Friday December 6, 2019
Amazon Prime Video: Clifford the Big Red Dog
Netflix: Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show
Cartoon Network: Steven Universe Future at 8p
Oxygen: Criminal Confessions at 6p, Homicide for the Holidays at 7:30p
Universal Kids: DreamWorks’ Where’s Waldo at 10a
Showtime: The L Word: Generation Q at 10p, Work in Progress at 11p
Travel Channel: Expedition Bigfoot at 10p
HGTV: Off the Grid On the Beach at 9p
IN THE NEWS
Emmy-winning TV host Lilliana Vazquez and Australian entertainment reporter Scott Tweedie will co-host of E!’s newly transplanted NY-based daily morning shows E! News at 7a and Pop of the Morning at 11a. The shows debut Monday, January 6. “After spending 19 years in morning television, I know the importance of waking up with hosts you truly connect with and want to share your morning with. We’re excited to introduce you to that team,” said Tammy Filler, EVP and editor-In-Chief, E! News. Vazquez is a contributor on Today, E! News, Wendy Williams, The Talk and Rachael Ray Show. Tweedie’s credits include Dancing With The Stars Australia, and his own spin-off show, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
Noms are out from the Writers Guild of America, West and Writers Guild of America, East for outstanding achievement in television. The Crown, The Handmaid’s Tale, Mindhunter and Succession are competing for top drama while Barry, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Pen15, Russian Doll and Veep are in contention for the top comedy honor. Winners will be feted at concurrent awards events Saturday, February 1 in LA and NY.
No sophomore slump for Aubrey Plaza, who will return as host of the Film Independent Spirit Awards for the second consecutive year. Ceremony is slated for Saturday, February 8 and will be broadcast live on IFC.
The results are in for the Cynopsis 2019-2020 Salary Survey . For the 6th year in a row, we asked our audience of media industry execs to share information about compensation, benefits, salary satisfaction and more. You’ll find the details here.
Karen McDougal, who claims she had an affair with Donald Trump beginning in 2006, filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox News in New York state court. At issue is a Tucker Carlson Tonight segment in which he inferred she engaged in extortion after the former Playboy model sold her story to the National Enquirer just before the 2016 election – a story the publication promptly “killed” – and then approached Trump threatening to ruin his career if he didn’t give her money. In her lawsuit, McDougal’s attorney Eric Bernstein wrote, “Carlson asserted several ‘facts’ regarding McDougal which are demonstrably false.”
What’s ahead for the media industry in the new year? “In 2019, everyone was focused on the number of households – households with cable or those with connected TV (CTV) devices. But a new metric will take a front seat in 2020 – that of time spent,” Jeff Lucas, Head of North American Sales & Global Client Solutions at Verizon Media, tells Cynopsis. “Time spent viewing traditional TV will continue to fall, while time spent watching OTT content on CTV devices will grow – and rapidly. Today almost 55% of the U.S. population is using CTV. As the number grows, and TV viewing hours move from cable to OTT, marketers who haven’t fully embraced CTV will make the switch. Those who only tested it in 2019 will expand their use, with CTV graduating to major marketing channel status in 2020.” For more industry leader takes on what to expect in 2020, look for Cynopsis’ special roundup, coming out December 16.
Media mogul Byron Allen, whose legal dispute with Comcast recently reached the Supreme Court, took the opportunity of the departure from Comcast of diversity chief David Cohen (see Executive Moves) to make a statement. “With David Cohen out of the way, this is a pivotal moment in the history and legacy of Comcast and Brian Roberts,” Allen said in a statement, suggesting that Roberts and the Comcast board rescind their petition in the Supreme Court and sit down with critics.
PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Peacock, NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming platform, is developing a K-Pop-themed musical drama. Titled Olympic Boulevard, series is from writer Paula Yoo (The Perfectionists, Supergirl), producer Neil Meron and choreographer Kyle Hanagami.
