05/12/21: FXX orders Aubrey Plaza animated comedy | #television | #elderly | #movies
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|IN THE NEWS
Super Bowl champ Russell Wilson and Grammy-winning singer Ciara struck a first-look deal with Amazon Studios. The husband-and-wife-duo will develop and produce scripted series and films through their production company, Why Not You Productions, to premiere exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.
Working Title Television landed rights to Stacey Abrams’ new novel While Justice Sleeps, and will adapt it as a TV series. The legal thriller, published yesterday by Penguin Random House, follows a young law clerk who becomes legal guardian to a Supreme Court justice who lands in a coma and inadvertently plunges the court, and the country, into turmoil.
On June 15-16, Cynopsis’ 5th Annual Measurement and Data Conference brings big-name speakers from AARP, Amazon, Dentsu, FOX, GroupM, Publicis, UM, ViacomCBS, and more to share the latest trends & technology for monetizing today’s cross-platform challenges effectively. Industry changes are escalating fast…arm yourself to stay ahead of the curve in 2021 and beyond; register now.
Demi Lovato will star in and exec-produce a limited unscripted series about UFOs at Peacock. “Unidentified with Demi Lovato” will feature the music superstar and actress, her skeptical best friend and her sister as they attempt to uncover the truth about the UFO phenomena. The series, also exec-produced by Scooter Braun, Scott Manson and Allison Kaye for SB Projects, has a four-ep order.
Scarlett Johansson will receive the Generation Award at the 2021 “MTV Movie & TV Awards,” which air live from LA on Sunday, May 16 at 9p.
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|PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
NBC handed long-running daytime drama “Days Of Our Lives” a two-season renewal. Produced by Corday Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television, the soap is now secured through its 57th and 58th seasons.
Calling Jack Bauer? An untitled espionage drama starring Kiefer Sutherland (“24”) is in the works at Paramount+. Sutherland will exec-produce alongside writer/directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, Charlie Gogolak and Suzan Bymel for the ViacomCBS streamer. The eight-episode series follows a private espionage operative in the midst of a battle over the preservation of democracy.
Peacock is also jumping in the ring with John Cena. He’ll create, produce and narrate new series “WWE Evil”—billed as an entertaining “psychological expose” into the minds of the most diabolical antagonists in WWE history and their impact on mainstream culture—for the streamer… also in sports news from Peacock, four-time Super Bowl-winning QB Joe Montana will be the subject of a new doc, produced by NFL Films.
Are you comfortable attending an event in person in New York City between now and the end of 2021? Cynopsis wants to know what your feelings about travel are; take this short survey now.
AMC Networks gave a six-ep order to “Moonhaven,” from writer/producer Peter Ocko (“Lodge 49”). The drama is about a utopian colony on the Moon that may hold the keys to preserving life on Earth. The series, produced by AMC Studios, will debut on AMC and AMC+ next year.
FXX ordered animated comedy series “Little Demon,” created and written by Darcy Fowler, Seth Kirschner and Kieran Valla. With Aubrey Plaza starring on voice talent and serving as one of the exec producers, the series will bow on FXX and be available to the following day to stream on FX on Hulu. Danny DeVito voices the Devil, who 13 years earlier impregnated a reluctant mother (Plaza); she and her Antichrist daughter attempt to live an ordinary life in Delaware.
A reboot of “Legends of the Hidden Temple” is on the books at The CW. The classic Nickelodeon adventure series, initially slated to get an update on defunct short-form service Quibi, will be produced by Stone & Co., the company behind the original series, reimagined as an adult format.
Anonymous Content scored a first-look deal with Israeli talent and artist agency The Kneller Agency, which reps a swath of the country’s television and film creatives. The management and production shingle will have exclusive first-look rights to original TV and film ideas generated from the agency, which reps 250-plus clients including Joseph Cedar, co-creator and director of HBO series “Our Boys” and Tomer Kappon, star of “The Boys” (Amazon), “Fauda” (Netflix) and “When Heroes Fly” (Netflix).
