|A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM A+E NETWORKS
YOUNGER AUDIENCES ARE GOING DIGITAL…
IS TV EVERYWHERE REACHING THEM?
BEING EVERYWHERE MATTERS. WE REACH YOUR AUDIENCE IN THE RIGHT PLACES, ALL THE TIME.
WE TAKE OUR ENGAGING CONTENT EVERYWHERE.
HISTORY | A&E | LIFETIME | LMN | FYI | VICE ON TV
Wednesday February 17, 2021
A&E: “I Survived a Crime” at 10p
Bounce: “In the Cut” at 8p
Bravo: “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” at 9p
discovery+: “House Hunters: Comedians on Couches Unfiltered”
Freeform: “Good Trouble” at 10p
Netflix: “Behind Her Eyes,” “Hello, Me!”, “Amend: The Fight for America,” “Meateater”
IN THE NEWS
The Academy of Country Music Awards ceremony will return to Nashville, airing Sunday, April 18 at 8p on CBS and Paramount+. Like last year, the show will broadcast live from three country music venues: the Grand Ole Opry House, Ryman Auditorium, and The Bluebird Café. Last year the show had been scheduled for April 5 in Las Vegas, but was postponed until September and aired from Nashville.
Fifty-two percent of advertisers said they will increase their video spend over the next year, according to a survey from Advertisers Perceptions. Video was cited as the most important medium, with 51% of respondents saying linear TV is the most important platform, followed by social media (31%) and video sites (15%). Advertisers with spending over 25 million were most likely to prefer linear.
Univision has set a date for its virtual upfront: Tuesday, May 18. Ahead of the event, Univision will be holding A New Vision at Univision virtual presentation on Wednesday, March 24. CEO Wade Davis and President of Advertising Sales and Marketing Donna Speciale will provide an update on the company’s ongoing transformation.
The dearth of LGBTQ content on CuriosityStream is something the streaming service plans to rectify. “That is something that we are actively working on right now, to be able to build out that category because we know that we want to be able to amplify important topics,” said Chief Product Officer Devin Emery at TCA. “We definitely have people in the LGBT community that are in our content and produce our content. We do understand that there are a lot of areas that we want to increase the depth and breadth in.”
Cable One struck a deal to acquire the 85% of Hargray Communications it doesn’t already own. The $2.2 billion deal, expected to close in the 2Q21,will significantly expand Cable One’s presence in the Southeastern US and increase its fiber footprint. Cable One grabbed a 15% stake in Hargray last October.
“CNN Newsroom” anchor Brooke Baldwin announced she’s leaving in April. Said Baldwin, “There is just more I need to do, more I need to do outside of this place, outside the walls of this place, a place I’ve been privileged to call home now for 13 years.”
ABC News chief national correspondent Matt Gutman has been suspended for going into a hospital for a story without the network’s approval, a violation of the network’s COVID-19 safety policy. Gutman has been reporting on the pandemic.
PBS science series NOVA announced the launch of NOVA Science Studio, a new national program to teach and engage middle- and high-school students through an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on science communication and video production, giving students exposure to a wide range of careers in journalism, media production, and STEM.
Ryan Murphy (“American Horror Story,” “American Crime Story,” “Pose,” “Glee,” among others) will receive the Cinematic Imagery Award from the Art Directors at the 25th Annual Art Directors Guild’s Excellence in Production Design Awards, set for Saturday, April 10.
Byron Allen made waves at the Weather Channel after his Entertainment Studios acquired the network, he revealed at TCA. After listening to scientists about the impacts of climate change, he told the network’s team to talk about it. “The Weather Channel had a way of making sure that they didn’t offend folks, and they would never talk about climate change and global warming, because there were some people who said it wasn’t happening, and some people said it was happening,” said Allen. “I’m going to go with the scientists, because people don’t truly understand that climate change and global warming is the greatest threat to human beings on planet Earth. We have to inform folks so we can help save their lives.”
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|PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Henrik Bastin (“Bosch”) announced the launch of Fabel Entertainment
, an international development and production company owned and helmed by CEO Bastin. The new company’s team branched off to form their new identity after leaving Red Arrow Studios joint venture Fabrik Entertainment. Retaining their development slate and keeping President Melissa Aouate and core creatives in place, Fabel is looking to expand on genres, studio partners and distribution opportunities.
Also launching a production company is Ben Faulks (“Mr. Bloom’s Nursery”). Egg Power Productions is focused on developing and original IP for both the domestic UK and international markets. The first show developed in-house is “A Mug of Tea with Emory,” a live-action series for 3-7-year-olds that invites viewers to join the host, Emory (played by Faulks), for an imaginative tea break.
