Cynopsis 05/03/24: “Blue Bloods” to end with season 14

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Friday May 3, 2024

Today’s Premieres
HGTV: Zillow Gone Wild at 10:30p.
History: The UnXplained: Mysteries of the Universe at 9p.
Netflix: Postcards, John Mulaney Presents: Everybody’s in LA

Today’s Finale
ABC: Shark Tank at 8p

Saturday’s Premieres
Netflix: The Atypical Family
OWN: Love & Marriage Huntsville at 8p

Sunday’s Premieres
Bravo: The Real Housewives of New Jersey at 8p
ID: People Magazine Investigates: Surviving a Serial Killer at 9p
PBS: Maryland at 9p

IN THE NEWS

Sony Pictures and Apollo Global Management have made a formal $26 billion all-cash offer to buy Paramount Global. The offer comes on the heels of Paramount CEO Bob Bakish stepping down Monday and the pending expiration of an exclusive negotiating period between Paramount and Skydance Media. Skydance has been in talks with Paramount for weeks – the exclusivity ends today (May 3) — and last Sunday modified its bid, doubling the cash that could go towards Paramount’s balance sheet to $3 billion from $1.5 billion and paying less for National Amusements, the holding company controlled by Paramount chair Shari Redstone and the entertainment giant’s largest shareholder.

Entertainment labor union SAG-AFTRA has partnered with Nielsen to help it enforce the streaming bonus provision terms of its most recent contract with studios. Nielsen will act as a third-party provider of streaming content measurement to the union and its Nielsen Streaming Content Ratings service will complement data from the streamers themselves.

Eight media companies — Fubo, DirecTV, Dish Networks, Newsmax and public interest groups Sports Fans Coalition, American Economic Liberties Project, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Open Markets Institute – sent a letter to Congress Thursday urging lawmakers to hold hearings on “the future of competition in pay-TV,” particularly the pending launch of a sports streaming venture spearheaded by ESPN, Warner Bros. Discovery and Fox, an endeavor they say will control 80% of national live sports broadcasts and 55% of all regional and national live sports. The as-yet unnamed JV, which some outlets have nicknamed “Spulu,” is scheduled to launch in the fall. Fubo filed an anti-trust suit against ESPN-parent The Walt Disney Co., Fox and Warner Bros Discovery in February, claiming the JV is the latest in a years-long campaign to block Fubo’s sports-first streaming business.

Multi-cultural media company Canela Media was busy at the IAB NewFronts Thursday, launching Canela Audience Solutions – its OTT-first, proprietary data product, as well as new partnerships and content for brands looking to reach the Hispanic market. Canela inked an exclusive partnership with WBD Conexión Latina to reach bilingual U.S. Hispanic audiences. The company also said it will launch a new version of its Canela.TV app this summer and will add Mexican Classics (more than 100 films), lifestyle show “Café Con Canela,” a daily newscast “Canela News,” and an exclusive event with soccer legend Lionel Messi. In addition, “Secretos de Villanas” will return for a third season.

Law&Crime Network is the official broadcast partner for the CLUE Awards, honoring excellence in true crime content. The awards ceremony will air live on Law&Crime Network and will stream on Law&Crime’s YouTube, Facebook and TikTok channels – on June 1 at 10p. Ashleigh Banfield, host of “Banfield” on NewsNation and the upcoming podcast “Drop Dead Serious,” will host the ceremony, with “CSI” franchise creator Anthony Zuiker and Chris Hansen among the presenters. The awards are part of the third annual CrimeCon, to be held May 31-June 2 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville.

At the 2024 IAB NewFronts presentation at Webster Hall, FAST music video network Vevo announced that it will release a limited number of franchise programs. Vevo’s NewFront event concluded with a special live performance by country artist, Kane Brown.

