PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
CBS All Access greenlit a sophomore season of Tell Me a Story, the psychological drama from Kevin Williamson and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment. Written by Williamson, the series is based on the Spanish format and reimagines the world’s most beloved fairy tales as dark twisted psychological thrillers.
Apple inked an exclusive, multi-year overall deal with producer-director Justin Lin (Fast & Furious franchise, Star Trek: Beyond). Under the terms of the agreement, Lin will develop, produce and direct TV series with a global perspective. Lin previously had a long-standing television overall deal at Sony.
HBO is developing with a skateboarding comedy inspired by Crystal Moselle’s 2018 Sundance film Skate Kitchen, from Moselle and her friend and collaborator Lesley Arfin (co-creator of Love). The untitled project, written by the duo, is set in New York City and will explore a group of young women navigating their lives through the predominantly male oriented world of skateboarding.
AMPLE Entertainment and Rebecca Halpern Productions teamed with artist, actor and activist Common and his Freedom Road Productions on Chicago/2019. The political docuseries, set around the upcoming 2019 mayoral race, is being pitched to premium cable networks and streaming platforms, this week.
Isaac Lee’s Exile Content and Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster’s Muck Media are teaming to develop the first of numerous unscripted projects, reports Deadline. The news comes following the success of Costantini and Foster’s documentary Science Fair, which follows nine students from around the world competing in the highly competitive Intel science fair, while navigating rivalries, setbacks and hormones.
Freeform is moving forward with Turn of the Screw, a modern take on Henry James’ supernatural thriller from Alexandra McNally (Under the Dome), Josh Berman (Drop Dead Diva, CSI) and Sony Pictures Television, where McNally and Berman’s Osprey Productions are under overall deals. Project follows Elena, a Mexican-American nanny who is hired to care for the two children of a widowed father at their summer home on Bainbridge Island. However, things take a sinister turn, when Elena begins seeing ghosts.
Corman’s Hollywood has been set at Shout! Studios, Ace Film HK Co. and Friendship Films. The 13-episode documentary series contains archival footage and insights from seven decades of filmmaking by Roger Corman and his wife, Julie; tracing their trail-blazing patch as independent producers and including their mentorship of young film talent.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
From the biggest construction project ever undertaken in New York City, to an aircraft carrier that is as long as the Empire State Building is tall, the new season of Impossible Engineering shines a light on the minds behind these marvels and the detail that goes into building them. Series returns on Thursday, January 3 at 9p on Science Channel.
American Dad! premieres a new season on TBS on February 11 at 10p.
TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress is back with all-new episodes on Saturday, January 5 at 8p. The premiere episode has Randy Fenoli and the Kleinfeld consultants dealing with two unique brides – social media mogul Sydel Curry, sister of NBA star Stephen Curry, and Cami Li, the bride from last season who wanted to wear a black dress.
Telemundo announced its new 2019 programming slate under the theme “January Reloaded.” Shows include musical competition series La Voz on Sunday, January 13 at 9p; extreme sports and reality survival competition Exatlon Estados Unidos on Monday, January 21 at 7p; seductive thriller Jugar Con Fuego on Tuesday, January 22 at 9p; and superseries El Baron on Tuesday, January 29 at 10p.
FOX News Channel presents live New Year’s Eve programming on Monday, December 31. Countdown to All-American New Year airs at 8p, followed by All-American New Year at 10p live from Times Square in New York City.
UPtv begins airing three-part movie series The Librarian on Tuesday, January 1 at 10a with an encore performance at 4p. It centers on an ancient organization hidden beneath the Metropolitan Public Library dedicated to protecting an unknowing world form the secret magical reality hidden all around.
Rickey Smiley reunites with Martin Lawrence and other comedy legends for the “Lit AF Tour” on the final episode of TV One’s Rickey Smiley for Real on Tuesday, December 18 at 8p.
Margaret: The Rebel Princess, a two-part biography of Queen Elizabeth’s beautiful and rebellious younger sister, debuts Sunday, February 10 at 10p on PBS. (Check local listings.)
The CW airs Greatest Holiday Commercials Countdown and Greatest Holiday Videos Countdown, from production company JUMA Entertainment, at 8p and 9p on Tuesday, December 18. “The golden rule when producing TV clip specials, whether commercials or videos, is never get in the way of the great content you’ve curated,” said Robert Horowitz, President of JUMA Entertainment. “The CW has given us two hours to countdown the best holiday commercials from around the world, as well as showcasing the new viral video craze where companies and families are now producing video cards for the holidays.”
Extra has acquired by FOX Television Studios in seven major markets, beginning in the Fall of 2019. The show will join the FTS line-ups in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Dallas, San Francisco, Orlando and Charlotte. “This deal is a win-win for two companies with a strong history together. Extra fits right into our day and date strategy, and the stations will be ready to ensure its continue success. While it’s targeted primarily for big time periods, it can run all over the place and we’ll take advantage of that. And, there will be great opportunities to work with our new departments as well,” said Frank Cicha, Senior Vice President, FTS.
TNT and Cadence13 teamed on eight-part podcast documentary series Root of Evil, which will be a companion to TNT’s suspense drama I Am the Night. The podcast, available on Wednesday, February 13 on Apple Podcasts and other platforms, is part of Turner’s strategic refreshed approach to digital audio, engaging fans with new and original content, and generating 360-degree brand extension opportunities.