Westbrook Studios, headed by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, is partnering with Nigerian content company EbonyLife Studios to co-produce film and TV projects tied to the African continent. Projects include dramedy series “Dada Safaris,” following four best friends who renovate and relaunch a safari business.
ABC gave a script commitment to animated comedy “Prince Wawa,” from comedians Tim Baltz (“The Righteous Gemstones”) and Lily Sullivan (“I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson”), exec produced by Jon Hurwitz, Josh Heald and Hayden Schlossberg (“Cobra Kai”). The show comes from Sony Pictures Television
“Torn From Her Arms” got a green light from Lifetime. The Ozy Media movie was inspired by the separation of 6-year-old Jimena Madrid from her mother at the US border, a story reported by Ozy.
Casting notes: Aaron Eckhart (“Thank You for Smoking”) will play Gerald Ford in Showtime anthology series “The First Lady” (wt), opposite Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford…TNT’s “Snowpiercer” will welcome Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”) as a series regular for season three…Billy Campbell (“Cardinal”) will star in ABC drama pilot “National Parks”…Simone Ashley (“Sex Education”) has joined the season two cast of Netflix’s “Bridgerton,” as the female lead opposite Jonathan Bailey….Ming-Na Wen (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) and Matthew Rhys (“Perry Mason”) have joined the voice cast of HBO Max’s “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai.”
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Noggin, Nickelodeon’s interactive learning service for preschoolers, has launched a new animated musical series. “Rhymes Through Times” offers historical short-form episodes featuring music by Christopher Jackson (“Hamilton”).
Season two of UK’s BBC One series, “Staged,” starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen, premieres on Hulu Tuesday, March 16. The COVID-19-era comedy focuses on “two bickering actors making a drama out of a crisis.”
FX’s “Snowfall” is celebrating the premiere of its fourth season with a themed car wash experience, featuring a drive-thru wash tunnel customized with lights, music, and effects inspired by the series, set in 1980s Los Angeles. FX is working with the Official Black Wall Street to promote the LA event and bring attention to local Black-owned businesses. “Snowfall” returns Wednesday, February 24 at 10p.
CBS News’ original series “Unifying America” is being expanded to CBS Television Stations. The partnership between CBS News and the CBS-owned stations will showcase how people from multi-generational and multicultural perspectives are uniting to overcome racism, bullying and unconscious biases. “Unifying America” will be featured today, February 17 on CBS Television Stations local newscasts and digital properties and across CBS News.
HDNET Movies marks Chuck Norris’s 81st birthday on Wednesday, March 10 with a “Non-Stop Norris” block. The month also includes an “Ink To Screen” marathon on Saturday, March 6, highlighting cinematic adaptations of comic book titles.
Nat Geo WILD’s “Pristine Seas: The Power of Protection” premieres Monday, February 22 at 8p. The one-hour special follows National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and Pristine Seas founder Dr. Enric Sala and his team as they work to protect the last wild places in the ocean.
MAVTV announced it will be the exclusive home for POWRi Racing and all of its series in 2021. Events include its Lucas Oil National Midgets, WAR Sprints and Outlaw Micro Sprints.
Ninety-eight percent of US consumers subscribe to at least one streaming service, and 75% subscribe to two or more, according to a survey about subscription businesses from consumer retention software company Brightback. Mobile app subscriptions were second with 53%. “Technology-first subscriptions are still outpacing physical goods by a significant margin,” said the report, noting a sharp rise in subscriptions last year due to the pandemic.
Based on data from December 2020, Disney+ will surpass Netflix in number of subscribers in 2026, projects Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research. Disney+ will hit 294 million, versus 286 million for Netflix. However, the only country that will have more Disney+ subs than Netflix will be India, according to Murray, with an expected 98 million for Disney+ Hotstar and 13 million for Netflix. “Disney+ Hotstar will roll out to 13 Asian countries by 2026. These countries will supply 108 million (37%) of the global Disney+ subscriber total, but only $2.62 billion (13%) of the platform’s revenues by 2026,” said Murray.
Cinedigm is acquiring Screambox, an SVOD for horror content. “The acquisition of Screambox is another huge streaming opportunity for Cinedigm,” said Cinedigm Chairman Chris McGurk. “Having just acquired Fandor, which the Wall Street Journal called ‘the Netflix of independent film,’ we see that same kind of potential for Screambox in the huge, underserved horror category.”
Pluto TV has launched four new channels: Smithsonian Channel Selects, Vevo ‘80s, Vevo ‘90s and Vevo 2K.
Speaking of Vevo, the music video network has launched Moods, an AI-powered product that identifies and groups Vevo music videos by mood for more effective ad targeting. Advertisers can place their campaigns in an emotionally congruent environment, such as a heartfelt music video playlist ahead of Valentine’s Day. “With Moods, we can not only curate Vevo programming to better match a person’s mood, but we can also directly ensure advertisers that their campaigns are more meaningful and impactful in the same way that we guarantee a high-quality, brand-safe environment,” said Kevin McGurn, president of sales and distribution, Vevo.
