including Three’s Company, The Burns and Allen Show, Welcome Back, Kotter, Barney Miller, Dennis the Menace, Bewitched and more.
On Sunday, November 17 at 10p, The Weather Channel will premiere Meltdown, a one-hour primetime special featuring national correspondent Dave Malkoff in a scientific exploration around the world with NASA experts to bear witness to the rapid meltdown of glaciers at the top of our planet.
The Town Hall announced the inaugural Lena Horne Prize for Artists Creating Social Impact, the first major entertainment award to be named after a woman of color, honoring excellence at the intersection of arts and activism. The award, named after actress, singer and activist Lena Horne, will be presented to the soon-to-be-announced recipient at an event in February 2020.
Noticias Telemundo presents Los Niños Perdidos De Guatemala (The Lost Children of Guatemala), a documentary about the thousands of irregular adoptions in Guatemala since the country’s civil war in the 1990s, on Sunday, November 17 at 11:30a.
Mexicanicos, Discovery en Español’s most successful original production , will celebrate its 50 th episode on Monday, December 16 at 10p. The anniversary episode will air within the net’s “Lunes de motores” (Motor Mondays) programming block.
Eddie Griffin’s third Showtime comedy special , Eddie Griffin: E-Niggma, premieres on Friday, December 6 at 11p.
Data, measurement and analytics company EDO Inc. announced a new partnership with Toyota to improve TV advertising campaign performance. The partnership will allow EDO, Toyota, and Toyota’s advertising agencies to better understand customer behavioral response to creative messaging and media targeting and provide real-time insights, as well as competitive intelligence. “Toyota has a long history of marketing innovation and automotive is an anchor category for TV advertising and for EDO,” said Kevin Krim, President and CEO of EDO. “EDO has shown that Search Engagement can be one of the strongest indicators of consumer purchase intent, and Toyota has seen firsthand the value of advanced TV analytics that can optimize advertising campaigns to more effectively drive consumer engagement.”
Apple announced a replacement for its butterfly keyboard . The company’s new MacBook Pro will have its first keyboard redesign in four years, following customer complaints over broken keys, along with better battery life, a new Intel Core processor, updated cooling system and improved speakers. Price for the 16-inch retina display model starts and $2399.
In more Apple news, Apple Music is adding Apple Music Replay , allowing subscribers to review their favorite music from 2019. In addition to playlists of their top songs, listeners can access playlists for every year they’ve subscribed to Apple Music. The Apple Music Replay can also be shared.
Onboard Freeform pilot Last Summer are Chiara Aurelia (Tell Me Your Secrets), Mika Abdalla (Project Mc), Michale Landes (The Liberator), Froy Gutierrez (Teen Wolf), Harley Quinn Smith (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood), Allius Barnes (Unbelievable), Blake Lee (Fam), Nathanial Ashton (Mr. Mercedes) and Brooklyn Sudano (Taken)…Dan Bakkedahl (Life in Pieces) and Augusto Aguilera (The Predator) have joined the cast of HBO Max’s Made for Love…Stephen Bishop (Moneyball) has joined the cast of Starz comedy pilot Run the World.
STATS & RESEARCH
According to Xandr’s new Relevance Report, while consumer ad fatigue is at an all-time high , consumers prefer to access content for free in an ad-supported environment…but only if the ads they’re seeing are relevant and don’t interrupt the content their viewing experience.
Key findings include:
- 7 out 10 consumers acknowledge content is a part of their everyday routine
- 54% of consumers said they are more likely to watch a television ad versus 40% who will watch a video ad
- 3 in 4 consumers feeling that advertising has become more frequent lately
- Heavy content consumers – who engage with 15 or more hours of content per week – have a more negative view of advertising at 20 percent, compared to 17 percent from overall respondents
Netflix and Nickelodeon have formed a new, multi-year output deal to produce original animated feature films and television series based both on the Nickelodeon library of characters as well as all-new programming. “Nickelodeon’s next step forward is to keep expanding beyond linear platforms, and our broader content partnership with Netflix is a key path toward that goal,” said Brian Robbins, President, Nickelodeon.
Pluto TV and CBS Interactive announced three additional channels have launched on the free streaming service. Pluto TV viewers now have access to ET Live and live local news streams from CBSN New York and CBSN Los Angeles. The additions join existing CBS Interactive properties and longstanding Pluto TV media partners CBSN and CNET.
Sling TV has launched on Facebook’s Portal TV , the connected TV device with a camera for video calling and AR apps. Portal TV began shipping on November 5 for $149.
Cord cutters’ average broadband usage has risen to more than half a terabyte of data per month , according to the Q3 2019 OVBI (OpenVault Broadband Industry) report. Among the findings:
- Average consumption by cord-cutter subscribers was 520.8 GB, an increase of 7% in Q3 alone and almost double the monthly weighted (UBB plus FRB) average subscriber usage of 275.1 GB
- The percentage of cord cutters who are “power users” consuming 1 TB or more of data per month is 12%, almost triple the 4.2% Q3 figure for weighted average subscribers
- The total number of power users increased 62% year over year, driven largely by FRB subscribers
GRB Studios acquired three reality programs from OWN (excluding U.S): To Have and to Hold: Charlotte, Ready to Love, and Love and Marriage.
Dramacorp-Pampas Studios has secured the rights to The Great Century book series by Swedish author Jan Guillou. It’s the Stockholm-based production company’s second major project with Guillou.
Kanal D commissioned a local version of House M.D. from Karga Seven Pictures Turkey, the Turkish outfit of US production company Karga Seven Pictures.
ITV canceled Rob Lowe police drama Wild Bill after one season. Series averaged 3.7 million viewers.
Count Disney Media Networks in on the World’s Ultimate Toy Drive campaign to benefit the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots Program, running through Dec. 15. In addition to numerous activations, Tamron Hall, host of talk show Tamron Hall, presented a $300,000 donation from The Walt Disney Company to Toys for Tots on Veterans Day.
Expanding upon its Stand for the Arts Awards initiative launched in 2017, Ovation will partner again with Charter Communications to recognize outstanding local arts, cultural, and educational organizations and programs in 12 of Charter’s Spectrum markets across the country. The initiative is part of the network’s national arts advocacy platform called Stand for the Arts, which will commit $120,000 to support arts education in these Spectrum markets.