Season 14 of “Blue Bloods,” which will wrap in October, will be the last for the CBS drama, said Amy Reisenbach, CBS Entertainment President, at a press conference on Thursday. “We really want to thank the cast and crew, everyone involved in the show,” she told reporters. “We absolutely will miss the family dinners. It is important to give show the sendoff it deserves.”

Apple Inc.’s Apple Services unit, which includes Apple TV+ and Apple Music, reported revenue of $23.9 billion for the quarter ended March 30, an increase of 14.2%, but iPhone sales dipped 10.5% in the period. Overall, Apple reported total revenue of $90.8 billion, down 4.3%, and net income of $23.6 billion, down 2.2%, for the quarter.

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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT

ITV has commissioned “I Fought the Law,” a four-part series based on the book “For the Love of Julie,” by Ann Ming, the real-life story of a mother’s 15-year battle to bring her daughter’s killer to justice. The series will begin filming in August and will air on ITV1 and ITVX. Hera Pictures (“Mary & George,” “What It Feels Like for A Girl,” “Hamnet,” “Temple,” “Honour”) will produce the series in association with All3Media International, which will be responsible for the international distribution of the series.

Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions said its inaugural documentary series on Black cowboys is in production with Universal Television Alternative Studio (UTAS) for Peacock. The series is inspired by the themes of Peele’s “NOPE” from Universal Pictures—sister studio of Universal Studio Group—with Emmy-nominated Keith McQuirter attached as showrunner, executive producer and director. The three-part untitled docuseries will unmask the forces that erased the identity of the Black cowboy from frontier history and present.

Production on Max Original series “The Easterngate,” began in March and is one of the streamer’s first productions in Poland. The suspense thriller delves into the world of modern espionage during an emerging conflict and international unrest. Easterngate refers to the Suwałki Gap, a critical spot along the border between Poland, Lithuania, Belarus and Russia and widely recognized as one of Europe’s top three hotspots.

Telemundo Studios upcoming original production, “Sed de Venganza,” is set to begin production at Telemundo Center’s studios in Miami this summer, with Danilo Carrera (“Relaciones Peligrosas”) and Isabella Castillo (“El Señor de los Cielos,” “Malverde: El Santo Patrón”) slated to lead a star-studded cast. The series is the first leading role for both Castillo and Carrera in a Telemundo series.

NEW & RETURNING SERIES

A&E’s non-fiction docuseries “60 Days In” and “Inmate to Roommate” will return May 30 at 9p and 10p. “60 Days In” goes behind bars in the Utah County Jail overseen by Sheriff Mike Smith. The new season of “Inmate to Roommate” introduces a new group of recently released inmates as they re-enter society and move in with everyday people who are welcoming them into their homes.

Season 2, part two of MGM+ original series “Billy the Kid” will premiere on June 2 at 9p. The series is produced by MGM+ Studios and Amazon Studios: Pan-English Scripted TV, in association with Amblin Television and De Line Pictures. “Billy the Kid” is internationally distributed by Amazon MGM Studios Distribution.

“Wayne Brady: The Family Remix” will premiere on Freeform on July 24, at 10p and the next day on Hulu, with the actor and comedian turning the traditional family on its head. Together with his best friend and ex-wife Mandie Taketa, they co-parent their 21-year-old daughter, student and aspiring artist Maile Brady as well as run their own production company, A Wayne & Mandie Creative. Jason Fordham, Mandie’s life partner since 2009, handles the family’s cinematography and post-production, and Mandie and Jason have an almost 3-year-old son, Sundance-Isamu. “Wayne Brady: The Family Remix” is a production of Fremantle and A Wayne & Mandie Creative.

COMING UP

Sesame Workshop and Cut Media’s viral YouTube channel “HiHo Kids” have teamed up to create two new episodes of the latter’s fan-favorite series, “Kids Meet” – “Kids Meet a Beekeeper” (May 9) and “Kids Meet a Marine Biologist” (July 13). The series features kids in one-on-one interviews with a variety of interesting people and will feature “Sesame Street” icon Elmo, who will help the kids question the guests.

