|Thursday January 26, 2023|
IN THE NEWS
Newsmax went dark on DirecTV with the expiration of a carriage agreement extension. While Newsmax has accused DirecTV of “political discrimination” stemming from the network’s conservative content, DirecTV counters it was all about money. “On multiple occasions, we made it clear to Newsmax that we wanted to continue to offer the network, but ultimately Newsmax’s demands for rate increases would have led to significantly higher costs that we would have to pass on to our broad customer base,” said DirecTV said in a statement. “Anyone, including our customers, can watch the network for free via NewsmaxTV.com, YouTube.com and on multiple streaming platforms.
Warner Bros. Discovery will host its Upfront the morning of Wednesday, May 17, at The Theater at Madison Square Garden. “This year’s Upfront will shine a spotlight on how WBD’s best-in-class programming and products connect brands with highly engaged audiences,” said Jon Steinlauf, Chief U.S. Advertising Sales Officer at Warner Bros. Discovery. Guests will also hear new details about the ad-lite tier of the company’s enhanced streaming service, as well as new measurement and currency solutions.
“Bob Hearts Abishola” has made it to season five. CBS renewed the comedy, currently averaging 5.99 million viewers on Mondays, for the 2023-24 season.
Penske Media Eldridge has acquired Dick Clark Productions. The deal is part of a strategic alliance with Eldridge expanding its existing partnership with Penske Media’s entertainment media brands and SXSW. “I have long admired dcp’s portfolio of iconic and prominent live entertainment brands,” said Penske Media CEO and founder Jay Penske, “and look forward to growing dcp’s footprint and legacy for future audiences across all platforms.”
Former Fox News employee Laura Luhn is suing Fox News over alleged abuse by the late CEO Roger Ailes, who stepped down from the company in 2016 amid charges of sexual misconduct by other women. Luhn is suing Fox News for unlawful discrimination and negligence, and former FNC co-president Bill Shine for aiding and abetting Ailes.
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PRODUCTION & DEVELOPMENT
Anna “Delvey” Sorokin, the focus of “Inventing Anna,” now has a series of her own. Reality show “Delvey’s Dinner Club,” from Courtney White (formerly of Food Network) and Butternut, will film in Sorokin’s NYC apartment, where she’s under house arrest. “There’s nothing like the experience of bringing together a curated group of friends to share life stories and enjoy a great culinary experience,” said Sorokin.
Krista Vernoff is stepping down as EP and showrunner of ABC’s Shondaland dramas “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Station 19” at the end of the season. “Her voice has been pivotal to the success of these beloved series,” said Craig Erwich, President, ABC Entertainment, Hulu & Disney Branded Television Streaming Originals. “It takes a formidable leader to run two shows simultaneously and Krista has done so effortlessly. Her creative force has left an indelible mark and thanks to her, our viewers will continue to be invested in these dynamic and cherished characters for many years to come.” Vernoff will continue to develop projects through her company, Trip the Light Productions.
Just ahead of the debut of “Extraordinary,” Disney+ ordered a second season. The UK-set comedy following a 25-year-old woman searching for her superpower made its Hulu debut on Wednesday.
Roku has ordered three adventure series: Social experiment “Fight to Survive,” from Tollbooth Television; zoo-set “Reptile Royalty,” from Leftfield Pictures; and “UFO Cowboys,” from American Chainsaws.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Television Group ordered a pilot for “Mutual Aid Brigade,” co-hosted and executive produced by “Will & Grace” star Debra Messing and author/activist Shelly Tygielski. In the reality show, viewers will be able to participate in charitable activities, and see the results of their efforts.
“Any claims of serious injury are untrue,” said Netflix and producers Studio Lambert and The Garden over reports that freezing conditions on “Squid Game: The Challenge” in the UK led to a contestant being carted off in a stretcher. According to The Sun, at least one player during a game of Red Light, Green Light – which called for people to remain motionless for hours – was carried out. “We care deeply about the health and safety of our cast and crew, and invested in all the appropriate safety procedures,” said the companies.
Critical Role (“The Legend of Vox Machina”) landed an exclusive overall deal with Amazon Studios. The agreement calls for Critical Role to produce an animated series based on its livestream campaign “Mighty Nein,” exec produced by Tasha Ho, Sam Riegel and Travis Willingham alongside Metapigeon and Amazon Studios. Critical Role will also develop its own TV shows under its Metapigeon banner.
Casting notes: Bill Camp (“The Queen’s Gambit”) and Elizabeth Marvel (“The Dropout”) have joined the cast of Apple TV+ limited series “Presumed Innocent,” inspired by the 1987 Scott Turow book….Jess Salgueiro (“Y: The Last Man”) will star opposite Kelsey Grammer in Paramount+’s sequel to “Frasier.”
Hulu and Adult Swim have cut ties with “Rick & Morty” and “Solar Opposites” co-creator Justin Roiland after he was charged with domestic violence. Roiland resigned from video game developer Squanch Games, which he co-founded in 2016.
