Cynopsis 04/09/24: “Fallout” gets a windfall from California

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Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Tuesday April 9, 2024

Today’s Premieres
A&E: Neighborhood Wars at 9p
BritBox: Hope Street
Crunchyroll: Oblivion Battery; Unnamed Memory
Discovery: Mud Madness at 9p
Freeform: Grand Cayman: Secrets in Paradise at 10p

Today’s Finale
HGTV: Renovation Aloha at 9p

IN THE NEWS

The California Film Commission announced $152 million in tax credits for 12 television projects, led by Amazon MGM Studios’ “Fallout,” which is relocating from New York to California for season two. In addition, three recurring and eight new series will be part of the Film and Television Tax Credit Program. The roster of new series includes Amazon MGM Studios’ “Untitled Task Force Series”; 20th Television’s Ryan Murphy series, “Dr. Odyssey” and “Grotesquerie”; CBS Studios’ “NCIS: Origins”; WBD’s “Latitude” and “The Pitt”; and Faith Media Distribution’s “Blood Ties” and “Runaway Girl.”

A major shareholder in Paramount Global is not a fan of Skydance Media’s overture to Paramount as the two companies talk merger. “We are distressed by recent reports that the Board is strongly considering a sub-optimal bid from Skydance that prioritizes the interests of one shareholder over the broader shareholder base,” said a letter from Matrix Asset Advisors to the Paramount board. “As reported, this deal focuses on monetizing Shari Redstone’s shareholding for cash at a significant premium.” Instead, Matrix is backing CEO Bob Bakish and the board’s strategy for a turnaround.

E.W. Scripps Co. will host upfront events in New York and Chicago this week with the theme, “The Power of Connection.” “We’re connecting with our audiences and our viewers. We’re connecting with our fans. We’re connecting with our communities,” said Brian Norris, Chief Revenue Officer of a company once best known for its local TV stations. Scripps now offers national advertisers its Scripps News and Court TV channels as well as entertainment networks Bounce, Grit and Laff. But the biggest splash is a rebranded ION featuring red-hot women’s sports – recent rights deals give ION Friday night WNBA games, along with Saturday night doubleheaders from the National Women’s Soccer League. Off-network comfort TV – viewers know where to find it! – like “Blue Bloods,” Chicago Fire” and “Law & Order: SVU” remain on ION, which along with other Scripps networks will air the 100th anniversary of the Scripps Spelling Bee on May 29 and 30, 2025.

This should bring a smile to ION: Consumer interest in Women’s Sports is growing significantly, according to Magid’s AD.VANTAGE research. “This isn’t just about new fans coming to sports, or more women following sports. The core group driving this is already the core sports fan base,” said Jaime Spencer, EVP of Local Media at Magid. “So, more seasoned sports fans are adopting these additional sports, which speaks to the potential for the trends to stick.” And it’s not just NCAA events. Magid found interest in Women’s Professional Sports grew from 13% to 21% over the past year. “When you factor the growing WNBA figures into this, we see a real trend with staying power, particularly as the number of stars coming up in college continues to grow,” said Spencer. “Caitlin Clark is undoubtedly the face of this Women’s Sports growth, but it is bigger than just her. What is really cool is that it appears she may be ushering in a trend that will grow beyond and even outlast her.”

It’s a wrap: CBS set season finale dates, starting with “Ghosts” on Thursday, May 2 at 8:31p. Monday, May 6 brings the season finales of “The Neighborhood, “NCIS” and NCIS: Hawai’i,” and the series finale of “Bob Hearts Abishola.” “The Amazing Race” hits the finish line on Wednesday, May 15, followed the next day by the series ender of “Young Sheldon” and season finale of “So Help Me Todd.” “S.W.A.T.” ends its run on Friday, May 17, the day “Fire Country wraps its second season. The season 36 finale of “48 Hours” airs Saturday, May 18, while “60 Minutes” has its season 56 finale on Sunday May19. Also ending their seasons on Sunday are “The Equalizer,” “Tracker,” and “CSI: Vegas.” All three “FBI” series end their seasons on Tuesday, May 21.