In honor of Mother’s Day, AXS TV will air 16 classic episodes of “The Partridge Family” during its “Shirley Partridge Mother of the Year Marathon,” May 11 and 12, beginning at 1p. Encore presentations of each block will air in primetime at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.

HBO Original four-part documentary series “Stax: Soulsville U.S.A.” will debut on May 20 at 9p with two back-to-back episodes, followed by the final two episodes airing back-to-back on May 21 at the same time. The limited series chronicles one of the recording industry’s most influential producers of soul music, breaking acts such as Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Booker T. & the M.G.’s and Sam & Dave and was an official selection of the 2024 SXSW Film & TV Festival and winner of the TV Premiere Audience Award. It is produced and directed by filmmaker Jamila Wignot. All four episodes of the series will be available to stream on Max on May 20.

A two-night documentary event – “The Life & Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson” – will air on June 1 and June 2 at 8p on Lifetime, in honor of the 30th anniversary of her death. The project features 50 participants, including those who knew Nicole the best – her friends and family – to shed new light on her life and tragic death. Produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, the documentary promises unprecedented access to exclusive home videos and interviews and to reveal shocking new details in the tragic story.

STREAMING

Beginning June 1, PBS is offering a special early streaming release of upcoming documentary series “Disco: Soundtrack of a Revolution.” All three episodes will be available on PBS.org and the PBS app ahead of its June 18 broadcast premiere on PBS. The three-part series captures the story of disco: its rise, its fall, and its legacy.

Curiosity Inc. and Spanish-language media company Estrella MediaCo are teaming up to launch a series of Spanish-language FAST channels, starting with three new channels coming to Samsung TV Plus this summer. Curiosity and Estrella MediaCo will program “Curiosity Español,” “Curiosity Animales,” and “Curiosity Motores,” curating content from Curiosity’s library of popular factual films, series, and specials in Spanish.

Wax On and On and Off. The sixth and final season of Netflix series “Cobra Kai” will be split into three separate release dates, the streamer said Thursday. Part One of the 15-episode season will debut July 18, with Part Two slated for Nov. 28. Part Three, “The Final Event” will be released sometime in 2025.

TECH TALK

Viewer attentiveness for GSTV, the video network for fuel retailers, exceeds attention benchmarks for digital, CTV, and linear television advertising, according to a study done in collaboration with Lumen Research. The study was conducted in alignment with Dentsu’s Attention Economy initiative, enabling comparisons with norms from the agency’s 5-year attention measurement program.
Key findings from the study include:
· 95% of impressions on GSTV deliver eyes-to-screen, commanding more visual attention than digital, CTV, and linear television. Ads on GSTV yield 2.7x the attention of ads on CTV and 2.5x that of linear (vs. Tvision norms).
· Attention per 1000 impressions (APM) to ads on GSTV exceeds Dentsu’s online display norms by 5.0x, online video by 2.4x, and social by 2.3x. Despite shorter ad durations, ads on GSTV deliver more attentive viewing time than :30 spots on both CTV (+91% more) and linear TV (+60% more), vs. TVision norms.
· On a cost per 1000 seconds of attention basis (aCPM), GSTV is 5x more efficient than online display ads, compared to Dentsu’s norms. GSTV is also 3x more efficient than CTV.
· Brand recall following ad exposure on GSTV exceeds Dentsu’s norms for both online video and CTV by more than +50%

“It’s always exciting to conduct world-first research for media owners – especially when the results prove how impactful and effective their media is,” said Mike Follett, Managing Director, Lumen Research.

Cineverse has debuted cineSearch, a new content search and discovery service. Available in public Beta, cineSearch aims to redefine how audiences interact with movies and TV shows. Viewers can chat with AI video adviser Ava, who gives personalized recommendations. “In our eyes, cineSearch is a win-win-win – using AI to solve actual problems that our industry has to contend with in order to keep serving fans, creators, and all of the platforms that connect the two,” said Cineverse Chairman and CEO Chris McGurk.

