Cynopsis 04/17/24: Amazon picks up Travis Kelce-hosted game show

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Wednesday April 17, 2024

Today’s Premieres
Hulu: Under the Bridge; See You in Another Life
Netflix: Our Living World; Don’t Hate the Player; The Grimm Variations; The Circle
Speedvision: Helping Hands Garage at 8p
TVMonde5USA: Sortez-mol de moi at 11:30p

IN THE NEWS

Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) want details about the proposed sports streaming service from Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox. “The Joint Venture raises questions about how this new offering would affect access, competition, and choice in the sports streaming market,” the lawmakers wrote to Bob Iger, David Zaslav and Lachlan Murdoch. “Without more complete information about the pricing, intent, and organization of this new venture, we are concerned that this consolidation will result in higher prices for consumers and less fair licensing terms for upstream sports leagues and downstream video distributors.” A response is requested by April 30, answers the DOJ be would be copied on.

Internet advertising revenues reached a record high of $225 billion, increasing by 7.3% year-over-year overall between 2022 and 2023, according to the “IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report: Full Year 2023,” conducted by PwC. The report found that Q4 saw the highest growth rate, 12.3% from the year prior (4.4%), with revenues rising to $64.5 billion. “Despite inflation fears, interest rates at record highs, and continuing global unrest, the US digital advertising industry continued its growth trajectory in 2023,” said David Cohen, CEO, IAB. “With significant industry transformation unfolding right before our eyes, we believe that those channels with a portfolio of privacy-by-design solutions will continue to outpace the market. For 2023, the winners were retail media, CTV, and audio which saw the highest growth.”

LGBTQIA+ representation in TV content drives viewing among not just American LGBTQIA+ audiences, but appeals to younger (18-34 year-old) American audiences overall, according to Horowitz Research report, “State of Media, Entertainment, and Tech: FOCUS LGBTQIA+.” Sixty-six percent of LGBTQIA+ content viewers say that they are more likely to watch a show that is inclusive of LGBTQIA+ characters and/or features stories around their culture/community, while 1 in 3 18-34 year-olds also agree that they are more likely to watch a show with LGBTQIA+ characters and stories. Nearly half (46%) of American audiences, ages 18-34, also want to see characters with disabilities and/or bilingual characters.

The report found that demand for LGBTQIA+ inclusive content is not limited to just entertainment, but also for advertising. Ads featuring diverse people, lifestyles, and cultures have a positive impact on brand perceptions for 71% of LGBTQIA+ consumers and 6 in 10 younger audiences in general. Similarly, including LGBTQIA+ people in ads resonates with 7 in 10 LGBTQIA+ consumers and almost half (46%) of younger consumers. Both segments also favor ads that try to change damaging stereotypes about people of color and other marginalized groups.

“LGBTQIA+ stories and characters are inherently American stories and characters, and for content and advertising to realistically portray the American experience today, it needs to be inclusive of LGBTQIA+ experiences,” said Adriana Waterston, EVP and Insights and Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research. “It will be important for media brands and advertisers to get comfortable with LGBTQIA+ inclusion, even if it means ruffling some feathers along the way, if they want to resonate with younger generations of Americans.”

Sesame Workshop writers have unanimously voted to authorize a strike, says the WGA. Contract talks began February 13, with proposals on the table for annual raises, improvements to residuals, and union coverage for animation and social media divisions. “No one wants to see a picket line on Sesame Street,” said WGAE President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen. “Millions of parents and families around the world are going to have a lot of questions. They might ask why the bosses at Sesame Workshop are ignoring their company’s own messages of kindness and fairness.”

Smartmatic and One America News Network have reached a confidential settlement over the network’s claims that Smartmatic conspired to steal the 2020 election. “As other news organizations publicly acknowledged that they had seen no evidence to support claims of election fraud or of voting machines switching votes, OANN mocked those news organizations and doubled down on its attacks on voting machines,” said Smartmatic in its lawsuit, filed in 2021. “OANN knew its assertions about Smartmatic were not true. OANN had seen no evidence to support the assertions. But OANN chose to spread disinformation.” Lawsuits against Fox News and Newsmax are pending.

NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises is raising awareness during Financial Literacy Month with its nationwide campaign, Nuestras Finanzas (Our Finances). The initiative aims to empower the US Hispanic community by providing essential information and Spanish-language resources on various facets of financial literacy.