Neighbors and Forgetting Sarah Marshall director Nick Stoller, and Bones producer Carla Kettner have a new rom-com set as a put pilot at Fox. Florida Man centers around the eccentric Bell Prescott, who hasn’t left the property he shares with his mother since a personal tragedy occurred five years ago. But he’s forced out into the town, and into a new role, when he discovers a dead body on the premises.
HBO Max greenlit half-hour dramedy Generation, marking the streamer’s first pilot to get a full series order. Directed by Lena Dunham and Ben Barnz, and created by 18-year old Zelda Barnz and her father Daniel Barnz who also directs, project follows a group of high school students whose exploration of modern sexuality tests deeply entrenched beliefs about life, love and the nature of family in their conservative community. Ensemble cast includes Nathanya Alexander, Chloe East, Nava Mau, Uly Schlesinger and Sam Trammell with Justice Smith and Martha Plimpton.
I just kinda wish you were on Apple TV+. Apple scored rights to a doc about 17-year-old breakout singer Billie Eilish in a deal with her label, Interscope Records. Project will be directed by R.J. Cutler, the eye behind The World According to Dick Cheney and The September Issue, and streamed on Apple TV+. Eilish was named Apple Music’s artist of 2019.
How well do you know TV’s holiday specials? Test your TV Santa smarts in the Cynopsis quiz.
Hearst Television acquired journalist and longtime NBC investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen’s consumer series Rossen Reports, and Rossen will be named chief national consumer correspondent of the franchise as part of the deal. The Report, to distributed across Hearst platforms, aids viewers with product purchasing, as well as safety and security tips.
MRC is checking into the Plaza. In one of its biggest deals to date, the indie studio scored TV, film, stage and related ancillary rights to Eloise, the beloved series of children’s books written by Kay Thompson and illustrated by Hilary Knight. In tandem with UK-based HandMade Films, the Thompson estate, illustrator Knight and book publisher Simon & Schuster, MRC aims to develop various adaptations. Handmade’s Trudi Francis will serve as an exec producer on all projects.
Passenger, the recently formed and Fremantle-backed production house, landed its first spec script project. Set in Miami, Wild Rabbit follows a college sports phenom who has to figure out a new life plan after he suffers a career-ending injury just weeks before draft day. Exec producers for Wild Rabbit will be Passenger’s Richard Brown, Randy McKinnon and Stephen “Dr” Love.
Nascent streaming site Topic is eyeing a 2020 release for scripted psychological horror anthology Soul City. Created by directing duo Coodie and Chike (ESPN 30 for 30’s Benji), who produce with Jess Jacobs and Audrey Rosenberg of Invisible Pictures (Bull), Soul City exposes the multicultural world of a select American city and its black population through the lens of psychological horror stories. New Orleans will be the debut city.
Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, the duo behind British series Inside No. 9 and The League of Gentleman, struck a first-look deal with BBC Studios.
DTC streaming service FOX Nation will debut a new program hosted by country music star John Rich. Launching in February, The Pursuit! With John Rich will be filmed from his home in Nashville.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Several new series and seasons are on tap at Snap. Season 4 of Second Chance debuts Monday, December 9, with new sets of execs reuniting for the first time. The fourth season of The Dead Girls Detective Agency drops Saturday, December 14, and new series Tekashi69 Vs. the World premieres Saturday, December 21 to explore topliners in hip-hop, entertainment and sports.
Telemundo will premiere a new season of anthology show Decisiones – Unos Ganan, Otros Pierden (Decisions – Some Win and Others Lose) Tuesday, December 10 at 9p. One of Telemundo’s most successful formats, Decisiones is inspired by real-life cases about what can happen to people based on their actions.
IFC sketch comedy Sherman’s Showcase arrives on Hulu Wednesday, December 11. Created by Emmy-nominated writers Diallo Riddle (Marlon, Rise) and Bashir Salahuddin (Glow, Snatched) and co-exec-produced by John Legend, series time-travels via music and clips drawn from the 40-year library of a legendary, albeit fictional, musical variety show.