Cartoon Network Studios has dedicated a website to preserve its Artist Stairwell space, which was part of the CNS building in Downtown Burbank from 2000 until 2023, when the studio’s operations moved to the Warner Bros. Second Century building. Anyone from artists to accountants left their mark on the walls in the form of drawings, doodles, and sketches, creativity that was scanned and photographed, resulting in the creation of an interactive website. CNS artists, past and present, who contributed to the stairwell will also be able to contribute to the site by submitting annotations to their work via a special link on the page. “Cartoon Network Studios will always be a home for creators,” said Sam Register, President, Warner Bros. Animation, Cartoon Network Studios, Hanna-Barbera Studios Europe. “As we continue to further that legacy in our new buildings, it’s a joy to pay tribute to this beloved space for the animation community to enjoy and continue to be inspired.”

As weather events become more extreme, CBS has tapped longtime ABC News executive Wendy Fisher to head a national weather news unit that will work with both local and national news programs, eventually becoming CBS Weather Network. “This is a significant team effort, as Weather coverage plays a role in virtually every program produced by CBS News and Stations,” said Adrienne Roark, President of Content Development and Integration, in a memo sent to staff. “This team will work in conjunction with the Stations’ weather teams and storytellers, to serve every newsroom, across every time zone.”

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

AMC Networks announced a 2024-25 development slate for Content Room, its in-house branded entertainment studio. The current slate of Content Room originals under development include new seasons of “In the Kitchen with Harry Hamlin” and “Show Me More”; “The Walking Dogs,” inviting fans and brands to take a stroll with stars from The Walking Dead Universe and their beloved hounds; and social-first lifestyle series “Vibe Check with Reginae.” “Our Content Room originals have proven to be fun, partner-friendly extensions that both delight our fans and perform for our partners,” said Kim Granito, CMO of AMC Networks. In addition, AMC Networks’ Content Room unveiled “The Joy of Horror” a new year-long horror opportunity for advertisers that leans into the genre across platforms.

Asylum Entertainment Group is making an investment in London-based production company DARE Pictures (Diversity, Allyship, Representation, Empowerment), giving Asylum access to a global portfolio while broadening Asylum’s network of creative storytellers. “Asylum has an undeniable passion to reach audiences through its distinct and impressive IP, a passion we share at DARE,” said Derren Lawford, Founder & CEO of DARE Pictures. “The opportunity to evolve our company within Asylum’s unique global network provides us with the perfect platform to create more original and memorable stories from around the world.”

Former network and studio head Holly A. Hines and Eric Jarboe, former COO of the Motion Picture Corporation of America, have launched LA-based film and TV studio Happy Accidents. “Producers in this era of content have the potential to shape the narrative landscape for years to come and Happy Accidents signifies a strategic convergence of experience, vision, and passion from all corners of the entertainment industry,” said Jarboe. “Holly and I are focused on global collaboration, partnerships, innovative financing models, and the highest-quality production standards.”

HarborView Equity Partners has invested in LatinX-focused Much Mas Media (“The Long Game”). “We believe Mucho Mas possesses the skillful ability to drive ROI by centering audiences and delivering compelling stories,” said HarborView founder Sherrese Clarke Soared. “We couldn’t think of a better partner to invest in as we grow our portfolio.”

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

All in the family: TLC’s “Outdaughtered” returns Tuesday, May 7 at 9p, followed a week later by “Doubling Down with the Derricos” at 8p.

Food Network’s “Summer Baking Championship” premieres Monday, May 13 at 8p. The competition was Food Network’s top freshman series in 2023.

All ten episodes of Peacock gladiator drama “Those About to Die” drop Thursday, July 18. The Roman Empire-set series stars Anthony Hopkins.

“Race to Survive” returns to USA Network on Monday, May 20 at 11p with a 75-minute episode. In the outdoor adventure competition, challengers must rely on a combination of endurance racing, survival skills and intuition as they navigate 150 miles of New Zealand’s harshest terrain. Up for grabs: $500,000.

Australian crime drama “Scrublands” premieres Thursday, May 2 on Sundance Now and AMC+. Based on Chris Hammer’s bestselling crime novel of the same name, the series follows a country town grappling with the aftermath of a horrible crime.

Season three of Netflix’s “Selling the OC” kicks off Friday, May 3. Same cast, new drama.

Aniplex of America and Crunchyroll will premiere “Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Hashira Training Arc” on Sunday, May 12. As part of its previously announced Spring 2024 season lineup, Crunchyroll will simulcast new episodes every week.