NEW & RETURNING SERIES
Oxygen’s “Cold Justice” returns Saturday, February 25 at 8p. So far, the true crime series has helped bring about 22 convictions and 56 arrests.
New series “Womp & Co.” premieres Friday, January 27 at 10p on FailArmy’s streaming channel. The workplace comedy follows a crew of puppet characters.
Season two of AppleTV+ docuseries “Make or Break” debuts with its first four episodes on February 17. The series follows elite surfers competing for the World Championship title.
Sixteen of the greatest competitors from Bravo’s “Top Chef” return for the cooking competition’s 20th season, kicking off Thursday, March 19 at 9p. The All-Stars installment features winners and finalists, representing 11 different “Top Chef” versions around the world. Brand partners include Anolon Cookware, BMW of North America, Delta Air Lines, Finish Dishwasher Detergent and Additives, Mastercard, Morton Salt, RITZ Crackers, Saratoga® Spring Water, Universal Pictures’ “Fast X” and Vrbo.
Apple unveiled its spring lineup of content for kids and families. The new programming will kick off on Friday, March 31 with the animated series “Eva the Owlet,” inspired by the bestselling book series. “Jane,” from Emmy Award winner J.J. Johnson, Sinking Ship Entertainment and the Jane Goodall Institute, launches April 14 and “Frog and Toad,” based on Arnold Lobel’s beloved characters of over five decades, launches April 28.
HBO stand-up comedy special “Marc Maron: From Bleak to Dark” debuts Saturday, February 11 at 10p. In the comedian and podcaster’s first HBO comedy special, he explores such universal topics as getting older, antisemitism and faith, and the superiority of having cats over children.
Oscar-nominated documentary “All That Breathes” premieres Tuesday, February 7 at 9p on HBO. The film follows two brothers who devote their lives to the quixotic effort of protecting the black kite, a majestic bird of prey essential to the ecosystem of New Delhi that has been falling from the sky at alarming rates.
Documentary “When You’re Strange,” airs Wednesday, February 1 at 9p on AXS TV. Narrated by Johnny Depp, the 2009 film uncovers historic footage of rock band The Doors.
Yvette Nicole Brown (“Dreamgirls”) will return as host for the 27th Annual Art Directors Guild Awards, taking place Saturday, February 18 in LA.
Fox special “TMZ Investigates: Lisa Marie Presley: Unending Tragedy” premieres Monday, January 30 at 8p.
Among the highlights at the Disney Tech & Data Showcase on Wednesday was the announcement of a deal with EDO to apply the company’s engagement metrics to Disney’s streaming content, starting with Hulu. “Through our expanded relationship with EDO, we are bringing insights to brands based on the largest and most leaned-in audiences in live sports and events to show the impact of an ad exposure in streaming on cross-screen digital behavior like search and site visits,” said Danielle Brown, SVP of data enablement and category strategy for Disney Advertising. The company also touted its Clean Room technology, now 14 months old. “We’re hyper-focused on delivering what matters to our advertising partners across the entirety of our portfolio,” said Rita Ferro, President of Advertising.
Twitter has partnered with DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science to offer advertisers insights about the content that appears adjacent to their ads, including promoted tweets. “Twitter is committed to promoting a safe advertising experience for people and brands, and this commitment has never been stronger,” said AJ Brown, Twitter’s Head of Brand Safety. “Validation of the context in which ads serve according to Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) industry standards is incredibly important to us and our customers.”
Scripps Networks’ ION, Bounce and Scripps News will launch on YouTube TV this week as part of its base service offering. As part of the multi-year distribution partnership, YouTube TV will also continue its existing carriage of Court TV and has the option to launch Grit, ION Mystery, and Laff in the future.
MuxIP, provider of automated solutions for ad-supported streaming, will deliver 24/7 live FAST channel capabilities for MTRSPT1, the global motorsports network. The first major live MTRSPT1 event powered by MuxIP’s FastHub solution will be the Daytona 200 on March 11.
Showtime in partnership with Paramount Global’s Content for Change initiative announced a $300,000 donation to North Community High School, the focus of the new docuseries “Boys in Blue,” spotlighting the school and its football team during the 2021 season in the aftermath of the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. The funds establish a multi-year scholarship program to help students continue their education and build a more equitable community in North Minneapolis.
Charter is currently accepting Spectrum Scholars applications for the 2023-2024 academic year. To be eligible, students must be rising college juniors with financial need who identify as Asian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino or Native American. Scholars receive a $20,000 college scholarship and will have the opportunity for an internship at one of Charter’s corporate offices in Stamford, St. Louis, Charlotte, Denver, Tampa and Austin.
The Pac-12 conference owes Comcast $50 million due to overpayments from 2012-16 that were not properly reported despite a 2017 audit that uncovered the issue. Pac-12 CFO Brent Willman and Pac-12 Networks President Mark Shuken were let go last week after the disclosure.