Streaming site Topic will debut short-form scripted series Down from London, a new comedy series in partnership with Mermade, sister company to Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s Merman, on December 19. Show follows a couple trying to understand their relationship after a failed marriage proposal. Also coming up is eight-ep series Rough Draft, featuring sit-downs with writers including Melissa Rosenberg (Twilight), Steven Canals (Pose), Ramy Youssef (Ramy) and activist/rapper Vic Mensa. What’s Your Ailment?!, a ten-ep discussion show fronted by stand-up comic Maria Bamford, bows December 26.
Netflix’s new trailer for season 2 of Lost in Space sets the scene for more danger headed the way of Will Robinson and family in the form of slithering monsters, a torrential waterfall and more. The 10-ep second outing drops Tuesday, December 24, with the crew stranded on a mysterious ocean planet.
The house of Hastings also dropped a trailer for Fast & Furious: Spy Racers, from Universal and DreamWorks Animation, which reimagines the successful feature film brand as an animated series for kids. Series premieres on Netflix on Thursday, December 26.
Married at First Sight returns for its 10th season on Wednesday, January 1, touching down in the nation’s capital with even more marital doings. For the first time in series history five new couples will take a leap of faith when they walk down the aisle to marry a stranger in DC.
Child-rearing expert Jo Frost returns to television for 20 new eps of Supernanny, premiering Wednesday, January 1 at 10p on Lifetime. Families this season are dealing with diverse issues that span the spectrum of parenting challenges.
Paranormal professionals Amy Bruni and Adam Berry are joined by medium Chip Coffey to spread a different kind of holiday spirit in the season 4 return of Travel Channel’s Kindred Spirits on Friday, January 3 at 9p. The net also has three haunting new series on tap for this month: It Feels Evil launches Monday, December 16 at 10p; Trending Fear premieres Friday, December 20 at 11p; and Ghost Loop debuts Friday, December 27 at 10p.
MTV series Siesta Key returns with even more drama on Tuesday, January 7 at 8p. New season features The Bachelorette’s Robby Hayes joining the original crew.
Streaming service Shudder will introduce The Dead Lands, a co-production with New Zealand’s TVNZ, with two eps on Thursday, January 23. Series features a supernatural adventure set in a mythic Maori past.
Food Network and Girl Scouts of the USA are cooking up Girl Scout Cookie Championship, a four-ep series aimed at those obsessed with the iconic cookies. Hosted by Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother), competition will see bakers transforming Girl Scout Cookies into show-stopping edible pieces of art. Series kicks off Monday, February 3 at 8p.
AMC anthology series Dispatches from Elsewhere, created by and starring Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother), will debut with a two-night premiere Sunday, March 1 and Monday, March 2 at 10p. Ten-ep series centers around four ordinary people who feel there’s something missing in their lives they can’t quite put their finger on, and are brought together when they stumble onto a puzzle hiding just behind the veil of everyday life. As they begin to accept the mysterious “Dispatches from Elsewhere” challenges, they discover the mystery winds deeper than they imagined.
Wheel of Fortune letter turner Vanna White will host the show’s Secret Santa Holiday Giveaway beginning Monday, December 9. White subbed for host Pat Sajak while Sajak recovered from abdominal surgery when the episodes were filmed last month. Disney is first-time promotional partner.
Comedian, The Daily Show Correspondent and Crazy Rich Asians actor Ronny Chieng makes his Netflix comedy special debut in Asian Comedian Destroys America! Special debuts Tuesday, December 17.
Starz gave Outlander fans an early gift, announcing they’ll get glimpse at season 5 with an exclusive clip airing Sunday, December 15 as part of the net’s “Page to Screen” weekend. Starz will be showcasing other book adaptations that weekend, including new original series Dublin Murders, drawn from the novels by Tana French.
Decades TV Network will stage the marathon A Toast To Twilight, an ode to Rod Serling’s anthology masterpiece The Twilight Zone, beginning Tuesday, December 31 at 7a and continuing through New Year’s Day.
