PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Oscar and Emmy-winning actress Holly Hunter will topline with Ted Danson in NBC’s new untitled comedy from Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, 3 Arts Entertainment and Universal Television. Series stars Danson as a wealthy businessman who runs for mayor of LA for all the wrong reasons. Hunter will play a longtime liberal councilwoman.
John Wells and Molly Smith Metzler , the team behind Showtime’s Shameless, are teaming with Margot Robbie to adapt Stephanie Land memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive for Netflix. Series follows a single mom who turns to housekeeping as she battles poverty, homelessness and bureaucracy. Robbie will exec-produce via her LuckyChap Entertainment along with LuckyChap’s Tom Ackerley and Brett Hedblom. Metzler is writer, exec producer and showrunner; Wells and Erin Jontow exec-producing for John Wells Productions banner.
Jaime King-starring zombie thriller Black Summer is headed back Netflix for an eight-ep second season. Series topped the streamer’s top 10 most-watched list in the UK earlier this year. Co-exec producer John Hyams will serve as sole showrunner for the coming season.
More news from the Quibi-verse. Zac Efron is headed to a remote island for new short-form show Killing Zac Efron, where with nothing but basic gear and a guide partner, he’ll go off the grid for three weeks. Efron is also exec-producing the series, from his Ninjas Runnin’ Wild studio and Zero Point Zero… The digital service also ordered a Lionsgate-produced drama that’s a contemporary reboot of 1994 theatrical drama Swimming with Sharks. Kathleen Robertson (Murder in the First) will write and produce.
It’s a third season of original series Love After Lockup, and a second season for spinoff Life After Lockup at WE tv, based on strong ratings for both shows.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment’s new Landmark Studio Group is developing and producing dramedy series Flagrant in partnership with actor and comedian Michael Rapaport (Atypical). Rapaport will appear in and exec produce; screenwriter Peter Hoare and actor/writer Pete Correale serve as co-writers and showrunners. Plot follows a disgraced college basketball player who, 20 years after he was caught throwing a game, gets an unlikely shot at redemption.
Tetra Media Studio acquired rights to adapt Matthieu Suc novel Les Espions de la Terreur (The Spies of Terror) as spy thriller miniseries Mirage, set against the backdrop of the deadly 2015 Paris terror attacks. Franck Philippon will serve as creator/writer/exec producer/showrunner.
It’s a season 2 green light for Ultimate Cowboy Showdown at INSP. Series features real, modern-day cowboys from across the country competing for the ultimate cowboy prize—their their own herd of cattle.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
HITN TV will premiere of the second season of Mundo Salvaje con Ron Magill on Monday, November 25 at 9p, bolstering the network’s wildlife-themed block. New production was shot on location in South Africa.
Freeform’s new holiday gift-wrapping competition series Wrap Battle bows Monday, November 25, at 9p and follows nine contestants as they battle to become the ultimate wrapper. Series is hosted by comedian Sheryl Underwood (The Talk), with Carson Kressley (RuPaul’s Drag Race) and Wanda Wen serving as judges… Also at Freeform, the net released a trailer for Everything’s Gonna Be OK, the latest comedy from Josh Thomas, who again takes multiple roles as creator, writer, exec producer and star. Series premieres with two-eps Thursday, January 16 at 8:30p.
Discovery continues its high-stakes ride with season 2 of Body Cam , premiering Tuesday, December 3 at 10p. Ten-ep second run presents an intense, raw and intimate look at the current state of policing in America.
Sundance Now will debut drama The Gulf on Wednesday, December 4. Mystery series follows a tough New Zealand detective whose personal and professional lives start to unravel when she is involved in a fatal car crash that kills her husband and causes her to lose pieces of her memory.
Miracle Workers: Dark Ages got a premiere date of Tuesday, January 28 at 10:30p on TBS. It’s the second season of the anthology series created by Simon Rich, exec-produced by Lorne Michaels, and starring Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi.
Slow Burn, the six-ep docuseries based on the podcast of the same name, will premiere on Epix on Sunday, February 16 at 10p. Expanding on the podcast’s first season, Leon Neyfakh will look back on the Watergate crisis, excavating the subplots and forgotten characters involved in the downfall of a president in a politically tumultuous times not so far removed from today.