Folake Olowofoyeky (Transparent) landed the title role in CBS comedy pilot Bob with Christine Ebersole (The Wolf of Wall Street), Maribeth Monroe (Workaholics), Shola Adewusi (Paddington 2), Barry Shabaka Henley (Bosch) and Matt Jones (Mom) rounding out the cast… Ray Stevenson (Black Sails) nabbed one of the male leads in ABC’s summer crime drama Reef Break… Ashley Romans (Shameless) booked a recurring role on AMC’s NOS4A2… Guy Lockard (Bull) is set to recur on NBC’s The Village.
Moonbug, a global entertainment company that develops and distributes safe and fun content for kids, closed a $145 million investment led by The Raine Group. The transaction follows the New Children’s Entertainment Company’s recent acquisition of Little Baby Bum, YouTube’s ninth-most watched channel.
Following its strong premiere on Nick Jr., Genius Brands International’s animated adventure preschool series Rainbow Rangers is heading to the live stage, following a rights acquisition deal for touring shows by Gershwin Entertainment. The show’s live theater production is timed to coincide with the preschool brand’s U.S. retail launch in 2019.
Nickelodeon celebrates the end of 2018 with New Year’s Eve Loud House Party, an interactive marathon of the year’s fan-favorite episodes of The Loud House, bowing Monday, December 31 at 5p. It includes an AR integration using Nick’s own SCREENS UP app for kids.
Gigantosaurus, an animated dinosaur adventure series from Cyber Group Studios for pre-schoolers debuts on Disney Channel on Friday, January 18 at 9a. Based on Jonny Duddle’s bestselling book of the same name, it stars four dinosaur friends who will take kids on exciting, comedy-filled adventures.
Apple nabbed the rights to the late Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts brand, the comic strip that is home to Charlie Brown, Snoopy and others, following a highly competitive bidding process. The deal will see Apple team with DHX, a Canadian programming company that specializes in children’s content. DHX, which already has stake in the Peanuts franchise, will help to produce the upcoming projects. It’s said to include new specials and animated shorts, all exclusive for Apple TV.
Instagram now has 1 billion users, according to Patrick Foster in Sales and Marketing Management. The social network, which is an important channel for brands that use it to advertise their products, recently announced IGTV (Instagram TV). It allows users to upload longer videos – up to an hour, and share them with followers. While being compared to YouTube, the new service has a lot that separates it from the original video streaming service. At the top of the list: IGTV has been specifically designed for content to be viewed on phones, so all videos are oriented vertically. Hence, there is no need to rotate the screen, keeping phone viewers more engaged in the app, says the report.
Google is expanding its footprint in New York City. The internet giant is investing over $1 billion to establish a new 1.7-million-square-foot campus, Google Hudson Square. The expansion will see Google more than double its headcount in Manhattan to over 14,000 working over the next decade. In a blog post on Monday, Ruth Porat, CFO of Google and parent company Alphabet, noted that Google Hudson Square would become the company’s primary headquarters in NYC. “Our investment in New York is a huge part of our commitment to grow and invest in U.S. Facilities, offices and jobs,” she wrote.
With construction underway at The Brady Bunch house, HGTV’s digital platforms are offering an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at every step of the renovation. The network has launched Brady Renovation Central at HGTV.com/Brady. It offers in-depth articles, video, photo galleries, show updates and more.
Netflix is testing an instant replay feature, via a “rewatch scene?” option, when a movie or TV show is pause. The feature, which is in the test stage, is currently only available within certain content and may not be rolled out in the future.
Global subscription OTT revenues, which are at $46 billion, will overtake box office revenues in 2019, which will come in at just under $40 billion, according to analyst firm Ampere Analysis. The primary driver of the trend is theatrical slowdown in North America and Western Europe, while SVoD continues to grow in all regions. In the U.S., subscription OTT revenues surpassed theatrical revenues in 2017. The UK expected to follow suit by the end of 2018, and China in 2019.
Netflix is premiering all 10 episodes of Keshet International’s Cannes series winner When Heroes Fly, created by Hostages co-creator Omri Givron, on Thursday, January 10. The dramatic thriller, inspired by a best-selling novel set deep in the Columbian jungle, centers on four friends and war veterans of a Special Forces unit, who 11 years after a falling out must reunite for one final and deeply personal rescue.
The original Hebrew-language series, which broke ratings records in Israel, will be available with subtitled to Netflix subscribers around the world.
Noticias Telemundo has developed its first-ever English-language daily newscast, which will be distributed exclusively via YouTube. The project received a Google News Innovation YouTube grant, which is awarded to ventures that elevate quality journalism, evolve models to drive sustainable growth, and empower news organization through technological innovation. “In today’s fast-paced world you need to reach out to your audience where it is, not where you want it to be, and US Hispanics over-index in YouTube,” said Romina Rosado, Senior Vice President of Digital Media & Emerging Business, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises. “Our goal here is for Noticias Telemundo to reinvent the ‘traditional’ broadcast news for the LatinX generation – the multicultural, multiracial, mobile, millennials in the United States.”
Sci-fi mecha anime series gen:LOCK, starring Michael B. Jordan, Dakota Fanning and others, bows January 26 on Rooster Teeth, an SVOD available on IOS, Android, Xbox One, Apple TV and RoosterTeeth.com.
Entertainment One struck a retail partnership for Peppa Pig with Tmall in China, as the first “Super Brand Day” promotion of 2019.