Verizon Media and Serena Williams are joining forces this holiday season to present Everybody, Every Body, a shoppable video series that will feature Williams’ S by Serena collection. Videos will feature clickable content that enables seamless purchasing.
YouTube is taking a new approach with this year’s YT Rewind mashup video, offering a montage of big moments and milestones from around the world on YouTube rather than its traditional offering of highly produced original video segments. According to Variety, the move follows the 2018 YouTube Rewind scoring as the most-disliked video ever in the platform’s history.
PewDiePie is YouTube’s is most-viewed creator of 2019, year-to-date, with more than 4 billion views, according to the platform. Also known by his real name of Felix Kjellberg, he’s also the most-subscribed individual YT creator, with 102 million followers. YouTube released the top 10 most-viewed creators ranking as part of its year-in-review compilations.
Amazon Alexa will release its first interactive audio series, Tala’s World, which comprises seven episodes and invites listeners to solve a crime by collecting clues and interviewing suspects.
Nelvana is launching its first original musical shorts series, Toon Bops, via the Corus Entertainment company’s Treehouse Direct YouTube channel and the YouTube Kids’ App homepage in all English-speaking territories. Animated shorts feature upbeat original songs surrounding themes such as family and friendship.
Bleacher Report and street wear brand Chinatown Market are partnering to launch a podcast and video series with At Will Media that will look at trends in street wear design and culture. Three-part series Friends and Family will serve as a promotional vehicle for B/R Kicks’ annual celebration of street style, art and culture -The Drop Up.
Briana Cuoco, actress, singer, dancer and sister of Kaley Cuoco, will recur in upcoming HBO Max series The Flight Attendant.
Disney+ exceeded 15 million subscribers in its first five days, dwarfing Apple TV+’s estimated 1.1 million subscribers, according to a new study from IMA Research. The survey of nearly 1,100 US consumers found:
* Awareness of Disney+ is strong, with 63 percent of respondents knowing about the new streaming service, versus Apple TV+’s 34 percent
* Of those aware, 28 percent reported subscribing to Disney+ already or intending to do so; 40 percent of those who intend or already subscribed will use a free promotion
* Nearly half (47 percent) believe the price of $6.99/month is fair; only 25 percent of respondents find the price to be too expensive
* The Disney/Pixar catalog is its most attractive feature
* 24 percent of respondents who intend to or have already subscribed would cancel an existing streaming or pay service in favor of Disney+
TNT Series, Turner’s German series net, commissioned W&B Television, the German indie behind Netflix series Dark and German drama 4 Blocks, to create a series tracing the beginnings of German hip-hop music.
In syndication, most daytime shows were bombarded by preemptions for impeachment hearings on three of the five weekdays in the session ended November 24. Judge Judy (6.3 live plus same day national rating, down 7 percent from the week before) had its primary run blacked out in five of the 20 largest markets on November 19 alone. Still, Judy was syndication’s highest rated show for the 16th time in 17 weeks, tied with Jeopardy (6.3, down 13 percent) and Wheel of Fortune (6.3, up 2 percent). Dr Phil (2.3, down 8 percent) topped the talkers for the 168th week in a row. Live with Kelly & Ryan (2.1, steady) took second place honors for the 39th straight week.
Among the hot rookies The Kelly Clarkson Show (1.3, down 7 percent) was still the top-rated new show despite not getting a breakout on November 21, a day that was marked by a ton of preemptions. Rising newcomer Tamron Hall (1.0, steady) held its ground at its season high. Well behind the top two came Mel Robbins (0.4, unchanged), the third of the season’s three new talk shows.
Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of November 18
ranked in order by HH Rtg
Judge Judy (CTD) 6.3 AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 6.3 AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 6.3 AA
Family Feud (2/T) 5.9 AA
The Big Bang Theory (WB) 3.1 AA
Inside Edition (CTD) 2.7 AA
Entertainment Tonight (CTD) 2.6 AA
Dr. Phil (CTD) 2.3 AA
Live With Kelly and Ryan (DADT) 2.1 AA
Hot Bench (AT) 2.1 AA
Last Man Standing (AT) 1.9 AA
Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of November 18
ranked in order by A18-49 Rtg
Family Feud (2/T) 1.2 AA
Judge Judy (CTD) 1.2 AA
Jeopardy (CTD) 1.1 AA
Wheel of Fortune (CTD) 1.1 AA
The Big Bang Theory (WB) 0.9 AA
Family Guy (2/T) 0.9 AA
Modern Family (2/T) 0.7 AA
Entertainment Tonight (AT) 0.6 AA
Last Man Standing (AT) 0.6 AA
Inside Edition (CTD) 0.5 AA
Dr. Phil (CTD) 0.5 AA
Live With Kelly and Ryan (DADT) 0.5 AA
TVision Top Primetime Broadcast TV for November by Ad Viewability
The Goldbergs, ABC, 90.5%
NCIS: Los Angeles, CBS, 87.8%
Mom, CBS, 87.2
(tie) Bull, CBS, 86.5
(tie) The Resident, Fox, 86.5
TVision Top Primetime Cable TV for November by Ad Viewability
Guy’s Grocery Games, Food Network, 89.9%
(tie) Flip or Flop, HGTV, 89.6%
(tie) The Real Housewives of Dallas, BRAVO, 89.6%
America Says, Game Show Network, 88.7%
Beachfront Bargain Hunt, HGTV, 87.0%
Live + Same Day Viewers AA (millions): Wednesday, December 4
Time period averages
Source: Nielsen Live + SD
CBS: 5.50 million
Survivor 6.86, SEAL Team 5.43, S.W.A.T. 4.20,
ABC: 3.23 million
The Goldbergs 4.08, Schooled 3.11, Modern Family 3.79, Single Parents 2.58, Stumptown 2.92
NBC: 5.53 million
Christmas in Rockefeller Center 6.89, Making It 2.83
FOX: 4.67 million
The Masked Singer 6.51, The Moodys 3.29, The Moodys 2.39
CW: 0.69 million
Riverdale 0.70, Nancy Drew 0.69
Wednesday A18-49 Ratings
FOX 1.2/6, ABC 0.6/3, NBC 0.9/5, CBS 0.8/4 CW 0.2/1
David Cohen, who’s led Comcast’s diversity and lobbying efforts, and been a longtime right-hand adviser to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, will step down from his operational role at the company. In January he’ll transition from Senior EVP to senior counselor to Roberts. Cohen joined Comcast in 2002.
Producer and network executive Leonard Goldberg died December 5 from injuries from a fall. He was 85. Goldberg worked at ABC from 1961-69, was partnered with Aaron Spelling from 1972-84, and served as President of Twentieth Century Fox from 1987-89. Most recently, as President of Panda Productions, Goldberg was an executive producer on Blue Bloods.
This Day in History
1790 – The US Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia.
Answer to our last trivia question
Which two-season sitcom’s characters included a morning show host who fell for the show’s hairdresser? Good Morning, Miami (2002-2003). Kudos to: Joe Brucia-AMC Networks/NY; Michael Gioscia-NBCUniversal/NY; Susan Nessenbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/NY; David Garber-Loyola Marymount University/Playa Vista, CA; Tom Moore -Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG*AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank
Today’s Trivia Question
What was the first letter Vanna White turned on Wheel of Fortune? (Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: A limit of four correct answers from each time zone will be selected.).
FRIDAY DECEMBER 6
ABC: College Football
CBS: Hawaii Five-0, Magnum P.I., Blue Bloods
CW: Charmed, Dynasty
FOX: WWE Friday Smackdown
NBC: The Blacklist, Dateline NBC
PBS: Washington Week, Firing Line With Margaret Hoover, Shakespeare Live! From the RSC
Telemundo: El Sultan, El Final del Paraiso, El Senor de los Cielos
Univision: Ringo, La Rosa de Guadelupe, El Dragon