PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Netflix ordered UK/Swedish treatment Young Wallander, based on the early life of the police detective popularized in the novels of Henning Mankell. The streamer also ordered an as-yet-untitled original series set during the French Revolution that will follow Joseph Guillotin, the future inventor of the guillotine.
Elvis Mitchell will traverse the globe in upcoming Epix docuseries Elvis Goes There, slated to premiere February 4. Series will feature the veteran journalist traveling with filmmakers and actors to places of inspiration, exploring how each location shaped their work and identity. Guests set for the four hourlong eps include Sofia Coppola, Ryan Coogler, Paul Feig and Guillermo del Toro. Mitchell creates the series and exec-produces alongside Cheri Barner and Wildline’s Simon Helberg, Jocelyn Towne and Cora Olson. Lydia Tenaglia, Craig H. Shepherd and Toby Oppenheimer of Zero Point Zero Productions (Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown) also are in as exec producers.
Eunetta T. Boone (One on One) is the new exec producer and showrunner for the third season of Disney Channel series Raven’s Home. The veteran comedy writer/producer most recently was a consultant on the series. Writer/producer Warren Hutcherson (Dr. Ken) also joins as co-exec producer on the series, which is in production now for a 2019 season 3 debut.
Benito Cereno, the 1855 Herman Melville novella about the fictionalized revolt of a Spanish slave ship, is in development at Topic Studios as a drama series adapted to take place in deep space. Project is created by Steven Katz, who will write and exec-produce along with Topic Studios, Management’s Dan Halsted and Corinne Hayoun.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
All 13 eps of season 2 of Hulu’s Marvel’s Runaways will debut Friday, December 21. New season picks up after the Runaways have left their homes and evil parents behind and have to learn to live on their own.
Giada De Laurentiis kicks off the new year with new competition series Winner Cake All, premiering Monday, January 7, at 10p on Food Network. Each ep features four cake-baking tandems from around the country competing for a $10,000 grand prize.
Schooled, a spinoff of comedy series The Goldbergs, will premiere on ABC on Wednesday, January 9, at 8:30p, following The Goldbergs. Set in 1990-something, series follows the faculty of William Penn Academy… In related news, American Housewife will move to Tuesdays at 8p beginning February 5, and ABC announced it added an additional episode to the series’ season order.
A look at the game-changing birth of Silicon Valley, Nat Geo’s scripted series Valley of the Boom debuts Sunday, January 13, at 9p with two back-to-back episodes.
The Real Housewives of Dallas are ready for a two-part reunion, debuting on Bravo on Wednesday, December 5, at 10p. Host Andy Cohen sitting down with the crew to hear them speak their truths and settle the score for season three.
HGTV will premiere White House Christmas 2018 on Sunday, December 9, at 6p, as cameras follow designer and home renovation star Alison Victoria, White House staff and volunteers on an exclusive room-by-room tour of the iconic home’s holiday transformation.
Pentatonix returns to NBC this holiday season with Pentatonix: A Not So Silent Night, airing Monday, December 10, at 10p. On the group’s third holiday special with the network, Pentatonix embarks on a journey throughout Las Vegas and will be joined by Kelly Clarkson, the Backstreet Boys, Maren Morris and Penn & Teller.
Showtime’s keeping the beat with a week of music documentary premieres in December, profiling rock legends Jeff Beck, Agnostic Front, GG Allin and Korn’s Brian “Head” Welch. Jeff Beck: Still on the Run kicks things off Tuesday, December 11, at 7:30p.
HDNet Movies’ winter lineup is headlined by six sinister Stephen King adaptations in the New Year’s Eve “King Of Horror” marathon beginning December 31 at 5:40p and including Thinner, Silver Bullet, Pet Sematary, The Dead Zone and Graveyard Shift. Also in December, the network is pairing iconic films with their follow-ups with back-to-back sequels airing throughout the month. HDNet will also honor a few birthdays – including Brad Pitt on December 18 – with movies featuring those actors.