“John Mulaney Presents: Everybody’s In LA” is set to stream live during the Netflix Is a Joke Fest, taking place May 2-12 in LA. The series debuts on the streamer on Friday, May 3.

TECH

AMC Networks updated on the expansion of Audience+, the advanced insights and data targeting platform the company introduced during last year’s upfront that now allows advertisers to map to specific target audiences across all distribution endpoints spanning linear television networks, streaming services and CTV/FAST platforms. “Audience+ is so much more than a powerful insights and data platform, it really represents the power and potential that comes with our converged inventory and our largest aggregated audience ever,” said Evan Adlman, EVP of Commercial Sales and Revenue Operations. “We now reach viewers through approximately 30 distribution endpoints, with the most advanced cross-platform buying capabilities in the industry. Audience+ brings it all together to aggregate audiences, identify viewer segments and deliver outcomes, regardless of where or when a viewer is consuming our great content.”

The American Privacy Rights Act of 2024, a draft bill introduced by Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) and House Energy And Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington), would make privacy a consumer right. Companies would be required to allow consumers to opt out of targeted advertising and prohibited from transferring consumers’ sensitive data for targeted advertising without their explicit consent. Consumers would also have the right to sue tech companies that violate their privacy rights. A national privacy law would override existing state data privacy laws, said a joint statement from the lawmakers.

Vevo has partnered with KERV Interactive to bring new ad formats to Vevo’s CTV portfolio, including the Vevo TV app and 20 FAST channels. Advertisers on Vevo now have access to KERV’s ad suite that enhances TV engagement via second-screen experiences, which can be tailored to a brand’s specific campaign goals. “By transforming ad breaks into natively embedded, customizable experiences, our partnership with KERV is complementary to our CTV programming,” said Rob Christensen, EVP, Global Sales at Vevo. “As Vevo continues to expand monetization efforts worldwide, we’re helping brands simplify the path to purchase and drive real-time, outcome-based connections between brands, consumers, culture and commerce.”

Cineverse is partnering with Gracenote, Nielsen’s metadata solution company, for its previously announced Cinesearch tool. The AI-powered search platform will leverage Gracenote’s TV and movie datasets in real time, including synopsis, genre, cast, director and other product information, to recommend films and TV shows available via a chatbot assistant named Ava. “Our partnership with Gracenote increases the number of films and TV shows that are discoverable by users and allows us to offer Cinesearch users the highest-quality title information with intensity rankings,” said Cineverse Chief Operating and Technology Officer Tony Huidor.

STREAMING

AMC Networks plans to launch ad-supported versions of all of its targeted streaming services by the end of the current 2024-25 upfront. “The successful launch of AMC+ ad-supported was a major step in creating a fully end-to-end ad-supported distribution ecosystem across linear, streaming and CTV/FAST,” said Kim Kelleher, Chief Commercial Officer of AMC Networks. “As we introduce ad-supported versions of all of our targeted streaming services, our ability to sell cross-platform segments and deliver outcomes to our advertising partners becomes even more effective. These services have built leadership positions in their respective genres and we’re thrilled give our commercial partners the power to access these audiences for the first time.”

GOING GLOBAL

TGC Global Entertainment announced the global launch of comedy social experiment “The Swap Project,” co-developed and co-owned by TGC GE Fuji TV. The fish-out-of-water format launched in Japan on Fuji TV in February, featuring two people from different sides of the world but with the same occupation swap lives for a week.

AMC Networks International Central and Northern have launched FilmMania in Romania. FilmMania offers a movie line-up in various genres.

GRB Media Ranch has sold format “Blind Dating” to Africa’s ABY Media, and acquired docuseries Medical Stories, produced by Inventi Media Group

Incredible Film struck a new distribution deal with beIN Neo for the live action pre-school series “Saïd & Anna.” beIN Neo will handle distribution of the series across MENA territories, where the series will be available in Arabic, English and French on Free to Air, pay TV and VOD.

Anime series “Yu-Gi-Oh! SEVENS” has been picked up by RTL Croatia and Pro Plus Slovenia, debuting in the second quarter of 2024.

FilmRise has acquired exclusive AVOD and FAST rights to the Canadian comedy series “Corner Gas” from Prairie Pants Distribution (Vérité Films and 335 Productions). FilmRise will have sub-distribution rights to all six seasons of the Bell Media original sitcom as well as “Corner Gas: The Movie” in the US, UK, New Zealand and Australia.