“Alice’s Wonderland Bakery,” a fantastical animated preschool series inspired by you know who, is in production at Disney Junior. Slated to debut in 2022, the series centers on the great-granddaughter of the original Alice in Wonderland and a budding young baker at the enchanted Wonderland Bakery. Each ep will feature two 11-minute stories about Alice’s recipe adventures with her pals.
Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns”) and Chaske Spencer (“The Twilight Saga”) will topline BBC One and Amazon Studios’ western “The English.” Directed by Hugo Blick, the series is set in the mythic mid-America of 1890, and centers on an Englishwoman who arrives in town to seek revenge on the man she sees as responsible for the death of her son.
Michael Showalter (“The Big Sick”) and Jordana Mollick’s Semi-Formal Productions signed a two-year first look deal with HBO Max. Showalter, previously based at Annapurna TV, is currently co-exec-producing comedy “Search Party,” which moved from TBS to HBO Max in 2019 and just picked up a season 5 renewal. He’s also director and exec-producer on Hulu’s “The Dropout.”
When Amazon’s latest young adult drama “Panic” debuts later this month it will have companion three-part audio series “Panic: Ghosts and Legends” on sister company Audible. TV series, which stars Camron Jones, Ray Nicholson and Olivia Welch, focuses on the ages-old game played by graduating seniors in a middle-of-nowhere town, where a series of challenges ranging from sleeping in a haunted house to running across a highway blindfolded could land one winner a cash prize in the tens of thousands.
Landmark Studio Group (“Willy’s Wonderland,” “Safehaven”), a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, is partnering with comedian Elon Gold to bring Gold’s series “It’s Not A Show with Elon Gold” to Crackle Plus. Based on his own experiences during the Covid pandemic, series is set to air on the VOD platform this summer with Bob Maurer serving as showrunner and exec producer.
Filming is under way on ZDF Enterprises’ new factual series “Africa from Above.” The 10-part series, produced by Off the Fence Productions, takes cameras to new heights in the mountains, coastlines and jungles as they explore Africa’s people, places and wildlife from a new perspective.
Three series got renewals at ALLBLK, the rebranded streaming service for Black TV and film from AMC Networks. “For the Love of Jason,” “Double Cross” and “A House Divided’ will all be heading back for new seasons.
Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias is back in business with Netflix. The comic has booked another stand-up comedy special on the streamer, slated to bow later this year. The event will be filmed at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts in San Antonio, where Iglesias is performing four weeks of sold-out shows.
The BBC and British filmmaker Steve McQueen are teaming again for “Uprising,” a three-part docuseries that will explore three seminal events of 1981 that changed race relations in the UK. James Rogan, who directed BBC doc series “Stephen: The Murder That Changed a Nation,” will co-direct with McQueen.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Six-part documentary “Pride” begins streaming on Hulu on Saturday, May 15. The project chronicles the struggle for LGBTQ+ civil rights in America from the ‘50s through the 2000s.
Drama “Mr Inbetween” returns to FX for a new season beginning Tuesday, May 25 at 10p.
“Jersey Shore Family Vacation” travels back to MTV for the second part of season 4 Thursday, June 3 at 8p. The roommates are packing up and inviting their friends, family and loved ones for a Jersey-style family vacation.
Discovery+ is taking the high road with “Pushing the Line,” which debuts Saturday, June 5 and follows an elite group of fearless highliners who give a window into what it’s like to walk on a line, hundreds of feet above the ground, on a 1-inch rope.
Netflix set Friday, June 11 for the return of “Lupin.” The five-episode second part of the French series also has a new trailer, which picks up after the cliffhanger part 1 finale. Netflix hasn’t disclosed numbers, but the series was a hit, projected to have been watched by 70 million households.
Acorn TV is spinning one of its true crime projects into a docu-series. “The Real Manhunter” premieres Monday, June 14 and features former Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton, recently portrayed by Martin Clunes in Acorn original drama “Manhunt.” In the eight-part new series, Sutton revisits cases he led and explores everything from the crime itself to the breakthrough moment when the suspect was identified and arrested.
Snapchat will premiere “Twinning Out,” a docuseries following twins and social influencers Niki & Gabi DeMartino on Saturday, June 15. Produced by Bunim/Murray Productions, the series sees the siblings risking their boyfriends, besties and inseparable sisterhood to make some of the biggest decisions of their lives.