Cozi TV will light up a marathon of Christmas moments next month, with 14 holiday-themed eps from The Nanny, Will & Grace, Frasier and more on tap to run Friday, December 14, beginning at 6p. The festivities will repeat on Christmas Eve.
Bravo Media digital companion series Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen returns Thursday, December 6, following the premiere of Top Chef on Bravo. Alums Carrie Baird and Brother Luck from season 15, and Jim Smith from season 14 are back for a chance at redemption and another shot at the coveted title in the new season, sponsored by Hidden Valley Ranch.
Cinedigm reached an agreement to acquire digi comic book service ComicBlitz, with plans to distribute its content globally via mobile, streaming and other services. ComicBlitz provides subscribers access to about 10,000 titles from 30-plus publishers. Cinedigm also plans to integrate ComicBlitz into its own OTT services, including its fandom lifestyle network CONtv.
Google relaunched its mobile phone service with new branding under the name Google Fi, an update from the previous moniker Project Fi. The service is now available on iPhones and majority of Android phones. Unlimited talk and text go for $20 a month, with a $10 fee for every GB of data used; data charges are capped at $60.
French music tech company Qobuz is coming to the States, with plans to launch in the U.S. in 2019.
VR startup Dreamscape Immersive will open its debut venue at the Westfield Century City mall in LA in December. Additional stand-alone locations in Dallas/Ft Worth, NY/NJ and Columbus, OH, will go live in the coming months, with additional experiences with Dreamscape partner AMC Theatres slated to launch in mid-2019.
Digital content distribution and analytics Kedoo Entertainment launched Kedoo Originals, a slate of original shows Kedoo will acquire, develop, co-produce and distribute across digital platforms. Kedoo Originals will be led by Olivier Bernard, COO Kedoo Entertainment.
The national advertising marketplace grew 7 percent in October year over year, with the TV market remaining flat YoY, according to new data from Standard Media Index. Looking across platforms, digital was the strongest performer last month, growing 17 percent, followed by out-of-home (OOH) at 10 percent, radio at 7 percent, television flat, and print down 27 percent. Among other highlights from the report:
* Primetime original dramas brought in 7 percent more revenue than they did last October.
* Average 30-second spot on a season premiere cost 158 percent more than during a regular season ep for primetime original entertainment shows.
* Average revenue per World Series game was up 27 percent compared to last year.
* NFL revenue was down 19 percent for September and October.
Donald Sutherland joined the cast of upcoming HBO miniseries The Undoing, joining stars Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant… Alona Tal (SEAL Team, Hand of God) landed the first spot in ABC’s pilot reboot of NYPD Blue… Garrett Wareing (Perfect) scored a recurring role on Freeform’s upcoming Pretty Little Liars spinoff The Perfectionists… Melissa de Sousa (The Best Man) is set to recur in YouTube dark comedy On Becoming A God In Central Florida… Danish actor Claes Bang (The Girl in the Spider’s Web) will sink his teeth into Netflix/BBC’s upcoming Dracula, snagging the lead role in the three-part series… A trio of actors join the cast of Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Alexis Denisof and Jedidiah Goodacre will join part 2 of the series as recurring guest stars; McKenna Grace grabbed a guest spot in the series’ holiday ep… In more Netflix news, the cast has been set for young adult series The Society: Rachel Keller (Legion), Gideon Adlon (Blockers), Jacques Colimon (Duat), Olivia DeJonge (The Visit), Alex Fitzalan (Slenderman), Kristine Froseth (Sierra Burgess Is A Loser), Jose Julian (A Better Life), Natasha Liu Bordizzo (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny), Alex MacNicoll (Transparent), Jack Mulhern (Locke & Key), Salena Qureshi (Madam Secretary), Grace Victoria Cox (Heathers), Sean Berdy (Switched at Birth) and Toby Wallace (Romper Stomper).
Britain’s TV regulator Ofcom is urging broadcasters to collaborate to create a UK SVOD service to compete with global forces such as Netflix and Amazon. Speaking at the Freeview conference in London, CEO Sharon White suggested the service could be called BritPlayer.