2023 Honda NHL® All-Star Weekend take place February 2-4, when the National Hockey League (NHL) transforms Fort Lauderdale Beach Park into the Truly Hard Seltzer All-Star Beach Festival. The free event will offer family-friendly, hockey-interactive games and attractions, a look at the NHL’s new United by Hockey Mobile Museum, special appearances from current NHL All-Stars and NHL Alumni, trophy and memorabilia displays, and a chance to take a picture with the Stanley Cup®.
Infront has signed an exclusive international media rights agreement with Australia’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. The men’s cycling event was elevated to the UCI WorldTour calendar in 2017 and the women’s race to the UCI Women’s WorldTour in 2020. Australian races are back in the calendar after a two-year break due to the pandemic and will take place in Victoria from January 27-29.
The Professional Fighters League has reached a multi-year expanded partnership agreement with Wolf Spirit, which will see Puncher’s Chance Bourbon continue as the Official Spirits Partner of the PFL. Under the deal, the independent American Whiskey brand will present “Upset of the Night” at all events and will now have a presence during the PFL Challenger Series, which returns on January 27.
Superights will act as global distributor for new CGI series “Deep in the Bowl.” The show, based on the French comic book Le Fond du Bocal, is an original creation of Zeilt Productions, co-produced with Tencent Video and WATT frame.
Mastiff TV Denmark will adapt “Starstruck” for DR1. It’s the fourth deal for the studio entertainment format, where a trio of performers are transformed into the same iconic star.
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During its premiere week, Telemundo’s “El Señor de los Cielos” ranked as the #1 Spanish-language series in weekday primetime with a premiere week average of 821,000 viewers A18-49 and 309,000 A18-34. At 9p, the series was the #1 broadcast program, regardless of language, among A18-49, in markets including LA, New York, Miami, Houston, Dallas and Chicago. In addition, since its launch, Season 3 of “La Casa de los Famosos” ranks as the most-watched premiere week in the franchise’s history, delivering an average of 482,000 A18-49.
The January 12 episode of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” delivered a 0.98 rating among A18-49, the highest of the season, and a second-highest (after Steve Martin and Martin Short’s show) 4.8 million total viewers. Aubrey Plaza was host, joined by musical guest Sam Smith.
In syndication, two magazines hit their best marks of the syndication year the week of January 9. “Entertainment Tonight” (new season high 2.4, up 4%) moved into a first-place tie with “Inside Edition” (2.4, unchanged) and “Extra” (new season high 0.7, up 17%) tied “TMZ” (0.7, unchanged). “Extra” has risen 40% in the past two weeks.
Among this season’s top syndication newcomers, “Sherri” (0.7, up 17%) returned to original episodes after three weeks of reruns, while “The Jennifer Hudson Show” (0.6, steady and up 50% among W25-54 in the demo) blew by some of the year-ago ratings recorded by “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which it replaced in several markets, including rising 60% in Birmingham, Alabama.
The premiere of Fox Business Network’s “The Bottom Line” drew 251,000 viewers, marking it the highest-rated 6p hour for FBN in 2023, growing the timeslot by 49% compared to its average in 2022.
Broadcast Nielsen Top 11 M-F Syndicated Strip Series for the week of January 9 ranked in order by HH Rtg
Broadcast Nielsen Ratings for Tuesday, January 24
Disney Advertising has named Eric Cavanaugh as VP of Measurement Transformation and Insights. Cavanaugh was previously SVP, Global Research, Data Sciences at Publicis Media.
Saj Jamal has returned to SSIMWAVE as Vice President, Marketingfollowing its acquisition by IMAX. During an earlier stint as VP, Marketing for Communitech, a startup accelerator, Jamal supported the initial development of SSIMWAVE.
David Eilenberg has been promoted from Head of Originals to Head of Content at Roku. He replaces Rob Holmes, who is stepping down in March.
Poison Pen Studios has announced new hires for its London-based team, including the appointments of Luke Woellhaf as Director of Development, Fern McCauley as Head of IP Acquisitions, and Oluchi Ezeh as Development Coordinator.
Actor Lance Kerwin died January 24 at age 62. No cause of death was given. Kerwin starred in miniseries “Salem’s Lot,” and played the title character in NBC coming of age drama “James at 15.”
This Day in History
Answer to Our Last Trivia Question
Today’s Trivia Question
|THURSDAY JANUARY 26
ABC: Celebrity Jeopardy!, The Parent Test, The Chase, Jimmy Kimmel Live!
CBS: Young Sheldon, Ghosts, So Help Me Todd, CSI: Vegas
CW: Walker, Walker Independence
FOX: Hell’s Kitchen, Welcome to Flatch, Call Me Kat
NBC: Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Law & Order: Organized Crime,
PBS: This Old House, Ask This Old House, La Otra Mirada, This Old House
Telemundo: La Casa de los Famosos, El Señor de los Cielos, Amor y Traición
Univision: Vencer la Ausencia, Mi Camino es Amarte, Cabo
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