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RATINGS

Season two of Hallmark Channel’s time travel drama “The Way Home” was the most-watched original series on cable among W18+ in Live+3 numbers, according to Nielsen, and reached 57 million unduplicated viewers.

Viewership for the NCAA men’s Final Four games hit 19.6 million, up from 18.6 million in 2023, according to AdImpact data. Linear viewership decreased from 70.2% in 2023 to 55.5% in 2024, while YouTube TV’s viewership share jumped from 11.7% to 21.9% year over year.

Warner Bros. Discovery delivered five nights of more than a 50% share of primetime cable viewing among A18-49 across ad-supported cable during the first quarter of 2024. Ratings drivers included TNT Sports’ coverage of the 2024 NCAA Men’s Tournament in March as well as ID’s “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV,” Food Network’s “Tournament of Champions” and “Wildcard Kitchen” and Adult Swim’s “Ninja Kamui.

EXECUTIVE MOVES

DAZN has appointed Elena Novokreshchenova to the newly created role of CEO of Freemium. Most recently, she was managing director for Europe at Entain.

IN MEMORIAM

Director Bruce Kessler died April 4. He was 88. Kessler’s numerous credits include “The Monkees,” “The Flying Nun,” and “The Fall Guy,” among others. Kessler was also known as an avid race car driver.

This Day in History
1965 – The Astrodome opened in Houston, and hosted the first indoor baseball game.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Friends from which sitcom often met at The Island Diner? “Rules of Engagement” (2007-2013). Kudos to: Beth Tallent-TallentPR/Nashville; Synda Kollman-Charter Marketing Group/Boca Raton, Carla Gee-Kid Gloves Entertainment/Durham, NC; Eric Dunefsky-Crossmedia/NYC; Joe Lyons-Back Nine Productions/FL; Ken DuBow-DuBow Media Distribution/Cannes; Justin Pierce-JP Consulting Group/LA; David Garber-Loyola Marymount University/Playa Vista, CA; Andy Ehlan-Grady Britton/Portland, OR; Allyson Haas-Pen to Paper, Ink/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
Who played Jerry Lewis in the TV movie “Martin and Lewis” (2002)? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and time zone. Unofficial rules: a limit of four answers per time zone.)

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THE LEDE COMPANY/NYC: Full-service communication, strategy, and social impact consulting firm, specializing in corporate, brand, entertainment, and nonprofit sectors, is seeking a Brand Assistant to join the Brand team in our New York office. The Assistant will play an integral role in supporting accounts for a wide variety of Fashion, Beauty, CPG and Lifestyle clients. Full info HERE

TALENT ASSISTANT >>
THE LEDE COMPANY/LA: Full-service strategy, communications and social impact consulting firm, specializing in corporate, entertainment and nonprofit sectors. We are looking for a Talent Assistant to a Talent Publicist in Los Angeles. We are seeking enthusiastic candidates who can work in a fast-paced environment, are driven & have strong communication and writing skills. Full info HERE

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER FOR NATIONAL POLITICAL SHOW >>
BAHAKEL COMMUNICATIONS/CHARLOTTE NC: Develop and oversee the production of a daily or weekly national political show that covers the most important political news and events of the day. Develop and execute strategies to increase the show’s audience and engagement. At least 5 years of experience as an executive producer for a political show or similar program. Full info HERE

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER OF NEWS/ENTERTAINMENT
>>
BAHAKEL COMMUNICATIONS/CHARLOTTE NC:
Oversee all editorial and entertainment content, news production and presentation. Responsible for day-to-day operations of the show: producing, writing, and guiding creative. Develop content for the News @ TEN, plan, assign and create production schedules. 7 years of experience as executive producer or show producer. Network experience preferred. Full info HERE

TUESDAY APRIL 9
ABC: Will Trent, The Rookie, The Good Doctor
CBS: FBI, FBI: International, FBI: Most Wanted
CW: Crime Nation
FOX: The Cleaning Lady, Alert: Missing Persons Unit
NBC: Lopez vs Lopez, Lopez vs Lopez, Weakest Link, Password
PBS: Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Julius Caesar: The Making of a Dictator, The Invisible Shield
Telemundo: La Cas de los Famosos, El Senor de los Cielos
Univision: Tu Vida Es Mi Vida, Mujer, El Amor No Tiene Receta

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