Innovid has joined Ad Net Zero, a trade association focused exclusively on sustainability in the advertising industry. The company is committed to reducing its carbon footprint, prioritizing sustainability for all products and solutions, and working with others to help drive progress across advertising. Over the next year, Innovid will put the Ad Net Zero 5-Point Action Plan into practice to manage, reduce, and eliminate emissions. Committed to measuring its progress annually, Innovid will also participate in Ad Net Zero’s Leadership and Working Groups to accelerate action for the entire advertising industry.

SPORTS UPDATE

Tuesday’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 5 match between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins averaged 1.2 million total viewers for ESPN, up 13% over last year, and 584,000 viewers in the P18-49 demographic, up 15%, the network said. It was the third most-viewed Game 5 of a First Round NHL Playoff series ever on cable. NHL First Round on ESPN networks are up 12% through 19 games compared to last year’s Game 1-5 average, the networks added.

VitaCholine marked its first sports partnership, becoming a Proud Partner of the New York Jets. The multi-year agreement, also the first sponsorship in the Nutritional Ingredient category of a major professional sports team, includes entitlement of the New York Jets official website NewYorkJets.com, and grants territorial rights in both the United States and United Kingdom, as well as presenting partner of a Jets road game.

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EXECUTIVE MOVES

Banijay Media Germany has appointed Anna-Lena Pittelkow to the new position of Creative Director and Mirjan Hildebrandt as Head of Digital Distribution and Content Acquisition. Pittelkow was previously Managing Director and Chief Creative Transformation Officer at Grabarz & Partner and with the Sales & Partnerships team will spearhead strategic development. Hildebrandt, formerly of WDR Mediagroup, will be tasked with expanding its FAST channel offering, among other responsibilities.

After more than five decades in the media sales industry, Katz Media Group President Leo MacCourtney said he will retire effective July 1 and that company chief operating officer Craig Broitman will succeed him. MacCourtney was named President in 2012 and was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame in 2022.

Charter Communications said SVP, Marketing & Creative Strategy Joe Leonard will retire effective June 30, after nearly 40 years in the industry and more than a decade with the cable giant. Charter will begin a search for Leonard’s successor in the coming weeks.

Locality has appointed Robin Wong Vice President, Category Lead on its converged sales team. In this role, Wong will focus on maximizing advertiser value in the automotive, QSR, and retail sectors by implementing category-specific local sales strategies across Locality’s comprehensive suite of premium streaming video and broadcast inventory..

A+E Networks has promoted David Bank to Chief Financial Officer. Bank was previously EVP, Chief Strategy & Corporate Development Officer at the company. Art Vomvas, who has served as interim CFO at the company for the past year, will retire after nearly three decades as part of A+E’s finance and business planning team. As CFO, Bank will lead financial functions across all of A+E’s divisions in the United States and around the world.

This Day in History
1936: New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio made his Major League debut and got three hits.

Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Which was the first Disney Channel series to have its lead actor leave before the end of the show’s run? “So Weird” (1999-2001). Kudos to: Susan Nessanbaum-Goldberg-M and S Entertainment/LA; Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/LA; David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Credit Union/Burbank

Today’s Trivia Question
What sitcom gave Jim Belushi his first TV role? (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

FRIDAY MAY 3
ABC: Shark Tank [f], 20/20
CBS: S.W.A.T., Fire Country, Blue Bloods
CW: Penn & Teller: Fool Us, 100 Days to Indy
FOX: WWE Friday Night SmackDown
NBC: Password, Dateline NBC
PBS: Washington Week with The Atlantic, Firing Line with Margaret Hoover, Great Performances, Terrance Blanchard in Dallas
Telemundo: La Casa de Los Famosos, El Senor de Los Cielos
Univision: Tu Vid es Mi Vida, Mujer, El Amor No Tiene Receta

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