AMC set February 23-24 for the two-night season 5 premiere of Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul. Starring Bob Odenkirk as soon-to-be-erstwhile Albuquerque attorney Jimmy McGill, season picks up 16 months after the action began with his decision to begin practicing law as “Saul Goodman.”
Food Network and Food Network Kitchen on Saturday, November 23at 11a will offer live classes and a two-hour live, on-air special packed with on-air talent offering Thanksgiving recipes, tips and entertaining advice.
Dove Channel is turning back the clock this holiday season , as the faith-based net spotlights four retro classics. Premiering Monday, November 25 is the color-restored 1935 Charles Dickens adaptation Scrooge (A Christmas Carol), starring Donald Calthrop, 1964 animated fave Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, a collection the Red Skelton Christmas Classics sketch mashup, and 1966 fantasy Santa’s Christmas Circus Starring Whizzo The Clown. Dove also is offering a variety of curated holiday blocks airing throughout the season.
The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, from Ava DuVernay’s Array Releasing, will debut on Netflix on Wednesday, November 27 followed by a theatrical release in NY, LA and other select US cities. Film follows two Indigenous women from vastly different backgrounds whose worlds collide when one of them is fleeing a violent domestic attack.
Oxygen will air Snapped: Behind Bars – Sheila Davalloo on Sunday, December 1 at 6p. Two-hour special about the infamous case of Davalloo, who attempted to murder her husband, features her telling her side of the story.
Ho Ho Ho: TV One is celebrating the holidays with a slate full of original movies, specials and marathons. A marathon feting the 30th anniversary of Family Matters begins Thursday, November 28 at 6a. Original holiday film Dear Santa, I Need a Date premieres Sunday, December 8 at 7p, and the African Pride Gospel Superfest Holiday special airs Sunday, December 15 at 6p. Up next, TV One will air a marathon of Christmas-themed sitcom specials from The Jeffersons, Sanford & Son, Good Times, What’s Happening, What’s Happening Now, Family Matters, Living Single, Girlfriends, Eve and All of Us from Sunday, December 22 at 6a-Monday, December 23 at 3a. Christmas Day will see a roundup of holiday films including Christmas Swap, Merry Wishmas and You Can’t Fight Christmas.
CMA Country Christmas rings in the holiday season at 9p Tuesday, December 3 on ABC. Trisha Yearwood will host and perform during the special, which also includes Dierks Bentley, Kristin Chenoweth, Tori Kelly, Lady Antebellum, Rascal Flatts, and more.
Netflix premiered a trailer for new holiday film A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby, which premieres Thursday, December 5. Film is a race-against-the-clock caper, when the king and queen have to find a missing treaty before the arrival of the new royal baby.
EstrellaTV will air the Spanish-language broadcast of the Miss World 2019 beauty pageant on December 14, 2019 at 7p. This year’s event takes place in London.
A new adaptation of Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol will haunt FX on Thursday, December 19 at 7:30p. The net released a trailer and shared details about the movie, a more spine-tingling immersion into Scrooge’s dark night of the soul written and exec-produced by Steven Knight and directed by Nick Murphy.
John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch , a new special featuring the comedian with the youth troupe plus guests including David Byrne, Andre De Shields, Natasha Lyonne and Jake Gyllenhaal, launches globally on Netflix on December 24.
The epilogue to Cartoon Network’s acclaimed series Steven Universe, Steven Universe Future, bows on the network with four back-to-back eps on Saturday, December 7 at 8p. Series continues the narrative of the original as well as Steven Universe The Movie, with Steven now having to solve some of his own problems after saving the universe.
Nickelodeon is looking after this bear. The network will bow CG-animated series The Adventures of Paddington on Monday, January 20 at 12:30p. New series centers on a younger Paddington as he writes letters to Aunt Lucy celebrating the new things he discovers. In advance of the series debut, Nick will air a holiday presentation of Paddington Finds a Pigeon/Paddington and the Chores List on Friday, December 20 at 12:30 p.
