PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTION
Comedy Central Productions’ Reno 911! nabbed a seventh season from upcoming mobule platform Quibi. The ensemble comedy, which ran for six seasons on Comedy Central, was created by and stars Robert Ben Garant, Kerri Kenney-Silver and Thomas Lennon, all of whom are attached to write and star in the new season. Peter Principato of Artists First will executive produce the series along with Danny DeVito, Michael Shamberg and Stacey Sher of Jersey Television.
More on Comedy Central: the net announced a digital-content partnership with Refinery29 for two series from Comedy Central Productions that will identify and showcase an all-female lineup of comedians. Slated to premiere next spring, the series will be co-branded and distributed on Comedy Central and Refinery29 digital platforms.
The United Lakers Project landed a series order from HBO. Limited series drama, based on the book, Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s, comes under Hyperobject Industries’ first-look deal with HBO. Writer Max Borenstein (Godzilla) exec produces with Adam McKay and Kevin Messick. Cast includes John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss; Jason Clarke as Jerry West; Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson; Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; Gaby Hoffmann as Claire Rothman; Hadley Robinson as Jeanie Buss; DeVaughn Nixon as Norm Nixon; Molly Gordon as Linda Zafrani; Rob Morgan as Earvin Johnson Sr.; Spencer Garrett as Chick Hearn; Kirk Bovill as Donald Sterling; Delante Desouza as Michael Cooper; Stephen Adly Guirgis as Frank Mariani; Tamera Tomakili as Earletha ‘Cookie’ Kelly and Joey Brooks as Lon Rosen.
With the ViacomCBS deal complete, Australia’s Network 10 announced its first joint primetime content initiative with its new sib, Channel 5 in the UK. The two broadcasters are teaming to fund Breathless, a mini-series to be produced by Fremantle, starring Charlie Brooks (EastEnders) and Australian actor Brett Tucker (The Americans). Story centers on a British woman and her husband seeking a fresh start in Australia after infidelity rocks their marriage, but the young local nanny they hire isn’t as innocent as she appears.
Participant, SoulPancake, and Seventh Generation announced the launch of a campaign to develop and distribute digital content in support of the National Domestic Workers Alliance online platform Alia, a portable benefits platform for domestic workers. The goal of the SoulPancake-produced is to raise awareness for Alia and to encourage employers to give back to employees. As part of the partnership, Seventh Generation will support NDWA by providing resources to increase the awareness and importance of the Alia platform with the aim of inspiring more employers to sign up for the platform.
Top 10 Weekend Domestic Box Office Estimates: December 6-8
Frozen 2 (Walt Disney) $34.7 million (week 3), cume revenue $337.6 million
Knives Out (Lionsgate) $14.2 million (week 2), cume revenue $63.5 million
Ford v Ferrari (Twentieth Century Fox) $6.5 million (week 4), cume revenue $91.1 million
Queen & Slim (Universal) $6.5 million (week 2), cume revenue $26.9 million
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Sony Pictures) $5.2 million (week 3), cume revenue $43.1 million
Dark Waters (Focus Features) $4.1 million (week 3), cume revenue $5.3 million
21 Bridges (STX) $2.9 million (week 3), cume revenue $23.9 million
Playing with Fire (Paramount) $2.0 million (week 5) $42.0 million
Midway (Lionsgate) $1.9 million (week 5), cume revenue $53.4 million
Joker (Warner Bros) $1.0 million (week 10), cume revenue $332.1 million
Live TV cord-cutters are increasingly families looking for a service that will meet the different needs of everyone in the household, according to fuboTV trend report “2019 Portrait of a Cord-Cutter.” They are not looking for a niche offering, says the report; their streaming behavior mimics traditional cable TV in terms of the type of content watched – what’s changed is where and how they watch. Highest viewing days are Sunday, followed by Saturday, with the majority of viewing occurring in prime time. While the primary driver for consumers cutting the cord in 2019 was cost, “ We believe consumers will continue to cut the cord not only to save money, but because of a better user experience with the introduction of live TV personalization, enhancements to DVR as well as on-demand viewing and increased social viewing,” said the report.
Pay TV subscribers increased in 2019, making up 68% of viewers, versus 67% last year, according to an October survey by PwC. Traditional pay TV subscribers fell from 40% to 39%, but cord trimmers rose from 27% to 29%, and cord cutters fell from 25% to 23%, said the report.
Amazon Prime service got a big boost from its inaugural Premier League matches in the UK. “We’re delighted that millions of football fans enjoyed watching Amazon’s first ever round of Premier League matches on Prime Video,” said Alex Green, Managing Director of Prime Video Sport Europe. “We are excited to be the first ever broadcaster to bring fans all 10 games live in a fixture round.”
On its Netflix premiere date, The Irishman brought in an average minute audience of 2.6 million US P2+ viewers, according to Nielsen SVOD Content Ratings. Across its first five days of availability, the Martin Scorsese film scored an average minute audience of nearly 13.2 million. Eighteen percent of viewers watched the three-and-a-half-hour-long movie in its entirety on premiere day.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Real-time cooking series Homemade Unfiltered , from Believe Entertainment Group, Dola Media and cookbook author, restaurateur and founder of lifestyle hub Homemade, Ayesha Curry, has premiered on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and ShopHomemade.com. “Homemade Unfiltered is going to be a fun, communal cooking experience,” said Curry. “No fancy edits. No pre-prepared dishes. This is REAL cooking as it happens, with mistakes and all.” What there will be is mayonnaise – Hellman’s and Best Foods are launch partners.
Crime doesn’t take a holiday on ID. All three episodes of season two of Love and Hate Crime, documenting cases of hate crime across the US, premiere Friday, December 13 beginning at 8p. Two nights later comes the season five launch of Obsession: Dark Desires at 8p, while new series Before I Die, about people who identified their own killer before their death, arrives Sunday, December 15 at 9p. Season two of The Night That Didn’t End debuts Monday, December 16 at 9p.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina returns to Netflix for season three on January 24. This go-round, Sabrina deals with the unhappy fact that her beloved boyfriend Nick is burning in Hell on her behalf, and makes it her mission to free him from eternal damnation.
Preschool edutainment platform Hopster ordered a third season of Two Minute Tales, focused on Shakespeare’s plays. Animated series’ new session will premiere in 2020.
COMING UP: HOLIDAY EDITION
Live with Kelly and Ryan is keeping it festive this season. This week the daytime talker serves up “Holiday Entertaining Week,” and next week sees the return of “Live’s Holiday Sweater Party.” On December 24, Ryan Reynolds, the Radio City Rockettes and a cappella group Pentatonix are in the mix.
HGTV special White House Christmas 2019 offers a tour of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue’s holiday transformation on Sunday, December 15 at 5p. Maureen McCormick (The Brady Bunch, A Very Brady Renovation) and Alison Victoria (Windy City Rehab) lead the way.
NBC is kicking off the new year with its annual live telecast of the Rose Parade. Today’s Al Roker will host for the 23rd year, joined by seven-time host Hoda Kotb. Rita Moreno, Gina Torres (Suits) and Olympics gymnast Laurie Hernandez will serve as Grand Marshals. Parade starts Wednesday, January 1 at 11:30a.
West Coast host Ciara will perform along with Paula Abdul, Kelsea Ballerini, Blanco Brown, Dan + Shay, Green Day, Dua Lipa, Ava Max, Megan Thee Stallion, Anthony Ramos, Salt-N-Pepa and SHAED during the West Coast celebration of Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020, starting at 8p on ABC. Presenting sponsor YouTube will feature 2019 trends and stories during the broadcast.