PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Hugh Grant has been cast opposite Nicole Kidman in HBO six-episode limited series The Undoing. Written by David E. Kelley, drama centers on Grace Sachs (Kidman), a successful therapist with a devoted husband (Grant) and a young son.
Syfy greenlit its first original late-night animated series, Alien New Desk. Set to debut in early 2019, the weekly half-hour show is set in an extraterrestrial newsroom and is voiced by comedian Will Forte (alien news anchor “Drexx Drudlarr”) and Saturday Night Live’s Heidi Gardner (alien co-anchor “Tuva Van Void”). Lorne Michaels will executive-produce alongside SNL producer Erik Kenward, also executive-producing, while “Saturday Night Live: Weekend Update” head writer Dennis McNicholas will serve as EP and showrunner.
Disney Channel ordered a fourth season of Bunk’d, the spinoff from its 2011-2015 comedy Jessie. Production on the live-action series is set to begin in March 2019.
ABC bought a single-camera untitled comedy starring, created and executive-produced by Trae Crowder, known for his Liberal Redneck stage persona, and his writing and comedy touring partners Corey Forrester and Drew Morgan. Project hails from Ruben Fleischer’s The District and ABC Studios and is written by Andrew Reich (Friends), Crowder, Forrester and Morgan. It is an ensemble comedy about three best friends in the rural south and the women in their lives.
WE tv and Entertainment One are developing a project based on the career of hip-hop mogul Jermaine Dupris and his influence on music over the last 25 years. The special will feature archival footage, an exclusive look behind the scenes of So So Def’s recent 25th anniversary concert, and interviews with Dupris’ contemporaries and peers.
Netflix is moving forward with The One, a 10-episode drama from writer-creator Howard Overman, based on the sci-fi novel by John Marrs. Series is set five minutes in the future, in a world where a DNA test can find your perfect partner.
The Cynopsis Social Good Awards is the industry’s top honor recognizing pro-social initiatives that have inspired others while effecting positive change. The entry deadline is Thursday, December 13, 2018. Review your company’s best initiatives, and begin the easy online process and enter today!
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
The U.S. format of MTV’s global hit Ex On The Beach returns for its sophomore season on Thursday, December 20, at 8p. Hosted by rapper-actor Romeo Miller, dating series follows celebrity couples in Malibu Beach as they search for new love while being confronted by their past romances. The new season will also air across MTV’s international channels beginning in January.
IFC will begin airing Pee-wee’s Playhouse starring Paul Reubens on Thursday, November 22, at 6a. The net kicks off its run of the series with a 24-hour marathon, including the holiday special Christmas at Pee-wee’s Playhouse. Afterward, the show will return to its rightful home Saturday mornings beginning November 24.
Robert Rodriguez, founder and chairman of El Rey Network, sits down with Barbra Streisand for a rare in-person interview on The Director’s Chair. Special airs Monday, November 26, at 8p on El Rey Network.
TLC’s Dr. Pimple Popper debuts a one-hour special The 12 Pops of Christmas on Thursday, December 13 at 9p. The busiest time of the year is explored as Dr. Lee’s patients look to remedy skin issues before the holiday season.
BET premieres One Crazy Christmas on Saturday, November 17, at 9p. The movie centers on a successful divorced attorney who must juggle her family and guests during a Christmas dinner, when her daughter brings home a new fiancé.
BBC America presents a Doctor Who marathon, starting with all the Christmas specials beginning at 12p on Monday, December 24, and running through Tuesday, December 25. The net also kicks off 2019 with a New Year’s Day special episode of the series on Tuesday, January 1.
Taste Buds: Chefsgiving debuts Sunday, November 25, at 4p on ABC. The newest culinary offering from Intersport centers on a group of multicultural chefs, Tu David Phu, Sheldon Simeon, Melissa King and Kwame Onwuachi
NBC’s two-hour special Christmas in Rockefeller Center airs Wednesday, November 28, at 8p, featuring the annual lighting of New York City’s famous tree. The evening includes performances by Diana Ross, Tony Bennett, Brett Eldredge, Darci Lynne Farmer, Diane Krall, John Legend, Martina McBride, Pentatonix and Kellie Pickler, with a special appearance by Howie Mandel. Today anchors Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker and Craig Melvin will co-host.
Bonneville International’s flagship station, KSL, released podcast Cold, which debuted as #1 on iTunes, this week. It reveals details into the disappearance of Utah mother Susan Powell and includes never-before-seen-or-heard recordings from police files, including video footage showing Powell’s father-in-law’s obsession with her. Investigative reporter Dave Crawley spent three years working on the podcast.
Pandora is launching a new podcast offering, powered by its proprietary Podcast Genome Project, which will use a combination of technology and human curation to drive recommendations. Its goal is to help listeners determine if a podcast would appeal to them, when the podcast they’re currently listening to ends.
Matt Long (Helix) landed a major recurring role on NBC’s Manifest… Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) will guest on CBS All Access’ The Twilight Zone.
FuboTV is expanding its live TV streaming service to include commercial-free premium add-ons through new partnerships with AMC Networks’ AMC Premiere and FX Networks’ FX+. With these launches, fuboTV is the first and only virtual MVPD to offer both AMC Premiere and FX+ on its service.
A new BrandZ list from WPP and Kantar Millard Brown offers rankings of the most valuable brands. Apple moved into the top spot, worth $316 billion, bumping Google to second place. Amazon shot up 69% from last year. Netflix is the fasting growing, with a valuation of $30.2 billion – up 93% from 2017.
Digital discovery and publishing platform Issuu is set to debut a channel on Apple News to help its publishing clients with the app’s audience. Romana Atkin, editor-in-chief of Lucy’s Magazine and an Issuu user, told Publisher Insider, “Getting our content featured on Issuu’s Apple News channel is a great way for us to reach more people and gain the visibility we’re looking for. Apple News has become today’s digital newsstand and is where people discover new and interesting content.”
Streaming service Tubi is partnering with Comcast to launch nationwide on its Xfinity XI platform. At launch, Tubi is one of four apps available to Xfinity customers, along with Netflix and YouTube.
Sandbox & Co. acquired Constructive Media, LLC. from H.I.G. Capital. Constructive Media serves a global audience of avid learners and casual gamers through its digital media platforms, including CoolmathGames.com, Coolmath4Kids.com and Coolmath.com.
Israeli media firm Keshet is working on a $15M Truman Show-style reality series, 2025. The company, which produces and distributes shows, runs a broadcast network in Israel.