The Dodo announced that 46 shorts from its series Odd Couples will be available on DisneyNOW. Odd Couples tells the stories of the unique bonds interspecies BFFs share, from an inseparable cat-rat duo to a besmitten turkey and dog. First 10 shorts are available for all DisneyNOW users this week.
True Royalty TV, a streaming service dedicated to all things royal, launched on Sling TV. Service also debuted its first news and commentary show, The Royal Beat, hosted by Harper’s Bazaar editor-at-large Omid Scobie. Sling TV customers can add True Royalty to their lineup for $6/month.
The complete content catalog of digital factual hub CuriosityStream is now available to customers of Airtel, India’s largest integrated telecom services provider. Airtel is the first partner to bring CuriosityStream to India; content includes Stephen Hawking’s Favorite Places, Butterfly Effect: Gandhi-The Force of Willpower and David Attenborough’s Light on Earth.
Verizon is not planning to sell HuffPost. This according to Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan, who said at the Code Media conference the news and opinion site remains central to the telco’s content strategy. “We are focusing on creating good journalism, and giving valued content to consumers,” he said.
Disney responded to reports that thousands of Disney Plus accounts have been hacked, noting the company has found “no evidence of a security breach,” according to Variety. Disney also told reporters at the trade only a “small percentage” of the service’s 10 million-plus users have seen their usernames and passwords compromised.
Smart speaker maker Sonos acquired Paris- and Tokyo-based voice assistant startup Snips. Snips has been developing a platform for dedicated voice assistants for smart speakers and other devices.
ADVERTISING & BRANDS
Effectv, the advertising sales division of Comcast Cable formerly known as Comcast Spotlight, launched full-service creative agency Mnemonic, as well as a self-service creative portal through Effectv Ad Planner. Mnemonic is led by Joe Alesi, executive creative director, who was hired in 2018 by Effectv to develop its creative services offering to meet the evolving needs of local advertisers. Mnemonic will focus on the development of linear TV and digital video advertising campaigns for Effectv clients, including a multichannel approach extending the advertiser’s brand message for optimal impact.
Hey now, hey now! Adam Lamberg will reprise his role as David “Gordo” Gordon, in the upcoming Disney+ series Lizzie McGuire… Joan Allen will co-star opposite Julianne Moore and Clive Owen in Apple limited series Lisey’s Story… Cory Hardrict (The Oath), Joel Steingold (How To Get Away with Murder) and Salvador Chacon (Mayans M.C.) scored multi-ep arcs in season 3 of Showtime’s The Chi.
Jake Brennan, creator and host of the Disgraceland podcast , and his business partner Brady Sadler launched audio-centric media company Double Elvis Productions. Initial slate comprises four music-focused podcasts in partnership with iHeartMedia and as part of iHeartRadio Original Podcasts. Dear Young Rocker, exec-produced by Brennan and told from the perspective of host Chelsea Ursin, is a coming of age story about the struggles of young adulthood and the power of music. It’s slated for release early 2020.
STATS & DATA
Penthera released results of its annual Latin America Streaming Behavior Survey , which shows even though habitual daily mobile streaming usage continues to rise in Latin America, tolerance for unresolved technical and experiential issues is rapidly decreasing. Among results:
* 94 percent reported they have experienced streaming frustrations including being annoyed with advertisements (54 percent), followed by the video taking too long to start (52 percent), and the video re-buffering (52 percent).
* The percentage of Latin American respondents who said they download mobile video daily, has doubled from 2018.
* 83 percent of Latin American respondents said they expect a streaming service to include a mobile video download feature.
The Crown: After a debacle of an interview with the BBC , Prince Andrew announced he’s stepping back from public duties. The interview heralded numerous headlines about his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. After a discussion with the queen, he released a statement noting he’d step back for “the foreseeable future” after becoming a “major disruption to my family’s work.”
HBO Europe dropped a trailer and set the premiere date for Isabel Coixet drama Foodie Love. Series will launch in Spain on December 4 and will roll out across Eurpoe on December 25.
Viacom’s Channel 5 snagged BBC cooking duo the Hairy Bikers for a chocolate-making competition in partnership with Nestle. David Myers and Simon King will make their first major non-BBC show for Channel 5, The Hairy Bikers Chocolate Challenge, in a format created by Twofour.