REELZ signed a cosponsor agreement with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children in support of the organization’s goal of keeping children safe. The partnership with REELZ will include PSAs that will air in all day parts in 2024 and 2025 and will be further promoted on social media channels of the two organizations. “Public service has always been important to REELZ,” said REELZ CEO Stan E. Hubbard. “It’s been important throughout the 100-year history of the Hubbard Broadcasting family going back to our broadcast roots….When I’m watching live like everyone else and I hear that a missing kid has been found there’s nothing that makes us more proud. It’s the most important thing we do here at REELZ.”

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

Prime Video gave a 20-episode order for “Are You Smarter Than A Celebrity?”, a spin-off of Fox game show “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader” hosted by Kansas City Chief Travis Kelce. MGM Alternative is producing. “Travis has proven to be an incredible talent on and off the field, and we appreciate the trust he has placed in us,” said Lauren Anderson, Head of AVOD Originals Unscripted and Targeted Programming, Amazon MGM Studios. “His natural, comedic dynamic with our panelists and guests, coupled with some exciting new twists, will keep our global customers coming back week after week.”

Tyler Perry has extended his deal with Paramount, signing a new deal with BET Media that calls for the delivery of hundreds of new episodes of shows to BET and BET+. In addition to renewals for ten of his current shows, the agreement includes a new series from the prolific producer.

Independent studio Participant (“An Inconvenient Truth”) is shutting down after 20 years. “I founded Participant with the mission of creating world-class content that inspires positive social change, prioritizing impact alongside commercial sustainability,” said Jeff Skoll. “Since then, the entertainment industry has seen revolutionary changes in how content is created, distributed and consumed. It is the right time for me to evaluate my next chapter and approach to tackling the pressing issues of our time.”

Betsy Brandt (“Breaking Bad”) will executive produce and star in Lifetime movie “The Bad Orphan,” a psychological drama centered on a couple whose adoption of an 8-year-old goes terribly wrong.

Keshet International is co-developing legal procedural “Prejudice” with Canada’s Pixcom. Emily VanCamp (“The Resident”) will star a rising Toronto litigator whose career and marriage to a Senator are thrown into upheaval when her past as a sex worker is publicly exposed.

Emma Thompson (“Good Luck to You”) and Ruth Wilson (“The Affair”) are set to executive produce and star in “Down Cemetery Road.” The Apple TV+ thriller series is based on the book by Mick Herron, author of the book series on which “Slow Horses” is based. “‘Down Cemetery Road’ has all the hallmarks of Mick Herron’s funny and acerbic writing, and I’m delighted we will be bringing it to life for Apple TV+ with such a stellar cast,” said Apple TV+’s Creative Director, Europe, Jay Hunt. “Emma Thompson and Ruth Wilson will make it an unmissable companion piece for ‘Slow Horses’ on our service.”

Former Spotify exec Max Cutler has launched PAVE [Podcasts, Audiobooks, Video and Entertainment] Studios, made up of two studios: wellness-focused OpenMind and true crime-focused Crime House. “In today’s media landscape, the convergence of formats is reshaping the way we consume content. Storytellers who successfully engage audiences and create fandoms through written, audio, and video content have led the charge in cultivating their robust communities into diverse businesses,” said Cutler. “PAVE Studios will set the stage for a better way of producing, distributing and consuming the world’s greatest original content, all while empowering creators, simplifying content discovery, and fostering vibrant fan communities.”

Wattpad WEBTOON Studios and Skybound Entertainment (“The Walking Dead”) are developing a film adaptation of WEBTOON webcomic hit “Freaking Romance.” Screenwriting duo Matthew Kic and Mike Sorce will pen the script, and Aron Levitz, David Madden and Jason Goldberg will produce for Wattpad WEBTOON Studios. Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, and Rick Jacobs are producing the film from Skybound, with Fred D. Lee overseeing production.

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

“Who’s Afraid of a Cheap Old House?” premieres Tuesday, May 14 at 10p on HGTV. The series is inspired by social media hit “Cheap Old Houses.”

“The Barnes Bunch,” following NBA champ and podcaster Matt Barnes and his fiancée, Anansa Sims, premieres Friday, April 19 at 10p om WE tv.

Southern California’s flagship PBS station announced a new comedy-docuseries, “Roots of Comedy with Jesus Trejo,” following the Mexican-American comedian as he embarks on an emotional odyssey to tell the “stories behind the laughs.” The six episode series will stream on the PBS app and PBS.org starting Friday, May 24, and be available to stream on the PBS YouTube channel, following the television broadcast premiere on PBS stations across the country on Friday, June 21 at 10p.