Freeform announced its summer schedule, which includes season premieres of “Motherland: Fort Salem” on Tuesday, June 22 , “grown-ish” season 4 on Thursday, July 8, and season 3B of “Good Trouble” on Wednesday, July 14.
Season 2 of animated series “Central Park” debuts June 22 on Apple TV+. In the next run for the show, starring Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Kathryn Hahn, Tituss Burgess and Stanley Tucci, the Tillerman family will continue to navigate living in and caring for the world’s most famous park.
TV One will air a special ep of “Uncensored” featuring late rapper DMX’s final interview on Sunday, May 16 at 8p. The special will be followed by the annual “Urban One Honors,” hosted by Erica Campbell and Roland Martin at 9p. The event will herald the accomplishments of African American Women and will air on TV One and sister CLEO TV.
Spectrum is celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month by providing TV customers with an on-demand collection of movies including “Parasite,” “Minari” and “The Farewell,” with Awkwafina in her breakout role, beginning this week.
Featuring interviews with former President Barack Obama, Sir Paul McCartney and journalist Tina Brown, CBS News’ “The Queen Carries On: A Gayle King Special” will air Friday, May 14 at 8p. The special will explore the life of Queen Elizabeth II, whose 69-year reign is the longest in British history.
Usher will host and perform during the 2021 iHeartRadio Music Awards, airing Thursday, May 27 live on Fox. The Weeknd with special guest Ariana Grande, Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak (Silk Sonic), Dan + Shay and Doja Cat are among artists set to take the stage. The event also promises appearances from Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and Roddy Ricch and the presentation of the Icon Award to Elton John by Chris Martin and Lil Nas X.
CNN Films’ “Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street” debuts Monday, May 31 at 9p. Exec-produced by LeBron James for The SpringHill Co., the Salima Koroma-directed film investigates the Black renaissance in Greenwood, OK and the history of the 100-year-old race massacre that left an indelible stain on American history. Fremantle will handle international distribution.
American Masters doc “Ballerina Boys,” a portrait of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, an all-male ballet company and international dance sensation, bows on PBS Friday, June 4 at 9p.
Disney Channel’s summer camp comedy “Bunk’d” will premiere its 100th episode Thursday, June 3 at 8p. The ep will air during a special summer kick-off week featuring a new installment of the series on each night of the week from Monday, May 31-Friday, June 4.
Kids on-demand service Toon Goggles added a suite of linear channels to the platform. Angry Birds, Guinness World Records, Om Nom TV and Sparkle Power are among the additions.
Cloudco Entertainment and Moonbugare launching the second season of the “Care Bears: Unlock the Music” series of original music videos on the Care Bears’ YouTube channel beginning May 8.
Sesame Workshop and The Wiggles are collaborating to create two music videos. Upcoming are “ABCs of Moving You,” a collab update of the Sesame Street song, and a reimagining of The Wiggles’ earworm “Fruit Salad.”
Rotten Tomatoes is ripening. The home of the Tomatometer rating scores, owned by NBCU’s Fandango, is launching linear streaming service The Rotten Tomatoes Channel. The OTT streaming outlet initially will debut on The Roku Channel and then expand to NBCU’s Peacock platform and Comcast-owned Xumo.
Factual streaming service CuriosityStream acquired One Day University, which provides access to more than 500 engaging talks and lectures from professors at more than 150 colleges and universities in the US.
Law&Crime is now available on The Roku Channel. The legal and true crime network features series including “Trial File,” “Law&Crime Daily” and “Prime Crime,” and recently concluded its coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial in the death of George Floyd.
The on-air banter between CNN weeknight anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon has given birth to a podcast. “The Handoff, from CNN Audio, will feature discussion of key issues of the week.
Money talks. The YouTube Shorts Fund, a $100 million pot of money the platform aims to distribute to creators of the most engaging clips on its new TikTok-style feature, kicks off this fall. The feature has been hot out of the gate. During its Q1 earnings call, parent Google/Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said YouTube Shorts had 6.5 billion daily views in March, up from 3.5 billion at the end of 2020.
