|Thursday July 14, 2022|
IN THE NEWS
Netflix has partnered with Microsoft for its upcoming ad-supported subscription plan. While it’s still “early days,” Microsoft “has the proven ability to support all our advertising needs as we work together to build a new ad-supported offering,” said Greg Peters, Netflix’s COO and Chief Product Officer. “More importantly, Microsoft offered the flexibility to innovate over time on both the technology and sales side, as well as strong privacy protections for our members.” Netflix announced in April that it would open to an ad-supported tier, a move the company had resisted before.
If Wednesday’s 8% rise in Twitter shares is any indication, Wall Street is bullish on Twitter’s chances of coming out ahead in its legal battle with Elon Musk. Twitter filed a lawsuit on Tuesday over the withdrawal of Musk’s $44 billion offer for the company. The social platform accuses Musk of attempting to back out of the deal because of a drop in the stock market that caused the company’s shares to fall well below the price he offered. “Having mounted a public spectacle to put Twitter in play, and having proposed and then signed a seller-friendly merger agreement, Musk apparently believes that he — unlike every other party subject to Delaware contract law — is free to change his mind, trash the company, disrupt its operations, destroy stockholder value, and walk away,” reads the complaint. Musk’s takeover offer was $54.20 a share, a 38% premium over Twitter’s price then; the stock closed yesterday close to $37.
A new 2022 CTV/OTT Advertiser Survey found that more than half of advertisers will increase spending. The survey, released by Advertiser Perceptions and Premion, found that 66% of advertisers are shifting budgets from digital, social and linear TV to fund CTV/OTT spend increases, while 30% say that funding will come from an overall increase in ad budgets. “Our study validates that CTV has become an invaluable channel for brand marketers and agencies to follow their audiences, plan with data-driven targeting, and measure with outcomes-based performance,” said Tom Cox, President of Premion. “New data capabilities make CTV even more compelling for advertisers to gain a complete understanding of audience behaviors and to connect viewership to direct business results.”
Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and NBCUniversal Local awarded $3.475 million in grants to organizations that foster a culture of equity and inclusion in their communities. The “Project Innovation” grants were given to 90 non-profit organizations in 11 US markets to support programs that uplift diverse communities.
Yahoo’s Multimedia Journalism Fellowship Program, launched last year, returns in 2022 offering mentorship, development and opportunities for up-and-coming journalists. Cynopsis connected with participants in the program, in addition to Yahoo’s Chief Diversity and Culture Officer Alicin Williamson, to learn more about why diversity in media is essential – check out Cynsiders.
2022 Model D and IT List Awards
This just in…
The Cynopsis Model D and IT List Awards is set for this November 17th in NYC at the Edison Ballroom South. Stay tuned for more information on entries and registration.
Check out our 2021 winners and categories.
PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Netflix will produce a multi-part docuseries on the life of David Beckham. Academy Award-winning duo Fisher Stevens and John Battsek will direct and executive produce the series through Beckham’s Studio 99. The series will feature archive footage from the past four decades of Beckham’s life, beginning with his upbringing in East London.
TIME Studios and Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana will partner on two new original animated children’s series. The series will be co-produced with Nelvana as part of three NFT-derived projects on the TIME Studios Kids and Family division’s slate of web3 IP and are the latest partnership between both studios.
Showrunner Julie Plec (“Legacies”) unveiled a development slate of five new scripted shows at Universal TV, in addition to series already in production. The newcomers include “Clifton,” “Douglass Medical,” “Freeman,” “Stay Gold” and “This Savage Song.”
“Minx” creator Ellen Rapoport signed an overall deal with Lionsgate to produce scripted content. Rapoport’s series has been renewed for a second season by the production company.
Topic secured the on-demand rights to Jim Sheridan’s “Murder at the Cottage: The Search for Justice for Sophie.” The NBCUniversal Global Distribution streamer will produce the series centered on Sheridan’s search for answers about the murder of a French woman, Sophie Toscan du Plantier, at her holiday home in Ireland. The first two episodes will premiere on Topic on August 4.
Social media influencer Todrick Hall partnered with designer Kim Myles to host “Battle of the Bling.” The new HGTV competition series was greenlit by the network for five episodes, and will follow Hall and Myles as they tour 15 properties nominated by homeowners who believe theirs is the most unapologetically ‘extra’ home. The series is slated to air in December 2022.
Prime Video greenlit a second cycle of Canadian Amazon Original “The Lake.” The half-hour comedy is written and executive produced by Julian Doucet, and executive produced by Karen Troubetzkoy.
Apple TV+ announced a straight-to-series order for “Ferrari,” inspired by bestselling novel “Ferrari Rex” by Luca Dal Monte. Created and written by Steven Knight, the series will be directed by Stefano Sollima.