Leading up to Earth Day, CBS News and Stations explores how plant and animal species are in decline and a warming planet is partially to blame in “Protecting Life on Earth,” a daily multi-part Climate Watch series and half-hour special that begins airing on today, April 16 across CBS-owned stations in 14 owned markets.

The 31st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards have been slated for Sunday, February 23 at 8p on Netflix. Submissions for nomination consideration open Monday, August 29.

STREAMING

YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu all saw month-to-month viewing gains in March. YouTube rose 0.4% to a 9.7% share of a platform TV-video, followed by Netflix (+0.3 to an 8.1% share) and Hulu (+0.2, to a 3.0% TV share). Year-over-year, streaming rose 12%, to a 38.5% share, while cable dropped 10% to a 28.3% share, and broadcast dipped 4% to a 22.5% share. For all TV streaming, overall usage declined 3% in March versus February, but cable posted a 0.7 point gain thanks in large part to the NCAA March Madness tournament.

Charter Communications is offering two new budget-friendly streaming TV packages for Spectrum Internet customers: Spectrum TV Stream ($39.99/month) features more than 90 live channels, including news and entertainment networks from The Walt Disney Company, FOX and Warner Bros. Discovery, and Spectrum Stream Latino ($24.99/month), which contains more than 45 Spanish-language channels, including entertainment and sports programming from Univision, Telemundo, beIN Sports en Español and Discovery en Español. “We are focused on creating more flexible, lower-cost video options for our customers that include a bundle of channels they want to watch,” said Sharon Peters, EVP, Chief Marketing Officer for Charter. “With Spectrum TV Stream and Stream Latino, our customers now have the option to choose high-value, internet-delivered streaming TV packages that include the most popular news and entertainment networks and Spanish-language programming.”

TECH TALK

Airbnb is the top advertiser by search sentiment, followed by Viacom and Netflix. That’s according to search intelligence provider Captify’s new report “How Sentiment in Search Behavior Fuels Consumer Consideration,” an analysis of search trends to understand consumer sentiment in searches and how it drives consideration for brands in each industry. The report found that travel advertisers have the highest consumer sentiment score, followed by entertainment and media, retail, and restaurants. Comparatively, automotive had the lowest sentiment score, followed by financial services, alcohol, and telecom. “Brands within the top 10 were successful because they limited unforced errors that triggered negative sentiment and generated positive sentiment consistently month-in and month-out,” said Isaac Gerber, Isaac Gerber, Global Director, Insights & Analytics, Captify. “Even when they do have negative coverage around them, like Netflix announcing its one account per house rule, the company was able to rebound due to its commitment to delivering high-quality content and consumers seeking out their original content over other streamers. By staying true to their brand values and balancing the good with the bad, brands can be successful in driving positive consumer sentiment.”

SPORTS ROUNDUP

SiriusXM Media, GroupM, and Edison Research today unveiled the first Sports Audio Report, a joint study revealing trends and habits around sports audio (podcasts, satellite & radio shows) consumption among sports fans aged 13+ in the US. Insights include:
· 66% of Americans age 13+ consider themselves Sports Fans, equating to 186 million Americans
· 43% of Sports Fans say they closely follow the personal lives of the athletes they like – but young sports fans are much more likely to be invested in players’ lives (52% of Gen Z Sports Fans and 57% of Millennial Sports Fans)
· 1 in 3 Sports Fans say they currently follow a women’s sports team or a female athlete (32%), with younger generations (Gen Z & Millennials) and Multicultural sports fans more likely to follow Women’s Sports
· Sports audio listeners spend an average of $262 on sports merch/memorabilia in a year ($321 for sports podcast listeners), compared to $185 for sports video viewers.
· 2 in 3 Sports Fans say they like hearing/seeing their favorite athletes in ads – even higher among those who listen to sports content on Podcasts (81%) or SiriusXM (76%)

“There is a deep connection between listeners and the audio content they consume, whether it’s music, sports, talk shows, books or podcasts,” said Jen Soch, Executive Director, Channel Solutions, GroupM US. “Many times, audio audiences find content related to their interests and passions, and we know sports fans’ zeal is unmatched. Audio is a critical component of holistic media investments, and it needs to be a top consideration for brands looking to extend their reach and overall presence in sports.”