Alphonso – recently rebranded as LG Ads – announced it has prevailed in a patent dispute with Samba TV, regarding the use of TV audience data for targeting TV viewers on digital devices. A suit filed by Samba TV against Alphonso in 2015 asserted that Alphonso infringed upon Samba’s patent for “Targeting with Television Audience Data Across Multiple Screens.” In 2018, the United States District Court for Northern District of California ruled that Alphonso did not infringe on this patent. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit determined that the case should have been dismissed before ever reaching the infringement arguments, because the Samba patent is invalid. “With these decisions, our innovative practices for audience-data-driven TV retargeting have been validated across the board, just as we anticipated,” said Ashish Chordia, Alphonso, CEO.
Programmatic video platform Tremor Video’s UnrulyEQ emotional and psychographic intelligence offering is now available to all clients in the US and Canada. Designed to maximize audience engagement and optimize campaign performance for advertisers across CTV and video, the suite of data-driven audience and content testing solutions leverages a blend of facial coding and survey-based techniques.
Sarah Hyland (“Modern Family”) is joining the cast of ABC fairytale drama pilot “Epic”… Starz is casting up “ Becoming Elizabeth.” Romola Garai, Jessica Raine, Tom Cullen and Bella Ramsey join the previously announced Alicia Von Rittberg in the drama.
The Monte-Carlo Television Festival plans to hold an in-person event June 18-22, and has announced its competition lineup of 27 shows from 14 countries. Nominees include HBO Max/Channel 4’s AIDS drama “It’s A Sin” and Keshet series “Line In The Sand.”
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Since its March 26 premiere, Nickelodeon animated preschool series “Baby Shark Big Show!” ranks as the No. 1 series with K2-5 across all TV, according to Nielsen. The series has reached 2.5 million preschoolers and 11.1 million Total Viewers, launch to date, and garnered more than 54.5 million views on Nick Jr.’s YouTube channel. On Nick Jr. VOD, there have been 2 million total transactions for “Baby Shark” since launch, with the series posting month over month gains since it has been available on VOD.
In syndication news “Judge Judy,” going out with a bang in its 25th and final season in first-run, was up 19 percent and overtook everything in syndication except for “Family Feud.” Finishing behind “Judy” were “Jeopardy” with Anderson Cooper at the podium for a second week, and “Wheel of Fortune.”
Besides “Judy,” which has led the court shows for the past 1,284 weeks, the only other top three legal strip to get a favorable ratings verdict was “Hot Bench.” Talkers “Dr Phil” and “Live with Kelly and Ryan” finished in a first place tie for the fourth time in five weeks.
Broadcast Nielsen Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of April 26 ranked in order by HH Rtg
TV Time’s Shows on the Rise for the week of May 3
TV Time’s Binge Report for the week of May 3
Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Monday, May 10
ABC News is elevating two executives. Andrew Dymburt, who joined last year as a DC-based multiplatform reporter, becomes co-anchor of the overnight broadcasts “World News Now” and “America This Morning.” Kenneth Moton, who started in 2015 and in 2019, was named co-anchor of “ABC News Now” and “America This Morning,” is returning to the DC bureau.
Customer experience agency Definition 6 hired Crystal Hall as SVP/creative director. Hall has worked with brands including Showtime, FX, The Movie Channel, Smithsonian Channel, and truTV.
|This Day in History
1937 – Britain’s King George VI was crowned at Westminster Abbey.
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|WEDNESDAY MAY 12
ABC: The Goldbergs, Home Economics, The Conners, Call Your Mother, A Million Little Things
CBS: Kids Say the Darndest Things, SEAL Team, S.W.A.T.
CW: Kung Fu, Nancy Drew
FOX: The Masked Singer, Game of Talents
NBC: Chicago Med, Chicago Fire, Chicago P.D.
PBS: Greta Thunberg: A Year To Change the World, NOVA, The World Within
Telemundo: Exatlon Estados Unidos, La Suerte de Loli, Buscando a Frida
Univision: Disnando Tu Amor, Te Acuerdas Di Mi, La Hija Del Embajador