Tomorrow Studios will adapt “Freedom,” a novel about contemporary love and marriage by Jonathan Franzen, with Scott Free Productions. Melanie Marnich will write the TV adaptation.
“Everything’s Trash” co-creators Phoebe Robinson and Jonathan Groff have extended their overall deals with ABC Signature. The series, now streaming on Freeform, stars Robinson as a podcast host living in Brooklyn who’s forced to normalize her lifestyle when her brother runs for office.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Animated series “Bluey” will return to Disney+ for its third season on August 10. The series centered on family adventures will split its upcoming season into two parts – the first featuring 25 seven-minute stories, followed by the second half at a later date.
“Star Trek: Lower Decks” season three will hit Paramount+ on August 25. The half-hour animated comedy series’ new season will be comprised of 10 episodes, streaming weekly on Thursdays.
Hulu’s pizza baking competition series “Best in Dough” kicks off September 19. Hosted by Wells Adams and Chef Daniele Uditi, the 10-episode series will air with three episodes, followed by another three episodes the next Monday and four the week after, with a finale date of October 3.
OWN’s “Family or Fiancé” will return on August 6. The unscripted series introduces 10 episodes of engaged couples and their disapproving families, hosted by Coach Tracy McMillan.
FXX’s “Archer” returns for season 13 on August 24. The animated comedy will be followed by the series premiere of the new animated show “Little Demon” on at 10p.
XUMO signed a distribution and licensing deal with MPI Media and launched two exclusive series channels based on popular TV shows and franchises. “XUMO currently features 40 single series channels that drove over 15 percent of total hours streamed in Q1 2022 alone, and represents an important, fast-growing category on our service,” said Stefan Van Engen, SVP programming and partnerships at XUMO.
A new NBC News documentary investigates the role TikTok played in Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s defamation trial verdict. “A Marriage on Trial: Johnny Depp, Amber Heard and Truth in the Age of Social Media” is currently available on-demand and will stream on Peacock on August 1.
The NBA voted to make its Play-In tournament a permanent fixture of the postseason. In the Play-In, the teams that finish seventh through 10th in each conference vie to secure the seventh and eighth playoff berths. The tourney is staged between the end of the regular season and the start of the actual playoffs.
ESPN Events announced plans to host the 2022 Armed Forces Classic featuring Gonzaga and Michigan State on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln in the San Diego harbor on Veterans Day. The game will be televised Nov. 11 in primetime on ESPN. Positive Impact, an event management company that works on military-based events, will support ESPN Events with logistics and on-site assistance.
Professional Bull Riders and Stillhouse announced that the brand is now the Official Vodka of the PBR Team Series, the new bull riding league beginning regular season competition in late July running toward a Teams championship in November. The multi-faceted partnership includes media and in-arena LED signage; commercial inventory on CBS and Pluto TV which will carry every game in the new series; and the position of Official Vodka of PBR’s annual Cowboys for a Cause charitable bull riding event.
UFC and World Series of Poker are teaming up for a series of online and in-person fan-focused campaigns aimed at “merging the worlds of poker and UFC.” The first partnership campaign is now up inside the free-to-play WSOP app, with a special UFC Knockout Tournament inviting the global player community to compete for special virtual in-app rewards, including UFC-branded poker rings and bracelets.
The US Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC can’t make broadcasters check sponsors’ identities. The FCC had previously implemented rules imposing additional requirements on how stations investigate the sources of their programming, to determine whether it was channeling through foreign governments. The July 12 ruling stated that the Commission may require stations to obtain sponsorship identification information from their own employees and program sponsors but should not be required to investigate additional sources.
Diane Lane has joined Netflix’s “A Man in Full” opposite Jeff Daniels. The six-episode limited series is based on Tom Wolfe’s 1998 novel, and led by David E. Kelley and Regina King.
Netflix revealed the latest casting of “Black Mirror” season 6. Aaron Paul, Zazie Beetz, Paapa Essiedu, Josh Hartnett, Kate Mara, Danny Ramirez, Clara Rugaard, Auden Thornton and Anjana Vasan will star in the first three episodes of the show’s upcoming season.
Nickelodeon and Mattel unveiled the lineup of voice actors for its upcoming animated series, “Monster High.” The 26-episode series follows teenage children of famous monsters as they discover who they are. The voice cast that will bring the story to life includes Gabrielle Nevaeh Green, Courtney Lin, Iris Menas, Tony Revolori, Kausar Mohammed, Valeria Rodriguez, Alexa Kahn, Alexander Polinsky and Debra Wilson. A live-action television movie musical based on the franchise is slated to premiere October 6 on Nickelodeon and Paramount+.