Fuse Media is expanding its sports portfolio with a partnership with Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions and the El Rey Rebel FAST Channel to air memorable fights in recent history as part of a new “Friday Night Fights” series launching on the channel Friday, May 3 at 8p.

After 19 years as the Boston Bruins Play-by-Play broadcaster on New England Sports Network, Jack Edwards has announced his retirement following the 2023-24 postseason games on NESN. “I grew up a Bruins fan, and who had more fun than us over the last two decades?” said Edwards. “In collaboration with Bruins and NESN leadership, I recently decided that the time has come for me to finish my shift as the voice of the Boston Bruins. I am no longer able to attain the standards I set for myself, to honor the fans, the players, the Bruins organization and NESN with the best they all deserve. I retire from broadcasting not with a heavy heart, but gratefulness for a 19-year-long joyride.”

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RATINGS

TNT Sports’ coverage of the 2024 NCAA Men’s Final Four across TBS, TNT and truTV propelled WBD to its highest share night so far this year on Saturday, April 6, with a 67% share of cable primetime viewing among A18-49 and a 63%tshare among A25-54 across ad-supported cable. In total TV primetime that night, WBD’s lifestyle, entertainment, sports and news brands – including CNN, Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, Investigation Discovery, TBS, TNT, truTV, TLC, Adult Swim and OWN – secured a 54% share among A18-49 and a 51% share among A25-54.

Basic Cable Top Ten for the week of April 8
P2+ AA (000)
Primetime
Fox News 2094
TBS 1227
TNT 1173
MSNBC 1158
ESPN 1091
HGTV 786
History 690
Hallmark Channel 667
USA Network 661
CNN 632
Total Day
Fox News 1317
MSNBC 800
ESPN 696
CNN 494
TBS 422
HGTV 408
TNT 382
Hallmark Channel 349
INSP 327
History 312
Source: Nielsen

EXECUTIVE MOVES

Ryan Briganti has been elevated to Head of Sports Sales at Paramount Global, replacing the retiring John Boguxz. Briganti became the SVP of Sports Sales after the merger of CBS and Viacom.

Warner Bros. Discovery named David Porter as Head of Ad Sales Research, Data and Insights. Porter will oversee the Ad Sales Research and Data functions leading overall strategy and execution for alternative currencies, advanced analytics, cross-platform measurement and insights, streaming and digital engagement, and data clean rooms. Most recently, he served as CEO of Canoe Ventures.

Tennis Channel has appointed Matthias Hahn as General Manager of the network’s German-language platforms. In this role he will build a local executive team in Munich and oversee the growth of Tennis Channel in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Hahn comes to Tennis Channel from TiVo, where he had been Senior Sales Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

This Day in History
2011 – “Game of Thrones” debuted on HBO.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Which sitcom character said, “I will not let that woman steal everything I have taken from her”? Lucille Bluth, about Lucille Two, on “Arrested Development” (2003-19). Gerry Bixenspan-TV Marketing Inc./NYC; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA

Today’s Trivia Question
Where did Ted and Alexis meet on “Schitt’s Creek” (2015-20)? (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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HEARST MEDIA PRODUCTION GROUP/CHARLOTTE, NC:
Proactively identify, research, and develop new opportunities for our family-friendly programming blocks on ABC, CBS, NBC, The CW, Telemundo, & other media & digital/social outlets. Support creation and present strategic, cross-media concepts to multiple stakeholder groups that meet our client’s business objectives. 8 + yrs of business dev. exp. Full info HERE

TV/VIDEO SPONSORSHIP-PRODUCT INTEGRATION SALES REPRESENTATIVE >>
GAME ON MEDIA SOLUTIONS/Remote: Game On Media Solutions is looking for an independent business development oriented sponsorship sales representative. Focus will be on TV/Streaming project opportunities for brands that include product integration and placement. This is an Independent Contractor performance compensated opening. Attractive fees can be earned for closed deals. Full info HERE

BRAND ASSISTANT
>>
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

WEDNESDAY APRIL 17
ABC: The Conners, Not Dead Yet, Abbott Elementary, The $100,000 Pyramid
CBS: Survivor, The Amazing Race
CW: Walker, Sight Unseen
FOX: The Masked Singer, Animal Control, Family Guy
NBC: Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD
PBS: Nature, A Brief History of the Future, NOVA
Telemundo: La Casa de los Famosos, El Senor de los Cielos
Univision: Tu Vida es Mi Vida, Mujer, El Amor No Tiene Receta

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