Imagine Communications, which helps broadcasters and content owners monetize TV, has entered into an agreement with Sky Media to evolve its existing Landmark Sales application into a cloud-based service for cross-platform campaign sales management, inventory optimization and adaptive audience fulfillment. Central to project is Sky Media’s One Campaign, enabling advertisers to buy a single campaign that is delivered and measured holistically across multiples platforms, including linear and on demand, and receive one invoice. The capability was successfully developed in 2020 and is now live.
Captivate and Broadsign announced a collaboration that will expand programmatic access to Captivate’s network of elevator and large format displays in highly-trafficked office buildings via the Broadsign Reach supply-side-platform. More than 1,800 of Captivate’s displays across Canada have been onboarded and are now available to more than 30 demand-side-platforms globally that are integrated with Reach, with Captivate’s US inventory to follow.
NBCUniversal Formats has signed a deal for a local version of comedy game show “Celebrity Game Face” in the Middle East. The series will launch in a weekly primetime slot on Abu Dhabi TV and the ADtv app. It is being produced by In Media Plus (“The X Factor”).
Japan’s Nippon TV announced the launch of game show format “Crush Park,” which involves crushing various objects to win. On Nippon TV, the show topped viewer market share across target audiences including children 4-12 male/female (41.5%), teens 13-19 male/female (36.7%), and female aged 20-34 (35.7%) as well as 35-49 (31.8%).
NetElixier is expanding into Sweden, amid plans to extend its services and offerings as it forecasts growing market demands. This includes identifying channel/media opportunities to acquire new shoppers, offering strategic advisory using data and insights, and initiating full funnel marketing efforts based on an understanding of the path to purchase of high-value shoppers.
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Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Friday, February 12
Dan Riess has joined Univision as EVP, Chief Growth Officer, and Dan Aversano as SVP, Data, Analytics and Advanced Advertising, reporting to a familiar face – Donna Speciale, President of Advertising Sales and Marketing. Riess was previously EVP, Turner Ignite, and Aversano was SVP, Ad Innovation & Progammatic Solutions at WarnerMedia, where Speciale was ad sales chief.
Helen Lin has been elevated to Chief Digital Officer at Publicis Groupe. Lin was previously CDO for Publicis Media.
Lisa Hamilton Daly has been tapped for the newly created position of EVP, Creative Affairs at Bedrock Entertainment. Daly was most recently Director, Original Series at Netflix.
ITV Studios has appointed Gisela Asimus Minnbergh to the new role of EVP, EMEA Sales & Distribution. She joins the company from Lionsgate, where she was VP, International TV & Digital Sales.
Kevin Whitcher has joined DISQO as VP of Product, Enterprise Applications. Whitcher comes from Oracle Data Cloud, where he most recently served as VP of Product Management.
My So-Called Company, based at Universal Television, has hired Emily Cummins as President. Cummins joins from ABC Studios, where she was VP Drama Development.
Creative agency Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners has brought on Robison Mattei and Will Sands as its newest Associate Creative Directors. Most recently, Matte served as a Senior Art Director at TBWACHIATDAY; Sands has freelanced for shops including Virtue, 72andSunny, and Decoded.
Sean Owolo has joined production company ArtClass as Head of Broadcast Development. Owolo was most recently a partner/executive producer at creative studio Roger.
Participant has hired Liesl Copland to fill the newly-created roleof EVP Content and Platform Strategy. Copland had been Content Partner and EVP at Endeavor.
Richard Bracken, a prolific film and video editor who made his reputation cutting TV classics such as “Ironside,” “The Bold Ones” and “Columbo,” has died at age 90. The four-time Emmy nominee retired in 2002, when his series, “Power Rangers,” moved production to Australia.
|This Day in History
1801: The House of Representatives broke an electoral college tie by electing Thomas Jefferson as President over Aaron Burr.
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Today’s Trivia Question
|WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 17
ABC: “The Goldbergs,” “American Housewife,” “The Conners,” “Call Your Mother,” “For Life”
CBS: “Tough As Nails,” “SEAL Team,” “S.W.A.T.”
CW: “Riverdale,” “Nancy Drew”
FOX: “The Masked Dancer” [f]
NBC: “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.”
PBS: “NOVA,” “The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song” [p]
Telemundo: “Exatlon Estados Unidos,” “La Suerta de Loli,” “Buscando a Frida”
Univision: “Vencer el Desamor,” “Te Acuerdas de Mi,” “Dulce Ambicion”