Freida Pinto will star as Huma Abedin in the TV adaptation of “Both/And.” Through her production company, Freebird Films, and Entertainment One, Pinto will tell the story of Hillary Clinton’s top aide and longtime advisor (who has recently made headlines for dating Bradley Cooper).
Jeff Goldblum has replaced Hugh Grant in Netflix’s “Kaos.” Goldblum will star as the vengeful god Zeus in Netflix’s upcoming dark comedy about a reimagined Greek mythology, written by Charlie Covell.
Warner Bros. acquired the Australian documentary series “Code 1: Minute by Minute.” The show breaks down the biggest and most recent tragic news events to impact Australia; the second season is already in production for delivery in Spring 2023.
All3Media International and HBO Max commissioned a local adaptation in Spain for idtv’s “The Traitors.” The eight-part psychological adventure was originally developed in the Netherlands, and is already commissioned in the UK, the US, Norway, France, Belgium and Australia.
2022 Tempest Esports Business Awards
Did someone say PARTY?
That’s right! Join us this year for our Tempest pre-party on the show floor! Entries are still open! Enter today and save!
ESPN saw its coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon climb 26% over 2021 audience numbers to an average of 647,000 viewers over its nearly 150 hours of English-language coverage, according to the company. Sunday morning’s Gentlemen’s Championship averaged 2.2 million viewers, up 22%, while the Ladies’ Championship on Saturday morning saw an average of 1.2 million viewers, up 9%.
Meanwhile, NBC Sports’ presentation of the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament scored its largest audience for the event since 2009 across NBC, GOLF Channel and Peacock. Sunday’s coverage averaged a Total Audience Delivery of 1.4 million viewers up 17% from last year. Across the three days on NBC, GOLF Channel and Peacock, the event averaged a TAD of 963,000 viewers – the best viewership for the event since 2009 and up 19% from last year.
FOX Sports saw Saturday’s Baseball Night in America average 2,636,000 viewers, to rank as the most-watched regular season baseball telecast on any network since the Field of Dreams game last August.
In syndications, talk shows were on the rise in the week leading into the Fourth of July. In the session ending July 3, “Dr. Phil” (1.4 live plus same day national Nielsen rating, up 8% from the week before) jumped into a first place tie with “Live with Kelly and Ryan” (1.4, steady). “The Kelly Clarkson Show” (0.8, up 14%) placed third in the category and jumped 50% in the advertiser-coveted W25-54 age group. (Of note, all of the top three strips were in repeats.) “Tamron Hall” (0.6, up 20%) and “The Drew Barrymore Show” (0.5, up 25%) scored the sharpest household rating gains among the top ten talkers.
Top 10 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of June 27 ranked in order by HH Rtg
Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, July 12
Katherine Pope was named president of Sony Pictures Television Studios. Pope served as the head of original content at Charter Communications for the past four and a half years, and will now oversee all domestic scripted productions.
Group M has appointed Dr. Brian Dashew as Head of Learning & Development for North America and will lead GroupM University. Dashew will design and execute industry-leading learning experiences and professional development curriculum.
Steve Mundt has joined Telstra as VP of Enterprise and Technology for the Americas. Mundt takes on his new role as Telstra is investing to grow its network infrastructure and expand connectivity solutions in the Americas and in key regions worldwide.
Gabrielle Howard has boarded Fred Rogers Productions as Creative Development Manager. Howard will manage the children’s media organization’s growing portfolio of IP in development.
Viamedia has promoted Madeline Kissel to VP of Affiliate relations and Business Development. Kissel will be responsible for managing the process of identifying, pitching, negotiating and executing sales representation agreements.
Garrett Thierry has joined Vision Films, Inc. as the new Director of Global Digital Distribution and Marketing. Vision Films is an independent worldwide sales and VOD aggregator.
Smosh has appointed Joel Rubin as EVP of Programming and Content. The comedy brand also promoted current team members Lisa Van Lenner and Kiana Parker in its production division.
This Day in History
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Today’s Trivia Question
|THURSDAY JULY 14
ABC: Press Your Luck, Generation Gap, The Fatal Flaw – A Special Edition of 20/20 [p], Jimmy Kimmel Live!
CBS: Young Sheldon, Ghosts, Big Brother, CSI: Vegas, The Late Show With Stephen Colbert
CW: Walker, The Flash
FOX: MasterChef, Welcome to Flatch, Call Me Kat
NBC: Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Organized Crime, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
PBS: This Old House [p], Ask This Old House [p], Broadchurch, Hotel Portofino
Telemundo:, La Casa de los Famosos, Amor Valiente, Caso Cerrado
Univision: La Mexicana y el Güero, La Herencia, Mujer de Nadie